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have been forgotten as soon as uttered, thoughts which have left no permanent impression on the mind, deeds which have been done in darkness and in secret, the light of eternal truth will make all as clear as the day. Men and angels know us for what we really have been. Not one single sin, not one single weakness, not one single act of forgetfulness will be omitted by the great accuser. Can we dare to realise our feelings ?
1. First there is unutterable Shame. We value the opinion of our fellowmen now. We like to be thought well of—like to be praised even when we deserve it not-we like especially to be well thought of by good and holy men. What then must it be when the darkest secrets of our lives which we have kept hidden in the furthest recesses of our hearts are proclaimed aloud before God and angels and men ? When our former companions and friends shudder at the sight of our newly revealed vileness ? When the pure in heart hide their faces at the sight of our uncleanness--the meek spirited tremble at our daring pride—the humble gaze with astonishment at our vainglorious self-exaltation ? We dare not look up. If we venture to cast a glance around our gaze is quickly withdrawn as we see the Face of Jesus clouded with grief-angels veiling their faces as if unable to look on one who had so deeply sinned ;
the blessed despairing of our salvation as they hear the fearful record--the lost already claiming us as belonging to their cursed band : devils alone rejoicing as they think of one more soul wrenched from the arms of Jesus, to be given over unto them. Oh! the unutterable shame of that awful hour!
2. Secondly, there is Fear, scathing, soul-devouring fear. Every accusation is true, we cannot deny itwe are speechless-for we are guilty. We realise now as we never realized before what a fearful thing it is to fall into the Hands of the living God! Formerly we found it easy to drown the thought of an eternal future in the employments or pleasures of the passing hour. Now sin is revealed in all its hideousness and all its folly, as we look upon the Face of Him whom we have aggrieved and insulted by our sins--as we think of His rejected love, as we dwell upon our lost opportunities, and look upon the mouth of hell yawning to receive us. Oh what fools we were to account the life of the righteous madness and his end without honour ! hat would we not give if we could but recall the past, if we could but once more have time within our grasp and put off that eternity which we so much dread. But 10! it cannot be. It is too late. We cannot live our life over again. We must receive the sentence which is the appointed reward of our deeds. And yet, stay one moment. Is there not one plea that we can offer that will stay that awful sentence we feel we have so well deserved ? Is there not one plea? Yes, surely there is one, but can we, dare we use it ? Can we look
into the Face of our Judge and say, “ Thou hast died for me, Thou hast borne my punishment; Thy Precious Blood has washed out the stain of these my sins; I have Thy promise that they shall be blotted out of the book of Thy remembrance for ever?” God of His infinite mercy grant it !
But we dare not look further now, dare not anticipate the nature of the sentence we shall receive as our due. Before we go on further to consider how we may best prepare ourselves for judgment shall we not pour forth our hearts in prayer that God would teach us now so to live that when that hour of shame and fear shall come we may be able to offer that unanswerable plea-Pardon through the Precious Blood ?
O my soul! wilt thou not resolve to remember from henceforth that for every word, thought and action of thy life God will bring thee to Judgment ?
III. How to Prepare for Judgment.
What question can be of more importance for each of us than this ? How am I to prepare for that Great Day? Am I already prepared ? If the voice of the Archangel were to sound in my ears to-night should I feel that I was ready? Let me think of the past. What right does it give me to think so? When I recall what
life has been from my childhood to this hour, with all its sins, its negligences, its forgetfulness of God, I am overwhelmed with terror. How must I prepare ?
There are three things necesary.
1. Thou must repent, O my soul, thou must have an abiding sorrow for the sins of thy past life by which thou hast so grieved thy God and Saviour ; thou must readily confess them, notwithstanding the shame which such confession may bring, and thou must make restitution for the past as far as lies in thy power, and prove by thine after conduct the sincerity of thy profession of repentance. It is by thus condemning thyself that thou canst alone hope to escape the judgment of God. Let neither therefore the fear of man nor the love of ease and selfindulgence hinder thee from the godly exercise of true repentance- from offering up to God the acceptable sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart.
2. But without Faith our repentance however
sincere would be in vain-our conversion imperfect. Without Faith we could never hope that our sins could be forgiven, however bitterly we grieved for them; but Faith unveiling the past lifts our eyes to the Cross of Jesus, and as we see Him suffering there enables us to say, “O my Saviour, I know that Thou hast borne my punishment. I know that though my sins are more in number than the hairs of my head Thy Blood has the power to wash them all away.” It is Faith, which makes the things of the invisible world so clearly present to our vision, that amidst all the failings and weaknesses of the present, we are saved from despair by our sight of that same Jesus standing for us at the right Hand of God, and pleading His Great Sacrifice in our behalf. It is Faith which, recognising the saving efficacy of that plea, draws us now with the irresistible force of love to the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood, in which we plead on earth that same all-sufficient Sacrifice which our Saviour pleads in Heaven.
O my soul! wilt thou not cry aloud from the depths of thy troubled heart : "Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief?”
3. Persevering Watchfulness. The history of the past gives us warning enough that we have need to be watchful. How often have all our good resolutions faded absolutely from our minds in the moment of