BY LEADING WRITERS
Symposium by Leading Writers and Thinkers
sonal question there is, and this symposium from some of the most thoughtful and influential men of
day should add light to what is, perhaps, the greatest problem of all ages and the most vital. Opinions vary greatly, as the following titles show.
PARTIAL LIST OF CONTENTS
Rev. R. F. Morton, M.A., D.D. Rev. J. E. Roberts, M.A., B.D.
fj r .
do not Die
Nothingness Three Arguments for an After-life
Our Chance of Immortality The Undying Soul The Misbeliefs of Religion
A. H. Sayce, LL.D., D.D. The Late Monsignor R. H. Benson
Rev. A. C. Dixon, B.A.,D.D.
Maxim, C.E., M.E.
Mrs. Annie Besant
there an Intermediate State
Rev. Benjamin Bell, B.D.
The Theosophic View Shall we Live Again ? The Familiar Unknown
Can Converse be held with
Science and Immortality
A. P. Sinnett
Rev. Stanley Rogers George E. Winter
Dinsdale T. Young
the Spirits of Friends?
A. Alexander, M.A.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH?
A SYMPOSIUM By LEADING WRITERS
FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY NEW YORK and LONDON
OUR CHANCE OF IMMORTALITY
. M. B.
THE APPEAL TO THE FUTURE
Do WE CEASE
TO LIVE AT DEATH
. M. J.
Ballard. Claye Shaw. F.D.A.
Rev. D. M.
Monsignor R. R.
THREE ARGUMENTS FOR AN AFTER-LIFE
.D. A. E.
DO NOT DIE
. . K.
Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler
. LL. Dixon.
THE HOPE OF IMMORTALITY
THE UNDYING SOUL
THE MISBELIEFS OF RELIGION
. Arthur Hill
CAN CONVERSE BE HELD WITH THE
SPIRITS OF FRIENDS
.. Stanley Rogers
.A. Dinsdale T.
THE THEOSOPHIC VIEW
.E. Alexander. B.
SCIENCE AND IMMORTALITY
21. Annie Besant
Sir Robert Anderson.
No ONE COMES BACK
THE BIBLICAL VIEW
TO TELL John Bloundelle.
THE FAMILIAR UNKNOWN
THE SIMPLEST FAITHS ARE BEST
CANNOT COME TO AN END
THERE AN INTERMEDIATE STATE
Flora Annie Steel
25. C. C.Contents
22. M. Benson.
THE TRIUMPH OF SELF
to face death.
the most painfully personal question there
controversy may many us without vitally concerning us individually.
should have a fascination at once peculiar and
painful. both of
orthodox upholders of
death. and both to them and to those near and dear to them.
the longdrawn-out battle fronts are face to face with the
prospect of sudden death. every one of us has.
did not believe in the survival after
would have been much more
of course. but.
has suddenly become
book does not pretend
dogmatic and exhaustive reply to the question "After Death What?" Fifty years ago the
problem of the future
acute. the old. after all.FOREWORD
some time or
to regard the question as
scientific treatment. a discussion which aroused such
extraordinary interest that it was felt the articles to be brought together and supplemented
more permanent form.
tendency among scientists one worthy of their
together in this little newspaper discussion con-
The opinions gathered
book arose out
. but always vital.Foreword
much more emphatic. being a symposium
widely different schools of thought. on the other hand. but it is felt that this very freedom of discussion and variety of expression will be a help rather than a hindrance to all those who
form their own opinion on a subject
necessarily vague. Naturally. and. there is often considerable diversity in the views expressed. To-day there is far less tendency among the champions of faith to be
but always heartened man with a song that spoke of
and love and light. and that from lispings or sighs.What Happens
these shadows. there yet came
with some distinctness a resultant voice that never muttered of death and nothingness.
. in light ineffable for ever and for
aye. love progressive. heard possibly only by the expectant ear. inarticulate as they were and inconclusive in detail. life indomitable.
question. and when it has once ceased to be.
earliest records of
whether the death of the body involves the
dissolution of personality. F.
It is this that makes the argument for reincarnation so unsatisfying when you come to reflect upon it. The reincarnated life has no conscious or moral connection with its former experience.
HORTON. the reward is not deserved if the reincarnation is a favourable one. and consequently the supposed
has no shadow of
justice. and that new creation would not be the person that had lived
before.DO WE GEASE TO LIVE AT DEATH?
the Rev.A. D.
cease to live at death
cease to live
die. nor is the punishment deserved if the reverse. R..
there can be no
argument or evidence
world or in any other. again The personality would have ceased to be.
therefore. a resuscitation would be simply a new creation.
be said that the conviction of Socrates carries no more weight than the con-
the powerputting aside for a moment which is derived from the Chrisargument
tian fact of the resurrection
and looking simply
religion. and faced death with the cheerful confidence that he himself would escape from
not carry conviction.
evicertainly marshal an immense weight of dence to show that the soul is not involved in
the destruction of the body. the Phaedon of Plato
that immortal description of Socrates arguing for his immortality as the hemlock poison worked and death crept up from his feet to his
its flight. however. Take.
in that great piece of literature
but behind those arguments which were relative only to that time and that world of thought in which Socrates lived. because he felt that when the body should lie still and cold in death he himself would be whole and more utterly alive than he had been when he inhabited the body. It may.
that his persecutors
judges would not be able to capture the soul in
Consequently his last command to his friends to offer a cock to ^Esculapius. the god of healing. there is the indubitable fact that Socrates died in that way. for example.
But let us look at that argument for a moment. after more than 2. On the other hand.
But now what does this mean? If we turn from the individual to the whole body of human
beings that are living to-day upon the globe the
viction of the
that passes immediately away.
and. useless to the
fully assures us that he has no expectation of a future life and no desire for it.000
is. useless to himself. of course. a shadow. Is the personal conviction of a mind and character like Socrates of no more intrinsic value than the personal conviction of a man who expects to cease to be directly a cup of poison or some other accident arrests the functions of
? Instinctively you reply that the perof Socrates Is incalculably greater and sonality more significant than the personality of this poor materialist whose life is a mere breath. the man who from any cause has surrendered the belief in a life to come dwindles and withers so that his personality becomes intrinsically insignificant. And why is the personality of Socrates impressing the world to-day.
The answer simply
because of his im-
movable conviction about his surviving death a conviction which gives to his life and to all that he said and did a depth and a meaning which never has ceased to affect mankind.
is much stronger appears at the outset. because it involves not only the individual life but the life of the The one intolerable thing for the race is race.
the thought. a life that goes
any conscious earthly
Just so far as the race surrenders the faith
which has been
immediately paralysed that matter? what has been achieved if all of the in-
"But what does
compose the race are simply passing away into nothingness like the autumnal " leaves when the winter approaches ?
and procreation. deeper
tions of life offer
If it attempts to picture to itself the ultimate condition of human society when all the present evils are removed and universal health and well-
being are secured. it dwindles and withers it feels that it can give no account of itself. that life should lose its significance and should sink back into the mere animal functions of
The argument. and significance cannot be given to life upon this planet so far as that life develops into that greatest of earthly
. The possibilities of some terrestrial paradise or some
improvement of the material condino sufficient reason for the instincts and supports of the race.
the certainty that some human beings must survive death is changed into a whole confidence
human beings who
any true sense
to reap the
personalities. It is Christ's unique service to He taught us to see the greatness
mankind that and absolute
worth of even the most insignificant human soul. may secure continuance while the
mass of undistinguished and futile lives pass away into nothingness. and from a purely philosophical point of view that argument may be valid.
reap our sowing. unless
can be attributed the quality of continuance. be said that this quality can be secured and this significance can be
given to the
of the race
the selected in-
dividuals. of course. It may.What Happens
phenomena. personality. Even the most sceptical and disappointed human heart that is touched by pity and love
will write as its
epitaph. But against it rises up all the sense of pity and consideration for even the lowest of human beings which we have learned from
Christianity. and so good-
. continue and
fruits of their life
under new and perhaps more hopeful conditions. by another line of argument. And in that way. the "supermen" as they would be called to-day.
It is. I am quite aware that the history of spiritualism contains innumerable stories of fraud. Camille
. as old as death. and a host of others.
and ever will be. the enormous amount of evidence furnished by the phenomena of psychical research read what Sir Oliver Lodge has written in "The Destiny of Man".
Flammarion. W. Barrett. and philosophy. which baffles solution except you admit that there is striking evidence of communication between what we call "the living and the dead.
the eternal question.r *f
SHALL WE LIVE AGAIN?
the Rev. Sidgwick. Take. tween "the living" and "the not living" is the Waterloo of science. J. A. delusion. the problem of religion. weigh over the names of men like Dr. Myers. Balfour. but when you have finished your criticism you are still left with a residuum of fact. illusion. for instance. The borderland bescience."
What proof have we great question is I dare assert that the grave? beyond the proof is so clear as almost to amount to
mathematical certainty. Prof. Dr.. etc. Hodgson. F. A.
have studied spiritualism for twenty years. the human this atom of force.
know now by
established fact the
is not gross matter.
atom conveying impression to atom and on and on to the brain. That
out of date. for we know
this plane the
depends on a physical organism
The old chemistry. that used the body. the line of communication between the tips of the finger and the brain was a chain of atoms.
in the brain cells?
goes into space or a spiritual sphere. please. nothing can stop it. it is true. and I have been forced to the conclusion that there is a residuum of fact which can only be explained on the spiritualistic
hypothesis. can it act without a medium. but ether.
the body. and I have studied the question in seance.
But when the person is dead and you bury what becomes of the life. and there read off by that mysterious thing called consciousness. I have debated with some of the most eminent mediums. that ego. We send messages without wires wireless telegraphyit passes through oceans. mountains.
do not think there is a book worth reading on the subject which I have not carefully studied.
