from: Scenes Beyond the Grave, by Marietta Davis (1865)
“Did mortals but know the dark and dreadful night into which they are sure to fall if they die unprepared, they would desire to lengthen the day of probation rather than to hasten its termination, however multiplied their scenes of sorrow, and to wisely improve the fleeting moments which quickly number earth’s probationary scenes. Is man’s weary existence fraught with grief while he walks the gloomy dells of death, and gropes along the brambly paths that mortals tread? Here, on either hand, awake new and multiplied causes of accumulating gloom. Does hope of peaceful and happy days in the outer world flicker like the dying taper ? In this abode are ceaseless, unsatisfied, and unholy inclinations.
Here also sense is infinitely more acute. What with mortals would produce only a pang, enters into the very elements of our existence, and the pain becomes a part of us. And as immortality is the intellectual sensation of man unencumbered with physical sense, and vastly superior in its ability to endure to mortality, in like proportion is the consciousness and capability of suffering here, superior to human suffering.”
The Result of the Violated Law
“Marietta, I feel ‘tis vain to attempt the expression of our deplorable state. I often inquire, is there no hope? And my sense replies, How can harmony exist in the very midst of discord? We were advised of the consequences of our course while in the body; but we loved our ways better than those which exalted the soul. We have fallen into this fearful abode. We have originated our sorrow. God is just. He is good. We know that ‘tis not from a vindictive law of our Creator that we suffer. Marietta, it is our condition from which we receive the misery we endure. The violation of the moral law, by which our moral natures should have been preserved in harmony and health, is the prime cause of our state. O sin! thou parent of countless woes! thou insidious enemy of peace and heaven! why do mortals love thy ways?”
Here she paused and fixed her eyes, wild with despair, upon me. I shrank from the dreadful glare, for the appearance manifested inexpressible torture.
While she was addressing me, a multitude of the forlorn beings were moving around her, striving to suppress their true feelings, while listening to her relation of the reality of their sufferings. Their appearance, her address and the scene which was before me, filled me with horror; and I sought to escape. Upon discovering this, her grief appeared to deepen, and she hastily said:
“No, Marietta, leave me not, can you not endure for a short period the sight and relation of what I am continually suffering? Tarry with me, for I desire to speak many things. Do you startle at these scenes? Know then that all that moves around you is but the outer degree of deeper woe. Marietta, no good and happy beings abide with us. All within is dark. We sometimes dare to hope for redemption, still remembering the story of Redeeming Love, and inquire, Can that love penetrate this abode of gloom and death? May we ever hope to be made free from those desires and inclinations which bind us like chains, and passions which burn like consuming fires in the unhallowed elements of this world of wretchedness?”