previous next

[102] almost lost, and the experiences of life so erased that the wife forgot her husband, the mother her children.

The natural conclusion would be that this gradual decay ends in extinction. The question might well be asked, whether the individuality, so nearly lost in this world, is likely to be restored by the destruction of the organism. I hope and trust that my feelings are right, which tell me that this world demands a complement.

If the evidence of the New Testament is a proof (and not merely a probability of a certain value, variously estimated by different honest persons), there is no need of asking the question.

One thing seems to me clear,--that if the future life is to be for the bulk of mankind what the larger part of our pulpits teach, namely, a condition of hopeless woe, there is no reason why we should wish to have proof of another life.

The more I consider the doctrine of eternal punishment, the more it seems to me a heathen invention, which has found its way into Christianity, and entirely inconsistent with the paternal character attributed to the Deity. (We must carry to any future sphere the characters we form here; and these must influence, if they do not determine, our condition. Yet it seems in accordance with the paternal principle that any punishment should be reformatory and not vindictive.)

One thing is certain: it is impossible to disprove the reality of a future life, and we have all a right to cherish the hope that we may live again under more favorable circumstances, and be able to account for these preliminary arrangements, which, as a finality, are certainly unsatisfactory.1


1 Holmes's “Life and letters,” I. p. 288.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Mary Jane Holmes (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: