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Title: "Say Fellows—" - Fifty Practical Talks with Boys on Life's Big Issues
Author: Smith, Wade C.
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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"SAY, FELLOWS--"

Fifty Practical Talks with Boys on Life's Big Issues

by

WADE C. SMITH

Author of "The Little Jetts Telling Bible Stories"

[Illustration]

New York     Chicago
Fleming H. Revell Company
London and Edinburgh

1921



Adapted from the Author's weekly Sunday School Lesson Treatments in
_The Sunday School Times_, by permission of the Editors.

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 75 Princes Street



_Dedicated to

her whose instruction and example
first inspired in me the purposes
and ideals which make for patience,
courage, endurance and faith--

MY MOTHER_



Introduction


"My teacher told me to write a composition on the last picture I
looked at," said Henry, a sixth grader, when he came in from school
the other day. "I had seen a picture of a fire engine," he added, "so
I wrote:

"'With a clatter of hoofs and a whirr of wheels, the fire engine
dashed around the corner. The driver was crouched low in the seat. He
was driving like Jehu.'

"But I could not spell Jehu, so I went to my teacher and asked,
'Please, how do you spell Jehu?'

"'Spell what, Henry?'

"'Jehu.'

"'What in the world are you trying to say, boy?'

"'I am trying to tell how fast a fire engine driver goes--as fast as a
chariot driver in the time of King David, I think it was.'

"'Well, Henry, I think you had better say the engine driver drove as
fast as an ancient charioteer.'"

"And did you?" I asked.

"No, sir; I said, 'he was driving like mad.'"

It is plain that this grammar-school teacher had never heard of the
Bible character who had interested her pupil, but the author of this
book knows how to spell "Jehu" to a questioning boy, or to a "gang" of
boys, or to a Sunday-school class of boys.

Is there any boy who does not have a motor in his mind? A writer of a
method article in a recent issue of _The Sunday School Times_ related
an incident of a chap whom he described as "a motor-minded boy." He
said that he was sitting on top of a school desk at recess, kicking
back with his heels, and when asked what he was thinking about,
replied: "I was wondering, if my legs were horses, how fast they would
go!"

It was with a realization of the fact that when a class of
Sunday-school boys assembles, their instinct is of one accord to turn
their legs into horses and to drive them as Jehu drove his pair of
Arabs, that our paper requested Wade Smith to take charge of its
Lesson Help for boys' classes. The management realized the truth of
the statement of Dr. Walter W. Moore, President of Union Theological
Seminary at Richmond, Va., when he said that Mr. Smith was the most
versatile man whom he ever knew.

Although Mr. Smith was already contributing to its columns "The Little
Jetts Teaching the Sunday-school Lesson," he was asked also to
undertake the difficult but important task of writing the lessons for
teachers of, and students in, boys' classes. His highly acceptable
performance of this work is but another evidence of his versatility.

Out of his own richly eventful and happy boyhood, as well as his
experience as a Christian father and a lifelong student of boys, small
and grown up, Mr. Smith wrote the chapters of this book. They appeared
week by week under the title of "Say, Fellows--" Letters from our
readers have testified to their helpfulness. The writer of this
Introduction teaches two Sunday-school classes--one composed of his
two boys in their home preparation for Sunday school, and the other an
Adult Men's class in the church to which he belongs. When his own boys
have finished studying their lesson in their Quarterlies, they almost
invariably come to their father and say, "Now read us what Mr. Smith
says, and then we will be ready for the lesson."

On two occasions I recall introducing the lesson to my adult class by
recounting Mr. Smith's striking stories out of his own experience
about the boy who was drowned and restored to life, illustrating the
Resurrection Lesson (See page 60), and of his first and last deer hunt
(See page 76), and both times the attention of the men was gripped in
an unusual way by these remarkable incidents. No doubt, hundreds of
teachers have had similar experiences in making use of Mr. Smith's
illustrations.

So great has been the helpfulness of the "Say, Fellows--" lessons that
the demand has come for their publication in the delightful book form
in which they now appear. In expressing my own pleasure that these
lesson treatments, having served their immediate purpose, are now to
be rescued from yellowing files and preserved under the covers of a
book, I am but voicing the hearty sentiment of the entire staff of the
paper.

May God's rich blessing rest upon the pages of this book as it takes a
deserved place in the libraries of lovers of Motor-minded,
Jehu-driving boys.

HOWARD A. BANKS,
_Associate Editor "The Sunday School Times."
Philadelphia, Pa._



Contents


1.  BUILDING                               13

2.  WORK                                   16

3.  INVISIBLE!                             19

4.  MR. ALMOST                             22

5.  FISHING                                25

6.  SHOWING OFF                            28

7.  KEEPING FIT                            31

8.  QUESTIONING                            34

9.  LOYALTY                                37

10. A GOOD SPORT                           40

11. FEASTING                               44

12. STEWARDSHIP                            47

13. TALENTS                                50

14. FIGHTING                               54

15. DRIFTING                               57

16. RESURRECTION                           60

17. KNOWING HOW                            63

18. FRIENDSHIP                             66

19. ALABASTER                              69

20. TELLING IT                             72

21. READY!                                 76

22. REMEMBERING                            79

23. GETTING EVEN                           82

24. GREATNESS                              85

25. "PAW, I WANTA BE SOMEBODY!"            88

26. "LET DOWN YOUR FEET!"                  92

27. AN "UNASSISTED TRIPLE PLAY"            96

28. FORGIVING                             100

29. PARADOX                               103

30. FRAUD                                 106

31. THE BIG TASK                          110

32. POWER                                 113

33. CHRISTMAS                             116

34. AIMING HIGH                           119

35. WAITING                               122

36. ACTION                                125

37. A CORONATION                          128

38. DO IT RIGHT                           130

39. KEEPING FAITH                         133

40. THE GAME THAT CAME NEAR BLOWING
      UP IN THE SEVENTH INNING            135

41. THE BITTEN APPLE                      138

42. MY KINGDOM                            141

43. A TOOL BOX                            144

44. SAUL NIAGARA                          148

45. "TURNING THE BATTLE AT THE GATE"      152

46. A KING IN RAGS                        155

47. SHAKING UP PHILIPPI                   158

48. GO IN YET--AND WIN!                   162

49. GREEN FRUIT                           166

50. THE BEDOUIN SLAVE                     170



I

BUILDING


Say, fellows, look at Solomon building a temple! Ever see anything
like that? Yes, I have. I saw some boys building a dam. It was a peach
of a dam when they got it finished; and the little stream that
trickled along between the hillsides filled it up by next day, making
a lake big enough to put a boat in. But, oh, how those fellows worked!
For a whole week they brought rocks--big rocks--logs, and mud. Some of
those stones and logs were dragged and rolled a quarter of a mile.
They built right skillfully, too; they ricked it and they anchored the
cribs; they piled in the rocks and braced the supports.

Work? I should think they did. From early morning until dark they
worked, hardly stopping long enough for meals. But it was truly _some_
dam when they got through. Then came the big moment for which they had
laboured and endured: they closed the small outlet protected by
several sections of terra-cotta pipe at the base--and let her fill!

Solomon went at building the temple pretty much the same way. The boys
who built the dam said they were going to make the best _boys'_ dam in
all that country around, and they did. Solomon said he was going to
put up the largest, the strongest, the finest, the best-looking
temple of all for God. He put one hundred and fifty thousand strong
men in the forests and in the quarries, getting out the finest timber
and the best stone; he had these materials brought by sea and by land;
he employed workers in brass, and stone-cutters and gold-beaters
wherever he could find the most skillful, regardless of the cost, and
he himself directed the work.

Well, it was a peach of a temple, too. Nothing like it had ever been
seen before. Crowning the highest hill in Jerusalem, overlooking all
the country around, its marble walls, its shining brass pillars, its
white chiselled columns, and its golden interior, it shone like a gem
of dazzling beauty. When Solomon had finished it, he invited the Lord
to come into it, and "the glory of the Lord filled the house."

Fellows, we are all building some kind of a temple, and we build some
on it every day. I saw a bleary-eyed dope fiend going along the street
the other day. He has built a temple--a temple to the god Appetite.
His temple is truly a sorry looking shack, but it is good enough for
the god he serves. I know a very seedy individual, going around
begging a living of whomsoever will give him a dime or a nickel. He
has built his temple to the god Idleness. It is a ramshackle affair,
to be sure, but it is plenty good for the god he serves. I know
another fellow who has built a very ordinary looking temple--rather
poor inside and out. He served the god "Let Well Enough Alone." There
are many temples like his, and little joy is in them; but they are
good enough for the god "Do-Little."

I think of one more temple builder. Early in his boyhood he learned
that the human body, with its wonderful soul, is a temple for God to
live in. Said he, "If God is to live in my body, then it must be fit."
He began to think of everything he did for his health, for the
training of his mind, his hands and other members, as fitting or
_un_fitting the temple, according to whether it was good or bad. He
quickly saw that his choices of entertainment and recreation were as
important as his work, in the building he was putting up for God's
dwelling. One day he made the most important discovery of all: it was
that after all he might do to make the temple fit, it could never be
so until the doors were flung wide and the Lord Himself should come
in. Then, like Solomon, he "dedicated" it--and the Lord Jesus came in
and made the temple fit, for "the glory of the Lord filled the house."

