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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andersen Hans Christian > Fairy tale "On Judgment Day"

On Judgment Day

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"Mercy!" The echo of this rang through infinite space, the gates of heaven opened, and the soul hovered toward the realms of eternal bliss.

But the flood of light that streamed forth from within was so dazzling, so penetrating, that the soul shrank back as from a double-edged sword. And the sound of music was so soft and touching that no mortal tongue could describe it. The soul trembled and prostrated itself lower and lower, and the celestial light cut through it until it felt, as it had never felt before, the weight of its own pride and cruelty and sin.

"Whatever good I have done in the world, I did because I could not do otherwise; but the evil that I did-that was of myself!"

And more and more the soul was dazzled and overwhelmed by the pure light of heaven; it seemed falling into a bottomless abyss-the abyss of its own nakedness and unworthiness. Shrunk into itself, humbled, cast out, unfit for the Kingdom of Heaven, trembling at the thought of the just and holy God, hardly dared it to gasp, "Mercy!"

And the Angel of Mercy came to him-the mercy he had not expected; and in the infinite space of heaven, God's everlasting love filled the soul.

"Holy, loving, glorious forever shalt thou be, O erring human spirit!" sang the chorus of angels. And as this soul did, so shall we all, on our last day on earth, humbly tremble in the glorious sight of the Kingdom of Heaven. But the infinite love and mercy of our Heavenly Father will carry us through other spheres, so that, purified and strengthened, we may ascend into God's eternal light.

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