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Title: A Man's Value to Society - Studies in Self Culture and Character
Author: Hillis, Newell Dwight, 1858-1929
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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A Man's Value to Society



    By NEWELL DWIGHT HILLIS

    _Eighth Edition_
    GREAT BOOKS AS LIFE-TEACHERS
    STUDIES OF CHARACTER, REAL AND IDEAL
    12mo, cloth, gilt top, $1.50

    _Nineteenth Edition_
    THE INVESTMENT OF INFLUENCE
    A STUDY OF SOCIAL SYMPATHY AND SERVICE
    12mo, vellum, gilt top, $1.25

    _Eighteenth Edition_
    A MAN'S VALUE TO SOCIETY
    STUDIES IN SELF-CULTURE AND CHARACTER
    12mo, vellum, gilt-top, $1.25

    _Tenth Edition_
    FORETOKENS OF IMMORTALITY
    STUDIES FOR "THE HOUR WHEN THE IMMORTAL HOPE
    BURNS LOW IN THE HEART"
    Long 16mo, 50 cents; art binding, gilt top,
    boxed, 75 cents

    _Eighth Edition_
    HOW THE INNER LIGHT FAILED
    A STUDY OF THE ATROPHY OF THE SPIRITUAL SENSE
    Quiet Hour Series, 18mo, cloth, 25 cents

    BOOKLETS

    RIGHT LIVING AS A FINE ART
    A study of Channing's Symphony, 12mo, 50 cents.

    THE MASTER OF THE SCIENCE OF RIGHT LIVING
    12mo, 50 cents, net.

    ACROSS THE CONTINENT OF THE YEARS
    16mo, 25 cents, net.



A Man's Value to Society

Studies in Self-Culture
and Character


Newell Dwight Hillis
Author of "The Investment of Influence," "Foretokens
of Immortality," etc.


"_Spread wide thy mantle while the gods rain gold._"
                                  --FROM THE PERSIAN.

TWENTY-FIFTH EDITION


Chicago New York Toronto
Fleming H. Revell Company
MCMII



Copyright, 1896, by
Fleming H. Revell Company

Copyright, 1897, by
Fleming H. Revell Company



_TO MY WIFE_



CONTENTS


CHAP.                                                        PAGE

   I The Elements of Worth in the Individual                    9

  II Character: Its Materials and External Teachers            33

 III Aspirations and Ideals                                    55

  IV The Physical Basis of Character                           77

   V The Mind and the Duty of Right Thinking                   99

  VI The Moral Uses of Memory                                 123

 VII The Imagination as the Architect of Manhood              143

VIII The Enthusiasm of Friendship                             165

  IX Conscience and Character                                 189

   X Visions that Disturb Contentment                         213

  XI The Uses of Books and Reading                            235

 XII The Science of Living with Men                           259

XIII The Revelators of Character                              281

 XIV Making the Most of One's Self                            301



THE ELEMENTS OF WORTH IN THE INDIVIDUAL


      "There is nothing that makes men rich and strong but that
      which they carry inside of them. Wealth is of the heart,
      not of the hand."--_John Milton._

      "Until we know why the rose is sweet or the dew drop
      pure, or the rainbow beautiful, we cannot know why the
      poet is the best benefactor of society. The soldier
      fights for his native land, but the poet touches that
      land with the charm that makes it worth fighting for and
      fires the warrior's heart with energy invincible. The
      statesman enlarges and orders liberty in the state, but
      the poet fosters the core of liberty in the heart of the
      citizen. The inventor multiplies the facilities of life,
      but the poet makes life better worth living."--_George
      Wm. Curtis._

      "Not all men are of equal value. Not many Platos: only
      one, to whom a thousand lesser minds look up and learn to
      think. Not many Dantes: one, and a thousand poets tune
      their harps to his and repeat his notes. Not many
      Raphaels: one, and no second. But a thousand lesser
      artists looking up to him are lifted to his level. Not
      many royal hearts--great magazines of kindness. Happy the
      town blessed with a few great minds and a few great
      hearts. One such citizen will civilize an entire
      community."--_H._



I

THE ELEMENTS OF WORTH IN THE INDIVIDUAL


Our scientific experts are investigating the wastes of society. Their
reports indicate that man is a great spendthrift. He seems not so much
a husbandman, making the most of the treasures of his life-garden, as
a robber looting a storehouse for booty.

Travelers affirm that one part of the northern pineries has been
wasted by man's careless fires and much of the rest by his reckless
axe. Coal experts insist that a large percentage of heat passes out of
the chimney. The new chemistry claims that not a little of the
precious ore is cast upon the slag heap.

In the fields the farmers overlook some ears of corn and pass by some
handfuls of wheat. In the work-room the scissors leave selvage and
remnant. In the mill the saw and plane refuse slabs and edges. In the
kitchen a part of what the husband carries in, the wife's wasteful
cooking casts out. But the secondary wastes involve still heavier
losses. Man's carelessness in the factory breaks delicate machinery,
his ignorance spoils raw materials, his idleness burns out boilers,
his recklessness blows up engines; and no skill of manager in juggling
figures in January can retrieve the wastes of June.

Passing through the country the traveler finds the plow rusting in the
furrow, mowers and reapers exposed to rain and snow; passing through
the city he sees the docks lined with boats, the alleys full of broken
vehicles, while the streets exhibit some broken-down men. A journey
through life is like a journey along the trackway of a retreating
army; here a valuable ammunition wagon is abandoned because a careless
smith left a flaw in the tire; there a brass cannon is deserted
because a tug was improperly stitched; yonder a brave soldier lies
dying in the thicket where he fell because excited men forgot the use
of an ambulance. What with the wastes of intemperance and ignorance,
of idleness and class wars, the losses of society are enormous. But
man's prodigality with his material treasures does but interpret his
wastefulness of the greater riches of mind and heart. Life's chief
destructions are in the city of man's soul. Many persons seem to be
trying to solve this problem: "Given a soul stored with great
treasure, and three score and ten years for happiness and usefulness,
how shall one kill the time and waste the treasure?" Man's pride over
his casket stored with gems must be modified by the reflection that
daily his pearls are cast before swine, that should have been woven
into coronets.

Man's evident failure to make the most out of his material life
suggests a study of the elements in each citizen that make him of
value to his age and community. What are the measurements of mankind,
and why is it that daily some add new treasures to the storehouse of
civilization, while others take from and waste the store already
accumulated? These are questions of vital import. Many and varied
estimates of man's value have been made. Statisticians reckon the
average man's value at $600 a year. Each worker in wood, iron or brass
stands for an engine or industrial plant worth $10,000, producing at 6
per cent. an income of $600. The death of the average workman,
therefore, is equivalent to the destruction of a $10,000 mill or
engine. The economic loss through the non-productivity of 20,000
drunkards is equal to one Chicago fire involving two hundred millions.
Of course, some men produce less and others more than $600 a year; and
some there are who have no industrial value--non-producers, according
to Adam Smith; paupers, according to John Stuart Mill; thieves,
according to Paul, who says, "Let him that stole steal no more, but
rather work." In this group let us include the tramps, who hold that
the world owes them a living; these are they who fail to realize that
society has given them support through infancy and childhood; has
given them language, literature, liberty. Wise men know that the
noblest and strongest have received from society a thousandfold more
than they can ever repay, though they vex all the days and nights with
ceaseless toil. In this number of non-sufficing persons are to be
included the paupers--paupers plebeian, supported in the poorhouse by
many citizens; paupers patrician, supported in palace by one citizen,
generally father or ancestor; the two classes differing in that one is
the foam at the top of the glass and the other the dregs at the
bottom. To these two groups let us add the social parasites,
represented by thieves, drunkards, and persons of the baser sort whose
business it is to trade in human passion. We revolt from the red
aphides upon the plant, the caterpillar upon the tree, the vermin upon
bird or beast. How much more do we revolt from those human vermin
whose business it is to propagate parasites upon the body politic!
The condemnation of life is that a man consumes more than he produces,
taking out of society's granary that which other hands have put in.
The praise of life is that one is self-sufficing, taking less out than
he put into the storehouse of civilization.

A man's original capital comes through his ancestry. Nature invests
the grandsire's ability, and compounds it for the grandson. Plato
says: "The child is a charioteer driving two steeds up the long
life-hill; one steed is white, representing our best impulses; one
steed is dark, standing for our worst passions." Who gave these steeds
their color? Our fathers, Plato replies, and the child may not change
one hair, white or black. Oliver Wendell Holmes would have us think
that a man's value is determined a hundred years before his birth. The
ancestral ground slopes upward toward the mountain-minded man. The
great never appear suddenly. Seven generations of clergymen make ready
for Emerson, each a signboard pointing to the coming philosopher. The
Mississippi has power to bear up fleets for war or peace because the
storms of a thousand summers and the snows of a thousand winters have
lent depth and power. The measure of greatness in a man is determined
by the intellectual streams and moral tides flowing down from the
ancestral hills and emptying into the human soul. The Bach family
included one hundred and twenty musicians. Paganini was born with
muscles in his wrists like whipcords. What was unique in Socrates was
first unique in Sophroniscus. John ran before Jesus, but Zacharias
foretold John. No electricity along rope wires, and no vital living
truths along rope nerves to spongy brain. There are millions in our
world who have been rendered physical and moral paupers by the sins of
their ancestors. Their forefathers doomed them to be hewers of wood
and drawers of water. A century must pass before one of their children
can crowd his way up and show strength enough to shape a tool, outline
a code, create an industry, reform a wrong. Despotic governments have
stunted men--made them thin-blooded and low-browed, all backhead and
no forehead. Each child has been likened to a cask whose staves
represent trees growing on hills distant and widely separated; some
staves are sound and solid, standing for right-living ancestors; some
are worm eaten, standing for ancestors whose integrity was consumed by
vices. At birth all the staves are brought together in the infant
cask--empty, but to be filled by parents and teachers and friends. As
the waste-barrel in the alley is filled with refuse and filth, so the
orphan waifs in our streets are made receptacles of all vicious
thoughts and deeds. These children are not so much born as damned into
life. But how different is the childhood of some others. On the Easter
day, in foreign cathedrals, a beauteous vase is placed beside the
altar, and as the multitudes crowd forward and the solemn procession
moves up the aisles, men and women cast into the vase their gifts of
gold and silver and pearls and lace and rich textures. The well-born
child seems to be such a vase, unspeakably beautiful, filled with
knowledges and integrities more precious than gold and pearls. "Let
him who would be great select the right parents," was the keen dictum
of President Dwight.

By the influence of the racial element, the laborer in northern
Europe, viewed as a producing machine, doubles the industrial output
of his southern brother. The child of the tropics is out of the race.
For centuries he has dozed under the banana tree, awakening only to
shake the tree and bring down ripe fruit for his hunger, eating to
sleep again. His muscles are flabby, his blood is thin, his brain
unequal to the strain of two ideas in one day. When Sir John Lubbock
had fed the chief in the South Sea Islands he began to ask him
questions, but within ten minutes the savage was sound asleep. When
awakened the old chief said: "Ideas make me so sleepy." Similarly, the
warm Venetian blood has given few great men to civilization; but the
hills of Scotland and New England produce scholars, statesmen, poets,
financiers, with the alacrity with which Texas produces cotton or
Missouri corn. History traces certain influential nations back to a
single progenitor of unique strength of body and character. Thus
Abraham, Theseus, and Cadmus seem like springs feeding great and
increasing rivers. One wise and original thinker founds a tribe,
shapes the destiny of a nation, and multiplies himself in the lives of
future millions. In accordance with this law, tenacity reappears in
every Scotchman; wit sparkles in every Irishman; vivacity is in every
Frenchman's blood; the Saxon is a colonizer and originates
institutions. During the construction of the Suez Canal it was
discovered that workmen with veins filled with Teutonic blood had a
commercial value two and a half times greater than the Egyptians.
Similarly, during the Indian war, the Highland troops endured double
the strain of the native forces. Napoleon shortened the stature of
the French people two inches by choosing all the taller of his
30,000,000 subjects and killing them in war. Waxing indignant, Horace
Mann thinks "the forehead of the Irish peasantry was lowered an inch
when the government made it an offense punishable with fine,
imprisonment, and a traitor's death to be the teacher of children." A
wicked government can make agony, epidemic, brutalize a race, and
reaching forward, fetter generations yet unborn. "Blood tells," says
science. But blood is the radical element put out at compound interest
and handed forward to generations yet unborn.

The second measure of a man's value to society is found in his
original endowment of physical strength. The child's birth-stock of
vital force is his capital to be traded upon. Other things being equal
his productive value is to be estimated mathematically upon the basis
of physique. Born weak and nerveless, he must go to society's
ambulance wagon, and so impede the onward march. Born vigorous and
rugged, he can help to clear the forest roadway or lead the advancing
columns. Fundamentally man is a muscular machine for producing the
ideas that shape conduct and character. All fine thinking stands with
one foot on fine brain fiber. Given large physical organs, lungs with
capacity sufficient to oxygenate the life-currents as they pass
upward; large arteries through which the blood may have full course,
run, and be glorified; a brain healthy and balanced with a compact
nervous system, and you have the basis for computing what will be a
man's value to society. Men differ, of course, in ways many--they
differ in the number and range of their affections, in the scope of
conscience, in taste and imagination, and in moral energy. But the
original point of variance is physical. Some have a small body and a
powerful mind, like a Corliss engine in a tiny boat, whose frail
structure will soon be racked to pieces. Others are born with large
bodies and very little mind, as if a toy engine were set to run a
mudscow. This means that the poor engineer must pole up stream all his
life. Others, by ignorance of parent, or accident through nurse, or
through their own blunder or sin, destroy their bodily capital. Soon
they are like boats cast high and dry upon the beach, doomed to
sun-cracking and decay. Then, in addition to these absolute
weaknesses, come the disproportions of the body, the distemperature of
various organs. It is not necessary for spoiling a timepiece to break
its every bearing; one loose screw stops all the wheels. Thus a very
slight error as to the management of the bodily mechanism is
sufficient to prevent fine creative work as author, speaker, or
inventor. Few men, perhaps, ever learn how to so manage their brain
and stomach as to be capable of high-pressure brain action for days at
a time--until the cumulative mental forces break through all obstacles
and conquer success. A great leader represents a kind of essence of
common sense, but rugged common sense is sanity of nerve and brain. He
who rules and leads must have mind and will, but he must have chest
and stomach also. Beecher says the gun carriage must be in proportion
to the gun it carries. When health goes the gun is spiked. Ideas are
arrows, and the body is the bow that sends them home. The mind aims;
the body fires.

Good health may be better than genius or wealth or honor. It was when
the gymnasium had made each Athenian youth an Apollo in health and
strength that the feet of the Greek race ran most nimbly along the
paths of art and literature and philosophy.

Another test of a man's value is an intellectual one. The largest
wastes of any nation are through ignorance. Failure is want of
knowledge; success is knowing how. Wealth is not in things of iron,
wood and stone. Wealth is in the brain that organizes the metal. Pig
iron is worth $20 a ton; made into horse shoes, $90; into knife
blades, $200; into watch springs, $1,000. That is, raw iron $20, brain
power, $980. Millet bought a yard of canvas for 1 franc, paid 2 more
francs for a hair brush and some colors; upon this canvas he spread
his genius, giving us "The Angelus." The original investment in raw
material was 60 cents; his intelligence gave that raw material a value
of $105,000. One of the pictures at the World's Fair represented a
savage standing on the bank of a stream, anxious but ignorant as to
how he could cross the flood. Knowledge toward the metal at his feet
gave the savage an axe; knowledge toward the tree gave him a canoe;
knowledge toward the union of canoes gave him a boat; knowledge toward
the wind added sails; knowledge toward fire and water gave him the
ocean steamer. Now, if from the captain standing on the prow of that
floating palace, the City of New York, we could take away man's
knowledge as we remove peel after peel from an onion, we would have
from the iron steamer, first, a sailboat, then a canoe, then axe and
tree, and at last a savage, naked and helpless to cross a little
stream. In the final analysis it is ignorance that wastes; it is
knowledge that saves; it is wisdom that gives precedence. If sleep is
the brother of death, ignorance is full brother to both sleep and
death. An untaught faculty is at once quiescent and dead. An ignorant
man has been defined as one "whom God has packed up and men have not
unfolded. The best forces in such a one are perpetually paralyzed.
Eyes he has, but he cannot see the length of his hand; ears he has,
and all the finest sounds in creation escape him; a tongue he has, and
it is forever blundering." A mechanic who has a chest of forty tools
and can use only the hammer, saw, and gimlet, has little chance with
his fellows and soon falls far behind. An educated mind is one fully
awakened to all the sights and scenes and forces in the world through
which he moves. This does not mean that a $2,000 man can be made out
of a two-cent boy by sending him to college. Education is
mind-husbandry; it changes the size but not the sort. But if no amount
of drill will make a Shetland pony show a two-minute gait, neither
will the thoroughbred show this speed save through long and assiduous
and patient education. The primary fountains of our Nation's wealth
are not in fields and forests and mines, but in the free schools,
churches, and printing presses. Ignorance breeds misery, vice, and
crime. Mephistopheles was a cultured devil, but he is the exception.
History knows no illiterate seer or sage or saint. No Dante or
Shakespeare ever had to make "his X mark."

When John Cabot Lodge made his study of the distribution of ability in
the United States, he found that in ninety years five of the great
Western States had produced but twenty-seven men who were mentioned in
the American and English encyclopedias, while little Massachusetts had
2,686 authors, orators, philosophers, and builders of States. But
analysis shows that the variance is one of education and ideas. Boston
differs from Quebec as differ their methods of instruction. The New
England settlers were Oxford and Cambridge men that represented the
best blood, brain, and accumulated culture of old England. Landing in
the forest they clustered their cabins around the building that was at
once church, school, library, and town hall. Rising early and sitting
up late they plied their youth with ideas of liberty and intelligence.
They came together on Sunday morning at nine o'clock to listen to a
prayer one hour long, a sermon of three hours, and after a cold lunch
heard a second brief sermon of two hours and a half--those who did not
die became great. What Sunday began the week continued. We may smile
at their methods but we must admire the men they produced. Mark the
intellectual history of Northampton. During its history this town has
sent out 114 lawyers, 112 ministers, 95 physicians, 100 educators, 7
college presidents, 30 professors, 24 editors, 6 historians, 14
authors, among whom are George Bancroft, John Lothrop Motley,
Professor Whitney, the late J.G. Holland; 38 officers of State, 28
officers of the United States, including members of the Senate, and
one President.[1] How comes it that this little colony has raised up
this great company of authors, statesmen, reformers? No mere chance is
working here. The relation between sunshine and harvest is not more
essential than the relation between these folk and their renowned
descendants. Fruit after his kind is the divine explanation of
Northampton's influence upon the nation. "Education makes men great"
is the divine dictum. George William Curtis has said: "The
Revolutionary leaders were all trained men, as the world's leaders
always have been from the day when Themistocles led the educated
Athenians at Salamis, to that when Von Moltke marshaled the educated
Germans against France. The sure foundations of states are laid in
knowledge, not in ignorance; and every sneer at education, at book
learning, which is the recorded wisdom of the experience of mankind,
is the demagogue's sneer at intelligent liberty, inviting national
degeneration and ruin."

Consider, also, how the misfits of life affect man's value. The
successful man grasps the handle of his being. He moves in the line of
least resistance. That one accomplishes most whose heart sings while
his hand works. Like animals men have varied uses. The lark sings, the
ox bears burdens, the horse is for strength and speed. But men who are
wise toward beasts are often foolish toward themselves. Multitudes
drag themselves toward the factory or field who would have moved
toward the forum with "feet as hind's feet." Other multitudes fret and
chafe in the office whose desires are in the streets and fields.
Whoever scourges himself to a task he hates serves a hard master, and
the slave will get but scant pay. If a farmer should hitch horses to a
telescope and try to plow with it he would ruin the instrument in the
summer and starve his family in the winter. Not the wishes of parent,
nor the vanity of wife, nor the pride of place, but God and nature
choose occupation. Each child is unique, as new as was the first
arrival upon this planet. The school is to help the boy unpack what
intellectual tools he has; education does not change, but puts temper
into these tools. No man can alter his temperament, though trying to
he can break his heart. How pathetic the wrecks of men who have chosen
the wrong occupation! The driver bathes the raw shoulder of a horse
whose collar does not fit, but when men make their misfits and the
heart is sore society does not soothe, but with whips it scourges the
man to his fruitless task. This large class may be counted
unproductive. John Stuart Mill placed the industrial mismatings among
the heavier losses of society.

To this element of wisdom in relating one's self to duties must be
added skill in maintaining smooth relations with one's fellows. Men
may produce much by industry and ability, and yet destroy more by the
malign elements they carry. The proud domineering employer tears down
with one hand what he builds up with the other. One foolish man can
cost a city untold treasure. How many factories have failed because
the owner has no skill in managing men and mollifying difficulties.
History shows that stupid thrones and wars go together, while skillful
kings bring long intervals of peace. Contrasting the methods of two
prominent men, an editor once said: "The first man in making one
million cost society ten millions; but the other so produced his one
million as to add ten more to society's wealth." A most disastrous
strike in England's history had its origin in ignorance of this
principle. The miners of a certain coal field had suffered a severe
cut in wages. They had determined to accept it, though it took their
children out of school, and took away their meat dinner. When the hour
appointed for the conference came, prudence would have dictated that
every cause of irritation be guarded against. But the employer
foolishly drove his liveried carriage into the center of the vast
crowd of workmen, and for an hour flaunted his wealth before the
sore-hearted miners. When the men saw the footman, the prancing
horses, the gold-plated harness, and thought of their starving wives,
they reversed their acceptance of the cut in wages. They plunged into
a long strike, taking this for their motto: "Furs for his footmen and
gold plate for his horses, and also three meals a day for our wives
and children." Now, the ensuing strike and riots, long protracted,
cost England £5,000,000. But that bitter strike was all needless.
These are the men who take off the chariot wheels for God's advancing
hosts. When one comes to the front who has skill in allaying friction,
all society begins a new forward march. Skill in personal carriage
has much to do with a man's value.

Integrity enhances human worth. Iniquities devastate a city like fire
and pestilence. Social wealth and happiness are through right living.
Goodness is a commodity. Conscience in a cashier has a cash value. If
arts and industries are flowers and fruits, moralities are the roots
that nourish them. Disobedience is slavery. Obedience is liberty.
Disobedience to law of fire or water or acid is death. Obedience to
law of color gives the artist his skill; obedience to the law of
eloquence gives the orator his force; obedience to the law of iron
gives the inventor his tool; disobedience to the law of morals gives
waste and want and wretchedness. That individual or nation is
hastening toward poverty that does not love the right and hate the
wrong. So certain is the penalty of wrongdoing that sin seems
infinitely stupid. Every transgression is like an iron plate thrown
into the air; gravity will pull it back upon the wrongdoer's head to
wound him. It has been said for a man to betray his trust for money,
is for him to stand on the same intellectual level with a monkey that
scalds its throat with boiling water because it is thirsty. A drunkard
is one who exchanges ambrosia and nectar for garbage. A profligate is
one who declines an invitation to banquet with the gods that he may
dine out of an ash barrel. What blight is to the vine, sin is to a
man. When the first thief appeared in Plymouth colony a man was
withdrawn from the fields to make locks for the houses; when two
thieves came a second toiler was withdrawn from the factory to serve
as night watchman. Soon others were taken from productive industry to
build a jail and to interpret and execute the law. Every sin costs the
state much hard cash. Consider what wastes hatred hath wrought. Once
Italy and Greece and Central Europe made one vast storehouse filled
with precious art treasures. But men turned the cathedrals into
arsenals of war. If the clerks in some porcelain or cut-glass store
should attend to their duties in the morning, and each afternoon have
a pitched battle, during which they should throw the vases and cups
and medallions at each other, and each night pick up a piece of vase,
here an armless Venus and there a headless Apollo, to put away for
future generations to study, we should have that which answers
precisely to what has gone on for centuries through hatreds and class
wars. An outlook upon society is much like a visit to Lisbon after an
earthquake has filled the streets with debris and shaken down homes,
palaces, and temples. History is full of the ruins of cities and
empires. Not time, but disobedience, hath wrought their destruction.
New civilizations will be reared by coming generations; uprightness
will lay the foundations and integrity will complete the structure.
The temple is righteousness in which God dwelleth.

"Have life more abundantly." Man is not fated to a scant allowance nor
a fixed amount, but he is allured forward by an unmeasured
possibility. Personality may be enlarged and enriched. It has been
said that Cromwell was the best thing England ever produced. And the
mission of Jesus Christ is to carry each up from littleness to
full-orbed largeness. It has always been true that when some genius,
e.g., Watt, invents a model the people have reproduced it times
innumerable. So what man asks for is not the increase of birth talent,
but a pattern after which this raw material can be fashioned. Carbon
makes charcoal, and carbon makes diamond, too, but the "sea of light"
is carbon crystallized to a pattern. Builders lay bricks by plan; the
musician follows his score; the value of a York minster is not in the
number of cords of stone, but in the plan that organized them; and the
value of a man is in the reply to this question: Have the raw
materials of nature been wrought up into unity and harmony by the
Exemplar of human life? Daily he is here to stir the mind with holy
ambitions; to wing the heart with noble aspirations; to inspire with
an all-conquering courage; to vitalize the whole manhood. By making
the individual rich within he creates value without. For all things
are first thoughts. Tools, fabrics, ships, houses, books are first
ideas, afterward crystallized into outer form. A great picture is a
beautiful conception rushing into visible expression upon the canvas.
Wake up taste in a man and he beautifies his home. Wake up conscience
and he drives iniquities out of his heart. Wake up his ideas of
freedom and he fashions new laws. Jesus Christ is here to inflame
man's soul within that he may transform and enrich his life without.
No picture ever painted, no statue ever carved, no cathedral ever
builded is half so beautiful as the Christ-formed man. What is man's
value to society? Let him who knoweth what is in us reply: "What shall
it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Northampton Antiquities. Clark.



CHARACTER: ITS MATERIALS AND EXTERNAL TEACHERS


      "Character is more than intellect. A great soul will be
      strong to live, as well as to think. Goodness outshines
      genius, as the sun makes the electric light cast a
      shadow."--_Emerson._

      "What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the
      small man seeks is in others."--_Confucius._

      "After all, the kind of world one carries about in one's
      self is the important thing, and the world outside takes
      all its grace, color and value from that."--_James
      Russell Lowell._

      "Sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you
      reap a character; sow a character and you reap a
      destiny."--_Anon._

      "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our
      hearts unto wisdom."--_Psalm 90._



II

CHARACTER: ITS MATERIALS AND EXTERNAL TEACHERS


Dying, Horace Greeley exclaimed: "Fame is a vapor, popularity an
accident, riches take wings, those who cheer to-day will curse
to-morrow, only one thing endures--character!" These weighty words bid
all remember that life's one task is the making of manhood. Our world
is a college, events are teachers, happiness is the graduating point,
character is the diploma God gives man. The forces that increase
happiness are many, including money, friends, position; but one thing
alone is indispensable to success--personal worth and manhood. He who
stands forth clothed with real weight of goodness can neither be
feeble in life, nor forgotten in death. Society admires its scholar,
but society reveres and loves its hero whose intellect is clothed with
goodness. For character is not of the intellect, but of the
disposition. Its qualities strike through and color the mind and heart
even as summer strikes the matured fruit through with juicy ripeness.

Of that noble Greek who governed his city by unwritten laws, the
people said: "Phocion's character is more than the constitution." The
weight of goodness in Lamartine was such that during the bloody days
in Paris his doors were unlocked. Character in him was a defense
beyond the force of rock walls or armed regiments. Emerson says there
was a certain power in Lincoln, Washington and Burke not to be
explained by their printed words. Burke the man was inexpressibly
finer than anything he said. As a spring is more than the cup it
fills, as a poet or architect is more than the songs he sings or the
temple he rears, so the man is more than the book or business he
fashions. Earth holds many wondrous scenes called temples,
battle-fields, cathedrals, but earth holds no scene comparable for
majesty and beauty to a man clothed indeed with intellect, but adorned
also with integrities and virtues. Beholding such a one, well did
Milton exclaim: "A good man is the ripe fruit our earth holds up to
God."

Character has been defined as the joint product of nature and nurture.
Nature gives the raw material, character is the carved statue. The raw
material includes the racial endowment, temperament, degree of vital
force, mentality, aptitude for tool or industry, for art or science.
These birth-gifts are quantities, fixed and unalterable. No
heart-rendings can change the two-talent nature into a ten-talent man.
No agony of effort can add a cubit to the stature. The eagle flies
over the chasm as easily as an ant crawls over the crack in the
ground. Shakespeare writes Hamlet as easily as Tupper wrote his tales.
Once an oak, always an oak. Care and culture can thicken the girth of
the tree, but no degree of culture can cause an oak bough to bring
forth figs instead of acorns. Rebellion against temperament and
circumstance is sure to end in the breaking of the heart. Happiness
and success begin with the sincere acceptance of the birth-gift and
career God hath chosen.

Since no man can do his best work save as he uses his strongest
faculties, the first duty of each is to search out the line of least
resistance. He who has a genius for moral themes but has harnessed
himself to the plow or the forge, is in danger of wrecking both
happiness and character. All such misfits are fatal. No farmer
harnesses a fawn to the plow, or puts an ox into the speeding-wagon.
Life's problem is to make a right inventory of the gifts one carries.
As no carpenter knows what tools are in the box until he lifts the lid
and unwraps one shining instrument after another, so the instruments
in the soul must be unfolded by education. Ours is a world where the
inventor accompanies the machine with a chart, illustrating the use of
each wheel and escapement. But no babe lying in the cradle ever
brought with it a hand-book setting forth its mental equipment and
pointing out its aptitude for this occupation, or that art or
industry. The gardener plants a root with perfect certainty that a
rose will come up, but no man is a prophet wise enough to tell whether
this babe will unfold into quality of thinker or doer or dreamer. To
each Nature whispers: "Unsight, unseen, hold fast what you have." For
the soul is shadowless and mysterious. No hand can carve its outline,
no brush portray its lineaments. Even the mother embosoming its
infancy and carrying its weaknesses, studying it by day and night
through years, sees not, she cannot see, knows not, she cannot know,
into what splendor of maturity the child will unfold.

Man beholds his fellows as one beholds a volume written in a foreign
language; the outer binding is seen, the inner contents are unread.
Within general lines phrenology and physiognomy are helpful, but it is
easier to determine what kind of a man lives in the house by looking
at the knob on his front door than to determine the brain and heart
within by studying the bumps upon face and forehead. Nature's dictum
is, "Grasp the handle of your own being." Each must fashion his own
character. Nature gives trees, but not tools; forests, but not
furniture. Thus nature furnishes man with the birth materials and
environment; man must work up these materials into those qualities
called industry, integrity, honor, truth and love, ever patterning
after that ideal man, Jesus Christ.

The influences shaping nature's raw material into character are many
and various. Of old, the seer likened the soul unto clay. The mud
falls upon the board before the potter, a rude mass, without form or
comeliness. But an hour afterwards the clay stands forth adorned with
all the beauty of a lovely vase. Thus the soul begins, a mere mass of
mind, but hands many and powerful soon shape it into the outlines of
some noble man or woman. These sculptors of character include home,
friendship, occupation, travel, success, love, grief and death.

Life's first teacher is the external world, with its laws. Man begins
at zero. The child thrusts his finger into the fire and is burned;
thenceforth he learns to restrain himself in the presence of fire, and
makes the flames smite the vapor for driving train or ship. The child
errs in handling the sharp tool, and cuts himself; thenceforth he
lifts up the axe upon the tree. The child mistakes the weight of
stone, or the height of stair, and, falling, hard knocks teach him the
nature and use of gravity. Daily the thorns that pierce his feet drive
him back into the smooth pathway of nature's laws. The sharp pains
that follow each excess teach him the pleasures of sound and right
living. Nor is there one infraction of law that is not followed by
pain. As sharp guards are placed at the side of the bridge over the
chasm to hold men back from the abyss, so nature's laws are planted on
either side of the way of life to prick and scourge erring feet back
into the divine way. At length through much smiting of the body nature
forces the youth into a knowledge of the world in which he lives. Man
learns to carry himself safely within forests, over rivers, through
fires, midst winds and storms. Soon every force in nature stands forth
his willing servant; becoming like unto the steeds of the plains, that
once were wild, but now are trained, and lend all their strength and
force to man's loins and limbs.

Having mastered the realm of physical law, the youth is thrust into
the realm of laws domestic and social. He runs up against his mates
and friends, often overstepping his own rights and infringing the
rights of others. Then some stronger arm falls on his, and drives him
back into his own territory. Occasional chastisement through the
parent and teacher, friend or enemy, reveal to him the nature of
selfishness, and compel the recognition of others. Thus, through long
apprenticeship, the youth finds out the laws that fence him round,
that press upon him at every pore, by day and by night, in workshop or
in store, at home or abroad. Slowly these laws mature manhood. When
ideas are thrust into raw iron, the iron becomes a loom or an engine.
Thus when God's laws are incarnated in a babe, the child is changed
into the likeness of a citizen, a sage or seer. Nature, with her laws,
is not only the earliest, but also the most powerful, of life's
instructors.

Temptation is another teacher. Protection gives innocence, but
practice gives virtue. For ship timber we pass by the sheltered
hothouse, seeking the oak on the storm-swept hills. In that beautiful
story of the lost paradise, God pulls down the hedge built around Adam
and Eve. The government through a fence outside was succeeded by
self-government inside. The hermit and the cloistered saint end their
career with innocence. But Christ, struggling unto blood against sin,
ends His career with character. God educates man by giving him
complete charge over himself and setting him on "the barebacked horse
of his own will," leaving him to break it by his own strength.
Travelers to Alaska tell us that the wild berries attain a sweetness
there of which our temperate clime knows nothing. Scientists say that
the glowworm keeps its enemies at bay by the brightness of its own
light. Man, by his love of truth and right, becomes his own castle and
fortress. Cities no longer depend upon night-watchmen to guard against
marauders and burglars. Once men trusted to safes and iron bars upon
the windows. Now bankers ask electric lights to guard their treasure
vaults.

For centuries Spain's paternal laws have compelled each Spaniard to
ask his church what to think and believe. This method has robbed that
people of enduring and self-reliant manhood, and made them a race of
weaklings. For over-protection is a peril. Strength comes by
wrestling, knowledge by observing, wisdom by thinking, and character
by enduring and struggling. Exposure is often good fortune. Every
Luther and Cromwell has been tempted and tempered against the day of
danger and battle. As the victorious Old Guard were honored in
proportion to the number and severity of the wars through which they
had passed, so the temptations that seek man's destruction, when
conquered, cover him with glory. Ruskin notes that the art epochs have
also been epochs of war, upheaval, and tyranny. He accounts for this
by saying that when tyranny was hardest, crime blackest, sin ugliest,
then, in the recoil and conflict, beauty and heroism attained their
highest development.

Studying the rise of the Dutch republic, Motley notes how the shocks
and fiery baptisms of war changed those peasants into patriots. This
explains society's enthusiasm for its hero, all scarred and gray. We
admire the child's innocence, but it lacks ripeness and maturity; it
is only a handful of germs. But every heart kindles and glows when the
true hero stands forth in the person of some Paul or Savonarola, some
Luther or Lincoln, having passed through fire, through flood, through
all the thunder of life's battle, ever ripening, sweetening and
enlarging, his fineness and gentleness being the result of great
strength and great wisdom, accumulated through long life, until he
stands, at the end of his career, as the sun stands on a summer
afternoon just before it goes down. All statues and pictures become
tawdry in comparison with such a rich, ripe, glowing, and glorious
heart, clothed with Christlike character.

Life's teachers also includes newness and zest. First, man lives his
life in fresh personal experiences. Then, by observation, he repeats
his life in the career of his children. A third time he journeys
around the circle, re-experiencing life in that of his grandchildren.
Then, because the newness has passed away and events no longer
stimulate his mind, death withdraws man from the scene and enters him
in a new school. Vast is the educational value therefore attaching to
the newness of life. God is so rich that no day or scene need repeat a
former one. The proverb, "We never look upon the same river," tells us
that all things are ever changing, and clothes each day with fresh
fascination. "Whilst I read the poets," said Emerson, "I think that
nothing new can be said about morning and evening; but when I see the
day break I am not reminded of the Homeric and Chaucerian pictures. I
am cheered by the moist, warm, glittering, budding, melodious hour
that breaks down the narrow walls of my soul, and extends its life and
pulsations to the very horizon."

Thus, each new day is a new continent to be explored. Each youth is a
new creature, full of delightful and mysterious possibilities. Each
brain comes clothed with its own secret, having its own orbit,
attaining its own unique experience. Ours is a world in which each
individual, each country, each age, each day, has a history peculiarly
its own. This newness is a perpetual stimulant to curiosity and study.
Gladstone's recipe for never growing old is, "Search out some topic in
nature or life in which you have never hitherto been interested, and
experience its fascinations." For some, once a picture or book has
been seen, the pleasure ceases. Delight dies with familiarity. Such
persons look back to the days of childhood as to the days of wonder
and happiness. But the man of real vision ever beholds each rock, each
herb and flower with the big eyes of children, and with a mind of
perpetual wonder. For him the seed is a fountain gushing with new
delights. Every youth should repeat the experience of John Ruskin.[2]
Such was the enthusiasm that this author felt for God's world, that
when he approached some distant mountain or saw the crags hanging over
the waters, or the clouds marching through the sky, "a shiver of fear,
mingled with awe," set him quivering with joy--such joy as the artist
pupil feels in the presence of his noble master, such a kindling of
mind and heart as Dante felt on approaching his Beatrice. Phillips
Brooks grew happier as he grew older, and at fifty-seven he said:
"Life seems a feast in which God keeps the best wine until the last."
Up to the very end the great preacher grew by leaps and bounds,
because he never lost that enthusiasm for life that makes zest and
newness among life's best teachers.

