there are times when, looking only on the surface of things, one is almost ready to regard Lowell
as a sort of sacred city of Mammon,— the Benares of gain: its huge mills, temples; its crowded dwellings, lodging-places of disciples and ‘proselytes within the gate;’ its warehouses, stalls for the sale of relics.
A very mean idol-worship, too, unrelieved by awe and reverence,—a selfish, earthward-looking devotion to the ‘least-erected spirit that fell from paradise.’
I grow weary of seeing man and mechanism reduced to a common level, moved by the same impulse, answering to the same bell-call.
A nightmare of materialism broods over all. I long at times to hear a voice crying through the streets like that of one of the old prophets proclaiming the great first truth,—that the Lord
alone is God.
Yet is there not another side to the picture?
High over sounding workshops spires glisten in the sun,—silent fingers pointing heavenward.
The workshops themselves are instinct with other and subtler processes than cotton-spinning or carpet-weaving.
Each human being who watches beside jack or power loom feels more or less intensely that it is a solemn thing to live.
Here are sin and