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N E W YO R ' an d LO N D O N
19 16

I . Is T H I S L I F E ALL
Can o n J . W . H orsl ey ,
M . A .

2 . DO WE E E
R ev . R . F . H o rton ,
DD .

R ev . A J . . Waldro n
4 . WE D O N OT D IE
R ev .
J . E . R o b ert s , MA . .
, B D . .

5 .

Dr . Ma x N orda u

6 —

T . Clay e S h aw , . .

T h e l at e Mo nsign o r R . H . B en son


R ev . F ra n k B all ard ,
D D . . B 80

Prof . A . H . S ayce ,
D L itt . LL D . .
D D . .


6 1 583
Co n t e nt s
' IO .

R ev . S ta nl ey R ogers


A P S inn ett
. .

1 2 . MY E EF
E ll en T ho rn eycrof t F owl er

1 3 . THE U N D YIN G S OU L
R ev . A . C . D ixo n B A , . D D .


S ir H ira m 5 . Ma xim , CE . ME . .

1 . E
S ir R o b ert A nd erso n 'C B B A , . . .
, . .
, LL D
. .

J o hn Bl on nd el l e B urto n -

R ev . D in s da l
e T . Young


J . A rth ur H ill

1 9 . T H E TH E OSO PH I C 'IEW
M rs . A nn ie Be s an t

20 . E E
Ca no n S . A . A l exa nd er ,
MA. .


C o n t e nt s


A . . '0 M A
C Be n so n , C . . . .


R ev . B enj a m in B ell ,
. .

F l ora A nn ie S te el

25 . WH AT I S IT TH AT S UR 'I 'E S ?
L a dy Gro v e

L e e D a n ve rs

v ii

W H AT happens after death ? of c ourse is , ,

the most p i f ully personal question there is

a n .

A great many matters of controversy may

interest us W ithout vitally concerning us in
dividually but after all every one of us has
, , , ,

at s o me time o other to face death and it is

r , ,

inevitable tha t the question of the hereafter

Should have a fascination at once peculiar and
painful .

T O day millions of brave m n on the long

- e

drawn out battle fronts are face to face with the


prospect of sudden death and b oth to them and


to those near and dear to them the old old , ,

problem of the future l ife has suddenly become

urgent and acute .

This little book does not pretend to give a

dogmatic and exhaustive reply to the question

A fter D e th W hat ? F ifty years ago the

reply both of orthodox upholders o f faith and

, ,

those who did not believe in the survival after

death would have b een much more precise and
, ,

F o re w o r d
much more emphatic To day there is far less

tenden cy among the champions of faith to be

dogmatically certain and o n the other hand
, , ,

there is far grea ter tendency amon g scientis t s

to regard the quest i on as o n worthy o f their

scientific t rea t ment .

The opinions ga t hered together in this little

book arose o ut of a newspaper discussion o n c

ducted recently a discussion which aroused such


extraordinary interest that it was felt the articles

ought to be b rought together and supp l emented
in this more permanent form .

Naturally being a symposium o f men f

, o

widely di ff erent sch o o l s o f thought there is ,

often considerable d iversity in the views ex

pressed but i t is fe lt that this very freedom o f

discussion and variety o f expression will be a

help rather than a hindrance to all those who
want to form their own o pinion on a su b ject
necessarily vague bu t alwa ys vital
, .
Wh a t H a ppe n s A f te r D e a t h ?
account for all these Sha dows and that from

their united lispings o S ighs inarticulate as

r ,

they were and inconc l usive in detail heard p


sib ly only by t h expecta nt ea

e r, t here yet came

with some distinctness a resultant voice that
never muttered f death and nothingness but
o ,

always hear t ened man with a song that Spok e f o

life and love and light ; life indomitab le love


progressive in light ine ffable for ever and for


aye .

By t he R ev. R . F H OR T O N
, MA . D D
. .

DO we cease to l ive at death ? Naturally if

we cease to live when we die there can be no ,

e ffective argument evidence to Show that we


should live again in this world or in any other .

The personality would have ceased to be and ,

when it has once ceased to be a resuscitation ,

would be simply a new creation and that new ,

creation would not be the person that had l ived


It is this tha t makes the argument f o rein r

carnation s o unsatisfying when yo u come t o

reflect upon it The reincarnated l ife has

. no

conscious o moral connection with its former


experience and consequently the supposed


judgment in the renewed life has no Shadow f o

justice ; the reward is n o t deserved if the rein

carnation is favourable n nor is the punish
a o e,

ment deserved if the reverse .

The question therefore t hat confronts

, ,

humanity and has confronted it Since the


earliest records f human life upon this planet

o ,

is whether the death f the body invo l ves t he


dissolu t ion of personality .

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
Now putting aside for a moment the power
ful argument which is derived from the Chris
tian fact f the resurrection and l o oking simply

at the argument Of natural religion we can ,

certainly marshal an immense weight f evi o

dence to show that the soul S not involved in I

the destruction f the body o .

Take for example the Ph do o f Plato

, ,
ae n

that immortal description f S ocrates arguing O

or his immortality as the hemlock poiso n
worked and death crept up from his feet to his
heart It is true that the formal arguments

advanced in that great piece of literature may

not carry convicti n but behind those argu o ,

ments which were relative only to that time and

that world o f thought in which S ocrates lived ,

there i the indubitable fact that S ocrates died


in that way and faced death with the cheerful


confid nce that he himself would escape from


the perishing b Ody and that his persecutors and

judges would not be able to capture the soul in
its flight .

Consequently his l ast command to his friends

w s to o ff er a coc k to f E s ul p ius the g o d o f
a c a ,

healing because he felt that when the body


Should lie still and cold in death he himself

would be whole and more utterly alive than he
h d been when he inhabited the bo dy
a .

It may however be said that the conviction

, ,

f S ocrates carries no more weight than the c n


o o

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
v ic t io n o f the modern man o f science who care ,

fully assures us that he has no expectation Of a

future l ife and desire f o it
no r .

B ut l et us look at that argument f o r

a moment Is the personal conviction of a mind


and character like S ocrates of no more intrinsic

value than the personal conviction f a m n who o a

expects to cease to be d irect l y a cup o f p oiso n

or some other accident arrests the functions o f
his body Instincti ely you reply that the per

so na l it y o f S ocrates i s incalculably greater and

more Si g nificant than the perso nality o f this poor
materialist whose life is a mere breath a shado w , ,

that pass es immediately away .

A nd why is the pers o nality o f S ocrates im

pressin g the world to— day after more than

years ?
The answer Simp l y is because o f his im

movable conviction about his Su rviving death— a

conviction which gi ves to his life and to all that

he said and did a depth and a m e aning which
never h as ceased to a ffect mankind .

O n the other hand th man who from any

, e

cause has surrendered the belief in a life t come o

dwindles and withers so that his personality

becom es intrinsically insignificant use l ess to t h e ,

world as it is and of course useless to himself

, , , .

B ut now what does this mean ? If we turn

f rom the individual to the whole body of h uman
beings t hat are living to day upon the globe the

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
sa me argument immediately applies The .

human race derives it s Signifi cance its value , ,

entirely from its beliefs in a life that go s b eyond e

any conscious earthly life .

Just s faro the race surrenders the faith


in immortality which has been its appanage fro m

the beginn ing it dwindles and withers it feels

that it can give no account f itself The pos o .

s ib il it ie s f some terrestrial paradise or some


ind efinite improvement f the material condi


tions o f life o ffer no su fficient reason for the

deeper instincts and su p ports of the race .

If it attempts to picture to i t self the ultimate

condition of human society w hen all the present
evils are removed and universal health and well
being are secured it is immedi ately paralysed

by the thought But what do s that matter ?



A nd what has been ach ieved if all f the i O h

d i id u l which compose t he race are simply

v a s

passi ng away into nothi ngness like the autumnal

leaves when the winter approaches ? '

The argument therefore is much stronger

, ,

than it appears at the outset bec use it involves, a

not only the individua l life but the life f the O

race The one intolerable thing for the race i

. s

that life Should lose its significance and Should

Sink back into the mere animal functions f o

nutrition and procreation and significance can


not be given to life upon this planet far as so

that life deve l ops into that greatest f earthly o

1 3
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
phenomena personality u nless t personality
, , o

can be attributed the quality Of continuance .

It may f course be said that thi s quality

, o ,

can be secured and this sig nificance can be

given to the life of the race if the selected i n

d i id u l
v a s, the supermen as they would be
' “

called t o day may secure continuance while the


large mass f undistinguished and futile lives


pass away into nothingness and f rom a purely ,

philo s ophical point Of view that argument may

be valid B ut aga i nst it rises up all the sense

o f pity and consideration f even the lowest f or o

human beings which we have learned from

Christianity .

It is Christ s unique service to mankind that

H e taught us to s the greatness and absolute


worth of even the most insignificant human soul .

A nd in that way by another line o f argument

, ,

the certainty that some human being s must

survive death is changed into a whole confidence
that all human beings who are in any true sense
personalities continue and move o n to reap the

fruits f thei r life o n earth in a life u nder new


and perhaps more hopeful conditions .

E ven the most sceptical and d isappointed

human heart that is touched by pity and love
W ill write as its o w epitaph A little trust that
n ,

when we die we reap o ur s o w m g and s o go d ,



By t he R ev. A . J . WA LD RO N

TH IS is the eternal question as Old as death ,


It is and ever will be the problem f religion

, ,
o ,

science and philosophy The borderland b

. e

tween the living and the not living is the

“ '

W terloo f science
a o .

The great question is W hat proof have we :

Of life beyond the grave ? I dare assert that

the proof is clear as almost to amou nt to

m athematic l certainty a .

Take for instance the enormous amount f

, ,

evidence furnished by t he phenomena f o

psychical research ; read what S ir O liver L od ge

has written in The D estiny o f M '

weigh an

over the names f men like D Barrett F W o r .

, . .

Myers Prof S idgwick D H odgson Ca mi l le

, .
r .

F l m m io n A J Balfour and a host o f others

a ar , . .

I am quite aware that the history of spiritualism

con tains innumerable stories f fraud illusion o , ,

delusion etc but when you have finished your

, .

criticism y u are still left with a residuum of


fact which baf fles solution except you admit


that there is striking evidence f communication o

be t ween what we call the living and t h dead ' “

e .

W h a t H a p pe n s A f ter D e a t h ?
I ha v e studied spiri t ualism for twenty years ;
I do not think there is a book worth reading
on the subject which I have no t ca refully
studied I have debated with some o f the mos t

eminent mediums and I have studi ed the ques ,

tion in ' ance and I have be en forced to the

s ,

conc l usion that t here is a residuu mo f fact which

c n o nly
a be explained o n the spi r i t ualistic
hypothesis .

B ut when the p rson is dea d and yo u b U y e r

the body what b ecomes o f the life the human

, ,

ego this atom of force that used the b ody that


, ,

played i t s divine harmony in t he b rain cells ?

If it go es into space o a spiritual sphere r ,

how can it c t without a medium for we k now

a ,

that n this plane the phenomenon O f hum a n


life d epends o n a physical organism ? N t s o o

fast please The O ld chemistry it is t rue said

, ,

the lin o f communication be tween the tips o f


the finger and the b rain was a chain o f atoms ,

atom conveying impression to atom and on and

o n to the brain a nd there read o ff by that

mysterious thing ca lled consciousness That

chemistry is o ut of date W e know now by .

established fact the medium o f communica tion

is not gross matter but e t her W e send , .

messages withou t wires wireless tele graphy
it passes through oceans mountains ; not hing ,

can stop it .

W hat is the medium ? E th er W hat is .

