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he had of the wants of man, that each system implied a God at the bottom to make it workable. He said that he had been occupied in trying to gain truth, but that it is but little of truth that man can acquire; it was 'something, however,' he said, to 'know in Whom we have believed.'
He suffered pain; but his quiet Christian peace was such that it enabled him to bear it with noble fortitude. His mind, indeed, was eminently free, and used its freedom in the contemplation of all the questions that suggest themselves when death is near. Just before his death he had been considering the future possibilities and probable state of the soul; and he was for a long while trying to explain to himself why the not too noble Lorenzo is caused by Shakespeare to say to Jessica:
'Look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold: There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest
But in his motion like an angel sings,
And the same individuality of thought often arose at the last. About six days before his death, when he was enduring weakness so extreme that he could say but very little, often lying motionless for awhile with his eyes closed, he at length looked up and exclaimed: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning"; and then said to those standing by, 'Do you know that is a hexameter?
“ Πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον.”
I wonder who composed it?'
He had a very extensive knowledge of hymns and hymn-writers, and was constantly reciting from memory from his favourites, as they in turn expressed his convictions or emotions;
and his last moments were in the deepest and largest sense moments of peace.
Now let it be observed we have here, not a man whose mind, having been formed and hardened by the knowledge, thoughts and philosophy of another age, refused to reform itself to the broader teachings of this age. He was a man whose mental character and convictions were formed amidst the formation of the most characteristic scientific doctrines of our time; his wide culture and sympathies made him, for practical purposes, master of them all. More than this, he studied all the great streams of argument set up as the result of the impulse which these doctrines had given. He himself in the region of Physics and Cosmical Philosophy had actually been a contributor of the most important factors of knowledge, and yet he could see that whilst human knowledge grew and the thoughts of men widened with the process of the suns,' yet the same mental and moral necessities lay at the base of human nature as before. And although he could not hope to explain all things either in science or religion, yet he knew enough to make belief-trustoutride the turbulence of conflicting thought; and it carried him triumphantly across the dark path, beyond which the last doubt is left behind.
CHATAUQUA LECTURES AND LECTURERS :
I. INTRODUCTORY: CHATAUQUA.
LAKE CHATAUQUA is a fine sheet of water situated in the Western part of the State of New York. Its altitude is seven hundred feet higher than that of Lake Erie, which is only seven miles distant from it. The lake is about twenty miles long: the breadth varies greatly, the banks sometimes approaching to within a distance of half a mile of each other, then receding and enclosing a vast sheet of water, four or five miles across. The average depth is twenty feet, varying from shallows ankle-deep to eighty feet in the water-way of the huge steamers which pass to and fro with their freight of pleasure-seekers. The shores are formed by hills of no great height, soft in the outline which they throw against the sky. The scenery is park-like, field and forest succeeding each other in pleasant interchange. The salient points on either side of the lake are occupied by health resorts,' where the citizens of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and many other towns, find a refuge from the tropical heat which beats down upon the avenues' and 'blocks' amidst which they pursue their avocations through the rest of the year. Chatauqua supplies plenty of ozone,' being thirteen hundred feet above sea-level.
Windermere may be regarded as the little sister of Chatauqua; soft, rich beauty is the family likeness which they have in common: Chatauqua has the advantage of greater expanse, but the 'little sister' has more than compensation in the grandeur of the monarch-mountains which guard her Northern approach -Langdale Pikes, Sca Fell, and Bow Fell.
