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tized, they shall be a great deal Rewarded; for God proved them, and found them worthy for Himself ;” (as it is set forth in the Book of Wisdom, Chap. III. Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)
Thus likewise St. Paul, (2 Tim. Chap. I. Ver. 12)," I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed ; and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him, against that Day. The crown promised to the Faithful Pastors is not to be bestowed on their separate Spirits, (1 Pet. Chap. V. Ver. 4.), until the Chief Shepherd shall appear, or until the Redemption of the Body from the Grave'; when they shall receive a Crown of Glory that fadeth not away.”
Here young Tityus, the foster son of the Earth, also lay overthrown, or cast down, whose body extended over Nine hole Acres of Space, and a huge Vultur, with her tortuous Beak, pouncing his immortal Liver and Bowels, as a fruitful source for unceasing punishments.
“ Nec non et Tityon. Terrae omniparentis alumnum
Porrigitur ; rostroque immanis Vultur obur.co
Viscera, rimaturque epulis, babitatque sub alto
“ Pectore : nec fibris requies datur ulla renatis.-1. 595, &c. He next touches on other Crimes and other Punishments; such as of those slain for Adultery, and who joined in impious Wars against their Country; who, while life remained, had been at enmity against a Bro. ther; had lifted a parricidal Hand, against a Father; who had wrought Deceit against a Client; or who heaped up their own ill-acquired Wealth, for self-enjoyment, without feeling for others.
“ Hic, quibus invisi Fratres, dum vita marebat
Quique ob Alulterium cesi: quique arın sesuti
Impia, nec veriti dominorum fallere dextras ;
“ Inclusi poenam expectant.--. 608, &c. Virgil lasly, wearied as it were with enum
umeration, lumps his Guilty, or takes them in the gross; mentioning only a few for the rest; as Sisyphus doomed, with perpe ual Labour, to heave a huge and unwieldy Stone against the rising mount; Ixion bound to his ever-ralling wheel, stuck round with hissing Serpents; Tantalus held under the impending rock, striving to touch the cup which forever eludes his parched Lips; with the Lapithæ, Pirithous, and others, guilty of every enormous crime which imagination can suggest! Concluding this first part of his labour
Thus it appears to be the true Scripture Doctrine, that the Souls of the Departed are not to be consummated in their future state of Happiness, or of Mi. sery, until re-united to the Body at the Resurrection; and that during the intermediate time they are in the Keeping of God; which is enough for us to know, and all that is given us to know, in the present Life, on this deep and mysterious subject !
“ Had I a hundred mouths, a hundred tongues,
-“ Ne quære doceri,
“ Omnia poenarum percurrere nomina possim. - 1. 614, &c. Having finished this part of his work, Virgil begins his beautiful Description of the happy Parts of his Elysian Fields; and the Employment of the joyous and blessed inhabitants, whom he has seated there.
“ Some exercise their limbs on grassy plains, in sports contend, and wrestle on the yellow sand. Some beat Harmony, in the mingled Quires of Dancers, and accompany the same with sacred hymns; while Thracian Orpheus, the chief Quirister and Priest of Apollo, in his long robe, leads the bands in melodious lays, through the seven distinguished notes of Music, and strikes the strings, now with his fingers, now with his ivory quill.”
“ Pars in gramineis exercent membra palæstris;
Osloquitur numeris septem discrimina vocum:
The Poet now hastens to conclude his description of magnanimous heroes, &c. by a picture of Happiness which nothing can exceed in nature or imagination. The remembrance of those scenes which most delighted men while alive, will still influence their spirits, when separated from the body by death. An army halting or resting for refreshment on a march, their accoutrements, camp equipage, arms, &c. carelessly, but safely, disposed of near them, and their beasts of burden, or of draft, feeding happily around them, is a pleasing, although a familiar sight to a Soldierand thus Virgil describes the ghosts or spirits of his departed soldiers“ The arms and empty chariots of the Chiefs are seen at a little distance. Their spears stand fixed in the ground; and, up and down, their horses feed at large throughout the plain. The same passion or fondness, which they had for chariots and arms when alive, and the same delight in breeding and training up beautiful and shining steeds, which distinguished them when above ground, follow and are attached to them in their Elysian mansions under ground!
