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And stand before him? That's the hell of hells!
Asham'd, abash'd, how shall I bear his frown!
Hide me, O earth, and thou profoundest deep!
If in creation can be found a spot
Which his bright flaming eye cannot pervade,
There let me shelter from the dreadful frown
Of that just judge."....He pauses! horror sits
In strong convulsions on his countenance,
While black despair and anguish wring his heart:
A sudden groan alarms attending friends!
He dies!.... With trembling steps they quit his bed,.
Silent and sad, with fearful awe o'erwhelm'd.
Not so the happy Theodosius dies;
Death comes not like a dreadful enemy
To sweep him in a whirlwind from the earth;
His sting's extracted by the Lord of life,
Who bids him with an angel's face appear,
And smiling, gently summons him away
From all the ills of time, to the bright realms
Of perfect peace, and sweet celestial day.
In his calm soul no awful terrors rise,
No dismal gloom distorts his countenance,
Serene and placid as á summer's eve,
He smiles on death, and welcomes his approach:
By faith divine, triumphs in glorious hope,
As his best blessing; triumphs o'er the grave,
Secure of heav'n and immortality.
"Weep not (he cries to his surrounding friends)
Weep not; my hope is firm, my heav'n secure ;
Jehovah Jesus, my redeeming God,
Is gone, my great forerunner to prepare
My seat on high; my mansion in the skies:
Now he invites, and calls my soul away
To prove its glories, and at his right hand
Enjoy the fruits of all his victories
O'er Satan, sin and death: my conqu'ring Lord
Bruis'd Satan's head for me; he vanquish'd sin
When on the cross he hung, my sacrifice.
No condemnation, now against my soul
Is register'd in heav'n: Who shall condemn ?
My Christ acquits, God Jesus justifies,
And I am safe! a pardon'd sinner, sav'd
By sov'reign grace; electing love that wrote
My worthless name in Jesu's book of life,
Before I had a being, wrote my name
Deep in Immanuel's heart, that precious heart
That groan'd, was pierc'd, and burst in twain for me.
Rejoice! rejoice, ye Israel of God;
For me, for you, he dy'd, and with his robe
Of spotless righteousness adorn'd our souls:
Our advocate on high, he pleads our cause,
Till in his Father's presence we appear
To prove the fulness of eternal joy.
I long to go!....Come, O my Saviour-God,
Bring thy bright chariot, let my soul ascend,
And on the wings of holy seraphs mount
To that bright world where my Redeemer reigns,
Where I sall see his face with joy extreme,
And in his presence dwell to hymn his name,
While everlasting ages roll along."
He pauses....faints beneath the mighty joy;
Revives again, again exulting tells
Of Jesus' kindness; triumphs in his name,
And smiles at death, defies his pow'r to kill,
And rises all victorious o'er the grave!
"Precious salvation!" says the dying saint,
"Precious salvation !"....with a gentle sigh,
He breathes his soul into his Saviour's hands,
Upborne on angel wings to heav'n he soars,
To sing salvation to the bleeding lamb,
Thro' the long ages of eternity!
How great the contrast of these dying beds ! The man of faith, the friend of Jesus soars To the bright world where boundless pleasures flow In one vast ocean of immortal bliss, Extatic joy and infinite delight.
The scholar of Socinus, foe profess'd
To God the Saviour, sinks in black despair
To the dark regions of eternal woe!
There, he forever feels the force of truth,
And reason bows to revelation's voice.
But soon, with awful glory, solemn pomp,
A contrast still more striking shall appear,
And heav'n and earth, angels and men behold
The scene sublime, the grand concluding scene,
When the dissolving sun shall pour his fires,
Like a vast deluge on the flaming earth!
When time expires, and bursting from the skies,
The God of glory on a throne of light,
Unnumber'd millions of the sons of morn
Swelling his splendid train, in solemn state
The judge supreme appears !....His mighty voice Shakes heav'n and earth, the echoing spheres resound, "Arise ye dead, and come to judgment! stand
Before the Son of man, and hear his voice
Pronounce eternal bliss, or endless shame,
Your everlasting portion!" See the throng,
The glorious armies of redeemed saints,
How bright they shine in splendors all divine;
Hark! with triumphant songs they meet their God,
Wash'd from their sins in his atoning blood;
Clad in his robe of spotless righteousness;
Complete in him, perfect in holiness.
On clouds of dazzling light upborne, they soar
Amidst angelic guards, to take their place
At his right hand, to see his smiling face,
And in his presence quaff immortal joy
Thro' everlasting years....they tune their harps
To sweetest, loftiest strains, the concave rings
With hallelujahs....saints and angels join
To sing salvation and the Saviour-God,
In one grand chorus of unbounded praise.
Say, in this great, tremendous, awful day! This sudden burst of glory, this grand scene! How shall Messiah's enemies appear?,
Say, with what eyes shall they behold the judge,
The God, the Saviour? Where's the reas'ners now ?
The proud Lotharios; scientific men,
The bold Orestes; will they stand forth,
Now, in the midst of flaming worlds, and prove
That Jesus is no God! that creatures need
No righteousness divine, no sacrifice?
Will they deride him now, and summon all
Their potent arguments upon this field?
With strong persuasive eloquence debate
In long orations? No! their eyes behold
Jehovah Jesus on his judgment seat!
This is no place for infidelity!
Her mouth is stop'd....The great contest is o'er !
And demonstration of the highest kind
Decides th' important question: now explain'd,
The mystery of godliness shines forth;
God manifest in flesh appears to view,
And doubt and contradiction swept away,
Shrink from his presence! at his frown expire!
Lo! from their dungeons drag'd, the pris'ners come,
Forc'd by a dire necessity to quit
The silent grave....O, could they there abide,
There hide forever, 'twould appear a boon
Beyond conception great, but 'tis deny'd;
No, they must stand before the Son of man!
High on his great white throne he sits supreme,
And all the bright effulgence of a God
Shine in his person, and in splendid beams
Dart glories inexpressible around!
Pale with amazing horrors, lo! they come,
Abash'd, asham'd, silent as death, nor dare
Behold Immanuel's face; his flaming eye
Darts thro' their souls: the guilty fugitives
Stand self-convicted, self-condemn'd: despair,
Arm'd with ten thousand terrors, gathers round,
Bursts in a mighty flood, o'erwhelms, and sweeps
Celestial hope eternally away.
No more they scorn the great redeeming God;
No more they doubt of his divinity;
Their eyes behold, their hearts confess the truth ;