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Immortality.

Immortality.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JAMES MARTINEAU.

2 Cor. i. 9.

we had the sentence of death in ourselyes, that we should
not trust in ourselves, but in god who raiseth the dead.
BY JAMES MARTINEAU.

2 Cor. i. 9.

we had the sentence of death in ourselyes, that we should
not trust in ourselves, but in god who raiseth the dead.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 27, 2014
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02/27/2014

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IMMORTALITY. BY JAMES MARTINEAU. 2 Cor. i. 9. we had the sentence of death in ourselyes, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in god who raiseth the dead. Paul, at his nearest view of death, obtained his firmest ' trust in God who raiseth the dead.' Socrates, with the cnp of poison in his hand, declares it power-less ; and taking it as the pledge of temporary parting from his weeping friends, goes cheerfully forward to explore the future. We, who are in no such ex-tremity, but at ease and in command of the strong posts of life, are seduced into sceptic misgivings of its perpetuity, and are conscious of at least transient doubts, whether soul and body do not go out together. And so, indeed, it ever is. Amid the so-called goods of existence, we most shudder at the view of its privations ; while from active contact with its griefs, its grandeur appears least doubtful, and, in the bold struggle with ills, they prove a phantom and slip away. From the sunlight heights of life, the deep vales and hollows of its necessities look darkest; but to the faithful whose path lies there, there is
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still light enough to show the way, and to no other eyes do the everlasting hills and blue heavens seem so brilhant. Our nobler faith is not dashed, as we suppose, by the severities, but rather enervated by IMMORTALITY. 151 the indulgences, of experience ; it is on the bed of luxury, not on the rock of nature, that scepticism has its birth. Paul, the hardly-entreated apostle, the homeless and ever-perilled missionary, — his back scarred with stripes, his hands heavy with bonds, the outcast of Jewish hate and Pagan scorn, — writes as he flies, to ask the voluptuous Corinthians, ' How say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead ? ' and to prove in words that immortality of which his life was the demonstration in action. And while from the centre of comforts many a sad fear goes forth, and the warmest lot becomes often filled with the chillest doubts, hidden within it like a heart of ice that cannot melt, you may find toiling misery that trusts the more, the more it is stricken, and amid the secret prayers of mourners hear the sweetest tones of hope.
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This paradox is far from being inexplicable. All true religion is a sense of want; and where want goes to sleep upon possession, it becomes bewildered, and when occasionally opening its eyes, sees nothing with the clearness of reality. Religion implies a perception of the infinite and invisible; and where the finite is illuminated too strongly, nothing else can be discerned, and all beyond appears, not dim twilight shadow, but blank darkness. The full-orbed brilliancy of life brings out the colors of the earth, and makes it seem as vast and solid as if there were nothing else ; in the midnight watch, it is felt only at the point beneath our feet, and the sphere of stars in which it swims alone is seen. Indeed the suspicion, that this life is our all, appears to be simply an example, upon a large scale, of a delusion and dispro-portion of idea, which we are continually experiencing 152 IMMOHTALITY. in detail and without which perhaps our discerning and our practical energies would be ill-harmonized. I allude to that exaggeration of the present moment,
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