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Title: Life and Conduct
Author: Lees, J. Cameron
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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LIFE AND CONDUCT

by

J. CAMERON LEES, D.D., LL.D.,

Edinburgh.



Toronto:
William Briggs,
Wesley Buildings.
Montreal: C. W. Coates.
Halifax: S. F. Huestis.
1896.

Entered, according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one
thousand eight hundred and ninety-six, by WILLIAM BRIGGS, at the
Department of Agriculture.



INTRODUCTION.

This book has been selected from the "Guild Series" for young people,
published in Scotland, and reprinted in Canada by permission.

The wise counsels and practical suggestions with which this book
abounds make it eminently suitable for the Epworth League Reading
Course.  We commend it to all young people who are desirous to form
their character on the Christian model and to carry religious principle
into the practical affairs of common life.

Some of the chapters will furnish material for interesting programmes
in the Literary Department.



PREFACE.

This hand-book has been written at the request of the Christian Life
and Work Committee of the Church of Scotland as one of a series of
volumes which it is at present issuing for the use of Young Men's
Guilds and Bible Classes.

The object of the writer has been to show how the principles of
religion may be applied to the conduct of young men, and in the
practice of everyday life.  In doing this he has endeavored to keep
steadily in view the fact that the book is designed chiefly as a manual
of instruction, and can only present the outlines of a somewhat wide
subject.  His language has been necessarily simple, and he has been
often obliged to put his statements in an abbreviated form.

Most of the contents of this book have been drawn from a long and
somewhat varied experience of life; but the author has also availed
himself of the writings of others who have written books for the
special benefit of young men. He has appended a list of works which he
has consulted, and has endeavored to acknowledge his indebtedness for
any help in the way of argument or illustration that they have afforded
him.

It will be a great gratification to him to learn that the book has been
in any way useful to the young men, of whose position, duties, and
temptations he has thought much when writing it; and he sends it forth
with the earnest prayer that the Spirit of God may bless his endeavors
to be of service to those whose interests he, in common with his
brethren in the ministry, regards as of paramount importance.

EDINBURGH,
  _28th June, 1892._



CONTENTS.


CHAP.

    I. CHARACTER
   II. SUCCESS IN LIFE
  III. PERSONAL INFLUENCE
   IV. FRIENDS
    V. MONEY
   VI. TIME
  VII. COURAGE
 VIII. HEALTH
   IX. EARNESTNESS
    X. MANNERS
   XI. TEMPER
  XII. RECREATION
 XIII. BOOKS
  XIV. FAMILY LIFE
   XV. CHURCH
  XVI. CITIZENSHIP

       APPENDIX
       LIST OF WORKS



LIFE AND CONDUCT.


CHAPTER I.

CHARACTER.

Everything in the practical conduct of life depends upon character.

What is character?  What do we mean by it?  As when we say such a man
is a bad character, or a good character, or when we use the words, "I
don't like the character of that man."

By character we mean what a man really is, at the back of all his
actions and his reputation and the opinion the world has of him, in the
very depth of his being, in the sight of God, "to whom all hearts are
open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid."

It is said of Burns, the poet, that walking along the streets of
Edinburgh with a fashionable acquaintance, he saw a poorly-dressed
peasant, whom he rushed up to and greeted as a familiar friend.  His
companion expressed his surprise that he could lower himself by
speaking to one in so rustic a garb.  "Fool!" said the poet, with
flashing eye; "it was not the dress, the peasant's bonnet and hodden
gray, I spoke to, but the man within--the man who beneath that bonnet
has a head, and beneath that hodden gray a heart, better than a
thousand such as yours."  What the poet termed the "man within," what
the Scripture calls the "hidden man of the heart," is character--the
thing a man really is.  Now, there are five things to be remembered
about _character_.

I.  Character is a growth.--As the man without grows, so the man within
grows also--grows day by day either in beauty or in deformity.  We are
becoming, as the days and years pass on, what we shall be in our future
earthly life, what we shall be when that life is ended.  No one becomes
what he is at once, whether what he is be good or bad.  You may have
seen in the winter-time an icicle forming under the eaves of a house.
It grows, one drop at a time, until it is more than a foot long.  If
the water is clear, the icicle remains clear and sparkles in the sun;
but if the water is muddy, the icicle looks dirty and its beauty is
spoiled.  So our characters are formed; one little thought or feeling
at a time adds its influence.  If these thoughts and feelings are pure
and right, the character will be lovely and will sparkle with light;
but if they are impure and evil, the character will be wretched and
deformed.

Fairy tales tell us of palaces built up in a night by unseen hands, but
those tales are not half so wonderful as what is going on in each of
us.  Day and night, summer and winter, a building is going up within
us, behind the outer screen of our lives.  The storeys of it are being
silently fashioned: virtue is being added to faith, and to virtue is
being added knowledge, and to knowledge is being added brotherly
kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity; or meanness is being added
to selfishness, and greed to meanness, and impurity, malice and hatred
become courses in the building.  A wretched hovel, a poor, mean,
squalid structure, is rising within us; and when the screen of our
outward life is taken from us, this is what we shall be.

II.  Character is independent of reputation and circumstances.--A man
may be held in very high esteem by the world, and yet may be a very
miserable creature so far as his character is concerned.  The rich man
of the parable was well off and probably much thought of, but God
called him a fool.  Here is a man who is greatly esteemed by the
public; he is regarded in every way as admirable.  Follow him home, and
you find him in his family a mean and sordid soul.  There you have the
real man.  We cannot always judge a man by what he has, or by what he
appears to us; for what he is may be something very different.  "These
uniforms," said the Duke of Wellington, "are great illusions.  Strip
them off, and many a pretty fellow would be a coward; when in them he
passes muster with the rest."  We must not confound the uniform with
the man: we are often too ready to do so.  _To a certain extent_ we can
form an idea what a man is from the outside.  The horny hand tells of
the life of labor; the deep-set brow tells of the thinker.  In other
words we have a right to judge a man by his habitation.  If the fences
are broken down, the paths are unkept, the flower-beds full of weeds,
we may be pretty sure the inhabitants are idle, thriftless, perhaps
intemperate.  So a clear eye, a firm step, an open countenance, tell of
a pure, good soul within.  For example, a man of cold exterior or of
formal manner may often have a warm heart under it all; a man of rough
manners may have kindly feelings that he cannot express.  We are often
long in the company of men before we really know them, and then the
discovery of what they are comes on us by surprise.

III.  Character cannot be always hidden.--There are those who seem to
think that they can have one set of principles for themselves and
another for the outward world; that they can be in their heart one
thing and in society another; that they can have one character and
another reputation.  They may be proud, but they can so hide their
pride as to have the reputation of being humble; they can lie, but
still have the reputation of always speaking the truth; they can be
impure, and yet have the reputation of being virtuous.  But sooner or
later what they really are generally becomes manifest.  Reputation and
character come to be one.  That which they would keep secret cannot be
concealed.  The mask which men would wear slips aside and discloses the
face beneath it.  (1) Time reveals character.  As the years pass along,
a man generally gets to be known for what he is.  For example, if a man
is a coward and enlists in the army, he may swagger about and look like
a real soldier, but a time will come when the spirit of the man will
show itself, and he will be set down at his real value.  Or a young man
in an office may act dishonestly and go on perhaps for long doing so,
and thinking he is carefully concealing his frauds, but, when least
expected, discovery takes place, and ruin and disgrace follow.  (2)
Sorrow reveals character.  Nothing more truly shows what a man is than
his bearing under the sorrows of life.  When the flag is wrapped around
the flag-staff on a calm day, when no breath of wind is moving, we
cannot read the device that is upon it, but when the storm unfurls the
flag, we can read it plainly enough.  In the same way when the troubles
of life beat upon men we can read clearly what they are.  Again, when
we go along the road on a summer day we often cannot see the houses
that are concealed by the foliage of the trees; but in winter-time,
when the trees are bare and leafless, we know what kind of houses are
there, whether they are squalid cottages or grand mansions.  So in the
winter-time of life, when the leaves are blown away, men come out and
we know what kind of character they have been building up behind the
screen of their life.  (3) If time and sorrow do not reveal character,
eternity will.  We will appear then, not as we seem, but as we are.
Christ is to be our judge.  Consider what a striking thing it is in the
life of Christ that His searching glance seemed to go right to the
heart, to the hidden motive, to the man within.  "He knew what was in
man."  A poor woman passed by Him as He sat in the temple.  She was
poverty-stricken in her garb, and she stole up to the contribution-box
and dropped in her offering.  Christ's glance went right beyond her
outward appearance, and beyond her small and almost imperceptible
offering, to the motive and character.  "She hath given more than they
all."  All sorts of people were around Him: Pharisees, with their
phylacteries; Scribes, with their sceptical notions; Samaritans, with
their vaunted traditions: but He always went right beyond the outward
show.  The Samaritan was good and kind, though he got no credit for
piety; the Pharisee was corrupt and self-seeking, though he got no
credit for piety; the Publican was a child of God, though no one would
speak to him.  Christ reversed the judgment of men on those people whom
they thought they knew so well, but did not know at all.  So it shall
be at the last; we shall be judged by what we are.

IV.  Character alone endures.--What a man has he leaves behind him;
what a man is he carries with him.  It is related that when Alexander
the Great was dying he commanded that his hands should be left outside
his shroud, that all men might see that, though conqueror of the world
he could take nothing away with him.  Before Saladin the Great uttered
his last sigh he called the herald who had carried his banner before
him in all his battles, and commanded him to fasten to the top of the
spear a shroud in which he was to be buried, and to proclaim, "This is
all that remains to Saladin the Great of all his glory."  So men have
felt in all ages that death strips them, and that they take nothing
with them of what they have gained.  But what we are ourselves we take
with us.  All that time has made us, for good or evil, goes with us.
We can lay up treasures in ourselves that neither moth nor rust can
corrupt, and which thieves cannot steal away.  "The splendid treasures
of memory, the treasures of disciplined powers, of enlarged capacities,
of a pure and loving heart, all are treasures which a man can carry in
him and with him into that other world."

  We are but farmers of ourselves, yet may,
  If we can stock ourselves and thrive, uplay
  Much good treasure for the great rent-day.--DONNE.


"All the jewels and gold a man can collect he drops from his hand when
he dies, but every good action he has done is rooted into his soul and
can never leave him."--Buddhist saying.

V.  The highest character a man can have is the Christian
Character.--(1) Christ is the giver of a noble character.  It is
possible to be united to Christ as the branch is united to the tree;
and when we are so, His life passes into ours: a change in character
comes to us; we are renewed in the inward man, old things pass away,
and all things become new.  In the life of St. Paul we have a striking
instance how coming to Christ effects a change in character.  He became
a different man from what he was; he received a new inward life; a
transfiguring change passed over the entire character; the life he
lived in the flesh became a life of faith in the Son of God; and his
experience has been the experience of many.  The source of the highest
and noblest character is Christ.  (2) Christ is also the _standard_ of
a noble character; the true ideal of manhood is found in Him: "the
stature of the fulness of Christ."  Take the following illustration:
"In Holland we travel with Dutch money, in France with French money, in
Germany with German money.  The standard of the coinage varies with
every state we go into.  In Britain there is one standard of coinage;
we may get some corrupted money or some light coin, but the standard of
coinage is the same.  The standard for the Christian is the same
throughout the years and in all places: the one perpetual standard of
the life of Christ."  The best men are those who come the nearest to
it.  Those who come nearest to it are those who will do best in the
practical conduct of life.



CHAPTER II.

SUCCESS IN LIFE.

We often hear the word success used.  The great wish that most have in
beginning life is that they may be successful.  One man constantly asks
another the question regarding a third, How has he succeeded?

What is success in life?  It may perhaps be defined in this way: It is
to obtain the greatest amount of happiness possible to us in this world.

There are two things to be borne in mind in estimating what success is:

I.  Lives which according to some are successful must in the highest
sense be pronounced failures.--The idea of many is that success
consists in the gaining of a livelihood, or competency, or wealth; but
a man may gain these things who yet cannot be said to have succeeded.
If he gets wealth at the expense of health, or if he gets it by means
of trickery and dishonest practices, he can hardly be said to have
succeeded.  He does not get real happiness with it.  If a man gains the
whole world and loses his own soul, he cannot be said to have
succeeded.  True success in life is when a fair share of the world's
good does not cost either physical or intellectual or moral well-being.

II.  Lives which according to some are failures must in the highest
sense be pronounced successful.--The life of our blessed Lord, from one
point of view, was a failure.  It was passed in poverty, it closed in
darkness.  We see Him crowned with thorns, buffeted, spit upon; yet
never was Christ so successful as when He hung upon the cross.  He had
finished the work given Him to do.  He "saw of the travail of His soul
and was satisfied."

Milton completed his _Paradise Lost_ and a bookseller only gave him
fifteen pounds for it, yet he cannot be said to have failed.

  Speak, History, who are life's victors? unroll thy long
      annals and say,
  Are they those whom the world calls victors, who won
      the success of the day,
  The martyrs or Nero?  The Spartans who fell at
      Thermopylae's tryst
  Or the Persians or Xerxes?  His judges or Socrates?
      Pilate or Christ?


What may seem defeat to some may be in the truest sense success.

_There are certain things which directly tend to success in life:_

The first is Industry.--There can be no success without working hard
for it.  There is no getting on without labor.  We live in times of
great competition, and if a man does not work, and work hard, he is
soon jostled aside and falls into the rear.  It is true now as in the
days of Solomon that "the hand of the diligent maketh rich."

(_a_) There are some who think they can dispense with hard work because
they possess great natural talents and ability--that cleverness or
genius can be a substitute for diligence.  Here the old fable of the
hare and the tortoise applies.  They both started to run a race.  The
hare, trusting to her natural gift of fleetness, turned aside and took
a sleep; the tortoise plodded on and won the prize.  Constant and
well-sustained labor carries one through, where cleverness apart from
this fails.  History tells us that the greatest genius is most diligent
in the cultivation of its powers.  The cleverest men have been of great
industry and unflinching perseverance.  No truly eminent man was ever
other than an industrious man.

(_b_) There are some who think that success is in the main a matter of
what they call "luck," the product of circumstances over which they
have little or no control.  If circumstances are favorable they need
not work; if they are unfavorable they need not work.  So far from man
being the creature of circumstances he should rather be termed the
architect of circumstances.  From the same materials one man builds
palaces and another hovels.  Bricks and mortar are mortar and bricks
till the architect makes something out of them.  In the same way, out
of the same circumstances one man rears a stately edifice, while
another, idle and incompetent, lives for ever amid ruins.
Circumstances rarely conquer a strong man; he conquers them.  He

  Breaks his birth's invidious bar
  And grasps the skirts of happy chance,
  And breasts the blows of circumstance,
  And grapples with his evil star.--TENNYSON.


Against all sorts of opposing obstacles the great workers of the world
fought their way to triumph.  Milton wrote _Paradise Lost_ in blindness
and poverty.  Luther, before he could establish the Reformation, had to
encounter the prestige of a thousand years, the united power of an
imperious hierarchy and the ban of the German Empire.  Linnaeus,
studying botany, was so poor as to be obliged to mend his shoes with
folded paper and often to beg his meals of his friends.  Columbus, the
discoverer of America, had to besiege and importune in turn the states
of Genoa, Portugal, Venice, France, England, and Spain, before he could
get the control of three small vessels and 120 men.  Hugh Miller, who
became one of the first geological writers of his time, was apprenticed
to a stonemason, and while working in the quarry, had already begun to
study the stratum of red sandstone lying below one of red clay.  George
Stephenson, the inventor of the locomotive engine, was a common collier
working in the mines.  James Watt, the inventor of the steam-engine,
was a poor sickly child not strong enough to go to school.  John
Calvin, who gave a theology to the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, which has not yet been outgrown, was tortured with disease
all his days.  When were circumstances favorable to any great or good
attempt, except as they were compelled by determination and industry to
become favorable?

(_c_) Even if circumstances seem in every way favorable, industry is
necessary to success.  Though we be born, as the saying is, "with a
silver spoon in our mouth," we cannot afford to dispense with work.
Unless we are hard-working, life will become a weariness to us.  Work
keeps life full and happy; it drives all diseased fancies out of the
mind; it gives balance and regularity to all movements of the soul.

If then we expect to succeed in life we must make up our mind to work
hard.  We must not let it be our notion of a fine lady or gentleman to
do nothing.  The idle life is a miserable life; it is bound to be so.
God has promised many a blessing to industry; He has promised none to
indolence.  God himself works, and He wants His children to work.

_The second thing that tends directly to success in life is a distinct
Aim_.--A man may run very hard in a race, the perspiration may stream
from his brow and every muscle be strained, but if he is not running in
a right direction, if he is running away from the goal, all his
activity will not help him.  So, industrious habits are not sufficient,
unless we have a distinct idea of what we are aiming at.  The world is
full of purposeless people, and such people come to nothing.  Those who
have succeeded best have chosen their line and stuck to it.

  One great aim, like a guiding-star above,
  Which tasked strength, wisdom, stateliness, to lift
  Their manhood to the height that takes the prize.
        BROWNING.


(_a_) The choice of a trade or profession is of enormous importance in
settling our aim in life.  Men often fail from having adopted a calling
for which they are entirely unfitted.  The round man in the square hole
is a pitiful spectacle.  It is difficult to lay down any special rule
in regard to the choice of a profession or business.  Some are obliged
to take whatever opportunity offers, and others have to begin work at
too early an age to permit them to form a true idea of what they are
best fitted for, and are obliged to follow the wishes of others rather
than their own.  This only we can say, that so far as we have a choice
we should adopt the calling that is most congenial to us and suits our
inclinations.  "Grasp the handle of your being" was the direction given
by a wise counsellor to one who sought advice as to what calling he
should follow.  Everyone has certain aptitudes, and as far as he is
able should keep them in view.  There is often a distinct indication at
a very early period of life for what we are best fitted.  "The tastes
of the boy foreshadow the occupations of the man.  Ferguson's clock
carved out of wood and supplied with rudest mechanism; Faraday's tiny
electric machine made from a common bottle; Claude Lorraine's pictures
in flour and charcoal on the walls of the bakers' shops; Canova's
modelling of small images in clay; Chantrey's carving of his
school-master's head in a bit of pine wood,--were all indications clear
and strong of the future man."

(_b_) Whatever you resolve upon, keep to it.  "One thing I do," is a
great rule to follow.  It is much better to do one thing well than many
things indifferently.  It may be well to have "many strings to our
bow," but it is better to have a bow and string that will every time
send the arrow to the target.  A rolling stone gathers no moss.  He
that is everything by turns and nothing long comes to nothing in the
end.

  If thou canst plan a noble deed
  And never flag till it succeed,
  Though in the strife thy heart should bleed,
  Whatever obstacles contend,
  Thine hour will come, go on, thou soul!
  Thou'lt win the prize, thou'lt reach the goal.
        CHAS. MACKAY.


(_c_) The higher our purpose is, the greater our attainment is likely
to be.  The nobler our ideal, the nobler our success.  It seems
paradoxical to say it, but it is true, that no one ever reached a goal
without starting from it; no one ever won a victory without beginning
the battle with it; no one ever succeeded in any work without first
finishing it in his own mind.

  Pitch thy behavior low, thy projects high,
    So shalt thou humble and magnanimous be.
  Sink not in spirit; who aimeth at the sky
    Shoots higher much than he who means a tree.
        G. HERBERT.

When we go forward to life we should make up our mind what we intend to
make of life.  Make up your mind after prayer to God, and work for that.

_The third essential to success in life is Moral Character_, in its
various elements of honesty, truthfulness, steadiness, temperance.
"Honesty is the best policy" is one of those worldly maxims that
express the experience of mankind.  A small leak will sink a great
ship.  One bad string in a harp will turn its music into discord.  Any
flaw in moral character will sooner or later bring disaster.  The most
hopeless wrecks that toss on the broken waters of society are men who
have failed from want of moral character.  There are thousands of such
from whom much was expected but from whom nothing came.  It is told of
a distinguished professor at Cambridge that he kept photographs of his
students.  He divided them into two lots.  One he called his basket of
adled eggs: they were the portraits of men who had failed, who had come
to nothing though they promised much.  What brought most of them to
grief was want of character, of moral backbone.  Some of them--a good
many of them--went to drink, others to love of pleasure, others to the
bad in other ways.  Good principle counts for more than can be
expressed; it is essential.  Many things may hinder a man from getting
on--slowness, idleness, want of ability, trifling, want of interest in
his vocation.  Many of these faults may be borne with long by others,
and may be battled with earnestly by ourselves; but a flaw in character
is deadly.  To be unsteady, dishonest, or untruthful is fatal.  Before
God and man an unfaithful servant is worthless.  We may have other
qualifications that go to command success, such as those we have
noticed,--industry and a distinct aim,--but want of principle will
render them useless.  Slow and sure often go together.  The slow train
is often the safest to travel by, but woe be to it and to us if we do
not keep upon the rails.

