years I have loved him as a father. I rejoice that I did not
wait until this solemn hour to first utter these words. He
knew my devotion to him and -I am glad that for many years
I have been honored by having the affection of so good and
so great a man.
Others have spoken to-day of his great work in the Chris-
tian ministry, of his service in the material development^ of
his beloved Texas, and of his grand life-work in establishing
so firmly the great institution of learning which adorns the
southern part of our own beautiful city.
I pass these heroic achievements of this man of sublime
faith in God, of indomitable energy, and of iron will, to speak
for a moment of his wonderful accomplishments in an humbler
and less noted sphere. In the interest of education he has
visited hundreds of homes in Texas where he found in
obscurity many of the most prominent and worthy citizens of
488 The Life A^â– D Weitings of
our state to-day. These ^asits have in A^ery many instances
changed the entire current of young men's lives, altered their
family history, and set in motion forces that have wrought
wonders in the destiny of our State. I speak of these soul-
awakening visits of this gifted man from personal experience
and I have heard others now on this platform testify to the
efficacy and power of his presence in their own childhood
homes. His going into every part of Texas in this manner
ten, twenty, thirty and forty years ago, fired the young people
with an ambition for higher and better things. These boys
and girls came to Baylor University and from the instruction
received and under the influence of this peerless man, with
his burning lectures on "Jonah," "Elijah," "Ahimaaz," "The
Little Foxes," "Be Courteous," "Study to be Quiet," and
hundreds of other living glowing themes, they were so moved
to noble deeds themselves that I challenge any teacher, ancient
or modern, to exhibit a class of men and women who have been
more successful in all the walks of life than have been the
pupils of this mighty hero Avho lies there to-day in the habili-
ments of death.
In reality Dr. Burleson is not dead, he cannot die ! This
immense audience, the largest I ever saw at any funeral, testi-
fies that he still lives in the hearts of his neighbors, his brethren
and his fellow citizens. His memory Avill ever be dear to
the hearts of the masses whom he loved, and they will never
permit his honor and fame to grow dim. So long as the
flowers continue to bloom on our beautiful prairies will his
memory be dear to all true Texans. So long as the spires and
cupolas of Baylor University point heavenward, just that
length of time will his prayers, his labors, and his unselfish
patriotism be loved and cherished by the faculty and student
body of the institution which, we trust, shall ever remain his
most imperishable monument.
SPEECH OF DE. ADDISOX CLAKK.
(representing sister schools.)
"That I should be asked to say a word on this occasion I
deem the greatest honor ever conferred upon me. Thirty
years ago when I was a young school teacher with a small
Dr. Rufus C. Buklesox. 489
school, and Dr. Burleson was in the prime of his manhood, the
leading and most popular educator of the state, he came into
my school room, took me by the hand, sat down by my side
and talked with me as though I was his equal. From that
time he has been firmly established in my warmest affections.
The same large hearted, broad minded man, he showed him-
self to be when Add Ran University was moved to Waco, he
was the fu'st to extend the hand of welcome and has ever con-
tinued the same unselfish, generous friend. How we all shall
miss that familiar form, that well-known voice, that masterful
If I should be asked to describe Dr. Burleson's life in
one word it would be "Christliness."
SPEECH OF DR. D. R. WALLACE.
(eepresejvti^'G faculty of 1851.)
I have known the venerable distinguished man who lies
before us cold in death for nearly half a hundred years. It
is but meet and modest for me to premise that my powers of
analysis and of characterization may have been at fault, but I
think I knew Dr. C. Burleson as well as I am capable of know-
knowing any human being except myself. My attention
directed at our first meeting to his striking characteristics and
his strong personality, I made him a study. Intimate associa-
tion with him for some years I had abundant opportunity for
Though a many sided man it was not hard to understand
him. There was no concealment about him. He wore him-
self on his sleeve. When he was misunderstood, if he ever
was, it was by small men of low ideals and selfish purposes,
who, like Bunyan's man with a muck rake never looked up so
as to catch a horizontal view of his altitude.
