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Vested; and shining all with perfect bliss,
The wages that his faithful servants win.
Thus stood they numberless around the mount
Of presence; and, adoring, waited, hushed
In deepest silence, for the voice of God.
That moment, all the Sacred Hill on high
Burned, terrible with glory, and, behind
The uncreated lustre, hid the Lamb,
Invisible; when, from the radiant cloud,
This voice, addressing all the hosts of heaven,
Proceeded, not in words as we converse,
Each with his fellow, but in language such
As God doth use, imparting, without phrase
Successive, what, in speech of creatures, seems
Long narrative, though long, yet losing much
In feeble symbols of the thought Divine.
My servants long approved, my faithful sons,
Angels of glory, Thrones, Dominions, Powers,
Well pleased, this morning, I have seen the speed
Of your obedience, gathering round my throne,
In order due, and well-becoming garb;
Illustrious, as I see, beyond your wont,
As was my wish to glorify this day:
And now, what your assembling means, attend.
This day concludes the destiny of man.
The hour, appointed from eternity,
To judge the earth in righteousness, is come;
To end the war of Sin, that long has fought,.
Permitted, against the sword of Holiness;
To give to men and devils, as their works,
Recorded in my all-remembering book,
I find; good to the good, and great reward
Of everlasting honour, joy, and peace,
Before my presence here for evermore;
And to the evil, as their sins provoke,
Eternal recompense of shame and wo,
Cast out beyond the bounds of light and love.
Long have I stood, as ye, my sons, well know,
Between the cherubim, and stretched my arms
Of mercy out, inviting all to come
To me, and live; my bowels long have moved
With great compassion; and my justice passed
Transgression by, and not imputed sin.
Long here, upon my everlasting throne,
I have beheld my love and mercy scorned;
Have seen my laws despised, my name
My providence accused, my gracious plans
Opposed; and long, too long, have I beheld
The wicked triumph, and my saints reproached
Maliciously, while on my altars lie,
Unanswered still, their prayers and their tears,
That seek my coming, wearied with delay;
And long, Disorder in my moral reign
Has waked rebelliously, disturbed the peace
Of my eternal government, and wrought
Confusion, spreading far and wide, among
My works inferior, which groan to be
Released. Nor long shall groan. The hour of
The final hour of grace, is fully passed;
The time accepted for repentance, faith,
And pardon, is irrevocably passed;
And Justice, unaccompanied, as wont,
With Mercy, now goes forth, to give to all
According to their deeds. Justice alone,-
For why should Mercy any more be joined ?
What hath not mercy, mixed with judgment, done,
That mercy, mixed with judgment and reproof,
Could do? Did I not revelation make,
Plainly and clearly, of my will entire ?
Before them set my holy law, and gave
Them knowledge, wisdom, prowess to obey,
And. win, by self-wrought works, eternal life?
Rebelled, did I not send them terms of peace,
Which, not my justice, but my mercy asked?—
Terms, costly to my well-beloved Son;
To them, gratuitous, exacting faith
Alone for pardon, works evincing faith?
Have I not early risen, and sent my seers,
Prophets, apostles, teachers, ministers,
With signs and wonders, working in my name?
Have I not still, from age to age, raised up
As I saw needful, great, religious men,
Gifted by me with large capacity,
And by my arm omnipotent upheld,
To pour the numbers of my mercy forth,
And roll my judgments on the ear of man?
And lastly, when the promised hour was come,—
What more could most abundant mercy do ?-
Did I not send Immanuel forth, my Son,
Only begotten, to purchase, by his blood,
As many as believed upon his name?
Did he not die to give repentance, such
As I accept, and pardon of all sins?
Has he not taught, beseeched, and shed abroad
The Spirit unconfined, and given at times
Example fierce of wrath and judgment, poured
Vindictively on nations guilty long?
What means of reformation, that my Son
Has left behind, untried? what plainer words,
What arguments more strong, as yet remain?
Did he not tell them, with his lips of truth,
The righteous should be saved, the wicked damned?
And has he not, awake both day and night,
Here interceded with prevailing voice,
At my right hand, pleading his precious blood
Which magnified my holy law, and bought,
For all who wished, perpetual righteousness?
And have not you, my faithful servants, all
Been frequent forth, obedient to my will,
With messages of mercy and of love,
Administering my gifts to sinful man?
And have not all my mercy, all my love,
Been sealed and stamped with signature of heaven?
By proof of wonders, miracles, and signs
Attested, and attested more by truth
Divine, inherent in the tidings sent?
This day declares the consequence of all.
