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derided, proscribed, persecuted - have stood by their convictions with joyful heroism and calm content. Nay, great multitudes have marched with songs upon their tongues to the rack and stake. The noblest spectacle the world affords is that of a man or woman rising superior to sorrow and suffering - transforming sorrow and suffering into nutriment -accepting those conditions of their life which Providence' prescribes, and building themselves up into an estate from whose summit the step is short to a glorified humanity. 6. Before me hangs a portrait of an old man
the only man I have ever loved with a devotion that has never faded, though long years have passed away since he died. His calm blue eyes look down upon me, and I look into them, and through them. I look into a golden memory, -into a life of self-denial, --- into a meek, toiling, honest, heroic Christian manhood, -into an uncomplaining spirit,-into a grateful heart, --- into a soul that never sighed over a lost joy, though all his earthly enterprises miscarried. The tracery of care and sickness is upon his haggard features, but I see in them, and in the soul which they represent to me, the majesty of manliness. While I look, the kittens still play at the door, and the noise of shouting children is in the street; but ah! how shallow is the life they represent, compared with that of which this dumb canvas tells me! It is better to be a man or a woman than to be a child. It is better to be an angel than to be either. Let us look forward — never backward.
CXVIII.-YOUTH IS STRONG.
HENRY WARD BEECHER. 1 Next I mention that youth is strong by its generosity and sensitiveness to honor. Not that men are not selfish when they are children; they are. But in age, selfishness
takes on the form of reason. Men say they have found out human life. They have learned men. They have come to suspect them. They have come to measure them. And they justify their various ways of selfishness by pleading discretion and prudence. It is judgment in them. There is animal selfishness in the young; this is a general tendency in them. But the young, being untaught and unacquainted with the ways of the world, are usually generous, frank, confiding, and disposed to think well of men and to trust them.
2. And it is a noble trait. It is a sad thing when a man loses faith in man. Next to the want of faith in God is the disaster of want of faith in man. Nothing can be more damaging to the moral constitution than to have an operative skepticism of mankind. For though men are bad, though. there is a great deal in all men that is bad, though there is not one single faculty that has not felt the touch and taint of imperfection and sin ; yet with all their sinfulness and weaknesses there is something divine in them; and no man can afford to lose the habit of reposing confidence in them. A youth is strong because he is genial and generous and frank, and overflowing in his confidence.
3. Then, next, from such conditions, as we might anticipate, springs a much abused but admirable quality of youth-I mean enthusiasm. Enthusiasm has such an intense interest in anything which addresses us, as brings an overflow of zeal to it. It is a term that characterizes degree of feel, ing. Later in life men restrain and measure their feelings. They are disposed to be no spendthrifts of their emotions. But early in life feeling seems to flow from an inexhaustible fountain. Where a bucket of water would turn the wheel, youth is not disposed to turn it by just enough, but pours forth a whole river, that both turns the wheel and floods it. And it is this abundance, this overplus of feeling that constitutes enthusiasm.
4. And it is more than useful. It is so indispensable that we can scarcely imagine youth to be worth much without it. In some degree caution may prevent evil, but caution never worked out one positive good in the world. Enthusiasm may drive men into some evils ; but it drives them into thousands of benefits, positive and assured. Enthusiasm develops latent powers of the soul; it concentrates and pushes on secret forces; it gives unbounded faith in success; it redeems disaster by promise of victory; it inspires sublime courage, and carries men over troubles and over dangers on which cold calculation would never venture, and from which caution would absolutely flee.
5. It may be a mistake in youth to count this the chiefest virtue, and to despise sober and thoughtful experience and steadiness of principle; but it is an equal mistake, or a worse one, to disesteem or undervalue enthusiasm. And where we are to propagate new views, or old views that are disesteemed, there is nothing comparable to enthusiasm. It is infectious. It is that which enables man to overcome false ideas and influences, more tban any other one element of the human mind. Youth is eminently strong in its honest enthusiasms.
6. And how pitiable it is to see man attempt to strip all these things from the young! For there is an impression, ridiculous and mischievous, that family government means to bring up old men on young stalks. But the qualities of age should never be sought in children. It wants men and women to have those qualities. With all its imperfections, youth has its traits of excellence and strength, which should not be ignored. Let our maidens be girls and not women; and let our young men be young men.
7. For, of all things in the world, to see the precision and stiffness and dryness and hardness of an old man,
is precise and stiff and dry and hard, — developed in a young man, is the most pitiable. A petrified young man! There are some young men who think that trees are prettier when they are trimmed up; and so you see in many villages maple trees, that, as they attempt to throw out branches low down and form their own beautiful shape, are cut up till they assume the pattern of a broom, and stand lean and lank, with but a few limbs up at the top. And I have seen just such
young men !
8. Consider how noble is the sight of such vigorous health, budding with promise, full of kindly influences, overflowing with superabundant spirits, genial, generous, trustful, truthful, asking always for the right and the true, and ambitious of good, with full faith in their power to attain anything and everything. Consider how noble a nature is if it be enlightened by the revelation of a dívine truth, if it feel the inspiration of infinite and spiritual conceptions, if it be purified and elevated by the love of Christ, and if it be called and sealed to the work of God in the world. Is there anything more beautiful than the sight of young men banded together for
9. Now there needs only a corresponding share and opportunity for the fullest development of those powers, to make the view sublime. If the young men of our nation and our time have the qualities of strength that have been stated, it only needs that there should be given to them an appropriate sphere in which to act, and in which to develop their powers, to make a spectacle as sublime as any that was ever beheld!
CXIX. HIGHER VALUE OF INVENTIONS.
HENRY WARD BEECHER. 1. Never before were all secular professions raised so high; and made to have such moral bearings, unconsciously, by influences within themselves, rather than by the voluntary efforts of those in such professions. Simple industry, unskilled labor, has a power to build up the family, that never was known before, and to send cohorts of children to honor and usefulness. A simple day-laborer, that earns his one or two dollars a day, lives better than the nobles in the court of Queen Elizabeth, has more luxuries than they had, and is more refined than they were. His children are within the reach of common schools. And it is in the power of simple industry, unskilled, but inspired by diligence and integrity, to build the noblest thing that any man can build — the temple of the family—and to send forth from it bands of children, every one of whom may become an aspirant for the highest spheres that are open for any. .
2. But when you come to skilled labor, inventors and mechanics enjoy opportunities such as no other class of men ever enjoyed. When a man invents a new process or a new principle, it is a very narrow way of looking at it to say, “ He has made a fortune.” He has made a million fortunes. A man that makes a better harrow takes away so much drudgery from a million hands. The man that makes a saw that cuts better, may make his own fortune; but he makes the ease and comfort of myriads of men.
The man that makes a sewing-machine is the Moses of seamstresses, and leads them out of bondage. To be sure they have to go through the wilderness before they get to the promised land, if they will sew, but by-and-by it will be given them to do it. In other words, necessity will drive them away from such injurious occupations, and they will be compelled to find other employment.
3. The man that invents a better machine for making screws, or a better screw, is a great public benefactor. Once they bored with a gimlet a hole in which to insert the screw. Then they made a better gimlet with which they could bore