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Recollections of a Long Life by Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

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It seems strange that I shall never behold that homely, honest
countenance again; and since that time, London has hardly seemed to be
London without him. It is a cause for congratulation that his son, the
Reverend Thomas Spurgeon, is so successfully carrying forward the great
work of his sainted father. If my readers would like a sample taste of
the pure Spurgeonic it is to be found in this passage which he delivered
to his theological students: "Some modern divines whittle away the
Gospel to the small end of nothing; they make our Divine Lord to be a
sort of blessed nobody; they bring down salvation to mere possibility;
they make certainties into probabilities and treat verities as mere
opinions. When you see a preacher making the Gospel smaller by degrees,
and miserably less, till there is not enough of it left to make soup
for a sick grasshopper, _get you gone with him_! As for me, I believe in
an infinite God, an infinite atonement, infinite love and mercy, an
everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure, and of which the
substance and reality is an Infinite Christ."

I once asked Dr. James McCosh, who was the greatest preacher he ever
heard. He replied, "Of course, it was my Edinboro Professor, Dr.
Chalmers, but the grandest display of eloquence I ever listened to was
Dr. Alexander Duff's famous Plea for Foreign Missions, delivered before
the Scottish General Assembly at a date previous to the disruption," I
can say _Amen_ to Dr. McCosh, for the most overpowering oratory that I
ever heard was Duff's great missionary speech in the Broadway Tabernacle
during his visit to America. In the immense crowd were two hundred
ministers and the foremost laymen of the city. When the great missionary
arose (he was then in the prime of his power), his first appearance was
not impressive, for his countenance had no beauty and his gestures were
grotesquely awkward. With one arm he huddled his coat up to his
shoulder, with the other he sawed the air incontinently, and when
intensely excited, he leapt several inches from the floor as if about to
precipitate himself over the desk. All these eccentricities were
forgotten when once the great heart began to open its treasures to us,
and the subject of his resistless oratory began to enchain our souls. In
his vivid description of "Magnificent India" its dusky crowds and its
ancient temples, with its northern mountains towering to the skies; its
dreary jungles haunted by the tiger; its crystalline salt fields
flashing in the sun; and its Malabar hills redolent with the richest
spices, were all spread out before us like a panorama.

When the Doctor had completed the survey of India, he opened his
batteries on the sloth and selfishness of too many of Christ's professed
followers; he poured contempt upon the men who said: "They are not so
_green_ as to waste their money on the farce of Foreign Missions." "No,
no, indeed," he continued, "they are not _green_, for greenness implies
verdure, and beauty, and there is not a single atom of verdure in their
parched and withered up souls." Under the burning satire and mellowing
pathos of his tremendous appeal for heathendom, tears welled out from
every eye in the house. I leaned over toward the reporter's table; many
of the reporters had flung down their pens--they might as well have
attempted to report a thunder storm. As the orator drew near his close,
he seemed like one inspired; his face shone as if it were, the face of
an angel. Never before did I so fully realize the overwhelming power of
a man who has become the embodiment of one great idea--who makes his
lips the mere outlet for the mighty truth bursting from his heart. After
nearly two hours of this inundation of eloquence, he concluded with the
quotation of Cowper's magnificent verse,

"One song employs all nations," etc

With the utmost vehemence he rung out the last line:

"Earth rolls the rapturous Hosanna round."

He could not check his headway, and repeated the line a second time,
louder than before, and then with a tremendous voice that made the walls
reverberate, he shouted once more:

"_Earth rolls the rapturous Hosanna round!_"

and sunk back breathless and exhausted into his chair. "Shut up now this
Tabernacle," exclaimed Dr. James W. Alexander. "Let no man dare speak
here after that."

CHAPTER XIV.

SOME FAMOUS AMERICAN PREACHERS.

_The Alexanders.--Dr. Tyng.--Dr. Cox.--Dr. Adams.--Dr. Storrs.--Mr.
Beecher.--Mr. Finney and Dr. B.M. Palmer_.

The necessary limitations of this chapter forbid any reference to many
distinguished American preachers whom I have seen or heard, but with
whom I had not sufficient personal acquaintance to furnish any material
for personal reminiscences. In common with multitudes of others on both
sides of the ocean, I had a hearty admiration for the brilliant genius
and masterful sermons of Phillips Brooks, but I only heard two of his
rapid and resonant addresses on anniversary occasions, and my
acquaintance with him was very slight. I heard only one discourse by
that remarkable combination of preacher, poet, patriot and philosopher,
Dr. Horace Bushnell, of Hartford,--his discourse on "Barbarism the Chief
Danger," delivered before the "Home Missionary Society." His sermon on
"Unconscious Influence," was enough to confer immortality on any
minister of Jesus Christ. I never was acquainted with him, but after his
death, I suggested to the residents of New Preston, that they should
name the mountain that rises immediately behind the home of his
childhood and youth, _Mount Bushnell_. The villagers assented to my
proposal, and the State Legislature ratified their act by ordering that
name to be placed on the maps of Connecticut. In this chapter, as in the
previous one, I shall give my recollections only of those who have ended
their career of service, and entered into their reward.

During the six years that I spent in Princeton College and in the
Seminary (between 1838 and 1846) I came into close acquaintance with,
and I heard very often, the two great orators of the Alexander family.
Dr. Archibald Alexander, the father of a famous group of sons, was a
native of Virginia--had listened to Patrick Henry in his youth; had
married the daughter of the eloquent "Blind Preacher," Rev. James
Waddell, and even when as a young minister he had preached in Hanover,
New Hampshire. Daniel Webster, then a student in Dartmouth College,
predicted his future eminence. The students in the Seminary were wont to
call him playfully, "The Pope," for we had unbounded confidence in his
sanctified common-sense. I always went to him for counsel. His insight
into the human heart was marvelous; and in the line of close
experimental preaching, he has not had his equal since the days of
President Edwards. He put the impress of his powerful personality on a
thousand ministers who graduated from Princeton Seminary.

In his lecture-desk and in the pulpit he was simplicity itself. His
sermons were like the waters of Lake George, so pellucid that you could
see every bright pebble far down in the depths; a child could comprehend
him, yet a sage be instructed by him. His best discourses were
extemporaneous, and he had very little gesture, except with his
forefinger, which he used to place under his chin, and sometimes against
his nose in a very peculiar manner. With a clear piping voice and
colloquial style he held his audience in rapt attention, disdaining all
the tricks of sensational oratory. Twice I heard him deliver his
somewhat celebrated discourse on "The Day of Judgment;" it was a
masterpiece of solemn eloquence, in which sublimity and simplicity were
combined in a way that I have never seen equaled He used to say that the
right course for an old man to keep his mind from senility was to
produce some piece of composition every day; and he continued to write
his practical articles for the religious press until he was almost
four-score. What an impressive funeral was his on that bright October
afternoon, in 1851, when two hundred ministers gathered in that
Westminster Abbey of Presbyterianism, the Princeton Cemetery! His ashes
slumber beside those of Witherspoon, Davies, Hodge, McCosh and Jonathan
Edwards.

Among the six sons who stood that day beside that grave, the most
brilliant by far was the third son, Joseph Addison Alexander. Dr.
Charles Hodge said of him: "Taking him all in all, he was the most
gifted man with whom I have ever been personally acquainted," In
childhood, such was his precocity that he knew the Hebrew alphabet at
six years of age (I am afraid that some ministers do not know it at
sixty); and he could read Latin fluently when he was only eight! Of his
wonderful feats of memory I could give many illustrations; one was that
on the day that I was matriculated in the Seminary with fifty other
students, Professor Alexander went over to Dr. Hodge's study, and
repeated to him every one of our names! When using manuscript in the
pulpit, he frequently turned the leaves backward instead of forward, for
he knew all the sermon by heart! His commentaries--quite too few--remain
as monuments of his profound scholarship, and some of his articles in
the _Princeton Review_ sparkled with the keenest wit.

Oh, how his grandest sermons linger still in my memory after
three-score years--like the far-off music of an Alpine horn floating
from the mountain tops! His physique was remarkable, he had the ruddy
cheeks of a boy, and his square intellectual head we students used to
say "looked like Napoleon's." His voice was peculiarly melodious,
especially in the pathetic passages; his imagination was vivid in fine
imagery, and he had an unique habit of ending a long sentence in the
words of his text, which chained the text fast to our memories. The
announcement of his name always crowded the church in Princeton, and he
was flooded with invitations to preach in the most prominent churches of
New York, Philadelphia, and other cities. One of his most powerful and
popular sermons was on the text, "Remember Lot's Wife;" and he received
so many requests to repeat that sermon that he said to his brother James
in a wearied tone, "I am afraid that woman will be the death of me."

There may still be old Philadelphians who can recall the magnificent
series of discourses which Professor Alexander delivered during the
winter of 1847 in the pulpit of Dr. Henry A. Boardman, while Dr.
Boardman was in Europe. The church was packed every Sabbath evening,
clear to the outer door, and many were unable to find room even in the
aisles. Dr. Alexander was then in his splendid prime. His musical voice
often swelled into a volume that rolled out through the doorway and
reached the passerby on the sidewalk! During that winter he pronounced
all his most famous sermons--on "The Faithful Saying," on "The City with
Foundations," on "Awake, Thou that Sleepest!" and on "The Broken and
Contrite Heart." It was after hearing this latter most original and
pathetic discourse that an eminent man exclaimed, "No such preaching as
that has been heard in this land since the days of Dr. John M. Mason." I
enjoy the perusal of the rich, unique, and spiritual sermons of my
beloved professor and friend; but no one who reads them can realize what
it was to listen to Joseph Addison Alexander in his highest and holiest
inspirations.

Was Albert Barnes a great preacher? Yes; if it is a great thing for a
man to hold a large audience of thoughtful and intelligent people in
solemn attention while he proclaims to them the weightiest and vitalest
of truths--then was Mr. Barnes a great ambassador of the Lord Jesus
Christ. He combined modesty and majesty to a remarkable degree. He had a
commanding figure, keen eye, handsome features, and a clear distinct
voice; but so diffident was he that he seldom looked about over his
congregation and rarely made a single gesture. His simple rule of
homiletics was, have something to say, and then say it. He stood up in
his pulpit and delivered his calm, clear, strong, spiritual utterances
with scarcely a trace of emotion, and the hushed assembly listened as if
they were listening to one of the oracles of God. His best sermons were
like a great red anthracite coal bed, with no flash, but kindled through
and through with the fire of the Holy Spirit Bashful, too, as he was, he
denounced popular sins with an intrepidity displayed by but few
ministers in our land. In the temperance reform he was an early pioneer.
For Albert Barnes I felt an intense personal attachment; he was my ideal
of a fearless, godly-minded herald of evangelical truth; and he had
begun his public ministry in Morristown, N.J., the home of my maternal
ancestry, and in the church in which my beloved mother had made her
confession of faith. When our Lafayette Avenue Church was
dedicated--just forty years ago--I urged him to deliver the discourse;
but he hesitated to preach extemporaneously, and his sight was so
impaired that he could not use a manuscript. At the age of seventy-two
he was suddenly and sweetly translated to heaven. Over the whole
English-speaking world his name was familiar as a plain teacher of God's
Word in very spiritual commentaries.

A half century ago Dr. William B. Sprague, of Albany, was in the front
rank of Presbyterian preachers. His fine presence, his richly melodious
voice, his graceful style and fresh, practical evangelical thought made
him so popular that he was in demand everywhere for special occasions
and services. He was a marvel of industry. While preparing his
voluminous "Annals of the American Pulpit," and conducting an enormous
correspondence, he never omitted the preparation of new sermons for his
own flock. With that flock he lived and labored for forty years, and
when he resigned his charge (in 1869) he told me that when removing from
Albany, he buried his face and streaming eyes with his hands, for he
could not endure the farewell look at the city of his love. When I first
heard him in my student days I thought him an almost faultless pulpit
orator, and when he and the young and ardent Edward N. Kirk stood side
by side in Albany, no town in the land contained two nobler specimens of
the earnest, persuasive and eloquent Presbyterian preachers.

When I came to New York as pastor of the Market Street Church, in 1853,
the most conspicuous minister in the city was the rector of St. George's
Episcopal Church on Stuyvesant Square. Every Sabbath the superb and
spacious edifice was thronged. It was quite "the thing" for strangers
who came to New York to go and hear Dr. Tyng. Even on Sunday afternoons
the house was filled; for at that service he preached what he called
"sermons to the children"--but they were not only sprightly, simple and
vivacious enough to attract the young, they also contained an abundance
of strong meat for persons of older growth. He was an enthusiast in
Sunday school work--had 2,500 scholars in his mission schools, and
possessed an unsurpassed power in nailing the ears of the young to his
pulpit.

Dr. Tyng was the acknowledged leader of the "Low Church" wing of
Episcopacy in this country, both during his ministry in the Epiphany at
Philadelphia, and in St. George's at New York. He edited their weekly
paper, and championed their cause on all occasions. He was their
candidate for the office of Bishop of Pennsylvania in 1845, and the
contest was protracted through a long series of ballotings. It was
urged, and not without some reason, that his impetuous temper and strong
partisanship might make him a rather domineering overseer of the
diocese. He possessed an indomitable will and pushed his way through
life with the irresistible rush of a Cunarder under a full head of
steam. His temper was naturally very violent. One Sabbath evening he was
addressing my Sunday school in Market Street, and describing the various
kinds of human nature by resemblances to various animals, the lion, the
fox, the sloth, etc.: "Children," he exclaimed, "do you want to know
what I am? I am by nature a royal Bengal tiger, and if it had not been
for the grace of God to tame me, I fear that nobody could ever have
lived with me." There was about as much truth as there was wit in the
comparison. His congregation in St. George's knew his irrepressible
temperament so well that they generally let him have his own way. If he
wanted money for a church object or a cause of charity, he did not beg
for it; he demanded it in the name of the Lord. "When I see Dr. Tyng
coming up the steps of my bank," said a rich bank president to me, "I
always begin to draw my cheque; I know he will get it, and it saves my
time."

His leading position among Low Churchmen was won not only by his
intellectual force and moral courage, but by his uncompromising devotion
to evangelical doctrine. He belonged to the same school with Baxter,
John Newton, Bickersteth, Simeon and Bedell. In England his intimate
friends were the Earl of Shaftesbury, Dr. McNeill and others of the most
pronounced evangelical type. The good old doctrines of redemption by the
blood of Christ, and of regeneration by the Holy Spirit were his
constant theme, and on these and kindred topics he was a delightful
preacher.

Strong as he was in the pulpit, Dr. Tyng was the prince of platform
orators. He had every quality necessary for the sway of a popular
audience--fine elocution, marvelous fluency, piquancy, the courage of
his convictions and a magnetism that swept all before him. His voice was
very clear and penetrating, and he hurled forth his clean-cut sentences
like javelins. A more fluent speaker I never heard; not Spurgeon or
Henry Ward Beecher could surpass him in readiness of utterance. On one
occasion the Broadway Tabernacle was crowded with a great audience that
gathered to hear some celebrity; and the expected hero did not arrive.
The impatient crowd called for "Tyng, Tyng;" and the rector of St.
George's came forward, and on the spur of the moment delivered such a
charming speech that the audience would not let him stop. For many years
I spoke with him at meetings for city missions, total abstinence, Sunday
schools and other benevolent enterprises. He used playfully to call me
"one of his boys." At a complimentary reception given to J.B. Gough in
Niblo's Hall, Mr. Beecher and myself delivered our talks, and then
retired to the opposite end of the hall. Dr. Tyng took the rostrum with
one of his swift magnetic speeches. I leaned over to Beecher and
whispered, "That is splendid platforming, isn't it?" Beecher replied:
"Yes, indeed it is. He is the one man that I am afraid of. When he
speaks first I do not care to follow him, and if I speak first, then
when he gets up I wish I had not spoken at all." Some of Dr. Tyng's
most powerful addresses were in behalf of the temperance reform; he was
a most uncompromising foe of both of the dram shop and of the drinking
usages in polite society. He also denounced the theatre and the
ball-room with the most Puritanic vehemence.

Dr. Stephen H. Tyng's chief power, like many other great preachers, was
when he was on his feet. He should be heard and not read. Some of the
discourses and addresses which enchained and thrilled his auditors
seemed tame enough when reported for the press. In that respect he
resembled Whitfield and Gough and many of our most effective stump
speakers. The result was that Dr. Tyng's fame, to a great degree,
perished with him. He published several books, of a most excellent and
evangelical character, but they lacked the thunder and the lightning
which make his uttered words so powerful, and probably none of his many
books are much read to-day. The influence of his splendid and heroic
personality was very great during a ministry of over fifty years, and
the glorious work which he wrought for his Master will endure to all
eternity.

To have heard Dr. William Adams of New York at his best was better than
any lecture on "Homiletics"; to have met him at the fireside or in the
sick room of one of his parishioners was a prelection in pastoral
theology.

The first time that I ever saw him was fully fifty years ago; he was
standing in the gallery of the old Broadway Tabernacle at an anniversary
of the American Bible Society, and Dr. James W. Alexander pointed him
out to me saying--"Yonder stands Dr. William Adams, he is the _hardest
student_ of us all." It was this honest incessant brain work that
enabled him to sustain himself for forty years in one of the conspicuous
pulpits of the largest city in the land. He always drew out of a full
cask. Let young ministers lay this fact to heart. It was not by trick or
happy luck, or by pyrotechnics of rhetoric that Dr. Adams won and kept
his position in the forefront of metropolitan preachers. The "dead line
of fifty" was not to be found on his intellectual atlas. One of the last
talks with him that I now recall was on an early morning in Congress
Park, Saratoga. He had a pocket Testament in his hand, and he said to
me, "I find myself reading more and more the old books of my youth; I am
enjoying just now Virgil's Eclogues, but nothing is so dear to me as my
Greek Testament."

All of Dr. Adams' finest efforts were thoroughly prepared and committed
to memory. He never risked a failure by attempting to shake a sermon or
a speech "out of his sleeve." His memory was one of his greatest gifts.
Sometimes when his soul was on fire, and his voice trembled with
emotion, he rose into the region of lofty impassioned eloquence. His
master effort on the platform was his address of welcome to the
members of the "Evangelical Alliance" in 1873. How the foreign
delegates--Doctors Stoughton, Christlieb, Dorner and the rest of
them--did open their eyes that evening to the fact that a Yankee-born
parson was, in elegant culture and polished oratory, a match for them
all. Dr. Adams' speech "struck twelve" for the Alliance at the start;
nothing during the whole subsequent sessions surpassed that opening
address, although Beecher and Dr. Joseph Parker were both among the
speakers. He closed the meeting of the Alliance in the Academy of Music
with a prayer of wonderful fervor, pathos and beauty.

One of his grandest speeches was delivered before the Free Church
General Assembly in Edinburgh--in May, 1871. Dr. Guthrie told me that he
swept the assembly away by his stately bearing, sonorous voice and
classic oratory. The men whom he moved so mightily were such men as
Arnot and Guthrie and Rainy and Bonar,--the men who had listened to the
grandest efforts of Duff and of Chalmers. I well remember that when I
had to address the same assembly (as the American delegate) the next
year I was more disturbed by the apparition of my predecessor, Dr.
Adams, than by all the brilliant audience before me.

Dr. Adams was gifted with what is of more practical value than genius,
and that was marvelous _tact_. That was with him an instinct and an
inspiration. It led him to always speak the right word, and do the right
thing at the right time. Personal politeness helped him also; for he was
one of the most perfect gentlemen in America. That practical sagacity
made him the leader of the "new school" branch of our church, during the
delicate negotiations for reunion in 1867, and on to 1870. He knew human
nature well, and never lost either his temper or his faith in the sure
result. To-day when that old lamentable rupture of our beloved church is
as much a matter of past history as the rupture of the Union during the
civil war, let us gratefully remember George W. Musgrave, the pilot of
the "old school" and William Adams, the pilot of the "new."

The last sermon that I ever heard Dr. Adams deliver was in my Lafayette
Avenue Church pulpit a few years before his death. His text was the
closing passage of the fourth chapter of Second Corinthians. The whole
sermon was delivered with great majesty and tenderness. One illustration
in it was sublime. He was comparing the "things which are seen and
temporal" with the "things which are not seen and eternal." He described
Mont Blanc enveloped in a morning cloud of mist. The vapor was the
_seen_ thing which was soon to pass away;--behind it was the _unseen_
mountain, glorious as the "great white throne" which should stand
unmoved when fifty centuries of mist had flown away into nothingness.
This passage moved the audience prodigiously. Many sat gazing at the
tall pale orator before them through their tears. The portrait of Dr.
Adams hangs on my study wall--alongside of the portrait of Chalmers--and
as I look at his majestic countenance now, I still seem to see him as on
that Sabbath morning he stood before us, with the light of eternity
beaming on his brow!

In the summer of 1845 I was strolling with my friend Littell (the
founder of the _Living Age_), through the leafy lanes of Brookline, and
we came to a tasteful church. "That," said Mr. Littell, "is the Harvard
Congregational meeting house. They have lately called a brilliant young
Mr. Storrs, who was once a law student with Rufus Choate; he is a man of
bright promise." Two years afterward I saw and heard that brilliant
young minister in the pulpit of the newly organized Church of the
Pilgrims in Brooklyn. He had already found his place, and his throne. He
made that pulpit visible over the continent. That church will be "Dr.
Storrs' church" for many a year to come.

Had that superbly gifted law student of Choate gone to the bar he would
inevitably have won a great distinction, and might have charmed the
United States Senate by his splendid eloquence. Perhaps he learned from
Choate some lessons in rhetoric and how to construct those long
melodious sentences that rolled like a "Hallelujah chorus" over his
delighted audiences. But young Storrs chose the better part, and no
temptation of fame or pelf allured him from the higher work of preaching
Jesus Christ to his fellow men. He was--like Chalmers and Bushnell and
Spurgeon--a _born preacher_. Great as he was on the platform, or on
various ceremonial occasions, he was never so thoroughly "at home" as in
his own pulpit; his great heart never so kindled as when unfolding the
glorious gospel of redeeming love. The consecration of his splendid
powers to the work of the ministry helped to ennoble the ministry in the
popular eye, and led young men of brains to feel that they could covet
no higher calling.

One of the remarkable things in the career of Dr. Storrs was that by far
the grandest portion of that career was after he had passed the age of
fifty! Instead of that age being, as to many others, a "dead line," it
was to him an intellectual _birth line_. He returned from Europe--after
a year of entire rest--and then, like "a giant refreshed by sleep,"
began to produce his most masterly discourses and orations. His first
striking performance was that wonderful address at the twenty-fifth
anniversary of Henry Ward Beecher's pastorate in Plymouth Church, at the
close of which Mr. Beecher gave him a grateful kiss before the
applauding audience. Not long after that Dr. Storrs delivered those two
wonderful lectures on the "Muscovite and the Ottoman." The Academy of
Music was packed to listen to them; and for two hours the great orator
poured out a flood of history and gorgeous description without a scrap
of manuscript before him! He recalled names and dates without a moment's
hesitation! Like Lord Macaulay, Dr. Storrs had a marvelous memory; and
at the close of those two orations I said to myself, "How Macaulay would
have enjoyed all this!" His extraordinary memory was an immense source
of power to Dr. Storrs; and, although he had a rare gift of fluency, yet
I have no doubt that some of his fine efforts, which were supposed to be
extemporaneous, were really prepared beforehand and lodged in his
tenacious memory.

Dean Stanley, on the day before he returned to England, said to me: "The
man who has impressed me most is your Dr. Storrs." When I urged the
pastor of the "Pilgrims" to go over to the great International Council
of Congregationalists in London and show the English people a specimen
of American preaching, his characteristic reply was, "Oh, I am tired of
these _show occasions_," But he never grew tired of preaching Jesus
Christ and Him crucified. The Bible his old father loved was the book of
books that he loved, and no blasts of revolutionary biblical criticism
ever ruffled a feather on the strong wing with which he soared
heavenward. A more orthodox minister has not maintained the faith once
delivered to the saints in our time than he for whom Brooklyn's flags
were all hung at half-mast on the day of his death.

All the world knew that Richard S. Storrs possessed wonderful brain
power, culture and scholarship; but only those who were closest to him
knew what a big loving heart he had. Some of the sweetest and tenderest
private letters that I ever received came from his ready pen. I was
looking over some of them lately; they are still as fragrant as if
preserved in lavender. His heart was a very pure fountain of noble
thought, and of sweet, unselfish affection.

He died at the right time; his great work was complete; he did not
linger on to outlive himself. The beloved wife of his home on earth had
gone on before; he felt lonesome without her, and grew homesick for
heaven. His loving flock had crowned him with their grateful
benedictions; he waited only for the good-night kiss of the Master he
served, and he awoke from a transient slumber to behold the ineffable
glory. On the previous day his illustrious Andover instructor, Professor
Edwards A. Park, had departed; it was fitting that Andover's most
illustrious graduate should follow him; now they are both in the
presence of the infinite light, and they both behold the King in His
beauty!

