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THE SOUL OF A MAN

THE SOUL OF A MAN

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY GEORGE H. HEPWORTH, D.D.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my
soul after thee, O God. — Psalm xlii., i.
BY GEORGE H. HEPWORTH, D.D.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my
soul after thee, O God. — Psalm xlii., i.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 02, 2014
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THE SOUL OF A MAN BY GEORGE H. HEPWORTH, D.D.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. — Psalm xlii., i.

AS to what the soul is, of what elements it is ** composed, neither you nor I dare make any dogmatic assertion. Perhaps in some future age, when science shall have penetrated into the radiant centre of this problem, and the invisible becomes visible, men may be able to see each other's souls as they now see each other's bodies. The genius of research has wrought so many miracles that such a consummation would add but little to the astonishment we have already enjoyed. Psychology is a new domain, as yet practically unexplored, with many a surprise in store for us. It is easy, therefore, to imagine that at some future time science will be able to demonstrate the difference between matter and spirit, and prove beyond a

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THE SOUL OF A MAN 33

doubt that the latter does not cease to exist when the former is resolved into dust.

Whether the soul consists of some sublimated material substance, like the ether which fills interplanetary spaces, or is essentially different from anything we call matter, is a question which at present puzzles the thoughtful world. Investigation is making long strides, and it would be rash to limit its possibilities.

The Christ very evidently saw more than we can see, and when He called the spirit of Lazarus back to reinhabit his body He must have known where that spirit was and must have been in communication with it. The miracle- worker and the unseen Lazarus must have been within hearing distance of each other. What He saw we may some time see, and certainly shall see when we are in the same relation to God and the universe that He occupied.
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I am satisfied at this moment with the fact that the real man is behind the eye that looks, behind the lips which speak, and that when the lips are dumb and the eyes are closed this real man will step out of the worn-out house which has served his earthly purpose and enter another house which shall better

34 HERALD SERMONS

fit his new environment. He will be the same man in another home, but with a larger prospect and a wider outlook. Whatever changes occur in his character and his motives will be the natural result of his clearer vision and his better knowledge of the relative value of the things to be desired, just as a man who travels from his narrow life in the village to the broad life of a great city drops his prejudices and his small views, and gradually becomes a part of the grander projects which tempt his energy and rouse his ambition.

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The other world is simply another and more favorable opportunity. If a boy should be suddenly transferred from his home on the farm, with its slender routine of drudgery, to the competition of a large business circle, he would, by slow degrees, see everything in a different light. Many of his old opinions would drop like dead leaves in autumn, and fresh and larger ideas would take their places. He would be precisely the same creature, but he would be enlarged, ripened, developed. Just so with the soul after death. It will be the same soul that it was in the body, but it will be larger; it will expand, grow, and all the changes of outlook and inlook

THE SOUI< OP A MAN 35

which are induced will simply be the result of this growth.

As a man he does not lose sight of the old home or the dear ones far away when he achieves the successes of wealth. On the contrary, some of the
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sweetest memories are those which carry him back to earlier days, and there is always a tender spot in his heart for those he has left behind. Much more will this be true when he passes from time to eternity. Affection is not checked by death. It seems to me that it must be increased. With larger sight and clearer observation he will become, under God, a sort of providence over those for whom his soul yearns with unabated love, and in many ways which we know little about he will find happiness in being of service to them.

Thus are the two worlds in juxtaposition. They overlap each other. Eternity and time are so mingled that we cannot tell where the one ends and the other begins. God Himself is here, and under His wings we live and move. Christ is here in our very midst, ever turning our hopes upward and pouring into our poor lives the divine influence of His thoughts, even as the sun floods the earth and

36 HKRAI.D SKRMONS
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warms it until it smiles with crops and flowers. The angels are also here, their unseen hands leading us, their good cheer chasing away our depression and filling us with a larger faith.

This is religion, good, solid, inexhaustible, and everlastingly true; the only religion which can light our way through the darkness of to-day into the beauty and glory of immortality.

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