Eclectic School Readings: Stories from Life eBook

Orison Swett Marden
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about Eclectic School Readings.

Dr. Smith resigned his pastorate of the Newton church in 1854, and became editorial secretary of the American Baptist Missionary Union.  In 1875 he went abroad for the first time, and spent a year in European travel.  Five years later he went to India and the Burmese empire.  During his travels he visited Christian missionary stations in France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Burmah, India, and Ceylon.

The latter years of his life were devoted almost entirely to literary work.  He wrote numerous poems which were published in magazines and newspapers, but never collected in book form.  His hymns, numbering over one hundred, are sung by various Christian denominations.  “The Morning Light is Breaking” is a popular favorite.  Among his other published works are “Missionary Sketches,” “Rambles in Mission Fields,” a “History of Newton,” and a “Life of Rev. Joseph Grafton.”  Besides his original hymns, he translated many from other languages, and wrote numerous magazine articles and sketches during his long and busy life.

Dr. Smith’s vitality and enthusiasm remained with him to the last.  A great-grandfather when he died in his eighty-seventh year, he was an inspiration to the younger generations growing up around him.  He was at work almost to the moment of his death, and still actively planning for the future.

His great national hymn, if he had left nothing else, will keep his memory green forever in the hearts of his countrymen.  It is even more popular to-day, after seventy-one years have elapsed, than it was when first sung in Park Street Church by the Sunday-school children of Boston.  Its patriotic ring, rather than its literary merit, renders it sweet to the ear of every American.  Wherever it is sung, the feeble treble of age will join as enthusiastically as the joyous note of youth in lendering the inspiring strains of


My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
  Of thee I sing,
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountain side,
  Let freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble, free,
   Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,—­
My heart with rapture thrills,
   Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
   Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break,
   The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
   To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light,—­
Protect us by thy might,
   Great God, our King.


“No single influence,” says United States Senator George F. Hoar of Massachusetts, “has had so much to do with shaping the destiny of a nation—­as nothing more surely expresses national character —­than what is known as the national anthem.”

Project Gutenberg
Eclectic School Readings: Stories from Life from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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