Meditation 17

Summary

All people are connected through the church so that what happens to one person affects every person.  Someone who dies is not lost but instead is "translated" into heaven.  The bells rung for prayer and for those who are suffering or have died also ring for any person who thinks the bells "toll for him"; and when a person feels this way, "he is united to God ."  Donne also feels loss for every person who dies because he is involved in mankind."  One should never ask for whom a church bell tolls because "it tolls for thee" and for all who are united in the church under God.  Taking this view is not "a begging for misery," which is "an excusable covetousness" because affliction matures and strengthens people.  Tribulation is treasure that is not "current money" on earth but rather serves us to "get nearer and nearer to our home, heaven."  People's tribulations, which are often made known to the community by the ringing of church bells, provide opportunities for others to contemplate their own dedication to God.