LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOSEPH HARDY NEESIMA
344 LAST YEARS AND DEATH. would injure himself by so long a conversation I entreated him to stop. But he would not consent, and went on speaking as if perfectly well. The transformation of this self-seeking world into a realm of freedom and righteousness, where the old should help the young and the young care for the aged, in which the rich and the poor should cease to antagonize each other, where labor should have its due reward, and peace and prosperity brood over the entire community, in a word the realization of the great possibilities of humanity, -this was his constant preoccupation and aim. Morning and evening, awake and dreaming, it never left his heart. To this end he strove to add morality to education. The great enterprise of his life had the same object in view. Riu Gen-Toku said 'Cho-un is all courage.' So it has been said of Mr. Neesima, 'he was all fire." And this fire burned to bring forth a peaceful, prosperous nation. His tears, his prayers, his philanthropy, yea, his sickness even, were all devoted to his country. His was a vocation ordained by Heaven, and to build up on earth the Kingdom of Heaven he conceived to be his highest duty. We can readily understand now why he believed in himself and assumed so great a responsibility. "If it be possible to combine truth and humanity, a bold spirit and a meek character, to show practically by one's conduct what Christianity is, without help from the dignitaries of the state or the powerful of this world, Mr. Neesima has done so. He was the Puritan of the nineteenth century. His life is like a poem which has the power to thrill and awaken. It is a precept to be followed. Such a character as his is indeed to be respected, and it is an honor to the nation to possess it.