. said fast.
decorated the tombs. You have got the spiritual body now.What Happens
stellar space. and there is
. and imThe doctrine of immortality is at mortality. There is a natural body and " a spiritual body ? It seems to me that Paul
passage. neither matter
verdict of history ? the phenomena of
Look where you
Don't you remember that an old sage called Paul wrote.
molecular space. the gross material fit for this planet. It is the same everywhere. ether shows us we have two
religion that spells three things God. bodies one. and runs its golden weft through all its literature. it is not subject to gravitaIt is a third something.
tion. and gave
first poets their songs.
modern science in that inspired At least. "You will be buried with a corruptible body.
. and that body which. unlock the mys-
of Assyria. it built the
reading on the clay tablets and Chaldea. and you will rise with an incorruptible body. wrote the of the Dead." founded Thebes. at last. is to my mind the spiritual body which will be used by the ego in that spiritual world for personal manifestation. the soul. science has put its finger on. and another which no closed doors or windows can shut in. the back of all Egyptian history.
as old as human thought. and
this instinct for immortality is a nightmare. with its coats. because
tice. No. and on it I find fossil fins. and as high as human
it seems to me it must have match it. light to match it. the scales
are never adjusted. 18
believe in jusbelieve there is
the universe which
in love. here is a greater miracle than the one you disThe law of correspondence is broken.
The girl dies outraged justice in the universe. must have air with buoyancy to match it. correspond with it.
I reply that excrescence bred of ignorance.
believe in hope there can be no
. I believe in God. with its wings beautifully formed. and fill the earth with law. the betrayer goes free. and there must have been water to match The eye. as deep as human needs. I rightly infer that the fossil was once a fish. in the gutter. it. to equalise it. place. as real as consciousness.
grave. believe in justice
. So when I find this instinct for immortality as universal as language. when I find a fossil. is impossible without humours. to make the music plain. lens. something in
in hope. the bird.
the universe with justice. and retina.
far worse. my my bitter emotions. her despair. it would preserve all my feel-
no more meaning and
immortality of which can have interest for our conscious
the indestructibility of the atoms com-
posing our mortal body. and I tress. I would accompany her
life. my ambitions. think of this ings. my pains. vapid. What value.
to the state
without means for
exercising the slightest action on the material world. what interest can an immortality have for me in which I should no longer love what I have loved. I would see my child weep and would be unable to comfort it.
my moments of joy and my days of sorrow. no longer hate what I have hated. my disappointments. witness her disher pains. all that comsweet and
posed that personality the preservation seemed so hugely important to me ? In
it is not me that survives. no longer remember my past life.What Happens
it in every moment.
Suppose my immortal soul would really be my conscious Ego. would remain connected with everything that was dear to me. all the essentials of my perIt sonality surviving the death of my body. my yearnings.
. and my consolations in one word. my small and great adventures. of a soul without organs. the immortality of this alien soul is not immortality and does not
fettered and gagged. a prisoner.
annihilation would be an inestimable blessing
this existence of a feeling but paralytic soul. shut in in its
and deprived of all possibility to communicate with all that it loves more than itself.
any longer. worse
the torments attributed to hell
Why. In two thousand say. perhaps. not even my nation will exist
globe of ours.What Happens
would be incapable of aiding her. will be the contents of that immortality which is so fervently wished for ? The soul will have to fill itself with But other. Let us go one step farther.
Nothingness one ought to desire
. in this case again the soul will not be my soul.
interest. The immortality of the personality
neither conceivable nor desirable. years. protecting her. Why.
notions or conceptions. will have disappeared. are the
beings which have always surrounded it. this
then offer to
mine Ego. helping her. The contents of its consciousness are the world which it knows. defending her. all that concerns or interests me in any way. know. this would be a fiendish torture. encouraging her. No. all that I love. new interests which I cannot guess. Now All that I eternity means a rather long time. in a couple of centuries.
more consoling. impotent witness of all sufferings.
a death which does not
come prematurely. but
at the precise
hour when one has accomplished all one's tasks and completed the circle of the Such a death this is my vital obligations.
. innermost conviction can have no terror for
and this we say is a sign of having lost
something which we
life. do not even know what life and all that we can prove is that under ceris. and that under others it is incapable of these demonstrations and falls into a desolation. F. to believe that there is a future existence for what is called the "spiritual life.
M. and that is that we know nothing. diminish. because it is only a hypothesis that there is such a thing. Except through the body.P.R.
CLAYE SHAW. tain circumstances the body can perform acts and is capable of showing what we call mental phenomena. Neither the Archbishops nor the Pope can tell us anything more than we know ourselves. or that it can have a separate
existence. a decomposition.
which was be-
with it." because we are told to do so
certain people who have recorded their experience of being the witnesses of certain
By T. which we call death. we cannot increase.D.
pure speculation to indulge in ideas and statements on this subject.C.
What we do is to follow authority. or control life..
simply because. I have elsewhere shown that theories of ghosts are merely
and do not
the result of subjective conditions during life.
marvellous and miraculous events which hap-
cannot think that the events connected with
and resurrection of Christ. as recorded. and I find no more difficulty in believing them than I have in understanding how it is that radium splits up into helion and niton. mere imaginings or delusions or lies by ingenious persons. whilst. to some degree. The nature of a future life may be altogether different from what we can imagine in fact. I under-
stand the body.
. or that two gases like oxygen and hydrogen can be made to form water. I have yet not the least conception of the nature of the other.
body and the further existence in some form that which constituted the living body. we have no clue of any sort as to its real form. in any way represent life or spirit apart from the body but I am not going to deny that there is a connection between the death of
pened many years ago.
the material realisations of pure happiness which are held out by the exponents of various creeds are simply devices for tempting into their ranks
all those whose idea of reward for self-denial and privation on earth is pleasure in a future
whilst the penalty for transgressing certain other lines of conduct is eternal torture in
this working for reward and against punishment. All who believe in the Bible must believe in the existence of another state after bodily
death. so are we unable to prove either that there is a future state or the nature of it.
fact is there affirmed. but it appeals to many."
own guidance and
temporal laws of the country.
. has ho religion may be a most excellent citizen. . morality laid down for him but there is no reason for saying that an atheist or an agnostic is unable or unfit to be a good member of It is quite conceivable that a man who society. there being all the time no proof of there being another world. he must be left to his own isolation for just as he cannot prove that there is no future state.
refuse to be guided by view of "after death
nature. and those who the Bible and who de-
The holding of the idea of a future state is a comfort to many. A reasonable follower of the Bible is not He has a code of high likely to go wrong. It may be a poor purpose. It gives the support of working in a certain way for a future reward. but as to what is to happen to him hereafter. because he is capable of seeing that pains and penalties await any infraction of the social code. and even a distinguished man in his avocation.
interfere critical circumstances. no conception is more than guesswork.
. because.What Happens
but as to the kind of thing a future state is.
rejoicing in his strength. who is careful of himself and does his
best to help his neighbours. Would it be uncharitable to hope that those
doubtless a great determining factor in Why. he is more likely
to be careful of the latter in order to ensure
greater perfection in the former.
The strong man. connecting his future state with his present bodily conduct.
are. This is rather a paltry. then. whatever the nature of it may be.
regulate their conduct during accordance with the view that they are to fit themselves for a future existence may reap the
a way they deserve?
there be a future existence or not. " " There is as much intellect in believwith it ? is in denying one ing in a future state as there
nothingness will get
may be a happy man who lives up to a good ideal.
be content with things as they
but he is a upon a future
existence. but it is all that the self-sufficient person can claim. empty creed.
felt conviction. by every that each man is himself re-
inherited social unless How. by the theory that it
instinct. the most sublime of human emotions.OUR CHANGE OF IMMORTALITY
the late Monsignor
ROBERT HUGH BENSON
apart. can this conviction be
no more than a kind
second reason. personal identity be preserved. and it is their deepest
purely natural grounds
love is. therefore. the relationships we form in this life are not only sacred. by common consent. from the revelation that God has made to man on the subject perhaps the strongest argu-
for the immortality of the individual soul ineradicable instinct of moral responis
impossible to explain
normal person. for believing in personal immortality may be found in the argu-
love. sponsible for his past. but fundamental. again drawn from experience quite apart from revelation. and will have to face the results of his past actions.
These are beginning to establish the fact that in the hour of dissolution. For in their very are completely deceptive. essence they demand permanence and eternal
wife. It is. Many theories have been formed on the subject. certain
fail. whether by personal investigation or by the study of evidence. third natural argument for personal immortality is slowly emerging from the researches
and those emphatically not such activities as may be compared to the leap of a dying candle flame
begin to reveal themselves.
love of friends. for example. but at least there emerges from them all
demand continuance. that at or about the time of death
examples continually and frequently take place of what is known as "telepathic communication" between the dying person and those with whom he is in mental sympathy. as materialist philosophers sometimes pretend to explain away the love between husband
merely physical in their origin and Yet.
when mortal faculties are beginning become obscured. entirely accepted by all who have given thought to the subject. personal immortality be a dream these profound emotions and relationships only. the love between parents children these things cannot be explained
settled. What conclusion can be drawn from these
facts except that the mortality is not entire that the deepest identity of a man.
. that is to say. of course. so far from sharing in the dissolution
failure that accompany the death of the body.What Happens
the solid fact that certain of the deepest faculties man. can
energise and exist apart from his body ? For Christians. are actually released by such dissolution into an activity never before experienced." or of that towards which the non-Christian
thought of the present day
so rapidly moving.
