A Backward Glance at Eighty eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.
life.  He took up especially the providing for them of a home where they could live happily and profitably while pursuing a course of study in the California School of Mechanical Arts.  An incident of his efforts in their behalf illustrates what an influence he had gained in the community.  A young man of wealth, not a member of his congregation and not considered a philanthropist, but conversant with what Mr. Worcester was doing and hoped to do, called upon him one day and said:  “Mr. Worcester, here is a key that I wish to leave with you.  I have taken a safe-deposit box; it has two keys.  One I will keep to open the box and put in bonds from time to time, and the other I give you that you may open it and use coupons or bonds in carrying out your plans for helping the boys.”  This illustrates how he was loved and what good he provoked in others.  Without knowing it or seeking it he was a great community influence.  He was gifted of the Spirit.  He had beauty of character, simplicity, unselfishness, love of God and his fellow-men.  His special beliefs interested few, his life gave life, his goodness was radiant.  He drew all men to him by his love, and he showed them the way.


I cannot forego the pleasure of referring with sincere affection to my brother octogenarian, Frederick L. Hosmer.  He achieved the fullness of honor two months in advance of me, which is wholly fitting, since we are much farther separated in every other regard.  He has been a leader for a great many years, and I am proud to be in sight of him.

His kindly friendship has long been one of the delights of my life, and I have long entertained the greatest respect and admiration for his ability and quality.  As a writer of hymns he has won the first place in the world’s esteem, and probably his noble verse is (after the Psalms) the most universally used expression of the religious feeling of mankind.  More worshipers unite in singing his hymns, Unitarian though he be, than those of any other man, living or dead.  It is a great distinction, and in meriting it he holds enviable rank as one of the world’s greatest benefactors.

Yet he remains the most modest of men, with no apparent consciousness that he is great.  His humility is an added charm and his geniality is beautiful.

He has made the most of a fancied resemblance to me, and in many delightful ways has indulged in pleasantries based on it.  In my room hangs a framed photograph signed “Faithfully yours, Chas. A. Murdock.”  It is far better-looking than I ever was—­but that makes no difference.

We were once at a conference at Seattle.  He said with all seriousness, “Murdock, I want you to understand that I intend to exercise great circumspection in my conduct, and I rely upon you to do the same.”

I greatly enjoyed Dr. Hosmer’s party, with its eighty candles, and I was made happy that he could be at mine and nibble my cake.  Not all good and great men are so thoroughly lovable.

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A Backward Glance at Eighty from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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