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shame and confusion. If he disbelieved; it was with a mind clouded by moral darkness, and with a heart harder than the nether millstone.
But now he has no opportunity either to believe, or to doubt. Knowledge has now succeeded to conjecture ; and the evidence of the eyes, to the report of the tongue. He stands in the pres. ence of this wonderful person. How changed from him, who expired on the cross, and was carried to the tomb! Now he sits on the throne of the universe ; and is worshipped and served, by angels, archangels, and the endless multitude of the first-born Before him burn with an intense and eternal flame“ the seven lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God!” In his presence “ the Seraphim bow, and veil their faces :" while the four and twenty Elders fall down, and worship ; cast their crowns before his throne ; and say, " Thou art worthy, O Lord ! to receive glory, and honour, and power ; for Thou hast created all things; and for thy pleasure they are, and were created !"" Round about his throne stand“ the four Living Creatures ;" all life ; all eye; all intellect; and with an unceasing and eternal voice cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty! who wast, and who art, and who art to come !" To his name are attuned all the harps of the heavenly world. To his praise ascends the contin ual and everlasting hymn of the virtuous universe, “ Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, and wisdom, and might, and thanksgiving, be unto Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever :" while “the innumerable company
of angels,” and “the four living creatures” at their head, subjoia their solemn Amen.
Before this glorious and wonderful person he now stands, face to face; and sees and hears him, as he is. He sees him the Judge of the universe; the great dispenser of good and evil; word is life and death; whose favour is heaven; whose anger is hell." His eyes are as a flame of fire; and his countenance is as the sun, shining in its strength.”
No helpless babe of Bethlehem, is here thrust into a stable, or swathed in a manger. No “man of sorrows" is here, “ despised
and rejected of men,” and destitute of a place, " where to lay his head.” No forsaken prisoner is here, crowned with thorns, sceptred with a reed, mocked with insolent homage, buffeted, spit upon, nailed to the cross, and laid, a lifeless corpse, in the solitary grave. The Author and Proprietor of all worlds, the object of immense and endless homage, obedience, and praise, gits, here upon the throne of Judgment, to receive the account of his conduct in the present life; to acquit, or condemn him; and to utter that irreversible sentence, which decides his state of being throughout eternity.
How new, how amazing, must have been the sight! How aw. ful must have been the interview! In what manner must even the best of men; Abraham, Moses, Paul, or John ; feel, when summoned before him! Paul was once, while he lived here below, actually introduced into his presence: and was so overwhelmed, that, as he himself has informed us," he knew not whether he was in, or out of, the body.” What emotions then must our departed friend have experienced ! With what immeasurable importance, in his view, must the occasion have been invested! With what stupendous glory must the Judge have disclosed himself to his eyes! What a train of hurried, tumultuous thoughts must have crowded upon his mind! How must he have shrunk into a worm, and felt as if he were returning to his original nothing.
3dly. He has passed through that Trial, which awaits all the children of Adam beyond the grave.
In this world our deceased friend was a probationer for endless life. A time was allotted to him for his probation; talents entrusted ; and privileges given. Such an use as he chose and loved, he here made of them all. He either loved God, or the world; embraced or rejected the Redeemer; believed or disbelieved the Gospel ; yielded to the Spirit of Grace, or resisted his influence. He either did good or evil; loved virtuous men, and attached himself to them; or “sate in the seat of the scorner," and “was numbered with the transgressors."
He has now come, to render his final account. All the transactions of his life have passed in exact review under the eye of the awful and glorious person, to whose presence he has been summoned. His profession in life, and the manner in which he has discharged it, have been completely examined, and precisely weighed. His conduct towards his fellow men has all been sis: ted. His bargains particularly, have been thoroughly explored; the spirit with which he formed his contracts, and the manner in which he acquired his gains. All his good or ill offices to his neighbours have been disclosed; his consent or refusal to interchange the common kindnesses of good neighbourhood ; his disposition or indisposition to impart to the poor, to befriend the sick, and to relieve the distressed; the malignity with which he slandered, or the integrity with which he defended, his neighbour's good name ; and the spirit, with which he obeyed or disobeyed the laws, resisted or submitted to the Government, and injured or promoted the interests, of his country. The manner also, in which he has treated his family, has been exactly displayed. His care of their lives, and his attention to their happiness and hopes in this world ; and his provision for their happiness beyond the grave, daily made in discharging the duties of family piety, and in furnishing his children with a religious education; or his wan: ton wickedness in neglecting the comfort, instruction, govern ment, and salvation, of those whom God committed to his care. At the same time, a complete disclosure has been made of the indulgence or restraint of his own passions ; of his sloth, lewdness, and intemperance ; or of his diligence, continence, and sobriety. Nor has the exhibition been less perfect of his reverence or profaneness, his love or hatred, towards God; his obedience or disobedience to the divine commands; the fervency of his prayers, and the warmth of his gratitude; or the cold, stupid, prayerless, thankless manner, in which he has passed through earthly pilgrimage. All the secret sins, also, of his life, committed in thought, in darkness, and in solitude ; or the duties, prac tised in the loneliness of retirement; have now been shown in clear and open day, and set “in the light of God's countenance."
All these things he has himself recited. His memory, with new power, has been opened on all the events of his earthly life. His tongue, with a veracity before unknown, has spontaneously yielded to the impulse of truth; and, whether accustomed or not to utter truth here below, has now declared with perfect exactness, all the things “done in the body.” The evil and disgraceful scenes of his life he has rehearsed without disguise; even those which here he would not, for a thousand worlds, have uttered to his nearest friend. Those which were honourable and virtuous, he has in the same sincere manner declared, with no self-flattery, and no concealment of modesty. Naked truth has here been the only law of communication.
Among the things which have most interested him on this affecting occasion, those parts of his conduct, which have immediately respected Christ, have undoubtedly holden a primary place. With what peculiar emotions must he have repeated to the Saviour of men, now arrayed in supreme glory and power, his own unbelief and disobedience! How difficult, and distressing, must have been the rehearsal of the disregard, with which he heard his instructions; the stupidity, with which he contemplated his miracles; the enmity, which he exercised towards his character ; the disobedience, which he exhibited to his commands and ordinances; and the contempt, which he cast upon the sufferings of the cross ! When he beholds, face to face, the Son of God, who died that he might live; in what manner must his ingratitude to so disinterested and divine a benefactor for benefits so endearing, and so evidently immense, have awakened in him shame, confusion, and self-abhorrence? How deplorable must his reasons for all this evil conduct have appeared! How naturally must he have called to mind that solemn declaration of the same Saviour, often repeated to him on this side of the grave, “Because I have called, and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: therefore I also will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh ; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction as a whirlwind.”
On the contrary, with what emotions of joy has be mentioned, if it was in his power to mention, the gift of " a cup of cold water, to a disciple in the name of a disciple ;” a single faithful prayer, humbly offered up to God in the name of Christ ; a single union with his fellow Christians in the public worship of his Maker; a single sincere commemoration of the dying love of the Redeem
What comfort and courage has he found in remembering that he faithfully confessed Christ before men; and shewed that he was “ his disciple indeed, by doing all things, whatsoever he hath commanded ?" With what satisfaction has he recollected, that, while living in this world, he“ did to others, that” which he wished " others to do to him;" that he was just in his dealings, sincere in his declarations, and kind in his affections and conduct, that he cheerfully forgave his enemies, supplied the wants of the poor, and relieved the sufferings of the distressed? How joyfully must he have called to mind, in an especial manner, bis offices of love to the followers of Christ; and rehearsed, that, when they were “an hungered, he fed them; when they were thirsty, he gave them drink; and when they were strangers, he took them in ?"
How different have been the things in which he rejoiced and gloried, at this amazing interview, from those in which probably he gloried at times, in the present world? How little has he felt inclined to speak of his estate; his person; his talents ; his accomplishments; his honours; his offices; his hard bargains ; his successful struggles against rivals; and his agency in cxciting public discontent, turmoil, and trouble?
What an account, before this awful Judge, would be the story of a duel, fought by our deceased friend of the affront which occasioned it, the resentment which penned the challenge, the spirit which drove him to the field, and the frenzy which prompted him to cut off the life of a fellow creature in the midst of his sins. What an appearance must the rehearsal make of a fortunate intrigue ; a successful amour ; a gambling match ; a horse race ; a swindling speculation ; a furious law suit ; a riotous de bauch ; the ruin of a neighbour ; the neglect, and corruption, of a family; a profane and dishonest covenant; and a dissembling, faithless ministry.