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The Life and Work
EDWARD A. LAWRENCE, JR.
BY HIS MOTHER,
“ Not to be Ministered unto, but to Minister"
NEW YORK: CHICAGO : TORONTO:
Publishers of Evangelical Literature.
HARVARD CLGE LIBRARY
LINOTYPED AND PRINTED BY J. J. ARAKELYAN
295 CONGRESS STREET, BOSTON
AFTER ST. JOHN, THE BELOVED :
“Unto you, young men,
As I recall my son's deep interest in young men, my heart goes out to them with inexpressible longings that in so far as he followed Christ they may walk in his steps. In one of his sermons to them, he said:
“Your strength, young men, furnishes a double reason for the Gospel's appeal to you. When the ministry of Jesus began, he needed the strength of young men, and gathered twelve of them about him. That was the first Young Men's Christian Association.
"The coming century belongs to you, if you will take it for Christ; but you must rescue it from peculiar dangers, and all your strength will be needed. We are on the eve of revolutionary changes. Nay, we are now passing through them. Venerable structures may be overthrown. The very foundations may seem shaken. Industrial, social, doctrinal changes are imminent. Out of darkness, confusion, chaos, it may be your part to bring light, harmony and love in a new world. You must fight the battle of God's truth. Through you the victory must be won for the universal fatherhood of God, the equal brotherhood of man, the supreme lordship of Christ.”
If he could speak to you now, this would surely be Edward's message. In his behalf, therefore, to you, young men, these Reminiscences are dedicated by his mourning yet grateful mother,
MARGARET WOODS LAWRENCE.
Linden Home, Marblehead.
What practice, howsoe'er expert
In fitting aptest words to things,
Or voice, the richest toned that sings, Hath power to give thee as thou wert?
In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,
Like coarsest clothes against the cold;
But that large grief that these enfold Is given in outline and no more.
The preparation of this Memorial of my only son has been a sacred task of mingled joy and sorrow. It has also been a work of peculiar delicacy and difficulty. There has not, indeed, been any lack of material; the difficulty has rather been to select from its superabundance. For I have had not only my own journal, kept from his infancy, but Edward's journal also, commenced as soon as he could write, with his letters from the earliest to the latest date, and, in addition, printed gatherings relating to him and his work; all of which, mother-like, I have carefully preserved.
I have, however, felt great hesitation as to the personal element necessarily introduced in order properly to portray his character; and it is only as moved by the urgency of friends that I have ventured to insert certain portions. There are those with strong claims on me, whose desire for the fullest reminiscences I have been unwilling to disappoint. And, as I cannot expect the so-called public to be interested in reading such a Memorial, it has seemed unnecessary to concern myself about its criticisms.
The recollection of Edward's extreme modesty at first added to my hesitation as to the full portrayal asked of me. But this modesty did not prevent his conceiving and undertaking large plans for doing good-plans seemingly broken up by his early departure.
And sure I am that he would willingly have consented to any record of his life which might stimulate young men to broaden and carry on the great work for humanity and for God in which he was so enlisted, heart and soul. Nor was he one to oppose what would bring comfort to those who loved him.
It need not be said that, in reviewing the past, memories have surged over me like a flood, at times well nigh overwhelming me. Never was the relation between mother and son more close and tender. That he, on whom I leaned, should be taken from me, was a thought that never occurred to either of us. The blow came so suddenly as to give little opportunity for last words. And it has been my constant regret that I had not ascertained what might have been his wishes with regard to many matters, in case of any such possible event. But in the heart-aching review of the past, Edward's own words have all along brought me peculiar consolation.
I cannot refrain from a warm acknowledgement to those friends who have given me encouragement and help. And more than I can tell am I indebted to Mr. James Buckham and Miss Julia E. Ward for their unwearying counsel and assistance. I only wish I could have done my work more worthily.
MARGARET WOODS LAWRENCE. Linden Home, May, 1900.