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DESIGNED FOR WORKING-MEN.
as it is in the midst of large manufactories, that employ thousands of working-men and working-women, for whom this is intended to be a rallying centre, and a fountain of all good influences.
The carrying out of this grand idea is due to the unwearied labors of Dr. Francis L. Robbins, who has given his whole heart to it for several years, and who must have felt rewarded as he saw the great demonstration of Sunday evening. The church, which will hold three thousand people, was not only filled, but blockaded-floor and galleries and aisles, and every passage-way to the outer doors. On the platform sat Mr. Morton, who is the uncle of Mrs. Robbins, and who had come on from New York especially to be at this service; and beside him, Mr. Drexel and Mr. George W. Childs, Mr. Wanamaker, and others who are well known as men who put their hands to every good work. I have rarely looked in the face a more inspiring audience, and the tone of all the speeches was one of hope and congratulation. All felt that this was a step in the right direction; that it tended to solve the problem of reaching the masses with the Gospel ; that it bridged the chasm between the rich and the poor, bringing them nearer together, and both under the influence of that Religion which is the only solid foundation of social harmony and national prosperity.
After the Sabbath was past, I lingered awhile in this goodly city to inhale the air of a place that is always restful to me. There are no ups and downs to cause un ary
feet to stumble : all is plain and straight before my face. The city lieth four square, like the heavenly Jerusalem, and its surface is plain and smooth, as all the ways of life ought to be ; and the streets run at right angles, and are so carefully named and numbered that "the wayfaring man need not err therein." There is a quaint harmony in
THE CITY OF PEACE.
the domestic architecture, there being some hundreds of thousands, more or less, of houses, all with the same brick fronts, the same doors and windows, and the same white doorsteps, the daily washing of which is the badge of respectability, if it be not indeed “the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.” It is a moral lesson to watch the people in the streets, who do not rush about with undue precipitation, but walk with measured steps, in which there is a kind of slow rhythm, that insensibly subdues the stranger to the same dignity and repose. All these things work in me a calm and equable frame of mind ; and when I have been up to the Presbyterian House, and talked with “all the holy brethren,” and been assured that every department of our ecclesiastical machinery is in perfect order ; and to the editorial rooms of “The Presbyterian ” and “The Journal,” and meekly inquired as to the prospects of union between the Churches North and South, and have them both (though their views are exactly opposite) tell me confidentially that “it is all coming out right," I am greatly relieved in mind. Then I need only to ride down town, and look into the untroubled face of that model gentleman, George W. Childs ; and to sit with Mr. Drexel in his banking house—a man who is as simple as if he were not a king in the world of financeand hear him speak hopefully of the prospects of the business world ; to be quite relieved of any fears for the country, under whatever administration it may be. It is thus that Philadelphia quiets my nerves and cools my blood, and leads me to think that the world is not going to the bad, after all. God bless the dear old city of Franklin and of William Penn, whose spirit of peace and of brotherhood abides upon her still--a city rich in its commerce and its accumulated wealth, but richer still in its noble men and women!
WASHINGTON AS A PLACE OF EXILE.
Washington is another city of refuge for me, when I am ordered away from home in search of a milder climate. There, hard by the Capitol, is a wide, roomy house, in which everything is, like its possessor, large and generous, with a great library, which is the very paradise of a scholar. Here the sunshine pours in all day long, and the weary pilgrim can enjoy the “sunshine cure,” for there is sunshine without and within. The master of this hospitable mansion, when in college, bore the proud title of Magnus Ager, to distinguish him from a smaller edition of the same stock, who, being the very least, or littlest, of the tribe of Judah, had the diminutive appellation of Parvus Ager. These college names indicated the relations which existed between the two, and which continue still, for never am I “ in any trouble of mind, body or estate,” that I do not turn to him who is “older and wiser"; and to this day, when I find myself in the arms of this big-brained, bigbreasted, big-hearted brother, I feel that I am about as near “the realm where love abides” as I expect to be till I pass over the river.
The afternoon that I arrived the large house had been the scene of a reception at which there had been a brilliant array of Washington society, in which Mr. Blaine, who attracted all eyes, divided attention with the Chinese Ambassador. For all this I came too late, for which I was not sorry, as nothing fatigues me so much as a crowd, and there were over four hundred guests. So I was content to hear all about it, and to receive the report as one listening to the faint murmur of the outer world, when it is so soft and gentle as not to disturb the peace and happiness within. These are the consolations of exile. And so I find that to be banished is not a cruel punishment, if one may choose his place of exile, in which case I should certainly choose Washington.
OVER THE MOUNTAINS-ASHEVILLE AND KNOXVILLE
A REMINISCENCE OF THE WAR.
“On to Richmond” was the cry in the early days of the war: but it took our armies four years to make the distance which I now made in four hours. As I passed through it, I caught sight of a familiar face, that of the Hon. J. L. M. Curry, who had showed me so much kindness in Madrid, and now came to speed me on my way, only exacting a promise that I should pay him a visit on my return. With such friendly benedictions we glided away towards the going down of the sun, for though I had been ordered to the South, it was with full liberty as to the route I should take, so that I could “meander" hither and thither, towards the mountains or the sea.
From Richmond the direct route to Florida is by the Atlantic Coast line, passing through Charleston and Savannah, by which one who takes the Vestibule Train in New York, can be transported, with the greatest possible comfort, to Jacksonville, in thirty hours, and in two hours more to St. Augustine. But I was in no such pressing haste. My orders were only to keep moving southward, getting all the while into a milder climate. With this liberty, I
IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
followed my usual bent in turning aside, as the fancy took me, to places of interest, to reach my destination at last, though in a roundabout way. On the western border of Virginia is a chain of mountains, full of wild and beautiful scenery, to see which, instead of going directly South, I turned to the Southwest, and the next morning found myself at Asheville, in North Carolina, a place which has of late become one of the most famous resorts in the country. Its attractions are those of scenery and climate. It lies in the lap of mountains, being itself at an elevation of more than two thousand feet above the level of the sea. The air that sweeps through these pine forests is pure and bracing, while even the hill-tops are protected by ranges of mountains from the storms of the North. If a blizzard from Dakota, having lost its way, comes thundering down upon the Alleghanies, it is caught by these snowy peaks, some of which are six or seven thousand feet high, and tossed into the upper sky, while the air is kept untroubled below. To this position is due the remarkable evenness of temperature. Surrounded and protected by these guardian mountains, Asheville knows nothing of the extremes of climate. It is never very hot, nor very cold. For this reason it is a resort all the year round, in the Winter being taken possession of by Northerners, who at this moment throng the corridors of the Battery Park Hotel (one of the best hotels in all the South), but who at the approach of Summer return to their own beautiful country seats on the Hudson, or in New England, while their places here are filled by Southerners, who find this Hill Country a welcome retreat from the lowlands of the Carolinas or the Gulf States.
The region so healthful is equally remarkable for beauty, as one can see even from the hotel, which stands on a hilltop, with the ground sloping from it on every side, so that