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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 3

Experiences of Death

page 14

Experiences of Death.

Death is but the local or final development of a succession of specific changes in the corporeal organism of man. As the death of the germ is necessary to the birth or development of the flower; so is the death of man's physical body an indispensable precedent and indication of his spiritual birth or resurrection. That semi-uneonscious slumber into which the soul and body mutually and irresistibly glide, when darkness pervades the earth, is typical of death. Sleep is but death undeveloped; or, in other words, sleep is the incipient manifestation of that thorough and delightful change, which is the glorious result of oar present rudimental existence. Night and sleep correspond to physical death; but the brilliant day, and human wakefulness, correspond to spiritual birth and individual elevation.

There is every reason why man should rest, with regard to life and death, and be happy; for the Laws of Nature are unchangeable and complete in their operations. If we understand these laws, and obey them on the earth, it is positively certain that our passage from this sphere, and our energement into the spirit-country, will be like rolling into the blissful depths of natural sleep, and awakening from it, to gaze upon, and to dwell in, a more congenial and harmonious world.

Here I am impressed to introduce a portion of a spiritual communication, which I was in a proper condition of mind to receive, in the city of Boston, on the 29th of May, 1849. The communicant was known, on the earth, as James Victor Wilson; whose name, and intense interest in the book, entitled "Nature's Divine Revelations," are mentioned in a note, which is prefixed to the fourteenth page of the Scribe's introduction to that volume. The circumstances which led to the communication from him, are strictly as follows: For several months previous to Friend Wilson's death, he was in the habit of visiting the room in which I examined and prescribed for the sick; and he was occasionally chosen as a witness to the lectures, which I was also, at that time, engaged in delivering. The profound interest with which the Revelations, and the phenomena which attended their development, inspired him, laid the foundation for a sweet and profitable acquaintance between us. We conversed frequently concerning the nature of death, and concerning that ineffable divinity which pervades the Spirit-Home. He sometimes feared that his identity, or personality, would be lost, at the period of death, by divine absorption—just as the ocean drinks in the drop of water; and frequently he expressed a strong page 15 desire to be thrown into a mental condition, similar to the state in which I gave the above-mentioned lectures, to the end that he might entirely satisfy his own mind of those things which, above all else in the universe, he desired most to comprehend and believe. In reply to these desires of his spirit, I said: "It is well to be patient; for, in the present stale of the world's social and intellectual progression, there are but few individuals who can, because of their constitutional qualifications, enter into the superior condition; and even if there were many such individuals, it would be exceedingly difficult to find the right operator—one who possesses within himself the proper physical and mental qualifications—capable of assisting the spirit in its efforts to attain that condition. What we cannot learn by studying the laws of nature, and her universal analogies or correspondences, we had better wait for patiently, either until our spiritual perceptions are naturally developed and unelouded, or until we actually become residents of the spiritual world."

Thus we walked and conversed together; and it was during one of these conversations that, prompted by his great desire for spiritual enlightenment, he requested me to promise that, should I die first, I would, if possible, subsequent to my death, visit him and communicate to him my experiences; and, with earnestness, he bound himself to do likewise, should he the earliest pass from earth.

A few weeks subsequent to the above interview, during an absence from home, I received a letter, from a friend, announcing his sudden and unexpected death, and stating that "he had been found dead in his bed."

According to our mutual promise, I daily and hourly expected to feel, behold, and converse with his spirit; but weeks and months passed by, and I received no thought or impression which was calculated to keep alive that fraternal intimacy, which had, previous to his death, subsisted between us. I was not to be disappointed, however, in my anticipations of further communion with him, even here; for, toward the last of December, 1847, as I was recovering from a short but severe illness, and while my mind was in a state of interior meditation, I did not see, but I suddenly felt his spiritual presence. He breathed into my spirit the following words: "Thou hast not been of late in that peculiar mental state, which is adapted to spiritual intercourse—thrice have I sought thee, but thy spirit was too much engaged, in the investigation of natural or terrestrial subjects, to have readily perceived, and communed with, me; and, even now, thou hast not sufficient physical strength to record what I would impart. But it is well to be patient; page 16 for, when it is good and useful that I should converse with thee, we shall equally be prepared for the interview."

