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Title: Nature and Culture
Author: Rice, Harvey
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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_Copyright, 1889_,

University Press:


The first edition of "Nature and Culture" was published in 1875. The
degree of favor with which the book was received has induced the author
to publish a second edition, in which he has made a few changes and
additions of such a character as to render the work, he trusts, still
worthier of acceptance.

August 20, 1889.


NATURE AND HER LESSONS              11


WOMAN AND HER SPHERE                93

AIM HIGH                           139

AMERICA AND HER FUTURE             163


MISSION MONUMENT                   225




Nature declares herself in her works. What exists beyond her domain, if
anything, becomes necessarily a matter of faith or imagination; and yet
the origin of the material universe presents a problem which neither the
vagaries of the ancients nor the speculations of the moderns have been
able to solve in a satisfactory manner.

In modern methods of logic, we reason from cause to effect, from the
known to the unknown; but in attempting to penetrate the region of the
unknown, we are often left without a reliable guide. Analogy may aid,
but cannot assure us. The powers of the human mind, if not infinite, may
admit of infinite culture. What is supposed to be "unknowable" may
therefore become known. However this may be, there is no divine
injunction which prescribes a limit to human possibilities.

Whatever we may think or believe, the volume of Nature contains nothing
but truth; it is a divine record which is as inexhaustible in its wealth
of knowledge as it is conclusive in its logic. Men of science, in
attempting to read this unerring record, have advanced many plausible
theories in relation to the processes by which the earth acquired its
embodiment, and took its place among the golden orbs of heaven.

There are reasons for believing that matter has always existed in some
form or other, and that it is infinite in extent as well as in duration.
Nor need we hesitate to infer, from the knowledge we have of the various
forms in which matter exists, that what is true of the earth in its
processes of development is equally true of every other planet.

Whether the earth in its origin was a fragment thrown off from some
exploded planet which had filled the measure of its destiny, or whether
it arose from the gradual accretion of elementary substances diffused in
infinite space, are questions which cannot be satisfactorily answered.
Either method is not only plausible, but consistent with the known laws
and operations of Nature.

It seems quite probable that those erratic bodies known as comets are
but incipient planets, which continue, as they revolve in their
mystical flight, to accumulate gaseous matter until they have acquired
and condensed a sufficient amount to become orbs, or worlds; when, by
the influence of physical forces, they take their places in some one or
other of the existing planetary systems. It is thus perhaps that the law
of development constructs a world with as much ease as it constructs a
grain of sand; nor can we doubt that the processes of aggregation and
dissolution are made reciprocal in their relations, and perpetual in
their action.

In a philosophical sense, "life" and "death" are but conventional terms,
meaning nothing more than a change of matter from one form of existence
to another. Whatever changes may take place, matter can neither be
increased nor diminished. Infinite space, being an immateriality, could
never have been created and cannot therefore be limited or annihilated.
In all probability it still is, and always has been, filled with the
elements of matter,--too subtile, perhaps, to be perceived, yet destined
in the course of eternal ages to be wrought and re-wrought into infinite
varieties of corporeal existences, mineral, vegetal, and animal, ever
progressing from the imperfect to the perfect. Thus Nature teaches us
the lesson that in perfection dwells the central Life, the quickening
power of the universe.

In accordance with this view, we may regard every particle of matter in
the universe as the germ of a world. And yet what are called original
elements may be such, or may not. Supposed monads, or simple unities, if
they exist at all, may be capable of analysis by the application of
physical agencies or forces as yet unknown to science. Though science
has disclosed much that is wonderful in the mechanism of Nature, there
still lies before us an infinite unknown. Whether ultimately the human
mind will become so enlarged and extended in its powers as to comprehend
the infinite, admits of no positive assurance; yet in the unrevealed
design of the great future, such may be the result.

It is only in modern times that science has taken the advanced step, and
led philosophy into the beautiful avenues of Nature, where, amid the
infinite, she gazes at the universe, listens to the music of the
spheres, and beholds the golden wealth of the infinite displayed on
every side. It is thus that philosophy has become inspired with a desire
to account for everything, and finds that Nature has written her own
history in the hills and in the rocks, in the depths of the sea, and in
the stars of heaven, leaving nothing for man to do except to read the
record, and accept its truthful teachings. In fact, the material
universe may be regarded as an outspoken revelation of the infinite.

The elementary substances which compose the earth and its atmosphere are
essentially the same, and are not numerous, so far as ascertained. The
leading vital principle is oxygen, which constitutes at least one half
of all known matter. The earth's crust is estimated to be about fifty
miles thick. This estimate is based on the fact that in penetrating the
earth, the heat uniformly increases at a rate which would fuse all
mineral substances at that depth.

Hence, the interior of the earth is believed to be a region of molten
substances, fiery billows that roll impatient of restraint, and escape
here and there in the form of volcanic eruptions. Volcanoes are,
therefore, but the outposts of gigantic central forces, and earthquakes
but the spasmodic trials of their strength. It would seem, go where we
will, that "fiery billows" literally roll beneath our feet. What
Nature's ultimate designs are, it is impossible to predict. But it is
pretty certain that her internal fires are working out some mystical
problem. A scientific German has recently ascertained that the surface
of the earth is gradually becoming hotter, and that in five hundred
millions of years it will attain to such a degree of heat as to destroy
human life. And yet there are other scientists equally wise, perhaps,
who assert that the earth's crust is gradually cooling and contracting,
and therefore radiating less heat, the final result of which will be the
destruction of all life and a return of the glacial period.

Geological science, as well as revelation, impresses us with the belief
that in the beginning "the earth was without form, and void,"--a chaos
of atoms which were gathered, comet-like, from infinite space, and made
to revolve in a globular mass by physical forces, until it became, by
the condensation of its vapory atmosphere, submerged in a flood of dark
and interminable waters. In consequence of the action of the waters on
mineral substances, vast deposits of sediment accumulated, which, with
the aid of pressure and chemical heat, gradually hardened into rocks,
strata upon strata, like solid masonry, and varying in thickness from
the fraction of a mile to thirty miles or more. Nature seems to have
adopted this method of construction as a prerequisite to the severance
of the land from the waters. In effecting this object, the explosive
forces, long confined in the earth's interior, are supposed to have
burst asunder the walls of their prison-house, suddenly upheaving
continents and mountains from the depths of a dismal and shoreless
ocean. It was then that the "dry land" made its first appearance, and
was baptized in the pure sunlight of heaven.

The virgin soil of the earth, when thus exposed to the genial influence
of the sun, soon produced vegetal life, and vegetal life animal
life,--the one the food of the other. Thus Nature ever provides for her
guests in advance of their reception. Yet in her formative processes she
"makes haste slowly," though she may sometimes leap to conclusions. Her
work never ceases. A million of years is to her as one day, and one day
as a million of years. Hence everything has its age, and is lost in the
ages. Of this fact we have reliable evidence in the strata of the rocks,
and in the limited field of our own observation. There can be no doubt
the earth has been many times baptized in fire and water, and its crust
broken into fragments and thrown into strange angles and relations.
These grand upheavals have occurred at dates vastly remote from each
other, and are recognized by science as great geological periods.

The Ages of Nature, so far as relates to the earth, may be classed
briefly as: the primary, or reign of fishes; the secondary, or reign of
reptiles; the tertiary, or reign of mammals; and the modern, or reign of
man. Each of these ages constitutes a grand chapter in the earth's
history, which is easily read and understood by the masters of
geological science. The same agencies which were employed in
constructing the earth's crust are still employed in reconstructing it.
In fact, the work of creation is still going on as in the beginning, if
beginning there ever was in Nature's material processes. We see this
illustrated in the changes which are produced on the earth's surface in
our own time by the action of the rain, the wind, the frost, the flood,
the glacier, the volcano, and the earthquake.

It is by these agencies that the hills and the mountains are graded
down, and the _detritus_ deposited in the valleys and in the sea; thus
are valleys enriched and broadened, vast plains and deltas created, and
continents enlarged. When the present hills and mountains have been
reduced to plains, and the fertility of the soil exhausted, it is quite
probable that another grand upheaval of the earth's foundations will
occur,--the birth-power by which new hills and mountains are lifted up,
and continents changed to ocean-beds, and ocean-beds to continents. It
is these mighty changes and exchanges that prepare the way, and fit the
earth for the production of higher orders of plants and animals, and
perhaps a higher order of man.

In the course of unknown ages, Nature has enriched and extended the
valley of the Nile hundreds of miles into the sea, by transporting
thither the pulverized wealth of the Abyssinian mountains. Thus
fertilized, Egypt has for many thousands of years sustained a dense
population. Very justly has she been called not only the cradle of
mankind, but the granary of the world. In like manner, the Ganges
transports from the interior of India a sufficient amount of sediment
annually to cover a township five miles square to the depth of ten feet,
and by this means has extended the land hundreds of miles into the
ocean. The Hoang-Ho, a river of China, by its deposits of alluvium in
the sea has added an entire province to that country, comprising an area
of ninety-six thousand square miles. Indeed, all rivers are tributaries
to the sea, and all seas tributaries to the rivers. This exchange is
effected mainly by the rains and the snows, the exhalations and the
waterspouts. The clouds are but common carriers; this commerce is
therefore a matter of mutual interest, and grows out of the positive
necessities of sea and land. Though the elements appear to move in
conflict, they really move in perfect harmony, and bring order out of
seeming confusion.

In executing a gigantic work, no river has excelled the Mississippi.
This "Father of Waters" has distinctly indicated in the record of his
career the prehistorical age of the world, and the equally prehistorical
advent of man. In his "march to the sea" he has left enduring landmarks,
and with his battle-axe notched centuries long lost in the mighty past.
The land which this majestic river has formed, by depositing sediment in
the Gulf of Mexico, comprises an area of thirty thousand square miles.
This deposit or delta has a depth exceeding one thousand feet; and the
period required for its accumulation has been estimated by Mr. Lyell,
the renowned geologist, at one hundred thousand years.

This estimate only embraces the deposits since the river ran in its
present channel. The bluffs along the river rise in many places two
hundred and fifty feet, and contain shells, with the remains of the
mastodon, elephant, tapir, megalonyx, and other huge animals. It is
evident that these bluffs must have belonged to an ancient plain or
valley long anterior to the present level. In several sections of the
valley as it now exists, excavations have been made deeper than the Gulf
of Mexico, and successive growths of cypress-timber found, to the number
of four or five distinct growths, the lowest lying at the depth of six
hundred feet. Some of these trees are ten feet in diameter, and have
from five to six thousand annual rings of growth.

As the valley of the river from age to age grew in elevation by
deposits of sediment, a new growth of cypress was produced, and is now
supervened by the live-oak plain, so called, which has had an existence,
as estimated by the annual rings of the oaks, of fourteen thousand

In excavating for gas-works at New Orleans, a human skull was found
beneath the roots of a cypress belonging to the fourth-forest level, in
a good state of preservation, while the other bones of the skeleton
crumbled to dust on exposure to the air. The type of the cranium was
that of the aboriginal American. Now, if we take the period required to
form the live-oak level, and add it to the time required to produce the
next three subterranean growths of cypress, which overlie the fourth
growth, in which the cranium was found, it clearly proves that the human
race existed in the great valley of the Mississippi more than
fifty-seven thousand years ago.

Not only in the valley of the Mississippi have fossil remains of man and
animals been discovered at depths and in formations that prove their
remote antiquity, but in many other parts of the world. Not many years
ago, a human skull was found in Brazil, embedded in a sandstone rock
overgrown with lofty trees. There is still preserved, in the museum at
Quebec, a human skull which was excavated from the solid schist-rock on
which the citadel now stands. Human skeletons have also been found in
the island of Guadeloupe, embedded in a rock said to be as hard as the
finest statuary marble. Even so recently as the year 1868, while sinking
a well at the Antelope station, on the Union Pacific Railroad, the
workmen penetrated a rock six feet thick, and at eighty feet below the
rock discovered a human skeleton in such a state of preservation as to
be readily recognized as such.

In another instance it is said that a human skull was discovered in
Calaveras County, Cal., at the bottom of a shaft which had been sunk one
hundred and thirty feet below the surface. It was found deposited in a
bed of gravel with other organic remains, and beneath the eighth
distinct geological layer of earth and gravel, where it must have lain,
according to the estimate of Professor Whitney, the geologist, for a
period of at least one hundred thousand years. This remote antiquity of
man is also confirmed by discoveries in every part of the world of the
fossil remains of domestic animals as well as of man, including
implements of human invention, such as flint arrow-heads, stone axes,
war-weapons, cooking-utensils, in localities which preclude the idea of
their belonging to an age that has a written history.

It is not unfrequent that fossil remains of human bones and of animals
are found embedded in the coral-reef limestone of Florida. In fact, says
Professor Agassiz, the whole peninsula of Florida has been formed by
successive growths of coral reefs and shells; he estimates the formation
of the southern half of the peninsula as occupying a period of one
hundred and thirty-five thousand years. The sea contains ingredients
which feed innumerable animalcula, especially the polypes, or
coral-builders, which have the power of secreting calcareous matter.
These myriads of noiseless architects are ever busy in building for
themselves fairy temples in the depths of the ocean, of the most
delicate and beautiful workmanship, and in erecting pyramids and
islands, and in extending continents.

In the mean time there are other agencies of a very different character
continually at work, modifying the earth's surface, and preparing it for
sustaining a still higher order of vegetal and animal life. As a result
of these agencies, especially the volcanic, it often happens that
serious calamities befall the human family. In the course of a century,
not less than two thousand volcanic eruptions occur on the globe, equal
to twenty a year, or one every eighteen days. The whole number of
volcanoes known to be active at the present time exceeds three hundred;
and doubtless many times that number have long since become extinct.

In Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, there are extensive tracts or
belts of country which are volcanic in their character; and especially
is this true of the entire American-Pacific coast, and the ocean-bed
adjoining it. Often have long lines of this coast been elevated or
depressed many feet, as if the whole continent were afloat, and tossing
like a ship on a stormy sea. Neither in the past, nor in the present,
has the earth seemed to rest on a sure foundation. Even in apparent
security there is no positive safety.

Nature must and will exercise her sterner as well as her milder powers.
In achieving gigantic works, she employs gigantic powers. Her forces are
her own; and when she directs them to execute her mandates, she is
promptly obeyed. She models and remodels the earth's exterior and
interior at pleasure, but never without a beneficent design. Earthquakes
break up the earth's crust. Internal fires melt it. Exploding gases lift
it. Gravitation moulds it. The atmosphere cools it. The sun and the rain
clothe it with verdure; and flowers crown it with beauty. In this way
the earth's surface seems to have been prepared for the advent of man,
and its interior supplied with coal-fields and reservoirs of oil and gas
for his use.

Though Nature has made for man ample provision, she requires him not
only to help himself, but to take care of himself. Nor does she give him
formal notice to keep out of harm's way when she wishes to break up the
earth's crust and re-cast it, but proceeds at once. She may sink or
elevate a continent at a blow, or she may do it by slow degrees.

The earliest writers give us accounts of terrific earthquakes.
Thucydides alludes to volcanic eruptions which occurred five hundred
years before the Christian era. In the vicinity of volcanic mountains,
it has happened that city after city, in the course of ages, has been
engulfed, one upon another, in molten lava, or cinders, leaving no
record behind them of their unhappy fate. Herculaneum lies buried a
hundred feet deep beneath the modern city of Portici; and beneath
Herculaneum, a city still more ancient has been discovered, whose name
and history are entirely unknown. How many other cities lie buried at
the foot of the old fire-crowned monarch of Italy, no one can tell; but
doubtless there are several of them. What induced people to occupy a
locality so perilous, it is difficult to say, unless it was the
superior fertility of a volcanic soil.

No part of the world is exempt from sudden calamities of a similar
character. The earthquake experienced by the city of Antioch in Syria,
in the year 626, destroyed two hundred and fifty thousand people. The
great eruption of Mount Etna, in 1669, overflowed fourteen towns,
containing from three to four thousand inhabitants each. The stream of
lava which issued from the mountain was half a mile wide and forty feet
deep, and swept everything before it, until lost in the sea. The
earthquake at Lisbon, in 1775, killed sixty thousand persons in six
minutes; the shock was felt in Switzerland, in Scotland, in
Massachusetts, and on the shore of Lake Ontario. In 1783, a large river
in Iceland was sunk into the earth by volcanic action, and entirely
obliterated. In 1792, an earthquake in the island of Java sunk a tract
of land fifteen miles long and six miles wide, carrying down with it
forty small villages. In our own country and in our own neighborhood, in
1811, several islands in the Mississippi River, near New Madrid, were
sunk by an earthquake, and the course of the river driven back eighteen
miles, causing it to overflow the adjacent lands; about half the county
of New Madrid, as well as the village, was submerged. Several new lakes
were created, one of which was sixty miles long and several miles wide.
The earth's surface rose in undulations like the billows of the sea, and
with terrific utterances, opened yawning chasms, from which vast columns
of sand and water, and a substance resembling coke, were thrown out. The
whole face of the country in that region was materially changed. And,
what is a little singular, one of the lakes thus created by the
earthquake extended to the river at a point nearly opposite the famous
Island No. 10, thus affording a natural canal by which the Union forces
in the late civil war approached and took the island.

It is not improbable that the entire chain of our great northwestern
lakes, from Ontario to Superior, were created by the volcanic collapse
of a mountain range that once occupied the same localities. Of this fact
there are plausible, if not irresistible, evidences to be seen in the
volcanic character of the rocks at various points along the entire
coast. Nor can it be very well doubted that subsequent volcanic action
has elevated much of the coast into several corresponding ridges, from
one to two miles apart, which distinctly mark the successive boundaries
of these inland seas.

Nature removes mountains, or creates them, at pleasure. She also makes
and unmakes lakes and rivers, to say nothing of oceans and continents.
In California, and doubtless in other parts of the world, there are as
many dead as living rivers. The miners of California have already
discovered the old channels of a dozen or more dead rivers, as they call
them, encased and sealed up in the very heart of the mountain ranges,
and extending in some instances hundreds of miles in the general
direction of the ranges, and leaping from mountain to mountain at a
common level or grade. These ancient channels are filled with sand,
gravel, and small bowlders, evidently worn and polished by long
attrition. Some of the channels are a mile wide, or more, and from ten
to one hundred feet deep. In the angles or eddies, the sands are found
to be exceedingly rich in gold, sometimes yielding fifty dollars or more
to the cubic yard. It is estimated that over five hundred millions of
dollars have already been taken from the sands of these dead rivers, and
that they are now yielding at least ten millions a year. It is evident
that these dead rivers must have been living rivers long before the
volcanic era arrived, which elevated the ancient valleys into mountain
ranges, and depressed the ancient mountain ranges into valleys.

In the South-American earthquake of August, 1868, thirty thousand lives
were lost, several cities entirely obliterated, and three hundred
millions of dollars' worth of property destroyed. A tidal wave, more
than forty feet deep, swept over the land and deposited, high and dry,
and beyond recovery, several first-class ships; the effect of this
earthquake was felt along the coast for a distance of six to seven
thousand miles. In October of the same year, the city of San Francisco
was visited by an earthquake, which shattered many buildings, and
destroyed several lives. It is supposed that this was but a prolongation
of the South-American earthquake.

In some parts of California and South America, thunder and lightning
seldom occur, while earthquakes are frequent; in regions like these,
earthquakes would seem to be a substitute for thunder and lightning. In
all probability both are but electrical phenomena, differing only in the
fact that the one is an earthquake, the other a skyquake. It is in
plains and valleys that earthquakes prove the most destructive.
Doubtless the solid material composing the mountain ranges affords a
better conductor of electricity than the alluvial soil of the plains and
the valleys; hence, while the one serves as a lightning-rod, the other
becomes the battleground of conflicting elements. It may be that
electrical forces are generated in the earth's interior, as well as in
the atmosphere, and that the earthquake is but the shock produced by the
restoration of an equilibrium. The earth and the atmosphere are
essentially the same in their elements, and are ever contributing of
their substance to the requisitions of each other.

When physical science shall be so far advanced as to explain the true
causes of the earthquake, if it does not make man "master of the
situation," it will doubtless place in his hands the power of avoiding,
to some extent at least, the calamities which now so often befall life
and property.

There can be no doubt that the earth is a physical necessity not yet
fully developed; only about one-fourth part of its surface is land, the
remainder water. Nearly three times more land lies north of the equator
than south of it. Why this should be so, is not quite clear. In the
course of the earth's future development, however, it is not improbable
that additional continents and islands will appear, and the waters
subside into narrower and deeper channels, thus giving to man, and to
land-life generally, a wider domain. And yet the present seas were not
made in vain, but have always abounded with plant-life and animal-life,
though of an inferior order as compared with land-life. Life in itself
is infinite, and appears in infinite varieties both on land and in the
sea. Whether man needs more land for his use and future development, is
difficult to say. At any rate, everything that exists has its mutual
relations, and adapts itself to the ultimate aim of Nature,--the
perfection of man.

In the Western Hemisphere, the mountains take the general direction of
north and south; in the Eastern, the general direction of east and west.
In the one hemisphere, the ranges essentially accord with the lines of
longitude; in the other, with the lines of latitude. These mountain
ranges are but continental watersheds, from which flows the elemental
wealth that enriches the plains and the valleys. The rivers and their
tributaries are the commercial agents. The rain and the frost are the
miners whose labors will never cease until the mountains are levelled.
The mountains also attract and guide the storms and modify their force,
condense the mists, the raindrop, and the dewdrop, and thus aid in
refreshing the valleys in connection with the heat of the sunbeams. In
this way the seasons, as well as the elements of the soil, are so
modified and vitalized as to give to man seedtime and harvest, and
needful food to every "living and creeping thing."

In addition to the world of life that is visible, there is a world of
life that is invisible,--a microscopic realm of animalcula, which "live
and move and have their being" in every element of life, and in every
life, and yet are so minute as to be imperceptible to the naked eye.
These invisibles, or infusoria, abound everywhere and in everything.
They pervade the sea, the land, the air. They swarm in every drop of
water, and revel in every morsel of food. We can neither eat nor drink
without infringing on their domain and consigning myriads of them,
perhaps, to an unprovoked destruction. They are almost as various in
grade, size, and shape, as they are numerous. Some are hideous, while
others are comely. They feed on each other, the superior on the
inferior, and are ever struggling for life and for the mastery. They
engage in the "battle of life" to sustain life, and hold to the doctrine
that "to the victors belong the spoils." It is an ascertained fact that
a speck of potato-rot, the size of a pin-head, contains hundreds of
these little ferocious animals, fighting and devouring each other
without mercy and without cessation.

What seems still more surprising is that they probably have a perfect
organization,--heart, lungs, stomach, circulation of blood, and are
endowed, perhaps, with all the five senses. Infinite numbers of them, it
is supposed, exist in so minute a form that no microscope, however
great its power, can detect them. Nor need we doubt that even these
living invisibles are beset with parasites vastly minuter than
themselves, which feed and breed on their surfaces. In the very
blood-circulation of the minutest, it is not improbable that other
infusoria, still more minute, swim and prey upon each other. The uses
for which this invisible world of life were created, though doubtless
for a wise purpose, cannot be comprehended. Yet it is evident that every
living thing, however minute, has a destiny of some sort, ever
progressing, it may be, from a lower to a higher sphere,--from the
material to the spiritual, from the finite to the infinite.

     "All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
     Whose body Nature is, and God the soul."

The atmosphere, supposed to extend sixty miles in height, surrounds the
earth like an invisible ocean, and gives to it almost entirely its
life-material. In fact, the atmosphere is the great reservoir of the
vital elements, from which is derived the principal part, if not all,
the material, solid or liquid, which enters into the composition of both
plant and animal, whether it be a blade of grass, a leaf, or a tree; an
insect, a fish, or a man. It is true, however, that animal-life is more
directly the outgrowth of plant-life; and yet the vital forces of both
are derived from the air, and return to the air by solar agencies. It is
quite certain that all matter, as seen embodied in various forms,
consists entirely of certain gases condensed or solidified by chemical
laws. The atmosphere itself, and probably infinite space, are filled
with matter in the gaseous form, or in some unknown form, destined to be
condensed, dissolved, and recondensed in a series of changes as
continuous as the infinite ages.

In this sense, not only the earth, but every other planet, contains
within itself the seeds of its own dissolution. Yet matter, whatever its
form, is still indestructible, and will forever retain its vital forces.
It would seem that life is the soul of matter, and that electricity is
the soul of life,--immaterial, it may be, and if so, then immortal.
Where the material ends, or where the spiritual begins, it is impossible
to say. We know that we are endowed with the five senses at birth. We
also know that they are the media through which we receive all the
impressions and perceptions of our environment; it is from their report
that we learn what is agreeable or disagreeable to our physical needs.
We choose the agreeable, and reject the disagreeable. Here reason
begins, and pronounces judgment. Memory records facts and conclusions.
The physical and the mental grow in strength from infancy to manhood;
they are a living unit. The one is real, and the other ideal. Of spirit
or soul we know nothing, nor can we prove their existence, unless we
accept the proofs as furnished by revelation. It is certain, however,
that our moral character survives us and continues to have an influence
in the world for good or for evil "according to the deeds done in the
body." This fact is something which we can comprehend as constituting
the ideal of our spiritual existence. Nor need we doubt that in
discharging our duties to our fellow-men, we discharge our duties to

Everywhere about us, and especially in atmospheric phenomena, we see an
epitome of Nature's processes and marvellous formative power. Not a
snowflake falls to the ground that does not bring with it a
crystallization of the most beautiful specimens of artistic embroidery,
far excelling the finest needle-work ever wrought by woman's hand. The
same is true of the silver frostwork traced on the window-pane by the
delicate touch of invisible fingers. In truth, every gem that glitters
in the mine, every flower of the field, and every star in the sky, is
but a crystallized expression of the beautiful, blended with a silent
love that is pure and heartfelt, as if akin to us. In reality they are
our kindred, and we are their kindred.