_The last essential to success in life is Religious
Hopefulness_.--(_a_) Our industry, our purpose, our principles may be
all they ought to be, yet the "race is not always to the swift nor the
battle to the strong."  But when we find the race going from us and the
battle going against us, if we have trust in God and the hopefulness
that comes from religion, we will find heart to try again: we will not
be utterly cast down.  Christian faith keeps men in good heart amid
many discouragements.  (_b_) Even if a man or woman become rich or
clever and have life pleasant around them, they cannot feel at the
close of life that they have succeeded if the future is dark before
them.  When Cardinal Wolsey, who had been the favorite of the king and
had long held the government of England in his hand, fell from power,
he said, "If I had served my God as truly as I served my king He would
not have forsaken me in my gray hairs."  The world is a poor comforter
at the last.  No man or woman has become successful until their
essential happiness is placed beyond the reach of all outward
fluctuation and change.  Faith in Christ, the faith that penetrates the
future and brings down from heaven a bright and blessed hopefulness,
which casts its illumination over the present scene and reveals the
grand object of existence, is essential to true success.

We cannot sum up the teachings of this chapter better than in the words
of a poem of which we should try to catch the spirit: they express the
very philosophy of success in life:

  Courage, brother! do not stumble,
    Though thy path be dark as night;
  There's a star to guide the humble;--
    Trust in God, and do the right.

  Let the road be rough and dreary,
    And its end far out of sight,
  Foot it bravely! strong or weary,
    Trust in God, and do the right.

  Perish policy and cunning,
    Perish all that fears the light!
  Whether losing, whether winning,
   Trust in God, and do the right.

  Trust no party, sect, or faction;
    Trust no leaders in the fight;
  But in every word and action
    Trust in God, and do the right.

  Trust no lovely forms of passion,--
    Fiends may look like angels bright:
  Trust no custom, school, or fashion--
    Trust in God, and do the right.

  Simple rule, and safest guiding,
    Inward peace and inward might,
  Star upon our path abiding,--
    Trust in God, and do the right.

  Some will hate thee, some will love thee,
    Some will flatter, some will slight:
  Cease from man, and look above thee,--
    Trust in God, and do the right.
        NORMAN M'LEOD.


That is the way to succeed in life.



CHAPTER III.

PERSONAL INFLUENCE.

We are all of us in close relations to one another.  We are bound
together in numberless ways.  As members of the same family, as members
of the same community, as members of the same Church--we are bound so
closely together that what any one of us does is certain to tell upon
others.  It is out of this close connection with others that influence
comes.  Just as one man in a crowd sends by his movements a certain
impulse throughout the whole, just as the stone thrown into a pond
causes waves that move far away from where the stone fell and that
reach in faint ripples to the distant shore, so our very existence
exercises influence beyond our knowledge and beyond our calculation.

_Influence is of two kinds, Direct and Indirect_--Conscious and
Unconscious,--The first is influence we deliberately put forth, as when
we meet a man and argue with him, as when the orator addresses the
multitude, or the politician seeks to gain their suffrages.  The second
is the influence which radiates from us, whether we will it or not, as
fire burning warms a room, or icebergs floating down from the frozen
north change the temperature where they come.  There is a passage in
Scripture where both kinds of influence are illustrated.  "Iron
sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  As
in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man."  The
first part of the proverb refers to direct influence: as "iron
sharpeneth iron," so one man applying to another his powers of
persuasion, his motives in the shape of money or some other inducement,
moulds, fashions, sharpens him to his liking.  "As in water face
answereth to face:" this is the silent influence which we have on
others.  There is no conscious exercise of power, there is no
deliberate putting forth of strength, there is no noise as of iron
against iron; but as our shadow is silently reflected in the still
water, so our life and character silently reflect themselves in others,
and other hearts answer to the feelings that sway our own.

I.  Direct or conscious influence.--In regard to this everyone must
choose his own line of action.  Everyone has his own special gift, and
everyone has his own special opportunities.  There are, however,
certain lines of direct influence that may be indicated, and which lie
open to all.

(_a_) Keeping others in the right path.  We constantly meet with people
who are evidently taking a wrong road; it is our duty to try and show
them the right one, and to persuade them to walk in it.  We see men
taking up with evil habits, evil companions, or evil opinions; we are
bound to remonstrate with them and endeavor to warn them timeously.
This of course needs to be wisely done, and after prayer to God to
guide us rightly; but we ought to do it.  "A word spoken in due season
how good is it."  Such a word has often been blessed and made
effectual, and we should not shrink from speaking it.  The right time
for speaking it should be chosen, but it should not be left by us
unsaid.  When Paley the great moralist was a student at Cambridge he
wasted his time in idleness and frivolity, and was the butt of his
fellow-students.  One of them, however, took courage to remonstrate
with him, and did so with good effect.  One morning he came to his
bedside and said to him earnestly, "Paley, I have not been able to
sleep for thinking about you.  I have been thinking what a fool you
are!  I have the means of dissipation, and could afford to be idle; you
are poor and cannot afford it.  I could do nothing probably even if I
were to try; you are capable of doing anything.  I have lain awake all
night thinking about your folly, and I have now come solemnly to warn
you.  Indeed, if you persist in your indolence and go on in this way, I
must renounce your society altogether."  The words took effect.  Paley
became a changed man, and his after success sprang from his friend's
warning.  This incident illustrates what may be the influence in this
form of one man upon another.

(_b_) Bearing testimony against evil.  This is another line of direct
influence open to all.  It is a precept of the book of Leviticus, "If a
soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he
hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his
iniquity."  If he does not give evidence against evil, even to his own
hurt he sins.  We are bound to protest against wrongdoing in any form;
and our protest, if distinct and well directed, always tends to good.
To be silent in certain circumstances makes us the accomplice of sin;
to speak out frees us from responsibility.  To be the dumb auditor of a
shameful story, or to listen silently to the relation of a deed of
wickedness, and not be honest and resolute in expressing our disgust
and disapproval is to condone what no good man should condone.  The
outspoken testimony against evil is incumbent on all Christian men.

(_c_) Taking part in Christian and benevolent work.  There are many
ways, it is evident, in which we may do so _individually_.  "The
greatest works that have been done have been done by the ones."  No
learned society discovered America, but one man, Columbus.  No
parliament saved English liberties, but one man, Pym.  No confederate
nations rescued Scotland from her political and ecclesiastical enemies,
but one man, Knox.  By one man, Howard, our prisons were purified.  By
one woman, Miss Nightingale, our disgraceful nursing system was
reformed.  By one Clarkson the reproach of slavery was taken away.  God
in all ages has blessed individual effort, and if we are strong enough
to take up any special line of benevolent and Christian work that seems
open to us we should not shrink from it.  We should be on the lookout
for it.  But many from their circumstances are not able to do so, and
such can find their best opportunity by _combining their own effort
with the efforts of others_.  There are many agencies at work in every
community for the helping of man, and they afford to all the
opportunity of wisely using their power of influence.  This is true
especially of the Christian Church.  It has been defined as "a society
for doing good in the world."  In many ways it carries on work for the
benefit of others.  In every Christian congregation there ought to be
some work in which each of its members, however few his talents may be,
can engage; and in lending a helping hand each of them may do something
directly towards making society sweeter and better.

II.  Indirect or unconscious influence.--There is an imperceptible
personal atmosphere which surrounds every man, "an invisible belt of
magnetism" which he bears with him wherever he goes.  It invests him,
and others quickly detect its presence.  Take some of its simplest
phases.

(_a_) Think of the influence of a _look_.  When Christ stood in the
courtyard of the palace of the High Priest over against His weak and
erring disciple, whom He heard denying Him with oaths, it is said, "The
Lord looked upon Peter."  No more than that, and it reached right down
into his heart.  It touched him as nothing else could have touched him.
"He went out and wept bitterly."  It was said of Keble the poet that
"his face was like that of an illuminated clock, beaming with the
radiance of his poetry and wisdom"; and it is written of one of the
most spiritually-minded of Scotchmen, Erskine of Linlathen, that "his
looks were better than a thousand homilies."  There was something in
the very expression of his countenance that spoke to men of an inner
life and of a spiritual dwelling in God.

(_b_) Think of the influence of a _smile_: the smile of welcome when we
call at a friend's house; the smile of recognition when we meet him in
the street; the smile of pleasure which the speaker sees in his
audience; the smile of satisfaction in one to whom we have done an act
of kindness.  By the very expression of the countenance we can
influence others, make their life more pleasant or more painful.  There
are those who by the sweetness of their demeanor are in a household
like fragrant flowers.  They are like the sweet ointment of spikenard
which the woman poured upon Christ--the sweet perfume of it "filled the
whole house."

(_c_) Think of the influence of _sympathy_.  There are some natures
that are gifted with a blessed power to bring consolation to men.  It
is not that they are glib of tongue or facile of speech, but somehow
the very pressure of their hand is grateful to the saddened heart.  The
simple and kindly action, of which we think nothing, may tell
powerfully on others, and unclose fountains of feeling deep down in the
heart.

(_d_) Think of the influence of _example_: the simple doing of what is
right, though we say nothing about it; the upright life of a father or
mother in a household; the steady conduct of a soldier in his company;
the stainless character of a workman among his comrades, or a boy in
his school.  It is bound to tell.  "Example," says Dr. Smiles, "is one
of the most potent instructors, though it teaches without a tongue.  It
is the practical school of mankind working by action, which is always
more forcible than words.  Precept may point to us the way, but it is a
silent continuous example conveyed to us by habits, and living with us
in fact, that carries us along.  Good advice has its weight, but
without the accompaniment of a good example it is of comparatively
small influence, and it will be found that the common saying of 'Do as
I say, not as I do' is usually reversed in the actual experience of
life."  Goodness makes good.  As a man who trims his garden in a
straight row and makes it beautiful will induce in time all his
neighbors to follow him, or at least to be ashamed of their ragged and
ill-kept plots in contrast with his own, so is it that the upright,
good life of a sincere Christian man will silently tell upon others.

These are some illustrations of the power of influence unconsciously
exercised, and the whole subject teaches us (1) Our responsibility.  If
we are ready to ask, "Am I my brother's keeper?" the answer is, you
cannot help being so.  It is as easy to evade the law of gravitation as
the law of responsibility.  A man was lately prosecuted for having
waited on his customers in clothes he had worn when attending his
children during an infectious complaint.  It was proved that he had
sown broadcast germs of the disease.  It would have been no
justification for him to say, What has anyone to do with the clothes I
wear?  It is my own business.  He was a member of the community.  His
action was silently but surely dealing out death to others.  He was
punished, and justly punished.  We cannot live without influencing
others.  We say perhaps that "we mean well," or at least we mean to do
no one any harm, but is our influence harmless?  It is going from us in
forms as subtle as the germs of an infectious disease.

  Say not, "It matters not to me,
  My brother's weal is _his_ behoof,"
  For in this wondrous human web,
  If your life's warp, his life is woof.

  Woven together are the threads,
  And you and he are in one loom,
  For good or ill, for glad or sad,
  Your lives must share one common doom.

  Then let the daily shuttle glide,
  Wound full of threads of kindly care,
  That life's increasing length may be
  Not only strongly wrought, but fair.

  So from the stuff of each new day
  The loving hand of Time shall make
  Garments of joy and peace for all,
  And human hearts shall cease to ache.
        M. J. SAVAGE.

(2) The power all have to do good.  There are some who think they can
only serve God and man in a direct and premeditated way, by taking up
some branch of Christian work and devoting themselves to it; and if
they have no gift in any special direction, they think they are outside
of the vineyard altogether.  But it is not so.  The sphere of quiet and
unassuming Christian life is open to all.  It is impossible to measure
the extent of our influence.  Its

  Echoes roll from soul to soul,
  And grow for ever and for ever.

Like those of the Alpine horn in the solitudes of the mountains, long
after the voice that caused them has ceased, they reverberate far and
wide.  No man lives to himself.  He could not do so if he would.  (3)
The secret of good influence is to be influenced for good ourselves.
Our lamp must be first lit if it is to shine, and we must ourselves be
personally influenced by coming to the great source of spiritual power.
If Christ is in a man, then, wherever he may be, there will radiate
from him influences that can only be for good.  Out of the life that is
in him "will flow rivers of living water."

  Thou must be true thyself
    If thou the truth wouldst teach.
  Thy soul must overflow if thou
    Another soul wouldst reach.
  It needs the overflowing heart
    To give the lips full speech.
  Think truly, and thy thought
    Shall the world's famine feed.
  Speak truly, and thy word
    Shall be a fruitful seed.
  Live truly, and thy life shall be
    A great and noble creed.



CHAPTER IV.

FRIENDS.

By friends we mean those whom we admit to the inner circle of our
acquaintance.--All of us know many people.  We are bound to do so; to
meet with men of all classes, sects, beliefs, opinions.  But with most
of us there are a few persons who stand to us in a different relation
from the rest.  We are intimate with them.  We take pleasure in their
company; we tell them our thoughts: we speak to them of things we would
not speak of to others; we confide in them, and in joy and in sorrow it
is to them we go.  It is of this inner circle, and of those we ought to
admit to it, that we have now to speak.

Friendship has been regarded in all ages as one of the most important
relationships of life.--Cicero, who dedicates an essay to it says that
"it is the only thing on the importance of which mankind are agreed."
It has been defined by Addison, the great English writer, as "a strong
habitual inclination in two persons to promote the good and happiness
of each other."  It has been termed by another "the golden thread that
ties the hearts of the world."  "A faithful friend" has been called
"the medicine of life."  Ambrose, one of the Christian Fathers, says,
"It is the solace of this life to have one to whom you can open your
heart, and tell your secrets; to win to yourself a faithful man, who
will rejoice with you in sunshine, and weep in showers.  It is easy and
common to say, 'I am wholly thine,' but to find it true is as rare."
And Jeremy Taylor, the great preacher, calls friendship "the ease of
our passions, the discharge of our oppressions, the sanctuary to our
calamities, the counsellor of our doubts, the charity of our minds, the
emission of our thoughts, the exercise and improvement of what we
meditate."  The great preachers, philosophers and poets of all time
have dwelt on the importance and sweetness of friendship.  The _In
Memoriam_ of Tennyson is a glorification of this relationship.

The highest of all examples of friendship is to be found in
Christ.--"His behaviour in this beautiful relationship is the very
mirror in which all true friendship must see and mirror itself." [1]
In His life we see the blessings of companionship in good.  "He loved
Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus."  He had intimate friends in His
group of disciples.  Peter and James and John stood to Him in this
relation.  They were taken by Him into scenes which the rest of the
disciples did not behold.  They knew a friendship with Him unenjoyed by
the others.  And of that inner circle there was one to whom the soul of
Jesus clung with peculiar tenderness--the beloved disciple.  Human
friendship has been consecrated for us all by this example of Christ.
He offers himself to every one of us as a _friend_: "Ye are my friends
if ye do whatsoever I command you."

There are two things which specially show the importance of friendship:

(_a_) It is regarded by others _as a test of our character_.  The worth
of a man will always be rated by his companions.  The proverbs of all
nations show this.  "A man is known by the company he keeps."  "Like
draws to like."  "Birds of a feather flock together."  If our
companions are worthless, the verdict of society regarding us will be
that we are worthless ourselves.  This verdict may not in all cases be
true, but the probability is that it will be true.  If we are admitted
to the friendship of men of honor, integrity and principle, people will
come to believe in us.  We would not, they will feel, be admitted into
that society unless we were in sympathy with those who compose it.  If
we wish, therefore, that a good opinion should be formed regarding us
by others, we need to be especially careful as to those with whom we
associate closely and whom we admit to intimate friendship.

(_b_) Friends have a special power in _moulding our character_.  George
Herbert's saying is true, "Keep good company, and you shall be of their
number."  It is difficult, on the other hand, to be much with the silly
and foolish without being silly and foolish also.  It is the common
explanation of a young man's ruin that he got among bad companions.  We
may go into a certain society confident that we will hold our own, and
that we can come out of it as we go in; but, as a general rule, we will
find ourselves mistaken.  The man of the strongest individuality comes
sooner or later to be affected by those with whom he is intimate.
There is a subtle influence from them telling upon him that he cannot
resist.  He will inevitably be moulded by it.  Here also the proverbs
of the world point the lesson.  "He who goes with the lame," says the
Latin proverb, "will begin to limp."  "He who herds with the wolves,"
says the Spanish, "will learn to howl."  "Iron sharpeneth iron," says
the scriptural proverb, "so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his
friend."  The rapidity of moral deterioration in an evil companionship
is its most startling feature.  It is appalling to see how soon an evil
companionship will transform a young man, morally pure, of clean and
wholesome life, into an unclean, befouled, trifling good-for-nothing.
Lightning scarcely does its work of destruction quicker, or with more
fell purpose.

It is difficult to give precise rules in regard to the formation of
friendship.  "A man that hath friends," says Solomon, "must show
himself friendly."  The man of a generous and sympathetic nature will
have many friends, and will attract to himself companions of his own
character.  A few suggestions, however, founded on practical
experience, may be offered for our guidance.

I.  We should be (_a_) slow to make friendships, and (_b_) slow to
break them when made.--(_a_) It is in the nature of some to take up
with people very readily.  Some young men are like fish that rise
readily to a gaudy and many-colored fly.  If they see anything that
attracts them in another they admit him at once to their confidence.
It should not be so.  Among the reported and traditional sayings of
Christ, there is one that is full of wisdom: "Be good money changers."
As a money changer rings the coin on his counter to test it, so we
should test men well before we make them our friends.  There should be
a narrow wicket leading into the inner circle of our social life at
which we should make them stand for examination before they are
admitted.  An old proverb says, "Before you make a friend, eat a peck
of salt with him."  We should try before we trust; and as we should be
careful whom we receive, we should be equally careful whom we part
with.  "Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not."  With
some, very little severs the bond of friendship.  They are always
changing their companions.  They are "Hail fellow, well met," with one
to-day, and cold and distant to-morrow.  Inconstancy in friendship is a
bad sign.  It generally arises from readiness to admit to intimacy
without sufficient examination.  The friendship that is quickly
cemented is easily dissolved.  Fidelity is the very essence of true
friendship; and, once broken, it cannot be easily renewed.  Quarrels
between friends are the bitterest and the most lasting.  Broken
friendship may be soldered, but never made sound.

  Alas! they had been friends in youth,
  But whispering tongues can poison truth.
      *      *      *      *
  They parted, ne'er to meet again,
  But never either found another
  To free the hollow heart from paining.
  They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
  Like cliffs which had been rent asunder;
  A dreary sea now flows between.
        COLERIDGE.


Shakespeare gives this rule for friendship in his own wonderful way.
It could not be better stated--

  The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
  Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel;
  But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
  Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade.


II.  We should refuse friendship with those whose standard of right is
below our own.--Anything in a man or woman that indicates low moral
tone, or want of principle, should debar them at once from our
friendship.  It is not easy to say in so many words what want of
principle is, but we all know what is meant by it.  It corresponds to a
constitutional defect in the physical system.  A person may have
ailments, but that is different from a weak and broken constitution.
So a person may have faults and failings, but a want of principle is
more serious.  It is a radical defect which should prevent friendship.
A small thing often shows us whether a person wants principle.  The
single claw of a bird of prey tells us its nature.  According to the
familiar saying, "We don't need to eat a leg of mutton to know whether
it is tainted; a mouthful is sufficient."  So a single expression may
tell us whether there is a want of moral principle.  A word showing us
that a person thinks lightly of honesty, of purity in man, of virtue in
woman, should be sufficient to make us keep him at a distance.  We may
be civil to him, try to do him good, and lead him to better things, but
he is not one to make our friend.  Cowper the poet says:

  I would not enter on my list of friends,
  Though graced with polished manners and fine sense,
  Yet wanting sensibility, the man
  Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.

We may think it a small thing to set the foot upon a worm, but to do so
needlessly and wantonly indicates a hard and cruel nature, and a man
with such a nature is not a safe friend.

