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was guilty of the deed, took pains to present himself, of his own accord, at the office of justice, and offered to aid in the detection of the culprit, but he over-acted; this very readiness which he had hoped would disarm suspicion, first excited it, and finally led to his detection and condemnation.
There is one other element of mind which has contributed more than all the rest, to remove, in this world, the covering from deeds of darkness, however deeply buried, or difficult to discover, and that is, the remorse of a guilty and violated conscience. Notwithstanding the authority and vigilance of the officers of justice, and the scrutiny of human courts of law (which also form a part of the vast and complicated earthly economy for revealing sin); notwithstanding the interrogations of learned counsel, and the array of armed forces, and the apprehensions of imprisonment and death, more dreadful truth has been elicited by the remorseful agonies of a guilty conscience, than by all the processes and power of judicial tribunals combined. The deed which brings the criminal to execution, is often but one of a hundred which would never have been revealed in this life but for his own remorseful confessions. It is said that the majority of criminals confined now in our prison-houses, and condemned to die, will be found to be there on the testimony of their own words, forced from them. by the anguish of a wounded spirit.
Thus, from the constitution of the human soul with its inward monitor and avenger-from the communicativeness of facts when brought together-from the bursting and unwrapping processes in the material world, as seeds and rocks and buried empires brean their coverings, and come out into day; from this array of evidence coming from every side in this world, we think we hear the heralding of a day of more clear and terrific disclosures, when all the secrets of every heart shall be revealed. The laws be un on earth are the type and exemplification, if not the initiatory End premonitory workings of those endless processes which move on with accelerated and stupendous results on the other side of the grave. Hence we say, that, even in this world, the disclosures are so frequent and unexpected, as to make it exceedingly probable, at least, that in the next "there shall be nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be made known.”
II. But when we take into consideration another fact, namely, that all the hindrances which prevented a perfect revelation of the character in this world, will, in the NEXT, BE REMOVED; then, that which just now appeared a dangerous probability, becomes a dreadful certainty. Obstacles, which in this life prevented a full disclosure of the deeds done in the body, will, in the next, be wholly removed; and all the processes which contribute to development, will have full and unimpeded play.
The body will be removed. It is a well-known fact, that in this life the action of the mind is hindered by reason of its connection with its corporeal investiture. The soul is incarcerated, and often crippled by its dependence upon the body; and hence, when the system is excited by fever, or attenuated by disease, and the ordinary physical relations are, in a measure, broken up, the mind has been known to possess and manifest a power never conceived of in its habitual conditions; the silver cord has then, as it were, begun to loosen, and the latent powers have begun to be conscious of their strength. Now, in the eternal world, the corporeal hindrances will be all removed-the ponderous envelop will be wholly shaken off; that which was insensible and dormant by reason of its earthly tabernacle, will quiver then with an intense and terrific life; and every faculty of the mind which had been hindered and clouded, will contribute of its treasures and strength to consummate the stupendous purposes of God. Forgetfulness will be removed. Memory will then give up its dead. What had been buried and forgotten will rise again into view in multitudinous and condemnatory array; as the history of a past life, with all its painful and oblivious scenes, sometimes forces its way into the minds of dying men, with a terrible and avenging clearness, and will not let them rest, so we have every reason to believe that when the body is all removed, and sickness interposes no restraint, the mind will recall, with fearful distinctness, its minutest and most forgotten deeds, and all that was here scattered through a life, will then be collected into one single and burning point of time.
All lost evidence will be supplied. In this world not only are important facts kept out of sight by the death or absence of witnesses, but after the transaction has long gone by, something often transpires, which, had it appeared at the time, would have changed the whole face and issue of the case. But in the world to come, no witnesses will be absent; all that can be gathered will be there; and all that bears upon the case will be concentrated and arranged into one connected line of light and fire. The evidence will all be there, and close at hand. All diverting associations will be removed; the green earth will have passed away-the mild skies will have been folded up-the faces which spoke of pity for the criminal to the last, will not be there the voices of men will have ceased-the hopes and passions of time will have come to an end; none of those passing incidents which broke for a moment the train of condemnatory thoughts in this life, will be found, in the world to come; the mind will have full and unimpeded action upon itself; reflection will not be broken in upon; conscience will not be diverted from
its work withal, one thing will be visible there, which was not seen here that eye which saw the deeds of darkness, though itself unseen, will there gleam upon the offender, face to face; over all the vast assembly will be seen an awful splendor, that rebuking or approving Presence, which, in this world, no man can look upon and live.
Now, if there are ever any combinations of circumstances which can force from the soul the story of its sins-if there is any law of mind which makes the child find relief only in confession, and which necessitates the criminal on the scaffold, notwithstanding the presence of friends and the sight of old scenes, and some faint hope of rescue, to utter forth, in ignominy and shame, the dark history of his life; if even Judas Iscariot, though he saw but a small part of the injury he had done, had to seek out the chief priests, and with his own lips make acknowledgment of his guilt; if even in such a world as this, where the body, and old associations, and friends, and forgetfulness, and ignorance of the consequences, contribute to quiet the goadings of conscience, men are still driven by remorse, to give a detailed and minute account of the evil they have done, what may not be expected when with conscience all alive, and memory quickened, the soul, dismantled of its clay, stung by its sins, bereft of friends, and hindered by nothing, meets the eye of its Maker without a veil: if the mere toll of a bell, and the sight of soldiery, and the approach of a dissolution which after all might not take place, has unloosed the tongues of hardened criminals, and made the soul its own accuser in the presence of a scornful crowd, what disclosures may not be expected when, as the last trumpet sounds, and nature dissolves, and the aged heavens are wrapt in flame, the mind begins to feel the pressure of an endless and a hopeless doom? Will not the story of wrong and rapine, of sin and deceit, leap forth like the untombed dead; and the Scripture, "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee," be literally fulfilled? Surely there is a provision in our nature, by reason of which every one shall give an account of himself unto God.