Nature seems to delight in creating the wonderful as well as the
beautiful, and often combines both in the same exhibition. Hence she
entertains us occasionally with a magnificent display of fireworks,
known as Northern Lights; or with an apparent shower of falling stars;
or with the sudden descent of an aërolite, all ablaze, as if dropped
from the fiery forge of the sun; or with a brilliant comet, which with
its long and glittering trail sweeps in ladylike style the star-dust
from the pavement of the sky. These singular occurrences, though
sometimes regarded as ominous, are but a part of Nature's systematic
operations. They cannot with any foundation in truth be attributed to
accident; for it is impossible that accidents should happen in the
workshops of Nature, or in the administration of her government.

How the various meteors are actually formed, or whence they come, is a
mystery which has induced much speculation among scientific men. Some
say they are volcanic fragments thrown from the moon, or from some
distant planet, or perhaps from a crater of the sun; while others, with
more reason, suppose that they are generated in space, or in the earth's
atmosphere, and are nothing more than condensed gases which constitute
the elements of solid matter, and which become in some instances so
hardened by chemical action as to assume the solidity of stone or iron.

And hence it often happens that the latter class of these erratic
strangers fall from the sky to the earth with a terrific explosion. In
ancient times their appearance was regarded as portentous of national or
individual calamities. The Chinese have records of meteoric showers, and
the fall of aërolites, which occurred more than six hundred and forty
years before the Christian era. The Greeks and Romans observed and
recorded similar phenomena. Between the years 903 and 1833, not less
than nineteen periodical star-showers have been recorded. The regular
period of their occurrence is once in every thirty-three years, or
thereabout, and usually about the middle of November. But what are
called sporadic meteors, or shooting-stars, are of frequent occurrence,
and may be seen almost every evening in the year.

The most brilliant meteoric shower on record is that of 1833, when
meteors fell at the rate of two hundred and forty thousand per hour,
creating the impression that all the stars of heaven had been unsphered,
and were falling like a sheet of fire to the earth, and threatening a
universal conflagration. Occurring as it did at midnight, and
continuing for two or more hours, thousands of people, who witnessed the
scene with fear and trembling, supposed the day of judgment had come. In
just thirty-three years after this, Nov. 14, 1866, occurred another
periodical shower of a similar character, which, though less brilliant,
was seen on a more extended scale in Europe than in the United States.
Why this apparent storm of fire should occur every thirty-three years,
is a mystery which science has not yet been able to explain. It may be a
part of the machinery of our planetary system, and is perhaps as regular
in its revolutions as the planets; or it may be a method of dissipating
an over-accumulation in the earth's atmosphere, or in infinite space, of
inflammable gaseous matter, which thus ignites spontaneously, and
presents to the eye the appearance of burning sparks flying off, as it
were, from the broad anvil and ponderous sledge employed in the great
workshop of Nature. Be this as it may, meteoric showers, so far as
known, have always proved harmless in their results.

But the aërolite assumes a more formidable character. In outline it is a
globular mass heated to intensity, and in its approach comes with a
hissing sound, and usually explodes in the atmosphere or when it strikes
the earth. Its fragments show that it is a solid body, composed mostly
of a ferruginous material. The illumination it creates in its passage
through the atmosphere is sometimes seen at the distance of five or six
hundred miles. Erratic masses of this kind have been known to fall in
all ages and in all countries, and are of frequent occurrence.

So recent as the year 1867, an aërolite of large dimensions fell in
Tennessee, penetrating a hillside of rocky formation to the depth of
twenty feet. It was seen at a great distance, and came hissing on its
way like a planet on fire, and when it struck the earth, produced a
shock like that of an earthquake. So intensely heated was it, that for
three days after it fell it generated and sent up from the moist earth a
dense column of steam, which rose and floated away like a cloud in the
sky. When excavated, its mass was found to be composed principally of
iron, and measured seven feet from apex to base, and ten feet in
circumference. Fragments of it have been preserved, and may be seen at
Washington, and in several collections of minerals belonging to
scientific individuals. But where did it come from? Did it come from the
sun, the moon, the earth, or from some exploded planet? or was it
generated in the atmosphere? Though the question has not been
satisfactorily answered, there are plausible reasons for believing that
aërolites, and meteors generally, are the spontaneous production of
atmospherical agencies. Physical forces are at work all over the earth,
charging the atmosphere with the identical materials that compose the
meteoric stone, or aërolite. Volcanoes emit their gases, and hurl with
terrific force burning fragments of rock into the depths of the sky. The
tornado, or land-spout, takes up in its grasp sand, with other solid
material, and rotates it with such violence as to produce fusion of the
mass, giving it a globular form and hurling it to an invisible height,
and then leaving it to gravitate brilliantly and rapidly until it
reaches the earth. This theory is confirmed by many facts, and
especially by the occurrence of a land-spout near the village of
Ossonval in France, where, on the 6th of July, 1822, some broken clouds,
coming from different directions, and collecting over the sandy plain,
formed a single cloud, which covered the heavens, when an elongated
nether portion of it descended, presenting its vortex downward, and
having its base in the cloud. It then became violent in its revolutions,
and being driven by the wind, overturned buildings, uprooted trees,
twirling them in the air with liberal quantities of sand and water,
which it had scooped up in its course, when from its centre, amid
sulphurous vapors, globes of fire were seen to issue, as if projected
from an engine of terrific power, attended with a sound like that of
heavy cannon discharged in the distance. Throughout its entire course it
left the fearful traces of its devastation. The globes of fire which
were projected from its centre, it may well be supposed, possessed all
the characteristics of veritable aërolites, and were thus manufactured
by electrical heat and fusion out of the earth-material lifted from the

Not long since, there fell near Romney, Ind., an aërolite in a liquid,
or molten state, which flew into fragments the moment it struck the
earth's surface. The spot where it fell was deeply indented and
scorched; and the material of which it was composed was found scattered
about in the vicinity, having the appearance of cinders, yet moulded
into the form of small spherical bodies varying in size from a buckshot
to that of a cannon-ball. It is somewhat remarkable that in subjecting
fractured portions of the cinders to intense heat, no perceptible odor
was emitted, neither was the color nor weight changed. The fact that
these cinders descended in spherical bodies would seem to indicate that
the parent mass approached the earth in a state of fusion, projecting
from its surface, as it revolved, detached fragments, which, taking a
rotatory impulse, became its attendant satellites in accordance with
planetary laws.

Among many other aërolites that have fallen in different parts of our
country, one of considerable magnitude was seen to fall near Concord,
Muskingum County, Ohio, on the 1st of May, 1860; it approached the earth
with a brilliancy as vivid as the sun, and exploded when it struck.
Several fragments of it were excavated while quite hot, one of which,
weighing eleven pounds, has been deposited in the Historical Rooms at
Cleveland. It is composed of ferruginous matter, and seems almost as
heavy as pure iron.

It is impossible for us to comprehend, from the standpoint we occupy in
this life, our real relations either to the past or to the present, much
less to the future. Earth has her manifold wonders, yet they are but few
when compared with the infinite wonders of the heavens. Vast as our
solar system truly is, it may still be regarded as but a chandelier
suspended in the entrance-hall of Nature's great temple. When we
consider that infinite space has neither centre nor circumference, and
that it is filled with stars, and that every star is a world inhabited
like our own, and that there are still infinite numbers of stars whose
light, though travelling at the rate of one hundred and eighty-five
thousand miles a second ever since the dawn of creation, has not yet
reached the earth, we are lost,--lost in wonder and amazement, lost in
thought, still wanting a thought broad enough and strong enough to grasp
the infinite. Who is there that would not, if he could, explore the
untrodden yet brilliant domains of infinite space,--the garden of God,
ever blossoming with golden flowers,--and thus acquire for himself
divine wisdom? If we would become as gods, and walk with God, we must
learn to partake the food, and drink the beverage, of the gods.

In physical science there is much that has a direct influence on the
growth and vigor of moral science. In fact, Nature does much more for
the welfare and education of man than he does for himself. The mountains
elevate his thoughts, and teach him moral sublimity. The vast ocean,
apparently shoreless, suggests to him the idea of eternity and a future
life. The earthquake, the hurricane, and the lightning inspire him with
a belief in the existence of a supreme Power, a divine Governor of the
universe. Thus impressed with a sense of his own weakness and
dependence, man naturally implores protection, and trusts in the
beneficence and in the clemency of the great Invisible. Hence his faith,
his hope, his aspirations. In this way was laid the primitive
foundation of his creed and religious tendencies. And yet his weakest
passion would seem to be his strongest,--a desire not only to perpetuate
himself beyond this life, but to acquire superhuman power. It is for
this that he struggles, erects altars, and solicits aid from visionary
as well as from divine sources.

Whether the perfection of mankind be the end and aim of Nature, need not
be questioned. It is evident that she regards man as a favorite, and for
this reason solicits him to accept the lessons of wisdom which are ever
falling from her lips. In the plenitude of her love she attempts to lead
him upward into a broader and a holier sphere. If man was able to trace
his descent and ascertain his origin, do you think he would find it in
the ape, as Darwin affirms, or in the dust of the earth? Revelation
replies, In the dust; and a sound philosophy confirms the fact.

Nature never stultifies herself, nor does she develop a new species of
animal or plant from an existing species, but doubtless encourages
"natural selection" in the line of each distinct species, and by so
doing promotes progress in her grand scheme of attaining perfection; nor
can it be doubted that from new conditions a new species may appear. In
fact, every living thing is born of its appropriate conditions, and
will continue to propagate its kind so long as its appropriate
conditions exist. When conditions change, results change. In this way a
new species of plant or animal may be, and perhaps often is, generated.
The process is simply one of change in the relation of the requisite
life-elements,--a process which results from the unceasing operation of
a great natural law. In Nature there is nothing constant but change.

Life, in all its varieties, whether vegetal or animal, has a rudimental
origin, traceable perhaps to a minute egg, cell, or spore, call it what
you will, from which is evolved in due time a perfect plant or animal.
But if asked whence is derived the egg, cell, or spore, we can only
reply that they have their origin in certain primitive life-elements,
which are brought into contact in a way so subtile as to elude the
investigations of science. This life-law, whatever it may be, acts in
reference to kind, and produces its kind. Nearly all forms of life have
resemblances; and though we accept the doctrine of evolution, it does
not follow that man was developed from an ape, or the bird from a

Everything that lives, whether plant or animal, has its leading
characteristics. Nearly all plants, as well as animals, evince a degree
of intelligence in their choice of nutriment and in their methods of
obtaining it. Some plants, like animals, shrink at the touch; while
others have the power of locomotion. Some seek the sunlight; while
others prefer the shade. Some imprison and appropriate insects as food;
while others extend themselves in this or that direction in search of
favorite companionship. It is doubtless true that plants, as well as
animals, however low their grade, have sensation, perhaps consciousness,
and if so, a ray of reason. It would seem that mind is but an outgrowth
of matter, and that every living thing has a degree of intelligence.
Indeed, every particle of matter, organic or inorganic, has motive
power, and is therefore endowed with a living principle, however
sluggish or inert it may appear. An intelligent vitality seems to
pervade the entire material of the universe. Hence it has been said with
some degree of plausibility that "matter thinks." However this may be,
it is certain that its motive power acts in reference to adapting means
to ends, and is therefore controlled by reason,--a reason that is
infinitely superior to human reason. In other words, all matter is the
subject of law. The one is manifestly the condition of the other. The
law cannot exist without the matter, nor can the matter exist without
the law. Both are therefore co-existent, and doubtless co-eternal.

Nature is ever active in working "wonders in the heavens and in the
earth." Her domain includes both. In the beam of every star she sends us
a messenger revealing the fact that the stars are constructed of the
same materials as the earth. In like manner we have assurance that the
same is true of the nebulous masses, which seem to float, like
continents, in infinite space, awaiting the slow processes which are
destined to mould them into golden orbs. And thus from the depths of the
infinite comes world after world, system after system, ever sweeping
onward in the "eternal dances of the sky," until lost in the infinite.
And thus it is that the work of creation has neither beginning nor
ending, but is ever progressing in its subtile methods of combining,
dissolving, and recombining the entire matter of the universe.
Everything, whether orb or atom, moves in a circle, because there is a
divinity that stirs within it.

Philosophize as we may, it is certain that we are surrounded by the
infinite, and are of the infinite. All that is terrestrial in us, all
individualities, are evanescent, passing from one form into another.
Nothing remains identical. Yet in her experiments, Nature never fails
of success. In dissolving pearls, she creates others of higher value;
in extinguishing stars, she lights up others of greater brilliancy and
magnitude. And yet nothing becomes extinct; elements never die. Every
plant and every animal is but the fruitage of the inherent life that
pervades the material world.

In some form or other we always have existed and always will exist. It
has been well said that man in his nature is "half dust and half deity."
His life does not begin with his birth, nor does it end with his death;
he is immortal. And so is everything, whether animate or inanimate,
immortal. Even death survives itself. Nor is there a particle of matter
in the universe that has not lived and breathed; nor is there a drop of
water in the ocean that has not slaked the thirst of some living thing.
Every star that glitters in the fathomless depths of space swarms with
life, and every life achieves its aim. In a word, everything is
infinite, and subserves an infinite purpose. We need neither go nor come
to reach heaven. It is here; it is everywhere,--not a place, but a
state. It is only the moral atmosphere of our social and individual life
that requires purification,--a work that must begin in the head and in
the heart in order to be effective. When this purification has been
achieved, then with our earth-life will come moral elevation, and with
moral elevation, harmony with heaven. The God of Nature is the God in
Nature, who not only reveals himself in her lessons, but takes us by the
hand, and with the love and patience of a parent leads us onward and

     "Along the line of limitless desires."


It is the welfare of society, rather than that of the individual, which
is sought to be promoted by a system of popular education. Every part of
the social fabric should be fitted to its place, and go into place like
the materials in Solomon's temple, without the sound of the hammer; yet
a refined civilization cannot be attained without first securing a
liberal mental culture of the masses.

Nature, as if inspired by a divine instinct, is ever engaged in refining
her materials. The laws by which she works are as applicable to mind as
to matter. In man we see both mind and matter combined,--two natures,
the intellectual and the physical. But in order to learn what we are and
what we should be, we must first understand the relations in which we
are placed. In attempting to do this, we must study man as well as
Nature, and advance step by step, if we would achieve the highest
attainments of which we are capable.

He only is a man in the true sense whose mental, moral, and physical
capacities have been fully developed. To be "twenty-one years of age
and six feet high" does not of itself constitute a man. He must attain
to something more than this,--he must have the head and the heart and
the soul of a man. He must appreciate the true character of his
position, and have the moral courage to discharge his duties,--in short,
he must live for others as well as for himself, act from generous
impulses, and in all he does, yield to "the divinity that stirs within
him," if he would comprehend the import of his godlike destiny.

The highway to knowledge, though rugged, is equally free and open to
all. Whoever will, may enter the temple of Nature, interrogate her face
to face, unlock her treasures, appropriate her wealth, and subject her
subtle agencies to human service. This the nineteenth century has
already done to a considerable extent. Thus far it has been a bold
century, and has taken many bold steps. It has "knocked holes through
the blind walls" of the last ten centuries, and exposed to daylight the
"moles and the bats" of antiquity; and still it demands more light. Such
is the spirit of the age,--a demand for naked truth in all its beautiful
proportions. Never, until this nineteenth century, have the masses
really discovered their mission,--the great fact that they were created
to think as well as work, and to govern as well as be governed. And yet
the world may be regarded as still in its infancy; nor has the human
mind, as compared with its possibilities, emerged from its cradle, or
even thrown off its swaddling garments.

Though capable of sublime achievements, man at birth is not only one of
the most helpless, but one of the most ignorant, specimens of animal
existence. It is said by physiologists that an infant can neither smile
nor shed a tear until forty days old. In his infancy the world to him is
but a panorama of strange objects. In due time, however, he discovers
that he has everything to learn, and needs to learn everything before he
can comprehend himself or wield the power which Heaven has assigned him.

The degree of culture required to render man what he should be--godlike
in his character--admits of no compromise with ignorance, superstition,
or sectarianism, but on the contrary, involves the necessity of
establishing and sustaining such an educational system as will be
adapted to the needs of the masses, and work in accordance with the laws
of matter and of mind.

It is to the masses that our country must look for her best material,
and for her future intellectual giants. In every age of the world more
or less great men have been produced. At a time when most needed, our
own country produced a Washington, a Jefferson, and a Franklin, who
distinguished themselves and the age in which they lived,--the age which
gave birth to human rights. At a later period appeared a Jackson, a
Clay, and a Webster,--the defenders of the Constitution and of the
Union,--who have left behind them a brilliant record; but
notwithstanding their conservative efforts, there came a spirit of
reform, sowing dragon-teeth, which soon sprang to life and filled the
land with armed heroes, who bravely met in deadly conflict and decided
forever the great question of human freedom; and consequently we now
have, instead of a few, a great many men of world-wide renown, who have
made for themselves and for their country a proud history.

In order to preserve our liberties we must have men of large hearts and
wise heads,--men who can wear the armor of giants because they are
giants. In short, we must recognize the great fact that every child in
the land has a God-given right to an education,--a right which no parent
should be allowed to sell for "a mess of pottage." Our national
watchword should be "Education;" and the system should be so
constructed as to reach all classes of youth by methods not only
efficient but attractive.

It will be said by some, perhaps, that it is quite impossible to educate
the masses in the higher branches of learning, unless they be withdrawn
from the indispensable labors of the field and the workshop, and thus be
compelled to neglect the industrial pursuits on which they must depend
for their physical comforts,--bread, raiment, and shelter. However
plausible this objection may seem, it certainly does not afford a
sufficient reason why the facilities of acquiring a good education
should not be equally extended to all classes.

Manual labor and a high degree of intelligence are by no means
incompatible, but on the contrary, must be associated, in order to
achieve great or brilliant results. It is true, however, that the
physical wants of man must first be supplied before you can proceed
successfully with the cultivation of his intellectual powers. The fact
is every day exemplified that bread is much easier gained by an
intelligent than by an ignorant laborer. Whatever faith may do, it is
certain that science and labor must be combined if we would either
tunnel or "remove mountains;" and though native talent may have been
distributed with more liberality to some than to others, all are under
the highest obligations to improve such as they have, whether it be one
talent or twenty talents.

The farmer, the mechanic, the merchant, and even the busy housewife,
have more or less leisure hours,--long winter evenings, holidays, and
sabbath days, amounting to nearly half a lifetime,--which might with
great profit be employed in the acquisition of useful knowledge through
the medium of choice books and interchange of thought. Indeed, almost
every one who has received a common-school education may so improve the
fragments of time which fall in his way as to acquire in the course of
an ordinary lifetime a pretty thorough acquaintance with the sciences,
and with general literature.

Though our leisure hours may seem too few to be worth improving, yet it
is by saving pennies that we accumulate wealth. Surprising as it may
seem, there are within the allotted age of man ten years of sabbaths
when taken in the aggregate,--ample time, one would suppose, for
perfecting, in a good degree at least, his intellectual and moral
culture. If mankind were as orthodox in their actions as they profess to
be in their creeds, the moral regeneration of the world would soon be
accomplished. One of the most formidable barriers in the way of human
advancement is the faith we have derived, not from revelation, but from
the blind interpretation of it. A true theology and a sound philosophy
can never come in conflict. In this enlightened age, it is absurd to
expect that Science will confine her inquiries within the circumference
of a circle, or so modify her annunciations of truth as to coincide with
the mystical traditions which have been handed down to us from a remote

As an encouragement to the friends of popular education, the fact should
not be overlooked that the masses have been to a great extent relieved
from the necessity of constant toil by the introduction of modern
machinery. In fact, genius has conquered time, and given time to the
masses. It has broken the fetters that bound them, and thus afforded
them leisure for self-culture, social intercourse, and the investigation
of truth.

It is the magic power of genius which has given life and brain to
machinery, and which compels it to perform the hard work of the factory,
of the workshop, of the farm, and of the household. In almost every
department of industry, machinery does the hard work. It spins and
weaves and knits. It saws and planes and wields the hammer. It reaps and
mows and thrashes. It churns and washes and plies the needle. In fact,
it does nearly everything else for us, except to breathe, eat, and
digest our food. It was the inventive genius of our Northern people--the
legitimate outgrowth of our common-school system--that produced, at the
moment when wanted, iron-clads, monster cannon, and Greek fire, and in
the sequel, saved the Union, and overawed the powers of Europe. It was
these warlike inventions which secured us the elements of a lasting
peace, and the respect of the civilized world.

It may be truly said that we now live longer in ten years than our
ancestors did in twenty, and accomplish twenty times as much. Still it
is not possible for any one man to know and do everything. Men of genius
are specialties, seldom or never universalities. Hence, a diversity of
talent naturally dictates a division of labor. And yet American genius,
if not universal, must be acknowledged eminently inventive and
practical. The Americans have made, we may venture to assert, more
valuable discoveries in the last half century than all the world
besides. The reason why this is so may be attributed to the operation of
a physical law, in connection with the effect of a liberal system of
popular education. The Americans are a mixed race, made up of all
nations, and have been improved and elevated as a race by transfusion of
blood, which has resulted in producing increased activity of brain,
with new modes of thought and new exhibitions of intellectual power.

But notwithstanding this peculiarity of character, there still remains,
as it seems to me, one great and glaring error in the prevailing system
of American education. This error consists in our neglecting to develop
more fully the physical man, through the instrumentalities of systematic
labor combined with systematic study. In many of the German States, if
not in all, the plan of educating youth is much more sensible and
philosophical than in this country. There they combine daily labor with
daily study; and the result is that the youth of Germany acquire vigor
of body and vigor of mind at the same time. From youth to manhood they
are taught to regard labor as honorable, and they feel that it is so.
Hence the Germans are characterized as a race by the possession of an
iron constitution, and by a mental energy which enables them to meet the
stern realities of life not only with fortitude, but with a spirit that
never yields to adversity. No country has ever produced a more athletic
or a more enduring race than Germany; nor has any country produced finer
scholars in every branch of human learning, especially in philosophy and
in classical literature.

But in this country it may be difficult, perhaps impracticable, to
establish an educational system of this character, to any considerable
extent, for the reason that we are for the most part an agricultural
people, who do not concentrate in hamlets, like the peasantry of Europe,
but prefer to occupy many acres and to distribute ourselves over a vast
expanse of territory,--and what is more, have a way of our own in all we
do. The truth is, Young America does not like work. He prefers fine
clothes and fast horses, and apes the man before he is a man. And yet he
assumes to know everything, and to do everything,--except work. These
peculiarities in the character of Young America seem to have been
generated by the spirit of our free institutions. Whether too much
freedom or too little freedom is the greater evil, presents a grave
question. Whatever may be the cause, it is evident that we as a people
are degenerating into a nation of speculators.

Almost every man nowadays seeks to acquire wealth by some grand
speculation,--by some other means than by the honest "sweat of his
brow." Even mental acquisitions are often sought as a means of
speculation,--as a means of living without work; and hence we see the
learned professions crowded to overflowing. Go into the main streets of
our cities and villages, and you will see the fronts of nearly all the
buildings on either side of the way shingled over with the signs of
lawyers and doctors, who in the estimation of the populace lead lives of
little work and great dignity. Doubtless a foreigner, with such an
exhibition before his eyes, would think us a nation of lawyers and
doctors, living on the misfortunes of each other; nor would his
conclusion be very wide of the mark.

Nor can it be doubted that there are thousands in the clerical
profession who, if they do not subsist on each other, subsist in a
"mysterious way" on salaries entirely inadequate to their support. It
would seem that the supply of professional men in this country exceeds
the demand. For this there may be no remedy. Yet a step in the right
direction should be taken by advancing the standard of professional
attainments so as to exclude mediocrity and shallow pretence from
registration on the "roll of honor." Wide as the world is, it has no
room for idlers or pretenders.

This over-supply of professional men not only indicates a false estimate
of what really constitutes a true manhood, but clearly proves that in
American education and in American public sentiment there are prevalent
errors which are inconsistent with the welfare of man and the democratic
character of our institutions. These errors can be corrected only
through the influence of a well-directed course of popular education;
but nothing is more difficult than the correction of popular errors. It
is a task the reformer often attempts, but seldom accomplishes. In most
cases it must be a work of time, perhaps of ages. In every school there
should be a regular system of physical as well as mental exercises
established. Health and strength of body are pre-requisites to health
and strength of mind.

In most of our colleges and boarding-schools the physical development of
the pupil receives but little attention; and consequently he is
enfeebled in body if not in mind, and is then sent out into the world to
endure its hardships without the physical ability to take care of
himself. All this is radically wrong, and calls loudly for reform. An
exclusive culture of the mental powers can never produce a strong man or
woman. This fact is painfully illustrated in all our large towns and
cities. The kind of education, therefore, which attempts to refine our
young men and young ladies by giving them an artificial nature too
delicate to endure soiled hands will never do. The coarse as well as the
fine work of practical life must be done by somebody. Though some may be
too proud, none are too good to work, however elevated may be their
social position. There is really nothing in our daily routine of
duty--in the coarse work of the world--from which an enlightened mind
should shrink.

It is to be hoped the time will soon come when all our public schools,
colleges, and universities will have their workshops and gardens,
affording the necessary facilities for instructing our youth, male and
female, in some industrial art or trade, as well as in books, and thus
give them a relish for labor, and the physical ability to endure it.

If such a method were adopted, the women of our country would soon
become practically fitted to compete with the men in many, if not all,
the channels of a business life. If it be true that the women have been
deprived of their rights, it is certainly not the fault of the men, but
a fault of education,--a radical error which should be remedied. If
parents will not apply the remedy in the early education of their
daughters, then there is no relief. Let a course of education make it as
fashionable for a woman to pursue some industrial art or trade as it is
to be a lily that neither "toils nor spins," and you would soon see
American women not only capable of taking care of themselves, but more
generally solicited than they now are to assume the endearing cares of
their appropriate sphere.

The true mission of woman is divine. To her belongs the post of
honor,--that of a wife and mother,--a position which she prefers to
occupy when yielding to the impulses of her nature. In educating her,
therefore, this great fact should be kept in view. There is no knowledge
she needs more than a correct knowledge of human character. This she can
only acquire by coming in contact with the world as it is, in childhood
as well as in womanhood; in the public school as well as in the social
circle. The old puritanic idea that the sexes must be schooled
separately in order to secure them from exposure to moral dangers, seems
to me not only erroneous, but absurd. The public school, when made up of
both sexes, is in fact an epitome of the world, where its good and its
evil are seen, and where the child should be taught to accept the good
and reject the evil under the guidance of correct moral principles. It
is in a pure home influence, however, that a primary education should
begin. Indeed, mothers must take the initiatory step in giving to
youthful impulse the right direction.

