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for ever,

shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched day nor night, the smoke thereof shall go up from generation to generation it shall lie waste, none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. And he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness. They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof, and it shall be an habitation for dragons and a court for owls. The wild beasts of the desert also shall meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech-owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay and hatch and gather under her shadow; there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. Seek ye out of the book of the Lord and read: Not one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate, for my mouth it hath commanded, and his Spirit it hath gathered them. And he hath cast the lot for them and his hand hath divided it unto them by line they shall possess it for ever and ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad

for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Say unto them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not. Behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass, with reeds and rushes. And a highway shall be there and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those; the way-faring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon; it shall not be found there, but the Redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.'

A dissolving view by a Divine Artist! A curse

melting into a blessing, though Cardinal Hugh has endeavoured to conceal it by a capitular division not in the original. You see the very process of Mercy translating the letter of Judgment, the gradual ascension of meaning, from the lowest material to the highest poetical and spiritual sense; Judgment all the while disguising itself in the language of hyperbole and mystery-that seeing men may not see, and hearing they may not understand—and Mercy gently putting aside the mask, and revealing the smile of the darling attribute of Divinity. She is the Translator of the Book, and she will make it all plain when she publishes her own Edition, which is the fifth. The first is the Hebrew, the second is the Greek, the third is the Latin, the fourth is the Vernacular Modern Edition, the fifth is the Universal-Mercy's Edition. All men will read this. The others they cannot understand. For these Editions will tell you that the owls and the cormorants, and the ravens and other wild creatures are to live amid the burning pitch and brimstone of Idumea, and lay, and hatch, and rejoice amid the flame and smoke of the yellow sulphur, and that this desirable habitation is allotted to them for ever! But they do not tell you who those owls and ravens and wild animals are, nor what brimstone is; for they cannot translate the language of judg

* It was Cardinal Hugo who divided the Bible into its present chapters, in the thirteenth century.

ment into the language of mercy. Nor can they tell you how these owls and ravens are to see the glory of the Lord in this wretched and frightful wilderness, which, notwithstanding its burning and smoking pitch and brimstone for ever, is for ever to rejoice and blossom as the rose!! Is it the yellow sulphur of chemistry that is meant? No; it is compared to the breath of the Lord, and that is life and vigorous activity. The breath of the Lord is "like a stream of brimstone," which burns up all evil and makes a wilderness of it, and converts the ferocious creatures (men of war, Quakers included) that inhabit it, into tame and gentle and happy beings. It will not touch any good thing, for evil alone is combustible. Evil is the eternal fuel, the black and earth-begotten coal of the Eternal Fire which is the Life of the Universe, and which feeds on that fuel for ever and ever. The fire of Good could not burn without the fuel of Evil. There is always another step in progress to be made after every advancement, and that step is the burning of more fuel. There is no stagnation, for stagnation is death, in which the fire goes out. The fire of Divine life is directed against every imperfection; and in the creature there is imperfection for ever, for it never can attain to equality with the Highest. It burns, therefore, for ever; like a seraph it burns; and while it burns "it glorifies the Lord in the fire," for all God's works must praise him.

Say, therefore, to them that are of a fearful

heart, "Be strong, fear not!" and let Peter sit upon his rock in confidence to the end; for the sword that destroys his spiritual empire is not the steel sword of the Barbarians over again, nor the doctrinal sword of the Protestants over again, which was forced to accept assistance from steel and lead, from the horse and his rider. But the sword that destroys the present Roman Edom is the sword of the translated Word, that destroys the old evil and makes all things new; not excepting the Desert itself. The translated Word is sharper and more powerful than steel, and will not ask its assistance : it is itself sufficient.

Peter's mission still continues after the middle ages; but it loses a portion of its catholicity, not by subtracting anything from its own spiritual or absolute nature, but by the approach of another mission of a more free, intellectual, divisional, and individual character-a mission also of nationality and sectarianism, which weakens the influence of the spiritual Word of Rome, and introduces a larger and more powerful species of feudalism, both political and ecclesiastical, which requires a stronger Word in the end to subvert it, or unite its ruptured and separated parts. We shall see the working of that national or enlarged feudal system in the Fourth Act of the Drama.

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