Fifty years ago one of the most famous celebrities in the Presbyterian
Church was Dr. Samuel Hanson Cox, famous for his linguistic attainments,
for his wit and occasional eccentricities, and very famous for his
bursts of eloquence on great occasions. He was at that time the pastor
of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, and resided in the street
where I am now writing (Oxford Street); and the street at the end of the
block was named "Hanson Place" in honor of him. His large wooden mansion
was then quite out of town, and was accordingly called "Rus Urban," In
that house he wrote--for the _New York Observer_--the unique series of
articles on New School Theology entitled "The Hexagon," and there he
entertained, with his elegant courtesy and endless flow of wit and
learning, many of the most eminent people who visited Brooklyn. The boys
used to climb into his garden to steal fruit; and, as a menace, he
affixed to his fence a large picture of a watch-dog, and underneath it a
dental sign, "Teeth inserted here!" The old mansion was removed years
ago.

In 1846 he was the moderator of the "new school" Presbyterian General
Assembly. It was during the sessions of that assembly that the famous
debate was waged for several days on the exciting question of negro
slavery, and when some compromise resolutions were passed (for those
were the days of compromise salves and plasters)--Dr. Cox rose and
exclaimed, "Well, brethren, we have _capped Vesuvius_ for another year,"
But "Vesuvius" would not stay capped, and in a few years one of its
violent eruptions sundered the "new school" church in twain.

Dr. Cox was a vehement opponent of slavery, and his church in Laight
Street was assailed by a mob, and he was roughly handled. In 1833 he was
sent to England as the delegate to the British and Foreign Bible
Society, and at their anniversary meeting he delivered one of the most
brilliant speeches of his life. He came into the meeting a perfect
stranger, while Dr. Hamilton, of Leeds, was uttering a fierce invective
against American slavery. This aroused Dr. Cox's indignation, and when
he was called on to speak he commenced with exquisite urbanity as
follows: "My Lord Bexley, ladies and gentlemen! I have just landed from
America. Thirty days ago I came down the bay of New York in the steam
tug _Hercules_ and was put on board of the good packet ship
_Samson_--thus going on from strength to strength--from mythology to
Scripture!" This bold and novel introduction brought down the house with
a thunder of applause. After paying some graceful tributes to England
and thus winning the hearts of his auditors, he suddenly turned towards
Dr. Hamilton, and with the most captivating grace, he said: "I do not
yield to my British brother in righteous abhorrence of the institution
of negro slavery. I abhor it all the more because it was our disastrous
inheritance from our English forefathers, and came down to us from the
time when we were colonies of Great Britain! And now if my brother
Hamilton will enact the part of _Shem_, I will take the place of
_Japhet_, and we will walk backward and will cover with the mantle of
charity _the shame of our common ancestry_," This sudden burst of wit,
argument and eloquence carried the audience by storm, and they were
obliged to applaud the "Yankee orator" in spite of themselves. I count
this retort by Dr. Cox one of the finest in the annals of oratory.
Several years afterwards he visited England as a delegate to the first
Evangelical Alliance. It was attended by the foremost divines, scholars
and religious leaders of both Britain and the continent; and a brief
five-minutes' speech made by Dr. Cox was unanimously pronounced to have
been the most splendid display of eloquence heard during the whole
convocation.

He owed a great deal to his commanding figure, fine voice, and graceful
elocution. His memory also was as marvelous as that of Dr. Storrs or
Professor Addison Alexander. One night, for the entertainment of his
fellow-passengers in a stagecoach, he repeated two cantos of Scott's
poem of "Marmion"! I have heard him quote, in a public address before
the New York University, a whole page of Cicero without the slip of a
single word! His passion for polysyllables was very amusing, and he
loved to astonish his hearers by his "sesquipedalian" phraseology. A
certain visionary crank once intruded into his study and bored him with
a long dissertation. Dr. Cox's patience was exhausted, and pointing to
the door, he said: "My friend, do you observe that aperture in this
apartment? If you do, I wish that you would describe rectilineals, very
speedily."

I could fill several pages with racy anecdotes of the keen wit and the
varied erudition of my venerable friend. But let none of my readers
think of Dr. Cox as a clerical jester, or a pedant. He was a powerful
and intensely spiritual preacher of the living Gospel. In his New York
congregation were many of the best brains and fervent hearts to be found
in that city, and some of the leading laymen revered him as their
spiritual father. Sometimes he was betrayed into eccentricities, and his
vivid imagination often carried him away into discursive flights; yet
he never soared out of sight of Calvary's cross, and never betrayed the
precious Gospel committed to his trust.

The first time that I ever saw Henry Ward Beecher was in 1848. He was
then mustering his new congregation in the building once occupied by Dr.
Samuel H. Cox. It was a weekly lecture service that I attended, by
invitation of a lady who invited me to "go and hear our new-come genius
from the West." The room was full, and at the desk stood a brown-cheeked
young man with smooth-shaved face, big lustrous eyes, and luxuriant
brown hair--with a broad shirt collar tied with a black ribbon. His text
was "Grow in Grace," and he gave us a discourse that Matthew Henry could
not have surpassed in practical pith, or Spurgeon in evangelical fervor.
I used to tell Mr. Beecher that even after making full allowance for the
novelty of a first hearing, I never heard him surpass that Wednesday
evening lecture. He was plucking the first ripe grapes of his affluent
vintage; his "pomegranates were in full flower, and the spikenard sent
forth its fragrance." The very language of that savory sermon lingers in
my memory yet.

During my ministry in New York--from 1853 to 1860--I became intimate
with Mr. Beecher and spoke beside him on many a platform and heard him
in some of his most splendid efforts. He was a fascinating companion,
with the rollicking freedom of a schoolboy. I never shall forget an
immense meeting--in behalf of a liquor prohibition movement--held in
Triplet Hall. Mr. Beecher was at his best. In the midst of his speech,
he suddenly discharged a bombshell against negro slavery which dynamited
the audience and provoked a thunder of applause. For pure eloquence it
was the finest outburst I ever heard from his lips. Like Patrick Henry,
Clay, Guthrie, Spurgeon and other great masters of assemblies, he was
gifted with a richly melodious voice--which was especially effective on
the low and tender keys. This gave him great power in the pathetic
portions of his discourses. Of his superabounding humor I need not
speak. It bubbled out so naturally and spontaneously that he found it
difficult to restrain it even on the most grave occasions. Sometimes he
sinned against good taste, and I once heard his sister Catherine say
that "Henry rarely delivered a speech or a sermon which did not contain
something that grated on her ear." His most frequent offenses were in
the direction of flippant handling of sacred themes and Scripture
language. This he inherited from his illustrious father.

Mr. Beecher is generally regarded as an extemporaneous preacher. This is
a mistake. He prepared most of his discourses carefully, and full
one-half of many of them were written out. Among these written passages
he interjected bursts of impromptu thoughts; and these were generally
the most effective passages in the sermon. While he repeated himself
often--especially on his favorite topic of God's love--yet it was always
in fresh language and with new illustrations. Abraham Lincoln said to
me, "The most marvelous thing about Mr. Beecher is his inexhaustible
fertility."

During the Civil War he was at the acme of his power. He was then the
peerless orator of Christendom. It was his intention (as he once told
me) to resign his pastorate at the age of sixty and to devote the
remainder of his life to a ministry at large. But the tempest of
troubles which struck him about that time forbade his cherished design,
and he continued at his post until the touch of death silenced the magic
tongue. Nearly thirty years have elapsed since I sat by him on the
crowning evening of his career, at his "silver anniversary," in 1873. As
to his later utterances in theology, and on some questions of ethics, I
dissented from my old friend conscientiously, and I expressed to him my
dissent very candidly,--as becometh brethren. I am convinced that if
there were more fraternal frankness between the living, there would be
less hypocrisy over the departed.

Charles G. Finney was the acknowledged king of American evangelists
until Dwight L. Moody came on the stage of action. They resembled each
other in untiring industry, unflinching courage, unswerving devotion to
the marrow of the Gospel, and unreserved consecration to the service of
Christ. The secret of Finney's power was the fearless manner with which
he drove God's word into the consciences of sinners--high or humble--and
his perpetual reliance on the immediate presence of the Holy Spirit in
his own soul. Emptied of self, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. His
sermons were chain lightning, flashing conviction into the hearts of the
stoutest sceptics, and the links of his logic were so compact that they
defied resistance. Probably no minister in America ever numbered among
his converts so many lawyers and men of intellectual culture.

Soon after commencing his law practice he was brought under the most
intense conviction of sin; and the narrative of his conversion--as given
in his autobiography--equals any chapter in John Bunyan's "Grace
Abounding." After light and peace broke into his agonized soul, he burst
into tears of joy, and exclaimed: "I am so happy that I cannot live," He
began at once to converse with his neighbors about their souls. When a
certain Deacon B. came into his office and reminded him that his cause
was to be tried at ten o'clock that morning, Mr. Finney replied,
"Deacon B., I have a retainer from the Lord Jesus Christ to plead His
cause, and cannot plead yours." The deacon was thunderstruck, and went
off and settled his suit with his antagonist immediately.

From that time a law office was no place for the fervid spirit of
Charles G. Finney, and he resolved at once to prepare for the ministry.

Revivals followed his red-hot discourses wherever he went. At Auburn he
declares that he had--during prayer in his own room--a wonderful vision
in which God drew so near to him that his flesh trembled on his bones,
and he shook from head to foot as if amid the thunderings of Sinai! He
felt an assurance that God would sustain him against all his enemies;
and then there came a "great lifting up," and a sweet calm followed
after the agitation. Such extraordinary spiritual experiences occurred
quite often during his career as a revivalist, and they remind one
strikingly of similar experiences of John Bunyan--to whom Finney bore a
certain degree of resemblance. At Rochester many of the leading lawyers
were attracted by his bold and logical style of speech; and among his
converts there was the distinguished jurist, Addison Gardner. It was
during his ministry in New York that he delivered his celebrated
"Lectures on Revivals," which were reprinted abroad and translated into
several foreign languages. Of all Mr. Finney's published productions,
these lectures are the most characteristic. Often extravagant in their
rhetoric, and sometimes rather reckless in theological statements, they
contain a mine of pungent truth which every young minister ought to
possess and to peruse very often. I shall never cease to thank God for
the inspiration they have imparted to my own humble ministry; and they
have had a place in my library close beside the "Pilgrim's Progress,"
and the biographies of Payson and McCheyne, and the soul-quickening
sermons of Bushnell, Addison Alexander and Dr. McLaren.

After his extended evangelistic labors in various cities, Mr. Finney was
appointed to a theological chair in the newly organized college at
Oberlin, Ohio. From this post, his irrepressible desire to kindle
revivals and to save souls often called him away, and he conducted two
famous evangelistic campaigns in Great Britain. He was the first man to
introduce American revivalistic methods into England and Scotland; but
his labors were never as wide, as influential, and generally acceptable
there as the subsequent labors of Messrs. Moody and Sankey. Forty years
of his busy and heaven-blessed life were spent at Oberlin, where he
impressed his powerful personality on a multitude of students of both
sexes; few religious teachers in America have ever moulded so many
lives, or had their opinions echoed from so many pulpits.

With all my admiration of President Finney's character, I could not--as
a loyal Princetonian--subscribe to some of his peculiar opinions. It
was, therefore, with great surprise that I received from him a letter in
1873 (two years before his death) which contained the startling proposal
that I should be his successor in the college pulpit at Oberlin! He
wrote to me: "I think that there is no more important field of
ministerial labor in the world. I know that you have a great
congregation in Brooklyn, and are mightily prospered in your labors, but
your flock does not contain a _thousand students_ pursuing the higher
branches of education from year to year. Surely your field in Brooklyn
is not more important than mine was at the Broadway Tabernacle in New
York, nor can your people be more attached to you than mine were to me."
This letter--although its kind overture was promptly declined--was a
gratifying proof that the once bitter controversies between "old school"
and "new school" had become quite obsolete. When I mentioned this letter
to my beloved Princeton instructor, Dr. Charles Hodge, a few weeks
before his death, he simply remarked that "his Brother Finney had become
very sweet and mellow in his later years." And long before this time
the two great antagonistic theologians may have clasped hands in heaven.

The closing years of President Finney's useful life were indeed mellow
and most lovable. In the days of his prime he had a commanding form, a
striking face and a clear, incisive style of speech. Simple as a child
in his utterances, he sometimes startled his hearers by his unique
prayers. For example, he was one day driven from his study at Oberlin by
a refractory stovepipe which persisted in tumbling down. At family
worship in the evening he said "Oh, Lord! thou knowest how the temper of
Thy servant has been tried to-day by that stovepipe!" Several other
expressions, quite as quaint and as piquant, might be quoted, if the
limits of this brief sketch would permit. What would be deemed
irreverent if spoken by some lips never sounded irreverent when uttered
by such a natural, fearless and yet devout a spirit as Charles G.
Finney. He retained his erect, manly form, his fresh enthusiasm and
intellectual vigor, to the ripe old age of eighty-three. On a calm
Sabbath evening--in August, 1875--he walked in his garden and listened
to the music from a neighboring church. Retiring to his chamber, the
messenger from his Master met him in the midnight hours, and before the
morning dawned his glorified spirit was before the throne! His is the
crown of one who turned many to righteousness.