III.  There should be equality in friendship.--Equality of station, of
circumstances, of position.  It does not do to lay down a hard and fast
line as to this.  For instance, in a "young men's guild" men of all
stations and social conditions meet on an equality.  They are a
brotherhood bound together by ties of a very close description.  To
them this rule does not apply.  Among members of such an association, a
young man may always fitly find a friend.  It is friendships formed
outside such a circle, and in general society, that we have in view;
and, in regard to such society, we are probably not far wrong in saying
that we do well to choose our intimate friends from those who are
neither much above us nor beneath us.  If a man is poor, and chooses as
a friend one who is rich, the chances are either that he becomes a
toady and a mere "hanger-on," or that he is made to feel his
inferiority.  Young men in this way have been led into expenses which
they could not afford, and into society that did them harm, and into
debts sometimes that they could not pay.  Making friends of those
beneath us is often equally a mistake.  We come to look upon them with
patronizing affability.  "It is well enough to talk of our humble
friends, but they are too often like poor relations.  We accept their
services, and think that a mere 'thank you,' a nod, a beck, or a smile
is sufficient recompense." [2]  Either to become a toady or a patron is
destructive of true friendship.  We should be able to meet on the same
platform, and join hands as brothers, having the same feelings, the
same wants, the same aspirations.  We should be courteous to the man
above us, and civil to the man beneath us; but if we value our
independence and manhood we will not try to make a friend of either.

IV.  We should not make a friend of one who is without reverence for
what we deem sacred and have been taught to deem sacred.--The want of
"reverence for that which is above us" is one of the most serious
defects in man or woman.  We should be as slow to admit one to our
friendship who has this defect as we would be if we knew he had entered
into a church and stolen the vessels of the sanctuary.  We should
consort only with those who honor the sacred name we bear, and treat it
with reverence.  We should especially beware of admitting to intimacy
the sceptic and infidel.  There are those who have drifted away from
the faith of Christ, and to whom God and eternity are mere names.  Such
are deserving of our most profound pity and sorrow, and we should do
all in our power to lead them back to the Father's house from which
they have wandered.  But we should never make them our friends.  We
cannot dwell in an ill-ventilated and ill-drained house without running
the risk of having our own constitution lowered.  We cannot associate
in close companionship with the infidel and the sceptic without
endangering our own spiritual life.  Doubt is as catching as disease.
"Take my word for it," said the great Sir Robert Peel, who was a close
observer of men, "it is not prudent, as a rule, to trust yourself to
any man who tells you he does not believe in God, and in a future life
after death."  We should choose our friends from those who have chosen
the better part, and day by day we shall feel the benefit of their
companionship in making us stronger and better.

These are some plain rules drawn from long experience of life which may
be helpful to some.  We may conclude by quoting the noble lines of
Tennyson in which he draws the picture of his friend, Arthur Hallam,
and the inspiration he drew from him:

  Thy converse drew us with delight,
    The men of rathe and riper years:
    The feeble soul, a haunt of fears,
  Forgot his weakness in thy sight.

  On thee the loyal-hearted hung,
    The proud was half disarm'd of pride,
    Nor cared the serpent at thy side
  To flicker with his double tongue.

  The stern were mild when thou wert by,
    The flippant put himself to school
    And heard thee, and the brazen fool
  Was soften'd, and he knew not why;

  While I, thy nearest, sat apart,
    And felt thy triumph was as mine;
    And loved them more, that they were thine,
  The graceful tact, the Christian art;

  Nor mine the sweetness or the skill,
    But mine the love that will not tire,
    And, born of love, the vague desire
  That spurs an imitative will.
        TENNYSON.


Happy are those whose friends in some degree approach the character
here delineated.



[1] Stalker's _Imago Christi_.

[2] Hain Friswell, _The Gentle Life_.



CHAPTER V.

MONEY.

Money has been defined as _the measure and standard of value, and the
medium of exchange_.  It represents everything that may be purchased.
He who possesses money has potentially in his possession everything
that can be bought with money.  Money is thus power.  It seems to have
in itself all earthly possibilities.

There are three things which should be borne in mind in regard to money:

I.  Money itself is neither good nor bad.--It is simply force.  It is
like the lightning or the sunlight: it withers or nourishes; it smites
or does other bidding; it devastates or fertilizes, according as it is
used by us.  Whether money is good or bad depends on whether it is
sought for in right or wrong ways, used wisely or unwisely, squandered
where it does harm, or bestowed where it does good.  (_a_) That it may
be a power for good is evident to all.  It enables men to benefit their
fellow-creatures; it gives a man independence; it procures him comforts
he could not otherwise have obtained.  It is, as it has well been
termed, "the lever by which the race has been lifted from barbarism to
civilization.  So long as the race could do nothing but barely live,
man was little more than an animal who hunted and fought for his prey.
When the race began to think and plan and save for tomorrow, it
specially began to be human.  There is not a single feature of our
civilization to-day that has not sprung out of money, and that does not
depend on money for its continuance."  (_b_) That money may be a power
for evil is equally evident.  Much of the crime and sin and sorrow of
the world spring from its misuse.  "The love of money," as Scripture
says, "is a root of all evil."  In the haste to be rich men too often
lose their very manhood.  Money, it is often said, does wonders, but
"the most wonderful thing that it does is to metalize the human soul."

II.  Money and our relation to it is a test of character--The making
and the using of it is an education.  If we know how one gets and
spends money, we know what a man is.  "So many are the bearings of
money upon the lives and characters of mankind, that an insight which
would search out the life of a man in his pecuniary relations would
penetrate into almost every cranny of his nature.  He who, like St.
Paul, has learnt how to want and how to abound, has a great knowledge;
for if we take account of all the virtues with which money is mixed
up--honesty, justice, generosity, charity, frugality, forethought,
self-sacrifice, and their correlative vices--it is a knowledge which
goes to cover the length and breadth of humanity, and a right measure
and manner in getting, saving, spending, taking, lending, borrowing and
bequeathing would almost argue a perfect man." [1]  Nearly all the
virtues and all the vices are connected with money.  Its acquisition
and its distribution are almost certain indications of what we are
morally.

III.  There are some things that are better than money, and that cannot
be purchased with it--These are indeed the best things.  All that can
be bought money possesses actually or potentially, but there are some
things that cannot be bought.  Love, friendship, nobleness of soul,
genius, cannot be purchased.  We must estimate rightly the power of
money.  It is great, but it may be exaggerated, (_a_) _Honesty_ is
better than money.  If a man gains money at the expense of honesty and
integrity, he pays too great a price.  He is like a savage who barters
jewels for a string of beads.  (_b_) _Home_ is better than money.  If a
man, struggling and striving to be rich, has no time for the joys of
family and the rich blessings that circle round the fireside, if he
knows nothing of the charm of love and the pleasures that spring from
the affections, he pays too great a price--"a costly house and
luxurious furnishings are no substitute for love in the home."  (_c_)
_Culture_ is better than money.  If a man grows up in ignorance and
vulgarity, shut out from the world of art, literature and science, and
all that refines and elevates the mind--a rude, uncultured boor--he
pays too great a price for any money he may scrape together.  (_d_)
_Humanity_ is better than money.  The rich man who leaves Lazarus
untended at his gates, who builds about him walls so thick that no cry
from the suffering world ever penetrates them, who becomes mean and
stingy, close-fisted and selfish, pays too great a price.  Of such a
man it is said in Scripture that "in hell he lifted up his eyes."
Surely he made a bad bargain, (_e_) _Spirituality_ is better than
money.  He who has made an idol of his wealth, who in gaining it has
lost his soul, who has allowed money to come between him and God, has
paid too great a price for it.  He has well been depicted by John
Bunyan as the man with the muck-rake gathering straws, whilst he does
not see the golden crown that is held above him.  Christ tells us God
regards such a man as a fool.

There are certain rules of conduct which may be laid down, drawn both
from Scripture and experience, in regard to money.

1.  _We are especially to remember our stewardship_.--Money is a trust
committed to us, for which we are to give account unto God.  We are
answerable to Him for the use we make of it.  If we have amassed
wealth, from God has come the power that enabled us to do so.  All we
have is His--not our own.  To each of us shall be addressed the words,
"Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer
steward."  If we remember this great truth we shall be rightly guided,
both in regard to the accumulation and the distribution of money.  We
shall not inordinately desire it, for we shall feel that with its
increase comes new responsibility; and we shall be careful how we spend
it, for the question will ever be present to our minds, What would the
great Master, to whom we have to give account, wish us to do with it?
Those who have most wisely used their money are the men who have
realized most intensely the thought of their stewardship.  In the "Life
of Mr. Moore," the successful merchant, by Smiles, this is most
admirably shown.  He amassed, by industry and by enterprise, great
wealth; he lived a noble and benevolent life; he was honored by all men
for his character and his generosity.  But at the root and foundation
of his life was the thought that all he had was a trust committed to
him by God.

2.  _We should do good as we go_.--There are those who allow that they
should do good with their money, but they defer carrying out their
intention till they have accumulated something that they think
considerable.  If they ever become rich, then they will do great
things.  The folly of this is apparent, (_a_) They lose the happiness
which the humblest may daily reap from small deeds of kindness; and
(_b_) they lose the power which will enable them to do anything if the
great opportunity they desire comes.  "Doing good," it has been well
said, "is a faculty, like any other, that becomes weak and atrophied,
palsied for lack of use.  You might as well stop practising on the
piano, under the impression that in a year or two you will find time to
give a month to it.  In the meantime, you will get out of practice and
lose the power.  Keep your hand and your pocket open, or they will grow
together, so that nothing short of death's finger can unloose them."
[2]  However little money we may have, we should use a portion of it in
doing good.  The two mites of the widow were in the eye of Christ a
beautiful offering.  Giving should always go with getting.  Mere
getting injures us, but giving brings to us a blessing.  "Gold," says
holy George Herbert, "thou mayest safely touch; but if it stick it
wounds thee to the quick."  George Moore, to whom we have referred,
wrote yearly in his diary the words of wisdom--

  What I saved I lost,
  What I spent I had,
  What I gave I have.

What proportion of our money we should give every one must determine
for himself, but we are not safe spiritually unless we cultivate the
habit of generosity.  "The Lord loveth a cheerful giver."  "There are
many," it has been satirically said, "who would be Good Samaritans
without the oil and the two pence."  All of us, however humble our
station, are bound to give "as God hath prospered us" for the help of
man and the cause of Christ; and the discharge of the obligation will
become to us one of the greatest pleasures in life.

3.  _We should cultivate thrift_.--Thrift is just forethought.  It is
reasonable prudence in regard to money.  It provides for "the rainy
day."  If poverty be our lot, we must bear it bravely; but there is no
special blessing in poverty.  It is often misery unspeakable.  It is
often brought upon us by our self-indulgence, extravagance and
recklessness.  We are to use every means in our power to guard against
it.  The words of the poet Burns are full of common-sense:

  To catch Dame Fortune's golden smile,
    Assiduous wait upon her,
  And gather gear by every wile
    That's justified by honor;
  Not for to hide it in a hedge,
    Nor for a train attendant,
  But for the glorious privilege
    Of being independent.

The squalor and wretchedness which often fall upon people come from
their not having exercised a little thought in the use of their money.
A little self-denial would have saved them, and those depending on
them, from many sorrows.  A saving habit is good.  "It is coarse
thinking to confound spending with generosity, or saving with
meanness."  The man who puts by a little week by week or year by year,
against possible contingencies is wise.  However small may be our
salary and limited our income, we should try and save part of it.
Every young man should be a member of a savings bank, or a benefit
club, by means of which he can make provision for the future.  The
honest endeavor to make such provision is in itself an education.

4.  _We should earnestly endeavor to avoid debt_.--Debt means slavery.
It is loss of independence.  It is misery.  "He" (says a Spanish
proverb) "that complains of sound sleep, let him borrow the debtor's
pillow."  Every shilling that we spend beyond our income means an
addition to a burden that may crush us to the ground.  "Pay as you go,"
is a good rule.  "Keep a regular account of what you spend," is
another.  "Before you buy anything, think whether you can afford it,"
is a third.  But whatever rule we follow in regard to our expenditure,
let us see that it does not exceed our income.  The words of Horace
Greeley, a great American writer and politician who had a large
experience of life, are not too strong: "Hunger, cold, rags, hard work,
contempt, suspicion, unjust reproach, are disagreeable, but debt is
infinitely worse than them all.  Never run into debt!  Avoid pecuniary
obligation as you would pestilence or famine.  If you have but fifty
cents and can get no more a week, buy a peck of corn, parch it, and
live on it, rather than owe any man a dollar."

5.  _We should resolutely set our face against gambling_.--Gambling is
one of the curses of our time.  It is the endeavor to get money by
dispensing with labor, to make it without honestly working for it.  It
entails widespread ruin and degradation.  Its consequences are often of
the most appalling character.  When the gambling spirit is once
aroused, like drunkenness, it becomes an overpowering appetite, which
the victim becomes almost powerless to resist.  Gambling is in itself
evil, apart from its deadly effects.  (_a_) It proposes to confer gain
without merit, and to reward those who do not deserve a reward, (_b_)
It proposes to benefit us while injuring our neighbor.  "Benefit
received," says Herbert Spencer in his _Sociology_, referring to
gambling, "does not imply effort put forth; but the happiness of the
winner involves the misery of the loser.  This kind of action is
therefore essentially anti-social, sears the sympathies, cultivates a
hard egoism, and produces general deterioration of character and
conduct."  The young should specially guard against this vice, which
has been a rock upon which many a promising life has made disastrous
shipwreck.



[1] Sir Henry Taylor, _Notes from Life_.

[2] _Life Questions_, by M. J. Savage.



CHAPTER VI.

TIME.

"Time," it is said, "is money."  So it is, without doubt.  But to the
young man or young woman who is striving to make the most of himself or
herself time is more than money, it is character and usefulness.  They
become great and good just as they learn how to make the best use of
their time.  On the right employment of it depends what we are to be
now, and what we are to be hereafter, "We all complain," says the great
Roman philosopher Seneca, "of the shortness of time, and yet we have
more than we know what to do with.  Our lives are spent either in doing
nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing
that we ought to do.  We are always complaining that our days are few,
and acting as though there would be no end of them."

In regard to the right use of time--how to make the most of it and to
get the most out of it--there are certain things that we should bear in
mind and keep in constant remembrance.  We may arrange them for
convenience under four heads: _Economy, System, Punctuality and
Promptitude_.

I.  Economy.--We all know what economy is.  In regard to money, in
connection with which the word is chiefly used, it is keeping strict
watch over our expenditure, and not spending a penny without good
reason.  According to the oft-quoted proverb, "Take care of the pence
and the pounds will take care of themselves."  Economy, in regard to
time, is to watch over the minutes, hours and days, and the years will
take care of themselves.  It is, to let every moment of time be well
employed; to let every hour of the day as it passes be turned to use;
to let none be spent in idleness or folly.  It is a good advice that of
the poet--

  Think nought a trifle though it small appears,
  Sands make the mountain, moments make the years,
  And trifles life.

In the mint, where money is coined, when the visitor reaches the room
where the gold coins are cast, it is said that the floor is a network
of wooden bars to catch all the particles of the falling metal.  When
the day's work is done, the floor is removed and the golden dust is
swept up to be melted again.  In the same way we should economize time:
gather up its golden dust, let none of its moments be lost.  Be careful
of its spare minutes, and a wealth of culture will be the result.  It
is said of a European cathedral that when the architect came to insert
the stained-glass windows he was one window short.  An apprentice in
the factory where the windows were made came forward and said that he
thought he could make a window from the bits of glass cast aside.  He
went to work, collected the fragments, put them together, and produced
a window said to be the finest of all.  In the same way men have made
much out of the bits of time that have been, so to speak, broken from
the edges of a busy life.

Many illustrations might be given from history of what men have been
able to do by a wise economy of time.  Sir Humphry Davy established a
laboratory in the attic of his house, and when his ordinary day's work
was done began a course of scientific studies that continued throughout
his memorable life.  Cobbett learned grammar when a soldier, sitting on
the edge of his bed.  Lincoln, the famous president of America,
acquired arithmetic during the winter evenings, mastered grammar by
catching up his book at odd moments when he was keeping a shop, and
studied law when following the business of a surveyor.  Douglas
Jerrold, during his apprenticeship, arose with the dawn of day to study
his Latin grammar, and read Shakespeare and other works before his
daily labor began at the printing office.  At night, when his day's
work was done, he added over two hours more to his studies.  At
seventeen years of age he had so mastered Shakespeare that when anyone
quoted a line from the poet he could give from memory that which came
next.  While walking to and from his office Henry Kirke White acquired
a knowledge of Greek.  A German physician, while visiting his patients,
contrived to commit to memory the _Iliad_ of Homer.  Hugh Miller, while
working as a stonemason, studied geology in his off hours.  Elihu
Burritt, "the learned blacksmith," gained a mastery of eighteen
languages and twenty-two dialects by using the odds and ends of time at
his disposal.  Franklin's hours of study were stolen from the time his
companions devoted to their meals and to sleep.[1]  Many similar
instances might be added to show what may be done by economising time
and strictly looking after those spare minutes which many throw away.
The great rule is, never to be unemployed, and to find relief in
turning from one occupation to another, due allowance of course being
made for recreation and for rest.  The wise man economises time as he
economises money.

II.  System.--It is wonderful how much work can be got through in a day
if we go by rule--if we map out our time, divide it off and take up one
thing regularly after another.  To drift through our work, or to rush
through it in _helter skelter_ fashion, ends in comparatively little
being done.  "One thing at a time" will always perform a better day's
work than doing two or three things at a time.  By following this rule
one person will do more in a day than another does in a week.  "Marshal
thy notions," said old Thomas Fuller, "into a handsome method.  One
will carry twice as much weight trussed and packed as when it lies
untoward, flapping and hanging about his shoulders."  Fixed rules are
the greatest possible help to the worker.  They give steadiness to his
labor, and they enable him to go through it with comparative ease.
Many a man would have been saved from ruin if he had appreciated the
value of method in his affairs.  In the peasant's cottage or the
artisan's workshop, in the chemist's laboratory or the shipbuilder's
yard, the two primary rules must be, "For every one his duty," and,
"For everything its place."

It is a wise thing to begin the day by taking a survey in thought of
the work we have to get through, and thus to divide it, giving to each
hour its own share.  The shortest way to do many things is to do one
thing at a time.  Albert Barnes was a distinguished American theologian
who wrote a valuable commentary on the Bible amid the work of a large
parish.  He accomplished this by systematic arrangement of his time.
He divided his day into parts.  He devoted each part to some duty.  He
rigidly adhered to this arrangement, and in this way was able to
overtake an amount of work that was truly wonderful.  In the life of
Anthony Trollope, the great novelist, we are told that he kept
resolutely close to a rule he laid down for himself.  He wrote so many
pages a day of so many lines each.  He overtook an immense amount of
work in the year.  He published many books, and he made a great deal of
money.  The great English lawyer Sir Edward Coke divided his time
according to the well-known couplet--

  Six hours in sleep, in law's grave study six,
  Four spend in prayer, the rest on nature fix.

Sir William Jones, the famous Oriental scholar, altered this rule to
suit himself.

  Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven,
  Ten to the world allot, and all to Heaven.

Benjamin Franklin's system of working is given in his "Life."  Each day
was carefully portioned off.  His daily programme was the following:


       Morning.             ) Rise, wash, and address the
                          5 )   Almighty Father; contrive
  [Question, What good    6 )   the day's business and take
  shall I do this day?]   7 )   the resolution of the day;
                            )   prosecute the present study,
                            )   breakfast.

                          8 )
                         to ) Work
                         11 )

                         12 ) Read or look over accounts and
       Noon.             to )   dine.
                          1 )

                          2 )
       Afternoon,        to ) Work
                          5 )

                          6 ) Put things in their place;
       Evening           to )   supper; music or diversion or
  [Question, What good    9 )   conversation; examination of
   have I done to-day?]     )   the day.

                         10 )
       Night             to ) Sleep.
                          4 )


It is evident that a scheme of life like this could not suit everyone.
It is given as an illustration of the value of adhering to method in
our work.  "Order," the poet Pope says, "is Heaven's first law," and
time well ordered means generally work well and thoroughly done.