It is quite
impossible for anyone who the Resurrection of Christ as a fact to accepts be content with vague doctrines of "absorption
Soul of the World.
his primal belief concerning physical death was not the result of any argument."
vital part of self-conscioussaid the Patriarch of old." To him it is a piteous spectacle to see men "desperately clinging to the
fond self-deception of a continuation of some But the fact remains sort of life after death." says Dr.
could not get away from
actually able to rid himself completely Dr."
that throughout the ages there has been such a spectacle.
destroy this body. "Looking at the religion of the lower
races as a whole." "we shall at least not be ill-
advised in taking as one of the general and principal elements the doctrine of the soul's
. Max Nordau himself.
know. seems me to admit this consciousness of the to "Hereafter" when he bemoans the fact that
of this belief.What Happens
of the writers in this book." but faith in what lies beyond this present world of sights and
ness. yet in
flesh shall I see
my Redeemer my skin worms
. Tylor in his "Primitive Culture."
Is not the experience expressed in those allfamiliar words a part of every man's self-
In the case of this
Job. but it was a
it. "Death means final extinction of consciousness.
shrink back from the notion of "Nothingness after Death.
accordWhen missionaries of ing to the historian."
believe not to believe. therefore. Of course. We come we know not whence."
This is a statement that seems be beyond dispute." " Final extinction of consciousness " was evidently not acceptable even in pagan belief." but "Something" after Death. The answer of all the ages is not "Nothing. and we go we know not whither. came and waited before the Saxon Augustine
monarch and his lords.
are assembled within this dimly lighted do business. It is told connection with the narrative of the conversion of King Edward of Northumbria. they were at first inclined to repudiate them and their doctrine.
the "Hereafter. The philosophy of the king's counsellor in the court of the old Saxon
is very suggestive of this. pass from darkness into darkness
So it is with the human soul. At last one of the counsellors arose and said "Thou knowest. let us hear them. a man may set himself against
again. but he does not thereby rid himself of this universal conscious-
. O King. that ofttimes on a winter's night. If. a swallow will come from the night. these new teachers can tell us aught concerning whence we come and whither we go.What Happens
rather than negative.
delightfully suggestive? "
attitude of unbelief is not only un-Biblical. made reply "Bury me where you There you have the will. When we formulate our doctrine concerning the "Hereafter" it is not of ourselves alone we must think.
Like Job of old. but also irrational Death the importance in life that is ingive
volved in the denial of the "Hereafter. but wholly unphilosophical as well. "The maid sleepeth. "Lead. he declined to entertain the conception that "Death was the extinction of
consciousness. when asked where he would choose be buried." said our Lord Jesus Christ."
To my mind
wars against his unbelief." Doubtless Death is a crisis in so far as it involves change and transition."
of the wisest of ancient philosophers. I can only say for myself it is the most ardent desire of my life."
after the flesh
destroy the body was a fact present to the mind But he of Socrates as well as to that of Job.
Socrates. if you can catch me.What Happens
ness. In answer to that. But it surely is not the last law of life. did not infer from it that there was "Nothing-
ness after Death. Nordau. Could any view be more
Is immortality really something so ardently be yearned after?" says Dr. but of those who love us.
and be merry.
. it seemed unnecessary to consider the question of self-culture if a man regarded himself as nothing better than the brute that perisheth. drink." I replied that I To my mind." and what is left for us but despair? As the " Let us eat." But that is a philosophy that cuts the nerve of every noble effort and
heroic achievement in
life." is a bewildering hymn to me. inasmuch as he believed in "the extinction of consciousness after Death.
who was present declared that he did not consider the subject had any meaning for him.
have loved long since and
over the national
recently had the privilege of addressing an audience of working men on the subject of "Self-culture. but I shall never cease to bless the writer of it if only for those lines
"And with Which I
those angel faces smile.What Happens
Take away this hope of the "Hereafter. as to quite endorsed his view." and at the close
belief is to prevail. Apostle says for to-morrow we die. his.
THE FAMILIAR UNKNOWN
for half a long lifetime in familiar touch with those conditions of human life lying beyond the
change commonly called death." True. are so frequently available that all who have enough intelligence to do so can One of the writers says profit by them. as consciousness lies beyond its domain.
the well-known Occultist
like myself. though not yet exercised by all. there
thing inexpressibly ludicrous in the grave discussion presented in this little book as to whether there is or is not any continuity of consciousness for us after we have each done with
our respective physical bodies."
P. science can have nothing to do with "Physical the question one way or the other. For vast multitudes all over the civilised world the continuity of life in the case of friends who have passed on the invariable operation of the laws which govern the immediate future is personal
knowledge gained by the exercise of faculties of superphysical sense which. The matter has nothing to do with opinions or arguments. as the words stand.
SINNETT. but leave out the word "physical.
goes on. to the effect that in these days an expression of "disbelief" in clairvoyance was not so much a declaration of opinion as an exhibition of ignor-
and Dr. Max Nordau's comic impudence in describing as "a vain and inane delusion" what multitudes of better-informed people know from their own experience to be a fact. are exercising the senses to which the phenomena superphysical of the next world are as apparent as those of this one to the limited comprehension of
people like Dr.What Happens
and the statement
grotesquely untrue. reminds me of what Sir Oliver Lodge somewhere once wrote. To begin with.
The subject of what happens after death need no longer be concerned with arguments based on reason. though these are overwhelmingly in favour of continued life in worlds beyond the physical. Superas scientific as that which
merely to the low aspects of natural law. and another plane of consciousness. in the middle of the last century superior wisdom guiding the evolution of human intelligence started Spiritualism to give the current generation proof of a kind it could understand that there was a life after this. Millions availed themselves of the opportunities afforded. since we have definite testimony to work with from the large numbers who now. Max Nordau.
not merely to contribute a to a controversy which ought to be regarded as no less out of date than a dispute as to whether the earth is round or flat.
Later developments led to the expansion
of Occult Science." to use an oldfashioned phrase. which has grown to such magnificent
proportions during the last thirty years. Physical senses cannot but finer senses rapidly developapprehend it. surrounds this earth. But to go into
done several few remarks
necessary to write books (as I have times). which showed how it was possible to range the next plane of existence
while still in the body. designed to do more than establish the broad
fact. Life "beyond the grave. and all who are earnest in pursuit of knowledge will find
abundant satisfaction in the literature of Theosophy. and many of us know much more about it than the untravelled majority know about France. ing among us do.
. there was no reality But Spiritualism was not within the fringe. is much more certain than life beyond the Channel for all crossing over
to Calais. and bring back definite vast envelope of subtle matter information.What Happens
and other millions were
because a fringe of
round the manifestation. That is the next world in which we all of us first awaken after shedding
the physical vehicle of consciousness.
shall be with
the well-known Authoress
belief as to the future state is
the last verse of Richard Baxter's perfect
summed up in hymn
knowledge of that
ELLEN THORNEYCROFT FOWLER."
all. loves. The thing that continues in the seed is the vital force. DIXON. Take out the life. "and aches so. in defining the soul to a class
ragged children. and the something more is greater than his Without any fine-spun definitions we body. suffers.
DOES the invisible part of man continue to exist after the visible part has turned to dust?
Every man is his body plus something more.THE UNDYING SOUL
By the Rev.
of the soul
is. and it is all dead matter. rejoices. but the life is the same. B. "The soul is that which thinks.
plant a seed in the suggested by Nature. The particles may be different. and there are times when it mounts up on wings of joy." are times when the soul does ache. The re-
appearance of this
." said There a little ragged girl. approves the right and condemns the wrong. the life. A. will consider the soul as meaning that part of us which thinks.. said." "Yes.A.D. springtime. loves and feels. C. and in autumn we reap the same kind of seed. Ralph Wells. D.
an atheistic physician rose and asked him if
was preaching on
had ever seen the
soul." " Did you ever taste a soul ? " "No. "there are four is a
Dr. against favour of its continuance."
Armstrong. "Did you ever
The physician had "
Did you ever hear a pain "No. "I have never seen a soul. moral.What Happens
least suggests that the life mental. Armstrong then asked." " Did you ever smell a soul ? "No. and spiritual in us may continue after death.
God." The physician continued. "
the immortality of the soul."
preacher. for there is no microscope which has yet revealed to the eye the life
fact that the soul is not seen is
of the seed." said the physician.
no proof but rather presumption in existence."
of the five senses against one that there soul."
see a pain ?
"Well. "Did you ever " hear a soul ?
"No." "Did you ever feel a soul?"
said that while Dr.
or hear your brain
"No. or taste your brain.
head. the bow and arrow."
"Well. "Did you ever see your brain. and yet you know there
So I know there is a soul."
"Well. believing that he will need these things
happy hunting grounds of the future." " " Did you ever smell a pain ? "No. the champion blasphemer of America
hope which the soul sees in the is sometimes wiser than the
stood over the corpse of his brother. he spoke
of the star of
night. or smell your
pain. The is the real part. one may in a moment of weakness deE
with his comrade the blanket. the immortality of the soul is taught by universal consciousness.What Happens
"Did you ever taste a pain?'* "No. modern infidelity does not deny it." The preacher might have asked the doctor.
brain. is the casket which holds the jewel of the body
soul." The invisible part of us The unseen is the eternal. there are four senses against one that you have any brain. The rude savage The Indian buries believes in a future state. then. In order to express his hostility to Christianity. there are four senses against one that there is pain.
immortality of the soul
confirmed by observation. "I really thought that I was furnishing food for people who had souls. had preached on the immortality of the was approached by one of his parishioners. he would be insulted." he said.
told him that he did not believe in the "There is no differteaching of his sermon. taught by universal
consciousness. "between the man and the
dog. If you will turn to any first-class book on mental philosophy. have been repeated by men on beds of sickness.
Mr. but if you were to look
into his face
you believe there
nothing in him higher than you find in the dog. you will find instances in which memory has grown stronger while the body has grown weaker. and that be the last of him . And yet if he continues to assert that he does not belong to a higher grade than the dog."
"Well. Spurgeon tells of an English pastor who." The man did not enjoy this personal
practical application of his
admission. long forgotten. he is apt to degenerate into a dog-like character. A
. ence. if I had known that there was a dog among them. soul." replied the preacher.