By a strange paradox men are taught by monotony as well as by newness.
Ours is a world where the words, "Blessed be drudgery," are full of
meaning. Culture and character come not through consuming excitements
nor the whirl of pleasures. The granary is filled, not by the
thunderous forces that appeal to the eye and ear, but by the secret,
invisible agents; the silent energies, the mighty monarchs hidden in
roots and in seeds. What rioting storms cannot do is done by the
silent sap and sunshine. All the fundamental qualities called
patience, perseverance, courage, fidelity, are the gains of drudgery.
Character comes with commonplaces. Greatness is through tasks that
have become insipid, and by duties that are irksome. The treadmill is
a divine teacher. He who shovels sand year in and year out needs not
our pity, for the proverb is "Every man has his own sand heap." The
greatest mind, fulfilling its career, once the freshness has worn off,
pursues a hackneyed task and finds the duties irksome. It is better
so. A seer has suggested that the voices of earth are dulled that we
may hear the whisper of God; earth's colors are toned down that we may
see things invisible.

Solitude is a wise teacher. Going apart the youth grows great. Emerson
speaks of sailing the sea with God alone. The founders of astronomy
dwelt on a plain of sand, where the horizon held not one vine-clad
hill nor alluring vista. Wearying of the yellow sea, their thoughts
journeyed along the heavenly highway and threaded the milky way, until
the man became immortal. Moses became the greatest of jurists, because
during the forty years when his mind was creative and at its best, he
dwelt amid the solitude of the sand hills around Sinai, and was free
for intellectual and moral life. History tells of a thousand men who
have maintained virtue in adversity only to go down in hours of
prosperity. That is, man is stimulated by the crisis; conflict
provokes heroism, persecution lends strength. But, denied the exigency
of a great trial, men who seemed grand fall all to pieces. Triumphant
in adversity, men are vanquished by drudgery. An English author has
expressed the belief that many men "achieve reputations when all eyes
are focused upon them, who fall into petty worthlessness amid
obscurity and monotony. Life's crowning victory belongs to those who
have won no brilliant battle, suffered no crushing wrong; who have
figured in no great drama, whose sphere was obscure, but who have
loved great principles midst small duties, nourished sublime hopes
amid vulgar cares, and illustrated eternal principles in trifles."

Responsibility is a teacher of righteousness. God educates men by
casting them upon their own resources. Man learns to swim by being
tossed into life's maelstrom and left to make his way ashore. No youth
can learn to sail his life-craft in a lake sequestered and sheltered
from all storms, where other vessels never come. Skill comes through
sailing one's craft amidst rocks and bars and opposing fleets, amidst
storms and whirls and counter currents. English literature has a
proverb about the incapacity of rich men's sons. The rich man himself
became mighty because he began in poverty, had no hand to help him
forward, and many hands to hold him back. After long wrestling with
opposing force he compacted within himself the strength and
foresight, the frugality and wisdom of a score of ordinary men. The
school of hard knocks made him a man of might. But his son, cradled in
a soft nest, sheltered from every harsh wind, loving ease more than
industry, is in danger of coming up without insight into the secrets
of his profession or industry.

Responsibility alone drives man to toil and brings out his best gifts.
For this reason the pensions given to scholars are said to have
injured some men of genius. Johnson wrote his immortal Rasselas to
raise money to buy his mother's coffin. Hunger and pain drove Lee to
the invention of his loom. Left a widow with a family to support, in
mid-life Mrs. Trollope took to authorship and wrote a score of
volumes. The most piteous tragedy in English literature is that of
Coleridge. Wordsworth called him the most myriad-minded man since
Shakespeare, and Lamb thought him "an archangel slightly damaged." The
generosity of his friends gave the poet a home and all its comforts
without the necessity of toil. Is it possible that ease and lack of
responsibility, with opium, helped wreck him? What did that critic
mean when he said of a rich young friend, "He needs poverty alone to
make him a great painter?" It is responsibility that teaches caution,
foresight, prudence, courage, and turns feeblings into giants.

The extremes and contrasts of life do much to shape character. Ours is
a world that moves from light to dark, from heat to cold, from summer
to winter. On the crest to-day, the hero is in the trough to-morrow.
Moses, yesterday a deserted slave child, to-day adopted by a king's
daughter; David, but yesterday a shepherd boy with his harp, and
to-day dwelling in the King's palace; men yesterday possessed of
plenty, to-day passing into penury--these illustrate the extremes of
life. These contrasts are as striking as those we find on the sunny
slopes of the Alps. There the foothills are covered with vineyards,
while the summits have everlasting snow. In Wyoming hot springs gush
close beside snowdrifts. During man's few years, and brief, he
experiences many reverses. He flits on between light and dark. It is
hard for the leader to drop back into the ranks. It is not easy for
him who hath led a movement to its success to see his laurels fall
leaf by leaf. After a long and dangerous service men grown old and
gray are succeeded by the youth to whom society owes no debt. Thus man
journeys from strength to invalidism, from prosperity to adversity,
from joy to sorrow, or goes from misery to happiness, from defeat to
victory.

Not one single person but sooner or later is tested by these
alterations. God sends prosperity to lift character to its highest
levels. It is an error to suppose that the higher manhood flourishes
in extreme poverty. Watkinson has beautifully said that "humility is
never so lovely as when arrayed in scarlet; moderation is never so
impressive as when it sits at banquets; simplicity is never so
delightful as when it dwells amidst magnificence; purity is never so
divine as when its unsullied robes are worn in a king's palace;
gentleness is never so touching as when it exists in the powerful.
When men combine gold and goodness, greatness and godliness, genius
and graces, human nature is at its best." On the other hand, adversity
is a supplement, making up what prosperity lacks. The very abundance
of Christmas gifts ofttimes causes children to forget the parents who
gave them. Some are adorned by prosperity as mountains are adorned
with rich forests. Others stand forth with the bareness, but also with
the grandeur and enduring strength, of Alpine mountains. Character is
like every other structure--nothing tests it like extremes.

When friendship and love have enriched man, and deepened all the
secret springs of his being, when grief hath refined and suffering
mellowed him, then God sends the ideals to stimulate men to new
achievements. An ideal is a pattern or plan held up before the man's
eye for imitation, realization and guidance. In the heart's innermost
temple of silence, whither neither friend nor enemy may ever come,
there the soul unveils its secret ideal. The pattern there erected at
once proclaims what man is and prophesies what he shall be. In old age
men think what they are, but in youth, what we think, we come to be.
Therefore must the pattern held up before the mind's eye be of the
highest and purest. The legend tells us of the master's apprentice,
who, from the small bits of glass that had been thrown away
constructed a window of surpassing loveliness. The ideal held up
before the boy's mind organized and brought together these broken
bits, and wrought them into lines of perfect beauty.

Thus by his inner aspirations, man lives and builds. The inner eye
reveals to the toiler a better tool or law or reform, and the
realization of these visions gives social progress. The vision of
conscience reveals new possibilities of character, and these give
duty. The vision of the heart reveals new possibilities of
friendship, and these give the home. As the sun standing upon the
horizon orbs itself, first in each dewdrop, and afterward lifts the
whole earth forward, so the ideal repeats itself, first in the
individual heart, and afterward lifts all society forward. Thus unto
man slowly building up his character comes the supreme ideal, when
Jesus Christ stands forth fully revealed in His splendor. He is no
empty abstraction, no bloodless theory, but bone of our bone, brother
of our own body and breath, yet marred by no weakness, scarred by no
sin, tossing back temptations as some Gibraltar tosses back the sea's
billows and the bits of drift-wood. Strong, He subdued His strength in
the day of battle, and bore Himself like iron. Yet He was so gentle
that His white hand felt the fall of the rose leaf, while He inflected
His gianthood to the needs of the little child. Nor could He be holden
of the bands of death, for He clove a pathway through the grave, and
made death's night to shine like the day. "I have but one passion,"
said Tholuck. "It is He! it is He!" As Shakespeare first reveals to
the young poet his real riches of imagination, as Raphael first
unveils to the young artist the possibilities of color, so man knows
not his infinite capabilities until Jesus Christ stands forth in all
His untroubled splendor. Having Him, man has not only his Teacher and
Saviour, but also his Master and Model, fulfilling all the needs of
the highest manhood and the noblest character.

FOOTNOTES:

[2] Modern Painters, vol. III, pg. 368.



ASPIRATIONS AND IDEALS


    "As some most pure and noble face,
      Seen in the thronged and hurrying street,
    Sheds o'er the world a sudden grace,
      A flying odor sweet,
    Then passing leaves the cheated sense
    Balked with a phantom excellence.

    'So in our soul, the visions rise
      Of that fair life we never led;
    They flash a splendor past our eyes,
      We start, and they are fled;
    They pass and leave us with blank gaze,
    Resigned to our ignoble days."

             --_The Fugitive Ideal, by Wm. Watson._

      "Contentment and aspiration are in every true man's
      life."

      "No bird can race in the great blue sky against a noble
      soul. The eagle's wing is slow compared with the flight of
      hope and love."--_Swing._

    "We figure to ourselves
    The thing we like, and then we build it up--
    As chance will have it, on the rock or sand;
    For time is tired of wandering o'er the world,
    And home-bound fancy runs her bark ashore."

                             --_Taylor._



III

ASPIRATIONS AND IDEALS.


Man is a pilgrim journeying toward the new and beautiful city of the
Ideal. Aspiration, not contentment, is the law of his life. To-day's
triumph dictates new struggles to-morrow. The youth flushed with
success may couch down in the tent of satisfaction for one night only;
when the morning comes he must fold his tent and push on toward some
new achievement. That man is ready for his burial robes who lets his
present laurels satisfy him. God has crowded the world with antidotes
to contentment and with stimulants to progress. The world is not built
for sluggards. The earth is like a road, a poor place for sleeping in,
a good thing to travel over. The world is like a forge, unfit for
residence, but good for putting temper in a warrior's sword. Life is
built for waking up dull men, making lazy men unhappy, and the
low-flying miserable. When other incitements fail, fear and remorse
following behind scourge men forward; but ideals in front are the
chief stimulants to growth. Each morning, waking, the soul sees the
ideal man one ought to be rising in splendor to shame the man one is.
Columbus was tempted forward by the floating branches, the drifting
weeds, the strange birds, unto the new world rich in tropic-treasure.
So by aspirations and ideals God lures men forward unto the soul's
undiscovered country. In the long ago the star moving on before guided
the wise men of the East to the manger where the young child lay; and
still in man's night God hangs aspirations--stars for guiding men away
from the slough of content to the hills of paradise. The soul hungers
for something vast, and ideals lure to the long voyage, the distant
harbor, and are the stars by which the pilgrim shapes his course.

Life's great teachers are friendship, occupation, travel, books,
marriage, and chiefly heart-hungers. These yearnings within are the
springs of all man's progress without. Sometimes philosophers say that
the history of civilization is the history of great men. Confessing
this, let us go on and note that the history of all great men is the
history of their ideal hours, realized in conduct and character.
Waking at midnight in his bleak garret, the vision splendid rose
before John Milton. The boy of twelve would fain write a poem that
the world would not willingly let die. He knew that whoever would
write a heroic poem must first live a heroic life. From that hour the
youth followed the ideal that led him on, pursuing knowledge
unceasingly for seven years, never closing book before midnight,
leaving Cambridge with the approbation of the good, and without stain
or spot upon his life. Afterward, making a pilgrimage to Italy for
study in that land of song and story, he heard of the civil wars in
England, and at once returned, putting away his ambition for culture
because he thought it base to be traveling in ease and safety abroad
while his fellow-citizens were fighting for liberty at home. When he
resisted a brutal soldier's attack who lifted his sword to say, "I
have power to kill you," the scholar replied: "And I have power to be
killed and to despise my murderer." Growing old and blind, and falling
upon evil days and tongues, out of his heroic life he wrote his
immortal poem. Dying, he still pursued his ideal, for moving into the
valley and shadow, the blind poet whispered: "Still guides the
heavenly vision!"

Did men but know it, this is the secret of all heroic greatness. Here
is that matchless old Greek, Socrates, sitting in the prison talking
with his friends of death and immortality, of the truth and beauty he
hopes to find beyond. With one hand he rubs his leg, chafed by the
harsh fetters, with the other he holds the cup of poison. When the sun
touched the horizon he took the cup of death from the jailer's hand,
and with shining face went down into the valley, and midst the thick
shadows passed forever from mortal sight, still pursuing his vision
splendid. And here is that pure-white martyr girl, painted by Millais,
staked down in the sea midst the rising tide, but looking toward the
open sky, with a great, sweet light upon her face. Here is Luther
surrounded by scowling soldiers and hungry, wolfish priests, looking
upward and then flinging out his challenge, "I cannot and I will not
recant, God help me." Here is John Brown, with body all pierced with
bullets and grievously sore, stooping to kiss the child as he went on
to the gallows, with heart as high as on his wedding day. And here is
that Christian nurse who followed the line of battle close up to the
rifle-pits, and kindled her fire and prepared hot drinks for dying
men; who, when asked by the colonel who told her to build those fires,
made answer: "God Almighty, sir!" and went right on to fulfill her
vision. And here is Livingstone, with his grand craggy head and
deep-set eyes, found in the heart of Africa, dead beside his couch,
with ink scarcely dry on words that interpreted his vision: "God bless
all men who in any way help to heal this open sore of the world!"
Chiefly, there is Christ, who, from the hour when the star stayed by
His manger in Bethlehem, and the light ne'er seen on land or sea shone
on the luminous and transfigured mount, on to the day of His uplifted
cross, ever followed the divine vision that brought Him at last to
Olivet, to the open sky, the ascending cloud, the welcoming heavens.

But God, who hath appointed visions unto great men, doth set each
lesser human life between its dream and its task. Deep heart-hungers
are quickened within the people, and then some patriot, reformer, or
hero, is raised up to feed the aspiration. Afterward history stores up
these noble achievements of yesterday as soul food for to day. The
heart, like the body, needs nourishment, and finds it in the highest
deeds and best qualities of those who have gone before. Thus the
artist pupil is fed by his great master. The young soldier emulates
his brave general. The patriot is inspired by his heroic chief.
History records the deeds of noble men, not for decorating her pages,
but for strengthening the generations that come after. The measure of
a nation's civilization is the number of heroes it has had, whose
qualities have been harvested for children and youth.

Full oft one hero has transformed a people. The blind bard singing
through the villages of Greece met a rude and simple folk. But Homer
opened up a gallery in the clouds, and there unveiled Achilles as the
ideal Greek. It became the ambition of every Athenian boy to fix the
Iliad in his mind and repeat Achilles in his heart and life. Soon the
Achilles in the sky looked down upon 20,000 young Achilles walking
through the streets beneath. With what admiration do men recall the
intellectual achievements of Athens! What temples, and what statues in
them! What orators and eloquence! What dramas! What lyric poems! What
philosophers! Yet one ideal man who never lived, save in a poet's
vision, turned rude tribes into intellectual giants. Thus each nation
hungers for heroes. When it has none God sends poets to invent them as
soul food for the nation's youth. The best gift to a people is not
vineyards nor overflowing granaries, nor thronged harbors, nor rich
fleets, but a good man and great, whose example and influence repeat
greatness in all the people. As the planet hanging above our earth
lifts the sea in tidal waves, so God hangs illustrious men in the sky
for raining down their rich treasure upon society.

Moreover, it is the number and kind of his aspirations that determine
a man's place in the scale of manhood. Lowest of all is that great
under class of pulseless men, content to creep, and without thought of
wings for rising. Mere drifters are they, creatures of circumstance,
indifferently remaining where birth or events have started them.
Having food and raiment, therewith they are content. No inspirations
fire them, no ideals rebuke them, no visions of possible excellence or
advancement smite their vulgar contentment. Like dead leaves swept
forward upon the current, these men drift through life. Not really
bad, they are but indifferently good, and therefore are the material
out of which vicious men are made. In malarial regions, physicians
say, men of overflowing health are safe because the abounding vitality
within crowds back the poison in the outer air, while men who live on
the border line between good health and ill, furnish the conditions
for fevers that consume away the life. Similarly, men who live an
indifferent, supine life, with no impulses upward, are exposed to evil
and become a constant menace to society.

Higher in the scale of manhood are the men of intermittent
aspirations. A traveler may journey forward guided by the light of the
perpetual sun, or he may travel by night midst a thunder-storm, when
the sole light is an occasional flash of lightning, revealing the path
here and the chasm there. But once the lightning has passed the
darkness is thicker than before. And to men come luminous hours,
rebuking the common life. Then does the soul revolt from any evil
thought and thing and long for all that is God-like in character, for
honor and purity, for valor and courage, for fidelity to the finer
convictions deep hidden in the soul's secret recesses. What heroes are
these--in the vision hour! With what fortitude do these soldiers bear
up under blows--when the battle is still in the future! But once the
conflict comes, their courage goes! On a winter's morning the frost
upon the window pane shapes forth trees, houses, thrones, castles,
cities, but these are only frost. So before the mind the imagination
hangs pictures of the glory and grandeur and God-likeness of the
higher life, but one breath of temptation proves their evanescence.
Better, however, these intermittent ideals than uninterrupted
supineness and contentment. But, best of all, that third type of men
who realize in daily life their luminous hours, and transmute their
ideals into conduct and character. These are the soul-architects who
build their thoughts and deeds into a plan; who travel forward, not
aimlessly, but toward a destination; who sail, not anywhither, but
toward a port; who steer, not by the clouds, but by the fixed stars.
High in the scale of manhood these who ceaselessly aspire toward
life's great Exemplar.

Consider the use of the soul's aspirations. Ideals redeem life from
drudgery. Four-fifths of the human race are so overbodied and
under-brained that the mind is exhausted in securing provision for
hunger and raiment. No to-morrow but may bring men to sore want.
Poverty narrows life into a treadmill existence. Multitudes of
necessity toil in the stithy and deep mine. Multitudes must accustom
themselves to odors offensive to the nostril. Men toil from morning
till night midst the din of machinery from which the ear revolts.
Myriads dig and delve, and scorn their toil. He who spends all his
years sliding pins into a paper, finds his growth in manhood
threatened. Others are stranded midway in life. Recently the test
exhibition of a machine was successful, and those present gave the
inventor heartiest congratulations. But one man was present whose face
was drawn with pain, and whose eyes were wet with tears. Explaining
his emotion to a questioner he said: "One hour ago I entered this room
a skilled workman; this machine sends me out that door a common
laborer. For years I have been earning five dollars a day as an expert
machinist. By economy I hoped to educate my children into a higher
sphere, but now my every hope is ruined." Life is crowded with these
disappointments. A journey among men is like a journey through a
harvest field after a hailstorm has flailed off all the buds and
leaves, and pounded the young corn into the ground. Fulfilling such a
life, men need to be saved by hopes and aspirations. Then God sends
visions in to give men wing-room, and lift them into the realm of
restfulness. Some hope rises to break the thrall of life. The soul
rises like a songbird in the sky.

Disappointed men find that food itself is not so sweet as dreams. The
seamstress toiling in the attic stitches hope in with each thread, and
dreams of some knight coming to lift her out of poverty, and her
reverie mocks and consumes her woe. The laborer digging in his ditch
sweetens his toil and rests his weariness by the dream of the humble
home labor and love will some day build. Many in middle life, when it
is too late, find themselves in the wrong occupation, but maintain
their usefulness and happiness by surrounding themselves with the
thoughts of the career they love and beyond may yet fulfill. How does
imagination enterprise everywhither! By it what ships are built, what
lands are explored, what armies are led, what thrones are erected in
thought! When the seed sprang up in the prison cell, the scholar
confined there enlarged the little plant until in his mind it became a
vast forest, where all flowers bloomed and spiced shrubs grew and
birds sang, and where brooks gurgled such music as never fell on
mortal ear. Innumerable men endure by seeing things invisible. They
retire from the vexations and disappointments without to their
hidden-vision life. Their inner thoughts contrast strangely with the
outer fact and life. During the Middle Ages, when persecution broke
out against the Jews, these merchants were oppressed and robbed, and
saved themselves from destruction only by living a squalid life
outside and a princely life in hidden quarters. It has been said: "You
might follow an old merchant, spotted and stained with all the squalor
of beggary upon him, through byways foul to the feet and offensive to
every sense, and through some narrow lane enter what looks like the
entrance of an ill-kept stable. Thence opens out a squalid hall of
noisome odors. But ascending the steps you come to a secret passage,
when, opening the door, you are blinded with the brilliancy that
bursts upon you. You are in the palace of a prince. The walls are
covered with adornments. Rare tapestries hang upon the walls. The
dishes that bespread the table are of silver and gold, and the
household, who hasten to receive the parent and strip off his outward
disguise, are themselves arrayed like king's children." Thus the
ideals make a great difference between the man without and the hidden
life within. Seeing unseen things, the heart sings while the hand
works. The vision above lifts the life out of fatigue into the realm
of joy and restfulness.

It is also the office of these divine ideals to rebuke the lower
physical life, and smite each sordid, selfish purpose. The vision hour
is the natural enemy of the vulgar mood. Men begin life with the high
purpose of living nobly, generously, openly. Full of the choicest
aspirations, hungering for the highest things, the youth enters
triumphantly upon the pathway of life. But journeying forward he meets
conflict and strife, envy and jealousy, disappointment and defeat. He
finds it hard to live up to the level of his best moods. Self-interest
biases his judgment. Greed bribes reason. Pride leads him astray.
Selfishness tempts him to violate his finer self. The struggle to
maintain his ideals is like a struggle for life itself. Many, alas!
after a short, sharp conflict, give up the warfare and break faith and
fealty with the deeper convictions. They quench the light that shone
afar off to beckon and cheer them on. Persuading themselves that the
ideal life is impracticable, they strike an average between their
highest moods and their low-flying hours. Then is the luster of life
all dimmed, and the soul is like a noble mansion in the morning after
some banquet or reception. In the evening, when making ready for the
brilliant feast, all the house is illuminated. Each curio is in its
niche. The harp is in its place. The air is laden with the perfume of
roses. But when the morning comes, how vast is the change! The windows
are darkened and the halls deserted; the wax tapers have burned to the
socket, or flicker out in smoke; the flowers, scorched by the heated
air, have shriveled and fallen, and in the banquet-room only the
"broken meats" remain. Gone is all the glory of the feast! Thus, when
men lay aside their heroic ideals and bury their visions, the luster
of life departs, and its beauty perishes. Then it is that God sends in
the heavenly vision to rebuke the poorer, sensuous life and man's
material mood. Above the life that is, God hangs the glory, and
grandeur, and purity of the life that might be, and the soul looking
up scorns the lower things, and hungers and thirsts for truth and
purity. Then man comes to himself again, and makes his way back to his
Father's side.

Moreover, these vision hours come to men to give them hints and gleams
of what they shall be when time and God's resources have wrought their
purpose of strength and beauty upon the soul. Man is born a long way
from himself and needs to see the end toward which he moves. He has a
body and uses a lower life, but man is what he is in his best hours
and most exalted moods. The measure of strength in any living thing is
its highest faculty. The strength of the deer is swiftness, of a lion
strength; but to the power of the foot the eagle adds wings, and
therefore is praised for its swift flight. To the wing the bee adds
genius for building with geometric skill, and its praise lies in its
rare intelligence. Thus man also is to be measured by his highest
faculty, in that he has power to see things unseen and work in realms
invisible. We are told that Cicero had three summer villas and a
winter residence, but he prided himself not upon his wealth, but upon
his oratory and eloquence. The grand old statesman of England has
skill for lifting the axe upon the tall trees, but he glories in his
skill in statecraft. Incidentally man reaps treasures from the fields,
finds riches in the forests, and wealth in the mountains; yet his real
manhood resides in reason and moral sentiment, and the spirit that
saith, "Our Father." For him to live for the body is as if one who
should inherit a magnificent palace were to close the galleries and
libraries and splendid halls, and opening only the eating-room, there
to live and feed.

Happy the man who is a good mechanic or merchant; but, alas! if he is
only that. Happy he who prospers toward the granary and the
storehouse; but, alas! if he is shrunken and shriveled toward the
spiritual realm. To all rich in physical treasure, but bankrupt toward
the unseen realm, comes some divine influence arousing discontent.
Then lower joys are seen to be uncrowned, and sordid pleasures to have
no scepter. The soul becomes restless and disappointed where once it
was contented. Looking afar off it sees in its vision hours the goodly
estate to which God shall some day bring it. Here we recall the
peasant's dream. His humble cottage while he slept lifted up its
thatched roof and became a noble mansion. The one room and small
became many and vast. The little windows became arched and beautiful,
looking out upon vast estates all his. The fireplace became an altar,
o'er which hung seraphim. The chimney became a golden ladder like that
which Jacob saw, and his children, living and dead, passed like angels
bringing treasure up and down. And thus, while the human heart muses
and dreams, God builds His sanctuary in the soul. The vision the heart
sees is really the pattern by which God works. These fulfill the
transformation wrought in the peasant's dream.

Seeking to fulfill their noble ministry, ideals have grievous enemies.
Among these let us include vanity and pride. When the wise man said,
"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit, there is more hope of a
fool than of him," he indicated that he had known fools cured of their
folly, but never a vain man cured of his vanity. Pliny said: "It is as
hard to instruct pride as it is to fill an empty bottle with a cork in
it." Some men are constitutionally vain. They think all creation
converges toward one center, and they are that center. The rash of
conceit commonly runs its course very early in life. With most it is
like the prancing and gayety of an untrained colt; the cure is the
plow and harness. Failure also is a curative agent, and so also is
success. But chiefly do the ideals rebuke conceit. The imagination is
God in the soul, and lifting up the possible achievement, the glory of
what men may become, shames and makes contemptible what men are.

Indolence and contentment also antagonize the ideals. Men bring
together a few generosities and integrities. Soul-misers, men gloat
over these, as money-misers over their shining treasure, content with
the little virtue they have. But no man has a right to fulfill a
stagnant career; life is not to be a puddle, but a sweet and running
stream. No man has a right to rust; he is bound to keep his tools
bright by usage. No man has a right to be paralyzed; he is bound to
enlarge and grow. So ideals come in to compel men to go forward. It is
easier to lie down in a thorn hedge, or to sleep in a field of
stinging nettles, than for a man to abide contentedly as he is while
his ideals scourge him upward.

Chiefly do the malign elements oppose the ideal life. There is enmity
between vulgarity and visions. If anger comes, mirth goes; when greed
is in the ascendency, generosity is expelled. If, during a chorus of
bird-voices in the forest, only the shadow of an approaching hawk
falls upon the ground, every sweet voice is hushed. Thus, if but one
evil, hawk-like note is heard in the heart, all the nobler joys and
aspirations depart. The higher life is at enmity with the lower, and
this war is one of extermination.

Oh, all ye young hearts! guard well one rock that is fatal to all
excellence. If ever you have broken faith with your ideals, lift them
up and renew faith. Cherish ideals as the traveler cherishes the north
star, and keep the guiding light pure and bright and high above the
horizon. The vessel may lose its sails and masts, but if it only keeps
its course and compass, the harbor may be reached. Once it loses the
star for steering by, the voyage must end in shipwreck. For when the
heroic purpose goes, all life's glory departs. Let no man think the
burial of a widow's son the saddest sight on earth. Let men not mourn
over the laying of the first born under the turf, as though that were
man's chiefest sorrow. Earth knows no tragedy like the death of the
soul's ideals. Therefore, battle for them as for life itself! The
cynic may ridicule them, because, having lost his own purity and
truth, he naturally thinks that none are pure or true; but wise men
will take counsel of aspirations and ideals. Even low things have
power for incitement. No dead tree in the forest so unsightly but that
some generous woodbine will wrap a robe of beauty about its
nakedness. No cellar so dark but if there is a fissure through which
the sunlight falls the plant will reach up its feeble tendrils to be
blessed by the warming ray. Yet the soul is from God, is higher than
vine or tree, and should aspire toward Him who stirs these mysterious
aspirations in the heart.

The soul is like a lost child. It wanders a stranger in a strange
land. Full oft it is heartsick, for even the best things content it
for but a little while. Daily, mysterious ideals throb and throb
within. It struggles with a vagrant restlessness. It goes yearning
after what it does not find. A deep, mysterious hunger rises. It would
fain come to itself. In its ideal hours it sees afar off the vision
that tempts it on and up toward home and heaven. The secret of man is
the secret of his vision hours. These tell him whence he came--and
whither he goes. Then Christ became the soul's guide; God's heart, the
soul's home.



THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF CHARACTER


      "Health is the vital principle of bliss."--_Thompson._

      "Good nature is often a mere matter of health. With good
      digestion men are apt to be good natured; with bad
      digestion, morose."--_Beecher._

      "A man so trained in youth that his body is the ready
      servant of his will, and does with equal ease and
      pleasure all the work that as a mechanism it is capable
      of,--whose intellect is a clear, cold, logic-engine, with
      all its parts of equal strength and in smooth working
      order, ready like a steam engine to be turned to any kind
      of work, and spin the gossamers as well as forge the
      anchors of the mind."--_Huxley._

      "Finally, I have one advice which is of very great
      importance. You are to consider that health is a thing to
      be attended to continually, as the very highest of all
      temporal things. There is no kind of an achievement equal
      to perfect health. What to it are nuggets or
      millions?"--_Carlyle's Address to Students at Edinburgh._

    "Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty:
    For in my youth I never did apply
    Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood:
    Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
    The means of weakness and debility;
    Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
    Frosty but kindly."

             --"_As You Like It_," ii: 3.



IV

THE PHYSICAL BASIS OF CHARACTER


Ancient society looked upon the human body with the utmost veneration.
The citizen of Thebes or Memphis knew no higher ambition than a
competency for embalming his body. Men loved unto death and beyond it
the physical house in which the soul dwelt. Every instinct of
refinement and self-respect revolted from the thought of discarding
the body like a cast-off garment or worn-out tool. In his dying hour
it was little to Rameses that his career was to be pictured on obelisk
and preserved in pyramid, but it was very much to the King that the
embalmer should give permanency to the body with which his soul had
gone singing, weeping and loving through three-score years and ten.
The papyrus found in the tombs tells us that the soldiers of that
far-off age did not fear death itself more than they feared falling in
some secluded spot where the body, neglected and forgotten, would
quickly give its elements back to air and earth. How noble the
sentiment that attached dignity and honor to hand and foot! Sacred,
doubly sacred, was the body that had served the soul long and
faithfully!

The soul is a city, and as Thebes had many gateways through which
passed great caravans laden with goodly treasure, so the five senses
are gateways through which journey all earth's sights and sounds.
Through the golden gate of the ear have gone what noble truths,
companying together what messengers of affection, what sweet
friendships. The eye is an Appian Way over which have gone all the
processions of the seasons. How do hand and vision protect man?
Hunters use sharp spears for keeping back wild beasts, but
Livingstone, armed only with eye beams, drove a snarling beast into
the thicket, and Luther, lifting his great eyes upon an assassin, made
the murderer flee. What flute or harp is comparable for sweetness to
the voice? It carries warning and alarm. It will speak for you, plead
for you, pray for you. Truly it is an architect, fulfilling Dante's
dictum, "piling up mountains of melody." Serving the soul well, the
body becomes sacred by service. Therefore man loves and guards the
physical house in which he lives.

Always objects and places associated with life's deep joys and sorrows
become themselves sacred through these associations. The flock
passing through the forest leaves some white threads behind. The bird
lines its nest with down from its own bosom. Thus the heart, going
forward, leaves behind some treasure, and perfumes its path. Memory
hangs upon the tree the whispered confession made beneath its
branches. No palace so memorable as the little house where you were
reared, no charter oak so historic as the trees under which you
played, no river Nile so notable as the little brook that once sung to
your sighing, no volume or manuscript so precious as the letter and
Testament your dying father pressed into your hand. Understanding this
principle, nations guard the manuscript of the sage, the sword of the
general, the flag stained with heroes' blood. Memorable forever the
little room where Milton wrote, the cottage where Shakespeare dwelt,
the spot where Dante dreamed, the ruin where Phidias wrought. But no
building ever showed such comely handiwork as the temple built by
divine skill. God hath made the soul's house fair to look upon. Death
may close its doors, darken its windows, and pull down its pillars;
still, its very ruins are precious, to be guarded with jealous care.
How sacred the spot where lie the parents that tended us, the bosom
that shielded our infancy, the hands that carried our weakness
everywhither. Men will always deem the desecration of the body or the
grave blasphemous. The physical house, standing, is the temple of God;
falling, it must forever be sacred in man's memory.

Science teaches us to look upon the body as a thinking machine. As a
mental mechanism it exhibits the divine being as an inventor, who has
produced a machine as much superior to Watt's engine, as that engine
is superior to a clod or stone. In this divine mechanism all intricate
and enduring machines are combined in one. Imagine an instrument so
delicate as to be at once a telescope and microscope, at one moment
witnessing the flight of a sun hundreds of millions of miles away,
then quickly adjusted for seeing the point of the finest needle!
Imagine a machine that at one and the same moment can feel the
gratefulness of the blazing fire, taste the sweetness of an orange,
experience the æsthetic delights of a picture, recall the events in
the careers of the men the artist has delineated, recognize the
entrance of a group of friends, out of the confusion of tongues lead
forth a voice not heard for years, thrill with elation at the
unexpected meeting! The very mention of such an instrument, combining
audiphone, telephone, phonograph, organ, loom, and many other
mechanisms yet to be invented, seems like some tale from the "Arabian
Nights." Yet the body and brain make up such a wondrous mental loom,
weaving thought-textures called conversations, poems, orations, making
the creations of a Jacquard loom mere child's play. The body is like a
vast mental depot with lines running out into all the world.
Everything outside has a desk inside where it transacts its special
line of business. There is a visual desk where sunbeams make up their
accounts; an aural desk where melodies conduct their negotiations; a
memory desk where actions and motives are recorded; a logical desk
where reasons and arguments are received and filed. Truly God hath
woven the bones and sinews that fence the soul about into a mechanism
"fearfully and wonderfully made."

To-day science is writing for us the story of the ascent of the body.
Scholars perceive that matter has fulfilled its mission now that dust
stands erect, throbbing in a thinking brain, and beating in a glowing
heart. Ours is a world wherein God hath ordained that acorns should go
on toward oaks, huts become houses, tents temples, babes men, and the
generations journey on to that sublime event "toward which the whole
creation moves." In this long upward march science declares the human
body has had its place. Professor Drummond, famed for his Christian
faith, in his recent volume tells us that man's body brings forward
and combines in itself all the excellencies of the whole lower animal
creation. As the locomotive of to-day contains the engine of Watt and
the improvements of all succeeding inventors; as the Hoe
printing-press contains the rude hand-machine of Guttenberg and the
best features of all the machines that followed it; so the human body
contains the special gift of all earlier and lower forms of animal
life. In making a reaper the machinist does not begin with the sickle,
and then unite the hook with the scythe, afterward joining thereto the
rude reaper and so move on through all the improving types. But in the
germinal man, nature does adopt just this method. As the embryo life
develops it passes into and through the likeness of each lower animal,
and ever journeying upward carries with it the special grace and gift
of each creature it has left behind, "sometimes a bone, or a muscle,
or a ganglion," until the excellencies of many lower forms are
compacted in the one higher man. In the human body there are now
seventy vestigial structures, e.g., vermiform appendices, useful in
the lower life but worse than useless in man. When an anatomist
discovered an organ in a certain animal he foretold its rudimentary
existence in the embryonic man, and we are told his prophecy was
fulfilled through the microscope, "just as the planet Neptune was
discovered after its existence had been predicted from the
disturbances produced in the orbit of Uranus." As some noble gallery
owes its supremacy to centuries of toil and represents treasures
brought in from every clime and country, so the human body represents
contributions from land and sea, and members and organs from
innumerable creatures that creep and walk and fly.

Thus man's descent from the animals has been displaced by the ascent
of the human body. This is not degradation, but an unspeakable
exaltation. Man is "fearfully and wonderfully made." God ordained the
long upward march for making his body exquisitely sensitive and fitted
to be the home of a divine mind. How marvelously does this view
enhance the dignity of man, and clothe God with majesty and glory! It
is a great thing for the inventor to construct a watch. But what if
genius were given some jeweler to construct a watch carrying the power
to regulate itself, and when worn out to reproduce itself in another
watch of a new and higher form, endowing it at the same time with
power for handing forward this capacity for self-improvement? Is not
the wisdom and skill required for making a watch that is
self-adjusting, self-improving, and self-succeeding vastly more than
the wisdom required to construct a simple timepiece? Should science
finally establish the new view, already adopted by practically all
biologists, it will but substitute the method of gradualism and an
unfolding progression for a human body created by an instantaneous and
peremptory fiat. But this is a question for specialists and experts.
Those scholars who accept this view, including such thinkers as the
late President McCosh, of Princeton; Dana, of Yale; such teachers as
Caird, Drummond, and scores who could be named, all renowned for their
Christian belief and life, find that these new views do not waste
faith, but rather nourish it. Formerly men feared and fought Newton's
doctrine of gravity, trembling lest that principle should destroy
belief. To-day many are troubled because of the new views of
development. But it is possible for one to believe in evolution, and
still believe in God with all the mind and soul and strength.
Strangely enough, some are unwilling to have ascended progressively
from an animal, but quite willing to have come up directly from the
clod. But either origin is good enough providing man has ascended far
enough from the clod and the animal, and made some approach to the
angel. Some there are for whom no descent seems possible--they can go
no lower; dwelling now with beasts; others seem to have made no ascent
whatever, but to be even now upon the plane of things that crawl and
creep. Let us leave the question to the scientists. By whatever way
the body came, mentality and spirituality have now been engrafted upon
it. Man is no longer animal, but spiritual; and the wondrous
development of man upon this side of the grave is the pledge and
promise of a long progress beyond the grave, when the divine spirit by
his secret resources shall lead forth from men, emotions,
dispositions, and aspirations as much beyond the present thought and
life as the tree is beyond the seed and the low-lying roots.

