November 10, 2010

Learn to die

I have somewhere read, that the great use of Philosophy is to learn to die. I will not therefore so far disgrace mine, as to show any Surprise at receiving a Lesson which I must be thought to have so long studied. Yet, to say the Truth, one Page of the Gospel teaches this Lesson better than all the Volumes of ancient or modern Philosophers. The Assurance it gives us of another Life is a much stronger Support to a good Mind, than all the Consolations that are drawn from the Necessity of Nature, the Emptiness or Satiety of our Enjoyments here, or any other Topic of those Declamations which are sometimes capable of arming our Minds with a stubborn Patience in bearing the Thoughts of Death, but never of raising them to a real Contempt of it, and much less of making us think it is a real good.

Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, XVIII iv
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