The Voice Box

Seeking to Establish and Share Knowledge and Understanding

A Vision - By DD Home


IN  the  Summer  of  the  year  1853,  a  kind  friend,  who  is  now  a dweller  in  the  Land  of  Promise,  had  kindly  procured  my admission  to a theological institute, situate  on  the  banks of  the Hudson.  I  was not  a  student  of theology,  and  I  frankly  confess,  that  a  slight  intimacy with  those  who were,  led me to be thankful that I  was not.  The institute was built on an eminence, commanding  view  of  peculiar  beauty below  lay  the  city; on the right, the river was lost  in  its windings among the rocky hills surrounding West Point ;  on the left it lay in expanse and could  be  traced for  a  distance of many miles;  behind, spread out the  country,  with  its  pretty  little  farm houses  dotted here and there.    I have sat for hours of an evening, watching  the feeble flickering lights, and endeavouring to picture  in my imagination the  life-emotional  which  must  from  time  to  time  have  crossed those  thresholds.  Now, fancy  pictured  a  young  girl, on whose form time and care had passed  but as  an evening breeze;  and a little further off it was, perchance,  a mother whose  little  one was suffering, and every beat of whose  feeble  pulse she  had counted with that hope which only a mother may  know as she prays to spare the pure, gentle, and loving little one whom He has given her.  Anon, it was  one  bowed  down  with age  and sorrow;  all that he had loved had gone to their rest, and he was  alone in that world.  Bright  pictures  of his  youth  flitted  before  him,  but these only augmented his loneliness, for the light of the past had brought out in deeper contrast the shadows of the present.

These  and similar  trains  of thought  often  occupied my  idle hours;  and, at times, these fancied scenes became as it were real, and  furnished  ample  resource to  a  mind,  naturally  inclined  to dwell on subjects beyond the little narrow circle of every day life.

One  evening, I  had  been  pondering  deeply  on  that which the world calls death, and on the eternity that lies beyond, until wearied  I  found  relief in  prayer,  and  then in sleep.  My last waking consciousness  had been that of perfect trust in God  and a sense of gratitude  to  Him  for  the  enjoyment  I  received  from  contemplating  the  beauties  of  the  material  creation.  It might have been that my mind was led to  watching this by the fact of my having watched a beautiful star  as it shone  and  twinkled in the profound stillness of the night.  Be this as it may, it appeared to me that, as I  closed my eyes to earthly things,  an  inner  perception was quickened within  me,  till  at last  reason  was  as active as  when  I  was  awake.  I, with  vivid  distinctness,  remember asking myself the question, whether I  was asleep  or  no,  when, to my  amazement,  I  heard  a  voice  which  seemed  so  natural, that my heart  bounded with  joy ~ I  recognised  it  as  the  voice,  who  while  on  earth  was  far  too  pure  for  such a  world as ours,  and  who,  in  passing to  that  brighter  home  had  promised  to  watch  over  and  protect  me.  And,  although  I  well Knew  she  would  do  so,  it  was  the  first  time  I  had  heard  her  Voice,  at  least--with that nearness  and natural tone.  She said, Fear not,  Daniel,  I  am near  you ;  the vision you  are  about  to have is that of death, yet you will  not  die,  as  your  spirit  must again return to  the body in  a few  hours.  Trust  in , God and his  angels :  all will be well."  Here the voice became lost, and I felt  as  one  who  at  noonday  is struck blind;  as  he would cling to the  last  memories  of  the  sunlight,  so  I  would  fain have  clung  to  material  existence-not  that  I  felt  any dread  of passing away, nor that I  doubted for  an instant the words of my Guardian Angel ;  but I  feared I  had  been over  presumptuous in desiring  knowledge,  the  very  memory  of  which  might  disturb

my future  life.   This  was  but  momentary,  for  almost  instantaneously  came  rushing  with  a  fearful  rapidity  memories  of the  past;  even  thoughts  bore  the  semblance  of realities,  and every action  appeared  as  an  eternity  of  existence.    During  the whole  time  I  was aware  of  a  benumbing and  chilling  sensation which  stole  over  my  body,  but the  more  inactive  my  nervousness became,  the  more  active  was my mind,  till  at  length I felt as if I  had  fallen  from  the  brink  of  some fearful precipice, and as I fell,  all became  obscure,  and  my  whole  body  became one  ****y  mass (could be dreamy).   l  only  kept  alive  by  a  feeling  of  terror,  until recognition  and  thought  simultaneously  ceased,  and  I  knew  no more.  How  long I  had  lain thus  I  know  not,  but soon  I felt that I was  about  to  awaken  in  a most  dense  obscurity;  terror had now given place to  a  pleasurable feeling,  accompanied by  a attitude of some one  dearly loved being near  me,  yet invisible: It then occurred  to me that the light  of the spheres  must necessarily be more  effulgent than our  own,  and  I  pondered whether or not the  sudden  change  from  darkness  to  light  might  not prove  painful,  for  instinctively  I  realized  that beyond  the surrounding obscurity lay an ocean of silver-toned light.     I  was  at this  instant brought  to  a  consciousness  of light,  by seeing  the . whole of my nervous system,  as it were, as thousands of electrical scintillations,  which  here  and  there,  as  in  the  created  nerve, took  the  form  of currents,  darting  its  rayons  over  the whole body  in a  manner  most  marvellous ;  still  this  was  but  a.  cold electrical  light,  and  besides,  it  was  external.     Gradually however, I saw  that  the  extremities  became  less  luminous,  and the  finer  membranes  surrounding  the  brain became  as it were glowing, and I  felt  that thought  and  action  were no  longer connected with the earthly tenement, but  that  they were in a  body in every respect similar to  the body which  I  knew to  have been mine, and  which  I  now  saw  lying motionless  before  me  on the bed.    The only link which held the  two forms  together seemed a silvery-like light, which proceeded from  the brain;  and, as if it were a response  to my earlier waking thoughts,  the same  voice, only that it was now more musical  than  before, said,  " Death is but a second birth, corresponding in every respect to  the natural birth, and should the uniting link now be severed, you could never again enter .the body.    As I told  you, however, this will not be. 'You did wrong to  doubt,  even  for  an  instant,  for  this was the cause of your having suffered,  and this very want of faith  is  the source of every evil  on  your  earth.  God  is  love ; and still His children  ever  doubt  Him.  Has  he  not  said  ' k nock  and  it shall be opened unto you:  seek and ye shall find ? '  These being His  words,  must be  taken  as  they  were  spoken.  It is not for men to give  any  interpretation  they  may  believe  or  desire  to believe,  to  what  God  has  said.  Be  very  calm,  for  in  a  few moments you will see us all,  but do  not touch  us,  be  guided by the one who is  appointed to go  with you, for I  must remain near your body."

