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VOL. VIII.—No. 7
THE HINCKLEY FIRE. John Tallinan, night editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, was requested by the citizens of Pine City to write a poem commemorative of the Minnesota forest iires, September. 1804. He pro duced the following: The torturing air alive with murderous heat; Trees writhing in the bonds of shriveling flame; Death’s coursers, bounding, pitiless and tleet; Unanswered calls upon Jehovah’s name. O! how the sea of torment unassuaged. Fierce, heightening billows through the forest rolled, . Mid a million tigers of destruction raged Loud and insatiable through town and wood. Horror’s fell touch transforms the balsam glade To mad extinction’s measureless abyss. And where the summer’s cooling breath had played The conflagration roared with viperous hiss. Man’s work and nature’s plied with richest food The red destroyer's swiftly leaping tongue; The mart of trade, the treasure of the wood. The home dissolved the molten mass among. No shred of hope, no rescue, no escape; The child and mother on that blazing pyre. With the sire meeting Death’s most awful shape. Life yielded to the sovereign of lire. Eclipsing e’en that flashing ocean shone The noblest deed of daring, high and clear; Till gleams the sun no more from zone to zone, Shall live the name of Root the engineer! Three hundred lives in safety brought Through the hot hurricane; linn, unafraid, Though weak and fainting; in man’s semblance wrought , The glorious substance of which gods are made. Be it for us with kindly care to strive. Faith with humanity’s best dictates keep. Comfort and aid the sorrowing who survive O’er the black ruins of their homes to weep. Be it for us the poor charred forms to lay Where nature’s hospitable breast assigns Couch of sweet rest to all returning clay, 'Mid the low sobs of these funereal pines. Be it for us to know that heaviest loss Brings forth some priceless gain. Reverses mold A truer brotherhood. E’en the heart’s dross Affliction’s chastening fires transmute to gold. HEROISM. The Moral Hero the Greatest, as Joining God to Man. In treating upon this old and time worn but ever fruitful subject, it has been found convenient to sub-divide it into two headings; the first, physical heroism, for the lack of a better word; and the second, moral or soul heroism. In onr researches through ancient his tory, as far back as the begin nings of any authentic historical chron icles, we find its pages liiled with the eulogies of men noted above their fel lows in deeds of valor and prowess, and in physical excellence. Even the games and sports of these barbaric races were not alluring nor attractive unless the program was freely inter spersed with acts of bloodshed and deadly passages at arms; and he who could boast of the greatest number of conquests to his credit, was the great est hero. lie it was who received the plaudits due a conqueror, a laurel wreath, and the sweetest smiles from the fairest beauty. From these prim eval beginnings this spirit of physical heroism seems to have taken lirm hold upon these uncivilized minds, and their sole aim and ambition seems to have been, to emulate the deeds of those few unconquered individuals, who. by virtue of their exceeding great skill and bravery, were idolized next to their heathen gods. As a re sult of this great desire for prowess and conquest, centuries were marked only by the cruel deeds of tyrants, and overshadowed by the crimson mantle of a bloody oppression. ’Twas this same spirit that reigned in the breast of an Alexander, “when he wept for other worlds to conquer;” that character ized the reign of the Ctesars, who, when no chance for the slaughter of the battlefield presented itself, turned with avidity to the gory arena for bloody satiation; that kept active the fierce rivalry for supremacy between the Roman and early Briton. Thus for ages have we seen this irresistible cur rent moving swiftly on until at the dawn of the Christian era it was a rag- ing, boiling torrent, bearing upon its surging waves the wrecks of many once powerful nations. But when Bethlehem's bright star kept sentry over the new born King of peace and love, this adoration of physical hero ism was to experience a rivalry, which though small and weak in its incip iency, was to gain a force and power as the centuries died that would outstrip this giant monster, and hurl him from his proud pedestal of greatness; a tiny stream broke forth which was to grow broader and deeper until this mighty torrent of physical heroism was to ap pear as a mere ripple in comparison to this new development, this moral heroism. Though small in its begin- ning and sprung upon a world al 1 scarred and scorched by vicious indulgences; when selfishness and self-adoration reigned supreme; and though confront ed at every step with stupendous opposi tion, yet, that germ of new and holy heroism has marched steadily onward, gathering renewed energy from every conflict, until today, we devotees of this