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Frederick Denison Maurice. In Memoriam
by [?]

But it was that very humility, that very self-distrust, combined so strangely with manful strength and sternness, which drew to him humble souls, self-distrustful souls, who, like him, were full of the “Divine discontent;” who lived–as perhaps all men should live–angry with themselves, ashamed of themselves, and more and more angry and ashamed as their own ideal grew, and with it their consciousness of defection from that ideal. To him, as to David in the wilderness, gathered those who were spiritually discontented and spiritually in debt; and he was a captain over them, because, like David, he talked to them, not of his own genius or his own doctrines, but of the Living God, who had helped their forefathers, and would help them likewise. How great his influence was; what an amount of teaching, consolation, reproof, instruction in righteousness, that man found time to pour into heart after heart, with a fit word for man and for woman; how wide his sympathies, how deep his understanding of the human heart; how many sorrows he has lightened; how many wandering feet set right, will never be known till the day when the secrets of all hearts are disclosed. His forthcoming biography, if, as is hoped, it contains a selection from his vast correspondence, will tell something of all this: but how little! The most valuable of his letters will be those which were meant for no eye but the recipient’s, and which no recipient would give to the world–hardly to an ideal Church; and what he has done will have to be estimated by wise men hereafter, when (as in the case of most great geniuses) a hundred indirect influences, subtle, various, often seemingly contradictory, will be found to have had their origin in Frederick Maurice.

And thus I end what little I have dared to say. There is much behind, even more worth saying, which must not be said. Perhaps some far wiser men than I will think that I have said too much already, and be inclined to answer me as Elisha of old answered the over- meddling sons of the prophets:

“Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to-day?”

“Yea, I know it: hold ye your peace.”