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larger and more ample faith. Even in these last years his mind was clear and his thoughts far in advance of multitudes of much younger men. It was one of the greatest inspirations of my life to talk with him upon the great themes of morals, ethics, religion and philosophy. How refreshing to find a man of his age ever ready to discuss these questions from the most modern point of view, and ever encouraging us of the younger generation to go on and try to lead the world into the larger ways of thinking and living. I must bear a word of personal testimony and say that I regard his life as one of the most helpful influences which ever touched my own.
He believed that religion is an eternal fact of human consciousness because God is Father of the human race and man partaker of the Divine Nature. Thus he saw in all religious creeds and organizations the effort of man to know and worship God; and was, therefore, charitable to all religious creeds and faiths. "He believed the human at its best is truly divine, and that the divine can express itself at the highest, in such a universe as this, only through the human; hence he believed in Jesus Christ as the incarnation of God, the Saviour and Redeemer of the world; and in the Christian Church as the expression of His life, and the organization through which His Kingdom must come among men. Surely in our local church, as well as in the church universal, we must say “Thou wilt be missed, because thy seat will be empty."
And in the more personal relationships of life how true this is. What a congenial, companionable friend and neighbor he was. Cultured, well read, familiar with the great literature of the world, of a genuine poetic temperament, democratic by nature and habit, kindly disposed toward all mankind, with a large and interesting life experience, he was a companion who brought to one's life a rich and high enjoyment and strength. No wonder his circle of friends was large and that multitudes in all walks of life feel a sincere loss in the passing of this firm and gentle man. He felt himself above no one who was true and honest. His was the aristocracy of heart and mind. He was truly a citizen of the world and was genuinely respected and honored by all classes of people who knew him.
Thus even those of us who stand outside his family circle can, in a measure, understand why he was idolized by his own family, and why his children sacredly revere his name and memory. None so feelingly and truly as those of his own household—the ones who knew him bestcan say “Thou wilt be missed because thy seat will be empty.” Their loss is great; but, after all, how rich they are in the heritage of the name and memory he leaves.
He made no pretension to perfection, and would be the first to check our unstinted praise. About all he would probably let us say is that he did sincerely try to so live that the mistakes of his life should be those of the human judgment and not the intention of the heart.
But I am sure he will forgive us for what our love prompts us to say more than this. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; they rest from their labors, but their works do follow them." He has lived a strong, natural, normal, beautiful life-a Christian in the truest sense of the word
and, having set his house in order, passed peacefully on to the larger life for which this had been a true preparation.
For need we stay to argue the immortality of such a soul? Its very strength, power and beauty are sufficient. Let the one who asserts that all this which we have known and loved in him can perish with the mere passing of a breath come forward with his frail arguments, but we shall still say:
“There is no death! the stars go down
To rise upon some other shore,
They shine forever more.
There is no death! although we grieve
When beautiful, familiar forms
From our embracing arms.
Although with bowed and breaking heart,
With sable garb and silent tread,
And say that they are dead.'
They are not dead! they have but passed
Beyond the mists that blind us here
Of that serener sphere.
And ever near us, though unseen,
The dear, immortal spirits tread;
Is life-there are no dead."
So as we have seen this mind and soul live on above the failing body in the last few years we shall have an increasing faith in Paul's beautiful statement of the truth, “Though the earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.” And in Jesus' words, "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” For ourselves we say, “Thou wilt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.” But for him we say:
“Servant of God, well done!
Rest from thy loved employ;
Enter thy Master's joy.
The pains of death are passed;
Labor and sorrow cease;
His soul is found in peace.
Soldier of Christ, well done!
Praise be thy new employ;
Rest in thy Saviour's joy." May God comfort and sustain this bereaved family; and may He lead us all on at last into the larger life whither our beloved has gone.
Written by Wm. H. Collins on his Sixty-ninth Birthday, March 20, 1900.
Across the sweep of nine and sixty years
Warm were the greetings. Canopied with smiles
Those little hands! What fabric shall they weave?
Those lips, so warm upon the springs of life!
Those soft, pink feet! Will they be torn and bleed
The rosy bloom which he had rudely seized;
And when the sword was sheathed, mid furnace fires
Love came to him, pure mated love, the love
On summer's bloom doth follow winter's frosts.
I've lived an earnest, plain, contented life.
I cherish not a vain regret. Without a fear,
All's well, since love is love and God is love,
And hopeful wait for three-score years and ten.
WILLIAM H. COLLINS.
Ten years have passed since mile stone sixty-nine
Three score and ten, and still the evening star
The years pass on, almost a decade more,
Another mile stone reached, and we who love him
Helen to her father upon his seventy-ninth birthday, March 20, 1910.