John Muir's Funeral
INTRODUCTION realized ideas of His mind. He gave you pure tastes, and the steady preference of whatsoever is most lovely and excellent. He has made you a more individualized existence than is common, and by your very nature and organization removed you from common temptations. . . . Do not be anxious about your calling. God will surely place you where your work is." Thus early did his friends see in him those personal qualities and those powers of insight which gave a rare distinction to his person and his presence. Evil thoughts fled at the sound of his voice. An innate nobility of character, an unstudied reverence for all that is sublime in nature or in life, unconsciously called forth the best in his friends and acquaintances. In the spiritual as in the physical realm flowers blossomed in his footsteps where he went. After all, it is to such men as John Muir that we must look for the sustenance of those finer feelings that keep men in touch with the spiritual meaning and beauty of the universe, and make them capable of understanding those rare souls whose insight has invested life with imperishable hope and charm. Not many years ago the directors of the Sierra Club arranged for a quiet little dinner in honor of James Bryce, when he returned INTRODUCTION from his visit to Australia. To all intents and purposes there were only two men at the dinner, Biyce and Muir, for the rest were intent listeners — too intent, altogether, to take more than mental notes. Both were enlarging upon the value of the civilizing influences that arise from a deep and humane understanding of nature. Lord Bryce ventured the remark that the establishment of national parks, and the fostering of a love of nature and outdoor life among children, would do more for the morals of the nation than libraries and law codes. Muir welcomed this opinion, and added that children ought to be trained to take a sympathetic interest in our wild birds and animals. "Under proper training," he said, "even the most savage boy will rise above the bloody flesh and sport business, the wild foundational animal dying out day by day as divine, uplifting, transfiguring charity grows in." To all who knew John Muir intimately his gentleness and humaneness toward all creatures that shared the world with him was one of the finest attributes of his character. He was ever looking forward to the time when our wild fellow creatures would be granted their indisputable right to a place in the sun. The shy creatures of forest and plain have lost in
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