What seemed most striking to one of the speakers who
have preceded me was his "Christliness." That he was a
christian man no one doubts. But if it be the proper thing to
do to institute such a comparison I would prefer to say my
conception of the man was, he was more like the bold, aggres-
490 The Life and Writings of
sive Paul, than tlie meek and lowly God-man, more like the
formulator of our religion than its founder.
This leads me to say his convictions strong, he was bold
when they were opposed, even to defiance, but his opposition
was never offensive. He could be all things to all men for a
cause he had at heart but never to the sacrifice of principle.
Of an ardent, hopeful temperament he hoped on, hoped
ever. This characteristic conjoined with his unconquerable
will and untiring energy made him an indefatigable worker.
Of habits temperate to abstemiousness and feeble in appear-
ance, he was yet an iron man. As fij^ed in his theological
belief as Jonathan Edwards, as untiring and indefatigable in
work as John Wesley, no difiiculties of weather, men or devils
disturbed him; no amount of work or suffering dismayed
him in teaching, preaching and urging these beliefs upon the
generation in which he Hved.
As to the loftiness of his ideals and the purity of his pur-
poses there could be but one opinion. JSTot Spurgeon's or
Archdeacon Farrar's were loftier or purer.
As to his methods, of course there was room for differ-
ence of opinion. But in these he stands justified by the suc-
cess that has blessed the labors, under the circumstances, of
few men who have lived. It goes without saying he did more
for the Baptist church and what he regarded as christian edu-
cation, than any other man among his cotemporaries in Texas
or even in the South.
As a preacher, he is rather to be admired for his zeal and
devotion than for the polish of his periods or the brilliancy
of his rhetoric. A man of affairs and not of abstractions he
regarded words as counters, not as coin, as said the great Eng-
lishman, a means not an end. He did not affect oratory
though few preachers were more effective, judged by the
Much might be said of him as a teacher. In the short
space allotted me I shall speak of but one attribute or char-
acteristic, but in this he was facile princeps of all the teachers
I have ever known and I question whether in this respect he
had a superior. It was this : He had the rare gift of inspir-
ing his students ^vith an enthusiasm for learning and ambi-
tion for distinction and usefulness that was simply unpar-
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 491
alleled. He could make the dullest of them believe that if
they could not reach the sun they could at least get to the
He has been criticised as carrying this to an extreme.
At all events it leaned to virtue's side and made him largely
the success he was as a teacher; and I will add, in the thought,
not words, Macaulay puts in the mouth of Milton in defend-
ing Cromwell : "If none criticised his methods who had done
more for humanity than he accomplished, he would have few
Like Agassiz he had no time to make money â€” no time tc
think of it. There is much I might say on this point for here
his critics consider him most open to criticism. But I will
say this : He sacrificed the patrimony given him by a wealthy
father, all he could make himself by his interminable labor,
much if not all he inherited by his wife; nor is this all, he
made himself a slave, a galley slave chained to the oar; nor
is this quite all, he made slaves of his wife and children, de-
priving them of the elegancies they might have enjoyed, and
all in the service as he believed of his heavenly Master.
Great, devoted, self-sacrificing, christian man, rest in
SPEECH OF REV. E. A. PIJTHUFF.
(representing missionary students to foreign lands.)
It is difficult to write or speak in a reasonably allotted
space or time upon the life work of one so gifted and useful
to his fellow men as was Dr. R. C. Burleson. But this is
made possible even to one so incompetent as myself because
of the fullness of the subject to be treated.
The grandeur of his life can be made most profitable to
those who view it from the following standpoints :
As he was, as he is and as he is to be.
There are few who leave to the human race the legacy
of a life so full in all its bearings as to be viewed with profit
from all these sides. But in Dr. Burleson we have a com-
plete life, a peaceful sleep, mth the rainbow of God's promise
spanning it all, amidst the brightness of which is written,
We shall see Mm again.
492 The Life and AVkitixgs of
When we think of him as he was, in closest touch with
everything that was good, lifting it up and helping it forward,
we ask wdth anxious heart for the secret of such a life, and
await with joy the coming of the book devoted to the thrilling-
narrative of a life so full and complete. For more than half
a century he lived in closest fellowship with God, personating
the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. In order to do this
he walked as he thought Jesus must have walked; talked as
he believed Jesus must have talked; thought as Jesus thought;
acted in all things as Jesus acted: â€” in fact lost sight of him-
self in order to make his life Christ-like in every respect. Be-
ing thus "rich toward God" his life presented the paradox of
being "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing," "poor, yet making
many rich," "having nothing, yet possessing all things." Oh,
the riches of such a life ! It is true gold tried in the fire.
Therefore to see him as he is we must behold him "clothed
with white raiment."
Among his printed sermons is one from the text, "Th&
path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and
more imto the perfect day." With a master hand he paints
the picture of christian life, letting in an occasional glimpse
of the Glory world to cheer the pilgrim on his way, until in
rapture he reaches the perfect day. He saw it then by faith.
He is now enjoying that "perfect day" amidst the glories de-
scribed in Kevelations. iN'o one could doubt the reality of his
present bliss as we looked upon his face "asleep in Jesus,"
yet smiling as if Heaven's wand had gently touched the eye-
lids, closing them to the path of the just as the perfect day
came in sight. So methinks,
"When we hear the music ringing
In the bright celestial dome;
When sweet angel voices singing,
Gladly bid us welcome home,"
We shall feel his dear arms twining
Fondly round us as before;
Hear his voice saying, Welcome!
This is the other shore!
Then with Heaven's light full upon him we can number
the stars in his crown, "as one star difPereth from another^ so
shall it be in glory," and know what he is to he.
Dr. Kufus C. BuKLESOiSr. 493
Until then the stream of inflnence he put in motion must
be our teacher. Dr. Burleson had few, if any, equals as a
teacher upon the power of influence. In the providence of
God the last sermon he ever preached was upon that subject.
He had left home in answer to a summons from Horn Hill
Baptist church to preach the ordination sermon of two Deacons
on the second Sunday in April, 1901, and being anxious as was
his habit through life to "give every flying moment some-
thing to keep in store" sent an appointment to Groesbeck,
county seat of Limestone county, for Friday night, as he
would leave the train at that point for Horn Hill, distant six
miles in the country, where he was to preach Saturday night
on Family Government and the ordination sermon on the fol-
lowing day. Notwithstanding it was Friday night in a county
site, he had a goodly number to hear him. His well won fame
as a preacher always drew for him large crowds. But as I
write I can but think, if the citizenship of the town and county
had known what God knew, that it would be the last sermon
preached by his honored and loved servant on earth, there
would not have been standing room. But, alas! his voice
comes to me as of yore, "There are three things that return
not: "The word spoken, the arrow sped, the opportunity
As was his custom in the pulpit, he stood erect holding
before him God's Word, handling it with such tenderness as
a mother would handle her precious child, reading in that
clear full voice which belonged peculiarly to himself, from
John 21. As was of this custom too, he read with glasses in
hand reading from memory more than from sight â€” because
he knew the Book. Then reverently and tenderly he bowed
and talked to God in prayer as a child pleading with his
Father whom he loved and trusted. Then he announced his
subject, "Influence," and preached an expository rather than
a textual sermon; shomng the power of his subject in life as
well as its fruit bearing power after death. He painted with
wonderful imagery the two lines of influence, good and bad,
one of which is constantly flowing from every life. The bad
he followed up until it finds its echo in the voice of the soul
"being tormented in the flames" as it pleads "send one from
the dead to my father's house, for I have five brethren there.
494 The Life and Weitings of
lest they also come to this place of torment." Then followed
a picture of good influence, until his audience could see anew
the prophecy of Daniel : "They that be wise shall shine as
the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to
righteousness as the stars forever and ever" amidst the splen-
dors of which stands "the Lamb of God !"
Dr. Burleson is now enjoying the inflow of a long life
of good influence â€” and the end is not yet. AVith deepest
gratitude I thank God that I was brought under his influence.
Thousands doubtless who may read this will say. Amen. We
will not forget the couplet in his annual family letter :
" 'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
And ask them what report they bore to Heaven,
And how they might have borne more welcome neAvs."
And when we change our citizenship in fact from earth
to Heaven it will be welcome news to hear him say, "Home at
last ! All safe in our Father's House !"