Suggested by Nature. There are cases on record where page after page in foreign languages. I might have brought bones for him.What Happens
clare that he expects to die like a dog.
though hidden. and stood over the River Styx. If you have ever been in Mammoth Cave. that the memory is sometimes strongest when the body is weakest goes rather to suggest that the body is a weight which the memory has to
pearance the current
. than ever before. were revived during the time of weakness.What Happens
that. imaginaand conscience as strong.
very point of disapIs there a man
on earth foolish enough to suppose that there is no river after the swift current has disappeared
? Does he not believe. while he was physically
dying we find memory. if not stronger. continues to flow on ? And when up
to the point of
Kentucky. is there not a presumption which amounts to a conviction of
the soul will
continue to live after the body dies? In fact. with a conviction amounts to certainty.
panorama of his him impressions that had past life came before faded from memory. you remember that it disappears under the
when he was thrown from
killed. that the river.
a horse and almost
So imagination is sometimes most brilliant when the body is weakest. I have known at least two or three men whose reason was as vigorous just a moment before they died as it
ever was in their days of physical strength.
taught by universal consciousness. "It is appointed unto men once to die. and will assert
gets rid of the
strength. suggested by Nature. dwelling in this unapproach-
able light. "To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and imless.
vi." but man can.What Happens
die. one of which
means "incorruptible" and the other "deathThe word meaning "incorruptible" is to God Himself in i Tim. i. and after this God cannot die and live again.
. only hath immortality.
took upon Him the but His Deity is
This Scripture does not even intimate that wicked men will cease to exist after death. 7 are the words. 17."
"incorruption. ii. eternal life. dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.
"immortality" occur six times in the Bible. In Rom." The Deity of Jesus. and is applied so translated by the revisers. and refers to the Lord
Jesus. They are two words in the Greek.
means " deathlessness " 16.
The word which
humanity which could
deathlessness. The immortality of the soul. is finally established The words "immortal" and by revelation. the judgment." which we are
diligently. and confirmed by observation. cannot die."
but eternal life is not eternal existence. it simply recognises
speak unscripturally and knows no annihilachanges of form and Death does not bring about anniis
hilation of the body." "die.
will exist after death. but he until
this side of the
and in and they
exists. To say that the words "perish.What Happens
immortality and intimated in these Scripclearly tures. Man continued to exist after he had sinned.
Corpses sins on
a present possession." "destruction"
several days away beneath the
after death. Immortality means everlasting existence. Dead things exist. I can imagine a piece of steel existing a million years.
. tion ." Write the little word HATH in capital letters.
the gift of
Immortality was imthrough Jesus when God created man in His own image. which is separation from God. for eternal life
in the present tense. but it did not bring non-existence. but after the million years have passed it will be as dead as it is now.
Sin brought death. parted
Christ. does not begin really he has accepted Christ.
Son hath everlasting life.
memory and imagination continue to exist after the death of the body.
reasons. shows that imagination still exists.
said to him. and settles the question once for all. "Son. and from the glory of His power."
In the parable of the rich
man and Lazarus
xvi. The rich man in Hades
"therefore". Who is the source of the death of the soul in time and eternity. i.
from the dead and
brethren into repentance." And his request that Lazarus shall be sent back to
Separation from God. Hence we are told in 2 Thess. 9 that the wicked "shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord. memory and imagination of the wicked continue to exist after death is final. This testimony of Jesus that the reason.
men like himself. but it should not be supposed that these
changes and developments have stopped.THE MISBELIEFS OF RELIGION
particle of evidence to die.
Small changes in body and brain. has been developed into his present condition by natural selection and the survival of the fittest for the environment in which he finds himself. stand that the man who thought the most of his life. Important changes are now taking place in the he is developing his thinking brain of man and as time goes on he will waste less powers. and had the greatest dread of death. have produced the man of to-day. like all other animals and plants.
. would be the one who stood
the best chance of surviving and of propagating his species that is. M.E..
. going on for vast periods of time. in the sense that
preachers would have us believe. especially in the early ages.E.
making peace with the unseen phantoms of the It certainly is not difficult for us to underair.
and stopped the growth of the human mind for more than a thousand years. became intensified He could not bear the idea as time went on. but it was eventually overcome in a very thorough and effective manner. This drastic treatment put a check upon thinking. He was quite ready to deal out everlasting life and happiness in another world after death for a consideration.
"The wish was
In human affairs. This was a serious trouble. until an
the father of the thought. a remedy is sure to be forthcoming. other doctors of religion modified and elaborated their doctrines. As ages passed. It was a splendid business
. The priests killed off the unbelievers. and his horror of death.
was the end of
all. and in this case the quack doctor of religion appeared on the scene.What Happens
generally by burning them alive.
Religion was booming from the fourth to the eighteenth century."
extremely complicated and contradictory system was evolved a religion so extremely ridiculous and impossible that it required a lot of faith to
it. and at the same time to consign those who refused to take his medicine and pay for it to everlasting torments of the most excruciating description in a fire and brimstone hell.
result was that thinking men of could not accept the foolish and
absurd dogmas of the priests. wherever a great want manifests itself.
Asia Minor. the worst and the wickedest institution that ever afflicted a suffering world. and did not have to deliver the goods. The invention of Purgatory and the sale of indulgences brought immense sums into the
Church. and this gave the human mind a chance to develop and get rid of some
most bothersome superstitions. than all the other religions that the world has ever known. I have an article on this subject which com-
pares Christianity with the older religions of the world. and Northern Africa on account of reThis dreadful period of our history is ligion. the priests quarrelled among themselves.
Fortunately for man.
Nothing could be farther from the truth than
this ridiculous statement. and would have us believe that it is more worthy to endure. because it teaches lovingkindness. lived lives of luxury. and new means to get more money out of the faithful. The result was that the pro-
us that between the fourth and eighteenth century more than a thousand millions
mankind lost their lives in Europe.
Christianity has been. without doubt. It has destroyed vastly more lives.
. The priests were well paid.
referred to as the
Dark Ages. an ideal business. and caused infinitely
more human suffering.What Happens
and we." She said to me that one would have supposed that so learned a man with such a reputation would have been able to answer this simple question. or the spiritual part is concerned. it is not eternal in the
that matter is. is only a condition of matter . All the matter that goes to make up our bodies. I told her
of us after
ecclesiastical fledgeling or Salvacaptain would have been able to give
her a definite reply at once. like all other matter. this. are able to transmit it to our children so we live
. As far as the soul. the mind. It has been transmitted to us by our parents. is eternal it has
. was also one of the guests. and will always exist.What Happens
of dining with
Andrew Hindu philosopher.
. the learned
His reply was simple and to the point " Madam. I do not know. A lady who was present asked him the question
Paris some years ago I had the one of the partners of Mr. Remove all matter from the universe and we should have only an infinitely cold and an infinitely dark
vacuum. I have never been dead. Viva Kananda. like electricity. but had the learned Hindu done the same she might have turned on
him and asked
do you know
proclaim myself the Pope of my own reThis is a material world in which we ligion. Carnegie.
again in our descendants. live. on our part.
unfortunates of the race who fail to pass on to the next generation are for ever
real existence. neither will they descend into a
simply because this ingenious invention of the priests. with them death indeed ends all. They will not live again in the minds or souls of de-
scendants. has no
hell. which has enabled the priests to live off the stupidly pious.
NOT THE END
ROBERT ANDERSON. And those grand men.B.. be assured. the great pagan philosopher. 2.
"THE nearer I approach death I seem to gain a glimpse of the shore and to be.
K. or lose
being. inferred from own conduct that it was
the great philosophers of ancient paganism.
some of the contributions to this symposium compare very unfavourably with the thoughts and words of classic paganism ? There are only two books from which we can learn anything respecting the future and the unseenNature and Revelation.C. B. And he went on to quote the following words of Cyrus the Elder on his death-bed " Do not suppose."
was the reverie of Cicero. for not even remained with you did you see soul.D. at last. my dearest
sons.000 years ago."
nowhere. attained to all that in this sphere Nature can
.A. about to Such sail into harbour after a long voyage. even though you will continue not to see it.. that its exthe same.
But is this the limit of our knowledge in Christian England? If all who are afflicted with blindness agreed to deny the existence of the sun. But what concerns us here is
. "John Stuart Mill observed that mankind cannot be too often reminded that there was once a man of the name of Socrates.
Beginning with the Latin Fathers.
an end of controversy on every subject which within it. the greatest of living rationalists and they represent the sort of teaching that is common nowadays in many a qiiasi-Christian But how different the faith of the pulpit. we are not left to grope in darkness for a solution of the
question." These words are quoted from Dr. And this being so.What Happens
manner in which the revelation is accredited. ! . should we consent to treat its existence as an open question ? And the denials of agnostics and infidels cannot be allowed to discredit our belief in the Bible as Nor can we forget the a Divine revelation. theologians have claimed to anticipate "the judgment " of the great Assize respecting the eternal destiny both of individuals and of races and classes of men. Christian "We know that the Son of God is come " and the inspired record of His teaching
. Still more important is it to remind mankind again and again that a man of the name of Jesus Christ once
stood in their midst. Harnack.
therefore. hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.
the teaching. but into a new condition of existence. not of theology. "God Who in times past spake unto the fathers by the prophets. a condition of conscious righteous pass happiness. For
answer given to
that now." This is no mere conjecture. is accredited by Him Who is both the Saviour and the Judge.What Happens
solve academic questions. "What happens to us when we die?" and the
At death the explicit. Who is righteous. and who unrighteous? That is not the question now before us. and Who declared expressly that all His teaching was Divine. The answer to our problem. and a discussion of it would be deemed unsuitable in the pages of this little book.