better and grander civilization point out with pride as our heroes, those grand spirits of the age, who, emu lous of the deeds of loving kindness of Him of Calvary; go out into the by- ways of life, where sorrow, misery and kindred horrors are wont to dwell, to lift up the fallen, and lead them to a better life; to soothe the sorrows of earth's troubled millions, and infuse their embittered souls with renewed hope and courage; to go down with all their purity into the slimy ooze and mire of dens of iniquity and carry messages of sweet hope to souls long lost to sin. These noble, God-like men and women are our heroes and hero ines in this nineteenth century. While the Greek went to the wrestler's field to find his hero, the Homan to the am phitheatre,, and the gladiatorial com bats, each fraught with deeds of blood shed. we go to the homes of the lowly | and the bedside of the afflicted and point to the ministering angels of mercy visiting there, weeping with the broken hearted mother over the down fall of her boy, or speaking in words of loving kindness to the young girl who perhaps has been wooed from a home of plenty, where all is love and happiness, to become a drunkard's wife and share his squalid garret and disgrace. Oh! these sweet comforters, can we ever forget them? No! their influence is everlasting, and ever in creasing. If there is any one more capable than another of testifying to the nobie efforts of these kindly souls, it is he who has been placed in a lone ly prison cell, shut out from the beau tiful world and God's bright sunshine. Here these sweet souled philanthrop- I ists, leaving their bright firesides where all is pleasant harmony and where smiles of peace, love, and content ment wreathe the faces of their loved ones, come to gaze into the countenan ces of those upon whom rests the ignominy of an outraged society; and to cheer with words of hope these poor misguided souls. Ah! kind friends, did you but know how many poor sin hardened souls your gentle words of sympathy have touched to the quick; how many tears of remorse have fal len in the darkness of our prison cells, from eyes long unused to weep; if you only knew how near to a better life your disinterested prayers have brought some of us, your loving hearts would throb with renewed hope for our well being. The bars may crash and clang, but they cannot drown the sweet whis perings of hope you have awakened in our crime blackened hearts. The bolts and locks can shut us tight and fast; but they cannot shut out the pleasant anticipations of our future, which your cheering words nave started in to new life. May God bless these earthly angels and make them His heroes and heroines in a brighter and sweeter world. Then again we have IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, SEPTEMBER 20, 1894. our great philanthropists; men whose lives and fortunes are spent for the amelioration of the conditions of the unfortunate, and in erecting and main taining institutions of learning to which deserving young men and women are admitted free. They are found as large contributors to all char itable funds and upon the committees of relief, which are so often brought into view by some great disaster or misfortune. But to enumerate all those brave souls who have lost sight of self and self-interest, and have given all their energies for the purpose of elevating the moral and social con dition of others would require too much space. In conclusion it is sufficient to say, that the days of bombastic and spread-eagle glory are ended. Today, the moral hero is the one who wins the plaudits of an admiring world; whilst the knight of the muscle and brawn is relegated to the past where he fitly be longs. To be a physical hero, one must have the sinews and strength of a giant. To be a moral hero we can all aspire; even we who have reached the lowest level of degradation; for he who starts the lowest in this great con test and rises to the top, is the great est hero. This kind of heroism is a tie that binds earth to heaven, that joins God to man. Will you try to be one? Man Should be Diligent, Honest and Faithful, no Matter What his Posi tion in Life May be. First, occupation is a necessity if contentment, self respect, peace of mind, and happiness are to be attained. Nature has furnished the mind and the body with means to replenish the wear and tear of use, and the very sensations of bodily rest or mental recuperation, after a vigorous task, are sources of contentment in themselves, Best. then may be called the digestion of the fruits of labor. It is the value received for each day's work, and requires discretion in the use of it, just as much as the dollar earned. Abraham Lincoln, com ing as he did from the farm to the presidential chair, had this faculty to a remarkable degree. Being able at all times to throw aside the pressing duties of the day for a few moments of light conversation, or to enjoy a joke, or to tell one of his many good stories, he afforded his mind a brief moment of freedom and relaxation. Thus