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sunt:" "We shall be judged by that which is written in our own books" (the books of conscience); " and therefore they ought to be written according to the copy of the book of life; and if they be not so written, yet they ought to be so corrected."
5. Consequently to these the conscience does
Accuse or Excuse.
So St. Paul joins them as consequent to the former; "their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts in the meantime accusing or excusing one another."—" Si optimorum consiliorum atque factorum testis in omni vita nobis conscientia fuerit, sine ullo metu summa cum honestate vivemus:" "If our conscience be the witness that in our life we do good deeds, and follow sober counsels, we shall live in great honesty and without fear.”—Δικαστὴν Θεὸς ἐπέστησε τὸν δικαιότατον ἅμα καὶ οἰκειότατον, τὸ συνειδὸς αὐτὸ, καὶ τὸν ὀρOòv λóyov, said Hierocles"; "God hath constituted a most righteous and domestic judge, the conscience and right reason:” Καὶ αὑτὸν ἑαυτῷ, ὃν πάντων μάλιστα αἰδεῖσθαι προεπαιδεύOnuev, "Every man ought most of all to fear himself, because it is impossible but we should know what we have done amiss; and it concerns us also to make righteous judgment, for we cannot escape ourselves.”—Μηδέποτε μηδὲν αἰσχρὸν ποιήσας ἔλπιζε λήσειν· καὶ γὰρ ἂν τοὺς ἄλλους λάθῃς, σαυτῷ γε σvvadnouc, said Isocrates: "Etsi à cæteris silentium est, tamen ipse sibimet conscius est posse se merito increpari,' so Apuleius renders it. "Though others hold their peace, yet there is one within that will not."
Nec facile est placidam ac pacatam degere vitam,
It is hard to be concealed from God and man too, and although we think ourselves safe for awhile, yet we have something within that tells us, οὐκ ἔστι λάθρα τι ποιοῦντα, he that does any thing is espied, and cannot do it privately. 'Quicum in tenebris?' was the old proverb; 'Who was with you in the dark ?'--And therefore it was that Epicurus affirmed it to be impossible for a man to be concealed always. Upon
y Rom. ii. 15.
a Needham, p. 158.
e Lucretius. v. 1155. Eichstadt,
z Cicero pro Cluentio.
b Lange, p. 5.
the mistake of which he was accused by Plutarch and others, to have supposed it lawful to do any injustice secretly; whereas his design was to obstruct that gate of iniquity, and to make men believe that even that sin which was committed most secretly, would some time or other be discovered and brought to punishment; all which is to be done by the extraregular events of providence, and the certain accusations and discoveries of conscience.
6. For conscience is the looking-glass of the soul, so it was called by Periphanes in Plautus ©;
Non oris causa modo homines æquom fait
Sibi habere speculum, ubi os contemplarent suum;
And a man looking into his conscience, instructed with the word of God, its proper rule, is by St. James compared to "a man beholding his natural face in a glass ;" and that the Apostle describes conscience in that similitude, is to be gathered from the word upurov λóyov, verbum insitum,' the ingrafted word,' the word of God written in our hearts,which whoso looks on, and compares his actions with his rule, may see what he is: but he that neglects this word and follows not this rule, did indeed see his face, but hath forgotten what manner of man he was, that is, what he was framed in the works of the new creation, when he was newly formed and "created unto righteousness and true holiness."
7. This accusation and watchfulness, and vocal, clamorous guards of conscience, are in perpetual attendance, and though they may sleep, yet they are quickly awakened, and make the evil man restless. Τοὺς ἀδικοῦντας καὶ παρανομοῦν· τας ἀθλίως καὶ περιφόβως ζῇν τὸν πάντα χρόνον, ὅτι κἂν λαθεῖν δύνανται, πίστιν περὶ τοῦ λαθεῖν λαβεῖν ἀδύνατόν ἐστι· ὅθεν ὁ τοῦ μέλλοντος ἀεὶ φόβος ἐγκείμενος οὐκ ἐᾷ χαίρειν, οὔτε θαῤῥεῖν ¿ñì roïç πapovσi, said Epicurus: which is very well rendered by Seneca, "Ideo non prodest latere latentibus, quia latendi d James, i. 21. 23, 24.
In Epidico. act. 3. sc. 3. 1. Schmieder, p. 294.
e Diog. Laert.
In the passage, which is quoted by Bishop Taylor, Seneca does not so much render as comment upon Epicurus: the words of Seneca are, " Eleganter itaque ab Epicuro dictum puto, Potest nocenti contingere ut lateat, latendi fides non potest.' Aut si hoc modo melius hunc explicari posse judicas sensum ;-Ideo non prodest latere peccantibus, quia latendi ctiam si felicitatem habent, fiduciam non habent." Seneca, ep. 97. Ruhkopf, vol. 3. p. 246.--(J, R. P.)
etiam si felicitatem habent, fiduciam non habent:" "They that live unjustly, always live miserably and fearfully; because although their crime be secret, yet they cannot be confident that it shall be so:" meaning, that because their conscience does accuse them, they perceive they are discovered, and pervious to an eye, which what effect it will have in the publication of the crime here and hereafter, is not matter of knowledge, but cannot choose but be matter of fear for
Publicus, et pœnas metuet, quascunque mariti
Martis, ut in laqueos nunquam incidate.
