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Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,

And Love can never lose its own!



1. We die, but leave an influence behind us that survives. The echoes of our words are evermore repeated, and reflected along the ages. It is what man was that lives and acts after him. What he said sounds along the years like voices amid the mountain gorges; and what he did is repeated after him in ever multiplying and never ceasing reverberations. Every man has left behind him influences for good or for evil, that will never exhaust themselves.

2. The sphere in which he acts may be small, or it may be great. It may be his fireside, or it may be a kingdom; a village or a great nation; a parish or broad Europe; but act he does, ceaselessly and forever. His friends, his family, his successors in office, his relatives, are all receptive of an influence which he has transmitted and bequeathed to mankind - either a blessing which will repeat itself in showers of benedictions, or a curse which will multiply itself in ever accumulating evil.

3. Every man is a missionary, now and forever, for good or for evil, whether he intends and designs it or not. He may be a blot, radiating his dark influence outward to the very circumference of society, or he may be a blessing, spreading benedictions over the length and breadth of the land; but a blank he cannot be. The seed sown in life springs up in harvests of blessings, or harvests of sorrow.

Whether our influence be great or small, whether it be good or evil, it lasts, it lives somewhere, within some limit, and is operative wherever it is. The grave buries the dead dust, but the character walks the world, and distributes itself among the families of mankind.

4. The sun sets beyond the western hills, but the trail of light he leaves behind him guides the pilgrim to his distant home. The tree falls in the forest; but in the lapse of ages it is turned into coal, and our fires burn now the brighter because it grew and fell. The coral insect dies, but the reef it raised breaks the surge on the shores of great continents, or has formed an isle in the bosom of the ocean, to wave with harvests for the good of man. We live and we die; but the good or evil that we do lives after us, and is not "buried with our bones."

5. The friend with whom we took sweet counsel is removed visibly from the outward eye; but the lessons that he taught, the grand sentiments that he uttered, the holy deeds of generosity by which he was characterized, the moral lineaments and likeness of the man, still survive, and appear in the silence of eventide, and on the tablets of memory, and in the light of morn and noon and dewy eve; and, being dead, he yet speaks eloquently, and in the midst of us.

6. Mahomet still lives in his practical and disastrous influence in the East. Napoleon still is France, and France is almost Napoleon. Shakespeare, Byron, and Milton, all live in their influence for good or evil. The apostle from his chair, the minister from his pulpit, the martyr from his flame shroud, the statesman from his cabinet, the soldier in the field, the sailor on the deck — all of these may have passed away to their graves; but they still live in the deeds which they performed, in the lives they

live, and in the powerful lessons that they left behind them.

7. "None of us liveth to himself," for others are affected by that life; "or dieth to himself," for others are interested in that death. Our queen's crown may molder, but she who wore it will act upon the ages which are yet to come. The noble's coronet may be reft in pieces, but the wearer of it is now doing what will be reflected by thousands who will be made and molded by him. Dignity and rank and riches are all corruptible and worthless; but moral character has an immortality that no sword point can destroy, that ever walks the world and leaves lasting influences behind.

8. What we do is transacted on a stage of which all in the universe are spectators. What we say is transmitted in echoes that will never cease. What we are is acting on and influencing the rest of mankind. Neutral we cannot be. Living we act, and dead we speak; and the whole universe is the mighty company forever looking, forever listening, and all nature the tablets forever recording the words, the deeds, the thoughts, the passions of mankind! Whether these influences are beneficent or the reverse, they are influences fraught with power. How blest must be the recollection of those who, like the setting sun, have left a trail of light behind them by which others may see the way to that rest which remaineth for the people of God!

9. It is only the pure fountain that brings forth pure water. The good tree only will produce the good fruit. If the center from which all proceeds is pure and holy, the radii of influence from it will be pure and holy also. Go forth, then, into the spheres that you occupy, the employments, the trades, the professions of social life; go forth into the high places, or into the lowly places of the land;

mix with the roaring cataracts of social convulsions, or mingle amid the eddies and streamlets of quiet and domestic life; whatever sphere you fill, carrying into it a holy heart, you will radiate around you life and power, and leave behind you holy and beneficent influences.





"Not to myself alone,"

The little opening flower transported cries
"Not to myself alone I bud and bloom.

With fragrant breath the breezes I perfume,
And gladden all things with my rainbow dyes.
The bee comes sipping every eventide
His dainty fill;

The butterfly within my cup doth hide
From threatening ill."

"Not to myself alone,"

The circling star with honest pride doth boast —
"Not to myself alone I rise and set;

I write upon night's coronal of jet

His power and skill who formed our countless host;
A friendly beacon at heaven's open gate,
I gem the sky,

That man may ne'er forget, in every fate,
His home on high."


"Not to myself alone,"

The honey-laden bee doth murmuring hum —
"Not to myself alone from flower to flower

I roam the wood, the garden, and the bower,
And to the hive at evening weary come;

For man, for man, the luscious food I pile
With busy care,

Content if he repay my ceaseless toil
With scanty share."


"Not to myself alone,"

The soaring bird with lusty pinion sings"Not to myself alone I raise my song;

I cheer the drooping with my warbling tongue, And bear the mourner on my viewless wings;

I bid the hymnless churl my anthem learn,
And God adore;

I call the worldling from his dross to turn,
And sing and soar."


"Not to myself alone,"

The streamlet whispers on its pebbly way -
"Not to myself alone I sparkling glide;
I scatter health and life on every side,
And strew the fields with herb and floweret gay.
I sing unto the common bleak and bare
My gladsome tune;

I sweeten and refresh the languid air
In droughty June."


"Not to myself alone,"

O man, forget not thou, earth's honored priest
Its tongue, its soul, its life, its pulse, its heart -
In earth's great chorus to sustain thy part;
Chiefest of guests at love's ungrudging feast,

Play not the niggard; spurn thy native clod,
And self disown;

Live to thy neighbor, live unto thy God,
Not to thyself alone! Selected.

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