Excerpt from True Heroism: And Other Sermons
The spoken word is the primary means of all commerce of ideas; for long it was the only means of such commerce, and it will ever remain the most powerful. The printed page cannot preserve the living voice with its sympathetic tones which inform the words with the spirit of the speaker; which give power to argument and invitation; which wing with fire the denunciations of sin, and fill with sweet constraint appeals to the conscience and the will. But when the voice that spoke is hushed, and the living form is hid by distance or by death, those who have heard would keep the thoughts that breathed in word and life. The man cannot be held forever, but the art preservative may hold the thoughts, as the coal deposits hold the sun's rays, mute and passive until touched by the living mind of another when they live again, not in the same form or in equal power, but they live. On the shelves of our libraries stands that miracle of human art - shall we not say that marvelous fruitage of a divine gift - the best thoughts of the best thinkers sepulchred in the printed lines and ready with resurrection power to answer the call of soul to soul.
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