Theosophy April 1896

DEATH OF WILLIAM Q. JUDGE J. D. Buck

The editor of this magazine, President of the Theosophical Societies in America, Europe and Australasia, our trusted teacher and friend, passed away on the 21st of March at about 9 o'clock in the morning. His death was painless and put an end to a long and desperate fight for life, sustained unwavering until recovery was seen to be impossible.

Some people will doubtless repeat the forebodings that followed the death of H. P. B. prophesying the collapse of the Theosophical Society; but the soul and power that she left in the work, and that became increasingly manifest after she had left us, proved that physical presence is not necessary to maintain that real influence which is primarily spiritual and mental. The influence exercised by William Q. Judge was of the same order. The fibres of his being were interwoven with those of the Society. Death cannot destroy that strong pillar of support. He died as he had lived for the Society; died as he had lived upright; and though we must regret that such a sacrifice was necessary, the fact remains that it was not thrown away, for the hundreds that loyally remained with him in the hour of the Society's trial and of his greatest fight will remain unshaken as the wedge by him driven far into next century on inner and real planes. The work of the Society and of this magazine will continue as before. The same policy and purpose will be pursued as hitherto. But more than ever will the success of both depend upon individual members throughout the world. Let that be remembered, and William Q. Judge's one hope and ambition will be realized.

NOTICE.

To THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA AND ITS FRATERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

Brothers: Our leader has disappeared from the field of conflict. With courage undaunted, with will unconquered, with zeal unabated, with devotion undiminished the vehicle failed. The chariot went to pieces on the field of battle, and the charioteer is lost from the sight of men. William Quan Judge has finished the work given him to do for this generation, and reserving scarcely time from his great work in which to die, has left us only memories, and the record and power of his example. The influence of these has extended around the globe and will help to mould the thought of the coming century. Energy, steadfastness and devotion were the characteristics of his life, while beneath the sometimes stern exterior, impatient at folly and triviality that wasted time and deflected energy from work and duty, there beat a "warm Irish heart" as gentle as a woman's and as tender as a child's. Those who saw him most appreciated him most; those who knew him best loved and trusted him unreservedly. And why all this confidence and love? Simply because he was the soul of devotion; because he utterly sank self, and sacrificed everything to the work he had undertaken: the spread of Truth and the permanency of the T. S. There was an undercurrent in his life like that of the deep sea, and this never ceased its flow or lost its source for an instant. His resources seemed inexhaustible, and his judgment of men and measures wonderfully exact. In ten years of very intimate association I have never once discovered a purpose outside his beloved T. S. Night and day, in sickness and health, racked with pain or in the pleasant hours of social intercourse, you could detect but one only motive and aim; and when the veil of silence fell over his spoken words, his busy pen ignored the pain, and sent scores of messages and words of advice and encouragement all over the world. I never before witnessed such determination to live, such unconsciousness of possible defeat, such unwillingness to stop work. I tried last December to get him to stop work and use his waning strength to regain health but in vain. And so he worked on to the last, and only desisted when he could neither walk nor stand; and when from choking cough and weariness he could scarcely lie down or sleep. He was indeed the Lion-hearted and worthy successor of his great teacher, H. P. B.

I feel sure that I am but voicing the thought of thousands in this estimate of the character and life-work of our Champion and Leader. The application is plain. His life-work and sacrifice must not be in vain, his example must not be lost. "Those who are wise in spiritual things grieve neither for the living nor for the dead." Steadfastness, Devotion and Work! should be our motto, no less than the text and the sermon, on this occasion. "Deeds, not words, are what we want" once wrote a Master. Mourning and sorrow may be in all our hearts, and the gentleness and tenderness thus engendered should only enrich and make more fruitful the soil of our own lives, and the blossom and the fruit be for the healing of the nations. The century draws near its close; our Annual Convention is near at hand. Let us show by greater devotion, more courage and a deeper sense of Brotherhood that the sacrifice of our Brother, William Q. Judge, has not been in vain, but that he still lives and works in us; and so there can be no death, but transition only; no destruction, but rejuvenescence, and no defeat to him "who realizes that he is one with the Supreme Spirit."


Theosophy

THEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE