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Depend upon it, my friends, there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be made known.
IV. Finally, if there were no books with man's deeds recorded in them, no conscience in the soul to urge them forth, no witnesses to testify, and no formal sentence to be pronounced and vindicated, still the future condition of the soul will itself point back to specific acts of sin or righteousness on earth, as the ground of its peculiar destiny.
The future condition of the soul will REVEAL as well as avenge what was done to the body. We have evidence in the Bible and in nature, that the coming state of the mind will bear a strict and definite relation to its exercise in the present world ; as specific as is the conformity of the harvest in the field to the seeds that are sown on it, so that from the issues which will transpire in eternity, we may know with great certainty what was enacted amidst the probationary scenes of time. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; if he sows to the flesh, he shall of the flesh reap corruption ; if he sows to the spirit, he shall of the spirit reap life everlasting. Now, if in this world men suffer in the line of their sins and rejoice in the line of their good deeds,-if the drunkard's trembling body reveals to us the nature of his transgression,-if the lonely desertion of the miser is the natural as well as the judicial consequence of his own protracted withdrawal of kindly sympathy from his race, --if, when by our laws the blood of one is shed in retribution, we know that it is because he has already shed man's blood,-if the maledictions that come upon the outcast Jew are only the echo and the re-production of his own maledictions on the Son of God, --if measure for measure, scorn for scorn, blessing for blessing, cursing for cursing, is the law of God's moral administration on earth, why shall it not be so hereafter ? so that whosoever is ashamed of the Son of Man in this world, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in the clouds of heaven?
There are indications plain and numerous in the Bible, that the results hereafter shall show, the kind as well as the degree of sin committed. The prophet says : Therefore it is come to pass that as I'cried and they would not hear, so they cry and I will not hear, saith the Lord of Hosts. If the righteous, as stars, differ from each other in their degree and kind of glory, why may not the lost differ in the degree and nature of their shame? If it was fitting and just that he who would, without cause, have condemned Mordecai to the gallows, should himself hang upon the gallows ; if it was fitting that those who placed in the fire three innocent young men, should themselves burn in the flame; if it was congruous that those who gave Daniel to the lions, should themselves be devoured by lions ; if Judas, sowing here a violated conscience; had to reap a harvest of dreadful remorse, why is it not both rational and Scripturai that, in the world to come, there shall be a strict correspondence between the nature of the crime and the character of the retribution ? And if so, the reward or punishment will, of itself, by its correspondencies, reveal the nature of the deed for which it is awarded. It gives more meaning to the scenes of eternity, and does not go beyond the meaning of Scripture to say, that in a most literal and characteristic sense, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Such is the nature of moral government, that the reward or retribution to come, must be proportionate and corresponding to the deeds done in the body. Hell is then but the reproduction and judicial consequence of particular sins, the harvest from single transgression ; a harvest which determines whilst it multiplies the transgressions, and thus coroberates the truth that, “ there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be made known.”
In this subject we find matter for anxious reflection to the wicked. It furnishes the matter for great solicitude to one who has never repented. The sins which he has committed, unless confessed and forgiven, niust come out and be displayed, and in the most painful and humiliating form. There is every reason to believe that in the day of revelation be will be his own accuser. Not on the testimony of angels, not by the witnessing of saints are we told he will be confounded, but standing trembling before the judgment bar and the assembled universe, lie will stammer out his own sad and guilty story of deep transgression ; out of his own mouth will he be condemned ; and if he should attempt to conceal anything, the terrible harvest of avenging retribution will reveal the rest. Just as on earth, there are diseases and punishments, natural and judicial, which, whilst they avenge, reveal the sin; just as the inebriate's trembling limbs, and sometimes the maniac's frenzied words, indicate the cause of all their misery, so, in the endless moral harvests beyond the grave have we reason to believe that so strict will be the correspondence between the avenging consequences and the guilty deeds, that the one will reveal the other.
