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Then leap'd my spirit to reply, “I come, I long to come!”
I heard them whisper o'er my bed,
That endless life was nigh.
Another hour, with bitter tears
Of triumph o'er their head.
They bore me to the grave, and thought
At will through boundless space.
They clothed themselves in robes of black; Through the sad aisles the requiem rang; Meanwhile the white-robed choirs of heaven,
A holy pean sang.
Oft from my paradise I come, To visit those I love on earth. I enter, unperceived, the door;
They sit around the hearth,
And talk in sadden'd tones of me,
Among them as they mourn.
But time will ease their grief, and death Will purge the darkness from their eyes. Then shall they triumph, when they learn
Heaven's solemn mysteries.
The Dream of Dr. Doddridge.
R. DODDRIDGE was on terms of
intimate friendship with Dr. Samuel Clarke, and in religious conversation they spent very many happy hours together. Among other
matters, a very favorite topic was the intermediate state of the soul, and the probability that at the instant of dissolution, it was not introduced into the presence of all the heavenly hosts, and the splendors around the Throne of God. One evening, after a conversation of this nature, Dr. Doddridge retired to rest with his mind full of the subject discussed, and in “the visions of the night,” his ideas were shaped into the following beautiful dream: He dreamed that he was at the house of a friend, when he was suddenly taken dangerously ill. By degrees he seemed to himself to grow worse, and, at last, to expire. In an instant he was sensible that he had exchanged the prison-house and suffering of mortality for a state of liberty and happiness. Embodied in a slender aërial form, he seemed to float
in a region of pure light. Beneath him lay the earth, but not a glittering city or a village, the forest or the sea was visible. There was naught to be seen below save the melancholy group of his friends, weeping around his lifeless remains.
Himself thrilled with delight, he was surprised at their tears, and attempted to inform them of his happy change, but by some mysterious power, utter
, ance was denied; and as he anxiously leaned over the mourning circle, gazing fondly upon them and struggling to speak, he rose silently upon the air, their forms became more and more indistinct, and gradually melted away from his sight. Reposing upon golden clouds, he found himself swiftly mounting the skies with a venerable figure at his side guiding his mysterious movements, and in whose countenance he remarked the lineaments of youth and age were blended together with an intimate harmony and majestic sweetness. They travelled together through a vast region of empty space, until at length the battlements of a glorious edifice shone in the distance, and as its form rose brilliant and distinct among the far-off shadows that flitted athwart their path, the guide informed him that the palace he beheld, was, for the present, to be his mansion of rest. Gazing upon its splendor, he re
plied, that while on earth he had often heard that the eye had not seen, nor had the ear heard, nor could it enter into the heart of man to conceive the things which God had prepared for those who love him; but, notwithstanding the building to which they were then rapidly approaching was superior to anything which he had actually before beheld, yet its grandeur had not exceeded the conceptions he had formed. The guide made no reply, they were already at the door, and entered. The guide introduced him into a spacious apartment, at the extremity of which stood a table, covered with a snow-white cloth, a golden cup, and a cluster of grapes, and then said he must now leave him, but that he must remain, for he would receive in a short time a visit from the Lord of the mansion, and that during the interval before His arrival the apartment would furnish lim with sufficient entertainment and instruction. The guido vanished, and he was left alone. He began to examine the decorations of the room, and observed that the walls were adorned with a number of pictures. Upon nearer inspection he found, to his astonishment, that they formed a complete biography of his own life. Here he saw upon the canvas that angels, though unseen, had ever been his familiar attendants; and,