Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Beyond the grave! As the vision rises how this side dwindles into nothing — a speck — a moment — and its glory and pomp shrink into the trinkets and baubles that amuse an infant for a day. Only those things, in the glory of this light, which lay hold of immortality, seem to have any value.
The last decisive energy of a rational courage which confides in the Supreme Power, is very sublime. It makes a man who intrepidly dares every thing that can. oppose or attack him within the sphere of mortality — who will press toward his object while death is impending over him — who would retain his purpose unshaken amidst the ruins of the world.
As a man exhibits himself in physical forms and actions, so there is one other Spirit, a great, wide, mighty, infinite, eternal Spirit back there in the depths of space, and in the present, and in the future, and in the abysses of space, who at His will wrestles into existence great globes, and keeps them in their position. He builds them, and places on them these mysterious forms of earth which are signals hung out over these abysses to tell coming spirits who He is, what He is, what He does, how high is His throne, and how vast is His power from eternity to eternity, from infinity to infinity through all ages of all time; He is holding forth to men and angels these external tokens of His almighty power, of His infinite skill, and of His everlasting love.
For ages the world has been waiting and watching; millions, with broken hearts, have hovered around the yawning abyss; but no echo has come back from the engulfing gloom —silence, oblivion, covers all. If indeed they survive; if they went away whole and victorious, they give us no signals. We wait for years, but no messages come from the far-away shore to which they have gone.
No wearisome days, no sorrowful nights; no hunger or thirst; no anxiety or fears; no envies, no jealousies, no breaches of friendship, no sad separations, no distrusts or forebodings, no self-reproaches, no enmities, no bitter regrets, no tears, no heartaches; "And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away."
What we sow here, we reap there! Can it be supposed that the soul will enjoy a reward or endure a retribution for deeds of which it has no recollection? Is the thing possible? Will it enjoy the bliss of heaven, praising Christ forever as its great Saviour, without any remembrance of the sins and sufferings from which He redeemed and saved it? The idea is absurd.
Death must obliterate all memories and affections and ideas and laws, or the awakening in the next world will be amid the welcomes, and loves and raptures of those who left us with tearful farewells, and with dying promises that they would wait to welcomes us when we should arrive. And so they do. Not sorrowfully, not anxiously, but lovingly, they wait to bid us welcome.
Blessed loves! how happy they have made us on the earth; what will they be when they have deepened through ages, with no alloy of envy or suspicion or selfishness or sorrow?
They are kings and priests unto God. They wear crowns that flash in the everlasting light. They wear robes that are spotlessly white. They wave victorious palms. They sing anthems of such exceeding sweetness as no earthly choirs ever approach. They stand before the throne. They fly on ministries of love. They muse on the top of Mount Zion. They meditate on the banks of the river of life. They are rapturous with ecstasies of love. God wipes away all tears from their eyes.
As we look up into these glorious culminations, how grand life becomes! To be forever with the Lord, and forever changing into His likeness, and, still more, forever deepening in the companionship of His thought and bliss, "from glory to glory," — could we desire more?
Earthly providence is a travesty of justice on any other theory than that it is a preliminary stage, which is to be followed by rectifications. Either there must be a future, or consummate injustice sits upon the throne of the universe. This is the verdict of humanity in all the ages.
Tell me why the caged bird nutters against its prison bars, and I will tell you why the soul sickens of earthliness. The bird has wings, and wings were made to cleave the air, and soar in freedom in the sun. The soul is immortal — it cannot feed upon husks.
I feel that I was made to complete things. To accomplish only a mass of beginnings and attempts would be to make a total failure of life. Perfection is the heritage with which my Creator has endowed me, and since this short life does not give completeness, I must have immortal life in which to find it.
The resurrection state is the culmination of glorified humanity; is the change of the earthly for the heavenly; is the putting off of flesh and blood, and the putting on of the spiritual body. The body of the resurrection is the body with which the spirit is clothed for its celestial life.