While I am writing this chapter of ministerial reminiscences, I receive
the sorrowful tidings that my dear old friend, Dr. Benjamin M. Palmer,
of New Orleans--the prince of Southern preachers--has closed his
illustrious career. To the last his splendid powers were unabated,--and
last year (although past eighty-three) he delivered one of his greatest
sermons before the University of Georgia! His massive discourses, based
on God's word, were a solid pile of concinnate argument, illuminated
with the divine light, and glowing with the divine love shed abroad in
his heart. In the spring of 1887, Mrs. Cuyler and myself visited New
Orleans, and I cared more to see Dr. Palmer than all the city besides.
He cordially welcomed me to the hospitalities of his house, and of that
pulpit which had so long been his throne. I do not wonder that the
people of New Orleans--of all classes and creeds--regarded him not only
with pride, but with an affection that greeted him at every step through
the city of which he was the foremost citizen.

As my readers may all know, Dr. Palmer, through the Civil War, was a
most ardent Secessionist, and as honestly so as I was a Unionist. He
spent much time in preaching to the Confederate soldiers, and he
narrated to me an amusing incident which illustrated his calm and
imperturbable temperament. On a certain fast-day (appointed by the
Confederate authorities) he was to preach in a rural church within the
Confederate lines. The Northern army was lying so close to them that a
battle was imminent at any moment. Dr. Palmer had begun his "long
prayer," when a Federal shell landed immediately under the windows of
the church and exploded with a terrific crash! The doctor was not to be
shelled out of his duty, and he went steadily on to the end of his
prayer. When he opened his eyes the house was deserted! His congregation
had slipped quietly out, and left him "alone in his glory."

Soon after my visit to New Orleans, my old friend was sorely bereaved by
the death of his wife. I wrote him a letter of condolence, and his reply
was, for sweetness and sublimity, worthy of Samuel Rutherford or Richard
Baxter. As both husband and wife are now reunited I venture to publish a
portion of this wonderful letter--both as a message of consolation to
others under a similar bereavement and as a tribute to the great loving
heart of Benjamin M. Palmer.

He says: "Truly my sorrow is a sorrow wholly by itself. What is to be
done with a love which belongs only to one, when that one is gone and
cannot take it up? It cannot perish, for it has become a part of our own
being. What shall we do with a lost love which wanders like a ghost
through all the chambers of the soul only to feel how empty they are? I
have about me--blessed be God! a dear daughter and grandchildren; but I
cannot divide this love among them, for it is incapable of distribution.
What remains but to send it upward until it finds her to whom it belongs
by right of concentration through more than forty years."

"I will not speak, my brother, of my pain--let that be; it is the
discipline of love, having its fruit in what is to be. But I will tell
you how a gracious Father fills this cloud with Himself--and covering me
in it, takes me into His pavilion. It is not what I would have chosen;
but in this dark cloud I know better what it is to be alone with Him;
and how it is best sometimes to put out the earthly lights, that even
the sweetest earthly love may not come between Him and me. It is the old
experience of love breaking through the darkness as it did long ago
through the terrors of Sinai and the more appalling gloom of Calvary. I
have this to thank Him for, the greatest of all His mercies, and then
for this, that He gave her to me so long. The memories of almost half a
century encircle me as a rainbow. I can feed upon them through the
remainder of a short, sad life, and after that can carry them up to
Heaven with me and pour them into song forever. If the strings of the
harp are being stretched to a greater tension, it is that the praise may
hereafter rise to higher and sweeter notes before His throne--_as we bow
together there._"

CHAPTER XV

SUMMERING AT SARATOGA AND MOHONK.

_Bishop Haven.--Dr. Schaff.--President McCosh_.

To the laborious pastor of a large congregation some period of
recuperation during the summer is absolutely indispensable. The cavalry
officer who, when hotly pursued by the enemy, discovered that his
saddle-girths had become loose, and dismounted long enough to tighten
them, was a wise man, and affords a good example to us ministers.

It was my custom to call a halt, lock my study door (stowing away my
pastoral cares in a drawer) and go away for five or six weeks, and
sometimes a little longer. A sea voyage was undertaken during half a
dozen vacations, but during a portion of forty-two summers I "pitched my
moving tent" in salubrious Saratoga, and a part of twenty-one summers
was spent on the heights of Mohonk.

As this volume is issued in London as well as in New York, I will
mention some things in this chapter for my British readers with which
many of my own fellow-countrymen may be already familiar. There were
several reasons that induced me to select Saratoga early in my ministry
as the best place to spend a part of the summer vacation. It is the most
widely known the world over of any of our American watering places and
is an exceedingly beautiful town. Its spacious Broadway, lined with
stately elms, is one of the most sightly avenues in our land; and some
of the superb hotels that front upon it fulfill the American demand for
"bigness." The most attractive spot to me has always been the beautiful
park that surrounds the famous Congress Spring, and to which every
morning I made my very early pilgrimage for my draught of its sparkling
water.

The park covers but a few acres, but it is a continuous loveliness. When
its rich, soft greensward--worthy of Yorkshire or Devonshire--was
sparkling with the dew, and the fountains were in full play, and the
goodly breeze was singing through the trees, it was a place in which to
chant Dr. Arnold's favorite hymn:--

"Come, my soul, thou must be waking;
Now is breaking
O'er the earth another day;
Come to Him who made this splendor,
See thou render
All thy feeble strength can pay."

The second reason for my choice of Saratoga was the variety of the
wonderful medicinal waters, and their renovating effects. "I can winter
better," said Governor Buckingham, "for even a short summer at
Saratoga," and my experience was quite similar. I honestly believe that
those waters have prolonged my life. In addition to the many health
fountains which have been veritable Bethesdas to multitudes, the dry,
bracing atmosphere is perfumed and tempered by the breezes from the pine
forests of the Adirondack Mountains. While some are attracted to
Saratoga by the waters and others by the air, I found both of them
equally beneficial. As far as its social life is concerned, there are,
as in all summer resorts, two very different descriptions of guests. One
class are devotees of fashion, who go there to gratify the "lust of the
eye, and the pride of life." They drive by day and dance by night; but
some devotees of pleasure have yielded too much to the ensnarements of
the gaming table and the race course. There is another and a more
numerous class made up of quiet business men and their families,
clergymen, college professors and persons in impaired health, who go for
recreation or recuperation. From this latter class, and in some measure
indeed from the former also, the churches of the town attract very large
congregations. It has been my privilege to deliver a little more than
two hundred sermons in Saratoga, and there is no place in which I have
found that a faithful and practical presentation of the "word of life"
is more eagerly welcomed. It is no place to exhibit a show sermon on
dress parade, but it is the very one in which to press home the word on
hearts and consciences, to arouse the impenitent, to give tonic truth to
the weak and the weary, to afford the word of comfort to the sorrowing
and soul-food to the many who hunger for the heavenly manna. I have
already narrated some of my pleasant experiences in preaching at
Saratoga, and I could add to them several other interesting incidents.

For about thirty summers, and occasionally in the winter, I found a
happy home at Dr. Strong's "Remedial Institute" on Circular Street. This
is a family hotel during the summer, and a sanitarium during the
remainder of the year. Every morning the guests assemble for worship,
and the intolerable trio of fashion, frivolity and fiddles, has never
invaded the refined and congenial atmosphere of the house. My host, Dr.
Strong, is an active member of the Methodist Church in that town, and
naturally a large number of ministers of that denomination are his
summer guests. This was very pleasant for me, for, although I am loyally
attached to my own "clan," yet I have a peculiarly warm side for the
ecclesiastical followers of the Wesleys, and am some times introduced in
their conferences as a "Methodistical Presbyterian." At Dr. Strong's I
met many of the leading Methodist ministers, and was exceedingly
"filled with their company." I met, among others, the sweet-spirited
Bishop Jaynes, who always seemed to be a legitimate successor of the
beloved disciple John. If Bishop Jaynes recalled the apostle John, let
me say that the venerated father of my kind host and the founder of the
Sanitarium, the late Dr. Sylvester S. Strong, was such an impersonation
of charming courtesy and fervid spirituality that he might be a
counterpart of "Luke the beloved physician." He was an admirable
preacher before he entered the medical profession. Bishop Peck was a
very entertaining companion and most fraternal in his warmheartedness.
He was a man of colossal proportions, and it was quite proper that he
was appointed to the charge of the churches in the wide regions of
California and Oregon. When he came thence to the General Conference, he
presented his protuberant figure to the assembly, and began with the
humorous announcement, "The Pacific slope salutes you!" On that same
"slope" I discovered last year that Methodism has outgrown even the
formidable proportions of my old friend Dr. Peck.

At Saratoga I first met the eloquent Apollos of American Methodism,
Bishop Matthew Simpson. Those who ever heard Henry Clay in our Senate
chamber, or Dr. Thomas Guthrie in Scotland, have a very distinct idea
of what Simpson was at his flood-tide of irresistible oratory. He
resembled both of those great orators in stature and melodious voice, in
graceful gesture, and in the magnificent enthusiasm that swept
everything before him. Like all that type of fascinating speakers--to
which even Gladstone belonged--he was rather to be heard than to be
read. It is enough that a Gospel preacher should produce great immediate
impressions on his auditors; it is not necessary that he should produce
a finished and permanent piece of literature. Bishop Simpson was the
bosom friend of Abraham Lincoln, and on more than one occasion he knelt
beside our much harassed President and prayed for the strength equal to
the day of trial.

Among all the guests there was none to whom I was more closely and
lovingly drawn than to Bishop Gilbert Haven. None shed off such splendid
scintillations in our evening colloquies on the piazzas. Haven was not
comparable with his associate, Bishop Simpson, in pulpit oratory, for he
was rarely an effective public speaker on any occasion, but in
brilliancy of thought, which made him in conversation like the charge of
an electric battery, and in brilliancy of pen, that kindled everything
it touched, he was without a rival in the Methodist Church--or almost in
any other church in the land. Consistently and conscientiously a
radical, he always took extreme ground on such questions as negro
rights, female suffrage, and liquor prohibition, and he never retreated.
Underneath all this impulsive and impetuous radicalism he was thoroughly
old-fashioned and orthodox in his theology--as far from Calvinism as any
Wesleyan usually is. He did delight in the doctrines of grace with his
whole heart, and it is all the more grateful to me, as a Presbyterian,
to pay this honest tribute to his deeply devout and Christ-like
character. I knew him when he was a student in the Wesleyan University
at Middletown--somewhat rustic in his ways, but a bold, bright youth
hungry for knowledge. In 1862 he published a series of foreign letters
in the _New York Independent_, which Horace Greeley told me he regarded
as most remarkable productions. During the summer of that year I was
watching the sun rise from the summit of the Righi in Switzerland, and
was accosted by a sandy-haired man in an old oilcloth overcoat who asked
for some explanation about the mountain within our view. At the foot of
the Righi I fell in with him again, and was struck with his original and
vigorous thought. The same evening he marched into my room at the
"Schweitzer-Hoff," dripping with the rain, and introduced himself as
"Gilbert Haven." We ministered to the few Americans whom we could find
in Lucerne, and held a prayer meeting on the Sabbath evening in Haven's
room for our far-away country in her dark hour of distress. On that
evening began a friendship which waxed warmer and warmer until death
sundered the tie for a little while; the same hand that sundered can
reunite us.

I am under a strong temptation to give my reminiscences of many notable
persons whom I was wont to meet at Saratoga, such as the urbane
ex-President Martin Van Buren, and that noble Christian statesman,
Vice-President Henry Wilson, and the cheery old poet John Pierpont, and
the erudite Horatio B. Hackett, of Newton Theological Seminary and the
level-headed Miss Catherine E. Beecher, and the gifted Queen of the
great temperance sisterhood, Miss Frances E. Willard, and General
Batcheler, the able American Judge, at Cairo, and that extraordinary
combination of courage, orthodox faith, and brilliant platform eloquence
the late Joseph Cook, of Ticonderoga. I would like also to attempt a
description of the gorgeous "Floral Festivals," which are celebrated in
every September, when the streets of the town blaze with processions of
vehicles decorated with flowers, and the sidewalks and house-fronts are
packed with thousands of delighted spectators; but if "of making many
books there is no end," there ought to be a proper end in the making of
a book. In the course of my life I may have done some very foolish
things, and quite too many sinful things, but I have always endeavored
to avoid doing too long a thing, if it were possible.

During the last twenty-three years I have spent a portion of almost
every summer at Mohonk Lake Mountain House, a hostlery equally
celebrated for the culture of its guests and charms of its scenery. It
is situated on a spur of the Shawangunk Mountains, about six miles from
New Paltz, on the Wallkill Valley Railway. Its discoverer and proprietor
is Albert K. Smiley, who was for many years president of a Quaker Ladies
Academy in Providence, R.I., and is a gentleman of fine scholarship and
varied attainments. He is quite equal to discussing geology with
Professor Guyot (from whom one of the highest hilltops near his house is
named), or art with Huntington, or botany or landscape gardening with
Frederick L. Olmstead, or theology with Dr. Schaff, or questions of
philanthropy with General Armstrong or Booker T. Washington.

