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power to help men. His anguish of body whitened his hair within two years and caused his very bones to become so brittle that the slightest touch would shatter them. As the sun was disappearing in the glory of the evening sky he asked a friend to sing to him the words, "I hope to meet my Pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar." Afterward they sang for him his favorite hymn, "I am not ashamed to own my Lord," to which the dying scholar and Christian whispered: "There is nothing to beat that, Hugh. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day." Then he wandered in his thoughts and tossed in his delirium, but the two words, "Mother" and "Christ," lingered longest on his lips, and when Death said "Stop," they stayed at the doorway as sentinels over the sanctity of everlasting memories.
When I was a little boy in my fourth year, one fine day in Spring, my father led me by the hand to a distant part of the farm, but soon sent me home lone. On my way I had to pass a little pond, then spreading its waters wide, a rhodora in full bloom, a rare flower which grew only in that locality, attracted my attention and drew me to the spot. I saw a little tortoise sunning himself in the shallow waters at the roots of the flaming shrub. I lifted the stick I had in my hand to strike the harmless reptile; for though I had never killed any creature, yet I had seen other boys do so, and I felt a disposition to follow their wicked example. But all at once something checked my little arm, and a voice within me said clear and loud, "It is wrong!" I held my uplifted stick in wonder at the new emotion, the consciousness of an involuntary but inward check upon my actions, till the tortoise and the rhodora both vanished from my sight. I hastened home and told the tale to my mother, and asked what it was that told me it was wrong. She wiped a tear from her eye, and, taking me in her arms, said: "Some men call it conscience, but I prefer to call it the voice of God in the soul of man. If you listen to and obey it, then it will speak clearer and clearer, and always guide you right, but if you turn a deaf ear or disobey, then it will fade out little by little, and leave you in the dark and without a guide. Your life depends on heeding that little voice."-THEODORE PARKER.
THE power of conscience is strikingly illustrated in the relation of the wicked ruler Herod, the new Jezebel, and the stern and holy Prophet. In response to the demands of Herodias and his fantastic sense of honor, this crafty and cruel ruler had slain a king among men who dared to protest against his unholy manner of life. He had a certain respect for the man, but the claims of a wicked woman's pleasure, his own veracity, and the applause of his intoxicated associates conquered all hesitation, and the truth incarnate was murdered. A kingly head was carried into the banqueting hall to increase the mad revel of the hour. A woman's revenge was satisfied, and the event was soon hidden in the dark past, and the blood-stain apparently forgotten. There is a resurrection day for every buried conscience-here or hereafter. Another strange and holy life appeared upon the world's
stage before the tragedy was finished. In the king's palace the story of the Christ found its way. When this new sensation burst through the royal gates, the startled ruler shouted with intense and terrified exclamation: "I know, I know it is John whom I beheaded. He is risen from the dead."
It was morning; the clock had struck and conscience awoke. Memory may be silenced, but never slain. In momentary blindness and deafness, because of confusion, and excitement, and the wild rush of the world, a man deceives himself and thinks that the evil deed was put to death. But some new man or event suddenly appears to startle and frighten. An unseen hand draws the garments from the skeleton. It may be only the color of an eye, or the manner of the step, in which there is a resemblance, but it is sufficient to summon all the past in review and create a never-dying terror. The fog of the morning may keep the remnants of night about the day, but a slight breeze scatters the mist and sweeps every cloud from the sky. Conscience dips its pen in blood. The second coming of the deed through the pathway of conscience makes it even more vivid and the personal element emphasized. It was not a great and emphatic compunc
tion that accompanied the commission of the crime, but when it came to light again, Herod cried: “ It was I." "I beheaded him." There is no shifting of responsibility, or even offering the excuse of oath and honor, but "I murdered him." Alone with the deed, in after days, all apology and wrappings and deception, and soft words vanish. Conscience and its companion memory spend all the hours of their silence in stripping the robes and trappings from the naked crime. Conscience even has no mercy on a man's theology. Herod was a Sadducee. His theory was against the doctrine of a future state. It was good theology for some hours, but not for all. This present was his world; he did not want the future, and therefore adopted the usual custom of refusing to think about it, and declaring himself a Sadducee in theory. But now there is at least one man who can rise from the dead. The invisible world is made very real by the lantern of conscience. That light has a vital relation to belief. The thought of the judgment is not a stranger to any man's mind. Penalty is shackled to transgression. The cry of the king is the soul's cry of fright and dread. Conscience is the prophet of punishment and condemnation for the awful