In this new view of the human body, science not only exhibits the
growth and perfection of man as the goal toward which God has been
moving from the first, but also throws light upon the sinfulness of
man and the conflicts that rage within the soul. Man is seen to be a
double creature. The spirit man rides a man of flesh and is often
thrown thereby and trampled under foot. There is a lower animal nature
having all the appetites and passions that sustain the physical
organization; but super-imposed thereon, is a spiritual man, with
reason and moral sentiment, with affection and faith. The union of the
two means strife and conflict; the doing what one would not do and the
leaving undone what one would do. The poet describes the condition by
saying: "The devil squatted early on human territory, and God sent an
angel to dispossess him." The animal nature foams out all manner of
passions and lusts. From thence issue also lurid lights and murky
streams. But the under man is not the true man. The soldier rides the
horse, but is himself other than his beast. Man uses an animal at the
bottom, but man is what he is at the top. Sin is the struggle for
supremacy between the animal forces and the higher spiritual powers.
The passions downstairs must be subordinated to the people upstairs.
In some men the animal impulses predominate with terrible force, and
their control is not easy. It is as if a child should try to drive a
chariot drawn by forty steeds of the sun. When a man finds that he can
not dam back the mountain stream, nor stop up its springs, he learns
to use the stream by building a mill, and controlling the pressure of
the flood for grinding his corn. Similarly, the problem of life is for
the upper man to educate, control, and transmute the lower forces
into sympathy and service. The combative powers once turned against
his fellows must be turned against nature and used for hewing down the
forests, bridging rivers, piercing mountains. Thus every animal force
and passion becomes sacred through consecration to mental and
spiritual ends and aims.

Sin therefore ceases to be philosophy or mediævalism; it becomes a
concrete personal fact. Daily each one comes under its rule and sway.
The mind loves truth, and the body tempts man to break truth. The soul
loves honor, and passion tempts it to deflect its pathway. Man goes
forth in the morning with all the springs of generosity open; but
before night selfishness has dammed up the hidden springs. In the
morning man goes out with love irradiating his face; he comes back at
night sullen and black with hatred and enmity. In the morning the soul
is like a young soldier, parading in stainless white; at night his
garments are begrimed and soiled with self-indulgence and sin. As
there is a line along the tropics where two zones meet and breed
perpetual storm, so there is a middle line in man where the animal man
meets the spiritual man, and there is perpetual storm. There clouds
never pass away, and the thunder never dies out of the horizon of
time.[3] This view, appealing to universal reason, appeals also to
divine help. In his daily strife man needs the brooding presence and
constant stimulus of the divine being. Man waits for God's stimulus as
the frozen roots wait the drawing near of God's sun. The soul looks
ever unto the hills whence cometh its help. In the morning, at noon,
and at night, man longs for a deliverer. God is the pledge of the
soul's victory over the body. For men floundering in the slough of sin
and despond these words, "Ye may, ye must be born again," are sweeter
than angel songs falling from the hills of Paradise.

Consider the uses of the body. It is God's schoolmaster teaching
industry, compelling economy and thrift, and promoting all the basal
moralities. It contains the springs of all material civilization. If
we go back to the dawn of history we find that hunger and the desires,
associated with the body, have been the chief stimulants toward
industrial progress. Indolence is stagnation. Savages in the tropics
are torpid and without progress. Hunger compels men to ask what food
is in the river, what roots are in the ground, what fruits are on the
trees, what forces are in the air. The body is peremptory in its
demands. Hunger carries a stinging scourge. Necessity drives out the
evil spirits of indolence and torpidity. The early man threading the
thickets in search of food chanced upon a sweet plum, and because the
bush grew a long way from his lodge he transplanted the root to a vale
near his home. Thence came all man's orchards and vineyards. Shivering
with cold, man sought out some sheltered cave or hollow tree. But soon
the body asked him to hew out a second cave in addition to the one
nature had provided. Fulfilling its requests, man went on in the
interests of his body to pile stone on stone, and lift up carved
pillars and groined arches. Thence came all homes. For the body the
sower goes forth to sow, and the harvester looks forward to the time
of sheaves and shoutings. For strengthening the body the shepherd
leads forth his flocks and herds, and for its raiment the weaver makes
the looms and spindles fly. For the body all the trains go speeding in
and out, bringing fruits from the sunny south, and furs from the
frozen north. All the lower virtues and integrities spring from its
desires. As an engine, lying loose in a great ship, would have no
value, but, fastened down with bolts, drives the great hull through
the water, so the body fastens and bolts the spirit to field, forest,
and city, and makes it useful and productive. Material life and
civilization may be said to literally rest upon man's bones and
sinews.

The body is also the channel of all the knowledges. How scant is the
child's understanding of the world-house in which he lives! There are
shelves enough, but they are all empty. In the interest of
intelligence his mind is sheathed in this sensitive body and the world
forces without report themselves to this sensitive nerve mechanism.
Fire comes in to burn man's fingers and teach him how to make the fire
smite vapor from water. Cold comes in to nip his ears and pinch his
cheeks until he learns the economy of ice, snow and rain. Steel cuts
his fingers and the blood oozes out. Thenceforth he turns the axe
toward the trees and the scythe toward the standing grain. The stone
falling bruises him, compelling a knowledge of gravity and the use of
trip-hammer, weights and pulleys. Looking downward the eye discerns
the handwriting on the rocks and the mind reads earth's romantic
story. Looking upward, the vision runs along the milky way for
measuring the starry masses and searching out their movements. The ear
strains out sweet sounds, and St. Cecilia hears melodies from the sky.
Bending over the cradle, the parent marvels at God's bounty in the
face of a babe. When the little one goes away the parent copies its
face in rude colors, or carves its form in marble. Thus all the arts,
sciences and inventions are gifts of the body to man's mental and
moral life.

There is a beautiful story of a company of celestial beings, who, in
disguise, entered an ancient city upon a mission of mercy. Departing
hurriedly, in some way a fair young child was left behind and lost. In
the morning when men came upon the streets they found a sweet boy with
sunny hair sitting upon the steps of the temple. Language had he none.
He answered questions with streaming eyes and frightened face. While
men wondered a slave drew near, carrying a harp. Then the heavenly
child signaled for the instrument, for this language he could speak.
He threw his arms about the harp as the child about its mother's neck.
He touched one string. Upon the hushed air there stole out a note
pure, clear, and sweet as though amethysts and pearls were melted into
liquid melodies. It was music, but not such music as mortals give to
mortals. It was such a song as spirit would sing to spirit, signaling
across the streets of heaven. It was a hymn to the mother whom he had
loved and lost. With tearful eye and smiling face the little stranger
and the harp together wept, and laughed, and sobbed out their grief
and song. It was the speech of a child homesick for heaven. What that
harp was to the silent boy, the human body is to man's soul within.
The soul teemed with thoughts. Fancies surged and thronged within.
Then God gave the soul a body, as a harp of many strings. Through it
the soul finds voice and pours forth its rich thoughts and varied
emotions.

Consider, also, how nature has ordained the body as a system of moral
registration. Nature has a record of all men's deeds, keeping her
accounts on fleshly tablets. The mind may forget, the body never. The
brain sees to it that the thoughts within do immediately dispose of
facial tissue without. Mental brightness gives facial illumination.
The right act or true thought sets its stamp of beauty in the
features; the wrong act or foul thought sets its seal of distortion.
Moral purity and sweetness refine and beautify the countenance. The
body is a show window, advertising and exhibiting the soul's stock of
goods. Nature condenses bough, bud and shrub into black coal; compacts
the rich forces of air and sun and soil into peach and pear. In the
kingdom of morals, there are people who seem to be of virtue, truth
and goodness all compact. Contrariwise, every day you will meet men
upon our streets who are solid bestiality and villainy done up in
flesh and skin. Each feature is as eloquent of rascality as an ape's
of idiocy. Experts skilled in physiognomy need no confession from
impish lips, but read the life-history from page to page written on
features "dimmed by sensuality, convulsed by passion, branded by
remorse; the body consumed with sloth and dishonored with selfish
uses; the bones full of the sins of youth, the face hideous with
secret vices, the roots dried up beneath and the branches cut off
above." It is as natural and necessary for hidden thoughts and deeds
to reveal themselves through cuticle as for root or bud in spring to
unroll themselves into sight and observation. Here and now everything
tends to obscure nature's handwriting and to veil it in mist and
disguise. But the body is God's canvas, and nature's handwriting goes
ever on. Each faculty is a brush, and with it reason thinks out the
portrait. Even the wolf may give something to the features, and also
the snake and scorpion. Soon will come an hour when men will hear not
the voice of the sirens singing praises in the ear, nor the plaudits
of men of low deeds and conscience, but an hour when men shall stand
in the presence of the all-revealing light and see themselves as they
are and review the life they have embodied and emportraited. Happy,
thrice happy, those who have traversed all life's pathway and come at
last to the hour when they stand face to face with themselves, then to
find therein a divine image like unto the comeliness and completion of
Him whose face was transfigured and shone as the light.

At length has dawned the day when science strengthens the argument for
immortality. The dream of the prophet and seer is confirmed in the
light of modern knowledge. "Each new discovery," says John Fiske, "but
places man upon a higher pinnacle than ever, and lights the future
with the radiant color of hope." Leaving his body behind, man journeys
on toward an immortal destiny. Science has emptied a thousand new
meanings into the words of Socrates: "The destruction of the harp does
not argue the death of the harpist." Nature decrees that the flower
must fall when the fruit swells. If the winged creature is to come
forth and increase, the chrysalis must perish and decrease. When the
long journey is over it is natural that the box in which the richly
carved and precious statue is packed should be tossed aside. Swiftly
youth goes on toward maturity, age toward old age, and the scythe
awaits all. But sickness and trouble can do nothing more than dim the
eye, dull the ear, weaken the hand. Dying and death avail not for
injuring reason, affection, or hope, or love.

At the close of a long and arduous career the famous Lyman Beecher
passed under a mental cloud. The great man became as a little child.
One day after his son, Henry Ward, had preached a striking sermon, his
father entered the pulpit and beginning to speak wandered in his
words. With great tenderness the preacher laid his hand upon his
father's shoulder and said to the audience: "My father is like a man
who, having long dwelt in an old house, has made preparations for
entering a new and larger home. Anticipating a speedy removal, he sent
on beforehand much of his soul-furniture. When later the day of
removal was postponed the interval seemed so brief as to render it
unnecessary to bring back his mental goods." Oh, beautiful words
describing those whose strength is declining, whose spirit is ebbing
and senses failing, because God is packing up their soul-furniture
that they may be ready for the long journey that awaits us all. But
man's journey is not unto the grave. Dying is transmutation. Dying is
not folding of the wings; but pluming the pinions for new and larger
flight. Dying is not striking an unseen rock, but a speedy entrance
into an open harbor. Death is no enemy, letting the arrow fly toward
one who sits at life's banquet-table. Death is a friend coming on an
errand of release and divine convoy. For God's children "to be
death-called is to be God-called; to be God-called is to be
Christ-found; to be Christ-found is hope and home and heaven."

FOOTNOTES:

[3] See Symposium on Evolution, Homiletic Review, May, 1894.



THE MIND: AND THE DUTY OF RIGHT THINKING


      "All ye who possess the power of thought, prize it well!
      Remember that its flight is infinite; it winds about over
      so many mountain tops, and so runs from poetry to
      eloquence, it so flies from star to star, it so dreams,
      so loves, so aspires, so hangs both over mystery and
      fact, that we may well call it the effort of man to
      explore the home, the infinite palace of his heavenly
      Father."--_Swing._

      "Men with empires in their brains."--_Lowell._

      "'Tis the mind that makes the body rich."--_Taming of the
      Shrew._

    "Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof
    That they were born for immortality."--_Wordsworth._

      "Neither years nor books have yet availed to extirpate a
      prejudice then rooted in me that a scholar is the
      favorite of heaven and earth, the excellency of his
      country, the happiest of men."--_Emerson._

      "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, for the
      merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of
      silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold."--_Solomon._



V

THE MIND; AND THE DUTY OF RIGHT THINKING


With fine imagery the seer of old likened the mind unto a tree. The
tree shakes down its fruits, and the mind sheds forth its thoughts.
The boughs of the one will cover the land with forests; the faculties
of the other will sow the world with harvests that blight or harvests
that bless. The measure of personal worth, therefore, is the number
and quality of thoughts issuing from man's mind. For all the doing
called commerce, and all the speaking called conversation and books,
begin with the thinking called ideas. Each thing was first a thought.
A loom is Arkwright's thought dressed up in iron clothes. Books are
the scholar's thoughts caught and fastened upon the white page. As our
planet and the harvests that cover it are the thoughts of God rushing
into visible expression, so all houses and ships, all cities and
institutions, are man's inner thoughts, taking on outer and material
embodiment.

When thoughts compacted into habits have determined character and
destiny for the individual, they go on and secure their social
progress. When God would order a great upward movement for society, He
drops a great idea into the mind of some leader. Such energies divine
have these thoughts that they create new epochs in history. Through
Luther the thought of liberty in church and state set tyrants
trembling and thrones tottering. Through Cromwell the thought of
personal rights became a weapon powerful enough utterly to destroy
that citadel of iniquity named the divine right of kings. It was a
great moral thought called the "Golden Rule" that shotted the cannon
of the North for victory and spiked the cannon of the South for
defeat. Measureless is the might of a moral idea. It exceeds the force
of earthquakes and the might of tidal waves. The reason why no scholar
or historian can forecast the events and institutions of the next
century is that none can tell what great idea God will drop into the
soul of some man ordained to be its voice and prophet.

Now the omnipotence of thoughts is not without reason. Man is the
child of genius because he is the child of God. Those beautiful words,
"made in His image," tell us that the human mechanism is patterned
after the divine. Reason and memory in man answer to those faculties
in God, as do conscience and the moral sentiments. In creative genius
man alone is a sharer with God. As the Infinite One passing through
space leaves behind those shining footsteps called suns and stars,
glowing and sparkling upon planets innumerable, so man's mind, moving
through life, leaves behind a pathway all shining with books, laws,
liberties and homes. Of all the wonderful things God hath made, man
the wonderer is himself the most wonderful. No casket owned by a king,
filled with gems and sparkling jewels, ever held such treasure as God
hath put into this casket of bones and sinew. The imagination cannot
paint in colors too rich this being, who is a miniature edition of
infinity. It is not fiction, but fact, to say that reason is a loom;
only where Jacquard's mechanism weaves a few yards of silk and satin,
reason weaves conversation, sympathy, songs, poems, eloquence--textures
all immortal. And memory is a gallery; only where the Louvre holds a
few pictures of the past, memory waving her wonder-working wand brings
back all faces, living and dead, causing mountains and battle-fields,
with all distant scenes, to pass before the mind in solemn procession.

The Bank of England has indeed a mechanism that tests coins and throws
out all light weights. But judgment is an instrument testing things
invisible, weighing arguments and motives, testing principles and
characters. And the desires, are they not like unto the richly laden
argosies of commerce? And fancy, hath it not the skill of artist and
architect? Imagination, working in the realm of the useful, turns iron
into engines. Imagination, working in realms of the beautiful, turns
pigments into pictures. Imagination, working in the realms of thought,
can turn things true into sciences, and things good into ethical
systems. Well did the philosopher say that the greatest star is the
one standing at the little end of the telescope, the one looking, not
looked at nor looked for. When some Agassiz dredging the Atlantic
tells us what animals lived there a million years ago, the scientist's
mind seems an abyss deeper than the sea itself; and when Tyndall,
climbing to the top of the Matterhorn, reads on that rock-page all the
events of the ancient world, the mountain is dwarfed to an ant hill
and becomes insignificant in the presence of the mountain-minded
scholar. Hunters tell us that when crossing a swamp they leap from one
hummock of grass to another. But Herschel and Proctor, exploring the
heavenly world, step from star to star. The husbandman, squeezing a
cluster of grapes in his cup, does but interpret to us the way in
which the scholar squeezes planets and suns to brim the cup of
knowledge for man's thirsting soul. This vast and wondrous world
without is matched by man's rich and various mind within! Well did
Emerson exclaim, "Man, thou palace of sight and sound, carrying in thy
senses the nights and mornings, the summers and winters; carrying in
thy brain the geometry of the City of God, in thy heart all the bowers
of love, and all the realms of right and wrong."

Such being the nature of the mind, consider its prodigious
fruitfulness in thought. If all the processes of the mind were reduced
to material volume, the thoughts of each moment would fill a page, the
thoughts of each hour would fill a chapter, the thoughts of each day
would fill a volume, the emotions of a year would fill a small library
of many volumes. Value might be wanting, but not bulk. It is given to
the eye to behold the harvests wrought by the secret force of roots
and sunbeams. But if all the products of the soul could be made
visible to the eye and ear, how marvelous would be these exhalations,
rising and filling all the air. Were all the emotions and passions
and dreams of one single day fully revealed, what dramas would there
be beyond all the tragedies man's hand hath ever indicated! Consider
what fertility the mind hath! Consider how many trains of thought
reason takes up each hour. Consider all that belongs to a man as an
animal, his fears and passions, defensory in nature. Consider his
social equipment, with all the possible moods and combinations of
affections. Consider the vast activities of his reason working
outward, and the imagination working upward. Sometimes in the morning
man's thoughts are for number and strength like unto the strength of
armies. Sometimes in the night his aspirations exhale heavenward with
all the purity and beauty of the clouds. Consider also how life's
conflicts and warfare inflame man's faculties and hasten their
process.

Consider how courage, despondency, hope and fear, friendship and
enmity, increase the activities. Consider man's ambitions--steeds of
the sun with incredible swiftness dragging forward the soul's chariot.
Consider the rivalries among men. What intensities of thought are
induced thereby! Consider that toward one's friends the mind sends
forth thoughts that are almoners of bounty and angels of mercy. But
consider that man is over against his enemy, with a mind like unto a
walled city filled with armed men. Consider how in life's conflicts,
thoughts become the swords of anger, the clubs of envy, stings for
hissing hatred. Consider that in times of great excitement the soul
literally blazes and burns, exhaling emotions and thoughts as a planet
exhales light and heat. Wondrous the power of the loom newly invented,
that with marvelous swiftness weaves in silk figures of flowers and
trees and birds. But the uttermost speed of those flying shuttles is
slowness itself compared to the swiftness of the mental loom, that
without noise or clangor weaves fabrics eternal out of the warp and
woof of affection and thought, of passion and purpose. Consider that
every man is not simply two men, but a score of men. All the climatic
disturbances in nature, all distemperatures through heat and cold, wet
and dry, summer and winter, do but answer in number and variety to the
moods in man's brain. Not the all-producing summer is so rich in
bounty as the mind is rich in thought when working its regnant and
creative moods. Vast are the buildings man's hands have reared; sweet
are the songs man's mind hath sung; lovely the faces man's hand hath
painted; but the silent songs the soul hears, the invisible pictures
the mind sees, the secret buildings the imagination rears, these are
a thousand-fold more beautiful than any as yet embodied in this
material world.

The Spanish have a proverb that "He who sows thoughts will reap acts,
habits, and character," for destiny itself is determined by thinking.
Life is won or lost by its master thoughts. As nothing reveals
character like the company we like and keep, so nothing foretells
futurity like the thoughts over which we brood. It was said of John
Keats that his face was the face of one who had seen a vision. So long
had his inner eye been fixed upon beauty, so long had he loved that
vision splendid, so long had he lived with it, that not only did his
soul take on the loveliness of what he contemplated, but the very
lines of the poet's face were chiseled into beauty by those sculptors
called thoughts and ideals. When Wordsworth speaks of the girl's
beauty as "born of murmuring sound," the poet indicates his belief
that the girl's long love of the sweet briar and the thrush's song,
her tender care of her favorite flowers, had ended in the saturation
of her own face with sweetness. Swiftly do we become like the thoughts
we love. Scholars have noticed that old persons who have "lived long
together, 'midst sunshine and 'midst cloudy weather," come at length
to look as nearly alike as do brother and sister: Emerson explains
this likeness by saying that long thinking the same thoughts and
loving the same objects mould similarity into the features. Nor is
there any beauty in the face of youth or maiden that can long survive
sourness in the disposition or discontent in the heart.

Contrariwise, all have seen faces very plain naturally that have
become positively radiant because the beautiful soul that is enmeshed
in and stands behind the muscles has shone through and beautified all
of the facial tissues. Two of our great novelists have made a special
study of the architectural power of thoughts. Dickens exhibits Monks
as beginning his career as an innocent and beautiful child; but as
ending his life as a mass of solid bestiality, a mere chunk of fleshed
iniquity. It was thinking upon vice and vulgarity that transformed the
angel's face into the countenance of a demon. Hawthorne has made a
similar study of Chillingworth, whose moral deterioration began
through evil thinking when face and physique were fully matured.
Chillingworth stood forth in middle life a thoughtful, earnest, and
just man; but, during his absence, he suffered a grievous wrong. Not
knowing the identity of his enemy, the physician came to suspect his
friend. By skillful questions he digged into Dimmesdale's heart as
the sexton might delve into the grave in search of a possible jewel
upon a dead man's breast. When suspicion had strengthened into
certainty, enmity became hatred. Then, for two years, Chillingworth
tortured his victim as once inquisitors tortured men by tweaking the
flesh with red-hot pincers. Soon the face of the physician, once so
gentle and just, took on an aspect sinister and malign. Children
feared him, men shivered in his presence--they knew not why. Once the
magistrate saw the light glimmering in his eyes "with flames that
burned blue, like the ghastly fire that darted out of Bunyan's awful
doorway on the hillside and quivered in the Pilgrim's face." All this
is Hawthorne's way of telling us how thoughts determine character and
shape destiny. He who thinks of mean and ugly things will soon show
mud in the bottom of his eye. Ugliness within soon fouls the facial
tissues. But he who thinks of "things true and just and lovely" will,
by his thinking, be transformed into the image of the ideal he
contemplates, even as the rose becomes red by exposing its bosom to
the sunbeams and soaking each petal in the sun's fine rays.

Not only are thoughts the builders of character for the individual;
they are also the architects of states and nations. All this
wonderful fabric lying over our land like a beautiful garment is a
fabric spun and woven out of ideas. Each outer substance was builded
by an inner sentiment. What the eye sees are stone and brick and iron
united by masons and carpenters, but the forces that hold these
material things together are not iron bands, but thoughts and beliefs.
Destroy the life-nerve running up through the tree, and the rings of
wood will soon fall apart. Destroy the thoughts and beliefs of our
people, and its homes, colleges and institutions will decline and
decay. Thrust a million Mohammedans into our land, and their inner
thoughts will realize themselves in mosques, minarets, and harems. But
thrust a million Americans into Asia Minor and straightway their
thoughts will take on these visible shapes called houses and
factories, temples of learning, altars of praise and prayer. For what
we call Saxon civilization is only a magnificent incarnation of a
certain mental type and a moral character. Not only individuals, but
nations are such stuff as thoughts are made of.

In his famous story of archery Virgil represents Acestes as shooting
his arrow with such force that it took fire as it flew and went up
into the air all aflame, thus opening from the place where the archer
stood a pathway of light into the heavens. Now it is given to man's
thoughts to fulfill this beautiful story, in that they open up shining
pathways along which the human steps may move. On the practical side,
it is by the thinking alone that man solves his bread-winning problem.
Standing, each in his place, using his strongest faculty and working
in the line of least resistance, each must conquer for himself food
and support. To say that society owes us a living or to consume more
than we produce is to sink to the level of pauper and parasite. The
successful man is one whose thoughts about his bread-winning problem
have been wise thoughts; paupers and tramps, with their hunger and
rags, are men who have thought foolishly about how they could best
earn a livelihood.

He who has one strong faculty, the using of which would give delight
and success, yet passes it by, to use a weaker faculty, is doomed to
mediocrity and heart-breaking failure. The eagle has powerful muscles
under the wings, but slender and feeble legs; the fawn lacks the
weight of the draught horse, but has limbs for swiftness. Now, if an
eagle should become a competitor in a walking race and if the fawn
should enter the list of draught horses, we should have that which
answers precisely to the way in which some men seek to gain their
livelihood, by tying up their strongest gift and using their feeblest
faculties. When it is said that only five merchants out of a hundred
succeed we perceive that the great majority of men do not think to any
purpose in choosing an occupation. Recalling his friends who had
misfitted themselves, Sidney Smith once said: "If we represent the
occupations of life by holes in a table, some round, some square, some
oblong, and persons by bits of wood of like shapes, we shall generally
find that the triangular person has got into the square hole, the
oblong into the triangular, while the square person has squeezed
himself into the round hole." For lack of wise thinking beforehand,
multitudes have died of broken hearts midst failure and misery who
might have achieved great happiness and success had they used their
thoughts in choosing their life-work. He who approaches his task with
a leaden heart is out of the race before he is in it. Success means
that the heart loves what the hand does. The bread-winning problem is
the one that touches us first and most closely, and to wise thoughts
only is it given to solve that problem.

The number and value of our thoughts determine a man's value to
society. No investments bring so high a rate of interest as
investments of brain. Hand work earns little, but head work much. In a
Western camp one miner put his lower brain into the pickaxe and earned
$2.00 a day; another miner put his higher brain into the stamp-mill
and soon was receiving a score of dollars daily for his work; a third
youth, toiling in the same mine, put his genius into an electric
process for extracting ore, and sold his invention for a fortune. It
seems that wealth was not in the pick, but in the thoughts that
handled it. Had God intended man to do his work through the body,
man's legs would have been long enough to cover leagues at a stride,
his biceps would have been strong enough to turn the crank for
steamships, his back would have been Atlantean for carrying freight
cars across the plains.

But, instead of giving man long legs, God gave him a mind able to make
locomotives. Instead of telescopic eyes, he gave man mind to invent
far-seeing glasses. Instead of a thousand fingers for weaving, he gave
man five fingers and genius for inventing a thousand steel fingers to
do his spinning. Wealth is not in things, but in the brain that shapes
raw material. Vast was the sum of gold taken out of California, but
this nation might well pay down a hundred Californias for a man to
invent a process to make coal drive the engine without the
intervention of steam. That inventor would enable the street cars for
one cent to carry the people of the tenement-house district ten miles
into the country in ten minutes, and thereby, through sunshine and
fresh air and solitude, would solve a hundred problems that now vex
the statesman and the moralist. A young botanist in Kansas has just
announced his purpose to cross the milkweed and the strawberry, so
that hereafter strawberries and cream may grow upon the same bush. His
task may be doomed to failure, but that youth at least understands
that thought turned the wild rice into wheat; thought turned the sweet
briar into the crimson rose; brains mixed the pigments for Paul
Veronese, and gave the canvas worth a few florins the value of tens of
thousand of dollars. Already wise thoughts have turned the barbarian
into a gentleman and citizen, and some glad day thoughts will crown
man with the attributes and qualities of God.

Of old, the Greek philosopher described the origin of man. One day
Ceres, in crossing a stream, saw a human face emerging from the soil.
It was the face of a man. Standing by this earth-born creature, the
goddess extricated his head and chest; but left his legs fastened in
the soil. Now, the invisible friends that free man from his earth
fetters are those divine visitors called ideas and thoughts. God hath
made thoughts to be golden chariots, in which the soul is swept upward
into the heavenly heights.

When thoughts have sown man's pathway with happiness and peace they go
on to determine character and futurity. Each life memorable for
goodness and nobility has for its motive power some noble thought.
Each hero has climbed up to immortality upon those golden rounds
called good thoughts. Here is that cathedral spirit, John Milton. In
his loneliness and blindness his mind was his kingdom. He loved to
think of things true and pure and of good report. Oft at midnight upon
the poet's ear there fell the sound of celestial music, that afterward
he transposed into his "Paradise Regained." Dying, it was given him to
proudly say: "I am not one of those who have disgraced beauty of
sentiment by deformity of conduct, nor the maxims of the freeman by
the actions of the slave, but by the grace of God, I have kept my soul
unsullied." Here is the immortal Bunyan, spending his best years in
Bedford jail because he insisted on giving men the message God had
first given him; but he, too, opened his mind only to good thoughts.
For him, also, dawned the heavenly vision. As the prison doors opened
before Peter and the angel, so the dungeon walls parted before his
thoughts. Walking about in glad freedom, he crossed the portals of the
Palace Beautiful. From its marble steps he saw afar off the Delectable
Mountains. Hard by ran the River of the Water of Life. The breezes of
the hills of Paradise cooled his hot temples and lifted his hair. His
regal thoughts crowned the Bedford tinker and made him king in English
literature.

Here also is the carpenter's Son rising before each earthly pilgrim
like a star in the night. A man of truly colossal intellect,
incomparable as He strides across the realms and ages, yet always
thinking the gentlest, kindliest thoughts; thoughts of mildness as
well as of majesty; thoughts of humanity as well as divinity. His
thoughts were medicines for hurt hearts; His thoughts were wings to
all the low-flying; His thoughts freed those who had been snared in
the thickets; His thoughts set an angel down beside each cradle; His
thoughts of the incarnation rendered the human body forever sacred;
His thoughts of the grave sanctified the tomb. Dying and rising, His
thoughts clove an open pathway through the sky. Taught by Him, the
people have learned to think--not only great thoughts, but good ones,
and also how to turn thoughts into life.

Bringing their thoughts to God, God has turned thinking into
character. Each spinner who in modesty and fidelity tends his loom,
spins indeed, garments for others, but also weaves himself invisible
garments of everlasting life. Each shipbuilder fastening his timbers
together with honest thoughts will find that his thoughts have become
ships carrying him over the sea to the harbor of God. Each worker
putting integrity into gold and silver will find that he has carved
his own character into a beauty beyond that of gems and sapphires. For
his thoughts drag into futurity after them. So deeply was St. George
Mivart impressed by this that he said: "The old pauper woman whom I
saw to-day in the poorhouse, in her hunger saving her apple to give to
the little orphan just brought in, and unraveling her stocking and
bending her twisted old fingers to knit its yarn into socks for the
blue feet of the child will, I verily believe, begin her life at death
with more intellectual genius--mark the words, intellectual
genius--than will begin that second life any statesman or prime
minister or man famed in our day. For I know of none who hath been
faithful in his much after the fashion of the pauper woman's fidelity
with her little."

For intellect weighs light as punk against the gold of character.
Should God give us to choose between goodness and genius, we may well
say, "Give genius to Lucifer, let mine be the better part." Intellect
is cold as the ice-palace in Quebec. Heart-broken and weary-worn by
life's battle, men draw near to some great-hearted men, as pilgrims
crowd close to the winter's fire. Men neither draw their chairs close
around a block of ice, nor about a brilliant intellect. Our quarrel
with the foolish scientist is that he makes God out as infinite brain.
We rejoice at the revelation of Christ, because He portrays God as
heart and not genius.

God be thanked for great thoughts, but a thousand times more, God be
praised for good thoughts! They are fuel for the fires of enthusiasm.
They are rudders that guide us heavenward. They are seeds for great
harvests of joy. They fulfill the tale of the fairies who in the night
while men slept bridged chasms, builded palaces, laid out streets and
lined them with homes, built the city around with walls. For every
thought is a builder, every purpose a mansion, and every affection a
carpenter. As the builders of the Cologne Cathedral were guided by the
plan and pattern of Von Rile, so man's thoughts are builded after that
matchless model, Jesus Christ. And while our thoughts work, His
thoughts work, also adding beauty to the soul's strength. In the olden
tale the artist pupil through very weariness fell asleep before the
picture that disappointed him. While he slept his master stole into
the room, and with a few swift touches corrected the errors and
brought out the lines of lustrous beauty, kindling new hope within the
boy's heart. And there are unexpected providences in life, strange
influences, interventions and voices in the night. These events over
which we have no control, these thoughts of the Master above, shape us
not less than the thoughts that build from within. It seems that not
one, but two are working upon the soul's structure. As one day in the
presence of his master Michael Angelo pulled down the scaffolding in
the Sistine Chapel, and the workmen cleared away the ropes and plaster
and litter, and looking up men saw the faces of angels and seraphs,
with their lustrous and immortal beauty, so some glad day will that
angel named Death pull down life's scaffolding and set forever in the
sunlight that structure built of thoughts, the stately mansion reared
in the mind, the building not made with hands, the character, eternal
in the heavens.



THE MORAL USES OF MEMORY


      "Without memory, man is a perpetual infant."--_Locke._

      "The memory plays a great part in ranking men. Quintilian
      reckoned it the measure of genius. The poets represented
      the muses as the daughters of memory."--_Emerson._

      "Recollection is the only paradise from which we cannot
      be turned out."--_Richter._

    "A land of promise, a land of memory,
    A land of promise flowing with the milk
    And honey of delicious memories."
                    --_Tennyson._

    "I have a room wherein no one enters save I myself alone;
    There sits a blessed memory on a throne.
      There my life centers."
                    --_C.G. Rosetti._



VI

THE MORAL USES OF MEMORY


The soul is a monarch whose rule includes three realms. Its throne is
in the present, but its scepter extends backward over yesterday and
forward over to-morrow. The divinity that presides over the past is
memory; to-day is ruled by reason, to-morrow is under the regency of
hope. In every age memory has been an unpopular goddess. The poet
Byron pictures this divinity as sitting sorrowing midst mouldering
ruins and withering leaves. But the orators unveil the future as a
tropic realm, magical, mysterious and surpassingly rich. The temple
where hope is worshiped is always crowded; her shrines are never
without gifts of flowers and sweet songs.

But at length has come a day when man perceives that the vast treasure
to which the present has fallen heir was bequeathed by that friend
called yesterday. The soul increases in knowledge and culture, because
as it passes through life's rich fields memory plucks the ripe
treasure on either hand, leaving behind no golden sheaf. Philosophy,
therefore, opposes that form of poetry that portrays yesterday by the
falling tower, the yellow leaf, the setting sun. Memory is a gallery
holding pictures of the past. Memory is a library holding wisdom for
to-morrow's emergencies. Memory is a banqueting-hall on whose walls
are the shields of vanquished enemies. Memory is a granary holding
bread for to-morrow's hunger, seed for to-morrow's sowing. That man
alone has a great to-morrow who has back of him a multitude of great
yesterdays.

Aristotle used memory as a measure of genius. He believed that every
great man was possessed of a great memory in his own department. He
was the great artist whose mind searched out and whose memory retained
the beauty of each sweet child, the loveliness of each maiden and
mother. He was the great scientist who remembered all the facts,
forgot no exception, and grouped all under laws. The great orator was
he whose memory stood ready to furnish all truths gleaned from books
and conversation, from travel and experience--weapons these with which
the orator faces his hearers in a noble cause, controls and conquers
them.

After driving through Windsor Park, Doré, the artist, recognized his
debt to memory by observing that he could recall every tree he had
passed, and draw each shrub from memory. We are indebted to the
mechanical genius of Watt for the steam engine; but, before beginning
his work, the inventive faculty asked memory to bring forward all
objects, forces and facts suggested by and relating to that steaming
tea kettle. Genius cannot create without material upon which to work.
It is given to the eye and the ear and the reason to obtain the facts;
memory stores these treasures away until they are needed; and,
selecting therefrom, the inventive faculty fashions physical things
into tools, beautiful things into pictures, ideas into intellectual
philosophies, morals into ethical systems. The architect is helpless
unless he remembers where are the quarries and what their kinds; where
the marbles and what their colors; where the forests and what their
trees.

Thus all the creative minds, from Phidias to Shakespeare, have united
strength of memory with fertility of invention. As the Gobelin
tapestry, depicting the siege of Troy, is woven out of myriads of
tinted threads, so each Hamlet and each "In Memoriam" is an
intellectual texture woven out of ideas and aspirations furnished by
memory. Indeed, without this faculty there could be no knowledge or
culture. Destroy memory and man would remain a perpetual infant.
Because the mind carries forward each new idea and experience, there
comes a day when the youth stands forth a master in his chosen craft
or profession. It is memory that unifies man's life and thought, and
binds all his experiences into one bundle.

In a large sense civilization itself is a kind of racial memory.
Moving backward toward the dawn of history, we come to a time when man
stood forth as a savage, his house a cave, his clothes a leather
girdle, his food locusts and berries. But to-day he is surrounded by
home, and books and pictures, by looms and trains and ships. Now
yesterday was the friend that gave man all this rich treasure. We
pluck clusters from vines other generations planted. We ride in trains
and ships other thinkers invented. We admire pictures and statues
other hands painted and carved. Our happiness is through laws and
institutions for which other multitudes died. We sing songs that the
past did write, and speak a language that generations long dead did
fashion.

When De Tocqueville visited our country, he journeyed westward until
he stood upon the very frontier of civilization. Before him lay the
forests and prairies, stretching for thousands of miles toward the
setting sun. But what impressed him most deeply was the civilization
behind him, reaching to the Atlantic--a civilization including towns
and villages, with free institutions, with schoolroom and church and
library. With joy he reflected that the mental and moral harvests
behind him were sufficient to sow the vast unconquered land with
treasure. Thus each to-day is a frontier line upon which the soul
stands. It is the necessity of life for man to journey backward into
the past for food and seed with which to sow the unconquered future.
For each individual yesterday holds the beginnings of art and
architecture. Yesterday holds the beginnings of reform and
philanthropy. Yesterday contains the rise and victory of freedom.
Yesterday holds the first schoolroom and college and library.
Yesterday holds the cross and all its victories over ignorance and
sin. Yesterday is a river pouring its rich floods forward, lending
majesty and momentum to all man's enterprises. Yesterday is a temple
whose high domes and wide walls and flaming altars other hands and
hearts have built. For the individual, memory is a granary for mental
treasure; and, for the race, civilization is a kind of social memory.

Consider the task laid upon memory. The activity and fruitfulness of
the human mind are immeasurable. Reason does not so much weave
thoughts as exhale them. Objects march in caravans through the eye
gate and the ear gate, each provoking its own train of thought. And
the unconscious processes of the mind are of even greater number. The
silent songs that genius hears, the invisible pictures that genius
paints, the hidden castles that genius builds--no building of a city
without can compare for wonder and beauty and richness with the
building processes of the soul within. If some angelic reporter could
reduce all man's thoughts to physical volume, how vast the book would
be! Thoughts do not go single, but march in armies. Feelings and
aspirations move like flocks of caroling songsters. Desires swarm
forth from the soul like bees from a hive. The soul is a city through
whose gates troop innumerable caravans, bearing treasure within,
carrying treasure forth without. No Great Eastern ever carried a cargo
that was comparable for vastness and richness with that voyaging
forward in the mind.

