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September 08 , 2008

Adventures in the Moon, and Other Worlds


Adventures in the Moon, and Other Worlds

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To the bottom of my grave I heard the disturbing trumpet, and then the voice of the Prophet commanding that the bodies of the dead should rise, the souls be restored to them, and that all mankind should appear in the Valley of Judgment. I started out of death, and stood on the surface of the earth. Very great was the misery of being disquieted, and I should have been willing to forfeit my hopes of paradise for permission to lie still. I found myself standing in the burying ground where I had been laid at my death, and saw the graves opening all round me, and flinging out their dead, old and young.


Every one at rising found by the side of his grave two sacks belonging to him, in one of which were contained the good actions of his life, and in the other the faults. These two sacks were to be carried by the owner to the Valley of Judgment: they were closely sealed up, and he had not the power of opening them till he should come to his trial, when the virtues were to be weighed against the crimes in the scales of the Prophet, and as either prevailed over the other he was to be consigned to happiness or misery. At the first sight of my own two sacks I was struck with consternation to behold a very large one inscribed "Vices," and evidently quite full, while that entitled "Virtues" was dangerously small. In my own eyes I had always been a good man, and now on hastily endeavouring to remember my faults I could scarcely believe that I had committed so large a bag of them. On the other hand, when I surveyed my little sack of merits, it was equally inconceivable to me that all the good I had done could be packed up in so small a compass, and I called to mind several laudable actions, each of which appeared to me of itself large enough to fill it. So bulky were my faults that it seemed impossible for me to reach the Valley of Judgment under such a burden, and I doubted whether I had strength enough to lift them from the ground. However, I grasped the sack, and made a great effort, which I found was not required; for notwithstanding the size of my load it proved to be extremely light, and I threw it over my shoulder with perfect ease. I rejoiced to discover that my errors were great in appearance only, and snatching up my virtues in my left hand I set out on my journey.

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