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The Life of the Waiting Soul in the Intermediate State   By: (1830-1913)

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THE LIFE OF THE WAITING SOUL IN THE INTERMEDIATE STATE.

BY R. E. SANDERSON , D.D. , ST. MICHAEL, BRIGHTON; CANON RESIDENTIARY OF CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL; FORMERLY HEAD MASTER OF LANCING COLLEGE.

London: WELLS GARDNER, DARTON & CO., 3 PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.C.

FIRST EDITION, MAY, 1896. SECOND ,, SEP., ,, THIRD ,, FEB., 1897. FOURTH ,, JAN., 1898. FIFTH ,, FEB., 1900.

PREFACE.

These Addresses were delivered in Chichester Cathedral, and subsequently, with slight alterations, at Hastings. They would not have been printed but at the urgent request of very many who heard them preached. It should be remembered that they are not a theological treatise, but a course of plain words addressed to an ordinary congregation. It seemed desirable to awaken interest in a subject which has dropped out of English Christian thought, and almost out of people's knowledge. The Addresses are an attempt to explain what can be known about the Intermediate Life. There is nothing new in them. If there were, probably what is new would not be true.

The doctrines of so called "Universalism" and "Conditional Immortality" are not touched upon. They do not belong to the period which is covered by the Intermediate State. Moreover, I doubt whether we can ever regard those doctrines as anything more than speculations invented to answer modern and possibly ephemeral objections.

How much I have unconsciously been indebted to those who have dealt with this subject more fully, I hardly know. One reads and remembers, and reproduces in preaching, often without thought of the sources from which material has been drawn. I gratefully acknowledge in the notes what I know to be debts incurred. I can only express my regret if any have been overlooked.

R. E. S.

Easter , 1896.

I.

"I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep." 1 THESS. IV. 13.

There are moments in the lives of every one of us, when the mind is irresistibly drawn on to wonder what our own personal future shall be, as soon as life is over and death has overtaken us. We cannot help the speculation. However bound by present duties and absorbed in present interests, often, in quiet hours, in times of solitude or bereavement, or under the sense of failing hopes or failing health, in seasons of sorrow or of sickness, the mood takes hold of us; and it may be, we know not why, our eyes turn with an anxious and a wistful look towards that inevitable end which is surely coming upon us.

At such moments we ask ourselves, what will my lot be when the hand of death touches me even me ; when all the light of life goes out, all thought of this world's cares, all pleasant joys and hopes and desires of time sink down and fade into the chill gloom and shadow of the unknown? Such questionings, brought close home to our very selves, cannot but fill us with very anxious fears and misgivings, as we either look back upon the past, or think upon what chiefly possesses our minds and thoughts now. Indeed, many of us cannot bear this forward glance, and refuse to face it. We would fain brush the thought aside, and with some hasty utterance of vague trust, of shadowy self comforting hope that GOD will be merciful, we turn sharply round and give ourselves again to the calls of the life which is about us.

In this way, we Christians, we children of GOD, heirs of life and immortality, learn to be terrified at death, which, as we are taught to believe, ushers us into life; learn to associate it with trembling doubt and shuddering dismay. But is this dread of death nothing else than the natural instinctive shrinking, which the warmth of life feels at the touch of its cold hand? Or is it not rather, in the case of most of us, due to some false imaginations with which religion itself that form, at least, of religion which to day encompasses us has for many years possessed and imbued the minds of men? Indeed, I believe it to be so. The Christianity of to day has too commonly accepted two untruths, which yet it holds as truths... Continue reading book >>




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