1 6
W h a t H a p p e n s A f t er D e a t h ?
practically only one messa g e—life beyond the
grave .

Is there anything to match this ? Tell me

this ins t inct for immortality is a nightmare an ,

excrescence bred of ignorance I reply that .

here is a greater miracle than the o e y u dis n o

place The law f correspondence is broken

. o .

No ; when I find a fossil and on it I find fossil ,

fins I rightly infer that the fossil was once a


fish and there must have been wa t er to ma t ch


it correspond with it The eye with its coats

, .
, ,

hu mours lens and retina is impossible without

, , ,

light to ma t ch it ; the bird with its wings beau ,

t if ul ly formed must have air with buoyancy to


m atch it S o when I find this instinct f im

. or

mortality as universa l as language as o ld as ,

human thought as real a S c O s c io us n s s as


n e ,

deep as human needs and as high as human ,

aspira t ion I reply it s eems to m e it must have


life beyond to match it t o equalise it to make , ,

the music plain and fill the ea r th with law and

, ,

the universe with j ustice .

W e b e l ieve in justice ; we believe in hope ;

bu t if t here is no future life there can be no ,

j ustice in the universe The girl dies outraged .

in the gutter the betrayer goes fr e e the scales

, ,

are never adjusted .

I believe in God because I believe in jus


t i ce i n l ove and in hope I believe t here is

, , .

something in the universe which mus t m atch

1 8
W h a t H a p pe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
alien vapid the immortality f which can have
, ,

n o more meaning and interest for our conscious

E g than the indestructibility f the atoms com

o o

posing u mortal body W hat value what

o r .

interest can an immortality have f me in which or

I should o longer love what I have loved no

n ,

longer hate what I have hated no longer remem ,

ber my past life my small and great adventures

, ,

my m ments f joy and my days of sorrow my

o o ,

sweet and my bitter motions my ambitions e , ,

my yearnings my disappointments my pains

, , ,

and my consolations i n w d a l l that com n o e or ,

posed that personality the preservation f which o

seemed s hugely important to me In this case


it is not me that survives the immortality o f this ,

alien soul is not my immortality and does not

concern me in any way .

B ut the first alternative is still far worse .

S uppose my immortal soul would really be my

conscious E g o all the essentials f my p, o er

s n l it y surviving the death of my bo dy

o a It .

would remain connected with everything that

was le r to me it would preserve all my feel
c a ,

ings Now think of this R educed to the state

, :

of a soul without organs without means for ,

exercising the slightest action n the material o

world I would s my child weep and w uld be

, ee o

unable to comfort it ; I would accompany her

life watch it in every moment witness her dis
, ,

tress her pains her dangers her despair and I

, , , ,

W h a t H a p p e n s A f t er D e a t h ?
would be inca pable f aiding her helping her o , ,

protecting h defending her encouraging her

e r, ,

W hy this would be a fiendish torture worse ,

than all the torments attributed t hell 'W hy


o ,

annihilation w ou l d be an inestimable blessing

compared with thi s existence f a feeling but o

paralytic soul imp otent Witness f all su ff erings

, o ,

a prisoner fettered and gagged shut in in it

, , s

eternity and deprived f all possibility t m o o co

m u i t with all that it loves more than i t self

n ca e ,

Let us go o n e step farther .

My E g is composed f certain definite

o o

notions conception s The contents o f its con

or .

s i us n s
c o are the world which it knows are the
e s ,

be ings which have always s urrounded it Now .

e ternity means a rather long t ime A ll that I .

kno w all that I l ove all that concerns o

, , r

interes t s me in any way wi l l have d isap p eared , ,

sa y , in a coup l e o f centuries I n two thousand .

years perhaps not even my nation will exist

, ,

any l onger W hat interest this g l obe f ours

, o ,

sha l l it then o ffe r to me ? W hat will be the

conte nts f that immortality which is s o fervently

wish d for The soul will have to fill itself with


other new interes ts which I cannot guess B ut

, .

in this case again the sou l will not be my soul ,

mine E g o .

N O. The immortality o f the personality is

neither conceivab l e o desirable Nothing ness n r .

is more consoling A nd al l o n ought to desire

. e

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
is a death which does not come prematurely but

at the precise hour when h

o ne accomplished

all one s tasks n d completed the circle f the

a o

vital obligations S uch a death t his is my

innermost conviction can have no Ierror for
anybody .

A FT E R —

By T . C L A Y E S H A W, MD
. .

IT is pure Speculation t o indulge in ideas and

statements on th is subject Neither the A rch .

bishops n o the Pope can tell us anything more


than we know ourselves and t hat is that we ,

know nothing W e do not even know what life


is and all tha t we can prove is that under cer


tain circumstances the body can perform acts

and is capable Of showing what we call mental
phenomena and tha t under others it is i c p
n a

able o f these demonstrations and falls into a

desolation a decomposition which we call
, ,

death and this we say is a Sign f having lost

, o

some t hing which we call life which was b e ,

fore a s sociated with it E xcept through t he .

body we canno t increase diminish o control

, , ,

l ife because it is on l y a hypothesis that there is


such a thing o tha t it can have a separate

, r

e x 1s te nce .

W hat we do is to follow au t hority to believe ,

that there is a future existence for what is called

the spiritual life because we are told to do s o


by certain people who have recorded their ex

p e iern c e o f bein g the wi t nesses o f cer t ain
W h a t H a pp e n s A f t er D e a t h ?
marvellous and miraculous events which hap
pened many years ago .

I cannot think that the events connected W t h I

the death and re surrection of Christ as recorded , ,

are mere imaginings delusions o r lies by

o r

ingenious persons and I find no more di fficulty


in believing them than I have in understanding

h w it is that radium Splits up into helion and

niton or that two gases like oxygen and hydro


gen can be made to form water I have else .

where shown that theories f ghosts are merelyo

t he result of subjective conditions during life ,

and do not in any way represent life o Spirit r

apart from the bod y ; but I am not going to deny

that there is a connection between the death of
the body and the further existence in some form
o f that which constituted the living body ,

simp l y because whilst to some degree I under

, , ,

stand the body I have yet not the least c o n c e p


tion f the nature o f the other

o .

The nature f a future life may b e altogether


di ff erent from what we n imagine ; in fact we

ca ,

have no clue f any sort as to it real form and

o s ,

the material realisations o f pure happiness which

are held out by t he exponents of various creeds
are simply devices for tempting into their ranks
all those whose idea o f reward f self denial or -

and privation o earth is ple sure in a future

n a

state whilst the penalty for transgressing cer


tain other lines f conduct is eternal torture in


3 1
Wh a t H a p p en s Afte r D e a th ?
another World there being all the time no proof

o f there being another world .

A ll who believe in the B ible must believe

in the existence f another state after bodily

death The fac t is there a ffirmed though there


is no declaration Of it s nature and those who ,

refus to be guided by the B ible and who de


clare their 'iew o f after death nothin gness
“ '

must be left to t heir w guidance and the o n

temporal laws o f the country .

A rea s onable follower f the B ible is not O

likely to go wrong H e has a code f high

. o

morality laid down for him ; but there is no

reason f saying that an a t heist an agnostic
or or

is unable unfit to be a g o od member f

or o

society I t is quite onceivable that a man who

. c

has n religion may be a most excellent citizen

o ,

and even a distinguished man in his avocation ,

because he is capabl e f see ing tha t pains and


penalties await any infraction o f the social code ,

b ut as to what is to happen to him hereafter he ,

must be lef t to h is own isolation ; for jus t s he a

can not prove that there is no future s tate S O ,

are we unable to prove either that t here is a

future state o the nature of it
r .

The h o lding f the idea f a future state is

o o

a comfort t o many It gives the support f

. o

working in a certain way for a f ut u rewa rd It . re .

may be a p o or purpose t his working f r eward

, or

and agains t punishment but it appeals to ma ny, ,

3 2
By t he l a t e M on i gno RO BE R T H U G H B E N S O N
s r

ON purely natural grounds—apart that is to ,

say from the revelation that God has made to


man o the subject perhaps the strongest argu

n —
ment for t he immortality of the individual soul
is the ineradica ble instinct o f moral po re s n

S ib ilit y .

It is surely utterly imp o ssible to explain

away this deep conviction felt by every ,

normal person that each man is himself


sponsible for his past and will have t o face the ,

results o f h i past actions by the theory that it

s ,

is no more than a kind Of inherited socia l

instinct H ow t herefore unless p rsonal
, , e

identity be preserved can this co n viction be ,

j ustified ?
A second reason again drawn from e p e , x rI

ence quite apart from revelation for believing in ,

personal immortality may b e found in the argu

ment from love .

H uman l ove is by common consent t he, ,

most sublime o f human emotions ; the relation

ships we form in this life are not only sacred ,

but fundamental ; and it is their deepest

W h a t H a pp e n s A f t er D e a t h ?
characteristic that they demand continuance .

The love f friends the love be tween parents

o ,

and children these things c nnot be explained

— a

away as materialist philosophers sometimes pre


tend to explain away the love between husband

and wife as merely physical in their origin and

end Yet if personal immortality be a dream


only these profound emotions and relationships


are completely deceptive F o in their very . r

e ssence they demand permanence and eternal

renewal .

A t hird natural argument for personal im

mortality is slowly emerging from the researches
o f psychologists These are beginning to estab

lish the fact that in the hour f dissolution o ,

when mortal faculties are beginning to fail and ,

the senses become obscured certain activities ,

and those emphatically not such activities as may

be compared to the leap of a dying candle flame
begin to reveal themselves

It i for example entirely accepted by all

s, ,

who have given thought to t he subject whether ,

by personal investigation o by the study f r o

evidence that at or about the time f death

, o

examples continually and frequen tl y take place f o

what is known as telepathic communication

between the dying person and those with whom
he is in mental sympathy .

Many th eories have been formed on the sub

j t
ec but
, at least there e merges from them all
W h a t H a pp e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
the solid fact that certain f the deepest fac ulties

o f man ,far from sharing in the dissolution


and failure that accompany the dea t h o f the

body are actually released by such disso l ution

into an activity n ever before experienced .

W hat conclusion can be draw n from these

facts except that the mortal ity is not entire that
the dee pest identity f a man that is to say can
o , ,

energise and exist apart from his body ?

Fo rChristians f course t he question is
, o ,

settled It is quite impossible for anyone who


accepts the R esurrection o f Christ as a fact to

be con t ent with v gue doctrines f absorption
a o

into the S oul f the W orld or o f that


P antheism towards which the non Christian -

thought of the present day is s o rapidly moving .

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
f the writers in this book D eath means final

o ,

extinction f consciousness but faith in what

o ,

lies beyond this presen t world of Sights and

sounds is with me a vital part f s elf conscious o -

ness . I know said the Patriarch of o ld

“ '
, ,

that my R edeemer liveth and though
after my skin worms destroy this body yet in ,

my flesh Shall I s God '

ee .

I not the experience expressed in those all


familiar words a part f every man s self o

consciousness ? I n the case o f this man J b o ,

h i primal belief concerning physical death was


no t the result f any argument but it w

o a , as

part of his rational and conscious life H e .

could n t get away from it I doubt if any

o .

man is actually able t o rid himself completely

o f this belief D Max Nordau himself s ems
. r .
, e

to me to a d mit this consciousness of the

H ereafter when he bemoans the fact that
men shrink back from the notion of Nothing

ness after D eath To him it is a p ite ous spe

. c

tacle to s men desperate ly clinging to the


fond se l f deception f a continuation of som e

- o

sort of l ife after death B ut the fact remains


that throughout the ages there h as been such a

spectac l e Looking at the religion of the lower

races as a whole says D Tylor in h is Primi

, r .

tive Culture '

we Shall at least not be ill

advised in taking as o n o f the general and e

principal elements the doctrine o f the so ul s ’

W h a t H a p pe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
future life This is a statement that seems

to be beyond dispute The answer o f all the .

ages is o t Nothing but S omething after



D eath .

