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world of things he sees not; weaves, from its own abundant stores, garments of light and loveliness for his wife, his children and his friends; and creates, from the common material that every-day sounds furnish—from the talk of the fireside; from a friend's voice reading the daily newspaper; from the street cries, the tread of many feet and the rattle of wheels, in the busy city; from the tinkle of cow-bells, the babble of brooks, and the songs of birds in tlie country—a world of its own, in which he lives (in spite of what appears to be, and is, so great a privation) a life far richer in joy and peace and gladness than falls to the lot of ordinary men.

Mr. Milburn left Philadelphia while yet a boy, and for some years I lost sight of him. The following sketch of the cutward facts of his life, written by T. B. Thorpe, Esq., for a New York journal, is in the main, I think, accurate; though it gives no notion of the painful and continued struggles of the half-blind youth in getting on in the world. “We find him at the age of fourteen in Illinois, earning a living as a clerk in a store, and by the aid of friends reading to him, occupying his leisure time in preparing for college, which he finally accomplished, and made great proficiency as a student. In 1843 his health, in consequence of close application, failed him, and active life was prescribed as the only thing calculated to restore him to vigor. Determining to be useful, he commenced his public life as a Methodist preacher, and for two years suffered almost incredible hardships among the cabins of the West. In the fall of 1845, he made his appearance in the Northern and Eastern States, as an advocate for the cause of education in the West, and was everywhere received with enthusiasm, not only on account of his intellectual qualities, but also for his aniable disposition, and eminent social virtues. On his journey north, Mr. Milburn found himself on board of an Ohio riv steamer, on which were three hundred passengers. From the number of days the passengers had been together, Mr. Milburn had become pretty well informed of their character, and ho found most prominent among the gentlemen, were a number of

members of Congress, on their way to Washington. These gentlemen had attracted Mr. Milburn's attention, on account of their exceptionable habits. On the arrival of Sabbath morning, it was rumored through the boat, that a minister was on board, and Mr. Milburn, who had up to this time attracted no attention, was hunted up and called upon to give a discourse.' He promptly consented, and in due time commenced divine service. The members of Congress, to whom we have alluded, were among the congregation, and by common consent had possession of the chairs nearest to the preacher. Mr. Milburn gave an address suitable to the occasion, full of eloquence and pathos, and was listened to throughout with the most intense interest. At the conclusion he stopped short, and turning his face, now beaming with fervent zeal, towards the 'honorable gentlemen,' he said: “Among the passengers in this steamer, are a number of members of Congress; from their position they should be exemplars of good morals and dignified conduct, but from what 1 have heard of them they are not so. The Univn of these States, if dependent on such guardians, would be unsafe, and all the high hopes I have of the future of my country would be dashed to the ground. These gentlemen, for days past, have made the air heavy with profane conversation, have been constant patrons of the bar, and encouragers of intemperance; nay more, the night, which should be devoted to rest, has been dedicated to the horrid vices of gambling, profanity and drunkenness. And,'d

, continued Mr. Milburn, with the solemnity of a man who spoke as if by inspiration, there is but one chance of salvation for these great sinners in high places, and that is, to humbly repent of their sins, call on the Saviour for forgiveness, and reform their lives.'

“As might be supposed, language so bold from a delicate stripling, scarcely twenty-two years of age, had a startling effect. The audience separated, and the preacher returned to his stateroom, to think upon what he had said. Conscious, after due reflection, that he had only done his duty, he determined at all hazards to maintain his position, even at the expense of being rudely assailed, if not lynched. While thus cogitating, a rap was heard at his state-room door, & gentleman entered and

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stated that he came with a message from the members of Congress—that they had listened to his remarks, and in consideration of his boldness and his eloquence, they desired him to accept a purse of money which they had made up among themselves, and also, their best wishes for his success and happiness through life.

“But this chivalrous feeling, so characteristic of western men when they meet bold thought and action combined, carried these gentlemen to more positive acts of kindness; becoming acquainted with Mr. Milburn, when they separated from him, they offered the unexpected service of making him Chaplain to Congress, a promise which they not only fulfilled, but through the long years that have passed away since that event, have cherished for the 'blind preacher' the warmest personal regard and stand ever ready to support him by word and deed.

“His election to the office of Chaplain to Congress, so honorably conferred, bronght him before the nation, and his name became familiar in every part of the Union. His health still being delicate, in the year 1847 he went south for the advantago of a mild climate, and took charge of a church in Alabama. For six years he labored industriously in Mobile and Montgomery cities of that State, and in four years of that time, preached one thousand five hundred times, and travelled over sixty thousand miles.”