Which simply means that he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. A
fellow's biggest and best and grandest work is the Temple of the Lord.

Let's get at the job.

     _Read 2 Chronicles 5:1-14._



II

WORK


Say, fellows, shake hands with Mr. Work. Humanly speaking, the way in
which you meet and hook up with this gentleman will have more to do
with determining your success in life than any other one thing. Mr.
Work is a member of the most amazingly successful concern in the
community. His senior partner is Mr. Faith. "Faith and Work,
Unlimited"--that's the style of the firm, and they certainly have put
across the biggest contracts ever known to the world.

Some time I hope we may have the senior partner with us, but Mr. Work
is here to-day, and we shall get a-plenty from him. In fact, "Plenty"
is his middle name. Let's look him over. He is full of life and
vigour. See his muscles, firm and hard. Watch the flash of his eye.
Something there that inspires a fellow. Notice how he is in demand.
Everywhere, people want him. Get that cheery smile; it grew on a well
done job, and stays there by repetition of well done jobs. Observe his
steadiness, his confidence, and, withal, his acceptable humility. Why,
he looks good either in Scotch cheviot or in overalls.

I want to tell you a secret about this fellow. He is often mistaken
for another celebrated and much honoured one--Mr. Genius. Thomas
Edison says that genius is just another name for conscientious hard
work. That being so, any fellow can make a success and an honoured
name who is willing to dig--and dig intelligently.

But the best thing that can be said about work is to repeat what our
Lord said: "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Work is a divine
characteristic, a divine institution. Our great God works. Jesus
Christ His royal Son worked incessantly when upon earth, and works now
continually. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are
the most tireless workers in the universe. Now what do you think of
anybody who could despise work? What would you think of one who
refused the work at hand and sat idly by, or went off on some useless
excursion to escape it, while God, unwilling to lose a minute,
ceaselessly works?

Of course, fellows, I'm not saying we should never go a-fishing or
play a game of ball. Recreation is in the divine program. Every proper
recreation is a help to good work. We owe it to our job and to
ourselves to keep fit, and recreation is a part of the keep fit
schedule. We only need to be careful and keep work and recreation in
their right proportions.

The bitterest pills a fellow has to take are those produced by
idleness. Idleness usually lets down the portcullis and the devil
comes across and takes charge. Not that work alone is sufficient to
keep us clean and out of trouble; oh, no, that would be a fatal error,
and many have fallen by it. The firm, you remember, is "Faith and
Work, Unlimited." Mr. Christian Faith is the senior partner of this
firm, and is absolutely necessary to the truly successful career in
the great business of life. We are simply looking over Mr. Work
to-day.

One other wonderful thought, to me, about this matter of work,
fellows, is that when a boy is born into the world, his work is born
with him--his own particular task, his life-work. God Himself arranges
it. Isn't that fine? Who could do it so wisely? So you may depend your
job somewhere awaits you, if you have not already discovered it, and
it is a perfect fit.

How to know your task? First, ask God. Pray over this thing. Then do
the thing next at hand, the duty calling now. Do it the best way you
know and put your level best into it. It is the surest way I know for
a fellow to find his best level; and usually you _work upward_ to it
when you seek it in that way.

Listen, fellows, this is Gospel--"Well done, good and faithful
servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee
over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

     _Read Romans 12:11 and Proverbs 22:29._



III

INVISIBLE!


Say, fellows, have you ever thought what a fight you could put up if
you were invisible? Why, you could walk right up in front of a fellow
and smash his nose or knock him down before he could put up his guard
or smash back--and even then he couldn't see you to hit you. Of course
that would be a cowardly thing to do, but I'm just saying "Suppose."
And this is to introduce right here your arch enemy, the devil, who is
not a "suppose" at all, but is very real, very personal, and very
invisible,--always present and ready to do his cowardly, dirty work.

Somebody said people are like a lot of safes. We may be generally of
the same pattern, but each has a different combination. Perhaps none
of us knows the combination to any but our own, but the devil carries
them all in his note-book, and he never makes the mistake of trying to
throw a fellow with a drink when his combination is a cigarette, or
vice versa.

The devil's finger is in all our affairs, and we can keep nothing
secret from him. No matter what we try to do, he is ever present to
try to make us do it his way. Even when we worship God, or pray, or
sing, he has the audacity to try to make suggestions. You think the
Wright brothers were clever to "conquer the air," and they were; but
the devil has won the title of "Prince of the power of the air"! His
airplane is instantaneous and noiseless; he requires no special
landing field, but can light on the lobe of your ear with a precision
that is uncanny, and, lighting there, he whispers things into your
heart that you would not dare to utter with your lips. _There_ are
three points scored on the Wrights in one breath, and there are many
others.

The devil has won victories over the best men we can think of. Oh, how
he got David, and spoiled a wonderful record being made by the "man
after God's own heart." All in a trice he tripped David and led him to
break six of the ten Commandments at once--five to ten inclusive! And
he got Moses for a bad fall, and Elijah and Abraham and Jacob. He
simply crept up unseen and caught them with their guards down.

But in spite of the fact that he took a fall out of each of those
strong and saintly characters, he met his match and more than his
match when he tackled our Saviour. He made the strongest attack that
could have been made, but Jesus overthrew him and put him to flight,
and to-day's big news is that there is _a way_ for you and me to throw
this fellow down. Simple enough, if you are on your guard. Did you
notice how Jesus handled him? He quoted Scripture to him. Scripture to
the devil is just like salt on a snail. He can't stand it.

Jesus used God's Word, and that is invincible even against the devil,
our mightiest foe. Go into your Bible and select an assortment of
"devil-chasers." Memorize them and have them ready for instant use.
Like David, choose five smooth stones from the "Brook" and put them in
your scrip; then you will be ready for this giant, who stalks abroad
as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Only, he doesn't roar:
he is noiseless and invisible--don't forget that.

     _Read Matthew 4:1-11._



IV

MR. ALMOST


Say, fellows, meet Mr. Almost!

He is one of the saddest, most pathetic figures in all the Bible
story, not because he was a villain or a murderer come to judgment,
but because he was so good and fine, and so nearly perfect, "on
points," and yet--flunked!

But he was a lot lower down on the honour roll than he thought. "What
lack I yet?" he asked Jesus. Really, he couldn't see that he lacked
anything at all--and that alone was a sign of failure, if he had only
been wise enough to see it.

Think of it, fellows, here was a man clean and safe and upright, as
touching the law, yet the fires of torment were leaping up to meet
him, along with Ananias the liar, and Judas the betrayer. Ananias did
give a _part_ of his money to the Lord, and Judas threw his blood
money back into the bribers' faces, but this Mr. Almost closed his
fingers tight over all his gold when the Lord called for it.

Mr. Almost kept the Commandments from the time he was a boy. He
worshipped God only; he bowed down to no idol; was very careful to
speak God's name reverently; wouldn't carry so much as a toothpick
around on Sunday because it would be hauling wood and breaking the
Sabbath; honoured his parents; of course he never killed a person;
was pure in deed; took nothing which did not belong to him; told no
lie on his neighbours; and he never wished another's property might be
his own! Mr. Almost was _a pious man_.

Jesus saw through Mr. Almost, saw through his luxurious robe and his
clean, washed skin, clear down into his stingy heart, and put his
finger instantly on the trouble. Jesus has a way of doing that.
"Having kept all the Commandments, and wanting to be perfect," said
Jesus, "now go, sell your property, and give the money to these poor
starving, dying people about you."

Mr. Almost had actually _run_ to meet Jesus, to ask Him that question,
"What lack I yet?" says Mark's Gospel. Yes, _ran_. He evidently had no
suspicion as to the answer he would get. Doubtless he thought the
great Master would tell him of one more hand-washing necessary before
retiring, or possibly some gnat's burden which Mr. Almost had been
carrying around on his sleeve on the Sabbath. Flick that off and be
perfect! Mr. Almost wanted to make his perfection secure. He had all
kinds of earthly securities; now this one more, the security of
heaven, guaranteed by Jesus, and he would rest satisfied. He would
just nail that down in passing. But Jesus touched him _where he
lived_, and he crumpled up like some high floating dirigible whose gas
tank explodes in mid-air.

Fellows, really I didn't want to bring Mr. Almost into this volume. He
gets on my nerve--and do you know why, fellows? _He's too much like
me!_ for I am rich. Yes, rich in all the abundance of God's wealth
which He has given me. I live in a wonderful land, a land of freedom
and independence and opportunity--the richest and most powerful in all
the world--and as a citizen of it all its resources are mine. I have
plenty to eat and sufficient to wear, lots of friends and
well-wishers. Life is beautiful and bright and comfortable; while just
at my elbow, fellows, are many poor, starving, dying human
beings--men, women, little children. The world is closely drawn
together now, and there is never a time but that in some section of it
there is famine and suffering. If we have the means to give and will
give it to relieve human suffering, there are always reputable
agencies ready to properly dispense it.

