C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our livesall bear secret relations to our destinies.
A weakness natural to superior and to little men, when they have committed a fault, is to wish to make it pass as a work of genius, a vast combination which the vulgar cannot comprehend. Pride says these things and folly credits them.
Aristocracy has three successive ages,the age of superiorities, the age of privileges, and the age of vanities; having passed out of the first, it degenerates in the second, and dies away in the third.
Atheism can benefit no class of people; neither the unfortunate, whom it bereaves of hope, nor the prosperous, whose joys it renders insipid, nor the soldier, of whom it makes a coward, nor the woman whose beauty and sensibility it mars, nor the mother, who has a son to lose, nor the rulers of men, who have no surer pledge of the fidelity of their subjects than religion.
Christianity is perfect, men are imperfect. Now a perfect consequence cannot spring from an imperfect principle. Christianity, therefore, is not the work of man. If Christianity is not the work of man, it can have come from none but God. If it came from God, men cannot have acquired a knowledge of it except by revelation. Therefore, Christianity is a revealed religion.
Meanwhile the globe begins to tremble on its axis; the moon is covered with a bloody veil, the threatening stars hang half detached from the vault of heaven, and the agony of the world commences. Then, all at once, the fatal hour strikes; God suspends the movements of the creation, and the earth has passed away like an exhausted river. Now resounds the trumpet of the angel of judgment; and the cry is heard, Arise, ye dead! The sepulchres burst open with a terrific noise, the human race issues all at once from the tomb, and the assembled multitudes fill the valley of Jehoshaphat. Behold, the Son of Man appears in the clouds; the powers of hell ascend from the depths of the abyss to witness the last judgment pronounced upon the ages; the goats are separated from the sheep, the wicked are plunged into the gulf, the just ascend triumphantly to heaven, God returns to His repose, and the reign of eternity commences.
Religion assures us that our afflictions shall have an end; she comforts us, she dries our tears, she promises us another life. On the contrary, in the abominable worship of atheism, human woes are the incense, death is the priest, a coffin the altar, and annihilation the Deity.
Whence comes the powerful impression that is made upon us by the tomb? Are a few grains of dust deserving of our veneration? Certainly not; we respect the ashes of our ancestors for this reason onlybecause a secret voice whispers to us that all is not extinguished in them. It is this that confers a sacred character on the funeral ceremony among all the nations of the globe; all are alike persuaded that the sleep, even of the tomb, is not everlasting, and that death is but a glorious transfiguration.