Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Many Mansions

       As one of the many mansions is the destined future Heaven of the redeemed human race, the other numerous mansions must be other heavens, severally allotted to those armies of angels over all of whom, though each army be immediately subjected to its own special commander, the great archangel presides, and is thence congruously revealed as the Captain of the Host of Jehovah.
       But the particular mansion allotted to the redeemed human race, is this very planet of ours when the dissolved first earth shall have passed away so far as its present organization is concerned, and shall have been succeeded by a new earth framed out of the present dissipated materials.
       Hence, if our future heaven be one of the innumerable orbs which are all the handiwork of the Almighty Creator, analogy requires that the other heavens should be the other orbs: and thus we have a consistent explanation of the many mansions which our Lord declares to be in the House of His Heavenly Father. - by Farber

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Immortal Life

The Immortal Life

The insect bursting from its tomb-like bed --
The grain that in a thousand grains revives --
The trees that seem in wintry torpor dead --
Yet each new year renewing their green lives;
All teach, without the added aid of Faith,
That life still triumphs o'er apparent death!

But dies the insect when the summer dies;
The grain hath perished, though the plant remain;
In death, at last, the oak of ages lies;
Here Reason halts, nor further can attain,
For Reason argues but from what she sees,
Nor traces to their goal these mysteries.
But Faith the dark hiatus can supply --
Teaching, eternal progress still shall reign:
Telling (as these things aid her to espy)
In higher worlds that higher laws obtain;
Pointing, with radiant finger raised on high,
From life that still revives, to life that cannot die.

The Hope of Immortality


       Such worshipers of the new are all made by the creative genius of our era, that in order to appreciate the old you must ask your imagination to picture them as coming up before you for the first time. With what tears of joy would you hail the hope of immortality had that hope just come into the world! If dust had been the assumed end of man, what discovery of science or art would compare in sublimity with the sudden assurance of a second and blessed life? Such an expectation dwarfs all the common hopes of this world. A Prince yearly approaching a throne, a gifted mind gathering up the honors of learning or power, a citizen drawing near a fabulous fortune, are all small scenes or outlooks compared with that of a humble child steadily moving toward an endless and painless being. When you remember how you all love life and feel sad over the fact that the grave is before you, you may well be amazed at the height and depth of the doctrine of a second existence that shall be in all ways higher and sweeter than this. The slowness with which this notion came to man has hidden its vastness. Its age is a witness for its truth, but is against its grandeur as a thought. It is modified by its antiquity as mountains are made treeless and cold by intervening miles. Their verdure, and cascades, and song of birds are all toned away from the senses by their distance. They are spoken of as "gray," or "hazy," or " blue." One simple attribute thus remains out of a marvelous richness and variety. From many old doctrines has the multitude moved away until ideas are seen in some one dead color - ideas vast as God and beautiful as Paradise.
       When love once fears that it may cease, it has already ceased. It is all the same to our hearts, whether the beloved one fades away or only his love. 

Heaven Is Full of Children

       Think it, at least, highly probable, that where our Lord says, 'Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven,' He does not only intimate the necessity of our becoming like little children in simplicity, as a qualification, without which (as he expressly declares in other places) we cannot enter into his kingdom, but informs us of a fact, that the number of infants, who are effectually redeemed unto God by His blood, so greatly exceeds the aggregate of adult believers, that, comparatively speaking, His kingdom may be said to consist of little children. As if the full import of what He had said to his disciples was, think not that little children are beneath my notice; think not that I am a stranger to little children; suffer them to come to me, and forbid them not. I have often been in their society; I love their society; the world from which I came, and to which I go, is full of little children.

