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JOHN JUDSON BAGLEY

BY GEORGE H. HOPKINS
June 7, 1882

One Sunday afternoon in July, 1863, he writes "if man had made this world and framed its laws, I wonder if we would have had a Sabbath. Selfishness, love of money and accumulation of wealth, would have deprived us of such a day. Did it ever seem to you that the sun shone pleasanter, and the air seemed more pure Sunday morning than on other days? * * * Direct your next letter to Detroit. The first of August I go into business. The goal for which I started six years ago has been reached. Shall I be any happier? I think not, for it is not business or money that makes happiness. Money does not buy it, or position command it. It is only to be found in the quieter path of everyday life, in the duties of each hour and in our own heart. I shall be more content, and perhaps indirectly it will make me happier. Not that it will change my heart, but it may place within my power the means of doing good to myself, my family and my neighbors. If I am ever to be the possessor of wealth my earnest prayer is, that it may not harden my heart or sear my conscience, but that they may be left young and fresh, as I sincerely believe they are now—alive to the necessities of others, and the faults of my own nature. "
"Sabbath Afternoon, April 2, 1854.
My heart shall always be young, and I am sure yours can never grow old. The body may grow old, the step be feeble, the sight grow dim, and the hand forget its cunning; but 'the heart! the heart is a heritage, and keeps the old man young. ' I have sometimes thought, since my residence in the city, and since business with its cares and anxieties has seized hold of me, that I did not love nature as I used to do—that I was growing more fond of money, and less fond of the beautiful in this beautiful world—that some of the well-springs of human kindness in my heart were being sealed up—that the milk of human kindness was growing sour. Still, in reality, I do not think so, and I earnestly pray that it may never be so.

Michigan


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