Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

souls! For I shall go not only to meet great men, but also my own son.

His spirit, looking back upon me, departed to that place whither he knew that I should soon come; and he has nevei serted me.

If I have borne his loss with coui it is because I consoled myself with the tho :-*1 that our separation would not be for long.

Cato (as quoted by Cicero),born 24.

When I consider the faculties with which human soul is endowed,- its amazing celerit wonderful power of recollecting past events its sagacity in discerning the future, together with its numberless discoveries in the arts and sciences, - I feel a conscious conviction that this active, comprehensive principle cannot possibly be of a mortal nature.

And as this unceasing activity of the soul derives its energy from its own intrinsic and essential powers, without receiving it from any foreign or external impulse, it necessarily follows that its activity must continue forever. I am induced to embrace this opinion, not only as agreeable to the best deductions of reason, but also in deference to the authority of the noblest and most distinguished philosophers.

I consider this world as a place which Nature never intended for my permanent abode; and I look on my departure from it, not as being driven from my habitation, but simply as leaving an inn.

Cicero, Roman,- born 106 B.C.

In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. ...

They who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world cannot die any more ; for they are equal unto the angels.

Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showeth at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for he is not a God of the dead, but of the living

Jesus Christ, Israelite. New Testament.

Not by lamentations and mournful chants ought we to celebrate the funeral of a good man, but by hymns ; for, in ceasing to be numbered with mortals, he enters upon the heritage of a diviner life.

Plutarch, Grecian,- 50 A.D.

Is it a misfortune to pass from infancy to youth? Still less can it be a misfortune to go from this miserable life to that true life into which we are introduced by death. Our first changes are connected with the progressive development of life. The new change which death effects is only the passage to a more desirable perfection. To complain of the necessity of dying is to accuse Nature of not having condemned us to perpetual infancy.

Gregory of Nyssa, early Christian Father,—394 A.D.

What if earth
Be but the shadow of heaven? and things therein
Each to the other like, more than on earth is thought ?

John Milton, English, - 1667 A.D.

In nature, everything is connected, like body and spirit. Our future destination is a new link in the chain of our being, which connects itself with the present link most minutely, and by the most subtle progression; as our earth is connected with the sun, and as the moon is connected with our earth.

When death bursts the bonds of limitation, God will transplant us, like Aowers, into quite other fields, and surround us with entirely different circumstances. Who has not experienced what new faculties are given to the soul by a new situation,

faculties which, in our old corner, in the stifling atmosphere of old circumstances and occupations, we had never imagined ourselves capable of ?

In these matters, we can do nothing but conjecture. But wherever I may be, through what. ever worlds I may be led, I know that I shall forever remain in the hands of the Father who brought me hither, and who calls me further on.

Herder, German,- 1774 A.D.

I trouble not myself about the manner of future existence. I content myself with believing, even to positive conviction, that the Power which gave me existence is able to continue it in any form and manner he pleases, either with or without this body; and it appears more probable to me that I shall continue to exist hereafter than that I should have existence as I now have, before that existence began.

Thomas Paine, American, - 1795 A.D.

Life is a state of embryo, a preparation for life. A man is not completely born until he has passed through death.

B. Franklin, American 1776 A.D.

When we die, we shall find we have not lost our dreams: we have only lost our sleep.

7. P. Richter, German, - 1774 A.D.

Of what import this vacant sky, these puffing elements, these insignificant lives, full of selfish loves, and quarrels, and ennui ? Everything is prospective, and man is to live hereafter. That the world is for his education is the only sane solution of the enigma.

All the comfort I have found teaches me to confide that I shall not have less in times and places that I do not yet know. I have known admirable persons, without feeling that they exhaust the possibilities of virtue and talent. I have seen glories of climate, of summer mornings and evenings, of midnight sky; I have enjoyed the benefits of all this complex machinery of arts and civilization, and its results of comfort. The Good Power can easily provide me millions more as good.

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. Whatever it be which the great Providence prepares for us, it must be something large and generous, and in the great style of his works.

R: W. Emerson, American,- 19th cent. A.D.

We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream: it may be so after death.

N. Hawthorne, American,19th cent. A.D.

God is our Father. Heaven is his high throne, and this earth is his footstool. While we sit around, and meditate or pray, one by one, as we fall asleep he lifts us into his bosom, and our waking is inside the gates of an everlasting world.

William Mountford, American 19th cent. A.D.

We go to the grave of a friend, saying, A man is dead; but angels throng about him, saying, A man is born.

H. W. Beecher, American,- 19th cent. A.D.

This world is simply the threshold of our vast life; the first stepping-stone from nonentity into the boundless expanse of possibility. It is the infant-school of the soul. The physical universe spread out before us, and the spiritual trials and mysteries of our discipline, are simply our primer, our grammar, our spelling dictionary, to teach us something of the language we are to use in our maturity.

Starr King, American,19th cent. A.D.

1

« PreviousContinue »