Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 28



It occurred to me to-day, that it was a noticeable fact, that, among all the visits of angels to this world of which we are told, no one seems to have discovered in any the presence of a dead friend. If redeemed men are subject to the same laws as they, why did such a thing never happen? I asked Aunt Winifred, and she said that the question reminded her of St. Augustine's lonely cry thirty years after the death of Monica: "Ah, the dead do not come back; for, had it been possible, there has not been a night when I should not have seen my mother!" There seemed to be two reasons, she said, why there should be no exceptions to the law of silence imposed between us and those who have left us; one of which was, that we should be overpowered with familar curiosity about them which nobody seems to have dared to express in the presence of angels, and the secrets of their life God has decreed that it is unlawful to utter.?

page 52

"But Lazarus, and Jairus's little daughter, and the dead raised at the Crucifixion,—what of them?" I asked.

"I cannot help conjecturing that they were suffered to forget their glimpse of spiritual life," she said. "Since their resurrection was a miracle, there might be a miracle throughout. At least, their lips must have been sealed, for not a word of their testimony has been saved. When Lazarus dined with Simon, after he had come back to life,—and of that feast we have a minute account in, I believe, every Gospel,—nobody seems to have asked, or he to have answered, any questions about it. The other reason is a sorrowfully sufficient one. It is that every lost darling has not gone to heaven. Of all the mercies that our Father has given, this blessed uncertainty, this long unbroken silence, may be the dearest. Bitterly hard for you and me, but what are thousands like you and me weighed against one who stands beside a hopeless grave? Think a minute what mourners there have been, and whom they have mourned! Ponder one such solitary instance as that of Vittoria Colonna wondering, through her widowed years, if she could ever be 'good enough' to join wicked Pescara in another world! This poor earth holds—God only knows how many, God make them very few!—Vittorias. Ah, Mary, what right have we to complain?"