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I.

WANTED. A VOCATION.

UNIVERSITY OF

CALIFORNIA.

WANTED, A VOCATION.

"I HAVE finished the work which thou gavest me to do. JOHN 17: 4.

ness ?"

THIS is the calm sigh of retrospect with which the perfect man utters his sense of completed life-work. He had come into the world charged with a mission -he was going from the world with that mission accomplished. Life's powers had opened in the consciousness of a vocation from the Father of man: "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's busiLife's powers were omening the end that comes when the full corn is seeded in the heavy ear: "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Death met him with the sheaves upon his shoulder. In the perfect Son of Man all the imperfect children of men find their life expressed, as the flower interprets every unswathing leaf, every swelling bud. He who gathers into himself the full life of humanity, voices humanity's consciousness of a divine vocation. The measure of approach to the Christly fulness of life is the degree of this recognition of a calling to a work of God for man.

Savage life is low, in that it presents little sense of a work given each to do. The ideal of life is loafing,

relieved by such exertion as is needful to sustain existence. The class in our civilized society whose ideal is genteel idleness, though it be the wealthy, and in our superficial sense of the noble term, "the cultured," Matthew Arnold justly calls "the barbarians." They are not truly civilized, for the essential feature of civilization is the associated life in which each member of the body has a work to do for the common weal, the sense of vocation which comes out in the development of mental powers. These brilliant idlers may sing with Walt Whitman, "I loaf and invite my soul," but no soul worth having comes of loafing. The true soul of manhood or womanhood comes as came the perfect soul, whose first whisper of self-recognition was that word of the boy in the Temple, whose musing under the shadow of death was this soliloquy which steals down from the olive-grove beneath Jerusalem.

Life, the highest force, must be, even more than lower forces, motion. Powers of mind and body wait for action to liberate them into forces. Life is forceful action, the outcome of powers seeking vent. Repress, suppress that motion, find no free. play for the force that stirs in heart and mind, and that force passes down and out in lower forms of activity, and the spirit life wilts and withers within the body. To be able to do a work in which the best force of life, its vigor of body, its strength of will, its energy of thought, its wealth of emotion, shall find expression, is the blessing with which the Father sends

his child forth upon the world. "He placed man in the garden to dress it and to keep it," with powers for work and work for those powers, dowering him with faculties and constructing for him a sphere in which he should move in happy action. And the divine reward of advancing life, i.e., of developing powers, is increase of task, not beyond but up to the strength; larger field for the greater force. "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Thou hast been ruler over one city, I will make thee ruler over five cities."

The full-orbed life of humanity divides into the hemispheres of the sexes. In that holy pean of the dying Christ blend the voices of manhood and womanhood, harmonizing in chorded contrast their "I have finished the work;" swelling into unison with "which thou gavest me to do;" the works different, the vocation one. Like the twin stems which Moorish architecture sometimes shows, twining round each other in graceful involution, till they blossom forth in the richly carved capital of the one column, manhood and womanhood climb up together into the human consciousness, which effloresced in Christ, of "the work which thou gavest me to do."

Manhood has been the first of the twin stems of humanity to reach this crowning consciousness of vocation, the first to feel the necessity for active employ, with its physical and mental education, and the first therefore to evolve a sphere adapted for life's

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