he gave himself a new impetus, and was all the more capable of transacting the intri cate business of his oliice. Then, occu pation is also a necessity today, because of surroundings. The demands of cus tom, law and society, are boldly thrust into the presence of every one. The home must be bought and furnished; the little ones must be fed, clothed and educated; taxes must be paid. But outside of the mere necessity of occu pation there are other and nobler in centives. The beckoning hand of fame or the alluring star of wealth are often the motive of long continued exertion. Sometimes these are so absorbing to the worker that he becomes warped and distorted from the continual use of certain parts of the body, or from a constant entertainment of a single idea to the exclusion of all others. Such a one becomes pessimistic, prejudiced againced the acts and thoughts of others, and finally disagreeable and morose, or even insane. What are the charms of wealth, that the pursuit of them should make the arm unsteady or the mind unstable. Why should we exchange a strong will, a healthy set of muscles or a steady nerve for the paint ed attractions of riches? Goldsmith sings: “Alas! The joys that fortune brings Are trifling and decay; Wliile those who prize the paltry things, More trifling still, are they. Without discussing the great ques tion of labor, or the greater question of idleness, with all their attendant issues, a few thoughts on the kind and man- OCCUPATION ner of occupying one's self may be beneficial. Sometimes we leel re- proached for allowing ourselves to continue along some line of work when we know we might do better at some- thing else. We think there is better employment for us than that in which we are engaged, and that we are losing a certain feeling of capability, cr that the employment is childish to a certain extent and should be done by younger ones than we. If we harbor such thoughts, we begin to lose self-confi dence and to become disheartened; or, we feel a discouraging sensation of uselessness and lose the interest and pride we should take in our work. Often this is augmented by the failure ito properly appreciate rest, A disor i dered stomach or confused thoughts tend to retard the full benefits of repose. The brain which refuses to discard the perplexing cases of the day, will not furnish that soothing sense of rest so necessary for the preparation of the morrow. There must be something more than a mere place and position of rest, to insure a complete renewal of the tissues of the mind and body. There are lively impulses in our daily occu pation which serve to lighten the task and to improve the quality of the work. A feeling of freshness and vigor is essential to good results; but this feel ing is dependent, in a measure, upon good health. Above all, a deep interest in the task is the best aid to a satis factory end. This interest is artificial. It may be fanned to a blaze by an ar dent desire to please the employer, or it may glow with the steady heat of pride and self-congratulation in the work. It is akin to patriotism. The man who loves his country will labor hard to serve it, and take a just pride in his work, lie who loves his labor will be patriotic to it, and will do his best to further its completion. Like the course of the blood in the veins, this faithful ness to a task diffuses itself through out tWe whole man and tingles his every nerve. It awakens trust and implicit confidence in one's self, and creates a new interest in the fulfillment of the requirements of our position. What scholar, or politician, or lawyer, or minister, ever rose to affluence without a steady adherence to his purpose, through both favorable and adverse circumstances. Instead of confirming the work to their conditions, they create the conditions in harmony with the work, and when this is combined with patience and endurance, success is sure ;o come. ‘Count that day lost whose low-descending sun, Beholds by thee no worthy action done.” Vic. THE MORNING COMETH. Christianity Alone can Make Man Truly Free. Light is the crown and glory of the , visible world. It is perhaps the most < beautiful and glorious of all the mate- 1 rial works of God. After the gloom ' and darkness of the night, it is with ' joy that one beholds the first faint streaks of dawning day, as between the rifted clouds the morning star melts in the depths of the east. This joy is but deepened and intensified when the golden flush of morning blushes into crimson, the alternate bars of gold and silver shoot up like bayonets march ing before the coming king of morn, and the glorious orb of day bursts forth into the orange and red which his own glory has painted. The whole world so recently shrouded in shapeless darkness, now rises to view with clear and orderly proportions. The valleys unroll the endless panorama of forest and field, while the rivers stretch their silvery bands beyond the utmost reach of the eye. The dewdrops of the plain reflect a myriad of lesser suns, while the graceful towers