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When God condescends to an external glory, with a visible train and equipage; when, from all the provinces of his vast and boundless empire, he summons his nobles, as I may so say--the several orders of angels and archangels—to attend his person, though we cannot tell the form or manner of his appearance, we know there is nothing in our experience, or in the whole history of this world, that can be a just representation of the least part of it. No armies so numerous as the host of heaven; and, instead of the wild noises of the rabble, which makes a great part of our worldly state, this blessed company will breathe their hallelujahs into the open air, and repeated acclamations of salvation to God, which sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb. * * * * *
Imagine all Nature now standing in a silent expectation to receive its last doom; the tutelary and destroying angels to have their instructions; every thing to be ready for the fatal hour; and then, after a little silence, all the host of heaven to raise their voice, and sing aloud : Let God arise; let his enemies be scattered; as smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. And upon this, as upon a signal given, all the sublunary world breaks into flames, and all the treasures of fire are opened in heaven and in earth.
Thus the conflagration begins. If one should now go about to represent the world on fire, with all the confusions that necessarily must be in nature and in mankind upon that occasion, it would seem to most men a romantic scene. Yet we are sure there must be such a scene. The heavens will pass away with a noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, and all the works of the earth will be burnt up; and these things cannot come to pass without the greatest disorders imaginable, both in the minds of man and in external nature, and the saddest spectacles that eye can behold. We think it a great matter to see a single person burnt alive; here are millions shrieking in the flames at
It is frightful to us to look upon a great city in flames, and to see the distractions and misery of the people; here is an universal fire through all the cities of the earth, and an universal massacre of their inhabitants. Whatsoever the prophets foretold of the desolations of Judea, Jerusalem, or Babylon, in the highest strains, is more than literally accomplished in this last and general calamity; and those only that are spectators of it can make its history.
The disorders in nature and the inanimate world will be no less, nor
less strange and unaccountable, than those in mankind. Every element, and every region, so far as the bounds of this fire extend, will be in a tumult and a fury, and the whole habitable world running into confusion. A world is sooner destroyed than made; and nature re: lapses hastily into that chaos state out of which she came by slow and leisurely motions : as an army advances into the field by just and re gular marches; but, when it is broken and routed, it flies with preci pitation, and one cannot describe its posture. Fire is a barbarous enemy; it gives no mercy; there is nothing but fury, and rage, and ruin, and destruction wheresoever it prevails, as storm, or hurricane; though it be but the force of air, makes a strange havoc where it comes; but devouring flames, or exhalations set on fire, have still a far greater violence, and carry more terror along with them. Thunder and earthquakes are the sons of fire ; and we know nothing in nature more impetuous or more irresistibly destructive than these two. And, accordingly, in this last war of the elements, we may be sure they will bear their parts, and do great execution in the several regions of the world. Earthquakes and subterraneous eruptions will tear the body and bowels of the earth; and thunders and convulsive motions of the air rend the skies. The waters of the sea will boil and struggle with streams of sulphur that run into them; which will make them fume, and smoke, and roar, beyond all storms and tempests; and these noises of the sea will be answered again from the land by falling rocks and mountains. This is a small part of the disorders of that day. * * * *
But if we suppose the storm over, and that the fire hath got an en. tire victory over all other bodies, and hath subdued every thing to itself, the conflagration will end in a deluge of fire, or in a sea of fire, covering the whole globe of the earth; for when the exterior region of the earth is melted into a fluor, like molten glass or running metal; it will, according to the nature of other fluids, fill all vacuities and depressions, and fall into a regular surface, at an equal distance every where from its centre. This sea of fire, like the first abyss, will cover the face of the whole earth, make a kind of second chaos, and leave a capacity for another world to rise from it. But that is not our present business. Let us only, if you please to take leave of this subject, reffect upon this occasion, on the vanity and transient glory of all this habitable world; how, by the force of one element breaking loose upon the rest, all the varieties of nature, all the works of art, all the
labours of men, are reduced to nothing; all that we admired and adored before as great and magnificent is obliterated or banished ; and another form and face of things, plain, simple, and every where the same, overspreads the whole earth. Where are now the great empires of the world, and their great imperial cities? Their pillars, trophies, and monuments of glory? Show me where they stood ; read the in seription; tell me the victor's name? What remains, what impressions, what difference or distinction do you see in this mass of fire ? Rome itself, eternal Rome, the great city, the empress of the world, whose domination and superstition, ancient and modern, make a great part of the history of this earth, what is become of her now? She laid her foundations deep, and her palaces were strong and sumptuous; she glorified herself and lived deliciously, and said in her heart, I sit a queen and shall see no 'sorrow. But her hour is come, she is wipedi away from the face of the earth, and buried in perpetual oblivion. But it is not cities only, and works of men's hands, but the everlasting hills and mountains and rocks of the earth are melted as wax before the sun; and their place is nowhere found. Here stood the Alps, a prodigious range of stones, the load of the earth, that covered many countries, and reached their arms from the ocean to the Black Sea: this huge mass of stones is softened and dissolved, as a tender cloud into rain. Here stood the African mountains, and Atlas with his top above the clouds. There was frozen Caucasus, and Taurus, and Imaus, and the mountains of Asia. And yonder, towards the north, stood then Riphæan Hills, clothed in ice and snow. All these are vanished, dropped away as the snow upon their heads, and swallowed up in a red sea of fire. Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints! Hallelujah. .
