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most savage, and found them only kind and friendly. Just so the Catholic missionaries, Father Hennepin and Marquette, travelled among the American Indians, and found them also friendly. Those Catholic priests and this Protestant missionary had the same spirit; both were interested in the study of God's world, and the reform of God's children; and both have left a permanent testimony to the truth that an honest purpose of doing good will tame the most savage, and change cruelty into good-will.
We live only by progress; if we attempt to stand still, we go backward, and lose our vital power. Religion, in its true essence, is at the root of all progress, because it inspires that faith in truth, in goodness, in God's world, which makes us interested in all things. The worst effect of atheistic opinions is not that they dishonor God; for he cannot be injured by human doubts or denials, any. more than the laws of astronomy can be displeased by being disputed or opposed. If
any man chooses to deny the law of gravitation, that law is not offended, but continues as before, to lend him its beneficent aid. If any man denies God, or opposes Christianity, God continues to befriend him, and Christianity continues to bless him. But the real harm done by the denial of a divine presence and providence in nature and life is that in the long run it will destroy our interest in the world, in men, in events. Such atheistic, pessimistic, cynical views take the life out of us. I see young men who are tainted by such notions, and what strikes me in them is that they seem to take
very little interest in anything. Their inward man perishes, though the outer man may be renewed by God day by day. It is sad to see an old man whose heart is dry and whose soul is withered; but it is still worse to see this in the young, to whom God has given an inheritance of faith and hope, and to whom all things ought to appear new and fair.
"Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” Dreamy meditators on the past, active strivers in the present, hopeful prophets of the future; preach, all of you, the kingdom of God, by faith, by hope, by love. As time and all of its works, possessions, joys, are passing rapidly away, secure that which is unchanging and eternal. Have faith in God. Faith, not opinions, or dead belief; but faith. Faith, which learns to see God present in nature; present in providence; present in the soul; which finds him in all changes, him in all joys and sorrows, him in the near duty of the hour, him in the large vision of the ages. Have hope, active hope, which shall enable you to work in the cause of justice and humanity ; to Work, though in a minority ; to work, though no success nor reputation seems to come. Work, ot merely conscientiously, but hopefully, and you will work successfully. Hope to do some good thing for some one. Hope to make joy and peace where you go and where you stay. Hope to serve God by serving man.
And most of all, have love. If there is any bitterness in your heart towards any human being root it out. It is a corroding poison in your soul ; get rid of it. Love; that is,
go out of yourself; go forth in sympathy with others; go forth to do them good, by the power of God in your own soul, grace
of God in your own heart. By your own hope of a grand future, lift others out of their skepticism, their doubts, their despair. These things shall last ; they shall not pass away. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Faith, hope, and love, the heavenly sisters, the three Christian graces, with arms sweetly intertwined, like yet unlike, as becomes sisters; not the same aspect to each, yet not wholly different ; these three shall cause that you be not barren nor unfruitful. Begin life so, and it will pass joyfully to its close.
“THOU SOWEST NOT THE BODY WHICH SHALL BE, BUT BARE GRAIN.”
DOOR ONEC Umembers, which seemed that most recente de disco
URING the last week we have had a second edition
gone ond edition, abridged, condensed into a few days, but charming, because unexpected. We thought the summer over ; it has suddenly returned, like a friend who has taken leave of you, and, when you go back solitary, feeling a little lonely, into your empty house, lo! he comes back, and says he will give you another day or two. So summer comes back to-day, as Indian summer, the steady south-west winds sweeping up from tropical regions some strange aroma, hinting of the equator ; long days full of purple light, the air soft and balm to the lungs. No wonder the poor Indian, with untutored mind, lonely in his narrow thought, feeling after God, if haply he might find him, dreamed that he saw in the haze illumined sky of October some glimpse of the happy hunting-fields where his fathers roamed.
We enjoy the more this little scrap of summer, this crumb fallen from the table of Mother Nature, because it is something extra, and something unexpected. Workpeople in Europe, beside their regular wages, expect some little extra gift, which they call, in Italian, buono-mano. And they seem to take more pleasure in their buono-mano than in their regular wages.
These warm days in Septem
ber are Nature's buono-mano. It is something extra. become accustomed to that which comes regularly, and think it our right. We consider ourselves hardly used if we do not get our regular allowance of food, sleep, health, amusement, and the like. Give a child the thing once, and the next time he claims it as a right. He says, “ You gave it to me once, papa.” We are all children in this. As soon as any of God's gifts become regular, we transfer them from the category of favors to that of rights, and expect them as a thing of course. And I think, therefore, that God has left this margin of the unexpected, the casual, around all the majestic machinery of law, in order to give us the joy of feeling the gift, to give himself the joy of being loved as the giver. Around the steady order of things floats evermore this uncertainty of events. The worldly man calls it chance, the religious man calls it Providence. We have detected law everywhere, and extended its domains more and more, and so built up scientific knowledge. We can calculate an eclipse a thousand years forward, a thousand years backward, to the fraction of a minute. But there are some things which remain forever incalculable. Who can calculate beforehand an eclipse of the heart? And who would wish to do so? Who can predict beforehand, by algebra, or calculus, the unexpected advent of a new affection? Let us be thankful that there are some surprises in the world, some things which elude mathematics, some Indian summer days which come when no one has predicted them, to warm the heart through and through; because being unlooked for, they seem more like a direct gift from God.
This return of summer in the form of Indian summer . has suggested to me the subject of returning events, of recurrence in human affairs, of the circular and spiral movement in history and life.
Things come back, but when they come back they are seldom exactly what they were before. Summer returns as Indian summer; history is always repeating itself, but on a higher plane. Even the good man commits the same faults in age that he committed in youth, but in a nobler way, so that the fault almost ceases to be one. Every living thing which seems to die revives again, and comes up in a new and higher form. So history repeats itself, not in a circle, but in an ascending spiral. We return to the same spot, but always a little higher up.
The difference between two men, one having Christian faith and the other not having it, is this :: both commit the same faults, and repeat the same experience, but the one repeats it always high up. He rises to a higher spirit : he sinks to a deeper insight. He has more faith, more hope, more love to God and man. Thus he takes the past with him, as precious seed of a better future. He loses nothing, leaves nothing behind. His youth departs, with its golden summer days, but returns again an Indian summer with mellower warmth, and a more enchanting peace. Let there only be faith in the heart in God as a friend and father, and it fills life with hope, and hope leads to constant progress. The Christian army marches ever to the East, with the dawn shining on its white shields of expectation.
But just in proportion as this faith is wanting, life goes round and round, in a mere mill-horse circle of routine. Faults repeat themselves exactly as before.
Experience, with a world of sighs
And taught her nothing ; where she erred, she errs." The planets move round and round forever in the same ellipse. The seasons of the year return with little change, and no seeming progress. Man's life is a repetition of work and rest, day and night, eating, talking, sleeping.