Death and Life in Purgatory
Amid all the uncertainties which are the characteristics of the world, there is but one certainty--Death. At one time or another, after a short or a long life, comes this termination to the material phase of our existence which is a birth into a new world, as that which we term "birth" is, in the beautiful words of Wordsworth, a forgetting of a past.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
Birth and death may therefore be regarded as the shifting of man's activity from one world to another, and it depends upon our own position whether we designate such a change birth or death. If a man enters the world in which we live, we call it birth, if he leaves our plane of existence to enter another world, we call it death; but to the individual concerned the passage from one world to another is but as the removal to another city here; he LIVES, unchanged; only his exterior surroundings and condition are changed