Weeks and months again rolled between this brief communication and the one I am about to relate, which, I feel impressed, will do much toward illuminating the enslaved intellect, not only of the diseased and the suffering, but also of the unhappy sceptic. And here it would, perhaps, be well to remark, for the satisfaction of the anxious and serious reader, that Friend Wilson's external appearance generally corresponded to his previous earthly exterior personality and amiable deportment—his spiritual form being intensely beautified, and somewhat smaller than the natural body, possessing exquisite symmetry, and harmonious or musical proportions; and his transparent habiliments represented an inter-blending of the character of a student and an instructor. I will now faithfully present to the reader his holy communication, as follows:—

"Truth respondeth to truth—love to love—and soul answercth to soul! I approach thee because thou art approachable—and, I teach thee, because thou didst first teach me.

"I am forced to exclaim: How truthful is Truth—how lovely is Love—how good is Goodness—how omnipotent is Will—how wise is Wisdom—how great is Greatness—how divine is Divinity—how universal is the Universo!

"The innumerable Empires of Worlds about me supply every pure lesire with its proper and complete gratification.

"The elements, which flow between one planet, or world, and another, correspond to the bodies of water which divide, yet unite, countries and hemispheres on your earth.

"These planets are our various countries. On each the inhabitants are different, but only in degrees of growth. Their laws and customs differ; but the difference is always in accordance with their relative position in the infinite system of progressive development.

"There is no antagonism here, only a divine emulation; no absolute discord, only relative degrees of harmony.

"We travel to each other's country or planet, just as you travel to each other's village or city.

"Our Empire is vast—our Government is spiritual—our Law is love—and our obedienco brings wisdom and happiness.

"Those individuals congregate, and journey together, who have similar or parallel attractions.

"Here, every one is conjugally conjoined—is married in spirit and in truth—or, every one knows where its proper and eternal associate page 17 resides! Out marriages are instantaneous. Behold the sun-beam kiss the flower—or, the sudden blending of kindred dewdrops, or the instantaneous commingling of the elements—and you behold the quickness and beauty of the eclestial marriage. The symbol is perfect in picture, not in magnitude—because, our unions are sweet, pure, beautiful, and eternal!

"Anxiety is effaced from all properly-unfolded spirits. We know the truth, and we are free! It is not the quantity, but the quality of truth which makes us free.

"The universe seems great or small according to our inward growth. If any of us, or any of you (by which I mean us) have just as much truth as the spirit can comprehend, feel, and exhibit, in its daily walk and conversation, then its freedom is comparatively perfect.

"If a man has too little truth he is anxious—he is seeking; and if truth is all he desires, he finds it; but should he seek truth, not for truth's sake, but for the sake of establishing an opinion or hypothesis, then is he discontented and internally unhappy. This perverted motive sometimes actuates the misdirected inhabitants of earth; but it never moves the residente of this celestial empire.

"The universe becomes greater and more sublime as we unfold—Inanity is as many times more infinite than you now suppose as there are moments in your eternal life.

"The Universe does, not itself become more universal; nor does infinity become more infinite; but the expansion is in the progressed and improved spirit. The spirit of every individual is caused to grow into a higher and wider knowledge of material and spiritual things.

"One widespread and fatal error or misapprehension I behold in all the earth.—It is that man (with but few exceptions) knows not what Truth is; he knows not where to find it—how to estimate it—how to separate it. Thus, facts are locked together; and a long chain of facts is estimated as a principle of truth; while, in reality, Facts are only Things, and Truths are Principles.

"To the animalcule, a drop of water is a universe of life and activity. And, to man, the universe is great, beautiful, divine, and magnificent; or it is small, chaotic, and unbeautiful—just as he is individually organised, educated, and developed.

"Our desire is that ail should tread the same path in the pursuit of truth; just as the child, the youth, the man, tread the same path in journeying toward maturity, neither" manifesting discord, nor giving rise to inconsistencies.

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"How beautiful is the way of truth, my brother; and, O, how we—how all are blessed!

"My departure from your earth and society was, to me, sudden and unexpected—but it was fully known and anticipated by my present companions.

