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Wesley, John - Sermon 121 - Human Life A Dream

Identifier

024651

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Covering death and out of body experiences at the same time

A description of the experience

Extract from The Sermons of John Wesley - Sermon 121

Human Life A Dream

Let us then propose the case. Let us suppose we had now before us one that was just passed into the world of spirits. Might not you address such a new-born soul in some such manner as this.

You have been an inhabitant of earth forty, perhaps fifty or sixty, years. But now God has altered his voice: "Awake, thou that sleepest!"

You awake; you arise; you have no more to do with these poor transient shadows. Arise, and shake thyself from the dust! See, all is real here! all is permanent; all eternal! far more stable than the foundations of the earth; yea, than the pillars of that lower heaven. Now that your eyes are open, see how inexpressibly different are all the things that are now round about you! What a difference do you perceive in yourself! Where is your body, -- your house of clay Where are your limbs, your hands, your feet, your head There they lie, cold, insensible!

No anger, hereafter, or shame,  Shall redden the innocent clay; Extinct is the animal flame,     And passion is vanish'd away.

What a change is in the immortal spirit!

You see everything around you; but how - Not with eyes of flesh and blood!

You hear; but not by a stream of undulating air, striking on an extended membrane.

You feel; but in how wonderful a manner!

You have no nerves to convey the ethereal fire to the common sensory; rather, are you not now all eye, all ear, all feeling, all perception.

How different, now you are throughly awake, are all the objects round about you! Where are the houses, and gardens, and fields, and cities, which you lately saw. Where are the rivers, and seas, and everlasting hills. Was it then only in a dream that our poet discovered,

Earth hath this variety from heaven
Of pleasure situate in hill and dale

Nay, I doubt all these vanished away like smoke, the moment you awoke out of the body.

The source of the experience

Wesley, John

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble