letters from dickinson to otis phillips lord

Thomas Johnson's Note on Letter 752

MANUSCRIPT: AC. Pencil. Dated: Sunday. The letter, which seems to be incomplete, is a fair copy.

PUBLICATION: Revelation 87.

ED received an immediate reply from Abbie Farley, and wrote this letter on the Sunday following.

The nature of the next letter, from Washington Gladden, dated Springfield, 27 May 1882, (HCL - unpublished), suggests that when ED made the inquiry which his reply answers, she did so having in mind the death of Wadsworth and the serious illness of Lord.


My friend:

"Is immortality true?" I believe that it is true - the only reality - almost; a thousand times truer than mortality, which is but a semblance after all. I believe that virture is deathless; that God who is the source of virtue, gave to her "the glory of going on, and not to die"; that the human soul, with which virtue is incorporate; cannot perish. I believe in the life everlasting, because Jesus Christ taught it. Say what you will about him, no one can deny that he knew the human soul, its nature, its laws, its destinies, better than any other being who ever trod this earth; and his testimony is more clear, more definite, more positive on this than on any other subject, that there is life beyond the grave.

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you."

Absolute demonstration there can be none of this truth; but a thousand lines of evidence converge toward it; and I believe it. It is all I can say. God forbid that I should flatter one who is dying with any illusive hope; but this hope is not illusive. May God's spirit gently lead this hope into the heart of your friend, and make it at home there, so that in the last days it shall be an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast -

Your friend
Washington Gladden

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Last updated on May 3, 2000