Some have believed, are sanctified, and saved,
Prepared for dwelling in this holy place,
In these their mansions, built before my face;
And now, beneath a crown of golden light,
Beyond our wall, at place of judgment, they,
Expecting, wait the promised, due reward.
The others stand with Satan bound in chains,
The others, who refused to be redeemed:
They stand, unsanctified, unpardoned, sad,
Waiting the sentence that shall fix their wo.
The others, who refused to be redeemed;
For all had grace sufficient to believe,
All who my gospel heard; and none, who heard
It not, shall by its law, this day, be tried.
Necessity of sinning, my decrees
Imposed on none; but rather, all inclined
To holiness; and grace was bountiful,
Abundant, overflowing with my word;
My word of life and peace, which to all men,
Who shall or stand or fall, by law revealed,
Was offered freely, as 'twas freely sent,
Without all money, and without all price.
Thus they have all, by willing act, despised
Me, and my Son, and sanctifying Spirit.
But now, no longer shall they mock or scorn.
The day of grace and mercy is complete,
And Godhead from their misery absolved.
So saying, He, the Father infinite,
Turning, addressed Messiah, where he sat,
Exalted gloriously, at his right hand.
This day belongs to justice and to thee,
Eternal Son, thy right for service done,
Abundantly fulfilling all my will;
By promise thine, from all eternity,
Made in the ancient Covenant of Grace;
And thine, as most befitting, since in thee
Divine and human meet, impartial Judge,
Consulting thus the interest of both.
Go then, my Son, divine similitude,
Image express of Deity unseen,
The book of my remembrance take; and take
The golden crowns of life, due to the saints;
And take the seven last thunders ruinous;
Thy armour take; gird on thy sword, thy sword
Of justice ultimate, reserved, till now,
Unsheathed, in the eternal armoury;
And mount the living chariot of God.
Thou goest not now, as once, to Calvary,
To be insulted, buffeted, and slain;
Thou goest not now, with battle and the voice
Of war, as once against the rebel hosts.
Thou goest a Judge, and findst the guilty bound;
Thou goest to prove, condemn, acquit, reward.
Not unaccompanied; all these, my saints,
Go with thee, glorious retinue, to sing
T'hy triumph, and participate thy joy;
And I, the Omnipresent, with thee go:
And with thee all the glory of my throne.
Thus said the Father; and the Son beloved,
Omnipotent, Omniscient, Fellow God,
Arose, resplendent with Divinity;
And He the book of God's remembrance took;
And took the seven last thunders ruinous;
And took the crowns of life, due to the saints;
His armour took; girt on his sword, his sword
Of justice ultimate, reserved, till now,
Unsheathed, in the eternal armoury;
And up the living chariot of God
Ascended, signifying all complete.
And now the Trump, of wondrous melody,
By man or angel never heard before,
Sounded with thunder, and the march began.
Not swift, as cavalcade, on battle bent
But, as became procession of a judge,
Solemn, magnificent, majestic, slow;
Moving sublime with glory infinite,
And numbers infinite, and awful song,
They passed the gate of heaven, which, many a
Opened either way, to let the glory forth
Of this great march. And now, the sons of men
Beheld their coming, which, before, they heard
Beheld the glorious countenance of God!
All light was swallowed up, all objects seen
Faded; and the Incarnate, visible
Alone, held every eye upon him fixed;
The wicked saw his majesty severe;
And those who pierced Him saw his face with clouds
Of glory circled round, essential bright!
And to the rocks and mountains called in vain, To hide them from the fierceness of his wrath: Almighty power their flight restrained, and held Them bound immoveable before the bar.
The righteous, undismayed and bold-best proof,
This day, of fortitude sincere,-sustained
By inward faith, with acclamations loud,
Received the coming of the Son of Man;
And, drawn by love, inclined to his approach,
Moving to meet the brightness of his face.
Meantime, 'tween good and bad, the Judge his
Stayed, and, ascending, sat upon the great
White Throne, that morning founded there by
Omnipotent, and built on righteousness
And truth. Behind, before, on every side,
In native and reflected blaze of bright,
Celestial equipage, the myriads stood,
That with his marching came; rank above rank,
Rank above rank, with shield and flaming sword.
"Twas silence all! and quick, on right and left, A mighty angel spread the book of God's |Remembrance; and, with conscience now sincere,
All men compared the record, written there
By finger of Omniscience; and received
Their sentence, in themselves, of joy or wo;
Condemned or justified, while yet the Judge
Waited, as if to let them prove themselves.
The righteous, in the book of life displayed,
Rejoicing, read their names; rejoicing, read
Their faith for righteousness received, and deeds
Of holiness, as proof of faith complete.
