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STRAN.

The camel and the needle, —
Is that then in your mind ?
Towns.

Even so. The text
Is gospel wisdom. I would ride the camel,
5 Yea, leap him flying through the needle's eye,

As easily as such a pampered soul
Could pass the narrow gate.
STRAN.

Your pardon, sir,
But sure this lack of Christian charity
10 Looks not like Christian truth.
Towns.

Your pardon, too, sir
If, with this text before me, I should feel
In the preaching mood. But for these barren fig-trees

With all their flourish and their leafiness, 15 We have been told their destiny and use,

When the axe is laid unto the root, and they
Cumber the earth no longer.
STRAN.

Was his wealth Stored fraudfully, the spoil of orphans wronged, 20 And widows who had none to plead their right?

Towns. All honest, open, honorable gains,
Fair legal interest, bonds and mortgages,
Ships to the east and west.
STRAN.

Why judge you then
25 So hardly of the dead ?
Towns.

For what he left
Undone; — for sins, not one of which is mentioned
In the Ten Commandments. He, I warrant him,

Believed no other gods than those of the Creed; 30 Bowed to no idols — but his money-bags;

Swore no false oaths — except at the custom-house •
Kept the Sabbath — idle; built a monument
To honor his dead father ; did no murder ;

Never picked pockets ; never bore false witness ; 35 And never, with that all-commanding wealth Coveted his neighbor's house, nor ox, nor ass.

STRAN. You knew him, then, it seems ?
Towns.

As all men know The virtues of your hundred-thousanders :

They never hide their lights beneath a bushel.
5 STRAN. Nay, nay, uncharitable sir! for often

Doth bounty, like a streamlet, flow unseen,
Freshening and giving life along its course.

Towns. We track the streamlet by the brighter green And livelier growth it gives :— but as for this — 10 This was a stagnant pool of waters foul; ,

The rains of heaven engendered nothing in it
But slime and rank corruption.
STRAN.

Yet even these
Are reservoirs whence public charity
15 Still keeps her channels full.
Towns.

Now, sir, you touch
Upon the point. This man of half a million
Had all these public virtues which you praise,

But the poor man never rung at his door : 20 And the old beggar, at the public gate,

Who, all the summer long, stands, hat in hand, -
He knew how vain it was to lift an eye
To that hard face. Yet he was always found

Among your ten and twenty pound subscribers, 25 Your benefactors in the newspapers.

His alms were money put to interest
In the other world, — donations to keep open
A running charity account with Heaven; —

Retaining fees against the last assizes,
30 When, for the trusted talents, strict account

Shall be required from all, and the old arch-lawyer
Plead his own cause as plaintiff.
Stran.

I must needs
Believe you, sir; — these are your witnesses,
35 These mourners here, who from their carriages

Gape at the gaping crowd. A good March wind

Were to be prayed for now, to lend cheir eyes
Some decent rheum. The very hireling mute *
Bears not a face blanker of all emotion
Than the old servant of the family.
How can this man have lived, that thus his death
Costs not the soiling one white handkerchief ?

Towns. Who should lament for him, sir, in whose heart
Love had no place, nor natural charity ?

The parlor-spaniel, when she heard his step, in Rose slowly from the hearth, and stole aside

With creeping pace; she never raised her eyes
To woo kind words from him, nor laid her head
Upraised upon his knee, with fondling whine.

How could it be but thus ? Arithmetic 15 Was the sole science he was ever taught.

The multiplication table was his creed,
His pater-noster, and his decalogue.
When yet he was a boy, and should have breathed

The open air and sunshine of the fields,
0 To give his blood its natural spring and play,

He, in a close and dusky counting-house,
Smoke-dried, and seared, and shrivelled up his heart.
So, from the way in which he was trained up,

His feet departed not; he toiled and moiled, 5 Poor muckworm ! through his threescore years and ten;

And when the earth shall now be shovelled on him,
If that which served him for a soul were still
Within its husk, 't would still be dirt to dirt.

STRAN. Yet your next newspapers will blazon him, 30 For industry and honorable wealth,

A bright example.
Towns.

Even half a million
Gets him no other praise. But come this way

* Mutes are persons dressed in deep mourning, who are sometimes employed by undertakers, in England, to stand before the door of a house in which prop arations for a funeral are going on.

Some twelve months hence, and you will find his virtues
Trimly set forth in lapidary lines,
Faith, with her torch beside, and little Cupids
Dropping upon his urn their marble tears.

LXIII. — VOICES OF THE DEAD.

CUMMING.

(John CUMMING, D, D., is the pastor of a Scotch Presbyterian church in tho city of London. He is a popular and eloquent preacher, and the author of many works which are favorably known in this country as well as in Europe. Among them are “Apocalyptic Sketches, “Lectures on the Parables," and “ Voices of the Night.”]

We die, but leave an influence behind us that survives. The echoes of our words are evermore repeated, and reflected along the ages. It is what man was that lives and acts

after him. What he said sounds along the years like voices 5 amid the mountain gorges; and what he did is repeated

after him in ever multiplying and never ceasing reverbera'ions. Every man has left behind him influences for good or for evil that will never exhaust themselves. The

sphere in which he acts may be small, or it may be great. 10 It may be his fireside, or it may be a kingdom ; a village,

or a great nation ; it may be a parish, or broad Europe ; hut act he does, ceaselessly and forever. His friends, his family, his successors in office, his relatives are all recep

tive of an influence, a moral influence which he has trans15 mitted and bequeathed to mankind; either a blessing which

will repeat itself in showers of benedictions, or a curse which will multiply itself in ever accumulating evil.

Every man is a missionary, now and forever, for good or for evil, whether he interds and designs it, or not. He 20 may be a blot, radiating his dark influence outward to the

very circumference of society, or he may be a blessing, spreading benedictions over the length and breadth of the world; but a blank he cannot be. The seed sown in life springs up in harvests of blessings, or harvests of sorrow. Whether our influence be great or small, whether it be good

or evil, it lasts, it lives somewhere, within some limit, and 5 is operative wherever it is. The grave buries the dead

dust, but the character walks the world, and distributes itself, as a benediction or a curse, among the families of mankind.

The sun sets beyond the western hills, but the trail of in light he leaves behind him guides the pilgrim to his dis

tant home. The tree falls in the forest; but in the lapse of ages it is turned into coal, and our fires burn now the brighter, because it grew and fell. The coral insect dies,

but the reef it raised breaks the surge on the shores of 15 great continents, or has formed an isle in the bosom of the

ocean, to wave with harvests for the good of man. We live and we die; but the good or evil that we do lives after us, and is not • buried with our bones.”

The babe that perished on the bosom of its mother, 20 like a flower that bowed its head and drooped amid the

death-frosts of time — that babe, not only in its image, but in its influence. still lives and speaks in the chambers of the mother's hear..

The friend with whom we took sweet counsel is removed 25 visibly from the outward eye; but the lessons that he

taught, the grand sentiments that he uttered, the holy deeds of generosity by which he was characterized, the moral lineaments and likeness of the man, still sur

vive, and appear in the silence of eventide, and on the 30 tablets of memory, and in the light of morn, and noon,

and dewy eve; and, being dead, he yet speaks eloquently, and in the midst of us.

Mahomet still lives in his practical and disastrous in.

fluence in the East. Napoleon still is France, and France 35 is almost Napoleon. Martin Luther's dead dust sleeps at

Wittenburg, but Martin Luther's accents still ring through

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