E ven the pagan atti t ude was a ffi rmative

rather than negative The philosophy o f the .

king s counsellor in the court o f the o ld S axon

dynasty is very suggestive o f this It is told .

in connection with the narrative f the conver o

sion o f 'ing E dward o f Northumbria accord ,

ing t the historian W hen missionaries f

o . o

A ugustine came and waited before the S axon

monarch and his lords they were at first inc l ined ,

to repudiate them and their doctrine A t las t n . o e

o f the counsellors arose and said Thou know “

O ' ing that Ofttimes a winter s night ’

e t
s , , o n ,

when we are assembled wit hin this dimly lighted

hal l to do business a swallow will come from ,

the night p ass from darkness into darkness


again S o it is with the human soul W e

. .

come we know not whence and we go we know ,

n o t whither If therefore these n w teachers

, , e

can tel l us aught concerning whence we come

and whi t her we go let us hear them '
, .

F inal extinction o f consciousness was

evidently n o t acceptable even in p gan belief a .

O f course a man may set himself against


all such beliefs in the H ereafter '

H e may “

make believe n o t to believe but he does no t ,

thereby rid himse l f of t his universa l conscious

4 6
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
ness H is rational self wars against h is unbelief

H is attitude of unbelief is not only u B iblical h - ,

but wholly unphilosophical as well .

S ocrates when asked where he wou l d choose


to be buried made reply B ury me where you


will if you can catch me There you have the


wisdom of the wisest of ancient philosophers .

L ike Job f l d he declined to entertain the

o o ,

conception that D eath was the extinction f


consciousness T h ug h f t t h fl h w m
. o a er e es or s

d t y t h b dy was a fact present to the mind

e s ro e o

o f S ocrates as well as to that of Job But he .

did not infer from it that there was Nothing

ness after D eath '

To my mind it is not only utterly u h

B iblical and u p h ilO S O p h i l but also irrational

n ca ,

to give D eath the importance in life that is in

volved in the denial f the H ereafter D oubt O


less D eath is a crisis in s o far as it involves

change and transition B ut it surely is not the .

last law of life The maid Sleepeth said u

“ '
, o r

Lord Jesus Christ C o uld any view be more .

delightfully suggestive
Is immortality really something s o ardently

to be yearned after ? says D Nordau

r . .

In ans wer to that I can only say for myself


it is the most ardent desire o f my life .

W hen we formulate our doctrine concern

ing the H ereafter it is not of ourselves alone

we mus t t hink but o f those who l ove us Lead

, .


W h at H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
kindly light is a bewildering hymn to me but
, ,

I shall never cease to bless the writer o f i t if

only f o those lines

A nd with the morn those an g el faces smi l e ,

W hich I have l oved l ong since and lost

awhi l e .

Take away this hope of the H ereafter ,

and what S left for us bu t despair ? A s the


A postle says Let us eat drink and be merry


, , ,

for t o morrow we die B ut that S a phi losophy

. I

that cuts the nerve o f every noble e f fort and

heroic achievement in life We may as well .

write Ichabod over the national life if this

' ’

b elief is t prevai l I recent l y had the privi

o .

l ege o f addressing an audience o f w rking men o

on t he subject of S e l f culture and at the close

' -

o n e who w s present declared that he did

a ot n

c onsi d er the subject had any meaning f him -

or ,

inasmuch as he be l ieved in the extinctio o f “


consciousness after D eath '

I replied that I .

quite endorsed his vie w To my mi nd as to .


his it seemed u nnecessary t o consider the ques


ti on Of lf ultur if a man regarded h imsel f

se -c e

as nothin g be t ter than the bru t e t h t perishe th a .

W h a t H a p pe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
and the statement is grotesquely untrue S uper .

physical science is just as scientific as that which

relates merely to the low aspects f natural law o ,

and D M N o d u s comic impudence in de

r . ax r a

scribing as vain and inane delusion what


multitudes f better informed people know from

o -

their w experience to be a fact reminds m e

o n ,

o f what S ir O liver Lodge somewhere once wrote ,

to the e ffec t that in these days an expression o f

disbelief in clairvoyance was not so much a

declaration o f Opinion s an exhibition o f ig n r a o

ance .

The ub j e c t o f wha t happens after death need


no longer be concerned with arguments based o n

reason though these are overwhelmingly in

favour o f continued life in worlds beyond the

physical since we have definite testimony to

work with from the large numbers who now as ,

human evolution goes on are exercising the ,

superphysical senses t o which the phenomena

o f the next world are as apparent as those
o f t his ne to the limited comprehe nsion of

people like D Max Nordau r . .

To begin with i n the middle o f the l ast


cent ury superior wisdom guidin g the evolu t ion

o f human intelligence started S piritualism to
give the current generation proof of a kind it
could understand that there was a life after this ,

and another plane o f consciousness Millions .

availed themselves Of t he opportuni t ies a fforded ,

5 0
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
and other millions were silly enough to think
that because a fringe o f imposture gathered
round the manifestation there was no reality ,

within the fringe B ut S piritualism was t

. no

designed to d more than establish the broad


fact L ater developments l d to the expansion

. e

o f O ccult S cience which showed how it w


possible to range the next plane f existence o

while still in the body and bring back definite


information A vast envelope f subtle matter

. o

surrounds this earth Physical senses cannot


apprehend it but finer senses rapidly develop


ing among u do That i the next world in

s . s

which we all f us first awaken after shedding


the physical vehicle f consciousness and allo ,

who are earnest in pursuit f knowledge will find o

abundant satisfac t ion in the literature f Theo O

spp y ,
which has grown to such magnificent
proportions during the last thirty years .

L ife beyond the grave t u an old

“ '
, o se

fashioned phrase is much more certain than


life beyond the Channel for all crossing over

from D over t Calais and many o f us know
o ,

much more about it than the untravelled

majority know about F rance B ut to go into
detail it is necessary to write books '

as I have
done several times 'not merely to contribute a

few remarks to a controversy which oug ht to be

regarded as no less ut of date than a dispute

as to whether the ear t h is round or flat .


t he w ell -k no w n A u t h o r es s

MY belie f as to the future s tate is summed up in

the last verse o f Richard Baxter s perfect hymn

My knowledge f that life is small

o ,

The eye o f faith is dim ;

B ut tis enough that Christ kn ows all


A nd I Shall be with H im

That is all I have t o go upo n ; and it is

enough .
By t he R ev . A C D I 'O N B A D D
. .
, . . .
'f the

M e tr o p o li t a n T a b e r n ac le '

DO S E the invisible part f man continue to o

exist after the 'isible part has turned to dust ?

E very man is his b o dy plus somethin g more ,

and the something more is greater than his

bod y W ithout any fine Spun definitions we

will consider the soul as meaning that part o f us


which thinks loves rejoices suff ers approves

, , , ,

the right nd condemns the wrong

a .

R alph W ells in defining the soul to a class


of ragged children said The soul is that , ,

which thinks loves and feels ,

Yes said


a little ragged girl and aches s o '

Th e re


are times when the soul does ache and there ,

are times when it mounts up o n wings o f joy .

T he immortality o f the soul is first of all , ,

sug g ested by Nature W e plant a seed in the .

sprin g time and in autumn we reap the same


kind f seed The thing that continues in the

o .

seed is the 'ital force the life The particles ,


may be di fferent but the life is the same Take

, .

o ut the life and it is all dead matter The e

, . r

appearance o f this life in bud and leaf and flower

Wh a t H a pp e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
at least suggests that the life men t al moral , ,

and spiritual in us may continue after death .

The fact that the soul is not seen is no proo f

agains t its existence but rather presumption in

favour f its continuance for there is no micro

o ,

scope which has yet revealed to the eye the l ife

of the seed .

It is said that while D r James A rmstrong .

was preachin g on the immortality f t he soul o ,

an atheistic physician rose and asked him if

he had ever seen the soul N
replied . o ,

A rmst ro ng I have never seen a soul



The p h y c c ontinued D id you ever

s I Ia n ,

hear a soul ?
D id you ever taste a soul ?
NO .

D id you ever smel l a soul ?

NO .

you ever feel a soul ?

D id
Yes thank G d ,
replied the piouso ,

preacher .

W ell said the physician t here are four
, ,

o f the five senses against one that there is a


D r A rmstrong then asked D id you ever


s e a pain

The physician had to confess No , .

D id you ever hear a pain ?

“ '

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
D id you ever taste a pain

NO .

D id you ever smell a pain

No .

Well then there are four senses against

, ,

on tha t there is pain and yet you know t here

e ,

is pain S o I know there is a soul

. .

The preacher might have asked the doctor ,

D id you ever s e e your brain o s me l l your , r

brain o taste your brain o r hear your brain ?
r ,
“ '
N O .

Well there are four senses a g ainst one that


you have any brain The invisible part o f us


is the real part The unseen is the e t ernal The

. .

body is the casket which holds the jewel o f the

soul .

A gain the immortality o f the soul is taught


by universal consciousness The rude savage .

believes in a future state The I ndian buries .

with his comrade the blanket the b o w and ,

arrow believing that he will need these things


in the happy hunting grounds o f the future .

E ven modern infidelity does no t deny it .

W hen the champion blasphemer o f A merica

stood over the corpse o f his brother he spoke ,

o f the Star o f hope which the soul sees in the

night The heart is sometimes wiser than the


head .

I n order to express his hos t i l ity to Chris

t i n it y o n e may in a moment o f weakness de
a ,

W h a t H a p pe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
c l are that he expec t s to die like a do g and that ,

will b e t he l ast f him ; but if you were to l o ok


into his face and t ell him t hat you believe there
is nothing in him higher than yo u find in the
dog he wou l d b e insulted A nd yet if he con

t in ue s to assert tha t he does not belong to a

higher grade than the dog he is ap t to de ,

generate into a dog like character - .

M r S purgeon tells of an English pastor who


after he had preached on the immorta lity o f the

soul w a s approached by o ne o f his parishioners
, ,

who t o ld him that he did n o t believe in the

teaching o f h is sermon There is no diff er

ence he said be tween the man and t he

, ,

dog .

W e ll rep l ied the preacher

, I really ,

thought t ha t I was furn ishin g food fo r people

who had souls ; if I had known that there was a
dog among t hem I might have brought b ones

for him The man did not enjoy this personal


and practical application of his own admission .

S u g ges ted by Nature taugh t b y universal ,

consciousness the immortality of the soul is


c onfirmed b y O b servation If yo u will turn t o.

any fi s t class book o mental philosophy you

r - n ,

will find instances in which memory has grown

s t ronger while the b od y has grown weaker .

There a r e cases o n record where page after

pa g e in fo r eign l an g uages long forgo tten have , ,

been repeat ed by men on b eds o f sickness A .

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
carry and when it gets rid o f the b od y memory

will assert its full strength .

The immortality f the soul sugg ested by O ,

Nature taught by universal consciousness and

, ,

confirmed by observation is finally established ,

by revelation The words immortal and .

immortality occur s i times n the B ible

x I .

They are two words in the Greek o o f which ,


means incorruptible and the other death

“ '

The word meaning incorruptib l e is ' “

applied to Go d H imself in Tim i 1 7 and is I . .


s o translated by the revisers In Rom ii 7 are . . .

the words To them who by patient continuance


in well doing seek f glory and honour and im

- or

mortality eternal life The revision correctly

, .

renders it incorruption which we are to seek



diligently .