III.  Punctuality.--This means keeping strictly as to time by any
engagement we make either with ourselves or with others.  If we resolve
to do anything at a certain time, we should do it neither before nor
after that time.  It is better to be before than after.  But it is best
to be at the very minute.  If we enter into an engagement with others
for a certain time, we should be precise in keeping it.  In a letter
from a celebrated merchant, Buxton, to his son, he says, "Be punctual;
I do not mean merely being in time for lectures, but mean that spirit
out of which punctuality grows, that love of accuracy and precision
which mark the efficient man.  The habit of being punctual extends to
everything--meeting friends, paying debts, going to church, reaching
and leaving place of business, keeping promises, retiring at night and
rising in the morning."  We may lay down a system or method of work for
ourselves, but it will be of little service unless we keep carefully to
it, beginning and leaving off at the appointed moment.  If the work of
one hour is postponed to another, it will encroach on the time allotted
to some other duty, if it do not remain altogether undone, and thus the
whole business of the day is thrown into disorder.  If a man loses half
an hour by rising late in the morning, he is apt to spend the rest of
the day seeking after it.  Sir Walter Scott was not only methodical in
his work, he was exceedingly punctual, always beginning his allotted
task at the appointed moment.  "When a regiment," he wrote, "is under
march, the rear is often thrown into confusion because the front does
not move steadily and without interruption.  It is the same thing in
business.  If that which is first in hand be not instantly despatched,
other things accumulate betimes, till affairs begin to press all at
once, and no brain can stand the confusion."  We should steadily
cultivate the habit of punctuality.  We can cultivate it until it
becomes with us a second nature, and we do everything, as the saying
is, "by clockwork."  In rising in the morning and going to bed, in
taking up different kinds of work, in keeping appointments with others,
we should strive to be "to the minute."  The unpunctual man is a
nuisance to society.  He wastes his own time, and he wastes the time of
others; as Principal Tulloch well says, "Men who have real work of
their own would rather do anything than do business with him." [2]

IV.  Promptitude.--By this we mean acting at the present moment--all
that is opposed to procrastination, putting off to another time, to a
"convenient season" which probably never comes--all that is opposed
also to what is called "loitering" or "dawdling."  There is an old
Latin proverb, "_Bis dat qui cito dat,_"--he gives twice who gives
quickly.  The same thing may be said of work, "He works twice who works
quickly."  In work, of course, the first requirement is that it should
be well done; but this does not hinder quickness and despatch.  There
are those who, when they have anything to do, seem to go round it and
round it, instead of attacking it at once and getting it out of the
way; and when they do begin it they do so in a listless and
half-hearted fashion.  There are those who look at their work,
according to the simile of Sidney Smith, like men who stand shivering
on the bank instead of at once taking the plunge.  "In order," he says,
"to do anything that is worth doing in this world, we must not stand
shivering on the bank thinking of the cold and the danger, but jump in
and scramble through as well as we can.  It will not do to be
perpetually calculating and adjusting nice chances; it did all very
well before the Flood, when a man could consult his friends upon an
intended publication for a hundred and fifty years, and then live to
see its success for six or seven centuries afterwards, but at present a
man doubts, and waits, and hesitates, and consults his brother, and his
uncle, and his first cousin, and his particular friends, till one day
he finds that he is sixty-five years of age, that he has lost so much
time in consulting first cousins and particular friends that he has no
time to follow their advice."  This is good sense, though humorously
put.  Promptitude is a quality that should be assiduously cultivated.
Like punctuality, it becomes a most valuable habit.  "Procrastination,"
it is said, "is the thief of time," and "hell is paved with good
intentions."  These proverbs are full of wisdom.  When we hear people
saying, "They are going to be this thing or that thing; they _intend_
to look to this or to that; they will by and by do this or that," we
may be sure there is a weakness in their character.  Such people never
come to much.  The best way is not to _speak_ about doing a thing, but
_to do it_, and to do it _at once_.

To these thoughts on the use of time we may fitly add the great words
of Scripture, "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our
hearts unto wisdom," Ps. xc. 12.  "Redeeming the time, because the days
are evil," Ephes. v. 16.  We transform time into eternity by using it
aright.



[1] These illustrations are given by Mr. Davenport Adams.

[2] _Beginning Life_.



CHAPTER VII.

COURAGE.

We all know what is meant by courage, though it is not easy to define
it.  It is the determination to hold our own, to face danger without
flinching, to go straight on our way against opposing forces, neither
turning to the right hand nor the left.

It is a quality admirable in the eyes of all men, savage and civilized,
Christian and non-Christian--as admirable as cowardice, the opposite
quality, is detestable.  The brave man is the hero of the savage.
Bravery, or, as the Scriptures term it, _virtue_, is a great requisite
in a Christian.  If it is not the first, it is the second
characteristic of a Christian life.  "Add," says St. Paul, "to your
faith virtue," that is to say, courage.

It is the very glory of youth to be courageous.--The "sneak" and the
"coward" are the abhorrence of youth.  It is youth which climbs "the
imminent deadly breach" and faces the deadly hail of battle, which
defies the tyranny of custom and the hatred of the world.  One may have
compassion for age, which is naturally timid and sees fears in the way,
but youth which is cowardly is contemptible.

There are two kinds of courage--the one of a lower, the other of a
higher type.  (_a_) The first, the lower kind of courage, is that which
has its root and foundation in our physical nature.  It is
constitutional; there is little or no merit in it.  Some men are born
to know no fear--men of strong nerve, of iron constitution, and
powerful physique.  Such men laugh at danger and scorn opposition.
Theirs is the courage of the lion or the bull-dog, and there is no
virtue about it.  They cannot help being what they are.  (_b_) But
there is another kind of courage which is not so much physical as
_moral_.  It has its foundation not in man's bodily constitution so
much as in his higher nature.  It draws its power from the invisible.
"Are you not afraid," was a question put by a young and boastful
officer to his companion whose face was blanched and pale, as they
stood together amid the thickly falling shot of a battle-field.  "I
_am_ afraid," he replied, "and if you were half as afraid as I am, you
would run."  In his case there was little physical courage, but there
was the higher courage drawn from a sense of duty which made him stand
firm as a rock.  When our Lord knelt in His mysterious anguish in
Gethsemane, His whole physical nature seemed broken down, "His sweat
was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
"Suffer," He said, "this cup to pass from me"; and His strength came
from the invisible.  "Not my will," He cried, "but thine be done."
With that sublime trust in God strengthening Him, He shrank not back
for a moment; He took the cup and drained it to the dregs.  This is the
highest form of courage that there is.  The weakest women have
displayed it in face of appalling dangers.  It is the courage of the
martyr, the patriot, the reformer.  There is a glory and beauty in it
before which all men bow.

There are three chief forms which this moral courage takes in ordinary
life.

_First, there is the courage of our opinions_.--Many people, perhaps
the majority, do not have opinions.  They have simply notions,
impressions, sentiments, prejudices, which they have imbibed from
others.  They may be said to be like looking-glasses, which have a
shadow of whatever stands before them.  So long as they are in company
with a positive person who believes something, they have an opinion.
When he goes the shadow on the looking-glass goes also.  They are like
the sand on the seashore--the last person who comes the way makes a
track and the next wave washes it away and leaves the sand ready for
another impression.  How many are there who, when any important
question comes up, have no opinion about it, until they read their
paper or hear what other people are saying.  There is no sort of
courage more needed than the courage to form an opinion and keep by it
when we have formed it.  There is no more contemptible form of
cowardice than to do a thing merely because others do it.  The grand
words of President Garfield of the United States are worthy of
remembrance: "I do not think what others may say or think about me, but
there is one man's opinion about me which I very much value, that is
the opinion of James Garfield; others I need not think about.  I can
get away from them, but I have to be with him all the time.  He is with
me when I rise up and when I lie down, when I go out and when I come
in.  It makes a great difference whether he thinks well of me or not."
To this noble utterance we may add the words of the poet Russell Lowell:

  They are slaves who will not choose
  Hatred, scoffing, and abuse,
  Rather than in silence shrink
  From the truth they needs must think.
  They are slaves who dare not be
  In the right with two or three.


_Second, there is the courage of resistance_.--This is the chief form
courage should take in the young.  They are surrounded on every side by
strong temptations--temptations addressed to their lower nature, to
vanity, to indolence, to scepticism, to impurity, to drunkenness.
There is many a young man beset by temptation who has in reality to
fight far harder if he will maintain his integrity than any soldier
belonging to an army making its way through an enemy's country.  He
does not know when an ambush may be sprung upon him, or from what side
the attack may come.  In an old tower on the Continent they show you,
graven again and again on the stones of one of the dungeons, the word
_Resist_.  It is said that a Protestant woman was kept in that hideous
place for forty years, and during all that time her employment was in
graving with a piece of iron, for anyone who might come after her, that
word.  It is a word that needs to be engraven on every young man's and
young woman's heart.  It represents the highest form of courage which
to them is possible--the power to say "No" to every form of temptation.

_Third, there is the courage of endurance_.--This is really the noblest
form of courage.  There is no excitement in it; nothing to be won by
it.  It is simply to bear without flinching.  In the buried city of
Herculaneum, near Vesuvius, now uncovered, after the guide has shown
the visitor the wonders of the place he takes him to the gate and
points out the stone box where were found, buried in ashes, the rusted
remains of the helmet and cuirass of the Roman sentinel.  When the
black cloud rose from the mountain, and the hot ashes fell around him,
and the people rushed out at the gate, he stood there immovable,
because it was his duty, and died in his place, suffocated by the
sulphury air.  It was a grand instance of courage, but it is seen again
and again equalled in common life.  In men and women stricken down by
fell disease; in those on whom adverse circumstances close like the
walls of an iron chamber; in people for whom there was no possible
escape, who could only bear, but who stood up firm and erect in their
weakness, whose cross, instead of crushing them to the earth, seemed
only to lift them up.  We are told that Robert Hall, the great
preacher, suffered much from disease.  He was forced often to throw
himself down and writhe on the ground in paroxysms of pain.  From these
he would rise with a smile, saying, "I suffered much, but I did not cry
out, did I? did I cry out?"

These are the chief forms of moral courage in ordinary life.  We have
now to point out what are the sources of such courage.

The first source of courage is conviction--the feeling that we are in
the right, the "testimony of a good conscience."  Nothing can make a
man brave without that.  "Thrice is he armed," we are told, "who hath
his quarrel just," and he is more than trebly armed who knows in his
heart that it is just.  If we go over the roll of the strongest and
bravest men the world has seen we will find that at the root of their
courage there lay this fact of conviction.  They _believed_, therefore
they spake, therefore they fought, therefore they bled and died.  The
man of strong conviction is the strong man all the world over.  If a
man wants that, he will be but a feeble character, a poor weakling to
the end of the chapter.  Shakespeare says that "conscience makes
cowards of us all"; but it does something else when it makes us fear
evil--it lifts us above all other fear.  So it raised Peter, who had
shortly before denied his Master, to such courage that he could say
before his judges, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken
unto you more than unto God, judge ye.  For we cannot but speak the
things which we have seen and heard."  It has enabled men and women to
endure a martyr's death when one word, which they would not speak,
might have saved them.

The second source of courage is faith.--We use the word in the
Christian sense of trust in God.  When a man feels that God is with him
he can stand up against all the powers of earth and hell.  "If God be
for us, who can be against us?"  The heroes of the past, who subdued
kingdoms and wrought righteousness, have all been men of faith.  Recall
Hebrews xi., the Covenanters, the Ironsides of Cromwell, the Huguenots,
Luther, Knox.  Their faith may not have been so enlightened as it might
have been had their knowledge been wider.  Their religious creeds may
have contained propositions that are no longer accepted, but they were
strong because of their undoubted faith in God.  When His presence is
an abiding presence with us and in us, our

  Strength is as the strength of ten,
  Because our hearts are pure.

He who fears God will know no other fear.

The third source of courage is sympathy.--A man who has God with him
will be brave if he stand alone, but he will be greatly helped if he is
in company with others like himself and knows that he has the sympathy
of good men.  You remember St. Paul on his journey to Rome reaching a
little village about thirty miles from the great city.  The look-out
for him was very depressing.  He had appealed to Caesar, but what
likelihood was there of his obtaining justice in Caesar's capital.  He
might be thrown to the lions, or made to fight for his life in the
Coliseum, a spectacle to the Roman multitude.  Then it was that a few
Roman Christians who had heard of his approach came out to meet him,
and, it is said, "he thanked God and took courage."  Such was the power
of sympathy.  If we would be encouraged we will seek it.  If we would
encourage others we will give it.

We will only say in closing this chapter that its subject is most truly
illustrated by the life of our Lord himself.  The mediaeval conception
of Christ was that He exhibited only the passive virtues of meekness,
patience, and submission to wrong.  From the gospels we form a
different idea.  He vanquished the devil in the wilderness; He faced
human opposition boldly and without fear; He denounced the hypocrisy of
the Pharisees, and encountered their rage and violence.  He went calmly
along His appointed path, neither turning to the right hand nor to the
left.  Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, could not deter Him from doing
His Father's work.  Amid a tumultuous tempest of ill-will He moved
straight forward, foreseeing His death, "setting His face toward
Jerusalem," knowing all that awaited Him there.  He went through
Gethsemane to Calvary with the step of a conqueror.  Never was He more
truly a king than on the cross, and the grandest crown ever worn was
"the crown of thorns."  In Him we have the highest example of courage,
as of all other virtues.



CHAPTER VIII.

HEALTH.

Health means soundness of body and of mind; the keeping of our physical
system in such a condition that it is able to do its work easily,
without disturbance, and without pain; the exercise of the mind so as
not to harm the body.  There are certain preliminary considerations
that we should bear in mind in connection with this subject.

I.  The close connection between body and mind.--They are both related
to each other in some mysterious way.  So close is the connection that
the one cannot be affected without the other.  The well-being of the
one depends on the well-being of the other.  The power which the mind
has over the body and the body over the mind has been well and tersely
described by a writer of our time.  "Man," he says, "is one, however
compound.  Fire his conscience, and he blushes; check his circulation,
and he thinks tardily or not at all; impair his secretions, and the
moral sense is dulled, discolored, or depraved, his aspirations flag,
his hope and love both reel; impair them still more, and he becomes a
brute.  A cup of wine degrades his moral nature below that of the
swine.  Again, a violent emotion of pity or horror makes him vomit; a
lancet will restore him from delirium to clear thought; excessive
thought will waste his energy; excess of muscular exercise will deaden
thought; an emotion will double the strength of his muscles; and at
last, a prick of a needle or a grain of mineral will in an instant lay
to rest forever his body and its unity." [1]  When we consider the
close connection between mind and body, and how the state of the one
affects the other, we see how important it is that both should work
together in that harmonious action which is health, and how carefully
we should guard against anything by which that harmonious action may be
interrupted.

II.  Bodily health is almost essential to success in life.--It is not
_absolutely_ essential, but it is _almost_ essential.  (_a_) Physical
health is not everything.  "Give a man," it has been said, "a good deep
chest and a stomach of which he never knew the existence, and he must
succeed in any practical career."  This has been said by a great
authority, Professor Huxley, but it is only partially true, for many
worthless people fulfil these conditions.  They are, as Carlyle calls
them, only "animated patent digesters."  (_b_) Great things also have
been done in the world by men whose health has been feeble.  Calvin was
a man of sickly body; Pascal was an invalid at eighteen; Pope was weak
and deformed; William of Orange, a martyr to asthma; Hall, the famous
preacher, suffered great paroxysms of pain; Milton was blind; Nelson,
little and lame; St. Paul in bodily presence was weak.  On the other
hand, some of these men might have done more if their health had been
better.  Health is a splendid possession in the battle of life.  The
men of great physical vitality, as a rule, achieve most; other things
being equal, their success in life is sure.  Everything shows that the
greatness of great men is almost as much a bodily affair as a mental
one.  It has been computed that the average length of life of the most
eminent philosophers, naturalists, artists, jurists, physicians,
musical composers, scholars and authors, including poets, is sixty-five
years.  This shows that the most successful men on the whole have had
good bodies and been blessed with great vitality.

III.  The care of the body is a religious duty.--(_a_) It is so because
our spiritual feelings are largely dependent upon the state of our
health.  "Certain conditions of body undeniably occasion, irritate and
inflame those appetites and inclinations which it is one great end of
Christianity to repress and regulate."  The spirit has sometimes to
maintain a terrible struggle against the flesh.  Intemperance is
largely the result of bad feeding.  "It is easier for a camel to pass
through the eye of a needle," than for a dyspeptic person to be gentle,
meek, long-suffering.  Dark views of God often come from the state of
the body.  It would largely lift up the moral and spiritual condition
of men if their surroundings were such as tended to keep them in
health.  To improve men's dwellings, to give them healthy homes, pure
air to breathe, and pure water to drink, would tend to help them
morally and spiritually, (_b_) God requires of us a certain amount of
service by and through our bodies.  We cannot perform the work if we
destroy the machines by which the work is to be done.  (_c_) Scripture
especially calls us to make the body the object of our reverent care.
"Your bodies are members of Christ."  The body "is for the Lord, and
the Lord for the body."  "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,
which is in you, which ye have of God."  "If any man defile the temple
of God, him will God destroy."  Yield "your members as instruments of
righteousness unto God."  Sin is not to "reign in your mortal body."
"Glorify God in your body."  We are to "present our bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service."
(_d_) The body is a part of that humanity which Christ by His
_incarnation_ took, redeemed, sanctified and glorified.  (_e_) Our
Lord's miracles were nearly all performed on the human body, for its
relief, cure, and restoration to life.

IV.  To a certain extent our health is in our own hands.--Not
altogether, for some are constitutionally defective, and subject to
infirmities with which they are born, and which they have perhaps
inherited.  But a vast amount of disease is preventable, and comes from
causes over which we have direct control.  "It is reckoned that a
hundred thousand persons die annually in England of preventable
diseases"--from disobedience to the laws of health, which are God's
laws, and the transgression of which, wilfully, is sin.  Beyond all
doubt a vast amount of sickness comes from bad living, from
intemperance in eating and drinking, from breathing bad air, from
inhabiting ill-constructed houses.  It is possible to live in
accordance with the laws of health so that life may be comparatively
free from disease and from pain.  If Providence denies health, the want
of it must be patiently endured.  If we have inherited weakness, we
must make the most of the strength we have.  But if we lack health
through our own fault we are guilty of shameful sin.

To discuss fully the subject and laws of health would require a whole
treatise, and would be beyond the scope of this text-book.  There are,
however, some outstanding conditions for the preservation of health
which are plain to everyone, and which may be summed up in the three
words Temperance, Exercise, and Rest.  These have been well termed the
three great physicians, whose prescriptions are painless and cost
nothing.

1.  _Temperance_.--Man needs a certain amount of food to sustain him,
but if that amount be increased beyond the proper quantity it is
dangerous to health.  It overtasks the power of digestion and is
injurious.  We need therefore to be constantly on our guard as to what
we eat and drink lest we run into excess.  Every one must study his own
constitution, find out its need, and suit the supply of food to its
wants.  According to the old proverb, "We should eat to live, not live
to eat."  It is a great matter for health when we are able to strike
the proper medium and neither eat nor drink too much nor too little.
To lay down rules on this subject for the individual is impossible.
"One man's food is another man's poison."  A man must determine from
his own experience what he ought to take, and how much, as well as what
he ought to avoid.  The word intemperance is generally employed as
applying to the abuse of strong drinks.  On this subject much has been
written, some advocating total abstinence and others judicious and
moderate use.  Into this region of controversy we cannot enter.  The
evils of drinking habits, as they are called, are plain to all.  They
are a terrible curse to society, and a terrible danger to the
individual.  They have ruined many a promising career.  For many,
perhaps we may say for most, entire abstinence is their only safety.
He who finds that he can do his work well by drinking only water will
be wise if he drinks nothing else.  That will never harm him, though
other liquids may.  We must judge for ourselves, but "Temperance in all
things" is a rule binding on every Christian man.  We cannot have
health unless we strictly and constantly practise temperance.

