Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/143

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Father Wilbur and His Work. 29 cration to the redemption of the Indian race." This may in part be conceded to be true, and yet the biographer and his- torian who not only narrates events but seeks to discover the philosophy and purposes of the acts of men and their influence beyond their times, must regret that the labors of sO' great a man should have been so long and so exclusively devoted to a race that he could not help into a permanent and enduring civilization. Here and there a remnant of that race yet re- mains, and its untamed blood lives its nature and instinct, in a few strong members, but the severe chronicler of the times must attest the truth of history that in large degree the work of evangelism among the native races has not measured up to the expectation of the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much of life and of treasure and labor in their behalf. And the chief distinction that will be noted in the life and work of James H. Wilbur will be that upon virgin soil, in the unbroken forests of the Oregon country, with his own hands, he laid the foundation of Taylor Street Methodist Church, and like institutions and influences in other sections of this then new country, and that he here began a work which, in the circle of its influence and in the effectiveness of its power, will be eternal. What he did here and elsewhere along these lines was done with no thought of distinction or enduring fame. Longfellow says that "the talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, without a thought of fame," and true greatness takes no notice of what the future may have in store for those who achieve, and is not troubled about the memorial tablet. Wilbur lived a life of usefulness and struggle, but in and through it all there was purpose and achievement. Daniel Deronda, at the end of that tragic story so well portrayed by George Eliot, says : "What makes life dreary is the want of motive; but once beginning to act with that penitential, loving purpose you have in your mind, there will be unexpected satisfactions — there will be newly-opening needs continually coming to carry you

on from day to day. You will find your life growing like a----