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(A. D. 1802-1861.)
JEAN BAPTISTE HENRI LACORDAIRE, born near Dijon, Francė, May 12, 1802, was first a student of law, but turned from law to theology in 1824. He was ordained a priest in 1827, and became after some time a famous preacher at Notre Dame de Paris. His published conferences or sermons and funeral orations are greatly admired specimens of pulpit eloquence. He joined the Dominican Order of monks in 1840, and was elected to the French Academy in 1860, a year before his death, which occurred on the 22d of November, 1861.
“This man — brilliant, ready, supple, adroit, meteor-like, diamond-like has supplied his countrymen with a career on which they may exhaust their vocabulary of antithesis. He combined two types - the rigid mediævalist and the modern demagogue.
He was an orator and an ascetic. He was a haughty priest and a champion of the democracy. He was a confessor of nuns and a writer in Liberal journals. He was a brilliant, polished, cultivated Parisian in a shaven head and a white habit. He practised the austerities of the monastic life; but · Brother Henri Domenic Lacordaire, of the Friars' Preachers,' was the friend of Montalembert and the correspondent of Guizot. He instinctively recognized these contrasted aspects of his character. 'I hope to live and die,' he said, a penitent Catholic and an impenitent Liberal.”” — J. SKELTON, “Essays in History and Biography.”
THE FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES.
(From “ The Moral Life,” by Père Lacordaire ; translated by H. D.
The ancients decided, and we have not altered their decision, that there exist four fundamental virtues to which all the others return as to their natural trunk. We call them cardinal virtues, and we still range them, from respect for logic as much as consideration for antiquity, in the same order in which they placed them. The first is prudence. It is at the beginning of all the others, because it embraces human things in their most general point of view. ..
Justice comes after prudence to forbid whatever is unjust, that is to say, whatever is against the right of a man.
Temperance is the third cardinal virtue. It is moderation in desires and wants, especially in what concerns the life of the senses ; food, sleep, movement, repose, outer pleasures. By temperance, man limits himself to what is good for him ; he makes of his body a being obedient to the truth of his nature, obedient also to the law of justice.
Thus the prudence of the magistrate, the justice of the honest man, the temperance of the sage, these are the first virtues, and as it were the first lines which constitute moral rectitude. This done, much is done: nevertheless this is not yet enough; moral rectitude exists, moral greatness is absent, the man is worthy of esteem, but not of admiration. Virtue being the highest thing in man, there should be in it, besides prudence, justice, and temperance, which do not suffice to his greatness, another virtue, a supreme virtue which gives to him the majesty of what is august, the splendor of character. ..
We must have that last virtue which crowns the others by raising them to the dignity of martyrdom, the virtue which Rome called force — FORTITUDE, and the Greeks by the very name of Rome ; for Rome in the Greek language, signifies strength; a prophetic name given by Providence to that city which it had destined to govern the world by the empire of right and the empire of character.
LACORDAIRE TO YOUNG MEN.
("Letters to Young Men," translated by Rev. James Trenor.)
Spend a fair share of every day upon the serious occupations of your state, and look upon this work as one of your first duties, and as the personal accomplishment of that sentence passed by God upon our first father. In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat thy bread.
As to the lawful pleasures of the mind, the heart, or the senses, indulge in them with gratitude and moderation, drawing up sometimes in order to punish yourself, without waiting to be forced to do so by necessity.
Bear constantly in mind that we have two great vices to beat down and destroy, pride and sensuality; and two great virtues to acquire, humility and penance.
Raise from time to time your heart to God, and think upon the painful passion of our Lord, in order to neutralize by the contemplation of his mangled and bleeding body the involuntary impression produced upon you by the objects you are condemned to see.
Choose some poor person, and relieve him regularly according to your means, and look upon him as Jesus Christ Himself, visit him, talk to him, and if you have courage enough, kiss his clothes or his feet sometimes.
Fasten yourself in spirit to His cross, hand yourself
over to the executioner: to dwell upon the thought of chastisement, and undergo it mentally, is a suffering in itself. The martyrs had immolated themselves a hundred times in their hearts before they were sacrificed in reality.
Think too of the number of slaves and poor who get scarcely anything but a little bad bread moistened with their tears and even with their blood.
Endeavor to be good, amiable, simple in your dealings with every one, and do not consider the life of a Christian as necessarily one of moroseness and melancholy. Saint Paul is continually saying to the faithful, rejoice! The real Christian is filled with interior joy even in the midst of sufferings : he bears his cross good-humoredly ; martyrdom and opprobrium don't affect his spirits; he offers his body to be afflicted as Providence sees fit without losing his serenity; he turns into roses chains, hunger, thirst, rags, fire, scourges, the sword, death. He loves and is loved, what more does he need? UNIVE" STY
(A. D. 1803-1882.)
RALPH WALDO EMERSON was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 25th of May, 1803. After graduating from Harvard College in 1821, he taught school for five years, and then entered the ministry, to which he had seemed to be dedicated by a long line of reverend ancestors on one or the other side. In 1829 he became the colleague of the Rev. Henry Ware, in pastoral charge of the Second Unitarian Church, at Boston. Three years later, after preaching a sermon in which he made known a change of views with regard to the Lord's Supper, he resigned his charge and withdrew from the pulpit. His first visit to England was made that year, and his acquaintance and life-long correspondence with Carlyle began. After returning to America, he took up the calling of a public lecturer, and most of the now classic essays which he gave to the world during the remainder of his life were first prepared for reading on the lyceum platform. The first collection of his “Essays " was published in 1841, the second in 1844, and a volume of his poems in 1846.
The influence of Emerson on thoughtful minds soon made itself felt, in England as well as in his own country, and when he went abroad a second time, in 1847, he found many admirers awaiting him. In 1850 he published the course of lectures entitled “Representative Men.” His
His “English Traits ”
was published in 1856; “The Conduct of Life” in 1860; "Society and Solitude” in 1869, and “May-Day and other Poems the same year.
These were his principal writings.
Mr. Emerson's residence in Concord began in 1835, and he lived there until his death, which occurred on the 27th of April, 1882.
“We have not in Emerson a great poet, a great writer, a great philosophy-maker. His relation to us is not that of