2.  _Exercise_.--This is as necessary to health as food.  "Only by
exercise--physical exercise--can we maintain our muscles, organs and
nervous system in proper vigor; only by exercise can we equalise the
circulation and distribute the blood evenly over every part of the
body; only by exercise can we take a cheerful and wholesome view of
life, for exercise assists the digestion, and a good digestion is a
sovereign antidote to low spirits; only by exercise can the brain be
strengthened to perform the labor demanded of it." [2]  No sensible man
will try to do without it.  If any man does so he will pay the penalty.
As to the amount of exercise and the kind of exercise every man must
judge for himself.  Some, from their occupation, need less than others;
the outdoor laborer, for instance, than the clerk who is most of the
day at the desk.  One man may take exercise best by walking, another by
riding, another by following outdoor sports.  Athletics, such as
football, and cricket, are a favorite form of exercise with the young,
and if not followed to excess are most advantageous.  The walk in the
open air is life to many.  But boy or man can never be what they ought
to be unless they take exercise regularly and judiciously, take it not
to exhaust but to refresh and stimulate.  It strengthens the nerve and
clears the brain and fits for work.

3.  _Rest_.--Man needs a certain amount of repose to sustain his frame
in full vigor.  Some need more, some need less.  We must find out for
ourselves what we need and take it.  Lack of sleep is especially a
great waste of vitality.  Here also we must exercise our judgment as to
the amount of sleep we require.  One needs a great deal; another can do
with very little.  Early rising, which has been much recommended, is
only good for those who go early to bed.  If one is compelled to sit up
late he should sleep late in the morning.  It is no virtue on the part
of anyone to get up early unless he has slept enough.  _That_ he must
do if he is to have health.  A man who would be a good worker must see
to it that he is a good sleeper; and whoever, from any cause, is
regularly diminishing his sleep is destroying his life.  Shakespeare
has well described the blessing of sleep when he says:

  Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
  The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
  Balm of hurt minds, great Nature's second course,
  Chief nourisher in life's feast.


These are but _hints_ in connection with a great subject.  A few brief
rules may be given of a general character:

1.  Take exercise every day in the open air if possible, and make it a
recreation and not merely a duty.

2.  Eat wholesome food, drink pure water.

3.  Let your house and room be well ventilated.

4.  Take time enough for sleep.  Do not worry.

5.  Watch yourself, but not too closely, to find out what exercise,
air, diet, etc., agrees with you.  No man can be a rule for another.

6.  If you consult a physician, it is better to do it before you are
unwell than later.[3]

We close this chapter with the powerful words of Thomas Carlyle,
addressed to the students of the University of Edinburgh: "Finally, I
have one advice to give you which is practically of very great
importance.  You are to consider throughout much more than is done at
present, and what would have been a very great thing for me if I had
been able to consider, that health is a thing to be attended to
continually; that you are to regard it as the very highest of all
temporal things.  There is no kind of achievement you could make in the
world that is equal to perfect health.  What to it are nuggets or
millions?"



[1] Frederic Harrison, _Popular Science Monthly Supplement_.

[2] _Plain Living and High Thinking_.

[3] These rules are given by J. Freeman Clarke in his work on
Self-Culture.



CHAPTER IX.

EARNESTNESS.

Another word for earnestness is enthusiasm.  The Scriptural equivalent
is zeal.  It means putting our whole heart into whatever we are doing.
It is a sweeping, resistless energy, which carries everything before
it, like a river in full flood.  Its nature is well expressed in the
saying of the old huntsman, "Throw over your heart, and your horse will
soon follow."

Earnestness is not to be confounded with noise, vehemence, or outward
demonstration.--It is often exceedingly quiet and undemonstrative.
Notice when the machinery of an engine is standing still, how the steam
makes a great noise as it issues from the safety-valve, but when the
vapor is turned into the cylinder and is used in driving the engine all
that thundering sound disappears.  It does not follow that there is no
steam.  It is going in another direction, and doing its appropriate
work.  It is a great mistake to imagine that enthusiasm and what is
called _fuss_ are identical.  The most enthusiastic men are often the
quietest.  No one can doubt the enthusiasm of a man like Livingstone.
He had enthusiasm for science, for philanthropy and for religion.  It
was unflagging; yet not a boast, not a murmur escaped his lips.  He did
the thing he meant to do, and made no noise in doing it.

Earnestness is often regarded with suspicion and condemned.--It is the
fashion with many to sneer at it.  It is often alone, and then it is
not respectable.  It is often in excess, and is therefore ineffective.
It is often disturbing to the sleepiness of others, and is therefore
hated by them.  Our Lord was an enthusiast in the eyes of the
Pharisees.  St. Paul was an enthusiast to Festus.  The early Christians
were enthusiasts to the pagan world because they turned it upside down.
The martyrs and confessors of all times have been regarded as
enthusiasts by those of their own time who were not in sympathy with
them.  An enthusiast is called by many a fanatic, and a fanatic in the
eyes of some is a most dangerous member of society.

All the great leaders of the world have been men in earnest.--Emerson
says truly that "every great and commanding movement in the annals of
the world is the triumph of enthusiasm."  Our civil and religious
liberties we owe to enthusiasts for freedom.  The enthusiasm of
Columbus gave us America; the enthusiasm of Knox reformed Scotland; the
enthusiasm of Wesley regenerated English religious life; the enthusiasm
of men like Garibaldi and Cavour and Mazzini has made in our own time a
new Italy.  These men were all denounced in their day, cold water was
thrown on all their projects, but their burning earnestness carried
them on to triumph.  The scorned enthusiast of one generation is the
hero of the next.

Earnestness is a great element in securing success in life.--A
well-known writer and preacher, Dr. Arnot, tells that he once heard the
following conversation at a railway station between a farmer and the
engineer of a train: "What are you waiting for so long?  Have you no
water?"  "Oh, yes, we have plenty of water, but it is not boiling."  So
there may be abundance of intelligence and splendid machinery, and all
the appliances that help to success, but what is wanted is intense
boiling earnestness.  We have a good illustration of the power of
earnestness in speaking.  One man may say the right thing, and say it
in a pleasing and cultured manner; every phrase may be well placed,
every sentence polished, every argument in its proper place.  Another
man may have no elegance of diction, his words may be unpolished, his
sentences even ungrammatical, and yet he may move a great multitude, as
the leaves of the trees are moved by the wind, through the intense
earnestness and enthusiasm by which he is possessed.  We see the same
thing in Christian effort.  The organization of a church may be
perfect, its resources may be large, and it may have in its service an
army of able and well-disciplined men; but without enthusiasm and
burning zeal its efforts are powerless and come to nothing.  When, as
at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descends upon a church in tongues of
fire, then there is quickening, and souls are gathered in.  No man has
ever had a supreme influence over others without more or less
enthusiasm in his nature.

There are three directions we may give in regard to earnestness or
enthusiasm.

1.  _Respect it in others_.--Do not join with those who regard it as
something that is not respectable.  It is always preferable to what is
cold and formal.  Life is better than death, and when there is life
there is energy and earnestness.  Even when enthusiasm takes forms that
we cannot altogether approve of, it is worthy of respect.  "Next to
being Servetus who was burnt," said one, "I would have been Calvin who
burnt him."  That was a strong way of saying that zeal is a beautiful
thing in itself, though "zeal that is not according to knowledge" is
not good.  We may not approve of many of the opinions and methods of
Francis Xavier, the great missionary and saint of the Roman Church, but
we cannot fail to admire his burning zeal in the cause of Christ, and
look with something like awe on his high-souled devotion to the work of
an evangelist.  He was swept on by an enthusiasm that never failed, and
which carried him over obstacles that would have daunted any ordinary
man.  The Puritans were denounced by many good people of their time,
and the great preacher, Dr. South, delivered a sermon against them,
entitled "Enthusiasts not led by the Spirit of God."  But we all know
how great the men were, and how great a work they did through the very
enthusiasm that he condemned.  "It is better," according to the
proverb, "that the pot should boil over than not boil at all."  The
word enthusiasm literally means filled, or inspired, by God, and the
meaning of the word may teach us how noble a thing enthusiasm is in
itself, and how worthy it is of admiration and respect.

2.  _We should cultivate it in ourselves_.--It is a virtue, like all
others, that can be cultivated.  (_a_) By resolutely setting our face
against doing anything in a languid and half-hearted way.  If a thing
is worth doing, it should be done "with all our might."  (_b_) By
studying the lives of great men.  When we do so we catch something of
the earnestness that inspired them.  This is perhaps the best result of
reading biography.  We feel how noble was the enthusiasm of the heroes
of the past, and how, by means of it, they were able to do great
things, and to march on to victory.  (_c_) By associating with those
who are in earnest.  There is nothing so contagious as enthusiasm, and
when we come in contact with those who live under the impulse of grand
ideas, something of their force and power is conveyed to ourselves.
The great soul strengthens the weak soul.  While the solitary coal on
the hearth will go black out, when it is heaped up with others it
springs into a blaze.

  O ever earnest sun!
    Unwearied in thy work,
    Unhalting in thy course,
    Unlingering in thy path,
    Teach me thy earnest ways,
  That mine may be a life of steadfast work and praise.

  O ever earnest stars!
    Unchanging in your light,
    Unfaltering in your race,
    Unswerving in your round,
    Teach me your earnest ways,
  That mine may be a life of steadfast work and praise.

  O ever earnest flowers!
    That with untiring growth
    Shoot up and spread abroad
    Your fragrance and your joy,
    Teach me your earnest ways,
  That mine may be a life of steadfast work and praise.

  O ever earnest sea!
    Constant in flow and ebb,
    Heaving to moon and sun,
    Unchanging in thy change,
    Teach me thy earnest ways,
  That mine may be a life of steadfast work and praise.
        HORATIUS BONAR.

3.  _We should carry earnestness into our religious life_.--This above
all.  There are many who tolerate earnestness in other things, but who
look upon it as dangerous in connection with religion.  It is regarded
as of very questionable value, and spoken of with doubt and suspicion.
Let a man become earnest in prayer, earnest in work, or rise in any way
above the dead level in which so many are content to rest, and he will
be often spoken of in tones of pity, sneered at as a fanatic, or
denounced as an impostor.  This suspicion with which earnestness in the
Church of Christ is often regarded may be accounted for.  (_a_) There
has been a vast deal of zeal in the Church about religion which has not
been zeal for religion: about matters of ritual, Church government, and
the like.  (_b_) Zeal has been often expended in contentions about
small points of doctrine; often about those very points which are
shrouded in mystery.  (_c_) Zeal has been often manifested in the
interest of sect and party rather than of Christ.  (_d_) Zeal has often
taken persecution for her ally, and wielded among men the weapons of
earthly warfare.  For these reasons its appearance in the Church is
often regarded as we might regard the erection in a town of a gunpowder
magazine which, at any moment, might produce disorder, ruin, and death.

_Yet Scripture regards earnestness in religion as
essential_.--Indifference and lukewarmness it regards as hateful (Rev.
iii. 15, 16).  It calls us to a solemn choice and to a lifelong
service.  Its heroes are those who lived in the spirit of Brainerd's
prayer, "Oh, that I were a flaming fire in the service of my God."
There is an allegory of Luther which may be quoted here.  "The devil,"
he says, "held a great anniversary, at which his emissaries were
convened to report the results of their several missions.  'I let loose
the wild beasts of the desert,' said one, 'on a caravan of Christians,
and their bones are now bleaching on the sands.'  'What of that?' said
the devil; 'their souls were all saved.'  'I drove the east wind,' said
another, 'against a ship freighted with Christians, and they were all
drowned.'  'What of that?' said the devil; 'their souls were all
saved.'  'For ten years I tried to get a single Christian asleep,' said
a third, 'and I succeeded, and left him so.' Then the devil shouted,
and the night stars of hell sang for joy."

There are three spheres of religious life in which earnestness should
be specially shown.

1.  _In prayer_.--This is specially inculcated in the two parables of
our Lord, the "unjust judge" and "the friend at midnight," and in His
own words, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you."  One, it is said, came to
Demosthenes, the great orator, and asked him to plead his cause.  He
heard him without attention while he told his story without
earnestness.  The man saw this, and cried out anxiously that it was all
true.  "Ah!" said Demosthenes, "I believe you _now_."  The earnest
prayer is the prevailing prayer.

2.  _In sacrifice_.--This is in all life the test of earnestness.  The
student giving up time for the acquisition of knowledge; the merchant
giving up his hours to the pursuit of business; the explorer braving
the heat of the tropics and the cold of the arctic regions in his zeal
for discovery.  It is the same in religion.  We must count all things,
with St. Paul, "as loss, that we may win Christ, and be found in Him."

3.  _In impressing others_.--It is "out of the heart that the mouth
speaketh," and power to impress others is given only to those who do so
with a full heart, and who are consumed with a burning zeal for the
salvation of souls.  These are they whom God has, in all ages, blessed
in the conversion of men.



CHAPTER X.

MANNERS.

The word manners comes from the Latin _manus_, the hand, and literally
means the mode in which a thing is handled--behavior, deportment.
Manners may be defined as the pleasing or unpleasing expression of our
thoughts and intentions, whether in word or action.  We may say or do a
thing in an agreeable or a disagreeable way.  According as we choose
the one or the other, our manners may be said to be good or bad.

Good manners are the result of two things.--(_a_) Self-respect and
(_b_) consideration for the feelings of others.  The man who respects
himself will be careful to say or do nothing that may seem to others
degrading or unworthy.  The man who has consideration for the feelings
of others will be equally careful to do or say nothing that may give
them pain, or be offensive to them.

Good manners beautify character.--It was a celebrated saying of an old
bishop, William of Wykeham, "Manners maketh man."  This is, however,
only partially true.  Manners do not make a man any more than good
clothes make a man, but if he _is made_ they greatly improve him.  Some
have been truly excellent who have had an uncouth and unpolished
address, but that was rather to their disadvantage than otherwise.
"Rough diamonds" are always precious, but a diamond that is cut and
polished, while it retains its value, is much more beautiful.  Civility
of speech, politeness of address, courtesy in our dealings with others,
are qualities that adorn a man, whilst rudeness, incivility, roughness
in behavior, detract greatly from his value, and injure his usefulness.
Tennyson's words are true:

  Manners are not idle, but the fruit
  Of noble nature and of loyal mind.


Good manners tend greatly to success in life.--Coarseness and gruffness
lock doors, gentleness and refinement open them, while the rude,
boorish man is shunned by all.  Take the case of a speaker addressing a
public meeting.  What he says is weighty and important.  His arguments
are powerful and well marshalled, but his speech is uncouth and
disagreeable.  He says things that are coarse and vulgar.  His bad
manner vastly takes away from the impression which he desires to make,
and which, if his manner had been different, he would have made.
Again, two young men serve in a place of business.  The one is gentle
in his demeanor, meets his customers with a pleasant smile, is always
polite.  The other is rough in his deportment, apparently does not care
whether those he deals with are pleased or not.  The one is a favorite
with everybody; the other, who may be equally worthy as far as
character is concerned, is disliked.

Good manners often disarm opposition.--People may have a prejudice
against ourselves personally, or against the cause we represent.  It is
wonderful, however, how much may be done to soften them by habitual
courtesy towards them, and by studiously avoiding anything calculated
to offend them or rouse their anger.  A wise man will always endeavor
to be specially civil towards any one who differs from him.  It is
related that in the early days of the Abolition movement in the United
States, two men went out preaching: one, a sage old Quaker, brave and
calm; the other, a fervid young man.  When the Quaker lectured, the
audience were all attention, and his arguments met with very general
concurrence.  But when it came to the young man's turn, a tumult
invariably ensued, and he was pelted off the platform.  Surprised by
their different receptions, the young man asked the Quaker the reason.
"Friend," he said, "you and I are on the same mission; we preach the
same things; how is it that while _you_ are received so cordially, I
get nothing but abuse?"  "I will tell thee," replied the Quaker; "thee
says, 'If you do so and so, you shall be punished,' and I say, 'My
friends, if you will _but_ do so and so, you shall not be punished.'
It is not what we say, but how we say it." [1]  In _The Memorials of a
Quiet Life_ it is said of Augustus Hare that, on a road along which he
frequently passed, there was a workman employed in its repair who met
his gentle questions and observations with gruff answers and sour
looks.  But as day after day the persevering mildness of his words and
manner still continued, the rugged features of the man gave way, and
his tone assumed a softer character.  Politeness is the oiled key that
will open many a rusty lock.

Good manners may be summed up in the one word, Gentleman.--That term
implies all that good-manners ought to be.  The original derivation of
the word is from the Latin _gentilis_, belonging to a tribe or _gens_;
and in its first signification it applies to those of noble descent or
family; but it has come to mean something far wider, and something
which every man, however humble, may be--a man of high courtesy and
refinement, to whom dishonor is hateful.  "What is it," says Thackeray,
"to be a gentleman?  It is to be honest, to be gentle, to be generous,
to be brave, to be wise, and, possessing all these qualities, to
exercise them in the most graceful outward manner."  It was said of our
Lord by one of the early English poets, that he was

  The first true gentleman that ever breathed.

To be a gentleman in all circumstances is the highest idea we can form
of good manners.  It is what, in our intercourse with others, we should
strive to be--to have "high thoughts," as Sir Philip Sidney expresses
it, "seated in a heart of courtesy."  In Bishop Patteson's life is
given the estimate of him, as a true gentleman, by a New Zealand
native: "Gentleman-gentleman thought nothing that ought to be done too
mean for him.  Pig-gentleman never worked."  The savage knew by
instinct that the good Bishop who came to live among them that he might
teach them to be better, who treated them with invariable courtesy and
consideration, was a true gentleman, though he had to clean his own
hut, to cook his own food, and to mend his own kettles.  And he knew
also that the man who made others work for him without doing them any
good in return, who swore at them and abused them, was only a
pig-gentleman, however rich or high in station he might be.

A few advices on the subject of this chapter may be given.

1.  _Cultivate a pleasing manner_.--Any one can be civil and polite if
he sets himself to be so.  Some suppose that it is unworthy of a robust
character to be gentle in demeanor, that it indicates a certain amount
of effeminacy, and that strength and gruffness go together.  We hear
men spoken of sometimes approvingly as "rough diamonds."  But history
tells us that the noblest and strongest have been the most tender and
courteous.  King Robert the Bruce was "brave as a lion, tender-hearted
as a woman."  "Sir Walter Raleigh was every inch a man, a brave
soldier, a brilliant courtier, and yet a mirror of courtesy.  Nobody
would accuse Sir Philip Sidney of having been deficient in manliness,
yet his fine manners were proverbial.  It is the courtesy of Bayard,
the knight, _sans peur et sans reproche_, which has immortalized him
quite as much as his valor." [2]  It is not beneath us to study good
manners.  To a great extent they come naturally from refinement of
disposition and inborn delicacy of feeling.  But they may also, to a
great extent, be learned and acquired.  "Watch," it has wisely been
said, "those of excellent reputation in manners.  Catch the temper of
the great masters of literature--the nobility of Scott, the sincerity
of Thackeray, the heartiness of Dickens, the tenderness of Macdonald,
the delicacy of Tennyson, the grace of Longfellow, the repose of
Shakespeare."  It is well worth while for every young man beginning
life to form a true idea of what good manners are, and to make it his
constant effort to acquire them.

2.  _Avoid eccentricity_.--Eccentricity is the deliberate endeavor to
make ourselves different from those around us.  (_a_) Some show it in
their dress by wearing garments often of outrageous shape and hue.
(_b_) Some show it in their speech by striving to say things that they
think especially smart.  (_c_) Some show it in their actions by
striking forced attitudes, and putting themselves in grotesque
positions.  It all springs from love of notoriety and desire to be
thought different from their neighbors.  It is the mark, as a rule, of
fops and fools, and an indication of weakness of character.  It is
fundamentally inconsistent with good manners.  Johnson was called _ursa
major_, or big bear, from the gruffness of his manner.  This was
probably natural to him, but many affect a similar manner from a desire
to be eccentric.  The "big bears" of society are odious.  Johnson's own
words are applicable to such: "A man has no more right to say an
uncivil thing than to act one--no more right to say a rude thing to
another than to knock him down."  Those also who are ever trying to say
things which they think smart, but which are often impudent, and meant
to give annoyance, ought to receive no countenance.  "Sir," said one
such person in his Irish brogue to Dean Swift, "I _sit_ (set) up for
being a wit."  "Then, sir," said the Dean, "I advise you to sit down."
Similar people should be treated in the same way.

3.  _Try to conquer shyness_.--This is constitutional with some, but
even when this is the case it can be overcome by taking pains.  The shy
man is often awkward in manner; and, what is worse, he often gives the
impression to others of being rude, when he has no intention to be so.
There are those who, in their own family and among their own friends,
are known to be warm-hearted, kind and gentle, but who, from this
defect of which we speak, have a reputation far from enviable.  Any
young man who is afflicted with it should set himself resolutely to get
the better of it.

