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Pioneer Life in Zorra
Chapter XXV. What Shall the Harvest Be?


"Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reaping something new:
That which they have done but earnest of the things that they shall do." —TENNYSON.

THE task I undertook is now nearly accomplished. I lay down the pen with mingled feelings of disappointment and gratitude,— disappointment because of the many imperfections of my work, and gratitude that I have been enabled, during fragments of time snatched from a busy pastorate, to speak some kind words concerning good men and women to whom we owe very much. The work has been to me a very delightful one, causing me, in a sense, to live over again the days.

"When hearts were light as ony feather,
Free frae sorrow, care and strife;
Before the clouds began to gather
That dim the noon-tide sky of life."

The memory of the pioneers of Zorra is worthy of being cherished; the reader of the foregoing chapters, will, I think, agree with me that these humble toilers of the forest, though possessed of little wealth or learning, yet knew their Bible, cherished true love to God and a genuine sympathy for one another; and in laying the foundations of society in this new land, showed marvellous industry, patience, perseverance. They have bequeathed to us sound minds and healthy bodies, a rich country, and a good hope through grace,

But we must not live in the past. Our eyes were not put in the back of our heads, that we might be always looking backwards. Last summer's sunshine will not paint the flowers of this summer. We cannot live on memories. The nobility of our fathers will not necessarily make us noble. Changing Longfellow a little I would say:

"Lives of good men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime."

And this is especially true when the good are united to us by nature and by grace, and we have their example and their prayers to encourage us. Shall we prove ourselves the worthy Sons of noble sires? They died in the hope that we would fill their places: shall not their hope be realized in fact?

What shall the harvest be? What will be the record of the next seventy or eighty years? Will the future be worthy of the past? As a new country we have great opportunities and great responsibilities. We are laying the foundation of what will yet be a magnificent edifice? Shall we not do our work well? To change the figure:—We stand almost at the fountain-head, and can direct the stream. That stream shall one day be a mighty river. Shall it be foul or clear? To drop all figure:—Canada will develop; and the question that should concern us most is, shall she develop along moral lines? Will the Home, the Church, the School, the Sabbath, continue to have the same warm place in the affections of the generations yet to come that they had in the hearts of our pioneer fathers? If so we fear not the future. Happy is the people whose God is the Lord.


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