     "Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined."

But in order to appreciate the full import of their duties and
responsibilities, mothers themselves must first be properly educated.
Where, then, is this all-important work to be commenced? Where can it
be commenced, except in our common schools? It is in the common schools
only that the masses can be educated. It is to the common schools only
that we can look for the proper education of the future fathers and
mothers of the land, and for the correction of popular errors. It is to
this class of schools, more than to any other, that we must look for our
future patriots and scholars, statesmen and philosophers, and last, not
least, for our future school-teachers.

The mission of a school-teacher is truly a mission of divine import. It
is the school-teacher who moulds the youthful mind, and converts it into
a casket of gems; it is the school-teacher who gives direction to
budding thought, and awakens in the soul of youth the slumbering fires
of genius,--in short, it is the school-teacher who lays the broad
foundations of the Republic, and hews the pillars that sustain our civil
and religious institutions. The school-teacher should therefore possess
the qualifications of a master-builder, be able to plan his work, and
execute it with tact, taste, and judgment. He should not only govern
himself, but should be able to govern his pupils without seeming to
govern. In a word, he should be a model character, and regard his
profession as one of honor, and honor his profession by elevating it to
the dignity of a learned profession. He should remember that he is
placed in a position which gives him a vast influence,--an influence
broad as the ocean of time; an influence which should be pure in its
character, and as refreshing to the growth of the inner life as the dews
of heaven to the unfolding flowers.

There is no means, perhaps, more efficient in promoting the success of a
professional teacher than the instruction to be derived from institutes,
or normal schools, in which the art of teaching is made a specialty.
This class of schools should be made a part of our school system. At
least every Congressional district, if not every county, should have its
normal school. It is only in this way that our public schools can be
supplied with accomplished teachers, and be made worthy of being called
the "people's colleges."

But the truth is, the masses are not as yet more than half awake to
their real interests. In the cause of popular education the wonder is
that educators have done so much, and legislators so little. The true
educator is a philanthropist. He sees and feels that public sentiment
needs to be enlightened and liberalized before it will yield its
sanction to such a system of public schools as ought to be established.

In perfecting our present system, we need a National Bureau of
Education, authorized to act as a central power in directing, if not in
controlling, the general educational interests of the entire country. A
department of this kind, it is believed, would give efficiency and
equality to all public schools, and thus greatly elevate their general
character. And with this view Congress should be required by the
Constitution, not only to establish, but support in each of the States
at least one national college; and these colleges should constitute a
national university, in which the crowning studies should be natural
science, military science, and the science of government.

It is doubtless true that educators have already become a power in the
land. Of this fact they seem to be aware, and the danger is that their
influence may be subordinated to the uses of political aspirants. Every
educator has a right, of course, to express his own individual opinions;
but he certainly has not the right to employ educational
instrumentalities to promote the interests of a selfish partisanship,
either in State or Church. Whenever it is attempted to sow "tares" of
this kind among the wheat, it is to be hoped that an indignant public
sentiment will eradicate them with an unsparing hand.

It is always pleasant to recall our early schooldays, with their many
delightful and refreshing memories, which still linger about the old
school-house where we received our elementary education,--the dear old
school-house by the wayside, with its noisy group, its sunny spots, and
its hours of fun and frolic, and especially its birchen sceptre, which
so often taught us the "doctrine of passive obedience." It is
unquestionably true that every school-house, to some extent at least,
reflects its character in the character of its pupils. Hence we should
not only look to the character of our schools, but should build our
school-houses in a neat, if not imposing style; for they, though silent,
are eloquent teachers, whose influence should create such impressions as
will tend to refine the tastes and elevate the aspirations of the
youthful mind.

But no system of education which is contracted, or revolves in a circle,
can fully meet the exigencies of the mind, or satisfy the demands of the
age. In most American colleges, as well as in the universities of
Europe, a definite course of study is prescribed and made a fixed
fact,--a kind of Procrustean bed on which every lad is either stretched
or abridged to fit; and this is done, as scholastics tell us, for the
purpose of disciplining the mind. No two persons were ever created to
think, act, or look alike in every respect; nor can an educational
system be prescribed by square and compass which will be alike adapted
to all minds. In my humble judgment, those studies best discipline the
mind which tend most to enlarge and liberalize it, and which are
essentially concordant with its native powers and capacities. The course
of education, therefore, which will best develop the peculiar genius,
talent, or marked preference of the pupil, should be adopted so far as
practicable. If a young man, for instance, exhibits a native talent or
taste for music, painting, mechanics, law, medicine, theology,
agriculture, or commerce, his education should take the direction
indicated. If this plan were pursued in all our colleges and other
schools of a high order, we should soon see, instead of here and there a
star, a galaxy of brilliant men and women in the sky of our national
renown, whose excellence in their several specialties would challenge
the admiration of mankind.

The truth is, our modern colleges are not modern enough. They look to
the ancients for wisdom, instead of seeking it from Nature and the
revelations of modern science. In a word, the dead languages are studied
too much; the living, too little. Next to mathematics, the natural
sciences should take the preference. No man is thoroughly educated who
is not thoroughly instructed in these sciences, especially in chemistry
and geology. Every farmer should be familiar with agricultural
chemistry, and be able to apply its principles. It is the utility, the
practical good to be derived from an education, that gives to it value
and solidity.

It is practical, not fanciful knowledge, which the masses need. In order
to secure their elevation and social equality, every State in the Union
should be required to maintain an efficient system of common schools, in
which all instruction should be given in the English language, and the
schools made accessible to all classes of youth, and be "good enough for
the richest, and cheap enough for the poorest." In order to effect this,
the system should recognize the theory as an equitable principle, that
the property of the State is bound to educate the youth of the State.
This principle is certainly a just one, since the man of property,
though he have no children, is as much benefited by its application as
the man who has children but no property, for the reason that the
security of property, as well as the rights of persons and the stability
of the Republic, must ever depend on the degree of intelligence
possessed by the people.

In fact, each State should be regarded as one great school-district,
and all its resident youth as the children of the State, for whose
common education every citizen having taxable property is bound to
contribute his proportionate share. In this way every child can be
educated, and elevated to the social position of a true manhood; and it
is only in this way that a work of such magnitude can be accomplished.
In every point of view it is much wiser to educate than to punish, much
wiser to build school-houses than prisons, much wiser to sustain school
libraries than billiard-tables.

It is a matter of congratulation, however, that there is now much more
confidence placed in the theory of common schools than in former years.
In most of the States prejudice has yielded to enlightened sentiment,
and the "people's colleges" have come to be regarded as the most useful
and influential institutions in the land. All should be done that can be
to render these schools pleasant and attractive. The school-house should
be built not only in good taste, but its surroundings should be made as
cheerful and inviting as possible by planting about it ornamental trees,
shrubs, and flowers. Its interior walls should be enriched with
appropriate maps and charts, historical paintings, and portraits of
renowned men and women. In addition to this, every school should be
supplied with an ample apparatus, embracing specimen weights and
measures, mathematical figures in wood, together with globes and a
planetarium,--not omitting a cabinet of the leading minerals, metals,
and coins. Their uses and characteristics should be explained and
illustrated by the teacher in a simple style of language, and in the
presence of the entire school, at least once or twice a week.

Familiar exercises of this kind would deeply interest the pupils, and
impart to their minds a degree of valuable knowledge which they would
not be likely to obtain in any other way, and which might awaken,
perhaps, some unconscious genius, who would in after-life so develop his
powers as to advance the interests of science, and take his place among
her proudest masters. In nearly every instance our truly great men have
arisen from an obscure origin.

The time has already arrived, I am inclined to think, when there should
be added to the usual course of studies pursued in our colleges,
academies, and high schools, a systematic training in military science
and discipline, as a means not only of physical culture, but as an easy
method of fitting our young men to become practical soldiers and
defenders of the Republic. We as a people, in consequence of the late
Civil War in which we have been involved, are evidently undergoing a
transition, which has already had the effect to change in a good degree
our national traits of character. If we would have invincible men, we
must, like the ancient Greeks, accustom our sons to hardships and manly
exercises, give them muscle as well as mind, teach them to love and
defend their country, and if need be, to die for it,--die on the

     "Where gory sabres rise and fall
     Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall!"

The attempt which we are making in our public schools to educate our
children in the shortest possible time is a grave error. We ought rather
to "make haste slowly," if we would do the work well. A work of this
character is one which requires patience and perseverance. There is no
short way to knowledge, no patent right that can produce it to order. It
can only be obtained by study, persevering study, aided by the patient
efforts of competent teachers. It is all-important therefore that we
should furnish our children with such elementary books as are best
adapted to their capacities and needs, and with such teachers as are
qualified to teach them lessons contained not only inside of books but
outside of books,--lessons which abound everywhere, both in the natural
and in the moral world. We should also furnish them with school
libraries composed of standard works, and including the best current
literature of the day. A library of this character should be established
in every school-district, and be made accessible to every citizen. In
this way, and only in this way, can the masses be supplied with the
mental food which they so much need, and which is indispensable to their
moral and intellectual elevation. No matter what the cost, public
libraries always pay a liberal dividend in the shape of mental and moral
power, if not in dollars and cents. No matter what dangers may threaten
our free institutions, depend upon it, a reading people will take care
of themselves.

The ancients built temples for their gods; we build school-houses for
our children. This one fact exhibits perhaps more clearly than any other
the distinctive character which marks the career of ancient and modern
civilization, and indicates the great change which has been wrought in
the course of ages by the law of progress. We may justly regard our
numerous school-houses and churches as the mirrors not only of moral
character, but as the safeguards of the Republic.

In the pursuit of knowledge, it is quite absurd to suppose that all
high attainment in art, in literature, and in science, must of necessity
be confined to the "learned professions," as they are called by way of
pre-eminence. It does not matter what a man professes to know, but the
question is, what does he know, compared with what he might know? There
should never be such a monopoly allowed to exist as a monopoly of
knowledge. The learned professions have nothing in them sacred, no
forbidden fruit,--nothing more than what everybody may know who chooses;
nor can there be any good reason why every employment in the various
departments of human industry--every trade, every mechanic art--should
not be regarded as a learned profession, and be made a learned
profession, in which brains as well as hands should co-operate in
achieving success and in solving new problems.

There is food for thought in every human pursuit. In order to be
successful, in order to achieve high aims, the laboring man must not
only think, but be capable of thinking profoundly. Indeed, every man may
live like a philosopher, and be a philosopher, if he will. But no man
can be a true philosopher who is not both a practical worker and a
practical thinker. There is nothing the world needs more than workers
and thinkers to make it a paradise. The masses are workers, and if
educated, would become thinkers. It is only once or twice in a century,
it is said, that "God lets loose upon the earth a great thinker." Of the
past, this may be true, but not of the present. We have scores of men
now living who are greater thinkers than Plato, Newton, or Franklin,
because modern science has introduced them into broader fields of
thought. The chemists, geologists, inventors, and discoverers of the
present day have never been excelled as profound thinkers. Ours is
literally an age of philosophers.

Truth, though eternal, is never stationary; nor will the law of progress
ever reach a standpoint. There is always something to be done, some
vacuum to be filled. It is said by philosophers that Nature abhors a
vacuum. I do not doubt it, especially if it be a vacuum in the human
head. It is pretty certain that the youthful head, if not filled with
sense at the proper time, will soon be filled with nonsense. Neither
errors of the head nor errors of the heart can be easily eradicated,
when once implanted. The moral nature of the child may be moulded at
will; but the cherished opinions of age can seldom, if ever, be either
reversed or essentially modified. In the great battle of life our
success as individuals must depend on the kind of armor in which we are
clad, and the kind of weapons with which we are supplied. For effective
service there is nothing which can be brought into the field so
formidable or so irresistible as the artillery of logic. Intellect is
always sure of becoming the ultimate victor. We read of giants in the
chronicles of the early ages,--physical giants, who could overthrow the
pillars of the proudest temples, and bear off mountains upon their
shoulders; yet of what value to the world were their marvellous
exploits, if really true, compared with the achievements of those
intellectual giants who have appeared at different epochs, and taught
mankind the most useful lessons in the arts, in the sciences, and in
philosophy? And here let me say to the young aspirant for worldly honors
that if he would achieve high aims, he must not only aim high, but have
faith in himself as well as in a Divine Providence. Indeed, every man,
however humble, may become great in his vocation, if he will; yet no man
can become truly great who is not truly good.

So far as human perfection can be defined, it consists in the purity and
sublimity of moral action,--a perfection which may be approached, if not
reached, by all who are so disposed. How truly has it been said that we
are never too old or too wise to learn! Nor is any man so ignorant but
he may teach a philosopher something.

No matter how conservative we may be in our creeds and opinions, the
world will continue to move onward; nor can it stand still if it would.
The time is at hand when errors in creed, as well as in education, to
which we cling, will not only be exposed, but exploded. However hopeless
the condition of the masses may seem, they are already demanding more
light and only await an opportunity to proclaim their emancipation from
mental thraldom.

The statistics relating to the numbers of mankind, and to the frail
tenure of human life, convey lessons which ought not to be disregarded
in the estimate we make of what man can do to elevate himself. Strange
as it may seem, it is a fact pretty well ascertained that the entire
population of the globe neither increases nor diminishes, but remains
essentially the same. And yet the population of the earth is continually
undergoing changes from the operation of local causes, increasing here
and diminishing there, as the ages advance. The law involved seems based
on the principle of a just compensation for all diminution. In other
words, the earth has a limited capacity, and like a cup when filled, can
hold no more, yet always remains full.

When we consider the fact that one fourth of mankind die before
reaching seven years of age; one half before reaching seventeen years;
and that sixty persons die every minute,--we are struck with
astonishment, and are naturally led to inquire into the reasons. The
causes which abridge life may for the most part be attributed to popular
ignorance, or disregard of physical law,--either in ancestor, parent, or
child. Nothing can be truer than the fact that the "sins of the fathers
are visited upon their children unto the third and fourth generation,"
and even to indefinite generations. It is indeed a fearful inheritance,
when life comes to us tainted with constitutional disease. For this
there seems to be no remedy, except in the adoption of such a popular
system of education as will diffuse a practical knowledge of the laws of

It may be safely asserted that many people, especially in America, where
food is abundant and the style of living luxurious, "dig their own
graves with their teeth." Americans, as we all know, are disposed to
live fast, and of course die prematurely. In short, we are a sanguine,
impatient people; have morbid appetites, crave rich viands, seek wealth
and office, and care for little else. In our successes we commit
excesses. In the pure elixir of life we infuse drops of poison. Yet
Nature proffers us the gift of long life, and waits our acceptance with
a patient spirit. Though extreme longevity may not be desirable, yet
many more than now do, might attain to the dignity of centenarians, if
they would but live in obedience to physical law.

In the elements of his physical nature, man is truly "of the earth
earthy." Chemists say that a man of ordinary size is composed of forty
pounds solid matter and five buckets of water, all of which may be
converted into gas. However this may be, man is a delicate piece of
mechanism, a combination of divine inventions. For example, his eye is a
telescope, which penetrates the mysteries of the stars; his ear is a
drum, which repeats every sound in nature; his heart a timepiece, which
marks, with measured beat, the fleeting moments of his life; his vocal
organs a harp with a thousand strings, which is capable of uttering the
divinest music.

And yet man in his moral nature, though created but "a little lower than
the angels," is a profound puzzle. He advances many theories, questions
even divine truth, yet believes in absurdities. Nor need we marvel at
this, perhaps, when we recall the fact that mankind speak more than
three thousand different languages, and profess more than one thousand
different religions.

Whether regarded as a common brotherhood, or as composed of distinct
races, it is evident that the human family have made rapid advancement
in the amelioration of their condition during the last century, through
the instrumentalities of a world-wide commercial intercourse, and the
consequent diffusion of nobler incentives to action. Yet of the one
thousand millions that compose the great family of man, more than six
hundred millions are still groping their way in the darkness of a moral
midnight, awaiting the advent of the school-master and the promulgation
of a purer and holier faith. Even in Christian countries, especially in
the South-American States, and in many parts of Europe, the masses are
almost universally illiterate and superstitious, and have so long been
accustomed to oppression that they have become quite indifferent, if not
insensible, to their natural rights; nor dare they, if they would,
assert their manhood.

In Italy, the land of art and of beauty, the proportion of those who can
read is from twenty to thirty in a hundred, while among the inhabitants
within a circle of thirty miles around Rome, there is not one in a
hundred, it is said, who can read. Not only in these countries, but in
more than half the globe, the masses submit to oppression, because it is
the policy of their oppressors to hold them, spell-bound, in ignorance.
If they are ever elevated to the social and political rank which the God
of Nature designed them to occupy, it must be done by the school-master,
armed with his text-books and sustained by the efforts of an enlightened
Christian philanthropy. For this ultimate object God works, and man
should work.

There can be no doubt but natural scenery, as well as climate, exercises
a decided influence in the formation of national character. Whether we
advert to Palestine, Switzerland, or New England, it is easy to discover
that the mountains of these countries have by their silent eloquence
inspired the masses of the people, not only with reverence, but with a
love of freedom. In the sublimity of the cloud-capped mountains, they
seem to recognize a divine presence which has taught them to look
skyward, and to feel that they are destined to ascend in the scale of
existence; while in low and level countries, especially on the plains of
Russia and Asia, the inhabitants take horizontal views of things, and
consequently submit to oppression, and never dare, like mountain-bred
men, to break their fetters or question the decrees of fate.

The ancient Hebrews, as everybody knows, were not only brave in warfare,
but were distinguished above all other nations as a reverential and
God-fearing people. Their form of government was essentially theocratic.
In the earthquake they recognized the footsteps of God; in the solemn
thunder they heard his voice; in the lightning's flash they saw an
expression of his anger; in the rainbow they beheld a token of his
promise,--in a word, they were a peculiar people, who have, in the
record of their experiences, transmitted to mankind a sacred

Switzerland is emphatically a land of mountains and of heroes. Almost
every hill and vale within her borders has its consecrated spots and its
sanctified memories. In the recesses of her mountains the love of
freedom ever burns with a pure and a holy flame, because it is a love
which was born of the mountains.

In New England it is equally apparent that the silent grandeur of her
mountains contributes to inspire her inhabitants with lofty sentiments,
and with a love of civil and religious liberty,--a love which can never
be subjected to the reign of oppression, nor be misdirected in its
action, except by its own enthusiasm.

It often happens that the inhabitants who occupy distinct portions of a
common country differ as widely in their sentiments as in their manners
and customs. Especially is this true of the United States, where it is
easy to distinguish the Eastern, Western, and Southern people from each
other. It may be natural causes, or it may be local interests, that have
created these differences, and marked the people of each region with
those peculiar personal traits which give them character.

The New Englanders are generally characterized as sedate, formal, and
puritanical, guessing at everything, yet pretty shrewd at guessing. They
possess genius, are prolific in inventions, and scrupulous in matters of
faith. In discussing theological questions, they split hairs; in making
a bargain, they conclude to split the difference. In all things they are
quick to see advantages, and apt to take advantages. In whatever they
undertake, they look ahead and go ahead. In every sixpence which falls
within their grasp, they recognize an element of power which "leads on
to fortune;" and when they have acquired a fortune, they are pretty sure
to keep it. And, as Halleck the poet says,--

     "They love their land because it is their own,
       And scorn to give aught other reason why;
     Would shake hands with a king upon his throne,
       And think it kindness to his majesty;
     A stubborn race, fearing and nattering none.
       Such are they nurtured, such they live and die,
     All but a few apostates, who are meddling
       With merchandise, pounds, shillings, pence, and peddling!"

In the Western States, where Nature educates men on a liberal scale by
giving them broad rivers, broad lakes, and broad prairies, we find a
people characterized by broad and liberal views of things,
large-heartedness, frank manners, generous sympathies; a philanthropy
which regards all mankind as a brotherhood, and a public sentiment which
rebukes intolerance. In truth, Western men despise "little things" and
devise "liberal things," and would sooner sacrifice their lives than
yield obedience to the mandates of either political or ecclesiastical

In the Southern States Nature has not as yet effected much in the
exercise of her educational influences. In whatever she has attempted in
this direction she seems to have been overruled by circumstances,--by
the difference in races, and by the prejudices of caste. Though the
South has produced intellectual men of a high order, she has contributed
comparatively but little either to science or to standard literature.
Yet it must be conceded that the South has always been justly
distinguished for her hospitality, cordiality, and chivalric spirit.

Whatever human institutions may achieve, it is certain that Nature in
the manifest wisdom of her works contributes largely to the education of
all classes of men in all countries. In her great school, even the
uncivilized man not unfrequently becomes a profound philosopher. The
coinage of her mint has the true ring in it and passes current
everywhere. Her light is the light of the world, yet the masses are too
blind, or rather too ignorant, to see it. Without intending the least
disrespect to the one thousand different theologies which distract
mankind, it may be asserted that the Book of Nature is in itself a
divine revelation, which has been divided by her own hand into chapter
and verse, and may be read in the alphabet of the flowers, in the rocks
of the hills, and in the stars. In its language it is not only
beautiful, but every word is suggestive; in its doctrines it is pure and
truthful; in its wide range of thought it treats principally of life,
and of the conditions of life, and assures us that the silent process of
creation--of eternal change--still goes on, now as ever; and that every
particle of matter in the universe is constantly active, achieving

In a philosophical sense, there is nothing dead that does not live.
Matter combines, dissolves, and re-combines. New forms of life and new
conditions of life appear and disappear. The very dust under our feet
has lived and breathed, and will live again. Nature waits to be
gracious, and is ever ready to reveal her mysteries as fast as man can
comprehend them. And though she speaks with a silent lip, she invites
all to share her bounties. Her wealth is infinite.

In every star, in every flower, in every blade of grass, in every grain
of sand, in everything visible and invisible, there is life, light, and
beauty. In everything there is power. We cannot look at a grain of sand,
insignificant as it may seem, without seeing in its composition the
material which enables us to read the golden record of the heavens. In
the falling raindrop, when converted into steam, we recognize the
existence of a power which has revolutionized the world. In the kiss of
the sunbeam we discover a magical influence which tints the flower,
gives color to everything in Nature, and by its impress presents us with
an exact and lifelike transcript of ourselves and of our friends. In the
lightning's flash we have a language in which we can converse with our
friends throughout the civilized world, at any moment we please.

When we consider what has been achieved in the way of scientific
discovery during the last half-century, who can tell what may not be
achieved in the next century, in the next ten centuries,--when the great
mysteries of Nature shall be more fully revealed, and when new
sciences, now unknown, shall disclose new principles, new forces, and
still subtler agencies?

In her desire to advance human knowledge, Nature invokes
interpreters--unborn interpreters--who, though far away in the distance,
will yet come, and when they do come, will interpret in accordance with
truth the mystical language in which her undiscovered secrets are
written, and thus extend the empire of thought until it becomes
infinite,--an empire in which man, still rising in the scale of
intelligence, will acquire divine powers, and assume the dignity of a
perfect manhood.


Woman, like a flower, sprang to life in a garden of flowers,--sprang
from the side of her lord, and took her place at his side, as a meet
companion to share his earth-life, his joys, and his sorrows.

The Greeks believed that the gods collected everything that is beautiful
in Nature, out of which they formed the first woman, and having crowned
her brow with sunshine, intrusted her with the irresistible power of

It is certainly not less pleasant than natural to believe that woman was
made of a more refined material than man; and it is doubtless true that
every sincere worshipper of the beautiful delights to regard the "angel
of his dreams" not only as an incarnation of all that is lovable, but as
a divine spirituality,--a vision from a brighter and holier sphere.

An old writer remarks that in order to make an entirely beautiful woman,
it would be necessary to take the head from Greece, the bust from
Austria, the feet from Hindostan, the shoulders from Italy, the walk
from Spain, and the complexion from England. At that rate she would be a
mosaic in her composition; and the man who married her might well be
said to have "taken up a collection."

However mystical may be the origin of woman, it is certain that we
should look to the moral beauty of her life, rather than to her personal
charms, in estimating the true value of her character. In her nature
woman is a loyalist,--loyal to man and loyal to God. In all ages of the
world, in all countries and under all circumstances, she has ever been
distinguished for her patience, her fortitude, and her forbearance, as
well as for those still higher and diviner attributes, her love and her

Endowed with charms which give her the power of conquest, woman ever
delights in making conquests; and though she may sometimes "stoop to
conquer," she never fails to elevate the conquered. With the smile of
love resting on her brow, she aims to fulfil her mission by scattering
flowers along the pathway of life, and inspiring the sterner sex with
reverence for her virtues and for the angelhood of her nature.

The true woman exhibits a true womanhood in all she does, in all she
says,--in her heart-life and in her world-life. Her love, once bestowed
on him who is worthy of it, increases with her years and becomes as
enduring as her life,--

     "In death, a deathless flame."

Not only in the sincerity of her love, but in all her sympathies, in her
quick sense of duty, and in her devotion to all that is good, right, and
just, she discloses without being conscious of it the divinity of her

It is in sacred history that we find the earliest record of woman's
virtues, acquirements, and achievements. It is there that we read of
women who were not only distinguished for their exalted piety and
exemplary habits of life, but who often excelled even the great men of
renown in sagacity of purpose and in the exercise of sceptred power. It
is in sacred history that we have the earliest account of the social and
domestic relations of the human family, the most prominent of which is
the institution of marriage.

The first marriage of which we have any account took place in a garden,
without the usual preliminaries and ceremonies which have marked its
solemnization in subsequent periods of the world's history; yet we must
believe that it was the most august and sublime wedding that ever
occurred. The witnesses of the ceremony were none other than the angels
of God. Nature presented her choicest flowers, and the birds of
Paradise sang the bridal hymn, while earth and sky rejoiced in the
consummation of the "first match made in heaven."

It may be presumed, perhaps, that all matches are made in heaven; yet
somehow or other, sad mistakes occur when least expected. Even our first
parents, though placed in a garden of innocence, encountered a serpent
in their pathway. It need not seem very strange, therefore, that "the
course of true love never did run smooth." Yet there are but few who
would not concur with Tennyson in thinking--

     "'Tis better to have loved and lost,
     Than never to have loved at all."

