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The Ascent of the Soul   By:

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THE ASCENT OF THE SOUL

BY

AMORY H. BRADFORD, D.D.

AUTHOR OF "SPIRIT AND LIFE," "HEREDITY AND CHRISTIAN PROBLEMS" "THE GROWING REVELATION," "THE AGE OF FAITH" "MESSAGES OF THE MASTERS," ETC.

NEW YORK THE OUTLOOK COMPANY 1902

Copyright, 1902 By The Outlook Company

Mount Pleasant Press J. Horace McFarland Company Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

To The Memory of My Father

That each, who seems a separate whole, Should move his rounds, and fusing all The skirts of self again, should fall Remerging in the general Soul,

Is faith as vague as all unsweet: Eternal form shall still divide The eternal soul from all beside; And I shall know him when we meet.

In Memoriam.

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of the following chapters will be evident to all who may care to peruse them. I have endeavored simply to read the soul of man with something of the care that one reads a book containing a message which he believes to be of importance.

While one class of scientists are seeking to explore the physical universe, another class, with equal care, are studying the human spirit, and, already, startling discoveries have been made. My work is in no sense new in kind, but it is such as one whose whole time is devoted to dealing with the inner life would naturally give to such a subject. It hardly needs to be added that my method is practical rather than speculative. I am more interested in helping the ascent of the soul than in accounting for its origin. In carrying out my plan I have considered the following subjects: The nature and genesis of the soul, its awakening to a consciousness of responsibility, the steps which it first takes on its upward pathway, the experience of moral failure, its second awakening, which is to an appreciation that the universe is on its side, the part of Christ in promoting its awakening, the sense of spiritual companionship by which it is ever attended, the discipline of struggle, and the nurture and culture best fitted to promote its growth. I have also sought to read some of the prophecies of the soul, and have found them all pointing toward a continuance of its being beyond the event called death, and toward the fullness of Christ as the goal of humanity. I have found a place for prayers for the departed even among Protestants of the strictest sects.

A study of the soul, like a study of history, inspires optimism. It is hard to believe that it could have been intended first for perfection and then for extinction. It is equally difficult to believe that any soul will, in the end, be "cast as rubbish to the void."

In these studies I have tried ever to be mindful of my own limitations, and not to forget that a fraction of humanity can never hope to comprehend the fullness of truth. Of that side of the spiritual sphere which has been turned toward me, and of that alone, have I presumed to write. All that I claim for this book is that it is the contribution of one, anxious to know what is true, toward a better understanding of a subject which is daily receiving wider recognition and more thorough consideration.

AMORY H. BRADFORD.

MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY, August 30, 1902.

CONTENTS Page

The Soul 1

The Awakening of the Soul 25

The First Steps 47

Hindrances 71

The Austere 97

Re Awakening 125

The Place of Jesus Christ 151

The Inseparable Companion 181

Nurture and Culture 209

Is Death the End? 237

Prayers for the Dead 265

The Goal 289

THE SOUL

It is no spirit who from heaven hath flown And is descending on his embassy; Nor traveler gone from earth the heaven t'espy! 'Tis Hesperus there he stands with glittering crown, First admonition that the sun is down, For yet it is broad daylight! clouds pass by; A few are near him still and now the sky, He hath it to himself 'tis all his own... Continue reading book >>




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