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SACRED BIOGRAPHY.

LECTURE I.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,

from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. -Rev. xx. 11, 12, 13.

IT is a solemn thing for a man to be judged of his own conscience. How sweet is the approving testimony of that bosom monitor and witness! but more bitter than death its upbraiding and reproaches. To stand at a human tribunal, with life or reputation, death or infamy depending on the issue, can never appear a light matter to one who understands and feels the value of either. Even conscious innocence and integrity, accompanied with good hope toward God, court not the eye of public inquiry; but prefer the secret, silent feast of inward peace, and of divine applause, to the public banquet of innocence proved and proclaimed by sound of trumpet. Serious it is to reflect that your name, your words, your conduct may become matter of record, and ages to come

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mention them with approbation and esteem, or with indignation and contempt. But every feeling of this sort is lost in the certain and more awful prospect of judgment to come. It is a light thing to be judged of man, who can only kill the body, and blight the reputation, and beyond that hath nothing more that he can do; but how formidable is the judgment of him, who knows the heart, who records in the book of his remembrance" the actions of the life, the words that fall from the tongue, the thoughts which arise in the heart; who will bring every secret thing to light, and “ render to every man according to his works;' and who, “after he has killed, has power to bestroy body and soul in hell."

Aided by the light which sacred history sheds on ages and generations past, we have ventured into the solemn mansions of the dead, and conversed with those silent instructors who know not either to flatter or to fear; and whom the Spirit of God has condescended to delineate in their true colours and just proportions, that they may serve to us “for doctrine, and for reproof, and for correction, and for instruction in righteous

We have plunged into ages beyond the food, and contemplated human nature in its original glory; “man,” as God made him, “perfect;" and man, as he made himself, lost in the multitude of his own inventions.

The "first man, by whom came death-the figure of Him who should come, by whom is the resurrection of the dead; Adam, in whom all die: Christ, in whom all shall be made alive.”

We have attended "righteous Abel” to the altar of God, and beheld the smoke of his more excellent sacrifice" ascending with acceptance to heaven: and " by which he, being dead, yet speaketh.”

We have seen the hands of " wicked Cain” besmeared with a brother's blood; and the earth refusing to cover that blood, but calling to Heaven for ven

ness."

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