"While with you I was seeking—finding—exclaiming—writing—speaking—practising—and I was leaving old associations of every description. My spirit expanded under the warmth of your love, and grew enlightened under your reveatments. The way to, and the geography of, the spirit-land were deeply impressed upon my understanding; and, on the evening previous to my departure, my soul was lifted up in holy contemplation and admiration of the spirit-home. Thought became too intense and elevated for the body. The sensorium was expanded, with action, to its utmost capacity; the blood rushed to, and from, my head with bewildering rapidity; my thoughts returned to me, and I retired to bed. But my spirit was attracted by an interior power—the attraction overcame me, and I felt the evidences of transformation,

"How thankful was I that my chamber was undisturbed! no excitement, no rush, was there to draw me back—I was thankful for this; for, had it been otherwise—had friends beseeched, and prayed, and wept for me, I should have had but one sensation—not sympathy, but pity! pity!

"I remembered you—held your chart* of the geography of the spirit-home in my memory. You had gone before me—knew the pathway—understood the preparations that were necessary for the journey—I was thus making preparations, and the transition was interesting and delightful.

"My sensorium or cerebrum threw open its ten thousand hearts or cells, and the imprisoned spirit rushed, from the various members, into them,—by spirit I mean myself.

"Now I was calm—silent—still—sleeping. My bed-chamber, the house, the physical world, all—all receded, and went into nothing.

"My body was on its back,—I was asleep, and yet I was not asleep; I was in the body, and yet it seemed that I was out of the body; I was in the world, and yet it appeared to me I was not in the world.

"Now my sleep deepened, and my consciousness of individuality was melted into an ocean of boundless ether. Joy unutterable came

* See discourses on the spiritual spheres—"Nature's Divine Revelations," page 647, et seque.

The spirit escapes the organism by emanating through the anterior portions of the encephalon.

page 19 over me as I seemed to spread out like the divine breath upon the bosom of infinite life. I expanded in every direction—I was boundless—was infinite—was in being, and yet it seemed that I was nothing.

"Happiness, or rather tranquillity, was the last of my earthly reeollctions. My spirit seemed poured into the founts of elysium—I felt like the breath of heaven—and the angels seemed to inhale me, and thus I became unconscious.*

"Yea, how we—how all are blest!

"My individuality, thus seemingly purified, was restored. My new being was inhaling what appeared to me like the pure elements of other climes; it was so. My earthly body was beneath me. It was surrounded by friends and medical attendante—it was examined—and turned in various ways to call me back. I was then not more than two feet (according to the natural system of measurement) from them, over the head of the body, yet I was in eternity.

"Nothing which was done affected me. Several radiant beings were near toe—they were my companions to the Spirit-Home.

"When the surrounding elements passed into my lungs, I felt, like an infant, filled with life; when my heart beat, and sent the milk-white ether through my new and perfect organisation, I felt ready to go with my companions!

"We passed from the earth-sphere through the opening at one of the poles; we met and observed several spirits on our way.

"My eyes permitted me to see thousands of miles, whereas on earth I could only see inches.

"We arrived where we were attracted, and I knew that we had reached the Second Sphers. Thus I recognised your teachings.

"The society of which I am a member is in numbers innumerable. We are mutually fond of travelling through the different societies and portions of the Spirit-Home.

"On earth I was fond of mathematics and kindred studies; my desire for these acquirements is now totally satiated. Spiritual affinities are my studies now; and, ere long, I will disclose what I have learned"

Thus ended our brother's brief but highly interesting revelation. His concluding words refer to some future disclosures of spiritual things, which, when I receive them from him, shall be presented to the World.

* The [unclear: sensations] of blending with the ethereal elements of space were caused by the spirit suspending its consciousness of individuality during the period of [unclear: transition.]

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I have yet another spiritual communication to record in this place, for the consolation of the mourner, and for the enlightening of the seeker after truth. It was imparted to me by an individual who lived on the earth several hundred years ago. Concerning his personal history and experience, I have derived no knowledge from the reading of books. That which he communicated I will relate as faithfully as I can possibly translate his revelation into the English language; but I can find words for only a fragment of what he breathed into my soul; as nearly as I can phrase the majesty of his thoughts, he thus addressed me:—

"Prayest thou for knowledge concerning that sublime resurrection which mankind has misnamed death? Prayest thou for light upon a process, which has been, and is now, on the earth, robed in the darkest horrors and mysteries—bedecked with the funeral pall, and veiled by ignorance? Yea, thou mayest not reply—the earnest and truest desires of thy mind are very distinct, being well defined. Let thy spirit, therefore, withdraw from the various objects and influences of earth; and let it comprehend and faithfully record the sweet and silvery notes, which, through me and thee, may musically instruct the earth's inhabitants concerning life and its diversified phenomena.

