Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/305

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


out of the ship into another life. Are not the Gods there?"

Death, physiologically considered, is the tending [237] of the mortal part, to its appointed and needful rest. It is not probably attended by the extreme agony, with which imagination invests it. The principle of consciousness is often sooner released, than some of the organs on which it has been accustomed to act. They continue a part of their functions, from habit, rather than volition; as the strings of the harp, may vibrate with a prolonged echo, after the hand that swept them has departed. So that the friend, on whose convulsions we gaze, is sometimes insensible to the pain at whose indications we shudder.

But admitting that the pangs of death, transcend what have been endured through life. How brief are they, how unworthy to be "compared to the glory that shall be revealed." May we not even suppose the happiness of heaven, to be heightened by the contrast? The deep darkness of the shadowy vale, yielding to a day which knows no night, the sharp severance of body and soul, lost in those pleasures which the "heart of man hath never conceived," the moans of dissolution, exchanged for the music of cherubim and seraphim, the tear of parting from earthly friends, forgotten in the greeting of the "spirits of the just, made perfect," what is there in the whole range