Présentation de l'éditeur
"Nothing could possibly exceed our happiness," they said in the fulness of their joyful hearts; yet there was one degree of still higher happiness to which they might attain, and that would be when God blessed them with a child—a son, to resemble them in features and in disposition. That fortunate child would be hailed with rapture; would be loved and daintily cared for; would be the heir to all the advantages that wealth and high birth can bestow. The days flew by as a continual festival to them. "Life is a merciful gift of love—almost inconceivably great," said the young wife; "but the fulness of this happiness shall be tasted in that future life, when it will increase and exist to all eternity. The idea is incomprehensible to me." "That is only an assumption among mankind," said her husband. "In reality, it is frightful pride and overweening arrogance to think that we shall live for ever—become like God. These were the serpent's wily words, and he is the father of lies." "You do not, however, doubt that there is a life after this one?" asked his wife; and for the first time a cloud seemed to pass over their sunny heaven of thought. "Faith holds forth the promise of it, and the priests proclaim it," said the young man; "but, in the midst of all my happiness, I feel that it would be too craving, too presumptuous, to demand another life after this one—a happiness to be continual. Is there not so much granted in this existence that we might and ought to be content with it?" "To us—yes, there has been much granted," replied the young wife; "but to how many thousands does not this life become merely a heavy trial? How many are not, as it were, cast into this world to be the victims of poverty, wrangling, sickness, and misfortune? Nay, if there were no life after this one, then everything in this globe has been unequally dealt out; then God would not be just."