In affairs of the heart there is no such thing as accounting for the
freaks of fancy, or the choice of dissimilar tastes. Singular as it may
be, most people admire contrasts. In other words, like prefers unlike;
the tall prefer the short; the beautiful the unbeautiful; and the
perverse the reverse. In this way Nature makes up her counterparts with
a view to assimilate her materials and bring harmony out of discord. It
is from accords and discords that we judge of music and determine its
degree of excellence. In wedded life even discords have their uses,
since a family jar now and then is often attended with the happiest
results, by bringing into timely exercise a higher degree of mutual
forbearance, and inspiring the heart with a purer, sincerer, and diviner
appreciation of the "silken tie."

There is no topic, perhaps, of deeper interest to a woman than that of
wedlock. It is an event, when it does occur, which brightens or blasts
forever her fondest hopes and her purest affections. The matrimonial
question is therefore the great question of a woman's life. In deciding
it, she takes a risk which determines the future of her heart-life. When
the motive is stamped with the imperial seal of Heaven, it is certain
the heart will recognize it as genuine, and trust in it. The language of
love speaks for itself, sometimes in mysteries, sometimes in
revelations. It is a telegraphic language which every woman understands,
though written in hieroglyphics. Hence the preliminaries to wedlock,
usually called courtships, are as various in their methods as the whims
of the parties. In many parts of the world these methods are as amusing
as they are singular.

In royal families matrimonial alliances are controlled by State policy,
and the negotiations conducted through the agencies of ministerial
confidants. In some Oriental countries, parents contract their sons and
daughters in marriage while yet in their infancy, nor allow the parties
an interview until of marriageable age, when the wedding ceremonies are
performed, and the happy pair unveiled to behold each other for the
first time. At such a moment "a penny for their thoughts" would be cheap
enough. The philosophy of this absurd custom seems to be based on the
classical idea that "love is blind." This may be true; yet blind though
it be, the heart will always have its preference, and contrive some way
or other to express it.

In some of the Molucca Islands, when a young man is too bashful to speak
his love, he seizes the first opportunity that offers of sitting near
the object of his affection, and tying his garments to hers. If she
allows him to finish the knot, and neither cuts nor loosens it, she
truly gives her consent to the marriage. If she merely loosens it, he is
at liberty to try his luck again at a more propitious moment; but if she
cuts the knot, there is an end of hope.

In Lapland it is death to marry a girl without the consent of her
friends. When a young man proposes marriage, the friends of both parties
meet to witness a race between them. The girl is allowed, at starting,
the advantage of a third part of the race; if her lover does not
overtake her, it is a penal offence for him ever to renew his offers of
marriage. If the damsel favors his suit, she may run fast at first, to
try his affection; but she will be sure to linger before she comes to
the end of the race. In this way all marriages are made in accordance
with inclination; and this is the probable reason of so much domestic
contentment in that country.

In ancient times marriageable women were the subjects of bargain and
sale, and were more generally obtained by purchase than courtship. The
prices paid in some instances seem incredible, if not extortionate. Of
course, "pearls of great price" were not to be had for the mere asking.
Jacob purchased his wife, Rachel, at a cost of fourteen years hard

The Babylonians, who were a practical people, gathered their
marriageable daughters once a year from every district of their country,
and sold them at auction to bachelors, who purchased them for wives,
while the magistrates presided at the sales. The sums of money thus
received for the beautiful girls were appropriated as dowries for the
benefit of the less beautiful. Of course rich bachelors paid liberal
prices for their choice, while poor bachelors, in accepting the less
beautiful, generally obtained the best wives, with the addition of a
handsome sum of money. In this way all parties were accommodated who
aspired to matrimonial felicity.

But in these modern times most of our young men, instead of purchasing
their wives, prefer to sell themselves at the highest price the market
affords. Fortune-hunting is therefore regarded as legitimate. In the
mind of a fast young man wealth has a magical influence, which is sure
to invest the possessor, if a marriageable young lady, however
unattractive, with irresistible charms. If his preliminary inquiry--Is
she rich?--be answered in the affirmative, the siege commences at once.
Art is so practised as to conceal art, and create, if possible, a
favorable impression. An introduction is sought and obtained. Interview
follows interview in quick succession. The declaration is made; the
diamond ring presented and graciously accepted; consent obtained, and
the happy day set. Rumor reports an eligible match in high life, and the
fashionable world is on tiptoe with expectation.

But instead of its being an "affair of the heart," it is really a very
different affair,--nothing but a hasty transaction in fancy stocks. And
if the officiating clergyman were to employ an appropriate formula of
words in celebrating the nuptials, he would address the parties thus:--

"Romeo, wilt thou have this delicate constitution, this bundle of silks
and satins, this crock of gold, for thy wedded wife?"--"I will."
"Juliet, wilt thou have this false pretence, this profligate in
broadcloth, this unpaid tailor's bill, for thy wedded husband?"--"I

The happy pair are then pronounced man and wife. And what is the result?
A brief career of dissipation, a splendid misery, a reduction to
poverty, domestic dissension, separation, and finally a divorce. But how
different is the result when an honest man, actuated by pure motives,
marries a sincere woman, whose only wealth consists in her love and in
her practical good sense!

It is man who degrades woman, not woman who degrades man. Asiatic
monarchs have ever regarded woman, not as a companion, but as a toy, a
picture, a luxury of the palace; while men of common rank throughout
Asia and in many parts of Europe treat her as a slave, a drudge, a
"hewer of wood and a drawer of water," and make it her duty to wait,
instead of being waited on; to attend, instead of being attended. Out of
this sordid idea of woman's destiny has grown in all probability the
custom of regarding her as property. Influenced by this idea, there are
still some persons to be found among the lower classes, even in our own
country, who do not hesitate to sell, buy, or exchange their wives for a
material consideration. Some of our American forefathers, in the early
settlement of Jamestown, purchased their wives from England, and paid
in tobacco, at the rate of one hundred and fifty pounds each, and
thought it a fair transaction. Perhaps this is the reason why ladies are
so generally disgusted with the use of the "Virginia weed."

But the doctrine that woman was created the inferior of man, though
venerable for its antiquity, is not less fallacious than venerable. It
is simply an assertion which does not appear to be sustained by
historical facts. It is true that woman is called in Scripture the
"weaker vessel;" weaker in physical strength she may be, but it does not
follow that she is weaker in mind, wit, judgment, shrewdness, tact, or
moral power.

The sterner sex need not flatter themselves, therefore, that superiority
of muscle necessarily implies superiority of mind. History sufficiently
discloses the fact that woman has often proved herself not only a match,
but an over-match, for man, in wielding the sceptre, the sword, and the
pen, to say nothing of the tongue. Illustrations of this great fact,
like coruscations of light, sparkle along the darkened track of the
ages, and abound in the living present.

But in looking into the broad expanse of the historical past, we cannot
attempt to do more than glance here and there at a particular star,
whose undiminished lustre has given it a name and a fame, not only
glorious, but immortal. As in all ages there have been representative
men, so in all ages there have been representative women, who crowned
the age in which they lived with honor, and gave tone to its sentiment
and character.

In the career of Semiramis, who lived about two thousand years before
the Christian era, we have a crystallization of those subtle attributes
of female character, which are not less remarkable for their diversity
than extensive in their power and influence. It will be remembered that
she was the reputed child of a goddess, a foundling exposed in a desert,
fed for a year by doves, discovered by a shepherd, and adopted by him as
his own daughter. When grown to womanhood, she married the governor of
Nineveh, and assisted him in the siege and conquest of Bactria. The
wisdom and tact which she manifested in this enterprise, and especially
her personal beauty, attracted the attention of the King of Assyria, who
mysteriously relieved her of her husband, obtained her hand in wedlock,
resigned to her his crown, and declared her queen and sole empress of
Assyria. The aspirations of Semiramis became at once unbounded; and
fearing her royal consort might repent the hasty step he had taken, she
abruptly extinguished his life, and soon succeeded in distinguishing her
own. She levelled mountains, filled up valleys, built aqueducts,
commanded armies, conquered neighboring nations, penetrated into Arabia
and Ethiopia, amassed vast treasures, founded many cities, and wherever
she appeared, spread terror and consternation. Under her auspices and by
means of her wealth, Babylon, the capital of her empire, became the most
renowned and magnificent city in the world. Her might was invincible;
her right she regarded as co-extensive with her power. Her prompt action
was the secret of her success.

When she was informed, on one occasion, that Babylon had revolted, she
left her toilet half made, put herself at the head of an armed force,
and instantly quelled the revolt. She was a woman of strong passions and
of strong mind, and, what is now very uncommon, of strong nerves. And
yet her peerless beauty and the fascination of her manners appear to
have been as irresistible as the sway of her sceptre. The fatality of
her personal charms, her inordinate love of power, and the evils which
arise from the indulgence of vain aspirations, indicate the lessons
which are taught by her career. In the twenty-fifth year of her reign,
her life was suddenly terminated by the violent hand of her own son.
After death she was transformed, as it was believed, into a dove, under
the symbol of which she received divine honors throughout Assyria.

It would seem that literary women were not less known in ancient times
than at the present day. Sappho took her place in the galaxy of literary
fame six hundred years before Christ. So sublime, and yet so sweet, were
her lyric strains that the Greeks pronounced her the tenth Muse.
Longinus cites from her writings specimens of the sublime, and extols
her genius as unrivalled. Beneficent as talented, she instituted an
academy of music for young maidens, wrote nine books of lyric verse, and
many other compositions of great merit. But of all her writings,
however, only one or two of her odes have survived. Her fate was an
unhappy one. She became violently enamoured of a young man of Mitylene,
who was so ungallant as not to reciprocate her attachment; and being
reduced to a state of hopeless despair, she precipitated herself into
the sea from the steep cliff of Leucate, ever since called the "Lover's

In this connection we ought not to omit the name of Aspasia, who, at a
period two centuries later than Sappho, emerged like a star in a
darkened sky and charmed the age in which she lived with the
fascinations of her rhetoric. She was not less stately and queen-like in
her person than accomplished in her manners. It is said of her, that
she possessed rhetorical powers which were unequalled by the public
orators of her time; she was as learned as eloquent. Plato says she was
the instructress of Socrates. She also instructed Pericles in the arts
of oratory, and afterwards married him. He was largely indebted to her
for his finish of education and elegance of manners, for which he was so
much distinguished.

So charming were Aspasia's conversational powers that the Athenians
sought every opportunity to introduce their wives into her presence,
that they might learn from her the art of employing an elegant diction.
On one occasion when the Athenian army had been disheartened, she
appeared in the public assembly of the people and pronounced an oration,
which so thrilled their breasts as to inspire new hopes, and induce them
to rally and redeem their cause.

Among female sovereigns but few have evinced more tact or talent in an
emergency than Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. She was a native of Syria, a
descendant of Ptolemy; married Odenatus, a Saracen, and after his death
succeeded to the throne, about the year of our Lord 267. She had been
highly educated, wrote and spoke many different languages, had studied
the beauties of Homer and Plato under the tuition of Longinus, and was
not less renowned for her beauty, melody of voice, and elegance of
manners, than for her heroic deeds. In the five years of her reign she
conducted many warlike expeditions, extended her empire, compelling
Cappadocia, Bithynia, and Egypt to recognize her authority, and
acknowledge her "Queen of the East,"--a favorite title which she had
assumed. Her power had now become so extended as to alarm the Roman
government for their own safety, who sent Aurelian with a formidable
army to subjugate and reduce her empire to a province. Zenobia, after
being defeated in two severe battles, retired with her forces to
Palmyra, her capital, fortified it, and resolved never to surrender.
Aurelian invested the city with his entire army, and in the course of
the siege was severely wounded by an arrow, and being thus disabled, the
progress of the siege was so far retarded as to give the citizens of
Rome occasion to utter against him bitter invectives, and to question
the character of the "arrow" that had pierced him. In other words, they
accused him of complicity. In his letter of self-justification to the
senate, he says, "The Roman people speak with contempt of the war I am
waging against a woman. They are ignorant of the character and the power
of Zenobia. It is impossible to enumerate her warlike preparations of
stones and arrows, and every species of missile weapons. The walls of
the city are strongly guarded, and artificial fires are thrown from her
military engines. The fear of punishment has armed her with desperate
courage. Still I trust in the gods for a favorable result."

In this letter the stern and proud Roman general frankly admits the
might of woman. Feeling humiliated and almost despairing of success, he
now attempted to procure a surrender of the city by negotiation, and
offered the most liberal advantages to the queen. In her reply she said
to him, "It is not by negotiation, but by arms, that the submission you
require of me can be obtained." This laconic reply was certainly worthy
of a heroine and a queen. Yet after a protracted and desperate defence,
and finding that her allies, instead of coming to her relief as they
promised, had accepted bribes from the enemy to remain at a distance,
she saw that all was lost, and mounting her fleetest dromedary, sought
to escape into Persia, but was overtaken on the banks of the Euphrates
and captured. When brought into the presence of her conqueror, and asked
how she dared resist the power of Rome, she replied, "Because I
recognize Aurelian alone as my sovereign."

Zenobia was sent to Rome to grace the triumph of Aurelian. She entered
the city on foot, preceded by her own chariot, with which she had
designed, in the event of having won the victory, to make her grand
entry into Rome as the triumphant "Queen of the East." But the fortunes
of war subverted her ambitious scheme, and subjected her to the
mortification of gracing a Roman triumph; yet for this indignity she
felt that she was somewhat compensated in knowing that her appearance in
Rome would create a sensation. In the grand procession she followed her
chariot, so laden with jewels and chains of gold as to require the
support of a slave to prevent her from fainting beneath the weight.

After enjoying the satisfaction of a triumph, Aurelian treated his
beautiful captive with kind consideration, and provided for her a
delightful residence on the banks of the Tiber, where she passed the
remainder of her days, honored by all as a matron of rare virtue and
accomplishments. She lived to educate her daughters, and to see them
contract noble alliances. Her descendants were ranked among the first
citizens of Rome, and did not become extinct until after the fifth

Near the commencement of the fifteenth century there appeared in France
a brilliant meteor,--a youthful maiden, whose development of character
was as mystical as it was heroic. Joan of Arc was born of obscure
parents, in an obscure village on the borders of Lorraine, and was bred
in a school of simplicity. She possessed beauty, united with an amiable
temper and generous sympathies. In her religious faith she was sincere,
even angelic. Her love of country was ardent and irrepressible. Finding
her country-men distracted by a bitter partisan feeling, she identified
herself with the patriots, and desired to secure the coronation of
Prince Charles, as the only means, in her belief, of restoring the
authority of the legitimate government. The reigning king had become
hopelessly demented, and anarchy prevailed in almost every part of his

The rival houses of Orleans and Burgundy were contending for the
supremacy, and had entered upon a career of murder and massacre, instead
of adopting a regular system of warfare. Both parties invoked the aid of
the English, who interfered in behalf of Burgundy; but instead of
affording relief, their interference only imposed still weightier
calamities on the country. At this crisis a prophecy became current
among the people, that a virgin would appear and rid France of her
enemies. This prophecy reached the ear of Joan of Arc, and inspired her
with the belief that she was the chosen one of Heaven to accomplish the

In confirmation of this belief, she heard mysterious voices which came
to her in her dreams, and which she regarded as divine communications,
directing her to enter upon her great mission. On conferring with her
parents in relation to the matter, they advised her to abandon her mad
scheme, and desired her to marry and remain with them in her native
village; but she declined, insisting that the current
prediction--"France shall be saved by a virgin"--alluded to her. The
English army had already besieged Orleans, and all hope of saving the
city seemed lost. Her friends, regarding her as endowed with
supernatural powers, provided her with a war-horse and a military
costume, and sent her with an escort to the court of Prince Charles,
whom she had never seen, but whose cause she had espoused.

He received her with distrust, though he desired her proffered
assistance. In order to avoid being charged with having faith in
sorcery, he handed her over to a commission of ecclesiastics, to
ascertain whether she was inspired of Heaven, or instigated by an evil
spirit. Among other tests, the ecclesiastics desired her to perform
miracles. She replied, "Bring me to Orleans, and you shall witness a
miracle; the siege shall be raised, and Prince Charles shall be crowned
king at Rheims." They approved her project, and she received the rank
of a military commander.

She then demanded a mysterious sword which she averred had been
concealed by a hero of the olden time within the walls of an ancient
church. On search being made, the sword was found and delivered to her.
In a short time, with this mysterious sword in hand, she appeared at the
head of an enthusiastic army, within sight of the besieged city of
Orleans. The English army was astonished at the novel apparition. She
advanced, and demanded a surrender of the city, but was indignantly
refused; yet the citizens of Orleans were elate with joy at the prospect
of relief. Joan boldly assaulted the outposts, and carried them. The
besieged citizens, who had escaped outside the walls, now rallied under
her banner, and swelled the ranks of her army. Fort after fort was
captured. The English fought with desperation. Joan, cheering on her
brave forces, and calling on them to follow, seized a scaling-ladder,
and ascended the enemy's breastworks, when she was pierced with an arrow
in the shoulder, and fell into the fosse. Her undaunted followers
rescued her, when she, seeing her banner in danger, though faint and
bleeding, rushed forward, seized and bore it off in triumph. The English
army, amazed at this, and believing her more than human, became
panic-stricken, and retreated in confusion. In their flight they lost
their commander and many of their bravest men. Thus, in one week after
her arrival at Orleans, she compelled the English to abandon the siege.
In truth, she had performed a miracle, as her country-men believed, and
as she had promised the ecclesiastics she would do. For this brilliant
achievement she acquired the title, "Maid of Orleans."

In addition to this, she subsequently fought several severe battles with
the English and defeated them. Even the sight of her approaching banner
often terrified the enemy into a surrender. In less than three months
from the commencement of her career, she saw Prince Charles crowned king
at Rheims. In gratitude for her pre-eminent and timely services in his
cause, Charles issued his royal edict ennobling her and her family. Not
long after this, the opposing faction of King Charles captured the Maid
of Orleans, as she was now called, and imprisoned her in a strong
fortress. She attempted to escape by leaping the walls, but was secured
and transferred to the custody of the English. The University of Paris,
at the instance of dominant ecclesiastics, demanded her trial on the
charge of sorcery and the assumption of divine powers. The judges,
intolerant as the priests, condemned her to be burned at the stake. Her
friends were overawed, and failed to interfere in her behalf. The only
condition in her sentence was recantation and the acknowledgment of the
supremacy of the Church. In view of so terrific a death, she recanted;
but hearing the mysterious voices of her former dreams upbraid her, she
re-asserted her faith in her divine mission, was again seized at the
instance of the priesthood, and the cruel sentence of death at the stake
carried into execution.

Never did a sadder fate overtake an innocent, patriotic, and
noble-hearted woman. Her only crime was her love for her country, and
her contempt for ecclesiastical assumption. Her purity of life was never
questioned. It was said of her that she never allowed a profane word to
be uttered in her presence. Her religion was a religion of the heart,
too exalted for the times in which she lived. So sincere was the belief
of the populace in her sanctity that many persons made pilgrimages from
every part of the empire to touch her garments, believing that if they
could be allowed the privilege, they would be especially blest, both in
this life and in the life to come.

There was no woman of the sixteenth century, perhaps, who was more
conspicuous or more talented than Elizabeth, Queen of England. Highly
educated in the ancient and modern languages, as well as in philosophy,
she embraced at an early age the Protestant faith, and in consequence of
the religious jealousies of the times, encountered great opposition in
her advent to the throne, and while yet in her girlhood, suffered a long
imprisonment in the Tower by order of her sister Mary, who was at that
time the reigning queen. But events which transpired in 1558 resulted in
the elevation of Elizabeth to the throne, at the age of twenty-five. So
fearful were the Catholics of her influence in matters of faith that
they sent to her a distinguished ecclesiastic, who demanded from her a
declaration of her religious creed. To this intrusive demand she, being
an adept at rhyming, replied, impromptu,--

     "Christ was the Word that spake it;
     He took the bread and brake it;
     And what that Word did make it,
     That I believe and take it."

So frank and faultless was this avowal that it confounded the artful
priest, who, feeling rebuked, went away as wise as he came, if not a
little wiser.

In her personal appearance Elizabeth was stately and majestic, but by no
means remarkable for her beauty, or amiableness of temper. Her good
judgment and discrimination enabled her to call to her aid wise men for
ministers and counsellors. She patronized talent and intellect. It was
during her reign that Spenser, Shakespeare, Raleigh, Bacon, and other
eminent characters flourished, giving to her times and to literature the
distinction of the "Elizabethan age." The leading events of her reign
amply attest her capacity to grapple with emergencies in sustaining her
prerogatives and in maintaining the defiant attitude of England. She
loved money as well as power, and though penurious, wielded her power
with decision, crushed domestic rebellion at a blow, removed her fears
of Mary, Queen of Scots, by consigning her to the block, defied the
power of Spain, and with the timely assistance of a providential
whirlwind, sank the Spanish Armada in the depths of the sea.

Though unattractive, her charms induced sundry propositions of marriage,
particularly from the King of Sweden, from the King of Spain, and from a
young prince of France, twenty-five years younger than herself. For this
young prince, it is said, she entertained a sincere attachment, and went
so far as to place publicly on his finger a costly ring, as a pledge of
their union, but being taken soon afterwards by some strange
whimsicality, dismissed him, and thus gave him leisure to reflect on the
vanity of human aspirations. Yet, like most artful women, she delighted
in flirtations, and always retained in her retinue a few special
favorites, among whom were the Earls of Leicester and of Essex. On these
men she bestowed official positions of high rank, and evidently desired
to make great men of them; but Leicester proved to be deficient in
brains, and Essex turned traitor, and was finally executed.

When advised to marry by her counsellors, she replied that she could not
indulge such a thought for a moment, for she had resolved that the
inscription on her tombstone should be:

     "Here lies a queen who lived and died a virgin."

In her seventieth year she died of grief, it is said, for having signed
the death-warrant of Essex, for whom she entertained a sincere yet
"untold love."

The events of her reign wrought great changes in the destinies of
nations. By her firm adherence to the Protestant faith, she contributed
much towards enlarging and strengthening the foundations of civil and
religious liberty. She succeeded by her wisdom and diplomacy in
circumventing the subtle machinations of rival powers. In few words, it
may be said of her that she was a noble specimen of _manly womanhood_.

Catherine I., Empress of Russia, was born of obscure parents, near the
close of the seventeenth century. In girlhood she was known by the name
of Martha, until she embraced the Greek religion, when her name was
changed to Catherine. Her father died when she was but three years old,
and left her to the care of an invalid mother in reduced circumstances.
When old enough to be useful, Catherine devoted her services to the care
and support of her mother, and in attaining to womanhood, grew to be
exceedingly beautiful. Her mother had instructed her in the rudiments of
a common education, which she afterwards perfected under the tuition of
a neighboring clergyman. Among other accomplishments, Catherine acquired
a knowledge of music and dancing, and soon became as attractive for her
elegance of manners as she was celebrated for her beauty.

In 1701, she married a Swedish dragoon, and immediately accompanied him
to the military post assigned him in the war which had just broken out
between Sweden and Russia. In a battle which soon followed, she was
taken prisoner by the Russians. Her personal charms soon attracted the
attention of Peter the Great. What became of her husband is not known,
but may be imagined. At any rate, the emperor succeeded in winning her
affections, acknowledged her as his wife, and placed the imperial
diadem on her head and the sceptre in her hand. She soon proved herself
to be a woman of wonderful tact, shrewdness, and judgment, and obtained
an unbounded influence over her husband. In fact, her advice controlled
his action; and in following it, he acquired the enviable and lasting
title of "Peter the Great." Like her, thousands of women have made their
husbands great men, and often out of very indifferent materials.

After Peter's death, Catherine was proclaimed empress and autocrat of
all the Russias. Her reign, though short, was brilliant. Her frailties,
if she had any, were few, and ought to be attributed to the character of
her favorites rather than to herself. She died at the early age of
forty-two, after a brief reign of a little less than two years as sole
empress. Her native endowments constituted her brightest
jewels,--modesty, simplicity, and beauty; it was these angelic gifts
which elevated her from the obscurity of rural life to the throne of a
great empire.

Here let us turn from the Old World to the New, and look into the
parlor, instead of the palace, for specimens of true womanhood. It is in
the private walks of life, in the domestic and social circles, that we
must look if we would contemplate the character of woman in its purest
and proudest development. It is in her daily exhibition of heart, soul,
sympathy, generosity, and devotion that woman attains to perfection and
crowns herself with a diadem. Everywhere in this great Republic are
thousands of women whose excellence of character challenges our
admiration. Among those who have passed into the better life, and whose
names are recorded on the tablet of every American heart, is Martha

In her character we have the character of an accomplished American lady.
Few, if any, have ever excelled her. When the war of the Revolution
commenced, she accompanied her husband, who had just been appointed
commander-in-chief of the American armies, to the military lines about
Boston, and witnessed the siege and evacuation of that city. She was
ever the guardian spirit of the general, and aided him materially in his
military career by her wise counsels and timely attentions. While he
reasoned logically and deliberately, she came to logical conclusions
instantly, without seeming to reason,--a faculty of logic which
characterizes almost every woman.

In her figure, Martha was slight; in her manners, easy and graceful; in
her temper, mild yet cheerful; in her conversation, calm yet
fascinating; in her looks beautiful, especially in her youthful days.
So universally admired and respected was she, that everybody spoke of
her as "Lady Washington."

She did the honors of the presidential mansion with polished ease,
dignity, and grace. Her connubial life with Washington was not less
exemplary than it was happy. His regard for her was as profound as her
devotion to him was sincere. So solicitous was she for preserving his
good name and fame that immediately after his death, she destroyed all
the domestic letters which he had addressed to her, for fear they might
some day be published, and be found to contain some word or expression
of a political nature which might be construed to his prejudice.

Faithful as a wife, as a friend, and as a Christian, she proved herself
a model woman. She survived her husband but two years, and died at the
age of seventy. In life she occupied a position which queens might envy,
and in death bequeathed a memory which will be cherished in a nation's
heart, when the proud monuments of kings and queens have crumbled into
dust and been forgotten.

