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God and man, and often cries out, "O Christ! O Jesus Christ!" He is looking on Him whom he pierced. He is drinking the cup of trembling, the foretaste of the second death. The Mareschal de Richelieu flies from the scene, declaring it "too terrible to be sustained." The physicians, thunderstruck, retire, declaring "the death of the impious man to be terrible indeed." One of them pronounces that "the furies of Orestes could give but a faint idea of those of Voltaire."
We shall close these awful scenes with a few glances at the dying Paine. Once it was his boast, that during a dangerous illness he thought with new satisfaction of having written the Age of Reason, and found by experiment that his principles were sufficient to sustain him in expectation of death. It was an empty boast. Let us see him when really dying. He would not be left alone night or day. If he could not see that some one was with him, he would scream till a person appeared. A female attendant more than once found him in the attitude of prayer. Having asked her what she thought of his Age of
"The nurse who attended him being, many years afterwards, requested to wait on a sick Protestant gentleman, refused till she was assured he was not a philosopher; declaring, if he were, she would on no account incur the danger of witnessing such a scene as she had been compelled to do at the death of M. Voltaire. I received this account," adds the Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, "from the son of the gentleman to whose dyingbed the woman was invited, by a letter now in my possession."
The above account is abridged from the "History of Jacobinism," by the Abbé Baruel, and has been denied by no one of the many witnesses to the death of Voltaire.
Reason, and being answered, that from a conviction of its evil tendency she had burnt it, he wished all its readers had been as wise, and added, "If ever the devil had an agent on earth, I have been one." An infidel visitor said to him, "You have lived like a man, I hope you will die like one." He turned to others in the room and said, "You see what miserable comforters I have." The woman whom he had enticed from her husband, lamented to a neighbor her sad condition. "For this man," she said, "I have given up my family and friends, my property and my religion; judge then of my distress, when he tells me that the principles he has taught me will not bear me out." Well might she be distressed when she heard his exclamations. "He would call out, during his paroxysms of distress, without intermission, 'O ‘O Lord, help me; God help me; Jesus Christ help me; O Lord, help me;' repeating the same expressions without any the least variation, in a tone of voice that would alarm the house."*
You One produces cor
And now, what need be said in conclusion? have seen the fruit of the trees. ruption, the other holiness of life. One roots up, the other nourishes and cherishes whatever is good around it. The spread of infidelity is that of vice and disorder and all confusion. The spread of Christianity is that of purity, peace, and all the virtues of the social state. The more thoroughly an individual embraces infidelity, the more entirely does he become the slave of sin. The more perfectly he embraces
Cheetham's Life of Paine.
the gospel, the more perfectly does he become the example of whatever is lovely and of good report. No infidel ever rose higher than the chill composure of a Stoic's firmness, in the trial of death. Multitudes and the chief of infidels have, in that honest hour, abandoned their sentiments with horror. On the other hand, no Christian ever regretted, when dying, that he had believed the gospel; all have only wished they had followed it more diligently; and in cases innumerable, disciples of Christ have risen to the most triumphant emotions of joy and praise, and the most exulting assurance of eternal life and glory, in the very act of departing for eternity.
Is a tree known by its fruits? Then which of these is the tree of life? Which looks like truth? Which is to be cut down, and cast into the everlasting burning?
The whole argument of this and the preceding lecture may be well concluded with an applicable and true saying of Hume. Being asked by a friend, to whom he used to refer his essays previously to publication, whether he thought that if his opinions were universally prevalent, mankind would not be rendered more unhappy than they were; and whether he did not suppose that the curb of religion was necessary to human nature: "The objections," answered he, "are not without weight, but ERROR NEVER CAN PRODUCE GOOD." Such is precisely the text of this and the preceding lecture. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" "The tree is known by its fruits," said the Saviour. "Error never can pro
duce good," said the man who denied him. By this let the comparative merits of Christianity and infidelity stand or fall.
How imperative, then, is the exhortation to all professors of the religion of Jesus, "Let your light shine before men." "Be careful to maintain good works." "Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ." To you is committed the honor of Christianity among the unbelieving and disobedient. Its most legible and universally imposing evidences are found in the living epistles of those who, under the influence of its saving truth, are seen devotedly "following after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness;" "using the world as not abusing it;" looking for death as not fearing it; cheerful in all duty while they remain on earth; happy when the time comes for them to depart out of it unto the Father. Ah, if all that are numbered among Christians were thus radiant in the beauty of holiness, how soon would the whole earth be filled with the praise of the Lord! Then indeed would the church put on strength. Then would the Gentiles come to her light, and kings to the brightness of her rising: all they that despise her should bow themselves down at the soles of her feet; and they should call her, "The city of the Lord; the Zion of the holy One of Israel."*
Isaiah, ch. 60.
SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT, AND APPLICATION TO OBJECTIONS.
In the course of the preceding lectures, I have been enabled by a kind Providence to spread before you a comprehensive view of the external evidences of Christianity. Although one whole division of our forces, and one of no secondary consequence, has not been brought into the field, and of that which has been employed several important subdivisions have been held in the background for want of room to display them, enough, I trust, has been done to give you an impressive idea of what the strength of the cause must be, when all the immense variety of auxiliaries composing its host are arranged together under command of a mind capable of using them to the best advantage. It would stand like the massive squares of British infantry at Waterloo, to which the boasting enemy rode up again and again, in the full confidence of sweeping them before the impetuosity of their charge. But "their onset and reception was that of a furious ocean pouring itself against a chain of insulated rocks."*
Before relinquishing our course, it is important to take a brief retrospect of the ground we have been * Scott's Napoleon.