« VorigeDoorgaan »
vens!---Where are they? they are gone,
away, and their place is filled with prodigies, and wonders and appearances stupendously great.
For Lo! Conspicuously glorious, the Ancient of Days comes forth from his clouded pavilion. His throne is fixed, and he doth sit upon it---Before it appears a sea of glass like unto chrystal. · His garment is white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure
wool. - Thousand thousands minister unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand about him. And now they proceed with a mighty shout and the sound of the trumpet. A fiery stream issues before him to clear his way, and his chariot wheels appear as a living blaze. The new-raised dead start from the tremendous prospect with surprize, and turn their eyes from the Heavens back to the Earth--but the earth! where or what is it? Its whole face is one wide ocean of smoke and fame. It reels to and fro---it staggers like a drunken man, and totters to its lowest foundations. The sea and the waves roar. Every island is moved from its place; and the works of art, the labour of ages, are buried in one undistinguishable ruin.* Nor 'these alone--- The
* It may be agreeable to the reader to peruse the following grand des cription of the celebrated Dr. Young, taken from the same passages of scripture. See his poem entitled the Consolation-Night Thoughts, the Och or last night.
At midnight, when mankind is wrapt in peace
mountains and solid rocks, melt as wax before the fire; nay the proud bills themselves, that were of old, dissolve away like the snows upon their hoary tops; and the whole fabrick of nature sinks beneath the astonished nations. All faces are turned into paleness; and, on every side, the voice of Anguish and Guilt is heard, wishing to disappear with the Earth, its Mountains and Seas; or to be crushed into atoms, amidst the universal wreck, and to be hid from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and the wrath of the Lamb, forever! But, ah! no---their prayers are all nought and vain! Neither rocks, nor mountains, nor earth, nor seas, nor Hell itself, could they cast themselves into its deepest Abyss, can hide them from the all-seeing Eye, and all-avenging hand of their Almighty Creator! There is neither hope nor delay. The earth cannot shield--- it is gone, it sinks beneath the astonished nations. The Sun withdraws his beams, he becomes black as sackcloth of hair, and the Moon becomes as blood--- The Stars drop from their orbits, as the untimely Figs from the Figtree, when it is shaken with mighty winds--- The Heavens depart, and become as a scroll when it is rolled together. The force of one element, breaking loose upon the rest, reduces all to nothing---all the delusive vanities, as well as the transient glories, of this habitable world---all the varieties of nature, all the works of art, all the labours of man, all that was once admired, and almost half adored, as great and magnificent--- Where are they? They are gone --A new form, a new face of things, succeeds to their place.
Man starting from his couch shall sleep no more!
all dross remov'd, heaven's own pure day
Say then,* ye proud ones of the earth! ye victors of nations! ye that bear your heads high, and trust to things beneath the Moon! Where do you now rest your hopes? your empires, your thrones, your imperial cities, your pillars, your trophies, your monu,
* In the foregoing attempt of my early years to give a scriptural account of the chief circumstances that are expected to attend the Dissolution of this World, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the last Fudgment (as well as in some other parts of these Sermons), I stand greatly indebted to the Sublime Burnet, especially in the 12th chapter of the 3d book of his original Latin edition, entitled, De Conflagratione Mundi. Towards the conclusion of this chapter, the Apostrophe to Satan bound in Hell during this conflagration, and the words which he put into his
mouth, when he saw himself despoiled of his kingdom-Tum demum, vicisti O GALILAEE, as well the whole passage wherewith they stand connected, struck me at the first reading, and still continue to strike me with marvel, especially on account of the aptitude and the time of their application to the grand A postate.
“ Sed cum Mentio fit Tartari, venit mihi etiam in Mentem Demonum & malorum Spirituum. Quid agent illi interea ? Quo se proripient in hac Rerum Strage & Mundi sublunaris exustione? Non licebit illis excedere ex hac 3phæra magica, et hujus Telluris confiniis. Frustra tentabunt fugam quamcunque ; aut in Abysso, aut in Abditis Terræ, se abscondere ; aut ad beatas Sedes, quas Olim deseruerunt, remeare. Nullibi datur exitus ; in hac picea fuligine, in his flammis habitandum & recubandum, ac si catenis vincti essent. Tum demum, Vicisti, Galilee, clamabit magnus Apostata, Rebellium & Reproborum Caput, cum se regno suo spoliatum viderit, & ardenti Carcere inclusum.”
When I first took up my copy of Burnet to read, which is the Latin quarto edition, printed very incorrectly by Wolters, at Amsterdam, 1699, at a very early period of life, it was under the prejudices of education, having been taught that it was only a Philosophical, and not a very Orthodox, Romance! But as I proceeded, I was so delighted with the purity and elegance of his language, and depth of his learning, and his manner of writ. ing, and sentiment so congenial to my own, that I could not cease till I had given a cursory reading to his whole book; consisting of the following tracts, viz.-1. “Telluris Theoria sacra, or sacred theory of the earth; 2. Arcbeo. logie Philosophice; or the ancient Doctrine concerning the Origin of things. 3. De Statu Mortuorum & Resurgentium; or the state of the Dead and those that are to rise; 4. De futur a Restauratione Judæorum, or on the future restora ion of the Jews; On the MILLENNIUM, &c. He translated his Theory, upon the encouragement of CHARLES II, into English; but con. fesses, that although it is the same in substance as the Latin, it is not so properly a transla ioni as a new composition upon the same ground, there being several ad iitional chapters in it, and several of the old, new-moulded."
In this translation, I wished to have found some notice taken of the fine La in passage inserted above, containing the words of Satan, “ Tum demum vicisti, &c." but it is not there; and I must attempt the translation as well as I can—"Since, says he, I have been led to mention Tarrarus, “ the Dæmons and evil Spirits come to my mind; what are they doing, “ and where will they berake themselves amidst this general Destruction “ and Confiagration of the sublunary world? They are confined as it were
ments of glory.--Where are they now? Shew me their place; read the inscriptions; spell your own names in the sculptures. No! Of the things that were, not a wreck remains !--- But the immortal Soul of man can never perish, but will live safe, with the body which constituted the Good Man.“ He* that walketh uprightly, and worketh righte
ousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He “ that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth “ evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach
against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile per“ son is contemned; but he honoureth them that - fear the Lord: he that sweareth to his own hurt, " and changeth not. He that putteth not out his “ money to usury, nor taketh reward against the in« nocent.
He that doeth these things shall never « be moved.”
Even this last tremendous scene, the fall of worlds, and the last groans of nature, will be nothing to the Just, but what they expected, and daily prepared for. Now is the great Day that fixes their everlasting doom, and when they begin to reap the fruits of their holiness.
“ in a magic circle, in the neighbourhood of a burning earth. In vain
can they attempt to make their Escape to any side; whether into the abyss of Hell, or to abscond themselves in the hidden parts of the Earth ;
or to return to those happy seats in Heaven which they deserted and for** feited of old. There is no exit given them. In their present place of "pitchy darkness, and amidst the flames that surround them must they dwell " and lie bound as if it were with chains. In this direful extreme, the
great apostate, the chief of rebels and reprobates, seeing himself des.
poiied of his kingdom, and shut up in a fiery prison, cries out, Thox " • bast conquered at last, O Galilean!"
* Psalm xy. Ver. 2, to the end.