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[211] himself to encounter its results. Evidence of this forethought is continually recurring in his letters:—

I have not a great deal of that sort of courage which renders one insensible to danger. But yet I trust I can meet danger or death without flinching. . . . . If it please God, my life is as safe on the battle-field as at home; and if not, why should I wish to live?. . . . I have gained something. A man is not completely a man, until he is strong enough to lay down his life with composure and contentment. I am at least much nearer to that point than I was. And whether I go or stay, I shall feel much happier now that I have settled that point, that I am ready to go. I don't know that I ever quite understood before—certainly I did not by experience-what those words of Christ meant, “He that saveth his life shall lose it, and he that loses his life for my sake, the same shall find it.”

In the last part of this extract our attention is called to an epoch in Alden's spiritual experience. He was justly characterized, in the resolutions passed by the Class upon learning his death, as ‘possessed of a spirit thoroughly progressive and craving growth.’ This was seen, not merely in his course with regard to the common moral reform questions of the day, in which he gradually reached and then openly and firmly maintained positions at that time called radical, but also, and perhaps quite as clearly, in his own inner religious life. No one would have called Alden in college an irreligious man,—so pure, so true, so conscientious, so earnest for the right and against the wrong,—and yet we find him not satisfied with rectitude of deportment and unimpeachable morality, but seeking during the last year of his life something higher. This may be described in his own words:—

April 2.

Sometimes it seems to me that I have entered upon a new life; and I think, when I read the words of Jesus, my heart answers as it did not before.

If sincere penitence for sins committed, and a deep sense of unworthiness in the sight of God,—if the putting away of one's own righteousness, and the casting of himself humbly on God's infinite mercy,—if the renunciation of self-seeking, and a hearty desire to live to the glory of God, and to grow into his likeness,—if these


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