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The Story of a Working Man's Life
     

The Story of a Working Man's Life

by Francis Mason
 

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It was the outspoken pledge of an English nobleman, who, as a statesman
and political reformer, inscribed his name on the history of his nation,
that, in case of social convulsion, much as he favored general freedom
for all classes, he should "stand by his own order."

The words of Earl Grey would, we doubt not, be adopted by the writer of
the

Overview

It was the outspoken pledge of an English nobleman, who, as a statesman
and political reformer, inscribed his name on the history of his nation,
that, in case of social convulsion, much as he favored general freedom
for all classes, he should "stand by his own order."

The words of Earl Grey would, we doubt not, be adopted by the writer of
the present volume; and with a frankness and a tenacity equalling the
like traits in the British Peer, this "WORKING MAN," the son of a sturdy
English Radical, would account it his duty and glory to "stand by HIS OWN
ORDER," the stalwart and the hardy, who contribute so largely to the
national prosperity, bear much of the nation's burdens and perils, and
deserve their full share of its consideration. Never forgetting, much
less disowning, the peasant and artizan class, from which he springs, and
with a kindly, earnest word for the wronged and much enduring sailor, his
religion has yet taught him that, duly understood, the interests of all
the orders and classes in a nation are coincident and inseparable. As a
servant of Christ in the field of Foreign Missions, he has laboriously
shown, that the needs of a remote and alien race are held by him to have
a just claim for the best years of his life, and for the putting forth of
his best powers of body and of soul. Apart from caste and from
distinctions of race, of hue, and of language, he has consecrated
himself, like the great Apostle of the Gentiles, as "debtor to all," to
become "the servant of all." Yet even Paul, we may presume, would of all
Hebrews greet a man of the tribe of Benjamin with special cordiality; and
should an inquirer of the school of the Pharisees approach him, Paul
would meet that disciple with an intimate and eager sympathy, derived
from the vivid reminiscences of his own youth spent at the feet of
Gamaliel.

The life of Francis Mason has been drawn through varied scenes and many
lands. Neither a cloistered student, nor a thoughtless, frivolous
rambler, his acquaintance with books has been supplemented by free
collision with men. And to his free intercourse with mankind in various
stages of culture and of barbarism, he has brought the mind stored with
reflection, and the eye taught duly to observe and wisely to discriminate
and to appreciate.

A native of England, an emigrant in early manhood to America, it was here
that he became a convert, received his training for the ministry, and
hence was sent by American Baptists to their missions in Burmah to labor
among the people of that empire and among the Karens, an aboriginal race
found largely in the Burman territory, but more migratory than the
Burmans, and with a distinct language, some peculiar traits, and many
remarkable traditions. There he has been brought into friendly and
intimate relations with British officers, administering the affairs of
their government in the outlying provinces of their great Indian Empire.

With a simplicity and directness that remind one of our own Benjamin
Franklin, he has told the tale of his own eventful career. And in doing
this he has afforded us some striking glimpses of what the United States
were when he first reached our shores; whilst the main thread of his
narrative bears us to philosophies, faiths, and races which were old and
well settled far back as the days of Daniel, and before Greece had, under
the conduct of Alexander, hurled herself upon India.

As travel becomes more frequent and more rapid, the various countries of
our earth would appear to be compressed inevitably into closer proximity;
and they must also become percolated with a fuller, prompter sympathy. To
one who spends much of his time in journeying, the modern facilities of
locomotion are almost equivalent to a prolongation and expansion of life;
for distances that once could be traversed by him only in weeks, may now
be surmounted in hours. And lands and continents, in other times so
remote as to be beyond the range of any travellers who had not both
adventurousness and opulence, and large leisure, seem in our own days, by
steam and steel, by the railroad and the wheeled vessel, to be gathered
up--and if the image may be allowed--they are puckered into narrower
dimensions. They have become accessible to the holiday jaunt of the
wayfarer whose leisure is scanty and whose funds are but stinted. The
very surface of our globe is, in the phrase of the milliner's dainty art,
tucked and plaited into smaller compass. Man, by his Creator set as the
master of Earth, finds his domain shrivelled into more manageable
dimensions, and finds himself endowed with new powers of survey and
subjugation.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013670884
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/22/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
280 KB

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