Frederic Henry Hedge.

Discourse on Edward Everett online

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brighter unto the perfect day."

The closing scene of this life, its last public act.
preceding by a few short days its disappearance to
mortal sight, was what he himself would have wished
it to In-, what every friend must rejoice to remember,
— an art of charity ; a plea for the people of Savan-
nah, returning to their allegiance, and asking aid for
their de-tit ute starving city.

And hen- 1 notice a striking and beautiful relation


of correspondence between the beginning and the
end. Mr. Everett's first public act — I mean the first
spontaneous act in which he appeared before the
general public, outside of the duties of his profession
— was his •• Defence of Christianity ; " a book which he
published, at the age of twenty, in answer to an infi-
del attack. At the age of twenty, a plea for theoreti-
cal Christianity ; and now. at the age of seventy, after
an interval of half a century, a plea for practical
Christianity, urging his' fellow-citizens to heap coals
of the fire of Christian love on the heads of their
enemies. '• Do you say that they were lately our
enemies'.''' he pleads. "I am convinced that the ma-
jority, the great majority, were so but nominally.
But what if they were our enemies. ' If thine enemy
hunger, feed him ; if he thirst, give him drink ; ' es-
pecially when he has laid down his arms, and submits
to your power."

Between the theoretical and the practical plea, a
half-century of solid, useful, noble work, a hall-cen-
tury devoted to the public good, a hall-century of
magnificent talent employed like a faithful steward
for worthy and beneficent ends. What better legacy
than the influence of such a life can a man leave be-
hind him when he goes hence'.' What better outfit
than the spirit of such a life can a man take with
him on his voyage to the undiscovered land '.'

When the proto-martyr of the Christian Church.


on the eve of his death, harangued the people in de-
fence of the faith, -all that sat in the council, looking
steadfastly on him, saw his Tare as it had been the
face of an angel." Those who heard Mr. Everett on
that last occasion affirm that his countenance wore
an unusual lustre, free from those traces of suffering
it so often exhibited in these last years. Was it the
transfiguration of the earthly through the forereach-
ing heavenly so close at hand '.'

Blessed be the Father of lights, who gave us this
light on our path ! — another guide to patient well-
doing, and final victory.

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Online LibraryFrederic Henry HedgeDiscourse on Edward Everett → online text (page 2 of 2)