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you the eclipse of the universe and the end of all things several times repeated before our day. I can show you the waves of infidelity coming in like a flood a great many times, and the flood happily drying up again just as often. I can show you, too, that the heats and passions of our times have been before ; and when I find that these things have been so oft repeated I cease to feel the sting of fear, and I go out quiet, calm, and tranquil. I have a half-mischievous pleasure in my library in putting the great men of old times side by side according to their divergences. I put Calvin close to Arminius, and it is wonderful—in a library-how pleasantly they do kiss one another. I put my great Tory next to my Radical, and they lie down together as the wolf and the lamb. So when hot, fanatical, or furious, I simply go home and watch those great men as they lie there in quiet peace, and then I go forward to think of those better days when man's clear knowledge of what is infinite and eternal, separated from that which is but passing away, shall bring us into that blessed peace-that deliverance from the foolishness and the sins of the


flesh which is promised shall be given to all who truly seek it. I go into my library as to a hermitage, and it is one of the best hermitages the world has. What matters the scoff of the fool when you are safely amongst the great men of the past? How little of the din of this stupid world enters into a library ; how hushed are the foolish voices of the world's hucksterings, barterings, and bickerings! How little the scorn of high or low, or the mad cries of party spirit, can touch the man who in this best hermitage of human life draws around him the quietness of the dead, and the solemn sanctities of ancient thought ! Thus, whether I take it as a question of utility, of pastime, or of high discipline, I find the librarywith but one or two exceptions—the most blessed place that man has fashioned or framed. The man who is fond of books is usually a man of lofty thought and of elevated opinions. A library is the strengthener of all that is great in life, and the repeller of what is petty and mean; and half the gossip of society would perish if the books that are truly worth reading were but read.


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Books God's GREATEST AND BEST GIFTS UNTO MAN.-Now, Mr. Mayor, we probably could not part without some little looking forward to the future. For man's part in immortality is so great that he always looks beyond that day when “the earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved;" beyond the day when these earthen vessels, so gloriously shaped by the Almighty Potter, shall have fallen back again into shapeless clay; and he longs, with a pardonable desire, that his name may be remembered when the place that knew him knows him no more. That glorious weakness I hope we all of us share—that we would fain haunt some place in this world even when the body is gone; that we desire that our names shall be gratefully spoken of when we have long passed away to join the glorious dead. If this be your passion, there are few things that I would more willingly share with you than the desire that, in days to come, when some student, in a fine rapture of gratitude, as he sits in this room, may for a moment call to mind the names of the men who by speech and by labour, by the necessary agitation or the continuous work, took part in founding this library.

There are few places I would rather haunt after my death than this room, and there are few things I would have my children remember more than this, that this man spoke the discourse at the opening of this glorious library, the first-fruits of a clear understanding that a great town exists to discharge towards the people of that town the duties that a great nation exists to discharge towards the people of that nationthat a town exists here by the grace of God, that a great town is a solemn organism through which should flow, and in which should be shaped, all the highest, loftiest, and truest ends of man's intellectual and moral nature. I wish then for you, Mr. Mayor, and for myself, that in years to come, when we are in some respects forgotten, still now and then in this room the curious questions may be asked—Who was Mayor on that famous day? Who said grace before that famous banquet ? Who returned thanks for that gracious meal ? Who gathered these books together? Who was the first man that held that new office of 'ibrarian ? I trust his name will be printed whenever the name of this corporation appears.


his title is to be I don't know-whether it is to be Town Librarian or Corporation Librarian—but I envy him whatever it may be, and I am glad the Corporation has given itself an officer who represents intellect—that it looks upward deliberately and says:—We are a Corporation, who have undertaken the highest duty that is possible to us : we have made provision for our people--for all our people—and we have made a provision of God's greatest and best gifts unto man.




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