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memories; memories of pleasure and success; memories of victory, and sometimes defeat; memories of exhuberant health, and sometimes weakness; memories of the wedding bells; memories of the cradle; memories of the faded cheek, and the last sleep of the treasure of home; memories of love and friendship; memories of prayer and worship; memories of smiles and tears; all come rushing into the heart and demand recognition and life. They cry, "I will not be forgotten; I am a part of thee." All thy past is bound together in one bundle by cords which are none other than the heart's strings.
The importance of this faculty in human character has never been justly emphasized. It is not only intellectual element, but pre-eminently spiritual power. This treasure-house should not be treated carelessly and left open for every passing robber. It holds that which is most valuable and precious. A good memory is a great blessing. A poor memory is worthy of cultivation. Some men have possessed this power to a degree which has created astonishment everywhere, but they have not always used it to the best advantage. Cyrus knew the name of every soldier in his great army.
Mithridates, who had troops of twenty-two nations serving under his banners, became proficient in the language of each country, and also knew all his eight thousand soldiers by their right names. Ezdras is said by historians to have restored the sacred Hebrew volumes by memory; they had been destroyed by the Chaldeans, and Eusebius declares that it was to his sole recollection that we are indebted for that part of the Bible. St. Anthony, the hermit, although he could not read, knew every line of the Scripture by heart. Lord Granville could repeat, from beginning to end, the New Testament in the original Greek. Thomas Cranmer committed to memory in three months an entire translation of the Bible. Bossuet could repeat not only the whole Bible, but all of Homer, Virgil, and Horace, besides many other works. Euler, the mathematician, could recite the Æneid. Leibnitz, when an old man, could repeat every word of Virgil. Themistocles could call by name every citizen of Athens, although the number amounted to twenty thousand. Seneca complained in his old age that he could not, as formerly, repeat two thousand names in the order in which they were read to him. George Third never forgot a face
he had once seen, nor a name he had ever heard. Mozart possessed a wonderful memory of musical sounds. When only fourteen years of age he went to Rome to assist in the solemnities of Holy Week. He went to the Sistine Chapel to hear the famous Miserere of Allegri. It was forbidden any one to take a copy of this renowned piece of music. Mozart hid away in a corner while he gave undivided attention to the music, and afterward wrote down the entire piece. The next day he sang the Miserere at a great concert and accompanied himself on the harpsichord. This created such a sensation in Rome that the Pope sent for this musical prodigy and declared that he had performed one of the most marvellous things of the world. Such a remarkable power as this, given to all men in a greater or less degree, deserves the most careful attention, and development, and consecration. That which can bridge chasms of time and space and take a man back to the old well and give him to drink of its sweet water must be one of the most important factors in life. Most men have never thought of its vital relation to character and the responsibility which is wedded to it. These precious memories of life comfort the soul in trouble,
and carry it lovingly through the darkness of trial. The impressive recollection of rainbows circling
clouds, and the glory of the sunset after the storm, is a mighty power in the present hours of trial and fierce storm. The comfort of memory is one of the richest of human blessings. The harmony of the music may have been perfect during the early years of life. You stood on the threshold where the air was full of joy, and health, and brightness. The step was so light as to become almost a skip. The notes of pleasure reached their perfection when the wedding-bells sounded your delight and prophesied your brilliant future. Those first years of marriage were wedded happiness and prosperity. Like a lightning flash in clear sky the stroke came. It revealed the flush on your child's cheek. The whisper of death told the awful, heart-silencing secret. It forced the cry of agony, "God save my child." The whole world trembled and tottered, and seemed, in the dense bewilderment, to be passing out in darkness. It was the world going if that child must go; all the value in home, or land, or store, or society is gone if that jewel of love disappears.
Dig two graves instead of one," cries the broken heart. As the lights went out in the home and you
pressed the bitter cup to your lip, the voice of everlasting comfort said to you what the world could not hear and could not interpret, if it did hear, and you turned toward the empty crib, and empty life, and empty heart, and sighed a deep sigh and said, "Even so, Father." The years cannot obliterate that experience or its effect. Whenever the clouds gather again the memory of the past forbids the storm to overwhelm or destroy, but commands it to make the life richer and more fragrant and fruitful. The first sorrow enters into the second by the pathway of memory, but its entrance giveth light. The cloud of to-day obscures all the sunlight and brightness of yesterday. Our present darkness almost destroys the recollection of an abundance of light in the past. It is our common sin; yesterday's page was written carelessly and with pale ink. Under one brush of our ready hand, it disappears. Shame to the soul which permits this work of the vandal. Every Job emphasizes the ash-heap, and sackcloth, and points, with unceasing groan, to the carbuncles, while he forgets every word in the marvellous sentence of his past days. "His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen,