Monday, March 11, 2013

Immortality

      The miracle of the rejuvenating spring had been witnessed by many thousand generations before men dared claim as a certainty the great hope which its parable indicated--before human soul dared boldly believe that it was itself as deathless as the germ of slumbering over winter in the buried seed.
      Since the Conqueror of Death, by the triumph which the world is to-day celebrating, certified the validity of that belief, the season in which Nature annually illustrates the appointed victory of life over death has become the most significant of all festivals. At Christmas the world is glad as children are glad--with the unconsidered glee of youth. At Eastertide it rejoices as men rejoice in the presence of deliverance from fear--with recollected voices and bosoms girt with thankfulness.
      The austerity of the earth and sky prepares to yield to the conquering sweetness of spring. Already the winds caress with an unfamiliar softness, the earth beguiles with a dimly green prophecy of vernal liveliness. Nature is timidly yearning heavenward. But the hymn of awakening life is not mere telluric nor aerial--it sings out in the souls of men who have considered the mystery of life and its persistency under the sod and through the chill of winter's apparent death. To such Easter Day--set in the midst of a season which witnesses as far as anything earthly can witness, to the verity of a spiritual fact; coinciding with the ancient festivals which celebrated the immemorial human hope of immortality, dimly adumbrated in the dramaturgy of Greek, Scandinavian and Aryau; but consecrated newly to the rising from the tomb of the Man of Galilee--to such Easter Day stands for the chiefest affirmation or religion, the most consoling and heartening thought that mind and heart are justified in entertaining. That life does not shudder and perish at the grave; that beyond it somewhere in the warmth of God's sun and in the benignity of His nearer presence human spirits shall still have part in the joy of life refined, etherealized, made holy--neither philosophy nor religion has another teaching so solemnly precious as this.

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