Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

THE EVER GNAWING VULTURE.

263

precise kind and degree of punishment adjudicated. Suppose a man, now, sacrifice right for the sake of gratifying any of his wicked passions, and that he is adjudged to have those passions ever raging and never gratified—the vulture to gnaw and the liver to grow, and the vulture still to gnaw. And is not this the fire that is unquenchable? Or, that a man who sold his conscience and bartered his principles for wealth or political station, is sentenced to hankering eternally for gold, or is doomed eternally to climb for eminent stations, and yet be as eternally sliding down and clasping his hands in the most excruciating poverty; and then say,

have we not here the worm that dieth not? In God's reckoning, nothing is gained by doing violence to a sense of right. True principle is the only expediency known in the annals of eternity. The conciliation offered to evil, to avert it, is the agent for bringing down its fearful results on our heads. The man that will be rich by fraud, is heaping up riches for the Romans to dissipate-building a gallows to hang himself upon. When a man surrenders his principles of right

. to gain a name or a position in the world, he is building a gallows for himself. It is an unrepealed law of Heaven, that, as we measure to others, so it shall be measured to us again. What God commands we must do. His will is always right and always supreme. Our duty is obedience.

Again, it is a singular and significant proof of an overruling providence in regard to this rule of retributive justice, that so many of the inventors of the means and instruments for taking the life of their fellow men, have perished by their own inventions. * Thalaris was consumed in his own brazen bull. The regent Morton, who first introduced the “Maiden,” a Scotch instrument of decapitation, like the inventor of the Guillotine, perished by his own instrument. The same is true of Brodie, who induced the Edinburgh magistrates to use the “new drop," the same still in use. Marat, the bloody minded, died from the assassin's dagger. Danton and Robespierre conspired the death of Vergniaud, and of his Republican confreres, the noble Girondist, and then Robespierre lived only long enough to see the death of Danton, before perishing himself on the same guillotine. The Duke of Orleans, the infamous Egalite, voted for the death of Louis XVI, and not long afterward was guillotined himself. The wicked are taken in their own net. They fall into the ditch their own hands. have digged. “Bloody minded and deceitful men shall not live out half their days.” Sinning is a sure paymaster, and if delayed, the interest compounds rapidly. It is not necessary to adjourn to the court of futurity to know that sin is an evil thing and bitter. It is in vain that unbelievers reason against the

presence of a divine government in the world. The facts of every day life—the painful lessons of our streets, display before our eyes the most convincing evidence that the

way of transgressors is hard. Who has not seen the Almighty pursuing the sinner with evil ? What else is this condemning voice of conscience within?

a

[ocr errors]

“Nec lex est justior ulla

Quam necis artifices arte perire sua." Nor is there a more just law than this, that the fabricators of death should perish by their own invention. This subject is more briefly presented in my Giant Judge,” and partly in the same language. See the latter part of chapter xi.

ANGUISH FOLLOWS SIN.

265

What meaneth this anguish of the heart? What are these wounds, inflicted by the terrible disorders of the passions? There is enough now to prove that the sinner is his own destroyer. God need not come forth from the secret place of his majesty to punish the poor sinner. He has only to let Ephraim, who is joined to his idols, alone, and they will turn and devour him. The infernal fire is kindled by his own hand. The worm that never dies, he has nursed in his own heart until it has grown so venomous as to seize it for undying torture. The way of transgressors against both natural and moral laws is NOW HARD. The day of reckoning follows close after sinful indulgence. Nature is inexorable. Her outraged laws must be avenged. The libertine and the drunkard find it to be so. Their bodies and minds soon bear the marks of guilt and punishment. Passions and appetites abused, soon change the body into a prison for the soul. No fugitive escapes the police of God and Nature. The penalties annexed by the Creator to the violation of the laws of our physical constitution are as awful as they are inevitable. Sooner or later, at home or abroad, on land or sea, conscience will awake and seize the guilty, and abused nature will cry out, and fearful retributions will fall upon them; or if not in this life, they will be all the more fearful because they fall upon them beyond the grave, where no repentance nor acts of pardon are known. Is there then no escape for the impenitent? No-none for the impenitent, but there is forgiveness for the penitent. This is the day of grace. This is the hour of pardon. There is a great Redeemer, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. And if we confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST His SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.

CHAPTER XVII.

THE COUNTER-DECREE ISSUED.

“Write ye also for the Jews And he wrote in the king's name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels and young dromedaries. So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.”

Esther viii.

-So many are
The sufferings which no human aid can reach,
It needs must be a duty doubly sweet
To heal the few we can

Coleridge.

In the previous chapters we have witnessed the plotting of Haman and his fall. We have seen him hanging on his own high gallows in shame greater than his honor had ever been. And so palpable are the lessons of retributive justice in his doom, that I suppose every Jew and Gentile, to this day, who may stop a moment to contemplate his gallows, is ready to say, “O Lord, so let the malice of the wicked come to an end, but establish thou the just.”

Now that the enemy of the Jews had met his fate, Mordecai is advanced in the king's favor, for the queen

« ÎnapoiContinuați »