4.  _We should be especially courteous to those below us in
station_.--To servants in our house, to those in our employ, to the
poor, we should be marked in our civility.  "It is the very essence of
gentlemanhood that one is polite to the weak, the poor, the friendless,
the humble, the miserable, the degraded."  The conduct of our Lord to
such is ever worthy of our imitation.  Indeed, as it has been well
remarked, the character of men and women is perhaps better known "by
the treatment of those below them than by anything else; for to them
they rarely play the hypocrite."  The man who is a bully and abusive to
those weaker or less fortunate than himself, is at heart a poor
creature; though, in company of his equals, he may be affable and
polished enough.  For example, Kingsley mentions regarding Sir Sydney
Smith that "the love he won was because, without any conscious
intention, he treated rich and poor, his own servants, and the
noblemen, his guests, alike courteously, cheerfully, considerately,
affectionately, bearing a blessing and reaping a blessing wherever he
was."  When a celebrated man returned the salute of a negro, he was
reminded that he had done what was very unfashionable.  "Perhaps so,"
he replied, "but I would not be outdone in good manners by a negro."

"Good words," says holy George Herbert, "are worth much, and cost
little."  The same may be said of good manners.



[1] _The Secret of Success_.

[2] _Plain Living and High Thinking_.



CHAPTER XI.

TEMPER.[1]

Temper is the harmonious and well-balanced working of the different
powers of the mind.  Good temper is when harmony is maintained; bad
temper when it is violated.  "Temper," it was said by an English
bishop, "is nine-tenths of Christianity."  We may think this an
exaggerated statement, but there is much to commend it.  The fruit of
the Spirit of God is peace, and peace is the condition of a heart which
is at rest--in harmony with God and man.  Peace may be taken as the
Scriptural word for temper.

Good temper is a sign that the different powers of the soul are working
in harmony.--For instance, the atmosphere is well tempered when it is
neither too hot nor too cold, neither too dry nor too moist, having
neither too much electricity nor too little.  Then the weather is
called fine.  It is a pleasure to live.  When the weather is bad, the
balance of the elements is broken, and life is disagreeable and
unpleasant.  The body is well tempered when the nervous system and the
blood and the nutritive system all work in due harmony.  When these
three great constituents of the body are well balanced against each
other, the result is health.  The body is not well tempered in a
student who takes no exercise, and where everything goes to feed the
brain; nor in a pugilist in training, where everything goes to feed the
muscles.  The result is disease.  We all know the musical instrument
called the harp.  All the strings are tuned into perfect harmony.  If
there is a false note struck, that is a sign to the musician that there
is something wrong, and that the instrument needs to be tuned.  The
discord is a symptom, that some cords are out of order.  So, bad temper
is a sign that some string in our moral constitution is out of harmony
and needs to be tuned.

Good temper can be acquired.--It is the result of culture.  There are
two things often confounded with it--(_a_) good nature and (_b_) good
humor.  Good nature is something born with us--an easy, contented
disposition, and a tendency to take things quietly and pleasantly.  We
inherit it.  There is little merit in possessing it.  Good humor is the
result of pleasant surroundings and agreeable circumstances.  A
good-humored man is so when everything goes right; when things go
wrong, his good humor departs and bad humor takes its place.  But good
temper results from training and self-control--keeping constant watch
over our passions and feelings, and above all being in constant harmony
with God; for he who is at peace with God is at peace with man, and
will keep the "even tenor of his way."

There are various signs or forms of ill-temper that may be adverted to.

One form of ill-temper is irritability.--We perhaps know what it is to
have a tooth where the nerve is exposed.  Everything that touches it
sends a thrill of pain through us.  Some people get into a moral state
corresponding to that.  The least thing puts them out, vexes them,
throws them into a disagreeable frame of mind.  When one gets into that
state, he should feel that there is something wrong with him--something
is off the balance, some nerve is exposed.  He had better look to it
and go off to the dentist.

Another form of ill-temper is readiness to find fault.--This is a sure
sign of a screw being loose somewhere.  An ill-tempered person is
always making grievances, imagining himself ill-used, discontented with
his position, dissatisfied with his circumstances.  He never blames
himself for anything wrong; it is always someone else.  He is like a
workman who is always excusing himself by throwing the blame on his
tools; like a bad driver who is always finding fault with his horses.

  Some fretful tempers wince at every touch,
  You always do too little or too much;
  He shakes with cold; you stir the fire and strive
  To make a blaze; that's roasting him alive.
  Serve him with venison, and he chooses fish;
  With sole; that's just the sort he would not wish.
  Alas! his efforts double his distress,
  He likes yours little, and his own still less.
  Thus, always teasing others, always teased,
  His only pleasure is--to be displeased.

If we find ourselves getting into this state of mind, it is high time
to inquire what is wrong with us.

Another form of ill-temper is passion.--Some people are very subject to
this development.  They are "gunpowdery," and when a small spark
touches them they fly out, and there is a blaze.  It is a very unlovely
feature of a man's character, and if people in a passion could only see
themselves in a glass, their eyes flashing, their brow contracted and
their features distorted, they would feel that they have cause to be
ashamed of themselves.  After having been in what is called "a towering
rage," there often comes to a man the feeling expressed in the words,
"I have made a great ass of myself."  If we have done so, we should
resolve never to make ourselves ridiculous again.

Perhaps the worst form of ill-temper is sulkiness.--This is passion not
dying out, but continuing to smoulder like the embers of a fire where
there is no flame.  A sullen disposition is as bad a sign of something
being wrong as there could well be.  It is like what the doctors call
"suppressed gout."  The disease has got driven into the system, and has
taken so firm a hold that it cannot easily be dislodged.  Better a man
whose temper bubbles over and is gone, than the man who cherishes it in
his bosom and allows, not the sun of one day, but of many days, to go
down on his wrath.

A word or two is perhaps necessary, in addition to what has been said,
as to the means by which good temper is to be preserved and bad temper
avoided.

I.  _We should cherish a deep and strong detestation of the evil
effects of bad temper in all its forms_.--(_a_) It has a bad effect
physically.  It produces consequences injurious to health.  The man who
indulges in it habitually cannot do so with impunity.  Doctors
constantly warn their patients to refrain from irritating disputes, and
to avoid men and things likely to provoke their anger.  (_b_) It has a
bad effect socially.  The bad-tempered man is seldom a favorite with
society.  Men eventually dislike him and shun him as a nuisance.  His
family, if he has one, come to regard him with dread rather than love.
(_c_) It has a bad effect as regards success in life.  "Everything,"
the proverb says, "comes to him who waits."  The patient and forbearing
man attains his object much sooner than the man of passion and abuse.
Such a person is continually thwarted in his plans.  People refuse to
be bullied into acquiescence; and threats, which have well been called
"the arguments of a coward," raise rather than disarm opposition.
(_d_) It has a bad effect spiritually.  (1) The man of evil temper
wants the calm disposition of soul necessary to communion with God.
The glass through which he looks into the spiritual world is clouded
and gives a distorted vision.  He whose soul is filled with anger and
clouded by passion cannot pray.  Before he lays his gift upon the
altar, he must be reconciled to his brother.  (2) Scripture is full of
warnings against evil temper: "He that is soon angry dealeth
foolishly."  "Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious
man thou shalt not go, lest thou learn his ways and get a snare to thy
soul."  "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth
in transgression."  "Be ye angry and sin not; let not the sun go down
upon your wrath."  "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and
clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice; and be
ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as
God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."  The example of our blessed
Lord specially teaches the same lessen.  Calmly and peacefully He
pursued His divine work.  "When reviled he reviled not again, but
committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."  Before the High
Priest, Pilate and Herod, His indignant silence was more eloquent than
scorching words.

II.  _We should deliberately cultivate self-control_.--If a railway
train is going swiftly along, and the driver sees something on the
track, he applies the brake, and thus avoids collision.  In regard to
temper, self-control is like the brake, and we should be ever ready to
put it on.  A person can come, in time, to get a wonderful control over
his temper if he watches against it.  The writer knew a young man who
was at one time of an ungovernable temper; he used to be at times like
"one possessed."  But by watching and resolutely putting on the brake
he grew up one of the sweetest-tempered and most lovable of men.  He
fought the wild beast within him, lashed it and kept it down.  A
merchant had passionately abused a Quaker, who received his outburst of
ill-temper in silence.  Being afterwards ashamed of himself, he asked
the other how he was able to show such patience.  "Friend," replied the
Quaker, "I will tell thee.  I was naturally as hot and violent as thou
art.  I knew that to indulge temper was sinful, and I found it was
imprudent.  I observed that men in a passion always spoke loud, and I
thought if I could control my voice I should repress my passion.  I
have therefore made it a rule never to allow my voice to be above a
certain key, and by a careful observance of this rule I have, by the
blessing of God, mastered my natural temper."  Strong resolution can do
much.  "If the pot boils," says the proverb, "take it off the fire."  A
little care, a word swallowed, a rising sentence struck down in us by a
simple rule, may save us humiliation.  "By reflection, by restraint and
control a wise man can make himself an island which no floods can
overwhelm.  He who is tolerant with the intolerant, mild with the
fault-finders, and free from passion with the passionate, him I indeed
call a wise man."--Buddhist saying.

III.  But while an act of self-control can restore the proper temper
and balance to the mind when it is in danger, _the best way is to keep
it so that it will not go off the balance_.  You know that if a clock
stops, we may perhaps make it go again by a shake; if it does not keep
time, we can often put the hands right; but the best way is to keep the
machinery always so well balanced and adjusted that it will not stop or
go wrong.  We may watch and control the temper when it breaks out; but
the better way is to keep it so well balanced that it will not break
out.  The soul that is in harmony with God, that is full of the spirit
of Christ, will ever be peaceful and serene.  If ill-temper is our
besetting sin, God's grace, if we ask it, will give us power to conquer
it  While we watch against it, we should pray against it also.  The
beautiful words of Thomas à Kempis point out to us the secret of the
well-tempered and well-balanced mind: "First keep thyself in peace, and
then thou wilt be able to bring others to peace."  If "the peace of God
which passeth all understanding" keep our hearts and minds, through
Christ Jesus, our life will never have its serenity disturbed by
ill-temper.



[1] I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness for some hints in this
chapter to an interesting work on "Self-Culture," by James Freeman
Clarke.



CHAPTER XII.

RECREATION.

Recreation is another name for amusement.  Both words express the same
idea.  Recreation means to create over again, the building up of the
system when it is exhausted.  Amusement primarily is said to be derived
from the halt which a dog makes in hunting, when he pauses to sniff the
air in order to see in which way the scent lies.  Having done this, he
starts off again with redoubled speed.  Both these words in themselves
suggest the place that the things which they signify should occupy in
life.  They are for the refreshing of our strength, in order to renewed
effort.

Recreation is a necessary part of life.--There are two great laws under
which we live: the law of work and the law of recreation.  Man has to
work, and to work hard, in order to live.  Work also is necessary to
happiness.  "He that labors," says the Italian proverb, "is tempted by
one devil; he that is idle, by a thousand."  The industrious life, it
is perfectly plain (as we have shown in a previous chapter), is that
which we should all follow.  But recreation is as needful in its place
as work.  (_a_) This is the teaching of nature.  God has made us
capable of enjoying ourselves, just as He has made us able to think, or
talk, or work with our hands.  The first sign of intelligence in the
infant is a smile.  The child's nature unfolds itself in play, and as
man grows up, it develops itself in many forms.  The universe also is
full of joy and gladness.  The sky is blue, the sea glistens, the
flowers are strewn over the earth.  We speak of the waves playing on
the shore, of the shadows playing on the mountain side.  All this
indicates that there is "a certain play element" that rejoices in the
world around us.  (_b_) This is the teaching of experience.  Unvaried
and unbroken toil becomes a sore burden; it breaks the spirit, weakens
energy, and saddens the heart.  "All work and no play," according to
the proverb, "makes Jack a dull boy."  There are men around us working
so hard that they have no family life, no social life, no time for
thought or for culture.  They are simply cogs in a great wheel that is
ceaselessly turning round and round--wearing themselves out before
their time by excess of labor.  This cannot be right.  There is an
interesting tradition of St. John, the disciple of our Lord, that while
amusing himself with a tame partridge he was asked by a huntsman how he
could spend his time in so unprofitable a manner.  St. John replied,
"Why dost thou not carry thy bow always bent?"  "Because," answered the
huntsman, "if it were always bent, I fear it would lose its spring and
become useless."  "Be not surprised then," replied the apostle, "that I
should sometimes remit a little of my close attention of spirit to
enjoy a little recreation, that I may afterwards employ myself more
fervently in divine contemplation."  It is said also of a most saintly
man, Carlo Borromeo, that while engaged with some friends in a game of
chess, the question was started, what they would do if they knew they
were to die within the hour.  "I would," said Borromeo, "go on with my
game."  He had begun it for God's glory, and in order to fit himself
for God's work, and he would finish it.  These anecdotes illustrate the
truth that recreation is a necessary part of life, and may be engaged
in with the highest object.

Recreation, therefore, is not to be regarded as an evil in itself--Men
at different times have so regarded it.  (_a_) Those who have been
termed ascetics in the Church of Rome looked upon every form of
amusement as sinful.  Even to smile or laugh was a fault needing severe
penance.  They were "cruel to themselves," denied themselves all
earthly joy, and placed vice and pleasure in the same category.  (_b_)
The Puritans also, in the time of the Stuarts, set their faces strongly
against games and recreation of every kind.  They denounced all public
amusements, as Macaulay tells us, "from masques, which were exhibited
at the mansions of the great, down to the wrestling matches and
quoiting matches on the village green."  (_c_) In all ages there have
been good men animated by the same feeling.  Life has seemed to them so
serious as to have no place in it for mirth.  Even one so saintly as
Archbishop Leighton said that "pleasures are like mushrooms--it is so
difficult to distinguish those that are wholesome from those that are
poisonous, that it is better to abstain from them altogether."  Those
views have something noble in them.  They spring from hatred of sin and
from realizing intensely that

Recreation is liable to abuse.--It often leads to evil.  It was the
unbridled gaiety of the age, with its selfishness and sensuality, that
made the Puritans denounce amusement, though the austerity they
enforced led to dreadful consequences.  Repression passed into excess.
"It was as if the pent-up sewerage of a mud volcano had been suddenly
let loose.  The unclean spirit forcibly driven out by the Puritans
returned with seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and the
last state of Stuart England was worst than the first."  The history of
that period shows us the mistake religion makes by frowning down all
amusements as sinful.  But that some may be so is equally clear.  They
are so (_a_) when they are contrary to the express commands of the Word
of God.  There are pleasures which are in themselves unlawful, and
which are condemned by the divine law.  These, God's children will
shun.  They are forms of wickedness which they will ever hold in
abhorrence.  "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride
of life," with all that the words mean, though the world may regard
them as pleasures, and engage in them as amusements, are evil before
God.  But not to dwell on this, which is evident, amusements are evil
(_b_) when they unfit for work.  "The end of labor," said the Greek
philosopher Aristotle, "is to rest."  It is equally true that "the end
of rest is to labor."  Pleasures that tempt us from daily duty, that
leave us listless and weary, are pernicious.  Outdoor games, for
instance, ought to strengthen the physical frame, they ought to make us
healthy and strong and ready for work.  But when carried to excess they
often produce the opposite result, and become positively hurtful.  If
the Saturday's play unfit for the worship and rest of the Lord's day;
if an employer, as has been stated, has been obliged to dismiss his
clerks more than once because of their incapacity for work owing to
football matches, cricket matches, and sports generally, it is clear
that these have not been for their good; and the same may be said of
the effect of other forms of amusement, especially when carried to
excess.  The amusements that send us back to toil with a lightened
heart and a vigorous mind are those only that we should engage in; all
others are detrimental, and should be shunned.  (_c_) It is necessary
to say also that amusement in any form followed as the end of life
becomes specially sinful.  Even the heathen moralist, Cicero, could say
"that he is not worthy to be called a man who is willing to spend a
single day wholly in pleasure."  How much more truly may a Christian
feel that he "who liveth in pleasure is dead while he liveth."  A life
that is simply play, that is simply amusement, is no life at all.  It
is only a contemptible form of existence.  "A soul sodden with
pleasure" is a lost soul.  To be a mere pleasure-seeker is not the
chief end of man.  Nothing grows more wearying than continuous
amusement, and no one needs amusement so much as he who is always at
it.  He loses the power of real enjoyment.  He has, like Esau, bartered
his birthright for a mess of pottage.  He is useless to man and guilty
before God.

It is not easy to lay down distinct and definite rules in regard to
recreation--to set down and catalogue those amusements which it is safe
for us to follow, and those from which we should refrain.  This has
been attempted, but not successfully! and the reason is evident.  What
may be safe for one person may not be safe for another.  If we are told
that an amusement has been held to be wrong, we are ready to reply that
the mere opinion of others is not binding upon us; and perhaps in our
contempt for views which appear to us bigoted and straitlaced, we rush
into the opposite extreme.  The true guide in recreation is a Christian
spirit.  He who possesses it will need no list of what are lawful and
unlawful made out for him.  He will be better guided than by any
carefully compiled code of duty set before him.  All, therefore, that
shall be attempted in this direction is to give a few general counsels
which may be serviceable.

1.  We should exercise our own judgment as to what amusements are
helpful or the reverse.  It has been said, "When you are in Rome, do as
the Romans do."  We would rather put the adage thus, "When you are in
Rome, do _not_ as the Romans do."  There are questions which majorities
may decide for us, and there are questions which every soul must decide
for itself.  That everybody goes to bull-fights in Spain does not make
bull-fighting right; neither is an amusement right because it is
popular.  In this, as in other matters, we must dare sometimes to be
singular.  Follow not a multitude to do evil.

2.  What is one man's meat is another man's poison.  We are not a law
to our neighbor, neither is our neighbor a law to us.  The amusement
that we find injures us, lowers our moral and spiritual tone, and
unfits us for the serious business of life, is the thing for us to
avoid, as we avoid food which some men can take with impunity, but
which does harm to us.

3.  Keep on the safe ground of certainty.  Whatever is doubtful is
dangerous, and had best be left alone.  If we go skating, and have a
suspicion that the ice in a certain spot is weak, that is sufficient to
make us avoid it.  Possibly we might pass over it without danger, but
the thought that it may be dangerous leads us to give it a wide berth.
"If you do not wish to hear the bell ring," says the proverb, "keep
away from the bell rope."  There is a sufficiency of amusements which
are beyond doubt safe and satisfying, without our trying those that may
be dangerous.  The best recreation often comes from change of
occupation, and there is none better than the companionship of books,
the sweet solace of music, the softening influence of art, or the
contemplation of the beauties of nature, "the melody of woods and winds
and waters."  There are fountains of joy open on every side of us, from
which we may quaff many an invigorating draught, without drinking from
those which are often poisoned and polluted.

4.  The pleasure that is more congenial than our work is to be taken
with caution.  So long as a man enjoys his work more than his
amusement, the latter is for him comparatively safe.  It is a
relaxation and refreshment, and he goes from it all the better for it;
but if a man likes his pleasure better than the duties to which God has
called him in the world, it is a sign that he has not realized, as he
ought to realize, the object for which life was given him.

5.  For the question, What is the harm? substitute, What is the good?
The former is that which many ask in regard to amusements, and the very
asking of the question shows that they feel doubtful about them and
should avoid them.  But when we ask, What is the good? it is a sign
that we are anxious to know what benefit we may derive from them, and
how far they may help us.  That is the true spirit in which we should
approach our amusements, seeking out those that recruit and refresh us
mentally, morally, and physically.

Those are hints[1] which may be found useful.  "Religion never was
designed," it is said, "to make our pleasures less."  Religion also, if
we know what it means, will ever lead us to what are true, innocent,
and elevating pleasures, and keep us from those that are false, bad in
their influence, and which "leave a sting behind them."  "Rejoice, O
young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of
thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart and in the sight of
thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring
thee into judgment."  Let those who practise the first part of that
text not forget the second.



[1] I am indebted for some of them to an article in _The Christian
Union_.



CHAPTER XIII.

BOOKS.

Books have an influence on life and conduct the extent of which it is
impossible to estimate.  "The precepts they inculcate, the lessons they
exhibit, the ideals of life and character which they portray, root
themselves in the thoughts and imaginations of young men.  They seize
them with a force which, in after years, appears scarcely possible."
These words of Principal Tulloch will not appear too strong to any one
who can look back over a long period of life.  Such must ever feel that
books have had a powerful effect in making them all that they are.
There are many considerations that go to show the importance of books.

