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proverbial in the minds of those who like them least, will express the attitude of his mind, his answer to the question, “What are the people of England ?” “Thirty millionsmostly fools.' The whole framework and fabric of his mind was built up on the belief that there are not many wise, not many noble minds, not many destined by the supreme Ruler of the universe to rule their fellows; that few are chosen ; that “strait is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be that find it."
But, when the few appear, when the great and good present themselves it is the duty and the wisdom of the multitude to seek their guidance. A Luther, a Cromwell, a Goethe, were to him the born kings of men. This was his doctrine of the work of heroes; this, right or wrong, was the mission of his life. It is, all things considered, a fact much to be meditated upon; it is, all things considered, a seed which is worthy of all cultivation.
There is another feeling of the age to which he also stood resolutely opposed, or, rather, a feeling of the age which was resolutely opposed to him, the tendency to divide men into two hostile camps, parted from each other by watchwords and flags, and banners and tokens, which we commonly designate by the name of party. He, perchance, disparaged unduly the usefulness, the necessity, of party organization or party spirit as a mode of the secondary machinery
by which the great affairs of the world are carried on; but he was a signal example of a man who not only could be measured by no party standard, but who absolutely disregarded it. He never, during the whole course of his long life, took any active part, never,
I believe, voted in those elections which, to most of us, are the very breath of our nostrils. For its own sake he cherished whatever was worth preserving; for its own sake he hailed whatever improvement was worth effecting. He cared not under what name or by what man the preservation or the improvement was achieved. This, too, is an ideal which few can attain, which still fewer attempt; but it is something to have had one man who was possest by it as a vital and saving truth. And such a man was the Prophet of Chelsea. But there was that in him which, in spite of his own contemptuous description of the people, in spite of his scorn for the struggles of party, endeared him, in no common degree, even to those who most disagreed with him-even to the humblest classes of our great community. He was an eminent instance of how a man can trample on the most cherished idols of the market-place, if yet he shows that he has in his heart of hearts the joys, the sorrows, the needs of his toiling, suffering fellow creatures. In this way they insensibly felt drawn toward that tender, fervid nature which was weak when they were weak, which
burned with indignation when they suffered wrong. They felt that, if he despised them, it was in love; if he refused to follow their bidding, it was because he believed that their bidding was an illusion.
And for that independence of party of which I spoke, there was also the countervailing source, that no man could for a moment dream that it arose from indifference to his country. He was no monk; he was no hermit dwelling apart from the passions which sway the destinies of a great nation. There is no man living to whom the thrift, the industry, the valor of his countrymen were so deeply precious. There is no man living, to whom, had it been possible for him to have been aroused from the torpor of approaching death, the news would have been more welcome that the Parliament of England had been in the last week saved from becoming a byword and reproach and shame among the nations of the earth. And all this arose out of a frame of mind which others have shared with him, but which, perhaps, few have been able to share to the same extent. The earnestness, almost the very word is his own, the earnestness, the seriousness, with which he approached the great problems of all human life, have made us feel them also. The tides of fashion have swept over the minds of many who once were swayed by his peculiar tones; but there must be many a young man whose first feelings of generosity and public spirit were roused within him by the cry as if from the very depths of his heart, “Where, now, are your Hengists and your Horsas ? Where are those leaders who should be leading their people to useful employments, to distant countries, where are they? Preserving their game!” Before his withering indignation all false pretensions, all excuses for worthless idleness and selfish luxury, fell away. The word which he invented to describe them has sunk, perhaps, into cant and hollowness; but it had a truth when first he uttered it. Those falsities were shams, and they who practised them were guilty of the sin which the Bible, in scathing scorn, calls hypocrisy.
And whence came this earnestness? Deep down in the bottom of his soul it springs from his firm conviction that there was a higher, a better world than that visible to our outward senses. All, whether called saints, in the middle ages, or Puritans, in the seventeenth century, or what you like in our own day, he revered them, with all their eccentricities, as bright and learned examples of those who “sacrificed their lives to their higher natures, their worser to their better parts. In addressing the students of Edinburgh, he bade them remember that the deep recognition of the eternal justice of heaven, and the unfailing punishment of crimes against the law of God, is at the origin and foundation of all
the histories of nations. No nation which did not contemplate this wonderful universe with an awe-stricken and reverential belief that there was a great unknown, omnipotent, allwise, and all-just Being superintending all men and all interests in it, no nation ever came to very much, nor did any man either, who forgot that. If a man forgot that, he forgot the most important part of his mission in the world. So he spoke, and the ground of his hope for Europe of his hope, we may say, against hope was that, after all, in any commonwealth where the Christian religion exists, nay, in any commonwealth where it has once existed, public or private virtue, the basis of all good, never can become extinct; but in every new age, and even from the deepest decline, there is a chance, and, in the course of ages, the certainty, of renovation. The divine depths of sorrow, the sanctuary of sorrow, the life and death of the divine Man, were, to him, Christianity. We stand, , as it were, beside him whilst the grave has not yet closed over those flashing eyes, over those granite features, over that weird form on which we have so often looked, whilst the silence of death has fallen on that house which was once so frequented and so honored. We call up memories which occurred to ourselves. One such, in the far past, may, perchance, come with peculiar force to those whose work is appointed in this place. Many years ago,