All who have passed the meridian of this earthly experience have as many friends on one side as on the other. We like to feel that “with the dawn their happy faces smile which we have loved long since and lost awhile.” Is there anyone who, standing at the bier of a departed friend, can possibly believe he has ceased to exist? We all have an inner sense which causes us to know with Tennyson that:
Thou wilt not leave us in the dust;
Thou madest man, he knows not why,
He thinks he was not made to die;
And thou has made him; thou art just.
When the disciples of Jesus asked him what is God’s relationship to the dead, Jesus answered as we would expect a great spiritual or logical genius to answer. He said, “He is not a God of the dead but of the living, for in his sight all are alive.” In other words, Jesus was explaining to his disciples that God is life. Life cannot produce death; life continues to be life. Robert Browning perceived this when he said:
. . . All that is, at all,
Lasts ever, past recall;
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure;
What entered into thee,
That was, is, and shall be;
Time’s wheel runs back or stops;
Potter and day endure.