The distinctive character of the house is that there is a notable
absence of what is regarded as the chief attractions of some fashionable
summer resorts. Neither bar nor bottles nor ball-room nor bands are to
be found in this Christian home;--for a home it is--in its restful and
refining influences. The young people find no lack of innocent enjoyment
in the bowling alley or on the golf links, in the tennis tournaments or
in rowing upon the lake, with frequent regattas. Instead of the midnight
dance the evening hours are made enjoyable by social conversation, by
musical entertainments, by parlor lectures and other interesting
pastimes. The Sabbath at Mohonk realizes old George Herbert's
description of the

"Sweet day so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky;"

Not a boat is loosened from its wharf on the lake; not a carriage is
geared up for a pleasure drive, and many a guest has learned how a
Sabbath spent without the introduction of either business cares or
frivolities may be a joyous refreshment to both body and soul. The
spacious parlor is always crowded for the service of worship on every
morning during the week and also on the Sabbath. I can testify that on
the three-score Sabbaths when I have been called upon to conduct the
services, I have never found a more inspiring auditory.

It is no easy thing to put the external beauties of Mohonk upon paper.
The estate covers four thousand acres, and is intersected with about
fifty miles of fine carriage drives. The garden, which contains a dozen
acres, is ablaze during the most of the season with millions of
flowers--many of them of rare variety. As the glory of Saratoga is its
springs, of Lake George its islands, of Trenton Falls the amber hue of
its waters, so the glory of Mohonk is its rocks. The little lake is a
crystal cup cut out of the solid conglomerated quartz. Its shores are
steep quartz rocks rising fifty feet perpendicularly from the water. The
face of "Sky Top" is heaped around with enormous boulders some thirty
feet in diameter. In among them extend rocky labyrinths which can be
explored with torches. On every hand are immense masses of Shawangunk
grit hurled together over the cliff as if with the convulsions of an
earthquake. Upon these acres of rock around the lake grow the most
luxuriant lichens and the forests in June are efflorescent with laurels
and azalias. The finest point of vantage is on Eagle Cliff; I have
climbed there often to see the sun go down in a blaze of glory
behind the Catskill Mountains. The three highest peaks of the
Catskills--Hunter, Slide, and Peekamoose--were in full view, in purple
and gold. Beneath me on one side was the verdant valley of Rondout; on
the other side the equally beautiful valley of the Wallkill. In the dim
distance we could discover the summits of the mountains in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

When I took Newman Hall, toward sunset, to a crag or cliff overlooking
the lake, he said to me: "Next to Niagara I have seen nothing in America
equal to this."

Mohonk has been a favorite summer resort of many of the most
distinguished people in our land. The Honorable Rutherford B. Hayes,
after his retirement from the presidential chair, loved to find
recreation in rowing his boat on the lake, and in making the ascent of
Sky Top. President Arthur came there during his term of office; and the
widow of General Grant, after spending a fortnight there, pronounced it
the most fascinating spot she had ever seen on this continent Among all
the guests who made their summer home there, none contributed more to
the intellectual enrichment of the company than my revered Christian
friend, Dr. Philip Schaff. No American of our day had such a vast
personal acquaintance with celebrated people. Dr. Schaff was the
intimate friend of Tholuck, Neander, Godet, Hengstenberg, and Dorner; he
was one day in familiar conversation with Dean Stanley in the Abbey and
another day with Gladstone; another day with Dollinger in Vienna, and
another day with Dr. Pusey at Oxford. The promise, "He shall stand
before kings," was often fulfilled to him. The veteran Kaiser William
had him at the royal table, and gave him intimate interview. The King
and Queen of Denmark came on the platform to congratulate him after one
of his eloquent speeches, and the Queen of Greece was one of his
correspondents. He shook hands with more ministers of all
denominations, and of all nationalities than any man of this age. He
was as cordially treated by Archbishop Canterbury as he was by Bismarck
at Berlin or the old Russian Archpriest Brashenski. Dr. Schaff was a
prodigy of industry. During half a century he was the foremost church
historian of this country; he led the work of the Sabbath Committee, and
was the master spirit of the Evangelical Alliance. He edited a volume of
hymnology, and wrote catechisms for children; he filled professors'
chairs in two seminaries and lectured on ecclesiastical history to
others. He published thirty-one volumes and edited two immense
commentaries; he was the president of the Committee on Biblical
Revision, and he crossed the ocean fourteen times as a fraternal
internuncio between the churches of Europe and America. His prodigious
capacity for work made Dr. Samuel Johnson seem an idler, and his varied
attainments and activities were fairly a match for Gladstone.

To those of us who knew Dr. Schaff intimately, one of his most
attractive traits was his jovial humor and inexhaustible fund of
anecdotes. When I made a visit to California--journeying with him to the
Yosemite--his endless stories whiled away the tedium of the trip. How
often when he sat down to my own, or any other table, would he tell how
his old friend, Neander, when asked to say grace at a dinner, and roast
pig was the chief dish, very quaintly said: "O, Lord, if Thou canst
bless under the new dispensation what Thou didst curse under the old
dispensation, then graciously bless this leetle pig. Amen!"

Another eminent scholar who was wont to seek recreation at Mohonk was
the venerable President McCosh, of Princeton University. Since Scotland
sent to Princeton Dr. John Witherspoon to preside over it, and to be one
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, she has sent no
richer gift than Dr. James McCosh. For several years before he came to
America he was a professor in the Queen's College at Belfast. Passing
through Belfast in 1862, I looked in for a few moments at the Irish
Presbyterian General Assembly, which was convened in Dr. Cook's church,
and said to a man: "Whom can you show me here?" Pointing to a tall,
somewhat stooping figure, standing near the pulpit, he said: "There is
McCosh." I replied: "It is worth coming here to see the brightest man in
Ireland." What a great, all-round, fully equipped, many-sided mass of
splendid manhood he was! What a complete combination of philosopher,
theologian, preacher, scholar, and college president all rolled into
one! During the twenty years of his brilliant career at Princeton he
displayed much of Jonathan Edwards' metaphysical acumen, of John
Witherspoon's wisdom, Samuel Davies' fervor and Dr. "Johnny" McLean's
kindness of heart; the best qualities of his predecessors were combined
in him. He came here a Scotchman at the age of fifty-seven, and in a
year he became, as Paddy said, "a native American."

To my mind the chief glory of Dr. McCosh's presidency at Princeton was
the fervid interest he felt in the religious welfare of his students. He
often invited me to come over and deliver sermons to them, and
occasionally a temperance address; for he was a zealous teetotaler and
prohibitionist, and I always lodged with him at his house. As I turn
over my book of correspondence I find many brief letters from him. In
the following one he refers to the remarkable revival in the college in
the winter and early spring of 1870:

COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, PRINCETON, Jan. 9, 1873.

_My dear Dr. Cuyler:_

In the name of the Philadelphian Society, and in my own name, I
request you to conduct our service on the day of prayer for
colleges, being Thursday the 30th of January. It is three years, if
I calculate rightly, since you performed that duty for us. That
visit was followed by the blessed work in which you took an active
part. May it be the same this year! The college is in an
interesting state: we have a great deal of the spirit of study;
there is a meeting for prayer every night except Friday; the class
prayer meetings are all well attended, in some of the classes as
many as sixty present; but we need a quickening. I do hope you will
come. Our habit is an address of half an hour or so at three PM in
the college chapel, and a sermon in one of the churches, especially
addressed to students, but open to all in the evening. Of course,
you will come to my house, and live with me. Yours as ever,

James McCosh.

To hundreds of the alumni of Princeton this letter will stir the
fountain of old memories. They will hear in it the ring of the old
college bell; they will see the lines of students marching across the
campus to evening prayer and into the chapel. Upon the platform mounts
the stooping form of grand old "Uncle Jimmie," and in his broad and not
unmelodious Scotch accents he pours out his big, warm heart in prayer.
With honest pride in their Alma Mater, they will thank God that they
were trained for the battle of life by James McCosh.

The limits of this narrative do not allow me to tell of all my
delightful "foregatherings" with that venerated Nestor of American art,
Daniel Huntington; and with General James Grant Wilson with his
_repertoire_ of racy Scotch stories; and with my true yoke-fellows in
the Gospel, Dr. Herrick Johnson, Dr. Marvin R. Vincent, and Dr. Samuel
J. Fisher--and with a group of infinitely witty women who regaled many
an evening hour with their merry quips and conundrums. The unwritten law
which prevails in that social realm is: "Each for all, and all for each
other."

Mr. Smiley had been for some years a member of the United States Indian
Commission, and his experience in that capacity had awakened a deep
interest in the welfare of the remaining Aborigines, who had too often
been the prey of unscrupulous white men who came in contact with them.
About sixteen years ago he conceived the happy idea of calling a
conference at Mohonk of those who were conversant with Indian affairs
and most desirous to promote their well being. His invitation brought
together such distinguished philanthropists as the veteran ex-Senator
Henry L. Dawes, General Clinton B. Fisk, General Armstrong, the founder
of Hampton Institute; Merrill E. Gates, Philip C. Garrett, Herbert Welsh,
and that picturesque and powerful friend of the red man, the late Bishop
Whipple of Minnesota. The discussions and decisions of this annual
Mohonk Conference have had immense influence in shaping the legislation
and controlling the conduct of our national government in all Indian
affairs. It has helped to make history.

The great success of this conference, which meets in October of each
year, led my Quaker friend, Smiley, eight years ago, to inaugurate an
"Arbitration conference" for the promotion of international peace. It
was a happy thought and has yielded a rich fruitage. About the first of
every June this conference brings together such men and women of "light
and leading" from all parts of our country as ex-Senator George F.
Edmunds of Vermont, the Rev. Edward Everett Hale of Boston, the Hon.
William J. Coombs, the Hon. Robert Treat Paine, Dr. B.F. Trueblood, John
B. Garrett and Joshua L. Bailey, Colonel George E. Waring, Hon. John W.
Foster, Chief Justice Nott, Warner Van Norden, and a great number of
well known clergymen and editors have read able papers or delivered
instructive addresses on that ever burning problem of how to turn swords
into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks.

I especially sympathize with the spirit of this Arbitration conference,
not only because I abominate war _per se_, but because I firmly believe
that among the grievous perils that confront our nation is the mania for
enormous and costly military and naval armament--and also the policy of
extending our territory by foreign conquests. The high mission of our
Republic is to maintain the fundamental principles initiated in our
Declaration of Independence--that all true government rests on the
consent of the governed. It is an impious profanation of our flag of
freedom to make it the symbol of absolutism on any soil. In the conflict
now waging for true American principles, I heartily concur in the views
of the late Benjamin Harrison, who was one of the most clear-sighted
and patriotic of our Presidents. Just before his death I addressed to
that noble Christian statesman a letter of heartfelt thanks for the
position he was taking. With the following gratifying reply which I
received, I conclude my chapter on peace-loving "Smiley-land":

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec 26, 1900

_My dear Dr. Cuyler_.

I can hardly tell you how grateful your letter was to me, or how
highly I value your approval. My soul has been in revolt against
the doctrine of Congressional Absolutism. I want to save my
veneration for the men who made us a nation, and organized the
nation under the Constitution. This will be impossible if I am to
believe that they organized a government to exercise from their
place that absolutism which they rejected for themselves. The
newspaper reports of my Ann Arbor address were most horribly
mangled, but the address will appear in the January number of the
_North American Review_. Allow me, my dear friend, to extend to you
the heartiest thanks, not only for your kind words, but for the
noble life which gives them value.

With all good wishes of the Christmastide,

Most sincerely your friend,

BENJAMIN HARRISON.

CHAPTER XVI

A RETROSPECT.

When I entered upon the Christian ministry fifty-six years ago, there
was no probability that I would live to see four-score. My father had
died at the early age of twenty-eight, and several of his brothers and
sisters had succumbed to pulmonary maladies. My mother was dangerously
ill several times, but had a wiry constitution and lived to eighty-five.
That my own busy life has held out so long is owing, under a kind
Providence, to the careful observation of the primal laws of health. I
have eschewed all indigestible food, stimulants, and intoxicants;--have
taken a fair amount of exercise; have avoided too hard study or sermon
making in the evenings--and thus secured sound and sufficient sleep. In
keeping God's commandments written upon the body I have found great
reward. From the standpoint of four-score I propose in this chapter to
take a retrospect of some of the moral and religious movements that have
occurred within my memory--in several of which I have taken part--and I
shall note also the changes for better or worse that I have observed.
If as an optimist I may sometimes exaggerate the good, and minimize the
evil things, it is the curse of a pessimist that he can travel from Dan
to Beersheba and find nothing but barrenness.

