Page images

every temple there is a portal, and a passage from the one to the other. This mortal life is the portal which stands before the grand temple of eternity ; and death is the passage between them. — F. W. P. Greenwood.

The very greatness of that love which makes the hour of separation dark and painful gives rise to high and holy duties in doing the work which we think the purified spirits of our friends would wish to have done. - Richard Metcalf.

That future world, instead of a boundless abyss of darkness is a region of life and light. *** While the sun is above the horizon, the heavens seem empty, and the earth alone seems looked on by that shining orb. But as the sun sinks and the shadows fall across the hills, one by one the stars are ushered into the sky, a glorious host, innumerable worlds, showing forth the wisdom and power of God. Then we perceive how much, all the time, has been around us, and how infinitely more vast and sublime was that which in the brightness of day was unseen, than what was visible. So revelation draws aside from the eye of the spirit the veil between, and we behold the empty void filled with those whom we called dead, alive again, the mortal become immortal ; and the earth itself appears but the threshold of a vast abode, peopled by the creatures and filled with the light of the infinite Love. -- Ephraim Peabody.

Let us trustingly leave these matters where, indeed, whether trustingly or not, we must leave them — with the infinite Love which embraces all our loves, and the

infinite Wisdom which comprehends all our needs; assured that the Father of the house whose mansions are many, and the Father of spirits whose goal is one, will find the right place and connections and nurture for every soul he has caused to be; that in the eternities the thing desired will arrive at last; that seeking and finding are divinely evened. Let us rest in the thought that life must be richer than all our experience, nay, than our fondest dreams. — F. H. Hedge.

When, by nobler culture, by purer experience, by breathing the air of a higher duty, vitality at length creeps into the scul, the instincts of immortality will wake within us. The word of hope will speak to us a language no longer strange. We shall feel like the captive bird carried accidentally to its own land, when hearing for the first time the burst of kindred song from its native woods, it beats instinctively the bar of its cage in yearning for the free air.

A single instant of the Divine life, spread over all that is simultaneous, is worth an eternity of ours, which at least begins by taking all things one by one. tion as we emerge from this childhood of the mind, and claim our approach to union with God, will the contents of our experience enrich themselves, and its area correct its evanescence; till a mere moment may become worth a millennium before ; and the Transient may be to the large soul more than the Everlasting to the little : and then whether our Time be long or short by Sun and Moon we may well remain indifferent, since the life that is beyond time and nature is vivid within us.

When, therefore, in higher moments brought by the

And in propor

sorrows of life, the tensions of duty, or the silence of thought, you catch some faint tones of a voice diviner than your own, know that you are not alone, and who it is that is with you. Stay not in the cold monologue of solitary meditation, but Aing yourself into the communion of prayer. Fold not the personal shadows round you; lie open to the gleam that pierces them ; confide in it as the brightest of realities, – a path of heavenly light streaking the troubled waters of your being, and leading your eye to the orb that sends it. – James Martineau.

The household to which the angel of death has come can never forget his coming. The shadow which his wings have cast over the soul must remain, however clearly the light from God's own love may shine.

Yes, when we are most perfectly resigned to his will, and most perfectly consoled under the loss by the dear promises of Christ, and most happy in the sweet hope of reunion with the dead, and most faithful in using the discipline which we know to be for our own good, the loss, in itself considered, may then seem, as it perhaps then becomes, greater than it ever was before. completeness of spiritual experience is the depth of our sorrow revealed. By the spiritual development of our affections the sacredness of earthly affection and of earthly relations is first discerned. A part of the blessing upon those who mourn comes by learning the greatness of their loss.

Hearts which rejoice cannot come so near to each other as hearts which grieve. Tears mingle more perfectly than smiles, and the chain of family love on earth becomes much stronger when some of its links are in heaven.

By the

We need to learn that the purpose of the tree is to bear fruit, not flowers; and that the wisdom and goodness of God may abound only the more at the time when the blossoms fall. —W. G. Eliot.

And shall heaven have no children in it? Must none but gray hairs pass through its gates? Or shall not, rather, glad, gleesome children, with flowing hair and merry eyes, go with laughter through its doorways, to meet their angels” who “do always behold the face of their Father in heaven”?

Let us not forget that there are two sides to dying, this earth side and the heaven side. The stars that go out when morning comes do not stop shining; only some other eyes in some other land are made glad by them. — M. J. Savage.

Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
(Since He who knows our need is just,)
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress trees !
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,

The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever Lord of Death,

And Love can never lose its own !-Whittier.

If this life is all, there is no place for such a faculty as conscience with its lash of remorse in one hand, and its peace like a river, in the other. * * * from instinct to freedom and conscience, is a step from

The step

time to eternity. Conscience is not truly correlated to human life. The ethical implies the eternal.

If I were to construct one all-embracing argument for immortality, and were to put it into one word, it would be — God. * * * * * It was Christ's realization of the living God that rendered his own conviction of eternal life so absolute.

If the cup of life is full, there is little sense of past or future; the present is enough. * * * * When Christ speaks of eternal life, he does not mean future endless existence; this may be involved, but it is an inference or secondary thought; he means instead fullness or perfection of life. That it will go on forever, is a matter of course, but it is not the important feature of the truth. - T. T. Munger.

We talk of immortality ; but there is a better phrase than that, – the word of Jesus, " eternal life.” That implies not mere duration, but quality. It blends the present and the future in one. It sets before us a state into which we are called to enter now, and into which as we enter we find ourselves at home in our Father's house, beyond the power of doubt and fear.

Mere continuance of existence, what is it? That bowlder yonder has existed for ages, a very eternity to the imagination; and it is only a bowlder after all. One hour of throbbing human life is worth more than its barren eternity. What is it to you or me whether we go on living, if life to us is made up of petty and ignoble thoughts and occupations ? The real trouble with most of us is not the doubt whether we shall live hereafter, but the fact that as yet we have hardly begun to live at all.

« PreviousContinue »