Now the power and skill of God is nowhere more manifest than in this.
He has endowed the mind with full power to carry forward all its joys,
its friendships and victories. It is given to man to journey in a
single summer over that pathway along which the human race has
walked. For happiness and culture the traveler lingers by some
Runnymede or Marston Moor; stays by castle or cathedral, remains long
in gallery or museum. It is the necessity of his body for the traveler
to leave the mountain behind him when he returns to the city in the
plain. But it is the privilege of the mind to take up these sights and
scenes and carry them away as so much treasure made portable by
memory. By a secret process mountains and valleys and palaces are
reduced in size, photographed and put away ready to be enlarged to the
original proportions.

We have already heard of the inventor who planned an engine that laid
its track and took it up again while it journeyed forward. But this
mechanical dream is literally fulfilled in memory. Grown old and
blind, each Milton may pass before his mind all the panorama of the
past, to find the events of childhood more helpful in memory than they
were in reality. Looking backward, Longfellow reflected that the paths
of childhood had lost their roughness; each way was bordered with
flowers; sweet songs were in the air; the old home was more beautiful
than king's palaces that had opened to his manhood's touch.

Similarly, Dante, storm-beaten, harassed, weary of selfishness,
voyaged and traveled into that foreign land that he called "youth."
There he hid himself until the storms were passed. For him memory held
so much that was bright and beautiful that it became to him a
portfolio of engravings, a gallery of pictures, a palace of many
chambers. Hidden therein, earth's troubles became as harmless as hail
and snow upon tiled castle roofs. Men wonder oft how statesmen and
generals and reformers, oppressed beyond endurance, have borne up
under their burdens. This is their secret: they have sheltered
themselves in the past, found medicines in memory, bathed themselves
in old-time scenes that refreshed and cleansed away life's grime. From
the chill of arctic enmity, it is given to the soul through memory to
rise above the storm and cold and in a moment to enter the tropic
atmosphere of noble friendship, where are fragrance and beauty,
perpetual warmth and wealth.

It was a favorite principle with Socrates that the lesser man never
comprehends the latent strength in his reason or imagination until he
witnesses its skill in the greatest. He implies that the eloquence,
art, and skill that crown the children of genius exist in rudimentary
form in all men. In order, therefore, to understand memory in its
ordinary processes, let us consider its functions in those in whom it
is unique. Fortunately scholars in every age have preserved important
facts concerning the power of recollection. The classic orators
contain repeated reference to traveling singers, who could recite the
entire Iliad and Odyssey. In his "Declamations," speaking of the
inroads disease had made upon him, Seneca remarks that he could speak
two thousand words and names in the order read to him, and that one
morning he listened to the reading of two hundred verses of poetry,
and in the afternoon recited them in their order and without mistake.

Muretus remarks that the stories of Seneca's memory seemed to him
almost incredible, until he witnessed a still more marvelous
occurrence. The sum of his statement is that at Padua there dwelt a
young Corsican, a brilliant and distinguished student of civil law.
Having heard of his marvelous faculty of memory a company of gentlemen
requested from him an exhibition of his power. Six Venetian noblemen
were judges, though there were many other witnesses of the feat.
Muretus dictated words, Latin, Greek, barbaric, disconnected and
connected, until he wearied himself and the man who wrote them down,
and the audience who were present. Afterward the young man repeated
the entire list of words in the same order, then backward, then every
other word, then every fifth word, etc., and all without error.

Sir William Hamilton says that the librarian for the Grand Duke of
Tuscany read every book and pamphlet in his master's library and took
a mental photograph of each page. When asked where a certain passage
was to be found, he would name the alcove, shelf, book, page
containing the passage in question. Scaliger, the scholar, who has
been called the most learned man that ever lived, committed the Iliad
to memory in three weeks and mastered all the Greek poets in four
months. Ben Jonson could repeat all he had ever written and many
volumes he had read, as could Niebuhr, the historian. Macaulay
believed that he had never forgotten anything he had ever read, seen,
or thought. Coleridge tells of an ignorant family servant, who in
moments of unconsciousness through fever, recited passages of Greek
and Hebrew. The explanation was that the servant had been long in the
family of an old clergyman whose habit it was to read aloud the Bible
in the originals.

Physicians have noted instances where a foreigner coming to this
country at the age of four or five has completely forgotten his
native tongue. Grown old and gray, in moments of unconsciousness
through fever, the aged man has talked in the forgotten language of
infancy. Our best students of mental philosophy believe that no
thought or feeling, no enmity or aspiration, is ever forgotten. The
sentiments written on clay harden into granite. Dormant memories are
not dead. At a touch they return in their old-time power and vigor.
Science tells us that the flight of a bird, the falling of a leaf, the
laughter of a child, the vibration of song, changes the whole
universe. The boy shying a stone from one tree to another alters the
center of gravity for the earth. And if the movements of dead leaves
and stones are events unchangeably written down in nature, how much
more are living hopes and thoughts. The soul is more sensitive than
the thermometer, more delicate than the barometer, and all its
processes are registered. Thoughts are events that stain the mind
through in fast colors. Did man but know it, no event falls through
memory's net.

It helps us to understand the immortality of memory to notice the
provision made in nature for revealing hidden facts and forces. To-day
chemistry shows us how events done in darkness shall be revealed in
light, and the deeds of the closet be proclaimed from the housetop.
In olden times princes communicated with each other by messengers.
Then it was necessary to guard against the dispatch falling into the
hands of the enemy, so between the lines of the apparent message was a
dispatch traced in letters as colorless as water. But when the sheet
was held before the blazing fire, the secret writing appeared. Thus in
the kingdom of the soul, nature has provided for causing events to
stand forth from the past. Under stimulus the memory performs the most
astonishing feats. Excitement is a fire that causes the dim record to
stand forth in clearness.

A distinguished lawyer of an Eastern city relates that while engaged
in an argument upon which vast issues depended he suddenly realized
that he had forgotten to guard a most important point. In that hour of
excitement his faculties became greatly stimulated. Decisions,
authorities and precedents long since forgotten began to return to his
mind. Dimly outlined at first, they slowly grew plain, until at length
he read them with perfect distinctness. Mr. Beecher had a similar
experience when he fronted the mob in Liverpool. He said that all
events, arguments and appeals that he had ever heard or read or
written passed before his mind as oratorical weapons, and standing
there he had but to reach forth his hand and seize the weapons as they
went smoking by. All public men have had similar experiences--witness
the testimony of Pitt, Burke and Wendell Phillips. But what event has
such power to restore the records of memory as that secret excitement
when the soul is like an ambassador returned home from a foreign
mission to report before the throne of God? Thus, giving in its
account, what sacred stimulus will fall upon memory!

In every age poets and philosophers have made much of associations as
a restorer of dim memories. Porter has a story of a dinner party in
which a reference to Benedict Arnold was immediately followed by
someone asking the value of the Roman denarius. Reflection shows that
the question was directly suggested by the topic under discussion.
Benedict Arnold suggested Judas Iscariot and the thirty pieces of
silver given him, and therefore the value of the coin which he
received as reward. Similarly there is a tradition that Peter's face
was clouded with sorrow whenever he heard the crowing of a cock.
Bulwer Lytton represents Eugene Aram as scarcely able to restrain a
scream of agony when a friend chanced to drive in near the spot where
in murderous hate he had struck a fatal blow.

Thus, no sin is ever buried, save as a murderer buries his victim
under a layer of thin sand. But let him pass that way, and a skeleton
arm starts up and points to heaven and to the evil doer. The
philosopher affirms that the "memory of the past can never perish
until the tree or the river or the sea" with which the dark memory is
associated has been blotted out of existence. Thus, the law of
association ever works to bring back the ghastly phantom, to chill the
blood and sear the brain. Nothing is ever forgotten. One touch, one
sight, one sound, the murmur of the stream, the sound of a distant
bell, the barking of a dog in the still evening, the green path in the
wood with the sunlight glinting on it, the way of the moon upon the
waters, the candlestick of the Bishop for Jean Valjean, the passing of
a convict for Dean Maitland, the drop of blood for Donatello--these
may, through the events associated therewith, turn the heart to stone
and fill the life with a dumb agony of remorse.

Moreover, Shakespeare indicates how conscience in its magisterial
aspects has skill for reviving forgotten deeds. In the laboratory
scientists take two glasses, each containing a liquid colorless as
water and pour them together, when lo! they unite and form a substance
blacker than the blackest ink. As the chemical bath brings out the
picture that was latent in the photographic plate, so in its higher
moods events half-remembered and half-forgotten rise into perfect
recollection. History tells us of the Oriental despot who in an hour
of revelry commanded his butler to slay a prophet whom he had
imprisoned and bring the pale head in upon a charger. Long afterward
there came a day when, sitting in the seclusion of his palace, a
soldier told those around the banqueting-table the story of a
wonder-worker whom he had seen upon his journey. When the banqueters
were wondering who this man was, suddenly the king arose pale and
trembling and cried out. "I know! It is John the Baptist whom I have
beheaded; he is risen from the dead!"

This old-time story tells us that dormant memories are not dead, but
are like hibernating serpents that with warmth lift their heads to
strike. It fulfills, as has been said, the old-time story of the man
groping along the wall until his fingers hit upon a hidden spring,
when the concealed door flew open and revealed the hidden skeleton. It
tells us that much may be forgotten in the sense of being out of mind,
but nothing is forgotten in the sense that it cannot be recalled.
Every thought the mind thinks moves forward in character, even as
foods long forgotten report themselves in flesh and blood. Memory is a
canvas above and the man works beneath it. Every faculty is a brush
with which man thinks out his portrait. Here and now, deceived by
siren's song, each Macbeth thinks himself better than he is. But the
time comes at last when memory cleanses the portrait and causes his
face to stand forth ineffaceable in full revelation.

But memory also hath aspects gracious and most inspiring. "I have
lived well yesterday," said the poet; "let to-morrow do its worst." To
this sentiment the statesman added: "I have done what I could for my
fellows, and my memories thereof are more precious than gold and
pearls." Thus all they who have loved wisdom and goodness will find
their treasures safe in memory's care. Perhaps some precious things do
perish out of life. The melody trembling on the chords after the song
is sung sinks away into silence. The light lingering in the clouds
after the day is done at last dies out in darkness. But as the soul is
consciously immortal through personality, it has an unconscious
immortality through its tool or teaching, through its example or
influence. Time avails not for destroying. God and the soul never
forget.

Wisdom comes to all young hearts who as yet have no past, before whose
feet lies the stream of life, waiting to bear them into the future,
and bids them reflect that maturity, full of successes, is only the
place where the tides of youth have emptied their rich treasures. He
whose yesterday is full of industry and ambition, full of books and
conversation and culture, will find his to-morrow full of worth,
happiness and friendship. But he who gives his memory no treasure to
be garnered, will find his hopes to be only the mirage in the desert,
where burning sands take on the aspect of lake and river. Wisdom comes
also to those who in their maturity realize that the morrow is veiled
in uncertainty, and their tomb is not far distant. It bids them
reflect that their yesterdays are safe, that nothing is forgotten;
that no worthy deed has fallen out of life; that yesterday is a refuge
from conflict, anxiety and fear.

To patriot and parent, to reformer and teacher, comes the inspiring
thought that God garners in His memory every helpful act. No good
influence is lost out of life. Are David and Dante dead? Are not
Tennyson and Milton a thousandfold more alive to-day than when they
walked this earth? Death does but multiply the single voice and
strengthen it. God causes each life to fulfill the legend of the
Grecian traveler, who, bearing homeward a sack of corn, sorrowed
because some had been lost out through a tiny hole; but, years
afterward, fleeing before his enemies along that way, he found that
the seed had sprung up and multiplied into harvests for his hunger.
Thus yesterday feeds in each pilgrim heart the faith that goodness
shall triumph. For memory that is little in man is large in God. The
Infinite One forgets nothing save human frailty and sin. Remembering
the great mind, the eloquent tongue, the large purse, God remembers
also the cup of cold water, and causes the humblest deed to follow its
doer unto the heavenly shores.



THE IMAGINATION AS THE ARCHITECT OF MANHOOD


      "Imagination rules the world."--_Napoleon._

      "The imagination is the very secret and marrow of
      civilization. It is the very eye of faith. The soul
      without imagination is what an observatory would be
      without a telescope."--_Beecher._

      "In such natures the imagination seems to spire up like a
      Gothic cathedral over a prodigiously solid crypt of
      common sense, so that its lightness stands secure on the
      consciousness of an immovable basis."--_Lowell._

      "Man's reason is overhung by the imagination. It rains
      rich treasures for fertilizing the barren soul."--_Anon._

      "By faith Abraham went forth, not knowing whither he
      went."--_Hebrews._



VII

THE IMAGINATION AS THE ARCHITECT OF MANHOOD


Measured by whatsoever standard, Moses was the one colossal man of
antiquity. It may be doubted whether nature has ever produced a
greater mind. When we consider that law, government and education took
their rise in his single brain; when we remember that the
commonwealths of to-day rest upon foundations reared by this jurist of
the desert; when we recall his poetic and literary skill, Moses stands
forth clothed with the proportions and grandeur of an all-comprehending
genius. His intellect seems the more titanic by reason of the obstacles
and romantic contrasts in his career. He was born in the hut of a
slave, but so strikingly did his genius flame forth that he won the
approbation of the great, and passed swiftly from the slave market to
the splendor of Pharaoh's palace.

Fortunately, his youth was not without the refinements and
accomplishments of the schools. For then Egypt was the one radiant
spot upon earth. At a time when Greece was a den of robbers and Rome
was unheard of, Memphis was gloriously attractive. Schools of art and
science stood along the banks of the Nile. From Thebes Pythagoras
carried mathematics into Greece. From Memphis Solon derived his wise
political precepts. In Luxor, architecture and sculpture took their
rise. From Cleopatra's kingdom men stole the obelisks now in New York
and London. Moses' opportunities were fully equaled by his energy and
ambition to excel. Even in his youth he must have been renowned for
his administrative genius.

But his moral grandeur exceeded his mentality. When events compelled a
choice between the luxury of the court and the love of his own people,
he did not hesitate, for he was every inch a hero. In that crisis he
forsook the palace, allied himself with his enslaved brethren, and
went forth an exile of the desert. Nor could any event be more
dramatic than the manner of his return to Pharaoh's palace.
Single-handed, he undertook the emancipation of a nation. Our leaders,
through vast armies, achieved the freedom of our slaves; this soldier,
single-handed, freed three millions of bondsmen. Other generals, with
cannon, have captured castles; this man beat castles down with his
naked fists. And when he had achieved freedom for his people he led
them into the desert, and taught the crude and servile slaves the
principles of law, liberty and government. Under his guidance the mob
became an army; the slaves became patriots and citizens; the savages
were clothed with customs and institutions. His mind became a
university for millions. And from that day until now the columns of
society have followed the name of Moses, as of old the pilgrims
followed the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
Greater name history does not hold, save only the Name that is above
every name.

Wise men will ask, where were the hidings of this man's power? Whence
came his herculean strength? Moses was the father of a race of giants.
He was the representative of brave men in every age, who have laid
foundations upon which others have builded; he was the prototype of
noble leaders who have scattered everywhere the seeds of civilization,
and left others to reap the harvests; he was the forerunner of
innumerable reformers and inventors, to whom it was never given to
enter into the fruit of their labors; of soldiers and heroes who
perished on the scaffold that others might be emancipated; of men like
Huss and Cranmer, whose overthrow and defeat paved the way for others'
victories. Dying, no other man has left behind influences that have
wrought so powerfully or so continuously through the centuries. But
when we search out the springs of his power we are amazed at his
secret. We are told that he endured his tremendous burdens and
achieved the impossible through the sight of the invisible. The sense
of future victory sustained him in present defeat. Through the right
use of the vision faculty he conquered.

Imagination was the telescope by which he saw victory afar off.
Imagination was the tool with which he digged and quarried his
foundations. Imagination was the castle and tower under which he found
refuge from the storms, attacks and afflictions of life. No wing ever
had such power for lifting, no spring ever had such tides for
assuaging thirst. He bore with savages, because afar off he saw the
slaves clothed with the qualities of patriots. He endured the desert,
because imagination revealed a fruitful land flowing with milk and
honey. He survived lawlessness, because he foresaw the day of law and
liberty. He bore up under weight of cares, discouragements and
responsibilities heavy enough to have crushed a score of men, because
he foresaw the day of final triumph. Of old, when that legendary hero
was in the thick of his fight against his enemies, an invisible
friend hovered above the warrior, handing forth spear and sword as
they were needed. So for the great jurist imagination reached up even
into the heavenly armory and plucked such weapons as the hero needed.

Our intellectual tread will be firmer if we define the imagination and
consider its uses. The soul is a city; and the external senses are
gateways through which sweep all the caravans of truth and beauty.
Through the eye gate pass all faces, cities and landscapes. Through
the ear gate pass all sweet sounds. But when the facts of land and sea
and sky have reported themselves to the soul, reason sweeps these
intellectual harvests into the granary of memory for future sowing.
But these harvests must be arranged. In the Orient the merchant who
keeps a general store puts the swords and spears upon one shelf; the
tapestries and rugs upon another; the books and manuscripts upon a
third; and each thing has its own shelf and drawer. So judgment comes
in to sort knowledges, and puts things useful into one intellectual
shelf, things beautiful upon another shelf, and puts things true apart
by themselves.

Afterward when the under-servant, called reason, has accumulated the
materials, when memory has taken care of them, and judgment has
classified all, then the constructive imagination comes in to create
new objects. Working in iron and steel, the imagination of Watt
organizes an engine; working midst the colors beautiful, the
imagination paints pictures; working upon marble it carves statues;
working in wood and stone it rears cathedrals; working in sound it
creates symphonies; working with ideas it fashions intellectual
systems; working in morals it constructs ethical principles; working
toward immortality, it bids all cooling streams, fruitful trees, sweet
sounds, all noble friendships, report themselves beyond the grave. For
faith itself is but the imagination allied with confidence that God is
able to realize man's highest ideals. Imagination therefore is a
prophet. It is a seer for the soul. It toils as artist and architect
and creator. It plants hard problems as seeds, rears these germs into
trees, and from them garners the ripe fruit. It wins victory before
battles are fought. Without it, civilization would be impossible. What
we call progress is but society following after and realizing the
visions, plans and patterns of the imagination.

Now our busy, bustling age is inclined to under-estimate the
imagination. Men cavil at castle-building. The pragmatist jeers at
reveries. Men believe in stores, and goods in them; in factories, and
wealth by them; men believe in houses and horses, but not in ideals.
Nevertheless, thoughts and dreams are the stuff out of which towns and
cities are builded. We may despise the silent dreamer, but in the last
analysis he appears the real architect of states! Immeasurable the
practical power of the vision faculty! The heroes of yesterday have
all been sustained--not by swords and guns, but by the sight of the
invisible!

Here is the old hero in his dungeon in Florence. While he dozed, the
night before he was to be burned, the jailer saw a rare, sweet smile
upon his face. "What is it?" the guard asked. "I hear the sounds of
falling chains, and their clangor is like sweet music in my ears."
Then, with smiling face he went to his martyrdom. And here is Michael
Angelo. Grown old and blind, he gropes his way into the gallery of the
Vatican, where with uplifted face his fingers feel their way over the
torso of Phidias. Lingering by him one day the Cardinal Farnese heard
the old sculptor say: "Great is this marble; greater still the hand
that carved it; greatest of all, the God who fashioned the sculptor. I
still learn! I still learn!" And he too went forward sustained by his
vision of perfect beauty.

And here is John Huss, looking between the iron bars of his prison
upon an army of pikes and spears, massed before his jail; but the
martyr endured his danger by the foresight of the day when the swords
then wielded for repression of liberty of thought would flash for its
emancipation. And here is Walter Scott ruined by the failure of his
publishers, just at the hour when nature whispered that he had
fulfilled his task and earned his respite. But he girded himself anew
for the battle, and sustained his grievous loss through the foresight
of the hour when the last debt would be paid and his again would be a
spotless name. And here is that youth, Emerson, looking out upon a
world full of noise and strife, full of the cries of slaves and the
warfare of zealots. He was sustained by the foresight of a day when
God would breathe peace o'er all the scene. With hope shining in his
face, he began to "take down men's idols with such reverence that it
seemed an act of worship." And what shall we more say? By the sight of
the invisible, Dante endured his scaffold; the heroes, hunted like
partridges upon the mountains, endured their caves and the winter's
cold; martyrs endured the scourge and fagot. In every age, the great,
by the sight of the invisible, have been lifted into the realms of
tranquillity. Outwardly, there may have been the roar and boom of
guns, but inwardly men were lutes with singing harps. As the
householder sitting by his blazing hearth thinks not of the sleet and
hail falling on the roof of slate, so the soul abides in peace over
which has been reared the castle and covert of God's presence.

How signal a place does the imagination hold in the realm of science
and invention! Reason itself is only an under-servant. It has no
creative skill. Memory makes no discoveries. But the imagination is a
wonder-worker. One day, chancing upon a large bone of the mammoth in
the Black Forest, Oken, the German naturalist, exclaimed: "This is a
part of a spinal column." The eyes of the scientist saw only one of
the vertebræ, but to that one bone his imagination added frame, limb
and head, then clothed the skeleton with skin, and saw the giant of
animals moving through the forest. In that hour the imagination
wrought a revolution in the science of anatomy. Similarly, this
creative faculty in Göethe gave botany a new scientific basis. Sitting
in his favorite seat near the castle of Heidelberg one day, the great
poet was picking in pieces an oak leaf. Suddenly his imagination
transformed the leaf. Under its touch the central stalk lifted itself
up and became the trunk of the tree; the veins of the leaf were
extended and became boughs and branches; each filament became a leaf
and spray; the imagination revealed each petal and stamen and pistil,
as after the leaf type, and gave a new philosophy to the science of
herbs and shrubs. When a pistachio tree in Paris with only female
blossoms suddenly bore nuts, the mind of a scientist suggested that
some other rich man had imported a tree with male flowers, and careful
search revealed that tree many miles away.

And in every department of science this faculty bridges over chasms
between discovered truths. Even Newton's discovery was the gift of
imagination. When the eyes of the scientist saw the falling apple it
was his vision faculty that leaped through space and saw the falling
moon. When the western trade winds, blowing for weeks, had cast the
drift wood upon the shores of Spain, Columbus' eyes fell not only upon
the strange wood but also upon a pebble caught in the crevice. But his
imagination leaped from the pebble to the Western continent of which
the stone was a part, and from the tree to the forest in which it
grew.

This faculty has performed a similar work in the realm of mechanics.
Watt tells us that his engine worked in his mind years before it
worked in his shop. In his biography, Milton recognizes the beauty of
the trees and flowers he culled from earth's landscapes and gardens,
but in his "Paradise Lost," his imagination beheld an Eden fairer than
any scene ever found on earth. Napoleon believed that every battle was
won by the imagination. While his soldiers slept, the great Corsican
marshaled his troops, hurled them against the enemy, and won the
victory in his mind the night before the battle was fought. Even the
orator like Webster must be described as one who sees his argument in
the air before he writes it upon the page, just as Handel thought he
heard the music falling from the sky more rapidly than his hand could
fasten the notes upon the musical bars. Thus every new tool and
picture, every new temple or law or reform, has been the imagination's
gift to man.

Nor has the case been different with men in the humbler walks of life.
Multitudes are doomed to delve and dig. Three-fourths of the race live
on the verge of poverty. The energies of most men are consumed in
supporting the wants of the body. It is given to multitudes to descend
into the coal mine ere the day is risen, to emerge only when night has
fallen. Other multitudes toil in the smithy or tend the loom. The
division of labor has closed many avenues for happiness and culture.
The time was when the village cobbler was primarily a citizen, and
only incidentally a shoemaker. In the old New England days the cobbler
owned his garden and knew the orchard; owned his horse and knew the
care of animals; had his special duties in relation to school and
church, and, therefore, was a student of all public questions. But
tending a machine that clinches tacks, cabins and confines the soul.
The man who begins as a citizen ends an appendage to a wheel. The life
of many becomes a treadmill existence. Year in and year out they tend
some spindle. Now this drudgery of modern life threatens happiness and
manhood. Therefore it was ordained that while the hand digs the mind
may soar.

While Henry Clay's hands were hoeing corn in that field in Kentucky,
through his imagination the young orator was standing in the halls of
Congress. What orations he wrote! What arguments he fashioned! Each
time his hoe cut down a weed, his mind with an argument hewed down an
opponent. Never was there a tool for hoeing corn like unto the
imagination! Christine Nilsson tells that once she toiled as a flower
girl at the country fairs in Sweden. But all the time she delved she
was dreaming, and by her very dreams making herself strong against
the day when she would charm vast audiences with celestial music. What
battles the plowboys have fought in dreams! What orations they have
pronounced! What reforms they have achieved! What tools invented! What
books written! What business reared! Thus the imagination shortens the
hours of labor and sweetens toil. While the body tires, the soul soars
and sings.

This young foreigner newly arrived in our city digs downward with his
spade, but his imagination works upward into the realm of the
invisible. He endures the ditch and the spade through foresight of the
day when his playmate will come over the sea; when together they will
own a little house, and have a garden with vines and flowers, with a
little path leading down to "the spring where the water bubbles out
day and night like a little poem from the heart of the earth;" when
they will have a little competence, so that the sweet babe shall not
want for knowledge. By that dream the youth sustains his loneliness
and poverty; by that dream he conquers his vices and passions; at last
through that dream he is lifted up to the rank of a patriot and worthy
citizen. Nor shall you find one hard-worked man caught to-morrow in
life's swirl who does not endure the strife, the rivalry and the
selfishness of the street with this gift divine. It is the noblest
instrument of the soul. Thereby are the heavens opened. Imagination is
the poor man's friend and saviour. Imagination is God whispering to
the soul what shall be when time and the divine resources have
accomplished their work upon man.

And when imagination has achieved for man, his progress, happiness,
and culture, it goes on to help him to gain personal worth and
character. Above every noble soul hangs a vision of things higher,
better and sweeter. It causes the best men even in their best moods to
feel that better things still are possible. By sweet visions it tempts
men upward, just as of old the bees were lured onward by the honey
dropped through the hunter's hands. The vision of a higher manhood
discontents men with to-day's achievement and takes the flavor out of
yesterday's victory. In such hours it is not enough that men have
bread and raiment, or are better than their fellows. The soul is
filled with nameless yearnings and longings. The deeper convictions,
long hidden, begin to stir and strain, even as in June the seed aches
with its hidden harvest.

Though the youth still pursues, he never overtakes his ideal. In the
process of transmutation into life the ideal is injured and dwarfed.
Just as the poet's vision is transcendently more beautiful than the
song he writes upon the page; as the artist's dream is a
glorious-creation, but his picture is only a photograph thereof; as
the musician's song or symphony is but an echo of the ethereal music
he heard in his soul, so every purpose and ideal is marred in the
effort to give it expression and embodiment.

These children of aspiration hold the secret of all progress for
society. Just as of old artists drew the outline of glowing and
glorious pictures, and then with bits of colored glass and precious
stones filled up the mosaic, causing angels and seraphs to stand forth
in lustrous beauty, so imagination lifts up before the youth its
glowing plans and purposes, and asks him to give himself to the
details of life in filling it up and perfecting a glorious character.
The patterns of life are only given upon that holy mount where, midst
clouds and darkness, dwell God and the higher imagination.

But if the imagination has its use, it has its abuse also. If visions
of truth and beauty can exalt, visions of vice can debase and degrade.
In that picture where Faust and Satan battle together for the
scholar's soul, the angels share in the conflict. Plucking the roses
of Paradise, they fling them over the battlements down upon the heads
of the combatants. When the roses fall on Faust they heal his wounds;
when they fall on Satan they turn into coals of fire. Thus the
imagination casts inspirations down upon the pure, but smites the evil
into the abyss. The miseries of men of genius like Burns are perpetual
warnings to youth against the riotings of imagination. There are
poems, also novels and lurid scenes in the city, hanging pictures
before the imagination and scorching the soul like flames of fire. For
as of old so now, what a man imagineth in his heart that he is. For
not what a man does outwardly, but what he dreams inwardly, determines
his character.

Most men are better than we think, but some men are worse. As steam in
the boiler makes itself known by hisses, so the evil imaginings heave
and strain, seeking escape. Many forbear vice and crime through fear;
their conscience is cowardice; if they dared they would riot through
life like the beasts of the field; if all their inner imaginings were
to take an outward expression in deeds, they would be scourges,
plagues and pests. In the silence of the soul they commit every vice.
But they who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind; the revealing day
will come when the films of life shall be withdrawn, and the
character shall appear faithful as a portrait, and then all the
meanness and sliminess shall be seen to have given something to the
soul's picture. Oh, be warned against these dreams, all ye young
hearts! The indulgence of the imagination is like the sultriness of a
summer's day; what began so fair ends with sharp lightnings and
thunder. How terrible is this word to evil-doers! "As a man thinketh
in his heart, so is he."

It is also given to this vision faculty to redeem men out of
oppression and misfortune, and through its intimations of royalty to
lend victory and peace. Oft the days are full of storms and
turbulence; oft events grow bad as heart can wish; full oft the next
step promises the precipice. There are periods in every career when
troubles are so strangely increased that the world seems like an orb
let loose to wander widely through space. In these dark hours some
endure their pain and trouble through dogged, stoical toughness. Then
men imitate the turtle as it draws in its head and neck, saying to
misfortune: "Behold the shell, and beat on that." But, God be thanked!
victory over trouble has been ordained. In the blackest hour of the
storm it is given to the vision faculty to lift man into the realm of
tranquillity. As travelers in the jungle climb the trees at night and
draw the ladder up after them, and dwell above the reach of wild
beasts and serpents, so the soul in its higher moods ascends into the
realms of peace and rest. In that dark hour just before Jesus Christ
entered into the cloud and darkness, and fronted His grievous
suffering, He called His disciples about Him and uttered that
discourse beginning: "Let not your hearts be troubled." Strange wonder
words; words of matchless genius and beauty.

Moreover, the vision faculty furnishes man his idea and picture of
God. Many suppose that all that is necessary to understand the divine
nature is that it should be stated distinctly in language. Greater
error there could not be. There can be no language for causing a
little child to understand the larger truths of heroism, art or
government. The unripe cannot understand the mature. Each mind must
paint its own picture of God. Nature itself is but a palette upon
which God draws her portrait. Reason furnishes the materials and
truths about God, and the imagination unites them in some noble
conception of His all-helpful nature. Everything in nature that has
power or beauty or benefit has received it from God. Moving along the
Alpine valleys the traveler sees huge bowlders lying in the stream,
and, looking to the mountain side, his eye rests upon the very cliff
from which the bowlder fell. Thus discerning the noble qualities in
mother or patriot, in hero or friend, we trace their beautiful
qualities back to God, from whom all noble souls borrow their
excellence. In the largest sense all the elements of power in sea and
sky and sun, all the beauty of the fields and forests, of summers and
winters, are letters in nature's alphabet for spelling out the name of
God. As a diamond has many facets, and every one reflects the sun, so
the universe itself is a gem whose every facet reflects the mind and
genius of God.

When reason has culled out of life and nature everything that excites
awe or admiration, everything that represents bounty and beauty, then
imagination lifts up all these ideals and sweeps them together and
melts them into one glowing and glorious conception of the God of
power, wisdom and love. But even then the heart whispers: "He is that,
and infinitely more than that, even as the sun is more than the little
taper man has made." But if the reason and memory, through misuse,
furnish but few of the truths about God, and if the imagination has
been weakened in its power, then how poor the picture the soul paints!

What scant, feeble portraits of God some men have! What can an Eskimo,
whose highest conception of summer is a stunted bush, know of tropical
orchards, of luscious peach, pear and plum? If the student has seen
only the broken fragments of Phidias, what can he know of the
Parthenon as it once stood in the zenith of its perfection, in the
splendor of its beauty? But if man's reason can cull out all the
lustrous facts of nature and history, and if his imagination has
strength and skill to bring them all together, then how beautiful will
be the face and name of God! That name will fill his soul with music.
That thought will set his heart vibrating with tumultuous joy. If all
the air were filled with invisible bells, and angels were the ringers,
and music fell in waves as sweet as melted amethyst and pearl, we
should have that which would answer to the sweetness that by day and
night rains down upon the hearts of those who approach God--not
through the eye nor ear, not through argument nor judgment, but
through the heart, through the imagination, as they endure, beholding
Him who is invisible.



THE ENTHUSIASM OF FRIENDSHIP


      "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise."--_Solomon._

      "The only way to have a friend is to be one."--_Emerson._

      "A talent is perfected in solitude; a character in the
      stream of the world."--_Göethe._

      "It is certain that either wise bearing or ignorant
      carriage is caught as men take diseases, one of another;
      therefore let men take heed of their
      company."--_Shakespeare._

      "Beyond all wealth, honor or even health, is the
      attachment we form to noble souls, because to become one
      with the good, generous and true, is to become, in a
      measure, good, generous and true ourselves."--_Thomas
      Arnold._

      "Cicero said: 'Friendship can make riches splendid.'
      Friendship can plan many things for its wealth to
      execute. It can plan a good winter evening for a group,
      and it can plan an afternoon for a hundred children. It
      can roll in a Christmas log for a large hearth. It can
      spread happiness to the right and left. It can spend
      money most beautifully and make gold to shine.
      Civilization itself is of the heart."--_Swing._



VIII

THE ENTHUSIASM OF FRIENDSHIP


Destiny is determined by friendship. Fortune is made or marred when
the youth selects his companions. Friendship has ever been the
master-passion ruling the forum, the court, the camp. The power of
love is God-breathed, and life has nothing like love for majesty and
beauty. Civilization itself is more of the heart than of the mind. As
an eagle cannot rise with one wing, so the soul ascends borne up
equally by reason and affection. Plato found the measure of greatness
in a man's capacity for exalted friendship. All the great ones of
history stand forth as unique in some master passion as in their
intellectual supremacy. Witness David and Jonathan, with love
surpassing the love of women. Witness Socrates and his group of
immortal friends. Witness Dante and his deathless love for Beatrice.
Witness Tennyson and his refrain for Arthur Hallam. Witness the
disciples and Christ, with "love as strong as death."

Sweetness is not more truly the essence of music than is love the very
soul of a deep, strong, harmonious manhood. Friendship cheers like a
sunbeam; charms like a good story; inspires like a brave leader; binds
like a golden chain; guides like a heavenly vision. To love alone is
it given to wrestle victoriously with death.

Lord Bacon said: "He who loves solitude is either a wild beast or a
god." The normal man is gregarious. He wants companionship. The very
cattle go in herds. The fishes go in shoals. The bees go in swarms.
And men come together in families and cities. As men go up toward
greatness their need of friendship increases. No mind of the first
order was ever a hermit. Modern literature enshrines the friendships
of the great and makes them memorable. While letters last, society
will never forget Charles Lamb and his companions; Dr. Johnson and his
immortal group; Petrarch and his helpless dependence upon Laura; while
the letters of Abélard and Héloise enshrine them in everlasting
remembrance.

In all literature there is no more touching death-bed scene than that
of the patriarch Jacob. Dying, the Prince forgot his gold and silver,
his herds and lands. Lifted up upon his pillows, in tremulous
excitement he took upon his lips two names--God and Rachel. More than
a score of years had passed since her death, but in that memorable
hour the great man built a monument to her who had fed his joy and
deepened his life.

Friendship carries a certain fertilizing force. All biographers tell
us that each epoch in a hero's life was ushered in by a new friend.
When Schiller met Göethe every latent talent awakened. The poet's
friendship caused the youth to grow by leaps and bounds. Once,
returning home after a brief visit to Göethe's house, one exclaimed:
"I am amazed by the progress Schiller can make within a single
fortnight!" Perhaps this explains why the great seem to come in
groups. Thrust an Emerson into any Concord, and his pungent presence
will penetrate the entire region. Soon all who come within the radius
of his life respond to his presence, as flowers and trees respond with
boughs brilliant and fragrant to the sunshine when spring replaces the
icy winter. After a little time, each Emerson stands girt about with
Hawthornes, Whittiers, Holmeses, and Lowells. The greatness of each
Milton lingers in his friends, Cromwell and Hampden, as the sun
lingers in the clouds after the day is done. Therefore the great epics
and dramas, from the Iliad to the Idylls of the King, are stories of
friendships. Take love out of our greatest literature, and it is like
taking a sweet babe out of the clothes that cover it. Man listens
eagerly to tales of eloquence and heroism, but loves most of all the
stories of the heart. God is not more truly the life of dead matter
than is love the very life of man.

Now, the secret of eminence in the realm of industry or art or
invention is this: that the worker has wrought in his luminous mental
moods. In its passive, inert states, the mind is receptive. Then
reason is like a sheathed sword. Thought must be struck forth as fire
is struck from flint. But under inspirational moods the mind begins to
glow and kindle. Then the reason of the orator, the poet or reformer
ceases to be like a taper, needing a match to light it, and becomes a
sun, blazing with its own radiance. Spencer wrote: "By no political
alchemy can we get golden conduct out of leaden instincts." Thus there
is no necromancy by which the mind can get superior work out of its
inferior moods.

When, then, reason approaches its task under the inspiration of
enthusiasm and love, nature yields up all her secrets. Here is the
author sitting down to write. Memory refuses facts, and reason
declines to create fictions. The mind is dull and dead. Suddenly the
step of some friend long absent is heard at the door. Then how do the
faculties awake! Through all the long winter evening, the mind brings
forth its treasures of wit, of anecdote, of instructive fact and
charming allusion. Here is some Edison, with an enthusiasm for
invention, who found his electric lamps that burned well for a month
had suddenly gone out, and read in the morning paper the judgment of
the scientist that his electric bulb was a good toy but a poor tool.

