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There will be time enough there to spend an age upon each particular act of life. There will be no variety, no objects of curiosity or interest to divert the mind. There will be no respite, no sleep, no rest,-nothing but incessant, intense, remembering.
But, it may be urged, the condition of the lost soul is not represented as a solitary one. Will not the society which the sinner will meet in the eternal abode shield him, in some measure, from the power of the remembered past ? No! On the other hand, it will constantly remind him, with new distinctness, of the scenes of his probation. He will meet in the world of torment those whom he knew on earth, and whom he encouraged and helped on in the road to death.
When the exile, who has been driven into banishment for crimes committed in his native land, meets an old accomplice in crime whose ruin he has himself assisted to procure, how vividly does the meeting call to mind the scenes of their guilty career, mantling the cheek with a deeper hue of shame, and piercing the soul with sharper stings of remorse ! Will it be otherwise, when the exile from God and Heaven encounters the companions of his godless days—perhaps the victims of his own sinful conduct or example ? Must not the meeting awaken a thousand bitter memories of this wasted probation, and open new vials of woe upon the conscience-stricken soul ? All the associations of the world of the lost will be the agents which conscience shall employ to carry the mind back to earth, and to echo the terrible words of Abraham to the rich man-remember ! remember!
The agency of the Devil, by whom they were deceived and allured to ruin, will greatly quicken the memory of the lost, and supply abundant materials to exercise it. Now he would have men forget their sins ; wipe out the faintest remembrance of them, lest they should be so distressed by them as to cry to God for mercy and for deliverence from them. But in the world to come we know not that he could do this if he would, and evidently he would not do it if he could. For he is supremely malignat, and is bent on making his victims as utterly miserable as he can. When once he has made sure of them beyond the possibility of escape, he will throw off the mask of innocence and kindness which he now wears, and make it his chief delight to torment them. To this dreadful end will he apply all the art and power of his infernal agency. He will see that they escape no bitter reflection or organizing thought; no ingredient in their cup of woe will be wanting ; and he will constrain them to drink that cup to its lowest dregs. With bitter taunts for their folly, and fiendish delight in their woes, he will point them to the wasted and perverted past—a Saviour refused-a probation lost a heaven despised-repeating, though with a far different motive, the words of Abraham to the rich man, remember I remember!
The process of judgment, moreover, will greatly quicken memory and furnish the mind with exhaustless topics of reflection. “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” By some means, we know not what, we shall be enabled to recall all the scenes and acts and even the thoughts of our whole lives; and the terrible array will be as distinct before our eyes as the sun in heaven. And as God himself summons them before us, as they are the basis of judgment, and the grounds of the final sentence, and as conscience will stand ready to burn them into the soul unless they are washed out by Jesus' blood, they will remain for ever in distinct remembrance. But it is proper to inquire,
III. What subjects will probably be most prominent in the reflections of the lost soul.
“Remember," said Abraham to the rich man, " that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things.” Here, then, is one thing which the lost will certainly remember. They will remember the gifts of Providence, for which they requited their Maker with ingratitude and rebellion.
My hearer, God has opened his hand, and strewed your path in life with blessings. The wholesome atmosphere that heaves your breast, the healthful pulsations of your heart, the supply of your unnumbered daily wants, the shield that protects your slumbers at midnight, the friends that share with you the trials and joys of life, the innumerable blessings with which your life is filled, are the free bounty of your forgotten Father in heaven; they are so many cords thrown around your soul to draw you to himself : and if you break away from them all and press on in impenitence down to death and to hell, you will remember these ten thousand kindnesses of the Lord. The remembrance of the amazing ingratitude of your conduct in resisting all these mercies, and hardening your neck in rebellion against the generous Giver, will follow you to eternity, and harrow up your feel. ings to their intensest pitch. You will remember distinctly each of the countless blessings with which God crowned your lives, and gladdened your hearts in this world of grace, but which were forgotten in unthankfulness. You will remember how He fed, and clothed, and protected you, though you were so unthankful and disobedient ; how He held back the bolt of his anger from your head, and permitted you to prosper while you were “despising the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance." All this, and the ingratitude it involves, and which you would give worlds to forget, you will be compelled to remember, and remember for ever.
2. Again, you will doubtless remember the spiritual privileges which you failed to improve. Whatever may be your
present estimate of these privileges, you will fully appreciate them when they are for ever gone. If you shall live and die as you are, impenitent, you will begin to consider then what you have lost. You will recount the days now passing over you, bright with the promises of mercy. A Saviour « wounded for your transgressions, bruised for your iniquities," will stand before you, and you will remember how you pierced him by your sins. You will remember all the means of grace which you resisted-the gracious Spirit who strove. with you till you grieved him finally away--the ministry of the word, proclaiming the offers of life in your ear, which earnest entreaties to repent you disregarded. These Sabbaths will return to you—not as available realities to be again enjoyed—but the ghosts of their murdered hours will throng up the avenues of memory to lay their accusations at your feet. You will remember this house of prayer, where you so often turned your back upon your Maker, and the memorials of your Saviour's love. You will remember this blesged Bible, given to make men wise unto salvation, the dust of whose unopened lids will testify against you. You will remember its holy truths, once your rule of action and your guide, but now the matter of your accusation and the sentence of eternal condemnation. You will remember how those influences followed you up, step after step, from Sabbath to Sabbath, year after year-from the earliest dawn of reason to the close of life-and how you steadily, perseveringly, and stubbornly resisted them all--fighting your way through a thick array of warnings, entreaties, prayers, tears, nay, through the blood of atonement, and the strivings of the Spirit, down to eternal death.
