The annals of hell—or the biography of devils!
(Samuel Davies, "The Universal Judgment!")
Though we are too apt to think that we are not accountable for our words—He who is to be our Judge, has plainly told us that "for every careless word which men speak, they shall give an account in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:36
"For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14
What astonishing discoveries will this trial of every hidden thing make!
On the one hand—what noble dispositions which never shone in full beauty to mortal eyes! What generous purposes crushed in embryo for lack of power to execute them! What pious and noble actions concealed under the veil of modesty, or misconstrued by ignorance and prejudice! What affectionate aspirations, what devout exercises of heart, which lay open only to the eyes of Omniscience, are now brought to full light, and receive the approbation of the Supreme Judge before the assembled universe"!
But on the other hand—what works of shame and darkness are then revealed! What hidden things of dishonesty! What dire secrets of treachery, hypocrisy, lewdness, and various forms of wickedness—all artfully and industriously concealed from human sight! What horrid exploits of sin now burst to light in all their hellish colors—to the confusion of the guilty, and the astonishment and horror of the universe!
Surely the history of mankind must then appear like the annals of hell—or the biography of devils! Then the mask of deceit will be torn off—and men will appear in their true characters. Their hearts will be, as it were, turned outwards—and all their secrets exposed to full view!
The design of this judicial inquiry will not be to inform the omniscient Judge—but to convince all worlds of the justice of His proceedings. And this design renders it necessary that all these 'secret things' should be laid open to their sight, that they may see the grounds upon which He passes sentence.
Does not the prospect of such a 'revealing' fill some of you with horror? For many of your actions, and especially of your thoughts—will not bear the light. How would it confound you, if all your secret thoughts were now all published, even in the small circle of your friends! How then, can you bear to have them all fully exposed before God, angels, and the universe! Will it not confound you with shame, and make you objects of everlasting contempt to all worlds!