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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Dark Depths

I cannot tell you what a shock and disappointment it has been to me to find that it is possible to continue a low, depraved life in the world of spirit. I had always thought that the power to sin ended here, but have learned that freedom of choice between good and evil remains as much a law of that life as this, and that there is nothing whatever in death to change a sinner into a saint, except as it brings the sternest judgment, by forcing upon the unclothed soul the exact consciousness of its condition. To the earnest, this is all that is needed to rouse a most ardent desire for the higher life; while to the pure and holy it reveals, to their surprise and joy, the heights they have attained, while, filled with that peace which passeth understanding, they behold the white peaks yet to be attained, rising all fair and glorified in the bright light of heaven.

But though the sinner may descend lower and lower, the saving love is seeking him, and he can find no peace, no escape from that awful conscience which nothing will pacify. No pleasure satisfies, as ever onward he pursues the phantom, until, sated and weary, starving and humble, he comes to himself and bewails the inheritance he has wasted. But oh, how piteous is the return!—step by step, through struggle and atonement, until the lost measure of purity and strength be regained.

Excerpt from Light on the Hidden Way, Ticknor & Company, Boston, 1886