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The depth of the conscience.

How deeply seated the conscience is in the human soul, is seen in the effect which sudden calamities produce on guilty men, even when unaided by any determinate notion or fears of punishment after death. The wretched criminal, as one rudely awakened from a long sleep, bewildered with the new light, and half recollecting, half striving to recollect, a fearful something, he knows not what, but which he will recognize as soon as he hears the name, already interprets the calamities into judgments, executions of a sentence passed by an invisible judge; as if the vast pyre of the last judgment were already kindled in an unknown distance, and some flashes of it, darting forth at intervals beyond the rest, were flying and lighting upon the face of his soul. The calamity may consist in loss of fortune, or character, or reputation; but you hear no regrets from him. Remorse extinguishes all regret; and remorse is the implicit creed of the guilty.

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