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appalled even the bold, we have seen even a young, frail, feminine spirit, for which the common adversities of life seemed too rude, able to look round without dismay, collected, calm, serene, smiling amid pain, and the conqueror of the grave. Others tremble and weep; but the sufferer, as if no longer a sufferer, can speak quietly, and comfort them; can lead them to God, in words of trust and consolation, and so sink into that dreaded silence of the grave, as if it were indeed but passing to its home. Such power has God given to man to triumph over death! So kindly has he provided strength for the soul that puts its trust in his Gospel.
It is in vain to deny that life has its troubles, and death its alarms. We cannot disguise the bitterness of the cup which man is called to drink. Nor can we help the cry, that, if it be possible, that cup may pass
But God has done better for us than to cause it to pass. He has made it the cup of immortality. Trial and grief are the preparation for glory. The grave is the gate of heaven. The death of the body is
the emancipation of the soul. Emancipated souls are to reunite in a better and happier society. The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there can no evil touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seem to die, and their departure is taken for misery; but they are at peace; for God has loved them, and received them to Himself, and they shall rejoice forever. And if ever a holy hallelujah of solemn praise should ascend from man to God, it might well be at the departure of one who had died in the triumph of Christian hope, and the burial of whose body is but the signal of the spirit's welcome by angels into heaven. Tears might fall as we sang, but not the less real would be our praise, and not the less perfect our consolation.
These are the consolations of religion. Through these does God send help in trouble. Faith, prayer, hope, -- these three, and the greatest of these is, — I do not know which is the greatest; they form the threefold cord which cannot be broken. Faith could do little if it were not expressed in
prayer and answered by hope. Prayer without faith is but an idle breath of wind, and without hope is only the groaning of despondency. Hope has no anchor, if faith have not supplied one, and no wings, if she borrow none from devotion. Separately, they are as the lungs without the heart, or the heart without the blood; without the others, each is weak and inefficient; but together, they make up the living, vivifying system; they create peace where pain has destroyed it; they let in the tranquil light of heaven on the soul, upon which the suffering of earth has cast down darkness that may be felt.
To me there is but one objection against immortality, if objection it may be called, and this arises from the very greatness of the truth. My mind sometimes sinks under its weight, is lost in its immensity; I scarcely dare believe that such a good is placed within my reach. When I think of myself, as existing through all future ages, as surviving this earth and that sky, as exempted from every imperfection and error of my present being, as clothed with an angel's glory, as comprehending with my intellect, and embracing in my affections, an extent of creation compared with which the earth is a point; when I think of myself, as looking on the outward universe with an organ of vision that will reveal to me a beauty and harmony and order not now imagined, and as having an access to the minds of the wise and good, which will
make them, in a sense, my own; when I think of myself, as forming friendships with innumerable beings of rich and various intellect and of the noblest virtue, as introduced to the society of heaven, as meeting there the great and excellent, of whom I have read in history, as joined with “the just made perfect” in an ever-enlarging ministry of benevolence, as conversing with Jesus Christ with the familiarity of friendship, and especially as having an immediate intercourse with God, such as the closest intimacies of earth dimly shadow forth; when this thought of my future being comes to me, whilst I hope, I also fear; the blessedness seems too great; the consciousness of present weakness and unworthiness is almost too strong for hope. But when, in this frame of mind, I look round on the creation, and see there the marks of an omnipotent goodness, to which nothing is impossible, and from which every thing may be hoped; when I see around me the proofs of an Infinite Father, who must desire the perpetual progress of his intellectual off