“ drma procul, currusque virum miratur inanes :
“ Pascere equos, eadem sequitur tellure repostos.-1. 651, &c. The Poet, however does not employ all the inhabitants of his Elysian Fields in warlike exercises, sports and games, and the like. He brings up some chosen bands of worthies of the first rate, to close his description; namely, a band associated and made up of those who suffered, and bled, in fighting for their country.
“ Manus, ob patriam pugnando, vulnera passi.-1.660. Priests who preserved themselves pure and holy, amidst all the temptations of life.
Sacerdotes casti, dum vita manebat.-1.661. Pious and inspired Prophets and Poets, who taught or sung the sublime doctrines of Religion, and things worthy to be dictated by a God.
“ Pii vates & Phoebo digna locuti.-1. 662. With all those worthies of every age and nation, who were the benefactors of mankind, lovers of their country, and improved the lot of life,
Having now disposed both of the Souls and Bodies of the Dead, to the Keeping of God, until the Last Renovation of Nature, we follow our Apostle to a new face of things; and may God, the Father of Light and Love, scatter the dark and doubtful before us, and leave us to a clear View of his Heavenly Truth!
We left the Apostle in our last Sermon at the close of his Peroration, in that critical moment of his Defence, when he had brought his arguments to bear with their full strength on the Conscience of his Trembling Judge; praying to hear no more at that time and Promising to send for him at a more convenient Season-Poor and idle excuse! Oh! that all men, instead of waiting for a more convenient season, would, in the present fleeting moment, which is all we can call our own, look forward to that awful period referred to by the Apostle, and place themselves, in imagination at least, before the tribunal of Christ, in the sight of assembled men and angels, and ask themselves seriously, how they are to plead their cause, and answer such questions as the following, at that Day:
by the invention of useful arts, and constant endeavours to do good, and to communicate happiness to the world around them.-
“ Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes ;
Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo.—1. 663, 664. The temples of all these, Virgil binds with white garlands, and distin. guishes them among the happy in Elysium.
“ Omnibus his nivea cinguntur tempora vitta.---1. 665. And Cicero had sanctioned what Virgil has here doomed to them :It is my belief, dear Scipio, that there are select Mansions, set apart in heaven, where the benefactors of mankind, those who have saved, or enlarged the interests of their country will enjoy everlasting happiness. “ Omnibus ( sic balco, ifricare) çui patriam conserverint, auxerint, certum
esse in Ccelo definitum locum ubi, benii, eve sempiterno fruantur." Senin. Scir
“ Did I, when in the world, fix all my happiness on what I then possessed? Did I, hardened and secure, put off my everlasting interests from day to day, without seeking unto Christ, as my supreme good, and never failing refuge, from every storm within and without? If I did, where can I look for safety and protection, but from Him whom I have rejected and scorned, and whose saving Blood I counted an unboly thing? If I flattered myself in successful guile and deep dissimulation; if my deeds were evil and I shunned the light; if I wrapt them in sevenfold darkness, to hide them from the sight of men; where, oh! where shall I hide them in that Day from the searching eye of all-avenging Justice ?
On the Gospel scheme of Salvation then, and on the merits of Redeeming Love, producing a life of Righteousness, Temperance, and all Evangelic Virtues, be my whole hopes fixed !
The time is coming, as our Apostle reminded Felix, in his short sketch of a Judgment to come, when this world itself, and all that we can trust in it, shall be no more; and of the things that now are, not a wreck shall be left behind. The immortal Soul of man shall be the sole survivor, and the consciousness of a life well-spent, and of being accepted in Christ Jesus will be her only supports; and, therefore, he who would wish to have his Soul established on any future good, and to sing a requiem to doubts and perplexities, must not put off to a more convenient Season; but seize the present hour, keeping in stedfast view that everlasting Day, which shall give all in fruition, and leave no morrow to succeed. For