The Life of the World to Come 363 Shakespeare and Homer may live long, but they will die some day, that is to say, they will become unknown as direct and efficient causes. Even so God himself dies, for to die is to change and to change is to die to what has gone before. If the units change the total must do so also. As no one can say which egg or seed shall come to visible life and in its turn leave issue, so no one can say which of the millions of now visible lives shall enter into the after- life on death, and which have but so little life as practically not to count. For most seeds end as seeds or as food for some alien being, and so with lives, by far the greater number are sterile, except in so far as they can be devoured as the food of some stronger life. The Handels and Shakespeares are the few seeds that grow—and even these die. And the same uncertainty attaches to posthumous life as to pre-lethal. As no one can say how long another shall live, so no one can say how long or how short a time a reputation shall live. The most unpromising weakly-looking creatures sometimes live to ninety while strong rabust men are carried off in their prime. And no one can say what a man shall enter into life for having done. Roughly, there is a sort of moral government whereby those who have done the best work live most enduringly, but it is subject to such exceptions that no one can say whether or no there shall not be an exception in his own case either in his favour or against him. In this uncertainty a ypung writer had better act as though he had a reasonable chance of living, not perhaps very long, but still some little while after his death. Let him leave his notes fairly full and fairly tidy in all respects, without spending too much time about them. If they are wanted, there they are; if not wanted, there is no harm done. He might as well leave them as anything else. But let him write them in copying ink and have the copies kept in different places. The Vates Sacer Just as the kingdom of heaven cometh not by observation, so neither do one's own ideas, nor the good things one hears other people say; they fasten on us when we least want or expect them. It is enough if the kingdom of heaven be observed when it does come.