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[263] are no longer willing to permit the few, for their especial benefit, to convert our common Father's heritage into a present hell, where, in return for undeserved suffering and toil uncompensated, they can have gracious and comfortable assurance of release from a future one. Better is the fear of the Lord than the fear of the Devil; holier and more acceptable the obedience of love and reverence than the submission of slavish terror. The heart which has felt the ‘beauty of holiness,’ which has been in some measure attuned to the divine harmony which now, as of old in the angel-hymn of the Advent, breathes of ‘glory to God, peace on earth, and good — will to men,’ in the serene atmosphere of that ‘perfect love which casteth out fear,’ smiles at the terrors which throng the sick dreams of the sensual, which draw aside the night-curtains of guilt, and startle with whispers of revenge the oppressor of the poor.

There is a beautiful moral in one of Fouqueas miniature romances,—Die Kohlerfamilie. The fierce spectre, which rose giant-like, in its bloodred mantle, before the selfish and mercenary merchant, ever increasing in size and terror with the growth of evil and impure thought in the mind of the latter, subdued by prayer, and penitence, and patient watchfulness over the heart's purity, became a loving and gentle visitation of soft light and meekest melody; ‘a beautiful radiance, at times hovering and flowing on before the traveller, illuminating the bushes and foliage of the mountain-forest; a lustre strange and lovely, such as the soul may conceive, but no words express. He felt its power ’

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