WITH REFERENCE TO THE INGERSOLL LECTURE OF PROFESSOR JAMES
IN OFFERING SOME WORDS on the great question of human immortality, I enjoy the advantage of the interest awakened by the essay of my brilliant friend from Harvard, read a few months ago to this Club.* The memory of that noble evening lives with you, I doubt not, still undimmed, and long will live, as it lives and long will live with me. The thoughts then stirred within you, I can count upon as having waked many another of those questions which haunt us concerning the mystery of life; and I may feel assured of your sympathy when I now attempt to renew their current.
I may assume, I judge, that some of you not only felt regarding immortality the difficulties which our guest addressed himself to obviating, but were also conscious of a certain feeling of insufficiency left by the method he took to relieve them. Probably, too, many of you wished, as I did, that we might be supplied in some way with something more positive, something more satisfyingly affirmative, than the mere opening of a chance to pull ourselves together and seize upon immortal life by a tour de force of resolute belief. For this was all that our essayist could achieve by simply replying to objections, though it was no doubt all that he aimed at achieving.
Many others of you, I moreover suspect, wondered in particular if there might not be some course of thought in which that____________________