But the story of my brother’s work has already been told in the Heavens by those who, through his instrumentality, have already reached the City of Raptures. However, his chief work is yet to come. We get our chronology so twisted that we come to believe that the white marble of the tomb is the milestone at which the good man stops, when it is only a milestone on a journey, the most of the miles of which are yet to be travelled. The Chinese Dictionary which my brother prepared during more than two decades of study; the religious literature he transferred from English into Chinese; the hymns he wrote for others to sing, although he himself could not sing at all (he and I monopolising the musical incapacity of a family in which all the rest could sing well); the missionary stations he planted; the life he lived, will widen out and deepen and intensify through all time and all eternity.
Never in the character of a Chinaman was there the trait of commercial fraud that assailed our American cities in 1879. It got into our food finally—the very bread we ate was proven to be an adulteration of impure stuff. What an extravagance of imagination had crept into our daily life! We pretended even to eat what we knew we were not eating. Except for the reminder which old books written in byegone simpler days gave us, we should have insisted that the world should believe us if we said black was white. Still, among us there were some who were genuine, but they seemed to be passing away. It was in this year that the oldest author in America died, Richard Henry Dana. He was born in 1788, when literature in this country was just beginning. His death stirred the tenderest emotions. Authorship was a new thing in America when Mr. Dana began to write, and it required endurance and persistence. The atmosphere was chilling to literature then, there was little applause for poetic or literary skill. There were no encouragements when Washington Irving wrote as “Knickerbocker,” when Richard Henry Dana wrote “The Buccaneer,” “The Idle Man,” and “The Dying Raven.” There was something cracking in his wit, exalted in his culture. He was so gentle in his conversation, so pure in his life, it was hard to spare him. He seemed like a man who had never been forced into the battle of the world, he was so unscarred and hallowed.
It was just about this time that our Tabernacle in Brooklyn became the storm centre of a law-suit which threatened to undermine us. It was based upon a theory, a technicality of law, which declared that the subscriptions of married women were not legal subscriptions. Our attorneys were Mr. Freeman and Judge Tenney. Theirs was a battle for God and the Church. There were only two sides to the case. Those against the Church and those with the Church. In the preceding eight years, whether against fire or against foe, the Tabernacle had risen to a higher plane of useful Christian work. I was not alarmed. During the two weeks of persecution,