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says concerning him demonstrably false : say that his highest talents were “English veracity, solidity, simplicity,” believe him even to have been (if you can, for we positively can not) “dull, and even dreary,” still, we ask, is his highest praise the words, so severely qualified by the spirit of the context, “ the modest, noble Howard ?" Let any one look along that life, calmly figuring it to himself, pondering it till he knows its real meaning and vital principle, and say, whether there burns not through it, however vailed from the general eye, a sublime, an immortal radiance. Let him say, whether we can not utter, with peculiar emphasis and veneration these words, “The holy Howard." It is on this we found his claim to be honored by men; that he was honored by God to live nearer to Himself than any but a chosen few of the human race.
And is this not a reasonable and equitable claim ? Is it forever to be impossible for a man to be honored of men unless his intellectual power is great? Ah! that were surely hard; surely essential equality were thus denied me as a man; surely I could not so be calmly content under this sun. If our relation to the Infinite is of that nature which Christ has unfolded, it can not be so. If, from the seraphim who receive the light of the throne on their white robes, to the poor widow who kneels by her husband's corpse, and bows her head to the God who has given and taken away, we are but servants of one Master, soldiers of one host, members of one family, it can not be so. For then the highest honor of the archangel and of the child is, that he does, well and gladly, and giving God the glory, what God bids him do. And methinks it is best even so. We will honor the old soldier, whose name we have never heard, but who at eventide contentedly wound the colors round his heart, and died for the good cause, as much as we honor the Cromwell who led that cause to the pinnacles of the
world : ay, and without refusing to obey Cromwell either, without losing one atom of the real worth and value of socalled “hero-worship.” The angel who ministers to a dying beggar may hold himself as highly honored as he who keeps the gate of heaven.
Hence the honor we claim for Howard. Weak he may bave been, slightly gifted if you will : he knew the sound of his Father's voice; he could give his poor life for his sake. He showed to all men how the weakest do their work in God's army; really he did exhibit, with a strange revealing power, how, were men unfallen, every order of intellectual faculty might be employed to its full extent, but with equal merit, that is with none, and with equal reward, that is, the free smiling of God's countenance. Despise him who will on earth, in heaven Isaac Newton does not look with scorn on John Howard! Is not the special honoring of intellectual greatness, nay, the special honoring of any human being, an effect of the fall? Is it not the true attitude of all the finite to look around with love on their brethren, but with undivided gaze to look upward to God? It would seem assuredly to be so, and that we now honor our great ones merely because we must fix our poor eyes so steadfastly on them, while, commissioned by God, they lead us onward toward the eternal light.
Howard is almost alone among those whom men have agreed to honor. It is the intellectually mighty, who, by that necessity of our position just glanced, become best known. Thousands there may be, and there always are, whose whole lives are “faithful prayers,” who would, with grateful joy, suffer any thing for the sake of Christ. But Howard was separated by God for a work which could not but attract attention; an arduous and a heroic work, for which the time had fully come in the history of the world. For that work he was qualified, and it, with absolute thoroughness, he did. Money was as nothing in his estimation in comparison of it; but he was as far above fame as money, and no danger or toil could daunt him: “ cholera doctors,” Mr Carlyle compares to him, but he went where hired doctors would not go, and what cholera doctor, what man among men, ever went for two months into solitary confinement, amid infection and all discomfort, if perchance le might bring thence one drop of balm for the sorrowful ? Then consider his humility: ah! surely Howard was one of the men who might have been left on his pedestal. Think how he himself would have met Mr. Carlyle's scorn. “It is true," he would have said ; “such I was, if so good; I was nothing. Go into your great cathedral, and from the midst of your venerated dead cast forth the statue of John Howard; let a white tablet alone recall my memory, and place it beside that of my Harriet.” Howard never asked his fame; in his life he would accept no votive wreath: whatever had been said of his followers, regarding him one might have expected silence. In a very extended sense, his fame was unsolicited. Not only was himself of slow speech, but his biographers were such as we have said. Yet the inarticulate human instinct discerned that there was around him that beauty of holiness, which, in the eyes of God and of angels, is alone honorable, and which it is well for men to honor, and placed him in the pantheon of the world : that human instinct, we think, was right; there surely he will remain. Look not for him among the high intellectual thrones, among earth's sages or poets, among earth's kings or conquerors. But yonder, among the few lowly yet immortal ones, whose fame has been endorsed in heaven, see John Howard. His image is formed of marble, pure as the everlasting snow; away from it, as if desecrating its whiteness, fall all the robes of false adornment in which men have sought to envelop
it, away also fall all dimming, defacing, distorting vails of stupid misconception; and there beams out clearly the face of a simple, humble man, earnest of purpose, celestially calm, and with one tear of inexpressible love on the cheek; from the heavens comes a viewless hand, encircling the head with a serene and saintly halo, its mild radiance falling over the face, and blending with its speechless human pity; the eye is fixed on the eternal mansions, and the lips seem ever, in humble and tremulous gratitude, to say, “ Lord God, why me?” The outline and features of that face Mr. Carlyle saw, but that halo, and the fixedness of that heavenward gaze, he seems to us not to have seen.
AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHILANTHROPY.
William WILBERFORCE was born in Hull, in August, 1759. The auspices of his birth were in important respects favorable; a first glance reveals no exception or abatement to their happiness. Of a wealthy and ancient family, he opened his eyes on a life-path paved by affluence, and thick-strewn with the flowers of indulgence. Every influence around him was of comfort and kindness; wherever his young eye fell, it met a smile. And his own nature was such as to make him peculiarly susceptive of the delights around. He was, it is true, a tender and delicate child, small for his age, and in no respect of promising appearance; but there was in his heart an irrepressible fountain of kind and guileless vivacity, his voice was of sweet silvery tone, he was gentle and considerate in his ways; altogether, he was a brisk, mild-spirited, fascinating little thing, who could center in himself every ray of kindness and comfort, and enhance their personal enjoyment by radiating them out on all around him. All this was well; perhaps a happier sphere could scarce be imagined : yet we can not pronounce it in the highest sense auspicious, because there was wanting in it any high presiding influence of character. The boy's eye could rest on no clear, earnest light of godliness, burning in his father's house; his parents were conventionally excellent