. but of the Son of God. Within that category falls the question. And while the Bible is not designed to
clear in respect of all that we are concerned to know." And He has drawn aside the veil which screened from human sight the world into which we pass at death. and the unrighteous of conscious misery. But the fact that at death men do not pass out of existence. "We know that the Son of God has come. And it is not the "inter" mediate state only that He has unveiled. is no matter of mere opinion or of guesswork.
but as to As I have seen the others it is strangely silent.What Happens
voice. and shall come forth. there is life for all who hear He adds. prisoners on their discharge from jail resuming the wretched garments they wore upon arrest. Scripture tells us something about the bodies in which the just will pass to glory. any one who rejects them declares himself an infidel. but
what Christianity plainly the subject of this symposium. I have sometimes wondered whether the unjust will be reclothed in bodies akin to those in which
Death is gives to the question here at issue. not the end of human existence. is not to indulge in idle speculations of any kind.
a new phase. "Marvel not at this for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice. world. however.
only temporary. My purpose here. moreover. but with basic truths plainly the Lord Himself. And this being so. they that have done good.
resurrection of judgment.." Now here we are not dealing with theological doctrines of a kind that are a matter of contro-
revealed by versy. but a crisis
which existence continues
that phase. and they that have done evil. unto the resurrection of unto the life.
of which no one would desire to speak with doubt. Whence came the belief that fire will be the punishment of those who.
word. recent days. can have left behind no grain capable of destruction ? Consider the style of writing of those who may have promulgated such doctrines. perhaps more than what we believe. being dead.
Let us regard this point. presuming that we are fully prepared to base our belief on the statements of the Bible. nay. is far easier. and also whence they deduced them.
however. however. since it creates extreme difficulties. what we hope. We may say.
impossible. being dead for myriads of years. Recent years. are calculated to shake the belief of those who are most desirous to believe.NO ONE GOMES BACK TO TELL
to the question
state. that our universal belief the belief to hold is the old assertion that those who have done well shall have "everlasting life." and that those who have done evil shall go into
everlasting fire. can feel nothing." The last two words. have proved to us by discoveries made that human beings lived
period. may to them the most awful of the two calamities.. Yet on this point. viz. of those who have been our friends.
of both have appeared through early legends. the everlasting life in which we shall all share if we are of those who have done well..
at the time the
world was undergoing strange changes. try to
the veriest atheist
would believe and
. viz. want absolute proof. yet all of
us aspire to learn something. tangible signs of what will happen when we have left this world. and depicts happiness such as we ourselves imagine Heaven to be. almost animal minds the most appalling horror that could fall on them ? Might
and others. but no one comes back to tell us. is ever vouchsafed. one token that shall make things clear to us. It does so to the most devout of us. No visitation of those we have loved dearly. Those human beings may have heard
as we speak of it. so would not fire have seemed to their crude." to the Eastern
mind. "everlasting life. there was the glacial period. on which the most saintly as well as the most evil are still embarrassed. to receive one word. would depict it does so to this day calm and placid joys."
the other hand. uninstructed.
no information is forthcoming. "everlasting have struck them as the most terrible punishment that could befall the guilty? On
the former would at once reform and indulge no more in
are inclined to sin
and deriding a future life as that of a monk's or an old wife's tale.
There would be no sinners on
knew what their deserts would be. The latter merit that knowledge because even the good would desire to be sure. But no one comes back to tell us.What Happens
clear. and so.
sure. if they who now lead good and pure lives could know that their reward was certain. there lingers ever with us
we have no actual knowledge what happens to us when we die. be we either good or
I believe that this is a conclusion from which there can be no reasonable appeal. The Bible. which we accept as our great spiritual authority.
The Old Testament has many
students. and certainly
in the case of
of the 73
. I believe you will
find that the doctrine of a future life is presented in the very first book of the Bible. As a matter of fact.THE BIBLICAL VIEW
By Rev. and it seems to me that the whole appeal of Christianity must lose its reality unless founded upon the doctrine
of a second
T. and that they both emphatically declared that immortality was the fundamental matter in Christianity. though some doubting readers of today do not choose to admit their presence.
There is a story told of Lord Tennyson that he was discussing with Bishop Lightfoot one day the question of Christianity.
(President of the
the pre-supposition of the Christian religion that we shall live again.
pervaded with the doctrine of immortality. however.
Paul it is brought
to light in the Gospel. you have an indisputable demonstration of the fact that we shall live again. You
the chief evidence of the
and the Resurrection
better attested than almost
any other fact of history.What Happens
it was a conviction that had almost the sureness which might mark the Christian believer. in the remarkable words of St. again. one can honestly or with any show of reason
or accuracy declare that no one ever came back. Such is the verdict of scholars and historical students who have very Never becarefully weighed all the evidence. the resurrection of our Lord
. Then. so did all the
come back from
sometimes hear people say that no one has ever the world beyond to bear witness*
to its existence.
Jesus Christ distinctly taught the shall live again. I put the resurrection of 74
. fore was there such good reason for accepting
the resurrection of Christ as an historical fact
to-day. for He came back.
that Christ rose again from the dead. when we come to the New Testament.
Passage after passage might be cited Testament books which clearly in-
dicate this. but that suggestion is absolutely refuted by the resurrection of our Lord.
see in human nature. and.
if it is
bears an irresistible
them. that we shall
science. as St. has argued
very powerfully that Nature abounds in hints and suggestions of the future life. but
not stifled or seared message of a future life. as it seems to
live again consists in our perhaps. Conscience distinctly preaches. that there is another world. Conscience is constantly appealing to us on this point. startling illustrations which no thoughtful person can wonderful hints of life under new conreject ditions in another state.What Happens
Jesus Christ as the foundation evidence of the fact that we shall live again.
people will only speaks within that they must be abso-
to believe that
. in the nature of animals and in the vegetable world. People often stifle their con-
me. Paul put it. next to the resurrection of our Lord." a work the main points of which never can be overthrown. Bishop Butler. Then Nature appears to me to confirm that suggestion of a future life. the ministry of conscience in every human being is the strongest indication of a life to come. in his great "Analogy. to those who will listen.
again. they "sear" their conscience so that it loses its power. Then another great evidence.
The wonderful faculty which dwells in every human being is in truth a great prophet of the
beyond. Another very striking suggestion that we shall live again is to be found in the all but
Among all universality of that conviction. No one ever taught more beautifully or more impressively than Tennyson did
the doctrine of immortality points to moral and noble in human character.
immortality has been one of the 76
. "Take the charm 'for ever' from them.
and they crumble
I believe Tennyinto dust.
one of his poems of the and he says something like qualities. but it none the less exists How can we account
for the universal prevalence of the idea and its continual prevalence except by the supposition
an instinct implanted by our Maker
Another important consideration which has a very strong influence upon my own mind is the fact that a belief in immortality has always had such an ennobling influence wherever it has been accepted." Wherever son's doctrine to be entirely true the doctrine of a future life is received it is a check upon sin there can be no doubt that the
heathen peoples the
belief often assumes very grotesque forms. nations and in all times there has been a belief
Tennyson. Gladstone. The argument in favour of a belief in immortality based on the
qualities of those who me to be an
have held such a belief argument which is unall
assailable. On the other hand. wherever the doctrine is disbelieved you lose one of the greatest forces
for all that
Finally. think of the influence the belief in a future life has had on some of the master minds of modern times.What Happens
most powerful influences in leading men to accept the Saviour and to lead good lives. at
. These men were enthusiasts for that doctrine. Lord Salisbury.
not unassailable. Think of the fact that it was an intense reality to such men as Mr.
moral and spiritually good. Robert Browning. invincible. Bishop Westcott. that all the very noblest personalities have retained this doctrine most definitely. to go back to the earlier ages. another consideration which
that the very noblest ously impresses me and spirits in history have held the intelligences doctrine. or. I think without exception. and that a great deal of their nobleness
be attributed to their having held it. and if we look into the history of humanity we
more or less obscured in ordinary days.
IN these days of widespread bereavement. We can be
religious without being unscientific.THE HOPE OF IMMORTALITY-IS
of its votaries. it is natural that the question of Immortality should come very much to the front in many minds.
we can be
. The world-old query. shall he live again ? itself Religion has always said "Yes". in the "
the state of affairs
nearer approach to agreement? Can we reach any firmer ground in this momentous matter?
say that undoubtedly we can for a summingup of Science and Philosophy at the present day is vastly more favourable to the religious view than ever before. insistently presents " " If a man die.
. and the average no longer pulled two ways. and the thoughts of even those who have lost no dear ones are turned to the graver things of life. Science is now deI
. Science or
" and the general mind has sometimes said No has naturally been perplexed. Indeed.
on the side of Religion.
as at death or soon wards. It "goes up " the material world.
. the current does not flow.
simply withdraws when the body ceases to be usable for manifestation. if the material instrument gets damaged as in apoplexy by a blood-clot on the brain the mind's manifestation is interfered with the mechanism is out of order. very largely. The body is no longer looked on as producing the mind as the liver produces bile in the materialist's famous and foolish phrase but as transmitting it. not an extinction the mind is there all the same. it makes no difference to the spirit.
a result. but is in no way dependent on it for existence. Naturally. But it is only a block. The body is merely the vehicle or organ for the mind's manifestation in the present world.What Happens
without being irreligious. The mind works through the body. which is a
similar. as it is equally really in sleep. cessation of manifestation. And if the organ is
smashed completely. the best scientific minds now take an entirely different view of the soul from that of the earlier scientists
such as Biichner and Hackel. of investigations
and general advance
psychology during the last thirty years. though in this case quite healthy. where it had quits higher lessons to learn but which has now served its
in the spiritual world
not forgetting loved ones left behind. mark you
result of his
by the most famous scientific England. namely. for there is good reason to believe. and not long before his lamented death. Balfour. Sir William Barrett.