None of us can despise Mr. Almost, fellows, if we eat a square meal
and turn a deaf ear to the calls to help the suffering and the needy.

This is the acid test.

     _Read Mark 10:17-27._



V

FISHING


Say, fellows, the biggest and finest surprise a certain boy ever got
was on that day when he was called out of the shop to the manager's
office, and, reaching there trembling with fright, was told that he
was promoted and would from that time have a share in the profits of
the business!

It was almost too good to be true. Immediately the shop looked
different--the whole plant looked different--the men, the tools, the
materials, the very smoke from the big chimney, all took on a kind of
glory. The rows of machines looked like a parade and the mingled roar
and grinding of them sounded like a brass band at a picnic. The dull
routine of a daily schedule was suddenly changed to a thrilling
program in every detail.

Something had happened--not to the shop, but to him. His interest was
changed. Now, instead of simply doing his daily task for daily pay, he
was to share in the big objectives of the whole plant; he was taken
into confidence and partnership with the management. He was actually
to share and rejoice in the achievements of a business which exported
its products to every corner of the world! With what joy he realized
that his capacity for higher and larger service had been recognized,
and that now he would have fellowship not only with the men of the
shop, but also with the head of the plant.

Fellows, that is about what happened to Peter and Andrew and James and
John that morning on the shore of the lake. They were simply engaged
in making a living. One day was pretty much like another. Sometimes,
perhaps, the fishing was good, sometimes not so good. Life was just a
day to day affair, and rather disappointing somehow, to souls with
capacity for so much larger and finer things. Suddenly the Master, the
Creator and Proprietor of the world, appeared and said: "Boys, it's a
dull life at best--just fishing for fish; come and join me in a really
big and worth-while task--fishing for men!"

And those four men caught the vision and followed Jesus. Life for them
took on a new meaning that day. Instead of a daily grind it became an
inspiring program with a grand objective.

I am glad that God is so great and that His plans are so large that He
is still calling out men to share them with Him and work out their
fulfillment. And you and I, if we are wise, will gladly hear that call
and promptly respond, for we will realize that the transient things we
daily seek are not sufficient to give us any real or permanent
satisfaction, and that we have a capacity for larger and better
things.

Oh, I don't suppose we can all be ministers and missionaries, though
many of us may have that highest of all privileges, but we shall also
find that a merchant's life can be so planned as to be a means of rich
service to God; that a lawyer, after all, can be a force for Christ's
kingdom; that an engineer can lay out his life-work so as to make
straight the path and level the road for the King; that a
school-teacher can use his influence to bring pupils to the Master
Teacher; that a physician has peculiar opportunity to quicken the
spiritual lives of his patients; and that any legitimate occupation
can be made to serve man's chief end, which is "to glorify God and
enjoy him forever."

And when you and I catch and follow that vision of our life task,
whatever it is, the whole plant changes, whether our job is in the
shop or in the office, or on the farm or in the schoolroom or pulpit,
because we have tasted of the power and fellowship of a Spirit-filled
life and a God-used career.

Listen, fellows, He stands now in the morning of life, on the shore of
your little lake and calls you to a wonderful partnership!

Let's follow Him!

     _Read Matthew 4:18-22._



VI

SHOWING OFF


Say, fellows, it's great fun to "show off." Honest now, isn't that so?
If you've got some rare thing the other fellows haven't got, what fun
to have them come from all over the block to go up in the attic with
you to see it and watch you "work it"!

I knew a boy who made an airplane. Of course it was just a toy, but it
had all the parts. He had gotten a pattern from a mechanical magazine,
with explicit instructions; he scoured around and got the dozen or
more materials necessary, then worked for days and some nights in the
basement. Finally, the thing was completed. It had a twist-rubber
propeller, and would actually fly a little--not much. But it was a
thing of beauty, and its varnished butterfly planes spread
majestically and glistened in the sunlight. There were the stays and
the rudder, the pilot's seat and the complicated triggers by which it
was supposed to be governed. Well, the boys came from far and near to
look at it, and the biggest fun the owner had was showing it to some
new boy who hadn't seen it before. That is all right, too, if you do
it in the proper spirit, but nobody likes to see a fellow get "cocky"
over his luck, no matter how good or how rare it is.

Solomon had the show stuff all right. The Queen of Sheba heard about
it away down south in her African kingdom, and came many miles with a
caravan of camels to see for herself. This man Solomon was a wonder.
He answered her best riddles without batting an eyelash--and she had
some corking hard riddles, too. When she tired of testing him he
showed his wonderful house, his gorgeous throne of ivory overlaid with
gold, his great flocks and herds for his household table, his army of
servants, his courtly ministers, his treasuries piled with gold, and a
hundred other sights richer and finer than she had ever known.

But the big event of that show day was the temple! Of course it was,
for Solomon had made it the biggest and finest thing in the kingdom.
Even if he hadn't told her she would have seen that. And there was but
one way to explain it: Solomon's God, to whom the temple had been
built, was the secret of Solomon's glory and power. That was the
impression the queen carried home.

It is said that when one of the princes of India visited England, he
was overcome by the display of the wealth and grandeur of the empire.
After seeing the palaces of Buckingham and Windsor, and the Halls of
Parliament; after getting a glimpse of British shipping and commerce
plying to every known port; after viewing the greatest navy in the
world and witnessing a review of the army at Aldershot--he exclaimed
to Queen Victoria:

"Tell me, Your Majesty, what is the secret of it all?"

In answer the queen took a Bible from a near-by table and placed it
in the prince's hand. "This," she said, "God's Word, is the basis of
all--God is the giver."

Fellows, if there is anything you take pride in, remember the Giver.
Don't make the mistake of Nebuchadnezzar, who actually talked to
himself about how clever he was and how great he was to build Babylon
by the might of his own power (Dan. 4:30, 31). Even while he spoke
those boasting words God punished him by taking it all away from him.

But it is not sufficient simply to refrain from boasting. You and I
must see to it that God gets the glory, for God has given whatever we
have that is worth-while. Let the presentation be so made that whoever
witnesses it will pass out saying: "Surely God is the secret of that
fellow's success!"

Real and permanent greatness is the kind that exalts God above all.

     _Read 1 Kings 10:1-10._



VII

KEEPING FIT


Say, fellows, I wouldn't take a lot for the privilege of handing you
young champions this message: for it comes right out of the heart of a
King to the princes of the Blood.

Yes, something doing in athletics this time,--and the Big Event for
which each one of you is preparing, whether you know it or not.

"Find all that in the Bible?"

Sure! that and more. Why, fellows, don't you know the Bible has more
dealings right where you live and play and work and study and eat than
any other book that was ever written? Just let me read you a part of
to-day's Scripture lesson out of Weymouth's translation, which is the
same as your Bible--only saying it in the kind of language spoken
to-day instead of that of many years ago.

Listen to First Corinthians 9:24-27: "Do you not know that in the
foot-race the runners all run, but that only one gets the prize? You
must run like him, in order to win with certainty. But every
competitor in an athletic contest practises abstemiousness in all
directions. They indeed do this for the sake of securing a perishable
wreath, but we for the sake of securing one that will not perish. That
is how I run, not being in any doubt as to my goal. I am a boxer who
does not inflict blows on the air, but I hit hard and straight at my
own body and lead it off into slavery, lest possibly, after I have
been a herald to others, I should myself be rejected."

Now, fellows, it was Paul saying that--writing to the Corinthians, who
knew all about the Corinthian games and races, and contests of
strength, skill, and endurance. And so do you know how the coach lays
his hand on your shoulder, looks you straight in the eye, and says:
"Listen, son, we've got to win that game,--you understand? From this
on, cut the big eats. No rich stuff and no stuffing. Simple diet. No
smoking. No late hours. Early to bed. Keep clean; exercise daily
according to directions. Keep fit! Do you get me?"

And you meekly nod and say: "Yes, sir, boss." Do you have to do that?
Oh, no, you could drop off the team if you didn't like the conditions,
but you don't want to drop off and you comply with the conditions. You
surprise yourself by your self-control. You are in on that game, and
you're in to win. It is the event of the season. It will be the thrill
of a lifetime to win. So you are temperate because you want the glory
of winning--glory for your team; glory for your school.

Fellows, thus your body becomes the temple of a living hope. And it is
all right. Bless your hearts, there are few things finer than that
self-mastery which enables a boy to deny his natural appetite for the
sake of an ideal--even though it be a sporting ideal.

And I think God designed it so. He is continually teaching us the
deeper and richer truths by leading us up to them through our
experiences with things we can touch and taste and see and hear.

To-day He is pointing you and me, not to the temporary honour of an
athletic victory, but to the eternal honour of gaining the mastery
over our appetites for the sake of keeping our bodies, minds, and
hearts for His own indwelling. And He, Himself, is our Coach, doing
something which no other coach can--remaining constantly beside us,
within us, establishing that wonderful endurance--that indescribable
something within us which strives and strives and conquers!

