The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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438                        ON THE LAST DAY
the Son; His faith you have not! You are perhaps one of the sons of Israel, who say with Moses, " An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth ! " a son of Israel, whose zealous God is only the God of your people !'
11 am a Christian ! '
' I discern it not in your faith and your works. The teaching of Christ is reconciliation, love, and mercy !'
' Mercy ! ' sounded again through endless space, and the gate of Heaven opened, and the soul floated towards the glory thus revealed. But the light which streamed out was so dazzling, so penetrating, that the soul drew back as before a drawn sword ; and the music sounded so soft and touching, that no mortal tongue can declare it, and the soul trembled and bowed down lower and ever lower, but the heavenly clearness forced its way into it, and then it felt and understood what it had never thus felt before, the burden of its pride, its hardness, and its sin. All became so clear within it.
1 Whatever good I have done in the world, I did because I could not do otherwise, but the evil—that was of myself !'
And the soul, feeling itself blinded with the clear heavenly light, sank powerless, as it seemed to it, deep down and rolled up in itself, weighed down, unripe for the Kingdom of Heaven; and at the thought of the austere, righteous God, it dared not stammer ' Mercy !'
And then Mercy appeared, the unexpected Mercy. God's Heaven was in all the infinite space, God's love streamed through it in inexhaustible fullness.
' Holy, happy, loving, and eternal be thou, O human soul,' was heard ringing and singing.
And all, all of us, on the last day of our lives, shall, like the soul here, shrink back before the brightness and glory of the Kingdom of Heaven, bow ourselves deeply, humbly sinking down, and yet, bSrne by His love and His mercy, be held up, hovering in new paths, purified, nobler, and better, coming nearer and nearer to the glory of the light, and, strengthened by Him, be enabled to enter into the everlasting brightness.