The word which means deathlessness

occurs in Tim vi 6 and refers to the L ord
I . . 1 ,

Jesus W ho only hath imm rtality dwelling


o ,

in the light which no man can approach unto '


The D eity o f Jesus dwelling i n this u p p o h,

na r ac

able light cannot die H e took upon H im the


humanity which could die but H is D eity is ,

dea t hlessness .

This S cripture does n o t even in t imate that

wicked men will cease to exist after death It .

is appointed u nto men once to die and after this ,

the judgment '

Go d cannot die and live again
. ,

b iIt man can .

5 8
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
The di fference between immortality and
et rnal life is clearly intimated in these S crip

tures Immortality means everlasting existence

. ,

but eternal life is n o t eternal existence D ead .

things exist I can imagine a piece of steel


existing a million years but after the m illiO ,


years have passed it will be as dead as it i now s .

Co r pses exist M dead in trespasses and in

. en

Sins this side f the grave exist and they

on o ,

will exist after death O ne do s t begin really . e no

to l ive until he has accepted Christ ; but he

exists .

E ternal life is a present possession ot a ,


future continuity H e that believeth o n the


So n hath everlasting l ife W rite the little


word HAT H i n capital letters for eternal life ,

is in the pres nt tense It is the gift of God

e .

through Jesus Christ Immortality was im .

parted when Go d created man in H i own image s .

S in brought death which is separation from ,

God but it did not bring non existence M

- . an

continued to exist after he had sinned T s y . o a

that the words perish '

die '



mean annihilati o n is to speak unscripturally and

uns c i n t ifi
e l ly S cience knows no annihila
ca .

tion it simply recognises changes f form and o

substance D eath does not bring about anni


h il t io
a Of the body W e keep it several days
n .

after death and tenderly lay it away beneath the


flowers .

W h a t H a pp e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
S eparation from God W ho is the source o f

l ife is t he deat h of the soul in time and eternity

, .

H ence we are told in 2 Thess i 9 that the . .

wicked shall be punished with everlasting

destruction from the presence f the Lord and o ,

from the glory Of H is power '


I n t he parab l e o f the rich man and Lazarus

' Luke xvi.
' it is made plain that
memory and imagination continue to exist after
reason ,

the dea t h Of the body The rich man in H ades


uses the word therefore ; he reasons

“ '

A braham said to him S on remember


A nd .

h is request that Lazarus shall be sent back to

earth to rise from the dead and startle his

brethren into repentance shows that imag ina


tion stil l exists This testimony of Jesus that


the reason memo ry and imagination of the


wicked continue to exist aft er death is final and ,

sett l es t he question once for all .

By S ir H IR AM s . MA 'IM , O H . .
, ME . .

T H ERE is not one l ittle par t icle o f evidence t o

Show that we live after we die in the sense that ,

preachers would have us be lieve .

Mankind l ike all other animals and plants

, ,

has been developed into his present condition by

na t ura l selection an d the survival of the fittest
for the environment in which he finds himself .

S mall changes in b o d y and b rain going o n for ,

vast periods o f ti me have produced the man o f


to day but it Should not be supposed t hat these


changes and developments have s topped Im .

portan t changes are n o w taking place in the

brain o f man ; he is deve l oping h is thinking
powers and as time go es on he will waste l ess

o f his time and money in propitiating and

making peace with the unseen phantoms o f the
air It certainly is not di ffi cult for us t o under

stand that the man who thought the most o f his

life and had the greatest dread o f dea t h e sp i
, , ec

ally i the early ages would be the o who stood

h , ne

the b est chance f surviving and o f propaga t ing


his species that is men l ike himself

, .

Man s passiona t e love o f women and chil

W h a t H a p pe n s A f t er D e at h PJ I
dren and his horror o f death became intensified
, ,

as time wen t o n H e cou l d not bear the idea


that death w as the end o f all The wish was .

the father O f the thought I n human a ffairs


wherever a great want manifests itself a remedy ,

is sure to be for t hcoming and in this case the ,

quack doctor f religion appeared on the scene

O .

H e was quite ready to deal ut everlasting l ife o

and happiness in another world after death for a

c onsideration and at the same t ime to consign

t hose w h o refused to take his medicine and pay

or it to everlasting torments o f the most e c uc i x r

a t ing description in a fire and brimstone hell .

A s ages passed o ther doctors Of religion


modified and e l aborated their d o ctrines un t il an ,

extremely complicated and contradictory system

was evolved — religion s o extremely ridiculous

and impossi b le that it required a lot o f faith to

believe i t The resu l t was that thinking men of

intelligence could not accept the foolish and

absurd dogmas o f the priests .

This was a serious trouble but it was even ,

t u ll y overcome in a very thorough and e f fective


manner The priests ki l led ff the unbelievers

. o ,

generally by burning them alive .

This dras t ic treatment put a check upon

thinki ng and stopped t he growth o f the human

mind for more than a thousand years .

R eligion was booming from t he fourth to the

eighteenth century I t was a splendid b usiness

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
in fact n idea l business The priests were well
, a .

paid lived lives Of luxury and did not h ave to

, ,

deliver the goods The result w that the p

. as ro

f e s s io n became overcrowded and new means ,

were inven ted to get more money out of the faith

ful The inven t ion f Purgatory and the sale
. o

o f indulgences brought immense sums into the

Church .

H istorians tell us that between the fourth and

eighteenth century more than a thousand millions
o f mankind lost t heir lives in E urope A sia ,

Minor and Northern A frica

, account of e on t

l ig io n .This dreadful period f u history is o o r

no w referred to the D ark A ges

as .

F ortunately for man the priests quarrelled


among themselves and this gave the human


mind a chance to develop and get rid o f some

o f the most bothersome superstitions I have .

l ately read an article this subject

on which c m o

pares Christianity with the older religions f the o

world and would have u believe that it is more

, s

worthy t o endure because i t teach es l oving


kind ness .

Nothing could be farther from the truth than

this ridiculous statement Christianity h s been. a ,

without doubt t he worst and the wickedest i

, n

s t it ut i n that ever a ffl icted a su ff ering world

o It .

h as destroyed vastly more lives and aused i , c n

finitely more human su ff ering than all the o t her ,

religions that the world h s ever known a .

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
W hile in P aris some years ago I had the
honour Of dining with o n o f the par t ne r s of Mr
e .

A ndrew Carnegie ; 'i a 'ananda the learned

v ,

H indu philosopher was also one of the guests


A lady who was present asked him the ques t ion

W hat b ecomes of us fter death
a H is reply
was Simple and to the point Madam I do n o t :


know ; I have never been dead S he said to me .

that o ne would have supposed that s learned a o

man with s uch a repu t ation would have been

ab l e t o answer this simple question I told her .

that any li tt le ecclesiastical fl d g e l in g o S alva e r

tion A rmy captain would have b een ab l e t o give

her a defini t e reply at once b u t had the learned

H indu done the same S h e might have turned on

him and asked H o w do you know ?
“ '

I proc l aim myself the P ope of my o w n re

l ig io n
. This is a materia l wor l d in which we
live A ll the matter that goes t o make up our

b odies like all other matter is e terna l ; it h s

, , a

always exis t ed and wil l a l ways exist Remove

, .

al l matter from the universe and we should have

only an infini t ely cold and an infinitely dark
vacuum A S far as the soul the m ind o r the
, ,

Spiritual part is concerned this l ike electricity is

, , ,

on l y a condition o f ma tter ; it is n o t eternal in the

s ame sense t hat matter is It h s been trans
. a

m it t e d to us by our paren t s and we o n o u part

, ,
r ,

are a bl e to transmit it to o ur child r en ; so we l ive

again in o ur descendan t s .

By S ir R O BE R T A N D ER S O N ,
. IL D
. . .

T HE nearer I approach death I seem to gain a

g l impse Of the Shore n d to be at last about to
a , ,
sai l in t harbour after a l ong voyage S uch
o .

was the reverie o f Cicero the great pagan ,

philosopher ,
years ago A nd he went n . o

to quote the followin g words o f Cyrus the E lder

o n h is death bed D not suppose my dearest

- O ,

sons that when I shall have left you I Shall


exist nowhere o lose my being for no t even

r ,

while I remained with you did you s my soul ee ,

yet yo u inferred from my o w conduct that it was n

in the body ; h assured therefore that its ex

e , ,

i t
s e n ce is all the same even though yo u will ,

con t inue not to s e e it '


D o not some o f the contri b utions to this

symposium compare very unfavourably with the
thoughts and words o f classic paganism ? Th ere
are only two books from which we can learn any
thing respecting the fu t ure and the unseen
Nature and Revelation A nd those grand men .

the great phi l osophers of ancient paganism t


t a in e d to al l t hat in t his sphere Na t ure can

W h a t H a p pe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
supply B ut is this the limit of o u knowledge
. r

in Christian E ngland ?
If all who are a f flicted with blindness a g reed
to deny the existence f the un should we con o s ,

sent to treat it existence as an Open question


A nd the denials of agnostics and i fid l cannot n e s

be allowed to discredit u belief in the B ible as o r

a D ivine revelation N can we forget the . or

manner in which the revelation is accredited .

John S tuart Mill Observed that mankind cannot
be too Often reminded that there was once a
man of the name f S ocrates S till more im
o .

portant i it t remind mankind again and again

s o

that a man of the name of Jesus Christ once

stood in their midst These words are quoted

from D H arnack the greatest f living rational

r .
, o

i t ; and they represent the sort of teaching that

s s

is common nowadays in many a q u i Christian as -

pulpit But how di ff erent t he faith f the

. o

Christian ' W e kno w that the S on o f God is

come and th inspired record f H is teaching
e o

is an end f controversy every subject which

o on

falls within it A nd this being s we are not

. o ,

left to grope in darkness f o a solution f the r o

question W hat happens to us when we die


Beginning with the L atin F athers t h lo , eo

gians have claimed to anticipate the judgment “

of the great A ssize respec t ing the eternal

d estiny both of individuals and f races and o

classes o f men B ut what concerns us here is


W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
the t aching not of theology but of the S on o f
e , ,

God A nd while the B ible is t designed to

. no

so l ve academic ques t ions its teaching is full and


clear in respect o f all that we are concerned t o

kno w W ithin that ca tegory falls the question

W hat happens to us when we die ? and the'

answer given to it is explici t At d e ath the .

ri g hteous p ass into a condition of o n s c o uS c I

happiness a nd the unrighteo us o f conscious


misery .

W h o is righteous and who unrigh t eous ?


That is not the question now b efore us ; and a

discussion o f it would be deemed unsuit ble in a

the pa g es of this li tt le book B ut the fact that .

at death men do not pass ut of existence but o ,

into a new condition o f existence is accredited ,

by H im W h o is b o t h t he S aviour and the Judge ,

and W ho dec l ared expressly that all H is teaching

was D ivine The answer t o o u problem there
. r ,

fore is no mat t er of mere opinion or of guess


w o rk God W ho in times past spake unto t he

fathers by the prophets hath in these las t days


s poken unto us b y H is S o This is n o mere n .

conjecture ; W e know that the S on o f Go d has

come '

A nd H e has drawn aside the veil whi ch

screened from human sight the world into which
we pass at dea t h A nd it is no t the inter

mediate state only that H e has unveiled Fo . r

afte r decla r in g that no w and in this p r e sent,

W h a t H a pp e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
world there is life for a l l who hear H is voice

H e adds Marvel n o t at this for t he hour is



coming in the which all that are in the graves

Shall hear H is voice and s h all come forth t hey
, ,

life ; and they t hat have done evil unto the ,

resurrection of judgment '


Now here we are not dealing with theological

doctrines o f a kind that are a matter o f contro
v e rs y ,
but with basic tru t hs plainly revealed by
the L ord H imself A nd this being so any one

who rejects them declares himself an infidel .

S uch then is the answer which Christianity

gives to the question here at issue D ea t h is .

not the end of human existence but a crisis ,

after which existence continues in a new phase .

A nd that phase moreover is only temporary

, ,

S cripture t ells us something about the bodies

in which the just will p ss to glory ; but s to
a a

the others it is strangely silent A S I have seen


prisoners their discharge from jail resuming

o n

the wretched garments t hey wore upon arrest I ,

have s ometimes wondered whether the unjust

will be reclothed in bodies akin to those in which
they sinned My purpose here however is not
, ,

t o indulge in idle speculations of any kind but ,

ra t her to indicate what Christianity plainly

reveals upon the subject of this symposium .



THE answer to the question is impossible To .

state however what we hope perhaps more

, , ,

than what we believe is far easier presumin g , ,

that we are fully prepared to base o u belief r on

the sta t ements f the B ible of which no o

o ,

would desire to Speak with doubt W e may s y . a

in a word that our universal belief—the be l ief


we wish to hold is the ld assertion that those o

who have done well Shall have e v erlast in g lif ' “

e ,

and t hat those who have done evil Shall go i nto

everlasting fire The l ast two words how

ever h calculated to Shake the b elief of those

, re

who are most desirous t o b elieve .

Let us regard this point since it creates ex ,

treme di fficul t ies W hence ca me the belief that


fire will be the punishment o f those who being ,

dead can feel no t hing o being dea d for

, ,

myriads o f years can have l eft be hind no grain


capable of destruction ? C onsider the s t yle of

writing o f those who may have promulgated such
doc trines and a l so whence they deduced t hem

Recent years nay recent days have proved to

, , ,

us by discoveries made that human beings l ived

W h a t H a pp e n s A f t er D e a t h ?
at the time the world was undergoing strange
changes ; there was the filflQ iEIPSi QQCI th fire - A

period and o t hers ,


Those human beings may have heard of both

throu g h early legends F ire may have appear e d .

to them the most awful o f the two calamities ;

so w o u
lg nn t fire h a ve seemed t their crude u n o ,

instructed almost animal mind s the m st p


, o a

palling h r th at co ul d fa l l
o rro n them
, ,
Might o

n t hel l as we speak of it viz eve r lasting “

o , ,

fire have struck the m as the most terrible


punishmen t that could befall the guilty ? O n

the other hand everlasting life to the E astern
' “

mind would depict it does s o t o this day

calm and placid joys It does so to the most .

devout Of us and depic t s happiness such as we


ourselves imagine H e ven to be i' the ever a , v .


las t ing life in which we shall all share if we

are of those who have done well .

Yet o n this point on which the most sain t ly ,

as well as the most evil are still embarrassed ,

no information is for t hcoming No visitation o f .

those we have loved d e arly o f those who have ,

been u friends is ever vouchsafed ; yet all of

o r ,

us aspire to learn something to receive o n ,


word e token that shall make things clear to

, on

uS . W e want absolute proof tangible Signs f , o

wha t will happen when we have left this world ,

but no one comes back to tell u W e try to s .

b elieve the veriest atheist would believe and
F 7 1
Wh a t H a p p e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
respec t if a l l cou l d be made clear made sure
, .

There would be no Sinners o n this earth if they

who are inclined to s in knew what t heir deserts
would be ; if they who now lead good and pure
lives could know tha t their reward was certain .

The latter merit that knowledge because even

the good w ould desire to be sure ; the former
would a t once reform and indulge no more in
s c o ffi n g and deriding a future life as that of a

mo nk s r an o ld wife s ta l e But no one comes



back to tell us and S O be we either good o

, ,

bad there lingers ever with u all the dread


reflection that we have no actual knowledge of

wha t happens t o us when we die .
W h a t H a pp e n s A f t er D e a t h ?
it was a co nviction that had almost t he s u e n e s s ‘

which might mark the Christian be l iev e r .

Then when we come to the New T esta men t

, ,

in the remarkable words Of S t P au l i t is brough t


to light in the Gospel .

O ur Lord Jesus Christ distinctly t aught the

doctrine that we shall live again ; S O did all the
A postles Passage after passage might be cited

from the New Testament boo ks which c l early in

d i t this
ca e .

Then again the resurrection o f ou r Lord

, ,

Jesus Christ is to me the chief evidence of the

life to come ; and the R e surrection is an his
t o ric l fact which is be t ter attested than almost

any other fact of history S uch is the verdict of


scholars and historica l students who have very

carefully weighed a l l the evidence Never b . e

fore was there such good reason for accepting

the resurrection o f C hrist as an his t orical fact
as there is to day - .

Now granted that Christ r ose again from


the dead yo u have an indisputab l e demonst r a


tion o f t h e fact that we sha ll l ive again You .

sometimes hear people s y that no one has ever


come back from the world beyond to bear witness ’

to its existence but that suggestion is b s o

, a

l ut e l y refu t ed by the resurrection o f our Lord .

No o ne can honestly or with any Sh o w f reason o

or accuracy declare that no o n eve r came back e ,

fo r H e came back I pu t the resurrection o f


W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
Jesus C hrist as the foundation evidence of the
fact that we shal l l ive again .

Then Nature appears to me to confirm t ha t

suggestion o f a future l ife Bishop B utler in .

his great A nalo gy a work t he main points


o f which never can be overthrown has argued ,

very powerfully that Nat ure abounds in hints

and suggestions Of the future life .

We in human nature in the na t ure of

see ,

animals and in the vegetable world startling ,

illustrations which no thoughtful person can

reject— wonderful hints of life u nder new con
d it io n s in another state .

Then another great evidence as it seems to ,

m that we shall live again consists in our


conscience Now perhaps next to the s u

, re rre c

tion of our Lord the ministry f conscience i n

, o

every human being is the strongest indication

of a life to come Conscience distinctly preaches

t o those who will listen that there is anothe r ,

world Conscience is constantly appealing t o


us n this point P eople often s t ifle their con

o .

science and as S t Pau l put i t they sear

, , .

their conscience s that it l oses its power ; but


if it is not stifled seared i t bears an irresistible


message o f a fu t ure life If people will only .

listen to th ir co n science as it speaks within


t hem, it seems to me that they must b e b s o a

l ut l y driv n to be l ieve that we Shall all live

e e

a gai n .

W h a t H a p pe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
The wonderful faculty which dwells in every
human being is in truth a great prophe t o f t he
life beyond .

A nother very s t rikin g su g ges t ion t hat we

Sha l l l ive again is to be found in the all but
u niversality o f that conviction A mong all .

nations and in all times there has been a be l ief

in immortality A mong heathen peoples the

be l ief Often assumes very gro t esque fo r ms but

it none the less exists ' H ow can we account

for the universal prevalence o f the idea and its

continua l prev alence except by the supposition
that it is an Q S M implanted by u Maker i n o r

the human b r eas t ?

A nother important considera t ion which has a
very strong influence upon my o w n mind is the
fact that a belief in immort ality has always had
such an ennobling influence wherever it has

been accepted No o n ever taught more beauti

. e

fully O more impressively than Tennyson did


how the doc t rine o f immortality points t o all

that is mora l and nobl e in human character .

Tennyson speaks i n o ne o f his poems o f the

great moral qualities and he says something like

this Take the charm for ever from them

“ ‘

and they crumble into dust I believe Tenny


son s doctrine to be entirely t rue ' W herever

the doctrine o f a fu t ure l ife is received it is a

check upon s in ; there can b e no doubt that t he
doct rine o f immorta l ity has b een one o f the
7 6
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
most powerfu l influences in l eading men t o
accept the S aviour and to l ead go od lives .

O n the other hand wherever the doctrine


is disbelieved you lose o ne o f the greates t fo r ces

f o al l tha t is mo r a l and S piritually good
r .

F inally another consideration which seri


o us ly impresses me is t his—that the very noblest

inte l ligences and spirits in history have held the

doctrine and that a great deal o f t heir nobl e ness

is to be attributed t o their having held it .

Not t o go back to t he ear l ier ages think o f ,

the influence the be l ief in a future life h as had

on some o f the maste r minds of modern t imes .

T hink of the fact th at it w as an intense reality

to such men as M Glads t one Lord S a l isbury
r .
, ,

B ishop W estcott Rober t B rownin g Al fred

, ,

Tennyson .

These men were en t husias t s for that doc trine ,

and if we look in t o t he history of humanity we

Sha ll find I think withou t excep t ion that all
, ,

the very no bl est personalities have retained this

doctrine nihs t defin ite l y The arg umen t in

favour o f be l ief in immor ta l ity based on t he


qualities o f those w h o have he l d such a belief

seems to me to be an argumen t which is un
assailable or if not unassailab l e a t a ll even t s
, , ,

invincible .

By J . AR T H U R H I LL

IN t hese days o f widesprea d bereavemen t and ,

when the t hough t s o f even those who have l ost

no dear ones are t urned to the graver things of
l ife it is natura l tha t t he question o f Immorta l ity

shou l d come ve r y much to the fro n t in many

minds The wor l d old query more or l ess Oh

s cu e d
r in ordina r y days insis t en t ly p r esen t s

itself : If a man die sha l l b e l ive again ?

“ '


Re l igion h as always said Yes ; S cience o r

' “

some O f its vo t aries in the name of science


has some t imes said N O and the gene r a l mind

has naturally b een perplexed .

W ha t is the s t ate of affai r s now—is t here any

nearer approach to agreement ? C an we reach
any firmer ground in this momen t ous matter ?
I s ay t hat undoub tedly we can ; for a summing
up of S cien c e and P hi l osophy a t the present day
is vastly more favourable t o the r e l ig ious view
than ever before Ind e ed S cience is now de

fi nite l y o n the side of Re l igion and the average ,

mind is no l onger pu ll ed two ways W e can be . ,

religious wi t hou t b eing unscien t ific ; we can b e

7 8
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e at h ?
s cientific withou t b eing irreligious A nd t his is .

a s it ought to be .

A s a resu l t very l arge l y o f investiga t ions

, ,

and general advance in certain bran ches o f

psycho l ogy durin g the last thirty ye rs the b est a ,

sc ientific minds now take an entirely di fferent

view of the sou l from that f the ear l ier scientists o

such as B iic h e r and H ackel n .

The body is no l onger looked on as p du cin g ro

the mind s the liver produces bile in t he

a —
materialis t s famous and foolish phrase —bu t as

tra n s m ittin g it The mind works through t he


b ody but S in no way d ependent on i t f o exist

I r

ence The bo dy is merely the vehicle o organ

. r

for the mind s manifestation in the present

wor l d Naturally if the ma terial inst rumen t


g ets damaged — as in apoplexy by a blood clot -

o n the brain —the mind 8 manifestation is inter

f e d with
er the mechanism is o ut Of order the
: ,

current doe s not flow B ut it is only a block .


no t an extinction —the mind is t here all the same ,

as it is~e q u lly really—i s l eep which is a

a n ,

similar though in this case quite heal t hy ces

, ,

sa t ion of manifestation A nd if the organ is .

s in s h e d completely
a as at deat h or soo n after

wards it makes no di fference to the Spirit The

, .

la tt er simply withdraws when the body ceases

t o be usable f o r manifestation It goes u p .

higher ; qu its the material world where it had


lesso ns to learn but w h i h h as now served it s '

W h a t H a pp e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
pu r pose ; and tu r ns to other and higher act ivities
Of a wider range in the Spiritua l world though —

n o t forgetting loved ones left behind for there ,

is good reason to believe o n purely scientific ,

grounds that the dead can sti ll interest them

' “

se l ves ih o u a ffairs that t hey often are stil l with

r ,

us and aware o f o u thoughts and needs and r ,

t hat they exer t t hemselves to comfort and to help

the sorr o wing n d burdened soul a .

