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ness and contentment, unnatural manners, false estimates and mistaken distinctions would disappear. I cannot ask you to follow me into a consideration of hopes which I allow myself to indulge, but I am moved to speak definitely to-day of two particulars in which the conception might be expected to become at once effective.
First, the obscure posts of life will no longer go unmanned; men of ability will devote themselves to the problems of the villages and the country, and our rural districts, which are now obviously paganizing, will be redeemed.
Second, men of education and refinement will demonstrate, by taking it up, the dignity of manual labour, and the hand-crafts will be revived.
Mr. Maurice has somewhere called upon us to contemplate the effects of Christianity as they are apparent in the differences between the state of the Christian and the nonChristian lands, and then he has proposed the question: If you were ignorant of the facts, and were told that all this is due to the life of one man some centuries ago, what sort of a figure would rise in your imagination ? Doubtless we should picture an imposing personage, philosopher, statesman or warrior, moving among the great of the earth, habituating its chief cities, occupied with large concerns and imperial deeds. We should see him taking up one great interest after another, moving out from the city of his birth (doubtless the world's capital) to other centres of men, extending his grasp further and further, until his influence and as well his bodily presence, were known in every part of the domain over which he sought power.
Such are not the facts. He was born in a sheep-village. For thirty years He lived in complete obscurity in the house of a carpenter in the poorest and most insignificant town of a despised backwoods province, a town whose name rendered into English would be perhaps “ Bushtown,” and of which it was said as a proverb, Can any good thing come out of it? Then for three years He walked about in the country around His home, preaching to the peasants. A few times He went down to the chief city of the province and made speeches in the streets and public places. They crucified Him there at thirty-three, and His foot had never been set sixty miles away from His village home.
Why didn't He gather round Him the learned and great, instead of the motley crowd of fishermen and illiterates, a taxagent the most respectable of the lot? Why didn't He go to Rome or Athens and head a dignified movement ? Is anyone prepared to say that that life has filled the world in spite of the blunder that confined it to a petty field ? Is anyone ready to affirm that that life may not in this also be an example ? There is no merit in living in a mean place; the man who spends his life in a small position is not, on that account, more praiseworthy than one who spends his at great things. But the life of Jesus of Nazareth teaches us that a man may be a greater man, doing greater things, at an obscure post, than another in a conspicuous one. The results of the faithfulness of the Man of Galilee to the work that came to His hand in His native countryside shows that the ultimate influence of one's career does not depend upon the pretentiousness or picturesqueness of his deeds nor the importance of the place in which he does them. The earth which has felt the footsteps of the Son of God is everywhere holy. When the Incarnate Deity chose to walk among the hills of Judea rather than in capitals where honour inconceivable might have been His,—the outposts of life, the obscure positions, were made those which the noblest among men will ever be proud to occupy.
The revival of the hand-crafts will be inevitable when we have ceased to regard labour as merely a means of “getting on." To-day abilities, accomplishments and even education are valued, not for their own sakes, but because they give their possessor advantage in the struggle for position. John's father is a mechanic, and his mother does her own work. They manage with many sacrifices to send John through college. Their hope is that he may be able to set up in a profession and “go in good society;” and very likely he does migrate to the city, and hang a shingle. Then his parents are proud to think that they have a son higher up in the world than themselves. Beautiful as their unselfishness is, is theirs not nevertheless a mistaken view ? Is there anything essentially more dignified in being a lawyer or a physician than in being a mechanic ? Nine cases in ten, wouldn't John do better, and be happier, to come back and take a place by his father's side at the bench? -bringing to the mechanical problems there to be met, to the execution of the work there to be done, the disciplined mind, the fulness of knowledge, the trained eye, that he has gained at college—bringing to the state of life unto which God has called him an acquaintance with the great thoughts of the past and with living men, with history, literature and the principles of art, bringing a power of observation, reflection and enjoyment, which would decorate not only his own life but the lives of his neighbors, and glorify waste places with grace and beauty. I know not how to imagine a figure more admirable than that of one with