If it could be done without making invidious distinctions, it would be
no less delightful than instructive to refer specifically to the names
and deeds of many other American women who have graced the age in which
they lived, and added lustre to the annals of our Republic. But we must
content ourselves by alluding to them in general terms; and in doing
this, we must admit the fact that the noble deeds and exalted virtues of
woman occupy a much less space in the world's history than they ought.

It is sufficiently evident to everybody that women, in all the relations
of life, exhibit a keener appreciation of right and wrong than men.
Hence they are usually the first to approve what is right, and the last
to concur in what is wrong. It was this devotion to principle which
induced American women in the days of the Revolution to submit to the
severest trials and deprivations, while they encouraged their sons,
husbands, and brothers to go forth to the battle-field in defence of
their country. In proof of their patriotism, these noble women, with
their own hands and with cheerful hearts, spun, wove, knit, and baked
for the brave and suffering soldiers, and even made an offering of their
jewels on the altar of liberty, and rather than see the enemy enriched
by traffic and unjust revenues, complacently approved the policy which
cast rich cargoes of their favorite beverage into the depths of the sea.

It was the same spirit, the same patriotism, which inspired the women of
our own times on a still broader scale, in the late struggle of the
North to crush the rebellion of the South and sustain in all its purity,
its honor, and its glory, the dear old flag of the Union. This great
work has been done manfully and nobly, and at immense sacrifices of
treasure and of blood; but it could not have been done without the aid
and encouragement of woman. It was woman who held the key and unlocked
the hearts of twenty millions of people, and induced them, by her
pleading appeals, to pour out their noble charities, as from floodgates,
to supply the urgent needs of the largest and bravest army the world
ever beheld. It was woman whose delicate hand nursed the sick, the
wounded, and the dying soldier, and whose sympathies and prayers soothed
and cheered his departing spirit.

In the sanitary commission, in the Christian commission, woman was the
master-spirit, the angel of mercy, the music of whose hovering wings
animated the weary march of our gallant volunteers, and inspired their
souls with invincible courage. It is woman who weaves the only wreath of
honor which a true-hearted hero desires to wear on his brow, and the
only one worthy of his highest aspirations. It is an indisputable fact
that the power, the patriotism, and the influence of woman constitute
the great moral elements of our Republic, and of our civil and
religious institutions.

It is the educated and accomplished women of our country who have
refined the men as well as the youth of the land, and given tone to
public sentiment. It is this class of women who have purified our
literature, and moulded it to harmonize with the pure principles of a
Christian philosophy. In the fine arts, and even in the abstruse
sciences, women have excelled as well as men. In the catalogue of
distinguished authors there are to be found, both in this country and in
Europe, nearly as many women as men. From the facts which we have
already adduced, it is evident enough that woman, in the exercise of
intellectual, if not political power, is fully the equal of man; while
in tact and shrewdness she is generally his superior. According to the
old but truthful saying, it is impossible for a man to outwit a shrewd
woman; and instead of asking, What can a woman do? we should ask, What
is there a woman cannot do?

Whenever women are left to take care of themselves in the world, as
thousands are, they should not only have the right, but it is their
duty, to engage in any of the industrial pursuits for which they are
fitted. The principal difference between man and woman is physical
strength; and for this reason the lighter employments should be
assigned to women. In whatever employment men are out of place, women
should take their place; especially in retailing fancy goods, in
book-keeping, in telegraphing, in type-setting, in school-teaching, and
in many other like employments; nor need they be excluded from the
learned professions. In fact, we already have lady clergymen and lady
physicians; and some think the character of the Bar would be much
elevated by the admission of lady lawyers. We cannot doubt that
unmarried ladies, if admitted, would excel in prosecuting suits
commenced by "attachment," but in other cases their success is not
assured, if we may judge from the following incident: A lady lawyer of
presidential aspirations, in conducting a suit before the late Judge
Cartter in the district court at Washington, was opposed by an eminent
lawyer of the other sex, who raised a vexed legal question which had not
been "dreamed of in the philosophy" of the lady lawyer, and which so
perplexed her that she, in the midst of her embarrassment, appealed to
the judge for advice as to the course she had better pursue. The judge,
who hesitated somewhat in his utterances, replied, "I think you had
_bet-bet-better_ employ a lawyer."

If women choose to compete with men in any of the learned professions,
or in any other pursuit, and are fitted to achieve success, there is
nothing in the way to prevent them; yet it does not follow that they can
take the places of men in everything, especially in those employments
which require masculine strength and great physical endurance. Nor does
it follow that women who pay taxes should therefore have the right of
suffrage. The fact that they hold property does not change their
_status_, nor does it confer political rights.

The right of suffrage is a political right and not a natural right. The
exercise of this political right carries with it the law-making power,
the duty of protecting persons and property, and consequently of
maintaining and defending the government. They who make the government
are therefore bound to defend it. Nature never intended that women
should become soldiers and face the cannon's mouth in the battle-field;
nor did she give them strength to construct railroads, tunnel mountains,
build war-ships, or man them. Yet women, prompted by affection or
romantic sentiment, have been known to become soldiers in disguise, and
perhaps have fought bravely in the battle-field. But this, of itself,
proves nothing; it is merely an exception to a general rule, or in other
words, an eccentricity of character. In all ages of the world, as we
have shown, the mere force of circumstances has occasionally unsphered
woman and placed her in unnatural situations, in which she has sometimes
achieved a brilliant success,--on the throne and off the throne, in
peace and in war, in political life and in social life. Yet in stepping
out of her sphere, whatever may be her success, every true woman feels
that she "o'ersteps the modesty of nature."

When woman glides into her natural position,--that of a wife,--it is
then only that she occupies her appropriate sphere, and exhibits in its
most attractive form the loveliness of her character. Marriage is an
institution as essential to the stability and harmony of the social
system as gravity is to the order and preservation of the planetary
system. In the domestic circle the devoted wife becomes the centre of
attraction, the "angel of the household." Her world is her home; her
altar, the hearthstone. In her daily ministrations she makes herself
angelic by making home a heaven, and every one happy who may come within
the "charmed circle" of her kind cares and generous sympathies. In fact,
there is no place like home, "sweet home," when on its sacred altar
burns the blended incense of harmonious souls,--

     "Two souls with but a single thought;
     Two hearts that beat as one."

It is certain that man and woman were never created to live independent
of each other. They are but counterparts, and therefore incomplete until
united in wedlock. Hence they who prefer single blessedness are justly
chargeable with the "sin of omission," if not the "unpardonable sin." It
is difficult to estimate the fearful responsibilities of those
fossilized bachelors who persist in sewing on their own buttons and in
mending their own stockings. Yet these selfish gentlemen frankly admit
that there may have been such a thing as "true love" in the olden times,
but now, they say, the idea has become obsolete; and if a bachelor were
to ask a young lady to share his lot, she would immediately want to know
how large the "lot" is and what is its value. In further justification
they quote Socrates, who, being asked whether it were better for a man
to marry or live single, replied, "Let him do either and he will repent
it." But this is not argument, nor is it always true, even in a sordid
marriage, as appears in the following instance: Not long since, in New
York, a bachelor of twenty-two married a rich maiden of fifty-five, who
died within a month after the nuptials and left him a half-million of
dollars. He says he has never "repented" the marriage.

The age in which we live is one of experiment and of novel theories,
both in religion and in politics. In modern spiritualism we have
entranced women, who give us reports from the dead. In modern crusades
we have devout women, who visit tippling-houses and convert them into
sanctuaries of prayer. In politics we have mismated and unmated women,
who hold conventions, clamor for the ballot, and advocate the doctrine
of "natural selection."

It is true that every marriageable woman has a natural right to select,
if not elect, a husband; and this she may and ought to do, not by
ballot, but by the influence of her charms and her virtues. If all
marriageable men and women were but crystallized into happy families,
earth would soon become a paradise. Yet if this were done, we doubt not
there would still remain some "strong-minded" women, who would get up a
convention to reform paradise. The truth is, the women will do pretty
much as they please, and the best way is to let them.

Yet all must admit that a woman of refinement is not only a ruling
spirit, but "a power behind the throne greater than the power on the
throne." Her rights are therefore within her own grasp. Among these she
has the right, and to her belongs the responsible duty, of educating her
children in first principles, and in those sanctified lessons which
have been revealed to man from heaven. It is the mother's precepts
which constitute the permanent foundation of the child's future
character. Hence no woman is really competent to discharge the
responsible duties of a mother as she ought, unless she has first been
properly educated. There can be no object more deserving of
commiseration, perhaps, than a mother who is surrounded by a family of
young children, and yet is so ignorant as to be unable to instruct them
in the rudiments of a common-school education and in the fundamental
principles of a Christian life. The character of every child, it may be
assumed, is essentially formed at seven years of age. The mother of
Washington knew this, and felt it, and in the education of her son,
taught him at an early age the leading truths of Christianity. She took
the Bible for her guide, and taught him to take the Bible for his guide.
His subsequent career proves that he adhered to the instructions of his
mother. When he came to pay her a visit, at the close of the war, after
an absence of seven long years, she received him with the overflowing
heart of a mother, as her dutiful son, and thought of him only as a
dutiful son, never uttering a word in reference to the honors he had won
as a military chieftain.

Soon after this, General Lafayette, wishing to make the acquaintance of
the mother of Washington before returning to France, called at her
residence in Virginia, and introduced himself. He found her at work in
the garden, clad in a homespun dress, and her gray head covered with a
plain straw hat. She saluted him kindly, and calmly remarked, "Ah,
Marquis, you see an old woman; but come, I can make you welcome in my
poor dwelling without the parade of changing my dress." In the course of
conversation Lafayette complimented her as the mother of a son who had
achieved the independence of his country, and acquired lasting honors
for himself. The old lady, without the least manifestation of gratified
pride, simply responded, "I am not surprised at what George has done,
for he was always a very good boy." What a noble response, in its moral
grandeur, was this! Certain it is that such a mother was worthy of such
a son. A monument, plain, yet expressive in its design, has been erected
at Fredericksburg to her memory. It bears this simple, yet sublime

     "Mary, the Mother of Washington."

The extent of woman's moral power can only be limited by the extent of
her capacities. In every circle, whether domestic, social, or political,
the accomplished woman is a central power--_imperium in imperio_; and
though she may not directly exercise the right of suffrage, yet her
influence and her counsels, even an expression of her wish, enable her
to control the political, as well as the social, destinies of men and of
nations. It is in this way that she may "have her way." It was the
accomplished wife of Mr. Monroe who made him President of the United
States. She was the first to propose his name as a candidate. Her
influence with members of Congress induced them to concur in advocating
his election; he was elected. His administration, as we all know, was
distinguished as "the era of good feeling."

The prevalent idea that women need less education than men is a gross
error, worthy of heathendom perhaps, but entirely unworthy of
Christendom. Let women be as generally and as liberally educated as men,
and, my word for it, the question of woman's rights would soon settle
itself. The right of women to be thus educated cannot be doubted,
because it is a divine right, and because God has made woman the
maternal teacher of mankind, and the chief corner-stone of the social
fabric. Yet she should be educated with reference to her proper sphere
as woman,--a sphere which is higher than that of man in the economy of
Nature. Her capacities for industrial pursuits, such as are consistent
with her physical abilities, should be developed so that she may be
qualified to provide for herself, and to sustain herself in life's
battle, if need be, without the aid of a "companion in arms."

Nevertheless, marriage is one of Heaven's irrevocable laws. It is, in
fact, the great law of all animal-life, and even of plant-life. Nowhere
in Nature is there a single instance in which this law is not obeyed, in
due time, except in the case of mankind. Why is this? It certainly would
not be so if it were not for some grand defect in our social
system,--some false notions acquired by education, which are peculiar to
our civilization, and which induce apostasy to truth and natural
justice. Man was created to be the protector of woman, and woman to be
the helpmeet of man. Each therefore has an appropriate sphere; and the
obligations of each are mutual, growing out of their mutual interest and
dependence. The sphere of the one is just as important as the sphere of
the other. Neither can live, nor ought to live, without the aid, the
love, and the sympathy of the other. Whether so disposed or not, neither
can commit an infraction of the other's rights, without violating a law
of Nature.

Whatever may be the evils of our present social or political system, it
is evident that the right of suffrage, if extended to woman, could not
afford a remedy, but on the contrary, would tend to weaken, rather than
strengthen, mutual interests, by creating unwomanly aspirations and
domestic dissensions, thus sundering the ties of love and affection
which naturally exist between the sexes. In a word, it would be opening
Pandora's box, and letting escape the imps of social and political
discord, and finally result in universal misrule, if not in positive

Modesty and delicacy are the crowning characteristics of a true woman.
She naturally shrinks from the storms of political strife. Give her the
right of suffrage,--a boon no sensible woman desires; place her in
office, in the halls of legislation, in the Presidential chair; enrobe
her with the judicial ermine, or make her the executive officer of a
criminal tribunal,--and how could she assume the tender relations of a
mother, and at the same time officiate in any of these high places of
public trust, in which the sternest and most inflexible duties are often
required to be performed?

It is not possible, however, that the erratic comets, whose trailing
light occasionally flashes athwart our political sky, will ever acquire
sufficient momentum to jostle the "fixed stars" out of place, because
there is a fixed law of Nature which preserves them in place. There is
also a law of Nature which makes man not only the protector, but the
worshipper, of woman,--a worship which is as instinctively paid as
reciprocated, and which is by no means inconsistent with the worship of
God, but in truth is a part of it. It is this kind of worship--this
natural and holy impulse of the heart--which constitutes the basis of
man's rights and of woman's rights, and should harmonize all their
relations in life.

We see the instinctive exhibition of man's reverence for women almost
every day of our lives, and often in a way that proves how ridiculous
are modern theories in regard to woman's rights, when brought to the
test in practical life. Not long since, in one of our cities where a
woman's rights convention was in session, a strong-minded female
delegate entered a street railway car, when an old gentleman arose to
give her his seat, but at that moment, suspecting her to be a delegate,
asked, "Be you one of these women's righters?"--"I am." "You believe a
woman should have all the rights of a man?"--"Yes, I do." "Then stand up
and enjoy them like a man." And stand up she did,--the old gentleman
coolly resuming his seat, to the great amusement of the other

Whatever maybe the pretensions of agitators, it is certain that no
woman of refined culture, or of proper self-respect, will attempt to
step outside of her appropriate sphere. This she cannot do if she would,
without doing violence to the sensibilities of her nature. When true to
herself, woman, like the lily-of-the-valley, prefers the valley, where
she can display her native loveliness in comparative retirement, secure
from the inclemencies of a frowning sky; while man, born with a more
rugged nature, prefers, like the sturdy oak, to climb the hills and the
mountains, where he delights to breast the assaults of storm and
tempest, and to fling the shadow of his stately form over the valley, as
if to protect the ethereal beauty of the lily from the too ardent gaze
of the sun. And, though a solitary flower may sometimes be seen climbing
the mountain height, it is only the modest lily-of-the-valley--the true
woman--whose cheering smile man aspires to share, and whose purity of
character calls into exercise his reverent admiration.

     "Honored be woman! she beams on the sight,
     Graceful and fair as an angel of light;
     Scatters around her, wherever she strays,
     Hoses of bliss on our thorn-covered ways;
     Roses of paradise, sent from above,
     To be gathered and twined in a garland of love!"


In addressing you as a graduating class, permit me to suggest for your
consideration a few thoughts on the importance of regarding self-culture
not only as a duty, but as the only means of elevating and ennobling
your aspirations in life.

Though you have completed your academical course with a degree of
success which does you credit, you should remember that the great work
of education still lies before you, and that the formation of your
characters and the shaping of your destinies are committed to your own
hands. And here let me assure you that it is little rather than great
things which mark the character of a true gentleman. In fact, there is
but one way in which a refined education can be acquired, and that is,
"little by little."

It is thus from day to day, from year to year, from everybody, and from
everything, that you may learn, if you will, something new, something
useful; and though you care not to do it, yet you will, in spite of
yourselves, learn something, good or evil, just as you may choose to
apply it.

You certainly have the power to choose between good and evil,--in other
words, to achieve the loftiest aims. Yet in directing your aspirations,
you must adapt means to ends; collect your materials and refine them,
and in refining them give them the brilliancy of costly jewels,--jewels
which you can wear with becoming grace and dignity wherever you may go,
and at all times and under all circumstances.

The acquisition of a mere book-knowledge, however desirable, will avail
you but little, unless you acquire at the same time correct habits and
principles, united with refinement of manners. The world will be likely
to take your personal appearance, your style of dress and address, as
the true index of your character, and whether deceived at first view or
not, will finally estimate you at your true value. In perfecting your
education, it is not to be expected that you are to master every branch
of human learning, but rather that you are to make your life a life of
thought, of study, of observation, of strife to excel in all that is
good, and in doing good.

In attempting to achieve great things in the world, you must not
overlook little things,--little attentions, little civilities due to
others with whom you may come in contact; for your claims to
consideration will be estimated by the character of your conduct in
social life. There are certain conventionalities recognized in good
society which you must respect, and to which you must conform, if you
would be well received. Your manners and habits are therefore of vital
importance as elements of character.

It has been truly said that man is a "bundle of habits." It may be said
with equal truth that our own worst enemies are "bad habits." We all
know that bad habits fasten themselves upon us, as it were, by stealth;
and though we may not perceive the influence which they exert over us,
yet other persons perceive it, remark it, and judge us accordingly. The
formation of correct habits in early life is comparatively easy, while
the correction of bad habits, when once formed, is always difficult,
especially in more advanced years. In a word, if you would become model
characters, you must discard all bad habits, all odd habits, all that is
ungracious or ungraceful in word, deed, or manner, and make it the
leading rule of your life to observe the proprieties of life in all
places and under all circumstances. In order to achieve all this, it is
indispensable that you should study yourselves, watch yourselves,
criticise yourselves, and know yourselves as others know you. The value
of self-examination has been forcibly as well as beautifully expressed
in a single stanza by Robert Burns,--

     "O wad some power the giftie gie us
     To see oursel's as ithers see us!
     It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
                  An' foolish notion:
     What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
                  An' ev'n devotion!"

It is true that in relation to the laws of etiquette many books have
been written, which are in fact more read than observed, and which are
more perplexing than practical. No lady or gentleman was ever made truly
polite, truly agreeable, truly amiable, by a strict observance of
artificial rules. Something more is needed; something must be done. It
is in the heart, in the exercise of all the moral and Christian virtues,
that true politeness has its foundation. True politeness is never
selfish, never ostentatious, but always overflowing with kindness,
always angelic in its attributes. In word and deed, it is always
considerate, delicate, and graceful; yet in its ministrations it always
preserves its own self-respect, while it manifests its sincere respect
for all that is good and for all that is meritorious.

Heaven has imposed on us the duty of acquiring all the knowledge we can.
In discharge of this heaven-born duty, we should begin at once the
great work of self-culture,--a work never to be discontinued. He who
would build a spacious and a lofty temple, a fit dwelling-place for
divinity, must first lay the foundations broad and deep,--not in sand,
but on a rock; and then, though storm and tempest beat against it, it
cannot fall, because it is founded on a rock.

But in adopting a system of self-culture, too much care cannot be
bestowed on the cultivation of your manners, your attitudes, your style
of conversation, and your expression of sentiment. In regard to manners,
it is impossible to prescribe exact rules. The best models for you to
copy are to be found in the manners of the model men and women of our
country who give tone to society. At any rate, be governed by good sense
and by the dictates of nature, so modified by art as to conceal art. To
disguise art is the perfection of art. In this lies the secret power of
angelic charms,--the charm of polished womanhood and manhood.

In your social intercourse employ a pure and unambitious style of
diction, and be careful to maintain a quiet and unobtrusive deportment;
and above all things avoid singularities and eccentricities, nor attempt
to attract attention for the sake of gratifying an overweening vanity.
And while you manifest a due respect for others, be careful to maintain
your own self-respect. Never indulge in exhibiting violence of temper;
but on all occasions control your feelings and expressions, though
provocations arise which justly excite your indignation.

If you would attain to the highest possible standard of social
refinement and moral virtue, you must rely on yourselves, must look into
the mirror of your own hearts and behold your own defects, and then
proceed at once to apply the appropriate remedies. To do this
effectively may cost you much labor, yet the task will be found
comparatively easy when you have resolved to execute it.

It is not only your privilege, but your duty, to acquire knowledge from
every source, as the bee gathers honey from every flower. Collect and
compare facts; for in every fact, whether great or small, there lies hid
a lesson of wisdom,--a logic which is not only irresistible, but divine.
Theories are of but little value unless attested by facts. All mere
theories are alike worthless, whether they relate to the physical or
moral world. "Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good." No
better rule than this, for your guidance through life, ever was or ever
can be given. Facts, though "stubborn things," are never falsehoods. You
may therefore regard facts as truth, as the kind of mental food you
should acquire, digest, and convert into nutriment, and thus grow strong
and wise, until you have realized the great fact that "man was created
but a little lower than the angels."

For the purpose of self-culture, in its highest sense, an ordinary
lifetime seems quite too short, though prolonged to threescore years and
ten. The value of time cannot be overestimated. If we would but consider
how many precious moments we fritter away and lose in an unprofitable
manner, we should see that it is the want of a due regard for the value
of time, rather than a want of time, of which we should complain. It is
not, therefore, the fault of a Divine Providence that we have not time
enough to perfect ourselves in the arts of a refined civilization, and
in the realization of the highest enjoyment of which our nature is
capable. Whatever else you may lose, never lose a moment of time which
can be profitably employed. A moment of time once lost can never be
regained. Insignificant as a moment may seem, your destiny may depend on
the improvement you may make of it, on the deed or thought it may
prompt. Life, though long, is made up of moments, and terminates in a
moment; and all true knowledge is founded in truth.

If you would prolong your lives, and enjoy health and happiness
accompanied with vigor of mind, study the laws of health and obey them.
Make yourselves thoroughly acquainted with yourselves, by becoming
acquainted with the physiology of the human system, and by living in
compliance with the requisitions of its principles. Nature is the best
physician you can employ, whatever may be your malady; but in order to
be healed by her prescriptions, you must apply to her in time, and adopt
the uniform and temperate habits of life which her laws require.

It is said that Nature has her favorites. This may be true. It would
seem that some persons are born poets, some philosophers, some fiddlers,
some one thing, and some another. It may be said that such persons are
specialists, born to accomplish a special purpose. They doubtless
subserve the interests of mankind as models, or standards of merit, in
their respective specialties; yet to be born a genius is not in itself a
matter of merit, but it is the good one does in the world which creates
merit and crowns life with honors.

Nearly all of our truly great men are men of self-culture, who have
acquired brains by the slow process of a lifelong industry in the
pursuit of knowledge. This class of men are not only much more numerous
than born geniuses, but much more useful. They have a wider range of
intellect and wield a wider influence. They are men who read, think, and
digest what they read. In their choice of books they select standard
authors. They are not book-worms, devouring everything that is
published; nor are they literary dyspeptics, who feed on sentimentalism
and French cookery, but hale, hearty men, who prefer common-sense and
roast beef,--caring more for the quality of their food than for the

The world in which we live is a beautiful world. He who made it
pronounced it good, and designed it for the residence of the good. It is
in itself a paradise for all who choose to make it a paradise. In a
physical sense, it is not only a beautiful world, but a great storehouse
full of knowledge, full of wisdom, full of facts,--a record of the past
and of the future, written by a divine hand. In short, it is the great
Book of Life--of Revelation--in every word of which we may find an
outspoken thought,--

     "Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
     Sermons in stones, and good in everything."

In estimating your life-work, you should feel that yours is a high
destiny, and that much is expected of you. If you would succeed in the
world, you must have faith in yourselves as well as in a Divine
Providence, and act upon the principle that "God helps those who help
themselves." Wherever you go, make yourselves as acceptable and as
agreeable to all with whom you come in contact as possible. If you would
be preferred, prefer others; and if you would be beloved, scatter
flowers by the wayside of life, but never plant thorns, and in all you
do and say, unite modesty with simplicity and sincerity.

There can be no true manhood or womanhood that does not rest on
character, in the highest sense of the term. In fact, it is the
character we bear that defines our social position. The formation of
character is a work of our own, and requires the exercise of all the
better and higher powers of our nature. On character depends not only
our usefulness in life, but our individual happiness. Character is the
engraved mark, or sign, by which every individual is known, and
indicates the essential traits of his moral composition, the qualities
of his head and heart, as displayed in his aspirations and in the work
of his life. Character is more enduring than reputation. God respects
character; man respects reputation. The one is as lasting as eternity;
the other as evanescent as the bubble that glitters in the sunshine for
a moment, and then disappears forever.

In forming a true character, such an one as crowns the true man with an
imperishable diadem, there are many things to be considered, especially
the materials which enter into its moral masonry. Its foundation must be
solid and immovable, its superstructure chaste and elegant, and its
proportions harmonious and beautiful. Like a temple built for the gods,
it should be worthy of the gods. It should be not only beautiful in its
exterior, but be in its interior the life-work of a truly heroic soul.

Character represents soul. As character is moulded by human
instrumentalities, so is soul. Soul is therefore the essence of a true
manhood, a living principle that cannot die. It is an influence in
itself, and out of itself, felt everywhere and forever. It is the moral
life and the eternal life. Like a pebble cast into the broad ocean, its
impulse is sensibly felt by the entire ocean; every particle moves a
particle, until the vast deep is moved. Such is individual influence. If
character, then, be what it should be, truthful, noble, divine, it will
necessarily be godlike, and exert an influence in harmony with the
benevolent designs of Heaven.

And yet there are thousands who seem to live without purpose,--live
merely to vegetate. Of course such persons do not live in earnest, and
hence do nothing in earnest. They have life, but no lofty aspirations.
They may have souls; but if so, they remain undeveloped. In fact,
persons of this character have no character, no earnest work, no
significance. And for this reason, though living, they are literally
dead. If we would make the world what it should be, we must first make
ourselves what we should be. The work must begin at home in our own
hearts, and with a view to our own moral needs.

