« VorigeDoorgaan »
Now there is nothing before me but one clear and shining path to the realms of unbounded joy. But I have no more time to linger about my poor remains, indulging in such reflections as these, but must get ready for my mystic flight. For I see a bright guard of celestial beings hovering all around, waiting to receive me and to bear me to my God. These dazzling spirits have long been accustomed to traverse the shining road which leads to his blissful habitation, and know it well. During their ministrations in his exalted service, they have conducted myriads of earthly spirits to their mansions in the skies, and are now waiting to perform the same kind and friendly office for myself. Farewell, then, thou world of suffering and of death! No longer can I be called an inhabitant of thine; for I shall take no more part in aught that is doing beneath the sun. By the mass of beings which move continually upon thee, my departure will not be in the slightest degree missed. To them I was totally unknown. A few, indeed, will think of me for a season with regret, and will speak of me with tenderness and affection;
but, ah! even by these I shall soon be forgotten amid the innumerous host of spirits ever hastening from thy shores. But though I am thus separated from thee, I am not without feelings of strong and intense desire for the welfare of thine innumerable inhabitants; for if Dives, when lifting up his eyes in torments, could feel so great an interest in the welfare of his brethren as to pray that a messenger from the dead might be sent to warn them, lest they also should come into that place of torment, I, who, through the grace of God and the merits of my Redeemer, have entered upon immortal glory, cannot but feel a deeper interest and a more benevolent desire for the felicity, not only of those who were once my brethren in the flesh, but of all the human family. In many invisible ways I shall continue to advance it, and when I have climbed those higher regions around the throne of God, and whither the bright celestial guard are waiting to convey me, I shall ever exult at the tidings which ethereal messengers may bring of the advancement of my species in the knowledge and love of God. Even now, disembodied as I am, I
cannot forget them,-nor do I wish. A mysterious link still connects me in sympathy and affection with the race of beings I have left behind, which mysterious link I now perceive runs through the unbounded empire of Jehovah, connecting the whole of his intelligent creatures to each other and all to God.
"Farewell, ye weeping friends! ye that are now lamenting my departure, and who can scarcely think of me but in connexion with the cold remains ye are about to bury from your sight. You speak of me as dead. Oh, little you know the active and vigorous life which I possess! Little do you know the clearness
of conception and energy of mind which I enjoy. I no longer see through a glass darkly, but face to face. I am no longer impeded in my activities by a corruptible and mortal body, but am in the possession of unbounded freedom. The exalted life I am now living, and the glorious liberty I now enjoy, are what ye will never be able to conceive of yourselves, until, like me, ye are disembodied; when, if ye love God, and are obedient to his commandments, we shall meet again, and that not only in the
fullest possession of life and vigour, but in the highest circumstances of rapture and of bliss. Till then, farewell! Farewell, thou body of corruption and mortality, my inseparable companion up to that transcendent change in the mode and condition of my being through which I have so recently passed. Oh! often did I groan beneath thy pressure; often did I sigh for a complete deliverance from that imprisonment and bondage in which, at times, I was so keenly conscious of being detained by thee. That deliverance I have now obtained, and am rejoicing in my freedom. But my separation even from thee will not be final. In a few days, indeed, thou wilt return unto the ground, for out of it thou wast taken; but at the coming of my Saviour thou wilt be raised again glorious and incorruptible. Then shall I find thee what I have never yet done-a congenial companion, and shall be reunited to thee for ever. Till then, farewell! And now, O ye angels of God, ye servants of Jehovah, ye bright ethereal guard, so closely gathering around me, and impatiently waiting my departure from the earth, over the scenes of
which I am still lingering,-into your hands I resign myself with implicit confidence, to be conducted by you to the realms of bliss. Show me the path of life; I know it not myself. am but a stranger in the world of spirits, and as yet have never entered upon that aerial road which leads to the habitation of my God, the whole of which ye have so frequently traced yourselves. Oh! I need your guidance and protection in this most mysterious journey. If left to myself, I might mistake the way, and wander far and wide among some of the shining worlds of creation, ere I could discern the path which would conduct me to the throne of God; or I might be opposed in my progress upward by some hostile power whose mighty influence I should be unable to resist. With you, therefore, I cheerfully and unhesitatingly leave the direction of my ethereal course, and my protection in it; for though ye are strangers to me, yet the glory of your appearance and your godlike aspect have inspired me with the fullest confidence in the benevolence of your character,-in the high authority of your commission to bear me to my God."