—January 15, 1896
It is with no feeling of sadness that I think of this withdrawal. He would not have wished for that. But with a faltering hand I try to express one of many incommunicable thoughts about the hero who has departed. Long before I met him, before even written words of his had been read, his name like an incantation stirred and summoned forth some secret spiritual impulse in my heart. It was no surface tie which bound us to him. No one ever tried less than he to gain from men that adherence which comes from impressive manner. I hardly thought what he was while he spoke; but on departing I found my heart, wiser than my brain, had given itself away to him; an inner exaltation lasting for months witnessed his power. It was in that memorable convention in London two years ago that I first glimpsed his real greatness. As he sat there quietly, one among many, not speaking a word, I was overcome by a sense of spiritual dilation, of unconquerable will about him, and that one figure with the grey head became all the room to me. Shall I not say the truth I think? Here was a hero out of the remote, antique, giant ages come among us, wearing but on the surface the vesture of our little day. We, too, came out of that past, but in forgetfulness; he with memory and power soon regained. To him and to one other we owe an unspeakable gratitude for faith and hope and knowledge born again. We may say now, using words of his early years: “Even in hell I lift up my eyes to those who are beyond me and do not deny them.” Ah, hero, we know you would have stayed with us if it were possible; but fires have been kindled that shall not soon fade, fires that shall be bright when you again return. I feel no sadness, knowing there are no farewells in the True: to whosoever has touched on that real being there is comradeship with all the great and wise of time. That he will again return we need not doubt. His ideals were those which are attained only by the Saviours and Deliverers of nations. When or where he may appear I know not, but I foresee the coming when our need invokes him. Light of the future aeons, I hail, I hail to thee!