surrounded by the troops of love. A sinner was brought before
her, whom Mercy designed to save. The herald blew the
trumpet, and after three blasts thereof; with a loud voice,
he said, "O heaven, and earth, and hell, I summon you this day
to come before the throne of Mercy, to tell why this sinner
should not be saved."
There stood the sinner trembling with fear; he knew that there
were multitudes of opponents, who would press into the hall of
Mercy, and with eyes full of wrath, would say, "He must not,
and he shall not escape; he must be lost!"
The trumpet was blown, and Mercy sat placidly on her throne,
until there stepped in one with a fiery countenance, his head was
covered with light, he spoke with a voice like thunder and out of
his eyes flashed lightning.
"Who are you?" said Mercy. He replied, "I am Law; the law of
God." "And what have you to say?" "I have this to say," and he
lifted up a stony tablet, written on both sides- "this wretch has
broken these ten commands. My demand is blood; for it is
written, 'The soul that sins, it shall die.' Die he, or justice must."
The wretch trembles, his knees knock together, the marrow of
his bones melts within him, as if they were dissolved by fire, and
he shakes with fright. Already he thought he saw the thunderbolt
launched at him, he saw the lightning penetrate into his soul, hell
yawned before him in imagination, and he thought himself cast
But Mercy smiled, and said, "Law, I will answer you. This
wretch deserves to die; justice demands that he should perish -
I award you your claim." And oh! how the sinner trembles.
"But there is one yonder who has come with me today- my king,
my Lord, his name is Jesus, he will tell you how the debt can be
paid, and the sinner can go free."
Then Jesus spoke, and said, "O Mercy, I will do your bidding.
Take me Lord, put me in a garden, make me sweat drops of
blood, then nail me to a tree, scourge my back before you put
me to death; hang me on the cross; let blood run from my hands
and feet. Let me descend into the grave; let me pay all that the
sinner owes. I will die in his stead."
And the Law went out and scourged the Savior, nailed him
to the cross, and coming back with his face all bright with
satisfaction, stood again at the throne of Mercy, and Mercy said,
"Law, what have you now to say?" "Nothing," said he, "fair
angel, nothing." "What! not one of these commands against
him?" "No, not one. Jesus, his substitute, has kept them all- has
paid the penalty for his disobedience, and now, instead of his
condemnation, I demand as a debt of justice that he be
"Stand here," said Mercy, "sit on my throne; I and you together
will now send forth another summons."
The trumpet rang again. "Come hither, all you who have anything
to say against this sinner, why he should not be acquitted," and
up comes another - one who often troubled the sinner, one
who had a voice not so loud as that of the Law, but still piercing-
a voice whose whispers were like the cuttings of a dagger.
"Who are you?" says Mercy.
"I am Conscience, this sinner must be punished; he has done so
much against the law of God that he must be punished; I demand
it; and I will give him no rest till he is punished, nor even then, for
I will follow him even to the grave and persecute him after death
with pangs unutterable,"
"No," said Mercy, "Hear me" and while he paused for a
moment she took a bunch of hyssop and sprinkled Conscience
with the blood, saying "Hear me, Conscience- 'The blood of
Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin', Now have
you anything to say?"
"No," said Conscience, "nothing."
"Covered is his unrighteousness
From condemnation he is free."
"Henceforth I will not grieve him; I will be a good conscience
unto him, through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The trumpet rang a third time, and growling from the innermost
vaults, up came a grim black fiend, with hate in his eyes, and
hellish majesty on his brows.
He is asked, "Have you anything against that sinner?" "Yes,"
said he, "I have- he has made a league with hell, and a covenant
with the grave, and here it is signed with his own hand. He asked
God to destroy his soul in a drunken fit, and vowed he would
never turn to God; see, here is his covenant with hell!"
"Let us look at it," said Mercy; and it was handed up, while the
grim fiend looked at the sinner, and pierced him through with his
"Ah! but," said Mercy, "this man had no right to sign the deed;
a man must not sign away another's property. This man was
bought and paid for, long beforehand; he is not his own; the
covenant with death is disannuled, and the league with hell is
rent in pieces. Go your way Satan,"
"Nay," said he, howling again, "I have something else to say-
that man was always my friend, he always listened to my
insinuations; he scoffed at the gospel, he scorned the majesty of
heaven; is he to be pardoned, while I repair to my hellish den,
forever to bear the penalty of guilt?"
Said Mercy, "Avaunt, you fiend; these things he did in the days
of his unregeneracy and they are blotted out. Go to your hell;
take this for another lash upon yourself - the sinner shall be
pardoned, but you - never, treacherous fiend!"
And then Mercy, smilingly turning to the sinner, said, "Sinner,
the trumpet must be blown for the last time!" Again it was
blown, and no one answered. Then stood the sinner up, and
Mercy said, "Sinner ask yourself the question - ask of heaven,
of earth, of hell - whether any can condemn you?"
And the sinner stood up, and with a bold loud voice said,
"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"
And he looked into hell, and Satan lay there, biting his iron
chains; and he looked on earth, and earth was silent; and in the
majesty of faith the sinner did even climb to heaven itself, and he
said, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?
And the answer came, "No; he justifies."
Sweetly it was whispered, "No; he died."
Then turning round, the sinner joyfully exclaimed, "Who shall
separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord." And the once condemned sinner came back to Mercy;
prostrate at her feet he lay, and vowed henceforth to be hers for
ever, if she would keep him to the end, and make him what she
would desire him to be.
Then no longer did the trumpet ring, but
angels rejoiced, and heaven was glad, for the sinner was saved.