Excerpt from Life and Times of Rev. Elijah Hedding, D. D., Late Senior Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church
Each biography, therefore, like the personage it rep resents, has not only its distinctive character, but its peculiar sphere of interest and inﬂuence.
Another element of its power is found in the law of assimilation. AS the beautiful and sublime in nature awaken corresponding emotions and inspire corresponding sentiments, so the contemplation of the lovely, the useful, the great, the good in human character and conduct, inspires corresponding sympa thies, kindles corresponding aspirations, and leads to corresponding activities in the great theatre of life. The student of Christian biography lives with the blessed dead - not in their life of glory, but in their life of grace, - that life which is by the faith of the Son of God - a life of devotions and duties, of aims and conﬂicts, of services and sacrifices, and of trials and triumphs. Associating with them, he becomes like them; conversing with them, contemplating their character and life, he is changed into the same image; witnessing their continuous toil and patient endurance, he also becomes steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. This power of assimilation endows Christian biography with vast moral inﬂuence, and makes it a most pre cions means of grace. The lives of holy men are endowed with vital power; they not only point out and illustrate the way, but they draw the soul beav onward.
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