"Human Immortality.D. and
that they exert themselves to comfort the sorrowing and burdened soul. Professor Bergson.. A. whether of France or the world. Balfour. on purely scientific " grounds. Schiller. on
and as a
grounds. President of the Royal Society. J." view
body was held by the greatest psychologist of modern times Professor William James. that they often are still with us and aware of our thoughts and needs.What Happens
of a wider range. in his brilliant little book
relation to the
series. Sir Oliver Lodge. leader of the Pragmatists in England all these are names taken at random
. F. S. the foremost scientist in Ireland. of Harvard who expounded it only a few years ago. the greatest living
philosopher. Mr. Mr. that the "dead can still interest themselves in our affairs." in the And it is held. names might easily be added Sir William Crookes.
"transmissive. M. C. W. G. who is at the same time prob-
ably the best-known scientist in the whole world Other great to-day.
or something like this. as individuals. for it is a commonplace of our experience that perfect happiness is most nearly attained by sacrifice of the self.
such as some mystics have attained even while on earth. seems a reasonable supposition. while survival of bodily death It does not necessarily involve endlessness.
Another cheering thing about modern psychology is its new view of the structure. by giving up our own wants and surrendering ourselves to God. when the spirit
is purged and sufficiently worthy.
mortality. will precede that beatific culmination. But it is likely that
stages of progress. achieving a more intimate union with the Divine.What Happens
from the large array of the foremost thinkers of our time who accept a doctrine of the soul which
permits or definitely involves its independence of the body and its consequent survival of that body's death. and perhaps. so to
. This. further question
Strictly. as to here arises. "In His will is our peace." as Dante has it. it may really and truly enter into the joy of its Lord and be with Him in closest union. be that after much growth and advance may as individuals in the heavenly world."
usually understood to mean endless life as individuals. we sooner
or later drop the limits and fetters of personality.
but. or even the lengthy duration of our present self after death. this twelfth." are like icebergs in Sir Oliver Lodge's simile which float with only one-twelfth of their bulk
above water. there will be a gain.
gusted with ourselves at times. As Wordsworth says: "We are greater than we know. which is yet to come in its due course
. in our failure to live anywhere near up to the level of our own conceptions and ideals. and when we think of the survival. We do not yet know what we shall be not exactly or by experience. a growth. It has established that our present self is only a fraction of our total self. an accretion. as identity continues between the ignorant child and the mature wise man he develops into. for we shall be different from and larger than ourselves as known to us now. more or less.' But psychology here steps in to the rescue. representing our present consciousness. Shall we not get very sick of ourselves shall we not weary of the eternal struggle against our baser part? As the boy " It makes me so tired said. we feel a certain shrinking. quoted by Emerson when I think of for ever. and we shall be changed. or immortality. So we need not indulge exaggerated fears about the tedium or stress of our own society in the heavenly world. as in the parallel. Identity will continue. of
St.e. It was
probably knowledge of this greater range of the real total personality that led to the phrase (quoted approvingly by Christ. you are greater and more divine than you yourselves know (Psalm
John's Gospel x. or have doubts. particularly if it has " been long ? The answer is that we shall know them. it is because we are thinkIxxxii.
. but puzzling to
many) "Ye are gods" i. perfectly.
ing how bodily changes make us unrecognisable sometimes. But in the heavenly world recognition will not depend on material bodies we shall put on spiritual bodies. to friends of thirty or forty years ago. 6. if we think otherwise. as St. And with this scientifically justified inference we can look forward with
contentment to the introduction to our wider self which awaits us at the time of transition. 34).What Happens
but we know enough to infer that our transcendental self is really a much greater thing than the small and often very unsatisfactory self which is now being manifested here through the channel of the body. and shall be known. in our earth life. and shall perceive each other's minds and souls much more
. or shall we not ourselves have changed out of recognition in the interim. " Shall we know our sometimes asked friends when our turn comes to join them on the other side will they not have changed. Paul says.
our respective environments having been so different. minds change less than
not. for it seemed that we must inevitably have diverged as to our individual interests in life. and in half an hour we felt as close as of old. and this feeling of
have just had a striking illustration of this. But when the meeting came all was well. dearest chum of twenty years ago has just My revisited the Old Country after long sojourn in his adopted country Canada. The
bodies. but evidently the fact of our ancient congeniality had ensured that any further growth of the one would be of a kind which would interest and attract the other.
We meet old friends. would be painful. and at once the
long separation. and I almost feared to meet him. the same personality that I had known. True. we clearly than ever before shall not only know each other but shall know
much better than we did in the earth when clogged by the material body through which we saw only dimly. My friend was the same good old fellow. Pacific Coast. after the old times of affection and
sympathy. each had developed on different lines. each had much to tell the other. Little correspondence had passed between us after the first year or two.What Happens
in other words.
It is better on before. Indeed it
nay. So with after-death need not fear that we shall recognitions." Therefore in these world-shaking times let us hold to cheerfulness and faith. a discipline.
knowledge or ex-
perience is but a garment.What Happens
the thing. who is Love itself.
tell us. "that they without us should not be made perfect. when we shall have awakened to the wider horizons that
to the fuller life
companionship porarily lost. and to the closer union with God. dear ones. God is over all the present life is but a dream. but the mutual recognition of the selves be full and intimate and happy. or that they will have not know our
us hopelessly behind. to the we have loved and tem-
an education. it will be that we shall be in necessary to their joy.
there will be
They will have much much comparing of
in the statement
that nothing happens to us.THE THEOSOPHIG VIEW
By Mrs. in the opinion of all who have carefully studied
places the fact of revival beyond dispute. under trance conditions or otherwise. there remains an irreducible minimum of evidence.
answers agree as to the
vival of the individual after the death of the
body. The evidence. and materialistic.
obtained through the class of
known as "mediums/' and
most varied kinds writing.
ANSWERS to this question have been sought for by man along various roads. speaking. every possible deduction has been made for fraud. and a mass of evidence is proffered. The religious answers
. hallucination. which. as is
known. and the answers may be classified as religious. because we cease to exist when the body dies. spiritualistic.
which is sufficient to prove that the man survives on the other side of death. but all unite in the belief that continue to live beyond death.
from which are drawn the materials forming our physical
The answers given by theosophists depend on investigations carried on by means of the exercise of super-normal senses. feeling. These are the physical world. from which are drawn the materials forming the astral body.
The man himself. sometimes born with the person using them. differing from each other by the fundamental types of their atoms. the conscious being. in which the normal evolution of man is going on. This matter exists in our worlds in five main states. generally called the astral world. For our purpose we may ignore the two higher worlds. The theory as to these senses is easily stated. the spiritual intelligence. from which are drawn the materials forming the mental body. desires. the seat of
working from the
. and action in relation to the worlds in which he lives and moves. the seat of
and emotions. and consider only the three lower. the heavenly. Man is a spiritual intelligence clothed in matter. the intermediate world. and in his normal everyday consciousness he is
active in these three worlds. the aggregations of which form the materials of which each world
composed. or mental world. uses these bodies of his for thinking. sometimes developed by deliberate effort.
they have accumulated a
number of facts which show that when the senses are deadened and the brain is inactive.
desiring. and can manifest itself through the medium of the astral and mental bodies In "waking in the astral and mental worlds. of trance-conditions. through which the forces of thought or of desire are able to manifest themselves in the
physical world." and by
the study of dreams. but all the time. acting. and from the astral world through the sympathetic system. consciousness" the activity is shown through
the physical body.
is active when the body and psychologists recognise and have investigated the "dream-consciousness.
greater part of man's consciousness. but that part shows the threefold characteristics of the whole thinking. hypnotic and mesmeric. These powers are
. according to this view. the mechanism. the physical body being the apparatus. As Sir Oliver
Lodge has pointed out. the consciousness manifests certain powers more extensive than it can show during the use of its ordinary physical apparatus.What Happens
mental world through the cerebro-spinal system in the physical body. only man's consciousness works in the physical body.
sleeps. is outside man's
" in which consciousness performs functions actively when the body
worlds. In certain conditions of very deep trance the consciousness is almost withdrawn from the astral as well as from the physical body. the matter of the "intermediate world. the and mental bodies have also their organs of perception. and mental bodies organs of perception. taste. observation of and heavenly worlds
According to theosophical teachings.
The senses of sight.
etc. bringing the worlds from which their materials are drawn into relation with
manifested by the consciousness through the dense medium of astral matter. and
then it works in still rarer regions. astral.
in other words. touch are such. the consciousness
which works in the waking body is largely withdrawn from the body when it sleeps.
smell. and consciousness is less impeded in the exercise of its powers when it is working outside the dense and comparatively sluggish matter of the
of the astral
physical. and we have the visions of saints. bringing the external world into relation with human consciousness. of great seers like Swedenborg. by which consciousness perceives the corresponding external
after death. persist for the functioning of consciousness in the astral or intermediate
. The conditions of the world in which our consciousness works when outside the physical
whether leaving that body in sleep or are as various as those of the physical world. and to seek gratification rather in the class of desires which pertain to emotions than in those which
to appetites. death hence.
