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HERE is a saying which is in all good men's mouths;

namely, that they are stewards or ministers of whatever talents are entrusted to them. Only, is it not a strange thing that while we more or less accept the meaning of that saying, so long as it is considered metaphorical, we never accept its meaning in its own terms? You know the lesson is given us under the form of a story about money. Money was given to the servants to make use of: the unprofitable servant dug in the earth, and hid his Lord's money. Well, we in our poetical and spiritual application of this, say that of course money does n't mean money-it means wit, it means intellect, it means influence in high quarters, it means everything in the world except itself.

2. And do you not see what a pretty and pleasant comeoff there is for most of us in this spiritual application? Of course, if we had wit, we would use it for the good of our fellow-creatures; but we have n't wit. Of course, if we had

, influence with the bishops, we would use it for the good of the church; but we have n't any influence with the bishops. Of course, if we had political power, we would use it for the good of the nation; but we have no political power; we have no talents entrusted to us of any sort or kind. It is true we have a little money, but the parable can't possibly mean anything so vulgar as money; our money 's our own.

3. I believe, if you think seriously of this matter, vou will feel that the first and most literal application is just as necessary a one as any other—that the story does very specially mean what it says-plain money; and that the reason we don't at once believe it does so, is a sort of tacit idea that while thought, wit, and intellect, and all power of birth and position, are indeed given to us, and, therefore, to be laid out for the Giver, our wealth has not been given to us; but we have worked for it, and have a right to spend it as we choose. I think you will find that is the

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real substance of cur understanding in this matter. Beauty, we say, is given by God-it is a talent; strength is given by God-it is a talent; but money is proper wages for our day's work—it is not a talent, it is a due. We may justly spend it on ourselves, if we have worked for it.

4. And there would be some shadow of excuse for this, were it not that the very power of making the money is itself only one of the applications of that intellect or strength which we confess to be talents. Why is one man richer than another? Because he is more industrious, more persevering, and more sagacious. Well, who made him more persevering and more sagacious than others? That power of endurance, that quickness of apprehension, that calmness of judgment, which enable him to seize opportunities that others lose, and persist in the lines of conduct in which others fail-are these not talents ?-are they not, in the present state of the world, among the most distinguished and influential of mental gifts ?

5. And is it not wonderful, that while we should be utterly ashamed to use a superiority of body in order to thrust our weaker companions aside from some place of advantage, we unhesitatingly use our superiorities of mind to thrust them back from whatever good that strength of mind can áttain? You would be indignant if you saw a strong man walk into a theater or a lecture-room, and, calmly choosing the best place, take his feeble neighbor by the shoulder, and turn him out of it into the back seats or the street. You would be equally indignant if you saw a stout fellow thrust himself up to a table where some hungry children are being fed, and reach his arm over their heads and take their bread from them.

6. But you are not the least indignant if when a man has stoutness of thought and swiftness of capacity, and, instead of being long-armed only, has the much greater gift of being long-headed—you think it perfectly just that he should use his intellect to take the bread out of the mouths of all the other men in the town who are in the same trade



with him; or use his breadth and sweep of sight to gather some branch of the commerce of the country into one great cobweb, of which he is himself the central spider, making every thread vibrate with the points of his claws, and commanding every avenue with the facets of his eyes. You see no injustice in this.

7. But there is injustice; and, let us trust, one of which honorable men will at no very distant period disdain to be guilty. In some degree, however, it is indeed not unjust; in some degree it is necessary and intended. It is assuredly just that idleness should be surpassed by energy; that the widest influence should be possessed by those who are best able to wield it; and that a wise man, at the end of his career, should be better off than a fool. But for that reason, is the fool to be wretched, utterly crushed down, and left in all the suffering which his conduct and capacity naturally inflict ? Not so.

8. What do you suppose fools were made for? That you might tread upon them, and starve them, and get the better of them in every possible way? By no means. They were made that wise people might take care of them. That is the true and plain fact concerning the relations of every strong and wise man to the world about him. He has his strength given him, not that he may crush the weak, but that he may support and guide them. In his own household he is to be the guide and the support of his children; out of his household he is still to be the father, that is, the guide and support, of the weak and the poor; not merely of the meritoriously weak and the innocently poor, but of the guiltily and punishably poor; of the men who ought to have known better-of the poor who ought to be ashamed or themselves.

9. It is nothing to give pension and cottage to the widow who has lost her son; it is nothing to give food and medicine to the workman who has broken his arm, or the decrepit woman wasting in sickness. But it is something to use your time and strength in war with the waywardness

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and thoughtlessness of mankind; to keep the erring workman in your service till you have made him an unerring one; and to direct your fellow-merchant to the opportunity which his dullness would have lost.

10. This is much; but it is yet more, when you have fully achieved the superiority which is due to you, and acquired the wealth which is the fitting reward of your sagacity, if you solemnly accept the responsibility of it, as it is the helm and guide of labor far and near. who have it in your hands, are in reality the pilots of the power and effort of the State. It is entrusted to you as an authority to be used for good or evil, just as completely as kingly authority was ever given to a prince, or military command to a captain. And according to the quantity of it you have in your hands, you are arbiters of the will and work of the nation; and the whole issue, whether the work of the State shall suffice for the State or not, depends upon you.

11. You may stretch out your scepter over the heads of the laborers, and say to them, as they stoop to its waving, “Subdue this. obstacle that has baffled our fathers; put away this plague that consumes our children; water these dry places, plough these desert ones, carry this food to those who are in hunger; carry this light to those who are in darkness; carry this life to those who are in death ;" or on the other side you may say: “Here am I; this power is in my hand; come, build a mound here for me to be throned upon, high and wide; come, make crowns for my head, that men may see them shine from far away; come, weave tapestries for my feet, that I may tread softly on the silk and purple; come, dance before me, that I may be gay; and sing sweetly to me, that I may slumber; so shall I live in joy, and die in honor.” And better than such an honorable death it were, that the day had perished wherein we were born.

12. I trust that in a little while there will be few of our rich men who, through carelessness or covetousness, thus forfeit the glorious office which is intended for their hands. I said, just now, that wealth ill-used was as the net of the spider, entangling and destroying; but wealth well-used, is as the net of the sacred Fisher who gathers souls of men out of the deep. A time will come—I do not think it is far from us—when this golden net of the world's wealth will be spread abroad as the flaming meshes of morning cloud over the sky; bearing with them the joy of light and the dew of the morning, as well as the summons to honorable and peaceful toil.






And snowy

THE splendor falls on castle walls,

summits old in story;
The long light shakes across the lakes,

And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
Blow, bugle, blow! set the wild echoes flying;
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes,—dying, dying, dying!


O hark! O hear! how thin and clear,

And thinner, clearer, farther going !
O sweet and far, from cliff and scar,

The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow! let us hear the purple glens replying:
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes,—dying, dying, dying!


O love, they die in, yon rich sky;

They faint on hill, or field, or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,

And grow forever and forever.
Blow, bugle, blow! set the wild echoes flying,
And answer, echoes, answer,-dying, dying, dying!


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