Books are the accumulated treasures of generations.--They are to man
what memory is to the individual.  If all the libraries in the world
were burned and all the books in the world destroyed, the past would be
little more than a blank.  It would be a calamity corresponding to that
of a man losing by a stroke the memory of past years.  The literature
of the world is the world's memory, the world's experience, the world's
failures.  It teaches us where we came from.  It tells us of the paths
we have travelled.  Almost all we know of the history of this world in
which God has placed us we know from books.  "In books," as Carlyle
says, "lie the creative Phoenix ashes of the whole past--all that men
have desired, discovered, done, felt, or imagined, lie recorded in
books, wherein whoso has learned the mystery of spelling printed
letters may find it and appropriate it."

Books open to us a society from which otherwise we would be
excluded.--They introduce us into a great human company.  They enable
us, however humble we may be, to hold converse with the great and good
of past ages and of the present time--the great philosophers,
philanthropists, poets, divines, travellers.  We know their thoughts,
we hear their words, we clasp their hands.  The chamber of the solitary
student is peopled with immortal guests.  He has friends who are always
steadfast, who are never false, who are silent when he is weary, who go
forth with him to his work, who await his return.  In the literature of
the world a grand society is open to all who choose to enter it.

Books are the chief food of our intellectual life.--There are men that
have, indeed, done great things who have read but little.  These have
had their want of mental training compensated by their powers of
observation and experience of life.  But they have been for the most
part exceptional men, and it is possible they might have done better if
they had studied more.  To the great majority of men books are the
great teachers, the chief ministers to self-culture.  Books in a
special manner represent intellect to those who can appreciate them.
We cannot estimate in this aspect their importance.  They are in regard
to self-culture what Montaigne calls "the best viaticum for the journey
of life."  When we think of what we owe to them, we may enter into the
feelings of Charles Lamb, who "wished to ask a grace before reading
more than a grace before meat."

In regard to books, the practical questions that present themselves
are, what we should read, and how we should read.  The first question
cannot be answered in any definite manner.  (_a_) The enormous number
of books in the world forbids this.  Let any one enter a library of
even moderate size, and he will feel how almost hopeless it would be,
even if it were profitable, to draw out a practicable list of what may
be advantageously chosen for reading and what may well be cast aside.
(_b_) Still more does the infinite variety of tastes, circumstances:
and talents, forbid the laying down of definite rules.  Reading that
might be profitable for one might not be so for another.  Reading that
would be pleasant to one would be to another weariness.  Every class of
mind seeks naturally its own proper food, and the choice of books must
ultimately depend upon a man's own bias--on his natural bent and the
necessities of his life.  There are, however, one or two directions
that may be given, and which may be profitable to young men.

_First_, We should read, as far as possible, _the great books of the
world_.  In the kingdom of literature there are certain works that
stand by themselves and tower in their grandeur above all others.  They
are referred to by Bacon, in his weighty way, when he says: "Some books
are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, some few to be chewed and
digested."  This last class of books may be still spoken of as few.
Various lists have lately been published of the best hundred books,
according to the opinion of some of the greatest men of our time.
There is considerable agreement among the writers as to what they
consider the best books, and there is considerable difference also.  It
is easy to see how those who compiled these lists have been largely
influenced in making their selection by their own peculiar tastes and
fancies.  Probably there is not one of their lists which any young man
would care to follow out in its entirety.  We give elsewhere the one
which seems most likely to be useful to those into whose hands this
text-book may probably come,[1] though it is evident that many young
men might profitably leave out some of the books mentioned and
substitute others.  Still one thing is clear, that it is possible to
make a selection of outstanding works in literature.  After
consultation with others better informed than himself, a young man can
make a list suitable to his capacities and tastes, of books that really
are _great_ books, and in this way he may acquire knowledge that is
worth having, and which will furnish a good and solid foundation for
his intellectual culture.  It is with books of this kind that he should
begin, and a few such books thoroughly mastered will probably do him
more good than all others that he may afterwards read.

It is hardly necessary to say that there is _one_ book that may be
termed specially great, and which all young men should make the special
subject of their study.  (_a_) The Bible, even as a means of
intellectual culture, stands alone and above all others.  "In the
poorest cottages," says Carlyle, "is one book wherein for several
thousands of years the spirit of man has found light and nourishment,
and an interpreting response to whatever is deepest in him."  No man
can be regarded as an educated man unless he is familiar with this
book.  To understand its history and position in the world is in itself
a liberal education.  Those who have been indifferent to its spiritual
power and divine claims have acknowledged its great importance in
regard to self-culture.  "Take the Bible," says Professor Huxley, "as a
whole, make the severest deductions which fair criticism can dictate
for shortcomings and for positive errors, and there still remains in
this old literature a vast residuum of moral beauty and grandeur; and
then consider the great historical fact that for three centuries this
book has been woven into the life of all that is best and noblest in
English history; that it has become the national epic of Britain, and
is familiar to noble and simple from John o' Groat's house to Land's
End; that it is written in the noblest and purest English, and abounds
in exquisite beauties of a mere literary form; and finally, that it
forbids the merest hind who never left his village to be ignorant of
the existence of other countries and other civilizations, and of a
great past, stretching back to the furthest limits of the oldest
nations of the world.  By the study of what other book could children
be so much humanized?"  In these words we have a noble tribute to the
intellectual greatness of the Bible.  (_b_) But it has other claims
upon us than its power to stimulate mental culture.  It is inspired by
God.  "It is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness."  It is man's guide through the
perplexities of life to the glory of heaven, "Wherewithal shall a young
man cleanse his way?  By taking heed thereto according to thy word."

Read then the great books of the world, and this book, the greatest of
all.

_Second_, Another suggestion that we may make in regard to the use of
books is that _we should read from some centre or standpoint_.  A
person takes a house in the country.  This he makes the centre of many
excursions.  One day he climbs the mountain, another day he walks by
winding stream, on another he sails along the shore.  In this way he
explores the surrounding country by degrees, coming back each night to
the place he started from.  We may do much the same thing with profit
in our excursions among books.  For instance, we may take the
starting-point of our _profession_, and read all we can in regard to
it.  A farmer should read about farming, a lawyer about law, a divine
about theology.  Or we may take the starting-point of our _physical
frame_, and read steadily all we can as to our bodily organisation and
its laws; or we may take as our starting point the _land_ we dwell in,
or even the locality where we live, and seek to learn all we can
regarding its history.  In this way distinct lines of study are opened
up to us, and we are saved the evil of desultory reading, which too
often fills the mind only with a jumble of facts undigested and
unarranged, and therefore of but little value.  The writer knew a young
minister in a Scottish manse who had among the few books in his library
the _Encyclopaedia Britannica_.  In this work he took up distinct
courses of reading--a course of biography, a course of history, a
course of geography--and in this way he acquired knowledge well
systematized, which was of great value to him in his after life.  We
should endeavor, according to some such method as we have indicated, to
carry on our reading.  "Every man and every woman who can read at all
should adopt some definite purpose in their reading, should take
something for the main stem and trunk of their culture, whence branches
might grow out in all directions, seeking air and light for the parent
tree, which it is hoped might end in becoming something useful and
ornamental, and which at any rate all along will have had life and
growth in it."  These words of Sir Arthur Helps put very tersely the
point on which we have been insisting.

_Third_, We should read books _on the same principle as we associate
with men_.  We only admit to our society those whom we deem worthy of
our acquaintance, and from whose intercourse we are likely to derive
benefit.  We should do the same in regards to books.  There are people
who read books which, if they took to themselves bodily form and became
personified, would be kicked out of their houses.  Readers often
associate in literature with what is vile and contemptible, who would
never think of associating with people possessing a similar character.
Yet the society of a weak or bad book is just as harmful to us in its
way, and should be as little tolerated by us as the society of a weak
or bad man.  Indeed, between an author and a careful reader there is an
intimacy established even closer than is possible in the intercourse of
life, and evil books poison the springs of thought and feeling much
more thoroughly than an evil acquaintanceship could do.  We cannot be
too strict, therefore, in applying to books the rules we follow in
regard to society, and refusing our acquaintance to those books
unworthy of it.  (_a_) Such books may be known by reputation.  We would
not associate with a man of bad reputation, neither should we read a
book of which the reputation is evil.  (_b_) They may be judged of also
by very slight experience.  Very little tells us whether a man is
worthy to be admitted to companionship, and very slight acquaintance
with a book is sufficient to tell us whether it is worth reading.
(_c_) But especially by beginning with those great authors that are
beyond doubt high toned, "the master-spirits of all time," we shall
acquire a power of discrimination.  We shall no more care to read foul,
impure, and unwholesome literature than a man brought up in the society
of honorable men would choose to cast in his lot with thieves and
blacklegs and the offscourings of society.

We have anticipated much that might be said in answer to the question
_how_ to read, and only a few words need be written in regard to it.
(1) Read with interest.  Unless a book interests us we do not attend to
it, we get no benefit whatever from it, and may as well throw it aside.
(2) Read actively, not passively, putting the book under
cross-examination as we go along--asking questions regarding it,
weighing arguments.  Mere passive reading may do no more good than the
stream does to the iron pipe through which it flows.  Novel-readers are
often mere passive recipients of the stories, and thus get no real
benefit from them.  (3) Read according to some system or method.  (4)
Read not always for relaxation, recreation, and amusement, but chiefly
to enable you to perform the duties to which God has called you in
daily life.



[1] See Appendix.



CHAPTER XIV.

FAMILY LIFE.

The words Family--Home--Household--all express one idea.  They imply a
relationship existing between certain individuals, a circle or sphere
separate from the mass of human beings, within which there are special
duties to be performed and a special life has to be lived.  It is not
necessary to define particularly what is meant by the word Family, for
it is well understood by all of us.

Family life is peculiar to man.--The lower animals have nothing in all
respects resembling it.  In some particulars their mode of life
occasionally approaches it, but not in all.  The birds of the air, for
instance, care tenderly for their offspring, but when these come to
maturity the relation between them and their parents comes to an end.
The family relation on the other hand lasts through life, and is only
broken by the hand of death, if even then.  The family has been
instituted by God for the welfare of man.  The condition in which we
come into the world requires it--our training for the work of life
demands it--it is specially adapted to promote the great ends of human
existence.

Family life is that which most truly leaves its mark upon us.--In the
family habits are formed which make us what we are for the rest of our
life.  Home influences accompany us to the very end of our journey.
Let any one ask himself what are the chief sources of his virtues, and
he will feel that a large proportion of them are derived directly or
indirectly from association with his fellow-creatures in the family.
The training of parents, the affection and influence of mothers and
sisters, powerfully and lastingly affect our intellectual and moral
nature.  From a wise father we learn more than from all our teachers.
When a celebrated artist, Benjamin West, was asked "What made him a
painter?" his reply was, "It was my mother's kiss."  "I should have
been an atheist," said a great American statesman, "if it had not been
for one recollection, and that was the memory of the time when my
departed mother used to take my little hand in hers, and caused me on
my knees to say, 'Our Father, who art in heaven.'"  On the other hand,
those who have been so unfortunate as to have had an unhappy home
rarely emancipate themselves from the evil effects of their upbringing.
If they do, it is after the severest struggle.  "The child," it has
been said, "is the father of the man," and it is in the family the
child receives his first impressions for good or for evil.  The world
he first lives in is his home.

Family life supplies a great test of character.--When Whitefield was
asked whether a certain person was a Christian, he replied, "I do not
know.  I have never seen him at home."  People are often one thing in
the world and another in their own family.  In the close intercourse of
the home circle they exhibit themselves in their true colors.  A man
who is a good son or a good brother is generally found to be a good
man.  If he is a source of evil in his own home, in his intercourse
with the world he will, sooner or later, be found wanting.

It is beyond the scope of this book to dwell at length upon the duties
incumbent on the various members of a family.  It may be sufficient to
indicate generally the feelings which should animate the young persons
who belong to it.  Probably most of those into whose hands this manual
will come are members of a family.  What should therefore be their
conduct at home is a question that well deserves their consideration.

1.  _Obedience_ is the fundamental principle of family life.  Every
family has a head, and that head must rule.  "Order is heaven's first
law."  Where there is no obedience there can be no order in a family.
The first form of authority which is placed before the child is that of
the parent, and to the parent he has to be subject.  "Children," says
the apostle, "obey your parents in all things, for this is well
pleasing unto the Lord."  Even for those members of a family who have
grown out of the state of childhood obedience must be the rule, though
in their case it is not to be, as in the case of the child,
unquestioning obedience, but is to be founded on reason, affection and
gratitude.  With them obedience takes the form of reverence, or, to use
a more familiar word, respect.  The child is bound to obey his parent
without hesitation or reply; the young man who has entered into greater
liberty than the child will still respect his parents' wishes and
cherish reverence for their authority.  This feeling on his part is
termed in the Scriptures _Honor_.  "Honor thy father and thy mother" is
one of the Ten Commandments, and can never cease to be included among
moral and religious obligations.  It is opposed to everything like
unseemly familiarity, discourtesy of treatment, insolence in reply, or
deliberate defiance.  It implies respect for age and experience, and a
sense of the great sacrifices a parent has made for his children's
welfare.  It is said that in our time the bonds of parental authority
are being loosened, and that young men do not regard their parents with
the deference that once was invariably shown towards them; that they do
little to smooth the path of life for them when they grow old and weak,
and are more ready to cast them on the public charity than to
contribute to their support.  Such a state of things would be shameful,
if true.  It would indicate a corruption of social life at the
fountain-head that must lead to serious consequences.  The family is
the nursery both of the State and of the Church, and where the purity
and well-being of family life is impaired, both State and Church are
sure to suffer.  There should be therefore an earnest and prayerful
endeavor upon the part of the young to cherish towards their parents
that loving sense of their superiority which is implied in the word
Honor.  "Let them learn first," says St. Paul (1 Tim. v. 4), "to show
piety at home, and to requite their parents; for that is good and
acceptable before God."  There can be no more pleasing memory for a
young man to have than this, that he has been a dutiful son; none more
bitter than this, that he has set at defiance, or neglected, those to
whom he owes so much.

2.  _Affection_ is the atmosphere that should pervade the household.
"Without hearts," it has been truly said, "there is no home."  A
collection of roots, and trunk, and branches, and leaves, do not make a
tree; neither do a number of people dwelling together make a home.  "A
certain number of animal lives that are of prescribed ages, that eat
and drink together, by no means makes a family.  Almost as well might
we say that it is the bricks of a house that make a home.  There may be
a home in the forest or in the wilderness, and there may be a family
with all its blessings, though half its members be in other lands or in
another world.  It is the gentle memories, the mutual thought, the
desire to bless, the sympathies that meet when duties are apart, the
fervor of the parents' prayers, the persuasion of filial love, the
sister's pride and the brother's benediction, that constitute the true
elements of domestic life and sanctify the dwelling." [1]  These
beautiful words are true.  It is love that makes home.  The dweller, in
a distant land sends again and again his thoughts across the sea, and
reverts with fond affection to the place of his birth.  It may be a
humble cottage, but to him it is ever dear because of the love which
dwelt there and united those who dwelt there by ties that distance
cannot sever.  Even the prodigal in the matchless parable of our Lord,
herding with the swine and eating of their husks, was led to a higher
and a better life by the remembrance of his father's house.  A home
without love is no home, any more than a body without a soul is a man.
It is only a corpse.

3.  _Consideration_ for those with whom we live in the family is the
chief form which affection takes.  Each member has to remember, not his
own comfort and wants, but the comfort and wants of those with whom he
dwells.  His welfare as an individual he must subordinate to the
welfare of the household.  There are various forms which want of
consideration takes, and all of them are detestable.  (_a_) Tyranny,
where the strong member of a family insists on the service of those
weaker than himself.  (_b_) Greed, where one demands a larger share of
comfort, food, or attention than that which falls to the others.  (_c_)
Indolence, where one refuses to take his proper part in the maintenance
of the family, spending his wages, perhaps, on his own pleasures, and
yet expecting to be provided for by the labor of the rest.  (_d_)
Discourtesy, where, by his language and manners, he makes the others
unhappy, and, perhaps, by his outbursts of temper fills the whole house
with sadness.  (_e_) Obstinacy, which will have its own way, whether
the way be good or not.  All these forms of selfishness are violations
of the true law of family life, and render that life impossible.  In
the family, more than in any other sphere, everyone should bear the
burdens of others.  Everyone should seek, not his own, but another's
welfare, and the weak and feeble should receive the attention of all.

4.  _Pleasantness_ should be the disposition which we should specially
cultivate at home.  If we have to encounter things that annoy and
perhaps irritate us in the outer world, we should seek to leave the
irritation and annoyance behind when we cross the threshold of our
dwelling.  Into it the roughness and bluster of the world should never
be permitted to come.  It should be the place of "sweetness and light,"
and every member may do something to make it so.  It is a bad sign when
a young man never cares to spend his evenings at home--when he prefers
the company of others to the society of his family, and seeks his
amusement wholly beyond its circle.  There is something wrong when this
is the case.  "I beseech you," said one addressing youth, "not to turn
home into a restaurant and a sleeping bunk, spending all your leisure
somewhere else, and going home only when all other places are shut up."
A young man, it is admitted, may find his home uninviting through
causes for which he has not himself to blame.  Still, even then he may
do much to change its character, and by his pleasant and cheerful
bearing may bring into it sunshine brighter than the sunshine outside.

5.  The highest family life is that consecrated by _Religion_.  The
household where God is acknowledged, from which the members go
regularly together to the house of God, within whose walls is heard the
voice of prayer and praise, is the ideal Christian family.  In such a
family the father is the priest, daily offering up prayers for those
whom God has given him, at the family altar.  He makes it his duty, and
regards it as his privilege to bring up his children in "the nurture
and admonition of the Lord," and by personal example and teaching to
train them up as members of the household of faith.  Unlike those who
leave the religious instruction of their children entirely to others,
he loves to teach them himself.  A household thus pervaded by a
Christian atmosphere is a scene of sweet and tender beauty.  Such a
household is well depicted by our Scottish poet, Robert Burns, in his
"Cotter's Saturday Night."  There we see how beautiful family life may
be in the humblest dwelling.

  From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs,
  That makes her lov'd abroad, rever'd at home.



[1] Dr. James Martineau.



CHAPTER XV.

CHURCH.[1]

The word church is derived from the Greek word _Kuriakon_, the Lord's
(from _Kurios_, the Lord), and it has various significations.  (_a_)
Sometimes it means the whole body of believers on earth--"the company
of the faithful throughout the world"--"the number of the elect that
have been, are, and shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head
thereof; and is the spouse, the body and the fulness of Him that
filleth all in all." [2]  (_b_) Sometimes it is applied to a body of
Christians differing from the rest in their constitution, doctrines,
and usages; as, for example, the Church of Rome, the Greek Church, the
Reformed Church.  (_c_) Sometimes it refers to the Christian community
of a country or its established religion, as when we speak of the
Gallican Church, the Swiss Church, the Church of England, the Church of
Scotland.  (_d_) It is used in a still more limited sense to represent
a particular congregation of Christians who associate together and
participate in the ordinances of Christianity, with their proper
pastors or ministers.  (_e_) It is applied also to the building in
which the public ministrations of religion are conducted, as when we
speak of the church in such a street, St. James' church, St. Peter's
church, etc.

In this chapter we use the word church in the fourth sense, as
representing a particular congregation of Christians.  To such a
community every young man should belong, and in connection with it he
is called to discharge certain special duties.  There are four aspects
in which the life of the Church, in this sense, may be regarded.

I.  It represents Christian worship.--(_a_) Public worship seems
essential to the very existence of religion.  At least, every religion
the world has seen has had its meetings for public rites and
ceremonies.  Faith unsupported by sympathy, as a rule, languishes and
dies out in a community.  Were our churches to be shut Sunday after
Sunday, and men never to meet together as religious beings, it would be
as though the reservoir that supplies a great city with water suddenly
ran dry.  Here and there a few might draw water from their own wells,
but the general result would be appalling.  (_b_) Public worship also
strengthens and deepens religious feeling.  A man can pray alone and
praise God alone; but he is, beyond all doubt, helped when he does so
in the company of others.  He is helped by the conditions of time and
place; and the presence and sympathy of his fellow-worshippers have
upon him a mighty uplifting influence.  (_c_) Above all, public worship
is the channel through which we receive special blessings from God.
There is communion in the sanctuary between us and Him.  "The true
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the
Father _seeketh_ such to worship him."  God desires our worship, and
blesses it to us.  That He does so has been the experience of
Christians in all ages.  They have found in the house and worship of
God a strength and power that supported and blessed their life.  They
have realized that the promise of Christ is still fulfilled, "Where two
or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of
them." (Matt. xviii. 20.)

