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Aryan and Persian). 3rd. It projects such various, and even contrasted ideals of the future world (e.g. Valhalla and Nirvana), that it must be supposed to have sprung up indigenously in each race, and by no means to have been borrowed by one from the other. 4th. Finally, the instinct begins to falter at a later stage of civilization, when self-consciousness is more developed, and the practice of arguing about our beliefs takes the place of more simple habits of mind,-a stage which we may perhaps exactly mark in Roman history when, as Cicero tells us, “there were some in his day who had begun to doubt of Immortality.” All these characters would certainly form “notes” of an original instinct in the human soul testifying to its own undyingness, and are not easily accounted for on any other hypothesis.
It will be observed that this Consciousness of Immortality, and the Expectation of Justice, spoken of above, are entirely distinct things. Though confluent at last, they have remote sources. It is at a comparatively late stage of history that the Expectation of Justice projects itself beyond the horizon of this world, and at an equally late one when the Consciousness of Immortality crystallizes into a definite idea of a state of Rewards and Punishments.
Direct reliance on this Consciousness of Immortality, when it happens to be strongly developed in the individual, is probably the origin of that robust faith which we still find, not rarely, among persons of warm and simple natures. Those amongst us who lack such vivid
instinct may yet obtain, indirectly, a ground of confidence from the observation of its almost universal prevalence, implying its Divine origin and consequent veracity. That the Creator of the human race should have so formed our mental constitution as that such a belief should have sprung up and prevailed over the whole globe, and yet that it should be from first to last a mistake, is an hypothesis which Faith cannot endure. The God of Truth will have deceived the human race if the soul of a man dies with his body.
VII. Lastly: the most perfect and direct faith in Immortality is assuredly that which is vouchsafed to the happy souls who personally feel that they have entered into a relation with God which can never end. It is hard to speak on this sacred theme without appearing to some irreverent, to others fanatical. I can but say that there are men and women who have given their testimony in this matter whom I think we do well to trust, even as prophets who have stood on Pisgah “ Faith in God and in our eternal union with Him," said one of them,“ are not two dogmas of our creed, but one." That inner experience which is the living knowledge of the one truth, brings home also the other. At a certain stage of religious progress, we cannot doubt that the man learns by direct perception that God loves him, and that “he is in God and God in him," in a sense which conveys the warrant of eternal life. As humbler souls find their last word of faith to be that of Marcus Aurelius, “Thou wilt do well for me and for the world,”—
such a man has the loftier right to say with assurance: “Thou wilt guide me by Thy counsel and afterwards receive me to glory. Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor suffer Thine holy one to see corruption.”
Perhaps the knowledge of his immortality has come to the saint in some supreme hour of adoring happiness. Perhaps it has come when the clouds of death seemed to close round him, and, instead of darkness, lo! there was a great light, and a sense of Life flowing fresh and strong against the ebbing tide of mortality; a life which is the same as love, the same as infinite joy and trust. It matters not whence or how it came. Thenceforth there is for him no more doubt. The next world is as sure as the present, and God is shining over all.
Such, for a few blessed souls, seems to be the perfect “ evidence of things not seen.” But can their full faith supply our lack? Can we see with their eyes and believe on their report? It is only possible in a very inferior measure. Yet if our own spiritual life have received even some faint gleams of the “light which never came from sun or star,” then, once more, will our faith point the way to Immortality; for we shall know in what manner such truths come to the soul, and be able to trust that what is dawn to us may be sunrise to those who have journeyed nearer to the East than we; who have surmounted Duty more perfectly, or passed through rivers of affliction into which our feet have never dipped. God cannot have deluded them in their sacred hope of His eternal love. If their experience be a dream, all
prayer and all communion may likewise be dreams. In so far as we have faith in such prayer and communion, we can believe in the high experience of the saints; and so in the immortal life to which it witnesses.
The immense growth which has taken place in the moral consciousness of mankind within historical times may be estimated by a simple observation. The Future Life, which was once altogether uncoloured by moral hues, has for ages been painted as if it were a Moral Life only; all its happiness Reward, and all its suffering either Retribution or Purification. In the preceding paper, it was remarked in passing that the consciousness of Immortality and the expectation of Justice are totally distinct things, and, though confluent at last, arise in remote sources. It is at a comparatively late historical era that the expectation of Justice projects itself beyond the horizon of this world; and equally late when the consciousness of Immortality takes shape as an ideal state of rewards and punishments beyond the grave. But having once passed into this phase, it is astonishing how rapidly the moral aspect of the future world begins to occupy the minds of men, almost to the exclusion of every other. The analogies of our present existence (if they might be accounted in any measure as guides) would lead us to infer that hereafter, as here, the moral life will be only one of the elements of existence; and