In the cultivation of a pure heart-life, we should begin by cultivating
"a conscience void of offence." If we would unlock the gate of paradise,
we must look for the key where it is to be found. We may rest assured
that it cannot be found in an uncultivated field of brambles and briers,
nor amid the rubbish of a misspent life; yet to find it, only requires
diligent search. Though everything beautiful, everything noble,
everything sublime, may lie in the distance, yet it is attainable; it is
the _ultimatum_ that we should seek,--something substantial, something
eternal. Mere fame is nothing worth. It is a thing of earth, and not of

There may be an innate feeling or principle that constitutes what is
called conscience; yet it must be conceded that conscience is
practically but the product or outgrowth of education, and may
therefore be so moulded as to become the just or unjust judge of the
moral questions which involve both our present and future welfare. How
important, then, that this judge should not only be a righteous, but an
educated judge, familiar with the principles of right and wrong, and
stern in the application of them! In a word, conscience is the central
life of character,--the silent monitor within our own breasts, whose
moral influence controls our destiny.

The law of love may be regarded as the great law which underlies all
law, because it is divine. In fact, love is the law that pervades the
universe, and in itself is sufficiently indicative of our moral
obligations. He who is governed by it, cannot err. It is not, however,
what we do for ourselves, but rather what we do for others, that can
afford the most substantial happiness. If you would receive, you must
give, influenced by a kind and generous spirit. "Overcome evil with
good." In this way, like a moral Alexander, you may conquer the world.

It is doubtless true that conscience, being essentially the outgrowth of
education, is ever in a formative state, and may therefore be
strengthened and elevated in its moral perceptions by culture. The more
perfect its judgment, the more perfect the man or woman. There can be
no religion without conscience; nor can there be conscience without
religion. The one is a counterpart of the other; and equally true is it
that the character of the one reflects the character of the other.

A true religion does not consist in a mere profession of faith, nor in
church membership, but in that which is the leading principle of our
lives; in that which binds us to achieve an ultimate aim; in that which
calls into exercise all our moral powers, and harmonizes our lives with
the requisitions of the divine law. Yet any religion is better than
none. Even the pagan is not destitute of a religion of some sort,
however debased it may be. It is simply the refinement of a higher
civilization which has made the difference between the pagan and the
Christian. Nothing can be more important, therefore, than the kind of
education which is bestowed on us in childhood, or the kind of
self-culture which we choose to bestow on ourselves. And though
circumstances may be adverse to our interests, it is our duty to conquer
circumstances, and take into our own hands the fabrication of our
fortunes. In this life every day brings with it new lessons; and though
some of them may be pernicious, all of them have their value. If there
were nothing evil, there would be nothing good,--for the reason that
there would be no contrast, no standard of comparison. And yet between
good and evil there is no halfway house, no "happy medium."

In every question of right and wrong there are but two sides. The one or
the other we must take, either directly or indirectly. We cannot take a
neutral stand if we would; nor can we identify ourselves with both
sides. Sincerity and hypocrisy are not born of the same parentage, and
cannot therefore walk hand in hand, nor take the same social position.
They are marked by a different sign, and by their sign they are readily
recognized. Appear where they will, the one will be respected, the other

If you would excel in anything, in any particular pursuit, you must
first resolve to excel, and then persevere, cost what it will. If you
encounter lions in your path, exterminate them. In ascending mountains,
make difficulties your stepping-stones, and never look back until you
reach the summit, and can breathe freely in a pure atmosphere. If you
would reach the stars, construct your own ladder, and climb until you
not only reach them, but are crowned with them. The soul never becomes
truly heroic until it becomes truly godlike in its aspirations and

It is only in the practice of the cardinal virtues--prudence, justice,
temperance, fortitude--that we acquire that divine power which alone can
make us divine. It is only in the adoption of lofty aims that we can
expect to reach a lofty ideal. Everything is possible to him who has
resolved to make it possible. In other words, where there is a will
there is a way. The will is the motive-power; if this be wanting, then
all is wanting that goes to make up the character of an heroic soul. The
world needs moral as well as physical heroes,--heroes who know their
duty, and dare do it. In the battle of life none but the wise and the
valiant can be safely intrusted with the command. The hostile powers of
darkness, of ignorance, of superstition, challenge the field, and cannot
be overcome without a severe conflict. The crisis has come. Whether
armed or unarmed, you must meet the foe; for results you must trust in
yourselves. It will never do to trust in shields, in breastplates, in
fire-arms, or in faith without works. If you would conquer, you must go
into battle inspired with lofty aims, and with a divine enthusiasm; then
will victory perch on your standard, and the eagle of freedom,
fire-eyed, pierce the sun.

And yet you should remember that in your attempts to achieve success,
you must deserve success. It is only in severe moral discipline that
you can see what you need, and acquire what you need,--eminent virtue,
industry, and sagacity. In social life, be social, amiable, and
accomplished; in domestic life, be something more,--be kind,
considerate, and sympathetic. Whether you have one or more talents,
improve them; they will grow brighter by constant use. Whatever may be
your capacities, never indulge in vain aspirations. However seductive
the temptations which may beset you, never compromise your integrity.
However ambitious you may be in your ultimate aims, regard a good moral
character as of infinite value. Always true to yourselves, be true to
others. Place implicit confidence in no one, but confide in the strength
of your own individuality. In adversity be hopeful, and always look on
the bright side of things.

In selecting a profession or business for life, be governed by your
natural taste or capacity,--your peculiar talent for this or that
pursuit. If embarrassed by circumstances, never yield to them, but
resolve to excel in whatever you undertake. Perseverance is the secret
of success. If born with the gift of genius, make it available; do
something new; invent something new; and in this way bequeath something
valuable to mankind. In other words, live for mankind, and if need be,
die for mankind. Adopt this as the religious sentiment of your life, and
act in accordance with it, and your works will sufficiently attest the
purity of your faith.

And yet you are not required to crucify yourselves; but on the contrary,
it is your duty, while striving to live for others, to live for
yourselves, and thus make yourselves and your homes as happy as
possible. It is not in the shade, but in the sunshine, that you should
seek to live. It is only the _now_ of life, the fleeting present, of
which you are certain. If, then, you would be prosperous, if you would
be happy, if you would look to the future with a pleasing hope, so live
as to feel that you are sustained, in all you do, by an approving
conscience, and by the divine counsels of Infinite Wisdom. It is only by
living thus that you can make life on earth what it should be,--a

He who made all things has made no distinction between heaven and earth.
It is man that has made the distinction. The natural atmosphere which
surrounds the earth is pure and healthful; it is only the moral
atmosphere that has become impure and deleterious. It needs no chemical
agencies to purify it; it must be purified, if at all, by moral
agencies. In other words, we must recognize our obligations to our
fellow-men, and obey the "Golden Rule," as prescribed by the law of
love, if we would succeed in making earth a heaven.

Almost every American of culture has an object in view for which he
lives,--some ultimate aim or aspiration which stimulates him to effort.
It may be a desire to excel in some one of the learned professions, or
to become a millionnaire, a hero in the battle-field, a Solon in the
halls of legislation, perhaps President of the United States. In
attempting achievements of this character, it should be remembered that
knowledge is the basis of success. It is knowledge that gives power, and
wisdom that should direct us in wielding it. Yet a man may be learned,
and still be a cipher in the world. God gave to man a divine outline,
and then left him to perfect himself, at least in a mental sense. This
he must do, or remain an animal, and "feed on husks."

Nearly all our great men are self-made men. This is true of Washington,
Franklin, Jefferson, and scores of others who, like them, have acquired
an enviable renown. Thus, in all ages of the world, have men of noble
aspirations reached eminent positions and immortalized their names.

It is somewhat surprising, however, that most of our American graduates
look to the learned professions, rather than to a practical business
life, as affording the widest field for the acquisition of wealth and
high social position. This, it seems to me, is a great mistake. Not more
than one professional man in ten ever rises above mediocrity in his
profession, though he may prove to be useful, and succeed in acquiring a
comfortable livelihood.

In fact, the learned professions have yet to learn that the supply
exceeds the demand. And hence there is but little use in attempting to
shine as a "star" in any of the professions, unless you have a
sufficient brilliancy to take rank as a "star of the first magnitude."

And yet we cannot have too many men of liberal education; the more the
better. They are needed in every pursuit in life, and in every place. It
is not the occupation that dignifies a man, but the man that dignifies
the occupation. When you have chosen a pursuit, whatever it may be, aim
high. Yes,--

     "Give me a man with an aim,
        Whatever that aim may be;
       Whether it's wealth or whether it's fame,
        It matters not to me.
       Let him walk in the path of right,
       And keep his aim in sight,
     And work and pray in faith alway,
       With his eye on the glittering height.

     "Give me a man who says,
        'I will do something well,
       And make the fleeting days
        A story of labor tell.'
       Though aim he has be small,
       It is better than none at all;
     With something to do the whole year through,
       He will not stumble or fall.

     "But Satan weaves a snare
        For the feet of those who stray
       With never a thought or care
        Where the path may lead away.
       The man who has no aim
       Not only leaves no name
     When this life is done, but, ten to one,
       He leaves a record of shame.

     "Give me a man whose heart
        Is filled with ambition's fire;
       Who sets his mark in the start,
        And keeps moving higher and higher.
       Better to die in the strife,
       The hands with labor rife,
     Than to glide with the stream in an idle dream,
       And lead a purposeless life.

     "Better to strive and climb
        And never reach the goal,
       Than to drift along with time,
        An aimless, worthless soul.
       Ay, better to climb and fall,
       Or sow, though the yield be small,
     Than to throw away day after day,
       And never strive at all."


There is something in the very name of America, when applied to the
United States, which carries with it an inspiring influence,--an ideal
of freedom and of true manhood. In referring to the incidents of her
origin, in connection with the events of her subsequent career, it would
seem that America is none other than a "child of destiny."

She was born amid the storms of a revolution, and commenced at birth to
work out the great problems of civil and religious liberty. She has an
abiding faith in herself, and believes it to be her mission to originate
new views and discover new principles, as well as to try new experiments
in the science of popular government. The greatest peculiarity in her
character is that her past cannot be safely accepted as an index of her
future; in other words, her past is not likely to be repeated. In fact,
she does not wish to repeat or perpetuate anything that can be improved.
Her political creed is as simple as it is brief,--the "greatest good to
the greatest number;" and yet it is the most complex creed, perhaps,
that ever existed, involving questions which have not been, and cannot
be, satisfactorily settled.

America knows what she has been, but does not know what she will be. It
is doubtful if she knows what she would be. She has several favorite
watchwords, such as progress, freedom, and equal rights, and but few, if
any, settled opinions. Her present position, unstable as it may be, is
her standpoint of judgment. In attempting to achieve what she most
desires, she relies on experiment rather than precedent. In her forecast
consist her welfare and her political sagacity; yet she can no more
predict than control her future. None but a divine intelligence can
comprehend the extent or grandeur of her future.

One thing is certain, the rapidity of her career approaches railway
speed. What impediments may lie in her track, or what collisions may
occur, it is impossible for man to foresee. It would seem, however, that
she is an instrumentality in divine hands; a nationality, whose task it
is to work out the great problem of a just government,--one in which all
political power is vested in the people, and exercised by the people for
the common purpose of securing the greatest possible good to the
greatest possible number. The right to live under such a government is
a natural right, and should be accorded to every human being, the world

In all human governments there are, and probably ever will be, more or
less imperfections growing out of mistaken theories, or arising from
their practical workings. Though it may not be possible by legislation
or otherwise to remedy every imperfection, yet there can be no political
inequality which may not be so far modified as to extend to every
citizen equal rights and equal justice. There is a natural love of
freedom and of justice implanted within the human breast, which lies at
the foundation, not only of the political, but of the social, fabric.
This love of freedom and of justice is an instinctive feeling, if not an
inspired sentiment, which ennobles the patriot, and converts him into a
hero. When oppressed, the true hero smites his oppressor. This is a law
of his nature--an attempt to redress a wrong--and therefore an element
of human government. When a civil government has been instituted,
positive law becomes the rule of right. But when nations differ, and
diplomacy fails in its mission, there remains no recognized alternative
for adjustment but a reference to the arbitrament of the sword. This
final method of redressing national wrongs has descended to modern times
from the primitive ages of barbarism, and when adopted, as often
terminates in perpetuating the wrong as in redressing it. It is, to say
the least of it, a method which is entirely inconsistent with the
refined civilization of the present age.

There seems to be no good reason why an international code of laws might
not be adopted by all civilized nations for their common government in
redressing their grievances. If such a code could be framed and
accepted, it would not only secure the just rights of nations from
infraction as against each other, but would unite them in their mutual
interests and sympathies by the indissoluble ties of a common
fraternity. Then all differences and dissensions could be settled, as
they should be, by negotiation or voluntary submission to arbitration;
and then wars would cease, and rivers of blood no longer flow.

Nations, in their relations to each other, are but individuals, and
should, as such, be subjected to wholesome restraints by some recognized
authority. The proper authority would seem to be a representative
Congress of Nations. This view of the matter is an American idea, and
one which has been suggested by American experience. The assumption that
every nation is an independent sovereignty, if not absurd in theory, is
by no means true in fact. No civilized nation can live within itself and
for itself, but must and will, in order to supply its wants, hold
commercial intercourse with other nations. The productions of the earth
belong to man, and are essential, whether of this or that clime, to his
health and happiness, and will therefore be sought and distributed. Even
the social relations of one nation with another are hardly less
conducive to the general welfare than their commercial relations,
especially since steam-power and the telegraph-wire have comparatively
made all men next-door neighbors.

In these modern times no government which is not just in its
administration can long survive without provoking a revolution. It is
only as a last resort that revolution becomes an elementary right, and
then it must succeed in order to be recognized as a right. Nations
succeed each other as naturally as individuals, sooner or later. The
interest of all, whether national or individual, is the interest of
each. Hence mankind the world over should be regarded as a common
brotherhood, entitled to the enjoyment of equal rights and equal justice
as the legitimate sequence of their fraternal relationship. And yet
neither in ancient nor in modern times do we find a perfect government.
It is true, however, that we sometimes speak of our own American
Republic as a perfect system of popular government; yet it is nothing
more, in fact, than an unsatisfactory experiment. It is a system which
grew out of circumstances, and one which changes with circumstances.

It was near the close of the eighteenth century when America began to
lose her affectionate regard for her mother England. This change in her
affections grew out of the fact that the mother evinced a sincerer love
for money than for the welfare of her daughter. Remonstrance, though
calmly uttered, proved unavailing. It was then that America for the
first time gave indications of possessing a proud puritanic spirit that
would not brook oppression. The imposition of the Stamp Act had incurred
her displeasure; nor did an invitation to "take tea" restore her to
equanimity. Instead of condescending to take so much as a "sip" of that
favorite beverage, she had the audacity to commit whole cargoes of it to
the voracity of the "ocean wave." This offence provoked England to take
an avowed hostile attitude. America, still unawed, proceeded to beat her
ploughshares and pruning-hooks into broadswords; war, with all its
horrors, ensued. The result was that after a seven-years contest,
liberty triumphed, and American independence became an acknowledged

America had statesmen in those days who were men of pluck. When they
signed the Declaration of American Independence, and proclaimed it to
the civilized world, they took their lives in their hands, and so far as
human foresight could determine, were as likely to reach the gallows as
to maintain the position they had assumed. But fortune "favored the
brave," and instead of ascending the gallows, they ascended the pinnacle
of fame, and now take rank among

     "The few, the immortal names
     That were not born to die."

It will be recollected that our Pilgrim Fathers, on landing at Plymouth
Rock, entered into a written compact which contained the germs of a
republic,--principles which were expanded in the subsequent articles of
colonial confederation, and finally were so developed and enlarged in
their sweep and comprehension as to constitute not only the framework,
but the life and spirit, of the federal Constitution, which has been
accepted as the written will of a free and magnanimous people. In a
republic like ours, the popular will, when clearly expressed, commands
respect and must be obeyed. There is no alternative, nor should there
be. As Americans, we believe in the Constitution, and in the "stars and
stripes," and would die, if need be, in their defence. We also believe
in ourselves, and in our capacity to take care of ourselves. This great
fact is sufficiently illustrated in our past history as a nation.

When her population was but a small fraction of what it now is, America
not only compelled England to acknowledge her independence, but also
compelled her, in a subsequent war, to acknowledge the doctrine of "free
trade and sailors' rights."

Ever intent on enlarging the "area of freedom," America next sent out
her armies and took possession of the ancient palaces of the Montezumas,
and finally settled differences by accepting the "golden land" of
California, nor thought it at the time much of a bargain. And last, not
least, she suppressed within her own borders, despite the adverse
influences of England, one of the most formidable rebellions the world
ever beheld, and succeeded in restoring fraternal harmony throughout the

In the history of the world there have been many forms of human
government, which have arisen at successive periods, and which may be
classed as the patriarchal, the monarchical, the aristocratic, and the
democratic. The last was originally a direct rule of the people, but
from necessity and convenience has now become a representative
government, chosen by the people, and controlled by their will and
action as expressed through the medium of the ballot-box. The doctrine
that "the majority must rule" is evidently based on the scriptural idea
that in a "multitude of counsellors there is safety;" and yet this is
not always true. Minorities are often right, and majorities wrong. What
is right and what is wrong, is a matter of opinion, ever changing with
the advance of civilization.

Take any form of government you please, and analyze it, and you will
find that its vitality and its ability to preserve itself, are based on
physical power,--a power to coerce; and when this power fails, the
government fails, and either anarchy or revolution is the inevitable
consequence. Yet the moral power of a government, though it may not save
it, is not less important than its physical power. When both are
exercised with no other view than a sincere desire to promote the public
welfare, the government is pretty certain of being sustained, and simply
for the reason that it is approved by a generous and healthful public
sentiment. But let public sentiment become corrupted by the influences
of aspiring demagogues, or by men who avow principles in conflict with
the public interests, and no government, however pure and just in its
inception, can long command respect, or preserve its authority.

Every nation has its representative men. America has hers. Cotton Mather
was a Puritan and a theocrat; Benjamin Franklin, a patriot and a
philosopher; George Washington, a great general and a model man; Thomas
Jefferson, a true democrat and a wise statesman; Andrew Jackson, a hero
at New Orleans, and a Jupiter in the Presidential chair; and Abraham
Lincoln, a man of destiny, who crushed rebellion, and proclaimed freedom
to four millions of slaves. These were the men of power in the hands of
Divine Power; and yet they did not comprehend the sequence of their
mission. Their achievements marked the age in which they lived, and will
doubtless exercise a living influence, more or less controlling,
throughout the coming ages of the civilized world.

Nations, as well as individuals, have their destiny in their own hands.
It is the character of the individuals constituting the nation which
gives to the nation its true character. America began her career by
laying the foundations of her character, not in the sand, but on the
rock of free schools, free churches, and a free public press. Without
these institutions true freedom can neither be acquired, nor be
preserved. They are the only legitimate nurseries of a healthful and
vigorous public sentiment. Preserve these institutions, and the nation
will continue to be free and prosperous and happy and powerful and
glorious. And yet there may be corrupting influences growing out of the
manner in which a popular government is administered, or growing out of
the exercise and extent of the right of popular suffrage.

Indeed, it has already become a grave question how far it is safe to
extend the right of suffrage. It cannot be denied that our American
population is but an intermixture of different nationalities, thrown
together by a common desire to become free men in a free land. Yet
immigrants continue to come from the Old World, differing as widely in
their political and religious education and predilections as in their
language, customs, and social habits. It is this foreign element that
makes our population what it is,--an assimilating, and yet an
unassimilated mass. A five-years residence, under our present
naturalization laws, entitles aliens to citizenship and the right of
suffrage. When they have acquired citizenship, demagogues assume to be
their best friends, only to deceive them and advance their own selfish
aspirations. In this way the original peculiarities of the different
nationalities are wrought into political subserviency, and employed as
an element of power in securing the balance of power. It is in this way
that the people are first corrupted, and then the government. It is in
this way that we, as a nation, allow demagogues to educate the masses
into a low and degrading estimate of what constitutes a popular
government, and of what are its true legitimate objects.

The right of suffrage is clearly a political, not a natural, right. It
should be exercised with wisdom, and only with reference to the
"greatest good to the greatest number." The ignorant cannot exercise
this right with safety, for the reason that they are not sufficiently
intelligent. A certain degree of education should therefore be regarded
as an indispensable prerequisite. A mere residence of five years in the
country, without the ability to read and write the English language,
should not be accepted as a presumptive qualification, though
strengthened by an oath of allegiance.

There are some statesmen, as well as other persons, both in this country
and in Europe, who are earnestly engaged in agitating the question of
extending the right of suffrage to women, on the ground that women are
citizens, and often own taxable property, and consequently have the same
interest as men in securing and maintaining a just and proper
administration of the government under which they live. While this is
true, it is equally true that men are endowed by nature with more
physical, if not more mental, strength than women, and have a higher
regard for the diviner sex than they have for themselves, and
consequently were created to be their protectors and guardians. In fact,
the two sexes are but counterparts of each other. In Nature's
arithmetic, the two count but one, and should be but one in heart and in
life. But somehow or other, many of these counterparts get strangely
mismatched, or are never matched at all. This is not a fault of Nature,
but a defect in our social system. If it were considered as proper for
women as for men to be the first to propose marriage, it would doubtless
lead to the happiest results. But taking things as they are, the thought
has occurred to me that it would be wise for the State to limit the
right of suffrage to married men, for the reason that such men would
naturally feel the deepest interest in sustaining a good government. Let
the right to vote and to hold office depend on marriage, let the honors
of State and of society be conferred on none but those who have honored
themselves by assuming the duties and responsibilities of wedded life,
and I doubt not that all marriageable bachelors would aspire to the
honors of full citizenship, while marriageable women would soon find
their proper places in their proper sphere, and the government become
what it should be,--pure in its principles and just in its
administration. America is in a transition state, and will in all
probability continue to trust in the success of untried experiment,
rather than rely on her past experience. But still there survives within
the American breast a popular sentiment, which, like the magnetic
needle, ever points to an unerring polar star. It is only amid clouds
and storms that dangers arise, or become alarming. It is therefore
important that the ship of State should be intrusted to none but skilful
mariners. The pilot should appreciate the dignity of his position, and
comprehend the extent of his responsibilities. Whether the "golden age"
of America terminated with the outbreak of her great Civil Rebellion, or
commenced at the date of its final suppression, remains, perhaps, an
undecided question; yet there are thousands who believe that her golden
age has passed, never to return. This may or may not be true.

It is hardly to be expected, however, that a happier age will ever
arrive than that which existed prior to the Southern Rebellion. The
people generally, both North and South, before an appeal to arms
occurred, were characterized by a genial sincerity in the expression of
their political views and in the recognition of their constitutional
obligations, as well as in their ecclesiastical connections and social
relations. They, in fact, felt that they were akin to each other, and
regarded each other as a common brotherhood, having mutual interests in
sustaining a common government,--a government which their fathers had
framed, and bequeathed to them and to coming generations. In this genial
relation, for nearly a century, the North and the South enjoyed
uninterrupted peace and prosperity; and America took her position as one
of the great and powerful nations of the earth.

It is to be hoped, however, that the result of the late Civil War will
prove a "blessing in disguise," though laden with many unpleasant

If we cannot obliterate the "dark spots" in the sunlight of our past
history as a republic, we can at least cultivate friendly relations and
a liberal spirit, such as will give to our future history a spotless

It now becomes a grave question whether the freedom of the emancipated
slaves will prove a boon or a curse to them. As yet they cannot
comprehend their relative position; nor can they foresee their ultimate
though not distant destiny. As a race, they differ widely in their
natural characteristics from the Saxon race among whom they have been
diffused. They belong to Africa. The two races, being distinct in the
conditions of their origin and physical structure, as well as in their
temperament and tastes, can never harmonize as one people, either in
their social or political relations, on the basis of a perfect equality.
The thing is impossible, simply for the reason that the law of
antagonism which exists between the two races is founded in Nature, and
is therefore a divine law, which can neither be controlled nor
essentially modified by legislation or education. In fact, a "war of
races" has already become imminent, and must, when it does come,
terminate in the expulsion, if not extinction, of the African race.

In the future of America there are mystic events which time only can
disclose. "Onward" is the watchword of the living present. Every
American believes there is "a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at
the flood, leads on to fortune." The "almighty dollar" is his leading
star. Hoards of gold and silver glitter in the distance. In acquiring
wealth he acquires power. He knows that wealth is power; and hence the
acquisition of wealth has become the ruling passion of the age. In other
words, money supersedes merit, while moral honesty is held at a
discount. Lamentable as the fact may be, it is evident that an
unscrupulous desire to obtain wealth and political honors pervades all
classes of American society, from the highest to the lowest.

In order to facilitate the accumulation of wealth, and achieve their
ambitious aims, individuals consolidate their capital in corporations,
and corporations consolidate themselves into overgrown monopolies. In
this way almost every leading branch of trade and of manufactures, as
well as railroad interests, shipping interests, and telegraph lines, are
merged in corporations,--in fact, nearly all that remains of
individuality is lost in corporationality. Of course the mere
individual, however meritorious, becomes literally powerless unless
recognized by a corporation. Though a trite saying, it is nevertheless
true that corporations are "soulless," and therefore devoid of human
feeling and of human sympathies. Among the most formidable of these
monopolies are the railroad corporations, ever busy in weaving their
spider-like webs over the entire continent. In discharging their duties
to the public they seldom subordinate their own interests.

