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EDWARD EVERETT HALE, Congregationalist divine and author, was born in Boston in 1822. He was graduated at Harvard in 1839 and became a Unitarian preacher in 1846 at Worcester. In 1850 he removed to Boston, where his most important life's work was accomplished as a preacher and writer. A collected edition of his writings, in ten volumes, was published in 1901. His varied literary enterprises and undertakings have been too many to be enumerated here. His most famous work is "The Man Without a Country." He is at present chaplain to the United States Senate.
BORN IN 1822
THE COLONIZATION OF THE DESERT God saw everything that he had made. And behold, it was very good.-Gen. i., 31.
HIS simplest expression of the earliest religion comes back to us with new force in the midst of all the wonderful revelations of our modern life.
In ten weeks' time I have crossed from one ocean to the other; I have crossed backward and forward over the Allegheny and the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, with the valleys between them, and the slopes which rise from the ocean on either side. This means a journey through twelve of the old thirteen States and fifteen of the new States and Territories. It means intercourse with people of the North and the South, the Gulf and the West, the Pacific coast and the mountains. It means intercourse with the white race, the black race, the red race, and the Chinaman. The variety of climate is such that I have welcomed the shade of palm-trees, and that I have walked over snow where it had drifted twenty feet beneath me. I have picked oranges from the tree, and camellias from the twig in the
open air, and within three hours of good-by to the camellia I was in a driving snow-storm, where the engine drivers were nervous because they had no snow plow. In all this variety I have a thousand times recalled the simplest expression of the oldest words of the Bible: "God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good."
The solid recognition of this truth-not, indeed, in any small sense; but in that sense which is general and comprehensive-is at the bottom of all true religious philosophy. It is not true in any smaller sense. For I cannot say that it is good to be bitten by a mosquito or worried by a fly, if I can escape fly or mosquito. No, that is not true. And I do not suppose that the simple author of this text meant any such extravagance. But this is true, that the world is so made and ordered that man, who is himself a creator-man, who shares the wishes, instincts, and plans of the Power who directs the world-man can take the world in his hands and compel it to serve his nobler purposes.
God saw the world, and he said: "Yes, this is what I want for My home and the home of children who love Me. It is a world very good to them, and they shall subdue it to My purposes." To recognize this, to feel the fitness of the world for man and man's fitness for the world, this is the basis of consistent optimism. Nobody says that the top of the