The first change for the better that I shall speak of is the progress I
have seen in church fellowship. The division of the Christian church
into denominations is a fixed fact and likely to remain so for a long
time to come. Nor is it the serious evil that many imagine. The
efficiency of an army is not impaired by division into corps, brigades
and regiments, as long as they are united against the common enemy;
neither does the Church of Christ lose its efficiency by being organized
on denominational lines, as long as it is loyal to its Divine head, and
united in its efforts to overcome evil, and establish the Kingdom of
Heaven. Some Christians work all the better in harness that suits their
peculiar tastes and preferences. Denominationalism becomes an evil the
moment it degenerates into bitter and bigoted sectarianism. Conflicts
between a dozen regiments is suicide to an army. When a dozen
denominations strive to maintain their own feeble churches in a
community that requires only three or four churches, then sectarianism
becomes an unspeakable nuisance.

I could cite many instances to prove the great progress that has been
made in church fellowship. For example, my early ministry was in a town
in which the Society of Friends had a large meeting house, well filled
by a most intelligent, orthodox and devout congregation. But its members
never entered any other house of worship. I had the warmest personal
intimacy with some of its leading men, but they would say: "We would
like to hear thee preach on First Day, but the rules of our society
forbid it." I have lived to see the day when I am invited to speak in
Friends' meetings, and I have rejoiced to invite Quaker brothers, and
sisters also, to speak in my pulpit. When I visit London, the most
eminent living Quaker, J. Bevan Braithwaite, welcomes me to his
hospitable house, and we join in prayer together. I wish that the
exemplary and useful Society of Friends were more multiplied on both
sides of the sea.

During the early half of the last century sectarian controversies ran
high, especially in the newly settled West. It was a common custom to
hold public discussions in school houses and frontier meeting houses,
where controverted topics between denominations were presented by chosen
champions before applauding audiences. Ministers fired hot shot at one
another's pulpits; churches were often as militant as mendicant, and all
those polemics were excused as contending most earnestly for the faith.
Both sides found their ammunition in the same Bible. When I was a
student in the Princeton Seminary, a classmate from Kentucky gave me a
little hymn-book used at the camp meetings in the frontier settlements
of his native region. In that book was a hymn, one verse of which
contains these sweet and irenic lines:

"When I was blind, and could not see,
The Calvinists deceived me."

Just imagine the incense of devout praise ascending heavenward in such a
thick smoke of sectarian contentions! All the denominations were more or
less afflicted with this controversial malady; and I will venture to say
that in Kentucky and Ohio and other new regions, the Presbyterians were
often a fair match for their Methodist neighbors in these theological
pugilistics. I might multiply illustrations of these unhappy clashings
and controversies that have often disfigured even the most evangelical
branches of Christendom. What a blessed change for the better have I
witnessed in my old days! Among the foremost efforts of denominational
fellowship was the organization of the American Bible Society, the
American Tract Society, and the American Sunday School Union. Later on
in the same century came those two splendid spiritual inventions--The
Young Men's Christian Association, and the Society of Christian
Endeavor. Sir George Williams, the founder of the one, and Dr. Francis
E. Clark, the father of the other, should be commemorated in a pair of
twin statues of purest marble, standing with locked arms and upholding a
standard bearing the sacred motto: "One is our Master, even Christ
Jesus, and all ye are brethren." To no man are we indebted more deeply
than to the now glorified Mr. Moody who made Christian fellowship the
indispensable feature of all his evangelistic endeavors--with Brother
Sankey leading the grand chorus of united praise. Union meetings for the
conversion of souls and seeking the descent of the Holy Spirit are now
as common as the observance of Christmas or of Easter Day. Personally I
rejoice to say that I have been permitted to preach the Gospel in the
pulpits of all the leading denominations, not excepting the
Episcopalian; and I once welcomed the noble and beloved Bishop Charles
P. McIlvaine of Ohio to my Lafayette Avenue Church pulpit, where he
pronounced a grand discourse on "The Unity of All Christians in the Lord
Jesus Christ." If I lived in England I should be heart and soul a
nonconformist. But I can gratefully acknowledge the many kind courtesies
which I have received from the clergy of the Established Church. Once,
when in London, I was invited to the annual dinner given by the Lord
Mayor to the archbishops and bishops, and I found myself the only
American clergyman present. The Archbishop of Canterbury, when Bishop
of London, did me the honor of presiding at a reception given me at
Exeter Hall, and whenever I have met the venerable Dr. Temple I have
been cheered by his warm-hearted and "democratic" cordiality of manner.
In return for the kindness shown me by my brilliant and scholarly
friend, Archdeacon Farrar, I was happy to preside at a reception given
him in Chickering Hall. He had a wide welcome in our land, but it was as
the untiring champion of temperance reform that he was especially
honored on that evening. He and Archdeacon Basil Wilberforce are among
the leaders in the crusade against the curse of strong drink. Amid some
evil portents and perils to the cause of evangelical religion,
one of the richest tokens for good is this steady increase of
interdenominational fellowship. For organic unity we need not yet
strive; it is enough that all the regiments and brigades in Christ's
covenant hosts march to the same music, fight together under the same
standard of Calvary's Cross, and press on, side by side, and shoulder to
shoulder, to the final victory of righteousness and truth and human
redemption.

Another change for the better has been the enlargement of woman's sphere
of activity in the promotion of Christianity and of moral reform. As an
illustration of this fact, I may cite a rather unique incident in my
own experience. During the winter of 1872 I invited Miss Sarah F.
Smiley, an eminent and most evangelical minister in the Society of
Friends (and a sister of the Messrs. Albert and Daniel Smiley, the
proprietors of the Lake Mohonk House) to deliver a religious address in
my pulpit. The discourse she delivered was strong in intellect, orthodox
in doctrine and fervently spiritual in character; the large audience was
both delighted and edified. A neighboring minister presented a complaint
before the Presbytery of Brooklyn, alleging that my proceeding had been
both un-Presbyterian and un-Scriptural. The complainant was not able to
produce a syllable of law from our form of government forbidding what I
had done. Long years before, a General Assembly had recommended that
"women should not be permitted to address a promiscuous assemblage" in
any of our churches; but a mere "deliverance" of a General Assembly has
no binding legal authority.

In my defense I was careful not to advocate the ordination of women to
the ministry in the Presbyterian Church, or their installation in the
pastorate. I contended that as our confession of faith was silent on the
subject, and that as godly women in the early church were active in the
promotion of Christianity (one of them named Anna having publicly
proclaimed the coming Messiah), and that as the ministry of my
excellent friend, the Quakeress, had for many years been attended by the
abundant blessings of the Holy Spirit, my act was rather to be commended
than condemned. The discussion before the Presbytery lasted for two days
and produced a wide and rather sensational interest over the country.
The final vote of the Presbytery, while withholding any censure of my
course under the circumstances, was adverse to the practice of
permitting women to address "promiscuous audiences" in our churches. Two
or three years afterwards, a case similar to mine was appealed to the
General Assembly and that body wisely decided that such questions should
be left to the judgment and conscience of the pastors and church
sessions. When the news of this action of the assembly reached us, the
old sexton of the Lafayette Avenue Church hoisted (to the great
amusement of our people) the stars and stripes on the church tower as a
token of victory. It has now become quite customary to invite female
missionaries, and other godly women, to address audiences composed of
both sexes in our churches; the padlock has been taken off the tongue of
any consecrated Christian woman who has a message from the Master. I
invited Miss Willard and Lady Henry Somerset to advocate the Christian
grace of temperance from my pulpit; and if I were still a pastor I
should rejoice to invite that good angel of beneficence, Miss Helen M.
Gould, to deliver there such an address as she lately made in the
splendid building she has erected for the "Naval Christian Association."

Foreign missions were in their early and vigorous growth eighty years
ago. I rode in our family carriage to church with Sheldon Dibble and
Reuben Tinker, who were just leaving Auburn Theological Seminary to go
out as our pioneer missionaries to the Sandwich Islands. The _Missionary
Herald_ was taken in a great number of families and read with great
avidity. Many of the readers were people who not only devoutly prayed
"Thy Kingdom come," but who were willing to stick to a rag carpet, and
deny themselves a "Brussels," in order to contribute more to the spread
of that Kingdom. Wealth has increased to a prodigious and perilous
extent; but the percentage of money given to foreign missions is very
far from what it was in the day of my childhood. It is a growing custom
for ministers to utter a prayer over the contribution boxes when they
are brought back to the platform before the pulpit; I suspect that it in
too many cases should be one of penitential confession.

While I was a student in the Princeton Seminary we had a visit from the
veteran missionary, Levi Spalding, who sailed from Boston to Southern
India in the very first band which invaded the darkness of Hindooism He
was as nearly like my conception of the Apostle Paul as anyone I ever
beheld. He told us that when he was a youth and his heart was first
drawn to the cause of missions, he told his good mother that he had
decided upon a missionary life (which was then thought equivalent to a
martyrdom), and she was perfectly overcome. He said to her: "Mother,
when you gave me as an infant to God in baptism, did you withhold me
from any service to which I might be called?" She assented in a
moment--went to the old chest--from it she took a half-dollar (all the
money she possessed in the world), and, handing it to him, said: "Levi,
you may go, and this starts you on your education." On his way over to
India his preaching converted all the sailors, including the ship's
carpenter, "whose heart was as hard as his broadaxe." That was the stuff
our first missionaries were made of. The tears flowed down our cheeks as
we listened to Spalding's recital, and the result of his visit was that
more than one of our students volunteered for the work of foreign
missions.

It was also my great privilege during that Princeton course to put eye
upon a man who, by common consent, is regarded as the king of American
missionaries. On my way from Princeton to Philadelphia in the Christmas
week of '45 I found among my fellow passengers a gentleman with a very
benign countenance, and to my great delight I learned that he was
Adoniram Judson, who was on his final and memorable visit to his native
land, and was received everywhere with the most unbounded and reverent
enthusiasm. He had begun his work in Burmah in 1813, but under great
difficulties. During the first six years he made no converts; he defied
the demon of discouragement and labored on with increased faith and
zeal, and then came an abundant harvest. The colossal work of his life
in Burmah was the translation of the Holy Scriptures into the Burmese
language. To this work, which is likely to endure, he added a
Burmese-English dictionary. At length the toils and exposures broke down
his health and he was obliged to take several voyages in adjoining
waters. Soon after I saw him he married Miss Chubbuck and returned to
Burmah in the following year. The old conflict between the holy and
heroic heart and failing body was soon renewed. He resorted once more to
the sea for relief, but died during the passage, on April 12, 1850. When
crossing the Atlantic in the summer of 1885 I spent much of the time
with that noble minister, Rev. Edward Judson, of New York. A funeral at
sea occurred, and as the remains were disappearing in the water Mr.
Judson said to me, with solemn tenderness: "Just so my beloved father
was committed to the deep: his sepulchre is this great, wide ocean,"
That ocean is a type of his world-wide influence. Not only in the
priority of time as a fearless pioneer into unknown dangers, but in
profound and patient scholarship, and in the beauty of a holy and
lovable personality, Adoniram Judson still hold the primacy among our
American missionary heroes.

The progress which has been made in Christianizing heathendom during the
last century (which may well be called the century of foreign missions)
is familiar to every person of intelligence. The number of converts to
Christianity is at least two millions, and several millions more have
felt the influence of Christian civilization. The great mass have not
been suddenly revolutionized, as in Luther's time, but one by one
individual hearts yield to the gospel in nearly every land. As a serious
offset to these glorious results the commerce of nominally Christian
nations is often poisonous. Britain carries opium into China and India;
America and other civilized nations carry rum into Africa. The word of
life goes in the cabin, and the worm of death goes in the hold of the
same vessel! The sailors that have gone from nominally Christian
countries to various ports have often been very far from acting as
gospel missionaries. It is not only for their own welfare, but that they
may become representatives of Christianity that the noble "American
Seamen's Friend Society" has been organized. The work which that society
has wrought under the vigorous leadership of Dr. Stitt entitles it to
the generous support of all our churches. If toiling "Jack" braves the
tempest to bring us wealth from all climes, we owe it to him to provide
him the anchor of the gospel, and to save him from spiritual shipwreck.

To no other benevolent society have I more cheerfully given service of
tongue and pen than to this one. An honest view of the foreign mission
enterprises to-day reveals the laying of broad foundations, and the
building of solid walls, rather than any completed achievements already
wrought. Blood tells, and God has entrusted his gospel to the
Anglo-Saxons and the other most powerful races on the globe. The
religion of the Bible is the only religion adapted to universal
humanity, and in the Bible is a definite pledge that to all humanity
that religion shall yet be preached.