This transmissive view o f the s oul s

“ '

relation t o the b od y was held b y t he greatest

ps ycho l ogis t o f modern t imes P rofe ss o r W illiam
James M D , o f .

H ar va r d w h expounded i t
, o

only few years ago n d n o t l ong b efore his


a , a

lamented death i n his brilliant little book ,

H uman Immor t a l i t y in the Ingerso l l Lec t ure ,

series A n d it is held o n strictly scientific


grounds mark you —n d as a result of his own


investiga t ions—b y the most famous scientific

man in England who is at the same time pro b ,

ably the best known scien t ist in t he wh o l e wor l d


t o day namely S ir Ol iver Lodge Ot her great

, , .

name s might easi l y be added S ir W illiam :

C rookes P resident o f the Roya l S ociety ; S ir


W illiam B arrett the foremost scientis t in I e , r

land ; P rofessor Bergson the greatest l iving ,

philosopher whe t her o f F rance o r the world ;


M r A J B a l fou r M r G W B alfou r D
. . .
, . . .
, r .

F C S S chi ll er leader of t he P ragma t is t s in

. . .

En g l and a ll t hes e are names t aken at random

a -

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
speak o f human personality W e all are dis

gusted with ourselves at times in o u failure to ,


l ive anywhere near up to t he level o f o u o w n r

c onceptions a n d idea l s ; and when we think o f

the survival o r immortality o even the l engthy

, , r

dura t ion of o u present self after death we fee l

r ,

a cer tain shrinking S hal l we no t get very sick


o f ourselves—shall we not weary o f the eternal

strugg l e against our baser part ? A s the boy

said quoted by E merso n It makes me s o tired

when I think o f fo r eve r


B ut psychology here steps in to the rescue .

It has estab l ished that o u present se l f is only r

a fraction of ou r total self A S W ordsworth .


says : W e are g reater than we know

“ '
We .

are l ike icebergs— in S ir Ol iver Lodge s S imile ’

—which float with only o ne t welfth o f their bulk -

above water this twelfth more o r less re p

, , , re

senting o u presen t consciousnes s

r .

S o we need not indu l ge exag gerat ed fears

about t he t edium s t ress o f ou r o w n society in

the heavenly wor l d for we Sha ll be di fferent


from and l arge r t han ourse l ves as known to us

no w . Identi t y will continu e as identity con ,

t in ne s b etween the i g norant chi l d and the mature

wise man he develops into ; but as in the ,

pa r a ll el t here wil l be a gain an accretion a

, , ,

growth and we sha l l b e chan g e d W e do not

, .

yet know what we shall e no t exac t ly or by
expe rience whi ch is yet to come in it s due course

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
- but we know enough to infer that o ur tran
s cen d n t l self is really a much greater thing
e a

than the small and Often very unsatisfactory self

which is w being manifested here through the

channel f the body A nd with this s c ie nt ific

o .

ally j ustified inference we can look forward with

contentment to the introduction to our wider self
which awaits us at the time o f transition It was .

probab l y knowledge Of this greater range o f the

real total personality that led to the phrase
' quoted approvingly by Christ but puzzlin g to
many 'Ye are gods i e y u are great er and

— o

more divine than y u yourselves kno w '

. .

Psal m o

lxxxii 6 ; S t John s Gospel x

. .


It is sometimes asked S hall we know o u :


friend s when o u turn comes to join them o n


the othe r side —will they not have changed or ,

shall we no t ourselves hav e changed out o f

recognition in the interim particu l arly if i t has ,

be n long

T h e answe r is that we Shall know them and ,

shall be known perfectly ; if we think other


wise or have doubts it is because we are think

, ,

ing how b dily cha ng es make us unrecognisab l e


sometimes in o u earth life to friends of thirty

, r ,

or fort y years ago .

B ut in the heavenly wor l d r ecognition will

not depend on material bodies ; we shall put o n

Spiritual bodies as S t Pau l says and shall per

, .

c i e each other 5 minds and S ouls much more

e v

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
clearly t han ever before—in other words we ,

Shall n o t only know each other but Shall know

each o t her much better than we did in the earth
l ife when clogged by the ma t erial body through
which we saw only dimly .

A n d as to changes minds change less than

, ,

bod ies W e meet old f r iends school chums and


wha t not after lon g separation a n d a t once the

, ,

o l d in t imacy is established
t e- .

I have j ust had a striking i ll ustration o f this .

My dearest chum of twenty yea r s ago has just

revisited t he O ld Co untry after long sojourn in
his adopted country—C anada Pacific Coast ,

Litt l e co r respondence had passed between us

after the first year o two and I almost feared
r ,

to meet him ; for it seemed that we must in

e it a b l
y have diver g ed as to o u individual r

interests in l ife o ur respective environments


having been so di fferent ; and this fee l ing f o

s t ran g eness after the o l d times o f a ffection and


c l ose sympathy would be painful

, .

B ut when the meeting came all was wel l .

My friend was the same good o l d fellow the ,

same personality that I had known and in half ,

an hour we fel t as clo se as o f O l d True each .


had much to t e ll the o t her each had developed ,

o n di f ferent lines but evidently the fact o f our


ancient co n genia l ity had ensure d that any

fur t her growth Of the o n e would be o f a kind
which wou l d interes t and a t t r act the o t her The .

W h a t H a pp e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
p ersonality is the thing ; it s knowledge r ex o

er e
p i n ce is but a g arment S O .with after death -

recognitions W e need o t fear that we shall

. n

not know o u dear ones o that they will have

r ,

left us hopelessly behind They will have much


to tell us and there will be much comparing O f


notes ; but the mutua l recognition f the selves o

will be full and intimate and happy Indeed it .

may b e — nay it will b — that we shall be in

, e

some sort necessary to their joy ; that they “

without us should not be made perfect '


Therefore in these world shaking times let


us hold to cheerfulness and faith Go d is over .

all ; the pre sent life is but a dream a discipline , ,

an education It is be t ter o before when we

. n ,

shall have awakened to the wider horizons t hat

await us to the fuller life and activities to the ,

companionship o f those we have loved and tem

po ra rily lost and
, t o the closer u nion with God ,

who is Love i t self .

By Mrs A NN I E BE S A N T

AN S W E R S to this question have been sought for

by man along various roads and the answers ,

may be classified as religious spiri t ualis t ic , ,

theoso phic and mater i a l istic

, .

The last m y be summed up in the s tatemen t


tha t nothing happens to us beca use we c e ase to ,

exist when the b ody dies The re l igious answers


are various but all uni t e in t h e belief tha t we


continue to live b eyond death .

The spiritualistic answers agree as to t he e r

i a l o f the individual after the death of the

v v

body and a mas s of evidence is p r o ffer e d which

, , ,

in the opinion o f a l l who have ca re ful l y s t udied

it places the fact o f reviva l beyond dispute
, .

W hen every po s sible deduction has been made

for fraud hallucina t ion self decep t ion t here
, ,

remains an irreducible minimum o f evidence ,

which is su ffi cien t to prove that the man s u rvives

on the other sid e o f death The evidence as is .

wel l known is o b tained through the class Of


sensitives known as mediums n d is o f the

, a

most varied kinds writing speaking m a t e rial is , ,

in g under trance conditions o r o t herwise

, .

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
The answers given by theosophists depend
on investigations carried on by means o f the


cise o f super normal senses some t imes b orn


with the person using them sometimes de ,

l p d by de l ibe ra t e e ff ort
ve o e .

The theory as to these senses is easily stated .

M n is a Spiritual intelligence clothed in matter

a .

This matter exists in o u worlds in five main r

states di ffering from each o t her by the funda


mental types o f their atoms the aggregations ,

of which form the materials f which each world o

is composed .

F r our purpose we may ignore the two


higher worlds and consider only the three lower

, ,

in which the normal evolu t ion o f man is going

on .These are the physical world from which ,

are drawn the materials forming our physic l a

bodies ; t h e intermedia t e world genera l ly c lled ,


the s tral world from which are drawn the

a ,

materials forming the astral bod y the sea t o f ,

sensations desires and emotions ; the heavenly

, , ,

or mental world from which are drawn th

, e

materials forming the mental b dy the sea t O f o ,

thought .

The man himse lf t he spiritual intel l igence

, ,

the conscious being uses these bodies f his

, o

for thinking feeling and action in relation to

, ,

the wo r lds in which h lives and moves and -

e ,

in his normal everyday consciousness he is

active in these three worlds working from the ,

G 87
W h a t H a pp e n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
mental worl d t hrou g h t he cerebro Spina l sys tem -

in the physical body and from the astral wor l d


through the sympa t hetic system the p h ys ca l , I

body being the appara t us t he mechanism , ,

through which the forces o f thought o o f r

desire are able to manifest t hemselves i n t he

physica l world .

A S S ir O liver Lo dge has pointed o ut on l y ,

a par t of man s consciousness works in the

physica l body but that part shows t h three

, e

fold characteristics o f the whole — thinking ,

desiring actin g

The greater part o f man s co nsciousness ’


according to this view is ou t side man s ,

physical body and can manifes t i t self through


the medium o f the astral and men tal b o dies

in t he astral and mental worlds I n w kin g .


consciousness the activity is S hown t hrough


the physical body ; b ut man is not awake


all t he time .

C onsciousness is active w hen t he b ody

sleeps and psychologists recognise and have

investigated the dream consciousness and by

“ '

the s t udy of dre ms Of t r ance condi t ions hyp

a ,

n o t ic and mesmeric t hey have accumulate d a


num b er o f facts which Sho w that when t he

se nses are d eadened and the b rain is inactive ,

the consciousness manifests certain powers more

extensive than i t can show during the use o f its
ordinary physi ca l apparatus These powers are .

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
is possible for all those who have in the course
o f thei r evolution wh ether normally or by any

quickening pr o cess brought into functional


activi t y these perceptive organs .

It is o n observation carried by means o f o n

these that theosophists depend for their know

ledge o i after death states A n increasing
- .

number of students are ble t o carry on such a

observations and the records f these are accu


m ula t in g .

The conditions o f the world in which o u r

consciousness works when outside the physical

body— whether leaving that body in sleep o r

dead are as various as those o f the p h ys l Ic a

world and t he observations f students must


vary according to the regions they investigate .

B ut certain broad fac t s emerge .

The man after death in his desires and ,

emotions is the s ame man as he was before


d eath ; hence if his desires were such as need


a phy sical body f their t is f ft io n he su ff ers

or sa ac ,

keenly from uns tisfi e d cravings which only

a ,

gradually disappear by a process Of slow s t a rv a

ti n ; the ap plication f this knowledge to con

o o

duct leads a man t o lessen such desires and to ,

seek gratification ra t her in t he class f desires o

which pertain to emotions tha n in those which

pertain to appetites f E s t h t i emotions t he
. e c ,

pursuit o f knowledge persist for the functioning


of consciousness in the as t ral intermedia te or

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
w orld and help can be sen t thence by the wire
, ,

less telegraphy f thought and emotion to those

o ,

who are still labouring in t h physic l world e a .

Many an experience o f happiness and f o

su ff ering as the results of the physical earth


life are engraven by the con s ciousness o the


table t s f the Spirit s memory and appear as



conscience in a subsequent life as the im

pulse to do the right to abstain from the or

wrong .