Almost every man of wealth in America is a stockholder in one or more
incorporated companies, and will of course act politically, as well as
individually, in accordance with his interests. Both the commercial and
financial operations of the country are essentially in the hands of
corporations. They in fact monopolize the banking institutions; and if
they do not control, they evidently desire to control, the legislation
and government of the entire country. Indeed, the time has already
come, when in quite too many instances the popular voice yields to the
corporative voice, while personal merit and qualification for office
become questions of secondary importance. It is easy to be seen that
corporative interests have become not only gigantic, but are engaged,
with pick and spade, in undermining the very foundations of the
Republic. If the people would preserve their equal rights, and enjoy the
blessings of a free government, they must not only remember, but act on
the principle, that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

It is owing to the tendency of capital to combine its productive
energies that working-men, as they are pleased to designate themselves,
conceive the idea that capital and labor are antagonistic in their
interests. Hence working-men, especially miners and mechanics, combine
against capitalists for the purpose of securing higher rates of wages.
In doing this, they resort to "strikes," violate their contracts, and
dictate their own prices. If their terms are not accepted, they refuse
to work, and the great leading industries of the country are crippled,
if not suspended. A train of moral and physical evils follows, which are
more seriously felt by the "strikers" than by capitalists. If movements
of this kind are continued, the obvious result will be to drive capital
out of the country to seek a more reliable investment. It is labor that
produces capital, and capital that furnishes labor. The one must depend
on the other. Their interests are therefore mutual, and both are
entitled to equal protection; their relations to each other must
necessarily be regulated by the law of supply and demand. There is no
other law or power that can do it. If force be applied, it is certain to
react. Yet the field is alike open to all. The laborer often becomes a
capitalist, and the capitalist a laborer. What are known as "strikes,"
therefore, can effect no lasting good to any one. They are but elements
of social discord, which demagogues seize and control for their own
aggrandizement. In fact, "Trades Unions" are nothing more nor less than
organized conspiracies against capitalists and the best interests of the
country. If tolerated, the government itself is in danger of being
ultimately subverted. It is clear that the tendency of these unions is
to produce disunion. They have already become so formidable in numbers
and in political influence as to render it doubtful whether any
legislation could be obtained, or military power enforced, which would
either control or restrain them in their action and ultimate aims. In
view of this state of things, it would seem that the time has come when
the American people, as a nation, should pause and "take the sober
second thought."

It is often said that the world is governed too much. But so far as this
country is concerned, the reverse seems much nearer the truth. Our
government is presumed to be the creature of public opinion. In theory
it is so; but in practice we generally find that what is called public
opinion is manufactured by a few scheming politicians, through the
instrumentalities of packed conventions and a subservient public press.
And hence candidates for office are selected with a view to their
availability rather than for their known capacity and integrity. This
failure to select the best men of the country to govern it, and
administer its laws, has already resulted in degrading American
character by the corrupt practices which it has generated, if not
sanctioned, in every department of government, whether federal, State,
or municipal.

In fact, dangers lurk on every side. There is no safety, unless it can
be found in the virtue and intelligence of the people. If in this
respect the people are deficient, it is the fault of their education.
The rights of citizenship should depend on education, and the masses, if
need be, should be educated by compulsion. As it now is, the learned
professions are regarded as the main pillars that sustain the social
fabric. They in fact give tone to public sentiment, and erect the
standard of public morals. The masses accept their opinions, and seldom
question their accuracy; and yet the masses are often misled. The few
corrupt the many. Hence it is that we so often see the lawyer, the
doctor, and even the clergyman, swayed in their action by political
incentives; and especially is this true of professed politicians and
official dignitaries. As a matter of course, public sentiment becomes
demoralized, and almost every species of fraud and corruption comes to
be regarded as quite respectable. If for this state of things there be a
remedy, it is only to be found in our public schools and in the moral
teachings of our churches. It is here that the work of reform must
begin, the sooner the better. It should begin by re-laying the
foundations of the Republic deeper and broader, and with principles as
solid and permanent as the masonry of the everlasting hills. When this
great radical work has been accomplished, the threatening clouds which
now cast their shadows over our national future

     "Will fold their tents like the Arabs,
     And as silently steal away."

While in the tendencies of the age we see much to admire, we also see
much to be regretted. In a word, there is too much friction in the
complicated machinery that spins and weaves the web and woof of American
character. In religion, morals, and politics, wide differences of
opinion are to be expected, yet they should be honest. While a free
public press may be regarded in theory as the "palladium of American
liberty," it seems to proceed practically on the belief that its own
interests are the public interests. Especially is this true of the
political press. Money, instead of principle, is too often its guiding
star. By its influence, men in office and out of office are made and
unmade at pleasure. And this will ever be the case so long as editorial
utterances are accepted as oracular. And yet there is hope, and perhaps
safety, even in the freedom of our partisan prints, so long as they
continue to expose the falsities of each other, whatever may be their
motives. If, as in China, the head of every editor who knowingly
publishes an untruth were demanded as a forfeit, it is to be feared that
gentlemen of the "tripod" would soon become "few and far between" in
this broad land of the free. Yet the newspaper is the controlling power
of the government, and the mouth-piece of public sentiment. Editors
should therefore appreciate their responsibility, as well as "take the

Though rotation in office may be regarded as a wholesome principle in
the administration of a popular government, it is evident from the
history of the past that frequent elections tend to disturb the peace
and harmony of society. One political campaign scarcely ends before
another begins. Especially is this true of our Presidential elections.
The spirit of these elections extends to all our local elections, and
often renders them equally bitter and intolerant.

These are growing evils which seem to threaten the stability of the
Republic, and which require the application of a radical remedy. In the
first place, the right of suffrage should be made uniform in all the
States, and extend to none except citizens who can read, write, and
speak the English language. This must be done, if we would preserve our
American nationality from a confusion of tongues and the contamination
of disloyal principles. In the next place, the President should be
elected by a direct popular vote for a term of eight or ten years, and
be rendered ineligible thereafter.

If provisions of this character were incorporated into the federal
Constitution, the President would have no other motive in the discharge
of his official duties than a desire to make for himself a good record;
while professional politicians would disappear, and our county be saved
from the demoralizing influences of a constant partisan warfare.

In regard to the Presidential question, the keynote is usually sounded
by the friends of the administration, who wish to retain its patronage,
or by opponents, who seek to overthrow it for the sake of the "spoils."
Though candidates for office contend loudly for principles and reform,
it is evident that with many of them the public treasury is the centre
of attraction. It is true, however, that there are some honorable
exceptions,--some men who are influenced by patriotic motives, who love
their country and desire to promote its real welfare, and who would
rather "do right than be President of the United States."

In a government like ours, which is essentially partisan in its
character, there exists a manifest want of promptitude in the exercise
of its central power. In other words, it takes a republic too long to
move and execute in a crisis. It is prevented from doing this by the
popular trammels which environ it. And yet it is often as difficult to
ascertain what is the popular will as it is to comply with it. For this
reason it is often a slavish fear, rather than a sense of right, that
controls the administration of the government. Even our best men, when
placed in power, become so sensitive to public opinion that their moral
courage "oozes out at their fingers' ends." They see lions in their
path, and therefore fear to do their duty. So long as a love of office,
rather than a love of country, influences the action of the politician
and the statesman, there can be neither strength nor stability in the
framework of democratic institutions. For an illustration of this, we
need only appeal to the histories of Greece and Rome. America has
produced, however, many model men, and doubtless will produce many more
of a like character. It is men that we want,--men of nerve and pluck, as
well as men of wisdom, not only to enact our laws, but to administer
them. All conspiracies of one class against the rights of another class,
or against the rights of individuals, should by Congressional enactment
be declared crimes, and the perpetrators promptly punished, no matter by
what name their associations may be known. It is the prompt enforcement
of criminal law that gives it moral force and overawes the offender.

It is impossible to predict the future, except as we see it from a
standpoint of the present. Hence it is, perhaps, that we apprehend
dangers when there are none. Yet we know that the elements of
dissolution are incorporated into the very material that constitutes the
universe. And so it is with the nations of the earth. The law of change
is universal. It affects alike both the moral and the physical world. In
his desires, man, as an individual, is insatiable; and so are nations.
It is a prominent trait of Americans to want territory, and to acquire
territory. They must have elbow-room; but the misfortune is, they do not
know when they have enough. It seems as if they aspired to grasp the
world and to govern the world.

It is doubtless true that we, as a nation, have already acquired too
much territory. The result is, the government has become unwieldly, and
the danger great that it will break down, sooner or later, of its own
weight. So vast is the national domain, and so various is it in its
climate, productions, and population, that its central power cannot so
legislate as to do equal justice to all interests, and at the same time
harmonize the conflict of public sentiment. This state of things had its
influence in producing the outbreak of the late Rebellion. For
grievances of this character there would seem to be no other remedy than
that of revolution.

We can but hope, however, that the States now known as the United States
will continue to increase in numbers, and to harmonize as one people,
one nation, and one government. Yet it is quite possible that the time
will come when they will sever into groups and become independent of
their present federal relation to each other, in accordance with their
peculiar sectional interests, "peaceably if they can, forcibly if they
must." Then, instead of one, we shall probably have several independent
American confederacies, whose future boundaries are clearly indicated,
not only by differences of climate and productions, but by Nature, as
marked by her great intervening rivers, lakes, and mountain ranges.
These confederacies, when organized, will doubtless consist of those
groups of States now known as the Eastern, Western, Southern, and
Pacific States.

In addition to sectional interests and geographical differences, there
are other considerations tending to induce a division of the Union.
Among these are an almost unlimited number of political aspirants, and a
rapidly increasing population. In Europe, and in many parts of Asia, an
overgrown population, in connection with geographical differences and
tribal distinctions, is doubtless the original cause which led to
subdivisions of empire, and the establishment of so many petty kingdoms
as now exist in those countries. The same causes are evidently at work
on the American continent, and must ultimately produce similar results.
In little more than a century our population has increased from seven to
sixty millions. In the next century, at present rates, the increase from
natural growth and the influx from foreign emigration will in all
probability approximate two or three hundred millions. Europe alone,
judging from present indications, will transfer to this continent within
that period a large share of that number. If this be assumed as worthy
of credence, is it not time that we, as American citizens, should look
ahead, as well as go ahead, and if possible, preserve our national

It is true that an intermixture of foreign blood with American blood may
tend to develop a higher order of manhood; yet when we go so far as to
permit foreign languages to be taught in our public schools at the
public expense, as essential to an American education, and that, too, at
the dictation of denizens whose education and predilections are in
conflict with our own, have we not reason to fear the ultimate results?
If this insidious influence of foreign growth be allowed to control our
educational system, it will not be long before we shall adopt foreign
habits and sentiments, and lose forever our American nationality.

If America would be true to herself, she must preserve not only the
purity of her principles, but the purity of her spoken language. If
foreigners choose to become American citizens, they must expect to
become Americanized in language and sentiment, as well as accept our
form of government. We want no foreign element incorporated into our
free institutions which does not harmonize with them. In a word, we want
no union of Church and State, no "confusion of tongues" in our public
schools, no aping of foreign manners and habits, no foreign
dictation,--nothing but pure American freedom and pure American

It is in this country that Church and State, for the first time in the
history of the civilized world, have been separated, and allowed to
conduct their own affairs in their own way, and independently of each
other. So far as experience has gone in this respect, it proves the
wisdom of the policy. And yet there are many statesmen, who, in reading
the "signs of the times," think there are reasons for believing that the
priesthood have inherited their ancient love of civil power, and are
quietly endeavoring, in various ways, to secure such a degree of moral
power over the popular mind as will, in effect if not in fact, transfer
to them the control of the civil government.

If the priesthood are to control the government, it matters but little
whether it be the Catholic or the Protestant. Catholicism regards the
Church as supreme and the State as subordinate, repudiates public
schools, and trains her youth in the Church and for the Church, thus
preparing them to become not only adherents to the faith, but "soldiers
of the cross;" while Protestantism asks the recognition of God in the
Constitution, urges a fraternal union of all her various denominations,
with a view to concentrate and direct their moral force, and even goes
so far as to discuss politics in the pulpit,--thus attempting to control
the results of our popular elections, especially when great moral
questions are supposed to be involved. In all this there may be no
insidious design; but facts carry with them a degree of significance
which ought not to be disregarded. If a "religious war" must come, it
will be a fearful contest, and one which must result in the subversion
of free government, and finally extinguish the last hope of every true

And yet, as a people, we need never "despair of the Republic" so long as
we sustain free public schools and confide the government to none other
than an enlightened and philanthropic statesmanship. If America
continues to respect herself, she is evidently destined to wield, not
only the moral power of the world, but to complete the civilization of
the world. Inspired with a desire to ameliorate the condition of
mankind the world over, she annually expends millions of money in
advancing the cause of a true Christianity. So inviting are her free
institutions that she is rapidly becoming a central nation in point of
wealth, talent, and population, as well as in moral and political
influence. It should be her pleasure, as well as aim, not only to
perfect her own government, but to diffuse a knowledge of her liberal
principles throughout the world.

In reverting to the history of the past, we see that nations, like
individuals, have their career, succeed each other, and finally become
extinct. On this continent the red race has been rapidly succeeded by
the white race. Whether a still higher order of man will succeed the
white race, is a question which time only can determine.

Nature is provident, and like Divine Providence, works in "mysterious
ways," and with an aim to achieve ultimate results. What America now is,
we know; what she will be, we know not. It is devoutly to be wished,
however, that her career may continue to be characterized by great and
noble achievements, and that her "star-spangled banner" may forever
float in triumph

     "O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."


There have been but few men in the clerical profession who have made a
worthier or more exemplary life-record for themselves than Rev. Joseph
Badger. He fought for liberty in the Revolution, and for Christianity in
the wilds of the Western Reserve. In the one case he fought with the
musket, in the other with the sword of the Spirit. Whether serving as a
soldier or as a missionary, he proved himself sincere and steadfast in
his devotion to duty.

Rev. Joseph Badger was born at Wilbraham, Mass., Feb. 28, 1757. He was a
lineal descendant of Giles Badger, who emigrated from England and
settled at Newburyport, not far from Boston, about the year 1635. The
father of Joseph was Henry Badger, who married Mary Landon. They were
both devoutly pious, and equally poor in this world's goods. They
instructed their son Joseph, at an early age, in the catechism of the
Puritan faith, and gave him such further elementary education as they
were able at the domestic fireside. He grew strong in the faith as he
grew to manhood, when he began to realize that in sharing life with his
parents, good and kind as they were, he shared their poverty. In
consulting his mirror he was often painfully reminded of the fact that
his garments, patched as they were, displayed about as many colors as
the coat of his ancient namesake. Inspired with the patriotic sentiment
of the times, and desiring not only to provide for himself, but to
obtain sufficient money to give himself a liberal education, he enlisted
in 1775, when but eighteen years of age, in the Revolutionary army, as a
common soldier, and was assigned to the regiment commanded by Colonel
Patterson. The regiment was stationed at Fort No. 3, near Lechmere's
Point, in the vicinity of Boston. At the battle of Bunker Hill this
regiment was posted on Cobble Hill, in a line with the front of the
American battery, and about half a mile distant, where every man of the
regiment could see the fire from the whole line, and enjoy the pleasure
of seeing the British break their ranks, run down the hill, and then
reluctantly return to the charge. On their third return, as luck would
have it, they carried the works at the point of the bayonet. This was
the first time after his enlistment that young Joseph had an opportunity
to smell the smoke of British gunpowder. It was some time in September
of the same year he enlisted that the British landed three or four
hundred men on Lechmere's Point to take off a herd of fat cattle.
Colonel Patterson ordered his regiment to attack the marauders and
prevent them from capturing the cattle. A sharp conflict ensued, in
which Joseph tested the virtues of his musket and poured into the enemy
nine or ten shots in rapid succession and with apparent effect. Several
were killed and others wounded on both sides. Joseph escaped unharmed.
But soon after this skirmish he took a violent cold, attended with a
severe cough. His captain advised him to return home until he could
recover. This he did, and within twenty days came back and rejoined his
regiment quite restored to health.

The British evacuated Boston on the 17th of March, 1776. On the next day
Colonel Patterson's regiment, with several other regiments, was ordered
to New York, where they remained for three weeks, and were then ordered
to Canada. They were transported up the Hudson to Albany, and thence by
way of Lakes George and Champlain to St. Johns, and thence to La Prairie
on the banks of the St. Lawrence and in sight of Montreal. On the way
the troops suffered severely from exposure to rain-storms and
snow-storms, and from want of provisions. They arrived at La Prairie
late in the day, and in a state bordering on starvation, where they
encamped supperless. The next day each soldier received a ration of a
few ounces of mouldy bread for breakfast, and a thin slice of stale meat
for supper. Joseph accepted his share of the dainty feast without a
murmur, but doubtless thought the wayfaring soldier had a pretty "hard
road to travel." A part of Colonel Patterson's regiment was then ordered
up the river to a small fort at Cedar Rapids, which was besieged by a
British captain with one company of regulars and about five hundred
Indians, led by Brant, the famous Indian chief. The Indians were
thirsting for blood. A fierce conflict ensued, which lasted for an hour
or more, when the enemy was compelled to retreat towards the fort. At
this juncture a parley was called, and the firing ceased. A number were
killed, and more wounded. It so happened that the fifth company, to
which Joseph belonged, did not arrive in time to participate in the
fight, though they had approached so near the scene as to hear the
firing and see the rolling cloud of battle-smoke. Joseph expressed his
regret that he had lost so good an opportunity to give his flint-lock a
second trial. The detachment was now ordered to retreat to La Chine,--a
French village about six miles above Montreal. Here they were
reinforced by the arrival of eight hundred men, under command of General
Arnold. The entire force advanced to the outlet of Bason Lake, at St.
Ann's, where they embarked on board the boats and steered for a certain
point about three miles distant. In passing, the force was fired upon by
the enemy, armed with guns and two small cannon. A shower of shot seemed
to come from every direction, and as the boats containing the Americans
were about to land at the point sought, they received, amid hideous
yells from the Indians in ambush, a hailstorm of bullets that rattled as
they struck the boats, and slightly injured some of the men. The men in
the boats returned the fire as best they could. It was marvellous that
none of the Americans were killed or seriously injured. "It appeared to
me," said Joseph, "a wonderful, providential escape." A British captain
by the name of Foster was shot in the thigh. It was now nearly sunset,
when General Arnold ordered a retreat. The night was spent in making
preparations for the morrow. It was near morning when Captain Foster
came over to General Arnold and agreed with him to a cartel by which
certain prisoners were exchanged. The American prisoners were returned
in a destitute and forlorn condition. The pitiful sight deeply excited
the generous sympathies of the kind-hearted Joseph, who did what he
could to comfort them by dividing his own supplies with them.

General Arnold now returned with his troops to Montreal, exercising
great vigilance to avoid further surprise. He then crossed the St.
Lawrence and encamped at St. Johns. Here the small-pox appeared in camp.
In order to avoid the severity of the disease, Joseph procured the
necessary virus and inoculated himself with the point of a needle, which
produced the desired effect. Two days after the disease had appeared in
camp, the troops were ordered to Chambly. The British hove in sight and
began to land on the opposite side of the bay. The invalids were
numerous and continued to increase. They were directed to march back to
St. Johns,--a distance of twelve miles. Most of them could hardly carry
gun, cartridge-box, and blanket, and were often obliged to sit down and
rest by the wayside, Joseph among the rest. In the course of a few days
the sick were transported to Isle aux Noix, at which place all the
shattered army were collected under command of General Heath. From this
place the troops, including the sick, proceeded amid sundry
embarrassments to Crown Point, where they encamped. Here the small-pox
spread among the men, and in its most aggravated form, with fearful
rapidity. The scene in camp soon became appalling. The groans and cries
of the sick and dying were heard night and day without cessation. As it
happened, the surgeons, for want of medicines and hospital stores, could
render but little aid. In some instances as many as thirty patients died
in a day, and were buried in a single vault or pit, for the reason that
there were not well men enough to bury them in separate graves.

The humane and philanthropic Joseph, who had previously inoculated
himself with success, and thus avoided further danger from the
contagion, now devoted himself to nursing and caring for his sick
companions-in-arms with unwearied assiduity. As soon as the contagion
began to abate, the sick were transferred in boats to Fort George, while
the men fit for service were ordered to Mount Independence, opposite
Ticonderoga, to erect works of defence. The mount was covered with
forest trees, loose rocks, and dens infested with rattlesnakes, which
often crept into camp and were killed.

At this time Joseph suffered for want of the clothes he had lost in the
retreat from Canada, and had, in fact, worn the only shirt he had for
six weeks, and was so incommoded with vermin that he was compelled to
take off his shirt, wash it without soap, wring it out, and put it on
wet. He was also scourged with an irritating cutaneous disease, which
induced him to retire some distance from camp, fire a log-heap, and
roast himself, after anointing with a mixture of grease and brimstone.
The camp was destitute of indispensable conveniences, and the hospital
in which lay the sick had not a dish of any kind in which could be
administered a sup of gruel, broth, or a drink of water. Resort was had
to wooden troughs, or dishes, cut out with a hatchet or penknife. The
colonel, in passing through the hospital, said, "I wish there was a man
to be found here who can turn wooden dishes." Joseph, who understood the
art, replied, "Furnish me the tools and I will do it." The tools were
furnished, and Joseph soon turned from the aspen poplar an ample supply
of wooden cups and trenchers. He was also often employed in making
bread, and in fact was a sort of universal genius and could do almost
anything. At the instance of General Washington he was also employed at
times to aid in negotiating treaties of friendship with the Indians. But
after being transferred several times from one military point to
another, and suffering more or less from hardships, his health became so
impaired that the principal surgeon gave him a discharge, and he
returned to his home in Massachusetts. He soon afterward so far
recovered that he re-enlisted and served as an orderly sergeant in
defence of the seaport towns till the 1st of January, 1778, when his
time expired, and he returned to his father's house once more, having
been in the service a little more than three years. He received, on
retiring from the army, about two hundred dollars in paper currency,
which was so depreciated that he could not purchase with the whole of it
a decent coat. He then (for the next six months) engaged in the business
of weaving on shares, and during that time wove sixteen hundred yards of
plain cloth. This enabled him to clothe himself decently, and to spend
the ensuing winter in improving his education. At this time, as he said,
he "had no Christian hope," but continued to labor and study during the
year 1779, when a religious revival occurred, and he acquired a
Christian hope, with a determination to fit himself for the ministry.
Encouraged by his friend, Rev. Mr. Day, he prosecuted the requisite
preliminary studies, and at the same time taught a family school in
order to meet his expenses. He entered college in 1781, and graduated in
1785. He then studied theology, and was licensed to preach in 1786. He
soon received a call and was ordained as pastor of the church at
Blandford, Mass. He had previously married Miss Lois Noble, who was a
young lady of refinement and exemplary piety. In October, 1800, he
resigned his pastorship at Blandford and received a regular dismissal.

The Connecticut Missionary Society, whose central office was at
Hartford, had formed a high estimate of the character and piety of Rev.
Joseph Badger, and at once tendered him the appointment to go, under the
auspices of the society, as a missionary to the Western Reserve. This
was the kind of Christian labor in which he preferred to engage. He
therefore accepted the appointment; and leaving his family at home until
he could explore somewhat his new field of service, he took his
departure on horseback, Nov. 15, 1800, bound for the Western Reserve. He
took what was then called the southern route, crossed the Alleghany
mountains in the midst of a snow-storm, and after a weary journey,
arrived at Pittsburgh on the 14th of December. Here he rested for a day
or two, and then resumed his "journey through the wilderness," and after
a weary ride of nearly a hundred miles, reached Youngstown, one of the
earliest settlements in the Reserve, on Saturday night at a late hour,
and was kindly received. The next day he preached at Youngstown his
first sermon in the Reserve. The town at that time consisted of some
half-dozen log cabins. His audience included nearly every soul in town,
though but a handful, who had assembled in one of the larger cabins, and
who seemed pleased to receive from his lips "the good tidings of great
joy." Gratified with his reception at Youngstown, and resolving to lose
no time in expediting his missionary labors, he rode the next day to
Vienna, where but one family had settled; thence to Hartford, where but
three families had settled, and thence to Vernon, where he found but
five families. In making these successive visits he did good work. While
at Vernon he was informed that Mr. Palmer, the head of the family
settled at Vienna, had been taken suddenly sick and was not expected to
live. There was no doctor residing in all that region of country. Rev.
Mr. Badger hastened at once to the relief of the sick man, and nursed
him for eight days, when he so far recovered that his providential nurse
could safely leave him. In this way Rev. Mr. Badger visited, in the
course of the year 1801, every settlement and nearly every family
throughout the Western Reserve. In doing this he often rode from five to
twenty-five or thirty miles a day, carrying with him in saddlebags a
scanty supply of clothing and eatables, and often traversing pathless
woodlands amid storms and tempests, swimming unbridged rivers, and
suffering from cold and hunger, and at the same time here and there
visiting lone families, giving them and their children religious
instruction and wholesome advice, and preaching at points wherever a few
could be gathered together, sometimes in a log cabin or in a barn, and
sometimes in the open field or in a woodland, beneath the shadows of the
trees. At about this time he preached the first sermon ever heard in
Cleveland. In response to all this benevolent work he had the
satisfaction of knowing that he was almost universally received with a
heartfelt appreciation of his services, and with a liberal hospitality.
Though most of the early settlers were poor, they cheerfully "broke
bread with him," and gave him the larger share of such luxuries as they
happened to have at command. Even the Indians, who were quite numerous,
treated him kindly and with respect. He took especial pains to enlighten
and instruct them, and soon acquired such a knowledge of their language
as enabled him to communicate readily with them.

In September of 1801, he journeyed on horseback to Detroit, with a view
to extend the field of his missionary labors. On reaching the banks of
the Huron River, late in the evening, he stopped at an Indian hut,
desiring to remain for the night. He was kindly received by the
inmates,--an aged Indian chief and his squaw. The squaw cut fodder from
the cornfield and fed his horse, and soon presented him with a supper of
boiled string-beans, buttered with bear's oil, in a wooden bowl that was
cut and carved out from the knot of a tree with a hatchet and knife.
Hungry as he really was, he relished the feast. She then spread for him
on the floor a bed of bearskins and clean blankets, on which he enjoyed
a refreshing night's sleep. In the morning she gave him for breakfast a
corn-bread cake, baked in the embers. It contained inside a sprinkling
of black beans, and resembled plum-cake. While he was eating, he
expressed his admiration of the bread. The squaw replied, "Eat; it is
good. It is such bread as God gives the Indians." He then resumed his
journey to Detroit, where he remained a few days. While there, and while
on his way to and from there, he held religious interviews with all he
met who were willing to converse in relation to their spiritual welfare,
whether white men or Indians, but found no one, as he said, in all that
region, whom he could regard as a Christian, "except a black man, who
appeared pious." On his return he visited Hudson, where he found a few
professors of religion. Here he organized a church, consisting of ten
males and six females. This was the first church organized in the
Western Reserve. The next morning, October 25, he took his departure
from the Reserve, and returned by way of Buffalo to his family in New
England, preaching, as he went, at such settlements as offered a
favorable opportunity. He arrived at home Jan. 1, 1802, after an absence
of thirteen months and fifteen days. He found his dear family all well,
and like David of old, blessed the Lord, who had "redeemed his life from
destruction and crowned him with loving-kindness and tender mercies."