"Many centuries have rolled over the earth since I, as one among numerous inhabitants, lived and moved upon its surface. My thoughts and experience, while residing upon that planet, seem to me now like the shadows and outline of some unmeaning dream; my earth-life seems like a brief but an uneasy night, when contrasted with the perpetual and peaceful Day, which pervades the interior souls of those who dwell on the higher planes of the neighbouring sphere. Yet my experience, as I neared the termination of my residence on earth, was a perfect history of, and commentary upon, the influence of ignorance and mythology.

"Greece was my Country and my Idol; her inhabitants I loved as my children; and her beauteous institutions seemed to me like monuments of instruction and philosophy. But, as among children, there came discord there; the government of the country was divided into numerous Republics; and the people, looking with favour upon my temperament and attainments, placed me at the summit of their aspirations. Wherefore I became the governor, the instructor, and the lawgiver, of the once-beloved and adored Athens. The laws framed by me for the Athenians were none other than the desires of my inmost understanding; but, instead of orally imparting to the multitude the instinctive promptings and silent meditations of my own spirit, I caused them page 21 to be executed upon parchment; and I confidently depended upon the most devoted of my more immediate companions, who were well versed in my laws and reasons, to instruct, and improve, and harmonise the people. But hereby I experienced a truth, which all mankind should forthwith learn, that those who are esteemed as Teachers and Legislators of the land must not be first presented with, or taught, new forms or revelations of truth; for such minds, holding a temporary power over the people, will, in order to maintain their power and position, misrepresent and dethrone the medium or person through which the truth is unfolded to the world. Teach the People, not kings and governors; teach children, not strong adults, who feel immovable in their thoughts and philosophy. Had the people know me; had they but once contemplated the contents of my living nature; I would not have been so unexpectedly dethroned, nor banished from those scenes which were enshrined in my misdirected affections. But I was constrained to depart into the interior of my native country—there to deplore the past, and interrogate the future. This change in my life and habits, was the beginning of my uneasiness concerning the issue of that event which is called Death.

"Mythology, though begemmed with unnumbered diamonds of truth, had robed my spirit in darkness. I sought and invoked the gods to preside over me when death frowned upon and claimed me as its victim. Nothing discoursed more forcibly and fearfully concerning the dreadfuraess of my metempsychosis than the long and still nights, which I endeavoured to illuminate and animate with constant wakefulness. Bui the words of the Judean shepherd sounded loud in my soul Death is an everlasting sleep!' Whether in the forests of the Isle of Salamis; whether consulting the habitations of the gods; or whether contemplating the deep murmuring music of the Grecian gulf—yea, everywhere, I heard the voice of the Judean shepherd saying—'Dark is the valley of the shadow of death'—'Death is an everlasting sleep!'

"Three years subsequent to my dethronement, I was made aware of approaching dissolution. In view of this final termination to my existence my spirit sank into the depths of melancholy, and was veiled in night. I was imperfectly aroused from this darkness when there streamed to me a recollection of the doctrine which supposed a resurrection of the [unclear: couls] of the good that die, to live on some fair and heavenly isle for ever. And this favoured spot of earth—the beautiful retreat I had oft chosen for my meditations—was known as Salamis; out of which was to be born again that fairer Isle, anticipated and named, by Plato, the 'New Atlantis.' At the request of my few but faithful friends, I dictated to page 22 be written upon parchment, that my ashes should be scattered upon the sea which so constantly embraced and moaned about the fertile but solitary shores of the Salamis Isle.

"Being prostrated with disease for several week, it was easy to mark the progress of those physical changes to the final change which is termed death. This final change came upon me as my spirit was audibly deploring the fate of my dearly-beloved country. The sun had not yet disappeared in the west, when I was prompted to bid my friends farewell; and the change, like slumber, crept over me.

"As my sleep deepened, the room I occupied, together with the objects and persons therein, gradually faded away. The more I strove to maintain a consciousness of things about me, the more unconscious I became; until every avenue, which appeared to connect me with the outer world, was entirely and, as I thought, everlastingly closed. Fear and desire constituted the last links in the chain of life, lengthened to the end, which seemed about severing for ever. I feared lest the waves should not give up my scattered ashes, and waft them to the New Atlantis Isle; and my desirs was unto the gods, that their celestial presence should attend my death and revivify the divine power which animated my bodily frame. Immediately upon analysing these oppressive thoughts, I experienced a sudden rush of all the divine power (which dwelt in the hands and feet) into my encephalon or head. This was accompanied with a soft, tranquillising sensation that pervaded my entire nature, which peaceful calm was speedily followed by a state of total unconsciousness.

