THE MESSAGE OF THE HUMBLE.
I bid the skilful poet find his models in actual life.
The message of art is likewise the message of the humble. Like the poet and the artist, the workingman is a true maker of things, a creator in the environment. They differ not in kind, but in the degree of their recognition.
Every man is the portal to a wealth of ex perience no other man possesses. Each man sion in our Father's house is built and fur nished and adorned in a way never before ac complished. Back of every door there dwells a god in disguise; could we but strip the mask from his face, reveal the divinity that dwells in him, we should fall to our knees knowing that we are in the presence of the infinite source of all men.
Whether the mansion be sumptuous, or whether it be low in tone and poor, it is a chapter in the book of life. Constant reading of these chapters puts life before us in a light so true that no library can offer us anything of equal richness, interest or variety.
The things a man gathers about him as his property are but the visible symbols of his motives and conceptions. Yet things and prop erty never fully represent a man. He is for ever beyond and above them; forever ill expressed by them. Thus in justice to him we must know how to open the portal and to speak with this host of the inn, and learn what there is in him beyond the outer, visible expression.
With the humble, as with the great, we must look for the impulse to achievement. Men dwelling in huts saw visions, else there would never have been a mansion.
We must read the humble and the great as we read history ; that is, to make motives plain. It is not for us to know what battles a man fights, but only that he elects to fight a battle. Let us seek to know not the manner of his victories, but what conviction led him to be a victor.
The message of the humble is spelled in work, for work is the message of all men. Humble as he may be, yet he dwells above mind and body, and as he conceives the won derful strength of his position he uses mind and body and other extensions of himself that he may reach out. The soul in him "strives
amain to live and work through all things." Thus the lesson set before every man, is the same. He must keep close to his divine source, must listen for its promptings, must bid mind and body work for him to the divine purpose that inspires him. Slowly he must learn "to know his worth and keep things under his feet." This point of view, establishing a man securely in the source of his being, re moves forever from the face of the earth the brutality of labor, for there falls upon all activity a radiance. It is no longer mean and sordid.
When the divine presence appeared before King Solomon and bade him ask for what he wished to possess, Solomon begged that there might be given him an understanding heart. And when the divine presence came to him later, in a vision, it said : "Because thou hast asked for this thing, have I added many other things unto you." Thus by his wish divinely expressed, a man must determine his reach and grasp, then it will be plain to him that the kingdom is not without but within. Through the marvelous mediums of mind and body he will so build home and environment as to give evidence that he is a poet and an artist busy as a maker of things ; of things worthy to be placed before the eyes of other travelers like himself ; for the spirit in which they come forth radiates from them, as perfume from a flower.
In seeking to obtain the education essential to himself as a maker, he will strive, first of all, to fix his place, not as the dweller in a street, but as a citizen of the universe. That accomplished, he is forever secure, for he sails his craft by the light of an unswerving star above his head. Troubled waters no longer disturb him, for he knows that it is the nature of waters to be troubled, and that it is the right of man to shape his course by the star above him.