Fellows, talk about thrills! there is nothing like the thrill that
comes of being used--effectively used--by Him. The thrills of our
athletic victories die away with the shouting, but the deep
satisfaction of "keeping fit" for God's service grows finer and finer
as the days go by.

Oh, say, fellows, _this_ is the thrill of Real Life!

     _Read 1 Corinthians 6:13-20._



VIII

QUESTIONING


Say, fellows, make a note of this: If you question Jesus in the effort
to trip Him, you throw yourself down; but if you question Jesus in
order to know and do His will, you may confidently stand upon your
feet and defy anything that threatens your peace, your happiness, or
your success.

"How can a fellow question Jesus in these days, like the Pharisees?"
did I hear you ask? This way: You can question God's Word, its truth,
its justice, its wisdom in your particular case. Millions are to-day
questioning in that way; millions who do not want to change their
ways, millions who would like to overthrow God's laws, because they
want to go on in their wickedness and our Lord's teachings are a
continual reproach to them. But they are having no better success in
it than the Scribes and Pharisees had in Jesus' day.

    "Last eve I paused beside a blacksmith's door,
      And heard the anvil ring the vesper chimes;
    Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor
      Old hammers worn with beating years of time.

    "'How many anvils have you had,' said I,
      'To wear and batter all these hammers so?'
    'Just one,' said he, and then with twinkling eye,
      'The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.'

    "'And so,' I thought, 'the Anvil of God's Word
      For ages skeptic blows have beat upon,
    Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
      The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.'"

Now, fellows, those Scribes and Pharisees ought to have known better
than to try to tangle Jesus in His talk. Already they had been
astonished by the wise words He said, by the unmistakable "authority"
shown in His manner and teachings, by the power of His mere word over
diseases and devils. These men were the devil's own servants. There
are many such to-day, and they never seem to realize until too late
that _their_ master will allow them to walk right into a hopeless
fix--caught in their own trap.

Let's run our eye down the closing verse of this chapter of Matthew,
as it tells better than any other how completely squelched were these
critics of Jesus: "And no one was able to answer him a word, neither
durst any man from that time forth ask him any more questions."

But there is a kind of questioning which we do want to practise. One
of the wisest and finest things a fellow can do is to make it a rule
to ask Jesus _some_ questions every day in His Word. Make a place in
your day's schedule--make it in the morning, first thing if possible,
or very soon after you are up. Open your Bible with a question, and
let that question be: "Lord Jesus, what would you like to tell me
to-day out of these verses of Scripture which I am about to read?
What thing in my life would you warn me against, or what thing should
I do which I am not doing? Or, is there a better way I should try?

"Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth."

Fellows, start a day like that--honestly--and _you cannot fail_!

     _Read Matthew 22:15-46._



IX

LOYALTY


Say, fellows, what is the most loyal thing you ever did? I should like
to know. Was it when you waded into a big bully who was licking your
little brother, and took the drubbing yourself? Or was it when some
fellows accused you of being tied to your mother's apron strings, and
you flashed back at them: "Yes, and she is the finest mother a boy
ever had!" Or was it when you sat up all night in a coach on a
railroad trip to root for your team next day on the enemy's field?

I heard of a British boy in Flanders who was brought back of the lines
for surgical treatment, and when they opened his shirt they found
tattooed on his breast the words: _For My King!_ I read of a French
lad whose arm had to be amputated at the shoulder, having been
shattered by a German shell. When he regained consciousness, the
surgeon, moved with deep sympathy, said, "Oh, my poor boy, I am so
sorry you lost your arm!" The boy's eyes snapped as he answered:
"Lost! No, don't say that; I _gave_ it to France!"

Each one of you fellows has a tremendous capacity for being loyal to
some thing, some principle, or _somebody_. It is a costly part of your
make-up, because it will cause you to make sacrifice. What are you
choosing as the object of your loyalty?

Fellows, I want to offer you King Jesus as the One upon whom you can
spend your loyalty to the limit. There is none like Him. He is the
chief among ten thousand. When He gives you a task He gives you at the
same time the power to do it. When He sends you to men, He opens the
hearts of those to whom you are sent. You can undertake anything for
King Jesus without fear, no matter how difficult or how impossible the
task may seem.

Why, fellows, think of those two disciples going after that colt for
Jesus their King to ride upon! He sent them for it. The beast belonged
to some one else, yet they were to untie it and bring it. If the owner
objected, all they were to say was: "The Lord hath need of him." That
would settle it. They brought it as directed. That was faith, and that
was loyalty.

To-day King Jesus wants messengers--not to send out for asses, but
into the haunts of sin for lost men and women; and into the social,
commercial, and industrial world to present His claims. Some, hearing
the call, are answering, "But how do I know I will succeed in that
sort of business? Will I be contented in such work? Will it pay? Will
it keep me in a comfortable living? Will men come when I tell them?"
Listen, fellows, King Jesus says: "All power is given unto
me--Go!--and lo, I am with you alway!" That is sufficient, it is the
King's own word for it; and here is the place where you can exercise
your priceless loyalty to the limit, and never know a moment's
regret. The King Himself goes with you.

The loyal servants of King Jesus never have to root for a losing game;
victory is assured from the beginning.

     _Read Mark 11:1-11._



X

A GOOD SPORT


Say, fellows, I overheard a remark the other day as I passed a bunch
of boys down on the corner. One of the boys was saying, "Oh, he's a
good sport, all right," and I wondered just what that boy thought it
took to make a good sport. About that time one of the boys whom I knew
pulled out of the crowd and coming my way overtook me, so I asked him
who was the "good sport" the fellows were talking about.

"Why," he said, "it was Jim Love; when he was in the two-mile
cross-country foot race the other day, with a good chance of getting
ahead of Tom Locke, who won it, Jim stopped long enough to help a guy
across a footlog with a sack of potatoes or something--and even then
came in just a few yards behind Tom. He would have won, but for that
stop; but he said the old man looked as if he was about to fall off
the footlog. Tom saw it, too, but he waded the creek and got a better
lead on Jim."

It did me good to think of those fellows classing Jim up as "a good
sport," after I knew what had happened. They had the right idea. I
believe our Lord would have called Jim a good sport, too, if He had
been telling the boys of to-day about it, because the Christ spirit in
a fellow is what makes him a "good sport" in the highest sense. Once
when a proud Pharisee was trying to trap our Lord with a "catch
question," Jesus answered him with a story very much like that which
made the boys call Jim Love a good sport.

The Pharisee asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbour?" and Jesus told him
about the Good Samaritan. A man was travelling from Jerusalem down the
rough mountain road to Jericho, and was attacked by bandits, beaten,
robbed, and left lying beside the road half dead. A priest came along,
but he was in a hurry; he had important religious duties awaiting him,
and besides, that fellow looked as if he was in bad and it would take
a lot of time and trouble to "undertake" him, so Mr. Priest just
hummed a little tune to himself, looked at the sky and passed on.

Then came a Levite. He got down off his donkey and stepped over and
looked at the poor fellow. Yes, he was breathing, but so near dead he
probably would not last long, so why worry? So passed on the Levite.
But next came along a man whom the priest and the Levite despised
because he was a Samaritan. They regarded him as a very poor sort of a
citizen.

But the Samaritan had a heart in him and he had a way of saying to
himself when he saw anybody in distress: "Suppose I was in that
fellow's fix, what would I like to have done for me?" When he asked
himself that question on this occasion, the answer came quick and
strong: "Get down and help him all you can; yes, your business is
urgent, too, but here is a fellow-man in hard luck and you've got the
stuff to help with!"

That is the way the heart of a good sport talks back to a fellow, and
a good sport listens when his heart speaks, and a good sport acts
quickly. So the Samaritan got down off his donkey and ran to the man,
felt his pulse, spoke to him, loosened his shirt and looked into that
ugly wound all bleeding. Then back to his travelling sack and out with
the oil and wine.

Pouring in the soothing and healing stuff, he doubtless said: "There
now, old fellow, you're feeling better already; just keep steady a
bit, and we'll get you out of this; a little water? yes, hold on a
minute--" and down to the trickling stream he runs and brings a cool
drink in his little leather cup.

Ah, it was fine to see that beaten man revive! He opened his eyes wide
and looked the gratitude he was not yet able to speak. Soon the
Samaritan got the whole story of the attack, listening with
sympathetic indignation as the wounded man told how it happened, how
he was taken by surprise by those cowardly ruffians, stripped, robbed,
and beaten into insensibility. Directly he was trying to raise up on
his elbow, and the Samaritan said:

"Now you just put your arm around my neck and hold steady while I
lift. That's it, get your weight on your right foot, lean forward, and
I'll get you atop this beast. Ah! that's the stuff, you're getting
stronger every minute--now steady just a moment, let me pick up that
oil bottle--all right--Get up! Bess--steady, girl, keep your hoofs in
the path, and we'll make it fine. There, that's the movement.