"How long I remained thus I could not tell; but I experienced a full return of the consciousness of my personality. This restoration of life was accompanied with many new and sweet influences; and my expanding thoughts caused me suddenly to feel that I could now understand more concerning the gods, and comprehend the nature of the soul's resurrection. A super-consciousness pervaded me; and my spirit was endowed with immortal sensibilities. The instant I realised, or thought I realised, this truth, my breast freely inhaled the soft and silvery air; my heart swelled with emotion, and beat the musical pulsations, which would naturally flow from an harmonious instrument. Inspired with these exalted sensations, and not realising my spirit's departure from the body which I had hitherto inhabited, I strove to open my eyes that I might again behold my friends, and relate to them the melody of my soul. I supposed that I should not die, and that I had but passed through a metamorphosis from illness and suffering to a renewed condition of life, which, endowing me page 23 with a superior power, would enable me to instruct and legislate for the Athenians.

"Gradually my senses opened, and, lo! instead of seeing the external forms of my friends, I beheld their interior life, and read their inmost thoughts—I saw them deploring, in tears, the departure of some dearly-beloved one from their midst; and directing my perceptions to where I saw them gaze, I beheld (in their thoughts) the body which I myself had worn! I Strove to tell them that that deserted tenement was nothing and that I possessed a body, and stood among them; but, instantly, I saw that there could be no communication between us; because they were living in one condition of being, and I in another; they could converse only through the instrumentality of the material senses, and I could discourse only through the pure mediums of thought and desire. But I was too highly inspired with new and comprehensive conceptions, to bestow much desire upon my friends in their attendance beside the lifeless body, which lay before me. I internally knew that it would yet be well with them; and this knowledge made me wholly passive concerning their feelings and destiny. Now my interior spiritual senses were soothingly closed; and now my exalted sensibilities gathered themselves into friendly groups throughout my nature. In a few moments I passed into a calm and profound slumber.

"I was aroused from this serene and partial state of unconsciousness, by experiencing a peculiar breathing sensation upon my face and head, whereupon my eyes opened, and I beheld in the scenes and forms before me, more concentrated love and friendship, more grandeur and magnificence, than thou canst understand; thou couldst not comprehend, or record, what I saw Shall I tell thee that I realised the divine resurrection, which the gods had promised the early inhabitants of earth? Shall I tell thee that I stood upon the New Atlantis Isle? Yea, I believed the gods were faithful; and that the glorious Republic of immortal duration had arisen from out of the divine Salamis! A pure, serene air constantly entered my breast; my ear was entranced with the most liquid and silvery music, which seemed to float upon the atmosphere; and my eyes contemplated a boundless and magnificent country. Anon, I was inspired or penetrated with a divinity of ineffable sweetness. And a thought came before me, and said:—'Seek thou the things which draw thee most. And, immediately. I was attracted to a group of friendly persons, whom I beheld conversing near me. What a thrill of unutterable joy ran through my now exalted nature, when among them I discovered and embraced two of the dearest friends I ever knew in Athens! This meeting, so unexpected and sweet, imparted to my soul page 24 more happiness than I had ever enjoyed on earth; and, from that moment, I began to unfold in love and wisdom. It was only by perpetual development, I learned that the gods did not bring me thither; and that the glorious country, of which I had become an inhabitant, was not, as I had supposed, the new-born republic of the isle of the sea—no; I learned of my higher life, and progressed to understand that I lived in a tenfold more heavenly state than my earthly imaginings had dreamed of—because, each inferior faculty of my nature was drawn up into intimate conjunction with the True, the Good, and the Divine.

"Thou seest now what a simple and ennobling process it is to die; thou seest now that there is no 'valley' of fearful 'shadows' to pass through; and that 'death' is not 'an everlasting sleep.' But I must tell thee that it is only the good who die sweetly; for the troublesome or troubled spirit, is sometimes not quieted, until after it has been, for a considerable length of time, removed from the earth, and until it has experienced the subduing and disciplining influences which pervade this divine habitation.