3. There is another class of means by which God is striv. ing to win sinners to his service and love ; I mean bis Paternal chastiesments. Many are subdued and saved by the hand of affliction upon whom all other means have been tried in vain.
My hearers! why is it that God has so often stepped between you and the object of your earthly desire ? Why has He so often disappointed your plans, and blasted your hopes, and stripped you of worldly good? Why has He constrain. ed you so often to see and to feel the utter emptiness and vanity of all things earthly, and to sigh in your soul over the blight and misery of this sinful state of being? It is that he might withdraw your affections from earth and centre them on heaven-reclaim you from the ways of sin, and establish you in obedience. This is the design and the nam tural tendency of all God's chastisements ; and this would be their invariable effect, through the blessing of his grace, if they were not resisted and perverted. You may not see this now : sin may shut this truth out of sight; but the day will come when the darkness will vanish, and you will rómember all the scenes of your earthly suffering and disappointment with a perfect recollection. Memory, from the remotest future, will wander back to this probationary world, and recount not only every mercy of God, but every dealing of his paternal faithfulness with his wayward child, and your insensibility and incorrigibleness under the discipline
Call up to-day some of the reminiscences of the past. Let recollection bring back the time when, arrested by the hand of God, you found yourself prostrate and helpless on a bed of sicknesss. Then an opening grave, & proffered heaven, a threatened hell, a despised yet infinately needed Saviour, seized upon your thoughts and constrained reflection and prayer, and you resolved, under the pressure of these then felt truths, to devote your remaining days to the service of God, should He in mercy spare and raise you up. But you forgot it all, your sickness and your vows, as soon as you recovered ; but those broken vows, made to God in that solemn hour, though hidden, are not effaced from the tablets of your soul. Like characters written with invisible ink, and which are brought out by exposure to heat, so will they be revealed by the fires of the final day; and they will be remember. ed while eternity endures.
Think again. God has taken from you cherished friends, from whose dying lips, from whose opening graves, you have heard the warning, “Prepare to meet thy God 1" For a time the impression of that solemn death-scene lingered in your mind and restrained your conduct, but at length you effaced it all, and now think, perhaps, that the unpleasant reflections which it once suggested, will never more revisit your heart. But be not deceived. That scene, with its attendant circumstances, is engraved on your spiritual being in characters of immortality ; and memory will one day revive it, and confront you with the unwelcome record ; and no hand will ever be able to efface it-no voice command it away. Transfixed in mute astonishment and despair, the soul will look upon, and read and ponder the pages of a past and almost forgotten experience, as memory reproduces them, one after another, and holds them up before the mind.
Sinners will remember in eternity the evil influence which they exerted while on earth, and all the fatal consequences of it. The wretched man alluded to in the text, when he found there was no relief to be had for himself, entreated that his " five brethren," whom he had left behind, might be warned, lest they also should come to the same place of torment. Was this request the dictate of benevolence towards his brethren ?" Not at all; there is no benevolence in hell. There can be no natural affection. Every being is perfectly selfish and perfectly hateful. There is no pity felt there for sinners on earth ; no desires cherished in the bogom of the lost for their salvation and happiness. The devil
would make every creature as wicked and as miserable as himself; and this doubtless is the spirit of that entire world of total and unrestrained depravity. But there is remorse in hell, and this will account for this seemingly strange re quest. This despairing and tormented man remembered the influence he bad exerted over those five brethren ; his conscience already accused him in their name. He dreaded the thought of being confronted with them face to face in that world of torment. He knew well that their presence would torture him eternally with the reflection that he had been an accomplice in their guilt and ruin, perhaps their corrupter and destroyer; and, if possible, he would escape this additional pang ; he could not endure their bitter reproaches. And no doubt the remembrance of the ruin which they have brought upon others, causes the keenest and most excruciat. ing pang felt in the world of torment. Few go there alone, Few can look around them there and not see some doomed spirit reproaching them with its ruin.
My unconverted hearer, have not some of your companions gone before you into eternity, and gone unprepared ? They, doubtless, remember their ungodly example in this life, and their evil influence over you, and, if they could, would vent your following them to their dismal abode. Perhaps they are even now begging that some messenger may be sent to warn you of your approaching doom,
and to entreat you not to come to that place of torment. But soon, if you repent not, you will be with them, and like them ; and, like the rich man, you will remember what you have done for the ruin of others; that you lent your example and influence to the enemy of your souls.
Are you a parent? God has committed to your care the souls of those whom you love as your own life, and bidden you to train them to virtue, to piety, and heaven. But by your example, the most powerful of all influences upon their minds, you are training them up for sin, and impenitence, and perdition. And if they shall follow you in your footsteps down to death, as they are likely to do, you will romember your agency in their ruin. You will remember, that, had you taught them, and lived before them, as you ought, they might have been with you, adoring spirits before the throne, instead of hopeless outcasts and exiles. Oh! what a fact for a parent to remember through eternity. What remorse and anguish will it forever awaken! · But you sustain other relations in which you are exerting the same kind of influence over other minds. This influence, unseen, it may be, now, will be revealed in the light of eter nity, and as its fruit, many of those whom you loved in life may be sharers of your eternal prison. A husband or wife, a brother or sister, a friend or assooiate, may there reproach you as the instrument of their eternal undoing, pointing you