"The inn is only a mile down the road now, friend, and there is food
and a good bed awaiting you--oh, well, that's all right about your
money being taken, I'll take care of that. The innkeeper and I are
good friends, and likely with the good treatment you'll get you will
be on your way in a couple of days--"

And so they go, the donkey picking her way carefully over the rougher
places under the restraining voice of her master, while the wounded
man leans heavily upon his benefactor.

Then, you know the rest, fellows. That despised Samaritan saw the
thing clean through. He did not leave "his neighbour" until he had
spent a night with him at the inn and had an understanding next
morning with the innkeeper as to his safekeeping until able to resume
the journey.

And what did our Lord teach in that graphic story? Why, simply this:
Anybody whom you can help is your neighbour. If there is a poor man at
my door needing something I can give, he is my neighbour. Or, if there
is a rich Chinaman six thousand miles across the seas, needing the
spiritual help I can send him through my prayers, my gifts, or my
personal attention--he is my neighbour. Distance, short or long, is
not the measure of neighbourhood; but need and my ability to help are
the tests which determine how near by is my brother man.

The Boy Scouts have a fine motto: "Do a Good Turn Daily." There is
just one better--"Do a Good Turn Whenever You Can," and that is loving
your neighbour.

     _Read Luke 10:25-37._



XI

FEASTING


Say, fellows, a man raised a glass of water to his mouth to take a
drink; some one passing struck his elbow, and--! Now an interesting
thing has happened: each one of you fellows got a picture, complete in
all details, to a climax. Yet there was no real picture; it was all in
your imagination, spurred by twenty-one simple words. And it was a
_moving picture_, too, and it went away past the word-spurs, because
you painted the balance of it yourselves like a flash. You saw the
glass fall and smash on the floor, and you saw the water spatter the
man's feet and trousers--then some of you saw him jump back and look
up quick and kind of mad like at the person passing, and maybe say
something rough.

Well, that's a wonderful machine you've got there, fellows; anything
that can make a moving picture out of a thin line of material like
that--a really for-the-moment interesting picture, with all the
finishing touches--has a most valuable and useful outfit. Now Jesus
knew His hearers had outfits of that wonderful kind, so in speaking to
them He helped them draw pictures which would enable them to see some
very interesting and startling things--things which they needed to
know worse than a dying man needs a doctor.

Most of the pictures which He drew in this way were to show what the
kingdom of heaven is like. Men in those days, just as nowadays, were
walking around bumping right up against the kingdom of heaven without
knowing it. So Jesus drew pictures to help them see this wonderful
kingdom, in order that they might not only become glad citizens of it
but also to escape an awful fate.

The picture I want to present is of a great and rich king who was also
both good and generous, making a marriage feast for his son and
inviting a large number of guests.

Now, fellows, use your fine imagination again. You saw the king's
surprise when the first servants reported; you saw him knit his brows
(like this) and stand silently thinking a moment before deciding to
send a second word; but can you imagine his astonishment a little
later, when two of that second squad came running in, all breathless,
and told him that though they fully explained the magnificence of the
wedding supper, some turned upon their heels with a flimsy excuse,
others rudely laughed outright in the messengers' faces, and--oh, the
horror of it!--still others actually stoned and beat some of the
messengers to death!--and their bodies were even at that moment lying
in the street, being licked by dogs.

I say, can you see the king now? I think you can, for you have heard
what he did. Yes, his servants went out again to those same people,
but this time with swords and spears and fire, a terrible army of
them, marching to the dread drum-beat of judgment, "and destroyed
those murderers and burned up their city."

Yes, fellows, I know what you are saying. You are saying, "Well, I
don't see how anybody could be as big a fool as that!" And yet, do you
know that people are just as foolish to-day? Jesus told that parable
to help us, too. The kingdom of heaven is just as close to you and to
me; the greatest King of all--that's Jesus--is inviting boys and men
to come in to the feast of usefulness and happiness and joy of an
out-and-out Christian life, a feast which He has Himself prepared, and
some are turning their backs upon His call, unwilling to take the
King's own word for it that they will have the time of their lives,
which will grow sweeter and finer and better as the days go by, and
never, never end!

I tell you, fellows, there's nobody who can make a feast like Jesus;
things taste even a lot better than they look on the card, for He
always gives more than He promises. Don't _you_ make the mistake of
turning down His invitation. It would be a tragedy. Let's answer His
gracious call to-day like this:

    "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord,
      Over mountain or plain or sea;
    I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord;
      I'll be what you want me to be."

     _Read Matthew 22:1-10._



XII

STEWARDSHIP


Say, fellows, how much is a boy worth in money? The United States
Labour Bureau in 1914 estimated the average cost of rearing a boy to
the age of sixteen was then $1,325. It must average at least $1,500
now. Well, fellows, that is what you cost; are you worth it? I am
talking of actual, not sentimental, values. Father and mother wouldn't
take a million dollars for any one of you, I suppose, but that does
not mean you are worth it. An investment of $1,500 ordinarily is
expected to yield at least six per cent. a year, which is $90.

I know a fourteen-year-old boy who is earning $7 a week. He gives it
all to his widowed mother on Saturday night. She gives him back a
dollar of it. He first takes out ten cents for his church pledge and
five cents for Sunday-school. Then he puts fifty cents in his savings
bank. He has about $25 in the bank. The remainder, thirty-five cents,
he spends as his fancy dictates. He is a steady boy and it is
reasonable to count upon his putting in eleven months a year at his
work, allowing one month for vacation. His gross financial value to
his mother for the year, therefore, is not less than $280. It costs
her about $12.50 a month to provide his food and clothing. That takes
off $150, so his net financial value a year is $130, which is six per
cent. on $2,166. Thus you see that fourteen-year-old boy is a paying
investment on considerably more than the average cost of a
sixteen-year-old boy, and I do not wonder that that fellow's mother
would not take a million for him, for the money part of his value is
the least of all.

But this is not by any means an accurate way to arrive at a boy's real
value. The more fortunate boy will be going to school nine months of
the year. He is preparing for a later very much higher value than the
boy who is denied an education, and while he may not be earning money
now, he is earning a certain knowledge, skill, and development which
will give him equipment of high value. At any rate, sooner or later,
fellows, you find yourself with a capacity for earning and
accumulating money. And, remember, in your relation to your money,
that after all it is not _yours_, but God's--no matter how it comes
into your hands.

In Luke 16 is the account of Dives, whom God permitted to be rich, but
who made the fatal mistake of using his wealth for the sole purpose of
gratifying himself. He built a luxurious home, he bought fine clothes
and feasted every day on costly food. There were suffering and want
all about him, but he turned his face away from the needy. One poor
fellow named Lazarus, too weak to walk and all covered with sores, was
laid at this rich man's gate where he was bound to see him day after
day.

The dogs came and licked the poor man's sores, but Dives passed him
by. Lazarus got a servant to ask for the scraps taken from the rich
man's table, but he needed other help. God gave Dives money and gave
him an opportunity to serve his fellow-man with it, but Dives failed
to catch the idea, somehow. He foolishly spent his money upon himself,
and one night Dives lay down to sleep on a full stomach and woke up in
torment.

Fellows, money was his undoing. Money can be a curse, or it can be a
blessing. All depends upon whether or not you recognize God's
ownership, acknowledge it, and act upon it. Some of the saddest lives
ever lived are those built around a wrong conception of their relation
to money. Some of the happiest and most successful lives are those
built upon the principle that money is a God-given trust to be used
for Him.

Fellows, what are you going to be worth--to God, and to your
fellow-man?

     _Read Luke 16:19-31._



XIII

TALENTS


Say, fellows, one morning in spring a boy came to me and said: "Dad,
let's go fishing; I saw the bass jumping in the lake just now, and
that means they are ready to bite."

"All right," I replied, "you get the bait and the lines ready and we
will go at four this afternoon." He did so.

Then we went around to the point on the lake where he had seen the
fish jumping. I made a dandy throw, first try, and as the bait began
bobbing in and out among the flags I could just see myself hanging a
beauty. I was watching the line so hard that I forgot the boy for two
or three minutes; then, turning, I saw him standing there looking very
sad.

"What's the matter," I said, "why don't you unwrap your line and
fish?"

He whimpered: "I want to fish for bass, with a big line, like yours."

"Why," I said, "you couldn't handle a big rod and line like this; and
if you could, you would get it tangled up in those flags out there;
now you just unwrap your little line, put a little worm on your little
hook and drop it over there by that stump, and you will catch a little
perch."

Well, he didn't want to do it, but because I ordered him to do it he
cast in his hook. In the meantime, I was watching my minnow again; it
was playing beautifully, but getting no strike. I was still watching
it intently, when all of a sudden I heard a great splashing beside me,
and looking around--there was a sight! That boy's little pole was
nearly bent double, and at the end of his line threshing and churning
the water at a terrific rate was a big fish! The boy was having the
time of his life; oh, he played him, he tightened him and slacked him,
but all the time bringing him nearer to the bank.

