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Thus, soft, genial, tenderly kind, do we find the hard-trading Budgett, when we contemplate him where kindness and tenderness are in place; depend upon it, were he not a right merchant in the market, he would not be so gentle in the home; it is only the strong who can thus wrap the paternal rod in flowers. To see him in the market, one would say there was not one dew-drop of poetry to soften the ruggedness of his nature. Follow him in a walk on his own grounds, and you are apt to think him a soft sort of man, with somewhat of a sentimental turn. For he has still the same open sense for nature's beauty and music that he had when he heard that little bird's morning carol, and felt in his young heart that God had answered his prayer for his mother. There is a certain dewiness, a flowery freshness, over his character, an air of unexhausted, unstrained strength. Three things, at least, nature has united in him, which have been deemed incompatible : thorough working faculty, religion of the sort which weeps for sins invisible to the world, and poetical sympathy. You may see him distancing his competitors in the market, until they whisper that he must work by magic; you may see his cheek wet with tears as he prays to his God; you may hear him, in gleeful tone, quoting verse after verse of poetry in his fields, while his children romp around. From his early days, too, the strange merchant has preached, and with extraordinary power; his connection with the Wesleyan body led him to this. His whole character, last of all, is vailed in humility; his bearing is that of a truly modest, self-knowing man, who can act with perfect self-reliance, yet take advice, if such may come, from a child.
At the age of fifty-four, when it might have been hoped that many years of life were yet before him, Budgett gave symptoms of a fatal malady. Dropsy and heart-complaint showed
themselves, and his strength gradually wore away. His deathbed was glorious even among Christian death-beds. And though we would ground no weighty argument upon the closing scenes of Coristian men, we can not regard death-bed experience as of slight importance. Life is assuredly more important than death; on it would we fix our main attention. Yet it is mere vacant absurdity to deny that fear casts its shade over mankind here below, as they look forward beyond time; that it is really the king of terrors whose realm is the grave, and that it has been one grand aim of all religions to discrown the specter. If, moreover, man is only for a moment a denizen of time, if he is yet to be born into eternity, and his life here is of importance only in its relation to his life beyond, it must ever be a moment of supreme interest to men, when the immortal soul is preening her wings for an infinite ascent, when earth is becoming still, and voices out of the distance seem to reach the dying ear, and a strange radiance falls across the bourne into the glazing eye. Budgett found his simple Christian faith, laying hold of the sword of the Spirit, strong enough to palsy the arm of the terror-crowned, and strike from it its appalling dart; nay, he found that simple Christian faith of power sufficient to steady his eye in gaze upon the specter, until his terrors faded away, and he became an angel standing at the gates of light. At first he was troubled and cast down; but ere long the victory was complete. We shall simply quote a few of his words, leaving readers to make upon them their own comments; to judge for themselves, whether they express a selfish joy, or that of one whose delight was in holiness and in God; and to observe the childlike humility that breathes beneath their rapture. His death occurred in the April of 1851, and these words were uttered by him from the time that
his illness began to manifest its fatal power: they sufficiently indicate the occasions of their utterance:
“I sent for you to tell you how happy I am; not a wave, not a ripple, not a fear, not a shadow of doubt. I didn't think it was possible for man to enjoy so much of God upon earth. I’m filled with God.”
“I like to hear of the beauties of Heaven, but I do not dwell upon them; no, what I rejoice in is, that Christ will be there. Where He is, there shall I be also. I know that He is in me, and I in Him. I shall see Him as He is. I delight in knowing that.”
“How our Heavenly Father paves our way down to the tomb! I seem so happy and comfortable, it seems as if it can not be for me, as if it must be for somebody else. I don't deserve it."
“I have sunk into the arms of Omnipotent Love."
“I never asked for joy, I always thought myself unworthy of it; but He has given me more than I asked."
“I am going the way of all flesh; but, bless God, I'm ready. I trust it. the merits of my Redeemer. I care not when, or where, or how; glory be to God!”
THE SOCIAL PROBLEM OF THE AGE; AND ONE OR TWO HINTS
TOWARD ITS SOLUTION.
That there is in our time some great difference from other ages, that some Æonian change is in progress, seems hidden from no thinker of the day. De Tocqueville on the one hand and Carlyle on the other proclaim the fact. This process of change was inaugurated by the greatest event of modern times, in itself, indeed, but a result, the first French Revolution. The doctrines of the Encyclopædia, the infidel or atheistic theories of Voltaire, Diderot, Naigeon, and their followers, had gradually pervaded French and European society, eating out religion from the heart of nations. Kings and nobles trembled not. This new philosophy of materialism and sensuality seemed to them but a summer cloud, touched with the roseate hues of genius, and distilling a gentle rain, to nourish the flowers of sentiment and foster the growths of science; if there did issue from it a few gleams of distant lightning, these would but clear the air from ennui, and promote a freer respiration. The ancient sentence, “ Fear God, and honor the king,” had, it was agreed, held sway long enough over the minds of men;
the principalities and powers of the earth were perfectly satisfied, and sat smiling in the secure content of dotard imbecility, while the Encyclopædic lightning burned out from its place among the beliefs and maxims of men, the former half of the regu
lating sentence; Let there be no God, they said, but oh, continue to honor -3. At last the storm came, in a burst that shook the globe. The world stood still to listen; even the lone and discrowned Jerusalem, sitting amid her graves, became more desolate, for pilgrims forgot to turn their steps to the East. We know the result. We have marked the path of that lightning which burned the old French monarchy from the face of the earth, and in whose blasting gleam the brilliance of every crown in the world waxed pale. That wild glare awoke a power that had long slumbered :-The people. Leaving Encyclopædism behind, and lifting its voice in other nations besides France, this great new element in social affairs, in its awakening, its attempt to make itself heard, its slow gravitation toward its own place in the system of things—has given its distinctive features to our epoch.
To deny the fact, that the relations of classes and the modes of social action wear at present among free nations an aspect unknown in the feudal ages, is now impossible. It is simply out of the power of any man to turn the eye of his imagination upon the mediæval time; to note the tranquillity of its general atmosphere, breathing in dim religious light through the still cathedral aisle, and resting round the hoary turret of the feudal castle; to mark how reverently the serf looks up to his master, and with what undoubting devotion the worshiper kneels before the uplifted crucfix ; to observe the Book unchained from its place at the altar, and the venerating wonder with which men gaze upon him who can read; to see one large class sitting aloft, glittering in its badges, in its one hand feudal charters, in its other a feudal sword, on its lip a really noble and beautiful smile of chivalrous valor and youthful strength, on his brow all the intelligence of the age, and another large class below, born jo bow down before this, to receive food from