The wicked, in the book of endless death,
Spread out to left, bewailing, read their names;
And read beneath them, Unbelief, and fruit
Of unbelief, vile, unrepented deeds,
Now unrepentable for evermore;
And gave approval of the wo affixed.
And scorched with the avenging fires, begun
Burning within them,-they upon the verge
Of Erebus, a moment, pausing stood,
And saw, below, the unfathomable lake,
Tossing with tides of dark, tempestuous wrath;
And would have looked behind; but greater wrath,
Behind, forbade, which now no respite gave
To final misery. God, in the grasp
Of his Almighty strength, took them upraised,
And threw them down, into the yawning pit
Of bottomless perdition, ruined, damned,
Fast bound in chains of darkness evermore;
And Second Death, and the Undying Worm,
Opening their horrid jaws, with hideous yell,
Falling, received their everlasting prey.
This done, the Omnipotent, Omniscient Judge, A groan returned, as down they sunk, and sunk,
Rose infinite, the sentence to pronounce,
The sentence of eternal wo or bliss!
All glory heretofore seen or conceived,
All majesty, annihilated, dropped,
And ever sunk, among the utter dark!
A groan returned! the righteous heard the groan,
The groan of all the reprobate, when first
They felt damnation sure! and heard Hell close!
That moment, from remembrance, and was lost; And heard Jehovah, and his love retire!
And silence, deepest hitherto esteemed,
Seemed noisy to the stillness of this hour.
Comparisons I seek not, nor should find,
If sought. That silence, which all being held,
When God's Almighty Son, from off the walls
Of heaven the rebel angels threw, accursed,
So still, that all creation heard their fall
Distinctly, in the lake of burning fire,-
Was now forgotten, and every silence else.
All being rational, created then,
Around the judgment seat, intensely listened.
No creature breathed. Man, angel, devil, stood
And listened; the spheres stood still, and every star
Stood still, and listened; and every particle,
Remotest in the womb of matter, stood,
Bending to hear, devotional and still.
And thus upon the wicked, first, the Judge
Pronounced the sentence, written before of old:
"Depart from me, ye cursed, into the fire,
Prepared eternal in the Gulf of Hell,
Where ye shall weep and wail for evermore,
Reaping the harvest which your sins have sown."
So saying, God grew dark with utter wrath;
And, drawing now the sword, undrawn before,
Which through the range of infinite, all around,
A gleam of fiery indignation threw,
He lifted up his hand omnipotent,
And down among the damned the burning edge
Plunged; and from forth his arrowy quiver sent,
Emptied, the seven last thunders ruinous,
Which, entering, withered all their souls with fire.
Then first was vengeance, first was ruin seen!
Red, unrestrained, vindictive, final, fierce!
They, howling, fled to west among the dark;
But fled not these the terrors of the Lord.
Pursued, and driven beyond the Gulf, which frowns
Impassable, between the good and bad,
And downward far remote to left, oppressed
A groan returned! the righteous heard the groan,
As if all misery, all sorrow, grief,
All pain, all anguish, all despair, which all
Have suffered, or shall feel, from first to last
Eternity, had gathered to one pang,
And issued in one groan of boundless wo!
And now the wall of hell, the outer wall,
First gateless then, closed round them; that which
Hast seen, of fiery adamant, emblazed
With hideous imagery, above all hope,
Above all flight of fancy, burning high;
And guarded evermore, by Justice, turned
To Wrath, that hears, unmoved, the endless groan
Of those wasting within; and sees, unmoved,
The endless tear of vain repentance fall.
Nor ask if these shall ever be redeemed.
They never shall! Not God, but their own sin,
Condemns them. What could be done, as thou
Has been already done; all has been tried
That wisdom infinite, and boundless grace,
Working together, could devise; and all
Has failed. Why now succeed? Though God
Inviting still, and send his Only Son
To offer grace in hell, the pride, that first
Refused, would still refuse; the unbelief,
Still unbelieving, would deride and mock;
Nay more, refuse, deride, and mock; for sin,
Increasing still, and growing, day and night,
Into the essence of the soul, become
All sin, makes what in time seemed probable,-
Seemed probable, since God invited then,-
For ever now impossible. Thus they,
According to the eternal laws which bind
All creatures, bind the Uncreated One,
Though we name not the sentence of the Judge,--
Must daily grow in sin and punishment,
Made by themselves their necessary lot,
Unchangeable to all eternity.
| And touching her from his Almighty hand, With force centrifugal, she onward ran, Coursing her wonted path, to stop no more.
What lot! what choice! I sing not, can not sing. Delightful scene of new inhabitants!
Here, highest seraphs tremble on the lyre,
And made a sudden pause!—but thou hast seen.
