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was as far from the truth as were his boyish dreams of the mistress of his heart!
Poor Thackeray! he has attained that superior wis. dom now! He walks, himself a ghost, among the ghosts of the past; and these “airy nothings” nod and smile, and shake hands, and say:
“Yes, we are ourselves."
He thrusts his hands into his trowsers pockets, and remembers the time when he thought it would be indecent to go naked in the New Jerusalem! Trowsers, forsooth! Yes, here they are, pockets and all; and he dives his hands in deeper, jingling something which strongly resembles cash; and struts about and hobnobs with Addison, Spencer, Sterne, old Dean Swift, and he asks himself, “are these the great men of my fancy?" On reflection he finds he had expected to meet these luminaries shining like actual stars in the firmament, attended by some undefined splendor.
Poor Will Thackeray! he finds the same dross in the gold, the same animalculæ in the water, the same poison in the air, the same fact that men are not gods in that much-vaunted place called heaven, as on the much-abused earth. But he wipes his spectacles, and clears away the mist of speculation and fancy, which has bedimmed his eyes, and looks about him more hopefully and trustfully than in the days when he walked through Vanity Fair and saw how Mr. Timms, with not a penny in the bank, pinched himself to give a little dinner in imitation of a great lord who gave a great dinner, and had gold beyond his count; snobs, who wore paste jewels and cottonbacked velvet, who cursed a fellow and strutted about in imitation of noble lords, who wore real diamonds and silken velvets! mimicking the follies of the great, but never their noble deeds and heroisms. He is beyond snobs now.
He is in the land of heroisms and heroes. Yet he feels he has been cheated by the fat parson who stole sovereigns from his pocket to keep him out of 1-! His spiritual bones fairly ache with the leagues he has travelled, hruting up the throne of God! “Where the deuce,” he mutters, “is the showman?” IIe can't find the lake of fire and brimstone without a guide.
Poor Thackeray! he again wipes his spectacles and feels he has been sold! This life on the other side of Jordan he finds to be what his American cousins would call a “humbug," a downright swindle upon the sympathies and good taste of those who wear long streamers of crape, and groan and sob over his funeral rites! He feels in duty bound (out of consideration for those mourners who expect nothing else) to go scudding through the air in a loose white slıroud, or to rest cosily housed away in the "bosom of his Maker,” like a big, grown-up infant that he is, or else to be howling at the top of his lungs hallelujahs ! -he that could never raise a note. And, if not so, certainly, out of compliment to the judgment of his boon companions, he should be engaged in the dread alternative of sitting astride a pair of balances and being “weighed and found wanting;” or having been sent by the relentless Judge into everlasting torment “where there is cursing and gnashing .of teeth,” he should be found there tormenting his fellow-imps !
But alas! to his mortification, nothing of the kind is occurring or seems likely to occur.
He has been as active as the next man since his arrival in ghostdom. He has peeped under the chapeaux of every solemn pilgrim whom he has passed, but failed to find the four-and-twenty elders who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. What has he found? He really is ashamed to own up to the number of mountain sides and sloping hills he has inspected in the vain search for a place le used to call h-(he thought it blasphemy to add the other three letters); but neither cloven foot, nor forked tail, nor horns, nor any kind of fearful person in black, has pounced upon him; nor has he been seized by any claimant for leaving the world unshriven, as he did.
Poor Will Thackeray! it has been a great disappointment to him! He expected some kind of sensational reception --- thunder or lightning, or some big God whose towering front might vie with Chimborazo to awe him into the consideration that he had become a spirit and was launched into the awful precincts of eternity! No wonder he feels dogged and put upon to find himself thus bamboozled ! He undertook a long and venturesome journey to “see the elephant," but it wasn't there!
He can't complain against the citizens of this famous "undiscovered bourne"; they have done all that's fair and square by him; they have shown all that they have got; and he is too much of a gentleman to taunt them. Ile knows they feel ashameel that they haven't those curiosities that their Vicegerents on earth had vouched for their having; he can see it in their faces; but he considers himself in duty bound to prepare his fellow-citizens for what they are to expect.
TWO NATURAL RELIGIONS.
THERE are two great natural religions before the world, the Roman Catholic and the Spiritualistic; and both are adapted to the wants of the race.
Man naturally gives expression to his thoughts by external forms corresponding to his ideas.
The Roman Catholic religion is accused of being a system of forms and ceremonies, but therein lies its wonderful adaptation to humanity. Thought ever seeks expression in form, even as a mother's love for her infant finds expression in her ardent embrace.
Love is the prevailing element of the Catholic religion, as shown by the love of the Son of God for poor, ignorant, sinful creatures.
We do not present this to the mind ideally. We call in the outcast and the beggar, and we expose to their view, in the great cathedrals, the Son of God, as he appeared in all his various experiences of human life.
The parent who can earn but a scanty pittance for his offspring, sees before him Jesus lying in the manger, equal in squalid poverty with the lowest of mankind.
The majesty and glory of the courts of IIeaven are symbolized in the Roman Church. There is