. It is on observation carried on
these that theosophists depend for their knowAn increasing ledge of after-death states.
certain broad facts emerge.What Happens
in the course
possible for all those
of their evolution.
and same man as he was before
if his desires were such as need a physical body for their satisfaction. which only gradually disappear by a process of slow starva-
the application of this knowledge to conduct leads a man to lessen such desires. and the observations of students must vary according to the regions they investigate. ^Esthetic emotions. the pursuit of knowledge. number of students are able to carry on such
observations. he suffers keenly from unsatisfied cravings. whether normally or by any quickening process.
the records of these are accu-
mulating. in his desires
emotions. brought into functional
activity these perceptive organs.
do the right or
as the imfrom the
wrong. he implants in the new materials
when he puts
he gathers round him only the results of past experiences as faculties. by the wiretelegraphy of thought and emotion.
the experiences of these results are and recorded in memory.
tablets of the spirit's memory. and when all these are thus changed the result passes on into the spiritual consciousness of the man himself.
activity. "conscience" in a subsequent
the consciousness on the and appear as
life. The memories reside in the spiritual consciousness.What Happens
world. as the results of the physical earthlife. and transmutes into faculty all mental and emotional experiences of a pure and useful nature. Many an experience of happiness and of suffering.
passes on into the heavenly world. not in the part
mind. The work of the consciousness in the heaven-world is this assimilation and transmutation of experiences. and help can be sent thence. who
the experiences. not the facts of the experiences as memories. to those who are still labouring in the physical world. but
forth a part of his consciousness to gather new food of experience in the again lower worlds.
the glad companionships which irradiate im-
beauty and with happiness. on the other side of death the building of conscience and of faculty out of the experiences gathered during physical life. and we
pass out of weakness into strength. our own hands. is the Inner Ruler Immortal we create our future by our present.
the loves which pass unbroken through death.
return to a
earth-life. is Man.What Happens
Our work. for the Spirit. on the joys of the larger life. out of ignorance into knowledge. I have not touched here." By this process is evolution carried on.
Edward Carpenter progress. wrote truly "Every pain that I suffered in one body was a power which I wielded in the next. then. a
. and for him who lives nobly Death is but the entrance into a larger consciousness.
fuller life. in this dry record of observed facts. for we live in a world of law.
CAN CONVERSE BE HELD WITH THE SPIRITS OF FRIENDS?
and speculation. but they endeavour to give us some sort of notion of the life led by the spirit when it has thrown off the encumbrance of the
flesh. there is overwhelming evidence that Shakespeare was wrong when he put in the mouth of Hamlet the dogmatic assertion that
The evidence comes in the most convincing form through the phenomena of what is called
IF Shakespeare was right when he spoke of the next world as "That undiscovered country f rom whose bourne no traveller returns." then it
would be impossible to answer the momentous question. we should be thrown back upon mere
knowledge. "What happens to us when we die?" We should be cut off from both sources of
should neither know of our nor from the experience of others. Not only point do the dead return.
increasing body expert investigators who to a quite opposite conclusion. Fortunately.
In some as yet unexplained way the bodies of
those possessing this extraordinary faculty may be utilised by spirits who wish to communicate with those who are still in the flesh. suffice to say that those who have had the largest experience of these amazing phenomena remained convinced that they have held conloses
verse with the spirits of friends and relatives long since consigned to the grave. what would be the
whom you knew
you were and
would rise to your lips? Are you happy ? Naturally you would ask Do you suffer pain.
you were quite
talking to the spirit of one loved on the earth. and do the old loves and
. is more or body. As the name suggests. The
passes into a temporary oblivion the with its nervous organisation. The nature of the evidence. and the reasons for believing that the communications received in this way do actually come from the spirits of the deceased persons who claim to control It must the medium. cannot be detailed here. or are you free from the
Do you remember your old earth life? you a body. less successfully controlled by the spirit operator.What Happens
trance-mediumship. a "medium " is one whose organism may be used as a bridge between this world and the next.
and we can never get a clear idea of what their world may be like.
If we try to picture to ourselves the existence that awaits each one of us on the death of the
that other world
body. they have no language with which to express their thoughts. explana-
In the first place.What Happens
of the flesh
in in ?
do world are you
What do you
sort of a
How do you pass your time ? These are some of the inevitable questions that would rush into your mind once you had realised that you were enjoying the awful privilege of converse with one who was dead. It is as though an explorer were attempting to describe a new
country in which everything is so different from the old world that no comparisons are possible. it is naturally impossible obtain any proper conception of a supersensible world in terms of the sensible. we are chilled by the thought that life in must be shadowy and unsub97
. The silence of the grave once broken you would be rilled with an invincible desire to know the nature of the fate that awaits all mankind. When spirits undertake to explain to us the nature of the next life. and if the answers are not always in that definite form
which the questioner so eagerly
tions are not far to seek.
It is scarcely necessary to say that such questions have been asked again and again.
desires. and what goes on there.
the formerly visible things invisible. We imagine
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
ever they pressed it
and are as much alive as on earth. spirit body is as actual and real to the spirit.
What Happens stantial.
are as palpable to
passed from one plane
another. no instantaneous conversion of erring. sinful men and women into
angels of light. and its environments
change in the personality brought about the shedding of the physical body." says one communicator. As one spirit exin
it was like waking room when on a holiday. The spirit commences its new no life in another world just as it left off here
. The old by
memories. it is affirmed. and they soon that they are in a real world
a strange bedthere
therefore. ghosts leading cut off from the sunshine and reality of the
tangible earth. There is no sudden illumination. find the transition and the awakening on the other side more
natural than they had expected.
personality survives with all its characteristic its individual peculiarities. dream-like existence.ourselves as formless a dreary. its loves
and hates even its prejudices."
perceptions it has simply of conscious existence to invisible has become visible. "as the old earth body appeared to me. Most people.
another sphere the hopeless struggles and sufferings of those he has left behind ? If this be so. where it dropped from our nerveless hand when we were surprised by the King of Terrors. for example. To those who dragged through life the heavy load of a diseased or defective organism.What Happens
We pick up the thread better and no wiser. But the loss of the body Surely that makes
a profound difference?
One can well imagine that it is no great hardship to many who have found their fleshly tenement a prison-house of pain and suffering. the shedding of their burden of flesh can only be a subject for thankfulness and rejoicing.
. who has children unprovided for. whatever compensations may fall to the lot of the spirit. then whatever advantages an ethereal body may confer. The question is often asked : Do the spirits
dead know what
is taking place on the the father. To For if we are to believe the all it will be a gain. the condition of a vast number of sensitive souls
must be one of poignant anguish at seeing the sorrow of those they love and in being able to do nothing to assuage it.
shall find the ethereal
perfect medium of expression than the body of flesh. assurances of those who have passed through
the great experience.
Only on rare occasions can the veil separating the two
possessing the mediumistic faculty. and the upward path opens before the spirit which truly desires to walk the better way. Surely this is a higher and more inspiring gospel than the old theological dogma of an
not the uncertainty of the fate of those left behind become a source of torture to spirits separated from their loved ones by an impassable
never contended that the condiare those of undiluted bliss.
tions in spirit
a thought for the sufferings around them. The spirit must progress. however. those who have led lives of selfish indulgence. and progress is not accomplished without effort and suffering. without
Would we have
But sooner or
later all will
to the great
which bring happiness and The consciousness of imperfection and peace. will doubtless have to endure the sting of remorse
for opportunities neglected. unhappiness leads to repentance and aspiration.
of our presence than we are of loss of the five senses closes every
avenue leading to the material world. Those who have left many duties undone. that spirits are
theirs. It is true that memory still continues.What Happens After Death? We are assured.
is a doctrine in accordance with the highest
philosophical and religious truth. and is precisely the kind of revelation we should expect from a traveller returned from that "dim
towards which we
have our faces
everlasting hell of flames and torment to which It the majority of mankind will be assigned.
drawn from experience as interpreted by
reason. for ever
to us. The proof is cumulative. But I do not believe that personality depends on memory it is rather a matter of quality and temperament.
BENSON. to express
therefore believe in a subsequent
believe in a previous
it to be as indestructible as matter can conceive of no process by which or matter can either be originated or brought
out of the
Mind and Essence for reasons unknown
matter. I can here only summarise my own belief. and thus
the fact that our extend beyond one
upon an argu-
ment or discussion about it here.
not seem to no disproof of pre-
but under what
conditions I cannot say.
an end. C.A.
belief is that life is a force.
C.WE CANNOT GOME TO AN END
By A.V.. and contains a large subjective element.
like most of the Reformers who preceded them. Those seventeenth
framed the standards of the Presbyterian Churches of Great Britain and America. but it led them further. than New Testament Scripture sanctions.IS
THERE AN INTERMEDIATE
B. were led to reject entirely the idea of an intermediate state of either weal or woe into which souls pass This was natural enough as a protest at death. When Our
. and it cannot be long absent from the minds of most readers in these days of
national anxiety and war.D. Moderator of the Church of England Presbyterian
the Rev. I write from the standpoint of a Christian
believes in the supreme authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ on all such questions. and recognises the testimony of the New Testament as our only sure guide to truth through His
Holy Spirit. in my opinion.
THE subject is certainly one of solemn and perennial interest.
against the fantastic system of purgatory.
BENJAMIN BELL.. when death may be very near to our dear ones or ourselves.
like the corresponding Hebrew term Sheol. some of us have had the joy of
seeing the face of our friends light up with a glad surprise just before death. and have heard them addressing by name dear ones who have already passed behind the veil as if they saw
them. His Father's House. but which we have no right confidently to identify with Heaven. For myself I believe that Our Lord went into Hades between His death and resurrection. Paul uses the same word in his account of the man in Christ (almost certainly himself)." But
not inconsistent with the belief that they
awake again immediately into a happy conscious life."
Further. whether they are in peace or woe. "who was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words. as all readers of the Revised Version know.
Lord assured the penitent thief on the cross "This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise/' He chose a word familiar to the Hebrew teaching of His day." Our Lord and His Apostles represent the death of Christians as a "falling asleep. Peter seems to tell us. Indeed. especially as St. "to the spirits in keeping. who once were disobedient.
parable of Dives and Lazarus. the Greek word Hades. and perhaps preached His Gospel there as the passage in I. is used in the New Testament as the place of departed souls generally.
Yet we must recognise that Our Lord was wont to speak with sad severity of the future of those who refuse to believe and follow Him here and now. that such new-born
souls should pass at death into a place of training
Heaven. I have known many Christian men and women taken away suddenly from this world in their early prime.
seen what appeared to eager faith in such persons.