Soon after his arrival, he visited Hartford and reported to the
missionary society what he had done, and the character of his work, and
agreed to return with his family to the same field of missionary labor,
and for such compensation as the society chose to allow him, which was
but seven dollars per week. This was at that time considered a
sufficient sum to meet the current expenses of himself and family. He
exchanged his former homestead at Blandford for land in the Western
Reserve. On the 23d of February, 1802, he started on his journey to the
Western Reserve in a wagon drawn by four horses and loaded with a few
household goods, his wife and six children, and himself driving the
team. He took the route leading through the State of New York to
Buffalo, and thence followed the southerly shore of Lake Erie to
Austinburg, in the Reserve, where he and his family were received with a
hearty welcome to the home and hospitalities of his friend, Colonel
Eliphalet Austin. He accomplished the journey, a distance of six hundred
miles, in sixty days. This was travelling at a pretty rapid rate, as was
then thought. He remarked, when he had reached the hospitable home of
his friend Austin, that he and his family seemed destined to share God's
promise to his ancient Israel: "And they shall dwell safely in the
wilderness, and sleep in the woods."

He now purchased a small lot of land in Austinburg, and soon, with the
aid of a few kind settlers, erected a log cabin in which to shelter his
family. He found it difficult to procure sufficient provisions, but soon
succeeded in obtaining a sack of coarse flour in the vicinity; and
hearing of a barrel of pork for sale at Painesville, he sent a man with
a team thirty miles through the woods to purchase it, and paid twenty
silver dollars for it, and found on opening it that it contained the
"whole hog,"--feet, head, snout and ears,--and weighed but one hundred
and seventy pounds. This, with the milk from two cows that were pastured
in the woods and sometimes missed for a day or two, was all the
provision he could make for his family when it became necessary for him
to leave them and enter upon his missionary labors in other parts of the
Reserve. He visited Mentor, Chagrin, and other settlements. At Euclid he
found a family by the name of Burke, who had resided in a lone situation
in the woods for over three years, in so destitute a condition that the
wife had been obliged to spin cattle's hair and weave it into blankets
to cover her children's bed and save them from suffering in cold
weather. At Newburg he visited five families, the only residents in the
place, but discovered to his regret "no apparent piety among any of
them. They all seemed to glory in their infidelity." He continued
visiting families and preaching throughout the southeastern part of the
Reserve, and establishing churches. He called on his return at "Perkins'
Station" in Trumbull County, where an election was pending and a goodly
number of voters present. He was invited to dine with them. All took
their seats and began to help themselves, when he interrupted them and
remarked: "Gentlemen, if you will attend with Christian decency, and
hear me invoke the blessing of God, I will sit down with you; otherwise
I cannot." Knives and forks were instantly laid down and a blessing
invoked. The dinner was then discussed with a keen relish by the
assemblage, who seemed to appreciate the fact that "blessings sometimes
come in disguise." He then continued on his way home. Soon after this a
revival commenced in most of the infant settlements, and his missionary
labors were largely increased.

In some of the settlements the revival was attended with miraculous
power. In many instances the converts were stricken down in convulsions,
groaned in apparent agonies, and tore their hair; and in other instances
they fell in a trance, saw visions, awoke, and leaped for joy, shouting
long and loud, "Glory to God!" All this surprised the itinerant
missionary and presented him with a problem which he could not solve;
yet being a disciple of the "Calvinistic school," and charitably
inclined, he attributed the "spasmodic demonstrations" to the mysterious
workings of the Holy Spirit. The people far and near partook of the
excitement and flocked to hear him. On one occasion he preached to an
audience of five hundred. Though some scoffed, many professed to have
experienced religion. The general impression was in those days that
conversion consisted in experiencing some sudden and mysterious
shock,--a puritanic idea that is now held to be absurd; yet this wild
excitement doubtless produced some good fruit, if not a "rich harvest."
Be this as it may, Rev. Mr. Badger persevered in extending his labors,
and between June 18 and July 1 of the year 1802, rode two hundred miles,
preached eight sermons, and administered two sacraments. In riding
through the dense woodlands, especially after nightfall, he was often
followed by hungry wolves and bears, manifesting a desire to cultivate a
toothsome acquaintance with him. On one occasion, when riding through a
dark and pathless forest late at night, along the banks of Grand River,
and drenched with rain, he discovered by the sound of distinct footsteps
that some large animal was following him. He stopped his horse, turned
on the saddle, and with loud vociferations and clapping of hands
attempted to frighten the animal away, but instead of the noise having
the desired effect, the bear, as it proved to be, sprang towards him
with hair standing on end and with eyes flashing fire. At this critical
juncture, as Rev. Mr. Badger states in his diary: "I had no weapon of
defence. I thought best to leave the ground, turned to the left, and
walked my horse partly by the bear, when the brute stepped directly on
behind me and within a few paces. By this time it had become so dark
that I could see nothing, not even my hand holding the bridle, and the
bear was still snapping his teeth and approaching nearer. I had in my
hand a large heavy horse-shoe, took aim by his nose, and threw the shoe,
but effected no alarm of the enemy. To ride away was impossible in a
pathless wood, thick with brush and fallen timber. I concluded to resort
to a tree if I could find one. I reined my horse first to the right and
then to the left, at which instant some sloping limbs brushed my hat. On
feeling them, I found them to be long pliable beech limbs. I reined my
horse again and came with his shoulder close to the tree. I tied the
bridle to the limbs, raised myself on the saddle, and by aid of the
small limbs began to climb. I soon got hold of a limb large enough to
bear me; and at this instant the evil beast came to the tree with
violent snuffing and snapping. I fixed my stand on the limb, took out a
sharp knife, the only weapon I had, and prepared for battle. But I soon
heard the bear snuffing near the horse's nose as he was crunching the
boughs and leaves within his reach. I then ascended about forty feet, as
near the top of the tree as I thought was safe, found a convenient place
to sit on a limb, and then tied myself with a large bandanna to the
tree, so as not to fall if I fell into a drowse. The bear continued
smelling at the horse until he had passed around him to the opposite
side of the tree; and all was still but the champing of the horse. By
the roaring of the wind it appeared that a heavy gust was approaching.
It soon began to rain powerfully, with wind and heavy peals of thunder.
At this time the horse shook himself, which startled the bear to a quick
rush for a few rods, when he stopped and violently snapped his teeth,
and there remained until a few minutes before daylight, when he went
off. My horse standing as he did at the foot of the tree, without moving
a foot from the place where I left him, and in no way frightened by the
approach and management of the bear, seemed to be peculiarly
providential. This was the only time I was disturbed in camping out many
times. As soon as I could see to take my course, I mounted my horse and
arrived at my house, about six miles from my lodging-place in the tree,
with a pretty good appetite for breakfast. Having in my saddlebags two
volumes of the 'Ohio State Laws,' it was remarked by some of my friends
that the old bear did not like so near a 'union of Church and State.'"

Rev. Mr. Badger continued his missionary work with zeal and with highly
encouraging prospects. He organized many churches and schools, and
distributed many Bibles and school-books, and often assisted the
settlers in erecting their log cabins and in securing their harvests.
In 1804, the missionary society reduced his compensation to six dollars
a week, being the same they allowed their missionaries nearer home. This
he did not relish, but accepted the reduced pittance, remarking that he
would go on with his work and trust to Him who "feeds the ravens." At
this time he was obliged to pay at the rate of sixteen dollars a barrel
for salt pork, though the other provisions were comparatively cheap and
plenty. Early in the spring of 1809, his house was burned, and nothing
saved but two beds and a few articles of clothing. He at once built a
small cabin, with the generous aid of his neighbors, and moved his
family into it, without bedstead, table, knife, fork, or spoon. In June
of the same year he returned to Hartford, Connecticut, and made a final
settlement with the Connecticut Missionary Society, and received an
honorable discharge from further services as a missionary under its
auspices. He then proposed to engage in missionary work among the
Indians west of the Cuyahoga, known as the Wyandots; and having within a
short time received cash donations from the Massachusetts Missionary
Society to the amount of over a thousand dollars, he returned to the
Reserve and commenced his missionary labors among the Indians at Upper
Sandusky, which he regarded as a central point, and from which he
extended his labors in the region round about so as to include all the
Indian villages in the vicinity of the lake, from the west side of the
Cuyahoga River to the city of Detroit. This mission was called the
"Wyandot Mission." His labors in this missionary field consisted mainly
in visiting the Indians in their lodges, instructing them and their
children in the elementary principles of Christianity and in the
observance of peaceful relations. He also gave them practical lessons in
agriculture and other arts of civilized life, and tried to reform their
intemperate habits by condemning the use of whiskey. He was a stanch
advocate of "temperance in all things," denounced slavish habits and
also slavery long before the latter became the subject of political
agitation. In 1812, he took a deep and active interest in the war, and
accepted the position of chaplain in the command of General Harrison. He
also exercised a wide influence over the Indians in preventing them from
making alliances with the enemy. At the close of the war he resumed his
missionary labors. In August, 1818, his good wife died, and left to him
the care of their children. His grief seemed inconsolable, but he soon
so far overcame it as to marry in April, 1819, Miss Abigail Ely for a
second wife. In the following June he took his bridal trip with her to
his old home in New England, and after a brief but delightful visit,
returned and devoted himself to preaching in the eastern part of the
Reserve, where he soon settled as pastor of the church at Austinburg,--a
church which he had organized, and which had become so large in the
number of its communicants that it was generally known as the "mother
church" of the Reserve. He subsequently officiated as pastor of the
church at Ashtabula for some years, then at Kingsville, and lastly at
Gustavus, Trumbull County, where he settled in 1825, and officiated not
only as pastor of the parish, but as postmaster, having been appointed
to the latter office by the postmaster-general. In 1835, he resigned his
position as pastor at Gustavus, and preached a farewell sermon, taking
the following words for his text: "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be
perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God
of love and peace shall be with you." The sermon was a masterly one, and
the audience was affected to tears. It was long remembered, and was
never forgotten by those who heard it. He had now become so enfeebled by
age as to disqualify him for further service as pastor of a church. From
Gustavus he went to reside with his married daughter in the township of
Plain, Wood County, Ohio, where for eight or nine years, he devoted
more or less time, as he was able, to missionary work in the vicinity.
In 1844, he changed his residence and went to the neighboring town of
Perrysburg, where he lived with his married granddaughter, and where he
died in 1846, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years. In six months
afterward his wife died. But two of his six children survived him.

In personal appearance Rev. Joseph Badger was tall, slim, erect, had
blue eyes, brown hair, and a pleasing expression of face. In temperament
and action he was quick and somewhat impulsive, yet he was considerate
and slow of utterance, rarely, if ever, uttering an imprudent word. In
his social intercourse he was sedate or facetious as the occasion seemed
to require. He enjoyed hearing and telling amusing anecdotes. In his
style of preaching he was apostolic, plain, simple, and logical. In
creed he was an orthodox Presbyterian. He had but one grand aim in life,
and that was to do what he could to advance the moral and spiritual
welfare of mankind. In a word, Rev. Joseph Badger, though dead, still
lives and will ever live in memory as the early western missionary whose
lifelong labors were prompted by the spirit of a true Christian

     "His youth was innocent, his riper age
      Marked with some act of goodness every day;
     And watched by eyes that loved him, calm and sage,
      Faded his late declining years away.
     Cheerful he gave his being up, and went
     To share the holy rest that waits a life well spent."


[Dedicated at Williamstown, Mass., July 28, 1867.]

In the accomplishment of great moral purposes, a Divine Providence
employs human instrumentalities. Of this we have ample evidence, not
only in the history of nations, but in the career of individuals.

A little more than eighteen centuries ago, a few obscure fishermen,
while casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, were called to abandon
their nets, and become "fishers of men."

A little more than sixty years ago, a few obscure young men, while
pursuing their classical studies in Williams College, were called to go
into benighted lands beyond the sea, and proclaim the divine doctrine of
"peace on earth and good-will to men."

These students, though unknown to fame, were young men of thought and of
high moral aspirations. Influenced by a devotional spirit, they felt
that God had a great work for them to do, and that it was therefore
important for them to comprehend their true relations, both to God and
to man.

What was the precise character of the great work assigned them, they
did not seem to know; and for this reason they sought for more light,
and for guidance from the Mighty Counsellor, whose wisdom is infinite,
and who cannot err. In seeking for that knowledge which "cometh from
above," they were accustomed, in the milder months of the year, to hold
occasional prayer-meetings in the solitudes of Nature, believing that

     "The groves were God's first temples."

And doubtless they felt that the Divine Presence dwells more essentially
in the silent sanctuaries of Nature than in "temples made with hands."

It was here, within the quiet and cool retreat of the maple-grove in
which we are now assembled, that they had convened at the close of a
sultry summer day, in the year 1806, to hold the accustomed
prayer-meeting, when they were overtaken by a sudden shower of rain, and
compelled to seek the friendly shelter afforded them by a neighboring

The group of young evangelists who were present at the prayer-meeting on
this particular occasion consisted of Samuel J. Mills, James Richards,
Francis L. Robbins, Harvey Loomis, and Byram Green. Protected from the
rain by the haystack, they continued, amid the conflict of the
elements, their devotional exercises, and also discussed religious
topics of deep interest to themselves and to the world. It was a sublime
moment for them and for the world. The heavens were darkened; the
lightnings flashed; dread thunders rolled; the rain fell; yet amid this
conflict of the elements there came "a still small voice," as if from
the storm-cloud. It was a divine whisper, an inspired thought, which
stirred the life-currents in the heart of Mills, and diffused upon his
brow a celestial radiance. That inspired thought, broad as the earth in
its comprehension, Mills announced to his devout companions. They felt
its divinity, and regarded it as a divine communication. At the instance
of Mills, they knelt in prayer, and besought divine aid and guidance in
executing the great work which they now believed had been revealed to
them. It was nothing less than a mission to some foreign heathen land,
and the ultimate evangelization of the world. In offering up the last
prayer at this meeting, so enthusiastic became Mills that he invoked
"the red artillery of Heaven to strike down the arm that should be
raised against a herald of the cross."

And now, as the storm-cloud passed away, the skies became bright and
serene; the air was pure and fragrant as balm. The raindrops, like
jewels, glittered on the leaves in the grove, and on the grass and
wild-flowers in the meadows. In short, the smile of Heaven was reflected
in the face of Nature. And the sublimity of the scene, as it may be
supposed, was heightened by the appearance of a rainbow in the
east,--that glorious emblem of a divine love, which is so ample in its
character as to embrace within its golden circle the great world of
mankind, of "every nation, kindred, and tongue."

As these inspired young men of the haystack wended their way back to the
college halls, they "pondered these things in their hearts" and
communicated their thoughts to such of their fellow-students as they
believed would sympathize with them in the desire they felt to
consecrate their lives to the great work of foreign missions, and
especially a mission to India. Several of their associates became at
once inspired with a similar missionary spirit. But as yet the interest
felt in this new enterprise was restricted to the circle of the "Society
of Brethren," as it was designated. This society was a secret
organization, composed of such students as had made a profession of
religion, and had for its object the promotion of the spiritual welfare
of its members. In pursuance of this object, they held private
prayer-meetings in each others' rooms, and discussed questions of
special religious interest, and often, in the summer season, retired for
the same purpose to the neighboring groves.

In this way was sown the first grain of "mustard seed," which was
destined soon to vegetate and grow to a tree of gigantic proportions.
The planting of this "smallest of all seeds" constituted a nucleus for
more extended effort. Consequently other societies were soon organized
to promote the good work. In fact, new life was breathed into the "dry
bones" of every valley; and Heaven repeated the command, "Go, teach all

The grand result of this day of "small things" was the organization at
Bradford, in 1810, of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions,--an organization which under the direction and favor of a
Divine Providence has achieved so much for the civilization and
evangelization of the benighted races of mankind. Of this we need adduce
no other proof than the leading facts of its history.

In its inception, this Board consisted of but few members. At its first
meeting there were but five members present, and at its second, but
seven. Its receipts for the first year were but a thousand dollars. Now
its annual receipts exceed a half-million of dollars, and its annual
meetings are attended by thousands of people. In the aggregate, it has
collected and disbursed nearly twelve millions of dollars. It has never
lost a dollar by the fraud or embezzlement of any of its officers or
agents. Since its first meeting of five persons, in 1810, its corporate
members have been increased to two hundred, and its honorary members to
seventeen thousand.

It has sent into the missionary field thirteen hundred persons, in
various capacities, including nearly five hundred ordained missionaries.
It has established missions in almost every benighted region of the
habitable globe, especially in the Eastern Hemisphere,--in India, in
China, in Persia, in Syria, in Greece, in Turkey, in Africa, and also in
several isles of the sea, including the Sandwich Islands. It has more
than a hundred missionary stations, and nearly two hundred out-stations
occupied by native helpers. It has in the native ministry three hundred
Christian converts, about seventy of whom are pastors of churches. These
native Christian churches have now increased to two hundred, in
communion with which more than sixty thousand hopeful converts have been

It has printing-presses, which have printed more than a thousand
millions of pages of religious and educational matter, which has been
distributed in forty-two living languages, as now spoken in pagan and
other unevangelized lands. It has invented alphabets, and reduced
eighteen native languages to writing. It has put in successful operation
more than four hundred native schools, in which more than twelve
thousand native children have been taught. All this has been done in
less than sixty years, and still the great work progresses with
increasing zeal and efficiency.

Thus has the Board proved itself to be, in the providence of God, a
great moral power in the nineteenth century. It is the star in the West,
which flings its cheering light into the East. The wise men have seen
it, and the shepherds have seen it. Like the star of Bethlehem, its
errand is divine, for it was born of an inspired thought which has now
become an invincible element in the moral world,--a power which must and
will do its work; and though opposition and discouragement may come,--

     "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again."

Yes, millions of Christian heroes will come to the rescue, still bearing
aloft the banner of the cross, and shouting the battle-cry of civil and
religious freedom. And woman, first at the sepulchre, first in deeds of
charity, first in every good work, will renew her activities in the
great warfare with moral darkness, until the "uttermost parts of the
earth" have been illuminated with the light of divine truth.

It is expected, perhaps, that some allusion will be made to the motive
which has induced the erection of the monument you see standing before
you in its modest yet truthful significance. The motive was simply a
desire felt in common with many other persons to see a spot which has
become sacred in missionary history commemorated by some permanent
expression of Christian gratitude. An expression of this kind seemed due
not only to the great and good cause of American Foreign Missions, but
to the revered memories of the five young men of prayer, who knelt here,
under shelter of the haystack, and received from on high a divine
commission. And permit me to add that the filial regard I entertain for
my Alma Mater, and for my native State of Massachusetts, has had its
influence in disposing me to make this contribution to a heaven-born
enterprise, and in remembrance of those truly good, and therefore truly
great, men, whose names are inscribed on the monument. The plan of the
monument, as well as its erection here, it gives me pleasure to state,
has received the cordial approval of the Faculty and Trustees of the
college. The grand object for which the monument has been erected, is
the commemoration of the "birthplace of American Foreign Missions;" and
to this object we now dedicate it, in the name of a Christian
philanthropy, whose "field is the world."

In its character the monument is not less unique than emblematical. It
stands on the identical spot where the haystack stood. As a specimen of
fine material and artistic sculpture, it is strictly a Berkshire
production, composed of Berkshire marble quarried at Alford, and wrought
in the workshops of The Berkshire Marble Company. Its entire height is
twelve feet; its shaft, cap, and base, square; its surface polished; its
color a silver-blue. It is surmounted with a globe three feet in
diameter, traced in geographical lines. On its eastern face, and
immediately below the globe, are inscribed these words, "The Field is
the World." Then follows a similitude of the haystack, sculptured in
bas-relief, and encircled with these words, "The Birthplace of American
Foreign Missions, 1806." And beneath this appear the names of the five
young men who held the prayer-meeting under the shelter of the haystack.
The maple-grove, amid whose cool shadows we now stand, is the same grove
from which the five heavenly minded young men were driven by the
impending rain-storm.

This maple-grove, which has now become ever memorable, is included
within the boundaries of Mission Park. The park contains ten acres, and
was purchased on account of its historical interest, and made part of
the domains of Williams College. It is the design of the friends of the
college to embellish the park with specimens of the trees and shrubs and
flowers of every foreign land to which missionaries have been sent by
the American Board, so far, at least, as such specimens can be
successfully acclimated in this country.

When its embellishments have been perfected, Mission Park will become a
place of delightful resort, full of sacred memories, which will
accumulate and grow in interest with the lapse of time. Every year will
bring within its inviting precincts hundreds of pilgrims, and every
college commencement its missionary jubilee. Then will Mission Park
possess, not only an attractive aspect, but a moral power which will
awaken a renewed zeal in behalf of missions. And here may this
consecrated monument, which is so expressive of a highly interesting
fact in the history of missions, ever remain as an educator of coming
generations, and as a landmark in the pathway of the citizen, the
student, and the stranger! And here let the moral hero of the present,
and of the future, stay his steps, and make still higher and holier
resolves. Nor let us of the present generation forget that we have a
great work still to accomplish in the moral field,--a field which is as
broad as the earth, and in which we ought to renew our
diligence,--feeling assured that with the final triumph of truth will
come universal freedom, universal love, and universal brotherhood.

It is due to Williams College to say that her educational and Christian
influences have ever been directed by a benevolent and philanthropic
spirit,--a spirit that burned on the prayerful lips of Mills at the
haystack, and which has inspired with heroic zeal in the cause of truth
thousands of human souls throughout our Western Hemisphere. Humble as
the college may have been in its infancy, time and the favor of Heaven
have made it a power in the land. In every department of literature and
of science it has furnished mental giants who have made their mark in
the world. In addition to this, it has sent forth its thousands of
faithful workers, who are engaged, far and near, in pulling down the
strongholds of error, and in building up in their stead towers of
strength, founded on a Christian basis. In its teachings of literature
and of science, it teaches those still higher and diviner principles
which give to man the graces of a true manhood. In a word, its refining
and harmonizing influences are felt, not only by its sons, but by
thousands of others, the world over. Few indeed are the men who have
wielded a more extensive influence for good, or contributed more to the
permanent value of our theological literature, than the learned and
venerated President of Williams College, Dr. Hopkins.

Though the world owes much more to the efforts and vigilance of the
Faculty and Trustees of Williams College than it has ever acknowledged,
yet these patient, earnest, and hopeful men will continue to work on in
silence, still inspired with the belief that in casting "an handful of
corn in the earth, upon the top of the mountains, the fruit thereof
shall shake like Lebanon."


       *       *       *       *       *





"The author has been a careful reader of the science and literature of
the day, and has formed generally intelligent opinions upon the great
questions of modern thought. He is also scholarly in his use of
language."--_Chicago Tribune._

"Mr. Rice's ideas upon matters which he treats appear to us sound and
practical; and the modesty with which they are put in his volume will
not detract from their value in the minds of sensible persons."--_Boston

"The style is pure, and the thought, if not new, is fresh, and at times
presented to the reader in a fine poetic setting. Nature is spoken of as
by one who really loves her, and who has seen her face to face, and not
through the eyes of another."--_Christian Leader._

"The collection of miscellaneous essays embraced in this volume without
any apparent bond of connection are worthy the attention of intelligent
readers, from the thoughtfulness of their tone, the sobriety of their
judgments, and the naturalness of their style."--_New York Tribune._

For sale by all booksellers. Sent, postpaid, on receipt of price.


BOSTON, 1889.




PRICE, $1.25.


"The name and character of Hon. Harvey Rice are sufficient guarantee
that anything which comes from his hands is worthy of consideration, and
it is with this assurance that in this work he has produced something of
great historical value, as well as of interest in its style and
incident, that we commend the work without hesitation."--_Cleveland

"The incidents of the book have not only real historic value, but they
are of great interest as giving the present generation some idea of the
hardships and privations to which the early pioneers of Ohio were
subjected."--_Sunday Gazette, Akron, Ohio._

"Mr. Rice tells the story of the early struggles of the early settlers,
their haps and mishaps, and gradual development, in a most interesting
style."--_The American, Waterbury, Conn._

"It is altogether an instructive and valuable book, and especially
interesting to the people of our historic and noble state."--_Christian
Secretary, Hartford, Conn._

"There is much that is fresh and interesting in the narrative, and much
that helps the making of history, though it does not itself claim to
rank as history."--_Boston Journal._

"The reader's interest is sustained by remarkable historic facts, heroic
adventures and thrilling incidents, which the author has taken pains to
collect from authoritative sources."--_Christian Intelligencer, New

"A book on the early settlers of the Western Reserve that will keep one
awake, like a novel by Scott or Dickens."--_North American Review._

Sent, postpaid, on receipt of price.

LEE & SHEPARD, Publishers.

BOSTON, 1889.



Illustrated edition. Price, $1.00.


"'Select Poems,' recently published by Lee & Shepard, Boston, pp. 174,
12mo, are from the pen of Hon. Harvey Rice of Cleveland, O., and author
of 'Nature and Culture,' published by the same firm in 1875, and which
contained several essays on those subjects worthy of the deepest

"In the volume now before us, the same love and admiration of all things
good, noble, patriotic, and beautiful, are to be observed; and we wish
that some of our magazine-writers would take pattern by the plain,
almost severe, Saxon verbiage in which the deepest thought and most
vivid fancy find expression."--_Journal of Commerce, Boston._

"A second edition indicates the public estimate of these piquant,
graceful, and, in many regards, beautiful creations. We still think that
'Unwritten Music' rightfully fills the first place. It is simply
exquisite."--_Christian Leader, Boston._

"Among the best of the long poems are 'The Mystery of Life,' 'Mount
Vernon,' 'Ancestral Portraits,' 'Home of my Youth,' and 'Freedom.' The
short poems are all good, some of them being perfect gems."--_Eastern
Argus, Portland, Me._

"A collection of original poems, all of which are pleasing in structure,
pure and elevated in sentiment, vigorous and refined in diction, and
faultless in numbers. The religion is that of the natural man, the
morality that of works, the sympathy tender, and the wit general. The
lovers of good poetry will relish the feast."--_Epis. Recorder, Phil._

"Mr. Rice writes true poetry."--_New York Methodist._

_Sent, post-paid, on receipt of price._


BOSTON, 1889.

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