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BRIGHT SKIES AND DARK SHADOWS.
“ The sooner,
SENT AWAY—THE CONSOLATIONS OF EXILE. “Go! go! go!” said the doctor.
the better!” This was sending me into exile at a moment's notice. I did not like it. There is no place like home, and though it may not be quite orthodox, I have always been of the opinion that the angel of the household was as good as an angel with wings. But the doctor was peremptory. He did not give advice, but command, and in such a case there is nothing to do but to obey. It would have lightened the matter a little if I could have had so much as a pleasant day to depart; but it was raining heavily as I crossed the Hudson, and one's spirits are apt to sink with the barometer. In such a mood, a ferry-boat is not the place of retirement that one would choose to indulge his sombre reflections; and the station at Jersey City, dark as a half-lighted tunnel, seemed almost like a cavern leading to the shades below. But even in the shades one may recognize some familiar faces, and as I stepped into the drawing-room car, whom should I see in the opposite seat but an old friend who had just been elected Vice-President of the United States. It is more than thirty years since I first knew Levi P. Morton : we recalled the very time and place at which our acquaint
ance began. He was then living in Fourteenth street, in a house twelve and a half feet wide ; but small as it was, it was full of brightness, and he was then the same gentlespoken, quiet-mannered, and even-tempered man that he has been ever since, with a natural courtesy that makes all men his friends, and none his enemies. It is with a personal gratification that I see this true American gentleman elevated to the second position in the government of his country, and that he has at his side one who will do as much to grace the social life of Washington as any of her predecessors.
Pleasant company makes time pass quickly, and it was not long before the train rolled into the station at Philadelphia. The rain was still pouring, but there were bright lights and welcoming faces, and we were soon carried off, willing captives, to taste the hospitality of the Quaker City.
When I am banished from feverish New York, I betake me to restful Philadelphia, the very sight of which, with its rectangular streets and slow-moving people, subdues me to a feeling of quietness and peace. If I were a doctor, and had a patient who was suffering from insomnia, I would prescribe for him a change to Philadelphia. It is a perfect anodyne. At once the heart beats more slowly, the pulse becomes more measured and regular, and the tired brain finds the welcome rest that brings life back again, and the weary pilgrim starts on his journey anew, with fresh courage and hope.
A Sunday in Philadelphia is next to walking the golden streets. The great city rests from its six days of labor. Men gather their families about them, and walk to the house of God in company. Angels are abroad, and we can almost hear the soft stirring of their wings.
In this city of churches I feel very much at home. If one is looking about for a sight that is at once unique and
A FAMOUS SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
inspiring, he may find it in the famous Bethany Sundayschool, the largest in America, founded by Mr. John Wanamaker, whose partner, Mr. Robert C. Ogden, not to be outdone in good works, has set up another, not in opposition, but in imitation. Mr. Wanamaker, at the head of his Bible-class, which includes many hundreds of mature age, who are still eager in their study of the Holy Book, is in his element. He loves to teach and to preach the Gospel, and he does a good deal in the way of practising it, too. When I saw him the next day in his place of business, which is such a centre of activity as would keep most men's heads in a whirl, he was as calm as a Summer's morning—not troubled in mind by the attacks
upon him because of the part he took in the late election, nor carried off his feet by any political ambition. Indeed I believe he would rather be at the head of his Sunday-school than in the Cabinet of President Harrison, though he might be both. The fact that he has wrought so faithfully in the one, certainly does not unfit him for the other. I envy him, not for his wealth or worldly success, nor any political distinction which he may attain, but for the good that he has done among those for whom the rich generally care but little ; so that at the last, when he comes into the heavenly kingdom, he will not come alone, but will have a great multitude of children, and of the poor and the lowly, to keep him company.
But Philadelphia is setting New York an example in other things than Sunday-schools, the last and greatest of which is a Tabernacle for Working-men, an immense structure, in which there is not only a church for religious services, but reception-rooms, a hall for popular lectures, and an infirmary for the treatment of diseases of the eye and ear, the throat and lungs—a treatment which, as it requires the skill of specialists, is on that account so costly
THE BEACON CHURCH,
as to be beyond the reach of working men, but which is here provided without cost. This part of the general plan has been in operation for two years, in which time, even with the limited accommodation, it has furnished relief to over seven thousand patients.
The planting of such a structure right against the walls of the sanctuary, with doors opening from one into the other, is a combination of the religious with the humane, which carries out the spirit of Him who went about doing good to the bodies as well as the souls of men. The church itself is so arranged as to invite the working classes. Instead of being patterned after the stiff and stately style of architecture, in which elaborate carving and florid decoration, and the general air of costliness, serve as a warning to all who may be "in vile raiment” to keep away, this “ Beacon Church" is constructed for a popular assembly, its seats being ranged in the form of an amphitheatre, with great galleries into which crowds can pour, and in which a working-man would not hesitate to take his seat in his work-day clothes, if he had no other, with his wife and children, to hear anybody who has the art of speaking so as to touch his heart. And yet there is nothing about it cheap and mean-looking ; on the contrary, it is quite grand from its size and massiveness. In short, it is & church good enough for the best, and not too good for the humblest, to which therefore both extremes of society may gravitate by a common impulse, so that "the rich and the poor may sit together, and feel that God is the Maker of them all."
But the design of course was chiefly for the workingmen, as is indicated by the location, in a distant part of Philadelphia-perhaps four miles from Chestnut street. It took us nearly an hour to drive there. But for all that, it is not beyond the reach of a dense population,