of the great city are shimmering in the sunlight as if overlaid with marble and gold, and the flowing fountains shoot up like palm trees of liquid silver. And now as the sun reaches its zenith the whole land is Tcor/ig. f sl.ooper year, in advance i tmvib. x Months oocents. bathed in the outburstings of its noon tide splendor. Thus is morning be ginning to break upon the world. The watchman from the pulpit, the tribune, and the rostrum, tell us that the dawn is near. The sun of freedom, already so high in our own political heavens, is beginning to tiood the nations with light. The spirit of Washington and Patrick Henry, and Daniel Webster, is leading the whole world, and from across the sea can be heard the fall of thrones as they crumble to the earth. The principles of the Great Charter wrung from the tyrant king on the rich plains of liunnymede—“that charter which made the steppingstone to the bounties of our Western freedom"—are yet living and burning in the heart of conservative Kngland. A dozen nations of the east, with their faces towards the sunrise are praying for a Washington to lead them out of the wilderness of political bondage. Proud America, thou guiding star of liberty, thy career has just begun. Well has Mr G ladstone, the most majestic and far-seeing states man his country ever produced, said of America that'she “has a natural base far the greatest continuous empire ever established by man." How firmly grounded upon the foundation, her mission enlightening the world is yet in its infancy. In the harbor of New York, “First glimpse of home to the sailor who makes the harbor round. .... And last slow fading vision dear to the out ward bound,” just in the threshold of the home of liberty, stands that magnificent gift of the French government, the “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World.” liaised aloft towards the heavens, she bears in her hand an electric torch which burns like a celestial coronet. Here may she stand in this glorious attitude of a light-bearer to the world, until the watchmen on the walls of every oppressed nation shall cry aloud, “The morning cometh.” () arm of bronze, raise higher yet that torch of liberty. Even now its silvery shafts of light are piercing the darkness of des pair that hovers like a pall over the rule cursed people of the globe. Higher yet, until by its radiant light the Grand Old Man shall wreathe a crown of liberty for Erin.s troubled brow. Higher yet, until the fettered millions of Russia shall strike off the political fetters that bind them, and the horrors of Siberia shall be no more. Continue to allow thy gracious beams to shine into that generous country which gave thee birth, while she is struggling to maintain the freedom purchased by revolution and bloodshed. Higher and higher still, O goddess of liberty, until in every clime thy waves of light shall break in cas cades of silver, and with boundless brilliancy and prevailing power it shall dart its rays to the very ends of the earth. But with all our boasted liberty and enlightenment, there are chapters in our history which may well bring the blush of shame to every patriotic cheek. I am not one of those however, who believe that our Republic is on the eve of moral decay. I believe the prospects for moral freedom and good govern ment were never brighter than now; and that the twentieth century will usher in an era of prosperity never be fore paralelled in the history of the world. The morning is surely coming when the president of the United States, (in a message near the end of 1893) brands the sale of intoxicants as a “nefarious traffic.” Our liberty has but one foe and that is liquor. I do not fear any struggle between the white man and black, for the light of Christianity is destined to dispel the darkness of this great problem. I wish that all nations would rejoice as three of the great countries do, but it only can be done by having Christianity instilled into them. The best that Confucionism can do today is to hold forth to the view of the world China, steeped in cruelty, igno rance. and superstition. The best fruit of Mohammedanism is Turkey; whose cruel and tyrannical form of government is a blot and a stain upon our fair earth, a disgrace to humanity. The natural product of Hindooism is caste-bound India: a country where the cow is held more sacred than human life, where womanhood is dishonored. But the fruit of the Christian religion is Great Britain, France, Germany and the Unit ed States, th egreat progressive and pros perous nations of the world. These have the religion that hushes the sobs of broken hearts and wakes the song of praise; that soothes the sorrows of age, and gladdens the hearts of the young; that brands with shame the sin of idle ness and crowns with a wreath the brow of honest toil; that plants a llower at the cradle and lights a lamp at the grave. These have the religion whose light is breaking in upon the uncounted millions. May the day be not far distant when they can all say “the morning has come.” E. O. E.