Among the great spiritual agencies born within my memory, none deserves
a higher place than The Young Men's Christian Association. When my
beloved brother, Sir George Williams (now an octogenarian) started the
first association in London on the 6th of June, 1844, he "builded better
than he knew," The modest room in his store overlooking Paternoster Row
in which he gathered the little praying band on that day is already an
historic spot. My own connection with the Young Men's Christian
Association began in New York when I joined the association there in the
second year of its existence, 1854. We met in a room in Stuyvesant
Institute and the heroic Howard Crosby was our president. We had no
library, or reading room, or gymnasium, or any of the appliances that
belong to the institutions of these days. After several migrations, our
association found its permanent home in the spacious building on
Twenty-third Street, to which Morris K. Jesup and William E. Dodge were
among the foremost contributors. The master spirit in the operations of
the New York Association for thirty years was Mr. Robert McBurney, who,
when he landed from Ireland, was only seventeen years of age. He was
among my evening congregation in the old Market Street Church. During my
seven years' pastorate in that church I delivered a great many
discourses and platform addresses on behalf of the association, and
through all of the subsequent years it has been a favorite object on
which to bestow my humble efforts. Here in Brooklyn a host of young-men
have found a moral shelter, and many of them a spiritual birthplace, in
the fine structure, reared largely from the munificent bequests of that
princely Christian philanthropist, the late Mr. Frederick Marquand. It
is not permitted to every good man or woman before they die to see the
glorious fruits of the trees they planted, but to the eyes of the
veteran George Williams the following facts must seem like a rehearsal
of heaven. The Young Men's Christian Association now belts the globe
with half a million of members, and ten times that number in some direct
connection with the organization. It is housed in hundreds of solid
structures which have cost between thirty and forty million
dollars--each one a cheerful home--_a_ place for physical development,
manly instruction and training for Christ's service.

It has brought thousands of young men from impenitence to Christ Jesus,
and made thousands of young Christians more like Jesus in their daily
life. The most effective lay preacher of the century, D.L. Moody,
confessed that in his training for spiritual work he owed more to the
Young Men's Christian Association than to any other human agency. It has
moulded the students of colleges and universities; it has been the
salvation of many a soldier and sailor; it has led many into the gospel
ministry; it has taught the whole world the beauty and power of a living
unity in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has set the Divine seal of His
blessing on its world-wide work, and to the triune God be all the praise
and all the glory.

As I witnessed the birth of the Young Men's Christian Association, I
also saw the birth of a kindred organization, the "Society of Christian
Endeavor." Many years ago an absurd and extravagant statement was widely
afloat, claiming that I was the "grandsire" of this society. The simple
truth was that Dr. Francis E. Clark, its heaven-directed founder, had
seen in some religious journals my account of the good work wrought by
the Young People's Association of the Lafayette Avenue Church, and he
recognized the fact that its chief purpose was not mere sociality or
literary advancement, but the spiritual profit of its members. He
examined its constitution and reports, and when he constructed his first
Christian Endeavor Society in the Williston Church of Portland, Maine,
he adopted many of its features; and my beloved brother Clark, in his
public addresses, has generously acknowledged such obligation as he was
under to our Young People's Association (now in its thirty-fifth year of
prosperous activity). It has always been a source of grateful pride that
it should have furnished any aid to the origination of one of the
foremost spiritual instrumentalities of the century. As any attempt to
describe the sublime grandeur of Niagara would be a waste of time, so it
would be equally futile for me to describe the magnificent extent of the
Christian Endeavor Society's operations and the immense spiritual
results that have flowed from them. There is no civilized speech or
language where its voice is not heard; its line has gone out to all the
earth, and its words to the ends of the world. It has done more than any
other single agency to develop the life and to train for service the
energies of the youthful members of the churches It has yet still wider
possibilities before it, and when the hand that planted this mighty tree
has turned to dust its boughs will be shedding down the fruits of the
Spirit on the dwellers in every clime.

One of the most striking improvements that I have witnessed has been in
the sanitary condition, both physical and moral, of our great cities.
The conditions in New York, when I came to the pastorate of the Market
Street Church almost fifty years ago, would seem incredible to the New
Yorkers of to-day. The disgusting depravities of the Fourth Ward,
afterwards made familiar by the reformatory efforts of Jerry McCauley,
were then in full blast, defying all police authority and outraging
common decency. The most hideous sink of iniquity and loathsome
degradation was in the once famous "Five Points," in the heart of the
Sixth Ward and within a pistol shot of Broadway. At the time of my
coming to New York public attention had been drawn to that quarter with
the opening of the "Old Brewery Mission," and by the first planting of
a kindred enterprise which grew into the now well-known "Five Points
House of Industry." The brave projector of this enterprise was the Rev.
L.M. Pease, a hero whose name ought not to be forgotten. As my church
was just off East Broadway, and within a short walk of the Five Points,
I took a deep interest in Mr. Pease's Christian undertaking, and aided
him by every means in my power. His wife became a member of my church.
The "Wild Maggie," whose escapades described in the _Tribune_ gained
such public notoriety, became also, after her reformation, one of our
church members and afterwards held the position of a school teacher.
After the resignation of Mr. Pease and his removal to North Carolina,
his place was taken by one of our Market Street elders, the devout and
godly minded Benjamin R. Barlow. In order to keep awake public interest
in the mission work at the Five Points, and to get ammunition, in its
behalf, I used to make nocturnal explorations of some of those satanic
quarters. I recall now one of those midnight forays of which, at the
risk of my reader's olfactories, I will give a brief glimpse. In company
with the superintendent of the mission and a policeman and a lad with a
lantern I struck for the "Cow Bay," the classic spot of which Charles
Dickens had given such a piquant description in his "American Notes" a
few years before. Climbing a stairway, from which the banisters had
long been broken away for firewood, we entered a dark room. There was
only a tallow candle burning in the corner, and in the room were huddled
twenty-five human beings. Along the walls were ranged the bunks--one
above the other--covered with rotting quilts and unwashed coverings.
Each of these rented for sixpence a night to any thief or beggar who
chose to apply for lodging--no distinction being made for sex or color.
As the lad swings the lantern about we spy the rows of heads projecting
from under the stacks of rags. In one bed a gray-haired, disheveled head
cuddled close to the yellow locks of a slumbering child. While we are
reconnoitering, something like a huge dog runs past and dives under the
bed. "What is this, good friend?" we ask. "Oh, only the goat," replied a
merry Milesian. "Do the goats live with you all in this room?" "To be
sure they do, sir; we feeds 'em tater skins, and milks 'em for the
babies," Country born as we were, we have often longed to keep a dairy
in this city, but it never occurred to us that a bedroom was sufficient
for the purpose. Truly, necessity is the shrewd-witted mother of
invention! Opposite "Cow Bay" was "Cut-Throat Alley." Two murders a year
were about the average product of the civilization of this dark defile.
The keeper of the famous grog shop there, who died about that time, left
a fortune of nearly one hundred thousand dollars. In city politics the
keeper of such a den is one of the leaders of public opinion. We climbed
a stairway, dark and dangerous, till at length we reached the wretched
garret through whose open chinks the snow drifted in upon the floor.
Beside the single broken stove, the only article of furniture in the
apartments, sat a wretched woman wrapped in a tattered shawl moaning
over a terrible burn that covered her arms; she had fallen when
intoxicated upon the stove and no one had cared enough to carry her to
the hospital. She exclaimed, "For God's sake, gentlemen, can't you give
me a glass of gin?" A half eaten crust lay by her and a cold potato or
two, but the irresistible thirst clamored for relief before either pain
or hunger. "Good woman," said my friend, "where's Mose?" "Here he is." A
heap of rags beside her was uncovered, and there lay the sleeping face
of an old negro, apparently of fifty. In nearly every garret we entered
practical amalgamation was in fashion. The superintendent told me that
the negroes were fifty per cent. in advance of the Irish as to sobriety
and decency. Descending from the garret we entered a crowded cellar. The
boy's lantern shone on the police officer's cap and buttons. A crash was
heard, and the window at the opposite end of the cellar was shattered
and a mass of riddled glass fell on the floor. "Poor fool!" exclaimed
the policeman, "he thinks we are after him, but I will have him before
morning." From these sickening scenes of squalor, misery and crime what
a relief it was for us to return to the House of Industry, with its neat
school room and its capacious chapel and its row of little children
marching up to their little beds. It was like going into the light-house
after the storm.

I have drawn this pen picture of but a part of the shocking revelations
of that night, not only that my readers may know what kind of work I
often engaged in during my New York pastorate, but that they may also
know what kind of city I labored in. New York is not to-day in sight of
the millennium; it still has a fearful amount of vice and heathenism;
and the self-denying men who are conducting the "University Settlement,"
and the Christ-serving "King's Daughters," who are giving their lives to
the salvation of the poor in the Seventh Ward are doing as apostolic a
work as any missionary on the Congo. Nevertheless it is true that a "Cow
Bay," or an "Old Brewery," or a "Cut-Throat Alley" is no more possible
to-day in New York than the building of a powder factory in the middle
of Central Park. The progress in sanitary purification has been most
remarkable.

This narrative of the sanitary and moral reform wrought in the Five
Points reminds me of another good man whom the people of this city and
our whole country cannot revere too highly as a public benefactor. I
allude to Mr. Anthony Comstock, the indefatigable Secretary of the
"Society for the Prevention of Vice." I knew him well when he was a
clerk in a dry goods store on Broadway, and when he undertook his first
purifying efforts, I little supposed that he was to achieve such
reforms. It was an Augean stable indeed that he set about cleansing.
Fifty years ago our city was flooded by obscene literature which sought
no concealment. The vilest books and pictures were openly sold in the
streets, and an enormous traffic was waged in what may be called the
literature of hell. Such a courageous crusade against those abominations
and against the gambling dens, by Mr. Comstock--even at the risk of
personal violence and in defiance of the most malignant
opposition--entitles him to a place among our veritable heroes. At a
time when deeds of military prowess receive such adulation, and when the
"man on horseback" outstrips the man on foot in the race for popular
favor, it is well to teach our young men that he who takes up arms
against the principalities and powers of darkness, and makes his own
life the savior of other lives, wins a knightly crown of heavenly honor
that outshines the stars, and "fadeth not away."

The most unique organization that has been formed in our time for the
evangelizing of the lost masses is the "Salvation Army." When I was in
London, in the summer of 1885, I attended one of their monster meetings
in Exeter Hall. There was an enormous military band on the platform
behind the rostrum. Their Commander-in-Chief, General Booth, presided--a
tall, thin, nervous man, who looked more like an old-fashioned Kentucky
revivalist than an Englishman. His bright-eyed and comely wife, Mrs.
Catharine Booth, was with him. She was a woman of remarkable
intellectual force and spiritual character, as all must acknowledge who
have read her biography. Her speech (on the Protection of Young Girls)
was finely composed and finely delivered, and quite threw into the shade
a couple of members of Parliament who spoke from the same platform on
the same evening. When she made any telling point that awakened
applause, her husband leaped up, and gave the signal: "Fire a volley!"
Whereupon his troops gave a tremendous cheer, followed by a roll of
drums and a blast of trumpets. The chief agency which the army employs
to gather its audiences is music--whether it be the rattling of the
tambourine, or the martial sound of a brass band. Some of their hymns
are little better than pious doggerel, and they do not hesitate to add
to Perronet's grand hymn, "All hail the power of Jesus name," such a
stanza as the following:

"Let our soldiers never tire,
In streets, in lane, in hall,
The red-hot Gospel's shot to fire
And crown Him Lord of All."

Grotesque as are some of the methods of this novel organization, I
cannot but admire their zeal and courage in dredging among the submerged
masses with such spiritual apparatus as they can devise. They are doing
a work that God has honored, and that has reached and rescued a vast
number of outcasts. Their chief weakness is that they appeal mainly to
the emotions, and give too little solid instruction to their ignorant
hearers. Their chief danger is that when the strong arm of their founder
is taken away he may not leave successors who can hold the army
together. Let us hope and pray that the period of their usefulness may
yet be protracted.

