Writings by George Burgess (1829-1905)
A FUTURE LIFE
The Rule is – that Universal mankind - Civilised and uncivilised, believe in a future life. The Old Testament scarcely touches the great question. The New Testament contains many references to it. But the existence of a future, and better life, for mankind, after they have finished with this life is still mainly a matter of Faith.
Yet, several things are in favour of it being also a matter of fact: The existence of a Future life cannot be a greater mystery to men than the existence of the present life; if the one is possible then at least the other is possible. And the continuation of our life into a better sphere, after our present bodies are dissolved, seems probable because; THE SPIRIT IS THE MAN; MAN’S SPIRIT – WHICH IS A SUBSTANCE, of some form, is his Individuality; His spirit forms his body “out of the dust of the ground” – out of the earth with all its foods; The Body never forms, but is ever formed, as from the beginning. The Body’s material is collected around and by the spirit-Man – the Master-Within. It would appear therefore that the Spirit’s Individuality exists in some degree of development before its collection of the materials for its Body. And, it would be reasonable to say that if it exists before its Body that it can exist after its Body – and forever!
The Spirit-Individuality does not appear to change with the Body. Physiology teaches us and every day of our lives proves to us that our bodies are naturally and continually changing – wearing away, and being rebuilt – until in 70 years one man had had ten new and different bodies. But the real spirit-man has remained the same, unchanged, Individuality.
These facts truly favour the faith that if we can change and part with several bodies in this life, and still remain the same beings then conditions can exist by which we may continue our lives into another world, after we have parted will all our earthly bodies in this world.
The Spirit man – the Individuality, does not appear to die with the body. Nature’s developing changes in the human body begins with the body’s beginning. Natural decay of the body’s developing powers begins after maturity, and increases more and more with age, and the body soon dies and “returns to the earth”. But we know, as a sure truth, that all through this decaying and dying process of the body the majority of human beings, in their minds, or spirit, are as healthy and clear as ever. This fact is a universal and “common saying”, which all ears have heard, and the hosts of great leading men all over the world, in the most exalted places, are men who have passed their bodily maturity, and from that time have risen to more and more distinguished positions – and to fame, and usefulness. And at last, they usually pass on from this world speaking their clearest thoughts, and their wisest words of all.
Now – these truths concerning the known experiences of the living and dying appears to prove that after maturity, when the body more rapidly weakens, the mind, or spirit, grows stronger and clearer; and that in proportion as the Body decays and dies, the spirit ripens and becomes more free and luminous and living. “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. It the spirit is still willing, it cannot be dying, and if not dying, then Faith has sound reasons for believing that it will never die – but live and improve forever!
George Burgess – April 1899