In all his different spheres of ministerial labor, Mr. Milburn devoted himself to his work with the zeal and fidelity which so generally characterize the clergy of the Methodist Episcopal Church. But, as may readily be understood, his blindness was a great impediment to the due fulfillment of the pastoral function under the itinerant law of the Methodist ministry. The necessity of removing a growing family from place to place every two years was, of itself, too great a task; and, although Mr. Milburn's great power of endurance, and remarkable physical as well as mental aptitude for public speech, would make it easy for him to discharge the pulpit duties of a fixed and permanent charge, no such permanency of the pastoral relation is compatible with the general system of Methodism. In the summer of 1853 he returned to New York, and fixed his abode there. Since that period he has devoted himself, first, to his great life-work, preaching the Gospel in such churches in the city as needed occasional service in addition to, or in place of, the regular pastorate; and secondly, to the delivery of public lectures. It was a bold procedure, but its eminent success fully justified its sagacity. Stepping into the field ai a time when a number of the richest and most fertile minds in the country were engaged before the public as lecturers, and when the public ear had grown fastidious from cultivation, Mr. Milburn took no second rank, and his reputation is now spread abroad throughout the length and breadth of the land.

This preëminent success could only have been achieved by preëminent powers. I have already spoken of Mr. Milburn as a man of genius; but this high gift goes but little way in the line of literary life which Mr. Milburn has chosen, unless supplemented by good habits of labor. And his industry is untiring. No source of information within his reach is left unransacked for facts to form the groundwork of his lectures: the reader of this volume will see that in each discourse the body is made up of sound and valuable information, in the best sense of the word. He will see, too, that the lecturer's turn of mind is singularly practical; and that in the ethical and religious bearings of his subject, his line of thought is always clear and definite, as of one whose philosophy of life had been the fruit of thorough Tel ion. Sense-hard, substantial sense is one of the most marked characteristics of Mr. Milburn's lectures, as well as of his sermons.

Mr. Milburn's devotion to books, and the difficulties with which his path as a student has been envirc ned, have been before spoken of. I cannot do better, upon this point, than to present to the reader the following imperfect newspaper report of an address delivered by him at the “Publisher's Festival," held at the Crystal Palace, in New York, in 1855:

cb Mr. PRESIDENT: I sincerely thank you for your honorable recognition of the Clergy. Perhaps that branch of it to which I belong may not be the least worthy to respond to your sentiment, for they were probably the first to penetrate the wilds of

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the new countries, carrying those precious commoditiesbooks.

“Were the church compared to an army, I should say that the other clergymen present belonged to the artillery, and good service are they doing in their permanent positions at the batteries and in the trenches, against our common foes, Ignorance and Sin. I happened to be drafted into the Light Brigade, whose service was upon the outskirts of the camp. In a ministry, the twelfth year of which completed itself yesterday, it has fallen to my lot to travel over two hundred thousand miles in the performance of clerical duties. Our training, as itinerant ministers, began in the saddle, and in lieu of holsters, we carried saddle-bags crammed with books for study and for sale; for our church economy held it a duty of the minister to circulate good books, as well as to preach the Word.

“Let me change the figure. Although we were graduates of Brush College and the Swamp University, we were always the friends of a wholesome literature. Picture, then, a young itinerant, clad in blue jean, or copperas homespun; his nether extremities adorned with leggings; his head surmounted with a straw hat in summer, a skin cap in winter; dismounting from the finest horse in the settlement, at the door of a log cabin, which may serve as a schoolhouse or a squatter's home, carefully adjusting on his arm the well-worn leather bookcase. See him as he enters the house of one room, where is assembled the little congregation of balf a dozen or a dozen hearers-backwoods farmers and hunters, bringing with them their wives and little ones, their hounds and rifles. The religious service is gone through, regularly as in a cathedral. At its close, our young friend opens the capacious pockets of his saddle-bags, displaying on the split-bottom chair, which has served him as a pulpit, his little stock of books, to the eager gaze of the foresters.

“Thus day after day does the circuit-rider perform his double duties, as preacher and bookseller. Not a few men of my acquaintance have driven a large trade in this line, turning thereby many an honest penny. The plan was designed to work as a two-edged sword, cutting both ways—to place a sound religinas literature in the homes of the people, and (as we

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