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[280]

The better land.

[1844.]

‘the shapings of our heavens are the modifications of our constitution,’ said Charles Lamb, in his reply to Southey's attack upon him in the Quarterly Review.

He who is infinite in love as well as wisdom has revealed to us the fact of a future life, and the fearfully important relation in which the present stands to it. The actual nature and conditions of that life He has hidden from us,—no chart of the ocean of eternity is given us,—no celestial guidebook or geography defines, localizes, and prepares us for the wonders of the spiritual world. Hence imagination has a wide field for its speculations, which, so long as they do not positively contradict the revelation of the Scriptures, cannot be disproved.

We naturally enough transfer to our idea of heaven whatever we love and reverence on earth. Thither the Catholic carries in his fancy the imposing rites and time-honored solemnities of his worship. There the Methodist sees his love-feasts and camp-meetings in the groves and by the still waters and green pastures of the blessed abodes. The Quaker, in the stillness of his self-communing, remembers that there was ‘silence in heaven.’

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