If, with memory quickened only for a moment, the conscience gathers up here and there a delinquency, scattered along the path of life, and speaks it out, shall we be surprised, if in the light of eternity, remorse should reveal to the wondering angels, transgressions thick and dark as bursting clouds, and big with tempest? If this is not an ordering of our mental economy, by which, at some time, that which is spoken in the ear in closets, shall be proclaimed upon the house-tops, where can it be found?
III. Much of the Bible is written and all probation arranged with reference to a judgment in the midst of minute and amazing
revelations. If the inspired preacher sees by the way-side a youth revelling in the riotous pleasures of unfettered indulgence, heedless of the admonitions of conscience and of religion, he reminds him. that those scenes of sinful delight must come up again: "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart and in the sight of thine eyes, but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." There is a fore-tokening all along our earthly way. If the wicked hears a "dreadful sound," what does he hear? if he sees a hand others do not see, what is it that he sees? The fear of God is not before his eyes, and yet he is afraid. There was a sound, a rustle of a leaf, yet to him a sound that spoke of discovery-a whisper of betrayal and development; he sees things around him working to the surface. Even a stain upon his robe, a paler hue upon his cheek, may have a voice to some one ;-many things have come out in ways most unexpected-and who shall say, that, after all, he may not have been observed ? Perhaps the words of the aged preacher peal again upon his soul-"Every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." It would not be strange if many events should now begin to speak to him of judgment, and point toward the revelations of the great day; if he continues to reflect, all things will begin to arrange themselves with reference to the time which will "bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart;" he begins to think that things which are not finished here, may be finished hereafter. Though much is shrouded in darkness, and the murderer and his victim sleep in the sea, yet so many things are revealed. The laws of justice are so mighty and manifest, moving all around him, and moving on with such unfaltering step, the responses of his own soul to the whispers in society and to the pointings of creation are so clear and loud, that he is not at all surprised when he hears it announced-"For every idle word which men shall speak, shall they give account:" "whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light;" and, the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and the grave the dead which were in them, and they were judged, every man according to his works," out of the things that were written in the books. Be not surprised if you hear him repeating to himself "Every man's work shall be made manifest, and the fire shall try it, of what sort it is," and if necessary, it shall be revealed by fire. He is coming under the power of a great law which is stronger than he is. Depend upon it, my friends, there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be made known.
IV.-Finally if there were no books with man's deeds record
ed in them, no conscience in the soul to urge them forth, no witnesses to testify, and no formal sentence to be pronounced and vindicated, still the future condition of the soul will, itself, point back to specific acts of sin or righteousness on earth, as the ground of its peculiar destiny.
The future condition of the soul will REVEAL as well as avenge what was done in the body. We have evidence in the Bible and in nature, that the coming state of the mind will bear a strict and definite relation to its exercises in the present world; as specific as is the conformity of the harvest in the field to the seeds that are sown on it, so that from the issues which will transpire in eternity, we may know with great certainty what was enacted amidst the probationary scenes of time. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; if he sows to the flesh, he shall of the flesh reap corruption; if he sows to the spirit, he shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. Now, if in this world men suffer in the line of their sins and rejoice in the line of their good deeds, —if the drunkard's trembling body reveals to us the nature of his transgression,-if the lonely desertion of the miser is the natural as well as the judicial consequence of his own protracted withdrawal of kindly sympathy from his race,-if, when by our laws the blood of one is shed in retribution, we know that it is because he has already shed man's blood,--if the maledictions that come upon the outcast Jew are only the echo and the re-production of his own maledictions on the Son of God,-if measure for measure, scorn for scorn, blessing for blessing, cursing for cursing is the law of God's moral administration on earth, why shall it not be so hereafter? so that whosoever is ashamed of the Son of Man in this world, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in the clouds of heaven?
There are indications, plain and numerous in the Bible, that the results hereafter shall show the kind as well as the degree of sin committed. The prophet says, Therefore it is come to pass that as I cried and they would not hear, so they cry and I will not hear, saith the Lord of hosts. If the righteous as stars differ from each other in their degree and kind of glory, why may not the lost differ in the degree and nature of their shame? If it was fitting and just that he who would without cause have condemned Mordecai to the gallows, should himself hang upon the gallows if it was fitting that those who placed in the fire three innocent young men, should themselves burn in the flame; if it was congruous that those who gave Daniel to the lions should themselves be devoured by lions; if Judas sowing here a violated conscience, had to reap a harvest of dreadful remorse, why is it not both rational and Scriptural that in the world to come, there shall be a strict correspondence between the nature of the crime and the character of the retribution? And if so, the reward or pun