In his enthusiasm for his work, the man exclaimed, "I will make a
statue of that professor, and illumine him with electric lamps, and
make his ignorance memorable." Then Edison went away to begin a series
of experiments that drove sleep from his eyes and slumber from his
eyelids through five successive days and nights, until love and
enthusiasm helped reason to wrest victory from defeat.

Here is the boy Mozart, with his love of music, toiling through the
long days at tasks he hated, and in the darkening twilight stealing
into the old church, where he poured out his very soul over the organ
keys, sobbing out his mournful melodies. Here is Lincoln, with his
enthusiasm for books, coming in at night all aching with cold and wet,
and rising when parents slept, to roll another log upon the blazing
hearth, while midst the grateful heat his eager eyes searched out the
treasures that lay along the line of the printed page, until his mind
grew rich and strong. And here are the Scottish clansmen and patriots,
for love's sake, following the noble chieftain, their hearts all
aflame, who, if they had a hundred lives, would gladly have given them
all for their heroic leader. And here is the orator rising to plead
the cause of the savage, and of the slave, before men who feel no
sympathy, and are as castles locked and barred. But the love for the
poor shines in Wendell Phillips' eyes, trembles in his voice, pleads
in his thinking, until the multitude become all plastic to his
thought, and his smile becomes their smile, his tear their tear, the
throb of his heart the throb of the whole assembly. Here is the
Scottish girl, in love with truth, standing midst the sea, within the
clutches of the incoming tide. She is bound down midst the rising
waters. Doomed is she and soon must die. But her eyes are turned
upward toward the sky, and a great sweet light is on her face that
tells us enthusiasm and love in her have been victorious over death.
Truly, that Greek did well to call enthusiasm "a god within," for love
is stronger than death.

The historian tells us that all the liberties, reforms and political
achievements of society have been gained by nations thrilling and
throbbing to one great enthusiasm. The Renaissance does not mean a
single Dante, nor Boccaccio, but a national enthusiasm and a "god
within all minds." The Reformation is not a single Savonarola, nor
Luther, but a universal enthusiasm and "a god within," all heart and
conscience. If we study these movements of society as typified by
their leaders, these heroes stand forth before us with hearts all
aflame and with minds that grow like suns. In times of great danger
men develop unsuspected physical strength, and the force of the whole
body seems to rush upward and compact itself with the thumb or fist.
And in the mental world lawyers and orators tell us that at heated
crises, when great issues hang upon their words, the memory achieves
feats otherwise impossible. In these hours the mind becomes luminous.
All the experience of the past passes before the orator with the
majesty of a mighty wave or a rushing storm. Similarly, the hero
inflamed with love or liberty becomes invincible. When some Garibaldi
or Lincoln appears, and the people behold his greatness and beauty and
magnanimity, every heart catches the sacred passion. Then the
narrow-minded youth tumbles down his little idols, sets up diviner
ideals, and finds new measurements for the thrones of heaven and
earth. Then, in a great abandonment of love, the nation pours out its
heart for the cause it loves.

Froude tells us that self-government has cost mankind hundreds of wars
and thousands of battle-fields. Tennyson writes of the boy who was
following his father's plow when the share turned up a human skull.
There, where the plow stayed, the patriot had fallen in battle.
Sitting upon the furrow with the child upon his knee, the father
caused his boy to see a million men in arms fighting for some great
principle; to see the battle-fields all red with blood; the hillsides
all billowy with graves; caused him to hear the shrieking shot and
shell; pointed out the army of cripples hobbling homeward. When the
child shivered in fear the father whispered, "Your ancestors would
have gladly died daily for the liberty they loved." And if to-day good
men brood over the wrongs of Armenia, and breathe a silent prayer for
those who struggle against desperate odds and "the unspeakable Turk,"
and if to-morrow and on the morrow's morrow editors and orators unite
in words of sympathy and encouragement for the patriots fighting in
some Cuba, it is because we believe the love of liberty implies the
right to liberty; that despotism corrupts manhood; that
self-government is the best for industry, the best for integrity, the
best for intelligence. If the red plowshare of war must pass through
the soil of the nations, may it bury forever the seeds of oppression
and injustice, and sow for future generations the seeds of liberty,
intelligence and religion!

Moreover, an overmastering passion is the secret of all eminence in
scholarship. Each autumn the golden gates of learning swing wide to
welcome the thousands who enter our colleges and universities. If it
were possible for each young student to sit down and speak with the
library and laboratory as with a familiar friend, we would hear
wisdom's voice uttering one report: "I love them that love me." None
of those forms of mental wealth called art or science or literature,
enters the mind unasked or stays unurged. All the shelves are heavy
with mental treasure, but only the eager mind may harvest it. Beauty
sleeps in all the quarries, but only the eager chisel wakens it.
Wealth is in every crack and crevice of the soil, but nature forbids
the sluggard to mine it. Those forms of paradise called fame,
position, influence, stand with gates open by day and night, but the
cherubim with flaming swords wave back all idle youth. When the
Grecian king set forth upon his expedition he stayed his golden
chariot at the market-place. Lifting up his voice he forbade any man's
body to enter his chariot whose heart remained behind. Thus the mind
is a chariot that sweeps no unwilling student upward toward those
heights where wisdom and happiness dwell.

To-day our young men and women stand in the midst of arts, vast,
beautiful and useful; they are surrounded by all the facts of man's
marvelous history; they breathe an atmosphere charged with refinement.
But the youth who hates his books might as well be the poor savage
lying on the banks of the Niger, whose soul sits in silence and
starves to death in a silent dungeon. Should a kind heaven give us the
power to select some charmed gift to be dropped down upon our youth,
parents and teachers could ask nothing better than that each young
heart should storm the gates of learning with such enthusiasm as
belonged to Milton or Epictetus. The Roman slave had one leg broken
and twisted by a cruel master, but in his enthusiasm for knowledge he
used the dim light of his cell for copying the thoughts of great
authors, and lay awake at night reflecting upon the problems of life
and death with man's mysterious nature, and so made himself immortal
by his devotion to the truth. For the student, enthusiasm is indeed "a
god within." Ignorance is want of mental animation. The scientist
tells us the Patagonians sleep eighteen hours each day, with a
tendency to doze through the other six. Their minds are unable to make
any kind of movement, and the chief once told Sir John Lubbock that he
would love to talk were it not that large ideas made him very sleepy.

But it is all in vain that man has reason or learning or imagination
if these talents lie sleeping. Not long ago the ruins of an old temple
were discovered in Rome. When the spade had turned up the soil, lo,
seeds long hidden awakened to cover the soil with rich verdure. For
2,000 years these germs had slept, waiting for the day of warmth and
quickening. Thus each faculty of man is latent, until some powerful
enthusiasm passes over it. Indeed, mental power is not in the
multitude of knowledge acquired, but in the powerful enthusiasms that
drive the informed soul along some noble path. Power is not in the
engine, but in the steam that pounds the piston; and the soul is a
mechanism driven forward by those motives called enthusiasm for
learning or influence or wealth. Success might be defined as a full
casting of the heart into some worthy cause.

It is high time that our young men should recognize that prosperity
and wealth are won only when the mind moves enthusiastically along the
pathway of industry. Our young men have been deeply injured by the
fact that now and then some one stumbles upon sudden wealth, or by
accident gains great treasure. But for every one such fortunate
person, there are ten thousand who have failed of success for want of
a purposeful enthusiasm.

The Persians have a strange story of the Golconda diamond mines. Once
Ali Hafed sat with his wife looking out upon the river that flowed
through their farm. Soon their children came through the trees
bringing with them a traveler. In confidence the stranger showed Ali
Hafed a diamond that shone like a drop of condensed sunshine. He told
his host that one large diamond was worth whole mines of copper and
silver; that a handful would make him a prince; that a mine of
diamonds would buy a kingdom. That night wealthy Ali Hafed went to bed
a poor man, for poverty is discontent. When the morning came he sold
his farm for gold, and went forth in search of diamonds. Years passed.
Old and gray he returned in rags and poverty. He found his dear ones
had all died in penury. He also found that the peasant who bought his
farm was now a prince. One day, digging in the white sand in the
stream at the foot of the garden, the peasant saw a shining something
that sent his heart to his mouth. Running his hands through the sand,
he found it sown with gems. Thus were discovered the Golconda mines.
Had Ali Hafed dug in his own garden, instead of starvation, poverty
and a broken heart, he would have owned gems that made nations rich.

This legend reminds us how youth constantly throws away its
opportunities. Each day some man exchanges a farm in Pennsylvania for
the prairies of Dakota, only to find that the hills he despised have
developed oil that makes his successor rich. Each year purposeful men
grow rich out of trifles that the careless cast away. The sewers of
Paris have made one man wealthy with treasure beyond that of gold
mines. The wastes of a cotton mill founded the fortune of one of the
greatest families in England. Peter Cooper used to say that he built
the Cooper Institute by picking up the refuse that the butcher shops
threw aside. A boy tugging over a shoe-last in Haverhill, Mass., was
told by his mother to give himself to making better and stronger
lasts. Twenty years of enthusiastic study ended, and he was president
of one of the greatest of our railways. In 1870, a youth sat upon the
slag heap of a mine in California. But he gave his full mind to each
clod, and going away for a few weeks he returned with a machine that
extracted greater treasure from the slag than men had ever gained from
the mines. All wise men unite in telling us that ours is a world where
prosperity is won by fidelity to details, and that wealth comes
through little improvements. But, best of all, a purposeful enthusiasm
gives mental wealth, and achieves a treasure beyond gold and rubies--a
worthy character.

Nor is there any dross that love will not refine away, nor any vice
that love can not expel from the heart. Wordsworth was so impressed
with the evil of avarice that he could compare it only to a poisoned
vine that wrapped itself so tightly about his favorite tree that vine
and tree became one life, and the removal of the one meant the death
of the other. But in her most famous story George Eliot tells us that
avarice passes utterly away before the touch of love. Silas Marner was
the victim of blackest ingratitude. His friend was a thief, who thrust
upon him the blame of a black crime. Suddenly, this innocent man found
all homes closed to his hand, all shops locked to his tools, while
even the market refused his wares. Through two years and more, right
bravely he held his head aloft and looked all men in the face. At
length hunger and want drove him forth a wanderer. Then he shook off
the dust of his feet against his false friends, and cursed their
firesides. Kindness in him soured into cynicism, his sweetness became
bitterness, his faith in God and man fluttered feebly for awhile, then
lay without a single pulse-beat. In anger he cursed God, but could not
die.

Journeying afar, the traveler at length stayed his steps in a distant
village. Then in toil he sought to forget. Rising a great while before
day, he wrought with the activity of a spinning insect; and while men
slept, his loom hummed far into the night. When fifteen years had
passed, he had much gold and was a miser. Under the brick floor he
secreted his treasure. Each night he locked the door, shuttered his
windows, and poured upon the table his gold and silver. He bathed his
hands in the yellow river. He piled his guineas up in heaps. Sometimes
he slept with arms around his precious money-bags. One evening he
lifted the bricks of the floor, to find that the hole was empty.
Benumbed with terror, he went everywhither seeking his treasure. He
kneaded his bed, swept his oven, peered into each crack and crevice.
When the full truth fell upon the miser, he sent forth a wild, ringing
scream--the soul's cry of desolation. Then in his grief he rushed into
the rain and the wild night, and wandered on and on, stupefied with
pain. Not until morning came did he stagger in out of the storm.
Entering, he saw the glint of yellow by his hearth. With a wild cry he
sprang forward and clutched it. But it was not gold; it was something
better--it was the yellow locks of a sleeping child. Broken-hearted,
with nothing else to live for, Silas Marner took the deserted babe
into his bosom. As the weeks went on, the little creature nestled into
his heart. For the child's sake he turned again to his loom; love
taught him thrift and industry. For the child's sake he bought books
and hived knowledge; love made a scholar of him. For the child's sake
he planted vines, roses and all sweet flowers; love made him an
artist. For the child's sake he bought carpets for the bare floors and
pictures for the wall; love had made him generous. For the child's
sake he knelt one night and recited her prayer; love would fain make
him a Christian. But he hated men, and could not forget their
ingratitude. One day a rich man's carriage stopped before his cottage.
The lord of the mansion told a strange story--how this beautiful girl
of eighteen was his daughter. In that hour the girl, tall and
beautiful, turned away from palace, lands, position, and, for the love
she bore him, put her arms around Silas Marner and refused to leave
him. Then something in him gave way, and Silas Marner wept. Then
confidence in man and God was his again. Love had destroyed avarice
and purged away his sin. For love is a civilizer; it makes saints out
of savages. As an armor of ice melts before the sun, so all vice and
iniquity disappear in the presence of an overmastering affection.

It remains for us to consider that the absence of an enthusiastic
devotion to integrity and the law of God explains the moral disasters
and shipwrecks that have increased the tears and sorrows of mankind.
Recently the people of this land opened their morning papers only to
be deeply shocked by a rehearsal of grievous disasters, not all of
which were physical. It seems that an awful cyclone had swept through
a Western community, twisting the orchards, destroying houses and
barns, and leaving behind a swath wide and black with destruction. In
addition, the foreign news told of a volcano whose crater had suddenly
poured forth a river of lurid lava, which, sweeping down the mountain
side, consumed the homes of the flying multitude. But the saddest
disaster was reserved to the last. It told of the shame and sorrow,
from which there is no recovery, that had befallen the parents and
friends of three young men, hitherto held in high honor. It seems that
for many years these men had been honored by their friends, and
trusted by the banks in which they were employed. But in a dark hour
they determined to cease to be gentlemen, preferring, rather, to join
the ranks of thieves. Despising every principle of honor, the gold
which employers committed to their care was taken, not to the safety
vault, but distributed among gamblers and evil persons. And our heavy
sorrow is increased when we read in our commercial reports that last
year 625 men went astray as embezzlers, robbing the people in
forty-five states of $25,234,112. The time seems to have come for this
nation to sit down in sackcloth and ashes.

To all good men comes the reflection that either this immorality must
cease its ravages, or this nation will be irretrievably disgraced.
Were it possible to search out these unhappy men, some of them wearing
the convict's garb, and some wandering as fugitives in foreign lands,
henceforth to be men "without a country," and question each for the
cause of his deep disgrace, from all would come this shameful
confession: "I loved evil and hated the law of God." Not one could
confess to passionate, enthusiastic devotion to the divine laws. But
every tree not rooted goes down before the storm, and every ship
unanchored midst the rocks will go to pieces when the wind rises.
Would that we could to-day cause the laws of God to stand forth as
sharply defined as mountain peaks before the eyes of all young men;
would that we could also kindle in each a passionate love and loyal
affection for these holy laws. If the youth of to-day are to be the
leaders of to-morrow, and are ever to have power to stir their
fellows, to correct abuses, revolutionize society, or organize
history, they must, with the enthusiasm of love, ally themselves with
God and His law, clothing that law with flesh until it becomes
visible, clothing it with voice until it becomes eloquent, thrilling
it with power until it becomes triumphant. Only love fulfills law!

Most of all does man need the enthusiasm of love toward his God and
Saviour. In the olden time Plato expressed a wish to have the moral
law become a living personage, that beholding, mankind might stand
amazed and entranced at her beauty. The philosopher felt that
abstractions were too cold to kindle the soul's enthusiasm. As
planets are removed from the sun, their light and heat lessen; their
flowers fade; their fruits lack luster; their summers shorten. Thus
Neptune stands in the midst of perpetual ice and winter, without tree
or bird or human voice. But as our earth approaches the direct rays of
the sun, its beauty increases, its harvests grow heavy.

As if to fulfill Plato's desire, Jesus Christ drew near to our world,
not to chill man's heart, but to strengthen his affection, refine his
reason, enlarge his horizon. How admirable Christ's words, how
illustrious His work, how divine His character! The philosopher
describes man, but Jesus Christ loves man, weeps for man, dies for
man. Dante inspires, but Jesus Christ gives life. Shakespeare shines,
but Jesus Christ uplifts. History causes the heroes of yesterday to
pass before the mind, surrounded by applauding multitudes. When
Napoleon entered Paris the people ran together with one accord, and
the tides of enthusiasm rose like a mountain freshet. When Garibaldi
entered Florence, when Kossuth passed up Broadway in New York, when
Grant, returning homeward, entered our own city, the streets were
filled solidly with multitudes who forgot hunger and exhaustion,
exalted by hero-worship.

But the divine man never stood forth in full proportion until Jesus
Christ stepped upon this planet. What strength! What gentleness!
Behold His exquisite sympathy! Behold the instinct of confidence, that
drew little children to His arms! How did men, defiled within and
without, throng round Him, while His presence wrought the miracle of
miracles in cleansing them! Then for the first time in history did
disheveled ones so feel the beauty of goodness that an irresistible
enthusiasm drew them about Him to kiss the very hem of His garment.
All the excellencies of life, and more, unite in Him; the orator's
persuasive speech; the artist's love of beauty; the scholar's passion
for truth; the patriot's love of country. His also is more than the
love of mother, lover, friend, for his is the love of Saviour. To-day
He rises over each soul in such majesty of excellence as to include
the excellencies of everything in heaven and everything on earth. As
the clouds sometimes, after hanging for days and nights in the
atmosphere, at length come together and pour down their refreshing
showers, so let all that is deepest and richest and sweetest in man's
thought and affection pour itself out before Him who is worthy of the
world's anthem. For His mind will guide, His mercy forgive, His love
redeem, His hand lead--not into the abyss of death, but unto the
heavenly heights. He who with Dante looks upward to-day may behold the
Saviour's divine chariot "sweeping along the confines of heaven, a
sweet light above it, its wheels almost blocked with flowers."



CONSCIENCE AND CHARACTER

      "There is a higher law than the constitution."--_Seward._

    "Whatever creed be taught, or land be trod,
    Man's conscience is the oracle of God."
                       --_Byron._

      "Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of
      celestial fire called conscience."--_Washington._

      "Trust that man in nothing who has not a conscience in
      everything."--_Sterne._

      "If you can find a place between the throne of God and
      the dust to which man's body crumbles, where the fatal
      responsibilities of law do not weigh upon him, I will
      find a vacuum in nature. They press upon him from God out
      of eternity and from the earth out of nature, and from
      every department of life, as constant and all-surrounding
      as the pressure of the air."--_Beecher._



IX

CONSCIENCE AND CHARACTER


Von Humboldt said that every man, however good, has a yet better man
within him. When the outer man is unfaithful to his deeper
convictions, the hidden man whispers a protest. The name of this
whisper in the soul is conscience. And never had monarch aspect so
magisterial as when conscience terrified King Herod into confession.
The cruel, crafty despot had slain John the Baptist to gratify the
revenge of the beautiful Jezebel, his wife, reproved of John for her
outrageous sins. But soon passed from memory that hateful night when
the blood of a good man mingled with the red wine of the feast. Luxury
by day and revelry by night caused the hateful incident to be
forgotten. Soon a full year had passed over the palace with its silken
seclusion. One day, when the dead prophet had long been forgotten, a
courtier at the king's table told the story of a strange carpenter,
whose name and fame were ringing through the land.

Who is He? asked the feasters, pausing over their spiced wine. Who is
He? asked the women, gossiping over the new sensation. Suddenly,
conscience touched an old memory in Herod's heart. In terror the
despot rose from the banquet. As in the legend, when the murderer's
finger touched the gaping wound the blood began again to flow--a
silent witness against the unsuspected but guilty friend, so Herod's
conscience opened up again his guilty secret. Memory, thrusting a
hooked pole into "the ocean of oblivion, brought up the pale and
drowned deed." The long-forgotten sin was revealed in all its ghastly
atrocity. It availed nothing that Herod was a Sadducee--the agnostic
of antiquity. For, when conscience spake, all his doubts fell away.
Immortality and responsibility were clear as noonday. Holding a
thousand swords in her hand, conscience attacked the guilty king. Then
were fulfilled Plato's words: "If we could examine the heart of a
king, we would find it full of scars and black wounds." For no slave
was ever marked by his master's scourge as Herod's heart was lashed by
his conscience.

Socrates told his disciples that the facts of conscience must be
reckoned with as certainly as the facts of fire or wood or water. None
may deny the condemnation that weighed upon the soul of Herod or
Judas, or the approval of conscience that transfigured the face of the
martyred Stephen or Savonarola. For all happiness comes only through
peace with one's self, one's record, and one's God. All the great,
from Æschylus and Sophocles to Channing and Webster, have emphasized
man's conscience as the oracle divine. Let the witnesses speak. Here
is the Judge, famous in English history: It became his duty to
sentence a servant for murdering his master. Suddenly, before the
astounded onlookers, the Judge arose and took his place in the dock
beside the prisoner. He stated that, thirty years before, in a distant
province, he had taken the life and property of his master, and
thereby gained his present position and influence. Though he had never
been suspected of crime, he now begged his fellow Judges to condemn
him to the death unto which his conscience had long urged him. Here is
the student of man and things, Dr. Samuel Johnson: In his old and
honored age he goes back to Litchfield to stand with uncovered head
from morning till night in the market-place on the spot where fifteen
years before he had refused to keep his father's book-stall. Despite
the grotesque figure he made, midst the sneers and the rain,
conscience bade him expiate his breach of filial piety. And here is
Channing, the scholar and seer: A child of six years, he lifted his
stick to strike the tortoise, as he had seen older boys do. But in
that moment an inner voice whispered loud and clear: "It is wrong." In
his fright the boy hastened home to fling himself into his mother's
arms. "What was the voice?" he asked. To which his mother answered:
"Men call the voice conscience; but I prefer to call it the voice of
God. And always your happiness will depend upon obedience to that
little voice."

Here also is the great Persian Sadi. One day he found a good man in
the jungle, who had been attacked by a tiger and horribly mutilated.
Despite his dreadful agony, the dying man's features were calm and
serene. "Great God," said he, "I thank thee that I am only suffering
from the fangs of the tiger and not of remorse." And here is Professor
Webster, endungeoned for the murder of Dr. Parkman. One morning he
sent for his jailer and asked to be placed in another cell. "At
midnight," he said, "the prisoners in the next cell tap on the wall
and whisper, 'Thou art a murderer.'" Now there were no prisoners in
the next cell. The whispers were the echoes of a guilty conscience.

Daniel Webster also testifies: Once he was asked what was the greatest
thought that had ever occupied his mind. "Who are here?" "Only your
friends." Then this colossal man answered: "There is no evil we can
not face or flee from but the consequences of duty disregarded. A
sense of obligation pursues us ever. It is omnipresent like the Deity.
If we take to ourselves wings of the morning and dwell in the
uttermost parts of the sea, duty performed or duty violated is still
with us, for our happiness or our misery. If we say that darkness
shall cover us, in the darkness as in the light, our obligations are
yet with us. We can not escape their power nor fly from their
presence. They are with us in this life, will be with us at its close,
and in that scene of inconceivable solemnity which lies yet farther on
we shall find ourselves followed by the consciousness of duty--to pain
us forever if it has been violated, and to console us so far as God
has given us grace to perform it." Weighed against conscience the
world itself is but a bubble. For God himself is in conscience lending
it authority.

We also owe the great dramatists and novelists a debt, in that they
have portrayed and analyzed the essential facts of man's moral life.
That which Shakespeare does for us in "Macbeth," Victor Hugo does in
his "Les Misérables." The latter work, always ranked as one of the
seven great novels, exhibits happiness and character as fruits of
obedience to the soul's inner circle. Jean Valjean was an escaped
convict. Going into a distant province he assumed a new name and began
life again. He invented a machine, amassed wealth, became mayor of the
town, was honored and beloved by all. One evening the good mayor heard
of an old man in another town who had been arrested for stealing
fruit. The officer apprehending him perceived in the old man a
striking resemblance to Jean Valjean. Despite his protests he was
tried as Jean Valjean, and was about to be remanded to prison--this
time for life. Unless some one cleared him he must go to the galleys.
Only Jean Valjean himself can clear the stranger. How clear him? By
confessing his identity and going himself.

In that hour the mayor's brain reeled. He retired to his inner room.
Then the tempest raged in his brain as a cyclone rages through the
trees, twisting off the branches and pulling up the roots. Must he go
back again to the galleys with their profanity and obscenity? Must he
resign his mayoralty and his wealth? Must he give up his life, so
useful and helpful, and all to save a possible year or two of life for
this old man? Were not these two young wards whom he was supporting
more than this one old wreck? Fate had decided. Let the old man go to
the galleys.

Then with muscles tense as steel, with jugular vein all swollen and
purple, Jean Valjean took the two candlesticks given him by the
Bishop, his thorn cane, the coin taken from the boy, and cast all upon
the blazing coals. Soon the flames had licked all up. Then Victor Hugo
says: "Jean Valjean heard a burst of internal laughter." What was it
in him jeering and mocking? At midnight from sheer exhaustion the
mayor slept. Dreaming, he seemed to be in a hall of justice where an
old man was being tried. There were roses in the vase, only sin had
bleached the crimson petals gray. The sunlight came through the
window, only sin had washed the color from the sunbeam and left the
golden rays ashen pale. All the people were silent. At length an
officer touched the mayor and said: "Do you know you have been dead a
long while? Your body lives, but you died when you slew your
conscience." Suddenly a voice said: "Jean Valjean, you may melt the
candlestick, burn your clothes, change your face, but God sees you."
Afterward came a second burst of internal laughter. Then the mayor
arose swiftly, took his horse, drove hard all night and reached the
distant village to enter the courtroom just as the old man was about
to be sent to the galleys. Ascending the prisoner's dock, he confessed
his identity. Victor Hugo tells us that in that hour the judge and the
lawyer saw a strange light upon the mayor's face, and felt a light
within dazzling their hearts. It was the same light that fell on the
German monk's face when before the Emperor at Worms he said: "I cannot
and will not recant!" and then boldly fronted death. Conscience
shining through made Luther's face luminous, as it had made the face
of Moses before him!

As obedience to the behests of conscience has always yielded happiness
and formed character, so disobedience has always destroyed manhood.
The great novelists have exhibited the deterioration of character in
their hero as beginning with a sin against the sense of duty. In
Romola, George Eliot exhibits Tito as a gifted and ideal youth. The
orphan child was adopted by the Greek scholar, who lavished upon him
all the gifts of affection, all the culture and embellishments of the
schools, all the comforts of a beautiful home; and when the longing
for foreign travel came upon the youth the foster-father could not
deny him, but took passage for Tito and himself and sailed for
Alexandria. But the motto of Tito's life was, get all the pleasure
you can, avoid all the pain. Soon the old scholar became a clog and a
burden. One night, conscience battled for its life with Tito. At
midnight the youth arose, unbuckled from his father's waist the
leather belt stuffed with jewels, and fled into the night, leaving the
gray-haired man among strangers whose language he could not speak.

Then this youth sailed away to Florence. There his handsome person,
his Southern beauty, his grace of address, his aptitude for affairs,
won him the admiration of the wisest statesmen and the heart of one of
the noblest of women. But all the time we feel toward this beautiful
youth that same loathing and contempt that we feel toward a beautiful
young tiger. Tito had no conscience toward Romola, no conscience
toward her father's priceless library, no conscience toward the
patriots struggling for the city's liberty; he played the traitor
toward all. His soul was, indeed, sheathed in a glowing and beautiful
body; but it was the corpse sheathed over with flowers and vines; and
so conscience becomes an avenger upon Tito. When the keystone goes
from the arch, all must crash down in ruins. Unconsciously but surely
the youth moved toward his destruction. The day of doom was delayed,
but there came an hour when conscience first drove Tito into the
Arno's swift current, and then became a millstone, that sunk him into
the deep abyss. For ours is a world in which nature and God cannot
afford to permit sin to prosper. Conscience is God's avenger.

Open all the master books, and they portray the same truth. Three of
the seven greatest novels deal with conscience. Seven of the world's
greatest dramas are studies of conscience and of duty. The
masterpieces of Sophocles and Æschylus, of Dante and Milton, of Göethe
and Byron, are all studies of the soul's oracle, that, disobeyed,
hurls man into the abyss, or, followed, becomes wings, lifting him
into the open sky.

Demosthenes said that knowledge begins with definition. What, then, is
conscience? Many misconceptions have prevailed. Multitudes suppose it
to be a distinct faculty. The eye tests colors for beauty, the ear
tests sounds for harmony, the reason tests arguments for truth, and
there is a popular notion that conscience is a distinct faculty,
testing deeds for morality. Many suppose that, when God made man, He
implanted conscience as an automatic moral mechanism, a kind of inner
mind, to act in his absence; but conscience is not a single faculty.
It includes many faculties, and is complex in nature. It has an
intellectual element, and this is distinctly fallible and capable of
education. Witness the Indians, believing it to be right to kill aged
persons. Witness savages of old, sacrificing their children to appease
the gods. Just as there has been an evolution in tools, in laws and in
institutions, so has there been an evolution of the intellectual
element in conscience. Thucydides tells us that the time was in Sparta
when stealing was right. In that far-off time a boy was praised for
exhibiting skill and dexterity in pilfering. Stealing was disgraceful
and wrong only when it was found out, and, if the theft was large and
skillfully done, it won honor--a condition of things that still
prevails in some sections.

Never since man stepped foot upon this planet has there been a time
when conscience, the judge, has praised a David when sinning against
what he believed to be the law of right; never once has it condemned a
Daniel in doing what he believed to be right. In this sense conscience
is, indeed, infallible and is the very voice and regent of God.

Since, therefore, conscience partakes of this divine nature and speaks
as an oracle, what are its uses and functions? Primarily, the moral
sense furnishes a standard and tests actions for righteousness or
iniquity. To its judgment-seat comes reason, with its purposes and
ambitions. When his color sense is jaded the artist uses the sapphire
or ruby to bring his tints up to perfection. And when contact with
selfishness or sordidness has soiled the soul's garments, dulled its
instruments, and lowered its standards, then conscience comes in to
freshen the ideals and to smite vice and vulgarity. In these luminous
hours when conscience causes the deeper convictions to prevail, how
beautiful seem truth and purity and justice! How does the soul revolt
from iniquity, even as the eye revolts from the slough or the nostril
from filth!

Conscience has also relations to judgment. It pronounces upon the
inner motive that colors the deeds, for it is the motive within that
makes the actions without right or wrong. When Coleridge, the
schoolboy, was going along the street thinking of the story of Hero
and Leander and imagining himself to be swimming the Hellespont, he
threw wide his arms as though breasting the waves. Unfortunately, his
hand struck the pocket of a passer-by and knocked out a purse. The
outer deed was that of a pickpocket and could have sent the youth to
jail. The inner motive was that of an imaginative youth deeply
impressed by the story he was translating from the Greek, and that
inner motive made the owner of the purse his friend and sent young
Coleridge to college. Thus, the philosopher tells us, the motive made
what was outwardly wrong to be inwardly right.

Memory, too, is influenced by the moral Faculty. Memory gathers up all
our yesterdays. Often her writing is invisible, like that of a penman
writing with lemon juice, taking note of each transgression and
recording words that will appear when held up to the heat of fire.
Very strangely does conscience bring out the processes of memory. Sir
William Hamilton tells of a little child brought to England at four
years of age. When a few brief summers and winters had passed over his
head, the language of far-off Russia had passed completely out of the
child's mind. Seventy years afterward, stricken with his last illness,
in his delirium the man spoke with perfect ease in the language of
childhood. In moments of extreme excitement, when ships go down or
death is imminent, conscience doth so quicken the mind that all the
deeds and thoughts of an entire career are reviewed within a few
minutes. Scholars have been deeply impressed with this unique fact.
Seeking to interpret it, Walter Scott takes us into the castle where a
foul murder was committed. So deeply did the red current stain the
floor that, though the servants scrubbed and scrubbed and planed and
planed, still the dull red stains oozed up through the oaken planks.
This is the great Scotchman's way of saying that our deeds stain
through the very fiber and substance of the soul.

Looking backward, we see only here and there a peak of remembrance
standing out midst the sea of forgetfulness, even as the islands in
the West Indies stand out midst the ocean. But each of these island
peaks represents a submerged continent. Drain off the sea, and the
mountains ease off toward the foothills and the hills toward the great
plains that make up the hidden land. Thus the isolated memories of the
past are all united, and will at length stand forth in perfect
revelation. Verily, conscience is a witness, secretly taking notes,
even as good Latimer in his cell overheard the scratching of the pen
in the chimney behind the curtain. Conscience is a judge, and, though
juries nod and witnesses may be bribed, conscience never slumbers and
never sleeps. Conscience is a monarch, and, though to-day the soul's
king be deposed from its throne, to-morrow it will ascend to the
judgment-seat and lift the scepter. For conscience represents God and
acts in His stead.

Consider the workings of conscience in daily life. The ideal man is he
who is equally conscientious toward intellect and affection, toward
plan and purpose. But in practical life men are Christian only in
spots and departments. The soul may be likened unto a house, and
conscience is the furnace thereof. Sometimes the householder turns the
heat into the sitting-room and parlor, but in the other rooms he turns
off the warm currents of air. Sometimes heat is turned into the upper
rooms, while the lower rooms are cold. Thus conscience, that should
govern all faculties alike, is largely departmental in its workings.
Some men are conscientious toward Sunday, but not toward the week
days. On Sunday they sing like saints, on Monday they act like demons.
On the morning of St. Bartholomew's massacre, Charles IX was
conscientious toward the cathedral and attended mass during three
hours; in the evening he filled the streets of Paris with rivers of
blood. John Calvin was conscientious toward his logical system. He was
very faithful to his theology, but he had no conscience toward his
fellows, and burned Servetus without a sympathetic throb.

In the Middle Ages conscience worked toward outer forms. In those days
the baron and priest made a contract. The general led his peasants
forth to burn and pillage and kill, and the priest absolved the
murderers for five per cent of the profits. Men were very
conscientious toward absolution, but not at all toward the neighbor's
flocks and barns. In others conscience is largely superstition.
Recently an officer of our army found himself sitting beside his host
at a table containing thirteen guests. The soldier, who perhaps would
have braved death on the battle-field, was pricked by his conscience
for sitting at table where the guests numbered thirteen. But he was
afraid to die at the dinner-table. He believed that the great God who
makes suns and stars and blazing planets to fly from His hand as
sparks beneath the hammer of a smith, the god of Sirius and Orion,
always stopped his work at six o'clock to count the guests around each
table, and if he found perchance there were thirteen, then would lift
his arrow to the bow to let fly the deadly shaft upon these awful
sinners against the law of twelve chairs or fourteen.

Singularly enough, now and then an individual is conscientious toward
some charm, as in the case of a merchant who presently discovered that
he had left his buckeye at home. He had carried this for twenty years.
Had he forgotten to pray he would not have gone home to fall upon his
knees. Nature and God were in the merchant's counting-room, but not
the buckeye. So he hurriedly left his office to bring back the agent
that secured all his success and prosperity.

Then, there is a commercial conscience. Some men feel that the law of
right is chiefly binding upon a man in his business relations. They
exile themselves from home, break the laws of love and companionship
with the wife whom they have engaged to cherish and love, until they
become strangers to her. But conscience does not prick them. Home,
friends, music, culture, all these may be neglected--but the business,
never. Others there are whose consciences work largely toward the
home. When they cross their own thresholds they are genial, kind and
delightful. As hosts they are famed for their companionship. Dying,
their fame is gathered up by the expressions, "good husband, good
father, good provider." But they have no conscience toward the street.
They count other men their prey, being grasping, greedy and
avaricious. They feel about their fellows just as men do about the
timber in the forest. When a man wants timber for his house, he says,
"That is the tree I want," and the woodsman fells it and squares it
for the sill. Does he want stone for his foundations or marble for his
finishings? There are the rocks; quarry them. Men go into inanimate
nature and get the materials they need. Nor is it very different in
the great world of business and ambition. The giant takes one man for
the foundation and cuts him down and builds him into the walls; he
selects another man and uses him up, building his substance into the
structure; he looks upon his fellows as the shepherd upon his
flocks--so much wool to be sheared.

Nor is the work of conscience very different in the moral and
spiritual realm. Here is one man who is conscientious toward
yesterday. Ten years ago, he says, "while kneeling in the field light
broke through the clouds" and he obtained "a hope." And every Sunday
since that day he has not failed to recall that scene. He is not
conscientious about having a new, fresh, crisp, vital experience for
to-day, but he is conscientiously faithful in recalling that old
experience. It is all as foolish as if he should say that ten years
ago he had a bath, or ten years ago he drank at the bubbling spring,
or ten years ago he met a friend. What about to-day's purity, to-day's
loaf and to-day's friendships? The heart should count no manna good
that is not gathered fresh each morning. Others there are whose
conscience works largely toward doctrine and intellectual statements.
With them Christianity is a function of thought in the brain. These
are they who want every sermon to consist of linked arguments. The
good deacon sits in his pew and listens to the unfolding of proofs of
election or foreordination. When the arguments have been piled up to
sixteen or eighteen, the good man begins to chuckle with delight,
saying, "Verily, this is a high day in Israel; my soul feasts on fat
things." Other men want some flesh on their skeletons, but he is fed
on the dry bones of logic.

Sometimes conscience affects only the feelings. Fifty years ago there
was a type numbering hundreds of thousands of persons whose religion
was largely emotional. In great camp-meetings filled with a warm
atmosphere men showed at their best. The sunny spot of all the year
was the month of revival meetings. Then they experienced the luxury of
spiritual enjoyment. They lived on the top of some Mount of
Transfiguration, while the world below was thundering with wickedness
and tormented with passion. Men became drunk with emotions. Religion
was an exquisite form of spiritual selfishness. Afterward came an era
when men learned to transmute feelings into thoughts and fidelities
toward friendships and business and duty. At other times conscience
has had unique manifestations in fidelity toward creeds. Now one
denomination and now another, forgetting to be conscientious in
meeting together for days and weeks to plan in the interests of the
pauper, the orphans, the tenement house or the foreign district in the
great city, will through months of excitement exhibit conscience
toward some doctrinal symbol. Witness the recent upheaval about
inspiration. As water bubbling up through the spring was once rain
that fell from the sky, so the truth coming through the lips of poet
or prophet was first breathed into the heart by God. Recently a good
professor thought more emphasis should be laid upon the human spring.
But his opponents thought the emphasis should be placed upon the sky,
from which the rain fell. In the broil about the nature of the water,
the spring itself was soiled, much mud stirred up, until multitudes
wholly forgot the spring, and many knew not whether there was any
water of life.