Now, in view of this awful day, what will you do, my impenitent friend? You have simned ; it will be known, in all its minuteness and all its extent, and to every eye ; what will you do? What can you do, but confess your guilt here on earth into the ear of an offended God? Perhaps the thoughts of thine heart may he forgiven thee. They must be told at some time ; for every secret thing you must give account ; why, then, is it. not madness to defer the confession and renunciation until it it is dragged forth before the universe ? Now, you may whisper it in silence into the ear of Him who is mighty to save; who has said to the penitent, Your sins and your iniquities will I remember no more. If it were possible to find some place where God is not ; if it were possible for the unforgiven to elude the eye of the Omniscient, it would still not he wise to do it, so long as conscience lives to upbraid and torment; the darkness which would hide you from the Searcher of hearts would not hide you from your own soul ; but when we know that if we ascend into the heavens God is there, and if we descend into the deep he is still there, that his eye seeth through the thlck cloud, and the darkness and the light are alike open to his view, oh, what folly to defer repentance until it shall be too late! Now it is possible that the transgression, if fontessed and inourned over with a godly sorrow, may be blotted out as a cloud from the sky, so that there shall no trace of it be left anywhere in all the universe of God. But, if this duty is deferred until your sins have become habitual, then conieth tribulation and anguish, indignation and wrath, upon every soul that doeth evil and repenteth not. I repeat it, my impenitent friend, the only reasonable course is now to confess and forsake your sins ; it is only in this way you can be shielded from the dreadful revelations of the great day. Will you not take the matter into consideration ? Will you not in the midst of alluring and destroying scenes inquire,“ How shall it be in the end thereof ?" Will you not cast your minds but a short distance beyond the present moment and remember, that although friends may look upon you now with pride, and God in his forbearance seem not to notice your delinquency, yet there is an hour coming, when, unless forgiven, friends will shrink away with shame from the form they once confided in, and God in grief will pronounce your doom.
I seem to hear the poet say :
When will man learn to bear
This doctrine, like all laws that are necessary and universal, is not without its consolation to the righteous. His good
acts will not be forgotten. God has treasured them up, and will bring them forth. A cup of cold water given to a disciple in the name of a disciple, shall not lose its reward. If you have to say, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? Verily, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, His brethren, ye have done unto Him.
BY REV. M. T. ADAM,
PASTOR OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, YORKTOWN, PA.
PARENTS THE DIVINELY APPOINTED TEACHERS OF THEIR
FAMILIES. • Therefore shali ye lay up these my words in your heart in your soul, and
bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of then when thou sittest in tbine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest np. And thou shalt write them upon the door.posts of thine house, and upon thy gates : that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon earth.”—DEUT. xi, 18-21. Of all the relations which man sustains in this life, no one is more important and responsible than the parental. For, as children in their early years are naturally entirely under the care of their parents, and are susceptible of impressious from the very dawn of observation, so from this very early period they are to be considered as in a school of instruction. As early impressions are also generally the most durable, so it will be found, as a general rule, that according to their tendency, so is the future character. Hence, if a child draws his first breath, and spends his early years under the baleful influence of a general neglect of God, or, it may be, of open impiety, the natural, and it may be said, the almost inevitable consequence of this will be, that he will grow up without any knowledge or fear of God, and live in the commission of the vices which he sees around him, as far as his physical and intellectual powers may enable him to commit them. And so far is this from being a matter of mere theory, that the history of unnumbered multitudes has so fully illustrated it as to put it beyond the possibility of being justly called in question. Hence the many instances of early profanity, and of youthful profligacy and crime, which may everywhere be seen around us, and which, if not checked, are ominous of the most fearful consequences with regard to the future state of society. A relation, therefore, which ex.
erts so powerful an influence for good or evil upon the future generations of the human race, cannot be otherwise than fearfully responsible. And as the sacred Scriptures are designed to point out the appropriate duties of every station and relation which men are called in Providence to fill, so we find that they contain many directions to parents, defining the duties which are incumbent upon them, and pointing out, with infallible precision, the mannar.in which these duties should be discharged ; and of these injunctions, the text forms a distinguished example. It may be regarded, indeed, as a command solemnly addressed by God to all parents, in reference to the duty which they owe to their offspring and the manner in which they are to perform it, and as pointing out the encouragement which they have, constantly to regard it. But before directing our attention to these, let us consider
I. The light in which we ought to view the family relation. From the scope and design of the text, it is obvious that God contemplates the family as a school, in which the young immortal minds which he has committed to the care of parents, are to be trained for his service and for heaven. This is obvious from the nature of the instruction which they are commanded to give them ; and it is a great and fatal mistake to regard it in any other light. Indeed, such is the nature of the developments of the infant mind, that from the moment it becomes a sentient and observant being, it is placed in a school of learning; and parents cannot alter this constitution of things. From the principles of perception and imitation, which begin to act at the very dawn of our being, it cannot be otherwise than that children should be learning from every object with which they are connected. And the character of the persons and objects with which they are constantly surrounded, will give direction and tone to their intellectual and moral being ; for it is at this early period that the seeds of future character are planted—and thus the family is the nursery of those who will be the moral scourges of the world, and will descend at last into neverending infamy and woe, or of those who will be examples of all that is holy and lovely, prove signal blessings to their generation, and be made the heirs of heaven. Parents, therefore, should never forget, that the family is the school in which they are training the men and women of the future age, from whom the world will gain its votaries, the church its members, heaven its redeemed spirits, and hell its victims; and that their example, their very looks, as well as words and deeds, and every thing that surrounds the young immortal minds which are confided to their care, are making impressions which will be lasting as life, and which may ex