Truly, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great
SPEECH OF E. P. ALLDKEDGE.
(representing student body of BAYLOR.)
For the eighth time during the present session death has
come to Baylor University.
Enough to remind us that,
"Leaves have their time to fall.
And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath,
. And stars to setâ€” but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own. O Death."
How unexpected came the death of our teacher, our
friend and brother Professor Tanner ! The mystery of that
death â€” so unforeseen, so untimely and so irrepai-able to the
interests of Baylor University â€” is beyond the reach of finite
minds. Grieved and disconsolate at the death of Professor
Tanner, we were ill prepared for the shocking tragedy which
carried away that splendid character, that noble teacher.
Professor Schaus. But even this was not all. Only a few
Dk. Kufus C. Burleson. 495
days ago Miss Fletcher and Mr. Dotson, our fellow students
were cut down as the flowers of the field. x\nd now we have
reached the depths. Our beloved and honored teacher, coun-
selor, father in the ministry, hero of christian education in
Texas, our venerable president emeritus, Doctor Kufus C.
Burleson, is dead.
We longed to keep him with us. We prayed that his life
might be spared until his last lingering glance should behold
the campus of Baylor University crowned Avith magnificent
"We leaned on hope that was all in vain,
Till the terrible word at last,
Told our striclien hearts be was out of pain,
And his beautiful life had passed."
Kich in honors and ripe in years the "grand old man" has
laid down his armor and gone home to God. Our grief is
inexpressible. Our loss seems almost irretrievable. No more
can we greet him as he visits the chapel exercises. No more
will his dignified form grace our rostrum. 'No more can we
hear his words of counsel or feel the touch of his tender hand,
the vital spark which gleamed in his eye and coursed through
his veins has been kissed away by the angels of God, and the
restless, persistent activity, which characterized his life and
gave to the Baptists of Texas so great an heritage, has at last
ceased. He rests. His weary body sleeps and waits the
resurrection, but his works, they follow him on to eternity.
Thank God! He was ours. His tireless energy, his
studious habits, his self-control and masterful will were so
many nuggets of gold which he graciously and unsparingly
bestowed upon his students. And to those of us who heard
his lectures to young ministers, how often did he appeal for
holiness, prayer, the study of God's word, and blameless lives I
Hallowed be his memory ! Never
"Fell the daylight's fading grimmer,
On a face so wan and white.
Brighter was his soul, while dimmer
Grew the shadows of the night.
And he diedâ€” and God was with him,
Could I ask and could he give.
Even now methinlis I hear him
Whisper, "Live as I did live."
496 The Life axd "Writings of
His patriotic zeal was always inspiring to his students.
ISTo duty of citizenship was overlooked by him. The world
looked upon, as we looked upon him, to behold a man in the
image of his God.
The intensity of his conviction, that he was anointed of
God to deliver Texas from ignorance and sin, not only stirred
his own great heart and moved him to sacrifice, but took
possession of every student who came under his influence.
Shall we now surrender this conviction because he is
gone ? Far from it !
Let us rather remember how he loved Baylor University
and how he loved us ! As the child of his bosom, as the wife
of his heart he loved Baylor University and christian educa-
tion, and gave himself for them. Then, when he could do
no more, when he could make no further sacrifice and lay
upon his couch waiting for his summons to some, he asked to
be permitted to look out upon Baylor and pray God's benedic-
tions upon her future. He fought a good fight, he finished
his course, he kept the faith. Well may we say of him in
the words of Father Kyan :
Waved sword from stain as free,
Nor purer sword led braver band,
Nor braver bled for a brighter land,
Nor brighter land had cause so grand.
Nor a cause a chief like he."
May his mantle of love, of self-sacrifice, of devotion to
the cause of christian education and of his heroic righteousness
fall upon us, and may the Spirit of our God comfort and keep
his bereaved companion and loved ones !
SPEECH OF MAYOR J. W. RIG GINS.
(eEPRESENTHSTG city of WACO.)
A great man has fallen. This community bows with
sorrowing hearts to the will of Him who doeth all things well,
and places to-day a tribute upon the casket of Dr. Burleson,
accompanying that tribute with sincere heartfelt grief as it
never has a citizen in our city.
Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. 497
Dr. Burleson possessed peculiar traits of character. A
great many men after a long, faithful, studied life of activity
in one particular calling, no matter whether law, medicine or
divinity, allow their minds to become prejudiced, warped and
narrow into that particular department. This was not true
of Dr. Burleson. Liberal in mind, public spirited in acts,
nis great mind comprehended the mental, commercial and
moral developments, not alone in the community, but in all
In my position connected with the many enterprises in
Waco, as well as in my present official capacity as the mayor
of our city, I have received from Dr. Burleson letters and
personal assurances of a deep interest in everj. enterprise, as
well as the development, from a governmental standpoint of
our city. These expressions have come unstinted, and un-
sought, as the outburst of a noble, God-born, broad spirit.
We learn many lessons from such a character: First,
that in any calling a liberal, progressive, broad, patriotic plat-
form can be lived upon and successfully carried out. Second,
that a man can be true always to his Maker, and at the same
time take an interest in the things which materially affect the
progress, success and development in a commercial sense of
his fellow-kind. Third, "One thing will I do," says Paul.
That this one thing was the ministry and in this he succeeded,
calling the collateral influences and bringing them into line
into a philosophical unison to accomplish one great purpose.
The name of Dr. Burleson will be a monument, not of
stone, marble, or granite, but in the memory of the citizens
of Waco and of Texas and will lift its head from the memory
of noble deeds from thousands of hearts and minds in Texas
for cycles of time that shall roll by us until time shall be no
more and we shall lash our memories and immortal spirits upon
the shores of Eternity.
A great man lias fallen, and Waco weeps to-day, but
such a spirit must receive the welcome plaudits of Him who
realizes all. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
498 The Life axd Writings of
SPEECH OF DK. O. H. COOPER
(representing BAYLOR FACULTY.)
"A great poet wrote on the death of a great statesman :
'Were a star quenched on high
For ages would its light
Traveling downward from the sky-
Still shine on mortal sight.
'So when a great man dies,
For ages past our ken
The light he leaves behind him
Lies upon the paths of men.'
"Immortalitv in fame has always been a controlling in-
fluence in the hearts of the really great. God's call to genius
is the service of humanity. In church and in state, in science
and in art, in faithful service and in splendid achievement,
the heroic soul serves in his day and generation.
"A long life of heroic striving, often crowned by success,
often dimmed by defeat, but always in the blaze of publicity,
revealed our beloved and venerable friend as a grand man of
lofty and noble soul. Such genius as his is a high trust to be
used under God's guidance for the blessing of humanity.
Men in all parts of our country to-day who give their lives to
the advancement of truth and righteousness reverently accord
to him a high place among the few immortal names that are
not born to die.
"I have sometimes thought as I looked upon his majestic
and age-bent figure, when a rare smile illuminated his patri-
archial face, that the light shining there was higher and holier
than shone on Alpine heights, for it v/as reflected from the
throne of God. It has always been an inspiration to me to meet
and listen to Dr. Burleson. When I met him tirst twentyfive
years ago, before the heavy hand of advancing years had been
laid upon, I said to my mother, "There is a builder oJt insti-
tutions. He belongs \vith Woolsey and Hopkins and Wayland.
the men whose lengthened shadows are Brown, Williams and
Yale." Our personal relations have always been cordial and
tender. Especially has this been so since I have been called
Dk. Kufus C. Burleson. 499
to assume the duties of president of Baylor University. He
has honored me with fullest confidence and he has always been
ready to aid with his wise counsel. Baylor University was
enshrined in his inmost soul, second only in his affections to
our Divine Master.
"I shall never forget his last words to me uttered in the
presence of his beloved wife and daughter in that now sacred
chamber from whence he looked for the last time on his dear
old Baylor and his soul passed to our Father's bosom. These
words are a benediction â€” I little thought they were also a
farewell: 'God bless you and yours,' he said, and added,
after a pause made necessary by a difficulty in utterance,
'especially the little baby girl.'
"With tender reverence shall we cherish his memory.
Generation will follow generation in the University he loved
so well and each student will be taught to remember and