But conscience in some, means fidelity to what man and God did--not
what God is doing or will do. When the flowing sap under the stimulus
of the sun causes the tree to grow and splits the bark, men rejoice
that the bark is rent and that new and larger growths must be
inserted. Sometimes a child, long feeble and sickly, enters upon a
period of very rapid growth. Soon the boy's old clothes are too small,
and so is his hat. But what if the parents should remember only that
the clothes and hat came from some famous pattern? What if in their
zeal to preserve the hat they should put an iron band about the boy's
forehead and never permit it to increase so that the hat would not
fit? What if they should put a strait-jacket about the chest to
restrain the stature? This would show great zeal toward the hat and
the coat, but meanwhile what is to become of the boy? Strange that men
should be so conscientious toward an intellectual symbol, but forget
to give liberty to other men's consciences who day and night seek to
please God and be true to their beliefs. Thus in a thousand ways
conscience is partial and fragmentary in its workings. Only one
full-orbed man has ever trod our earth!

God's crowning gift to man is the gift of conscience. Reason is a
noble and kingly faculty, turning reveries into orations and
conversations into books. Imagination is a stately and divine gift,
turning thoughts into poems and blocks of stone into statues. Great is
the power of an eloquent tongue instructing men, restraining,
inspiring, stimulating vast multitudes. Great are the joys of memory,
that gallery stored with pictures of the past. But there is no genius
of mind or heart comparable to a vigorous conscience, magisterial,
clear-eyed, wide-looking. He who gave all-comprehending reason,
all-judging reason, reserved his best gift to the last--then gave the
gift of conscience.

Man is a pilgrim and conscience is the guide, leading him safely
through forests and thickets, restraining from the paths of wrong,
pointing out the ways of right. Man is a voyager and conscience is his
compass. The sails may be swept away, and the engines stopped, but the
voyager yet may be saved if only the compass is kept. In time of
danger man may be careless about his garments, but not about his hand
or foot or eye. It is possible to sustain the loss of wealth, friends
and outer honors, but no man can sustain the loss of conscience. It is
the soul's eye. Afar off it sees the face of God. Instructed, guided,
loved, and redeemed by Jesus Christ, he who while living is at peace
with his Master and with his conscience will, when dying, find himself
at peace with his God.



VISIONS THAT DISTURB CONTENTMENT

      "Like other gently nurtured Boston boys, Wendell Phillips
      began the study of law. Doubtless the sirens sang to him,
      as to the noble youth of every country and time. Musing
      over Coke and Blackstone, perhaps he saw himself
      succeeding Ames and Otis and Webster, the idol of
      society, the applauded orator, the brilliant champion of
      the elegant ease, and the cultivated conservatism of
      Massachusetts. * * * But one October day he saw an
      American citizen assailed by a furious mob in the city of
      James Otis for saying with James Otis that a man's right
      to liberty is inherent and inalienable. As the jail doors
      closed upon Garrison to save his life, Garrison and his
      cause had won their most powerful and renowned ally. With
      the setting of that October sun, vanished forever the
      career of prosperous ease, the gratification of ordinary
      ambition, which the genius and the accomplishments of
      Wendell Phillips had seemed to foretell. Yes, the
      long-awaited client had come at last. Scarred, scorned
      and forsaken, that cowering and friendless client was
      wronged and degraded humanity. The great soul saw and
      understood."--_Oration on Wendell Phillips by George Wm.
      Curtis._



X

VISIONS THAT DISTURB CONTENTMENT


Every community holds a few happy and buoyant souls, that are so
sustained by inner hope and outer prosperity as to seem the elect
children of good fortune. These are they who are born only to the best
things, for whom, as life goes on, the years do but increase happiness
and success. For other men happiness is occasional, and life offers
now and then a bright interval, even as an open glade is found here
and there in the dark forest. Among these sunny souls, dwelling midst
constant prosperity, let us hasten to include that youth to whom
Christ made overtures of friendship. His was a frank and open nature,
his a fresh and unsullied heart. He had also a certain grace and
indescribable charm that clothed him with rare attraction. Wealth,
too, was his, and all the advantages that go therewith. Yet ease had
not enervated him, nor position made him proud. He had indeed passed
through the fierce fires of temptation, but had come out with
spotless garments.

Beholding him, Christ loved him; nor could it have been otherwise.
Some men we force ourselves to like. For reasons of finance or social
advantage, men ignore their faults, while cherishing a secret dislike.
But others are so attractive, they compel our friendship by a certain
sweet necessity. The eye must needs like the rich red rose, and the
ear can not but enjoy the sweet song. And this youth stood forth
clothed with such rare attraction that it is said Christ cast one long
lingering look of affection upon him; then widening the circle of
friendship, he offered the young ruler a place therein. It was an
overture such as Socrates made to the boy Plato; it was a proffer such
as Michael Angelo made to the poor young artist who knocked at his
door. Recalling the day when he met Göethe, Schiller was accustomed to
say his creative literary career began with Göethe's proffer of
friendship.

Carlyle tells us that each new epoch in his life began with the
acquaintance of some great man. For it is not given to books nor
business, to landscapes nor clouds nor forests, to have full power
over the living man. Only mind can quicken mind, only heart can
quicken heart. What would the youth of genius not give for the
friendship of some Bacon or Shakespeare? But when this youth won
Christ's regard, it was as if all the children of genius had come
together in Christ's single person, to proffer intimacy and
companionship. His great soul overhung his friends as the harvests
overarch the fields, "filling the flowers with heat by day, and
cooling them with dews by night." His friendship is like a mother's, a
lover's, a friend's, but larger than either, and deeper than all. The
rising of a star, that glows and sparkles with ten thousand effects,
can alone be compared to this Son of Man, who flamed forth upon his
friends such majesty of beauty, such royalty of kindling influences.

For centuries scholars have spoken of this interview between Christ
and the young ruler as "the great refusal." Dante, wandering with
Virgil through the Inferno, thought he saw this young ruler searching
for his lost opportunity. For this ruler was the Hamlet of the New
Testament. Like the Prince of Denmark, he stood midway between his
conscience and his task, and indecision slew him. It has been said
that Hamlet could have been happy had he remained in ignorance of his
duty, or had he boldly obeyed the vision which called him to action.
It was because he knew more than he had the courage to do that a
discord arose, which destroyed the symmetry and sanity of his mind.
His madness grew out of the breach between his enlarged and haunting
sense of right and his faltering ability to face and fulfill it. Thus
also the tragedy of this young ruler's life grew out of the fact that
the new aspiration made his old contentment impossible, and compelled
him either to go on with boldness to better things, or to go back to
emptiness and misery. Beholding him, Christ loved him for what he was,
and pointed out what he might become. He knew that the better was a
great enemy of the best. For Christ had the double vision of the
sculptor.

Before him was the mass of marble, rude and shapeless. But the outer
shapelessness concealed the inner symmetry. Only the flying chips
could let loose the form of glowing beauty hidden within. And before
that youth he lifted up a vision of still better things. He set the
youth midway between the man he was and the man he might become. He
had achieved so much that Christ would fain lead him on to perfection
itself. When the husbandman beholds his vines entering into leafage
and blossom, he nurtures them on into fruitage. When Arnold finds some
young Stanley ready to graduate, he whispers: "One thing thou
lackest; let all thy life become one eager pursuit of knowledge." And
to this youth who had climbed so high came the vision of something
fairer and better still.

Going on before, Christ lured him forward, even as of old the goddess
lured the Grecian boy forward by rolling rosy apples along the path.
But the interview ended with the "great refusal." And the youth went
away, not angry nor rebellious, but sad and deeply grieved at himself.
For now he knew how far his aspiration outran performance. Like
Hamlet, indecision palsied action. Contentment perished, for the
vision of perfection ever haunted him. At first Christ's words and
look of earnest affection filled his heart with a tumult of joy: but
having fallen back into the old sordid self, the very memory of his
master's face became a curse and torture. And so the vision blighted
that should have blessed.

Now, the lives of great men tell us that God has always used visions
for disturbing contentment, destroying ease, and securing progress.
Witness the life of that young patrician, Wendell Phillips. His
college mates love to describe him as they first saw him in the halls
of Cambridge. His elegant person, his accomplished manners, his
refined scholarship, made him the idol of the Harvard boys. Even in
his youthful days he excelled as an orator, and was the easy master of
the platform. But to him came the sirens singing of leisure, of
opulence, and ambition. Full oft he looked forward to the day when he
would be the champion of "elegant repose and cultivated conservatism"
of the patrician element in his patrician state. But suddenly the
Christ, in the person of one of his little ones, crossed the young
scholar's path. One golden October afternoon, while Wendell Phillips
was sitting in his office, he heard the noise of a strange disturbance
in the street. Looking out he saw the mob maltreating Garrison, as,
with blows and kicks, they dragged him toward the jail. All that night
young Phillips lay tossing on his couch, thinking ever of this man who
had been mobbed in the city where Otis had said "Liberty of speech is
inalienable."

All that night the vision of the slave, scarred and scorned and
forsaken, stood before his mind, while ever he heard a voice
whispering: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." In that vision hour
perished forever all his dreams of opulence and ease. He decided to
turn his back upon all preferment and ambition, all comfort and
leisure, and follow his vision whithersoever it led. Soon the vision
led him to the platform of Faneuil Hall, where an official was
justifying the murderers of Lovejoy. "Mr. Chairman," he said, "when I
heard the gentleman lay down principles which placed the murderers of
Alton side by side with Otis and Hancock, with Quincy and Adams, I
thought those pictured lips would have broken into voice to rebuke the
recreant American, the slanderer of the dead." And that vision lent
his words such burning eloquence that Wendell Phillips' speech in
Faneuil Hall ranks with Patrick Henry's at Williamsburg and Abraham
Lincoln's at Gettysburg--and there is no fourth. His vision led him
unto obloquy also. What revilings were his! What bitter hatred! What
insults and scoffs! At last the vision led him unto fame. The very
city that would have slain him builded his monument, and men who once
would not defile their lips with his name taught their children the
pathway to his tomb. It was that vision splendid that saved Phillips
from sodden contentment. Had Christ never crossed his path, his
imagination would have lost its brightest picture, his life its
noblest impulses, its most energetic forces.

And not only have visions power to shape young men's lives. To the
mature and the great also come dreams of ideal excellence, smiting
selfishness, rebuking sin, taking the sweetness out of sordid success,
and urging men on to higher achievements. The biographers have never
been able to fully account for the pathetic sadness and gloom of the
closing days of Daniel Webster. Horace Greeley once said that
"Webster's intellect is the greatest emanation from the Almighty mind
now embodied." For picturesque majesty and overpowering mentality he
is doubtless our most striking figure. That enormous and beautiful
head, those wonderful eyes, that stately carriage, that Jove-like
front, led men to call him "the godlike Daniel." When he appeared upon
the Strand in London a great crowd followed him, and a British
statesman described Webster as one describes a majestic landscape or
the sublimity of a mountain. But during the last years of his life his
face took on a strangely pathetic sorrow. With the language of a Dante
his biographer has pictured for us an Inferno, in which we see one,
sublime of reason, walking in the very prime and strength and grandeur
of full manhood, yet walking in a round of night, in a realm of
bitterness, ever gnawed by disappointment and consumed by fierce
ambition. He sank into his grave, says the historian, "under a
heart-crushing load of political despair."

But disappointed ambition cannot account for Daniel Webster's sadness
and woe. Strength was his for supporting the loss of a nomination. He
knew that his title, "Defender of the Constitution," was fully equal
to the title of President. He was too great a man to have his heart
broken by the loss of political honor. What was his woe? Let us
remember the young ruler who was sad and grieved after he met Christ,
and had refused to obey the heavenly vision. Let us remember the dream
that came to Pilate, and how, afterward, the great Roman was uneasy
and restless. And to Daniel Webster there came the memory of his
speech in favor of a law compelling men in the North to send fugitive
slaves back to their masters; and there also came the words of Christ,
who said: "I am come to give deliverance to the captive." And looking
forward, Webster anticipated the judgment of the generations upon the
breach between his duty and his performance. That vision of higher
things haunted him. Oft he heaved sighs of bitter regret. Daniel
Webster was saddened and deeply grieved at what he himself had done.
For the hope of the Presidency he sacrificed his convictions as to the
slave. The heavenly vision bade him deliver the captives, not send
them back into slavery. No political disappointment crushed Daniel
Webster. The consciousness of duty performed would have sustained him
under any sorrow. It was the consciousness of having sinned against
the heavenly vision that broke his heart, and brought Webster's gray
hairs down with sorrow to the grave!

Plutarch tells us that the finest culture comes from the study of men
in their best moods. But always life's best moods come through these
heavenly visions. George Eliot makes the destiny of each hero or
heroine to turn upon the use of those critical hours when some ideal
fronts the soul for acceptance or rejection. To Maggie Tulliver came a
delicious moment when her lover offered her honorable marriage, and
would have led her into a perfumed garden of perfect happiness. But
just in that hour when joy bubbled like a little spring in her heart,
there came the memory of the crippled boy, to whom years before in her
childhood she had plighted her troth. And the vision of her duty and
the thought of his disappointment led her to refuse pleasure's spiced
cup, and choose self-renunciation and a life for others. That heavenly
vision saved her from plunging into the abyss of selfishness, even as
the lightning's flash in the dark night reveals the precipice to the
startled traveler.

And when the visions divine have rebuked selfishness, they go on to
conquer sin. Hawthorne uses the vision for redeeming his hero. To
Arthur Dimmesdale, pursued by his enemy, came the dream of freedom,
when, journeying to a foreign land with Hester and Pearl, he might
regain health and happiness and find peace again in walking in the
dear old paths of wisdom and study. But the day before his ship sailed
came the vision splendid, bidding him mount the scaffold, confess his
wrong, and free his conscience of its guilt. And it was obedience
thereto that redeemed his life from hypocrisy.

And, having saved men from wrong, the vision goes on to secure their
service for the right. Here is that colored woman, Harriet Tubman,
whom John Brown introduced to Wendell Phillips as the best and bravest
person upon our continent. If Frederick Douglass wrought in the day,
Harriet Tubman toiled at night; for when the man had praise and honor,
the black woman had only obscurity and neglect. When this bravest of
her race escaped from slavery in 1850 and reached Canada she exclaimed
exultingly, "I have only one more journey to make--the journey to
heaven." But in that hour when the tides of joy rose highest there
came the vision calling her back to danger and service. She was not
disobedient thereto, but turned her face again toward the cotton
fields. Between 1850 and 1860 she made nineteen trips into the South,
and rescued over three hundred slaves. One day while lying in a swamp
with her band of fugitives, a black man brought her word that a reward
of $40,000 had been offered by the slave dealers of Virginia for her
apprehension. Hard pressed by her pursuers, she sent her fugitives on
by a secret route and went herself to the train. But when she saw in
the car advertisements for her arrest she left the Northern train and
took the next one going south, thinking by her fearlessness to escape
detection, and also to collect a new band of fugitives. And so her
people came to call Harriet Tubman the Moses of the black race. And,
following on, the vision lifted her to a place among those whom the
world will not willingly let die.

When the vision has redeemed bad men to good deeds it goes on to
redeem good ones unto perfection. Here is Channing, with his cultured
scholarship, his refined manners, his gentle goodness. So heavy were
the drafts study made upon his strength that at length came a day when
the mere delivery of his sermons and orations left him physically
exhausted. But he went smilingly and forever from the pulpit, and gave
up also the use of his pen. In that hour, when sorrow and gloom rested
heavily upon those who loved him, the vision shone clearly for
Channing. He determined to turn his whole life into a sermon and poem.
With pathetic eloquence he said, "It is, indeed, forbidden me to write
or speak, but not to aspire and be. To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than
fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to do
all cheerfully, bear all bravely; to listen to stars and birds, to
babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard, think quietly, act
frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never--in a word, to let
the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the
common--this is to be my symphony."

Into our nation also has come the disturbing vision. Ours is called an
age of unrest. We hear much about social discontent. Beneath all the
outer activity and bustle there is an undertone of profound sadness.
Neither wealth, pleasure, nor politics has availed to conceal the
world's weariness. Strangely enough, just at a time when prosperity is
greatly increased, when our homes are full of comforts and
conveniences, when all the forces of land and sea and sky have lent
themselves to man as willing servants, to carry his messages, run his
errands, reap his harvests, pull his trains, and push his ships; in an
age when a thousand instruments that make for refinement and culture
have been invented, just at this time, strangely enough, unrest and
disquietude have fallen upon our people. Why is our age so sad? Has
Schopenhauer carried the judgment of mankind by his favorite motto,
"It is safer to trust fear than faith?" Is it because our age has lost
faith in God? Have doubt and skepticism burned the divine dew off the
grass, and left it sere and brown? Nay, a thousand times nay!

The world is sad because it has found God, not lost him. Man is weary
in the midst of his wealth and pleasures for the same reason that the
young ruler was grieved and sad in the midst of his great possessions.
Our age has seen the vision splendid, but halts undecided, being yet
unwilling to go on and fulfill its new ideals. For those who have eyes
to see, Jesus Christ stands again in the market and the street. He has
given society a new vision of the earth as a possible paradise, filled
with the fruits of peace and plenty where none know surfeit, and none
know want. He has given a vision of the brotherhood of man and the
fatherhood of God, and that vision has destroyed the old contentment.
Our fathers were happy because what they did kept pace with what they
saw. And we are unhappy because we are unwilling to do what we see.

This vision of possible excellence will continue to haunt our
generation until performance shall have overtaken the ideal promise.
All the processes of buying and selling without must be carried up to
meet the requirements of the vision within. Just as in Luther's day
the vision divine disturbed Germany and filled the land with unrest
until the people achieved spiritual freedom; just as in Cromwell's day
the vision of freedom in political relations came to England and gave
disturbance until the doctrine of the divine right of kings was
overthrown; just as in our own day the vision of liberty for all,
without regard to race or color, disturbed our land and filled our
council chambers with conflict and strife, and turned the South into
one immense battle-field, until the laws of the Nation matched the
ideals of God--so to-day, the vision of the brotherhood of man in
Jesus Christ has fallen upon the home, the market, and the forum, and
brought restlessness and discontent to our people.

Our colleges are restless, and by the university extension plans are
seeking to fulfill their vision of wisdom for all. The church hath
seen the heavenly vision, and, restless and grieved at its own
failures, is rewriting its creeds, inventing new methods of social
sympathy and social help, and is seeking eagerly to fulfill its
vision. Wealth too, is discontented, and by manifold gifts is becoming
the almoner of universal bounty toward school and college, and gallery
and church. Looking toward the council chamber, society is becoming
restless, and feeling that the council chamber should be as sacred as
a temple, and that as of old so now evil men have turned the temple
into a place for money-changing, and made the house of God a den of
thieves. Good men are again lifting the scourge of small cords. The
discontent is becoming universal. This vision of a new order will
continue to haunt and disturb men, until at length society will make
all its activities without correspond to the heavenly vision within.

The tradition tells us that when the young ruler who made the "great
refusal" had returned home he found the old zest of life had gone.
Gone forever his contentment in fields and flocks, in houses and
horses and goods; in books and pictures! He himself seemed but a
shadow moving through a phantom world. Struggle as he would, he could
not forget the new vision, nor find the old joy. At last he ceased
struggling, and, fulfilling his vision, he found the cross was the
magic key that opened the door of happiness.

And to the youth of this far-off day, the vision splendid doth come
again. In strange ways come these luminous hours and exalted moods.
Sometimes they come through memory, and then the tones of a voice long
still fall softly upon the ear like celestial bells calling us
heavenward. Sometimes these luminous hours come through the
affections, when anticipations of joy are so bright that it seems as
if the youth reaching forward had plucked beforehand the fruit from
the very tree of life. For some they come through sorrow, when the
soul stands dissolved in tears, even as some perfumed shrub stands in
the June morning making the very ground wet with falling raindrops.
Then the soul wanders here and there, all dumb with grief, seeking
comfort, yet finding none. Then sitting near the much-loved grave, the
soul hears the night winds whispering, "Not here, not here!" to which
the murmuring sea replies, "Not here," while the weeping vines and the
mournful pines ever answer, "Not here, not here!" But softly falling
through the pathless air comes a voice murmuring, "Here! Here! Come
up hither!"

Oh, these luminous hours! These hours of deeper conviction are life's
real hours! Summer is sunshine and beauty, not storm and snow. There
are dark and wintry days in March, when spring seems a delusion. There
are days in April so cold that summer seems a snare. But between the
storms there are brief warm intervals when the sun falls soft on the
south hillsides, and the roots begin to stir and the seeds to ache
with harvests, and all the air is vocal. The fitful snows in April are
but reminders of what the dying winter was; but these occasional sunny
days are prophecies of what summer hath accomplished in its full
ministry upon the fields and forests.

And after long periods of sodden selfishness and clouded sin, suddenly
the vision of better things breaks through the cloud and storm. Then
the vision strikes clarity into reason, memory and imagination. In
these hours the soul scoffs at sordid things. As the flower climbs
upward to escape from the slough, as the foot turns away from the
mire, as the nostril avoids the filth, as the ear hates discord, so in
these hours the soul scoffs at selfishness and sin. Oh, how beautiful
seem purity and gentleness, and sympathy and truth! And these hours
are big with prophecy. They tell us what the soul shall be when time
and God's resources have wrought their will upon man. They are to be
cherished as the mariner cherishes the guiding star that stands upon
the horizon; they are to be cherished as some traveler, lost in a
close, dark forest, cherishes the moment when the sun breaks through a
rift in the clouds and he takes his bearings out of the swamp and
toward his home. Visions are God within the soul. They come to lead
man away from sin and sorrow. They come to guide him to his heavenly
home.



THE USES OF BOOKS AND READING


      "Bring with the books."--_Paul._

      "A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit
      embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond
      life."--_Milton._

      "God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the
      distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual
      life of past ages. In the best books great men talk to
      us, give us their most precious thoughts and pour their
      souls into ours."--_Channing._

      "All that mankind has done, thought or been is lying as
      in magic preservation in the pages of books. They are the
      chosen possession of men."--_Carlyle._

      "We need to be reminded every day how many are the books
      of inimitable glory, which, with all our eagerness after
      reading, we have never taken into our hands. It will
      astonish most of us to find how much of our very industry
      is given to the books which have no worth, how often we
      rake in the litter of the printing press, whilst a crown
      of gold and rubies is offered us in vain."--_F.
      Harrison._



XI

THE USES OF BOOKS AND READING


Paul was at once a thinker, a theologian, and a statesman, because he
was always a scholar. One duty he never neglected--the duty of
self-culture through reading. Certain companions were ever with
him--his favorite authors. Imprisoned in Rome, the burden of his
letters to his young friend in Ephesus was books and the duty of
reading. Himself a Hebrew, by much study he became a cosmopolitan and
a citizen of the wide-lying universe. Like Emerson, he believed that
"the scholar was a favorite of heaven and earth, the excellency of his
country, and the happiest of men." Saner intellect than his never trod
this earth, and could he speak to our age, with its fret and fever,
his message would certainly include some words about the companionship
of good books.

The supreme privilege of our generation is not rapid transit, nor the
increase of comforts and luxuries. Modern civilization hath its flower
and fruitage in books and culture for all through reading. Should the
dream of the astronomer ever come true, and science establish a code
of electric signals with the people of Mars, our first message would
not be about engines, nor looms, nor steamships. Not the telephone by
which men speak across continents, but the book by which living men
and dead men converse across centuries, would be the burden of the
first message. President Porter once said that the savage visiting
London with Livingstone appreciated everything except the libraries.
The poor black man understood the gallery, for the face of his child
answered to that of Raphael's cherub and seraph. He understood the
cathedral, with its aisles and arches, for it reminded him of his own
altars and funeral hymns. He understood the city, for it seemed like
many little towns brought together in one. But the great library,
crowded from floor to ceiling with books, the strange, white pages
over which bowed the reader, while smiles flitted across his face as
one sun-spot chases another over the warm April hills, the black marks
causing the reader's tears to flow down upon the open page, made up a
mystery the poor savage could not understand. No explanation availed
for the necromancy of the library.

For wise men the joys of reading are life's crowning pleasures. Books
are our universities, where souls are the professors. Books are the
looms that weave rapidly man's inner garments. Books are the
levelers--not by lowering the great, but by lifting up the small. A
book literally fulfills the story of the Wandering Jew, who sits down
by our side and like a familiar friend tells us what he hath seen and
heard through twenty centuries of traveling through Europe. Newton's
"Principia" means that at last stars and suns have broken into voice.
Agassiz's zoölogy causes each youth to be a veritable Noah, to whom it
is given to behold all insects and beasts and birds going two by two
into the world's great ark. God hath given us four inferior teachers,
including travel, occupation, industry, conversation, and four
teachers superior, including love, grief, death--but chiefly books.

Wisdom and knowledge are derived from sources many and various. Like
ancient Thebes, the soul is a city having gates on every side. There
is the eye gate, and through it pass friends, a multitude of
strangers, the forests, the fields, the marching clouds. There is the
ear gate, and therein go trooping all sweet songs, all conversation
and eloquence, all laughter with Niobe's woe and grief. There is
conversation, and thereby we cross the threshold of another's mind,
and wander through the halls of memory and the chambers of
imagination. But these faculties are limited. The ear was made for one
sweet song, not for a thousand. Conversation is with one friend
living, not with Pliny and Pericles. The vision stays upon yonder
horizon; but beyond the line where earth and sky do meet are distant
lands and historic scenes; beyond are battle-fields all stained with
blood; beyond are the Parthenon and the pyramids. So books come in to
increase the power of vision. Books cause the arctics and the tropics,
the mountains and hills, all the generations with their woes and wars,
their achievements for liberty and religion, to pass before the mind
for instruction and delight. And when books have made men
contemporaneous with Socrates and Cicero, with Emerson and Lowell,
when they have made man a citizen of every clime and country, they go
on to add advantages still more signal. When the royal messenger
brought Newton the announcement of the honor bestowed upon him by the
Queen, the astronomer was so busy with his studies relating to the
"Principia" that he begrudged his visitor even an hour of his time.

The great man was too busy writing for thousands to talk long with a
single individual about his discoveries of light and color and his
proofs of the moon ever falling toward the earth. Not even to his best
friends could the astronomer unfold through conversation what he gives
us in his "Principia." When an American author called upon Carlyle he
found him in a very peevish mood. Through two hours he listened to
this student of heroes and heroism pour forth a savage tirade against
all men and things. Never again was the American poet able to
associate with Carlyle that fine poise, sanity, and reserve power that
belong to the greatest. In his books Carlyle gives his friends, not
the peevishness of an evening, but the best moods of all his life,
winnowing his intellectual harvests.

Recently an author has given the world reminiscences called "Evenings"
with Browning and Tennyson, with Bright and Gladstone. Yet an evening
avails only for a few pleasantries, a few anecdotes, a few
reminiscences. As well speak of spending an afternoon with Egypt or
making an evening call upon Rome. Yet a volume of "In Memoriam" or
"The Idylls of the King" enables one to overhear the richest and most
masterly thoughts that occupied Tennyson through the best creative
years in his career. So striking are the advantages books have over
conversation that the brief biography of the Carpenter's Son makes us
better acquainted with Jesus Christ than the citizens of Samaria or
Bethlehem could possibly have been. To some Nicodemus it was given to
hear Him discourse on the new heart; some lawyer heard His story of
the good Samaritan; others midst the press and throng caught a part of
the tale of the prodigal son. But the momentary glimpse, the
fragmentary word, the rumors strange and contradictory, yielded only
confusion and mental unrest. But this brief biography exhibits to us
His entire career, sets each eager listener down beside Christ while
He unrolls each glowing parable, each glorious precept, each call to
inspiration and the higher life. Thus books acquaint us with the best
men in their best moods.

Books have two advantages. Chiefly they are tools for the mind. The
foot's step is short, but the engine lengthens the stride and hastens
it. The smith's blow is weak, but the trip-hammer multiplies the might
of man's hand. Thus books are mental machines, enabling the mind of
man to reap in many harvest fields and multiply the mental treasures.
It takes years for Humboldt to search out the wonders of the Andes
Mountains and other years for Livingstone to thread his way through
the jungles of Africa. But a book, during two or three evenings by the
fireside, enables man to journey through the Dark Continent without
the dangers of fever, without experiencing the pain from the lion
leaping out of the thicket to mutilate the arm of Livingstone. With a
book we tramp over the mountains of two continents without once
suffering the heavy fall over the precipice that weakened Humboldt.
Books enable us to visit climes, cities, civilizations ancient and
modern, that without them could never be seen during man's years, so
few, and by man's strength, so insufficient. Great men and rich
increase their influence by surrounding themselves by servants who
fulfill their commands.

Each president and prime minister strengthens himself by a cabinet.
But what if the peasant or workman could surround himself with a group
of counselors and advisers that included a hundred of the greatest
intellects of his generation? What if some Herschel should approach
the youth to say, "You need your night's rest for sleep; but for you I
will give the years for studying the stars and their movements?" What
if some Dana should say, "For you I will decipher the handwriting upon
the rocks, trace the movement of the ice plows, search out the
influence of the flames as they turn rocks into soil for vineyards?"
What if some Audubon should say, "For you I will go through all the
forests to find out the life and history of the winged creatures, from
the humming-bird to hawk and eagle?" What if Niebuhr should say, "For
you I will decipher the monuments, all ruins and obelisks, all man's
parchments and manuscripts for setting forth man's upward progress
through the centuries?" But this is precisely what books do for us.

Saving man's time and strength, books also increase his manhood and
multiply his brain forces. With them, a man of fourscore years ends
his career wiser than, without them, he could have been, though he had
lived and wrought through ten thousand summers and winters. This is
what Emerson means when he says, "Give me a book, health and a June
day, and I will make the pomp of kings ridiculous." When the Athenian
youth, beloved of the gods, went forth upon his journey, one friend
brought him a wondrous armor, proof against arrows; another brought a
horse of marvelous swiftness; another brought a bow of great size and
strength. Thus armed, the youth conquered his enemies. But when books
have armed man against his foes, they go on to change his enemies into
friends; they shield him against ignorance; they free him from
superstition; they clothe him with gratitude. Thank God for books,
cheering our solitude, soothing our sickness, refining our passions,
out of defeat leading us to victory! That youth can scarcely fail of
character, happiness and success who, day by day, goes to school to
sages and seers; who by night hears Dante and Milton discourse upon
Paradise; who has for his mentors in office and counting-room some
Franklin or Solomon. Experience, supplemented by books, teaches youth
more in one year than experience alone will teach him in twenty.

Books also preserve for us the spirit of earth's great ones, just as
the cellar of the king holds wines growing more precious with the
lapse of years. From time to time God sends to earth some man with a
supreme gift called genius. Passing through our life and world, he
sees wondrous sights not beholden of our eyes, hears melodies too fine
for our dulled hearing. What other men behold as bits of coal, his
genius transmutes into diamonds. In the darkness he sleeps to see some
"Midsummer Night's Dream;" in the day he wakens to behold the tragedy
or comedy in his friend's career. While he muses, the fires of
inspiration burn within him. When the time comes, the inner forces
burst out in book or song or poem, just as the tulip bulb when April
comes publishes its heart of fire and gold. The book he writes is the
choicest wine in life, "the gold made fine in the fires of his
genius." Seldom come these elect ones, just as the bush burned only
once during Moses' many years in the desert. Many foot hills must be
united to produce one vast mountain. Only one range of Rockies is
needed to support many states. One Mississippi also can drain a
continent.

Thinking of these great ones, Milton said: "The book is the life-blood
of the master spirit." Just as the wisdom spoken into the phonograph
makes marks there to be reproduced at will, so books preserve and
repeat the eloquence of the greatest. Through his "Excursion," when
Wordsworth says, "I go to the fields to-day," the youth may whisper,
"and I go with thee." He may also accompany Layard, going forth to
study the old tablets and the monuments; with Scott he may ride with
Ivanhoe to castle and tournament; with Virgil and Dante he may shiver
at the brink of the inky river or exult over the first glimpse of
Paradise.

Well did Charles Lamb suggest that men should say grace--not only over
the Christmas festival, but also over the table spread with good
books. For man has no truer friends, Earth offers no richer banquet.
When Southey grew old and dim of vision, he was seen to totter into
his library. Moving about from shelf to shelf the aged scholar laid
his hand upon one favorite book and then upon another, while a rare
sweet smile passed over his face, just as we lay hand tenderly upon
the shoulder of some dear friend. Through their books his old friends,
the heroes of the past, had told Southey of their innermost dreams,
their passions, their aspirations, what braced them in hours of
battle, how they endured when death robbed them of their best. Poor
and lonely, full oft the poet had talked with these volumes as with
familiar friends. So before he died Southey said to his books "Good
night," ere in that bright beyond he said "Good morning" to their
authors.

This divine injunction as to the companionship of books bids us search
out the use and purpose of reading. Primarily, books are to be read
for information and mental strength. The hunger of the body for bread
and fruit is not more real than the hunger of the intellect for facts
and principles. Knowledge stands in as vital relation to the growth of
reason as iron and phosphate to the enrichment of the blood. Ignorance
is weakness. Success is knowing how. Ours is a world in which the last
fact conquers. In addition to his own experience and reflection, the
young artist must stand in some gallery that brings together all the
best masters. Standing beside the Elgin marbles in the British Museum,
the sculptor must bathe and soak himself in the Greek ideal and
spirit, until the Greek thought throbs in his brain, and he feels the
Greek enthusiasm for strength in round, lithe arms, and limbs made
ready for the race.

But in a large, deep sense, books are the galleries in which spirits
are caught and fastened upon the pages. Books are storehouses into
which facts and principles have been harvested. Just as a bit of coal
tells us what ferns and flowers grew in the far-off era, so the book
gives us the very quintessence of man's thoughts about life and duty
and death. Nor is there any other way of gaining these vital
knowledges. Life is too short to obtain them through conversation or
travel. Nor is any youth ready for his task until he has traced the
rise and growth of houses, tools, governments, schools, industries,
religions. He must also compare race with race, land with land, and
star with star. Asked about his ideas of the value of education, a man
distinguished in railway circles answered: "I have learned that each
new fact has its money value. Other things being equal, the judgment
of the man who knows the most must always prevail." But books alone
can supplement experience, and give the information that makes man
ready against his day of battle.

It has been said, "For a thousand men who can speak, there is only one
who can think; for a thousand men who can think, there is only one who
can see." Since, then, the greatest thing in life is to have an open
vision, we need to ask the authors to teach us how to see. Each
Kingsley approaches a stone as a jeweler approaches a casket to unlock
the hidden gems. Geikie causes the bit of hard coal to unroll the
juicy bud, the thick odorous leaves, the pungent boughs, until the bit
of carbon enlarges into the beauty of a tropic forest. That little
book of Grant Allen's called "How Plants Grow" exhibits trees and
shrubs as eating, drinking and marrying. We see certain date groves in
Palestine, and other date groves in the desert a hundred miles away,
and the pollen of the one carried upon the trade winds to the branches
of the other. We see the tree with its strange system of water-works,
pumping the sap up through pipes and mains; we see the chemical
laboratory in the branches mixing flavor for the orange in one bough,
mixing the juices of the pineapple in another; we behold the tree as
a mother, making each infant acorn ready against the long winter,
rolling it in swaths soft and warm as wool blankets, wrapping it
around with garments impervious to the rain, and finally slipping the
infant acorn into a sleeping bag, like those the Esquimos gave Dr.
Kane.

At length we come to feel that the Greeks were not far wrong in
thinking each tree had a Dryad in it, animating it, protecting it
against destruction, dying when the tree withered. Some Faraday shows
us that each drop of water is a sheath for electric forces sufficient
to charge 800,000 Leyden jars, or drive an engine from Liverpool to
London. Some Sir William Thomson tells us how hydrogen gas will chew
up a large iron spike as a child's molars will chew off the end of a
stick of candy. Thus each new book opens up some new and hitherto
unexplored realm of nature. Thus books fulfill for us the legend of
the wondrous glass that showed its owner all things distant and all
things hidden. Through books our world becomes as "a bud from the
bower of God's beauty; the sun as a spark from the light of His
wisdom; the sky as a bubble on the sea of His Power." Therefore Mrs.
Browning's words, "No child can be called fatherless who has God and
his mother; no youth can be called friendless who has God and the
companionship of good books."

Books also advantage us in that they exhibit the unity of progress,
the solidarity of the race, and the continuity of history. Authors
lead us back along the pathway of law, of liberty or religion, and set
us down in front of the great man in whose brain the principle had its
rise. As the discoverer leads us from the mouth of the Nile back to
the headwaters of Nyanza, so books exhibit great ideas and
institutions, as they move forward, ever widening and deepening, like
some Nile feeding many civilizations. For all the reforms of to-day go
back to some reform of yesterday. Man's art goes back to Athens and
Thebes. Man's laws go back to Blackstone and Justinian. Man's reapers
and plows go back to the savage scratching the ground with his forked
stick, drawn by the wild bullock. The heroes of liberty march forward
in a solid column. Lincoln grasps the hand of Washington. Washington
received his weapons at the hands of Hampden and Cromwell. The great
Puritans lock hands with Luther and Savonarola.

The unbroken procession brings us at length to Him whose Sermon on the
Mount was the very charter of liberty. It puts us under a divine
spell to perceive that we are all coworkers with the great men, and
yet single threads in the warp and woof of civilization. And when
books have related us to our own age, and related all the epochs to
God, whose providence is the gulf stream of history, these teachers go
on to stimulate us to new and greater achievements. Alone, man is an
unlighted candle. The mind needs some book to kindle its faculties.
Before Byron began to write he used to give half an hour to reading
some favorite passage. The thought of some great writer never failed
to kindle Byron into a creative glow, even as a match lights the
kindlings upon the grate. In these burning, luminous moods Byron's
mind did its best work. The true book stimulates the mind as no wine
can ever quicken the blood. It is reading that brings us to our best,
and rouses each faculty to its most vigorous life.

