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But if there's an hereafter,
“It is appointed unto
men once to die." This is a fact, which the experience of all ages attests; and ere long it will receive additional confirmation, from our own. Death, by a figure of speech is represented as an intelligent being who accomplishes his designs without consulting the convenience, or regarding the feelings of man; and pays no more homage to the monarch, who is seated on his throne, than to the pauper who is asking alms in the street. He is emphatically called an enemy—the last enemy, whom we may address in the following plaintive language; I know that thou wilt bring me to the grave,—to the “house appointed for all living.” “Death destroys both action and enjoyment-mocks at wisdom, strength and beauty,—disarranges our plans— robs us of our treasures-desolates our bosomsblasts our hopes. Death extinguishes the glow
of kindness-abolishes the most tender relations of man-severs him from all that he knows, or loves ;—subjects him to an ordeal which thousands of millions have passed, but none explain; and which will be as new to the last who expires, as it was to murdered Abel—flings him, in fine, without any avail, from the experience of others, into a state of untried being. No wonder that nature trembles before it. Reason justifies the fear. Religion never makes light of it: and he who does, instead of ranking with heroes, can hardly deserve to rank with a brute.”
But the extinction of animal life, and the consequent suspension of all the functions of respiration,-of action of expression, is an immaterial occurrence when compared with the momentous consequences which immediately follow. I do not now refer to the violence of grief which agitates, and convulses the breast of the heartstruck survivor; nor do I refer to the solemnity of interment when the body is consigned to the grave; but to the introduction of the soul into the invisible world. The scene which will then burst open on the mental eye, will be invested with degrees of transporting or terrific sublimity, which no imagination can conceive; and though the sceptic affects to regard such a scene as the illusion of the fancy, yet, when death advances to meet him, he usually starts back with horror, and clings to life with a most determined resolution.