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To thee we come in joy and in sorrow, in light and in darkness. We come to thee, thou who art closer than our breathing. We try to understand thee, but we can not. We magnify the qualities and the powers of our own lives until they seem to fill the large spaces in this universe, and then try to think that thou art like ourselves; and yet we know that thou hast much more of power and goodness and faculty. Our few senses grope out toward that which is above us; but in the infinite mists of thy creation, vasts things pass by us unheeded by the eye or ear or hand. Thou hast infinitely more to reveal to the soul of man than its complement of sense and endowment of faculty make possible.
From the great sun stream rays which are too fine to enter the eye; from the orbs, as they pass with the motion of hurrying atoms, sounds come, so low we can not hear them, so fine and musical we can not trace them. On every hand there are signs which give dim hint and mysterious suggestion of things unspeakable and unknowable; we are embosomed in mystery. We can not understand our own lives, why we lift the hand and why we speak the word. The connection between brain and thought, and between heart and love, no one can tell; but this we know, that all about us is wonderful mystery, steeped in the light that never was on sea or land, and that in this Presence we live and move and have our being. All that we know comes out of the mysterious center of thought, all that we love comes from the mysterious source of love. The love that envelops the little child that lies in our arms, is the same thing that makes planet draw toward planet, holding each in balanced harmony, as they
take their ways through the spaces of the stars, and all is God and all is good. We come into this world through the gate of birth, and we disappear through the gate of death. The portals close behind the little one that comes in, and they shut so quickly when one goes out, that we can not catch a glimpse of what is beyond. Through one door a man enters this world, and through another he leaves it. He lives his little life here, it is but a moment in the great eternity, a moment of struggle, sorrow, joy, mystery, despair, hate and anger; he is like a bird that comes into a lighted room and goes out again into the dark. Whence it comes or whither it goes, no one can tell; but we know we come from God; our memories tell us that, our home longings, the heavenly home-sickness, the dim reminiscences, the questioning fancies, the desires that are not satisfied, everything tells us we come from far and come from on high.
As we look forward, expanding powers break against the bars of this prison-house and tell us this is not all. Little children come to us, grow to manhood and womanhood, do the part of men and women, and then disappear; but no one has ever yet been satisfied. They come with a look of wonder, and go out with a look of question, longing and desire, and the heart is the home of hunger and longing. And so our life here seems to us, and must seem to us as but a thing of to-day, while the infinite now of God stretches about it, as the ocean around some little isle..
Our lives lie in the infinitude of God, and we only know this, we come from God and we go to him. We rest here for a little while to do our duty, the thing that lies next to us, to speak the truth, love mercy and walk humbly, and this is all. When we go with these qualities which have become a part and parcel of the structure of the soul, we go without anxiety, falling
are going out through another gate, could pass before our eyes, what a sight it would be! The immense imagination of Plato conceived such a scene. Suppose we stand at the gate of life where, first in the form of little children, a vast company that no man can number, every day and every hour are entering this world, born into its varied conditions; here the son of a prince, and there the son of a pauper, entering side by side, but to what different fortunes, what varying conditions. All alike at the same age, the same moment are entering the gate that we call birth into life. And then, leaving this innumerable company, let us stand where another company, as numberless, is passing out of life, only here are different ages and different conditions. Little babes are here, with the look of wonder still in their eyes which they brought from heaven; and here are boys and girls who have left behind them playmate and home; and young mothers casting backward glances toward the little ones that are left unmothered; and strong men, agonized at thinking of the dependence of those that are now left unhusbanded and unfathered; the strong, alert and able, leaving their affairs; and the old and broken, the gaunt, the withered, the toil-smitten and the disappointed, all coming out at one time. How many each moment go through the gate and disappear! That would be a wonderful sight; what an appeal to the human imagination! One company moving towards the gate of life, and the other passing through the gate of death. ho of Walt Whitman a life had gone silence and hush were there, a
ch the half-open door where litating, and looked there. He drew do not undernderstands it.