On one of the points where the sloping hills intrude upon the water, the American Methodist Church has
located the camp-ground of its largest annual Sunday-School A ssembly, the 'biggest' thing, religiously, to be found on the continent of prodigies. The plot of ground appropriated for this purpose comprises about one hundred and fifty acres, well covered with wood. Lots of ground are let for the erection of cottages on long leases, in which stringent provision is made for the security of the religious character and good order of the Assembly for a century to come. Boards, beams and shingles; screws, nails, colours and glue; half-a-dozen carpenters and a couple of painters, and, in a month or so, you have a cottage sufficiently picturesque to gratify the eye of an artist, and sufficiently commodious for a family during a six weeks' holiday in the woods. Then certain portions of the estate are set apart as tenting-grounds, upon which, during the days of the Assembly, scores of calico-homes spring up like mushrooms in a night. The 'great families' of city Churches here assume the character of Evangelical gipsies, and content themselves with a simplicity of food and accommodation which would scarcely be deemed luxury by the tinkering and fortunetelling fraternity who frequent our English lanes and commons. It is said by the newspapers that in 'the height of the season,' Chatauqua has a resident population of four thousand or more. Excursionists find their way to the camp-ground by 'road, river and rail,' and stay a day or two, or a week, increasing the population for the time being to six or seven thousand people. I can well believe this, as the large amphitheatre, of which I shall speak presently, was easily filled, sometimes twice a day, to hear a popular lecturer.
Our Sunday-School City in the
Woods has its public buildings: the Children's Temple, the Parthenon, and the Amphitheatre. The first of these is a framework building devoted to children and work amongst the children: addresses, model-lessons, normal classes. It will accommodate seven or eight hundred young people. The 'Parthenon,' also of wood, painted white, is erected after the model of its marble namesake in Athens. Here the 'Chatauqua Literary and Scientific Circle' has its head-quarters. The 'Chatauqua Literary and Scientific Circle' is an educational Society, which proposes to train its members in systematic and consecutive reading, and to stimulate them, by examinations and honours, in the acquisition of literary and scientific knowledge. The efforts of the Society are highly appreciated, for the the 'Circle' now numbers upwards of ten thousand members. The lectures delivered in the 'Parthenon' were chiefly devoted to subjects metaphysical, theological, or philological.
The Amphitheatre is the grand glory of our city in the woods.' A natural declivity in the ground has been utilized for the construction of this noble building. The height from floor to roof is twenty-eight feet. A choir of two hundred and fifty persons find room enough in the singinggallery which occupies one end. The speakers' platform is placed in front of this, and is large enough to accommodate a great number of persons and yet leave space enough for the peripatetic elocution of a popular American lecturer. A semi-circular space in front of the platform is left vacant, but on special occasions it is crowded by persons who bring with them their own chairs or stools. Then the Amphitheatre proper commences. Large and roomy seats rise tier above tier to the roadway, accommodating without pressure three thousand five hundred people. The spacious aisles can also be utilized, whilst wayfarers
on the roads above not unfrequently form an entire circle of attentive listeners. Altogether, provision is made for an audience of five thousand people. The acoustic properties of the building are perfect, except when occasionally a strong wind prevails, an accident which cannot be avoided in a building which is open on all sides. I repeatedly saw the Amphitheatre filled, and occasionally crowded, to its utmost capacity. At night, the building was illuminated by the electric light. I have seen large gatherings in the finest public buildings in this country, but nowhere have I been so impressed with the sight of an audience as in this Colosseum' of the woods. What a grand place it would make for the May Meetings! Lectures on general subjects are mostly delivered in the Amphitheatre.
Of what character is the population of this city in the woods? Two or three Bishops; scores of Doctors; hundreds of Ministers; representatives of normal training institutions, newspaper editors, principals of colleges and high-schools, authors interested in educational literature, and Sunday-school workers generally. When it is remembered that this population is gathered from every State in the Union, it will be seen that the Chatauqua Assembly is an important factor in the Church-life of the United States.
The citizens of this 'no mean city' intend work, and do it. The programme of each day's engagements is appalling. They commence at eight in the morning and continue till half-past nine at night, with small leisure for meals. It is not to be supposed that everybody attempts everything in the day's bill of fare. Each man makes his choice, and, having made it, will find enough to satisfy his appetite. Nor is it all work and no play.' Boating, fishing, bathing, roaming and lounging fill up the vacant hours which any one may
'The land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land......which the Lord thy God careth for : the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.'-DEUTERONOMY XI. 11, 12.
A TEXT is always much more than any words that may be spoken of it. They are but a magnifying-glass to bring out the richness and beauty of some golden truth that lies within; and sometimes, let us hope, the process of minting it for common use, stamped with the image and superscription of our King.
