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10. Yes, we're boys,-always playing with tongue or with
11. Then here's to our boyhood, its gold and its gray!
Questions. What “catalogue” is meant ? . Why does the author denounce the almanac and catalogue ? Why are the persons here spoken of called “boys”? What is meant by "a threedecker brain”? What “song” is meant, in the eighth stanza ? Is this spirit to be commended that aims to preserve through life the joyousness of childhood and youth ? Is this piece purely humorous ? Where does it seem to breathe an earnest and serious spirit?
[Let the student acquire carefully the tone of mockindignation required at the beginning.]
VII.—THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY.
WM. H. MILBURN. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
1. To appreciate the text, it is necessary to place yourselves in the sight of the speaker, and of those that heard him. A handful of despised and proscribed men are standing upon the summit of a mountain, and there amidst the company is one who has passed a life of poverty, sorrow, and suffering; upon whom contumely and derision have descended like rain from the clouds of summer. He has been the butt of ridicule,
the target at which malignity has directed all its arrows; ana now, surrounded by a handful of disciples, of those who have striven to be loyal to him, but whose flesh and heart have failed, time and time again,—the Jewish peasant utters in the car of Jewish peasants, publicans, and fishermen, this language, the like of which had not been spoken on the carth before:-“Go into all the world.” It is either sublimity or absurdity; it is the emanation of a divine soul projecting itself in the shape of a divine purpose, or it is the most preposterous nonsense that was ever addressed by one man to another.
2. “Go into all the world and preach my gospel to every creature.” A Jewish peasant, I say, speaking to a handful of Jewish peasants; and these men, without education, without friends, without advantages of any sort, belonging to an obscure tribe, living in a narrow and insignificant province, masters of a single dialect alone, and that a mere patois, — these men, without adventitious helps of any kind, without the power to obtain credentials from any quarter of the earth, were to go into all the world, and preach what he had been preaching, and what he should yet declare to them. Is it sublimity or absurdity ?
3. I fancy if you and I had been present on that occasion, we should have said, had we thought of it at all, What perfect nonsense !— For it is likely that the scales would have been upon our eyes, and the dust in our atmosphere, so that we should not have discerned him for what, in truth, he was,
- the Son of the Living God. We should have seen the derided Nazarene, the contemned Galilean, the carpenter's son; we should have seen the earthly side, the mere mortal presentation.
4. It required a spirit quickened by light from heaven to discern him, for what, in reality, he was—Jesus, the Son of
God. Flesh and blood did not reveal this, but the spirit of the Father which is in heaven; and, looking only on the mortal side, this command would appear the very perfection of nonsense : “Go ye into all the world.”
5. Yonder to the east lay Parthia, Media, and Farthest India; and here upon the north, Syria, Armenia, and all the regions stretching to the pole; upon the south, Arabia, Egypt, and Ethiopia ; and westward, the lesser Asia, and Europe to the Pillars of Hercules. “Go into all these tracts, all these realms, and preach without means, without auxiliaries, and, not only that, but without all helps of earthly mold and shape.
6. “Go in spite of the angry bitterness of the Jews; in spite of them that have crucified and put me to death ; in spite of all the persecutions which they shall visit continually upon your heads; despite the sneer, the contempt, the unutterable scorn of Greeks and Romans; despite, when attention has been challenged and their interest in some sort awakened, the strong and glittering sword of imperial persecution ; go in spite of dungeon, gibbet, and rack; in spite of thong and scourge and stake ; in spite of the cross and amphitheater ; go wherever a human creature is found, whether in civilization or in barbarism, and preach my gospel." I say, is it not either sublimity or absurdity? Is it not the loftiest word that e’er was spoken upon the earth, or the merest nonsense?
7. Had we been there, we should probably have thought it nonsense. Which do we now declare it to be — the word of an idle prater, of a well-meaning but weak enthusiast, or the word of the Son of God? One or the other it must be; which is it?
8. It has been well observed that the best evidence in favor of Christianity is Christendom. Here you have a popular argument which adapts itself to the comprehension and acceptance of all. Christendom is the best argument for Christianity. That Jewish peasant on the mountain's summit, surrounded by his handful of despised and persecuted followers, now separated from them, and rising in opposition to the laws of gravitation, -rising gradually and easily by his own impulsion, until hidden from their longing, wistful gaze
- set in motion causes and influences which have come down the centuries, and which have enshrined themselves in the affections, and embodied themselves in the activity, of the world, until its face is entirely changed, and His name, then the sport of scorn and hate, is now the august, enthroned, and revered name of the highest, purest, and noblest part of the human race. Around that name, to-day, clusters all that hath worth, excellency, and power; all that hath vigor, adaptive facility; all that hath energy and resistless might, in what we style the civilization of the time ;-around that name it is all gathered. The word which was spoken upon the summit of that mountain, “Go,” has been obeyed; and in virtue of the speaking of that word and the obedience rendered to it, the world is what it is.
Questions. Where do we find the words with which this selection begins? What “mountain” is meant ? Meaning of "patois”? What language did the Jews, at this time, speak ? [Not the Hebrew, but a dialect of the Aramæan, or Chaldaic, learned in their captivity.] Let the pupil find on the map all the places named here, as Parthia, &c. What is meant by the strong and glittering sword of imperial persecution"? Who persecuted the Christians in early times ? [See Notes.] What is Christendom”? Who are the most civilized nations now upon the earth?
Give the character of this piece, and show with what qualities of voice it should be read.
J. R. LOWELL. 1. The rich man's son inherits lands,
And piles of brick, and stone, and gold; And he inherits soft, white hands,
And tender flesh that fears the cold;
Nor dares to wear a garment old;
2. The rich man's son inherits cares;
The bank may break, the factory burn; Some breath may burst his bubble shares;
And soft, white hands would hardly earn
A living that would suit his turn;
3. The rich man's son inherits wants ;
His stomach craves for dainty fare; With sated heart, he hears the pants
Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,
And wearies in his easy chair;
4. What does the poor man's son inherit?
Stout muscles and a sinewy heart;
In every useful toil and art;