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[431]

Standing in the old ways, I cannot but suspect these Unitarian pulpits of some latent and cowardly distrust of their own creed, when I see that if one comes from them to our Orthodox ranks, and believes a great deal more than they do, he is treated with reverend respect; but let him go out on the other side, and believe a very little less, and the whole startled body join in begging the world not to think them naturally the parents of such horrible and dangerous heresy.

But there is one thing every man may say of this pulpit,--it was a live reality and no sham. Whether tearing theological idols to pieces at West Roxbury, or here battling with the every-day evils of the streets, it was ever a live voice, and no mechanical or parrot-tune; ever fresh from the heart of God, as these flowers, these lilies, the last flower over which, when eyesight failed him, with his old gesture he passed his loving hand, and said, “How sweet!” As in that story he loved so much to tell of Michael Angelo, when in the Roman palace Raphael was drawing his figures too small, Angelo sketched a colossal head of fit proportions, and taught Raphael his fault, so Parker criticized these other pulpits, not so much by censure as by creation — by a pulpit, proportioned to the hour, broad as humanity, frank as truth, stern as justice, and loving as Christ.

Here is the place to judge him. In St. Paul's Cathedral, the epitaph says, if you would know the genius of Christopher Wren, “look around.” Do you ask proof how full were the hands, how large the heart, how many-sided the brain of your teacher?--listen, and you will hear it in the glad, triumphant certainty of your enemies that you must close these doors, since his place can never be filled! Do you ask proof of his efficient labor and the good soil into which that seed fell?--gladden your eyes by looking back and seeing for how many months the impulse

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