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to scramble that what with bribery and corruption, the rings of all mea's, the lobby and the machine, we are fated to go triumph d down till we shall be a byword and a hissing
The all the nations of the earth? They are the dainty since things; and, if the things they weakly prophesy do not alne true, it will not be because they have not negatively done their best to help them to this end. The men who have faith in our political future, who do not believe that bribery and corruption, that the rings and bosses, that the lobby and the machine, as they are at present organized, have come to stay, and to shame and curse and ruin us forever, are the men who are seeking earnestly for ways and means to make these evils less, the men who hate a policy of favoritism or corruption all the more when it is their own party that offends.
And nowhere is it more apparent that it is faithfulness that makes faith, that great hopes are for great souls, than in the matter of men's hope of an immortal life. Be the soulgreatness that of intellect or affection, the faithfulness that of indomitable science or unconquerable love, the lesson is the same. To spend one's life in high endeavor to make the unknown universe and the unknown God more fully known, and, after all, to feel how little has been learned, how much remains to solve, and not to hope that death is not the end, that after that the search will still go on, and add incalculable areas to our present boundaries of knowledge,— I do not see how this can ever be. And, as there are none to whom the sphere of the unknown is so immense as it is to those who have done most to beat its limits back, for these the hope of opportunity for further knowledge must ever be most strong and masterful. But the greatness of the immortal hope is not exhausted by its intellectual elements. The faithfulness that makes faith is not above the faithfulness of men's unwearying search for knowledge: it is even more the faithfulness of hearts that beat in happy unison for many years. It is easy to conceive that there are those for whom the immortal years suggest more difficulties than they solve.
Let annihilation cleave the Gordian knot which they have fingered at in vain! Better eternal sleep than smote again by eyes too pure to look upon uncleanness! But where the souls are great, where there has been constant faithfulness, there the great hope of a renewed and glorified affection springs into life, and grows and flourishes like tropic verdure drenched with mighty rains and daily flooded by the sun's exhaustless urn.
But is not the doctrine that great hopes are for great souls a doctrine of discouragement? If this doctrine be true, must I not seem to hear a murmur coming back to me from those whom I address,—“Then they can never be for us"? You dare not think you have attained so much of knowledge or of good that the great souls account you of their company, and I approve your modesty in this. The great souls of intellect and knowledge are but few: the great souls of public service and heroic action are not a greater company. If great hopes are for these alone, the outlook is not so inspiring and encouraging as we could wish. It is better that a few should have such hopes than none. They have their reward; and, moreover, something passes from them into lesser souls, something akin to their great hopes though not of equal grandeur. The great souls greaten us, and so prepare us for participation in the hopes they cherish and by which they are sustained. It is not as if there were only two kinds of souls, the great and small. The smallest shade into the greatest by innumerable degrees. We are not dealing with statical, but with dynamical relations. The greater the soul, the greater the hope, is the corollary of our proposition, to which we shall do well to attend. And then, too, thank Heaven, it is not as if the greatness of men's souls were a matter wholly of their intellectual volume and momentum. Pope's description of Bacon as "the wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind" may not have been entirely true, but it suggests a possible combination, and wherever it exists, no matter how magnificent the intellect, you have a little soul; while, on the other hand, there are
those who, without being wonderfully wise and bright, have so little meanness in their composition, are so large-hearted, brotherly, that to deny them greatness of soul would be as absurd as to deny grandeur to Niagara or splendor to the mountains and the sea. The miner in his bucket crying, "Stand from under!" as he goes flying down the shaft, death not a minute off; the egg-gatherer of the Orkneys who cuts the rope above him and so welcomes death, that he may save the man above him for his wife and babes if haply, where the rope is frayed at the cliff's edge, it may still bear one man's weight; the woman told that God had given her husband over to his evil drunken ways quietly saying, "Then I must stand him in God's stead,"these threadbare stories and a hundred more of similar character, revealing the spontaneous and innate nobilities of human life, are not stories of men and women of Baconian minds, of splendid intellectual endowments, but none the less they are stories of great souls. Such, you may think, are hardly less excep tional than the master minds. Such as have opportunity to prove themselves members of this order, yes. Such as have proved themselves and have had their stories told are fewer still. But there are many who have never had their stories told who have approved themselves of the same stock and lineage as the most famous in the Book of Golden Deeds, and there are thousands more who needed but the opportu nity to do as valiantly for God and man as any of the heroes of imperishable renown. The great souls are not few. They wear no badge by which you can distinguish them from other people on the street. Sometimes their clothes are of the cheapest kind and sadly overworn. But, if not the actuality, the possibility of infinite patience and heroic love, is there. It is not the dramatic moment only that brings out the quality of the great souls that walk in broadcloth or in shoddy, equally unknown to one another and to the world at large. It is very seldom this. It is much oftener the long-drawn weeks and months and years through which the faithful watch by beds of sickness, or nurse some
feeble intellect, or try to brace some weak and tottering will.
There is no lack of opportunity for spiritual greatness.
times were fatal to men's larger life. On the contrary, there
Great hopes for great souls! No matter how the greatness comes, from large appreciation of the scientific apprehension of the world, from wide intelligence of the develop. ment of man through many generations, from devotion to great causes or to the maimed and miserable victims of an organization and environment all of whose dice are loaded for the throw of weakness, shame, and sin, from patient service in the humblest daily round, from strenuous opposition to the most sordid, mean, and selfish tendencies of our political and commercial life, no matter how it comes, it will always bring with it the great hope for those for whom we work, for the great future of humanity, and for the power and blessing of an endless life.
If, then, great hopes attract our admiration and desire, and