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Once on the raging seas I rode,
The storm was loud—the night was dark, The ocean yawn'd—and rudely blow'd
The wind that toss'd my found'ring bark.
Deep horror then my vitals froze,
Death-struck, I ceas'd the tide to stem; When suddenly a star arose,
It was the STAR OF BETHLEHEM !
It was my guide, my light, my all,
It bade my dark forebodings cease ; And through the storm, and danger's thrall,
It led me to the port of peace.
Now safely moor'd-my perils o'er,
I'll sing, first in night's diadem, For ever, and for evermore,
THE STAR !—THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM !
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
CREDIBILITY OF A FUTURE
I shall live again,
Since we are totally unacquainted with the nature of death, we cannot argue from the reason of the thing, that the dissolution of the body will be the destruction of that thinking, conscious portion of our constitution, termed the soul. We know that the living powers may exist unimpaired, as in sleep or in a swoon, though the capacity for exercising them be entirely suspended ; and, as in dreams, the soul independently exercises its powers, lives, wakes, and acts, while the body lies insensible, there is no absurdity in supposing tha it would equally perform its functions, if freed from the body ; and therefore, on this ground, no argument can be founded against the soul's immortality.
Neither will the analogy of nature afford any more probable reason for the soul's annihilation by death. For the great changes we ourselves daily experience, from the continual reflux of matter; the knowledge of the fact, that a large portion of this our corporeal frame may be removed without at all affecting the existence, or injuring the powers of the living essence with which it is animated; the different states of existence through which we pass in infancy, in youth, in manhood, and old age; the knowledge that we possess consciousness through long and tedious diseases, which weaken and waste the body, even up to the very moment of its dissolution ; the transformation of some of the insect tribe, and other animals, into beings dissimilar both in conformation and habits; afford strong presumptions, that the change which occurs at death may be according to this natural plan, and similar to that system, which every where meets our view. So that nothing from the abovementioned reasoning operates against the probability of the existence of a future life, the certainty of which is affirmed in Scripture, or tends, in the least degree, to invalidate the notion of such a state, but rather to confirm it.