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and firmness; no others would answer the purpose. If the gentle spirit of Melancthon had been placed in the precise position occupied by Luther, would the great event of
the Protestant reformation have been urged forward with 6 the same impetus, and to the same issues ?
When society becomes greatly unsettled either in its religious or political aspects, when there is a heaving and tossing to and fro, a removal of the old land-marks, and a
breaking up of the old foundations, then it is, that men, 10 not merely of intellect, but of decision and energy, (saga
cious, cool, decided, persevering, resolute,) find their way upward to the summit of the conflicting elements, and subject them to their guidance. Such is the natural
course of things; such men are needed, and no others 15 are capable of taking their places; and they become, almost
of necessity, the advisers and leaders in the nascent order of society. The prominent leaders, therefore, in every great religious or political revolution, will be found to illus
trate the fact that there are original and marked differences 20 in the degree of power which is appropriate to the wil!.
Look at the men who presided at the events of the great English Revolution of 1640, particularly the Puritans; men of the stamp of the Vanes, Hampdens, and Fleetwoods;
who, in embarking in the convulsions of that stormy period, 25 had a two-fold object in view, the security of political lib
erty, and the attainment of religious freedom! Were they weak men? Were they men wanting in fortitude? Were they uncertain and flexible, vacillating and double-minded?
History gives an emphatic answer to these questions. It 30 informs us, that they entered into the contest for the great
objects just now referred to, with a resolution which nothing could shake, with an immutability of purpose resembling the decrees of unalterable destiny. They struck for
liberty and religion, and they struck not thrice merely, but 35 as the prophet of old would have had them; smiting many
times, and smiting fiercely, till Syria was consumed. They broke in pieces the throne of England; they trampled under foot her ancient and haughty aristocracy; they erected
the standard of religious liberty, which has waved ever 40 since, and has scattered its healing light over distant
lands; and, by their wisdom and energy, they not only overthrew the enemies of freedom at home, but made the name of their country honored and terrible throughout the earth. They seem to have entirely subjected their passions
to their purposes, and to have pressed all the exciting and inflammable elements of their nature, into the service of their fixed and immutable wills.
In the prosecution of their memorable achievements, 5 “Of which all Europe talked from side to side,"
they acted under the two-fold pressure of motives drawn from heaven and earth; they felt as if they were contending for principles which were valuable to all mankind, and
as if all mankind were witnesses of the contest; at the 10 same time that they beheld on every side, in the quickened
eye of their faith, the attendant angels eagerly bending over them, who were soon to transfer, to the imperishable records on high, the story of their victory and reward, or
of their defeat and degradation. 15 All these things imparted additional fixedness and in
tensity to their purposes. “ Death had lost its terrors, and pleasure, its charms. They had their smiles and their tears, their raptures and their sorrows, but not for the
things of this world. Enthusiasm had made them Stoics, 20 had cleared their minds from every vulgar passion and
prejudice, and raised them above the influence of danger and corruption. It sometimes might lead them to pursue unwise ends, but never to choose unwise means. They
went through the world, like Sir Artegale's iron man Talus 25 with his fail, crushing and trampling down oppressors,
mingling with human beings, but having neither part nor lot in human infirmities; insensible to fatigue, to pleasure, and to pain; not to be pierced by any weapon, not to be withstood by any barrier.”
LESSON CCXXXIII.—THE SCHOLAR'S MISSION.-GEORGE PUTNAM.
The wants of our time and country, the constitution of our modern society, our whole position,-personal and relative, -forbid a life of mere scholarship or literary pursuits, to the
great majority of those who go out from our colleges. How5 ever it may have been in other times, and other lands, here and now, but few of our educated men are privileged
“From the loopholes of retreat To look upon the world, to hear the sound
Of the great Babel, and not feel its stir." 10 Society has work for us, and we must forth to do it.
428 COMMON-SCHOOL READER AND SPEAKER. [PART II.
Full early and hastily we must gird on the manly gown, gather up the loose leaves and scanty fragments of our youthful lore, and go out among men, to act with them and
for them. It is a practical age; and our Wisdom, such as 5 it is, “must strive and cry, and utter her voice in the streets,
standing in the places of the paths, crying in the chief place of concourse, at the entry of the city, and the coming in at the doors.”
This state of things, though not suited to the tastes and 10 qualities of all, is not, on the whole, to be regretted by ed
ucated men as such. It is not in literary production only, or chiefly, that educated mind finds fit expression, and sulfils its mission in honor and beneficence. In the great
theatre of the world's affairs, there is a worthy and a suffi15 cient sphere. Society needs the well-trained, enlarged,
and cultivated intellect of the scholar, in its midst; needs it, and welcomes it, and gives it a place, or, by its own capacity, it will take a place, of honor, influence, and power.
The youthful scholar has no occasion to deplore the fate 20 that is soon to tear him from his studies, and cast him into
the swelling tide of life and action. None of his disciplinary and enriching culture will be lost, or useless, even there. Every hour of study, every truth he has reached,
and the toilsome process by which he reached it; the 25 heightened grace or vigor of thought or speech he has
acquired,--all shall tell fully, nobly, if he will give heed to the conditions. And one condition, the prime one, is, that he be a true man, and recognize the obligation of a man, and
forth with heart, and will, and every gift and 30 acquirement dedicated, lovingly and resolutely, to the true
and the right. These are the terms; and apart from these there is no success, no influence to be had, which an ingenuous mind can desire, or which a sound and far-seeing
mind would dare to seek. 35 Indeed, it is not an easy thing, nay, it is not a possible
thing, to obtain a substantial success, and an abiding influence, except on these terms. A factitious popularity, a transient notoriety, or, in the case of shining talents, the
doom of a damning fame, may fall to bad men. 40 honored name, enduring influence, a sun brightening on
through its circuit, more and inore, even to its serene setting,—this boon of a true success goes never to intellectual qualities alone. It gravitates slowly but surely to weight of character, to intellectual ability rooted in principle.
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