II.  The Church represents Christian teaching.--In the congregation the
Word of God is read and preached.  (_a_) Preaching has always formed
part of the service of the Christian Church from the very earliest
times.  In the second century Justin Martyr says: "On the day called
Sunday, all who live in the cities or in the country gather into one
place, and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets
are read as time permits; then when the reader has ceased, the
president verbally instructs and exhorts to the imitation of these good
things."  This description of an early Christian service is applicable
still.  Wherever the Church meets there is religious teaching.  (_b_)
And it is the only such teaching that multitudes receive.  Without it
they would be left to grope their way alone.  (_c_) Whenever,
therefore, there has been a revival of life in the Church, great stress
has been laid upon the preaching of the Word of God, and God has
specially blessed it to the conversion of sinners and the edification
of His people.

III.  The Church represents Christian fellowship.--(_a_) It keeps up
the idea of brotherhood in the world.  It brings people of different
ranks and classes together, and that under most favorable
circumstances.  Whatever a man is in the world, in the Church he is
made to feel that in the eye of God he is a member of one family,
having the same weaknesses, the same sorrows, the same needs, the same
destiny before him as those around him.  In the Church "the rich and
poor meet together" in equality before the same God, who is the Maker
of them all.  (_b_) But especially in its worship is the Church a
common bond between _believers_.  On one day of the week men of all
nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues, a multitude whom no man can
number, unite in spirit together.  Their prayers and praises ascend in
unison to the Throne of Grace.  They enter into the "communion of
saints."  They belong to one holy fellowship.  (_c_) At the table of
the Lord they take their places as partakers of one life--as one in
Christ.  "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion
of the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not the
communion of the body of Christ?  For we being many are all partakers
of that one bread." (1 Cor. x. 16, 17.)

IV.  The Church represents Christian Work.--It is not merely a society
for instruction or for the cultivation of devout feelings.  It is an
aggressive society.  Every congregation of believers is a branch of the
great army which is warring against the kingdom of darkness.  Every
individual is called upon to be a "fellow-laborer with Christ," and not
merely to work out his own salvation, but to work for the salvation of
others.  The motto of every true Christian Church should be, "Work for
everybody, and everybody at work."  Those who may be able to do little
as isolated individuals may do much by combining their efforts with
those of others.  The Church gives them the power and the opportunity.

We may now glance at some of the special duties incumbent upon those
who are connected with the Church, and particularly upon young men.

1.  We should be regular in availing ourselves of the means of grace
which the Church affords.  If it be the home of worship, of teaching,
of fellowship, and of work, it is a home from which we should not make
ourselves strangers.  There is a blessing to be found there, and we are
remiss if we do not seek it.  Every young man should be a regular
attendant on the ministrations of religion.  He should be so (_a_) for
his own sake, and (_b_) for the sake of others.  He may perhaps have at
times the feeling, I can get my worship in the fields and my teaching
from my books; I can get along without the Church.  But surely he
undervalues the promised blessing to those who "forsake not the
assembling of (themselves) together."  Surely he undervalues the power,
and strength, and comfort, that come from association with believers.
But even if he could get on without the Church, is he not bound to
consider others?  Has any man in a world like ours, where all are bound
together and are dependent on one another, any right to consider as to
whether he can get on alone?  Is he not bound to consider those around
him?  We must all feel that it would be a great calamity to a nation
were public worship given up, churches closed, and Sunday made a day of
recreation.  But those who absent themselves from public worship are
undoubtedly using their influence in that direction.  If it be right
for them to absent themselves, it must be right also for others to
imitate them, and it is easy to see how disastrous generally such
imitation would be.

Especially should every young man become _a communicant_ at the table
of the Lord.  Besides the many spiritual benefits of which the
sacrament is the channel to every devout believer, it is an ordinance
which is particularly helpful to the young.  It leads them to make a
decision, and decision gives strength.  From the moment they
deliberately and solemnly make their choice, there is a power imparted
to their life that it had not before.  In the life of the well-known
Scotsman, Adam Black, it is said that shortly after he went up to
London he became a communicant in the Church to which he belonged.  "I
found," he says, "this step gave a stability to my character, and
proved a defence from follies and vices, especially as a young man in
London, entirely my own master, with no one to guide or check me."

2.  We should take each of us our full share in the work of our Church.
It is a poor sign of a church when all the work done is by the
minister, or by the office-bearers alone, and it is a still poorer sign
of those who belong to it.  It is a sign that they have not felt the
power of that grace which ever leads the soul to put the question,
"What wilt thou have me to do?"  There are none who cannot do
something.  The writer read lately of a church in England, the grounds
of which were regularly tended and made beautiful by the young men
belonging to it.  That may seem a small service, but it was something.
It showed a good spirit.  If we are to get the most out of the Church,
we must help it to do its work--charitable, missionary, Sunday School,
Young Men's Guild.  If the best heart and talent of young men were put
into these and other agencies, the power of the Church for good would
be increased immeasurably, and not the least of the advantage would
come to the workers themselves.  Let each do his own part.  There is
one way, we need scarcely say, in which we can all help the Church's
work: by giving to it "as the Lord hath prospered us."  Under the Old
Testament dispensation every one was under strict obligation to give a
fixed proportion of his substance for religious purposes.  Surely we
should not be less liberal when the proportion is left to our own sense
of duty.  Freely we have received.  Let us also freely give.

3.  While loyal to our own Church, we should cherish towards all
Christians feelings of charity and good-will.  Many of us, probably
most of us, belong to the Church to which our parents belonged; and so
long as we feel it ministers to our spiritual benefit we should keep by
it and work with it.  There is little good obtained by running from
church to church, and those who sever themselves from their early
religious associations are often anything but gainers.  But while we
are loyal to our own regiment in the Christian army, and proud, so far
as a Christian may be so, of its traditions and achievements, let us
ever feel that the army itself is greater than our own regiment, and
not only cherish good-will and brotherly love towards those who fight
in that army, but be ready at all times to co-operate with them, and to
fight with them against the common enemy.  It is well to be a good
churchman, it is infinitely better to be a good Christian.  It is best
when one is both; for indeed he is the best Christian who is the best
churchman, and he is the best churchman who is the best Christian.



[1] The subject of "The Church, Ministry and Sacraments" is to be fully
dealt with in a Guild text-book by the Rev. Norman Macleod, D. D.  We
only refer in this chapter to those phases of Church life that are more
immediately connected with Life and Conduct.

[2] _Confession of Faith_.



CHAPTER XVI.

CITIZENSHIP.

Citizenship is derived from the Latin word _civitas_, the state, and
comprehends the duties that are binding upon us as members of the
state.  The first question then that arises in considering these is,
What do we mean by the state?

The state may be defined as the larger family.--The family is the
origin of the state.  (_a_) In early times government was of the simple
kind that prevails in a family.  The father was the head of the
household and ruled over his children.  As these grew up and had
families of their own, they naturally looked to the aged head of the
family, listened to his counsels, and were guided by his wisdom.  Hence
the first form of the state was the tribe or clan, and the first form
of government was _patriarchal_.  The head of the family governed the
tribe.  (_b_) On the death of the patriarch it was necessary that a
successor should be appointed.  Sometimes he was the son of the
patriarch or his nearest descendant.  Sometimes he was chosen by the
tribe as the strongest and bravest man and most competent to lead them
against their enemies.  Often tribes combined for mutual protection.
Thus nations were formed, and the government passed from the
patriarchal to the _monarchical_ form.  The head was called the _king_,
which literally means the "father of a people."  We trace this growth
in government in the history of the Israelites.  First, we have the
family of Israel in immediate relation with the patriarchs.  As the
Israelites grew and multiplied, they came under the leadership of
Moses, who governed the tribes.  Finally, when they settled in the land
of Canaan, they became a nation, and were governed by a king.  The
kingdom was the expansion of the family.  (_c_) In modern times there
has been a further development.  Government by a king or monarch was in
the first instance _despotic_.  It is so in some cases--as in Russia at
the present day.  The will of the sovereign is the law by which the
people are ruled.  But just as a wise father relaxes his control over
his full-grown sons, and admits them to a share in the government of
the household with himself, so the people have in modern times been
permitted to exercise power in the state.  The head of the state
remains, but the main power of government lies with the people.  This
form of government is called _constitutional_.  In Great Britain we
have a _limited monarchy_; the power of the sovereign is controlled by
the will of the people, who have a large share in making the laws.  In
the United States of America, in France, and in other countries, we
have _republics_, where the voice of the people is supreme, though at
the head of the state is a president, elected by the people, and bound
to carry out their wishes.

As the state is the larger family, the duties of those who compose it
correspond with those belonging to the members of a household.

1.  There is the duty of loyalty or patriotism.  The first duty of the
member of a family is love of home and of those who belong to it.
However poor or humble it may be, he feels bound to it by no ordinary
ties.  He defends its interests.  Above all other households, he loves
his own the best.  The first duty of the citizen is of the same kind.
He loves his land; his own country is dearer to him than any other on
earth.  He is ready to defend it even with his life.  The words of Sir
Walter Scott, as of many another poet, express this patriotic feeling:

  Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
  Who never to himself hath said,
  This is my own, my native land,
  Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
  As home his footsteps he hath turned,
  From wandering on a foreign strand.

Many have died for their country's sake, and in all ages this has been
thought a specially noble death.  History records with affection the
names of such men as Wallace, Bruce, William Tell, and Garibaldi, who
sacrificed very much for the land they loved.  And as "peace has its
victories no less renowned than those of war," it has been the pride of
others to serve their country by guarding its liberties, increasing its
happiness, diminishing its evils, reforming its laws.  The _flag_ of a
country is the symbol, to those who belong to it, of their common
inheritance.  Brave men will follow it through the shot and shell of
battle.  Men have wrapt it round their breasts, and have dyed its folds
with their heart's blood to save it from the hands of the enemy; and
wherever it waves it calls forth feelings of loyalty and allegiance.

2.  Another primary duty of citizenship is obedience to the law.  Here
again we have the rule of the family extended to the state.  The child
is bound to obey his parents unless they bid him do what his conscience
clearly tells him is wrong; so, a good citizen will obey the laws of
his country, unless these laws are so evidently unjust that the good of
all demands that they should be resisted.  Whatever the law is, he will
endeavor to respect and obey it.  If he believes it to be an unjust or
unrighteous law, he will do his best to get it amended or abolished.
It is only in an extreme case, though this opens a subject on which we
cannot enter, that he can be justified in refusing obedience.  "Let
every soul," says Scripture, "be subject unto the higher powers.  For
there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of
God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves condemnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. . . .
Wherefore, ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for
conscience sake."

3.  It is a duty of citizenship to see that the laws are reasonable and
just.  In a family, the grown-up members will use their legitimate
influence to promote the wise regulation of the household, that there
may be peace and harmony.  The same desire will animate the members of
the state.  (_a_) This is specially incumbent upon those who, like
ourselves, live under constitutional government.  With us, government
is not the prerogative of the Crown, or of a few families; or of men of
rank or wealth.  It is not _despotic_, or _aristocratic_, or
_plutocratic_, but _democratic_--that is to say, it is in the hands of
the people, or of those of the people to whom it has been entrusted,
and who form a large proportion of the male inhabitants of the country;
on them devolves the making of the laws by which the country is
governed.  They are bound to do their best to see that these laws are
what they should be--equitable and righteous, and for the interest of
the whole community.  (_b_) This they can only do through their
representatives.  We could conceive of a state so small that each of
its members could take a direct part in its government.  That is not
the case with us, and the people can only exercise their control
through those they authorise to represent them.  These they elect, and
in electing them are bound to see that they are men who are worthy of
the trust committed to them, who will make laws good for every class.
This applies not only to the election of members of Parliament, but
wherever the representative principle is carried out, as in the case of
councils, school boards, and other forms of local government.  Wherever
a man exercises the privilege of choosing a representative, he is bound
to do so conscientiously, and with an earnest desire to perform what is
right.  It is a maxim in law that what we do by another we do
ourselves.  We are responsible for those whom we choose to make our
laws, and if we help to choose unworthy men we cannot be held blameless
of the consequences that may follow.  (_c_) As it is our duty to
exercise this privilege of citizenship rightly, we are also bound not
to refrain from exercising it.  We hear people say sometimes that they
have nothing to do with politics.  But by keeping altogether aloof they
cannot rid themselves of their responsibility.  By abstaining they may
do almost as much to further the views they disapprove of as by taking
an active part in promoting them.  If there are evils in connection
with government, the best way to get rid of them is for good men to
take a part in public life, and try to bring about a better state of
things.  In a free country no man can shake off his obligations by
refraining from taking part in public affairs.  The talent that is
entrusted to us we are bound to use for the glory of God and the good
of man.  Our political power, however small, is such a talent, and we
are responsible for its proper employment.

4.  It is a duty of citizenship to take direct part in all that we
believe is for the good of the state.  We say a direct part, as
distinguished from the indirect part we take in government through
representatives.  A man's duty as citizen does not end with the
ballot-box, or with the election of members either to the national or
local council.  A great part of the business of the nation is carried
on by the voluntary efforts of its members.  There are men and women
that have no part in representative government, who yet can discharge
nobly the duties of citizenship.  (_a_) All can take a part in forming
a healthy public opinion.  This is done in all free countries in
various ways: through the press, through public meetings, and by means
of the speech and communications of everyday life.  If our views are
those of a minority, we may help, by our influence, our example, the
fearless expression of our convictions, to turn the minority into a
majority; and in a democratic country the views of the majority will
ultimately prevail.  (_b_) We can also take direct part in promoting
objects that tend to the well-being of society.  Much is left by the
state to voluntary effort by its members.  The state undertakes the
defence of the country by the army and navy, the relief of the poor,
and the elementary education of the people; but beyond these and other
instances of direct state action there is much left to be done by the
people themselves, and for themselves.  The Volunteer movement, in
which men take part of their own free will, and which has been of so
much benefit to the country; the erection and support of hospitals,
libraries, art galleries, colleges and universities; the furnishing of
the people with amusement and recreation--are illustrations of what may
be done by members of the community directly.  All such efforts tend to
the welfare of the state.  All its members reap benefit from them.  He
who does not help and encourage them is as mean as the man who would go
to an hotel and take its entertainment, and then sneak away without
paying the reckoning.  Whatever we can do to benefit society benefits
ourselves, and in throwing ourselves heart and soul into any of those
enterprises that benefit society we are discharging in a very special
way the duties of good citizenship.

It only remains to say in a word that our citizenship should be the
outcome of our religion.  Without that, citizenship loses its high
position.  He who fears God will honor the king, and he who "renders to
God the things that are God's" will "render to Caesar the things that
are Caesar's."  He will give "to all their dues: tribute to whom
tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom
honor."  Religion thus becomes the strength of the state, and
"righteousness exalteth a nation."



APPENDIX.

The following is the list of the best hundred books referred to in
Chapter XIII.  It is by Professor Blackie, Edinburgh, author of
Self-Culture, and is given with his kind consent.


I.

HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY.

  The Bible.
  Homer.
  Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians.
  Max Von Dunche's History of the Ancient World.
  Plutarch's Lives.
  Herodotus.
  History of Greece--_Grote_ or _Curtius_.
  History of Rome--_Arnold_ or _Mommsen_.
  Menzel's History of the Germans.
  Green's History of the English People.
  Life of Charlemagne.
  Life of Pope Hildebrand.
  The Crusades.
  Sismondi's History of the Italian Republics.
  Prescott's America.
  Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella.
  Italy, by _Professor Spalding_.
  Chronicles, by _Froissart_.
  The Normans--_Freeman_ and _Thierry_.
  Motley's Dutch Republic.
  Life of Gustavus Adolphus.
  The French Revolution--_Thiers, Carlyle, Alison_.
  Bourrienne's Life of Napoleon.
  Wellington's Peninsular Campaign.
  Southey's Life of Nelson.
  America--_Bancroft_.
  The Stuart Rising of 1745, by _Robert Chambers_.
  Carlyle's Life of Cromwell.
  Foster's Statesmen of the Commonwealth.
  Life of Arnold--_Stanley_.
  Life of Dr. Norman Macleod.
  Life of Baron Bunsen.
  Neander's Church History.
  Life of Luther.
  History of Scottish Covenanters--_Dodds_.
  Dean Stanley's Jewish Church.
  Milman's Latin Christianity.


II.

RELIGION AND MORALS.

  The Bible.
  Socrates or Plato and Xenophon.
  Marcus Aurelius Antoninus' Meditations.
  Epictetus Seneca.
  The Hitopadion and Dialogues of Krishna.
  St. Augustine's Confessions.
  Jeremy Taylor.
  Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
  Martineau.
  Aesop's Fables.


III.

POETRY AND FICTION.

  Homer.
  Virgil.
  Dante.
  The Niebelungen Lay.
  The Morte D'Arthur.
  Chaucer.
  Shakespeare.
  Spenser.
  Goethe--Faust, Meister, and Eckermann's Conversations.
  Milton.
  Pope.
  Cowper.
  Campbell.
  Wordsworth.
  Walter Scott.
  Burns.
  Charles Lamb.
  Dean Swift, "Tale of a Tub" and "Gulliver's Travels."
  Tennyson.
  Browning.
  Don Quixote.
  Goldsmith, "Vicar of Wakefield."
  George Eliot.
  Dickens.
  Robinson Crusoe.
  Andersen's Fairy Tales, "Mother Bunch."
  Grimm's Popular Songs and Ballads, especially
    Scotch, English, Irish and German.


IV.

FINE ARTS.

  Ferguson's History of Architecture.
  Ruskin.
  Tyrwhitt.


V.

POLITICS AND POLITICAL ECONOMY.

  De Tocqueville.
  John Stuart Mill.
  Fawcett.
  Laveleye.
  Adam Smith.
  Cornewall Lewis.
  Lord Brougham.
  Sir J. Lubbock.


VI.

SCIENCE AND PHILOLOGY.

  J. G. Wood's Books on Natural History.
  White's Natural History of Selbourne.
  Geology--_Hugh Miller, Ramsey, Geikie, Ansted_.
  Botany--General Elements of British.
  Science of Language--_Trench_ and _Farrar, Max Müller_.
  Taylor's Words and Places.


VII.

VOYAGES AND TRAVEL.

In every variety; especially the old collections.



LIST OF WORKS.

The following is a list of works upon topics treated in this text-book,
which have been consulted in its preparation, and which may be useful
to students:

_Self-Culture_, by John Stuart Blackie.  Edinburgh: David Douglas.
Twentieth edition.  1892.

_Plain Living and High Thinking, or Practical Self-Culture--Moral,
Mental and Physical_, by W. H. Davenport Adams.  London: John Hogg,
Paternoster Row.  1880.

_The Secret of Success_, by W. H. Davenport Adams.  London: John Hogg,
Paternoster Row.  1880.

_The Threshold of Life_, by W. H. Davenport Adams.  T. Nelson & Sons,
Paternoster Row.  1876.

_On the Threshold_, by Theodore T. Munger.  London: Ward, Lock & Co.
1888.

_Beginning Life_, by John Tulloch, D.D.  London: Chas. Burnet & Co.
1883.

_Life: a Book for Young Men_, by J. Cunninghame Geikie.  London:
Strahan & Co.  1870.

_The Gentle Life_, by J. Hain Friswell.  London: Sampson Low & Marston.
1870.

_Self-Culture_, by James Freeman Clarke.  Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co.
1881.

_Life Questions_, by M. J. Savage.  Boston: Lockwood, Brooks & Co.
1879.

_Elements of Morality, for Home and School Teaching_, by Mrs. Chas.
Bray.  London: Longmans, Green & Co.  1863.

_The Family and its Duties_, by Robert Lee, D.D.  London: Longmans,
Green & Co.  1863.

_Christianity in its Relation to Social Life_, by Rev. Stephen J.
Davis.  London: Religious Tract Society.

_Home Life_, by Marianne Farningham.  London: James Clarke & Co.

_The Domestic Circle_, by the Rev. John Thomson.  London: Swan
Sonnenschein & Co.  1886.





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