In about a half minute (it seemed much longer) there was _a
pound-and-a-half bass_ flapping out there on the grass. In the
meantime, the big hook continued to do nothing--and it never did, that
afternoon. We went home with the one bass, and that night the family
sat around the supper table and greatly enjoyed the fish _caught on
the little hook_.

God will honour the fellow that does the best he can _with what he has
in his hand_. And perhaps it will be a far greater honour than you
ever dreamed of.

When our Lord told the parable He did not mean to make small of the
fellow who has only small ability. He condemned the fellow who refused
to use what ability he had because it was small and because he did not
have as much as somebody else to work with. Let's suppose the last
part of that parable had read this way:

"Then he which had received the One Talent came and said, Lord, you
only gave me one talent, and when I saw you giving that other fellow
five and still another two, I was all cut up about it. I did not see
why you should give them more to work with than you gave me. I boiled
inside. I said to myself, Well, if that is the way he treats me, I
will simply take his talent and bury it until he comes back; then I
will dig it up and hand it back to him just as he handed it to me.

"But then I thought again, and I remembered that it was your property
you were distributing, and you had a perfect right to do it as you
chose. I remembered that you are both a wise and a kind master; you
have never given me a reason to question your love for me and your
interest in me; and you know me and my capacity for handling your
property far better than I know myself. So I decided to take that One
Talent and work with it and do the very best I could with it. And,
Lord, I did; and here, see--I have gained another one to go with it;
here are _two talents_."

Bless your life, fellows, do you know what his lord would have said to
that man? He would have said to him exactly what he said to the other
two men.

A poor boy in New York got himself a job at a little lunch stand. He
found he had a little talent for making the lunches attractive and
people would buy them. He stuck at it, saved his earnings, and after a
while bought out the lunch stand. He enlarged the variety of his
lunches and added some other goods. And, to make a long story short,
he is now acknowledged to be the greatest hotel man in the world.

The fellow who uses the talent he has, be it one, two, or five, and
takes Jesus for his partner, is bound to be a success.

     _Read Matthew 25:14-30._



XIV

FIGHTING


Say, fellows! of all the boys in the Old Testament, David is my
choice. There was something about that chap that was "real class."

If David were to happen in your bunch, doubtless when you got to
knowing him every one of you would want him for a chum. He was the
kind of fellow that real boys like: not a braggart and not a "sissy,"
but generally when it came to his turn to bat he smashed the ball for
a clean hit. Or if he should happen to strike out, he didn't slam the
stick to the ground, but with a smile stepped back and turned a
handspring and lit on his feet rooting for the next man up. Of course,
you know there was not any baseball in those days, but that is about
the way David would have played the game.

Out there minding the sheep, David didn't get moody. It might have
been a slow job for others, but not for him. No, he had a harp and he
made music with it. He had a sling, and could hit a quarter on a
telegraph pole with it--if there had been quarters and telegraph
poles. But there were other things to use that sling on, and they gave
David a touch of real life.

David knew that lions, bears, and wolves lurked in the forests near
the pastures in which his sheep must graze, and he got ready for them.
Notice, fellows, here is one of the secrets of David's success: he was
always ready. His big opportunity came when he arrived at King Saul's
camp on that errand for his father, and he was ready for it.

He was ready, first, because he believed God's power was greater than
any army, and that God would fight for any one who fought for Him. Did
you notice in the Bible account how David told the king that God would
handle the matter; and how he also told Goliath out there on the
field, while all men held their breath, that it was Goliath plus
sword, spear, and shield, against David plus God?

And so God helped. One smooth stone, the first out of the sling,
crunched through that big bluffer's head like a baseball through a
stained glass window, and the Philistine fell on his face.

Everybody's giant comes some day. Every fellow's big opportunity comes
one time, at least, and he can be just as ready for it as David was.

That's the big news to-day.

I like to think of the five smooth stones as representing five
characteristics of David's readiness.

_First Stone:_ (the one he slung) _Faith._ We have been talking about
that--faith in God. David prayed as he picked up those stones, you
know he did.

_Second Stone: A pure heart._ God searched it that day at Bethlehem
and approved him for anointing. David was clean. You would never hear
him telling smutty stories, nor did he think them.

_Third Stone: Industrious habits._ Think of his skill in playing the
harp, and his effectiveness with that deadly sling.

_Fourth Stone: A courageous spirit._ A lion's mane, a bear's skin, and
a giant's head, of which we know, bear testimony to this. No wonder
the shepherd boy could stand before a king and reason with him in the
presence of a national crisis.

_Fifth Stone: A humble spirit._ Listed last, but not least by a good
deal. "Thy servant will go and fight this Philistine"; "Thy servant
kept his father's sheep and--" "The Lord will" do this thing--not I.
David's humility throughout his boyhood and young manhood--indeed
throughout his whole life--is one of the fine and strong points of his
character.

In the brook that runs alongside your lives, fellows, these five
smooth stones and others are waiting for each one of you. Put them in
your "scrip" _now_ and be ready for life's opportunities; for they are
coming, head on, to meet you, and _God wants to be on your side_.

     _Read the seventeenth chapter of 1 Samuel._



XV

DRIFTING


Say, fellows, there is a little animal in the North Woods, called the
weasel. In coldest winter its fur turns snow white and its pelt is
very valuable. The white fur of the weasel (sometimes called the
ermine) is used to make some of the most beautiful and expensive
stoles that elegant and wealthy ladies wear. Therefore, in very cold
winters, trapping the weasel is profitable as well as interesting.

Now here comes the queer part of this story: The weasel is small, and
any scar made upon its snow-white coat is doubly conspicuous. If the
pelt is torn or injured it is rejected; so the trapper must take his
captive clean and scarless. The weasel will not enter a cage trap, and
the much used snap-jaw steel trap would tear the skin. But the weasel
likes to lick a smooth surface, especially if it is the slightest bit
greasy; so the trapper smears with grease the blade of a large knife
and lays it on top of the snow, secured by a chain attached to the
handle, and covers the chain with snow to hide it.

The weasel comes along and immediately indulges its natural desire to
lick the smooth blade, and instantly the end of its tongue clings fast
to the cold steel. Try as it may, it cannot pull loose without tearing
its tongue out, which usually it will not do, but sits quietly by,
until released by the trapper, released only to die. Luckless weasel,
trapped by the tongue.

Now, fellows, the weasel does no more wicked thing than to follow its
natural inclinations; but natural inclinations are not safe guides;
they more frequently lead to death. We folks are much like the weasel;
we are much of the time dead bent in the direction of what is worst
for us. Is not our God good to give us the plain warnings which we as
intelligent beings can see and understand--and, seeing and
understanding, "Stop, Look, and Listen!"--turn about and head toward
safety, success, and happiness! Surely, He _is good_. But what matters
how good God is and how plain His warnings if we go right on in the
wrong direction?

If a weasel could understand a warning and should say, "Yes, I know,
but I am just going to lick this once," what would it matter how clear
the warning was?

God's warnings are such as should turn us face about; right now,
before we are hard and fast in one of the devil's many crafty snares,
for he always lays his snares along the path of our _natural
inclinations_. God warns: "Abhor evil," learn to hate it, pray to hate
it. "Cleave to the good," learn to love it, pray to love it.

Naturally, we seek our own praise, but face about! seek the praise for
another, in true brotherly spirit. Naturally, we are lazy and would
shirk our task; but brace up! put vim in the job; that honours God,
and incidentally, puts both success and joy in the work. When we get
in trouble, naturally we chafe and become impatient; God says, "Be
patient in tribulation." That's a "Right-about-face!" for you. We pray
once and quit--naturally. God says keep on praying. When folks nag at
us and pester us, naturally we blaze out at them. God says, don't
blaze, but bless. And that's "To the rear! Hey!"

Naturally, our noses turn up and our heads are lifted to salute the
lofty ones; God says look around for those not so well off as we are,
and lavish our sociability on _them_. Naturally, we try to "get even"
with the fellow who does us a mean turn; God says turn that matter
over to Him; He will take care of it. And when that fellow needs help,
as surely he will sooner or later (maybe right now), make him the
special object of our kindness.

Oh, yes, I know, fellows, it is much easier to do the way you feel
like doing. But when your boat is drifting down the current, which is
the natural way, it takes a Real Fellow to dig his oars in and turn
and row up-stream. And that's what you propose to be: a Real Fellow,
and the best part of it is you then become a Yoke-fellow with Jesus
Christ; and let me tell you, _He pulls a good oar_!

Fellows, drifting means "over the falls." "There is a way which
seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death"
(Prov. 16:25). Pulling up-stream with Christ means getting to the
sunshine of the eternal hills. "But the path of the righteous is as
the dawning light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day"
(Prov. 4:18).

Fellows, I had rather PULL with Christ than DRIFT with the devil,
wouldn't you?

