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sult of the chisel in the hand of the Great Artist. The sweetest notes of music are drawn from the keys by the hand which has first swept the keys of sorrow. Its touch is seen in the grandest painting, its charm is heard in the sweetest song, and its power is recognized in the deepest thought. The great poets, and painters, and orators, and historians, and heroes of the world have been crippled, and thwarted, and hindered all along the pathway toward the goal.
Demosthenes, by patience and effort almost superhuman, conquered the lisp in his speech before he reached the summit of human eloquence. Stewart, the great painter, did his best work in a dungeon where he was unjustly imprisoned. Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott limped through life on club-feet. Lord Bacon was always in the shackles of sickness. Alexander Pope was so much of an invalid that he had to be sewed up every morning in rough canvas in order to stand on his feet at all. John Milton was blind, and Homer was blind, and Ossian was blind, and Prescott, who wrote "The Conquest of Mexico," never saw the paper on which he was writing. They placed a framework across the sheet through which the
immortal pen moved up and down. Payson was an invalid, and Baxter was an invalid, and Rutherford was an invalid, but they all suffered other tortures than those which were purely physical. Dante failed as a statesman before he wrote his divine comedy. Luther suffered failure before he experienced any triumph. For many years after Shakespeare's death his work was so little appreciated that in 1666 there was only one edition of his works, and that of only three hundred copies in existence, and that edition was nearly all burned in the great London fire, but forty-eight copies had been sold out of the city, and those forty-eight copies saved Shakespeare.
Broken in health, in bitter poverty, Elias Howe sat by his young wife one day in their dismal lodging, not knowing from whence the next meal was to come. As his wife sewed, suddenly the idea came to him, what a saving of time and strength there would be if a machine could do the work of her fingers.
He went to work at once. In six months he completed his first machine, which was about a foot and a half high; but the tailors in Boston, to whom he showed his model, laughed at it, or were
afraid of it. Not discouraged by obstacles of every sort, he finally took steerage passage for England, cooking his own food on the way. In England he gave the use of the machine to a London capitalist, who turned him out as soon as he had learned to use it.
Still undismayed, Howe pawned most of his clothing for a supply of beans that barely kept soul and body together, and again he spent four months in making a machine, which he sold for twenty-five dollars. Finally in poverty so severe that he drew his baggage in a handcart to the vessel in which he had secured his passage by engaging as steerage cook, he returned to America. On landing in New York he was overwhelmed by the news that his wife was dying in Cambridge. He had not money enough to go to her, but earned it in a machineshop, and reached the one friend who had waited and longed for his coming only a little while before she died. And then he had to borrow a suit of clothes in which to follow her to the grave.
The best trees in the orchard have been pruned. The grass on the lawn never looks so beautiful in its emerald glory as when the mower has just passed over it. God's mowing-machine makes
beautiful and attractive the Christian graces. All earth and heaven admire patience, but "it is the trial of your faith which worketh patience." No Paul ever wore golden slippers this side of the gates of pearl, and no Lincoln was ever reared in a king's palace. Hammer the bronze to make it rare and beautiful. The discipline of the human heart is the grandest work in which divine wisdom and love are now engaged. The ripest and most beautiful graces are grown only in the garden of suffering. The divine hand places the silver in the crucible and must hold it in the fire until he sees his own image reflected in it. The brightest crowns in heaven are for those who have maintained their courage and faith amid failing strength and vanishing nerve. Their heroism was not in the rush of excitement, or sound of clashing arms, or daring charge, or world's applause. A bold dash with martial music as its inspiration is easy in comparison to the courage in face of the onslaughts of pain with doctor and nurse only to witness and be helpless.
In this sublime endurance, even unto the end, was the crown of the Christ. Even He learned
obedience through suffering. I accept the fact that
it was necessary that Christ should suffer, but its secret lies in the bosom of God. I know the word vicarious, but its meaning is in heaven's dictionary. His pains were the sharpest and keenest that ever forced their way into a human life. Not a muscle or a nerve escaped. All the griefs of the human family were pressed into His cup. All the pains of hand, or foot, or brain, or heart racked His sensitive body until the last cord snapped on Calvary. Christ was the world's greatest sufferer, because He had risen highest and was the most sensitive and most sympathetic.
Roll every grief of life on that sympathetic and experienced heart. He declared His willingness and anxiety to bear them for us.
A famous surgeon had a dangerous operation to perform upon a child. He said to the father: "I cannot perform the operation unless that boy's whole soul shall brace him up through it. You must explain it to him and get his full and free consent, or he will die under the operation." The father went in, and, as best he could, told the child and asked if he could endure it. With blanched face and trembling lips the child looked up and re