Remembering, then, that it is as dangerous to read the first book one
chances upon as for a stranger in the city to make friends with the
first person passing by, let us consider the selection and the
friendship of books. Frederic Harrison tells us that there are now
2,000,000 volumes in the libraries, and that every few years the press
issues enough new volumes to make a pyramid equal to St. Paul's
Cathedral. Lamenting the number of books of poor quality now being
published, this author questions whether or not the printing press may
not be one of the scourges of mankind. He tells that he reads but few
books, and those the great ones, and describes his shipwreck on the
infinite sea of printer's ink, and his rescue as of one escaping by
mercy from a region where there was water, water everywhere but not a
drop to drink. Let us confess that books by their very multitude
bewilder, and that careless and purposeless reading destroys the mind.
Let us admit, too, that books no more mean culture than laws mean
virtues.

Doubtless, individuality is threatened by the vast cataract of
literature. As children, we trembled needlessly when the nurse told us
that skies rained pitchforks, but as men we have a right to fear when
the skies rain not pitchforks but pamphlets. Multitudes are in the
condition of the schoolboy who, when asked what he was thinking about,
answered that he had no thoughts, because he was so busy reading he
had no time to think. Like that boy, multitudes to-day cannot see the
wood for the trees. Many stand before the vast abyss of literature as
Bunyan's pilgrim stood before the Slough of Despond, crying: "What
shall I do?" The necessity of severe selection is upon us, but certain
things all must read.

First of all, every year each young man and woman should take a fresh
look about the world house in which all live. When Ivanhoe waked to
find himself a prisoner in a strange castle he straightway explored
the mansion, passing from chamber to banquet hall, and from tower to
moat, and the high walls that shut him in. If, indeed, God did so
dearly love this star as to use its very dust for making man in His
own image, we ought to love and study well this world house, wherein
is enacted the drama of man's life and death. Longfellow thought of
our earth as a granite-sheathed ship sailing through air, with plate
of mail bolted and clamped by the Almighty mechanism, the throbbings
of Vesuvius hinting at the deep furnaces that help to drive her
forward upon the voyage through space. But God's name for this earth
house was Paradise. And a veritable paradise it is, with its vegetable
carpet, soft and embroidered, beneath man's feet; with its valleys
covered with corn until they laugh and sing; with its noble
architecture of the mountains covered with mighty carvings and painted
legends. Verily, it would be an ungracious thing for us to go on
living here without taking the trouble to look upon this earth's
floor, so firm and solid, or study the beauteous ceiling lighted with
star lamps by night. And the evenings of one week with Geikie or Dana
will tell us by what furnaces of fire the granite was melted, by what
teeth of glaciers and weight of sea-waves the earth's surface was
smoothed for the plow and the trowel. How long it has been since the
glacier was a mile thick upon the very spot where we stand, how long
since the waters of Lake Michigan, now flowing over Niagara, ceased
flowing into the Mississippi.

The evenings of another week with Professor Gray or Grant Allen will
tell us how all the trees and plants live and breathe and wax great;
how the lily sucks whiteness out of the slough, and how the red rose
untwists the sunbeam and pulls out the scarlet threads. The evenings
of another week with Ball or Proctor or Langley will exhibit the sun
pulling the harvests out of our planet, even as the blazing log pulls
the juices out of the apples roasting before the hot coals; how large
a house on the moon must be in order to be seen by the new telescope
at Lake Geneva; whether or not the spots on the sun represent great
chunks of unburned material, some of which are a full thousand miles
across, materials thrown up by gaseous explosions. While Maury will
take us during another week, in a glass boat that is water-tight,
upon a long cruise more than three thousand leagues under the sea,
showing us those graveyards called sea shells, those cities called
coral reefs, those strange animals that have roots instead of feet,
called sponges.

Having journeyed around the earth house, each should study himself;
his body as an engine of mental thought, an instrument of conduct and
character; the number and nature and uses of the forty and more
faculties of mind and heart with which he is endowed. From the study
of the soul the mind moves easily to the upward movement of the race,
as man journeys from hut to house, from tent to temple, from force to
self-government and education and literature, from his flaming altar
to the rising hymn and aspiring prayer. This tells us what
contribution each race, Hebrew and Greek, Roman and Teuton, has made
to civilization. Then come the books of life, wherein the qualities to
be emulated are capitalized in the lives of the great, for biography
is one of man's best teachers. Therein we see how the hero bore up
against his wrongs, his sorrows and defeats, and how he sustained
himself in times of triumph. Phillips Brooks thought that the basis of
every library should be biography, memoirs, portraits and letters. Nor
should we forget the books of art, wherein the facts of life are
idealized and carried up to beauty. Witness the dramas, poems, or the
several great novels.

But apart from and above all others is the book, the Bible. Alone it
has civilized whole nations. Be our theories of inspiration what they
may, this book deals with the deepest things in man's heart and life.
Ruskin and Carlyle tell us that they owe more to it in the way of
refinement and culture than to all the other books, _plus_ all the
influence of colleges and universities. Therein the greatest geniuses
of time tell us of the things they caught fresh from the skies, "the
things that stormed upon them, and surged through their souls in
mighty tides, entrancing them with matchless music"; things so
precious for man's heart and conscience as to be endured and died for.
It is the one book that can fully lead forth the richest and deepest
and sweetest things in man's nature. Read all other books, philosophy,
poetry, history, fiction; but if you would refine the judgment,
fertilize the reason, wing the imagination, attain unto the finest
womanhood or the sturdiest manhood, read this book, reverently and
prayerfully, until its truths have dissolved like iron into the blood.
Read, indeed, the hundred great books. If you have no time, make time
and read. Read as toil the slaves in Golconda, casting away the
rubbish and keeping the gems. Read to transmute facts into life, but
read daily the book of conduct and character--the Bible. For the book
Daniel Webster placed under his pillow when dying is the book all
should carry in the hand while living.



THE SCIENCE OF LIVING WITH MEN


      "There is an art of right living."--_Arthur Helps._

      "The supreme art life above all other arts is the art of
      living together justly and charitably. There is no other
      thing that is so taxing, requiring so much education, so
      much wisdom, so much practice, as the how to live with
      our fellow-men. In importance this art exceeds all
      productive industries which we teach our children. All
      skill and knowledge aside from that is as nothing. The
      business of life is to know how to get along with our
      fellow-men."--_H.W. Beecher._

      "As all the stars are pervaded by one law, in one law
      live and move and have their being, so all minds that
      reason and all hearts that beat, act in one empire of one
      king; and of that vast kingdom, the law the most
      sweeping, the most eternal, is the law of loving
      kindness."--_Swing._

      "The nations have turned their places of art treasure
      into battle-fields. Fancy what Europe would be now if the
      delicate statues and temples of the Greeks--if the broad
      and massive walls of the Romans, if the noble and
      pathetic architecture of the Middle Ages, had not been
      ground to dust by mere human rage. You talk of the scythe
      of time and the tooth of time; I tell you time is
      scytheless and toothless; it is we who gnaw like the
      worm, we who smite like the scythe. All these lost
      treasures of human intellect have been wholly destroyed
      by human industry of destruction; the marble would have
      stood its 2,000 years as well in the polished statue as
      in the Parian cliff; but we men have ground it to powder
      and mixed it with our own ashes."--_Ruskin._



XII

THE SCIENCE OF LIVING WITH MEN


The great writers of all ages have held themselves well away from any
formal discussion of the art of right living and the science of a
skillful carriage of one's faculties. Government, war and eloquence
have indeed received full scientific statement, and those arts called
music and sculpture have obtained abundant literary treatment. But,
for some reason, no philosopher has ever attempted a formal treatise
teaching the youth how to carry his faculties so as to avoid injuring
his fellows and secure for them peace, happiness and success.
Nevertheless, the art of handling marble is nothing compared to the
art of handling men. Skill in evoking melody from the harp is less
than nothing compared to skill in allaying discords in the soul and
calling out its noblest impulses, its most energetic forces.

Nor is there any science or any productive industry whatsoever that is
at all comparable to the science of just, smooth and kindly living.
For the business of life is not the use and control of winds and
rivers; it is not the acquisition of skill in calling out the secret
energies contained in the soil or concealed in the sky. The business
of life is the mastery of the art of living smoothly and justly with
one's fellows and the acquisition of skill in calling out the best
qualities of those about us. Indeed, the home and the market do but
furnish practice-ground for developing expertness in carrying one's
faculties. Sir Arthur Helps first coined the expression, "the art of
right living," and society can never be sufficiently grateful to this
distinguished scholar for reminding us that when every other art has
been secured, every other science achieved, there still remains for
mastery the finest of all the fine arts, the science of a right
carriage of one's faculties midst all the duties and relations of home
and school, of store and street.

Searching out for some reason why scientists have discussed
friendship, reform, or patriotism, but have passed by the science of
right living, we shall find the adequate explanation in the fact that
this is the largest subject that can possibly be handled. It concerns
the right carriage of the whole man, the handling of the body, and the
maintenance of perfect health; the control of the temperament, with
its special talent or weakness; the use of reason, its development
and culture; the control of judgment, with the correction of its
aberrations; it involves such a mastery of the emotions as men have
over winds and rivers; it concerns conscience and conversation,
friendship and commerce, and all the elements affectional and social,
civic and moral.

For man stands, as it were, in the center of many concentric circles.
About himself, as a center, sweeps the home circle; his immediate
neighborhood relations describe a wider circle; his business career
describes one larger still; then come his relations to the community
in general, while beyond the horizon is a circle of influence that
includes the world at large. When the tiny spider standing at the
center of its wide-stretching and intricate web, woven for
destruction, chances to touch any thread of the web, immediately that
thread vibrates to the uttermost extremity. And man stands at the
center of a vast web of wide-reaching influence, woven not for
blighting, but for blessing, and every one of these out-running lines,
whether related to friends near by or to citizens afar off, thrills
and vibrates with secret influences; and there is no creature in God's
universe so taxed as man, having a thousand dangers to avoid, and
fulfilling ten thousand duties. He who would adequately discuss the
science of right living must propose a method that will enable man to
carry his faculties midst all the conditions of poverty or riches, of
sickness or health, of the friendship of men or their enmity.

Discerning the largeness of this theme, many question whether right
living can be reduced to a science, and, if so, whether it ever can be
acquired as an art. We know that there is a science of government, a
science of wealth, a science of war, and mastery in each department
seems possible. Moreover, long practice has lent men skill in the
arts. Even Paganini was born under the necessity of obtaining
excellence in his art through practice. Titian also was a tireless
student in color, and Macaulay himself toiled hard over his alphabet.
Printers tell us that practice expels stiffness from the fingers and
makes type-setting an automatic process. Daniel Webster was counted
the greatest orator of his time; but there never lived a man who
drilled himself in solitude more scrupulously, and his excellence, he
says, was the fruit of long study.

Henry Clay had a great reputation as a speaker; but when the youth had
through years practiced extemporaneous speech in the cornfields of
Kentucky, he went on to train himself in language, in thought, in
posture, in gesture, until his hand could wield the scepter, or beckon
in sweet persuasion, until his eye could look upon his enemies and
pierce them, or beam upon his friends and call down upon them all the
fruits of peace and success. Nor has there been one great artist, one
great poet, one great inventor, one great merchant, nor one great man
in any department of life whose supremacy does not, when examined,
stand forth as the fruit of long study and careful training. Men are
born with hands, but without skill for using them. Men are born with
feet and faculties, but only by practice do their steps run swiftly
along those beautiful pathways called literature or law or
statesmanship. Man's success in mastering other sciences encourages
within us the belief that it is possible for men to master the science
of getting on smoothly and justly with their fellow men. In importance
this knowledge exceeds every other knowledge whatsoever. To know what
armor to put on against to-morrow's conflicts; how to attain the ends
of commerce and ambition by using men as instruments; how to be used
by men, and how to use men, not by injuring them, not by cheating
them, not by marring or neglecting them; but how through men to
advance both one's self and one's fellows--this is life's task. For
skill in getting on with men is the test of perfect manhood.

No other knowledge is comparable to this. It is something to know how
to sail a vast ship; it is important to understand the workings of a
Corliss engine; man does well to aspire to the mastery of iron and
wood, and the use of cotton and wool; most praiseworthy the ambition
to master arguments and ideas; but it is a thousand times more
important to understand men. To be able to analyze the underlying
motives; to attain skill in rebuking the worst impulses in men, and
skill in calling forth their best qualities; to distinguish between
selfishness and sincerity; to allay strife and promote peace; to
maintain equanimity midst all the swirl of passion; to meet those who
storm with perfect calm; to meet scowling men with firm gentleness; to
meet the harshness of pride with a modest bearing; to be
self-sufficing midst all the upheaval and selfishness of life--this is
to be a follower of Christ, and He is the only gentleman our world has
ever seen. Oh, for some university for teaching the art of right
living! Oh, for some college teaching the science of attaining the
personal ends of life without marring one's ideals! For life has only
one fine art--the art of getting along smoothly with ourselves and our
fellows.

Let us confess that man easily masters every other art and science.
His discoveries as to stars and stones and shrubs provoke ever fresh
surprise. His inventions, who can number? He easily masters winds and
rivers. He takes the sting out of the thunderbolt and makes it
harmless. Afterward with electric lamps he illumines towns. With
invisible sunbeams he paints instantaneous pictures of faces, palaces,
mountains, and landscapes. With the dark X-rays he photographs the
bone incased in flesh, the coins contained in the purse. With his
magnet the scientist throws a rope around the cathode rays and drags
them whithersoever he will. In the field the inventor uses an electric
hoe to kill the germs of the thistle and deadly nightshade. Strange
that he cannot invent an instrument for killing the germs of hatred
and envy in his own heart! The gardener easily masters the art of
cultivating roses and violets, but breaks down in trying to produce in
himself those beauteous growths called love, truth, justice--flowers,
these, that are rooted in heaven, but blossom here on earth.

An expert driver will hold the reins over six fiery steeds, or even
eight, but he descends from his coach to find that his own passions
are steeds of the sun that run away with him, bringing wreckage and
ruin. Man has skill for turning poisons into medicines. He changes
deadly acids into balms, but he has no skill for taking envy's poisons
out of the tongue, or sheathing the keen sword of hatred. As to
physical nature, man seems rapidly approaching the time when all the
forces of land and sea and sky will yield themselves as willing and
obedient servants to do his will. But, having made himself monarch in
every other realm, man breaks down utterly in attempting the task of
living peaceably with his friends and neighbors. Sublime in his
integrity and strength, he is most pitiable in the way he wrecks his
own happiness, and ruins the happiness of others. Pestilence in the
city, tornado in the country, the fire in the forest--these are but
feeble types of man as a destroyer. One science is as yet unmastered
by man--the science of right living and the art of getting along
smoothly with himself and his fellows.

To-day the new science explains the difficulty of right living, by the
largeness of man's endowment. There are few failures in the animal or
vegetable world. Instinct guides the beast, while the shrub attains
its end by automatic processes. No vine was ever troubled to decide
whether it should produce grapes or thorns. No fig tree ever had to
go to school to learn how to avoid bearing thistles. The humming bird,
flying from shrub to shrub, hears the inner voice called instinct.
These instincts serve as guide books. The animal creation that moves
through the air or water or the forests experiences but little
difficulty in finding out the appointed pathway. But the problem of
rose, lark or lion is very simple and easy, compared with the problem
of man. If the oak must needs bear acorns, man is like a vine that can
at will bring forth any one of a hundred fruits. He is like an animal
that can at its option walk or fly, swim or run. The pathway opened
before the brute world is narrow and its task therefore is very
simple, while the vast number of pathways possible to man often
embarrasses his judgment and sometimes works bewilderment.

After thousands of years man is still ignorant whether it is best for
him to eat flesh or confine himself only to fruit; whether the juice
of the grape is helpful or harmful; whether the finest culture comes
from confining one's study to a single language, as did Socrates and
Shakespeare, or through learning many languages, as did Cicero and
Milton; whether a monarchy or democracy is better suited for securing
the people's happiness and prosperity; whether the love of God in
front is a motive sufficient to pull a man heavenward, or whether fear
and fire kindled in the rear will not lend greater swiftness to his
footsteps. It is wonderful how many problems yet remain to be solved.

Nor could it be otherwise. As things increase in size and complexity
the difficulty of handling them increases. It is easy to manage a
spinning-wheel, but difficult to handle a Jacquard loom having
hundreds of delicate parts. It is easy to use a boy's whistle, but
hard to master the pipe organ with keys rising bank upon bank. Out of
an alphabet numbering six and twenty letters all the sciences and arts
can be fashioned; but the alphabet of man's faculties numbers four and
forty letters. Who shall measure the divine literatures possible to
all these combinations of thought, feeling and aspiration?

The scientist tells us that all of the instruments and excellences
distributed among the animals are united in man.

Man has the beaver's instinct for building, the bee's skill for
hiving, the lion's stroke is less than man's trip-hammer, the deer's
swift flight is slowness to man's electric speed, the eagle itself
cannot outrun his flying speech. It is as if all the excellences of
the whole animal creation were swept together and compacted in man's
tiny body, with the addition of new gifts and faculties; but this
concentration of all the gifts distributed to the animal world in man
means that the dangers and difficulties that are distributed over all
the rest of the animal creation will also be concentrated upon his
single person. The increase of his treasure carries with it the
increase of danger and difficulty. The vastness of his endowment opens
up the possibilities of innumerable blunderings and stumblings and
wanderings from the way. By so much, therefore, as he is above the
bird and the beast, by that much does the task of carrying aright his
faculties increase in magnitude.

Moreover, smooth living with men is difficult because of the continual
conflict with evil. Integrity can never be good friends with iniquity,
nor liberty with tyranny, nor purity and sweetness with filth and
foulness. There is no skill by which John can ever live in peace with
Herod. Paul, the author of the ode to love, was always at war with
Nero, and at last had his head shorn off. William Tell could not get
along smoothly with Gesler, the tyrant who robbed the Swiss of their
rights. When doves learn to live peaceably with hawks, and lambs learn
how to get along with wolves, good men and true will learn how to
live in peace with vice and crime. Wickedness means warfare, not
peace.

Deviltry cannot be overcome by diplomacy. Not embassies, but
regiments, overcome intrenched oppression. Men of integrity and
refinement can have but one attitude toward corruption, drunkenness,
parasitism, gilded iniquity--the attitude of uncompromising hostility.
Languorous, emasculated manhood may silently endure great wrongs for
the sake of peace and quiet; but robust manhood never. One of the
dangers of our age and nation is a tendency to conciliate wrong and
smooth over wickedness through a spurious sense of charity. Genius
gilds vice, and wit and brilliancy transform evil into an angel of
light. Only expel dullness and make evil artistic, and it is condoned;
but vice attired in the garb of a queen is as truly vice as when
clothed in rags and living in squalor. To become accustomed to evil,
to garnish sin, to dim and deaden sensibility to what is right and
beautiful, is to extirpate manhood and become a mere lump of flesh. No
man has a right to be good friends with iniquity. In a wicked world
the only people who are justified in peaceable living are the people
in graveyards. In an age and land like ours only men of mush and
moonshine can be friends with everybody.

In view of the crime, poverty and ignorance of our age, for a man to
live so that his friends can truthfully write on his tombstone, "He
never had an enemy," is for him to be eternally disgraced. Such a man
should never be guilty of showing his face in heaven, for he will find
that the angels, at least, are his enemies. Looking toward integrity,
Christ came to bring peace. Looking toward iniquity, Christ came to
bring the sword. Not until every wrong has been turned to right, not
until every storm has been stilled into peace, not until the
fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man have been incarnated in
institutions, will conflict cease and smooth living toward all men
become an actuality.

Ambition and the clashing of interests also mitigate against smooth
living. Perhaps no age has offered more powerful stimulants to
ambition. The field is open to all, and the rewards are great.
Therefore Emerson's phrase, "infinite aspiration and infinitesimal
performance." Contentment is the exception, aspiration is universal.
Indeed, the national temptation is ambition. An American merchant
lives more in a year than an Oriental in eighty years; more in an hour
than an Indian merchant in twenty-four. So powerful are the
provocatives to thinking and planning that cerebral excitement is
well-nigh continuous. Moving forward, the youth finds every pathway
open and is told that every honor and position are possible
achievements; the result is that the individual finds himself
competing with all the rest of the nation. How fierce the strife! What
intense rivalries! What battles between opponents! What conflicts in
business!

In politics, coveting national honors, men spend months in laying out
a campaign. A vast human mechanism is organized with ramifications
extending through the nation. As in the olden times in the court of
King Arthur, knights entered the tournament and some Lancelot clothed
in steel armor rode forth to meet some Ivanhoe in mortal combat; so it
is to-day when one plumed knight meets another in the political
arena--one conquers, and one is killed, in that he suffers a broken
heart.

In commerce the strife is not less fierce. Men literally stand over
against each other like gunboats, carrying deadly missiles. If
to-morrow conflict and strife should spring up in each garden--if the
rose should strike its thorn into the honeysuckle; if the violet from
its lowly sphere should fling mire upon the lily's whiteness; if the
wheat should lift up its stalk to beat down the barley; if the robin
should become jealous of the lark's sweet voice, and the oriole
organize a campaign for exterminating the thrush, we should have a
conflict in nature that would answer to the strife and warfare in
society. The universality of the conflicts in society is indicated by
the fact that England's national symbol is not a dove, but a lion;
America's is an eagle, and other nations' are the leopard and the
bear. In national wars, where men by years of toil have planted
vineyards, reared orchards, builded houses and cities, they proceed to
burn up the homes, destroy the granaries, cut down the vineyards and
orchards; and these periodic public quarrels do but typify the equally
destructive private feuds and troubles. Darwin thought that men have
descended from animals, and some men have so literally descended. Some
seem to have come through the wolf; some have the fox's cunning; some
have the lion's cruelty, and some are as combative as bull-dogs. Now,
it is not easy to maintain one's dignity when a little cur nips your
heels behind, and a mastiff threatens you before. And some men seem to
unite both elements; they run behind you and nip, they go before to
bark and threaten. Under such circumstances it is not easy to live
smoothly and charitably. It is easy to tame lions, but to tame men is
not easy. It is easy to breast the current of rivers, but to stand
against the full force of public opinion is hard. But midst all life's
conflicts and clashings this task is upon us. We are to maintain
peace, love our enemies, and ultimately master the art of right living
with our fellows.

To all persons interested in the betterment of society comes the
reflection that getting on with men is life's abiding aim and end.
Schools can teach no other knowledge comparable to this. It is
important to train the child in music, to drill him in public speech,
to teach him how to handle the horse and dog, how to swim and ride,
the use of tools and engines, the nature and production of wealth; but
it is of far greater importance that youth should be given a knowledge
of men, and become a skillful student of human nature; to learn how to
read the face as an open book. If the jurist studies men and their
motives to find out the truth; if the physician studies men for
reasons of diagnosis; if the merchant studies thinking of his profit,
and the politician thinking of preferment, the citizen must understand
his fellows in the interest of securing their happiness and highest
welfare. Incidentally, it is important that a man should be well
groomed and well kept; should be educated and refined, just as it is
proper that the pipes of an organ should be decorated on the outside.

Nevertheless, the test of an organ is the melody and harmony within.
And the test of manhood is not outer polish, but inner skill in
carrying his faculties. Man is only a rudimentary man when in those
stages he blunders in all his meetings with his fellows, and cannot
buy nor sell, vote nor converse, without harming, marring, depressing,
discouraging his fellow men. In our age many books have been written
similar to Lyman Abbott's volume called "The Study of Human Nature,"
and the time has fully come when each child should be made ready for
life's battle beforehand, and taught how to armor himself against the
tournament. When the schools have trained the child to the use of
tools, given the tongue skill in speaking and the mind skill in
thinking, it remains to teach him the study of men, the peculiarities
of each of the five temperaments; the nature and number of the animal
impulses; the use of the social and industrial impulses; the control
of the acquisitive and the spiritual powers. For man's carriage of
himself in the presence of fire and forest is the least of his duties.
That which will tax him and distress, and perhaps destroy him, will be
the carriage of his faculties midst all the clash and conflict, the
din and battle of market and street. And midst all the strife, this is
to be his ideal--to bear himself toward his enemies and toward his
friends, after the pattern of Him who "makes His sun to shine upon the
evil and the good, His rain to fall upon the just and the unjust."

The measure of manhood is the degree of skill attained in the art of
carrying one's self so as to pour forth upon men all the inspirations
of love and hope, and to evoke good even from the meanest and
wickedest of mankind. Passing through life, the soul is to be a
happiness producer and a joy distributer. Without conscious thought
the violets pour forth perfume; without volition the magnet pulls the
iron filings; with no purpose the candle pushes its beams of light
into the darkness; and such is to be the weight of goodness in each
man, that its mere presence will be felt. For the soul carries power
to bless or blight; it can lift up its faculties for smiting, as an
enemy lifts the hammer above the fragile vase or delicate marble;
through speech man can fill all the sky with storms, or he can sweep
all clouds from the horizon. The soul can take the sting out of man's
anger, or it can stir up anger; it can allay strife or whet the keen
edge of hatred. The thermometer is not so sensitive to heat, the
barometer to weight, the photographer's plate to light, as is the soul
to the ten thousand influences of its fellow men.

For majesty and beauty of subtle influence, nothing is comparable to
the soul. Not the sun hanging upon the horizon has such power for
flower and fruitage as has a full-orbed Christian heart, rich in all
good influences, throbbing with kindness and sympathy, radiant as an
angel. Great is man's skill in handling engines of force; marvelous
man's control of winds and rivers; wondrous the mastery of engines and
ideas. But man himself is greater than the tools he invents, and man
stands forth clothed with power to control and influence his fellows,
in that he can sweeten their bitterness, allay their conflicts, bear
their burdens, surround them with the atmosphere of hope and sympathy.
Just in proportion as men have capacity, talent and genius, are they
to be guardians, teachers, and nurses for men, bearing themselves
tenderly and sympathetically toward ignorance, poverty and weakness.
All the majesty of the summer, all the glory of the storms, all the
beauty of galleries, is as nothing compared to the majesty and beauty
of a full-orbed and symmetrical manhood. Should there be in every
village and city a conspiracy of a few persons toward this refinement
and culture, this beauty and sweet Christian living, the presence of
these Christ-formed persons would transform the community. One such
harvestful nature carries power to civilize an entire city. We no more
need to demonstrate the worth of the sane, sound, Christ-like
character than we need to prove the value of the all-glorious summer,
when it fills the earth with fragrance, the air with blossoms, and all
the boughs with luscious fruit. Each Christian youth is to be a
man-maker and man-mender. He is to help and not hurt men. This is to
walk in love. This is to overcome evil with good. This is to be not a
printed but a living gospel. This is to be a master of the art of
right living and a teacher of the science of character building.



THE REVELATORS OF CHARACTER


      "Some men move through life as a band of music moves down
      the street, flinging out pleasure on every side through
      the air, to every one far and near, that can
      listen."--_Beecher._

      "Truth tyrannizes over the unwilling members of the body.
      No man need be deceived who will study the changes of
      expression. When a man speaks the truth in the spirit of
      truth, his eye is as clear as the heavens. When he has
      base ends, and speaks falsely, the eye is muddy, and
      sometimes asquint."--_Emerson._



XIII

THE REVELATORS OF CHARACTER


In ancient times personal property bore the owner's trademark. All
flocks and herds fed together upon the common. That each might know
his own, the herdsman slit the ears of his sheep, or branded his oxen
with the hot iron. Afterward, as wealth increased, men extended the
marks of ownership. The Emperor stamped his image into the silver
coin. The Prince wrought his initial into the palace porch. The
peasant moulded his name into the bricks of his cottage. One form of
property was slaves. Athens had 80,000 free citizens and 400,000
bondmen. As these slaves were liable to run away, their owners branded
them. Sometimes a circle was burned into the palm, or a cross upon the
forehead; and often the owner's name was tattooed upon the slave's
shoulder. One of the gifts of antiquity to our modern life is the use
of the trademark. To-day manufacturers blow their initials in the
glass; they mould the trademark in steel, and weave it in tapestries.

Lying in his dungeon, everything reminded Paul of these marks of
ownership. His chains bore the Emperor's initials. The slaves that
brought him food carried Nero's brand. The very bricks of his dungeon
floor were stamped with the tyrant's name. But, moving out from these
marks of servitude, his vision swept a wider horizon. He, too, was
property. A freeman, indeed, was he, yet he was not his own. Mind and
heart were stamped with God's image and superscription. No hot iron
had mutilated him, but trouble had wrought refinement, and love divine
had left its indelible stamp. Gone indeed the fresh, bright beauty
that was his when he sat a boy at Gamaliel's feet! Since the day when
the mob in Lystra had lifted stones upon him; since the time of his
scourging at Philippi, he had carried the marks of martyrdom.
Suffering had plowed deep furrows in his face. But honorable were all
his scars. They bore witness to his conquest over ease and
self-indulgence. Dear to him these marks--they bound him to his
Master, the Lord Jesus. They filled him with high hopes, for the same
marks that made him a bond slave to God and immortality freed him from
earth and earthly things. Musing, in kingly mood, the scarred hero
exclaimed: "Let not hunger nor cold, let not the scourge nor the
tyrant's threat trouble me, for I bear about in my body the marks of
the Lord Jesus."

Now, God hath ordained that, like Paul's, every human body shall
register personal history, publishing a man's deeds, and proclaiming
his allegiance to good or evil. The human face and form are clothed
with dignity in that the fleshly pages of to-day show forth the soul's
deeds of yesterday. Experience teaches us that occupation affects the
body. Calloused hands betray the artisan. The grimy face proclaims the
collier. He whose garments exhale sweet odors needs not tell us that
he has lingered long in the fragrant garden. But the face and form are
equally sensitive to the spirit's finer workings. Mental brightness
makes facial illumination. Moral obliquity dulls and deadens the
features. There never was a handsome idiot. There never can be a
beautiful fool. But sweetness and wisdom will glorify the plainest
face.

Physicians tell us that no intensity of disease avails for expelling
dignity and majesty from a good man's countenance, nor can physical
suffering destroy the sweetness and purity of a noble woman's. It is
said that after his forty days in the mount Moses' face shone. All the
great artists paint St. Cecilia with face uplifted, listening to
celestial music, and all glowing with light, as though sunbeams
falling from above had transfigured the face of the sweet singer.
Those who beheld Daniel Webster during his delivery of his oration on
the Pilgrim Fathers say that the statesman's face made them think of a
transparent bronze statue brilliantly lighted from within, with the
luminosity shining out through the countenance.

But the eyes are the soul's chiefest revelators. Tennyson spoke of
King Arthur's eyes as "pools of purest love." As there is sediment in
the bottom of a glass of impure water, so there is mud in the bottom
of a bad man's eye. Thus, in strange ways, the body tells the story of
the soul. Health hangs its signals out in rosy cheeks; disease and
death foretell their story in the hectic flush, even as reddening
autumn leaves foretell the winter's heavy frost; anxious lines upon
the mother's face betray her secret burdens; the scholar's pallor is
the revelation of his life, while the closely knitted forehead of the
merchant interprets the vexing problems he must solve.

Thinking of the pathetic sadness of Lincoln's face, all seamed as it
was and furrowed with care and anxiety, Secretary Stanton said that
the President's face was a living page, upon which the full history
of the nation's battles and victories was written. We are told that
when the Waldenses could no longer bear the ghastly cruelty of the
inquisitors, they fled to the mountain fastnesses. There, worn out by
suffering, the brave leader was stricken by death. Coming forth from
their hiding-places, the fugitives gathered around the hero's bier.
Stooping, one lifted the hair from the forehead of the dead youth and
said: "This boy's hair, grown thin and white through heroic toil,
witnesseth his heroism. These, the marks of his fidelity." Thus, for
those who have skill to read the writing, every great man's face is
written all over with the literature of character. His body condenses
his entire history, just as the Declaration of Independence is
condensed into the limits of a tiny silver coin.

Calm majesty is in the face of Washington; pathetic patience and
divine dignity in that of Lincoln; unyielding granite is in John
Brown's face, though sympathy hath tempered hardness into softness;
intellect is in Newton's; pure imagination is in Keats' and in
Milton's; heroic substance is in the face of Cromwell and in that of
Luther; pathetic sorrow is found in Dante's eyes; conscience and love
shine in the face of Fénelon. Verily, the body is the soul's
interpreter! Like Paul, each man bears about in his body the marks,
either of ignorance and sin, of fear and remorse, or the marks of
heroism and virtue, of love and integrity. To the gospel of the page
let us add the gospel of the face.

But let none count it a strange thing that the soul within registers
its experiences in the body without. God hates secrecy and loves
openness. He hath ordained that nature and man shall publish their
secret lives. Each seed and germ hath an instinctive tendency toward
self-revelation. Every rosebud aches with a desire to unroll its
petals and exhibit its scarlet secret. Not a single piece of coal but
will whisper to the microscope the full story of that far-off scene
when boughs and buds and odorous blossoms were pressed together in a
single piece of shining crystal. The great stone slabs with the bird's
track set into the rock picture forth for us the winged creatures of
the olden time. When travelers through the Rocky Mountains behold the
flaming advertisements written on the rocks, the reflection comes to
all that nature also uses the rock pages for keeping her private
memoranda of all those events connected with her history of fire and
flood and glacier. When we speak of a scientific discovery, we mean
that some keen-eyed thinker has come upon a page of nature's diary and
copied it for his printer. The sea shells lying upon the crest of the
high hills make one chapter in the story of that age when the ocean's
waves broke against the peaks of the high mountains.

Journeying in his summer vacation into the region about Hudson Bay,
the traveler brings back pieces of coal containing tropic growths.
These carbon notebooks of nature tell us of a time when the regions of
ice and snow were covered with tropical fruits and flowers, and
suggest some accident that caused our earth to tip and assume a new
angle toward the sun. Indeed, our earth bears about in the body the
marks of its entire history, so that the scientist is able to tell
with wondrous accuracy the events of a hundred thousand years ago.
Already the Roentgen ray foretells the time when "nothing shall be
covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be
known; when that which was done in secret shall be proclaimed from the
housetops." Professor Babbage, the mathematician, has said that the
atmosphere itself is becoming one vast phonograph upon whose sensitive
cylinder shall be written all that man hath said, or woman whispered.
Not a word of injustice spoken, not a cry of agony uttered, not an
argument for liberty urged, but it is registered indelibly, so that
with a higher mathematics and a keener sight and sense, the future
scientist may trace each particle of air set in motion with as much
precision as an astronomer traces the pathway of a moving star or a
distant planet.

Recently the story has been told of a burglar who accidently
discharged a magnesium light connected with a kodak on the shelf. The
hour was midnight and everyone in the house was asleep. But the kodak
was awake and at work. Frightened by the sudden light, the thief fled,
leaving his spoil behind. But he also left his face. The next day in
the court the kodak convicted him. Thus the new science is causing
each man to stand in the center of an awful photographic and
telegraphic system which makes an indelible record of man's words and
deeds. No breath is so faint that it can escape recording itself; no
whisper so low, no plan so secret, no deed of evil so dark and silent.
Memory may forget--but nature never. Upon the pages of the physical
universe the story of every human life is perpetually before the judge
of all the earth.

It is deeply interesting to see how each living thing bears about in
its body the story of its degradation, or the history of its rise and
exaltation. Even in things that creep and crawl, the whole
life-history is swept together in the animal body. The ship barnacle
began its career with two splendid eyes. But it used its vision to
find an easy place upon the side of pier or ship. Giving up
locomotion, it grew sleek and fat, and finally its big eyes grew dull
through misuse, and now they are dead. When the squirrels left the
forests in the west and journeyed out upon the open prairies, they
began to burrow in the ground. Finally, for want of use, they lost all
power of climbing. Among the birds the lazy cuckoo began by stealing
the nest another bird had built. But it paid a grievous price for its
theft, for now when the cuckoo is confined by man and wants a nest of
its own it toils aimlessly, and has lost all power to make for itself
a soft, warm nesting-place.

In northern climes the mistletoe has a healthy normal taproot. But in
our rich soil it became too dainty for dirt, and chose the life of a
parasite. So the little seed struck its outer roots into the bark of
the oak, and lazily sucked away the tree's rich sap. Soon luxury and
living upon another's life ruined the mistletoe, just as the
generation of young Romans was ruined by the father's wealth; just as
an active and healthy boy is wrecked when he begins to be a sluggard
and goes to the aunt--some rich aunt--and waits for her to die. And
since all the lower creatures bear about in the body the marks of the
full life-history, it seems natural to expect that man's body, through
its health and beauty, or weakness and decay, should tell the story of
how the soul within has lived and wrought. A short journey through our
streets will prove to us that iniquity sets its mark in the face.
Dickens describes Fagin as a man who was solid bestiality and villainy
done up in bone and tissue. Each feature was as eloquent of rascality
as an ape's of idiocy. Contrariwise, in the kingdom of morals there
are men who seem solid goodness, kindness, and virtue, bound together
with fleshly bands. Even distant ancestors leave their marks in man's
body.

It has recently been discovered that the handwriting of one of our
presidents was almost exactly that in his grandfather's will. The
Bourbon family has always been distinguished by the aquiline nose. One
of the oldest New England families is known for its singular length
and strength of arm. Beauty is a mark in one family, and size is a
mark in the other. Because man is made in the image of God we
naturally look for those divine trademarks in man's body called
comeliness and complexion, just as we look for the artist's name on
the corner of his picture, or the sculptor's name on the pedestal of
his statue. By so much as a babe's cheek is higher than the blushing
peach, it ought to be more beautiful. And because the trees of the
forest go forward toward October and death arrayed in their brightest
robes, we have a right to expect that man in his old age also will
reach the highest beauty and perfection.

But not so. Man's history has been a history of selfishness and sin,
and his body bears the marks thereof. His features are "seamed by
sickness, dimmed by sensuality, convulsed by passion, pinched by
poverty, shadowed by sorrow, branded by remorse." Men's bodies are
consumed by sloth, broken down by labor, tortured by disease,
dishonored by foul uses, until beholding the "marks" of character in
the natural face in a glass multitudes would fain forget what manner
of men they are. For the human face is a canvas, and nature's writing
goes ever on. But as the wrong act or foul deed sets its seal of
distortion on the features, so the right act or true thought sets its
stamp of beauty. There is no cosmetic for homely folks like character.
Even the plainest face becomes beautiful in noble and radiant moods.
He who ever beholds the vision of Christ's face will at last so take
on the likeness of his Master as to bear about in his body also "the
marks of the Lord Jesus."

Consider the habits and the unconscious desires as marks of character.
When Arnold of Rugby took his boys for a holiday to London he found
the revelators of personality in the objects which they first visited.
The youth who had spent each spare moment in sketching made his way
immediately to the gallery. Young Stanley, even then brooding upon
moral themes, turned his face toward the abbey, whose fame he was to
augment. The eager aspirant for political honors rushed toward the
houses of Parliament. Thus also the students of physiognomy try to
catch the subject off his guard, when the unconscious and habitual
lines appear in the face. The kind of books one loves to read, the
amusements one seeks, the friends he chooses, are all revelators.
Recently an English traveler published a volume of impressions
concerning America. Finding little to praise, the traveler finds much
to criticise and blame. During his two or three weeks' sojourn in our
cities, he tells us that he found sights and scenes that would shame
Sodom and Gomorrah, and bemoans the fact that in this young, fresh
land things should be as bad as in London and Paris, whither the scum
and wrecks of society have drifted.

What a revelation! not of the city, but of the critic himself. But
because he was interested in other things, the editor of an English
Review found here material for a fruitful discussion of "The Higher
Life of American Cities." Multitudes have sojourned here during a
score of years and have not so much as heard of orgies and excesses.
Yet if the bee is blind to all save flowers; if the worm cares only
for rotten wood; if the mole bores downward, so there are natures that
cannot rest until they have ferreted out that which they lovingly seek
and eagerly desire to find. Habits also reveal personality. First the
river digs the channel, then the channel controls the river, and when
the faculties, by repetition, have formed habits, those habits become
grooves and channels for controlling the faculties. What grievous
marks were in poor Coleridge! Once this scholar spent a fortnight upon
an annual address. But while the audience was assembling Coleridge
left his friends and stepped out the rear door of the hall to go in
search of his favorite drug, leaving his audience to master its
disappointment as best it could.

And here is Robert Burns, bearing about in his body also the marks of
his ownership. For this matchless genius was wrecked and ruined not by
the wiles of him of the cloven foot, but by temptations that have been
called "godlike." This glorious youth was not beguiled from the path
by a desire to be a cold and calculating villain in his treatment of
Jean, or to die of drink in his prime, or to leave his widow and
orphans in poverty. Burns loved upward, loved noble things and
beautiful; and his very love of beauty and grace, his love of good
company, of wit, laughter and song, and all the stormy splendors of
youth at springtide--these are the snares and wiles that caught his
beautiful genius and led it away captive.

To-day, for him who hath eyes to see, the marks of a like immoderation
are upon our generation also. What a revelation of the taste of our
age is found in the new love of highly spiced literature! All history
holds no nobler literature than that in the English tongue. Our poetry
furnishes nectar for angels! Our philosophies bread for giants! The
essayists furnish food for the gods! Nevertheless, a multitude have
turned from this glorious feast to the highly spiced literature of
fiction.

A traveler tells of watching bees linger so long beside the vats of
the distillery that they became maudlin. And the love of high
stimulants in literature is one of the character marks of our
generation. Excess threatens our people. Men are anxious to be
scholars and hurry along a pathway that leads straight to the grave.
Men are anxious to find pleasure, but they find the flowers were grown
in the church-yard. Men are feverishly anxious for wealth, and,
coining all time and strength into gold, they find they have no health
with which to enjoy the gathered sweetness. Haste in cooking the
dinner has destroyed the appetite. We are told that "moderation and
poise are the secrets of all successful art," as they are of all
successful life. Give the rein to appetite and passion, and satiety,
disenchantment, and the grave quickly come. Health, happiness, and
character are through restraint. Thus truly, habit and trait in the
individual or the generation become a mark in the body that is the
revelator of character.

What men call character to-day is really another one of the marks of
the Lord Jesus. Now and then a man appears in society from whose very
presence there emanates an atmosphere and a sense of power--power that
seizes upon the imagination of the beholder and holds him breathless,
even as one stands breathless when overtaken by some sense in nature
of overmastering sublimity. These strangely gifted men have appeared
only at intervals of centuries. If an ordinary man is attacked in a
lonely spot by armed footpads, he finds himself helpless. But history
tells of a man who carried such reserves that, bound and unaided, he
could deliver himself from an entire band of robbers. Surprised one
day by a company of bandits, he was knocked down, robbed, and bound.
But when he recovered consciousness, he argued the ropes off his
wrists, talked his purse and rings out of the robbers' pockets back
into his, bound his enemies--not with cords, but with linked
words--led them back to the city instead of away from it, and landed
the waylayers in jail.

Similarly, history tells us of half a score of men during the past two
thousand years who have carried this same all-commanding atmosphere.
For over a century students of oratory have been endeavoring to
explain the eloquence of Whitefield. Such power had this man that the
statesmen and philosophers of London used to leave the metropolis on
Saturday and journey far into the country to join the crowds, often
numbering twenty thousand people, that followed this preacher from
village to village. David Hume, the skeptic, explained Whitefield's
charm by saying that the preacher spake to his audience with the same
passionate abandon with which an ardent lover speaks to his sweetheart
when he pleads for her hand. But Benjamin Franklin tells us that the
charm in Whitefield's speech was not his musical voice, not his stream
of thought running clear as crystal, not his sudden electric
outbursts, when the great man seemed on fire; the something that men
have tried in vain to analyze, was his character--goodness and
sincerity glowing and throbbing in and through words, just as the
electric current glows and throbs through the connecting wires.
Another such man, but lesser, was Lamartine. During the French
Revolution, when the mob poured through the streets, sweeping before
it the soldiers who opposed its progress, Lamartine made his way to
the middle of the street and stood before the brutal leaders. So
powerful was the influence of the good man's character, that, when the
leader said, "Soldiers, we are in the presence of a man who represents
seventy years of noble living," the rude mob uncovered. Afterward,
when the insurgents laid down their arms, it was as a tribute to the
superiority of character to guns and brute force.

But when we read of these all-commanding natures, we are not to think
that these inspirational beings had their influence through some
strange magnetic power, nor that they cast a spell over people like
unto the spell that the cat casts over the mouse with which it plays.
Their might has, for the most part, been the might of goodness. The
chief mark that Paul and Wesley and Wilberforce, and all the great
have carried about in the body has been the mark of character. What
beauty is to the statue; what ripeness is to the fruit; what strength
is to the body; what wisdom is to the reason--that character is to the
soul!

Great is the power of bonds and gold! Mighty the influence of customs
and institutions! But the greatest force that can exist in society is
the presence and power of good men. As rain and soil and sunbeams are
only raw materials, to be brought together and condensed into the ripe
fruit, so tools, knowledge, goods, are but raw materials, to be
wrought up into the fine substance of character. Happy all who have
subordinated the animal impulses and the industrial faculties to the
moral sentiments. Thrice happy they who have carried all their
faculties up unto harmony and symmetry. All such, like Paul, bear
about in the body the marks of the Lord Jesus.



MAKING THE MOST OF ONE'S SELF


      "Till we all come unto the perfect man."--_St. Paul._

      "_Every soul is a seed._ It does not yet appear what it
      shall be."--_H._

      "'Very early,' said Margaret Fuller, 'I perceived that
      the object of life is to grow.' She herself was a
      remarkable instance of the power of the human being to go
      forward and upward. Of her it might be said, as Göethe
      said of Schiller: 'If I did not see him for a fortnight,
      I was astonished to find what progress he had made in the
      interim.'"--_James Freeman Clarke._

      "Persons who are to transform the world must be
      themselves transformed. Life must be full of inspiration.
      If education is valuable, the age must double it; if art
      is sweet and high, we must double its richness and might;
      if philanthropy is divine, we must double its quantity
      and tenderness; if religion is valuable, double its
      truths and hasten with it unto more firesides; if man's
      life is great, let him count more precious all its
      summers and winters. The one duty of life is, lessen
      every vice and enlarge every virtue."--_David Swing._



XIV

MAKING THE MOST OF ONE'S SELF


Two great principles run through all society. First comes the
principle of self-care and self-love. Each man is given charge of his
own body and life. By foresight he is to guard against danger. By
self-defense he is to ward off attack. By fulfilling the instincts for
food, for work and rest he is to maintain the integrity of his being.
Upon each individual rests the solemn obligation to make the most
possible of himself, and to store up resources of knowledge and
virtue, of friendship and heart treasure. But when a man has treated
his reason as a granary and stored it with food, his memory as a
gallery, and filled it with pictures of a beautiful past, his reason
and will as armories, and stored them with weapons against the day of
battle, then a second principle asserts itself. Responsible for his
own growth and happiness, man is made equally responsible for the
happiness and welfare of those about him. By so much as he has secured
his own personal enrichment, by that much he is bound to secure the
enrichment and social advantage of his fellows. To love one's self at
the expense of one's fellows is for selfness to become malignancy. To
love one's neighbors more than one's self is foolishness and
self-destruction.

Whatever of value the individual has, comes from fidelity to the first
of these principles. Self-love working toward reason makes a man a
scholar; working toward his imagination, makes him artist and
inventor; working toward his gift of speech, makes him an orator;
working with pride makes him self-reliant and self-sufficing. And when
the principle of love for others asserts itself, this love, working
toward poverty, transforms man into a philanthropist; working toward
iniquity, makes man a reformer; working toward freedom, makes him a
patriot and a hero; working toward God, makes him a saint and a seer.

The new astronomy makes much of the three cosmic laws. Our earth, by a
form of self-love called molecular attraction, ceases to be scattered
dust, and takes on the shape of a rich and beautiful planet. But
self-loved, our earth is also sun-loved, and drawn by invisible bands
it is swept forward out of winter into summer. Then enters in a third
principle, by which Neptune and Uranus, lying upon the edge of space,
seek fellowship with our planet and hold it at a fixed distance from
the sun's fierce heat. Thus self-love has given the earth
individuality, the love of other planets secures stability, while the
sun's love gives movement and wealth. Working together, these three
principles secure the harmony and stability of the planetary world.
Similarly, each individual is part of a great social system. Each
moves forward under the embrace of three laws, called love to God,
love to neighbor, and love to self. Upon obedience to these laws rests
all social wealth and civilization.

We hear little of individualism, and much of the solidarity of
society. A bloodless and selfish destruction of the rights of the many
has threatened the very foundations of human happiness and compelled
the recognition of the fact that the weakness and injury of one are
the weakness and injury of all. Ours is a world in which the law of
the survival of the fittest not only works, but works very rapidly.
Thus the more wealth a man has the more he can achieve. To-day, it is
said, the various members of the Rothschild family in the different
capitals of Europe control nine billions of dollars. This sum is
accumulating like a rolling snowball, and will soon surpass, and
perhaps absorb the wealth of several of the smaller European nations.
Similarly, in the realm of wisdom, the more a man knows the more he
can know. Sir William Jones tells us that he gave five years to
mastering his first language, while six weeks were sufficient for
acquiring his fortieth dialect. Thus, too, in the realm of inventive
skill, each tool becomes the parent of a score of other tools. The
studies preparatory to Edison's first mechanism covered a long period
of years; but, gaining momentum, his inventive skill increased in
geometric ratio, until to-day the famous electrician holds nearly a
thousand patents; but, as nothing succeeds like success, so nothing is
so ruinous as failure. The weaker a man is, the weaker he must become.
When a man who seeks employment is shabby and gaunt and nerveless, his
poverty lessens his chances, but to-morrow he will be weaker and
shabbier, and day by day the rapidity of his declension will increase.

Startled by these considerations, our generation perceives that
success feeding upon its gains will soon drink up all the energies of
the earth, while failure, growing more ruinous, will sweep multitudes
into the abyss. Therefore, society has come to fully recognize the
importance of a mutual love and mutual service. When a man falls we
are less and less ready to kick him. If the poorly born drops behind
in life's race, society is increasingly ready to set him upon some
beast. If some man's brain is spongy, and his mental processes slow,
the stronger minds are belting his faculties to their swifter
energies. If a man's moral springtime is slow, says one of our social
reformers, society fits up for him a little ethical conservatory, with
steam heat and southern exposure, where the buds are given a little
judicious stimulating and pushing.

Society is recognizing the debt of strength to weakness. The man who
has skill in speech is becoming a voice for the dumb. Those who have
skill toward wealth are becoming the almoners of bounty toward art,
education and morals. Men who selfishly get much and give little, who
have become Dead Seas of accumulated treasure, are losing their
standing in society. More and more cities are bestowing their honors
and esteem upon those who serve their fellows. Men are becoming
magazines, sending out kindness everywhither. Men are becoming
gardens, filling all the air with pungent fragrance. Men are becoming
castles, in which the poor find protection. The floods of iniquity
have long covered the earth, but love is the dove bringing the olive
branch of peace. Love sings the dawn of a new day.

Our generation does well to emphasize the principle of social sympathy
and social liability. But, because individual worth is being
threatened, the time seems to have fully come for also emphasizing
man's duty to love and make the most of himself. Of late, self-care
and self-enrichment, as a principle of life, have been berated and
harshly condemned. Yet Christ recognized selfness as a principle most
proper and praiseworthy and one to be used as the basis and measure of
all moral worth. By so much as man loves and secures for himself the
physical benefits and social incitements of life, by that much he is
to love his fellows. And the failure to love one's self wisely and
passionately ends by making it impossible for man to love his fellows.
Plato's thought is ever with us: "The granary must be filled before
the poor are fed; knowledge must be gained before knowledge is given."
Happy the philanthropist whose generosity has founded school or
library. But this gift of to-day is made possible only by the industry
and thrift of yesterday. Happy the surgeon whose skill in a crisis
hour has saved some valuable life. But the hand that performs what
seems a miracle of surgery has back of it twenty years of vigilant
study and practice.

Ours is a world in which the amount of wisdom or wealth or friendship
to be distributed is predetermined by the amount required. The flow of
the faucet is determined by the fullness of the reservoir. The speed
of the electric car is fixed by the energy stored in the power house.
The power of the piston is in the push of the accumulated steam. The
Nile has force to feed civilizations, because there are a thousand
streams and rivers, a thousand hills and mountains lying back of the
Nile's current, and crowding it forward. If we could sit down by the
famous Santa Barbara vine, and speaking with it as with a familiar
friend, ask how it came to give man a half-ton of purple treasure in a
single summer, the reply would be that this rich treasure was grown
and given in one summer because two hundred summers were given to
growing a vast root and trunk, to large stems and stalks.

When Nestor stood forth before the Greek generals and counseled attack
upon Troy, he said: "The secret of victory is in getting a good
ready." Wendell Phillips was once asked how he acquired his skill in
the oratory of the lost arts. The answer was: "By getting a hundred
nights of delivery back of me." Shakespeare tells us all that the
clouds give in rain what they get in mist, which is the poet's way of
saying that what he gave in inspiration he got by way of
perspiration. Some years ago a young man asked a distinguished scholar
and writer what he thought of the higher education. "If I were twenty,
and had but ten years to live," answered the publicist, "I would spend
the first nine years accumulating knowledge and getting ready for the
tenth." Indeed, the measure of influence in any man is the measure of
his reserves. The youth who will rule to-morrow is the youth who
to-day is storing up resources of knowledge and wisdom, of
self-reliance and courage.

All history does but repeat the principle. Surveying the past, we note
that the nations that have made great contributions to civilization
have been isolated. Our historians tell us that the Hebrew gave
conscience and morals, the Greek reason and culture, the Roman law and
government, the Teuton liberty and the rise of woman. But, singularly
enough, not one of these nations lived in an open, extended country.
Each forceful race has dwelt upon some island or peninsula. The Hebrew
was shut in between the desert and the sea, and there restrained until
he accumulated his moral treasure. He was compelled to fall back upon
his own resources. By practice he found out that it was not best to
steal; that society lived more happily and peacefully when the
property of each individual was respected. Similarly, God gave him the
work of formulating each of the ten commandments. Slowly the moral
treasure grew. The jurist gave law, the poet sang songs, the prophet
poured out his rhapsody, the patriot and martyr died for principle,
and the roll of the heroes lengthened. At last the pages of Jewish
history were filled with names glowing and glorious as the nights with
stars.

Then came Jesus Christ, filling all the land with spiritual energies.
Soon the pressure of moral forces was so strong as to break through
all restraints. Then these moral treasures poured forth over all the
earth. Having given the two thousand years before Christ to
accumulating its moral energies, the Hebrew race acquired momentum
enough to continue the civilizing tide through the two thousand years
after Christ. Similarly Greece, the mother of the arts and sciences,
was shut in between the mountains and the sea until the intellectual
tides grew deep and strong.

But not alone does history urge us to make the most of ourselves. All
our great men illustrate the same principle. Of late attention has
been called to the fact that our cities are being ruled by men whose
childhood and youth were spent in the country. Isolated, brooding for
years in the fields and forests, these boys developed a forceful
individuality. A recent canvass of the prominent men in New York City
showed that eighty-five per cent were reared in the villages and rural
districts. Seventeen of our twenty-three presidents came from the
farm. A census of the colleges and seminaries in and about Chicago
showed that the country is furnishing eighty per cent of our college
students. The chances of success seem one hundred to one in favor of
the country boy. Many explain this by saying that there is a
mathematical relation between a fine physique and a firm, intellectual
tread. Good thinking rests upon fine brain-fiber. But this is only
half the truth.

These giants from the country learned in youth not to depend upon
books and newspapers, but upon their eyes and ears. Having no external
resources, they turned their thoughts inward and led forth their own
faculties. They did not wait until they opened the journal to find out
what they thought about some important subject, but, unaided, they
wrought out their own opinions, and through self-reliance grew great.
Should any sower go forth to sow in the streets of the city, he would
reap but a small harvest. The hard, beaten roadway would give the
grain no lodgment; but sown on the open furrows, the seed roots and
grows. Thus the mind of the city youth is a roadway beaten down by the
myriad events of life. His individuality is a root having little
chance to grow.

The mornings rain newspapers, the evenings increase events, the very
skies rain pamphlets. Individuality is overwhelmed with many things.
Soon the mind ceases to develop its own mental treasure, and is
content to receive its incitements from without. Because schools and
colleges are multiplied, the youth who has never gone to the bottom of
a single subject imagines that he is a fine student. Because his
shelves are crowded with books, the man deceives himself into thinking
that he has read them all. Because our age is rich in mechanical
appliances and inventions, many who cannot drive a nail straight
imagine that they have been really instrumental in ushering in this
magnificent epoch. Many sing peans of exultation over this wondrous
civilization who are mental and industrial paupers, whose chief ground
of congratulation is that they got themselves born into this
particular century. But power does not come that way. Moses will
control all our jurists to-morrow because he spent forty years in the
desert reflecting upon the principles of justice. Paul had the honor
to fashion our political institutions because he gave twelve years of
general preparation and three years of special application to the
study of individual rights. Milton tells us that he spent four and
thirty years of solitary and unceasing study in accumulating his
material for a heroic poem that the world would not willingly let die.

Homer wrote the "Iliad" because he was blind and driven in upon his
own resources. Dante wrote his "Inferno" because he was exiled, and in
isolation had time to store up his mental treasure. Webster and
Lincoln spent years in the forests and fields, reflecting and
brooding, analyzing and comparing. Many a long summer passed while
they sowed and garnered their mental treasure. Pasteur gave our
generation much, because for thirty years he isolated himself and got
much to give. When Lowell speaks of the attar of roses, he reminds us
of the whole fields of crimson blossoms that have been swept together
in one tiny vial. When Starr King saw the great trees of California
standing forth twenty-five feet in diameter and lifting their crowns
three hundred feet into the sunshine, he was so impressed by their
dignity and beauty as to be touched into tears; but the size of the
trees did not explain his emotion. It was the thought of the reserve
energies that had been compacted into them. The mountains had given
their iron and rich stimulants, the hills had given their soil, the
clouds had given their rain and snow, a thousand summers and winters
had poured forth their treasure about the vast roots. Thus the authors
and statesmen who will help the next generation are to-day engaged in
loving themselves and making the most of their talents. Not until they
have compacted within themselves a thousand knowledges and virtues
will they be able to love others.

With sadness let us confess that our age is sinning grievously against
this principle of self-care and self-love. Individual worth is being
sorely neglected. An age is great not through a large census roll, but
through a multitude of great souls, just as a book is valuable not by
having many pages, but by containing great ideas. The paving-stones in
our streets are very different from sapphires. The bringing together
of 65,000,000 small granite blocks will not turn these stones into
diamonds. It is only when each stone is a gem that the increase of
number means the increase of beauty. No nation is moving forward
toward supremacy merely because the weak individuals began to go in
droves. In our education we are singing peans and praise about our
schools and new methods of education. Meanwhile Frederic Harrison
insists that in fifty years the public schools of Great Britain have
turned out not one mind of the first order. Some of those who have
achieved renown in literature or statecraft were self-educated. The
rest enjoyed the help of some parent or friend, who very early in the
child's career took the pains to search out the child's strongest
faculty, and then asked some tutor or teacher to assist in nourishing
the special talent toward greatness.

At home, President White is telling us that our authors and poets are
dead, and have no successors. Nor could it be otherwise. When a
skillful driver wishes to develop the speed of a thoroughbred colt, he
specializes upon this one animal. No sensible horseman would put forty
colts upon a track and try to develop their speed by driving them
around in a drove. It remains for the parents of this country to adopt
the method of training their children in droves, and educating them in
herds. Our common-school system began in the necessity for the
division of labor. Settling in the wilds of New England, the men went
into the forests with axes, or to the field with their hoes. The
mothers went into the garden or to the loom. Rather than that their
children should have no education, many parents came together and
asked some one man or woman to do the work for all. Thus our common
schools were born out of poverty and emergency.

But at length has come a time when parents, in blind worship of a
system, have farmed their children out to intellectual wet-nurses.
Many children who possess talent of the first order in the realm of
poetry or literature are compelled during the most precious period of
life to spend years upon subjects that yield them no culture effect.
Meanwhile their enthusiasm is wasted, and their strongest faculties
starved. Only when it is too late do they discover the cruel injustice
that has been wrought upon them, and recognize that they must remain
unfulfilled prophecies. Our common schools have wrought most
effectively for our civilization. They are the hope of society. But
not until our parents become enthusiastic teachers, and our homes
assist the school rooms, will men cease complaining that the nation's
great men have no successors, and that genius has departed from our
people.

The time has fully come for the nation also to begin to love itself.
All perceive that the individual has no right to be so generous
to-day as to have nothing to bestow to-morrow. Wisdom guards to-day's
expenditures lest to-morrow's capital be impaired. He is a poor
husbandman who so overtaxes his fields or vineyards as to exhaust the
soil or destroy the vine. Yet many events seem to prove that our
nation has sorely injured itself by over-kindness. It has forgotten
that only God can love everybody. In trying to help the many it has
threatened its power to help any. It has been like a man who on a
January day opens his windows and tries to warm all out of doors, only
to find that he has frozen his family within the house, and warmed no
one without. If we journey into the factory towns in New England,
where the youthful Whittier and Longfellow were trained, we find the
school-houses with windows boarded over. The little churches also are
deserted and the doors nailed up. Listening to the "reformers" in our
parks on a Sunday afternoon, we are amazed by the virulent attacks
upon our institutions. Conversing with the foreman of a large group of
men laying water-pipes, we are astonished at his statement that he has
not a single man who can write well enough to keep the time and hours
of these toilers. Standing in Castle Garden, where the emigrant ship
unloads its multitudes, we hear the physician exclaim: "It will take
this nation a hundred years to expel this vice and scrofula from its
blood."

As some railways water their stock, and for each dollar issue bonds
for five, in the hope that only one of the five will ever know enough
to ask for their dollar, so the intelligence of the nation has been
watered and diluted. Sometimes a whole ballot-box full of voters'
tickets does not contain the common sense of a single vote of the days
of Hamilton. Our nation often seems like a householder who has given
his night-key to an enemy who has threatened his home with firebrands.
Our nation has loved--not wisely, but too well. The time has come when
it must choose between loving itself and becoming bankrupt in
intelligence and morality. For purposes of educating the nations of
the world as to the true value of free institutions, one little New
England community, where all the citizens were patriots and heroes,
scholars and Christians, where vulgarity and crime were unknown, where
the jail was empty and the church was full, where all young lives
moved toward the school-house--one such community has a value beyond
our present millions.

What the world needs is not multitudes, but examples and ideals. If
one Plato can be produced, he will lift the world. Our citizens ask
artists to paint their pictures--not bootblacks. We ask architects to
erect our public buildings--not chimney sweeps. Loving their city, our
citizens have lined the avenues with beautiful homes and streets with
stores and factories. But here their self-love stops. When great men
have created the city, they ask saloon-keepers to govern it. Well did
the sage say, it was as if we had passed by Daniel Webster and asked
an African ape to speak in his stead. Strange--passing strange--that
our nation and city should forget that all love for others begins with
a wise love for self.

We return from our survey with the conviction that Jesus Christ did
well to make individual worth the genius of Christianity. Having moved
backward along the pathway of history, we have found the streams of
civilization taking rise in some one enriched mind and heart, even as
mighty rivers issue from isolated springs. Looking backward we see
Moses building the Hebrew temple; we see Pericles and Plato fashioning
many shapes of truth and beauty for Athens; we see Dante laying the
foundations of Florence; we see Carlo Zeno causing Venice to rise out
of the sands of the sea; we see Bacon and Luther rearing the
cathedrals of thought and worship, under which the millions find their
shelter. Oppressed by a sense of human ignorance and human sin, a
thousand questions arise. Can one poorly born journey toward greatness
of stature? The Cremona violin of the sixteenth century is a mass of
condensed melody. Each atom was soaked in a thousand songs, until the
instrument reeks with sweetness. But can a human instrument, long out
of tune and sadly injured, e'er be brought back to harmony of being?
In the studio of the sculptor lie blocks of deserted marble. Out of
one emerges a hand, another exhibits the outlines of a face. But for
some reason the artist has forsaken them. It seems that as the chisel
worked inward, it uncovered some crack or revealed a dark stain.
Therefore the sculptor passed it by, preferring the flawless block of
snowy marble. Is the soul soiled by sin, to be cast off by the divine
Sculptor?

Journeying across the plains, travelers looking through the car
windows behold the California trail. The wagon ruts have become
ditches, and the old route is marked by human graves. But long ago men
exchanged the ox cart, the deep wagon ruts, and the wearisome journey,
for palace cars. Thus there are many paths of sin worn deep by
pressure of human feet. Many would fain forsake them. But is there any
divine power to cast up some divine highway? Is there a happiness?
Nature is kind to her grains and sweeps them forward toward harvests;
is kind toward her apple seeds and bids them journey unto orchards; is
kind unto the March days, and bids them journey into perpetual summer.

And man would fain find some divine friend who will lead him unto
great personal worth. As if to fulfill man's deepest needs, Jesus
Christ enters the earthly scene. He comes to hasten man's step along
that pathway that leads from littleness unto largeness. Before our
admiring vision the Divine Teacher seems like some sacred husbandman,
His garden our earth, good men and great earth's richest fruit. He
asks each youth to love and make the most of himself, that later on he
may be bread to the hungry, medicine to the wounded, shelter to the
weak. He bids each love his own reason, getting wisdom with that eager
passion that Hugh Miller had for knowledge. He bids each make the most
of friendship, emulating Plato in his love for his noble teacher. He
asks each to love industry, emulating Peabody, whose generosity gushed
like rivers. He asks each to make the most of courage and
self-reliance, emulating Livingstone in self-denying service. He bids
each emulate and look up to Jesus Christ, as Dante, midst the pitchy
night, looked up toward the star. He bids each move heaven and earth
to achieve for himself a worthy manhood. For thus only can earth ever
be moved back unto heaven.



INDEX


Abélard, 166

Abraham, influence on posterity, 16

Abundant Life, 29

Æschylus, 198

Agassiz, 102, 237

Aristotle, 124

Arkwright, 99

Arnold, 135, 216, 292
  Thos., 164

Aspirations and Ideals, 53
  number and kind, 61
  power to lift life, 58
  the use of, 63
  rebuke lower life, 66
  enemies of, 70


Babbage, 287

Bancroft, Geo., 10

Beatrice, 44

Beecher, 19, 95, 134, 142, 188, 258

Bible, 32, 98, 142, 164, 255

Body, a thinking machine, 80
  delicacy of sensation, 80
  evolution, 81
  its needs as stimuli, 88
  channel of knowledges, 88
  system of moral registration, 92

Books and reading, 233
  increase of power of vision, 238
  show men at their best, 239
  tools for the mind, 240
  multiply brain forces, 242
  preserve the spirit of great men, 243
  give information, 246
  show unity of progress, 249
  choice of books, 250

Brooks, Phillips, 44, 254

Brown, John, 58

Browning, Mrs., 248

Bulwer Lytton, 135

Bunyan, 114

Burns, 158, 294

Byron, 48, 188, 198, 250


Cadmus, 16

Caird, 84

Capital, original, 13

Carlyle, 76, 214, 234, 239, 255

Castelar, 40

Channing, 192, 225, 234

Character, 31, 44
  defined, 34
  materials of, 34

Charles IX., 203

Clay, 154, 262

Climate, effect on race, 16

Coleridge, 47, 132, 200, 293

Columbus, 56, 152

Confucius, 32

Conscience and Character, 187
  working of conscience, 191, 201
  uses and functions, 199
  standard, 199
  relation to judgment, 200
  influence on memory, 201
  in daily life, 202
  commercial, 205
  emotional, 208
  to the past, 209

Contrasts and extremes, teachers, 47

Cooper, Peter, 177

Cranmer, 145

Cromwell, 39, 40, 100

Curtis, Geo. Wm., 23


Dana, 84

Dante, 21, 78, 129, 150, 165, 198, 215, 312, 318

David, 48, 165

Death, 95

Demosthenes, 198

De Tocqueville, 126

Dickens, 106

Distribution of ability in U.S., 22

Doré, 124

Douglass, Frederick, 223

Dreams, 64

Drummond, 82, 84

Dwight's dictum, 15


Edison, 169, 304

Elements of worth in individual, 9

Eliot, Geo., 178, 196, 222

Emerson, 13, 31, 34, 42, 98, 103, 122, 150, 164

Enthusiasm, 168
  of friendship, 165

Epictetus, 174

Evolution, 82

External world a teacher, 37


Faraday, 248

Fiske, 94

Friendship, 163
  secret of eminence, 173
  refining, 178

Froude, 172


Garibaldi, 171, 184

Gladstone, 43, 69

Göethe, 151

Grant, 184

Greeley, 33

Guttenberg printing press, 82


Hamilton, 133, 201

Handel, 153

Harrison, Frederic, 234, 250, 314

Hawthorne, 107

Health, 75

Helps, Arthur, 253

Heredity, 130

Herod, 189

Heroes raised up to teach men, 58, 59

Hoe, printing press, 82

Holland, J.G., 23

Holmes, O.W., 13

Homer, 60, 312

Hugo, 193

Huss, 145, 150

Huxley, 76


Ideals, teachers, 49

Ignorance, 19, 31

Imagination, 141
  defined, 147
  sustains men, 149
  place in science and invention, 157
  mechanics, 152
  helps character, 156
  abuse of, 157
  lifts above misfortune, 159
  reveals God, 160

Integrity, 27

Iron, value of raw and manufactured, 20


Jacob's vision, 70, 166

Jesus, 14, 29, 30, 31, 40, 51, 59, 115, 118, 183, 189, 210, 215, 271,
  309, 318, 319

John, 14

Johnson, 47, 166

Jones, Sir Wm., 304

Judas Iscariot, 135


Keats, 106

King, Starr, 312

Knowledge, 20

Kossuth, 184


Lamartine, 34

Lamb, 47, 166, 244

Lecky, 45

Lee, inventor of loom, 47

Lincoln, 34, 41, 169, 219, 284, 312

Livingstone, 58, 78, 236, 241

Living with men, 257
  the largest subject, 259
  training necessary, 262
  the most important act, 264
  the most difficult, 266
  aim and end of life, 274
  test of manhood, 275

Locke, 122

Lodge's study of distribution of ability, 22

Longfellow, 129, 252

Lowell, 31, 98, 142, 312

Lubbock's inquiry of Indian chief, 16, 175

Luther, 40, 41, 58, 78, 100, 171


Macaulay, 132, 262

Making the most of one's self, 299
  self-care and self-love, 301
  debt of strength to weakness, 305
  examples from history, 309
  examples from great men, 309
  duty of the nation, 316
  teaching of Christ, 318

Man a double creature, 85

Mann, Horace, 17

Massachusetts, education, 22

McCosh, 84

Michael Angelo, 118, 149, 214

Mill, John Stuart, 12, 25

Millais, Martyr, 58

Millet's Angelus, 20

Milton, 34, 56, 79, 114, 129, 153, 167, 174, 198, 234, 312

Mind and the duty of right thinking, 97
  its wonderfulness, 101
  its fruitfulness, 103
  determines character, 114

Misfits in life, 13

Mivart, 116

Monotony, a teacher, 43

Moral uses of the memory, 121
  basis of civilization, 125
  power, 131
  examples, Macaulay, Niebuhr, etc., 131
  influenced by conscience, 201


Napoleon, 17, 142, 153, 184

Newness as a teacher, 42

Newton, 84, 237, 238

Nestor, 307

Niebuhr's memory, 131

Nilsson, 154

Northampton, noted men, 23


Obedience to law, 27

Oken, 151


Paganini, 14, 262

Pasteur, 312

Paul, 12, 41, 234, 235, 282

Paupers, plebeian and patrician, 12

Peter, 135

Petrarch, 166

Phillips, 135, 170, 217, 307

Phidias, 79, 125

Phocion, 34

Physical basis of character, 74

Pitt, 135

Plato, 13, 163, 183, 189, 214, 306

Pliny, 70

Proctor, 103

Ptolemy, 45

Pythagoras, 144


Racial elements, 15

Rameses, 77

Raphael, 51

Rasselas, 47

Responsibility a teacher, 46

Revelators of character, 279
  the face, 283
  instances, 285
  body, 285
  habits and unconscious desires, 292
  power of pure character, 297

Richter, 121

Rosetti, 121

Ruskin, 41, 43, 255, 258


Savonarola, 41, 171,191

Scaliger's memory, 131

Schopenhauer, 227

Schiller, 167, 214

Scott, 150, 201

Seneca's memory, 131

Servetus, 203

Seward, 188

Shakespeare, 22, 47, 51, 53, 79, 97, 125, 136, 164, 193, 307

Silas Marner, 178

Sin, a personal fact, 87

Skill in handling men, 25

Smith, Adam, 12
  Sidney, 111

Socrates, 14, 57, 92, 130, 165, 190, 214

Solon, 144

Sophocles, 198

Sophroniscus, 147

Southey, 244

Spencer, Herbert, 50, 168

Stanley, 217, 292

Sterne, 188

Stupidity of sin, 25

Strength, physical, 17

Strikes, 25

Swing, 97, 164, 212, 258


Taylor, 212

Teachers in life external world, 37
  temptation, 39
  newness and zest, 42
  monotony, 44
  responsibility, 46
  contrasts and extremes, 47
  ideals, 49

Temptation, 39

Tennyson, 121, 165, 172, 284

Themistocles, 23

Theseus, 16

Tholuck, 51

Thomson, Sir Wm., 248

Thompson, 75

Thoughts affect face's expression, 109

Thucydides, 199

Titian, 262

Trademarks, 281

Tubman, Harriet, 223

Tupper, 35

Tyndall, 101


Value of man, financial, 11
  acc. to race, 16
    thoughts determine, 111

Veronese, 113

Virgil, 110

Vision hours, 50, 62, 68, 230

Visions that disturb, 211
  shape great lives, 217
  bring life's best moods, 222
  conquer sin, 223
  secure service for right, 223
  make good men perfect, 224
  for our nation, 225

Von Humboldt, 189
  Moltke, 23
  Rile, 118


Wastes of Society, 9
  through ignorance, 19
  hatred, 28

Washington, 34, 188

Watson, Wm., 212

Watts, 29, 80, 125, 152

Webster, 153, 192, 220, 256, 262, 284, 312

White, Pres., 314

Whitney, Prof., 23

Wordsworth, 47, 97, 106, 178


Zeno, 318

Zacharias, 14


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    | Typographical errors corrected in text:                   |
    |                                                           |
    | Page  27: Obedince replaced with Obedience                |
    | Page  40: sweetnees replaced with sweetness               |
    | Page  83: miscroscope replaced with microscope            |
    | Page  88: civilzation replaced with civilization          |
    | Page 133: provison replaced with provision                |
    | Page 164: Goethe replaced with Göethe                     |
    | Page 237: eloqunce replaced with eloquence                |
    | Page 325: M'Cosh replaced with McCosh                     |
    | Page 327: Thunistocles replaced with Themistocles         |
    | Page 327: Thesnes replaced with Theseus                   |
    |                                                           |
    | The following words are correct:                          |
    |                                                           |
    | Page  63: stithy, noun meaning 1. an anvil, 2. a forge    |
    |           or smithy.                                      |
    | Page 161: bowlder, an obsolete spelling for boulder       |
    | Page 288: accidently, alternate spelling for accidentally |
    | Page 311: peans, noun meaning 1. any song of praise, joy, |
    |           or triumph. 2. a hymn of invocation or          |
    |           thanksgiving to Apollo or some other ancient    |
    |           Greek deity.                                    |
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