     _Read the twelfth chapter of Romans._



XVI

RESURRECTION


Say, fellows, I'll never forget one exciting morning on the banks of
the Etowah River, a treacherous stream that threads its way through
the red hills of northwest Georgia. A bunch of us boys were spending
that morning in swimming. Not much swimming, either, for only one boy
in the crowd could swim, and all except him were under thirteen years
old. Bob was fifteen, and a good swimmer. One of the boys waded out
pretty deep, and the undercurrent swept him off his feet. There was a
cry, and he sank.

Then it was that Bob did a fine thing, which has caused the rest of us
to look upon him as a real hero ever since. He ran along the bank,
down-stream a little way, and jumped in, rapidly made his way to a
point a few yards below where the boy had gone down, dived, and came
up with him. The rest of us waded out as far as we dared, to meet him,
and all together we drew the couple to shore. But, fellows, that boy
was dead--at least he seemed to be, and we were certain of it.

We lifted his limp body out of the water and laid it on the ground. We
were three miles from town. Scared? We were terrified! All of us were
trembling from head to foot with fright. There were no Boy Scouts in
those days, and boys had not learned the scientific way to restore a
drowned person to life. We were alone and helpless in the presence of
sudden death, and knew not what to do.

One boy suggested that we ought to "get the water out of him," and
that was followed by another suggestion, to put the body over the
lower limb of a near-by tree letting the head hang down, so the water
could run out of the mouth. This we proceeded to do, with a great deal
of difficulty, but finally we got it up there, hanging across the
limb, pretty much like a wet necktie.

After the body had hung in the tree about five minutes, while we stood
about, panting, pale, and terror-stricken, we again took it down and
laid it out on the ground. All of a sudden, to our amazement there was
a movement about the mouth and a little gasp, as for breath. The rough
handling of the body getting it in and out of the tree had had some
effect.

Instinctively we began to roll him over and move his arms about. We
knew nothing of the proper method, but the mouth opened and he
breathed again--then again--and as we let him rest a moment on his
back, he opened his eyes and looked at us, from one to the other.

Fellows, can you imagine how we felt? Well, we couldn't speak; we just
jumped around like Indians and shouted and laughed and cried. It was
wonderful--the most thrilling experience I think I ever had, but I was
wobbly in the knees for a week afterward.

The thing which tremendously impressed me was the coming back from
death to life--for so it seemed to us. But what do you suppose must
have been the feelings of those two women and the disciples, on that
astonishing morning when the two Marys went at early dawn with spices
to place about the Lord's body,--the body which they had seen die upon
the cross two days before; the body they had seen lifted down from the
cross and which they had helped to prepare for burial; the body they
had seen sealed up in the tomb as the sun went down on the darkest,
saddest day the world ever knew?

What must have been their feelings, I say, fellows, when suddenly He
appeared before them _alive_ and _well_ and _speaking_? How they must
have leaped to do the thing their risen Lord commanded: "Go
quickly--tell."

Do you know what it all means to you fellows who have accepted Him as
your Saviour and Friend and Guide?

It means this: that you in your youth, full of life and with all
the thrill of growing strength and manhood, have no dead and
lifeless program to follow, no fickle and disappointing "rewards"
which perish with using; but yours is always a forward, up-going
experience--something doing every day that is worth while, something
that brings a thrill which does not die out and leave you weaker, but
makes you stronger every day, and prepares you for a yet bigger
task,--a _living_ task and a _living_ reward--Eternal Life!

     _Read John 20:1-21._



XVII

KNOWING HOW


Say, fellows, have you heard of the expert who was called in to start
the big engine? Every wheel in the plant had come to a sudden
standstill. Something had gone wrong in the engine room, and the
engineer was nonplused. To save his life he could not locate the
trouble. The superintendent was down there mad as a hornet. A thousand
operatives were idle on full pay, and it was like burning money on an
ash heap. Still that engineer fumbled around. The "super" telephoned
for the expert to come at once and see what was the matter.

Directly, he walked quietly in, glanced at the steam gauge and turned
the throttle wheel a bit. Then, with a tiny hammer which he drew from
his pocket he lightly tapped some parts of the machine, here and
there. He paused at a certain pipe leading to the steam chest, called
for a wrench, removed a tap and a plate, peered in, then carefully
picked out a piece of cotton waste and replaced the plate and tap.
"Now open your throttle," he said to the engineer. The big engine
moved off like a thing of life, pulleys began to whirl and belts to
whirr, and a thousand hands resumed their work.

In the office the expert handed in his memorandum charge. It was fifty
dollars and fifty cents.

"It is all right," said the superintendent, "we're glad to pay it,
but would you mind telling me what the fifty cents is for?"

The expert smiled, "Why, that is my charge for the one minute spent in
locating your trouble, the fifty dollars is for _knowing how_."

Fellows, your life is a great big costly engine, built with infinite
skill, and you are the engineer. It is a wonderful thing running that
engine,--wonderful because it is the motive power to turn many wheels
and affect many lives. Rightly understood and properly handled it will
produce great values, and be a blessing to the world. Misunderstood
and carelessly handled, it will cause loss and suffering to you and
perhaps many others.

As a boy, I used to go to the engine room of my father's mill and
watch the engineer. Continually, he moved about, watching its
movements, its big flywheel half below in the pit, half above, and the
broad belt that glided over it and disappeared through the brick wall
into the mill; now he would be refilling the oil cups, now noting the
steam gauge, or polishing the shining brass trimmings almost with a
caress. He was the first man on hand in the morning, and the last man
to leave at night. Oh, how well he must know his engine, how carefully
he must guard its movements, how always he must be on the job, if he
would be a capable, successful, happy engineer!

And what is God's Word telling us about it to-day? Listen, "Happy is
the man that findeth wisdom [to know God, to know himself, to know his
engine], and the man that getteth understanding [how to run his
engine]. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of
silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. Length of days is in her
right hand [a long and happy career of productive energy] and in her
left hand riches [the actual wealth which God promises to those who
obey His law and love His service, and the inexpressible satisfaction
which comes with the honour that honours God first of all]."

Every fellow can have this wisdom for the asking. Every fellow can
know how to run his life engine, to avoid the breakdowns, to keep the
wheels humming the song of industry and success. Life is the most
interesting thing in the world, and God gives it abundantly. "If any
of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

Now, fellows, here is the whole matter in a nutshell: Your life
machine is the most wonderful, the most mysterious, and at the same
time the most "runnable" thing that the great God has created; but to
run it successfully, as God designed it to be run, you must get your
instructions from Him, the Maker of it. His Book of Rules, the Bible,
must be your daily guide, and through it He will speak to you in your
wonderful day as you live it in His companionship.

Fellows, it is the Life!

     _Read Psalm 119:1-11._



XVIII

FRIENDSHIP


Say, fellows, if you were blindfolded and walking a plank above
Niagara Falls, humanly speaking your chances would be about as good as
David's were when King Saul in a frenzy of rage and jealousy was
seeking his life. David sized it up when he said: "There is but a step
between me and death."

If ever a fellow needed a friend, David needed one at that time.

And a friend he had--a friend with a backbone, a true friend--as brave
as any knight who sat at King Arthur's Table Round or followed in the
train of Richard Coeur de Lion.

Young gentlemen, meet Prince Jonathan!

He never got to be a king, but he had a kingly spirit--if that means
something high and noble. He never deserted a cause which had a claim
upon him. He was true to Saul, his father; he fell at Gilboa fighting
by his side. He was true to David, his friend, unto the point of
death.

You may recall that in a former chapter I mentioned the opinion that
David was the kind of a fellow any red-blooded boy would like. On that
day of wonders, when in the twinkling of an eye the shepherd lad
became the champion of two armies, when the musical fingers of the
boy who played a harp and tended sheep did the execution which routed
the enemy and laid a giant's head at the feet of the king--that day
Jonathan's soul was knit to the soul of David in a lifelong
friendship. It was the kind of friendship which stands the test of
adversity.

It was no wonder that David could have the admiring friendship even of
a prince on the day of his triumph and for days afterward when all
people were singing his praises and he moved upon the high places of
royal and popular favour. If the tide had not turned, Jonathan's
friendship would have been only an incident upon the page of history,
if it had been recorded at all. It would not have been a thing so
fine, so inspiring, as to have thirty millions of Sunday-school folks
discussing it to-day.

But the tide turned, and there came a day when it was expensive and
hazardous to be a friend of David. Jonathan's position became both
delicate and perilous. Saul his father was a despot who would take his
own son's life if he sought to excuse or defend one whom the king
conceived to be his enemy. Jonathan's friendship stood the test. His
own life hung lightly in the balance, but Jonathan would rather have
given his life than fail his friend. He took it in his hand that
evening at the royal feast of the new moon; and he played with death
as the javelin of the infuriated Saul came hurtling across the table.

Then it was that this thing called Friendship sprang forth in all its
wonderful strength and beauty and found its place in poetry and song.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends, said Jesus. Ah! there is the best friend of all--Jesus!
And what did He do? Well, He did this, which proves it:

There came a day when you and I were fugitives from the king--not a
tyrant king, like Saul, but a just and holy God; not an innocent
fugitive, like David, but a sinner meriting the King's wrath and
curse; and One stood in the councils of Eternity--the Great White
Prince--and said, "Father, forgive him; let me take his place; let me
suffer his punishment; let me bear his shame; but him forgive and
restore to a place in court and to the joy of the Royal Service."