 It now appeared to  me  that I  was waking from  a dream of darkness to  a  sense  of light;  but such  a glorious light.  Never did  earthly sun  shed  such  rays, strong  in  beauty, soft  in love, warm in life-giving glow, and as my last idea of earthly light had been the reflex of my own body, so  now this heavenly light came from  those I saw standing  about me.  Yet  the  light was  not  of their creating, but was  shed  on  them  from  a  higher and  purer source,  which  only  seemed  the  more  adorably  beautiful  in the  invisibility  of  its  holy  love  and  mercy , thus  to  shower every  blessing  on  the  creatures  of  its  creation;  and  now,  I was  bathed  in  light, and  about  me were those for whom  I  had sorrowed, for although I well  knew  that  they existed, and loved and  cared  for  me, nevertheless, their  earthly presence  was  not visible.  One  that  I  had  never known on  earth then  drew near and said, " You will  come with me, Daniel."  I  could only reply, that it was impossible to move,  inasmuch  as I  could not feel that  my  nature  had  a  power  over  my  body.  To  this  he  replied, " Desire and  you  will  accomplish  your  desires  which  are  not sinful, desires being as prayers to  the Divinity, and he answereth, the every prayer of his children."

For  the  first  time  I  now  looked  to  see  what sustained my body,  and found  that it was but a  purple  tinted  cloud,  and that as I  desired to  go  onward with my  guide, the cloud  appeared  -if disturbed by a  gentle breeze, and in its movements  found  I was wafted upward  until  I  saw  the  earth,  as  a  vision, far, far below  us.  Soon, I  found  that  we  had  drawn  nearer,  and were just hovering over a cottage that  I  had  never  seen ·  and I  also saw the inmates, but had never met  them  in  life.  The walls of the cottage were not the least  obstruction  to my sight, they were Only  as if constructed of a dense body of air, yet perfectly transparent,  and the same might be said of every article of furniture. I perceived that the inmates were asleep,  and  I  saw  the various Splrits who were watching over  the sleepers.  One  of these was Endeavouring  to  impress  his son  where  to  find  a  lost relic  of  him Which  the   son  much prized,  and  the  loss  of  which  had  greatly moved  him.  And  I saw  that  the  son  awoke  and  thought it just an  idle  dream,  and  three  times  this  impression  was  repeated  by the  spirit;  and  I  knew  tlhat when  morning came,  the young man  would  go,  out  of  curiosity, where  he  had  been  impressed to  go. and  that he would there  find  what  he  sought for. In an adjoining  room  I  saw  one  who  was  tormented by dreams, But they were  but the production of  a diseased  body.

I was most deeply interested  in  all  this,  when my guide said “We must  now return.” When I found myself  near my  body, I turned  to  the one who  had  remained  near  my  bed,  and  said ''Why must  I  return  so  soon, for it can be but a few  moments I been  with you, and I  would fain  see  more  and  also  remain near  you  longer?"  She replied,  " It is  now  many hours since you came to  us;  but here we take no  cognisance of time,  and as you  are  here  in  spirit  you  too  have  lost  this  knowledge;  we would  have you with us, but this must not be  at present.  Return to earth,  love  your fellow-creatures, love  truth, and  in  so  doing you  will  serve  the  God  of  infinite  love,  who  careth  for  and loveth all.  May the  Father of mercies  bless  you,  Daniel !”

I heard  no more , but  seemed to  sink as  in  a swoon, until  consciousness was merged into  a feeling  that earth with  it  trials lay before m e - and that I, as  well  as  every human being, must bear my  cross and  when I  opened  my  eyes  to  material  things  I found  the  little star  had given  way  to  the sun,  which  had    been above the horizon about four hours;  making in  all  about  eleven hours that  vision  had  lasted.  .My   limbs  were so  dead, that at least half an  hour  elapsed  before  I  could reach the bell rope, to bring anyone  to my assistance,  and it was only by  a continued · friction that,  at  the  end  of  an  hour,  I  had  sufficient  force  to let me to stand upright.

I merely  give  these  facts  as  they occurred;  let  others comment  On them as  they  may.  I  have  only  to  add, that nothing could ever convince me that this  was  an  illusion  or  a  delusion ; and  that  the  remembrance  of those  hours  are  as  fresh  in  my mind now, as  at the moment they took place.





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