If any chance makes the fact private, yet no providence or watchfulness can give security, because within there dwells a principle of fear that can never die, till repentance kills it. And therefore Chilo in Laertius said upon this account, that loss is rather to be chosen than filthy gain; because that loss brings sorrow but once, but injustice brings a perpetual fear and pain.'
Anne magis Siculi gemuerunt æra juvenci,
Imus præcipites, quam si sibi dicat, et intus
The wife that lies by his side, knows not at what the guilty man looks pale, but something that is within the bosom knows; and no pompousness of condition can secure the man, and no witty cruelty can equal the torment. For that also, although it be not directly the office of conscience, yet it is the act and effect of conscience; when itself is injured, it will never let any thing else be quiet.
To loose or bind,
8. Is the reflex act of conscience. Upon viewing the records, or the ovvrnonois, the legislative part of conscience, it binds to duty; upon viewing the act, it binds to punishment, or consigns to comfort; and in both regards it is called by Origen," affectuum corrector, atque animæ pædagogus," "the corrector of the affections, and the teacher of the soul."— Which kind of similitude Epictetus, in Stobæus, followed
Juven. Sat. 10. 311. Ruperti, p. 176. f Perf. Sat. 3. 39. Koenig. p. 41.
also; "Parentes pueros nos pædagogo tradiderunt, qui ubique observaret ne læderemur; Deus autem clam viros insitæ conscientiæ custodiendos tradidit; quæ quidem custodianequaquam contemnenda est;"" As our parents have delivered us to a guardian, who did watch lest we did or suffered mischief; so hath God committed us to the custody of our conscience that is planted within us and this custody is at no hand to be neglected."
9. The binding to duty is so an effect of conscience, that it cannot be separated from it; but the binding to punishment is an act of conscience also as it is a judge, and is intended to affright a sinner, and to punish him: but it is such a punishment as is the beginning of hell-torments, and unless the wound be cured, will never end till eternity itself shall go into a grave.
Illo nocens se damnat quo peccat die 8;
"The same day that a man sins, on the same day he is condemned;" and when Menelaus in the tragedy did ask,
Τί χρῆμα πάσχεις ; τίς σ' ἀπόλλυσιν νόσος;
What disease killed poor Orestes? he was answered,
His disease was nothing but an evil conscience; he had done vile things, and had an amazed spirit that distracted him, and so he died. Curas ultrices' Virgil' calls the wounds of an evil conscience, revenging cares.'-" Nihil est miserius quam animus hominis conscius," said he in the comedy; Nothing is more miserable than an evil conscience:" and the being pained with it is called τῷ συνειδότι ἀπάγχεσθαι, 'to be choked or strangled' with an evil conscience, by St. Chrysostom, who, in his twenty-second homily upon the Firs Epistle to the Corinthians, speaks much and excellently to the same purpose: and there are some that fancy this was the cause of Judas's death; the horrors of his conscience were such, that his spirits were confounded, and restless, and uneasy; and striving to go from their prison, stopped at the gates of emanation, and stifled him. It did that, or as bad; it either choked him, or brought him to a halter, as it hath
* Apud Publium.
b Euripid. Orest. 389.-Priestley's edition, vol. 1. p. 265.
done many besides him. And although I may truly say, as he did,
Non mihi si linguæ centum
Omnia pœnarum percurrere nomina possem',
No tongue is able to express the evils which are felt by a troubled conscience, or a wounded spirit; yet the heads of them are visible and notorious to all men.
10. (1.) The first is that which Nazianzen calls Taç iv avroiç τοῖς δεινοῖς ἐξαγορεύσεις, ‘ accusations and vexings of a man when he is in misery;' then when he needs most comfort, he shall by his evil conscience be most disquieted. A sickness awakes a dull sleeping conscience, and when it is awakened it will make that the man shall not sleep. So Antiochus when his lieutenant Lysias was beaten by the Jews, he fell sick with grief, and then his conscience upbraided him; “but now" (said he)" I remember the evils that I did at Jerusalem; quia invenerunt me mala ista' (so the Latin Bible reads it); because those evils now have found, me out." " For when a man is prosperous, it is easy for him to stop the mouth of conscience, to bribe it or abuse it, to fill it with noise, and to divert it with business, to outvie it with temporal gaieties, or to be flattered into weak opinions and sentences: but when a man is smitten of God, and divested of all the outsides and hypocrisies of sin, and that conscience is disentangled from its fetters and foolish pretensions, then it speaks its own sense, it ever speaks loudest when the man is poor, or sick, or miserable. This was well explicated by St. Ambrose; "Dum sumus in quadam delinquendi libidine, nebulis quibusdam conscientiæ mens obducitur, ne videat eorum, quæ concupiscit, deformitatem: sed cum omnis nebula transierit, gravia tormenta exercentur in quodam male conscii secretario." "A man is sometimes so surprised with the false fires and glarings of temptation, that he cannot see the secret turpitude and deformity. But when the cloud and vail are off, then comes the tormentor from within:"
acountque metum mortalibus ægris,
Si quando letum horrificam morbosque Deum Rex
Then the calamity swells, and conscience increases the trou
1 Æn. 6.
m Maec. vi. 12.
"Eneid. 12. 852.