by Tom Wacaster
Robert Ingersol, renowned atheist of the 19th century, gave the skeptic’s answer to the grave at his brother’s graveside. President Garfield, one of the pallbearers was present, and said that Ingersol broke down and cried like a baby in the delivery of that speech. Among other things, here is what the atheist said: “Whether in mid-ocean, or amidst the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck must mark the end of each and all. Though every hour is rich with love, and every moment is jeweled with a joy, it will at its close be a tragedy as deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death. Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities; we strive in vain to look beyond the heights; we cry aloud, and the only answer is our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word.” What despair! I am grateful that Jesus has “abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10b). How much better it is to be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only but to all them that have loved his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8).