W hen the experiences of these results are

all assimilated and recorded in memory the ,

man pa s ses on into t he heavenly world and ,

there transmutes into faculty all mental and

emotional experiences f a pure and useful o

nature The work o f the consciousness in the


heaven world is this assimilation and trans


mutation f experiences and whe n all these are

o ,

thus changed the result passes on into the

spiritual consciousness f the man himself who o ,

retains the memory f all the experiences ; but


when he puts forth a part of his consciousness

again to gather w food of experience in the

lower worlds he implants in the new materials


he gathers round him only the u lt f past re s s o

experiences as f u lti not the f t f the

ac es , ac s o

experiences as m m i The memories reside

e o r es .

in the spiritual consciousness not in the part ,

which is embodied as mind emotion and , ,

activity .

9 1
Wh at H ap p en s A fte r De ath ?
O ur work then o n the other side f deat h
, ,

is the building f conscience and o f faculty ut

o o

of the exp rien ces gathered during physical life

e .

W ith these we return to a new earth l ife to -


make further progress E dward Carpenter


wrote truly E very pain that I su ffered in


o ne

bo dy was a power which I wielded in the next '


By this process is evolution carried o n and we ,

pass out of weakness into strength o ut o f ,

ignorance into knowledge .

I have no t touched here in this dry record ,

Of Observed facts o t h joys f the larg er l ife

n e o ,

the loves which pass u nbroken through death ,

the glad companionships which irradiate im

mor tal lif with beauty and with happiness
e .

O ur future is in u o w n h ands for the S pirit

o r , ,

who is M an, is the I nner Ruler Immortal ; we

create ou r fu t ure by u prese nt for we live in a
o r ,

world of law and for him who lives nobly D eath


is but the entrance i nto a larger consciousness a ,

fuller l ife


IF S hakespeare was right when he spoke o f t h e

next wor l d as That undiscovered country from f /
“ 7

whose bourne no traveller returns then it '


would be impossible to answer the mome ntous

question W hat happens to us when we die ?

W e should be cut o ff from bo th sources of

knowledge W e Should neither know Of o ur

own experience nor from the experience of

others ; we should be thrown back upon mere

theorising and speculation .

F ortunately there is overwhelming evidence


that S hak espeare was wrong when he put in the

mouth o f H aml e t the dogmatic assertion that
no traveller returns There is now an ever

increasing body o f expert investigators who

point to a qui t e opposite conclusion N o t only .

do the dead return b ut they endeavour to give


us S ome sort o f notion o f the life led by the spirit

when it has thrown O ff the encumbrance o f the
fl e sh.

The evidence comes in the most convincing

form through the phenomena o f what is called
W h a t H a p pe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
t r n c e mediumship
. A s the name suggests a ,

medium is o n e whose organism may be used
a s a b ridge be t ween this world and the next .

In some as yet unexplain e d way the b odies o f

those possessing this extraordinary facu l ty may
be utili sed by spirits who wish to communicate
with those who are stil l in the flesh The .

m dium loses consciousness— passes into a


trance and during this temporary oblivion t he
body with its ner ous org anisa t ion is more o
, v , r

less successful l y contro l led by t he spirit opera t or .

The nature o f the evidence and the reasons ,

fo r believing tha t the communications received

in this way do actual l y co me from the Spirits
o f the deceased persons who claim t o control

the medium ca nnot be detai led here I t must

, .

su ffice to s y that those who have had t h e


largest experience o f these ama 'ing phenomena

remained convinced that they have held con
verse with the spiri t s Of f r iends and re l at ives
l ong since consigned to the grave .

N o w if you were quite ce rt ain that you were

talking t o the S pirit O f one whom you knew and
loved o n the earth what wou l d be the first

question s t hat wou l d rise to your l ips ?

Natura l ly yo u would s k A re you happy ?
a :

D o you su ffer pain o r are you free from t he


innumerab l e ills tha t human flesh is heir t o ?

D o y o u remem b e r you r o l d ear.t h l ife ? H ave
you a body and do the O l d l oves a n d desi r es

9 6
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
o f the flesh still possess you W hat do you d o
in your new life W hat sort Of a world are you
in H o w do you pass your time
These are some f the inevitable questions

that would rush into your mind once yo u had

realised that you were enjoying the awful

privilege f convers e with one w h was dead

o o .

The silence f the grave once broken you would


be filled with an invi ncible desire to know t h e

nature f the fate that awaits all mankind
o .

It is scarcely necessary to y that such ques

sa 1

tions have been asked again and again and if ,

the answers are not al ways in that definite form

which the questioner s eagerly desires explana
o ,

tions a r e not far to seek .

In the first place it is naturally impossible


to Obtain any proper conception f a super o

sensible world in terms f the sensible W hen

o .

Spirits undertake to explain to us the nature f o

the next life an d what goes

, there they have
o n ,

no language with which to express their

thoughts and we can never get a clear idea o f

what their world may be like It is as though .

an explorer we re attempting to describe a new

country in which everything is s o di fferent from
the l d world that no comparisons are possible
o .

If we try to pict ure t o oursel ves the existence

that awaits each one o f us o n the death O f the
body we a r e chilled by the thought that life in

that o t her world must be shadowy and un s ub

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h
s an ti l
a . W e imagine ourselves as formless
ghosts leading a dreary dream like existence ,

cut o ff from the sunshine and reality Of the

tangible earth .

Nothing could be farther from the truth .

The spiri t body is as actual and real to the ,

S pirit says n e commu nicator as the Old

, o ,

earth body appeared to me and its environments ,

are as palpable to its perception s —it has simply

passed from o n e plane o f conscious existence t o
another The invisib l e has become visible and

the former l y visible things invisible .

Most pe ople it is fli m d find the transition

, a r e ,

and the awakening o n the other sid more e

natural than they had expected and they soon ,

become aware that they are in a real world

among real people and are as much alive s ,

ever they were o n earth A S n e spirit ex . o

pressed it it was like waking in a strange bed


room when u a holiday o .

It is obvious therefore that there is no

, ,

drastic change in the personality brought about

by the shedding o f the physical body The Old .

p ersonality survives with all its characteristic

memories its i ndividual peculiarities its loves
, ,

and hates even its prej udices There is no

- .

sudden illumination no instantaneous conver ,

sion of erring sinful men and women into


ange l s of light The spirit commences its new


l ife in another world just as it left O ff here— no

9 8
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
W e are assured however that spiri t s are no
, ,

more conscious o f our presence than we are Of

theirs The loss of the five senses c l ose s every

avenue leading to the material world O nly o n .

rare o ccasions can the vei l separating the two

states of existence be t orn aside by tho s e
s e s s m g the mediumistic faculty
p o s .

It is true t hat memory s t ill co ntinues M y . a

no t the uncertain t y o f t he fate o f those left

b ehind become a source o f torture to spirits
separa ted from t heir l oved ones b y an impassable .

b arrier ?
Wel l it is never contended t hat the condi

t ions in spiri t l ife are those of undiluted bliss .

The spirit must progress a nd progress is no t


accomplished without eff ort and su ff erin g .

Those who have left many duties undone those


who have led l ives of selfish indulgence without ,

a t hough t for the su fferings around t hem wi l l ,

dou b tless have to en d ure the stin g o f remo r se

for oppor t unities neg l ected .

W ou l d we have it otherwise ?
B u t sooner o r l at er all wi l l awake to t he great
Spiritual reali t ies which brin g happiness and
peace The consciousness of imperfection and

unhappiness leads to repentance and aspira t io n ,

and the upward path opens before th e spiri t

which truly de s e s to walk t he better way
Ir .

S urely this is a highe r and more inspiring

gospe l than the o ld theological dogma o f an
1 00
everlasting hell o f flames and t orment to which
the majority of mankind will be assigned It.

is a doctrine i n accordance with the highest

philosophical and religious truth and is pre


c is ly the kind
e o f revelation we should expect
from a traveller returned from that dim “

bourne towards which we all have our faces


se t .

By A . C . BENS ON , MA . .

T HE question f u immor tality far t

o o r ls oo

wide and intricate for me to enter upon an argu

men t or discussion about i t here The proof is .

cumulative and contains a large subjective


element I can here only summarise my own


belief drawn from experience as interpreted by


reason .

My o w n belief is that life is a force coming ,

o ut o f t he M ind and E ssence f God f ever o , or

trying for reasons unknown to us to exp ress

, ,

itself i n matter .

I believe it to be as indestructible as matter ;

at least I can conceive o f no process by which

lifeor mat t er ca n either be originated o b rought r

to an end .

I therefore be l ieve in a subsequent l ife jus t ,

as I believe in a previous life—but under what

conditions I cannot s y B ut I do n t believe a . o

tha t personality depends on m m y—it is rather e or

a matter f quality and t emperament ; and thus


the fact that o u memory does not seem to r

extend beyond o n e l ife is no disproof o f pre

existence .

By t he R ev. BE N J A MI N BE LL , B D . M o d e rat o r of t he
Pr e s b y t e r i a n C h u r c h of E n gl n d

T HE subject is certainly one f solemn and per o

interest and it cannot be long bsent from

e n n ia l ,

the minds of mos t readers in these days f o

national t y and war when death may be

a n x re ,

very near to u dear ones ourselves

o r or .

I write from the standpoint of a Christian

who believes in the supreme authority o f O ur
L ord Jesus C h rist n all such questions
o and ,

recognises t he testimony f the New Testament o

as our only sure guide to truth through H is

H oly S pirit .

Those seventeen t h century divines wh o

framed the standards f the Presbyterian o

Churches f Great Britain and A merica like

o ,

most of the R eformers who preceded them were ,

led to reject entirely the idea f an i t m di t O n er e a e

t t of either weal
s a e woe into wh ich souls pass

at death This was natural enough a protest

. as

against the fantastic System f purgatory but it o ,

led them further in my Opinion than N w ,


Tes t ament S cr i pture sanctions W hen O ur .

H 1 0
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
Lord assured the peniten t thief o n the c r oss

This day shalt thou be with M in P r dis e a a e,

H e chose a word familiar to the H ebrew teach

m g o f H i day but which we have no right con
s ,

fid n t ly to ident if y with H e ven H is F ather s

e a ,

H ouse especially a s S t Paul uses t h e same “

word in his acc ount of the man in Christ '


c ertain l y himself ' who was c aug ht U p into


Paradise and heard unspeakable word s '

F urther as all reade r s o f th e R evised '


know t h e Greek word H d like th e corre
a es,

s po nd in g H ebre w term S h l is use d in the eo ,

New Tes tamen t as the p l Ce of departed sou l s a

ge neral l y whether th ey are in peace o woe

, r .

F or myself I believe that O ur Lord went into

H ades b etween H is death and resurrec t ion and ,

perhaps pre ched H is Gospel th e re as the


passage in I P e t er seems to tel l us to the


spirits i n keep ing who once were diso b edient , .

O ur Lord and H is A postles represent the

death f C hristians as a falling asleep B ut

that is not inconsis tent with the belief that th e y

awake again immediately into a happy conscious
life Indeed some o f us have had t h joy f
, e o

seeing the face f our friends l ight up with a


glad surprise just b efore d e ath and have heard ,

t hem addressing by name dear ones who h ave

already passed behind t he veil as if t hey sa w

them .