Always true, one feels the truth of it especially at the beginning of the year. We want to find words from the Book then that shall stand by us as a motto; easily remembered when thoughts that helped to impress them are forgotten-a voice and company to go forth with us, brightening all the way. Here is a gracious 'Fear not!' a sweet strain to which we can march forth into this New Year, with cheerful steps and a brave confidence.
The people of Israel stood upon the borders of Canaan. There it lay before them, an unknown country. Rumour spoke evil of it. There were sons of Anak, in whose sight the men of Israel were but as grasshop
pers; there were cities walled up to heaven. But the Lord spake comfortably to the people, and chased away all their fear: Jehovah thy God careth for the land. His eyes are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.
So at the beginning of the year we stand more consciously, though not more really, upon the verge of the unknown. We go in to possess this New Year. Who can tell us what we shall find there: the needs, the changes, the new experiences, the difficulties? Fear whispers, like the spies, to some, of trouble, of sorrow, and they shrink from entering in. But for all of us these words are true, as for Israel. The land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land which Jehovah thy God careth for. His eyes are always upon it. No strange and lonely land; it is made ready for us by His love and wisdom and power. Do not think of yourself going down to fight against a host of foes unhelped, wearied and hardly forcing your way through-a dreary struggle. Watched by His
tender and unfailing care, none is forgotten, none goes unhelped. It is a goodly land indeed, for the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it. He waits to welcome us; He Himself goes with us all along the ways. We are well able to possess it.
Notice, first, that the people are reminded of the past. Confidence for that which is to come is to grow out of the memory of God's former dealings with His people. So in the seventh verse of the chapter: Your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which He did. Look down over the verses of the chapter, and think of the incidents that started up before the people: how glorious and terrible! 'I speak not with your children,' said Moses, which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the Lord your God; His greatness, His mighty hand, and His stretchedout arm....But your eyes have seen.' Back it flashed upon their minds what God had done for them in the land of bondage. How the Destroying Angel had passed over the land, and in every house of the enemy there lay the first-born-dead. How the proud Egyptians sprang up terrorstricken, and prayed the Israelites to be gone; and thrust upon them gold and jewels to hasten their steps. They saw again the wonderful deliverance: What He did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots: how He made the water of the Red Sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the Lord hath destroyed them unto this day.' They are reminded of the bountiful provision of the manna; of the guiding Presence of the Lord through all the wilderness— reminded, too, of the judgments of the Lord upon Israel as well as for them; for that is amongst the special mercies, if they could but see it. Think of your Almighty Helper—of your God, cried Moses. He goeth with you into this land. He careth
for it; His eyes are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.
So let us call to mind the greatness and the goodness of our God. Be still and talk to the heart about it, until it be not a word only, but very truth and deed.
Muse upon it till the fire kindle. Get away into the mountain-top, dwell in the quiet clefts of the rock, till all the goodness of the Lord shall pass before us. Ah, what that Israel ever knew can compare with the great acts of love that we have looked upon! We know not the Destroying Angel going silently through the darkness upon his dreadful errand-the terror by night. For us there is the shining glory of the Lord, and the angels singing their glad tidings of great joy. We see Jesus, the Well-beloved of the Father, coming forth to lighten our darkness and to save us all.
So as we go forth into the New Year, what troops of mercies greet us, as the angel of God met Jacob of old! We stand upon the threshold of the New Year with memories of infinitely more than favoured Israel ever knew. More than the Red Sea divided; more than the host of Egypt overthrown. For us the kingdom of heaven is opened; for us the hosts of hell are discomfited. Dwell upon it all, with adoring wonder: what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us; the height of it, and depth; its length, its breadth. Let the thoughts go slowly, and with feet unshod, up to that eternal glory of the King: the dazzling radiance; the rapturous adoration of the angels; His might and majesty. Then as the music dies, and the splendour fades, and bleak night-winds sweep about the dreary earth, stand here amidst the lowliness of Bethlehem. Follow slowly in those sacred footsteps allalong the wilderness. Ah, what manner of love is this! That reacheth from the Bosom of the Father to the agony of