While an abnormal agency, like the Salvation Army, may do some useful
service among the occupants of the slums, the greater work of reaching
and evangelizing the immense mass of plain, humble working people must
be done by the churches themselves. What do the dwellers in the
by-streets and the tenement houses need? They need precisely what the
dwellers in the brown stone houses on fine avenues need--a sanctuary to
worship in, a Sunday school for their children, a preacher to give them
the Gospel, and a pastor to visit them and watch over them--in short, a
spiritual home. As for bringing the poorer class of the back streets
into the elegant churches on the fashionable avenues it is an absurdity,
both geography and human nature are against it. The plainly dressed
laborers of the back districts could not come to the fine churches on
Fifth Avenue, or similar streets, because these edifices are already
occupied by their regular pew holders; they would not come, for they
would not feel at home there. Since the humbler toiling classes will not
come to the sanctuaries occupied by the rich, the only true Christian
policy is for the rich churches to build and maintain plenty of
attractive auxiliary chapels in the regions occupied by those humbler
classes. Not mean and unattractive soup-house style of chapels should
they be, either--they ought to be handsome, cheerful, well-appointed
sanctuaries, manned by godly pastors who are not above the business of
saving souls that are clad in dirty shirts. And that is not all: the
members of the wealthy churches which rear the auxiliary chapels should
personally go and attend the services and Sunday schools and weekly
meetings in the chapel--not go in costly raiment that touches the pride
of God's poor, but in plain clothes and with a hearty democratic
sympathy in their whole bearing. To reach the masses we must go after
them--and then stay with them when we get there. If broadcloth religion
waits for poverty and ignorance to cross the chasm to it, then may they
at last come to be a menace to the safety of society--with imprecations
on it for criminal neglect. Christianity must build the bridge across
the chasm, and then keep its steady procession crossing over it with
bright lamps for dark homes, and Bibles for darker souls, and bread for
hungry mouths, and, what is best of all, _personal intercourse and
personal sympathy_. The music of a Christmas carol would be very sweet
in poverty's garret; the advent of the living Jesus in the persons of
His true-hearted followers would be a "Merry Christmas" all the year
round.

Brooklyn is not a city of slums, nor does it abound with the
sky-scraping tenement houses, like those in which the myriads of New
York live, but we have a large population of wage-earners of the humbler
class. These mainly occupy streets by themselves. In order to do our
part in giving the bread of life to these worthy people, Lafayette
Avenue Church has always maintained two, and sometimes three, auxiliary
chapels. Of these, the "Cuyler Chapel," built and supported entirely by
our Young People's Association, is a fair representative. It has an
excellent preacher, who visits the plain people in their homes; it has a
well-equipped Sunday school--prayer meetings, kindergarten--its own
Society of Christian Endeavor, and King's Daughters, its penny savings
bank and its temperance society--in short, every appliance essential to
a Christian church. Many others of our strong Brooklyn churches are
working precisely on the same practical, common-sense lines. If all the
wealthy churches in New York would illuminate the darker quarters of
that city with a hundred well-manned light-houses, well provided with
the soul-saving apparatus of the poor man's Gospel they would do more to
silence the cavils against Christianity, and more to bridge the chasm
between the rich and the poor than by any of the superficial methods of
the "Humanitarians." What a poor man wants is not only a clean shirt, a
clean home, and a clean account on Saturday night; he wants a clean
character and a clean soul for this world and the next. Christianity
makes a sad mistake if it is satisfied to give him a full stomach, and
leave him with a starving soul.

In recent years we have heard much about the "Institutional Church" as
the long sought panacea. It is claimed by some persons that the churches
cannot succeed unless they add to ordinary spiritual instrumentalities,
various useful annexes, such as reading rooms, kindergartens,
dispensaries, and certain social entertainments. But it is a noteworthy
fact that the chief pioneer in "Institutional" methods was the late
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and he was the prince of old-fashioned gospel
preachers. He never thought of his orphanage, and other benevolent
adjuncts of the Metropolitan Tabernacle as substitutes for the sovereign
purpose of his holy work, which was to convert the people to Jesus
Christ. He subordinated the physical, the mental, and the social to the
spiritual; and rightly judged that making clean hearts was the best way
to secure clean homes and clean lives. I have no doubt that a very
strong, well-manned and thoroughly spiritually managed church may wisely
maintain as many adjuncts, such as reading-rooms, libraries,
dispensaries, kindergartens and other humanitarian annexes as it has the
means to support. An illustration of this is seen in the successful and
Heaven-blessed Bethany Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, founded and
maintained and guided by that hundred-handed Briareus in the service of
Christ--my beloved friend, the Hon. John Wanamaker. The aim of that
great church and its well-known Sunday School, is to make people happy
by making them better, and to save them for this world after saving them
for another world. When a church has the spiritual purposes and
spiritual power of the London Tabernacle and the Bethany Church, and is
guided by a Spurgeon or a Wanamaker, it may safely become
"institutional." But some experiments that have been made to establish
churches of that name in this country have not always been conspicuously
successful.

In taking this, my retrospective view at four-score, I have noted many
heart-cheering tokens of social and religious progress, and many
splendid mechanical and material inventions to make the world better and
happier. Yet I have also seen some painful symptoms of decline and
deterioration. All the changes have not been for the better; some have
been decidedly for the worse. For example, while there is an increase in
the number of the Christian churches, there is a lamentably steady
diminution of attendance at places of religious worship. Careful
investigation shows a constant falling off in church attendance--both in
the large towns, and in the rural districts. In spite of the blessed
influence of the Sunday School, the Young Men's Christian Association
and Christian Endeavor, there is an increasing swing of young people
away from the House of God, and therefore from soul-saving influences.
The Sabbath is not as generally kept sacred as formerly. One of the
indications of this sad fact is a decrease in church attendance, and
another is the enormous increase in the secular and godless Sunday
newspapers. Materialism and Mammonism work against spiritual religion,
and the social customs which wealth brings are adverse to a spiritual
life. As one illustration of this a distinguished pastor said to me:
"Forty years ago my people lived plainly, were ready for earnest
Christian work, and attended our devotional meetings; now they have
grown rich, our work flags, and our weekly services are almost
deserted." Half-day religion is on the increase almost everywhere.
Sporting and gambling are more rife than formerly. What is still worse,
the gambling element enters more largely into transactions of trade and
traffic. Divorces have become more easy and abundant, and, as Mr.
Gladstone once said to me: "This tends to sap one of the very
foundations of society," All these are deplorable evils to which none
but a fool will shut his eyes and by which none but a coward will be
frightened. _God reigns,_ even if the devil is trying to. The practical
questions for every one of us are: how can I become better? How can I
help to make this old sinning and sobbing world the better also?

CHAPTER XVII.

A RETROSPECT, CONTINUED.

As I look over the changes that half a century has wrought in the social
life of my beloved country, I see some which awaken satisfaction--others
which are not so exhilarating. The enormous and rapid increase of wealth
is unparalleled in human history. In my boyhood, millionaires were rare;
there were hardly a score of them in any one of our cities. The two
typical rich men were Stephen Girard in Philadelphia and John Jacob
Astor in New York; and their whole fortunes were not equal to the annual
income of several of the rich men of to-day. Some of our present
millionaires are reservoirs of munificence, and the outflow builds
churches, hospitals, asylums, and endows libraries--and sends broad
streams of charity through places parched by destitution and suffering.
Others are like pools at the base of a hill--they receive the inflow of
every descending streamlet or shower, and stagnate into selfishness.
Wealth is a tremendous trust; it becomes a dangerous one when it owns
its owner. Our Brooklyn philanthropist, the late Mr. Charles Pratt, once
said to me: "There is no greater humbug than the idea that the mere
possession of wealth makes any man happy. I never got any happiness out
of mine until I began to do good with it."

To the faithful steward there is a perpetual reward of good stewardship.
No investments yield a more covetable dividend than those made in gifts
of public beneficence. When Mr. Morris K. Jesup drives through New York
his eyes are gladdened in one street by the "Dewitt Memorial Chapel"
that he erected; in another by the Five Points House of Industry, of
which he is the president, and in still others by the Young Men's
Christian Association and kindred institutions, of which he is a liberal
supporter.

Mr. John D. Rockefeller is reputed to have an annual income equal to
that of three or four foreign sovereigns; but his inalienable assets are
in the universities he has endowed, the churches he has helped to build,
the useful societies he has aided, and in the gold mines of public
gratitude which he has opened up.

Many of our most munificent millionaires have been the architects of
their own fortunes. It is most commonly (with some happy exceptions) the
earned wealth, and not the inherited wealth that is bestowed most
freely for the public benefit. The Hon. William E. Dodge once stated in
a popular lecture that he began his career as a boy on a salary of fifty
dollars a year, and his board--part of his duty being to sweep out the
store in which he was employed. He lived to distribute a thousand
dollars a day to Christian missions, and otherwise objects of
benevolence.

There are old men in Pittsburg (or were, not long ago), who remember the
bright Scotch lad, Andrew Carnegie, to whom they used to give a dime for
bringing telegraph messages from the office in which he was employed.
The benefits which he then derived from the use of a free library in
that city, have added to his good impulse, to create such a vast number
of libraries in many lands that his honored name throws into the shade
the names of Bodley and Radcliffe in England, and that of Astor in
America. The mention of this latter name tempts me to narrate an amusing
story of old John Jacob Astor, the founder of the fortune of that
family, and a man who was more noted for acquiring money than for giving
it away for any purpose. Mr. Astor came to New York a poor young man.
His wealth consisted mainly in real estate, which he purchased at an
early day. When the New York and Erie Railroad was projected (it was the
first one ever coming directly into New York), my friend, Judge Joseph
Hoxie, called on Mr. Astor to subscribe to the stock, telling him that
it would add to the value of his real estate. "What do I care for that?"
said the shrewd old German, "I never sells, I only buys." "Well," said
Judge Hoxie, "your son, William, has subscribed for several shares." "He
can do that," was the chuckling reply, "he has got a rich father." It is
a fair problem how many such possessors of real estate it would take to
build up the prosperity of a great city.

There is one temptation to which great wealth has sometimes subjected
its possessors, which demands from me a word of patriotic protest. It is
the temptation to use it for political advancement. No fact is more
patent than the painful one that some ambitious men have secured public
offices, and even bought their way into legislative bodies, by the
abundancies of their purses united to skill in manipulating partisan
machines. This is a most serious menace to honest popular government. It
is one of the very worst forms of a plutocracy. I often think that if
Webster and Clay and Calhoun and John Quincy Adams and Sumner and some
other giants of a former era could enter the Congressional halls of our
day, they might paraphrase the words of Holy Writ and exclaim: "Take the
money-changers hence, and make not the temple of a nation's legislation
a house of merchandise."

Foreign travel is no longer the novelty that it was once, and many
wealthy folk spend much of their time abroad since the Atlantic Ocean
has been reduced to a ferry. This growth of European travel has brought
its increment of information and culture; but, with new ideas from
abroad, have come also some new notions and usages that were better left
behind. A prohibitory tariff in that direction would "protect" some of
the unostentatiousness of social life that befits a republican people.
No young man or woman, who desires to attain proficience in any
department of scholarship, classical or scientific, need to betake
themselves to the universities of Europe. Those universities have come
to us in the shape of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell and our other
most richly endowed institutions of learning for both sexes.

Quite too much of the social life of our country is more artificial than
formerly, and one result is the growing passion for publicity. Plenty of
ambitious people "make their beds in the face of the sun." Many things
are now chronicled in the press that were formerly kept behind the
closed doors of the home. The details of a dinner or a social company at
the fireside become the topics for the gossip of strangers. I sometimes
think that the young people of the present day lose much of the romance
that used to belong to the halcyon period of courtship. In the somewhat
primitive days of my youth, young lovers kept their own secrets, and
were startled if their heart affairs were on other people's tongues; but
now-a-days marriage engagements are matters of public announcement--not
infrequently in the columns of a newspaper! It seems to be forgotten
that an engagement to marry may not always end in a marriage. The usage
of crowned heads abroad is no warrant for the new fashion, for royalty
has no privacies, and queens and empresses choose their own husbands--a
prerogative that the stoutest champion of woman's rights has not yet had
the hardihood to advocate.

It has always required--but never more than now--no small amount of
moral courage on the part of newly married couples, whose incomes are
moderate, to resist the temptations of extravagant living. As the heads
of young men are often turned by the reports of great fortunes suddenly
acquired, so the ambition seizes upon many a young wife to cut a figure
in "society." Instead of "the household--motions light and free" that
Wordsworth describes, the handmaid of fashion leads the hollow life of
"keeping up appearances." If nothing worse than the slavery of debt is
incurred, home life becomes a counterfeit of happiness; but any one who
watches the daily papers will sometimes see obituaries there more
saddening than those which appear under the head of "Deaths," it is the
list of detected defaulters or peculators or swindlers of some
description--often belonging to the most respectable families. While the
ruin of those evil-doers is sometimes caused by club life or dissipated
habits, yet, in a large number of cases, the temptation to fraud has
been the snare of extravagant living.

In my long experience as a city pastor I have watched the careers of
thousands of married pairs. One class have begun modestly in an
unfashionable locality with plain dress and frugal expenditure They have
eaten the wholesome bread of independence. I wish that every young woman
would display the good sense of a friend of mine, who received an offer
of marriage from a very intelligent and very industrious, but poor young
man who said to her: "I hear that you have offers of marriage from young
men of wealth; all that I can offer you is a good name, sincere love and
plain lodgings at first in a boarding house." She was wise enough to
discover the "jewel in the leaden casket" and accept his hand. He became

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