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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 ? 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 ability to gain any station, content in a humble one; with talents to gain any eminence, satisfied to use them in adorning the plain of human existence; employing his accomplishments not in overreaching, but in ministering to, the neighbours of his birth, the fellows of his native fortunes.
Such men will import into that world whose affairs they make their own, a spirit which will not merely dignify labour, but will elevate the character of its product. They will not long be satisfied to let machinery do what their hands can do better and with pleasure, and the stupid, hideous, and brutalizing factory system, which crushes out of the souls of workmen all joy and zest, will pass away. Machinery will have its use for menial offices, but no created thing will spring from any loins but those of a man, with brain and eye and digital skill to invest his direct creations with a quality which mechanical processes cannot match. One of the purest of the joys attainable on earth is lost, and will thus be found again: the joy of creation. It matters little, or nothing at all, of what: whether of a poem or a boot
or a picture. The combination amuses you ? It should not be amusing. They all are products of thought and dexterity, and the creative instinct satisfies itself in one truly as in another. God created the starry heavens and the flowery meadows, and wove the curtains of crimson and gold that hang in the west at the sunsetting, and He made as well a great many things not at all beautiful to sight or hearing or smell. Yet without doubt He delighted in it all, looking upon everything that He had made and pronouncing it very good. The Greeks, you know, called any man who made anything, a poet, and any product of workmanship, a poem. It is only now in days less noble artistically that we restrict the name to a certain sort of manufactured thing, and the title to a certain sort of workman. You see it is terrible evidence against us of to-day,-evidence that we have lost sight of the artistic quality that all labour may have. Is the man who wrote The Life and Death of Jason any more truly a poet than he who printed it so exquisitely at the Kelmscott press ? the dreamer of the dream of The Earthly Par