There is a real difference between the righteous and the
wicked. The one is the heir of bliss, the other the child of the curse. But
O how is the appearance misrepresented and inverted, in the eye of carnal
men! The wicked are accounted happy, and the saints the most miserable of
all men. But let us fight the worldlings with their own weapons. The wicked
are traveling through the evening twilight of declining grandeuróto the
darkness of eternal night. But the saints are marching through the growing
beams of morning light to the perpetual splendor of glory.
Truly, the wicked now seem to have the upper hand on the
godly, and their rod lies heavy on the back of the righteous; but they shall
be found on the left hand in the day when distinctions most avail, and over
them shall the godly have eternal dominion. The one may go mourning, and
pour out their complaint before God, while the others spend their days in
mirth, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. But the sorrow of the one
shall be turned into everlasting joy, while the songs of the other shall
issue in eternal howlings.
Great men weigh valuable in the balance of the world,
while the saints are accounted as the offscouring of all things.
Nevertheless, in the balance of the sanctuary, when both are weighed, the
sinner shall be found lackingóbut "the precious sons of Zion shall be
comparable to fine gold."
Now, dare I calculate with the world, and call them
happy, whom the world counts happy? Or, more daring still, dare I choose to
be where happiness, sacred happiness, is not to be found? However beautiful
the evening be, it is soon black night; but however cloudy the morning be,
it is soon broad day. So it was with Dives, who, dragged from his luxurious
table and flowing cups, is plunged into the lake of fire, and lifts up his
eyes amidst devouring flamesóparched, and petitioning for one drop of water
to cool his scorched tongue. While Lazarus, full of sores, and without
attendance at the inhospitable gate, except for the kindly dogs, is wafted
by angels from all his sorrows, and set down to banquet richly at the table
of eternal love. Surely, then, my choice shall be to live in their humble
condition; die in their hopeful condition; and rise to their happy