Royce, Conception of God, 50, quotes Le Conte as follows: ?Nature is the womb in which, and evolution the process by which, are generated sons of God. Without immortality this whole process is balked ? the whole process of cosmic evolution is futile. Shall God be so long and at so great pains to achieve a spirit capable of communing with himself, and then allow it to lapse again into nothingness?? John Fiske, Destiny of Man, 116, accepts the immorality of the soul by ?a supreme act of faith in the reasonableness of God?s work.? If man is the end of the creative process and the object of God?s care, then the soul?s career cannot be completed with its present life upon the earth (Newman Smyth, Place of Death in Evolution. 92, 93). Bowne, Philosophy of Theism, 254 ? ?Neither God nor the future life is needed to pay us for present virtue, but rather as the condition without which our nature falls into irreconcilable discord with itself and passes on to pessimism and despair. High and continual effort is impossible without correspondingly high and abiding hopes. It is no more selfish to desire to live hereafter than it is to desire to live tomorrow.? Dr.
M. B. Anderson used to say that there must be a heaven for canal horses, washerwomen and college presidents, because they do not get their deserts in this life.
Life is a series of commencements rather than of accomplished ends. Longfellow, on Charles Sumner: ?Death takes us by surprise, And stays our hurrying feet; The great design unfinished lies, Our lives are incomplete. But in the dark unknown Perfect their circles seem, Even as a bridge?s arch of stone Is rounded in the stream.? Robert Browning, Abt Vogler: ?There never shall be one lost good?; Prospice: ?No work begun shall ever pause for death?. ?Pleasure must succeed to pleasure, else past pleasure turns to pain; And this first life claims a second, else I count its good no gain?; Old Pictures in Florence: ?We are faulty ? why not? We have time in store?; Grammarian?s Funeral: ?What?s time? Leave Now for dogs and apes, Man has Forever.? Robert Browning wrote in his wife?s Testament the following testimony of Dante: ?Thus I believe, thus I affirm, thus I am certain it is, that from this life I shall pass to another better, there where that lady lives, of whom my soul was enamored.? And Browning says in a letter: ?It is a great thing ? the greatest ? that a human being should have passed the probation of life, and sum up its experience in a witness to the power and love of God. I see even more reason to hold by the same hope.?
(c) The ethical argument. Man is not, in this world, adequately punished for his evil deeds. Our sense of justice leads us to believe that God?s moral administration will be vindicated in a life to come. Mere extinction of being
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