I n O ur Lo r d s parable of D ives and La'aru s

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
A braham s bosom represents I t h in k the


blessed si de f the intermediate state and the

o ,

H ades where the rich man lay the ab o de f ,


the selfish God forge t ting m

- It is not an .

possible ac ording to the parable f o any to

, c ,

pass from the side to the other but that

o ne ,

does not prove that when the day f final judg o

ment come there may t be hope f such as

s, no or

D ives. Yet we must recognise that O ur Lord

was wont to Speak with d severity O f the future

o f those who refuse to believe and follow H im

here and now .

In that intermedia t e state it seems probable

that there will be some form f m b dim t o e o en ,

su fficient to allo w o f intercourse and thus to ,

facilitate growth in holiness .

O ne is often called to Speak to and pray with

dying persons who have neglected the call f o

Chr ist throughout life and earnestly s k f , a or

guidance at its close O ccasio nally one has


seen what appeared to be true penitence and

eager faith i n such pe rsons Is it not more .

likely and more according to Go d 5 methods of


dealing wi t h us in this life that such new born ,


souls should pass at death into a place o f t i i g ra n n

for H eaven than into H eaven itself ?


A gain I have known many Christian men


and women taken aw y suddenly fr m this a o

world in th e ir early prime when they had just ,

entered o were in the very mids t Of highly

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?

use ful service Of their fellows men and women
singularly fitted t commend religion to others

b y their example and their words .

D oes it not help us to say A men to such

mysterious wi t hdrawals f the very choicest i

o n

t um n t s
s r e o f Christian blessing to think that

they may be needed even more elsewhere in ,

CO Operating with their D ivine Lord in the u p


holding i faith and holiness f those who

n o

passed ou t of this world in the early stages f o

the new life ?

W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
this memory seem to forge t that love is not
always a grande passion and that hate is
“ '

often despicable B ut if they mean that n ly

. o

t h o s e t h in g s t h a t a re h o n es t an d o f g o o d re p ute

will su rvive I am with them with this di fferen c e

, ,

that I ho l d humanity will disappear alto g ether ,

in s far as it is frail
o .

Then nothingness is inconceivab le It is o n e .

o f th e u nthinkables f life S O far as our t w

o . o

foot r ule enables us to j udge nothing that has ,

been can ever cease to be .

A s for the question f an im m ortal person


ality verily there is

, for those who recognise
o ne

In this life that they are but part Of a great who l e .

W H EN so many learned divines and dis
t in g ui h e d philosophers have written o n the s ub

j ect of wh a t happens to the human pe rsonality

after death I can hardly think t hat my opinion

, ,

— —
even if I had n e which I have not can be o f

great value W h a t I do think h wever is tha t

, o ,

it is futile to inquire into the un knowable and ,

also that as each individual 'aries during his


lifetime to such an extent as hardly to e t

tain the same individuality manif sted at e

one time o other o f his existence it may be

r ,

worth w hile to i nquire w h t it is that is suppo se d


o survive after death of all the c omplex phases

a nd ch rac t eristics
a n d characters even that go

to make up one sing l e human organism .

I O9


TO construct is always better than to destroy to ,

build up better than to pull down ; therefore the ,

simple u nquestioning faith f the Christian in


a life after de th must obviously be finer than


the compli ated reasoning o f the scienti st and


the discontented questioning f the unbeliever o .

F orChristianity constructs a H ereafter whereas ,

most f the scientists and all f the unbelievers

o o

d ot heir b est to demolish the Christian idea

o f a H ereafter without seeking to supp l y any
substitute .

W hat happens to us when we die A ccord

in g to the C hristians we live again ; accordin g
to the unbeliever we d not live again ; accord o

ing to the scientist it is impossible that we

Should live again except as part Of the im

personal force which they call matter The “


Christian used to b elieve in a life after death

tha t should consist f becoming an ethereal o

creature with wings o one s shoulders and a n

harp in one s hands and eternity was pictured


very larg ely as an etern ity f music S uch o .

a belief is grotesquely absurd acc rding to the o

1 10
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
scientist and the unbeliever but at least i t is , , ,

more attractive than a belief in nothingness or

nothing in particular after death .

The Christian has virtually ceased nowadays

t believe that he will become an angel and spend

the timeless space f the everlasting in singing o .

The parsons have listened uneasily to the voice

Of science they have tried to accommodate

l ig i
on to the discoveries f men and they have o ,

ceased to preach a wonderful gospel in a simple

way But l g
. has t gained anything by
re I Io n no

its adaptation to the scientific thought f t he o

twentieth century It seems quite reasonable to.

suppose that we shall not become angels when

we die ; indeed it seems reasonable to suppose

that there never was such a being as an angel ,

but all the same angels serve a very useful

, ,

purpose if not as facts at least as figures

, .

A disembodied spirit could not possibly wear

wings its shoulders since it would have no
on ,

shou lders but the wings are excellent as a


symbol A disembodied spirit could not hold


harp let alone play

, it since it would have on ,

no hands fingers but the celestial harp is

or ,

quite a beautiful image O ne cannot in any .


practical way think of eternal music but t hen

, , , ,

one cannot think in any practic l way f death

, a , o

once the earth has been filled in about a grave ,

because the rest is mystery Yet music bec use .

, a

it stirs ur deepest emotions and creates long


Wh a t H app en s A ft e r D e a th ?
ing s which we cannot u nderstand is a p rfe t , e c

means o f expressing the inexplicable mystery o f

eternity .

The wings and the harp and the music are

h eld owadays to be the childish fig m nt s of
n e

childlike minds and th e ministers o f the gospel


have agreed to b a nish them from their t alk o f

an after life o ut f deference to t he fac t that
- o '

humanity h s so to Speak grown up B ut

a , ,

those things ought not to b e banish ed ; we need

t hem .

I n t h face o f eternity we are as much chil


dren to day as when t h world b egan W e

- e .

have grown accustomed to the system that

governs the universe we have given common ,

place names t o things we do not unders t and ,

and deceiv e d ourselves with the names into the , ,

b e lief that we underst nd them B ut o u vaunte d

a . r

k nowledge of the univ e rse is pure l y a superficia l

knowledge W e know tha t the earth revolves

on its own axis D o we know why it revolves ?


W e say that the s u is s many miles from the

n o

earth D o we know any more than A dam kne w


h o w i t came there and why it stays immovable


in space ? W e are children in these matters— a

children who have adopted an air o f grown up -

wisdom A nd because t he s u shone through

. n

all the yesterdays we call it reasonab l e to expect

that it will shine to morrow whereas in truth
, , ,

there is no reason in it but only natural human ,

1 1 2
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t e r D e a t h ?
expec t ation S imilarly we dare to reason

about death which f itself has never given us

, , o ,

any sort of human expectation .

R eason is a useful thing to apply to the com

m on p l c e incidents
a o f everyday life but death ,

is utterly be yond t he domain f reason ; there o

fore we cannot reason about it W e can only

, .

have faith be lacking in faith concerning

, or ,

what it conceals W e can speculate conce r ning .

its meaning or w e can decide to leave it ut f

o o

o u thoughts but we ca nnot argue about it and

r ,

p rove our arguments right before W Ourselves e

die N . S far as death is concerned we are

o . O ,

still children and therefore we Should do better


to cling to childish sym b ols t han to throw them

scornfully away .

W ings are suggestive of a s t ate superior to

the human state ; harps are sugges tive o f happi
ness transcending all kno wn forms f human ’

happiness ; music is suggestive of an utterly

di ff erent condition f existence t the cond itions o o

o f u presen t existence
o r In a literal sense they .

may seem absurd as heirlooms of death but in ,

a symbolic sense they stand for a higher finer ,

existence than earthly life ; why then should we , ,

not cling to them

It may b true as some would have us e ,

believe that t here is no future life for any f

, o

us ; that w h en we die nothing happens except

t h thing which is obvious to us a ll — t h e d e c m
e o

1 1 3
W h a t H a pp e n s A f t er D e a t h ?
position f our bodies ; bu t at least it is no
o , ,

mo r e reasonable t think that death means

“ '

nothingness than to think that death means a

Spiritual world Of infinite grandeur infinite ,

happiness for all w h o strive to deserve it A nd


if is vastly less sa t isfactory The doctrine that .

when we are dead we are dead for all time is

not a doctrine that helps ; o the contrary it is n ,

o n ethat discourages good ness encourages law ,

lessness ; it is e that favours a pi t iful state Of


existence in this world because it denudes us o f

all incentive to live well .

If everyone believed that death meant u t ter

annihilation the world would promptly become
a place of unspeakable horror l It is all very .

well to argue that many people would live

honestly soberly and decently that they would
, , ,

do right for the mere sake Of doing right ; but

we all know well enough that the majority would
do wrong for the simple reason that it is so very

much easier to do wrong than to do right L t . e

us not deceive ourselves I t is the simple faith


o f the bulk Of mankind in a life after death

of infinite possibiliti es that prevents the world
from becoming a hell Of madness murder and , ,

debauchery .

If the scientists and the unbelievers had their

way t hey wou l d destroy this faith giving us no ,

other faith in its stead and there would be -

nothing left to l ive for B ut j ust as it is im


1 1
W h a t H appe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
fessed C hrist ians but there is no genuine atheist

There is no man or woman on the face f the o

ea rth who does not believe in the existence f o

an omnipotent God A theism is n othin g more .

than a wanton impotent bravado It is a she r

. e

impossibility f anyone t o l ive and disbelieve


in an A lmighty no matter wh a t name you may


b estow upon H im .

A nd S o we come back to t he wings and the

harps and t h music f o these are the symbols
e ,

o f s im p le f it h and simple faith is best

. a , Chris t i .

a n it y may be assa iled bu t it has endured ,

and spread these n ineteen h undred years The .

B ib l e may be full of faults and contradictions ,

but it h s been the b igges t power in the world


f o r many centuries The man who believes .

in God in Christ and in the B ible may be

, , ,

able to produce but l itt l e evidence in support


o f his beliefs satisfactory to men f science and o

in fid e ls but t he fact that he 5 happier than the

, 1

man who does not believe in God o Christ ,

r , or

the B ible is more than su ffi cient justifica t ion


for all w h a r e prepared to accep t m ysteries as


mysteries and not as my t hs .

W e are children and as chi l dren we must ,

accep t the b ig but h idden truths o f l ife and

death b elieving of them what it is bes t f o us
, r

to believe T h C hristian re ligion t eaches that

. e

death is but a dark passageway to a brighter

world There could mot h e a mo r e a t trac t ive

1 1 6
W h a t H a ppe n s A f t er D e a t h ?
teaching than that ; why then should any f us
, ,

feel inclined to turn from it to gl o omier teach

ings ? Because re ason urges us ?
D ecidedly not for wh at after all i reason
, , , s

but t he working of a mind in a sensible way

when dealing with kn own things things o r

arisi ng o ut o f known circumstances ; and how

can it proceed in a sensible way from known
things to unknown things ? W hy not even ,

death itself appe rs to b e reasonab l e S ome f

a . o

ou r cleverest men are cut ff at t h e moment Ofo

th e ir existence when they would be f th o e

greatest possible profit t the world If rea s on

o .

cannot explain why t his should happen h o w ,

can reason explain what d o es o does not happen r

to these men after they have been c ut o ff

The simplest faiths are best t merely b , no e

cause they a e simple but be c use they are

r , a

comfor t ing and ennobling They help whereas .


lac k f faith hinders F better surely to die

o . ar , ,

confident of life to come than to die in despair .

A nd far better than all the arguments in favour

of nothingness after dea t h must b the symbols e

of the w i gs and the harps and the music

n ince ,

they serve to uplift mankind rather than to crush

mankind down .

1 1 7

AN l N l T l AL FlN E OF 25 C
“H L L EH i A S S

O 'E R DU E .

J UN 1 6 1 9 45

1 3 00t 5 2 HW

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