The contemplation of death and its seeming inevitability...

Saturday News,

The contemplation of death and its seeming inevitability need not make us utterly despondent. Mankind in all ages have been face to face with the impossible, and have triumphed over it. In myriads of cases we enjoy to-day the victories of science which at one time were considered mere chimeras and declared absolutely impossible of attainment. Man is continually triumphing in the material sphere; he is proving himself master of the multitudinous manifestations of force, and science teaches that all things are the result of force. The earth is a mass of manifested forces. In his study of material things and their origins, he is continually coming face to face with the spiritual forces that lie behind them and give them birth and substance. As he faces and studies these forces that lie back of all things which are or seem to be, is it not reasonable to believe that he will bring these causes, as he is slowly harnessing their results, within the grasp of his comprehension and dominion? The conquest of the spiritual lies through the overcoming of the material.

Men have ever dreamed of the possibility of the conquest of death. Every great mind has dreamed of it, has looked for the day when men shall die no more. When men attack death on the spiritual plane as persistently and sincerely as they now study life on the material plane, the conquest of death will follow as a natural sequence; it will be the final victory proving man's divine origin. And are we not overcoming some of the causes of death, and bridging imperceptibly the gulf that lies between us and the power that lies dormant in every one of us? Was the great Nazarene an idle dreamer, a teacher of fantastic but beautiful impossibilites, as Renan would have us sorrowfully believe, when he declared with all the divine vehemence within him that men would not die who believed in him? The Church throws the proof of his teaching into the future world, after death. Does not this make his statement thus: that if men die, they shall not die? Is not the essence of his teaching that men, some day, in some age of spiritual advancement and transcendental enlightenment, according to laws but dimly perceived as yet, such as we poor mortals scarce can dream of, shall have eternal life without passing through the grim portals of the kingdom of the arch-enemy, death? If men are gradually overcoming the causes of death, and thereby are lengthening the span of life to some mortals, it is within the bounds of possibility that in time even death itself may be overcome and life eternally lengthened for all.

The world is passing from under the dark cloud of skeptical materialism into the light of a better day of spiritual development and growth. The study and progress of the future will lie along the line of mental development and the conquest of the causes of things. Man is proving himself master of his environment; he is groping forward to the day when with higher vision he will gaze with open and unfaltering eye upon cosmic causes. Earth, fire, and water, with the grosser things, have been harnessed to his chariot. The more ethereal elements are more slowly answering to the imperious call of his dominion. His desire for mastery is reaching out to the more intangible, unseen forces which are the controlling powers of all things visible. His desire to invade the air for the purposes of aerial navigation will as surely result in success as his desire to harness the forces of steam resulted in the steam engine and its wonderful adaptations. When man seriously contemplates the conquest of any object, the first steps toward ultimate victory over that object are already taken, and its complete subjugation is only a matter of time.—of days, of years, of ages.

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