And here, the bard, a moment, held his hand,
As one who saw more of that horrid wo
Than words could utter; and again resumed.
Nor yet had vengeance done. The guilty Earth,
Inanimate, debased, and stained by sin,
Seat of rebellion, of corruption, long,
And tainted with mortality throughout,—
God sentenced next; and sent the final fires
Of ruin forth, to burn and to destroy.
The saints its burning saw, and thou mayst see.
Look yonder, round the lofty golden walls
And galleries of New Jerusalem,
Among the imagery of wonders passed;
As thou, this morn, in passing hither, sawst.
Thus done, the glorious Judge, turning to right,
With countenance of love unspeakable,
Beheld the righteous, and approved them thus:
"Ye blessed of my Father, come, ye just,
Enter the joy eternal of your Lord;
Receive your crowns, ascend, and sit with me,
At God's right hand, in glory evermore!"
Thus said the Omnipotent, Incarnate God
And waited not the homage of the crowns,
Already thrown before him; nor the loud
Amen, of universal, holy praise;
But turned the living chariot of fire,
And swifter now,-as joyful to declare
This day's proceedings in his Father's court,
Look near the southern gate; look, and behold—And to present the number of his sons
On spacious canvas, touched with living hues
The Conflagration of the ancient earth,
The handywork of high archangel, drawn
From memory of what he saw, that day.
See! how the mountains, how the valleys burn;
The Andes burn, the Alps, the Appenines,
Taurus and Atlas; all the islands burn;
The Ocean burns, and rolls his waves of flame.
See how the lightnings, barbed, red with wrath,
Sent from the quiver of Omnipotence,
Cross and recross the fiery gloom, and burn
Into the centre!-burn without, within,
And help the native fires, which God awoke,
And kindled with the fury of his wrath.
As inly troubled, now she seems to shake;
The flames, dividing, now a moment, fall;
And now, in one conglomerated mass,
Rising, they glow on high, prodigious blaze!
Then fall and sink again, as if, within,
The fuel, burned to ashes, was consumed.
So burned the Earth upon that dreadful day,
Yet not to full annihilation burned.
The essential particles of dust remained,
Purged by the final, sanctifying fires,
From all corruption; from all stain of sin,
Done there by man or devil, purified.
The essential particles remained, of which
God built the world again, renewed, improved,
With fertile vale, and wood of fertile bough;
And streams of milk and honey, flowing song;
And mountains cinctured with perpetual green;
In clime and season fruitful, as at first,
When Adam woke, unfallen, in Paradise.
And God, from out the fount of native light,
A handful took of beams, and clad the sun
Again in glory; and sent forth the moon
To borrow thence her wonted rays, and lead
Her stars, the virgin daughters of the sky.
And God revived the winds, revived the tides;
Before the Throne,-ascended up to heaven
And all his saints, and all his angel bands,
As, glorious, they on high ascended, sung
Glory to God and to the Lamb!-they sung
Messiah, fairer than the sons of men,
And altogether lovely. Grace is poured
Into thy lips, above all measure poured;
And therefore God hath blessed thee evermore.
Gird, gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O thou
Most Mighty! with thy glory ride; with all
Thy majesty, ride prosperously, because
Of meekness, truth, and righteousness. Thy
O God, for ever and for ever stands;
The sceptre of thy kingdom still is right;
Therefore hath God, thy God, anointed thee,
With oil of gladness and perfumes of myrrh,
Out of the ivory palaces, above
Thy fellows, crowned the Prince of endless peace!
Thus sung they God, their Saviour: and them-
Prepared complete to enter now, with Christ,
Their living Head, into the Holy Place.
Behold! the daughter of the King, the bride,
All glorious within, the bride adorned,
Comely in broidery of gold! behold,
She comes, appareled royally, in robes
Of perfect righteousness, fair as the sun,
With all her virgins, her companions fair,
Into the Palace of the King she comes,
She comes to dwell for evermore! Awake,
Eternal harps! awake, awake, and sing!—
The Lord, the Lord, our God Almighty, reigns!
Thus the Messiah, with the hosts of bliss,
Entered the gates of heaven, unquestioned now,
Which closed behind them, to go out no more;
And stood, accepted, in his Father's sight;
Before the glorious, everlasting Throne,
Presenting all his saints; not one was lost,
Of all that he in Covenant received;
And, having given the kingdom up, he sat,
Where now he sits and reigns, on the right hand
Of glory; and our God is all in all !
Thus have I sung beyond thy first request,
Rolling my numbers o'er the track of man,
The world at dawn, at mid-day, and decline;
Time gone, the righteous saved, the wicked damn-
And God's eternal government approved.
THE END OF THE COURSE OF TIME.