"Flowers that once had loved to linger
In the world of human love,
Touch'd by death's decaying finger
For better life. above!
O! ye stars! ye rays of glory!
Gem-lights in the glittering dome!
Could ye not relate a story
Of the spirits gather'd home?" 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Death Is Life

       Then familiarize your mind with the inevitable event of death. Think of it, as life! Gloomy though the portal seems, death is the gate of life to a good and pious man. Think of it therefore, not as death, but as glory - going to heaven and to your father. Regard it in the same light as the good man who said when I expressed my sorrow to see him sinking into the grave, "I am going home." If you think of it as death, then let it be as the death of sin; the death of pain; the death of fear; the death of care; the death of Death. Regard its pangs and struggles as the battle that goes before victory; its troubles as the swell of the sea on heaven's happy shore; and yon gloomy passage as the cypress-shaded avenue that shall conduct your steps to heaven. It is life through Christ, and life in Christ; life most blissful, and life evermore, How much happier and holier we should be if we could look on death in that light. I have heard people say, that we should think each morning that we may be dead before night; and each night that we may be dead before morning! True: yet how much better to think every morning, I may be in heaven before night; and every night that the head is laid on the pillow, and the eyes are closed for sleep, to think, next time I open them it may be to look on Jesus, and the land where there is no night, nor morning; nor sunset, nor cloud; nor grave nor grief; nor sin, nor death, nor sorrow; nor toil, nor trouble; where "they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them."

Rev. Dr. Guthrie.

Death An Angel of Light

       Are we then immortal? Oh! then, we are "blessed" indeed! Death is not the frightful monster which he is so constantly represented to be; he is an angel of light and mercy, veiling his resplendent glories under the shadowy drapery of the tomb, lest the saints should become so much enamored with his loveliness, as to hasten at once to leave this erring, darkened world, to dwell in his radiant dominion, and thus deprive the earth of the salt which has so long preserved it from destruction His exit, through the frowning portals of the grave, is but to prevent those who are "in the Lord," from crowding, with hasty, willing steps, the pathway to his mysterious dwelling place, so delightful and glorious, as soon as the gloomy exterior is passed! Can it be, that this body, soon to become inanimate, and waste to dust, can, and will, revive and live ? that the eye, though dimmed with the film of death, will rebrighten, and sparkle with looks of recognition and love? That this lifeless body, once so loved, and embraced with the fondest affection and delight, but now so loathsome that it is looked upon with horror, and we bear it from our sight, and conceal it from view in the dark earth, will come forth more perfect and glorious than ever? Yea, saith the Spirit; from henceforth, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord;" for "It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." Then shall death be swallowed up in victory. Oh! are they not "blessed" who die only to live forever, in a state so infinitely above the most perfect condition of humanity, that it is " not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Rev. Sidney Dyer, D. D.

" What is the soul? The seminal principle from the loins of destiny,
This world is the womb: the body, its enveloping membrane :
The bitterness of dissolution, dame Fortune's pangs of childbirth.
What is death? To be born again, an angel of eternity."
Buzurgi. {The Persian Poet)

Right and Wrong Views of Death

The following reflection by Prof. A. P. Peabody, D. D.

       We employ with regard to death a great deal of pagan imagery, which can hardly fail to let low and unworthy ideas into our minds. We talk of the blighting of early promise, of the premature death of the young and the beautiful. We too often speak of the pure and the good that have gone from us, as if they were objects of pity. We regret for them the brief pleasures, the withering joys of the passing day. And then our thoughts revert, oftener than a high Christian culture should permit, to the sad accompaniments of dissolution and the last lonely home of the frail tenement of clay, even as the caterpillar might look upon the torn covering of the chrysalis as all that remained of his fellow-worm, ignorant that the rent and forsaken tabernacle marked the higher birth of its tenant. But our faith tells us that to those to whom it was Christ to live, it is gain to die. Let our thoughts, then, linger not about the grave, but seek our kindred in the nearer presence of their Father and their Savior, in the home where every holy wish is met and every pure desire fulfilled, where suffering and sorrow are no more, and life clothes itself in eternal youth and unfading beauty. What would our brief joys be to those to whom all the avenues of divine wisdom are free, the riches of infinite love unfolded, and a boundless sphere of duty and of happiness laid open? In the language of Moore:

How happy
The holy spirits who wander there,
'Mid flowers that shall never fade or fall !
Though mine were the gardens of earth and sea,
Though the stars themselves had flowers for me,
One blossom of heaven outblooms them all.
Go, wing thy flight from star to star,
From world to luminous world, as far
As the universe spreads its flaming wall ;
Take all the pleasures of all the spheres,
And multiply each through endless years,
One minute of heaven is worth them all.