170.--LABOUR IN UTOPIA.
SIR T. MORE. [SIR THOMAS MORE is one of those few statesmen who has won the affection of the readers of history. In him we see no intrigue and double-dealing, the orator is yet • friend to truth.” Erasmus has described the beautiful domestic life of this lord chancellor : with him you might imagine yourself in the academy of Plato. But I should
do injustice to his house by comparing it to the academy of Plato, where numbers and geometrical figures, and sometimes moral virtues, were the subjects of discussion : it would be more just to call it a school and an exercise of the Christian religion. All its inhabitants, male and female, applied their leisure to liberal studies and profitable reading, although piety was their first care. No wrangling, no angry word, was heard in it; no one was idle; every one did his duty with alacrity, and not without a temperate cheerfulness."
Thomas More, the son of Sir John More, one of the justices of the Court of King's Bench, was born in 1480; was first taught at St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street; and finished his education at Oxford. He attained to the highest reputation at the bar; was employed by Henry VIII. in various public affairs; and was made chancellor in 1529, on the downfall of Wolsey. More's conscientious scruples as to the divorce of Henry, and as to his ecclesiastical supremacy, brought him to the block on the absurd charge of high treason. He was beheaded on the 6th of July, 1535. His · Utopia,' written in Latin, was published in 1516. The extract which we give is from the old translation by Robinson, published in 1551. This philosophical romance contains many just maxims on morals and government, mixed with some theories which More's judgment must have shown him to be impracticable.]
Husbandry is a science common to them all in general, both men and women, wherein they be all expert and cunning. In this they be all instructed even from their youth: partly in their schools with traditions and precepts, and partly in the country nigh the city, brought up as it were in playing, not only beholding the use of it, but by occasion of exercising their bodies, practising it also. Besides husbandry, which (as I said) is common to them all, every one of them learneth one or other several and particular science, as his own proper craft. That is, most commonly, either cloth-working in wool or flax, or masonry, or the smith's craft, or the carpenter's science: for there is none other occupation that any number, to speak of, doth use there.
For their garments, these throughout all the island be of one fashion (saving that there is a difference between the man's garment and the woman's, between the married and the unmarried); and this one continueth for evermore unchanged, seemly and comely to the eye, no let to the moving and welding of the body, also fit both for winter and summer: as for these garments (I say), every family maketh their own. But of the other foresaid crafts, every man learneth one; and not only the men but also the women. But the women, as the weaker sort, be put to the easier crafts, as to work wool and flax. The more laborious sciences be committed to the men. For the most part every man is brought up in his father's craft; for most commonly they be naturally thereto bent and inclined. But if a man's mind stand to any other, he is by adoption put into a family of that occupation which he doth most fancy. Whom not only his father, but also the magistrate, do diligently look to, that he be put to a discreet and an honest householder. Yea, and if any person, when he hath learned one craft, be desirous to learn also another, he is likewise suffered and permitted. When he hath learned both, he occupieth whether he will, unless the city hath more need of the one than the other. The chief and almost the only office of the Siphogrants is, to see and take heed that no man sit idle, but that every one apply his own craft with earnest diligence. And yet for all that, not to be wearied from early in the morning to late in the evening with continual work, like labouring and toiling beasts. For this is worse than the miserable and wretched condition of bondmen.
Which, nevertheless, is almost every where the life of workmen and artificers, saving in Utopia. For they, dividing the day and the night into twenty-four just hours, appoint and assign only six of those hours to work before noon, upon the which they go straight to dinner; and after dinner, when they have rested two hours, then they work three hours, and upon that they go to supper. About eight of the clock in the evening (counting one of the clock the first hour after noon) they go to bed : eight hours they give to sleep. All the void time that is between the hours of work, sleep, and meat, that they be suffered to bestow every man as he liketh best himself. Not to the intent that they should mispend this time in riot or slothfulness; but being then licensed from the labour of their own occupations, to bestow the time well and thriftily upon some other science, as shall please them; for it is a solemn custom there to have lectures daily, early in the morning, whereto they only be constrained to be ent that be chosen and appointed to learning. Howbeit, a great multitude of every sort of people, both men and women, go to hear lectures, some one and some another, as every man's nature is inclined. Yet, this notwithstanding, if any man had rather bestow this time upon his own occupation, as it