Tolling the Bell

    I well remember how in my native village in New England it used to be customary, as a funeral procession left the church, for the bell to toll as many times as the deceased was years old. How anxiously I would count those strokes of the bell to see how long I might reckon on living! Sometimes there would be seventy or eighty tolls, and I would give a sigh of relief to think I had so many years to live. But at other times there would be only a few years tolled, and then a horror would seize me as I thought that I, too, might soon be claimed as a victim by that dread monster, Death. Death and judgment were a constant source of fear to me till I realized the fact that neither shall ever have any hold on a child of God. In his letter to the Romans the apostle Paul has showed, in most direct language, that there is no condemnation for a child of God, but that he is passed from under the power of law, and in the Epistle to the Corinthians he tells us that "there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body," "and as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."