Occasionally one has be true penitence and
Is it not more and more according to God's methods of likely. but that does not prove that when the day of final judgment comes. I think. according pass from the one side to the other. there may not be hope for such as Dives.
and pray with
dying persons who have
neglected the call of
and earnestly ask
often called to speak to
life. and thus to
In that intermediate state
that there will be
seems probable embodiment.
selfish. dealing with us in this life. allow of intercourse. to the parable. when they had just entered or were in the very midst of highly
. the of the intermediate state. and the blessed side " Hades " where the rich man lay. for any to possible. the abode of
It is not God-forgetting man. than into Heaven itself? Again.What Happens
men and women
useful service of their fellows
singularly fitted to commend religion to others by their example and their words. Does it not help us to say " Amen " to such
mysterious withdrawals of the very choicest instruments of Christian blessing. to think that they may be needed even more elsewhere. in co-operating with their Divine Lord in the up-
holding in faith and holiness of those who passed out of this world in the early stages of
A self that encircles all. I should be terribly
bored by the
all eternity. to me. have learnt a deeper wisdom others who have spoken of the "self within the heart.
Sorrow. of a truth." And. greater than Heaven. scathless. But there are other thinkers who. bright. untouched by evil. at any satisfactory than Dr. can an immortality have for me.
mundane loves and Those who cling to
alternatives." asks Dr.THE TRIUMPH OF SELF
FLORA ANNIE STEEL. even death are
Mystical as this
rate. with all its small and great
adventures. never turns
far behind. joy. thank Heaven. greater than the earth. Max Nordau. no longer hate what I have hated.
sound. etc. what interest. joys. ambitions. he who beholds all things in
. Nordau's Personally. pure. ? What value indeed ? None to one so strictly
limited by human personality as Dr. "in which I should no longer love what I have loved. no longer remember my past life. sorrows. etc.
this self in all things. Nordau seems to be. incorporeal.
verily there is
in this life that they are but part of a great whole. As for the question of an immortal personis
inconceivable. nothing that has been can ever cease to be.
I am with them. with this difference hold humanity will disappear altogether.
forget that love
always a "grande passion.
in so far as
It is one our twofoot rule enables us to judge." and that hate
of the unthinkables of
life. But if they mean that only those things that are honest and of good repute
. however. I can hardly think that my opinion.
is futile to
one time or other of his existence. even if I had one which I have not can be of
do think. it may be worth while to inquire what it is that is supposed
to survive after death of all the
and characteristics and characters even to make up one single human organism.WHAT
so many learned divines and distinguished philosophers have written on the subject of what happens to the human personality after death. as each individual varies during his lifetime to such an extent as hardly to regreat value. and inquire also that. is that into the unknowable.
the simple.THE SIMPLEST FAITHS ARE BEST
always better than to destroy. whereas most of the scientists and all of the unbelievers do their best to demolish the Christian idea
of a Hereafter without seeking to supply substitute. to build up better than to pull down therefore. according to the scientist it is impossible that we should live again.
the complicated reasoning of the scientist and the discontented questioning of the unbeliever. except as part of the impersonal force which they call "matter.
For Christianity constructs a Hereafter. a belief is grotesquely absurd according to the
." The Christian used to believe in a life after death that should consist of becoming an ethereal creature with wings on one's shoulders and a
harp in one's hands. unquestioning faith of the Christian in a life after death must obviously be finer than
. and eternity was pictured Such very largely as an eternity of music. according to the unbeliever we do not live again.
ing to the Christians we live again .
it seems reasonable to suppose that there never was such a being as an angel. of death
not as facts at least as figures. but the celestial harp is One cannot. it is more attractive than a belief in nothingness or nothing in particular after death. but. at least.What Happens
the unbeliever. since it would have no shoulders.
Christian has virtually ceased nowadays become an angel and spend the timeless space of the everlasting in singing. and they have
ceased to preach a wonderful gospel in a simple But religion has not gained anything by its adaptation to the scientific thought of the twentieth century.
once the earth has been filled in about a grave. because it stirs our deepest emotions and creates longiii
. in any practical way. let alone play on it. but. all the same. then. It seems quite reasonable to
way. Yet music. they have tried to accommodate religion to the discoveries of men.
disembodied spirit could not possibly wear wings on its shoulders.
purpose. since it would have no hands or fingers.
practical way. in any quite a beautiful image. think of eternal music. because the rest is mystery.
suppose that we shall not become angels when we die indeed. angels serve a very useful
. but. one cannot think. A disembodied spirit could not hold a harp. The parsons have listened uneasily to the voice
to believe that he will
of science. but the wings are excellent as a symbol.
. with the names. into the belief that we understand them.
The wings and
and the music are
held nowadays to be the childish figments of childlike minds.
In the face of eternity we are as much children to-day as when the world began. have grown accustomed ^to the system that governs the universe. but only natural human
wisdom. there is no reason in it. whereas. is a perfect means of expressing the inexplicable mystery of
eternity. we have given commonplace names to things we do not understand.
them. and the ministers of the gospel have agreed to banish them from their talk of an after-life out of deference to the fact that
But humanity has. in truth.
say that the sun is so many miles from the earth. those things ought not to be banished we need
. But our vaunted knowledge of the universe is purely a superficial
that the earth revolves
axis. grown up.What Happens
ings which we cannot understand.
in space ?
and why it stays immovable are children in these matters
who have adopted an
because the sun shone through all the yesterdays we call it reasonable to expect that it will shine to-morrow. so to speak. and deceived ourselves. Do we know any more than Adam knew
Do we know why
but we cannot argue about it and prove our arguments right before we ourselves die. which. or be lacking in faith.
has never given us
any sort of human expectation. but death thereis utterly beyond the domain of reason
. why. music is suggestive of an utterly different condition of existence to the conditions of our present existence. In a literal sense they may seem absurd as heirlooms of death.
happiness. Reason is a useful thing to apply to the commonplace incidents of everyday life. finer existence than earthly life. or we can decide to leave it out of our thoughts. Wings are suggestive of a state superior to the human state harps are suggestive of happi.What Happens
expectation. then. but in a symbolic sense they stand for a higher.
can only have faith. that when we die nothing happens except the thing which is obvious to us all the decom-
it. that there is no future life for any of us. of
we cannot reason about
scornfully away. So far as death is concerned. its meaning. concerning can speculate concerning what it conceals. we are still children. as some would have us
believe. should we not cling to them ? It may be true. No. and therefore we should do better to cling to childish symbols than to throw them
for all who strive to deserve it. Let us not deceive ourselves. but
annihilation the world
that the majority
do wrong. soberly. and
debauchery. at least. giving us no way they other faith in its stead and there would be nothing left to live for. murder. And
vastly less satisfactory. it is no more "reasonable" to think that death means
nothingness than to think that death means a spiritual world of infinite grandeur.
incentive to live well.
everyone believed that death meant utter would promptly become It is all very a place of unspeakable horror. It is the simple faith
of the bulk of
of infinite possibilities that prevents the world from becoming a hell of madness. The doctrine that are dead we are dead for all time is
not a doctrine that helps. But just as it is imIf
for the simple reason that it is so very much easier to do wrong than to do right. it is one that discourages goodness. encourages lawlessness it is one that favours a pitiful state of existence in this world because it denudes us of
. infinite happiness.
and the unbelievers had their would destroy this faith. but.What Happens
position of our bodies. well to argue that many people would live honestly. on the contrary. and decently. that they would do right for the mere sake of doing right.
rational being to disbelieve in impossible for any sensible being
to disbelieve in a Hereafter.
There could not be a world without a God, let alone a million worlds, and there could not be death without
a future state. Do you suppose that God would have put the craving the need for a future life in our souls if there were, in fact, no future
for us ? "
But, the reasoning can there be a future
how we know
The only necessary answer another question How could we be content with this life if we knew that it were temporarily withholding us from a far more perdo not know exactly what happens fect life ? to us when we die, because it is not good for us to know but in every human soul has been implanted a yearning for something after death for a light beyond the veil of darkness and that yearning is so strong, so universal, that it must necessarily make even the most matter-of-fact
pause at times, though it were to confess such a thing to his
belief that death is the
as impossible as a belief that there is no God. The atheist declares that there is no God, but
the real truth is that there are
fessed Christians, but there is no genuine atheist. There is no man or woman on the face of the
does not believe in the existence of
an omnipotent God. Atheism is nothing more than a wanton, impotent bravado. It is a sheer impossibility for anyone to live and disbelieve in an Almighty, no matter what name you may bestow upon Him. And so we come back to the wings and the
harps and the music, for these are the symbols and simple faith is best. Christianity may be assailed, but it has endured
of simple faith,
and spread these nineteen hundred years. The Bible may be full of faults and contradictions, but it has been the biggest power in the world
The man who
happier than the man who does not believe in God, or Christ, or the Bible, is more than sufficient justification for all who are prepared to accept mysteries as mysteries and not as myths. are children, and as children we must the big but hidden truths of life and accept
able to produce of his beliefs satisfactory to infidels, but the fact that he
in the Bible, but little evidence in
death, believing of them what it is best for us to believe. The Christian religion teaches that
but a dark passageway to a brighter There could not be a more attractive
feel inclined to
teaching than that why, then, should any of us turn from it to gloomier teachings ? Because reason urges us ? Decidedly not, for what, after all, is reason
but the working of a mind in a sensible way when dealing with known things or things arising out of known circumstances; and how can it proceed in a sensible way from known Why, not even things to unknown things ? death itself appears to be reasonable. Some of our cleverest men are cut off at the moment of their existence when they would be of the If reason greatest possible profit to the world. cannot explain why this should happen, how can reason explain what does or does not happen to these men after they have been cut off ? The simplest faiths are best, not merely because they are simple, but because they are
comforting and ennobling.
lack of faith hinders.
help, whereas better, surely, to die than to die in despair.
arguments in favour must be the symbols of the wings and the harps and the music, since they serve to uplift mankind rather than to crush mankind down.
of nothingness after death
far better than all the
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