'Thought,' however, is not the right word, nor ' imagination ' itself, except when it is applied to the apprehension, the imagining of substantial things. The difficulty of imagining heaven is an example of what I mean. This has been a distress to thousands and thousands for generations; and the distress has been greatest where the faculty to over-come it (the one so sorely baffled) has been strongest and greatest too. The stronger the effort, indeed, the more complete is the sense of failure. The fainting imagination has still to fall back on winged angels —dove-creatures; on white robes, golden thrones, gates of pearl; strains of music which, though we need not suppose them drawn from fiddles according to the frankly-acknowledged fancy of the old painters, are in fact such compositions as Bach, Beethoven,or some other mundane master has put into your head. There is nothing more inspiring to the mind of man than religious enthusiasm; its fervours are more kindling to the imagination than any other; and many clear intellects are ready to believe that the yearnings of religious enthusiasm to behold in vision the world beyond are sometimes rewarded.


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Imagination in Dreams and Their Study - F Greenwood 1894