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It was with much pleasure that I accepted the invitation to deliver this year the Drew Lecture on Immortality. The invitation came to me overwhelmed with the pressure of tasks in various stages of incompleteness, but the practical character of the subject overcame my reluctance to add to the freight of an already overladen ship. For though I propose to take you speedily over the intellectual changes of outlook on this subject in Israel and a few of its developments in Christianity, you are not to regard this study as one of merely academic interest. Nay, the subject is a living one: it affects the well-being not only of the individual man, but of Churches and religious systems, of nations and races. The loss of such a belief would be tragic in every department of human life, for, as we shall see later, it would be a proof of spiritual declension. I will quote the judgements of two very dissimilar men on this question. Emerson writes: ‘No sooner do we try to get rid of the idea of Immortality—than Pessimism raises its head … human griefs seem little worth assuaging; human happiness too paltry (at the best) to be worth increasing. The whole moral world is reduced to a point. Good and evil, right and wrong, become infinitesimal matters. The affections die away—die of their own conscious feebleness and uselessness. A moral paralysis creeps over us.