"The earth's inhabitants will now see (even though they do not believe it) that to die is to be born again; and that, to die sweetly, they should think, act, and unfold, in harmonious order; for the flower must have blossomed, though in rude places, peacefully and purely, out of whose heart rich fragrance flows to heaven!"

In introducing the foregoing observations, and the several spiritual com munieations, I desire to be apprehended aright. My motive for presenting them to the reader is identical with that which animated Friend Wilson, and actuated the Athenian lawgiver; is is, to familiarize the human mind with the process of dying, and with the uniform phenomena and consequences which attend the event of death. To the spiritually enlightened, these revealments will possess great weight, and afford much consolation; but to the external intellect, to the materialist, they will appear like the methodical hallucinations of an excited sensorium. To the last-named class I would say, that I depend not upon these spiritual observations and interior communications for a demonstration of the reality of an immediate resurrection and ascension of the spiritual body at the period of physical dissolution. I acknowledge and recommend no authorities but Nature and Reason. Hence, for proofs of the Immortality of the soul, I involuntarily turn from the unsatisfactory teachings of men and books, to the principles of nature, and to the ganctionings of my highest reason.

It surely is not safe, nor is it reasonable even, to believe, as many page 25 minds do, that the human soul is immortal, and that its resurrection from the grave is inevitable, merely because it is asserted that Jesus was seen subsequent to his crucifixion and burial. Nor is it reasonable to base all our hope and faith, in the immortality of the soul, upon the mere speculations and teachings of any form of sectarianism; because the reasoning mind full readily perceives the unsoundness and fallibility of such evidences; and a cold, unhappy, involuntary scepticism will be the certain consequence. Those who believe in the authority of men and books, and base their teachings thereupon, should understand that they cannot satisfy those who believe in the authority of Nature and Reason.

I refer to another portion of the Encyclopedia for an examination of the evidences of the soul's immortality and eternal progression. But, in this connection, I will state three conclusions to which a deep and far-reaching investigation into the Use and universal tendency of Nature conducted me. And these conclusions lead legitimately to more sublime and desirable ones, which the reader's own intuition and principle of reason will discover. We are immortal, because—

I. Nature was made to develope the human body;

II. The human body was made to develope the human spirit; and

III. Every spirit is developed and organised sufficiently unlike any other spirit, or substance in the universe, to maintain its individuality throughout eternal spheres.

Each human spirit possesses within itself eternal affinity of parts and powers; which affinity there exists nothing sufficiently superior in power and attraction, to disturb, disorganise, and annihilate. These are evidences with which the world is not familiar; but they are plain and demonstrative; and are destined to cause great happiness and elevation among men.

In [unclear: eonelnsion], I desire to impress the reader that there is nothing to fear, but much to love, in a purely natural or non-accidental death. It is the fair stranger which conducts the immortal soul to more glorious seenes and harmonious societies. Let mankind never lament because of the mere departure of an individual from our earth; for the change, though add and cherless to the material senses, is, to the interior vision, and to the ascending spirit, bathed in auroral splendour! To the enlightened mind "there is no more death;" "nor sorrow, nor crying,' to those who live in constant Conjunction with Eternal Truth.

Let tranquillity reign throughout the chambers of the dying; but, when the body is cold, and when the immortal soul is gone, then calmly page 26 rejoice and sweetly sing, and be exceeding glad; for, when a body dies on earth, a soul is born in heaven!

You may rest upon the strong foundations of truth; may strive to live peacefully and purely on earth; may enrich and adorn the inner spirit with gems of scientific and philosophic knowledge; may wreathe every thought with the sweet flowers of virtue; may robe every impulse with the mantle of contentment; for there is nothing lost by the putting off of mortality, and leaving the material and evanescent things of this world, to pursue life's journey amid immortal beauties in the Spirit-Land!

There are voices from the Spirit-Land which sound, to the inhabitants of earth, like the revelations of fancy; but the time will come—it is dawning on the world—when many men shall hear these voices and comprehend the mighty truths their tones impart. And then, when the hour of death arrives, the chamber of the departed will not resound with sighs and lamentations, but it will echo to the soothing strains of sweet and solemn music; and, there will be, not mournful and wordy prayers, and tearful discourses, but a quiet and holy passover.