« PreviousContinue »
tals to be so widely known, so highly respected, and so deeply loved.
At the close of these addresses, Mr. Rice read the fol. lowing letters:
LETTER FROM JOHN G. WHITTIER.
OAK RIDGE, 2d Mo., 4, 1886. Dear Mrs. Philbrick :-It is not possible for me to be present at the last services to thy honored husband and my very highly esteemed friend and neighbor. I had hoped, not without reason, that he would outlive me, and that we should after have the pleasure of meeting each other in the future. He leaves a noble record, and his memory will long be cherished as a wise and successful friend of learning, and as a worthy and upright citizen. With sincere sympathy, I am thy friend,
John G. WHITTIER.
LETTER FROM GEN. JOHN EATON.
MARIETTA, O., Feb. 3, 1886. Mrs. Dr. Philbrick:- Deeply regretting the impossi. bility of my attending Dr. Philbrick's funeral, I am one of that great number who mourn his death as his personal loss, and whose tenderest sympathies are with you. An able, scholarly, noble man, dear friend, great educator, full of knowledge, wise to plan and faithful to execute, his death is a calamity to sound learning the world
The hymn of Addison, “The Spacious Firmament on High," which Mr. Philbrick learned when a boy, and which was always a favorite with him, and which he repeated during his last sickness, was read, and the exercises closed with prayer and the benediction. The remains were then placed in the receiving tomb to await final burial in the spring.
THE FINAL INTERMENT.
The remains were removed from Danvers, Mass., the final interment taking place at Deerfield, N. H., May 3, 1886. It was the wish of his neighbors and townsmen that, on this occasion, there should be some simple public services by which they could testify their love and respect to their honored friend. This was arranged for, and on a beautiful spring day, amid a crowded gathering of his early friends at his old homestead, his body was borne to its last rest by the arms of those who had been his pupils nearly fifty years before. Rev. Mr. Walker offered prayer at the house, and Rev. Mr. Kingsbury invoked a blessing at the grave. The following readings and address were given by his friend, Gilman H. Tucker.
"They that put their trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, that cannot be moved, but abideth forever."
“Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not."
“Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.”
“Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
“And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, behold the tabernacle of God is with man; and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God."
“I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Write, from henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, even so saith the spirit; for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them."
Rest for the toiling hand,
Rest for the anxious brow,
Rest from all labor now.
It is not death to bear
The stroke that sets us free
Of boundless liberty.
It is not death to fling
Aside this mortal dust,
To live among the just.
We will not weep, for God is standing by us,
And tears will blind us to the blessed sight;
Our souls have promise of serenest light.
We will not faint; if heavy burdens bind us
They press no harder than our souls can bear:
The thorniest way is lying still behind us;
We shall be braver for the past despair.
Oh, not in doubt shall be our journey's ending,
Sin, with its fears, shall leave us at the last;
Life shall be with us when the Death is past.
Help us, O Father, when the world is pressing
On our frail hearts that faint without their friend !
Strengthen our weakness till the joyful end.
Here we have met to perform this last sad act of love; here in the fragrant breath of spring, amid freshening green, the opening of flowers, and the song of birds, on this pleasant slope opening to the sun, in this sacred earth in which his fathers sleep; from this outlook so full of that beauty of scene, upon which his eyes so many times lingered, and where they dwelt with such fondness and delight, — here we have come with tearful hearts and loving hands to commit the dear form of our relative and friend to its final rest.
After a full life, long, and yet so short, filled with activity in the noblest of pursuits, the educating and uplifting of mankind, world-wide reaching in its influence, crowned with success and honor, he has come to lie down in his final sleep upon this spot of earth, where his eyes first opened upon the strangeness of the world, and where again he was born into lofty aspirations and ambitions.
Rest and sleep, - sleep and rest; these are the touch
ing symbols ; these, the sweetest of words known to toiling and suffering humankind, are what we use to describe this last stage in our mortal journey, - this which is not death, but transition.
If a man die shall he live again ? Revelation answers, “ Christ the divine has arisen." Eighteen Christian centuries have answered, and the great and good of all ages have answered. The human heart and human rea
Science answers that no particle of the universe can be destroyed. Can, then, the spirit which makes the human soul?
How great, then, is life! change, transition, death, but through all, and in all, an ever-continuing life. In our memory and affections how strong and real is the life of our friend to-day! How vivid he is in influence and power, — in that wide world wherein he moved and wrought. Can the influence of his good words and works ever have an end? Not until you shall turn back time, and blot out the span of his mortal existence.
And I see him now, as I saw him so lately, in yonder cemetery, planning and working to beautify and protect it; as I saw him here, at his house, filled with a certain homeish gladness to be among these scenes, with old neighbors and townsmen, - simple, honest, working people that he loved. I see him with his noble, illumined face, his frank and winning manner, his hearty clasp of the hand, his serious words lighted up with flashes of pleasantry, - the warm welcome of his whole soul! I see in all his generous and sympathetic spirit, thoughtful of all but himself, constantly planning some individual or