And the King consented, and the Son came to earth and died upon the
cross to satisfy the law and make it possible for you and me, fugitive
sinners, to return to the King's Table--forgiven and restored!

Let's go!

     _Read the twentieth chapter of 1 Samuel._



XIX

ALABASTER


Say, fellows, a bunch of college students were talking over the news
that had come to the campus that morning about Bob Allman. They were
not only surprised; they were mad, for "Bob Allman had done the
biggest fool thing ever committed by any decent fellow that the
college had sent out,"--that was the unanimous verdict. And of all the
bunch in last year's graduating class, Bob was the last one you would
have suspected of such a thing, he had so much at stake. He was the
clearest-headed, the best-balanced, the finest physical specimen, the
smartest chap in the lot. Bob was one of those rare fellows who could
stand high in his classes and be popular with the boys and the
professors alike. He was president of his class and captain of the
'varsity football team, and everybody was glad of it.

The amazing news had arrived, in a letter from Bob, himself, to one of
the boys stating that he was that very week at Vancouver, taking ship
for China, where he had accepted a position as school-teacher on the
banks of the Yangtse; there he would preside over a room full of
Chinese boys about seven hours every day, while they monotonously
swayed backward and forward to the droning of their "study voices" in
the characteristic Chinese fashion.

Bob's friend showed the letter. He had no more sympathy for Bob's
reasons than the bunch had; it was "simply a horrible mess--an
outrageous slaughter of talent." That was what they decided. Bob's
letter had said:

"I don't suppose you will understand it now; I hope you may, later;
but out there are living (dying, I had better say) about four hundred
and twenty-five millions of people, practically without a knowledge of
Christ. I know Jesus Christ, not only as my Saviour, but as the very
finest and best friend a fellow ever had. I know what the knowledge of
Him can mean to _one human life_. I know that He wants those people to
meet Him and to know Him as I do. It has suddenly dawned upon me that
I can go over there and help introduce those strangers to my Lord, and
by doing so not only please Him but save them from eternal death.

"I couldn't be happy at anything else, Gus. Maybe you will smile--if
it doesn't make you mad--but just wait, old fellow; give me time.
Unless I am the worst fooled mortal that ever lived, I have got hold
of the really big job--one that takes all that is in a man. Oh, it's
easy to make money, and it's easy to do some stunt that wins applause;
but after it all, when 'the tumult and the shouting dies,' what have
you got?

"And what have I got? do you ask? Well, first, I've got about the best
inside feelings you ever could imagine. I've got a happy heart. I've
got the courage of my convictions. But, best of all, I've got my
Master's smile; and one day, if my faith does not fail, and I don't
believe it will, I'll get His 'well done'--and that will be worth it
all.

"Gus, I wish you were going with me, old fellow. Smile, but think it
over. You will graduate next year. Say, I'm going to expect you. But
in the meantime, remember: Nothing you've got is too fine or too rare
to lay down in service to Jesus Christ!"

Fellows, that was fifteen years ago. Want to take a look at Bob now?
It is a thrilling picture I see. A group of fine buildings--a great
Christian college in China, built for the most part by the Chinese
themselves. Bob is the president of it. He wouldn't swap positions
with the President of the United States, nor would he care to be a
captain of finance or a Supreme Court Judge. Bob has for fifteen years
been "living the life," and it's going finer each year.

He has had the supreme joy of seeing Christian Chinese business men,
statesmen, and great leaders go out from his college to take their
places of influence and leadership in the affairs of an Empire--in
some respects, particularly in population and undeveloped resources,
the greatest upon earth. Bob himself has been called time and again
into the highest councils of the nation. He is engaged in introducing
men--and through them a great multitude--to his Master, the Lord Jesus
Christ.

Yes, fellows, boys have alabaster boxes, too--and there's only one
place to break them--at the feet of Jesus.

     _Read Mark 14:3-9._



XX

TELLING IT


Say, fellows, do you know it is impossible for anybody to tell with
words the whole story of the cross. The only way you can tell the
story in its real power is to _live it_.

I have heard there was a high-caste Chinese boy, the son of a wealthy
mandarin, governor of one of the Chinese provinces. This father was
very ambitious for his boy, hoping that one day he would succeed him
as chief executive. Therefore to secure for him the most modern and
progressive education, he sent the boy a hundred miles away to a
school on the Great Canal, taught by American missionaries. "To get
the Western learning," he told the boy, but not the foreign devils'
religion.

The teacher in Yuan Ki's room was a six-footer, a college graduate,
and an athlete. Yuan Ki was much impressed. He secretly admired him,
but was ungraciously curt to him. This was Yuan Ki's way of making the
teacher "keep his distance." But the teacher seemed not to notice it.
He was always kind to Yuan Ki, even as he was to the others.

One morning at chapel teacher talked about his God. Yuan Ki sneered at
what he told. Actually, teacher had said that his God had come down to
earth and had given up His life on a cross, as a sin-offering for all
people, even His own enemies. Yuan Ki wrote his father about this
"ridiculous story."

One day Yuan Ki was taken sick with a high fever and placed in the
school hospital. That night as he turned his feverish head from side
to side on the pillow, he felt a cool hand laid on his brow. It was
the teacher. Yuan Ki turned his face away, affecting not to see him.
The second night, he kept the boy's feverish brow cooled with iced
cloths until the fever subsided. Yuan Ki was distressed at the
situation, but all the more determined to ignore the teacher's
kindness.

At noon recess one day the boys were playing on the sloping grounds
between the school building and the river. It was strictly against the
rules for the boys to go past a certain low wall, toward the water.
But Yuan Ki and Wang To, seeing the teacher sitting near one of the
windows and knowing how it would disturb him, ran over the wall and
jumped on to the deck of a house-boat moored near by. Yuan Ki saw the
teacher look up in alarm and start as if to jump from the window,
which was ten feet from the ground. Yuan Ki ran to the outer end of
the house-boat, intending to jump to the deck of another house-boat
alongside, but in doing so, slipped and fell into the swift current.
The boy could not swim, and after a brief struggle he sank and knew no
more.

It was two days later that Yuan Ki came to consciousness. He was
puzzled quite a little until he figured out that he was in the
hospital bed again, and it was in the early dawn of the morning. There
seemed to be nobody else in the room. Yuan Ki could see through the
open door, across the hallway, into the large reception room opposite.
There was a long, strange-shaped, box-like thing, with some candles
burning near by. Curiosity getting the better of him, Yuan Ki got up
and crept across the hall. Coming close to the casket, he looked
through the glass cover--and there lay the teacher.

Just then a hand was laid on Yuan Ki's shoulder, and the nurse hustled
him back to bed, scolding him for his imprudence. "But," said Yuan Ki,
"the teacher--how did he die?"

"Lie still," said the nurse, "and I will tell you. When you fell into
the water, teacher jumped from that high window to the ground. It
seemed to sprain his ankle, or something, for he limped badly as he
made his way to the water. He reached you just as you went down the
last time, and bore you up. A man ran out on the deck with a boat-hook
and reached for you both. He caught your sleeve and hauled you in, but
the current carried teacher out of reach, and then we saw him sink. He
was an expert swimmer, but the sprain must have caused him to lose
consciousness."

Yuan Ki's next letter to his father read in part like this: "My
father, my heart is broken, for I shall not see your face again. I
know that what I shall tell you means that your hopes for me will be
crushed and that you will disinherit me; but, oh, my father, I have
learned now what is the love of Christ. Teacher had tried to tell us
about his Christ, who said: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that
a man lay down his life for his friends.'

"And now, my father, there is but one thing for me to do, and that
is, myself, to take the place which this noble servant of his Master
has left vacant--his Master--now my Master, too, for He has accepted
me and I have accepted Him. I have resolved to train to go to my
countrymen and tell them of this wonderful God, the like of whom there
is none other."

Jesus gave _all_ of Himself for us. We cannot give less than _all_ of
ourselves for Him.

     _Read Mark 15:16-47._



XXI

READY!


Say, fellows, once in my life--and only once--I had a chance to shoot
a deer. It was in the Tennessee mountains. A party of us boys
travelled over a rough mountain road all of two days before reaching
the hunting grounds. About daylight of the third day each one of us
was given a "stand," that is, stationed at a point where the game
would likely pass when started by the hounds. The seasoned old guide
cautioned us to keep still and watch. "One thing sartin," said he,
"deer is in thar, an' when they comes out they comes this a-way."

I had never been deer hunting before. I have never been since. It was
my one opportunity, and as the party left me, to distribute themselves
at other points of vantage along the "run," I took up my stand under
considerable excitement. In an hour I heard the dogs far in the
distance. They were evidently running. That meant the game was
running, too,--how many and in what direction I could only guess.

Every nerve and muscle was tense with expectation. The music of the
hounds grew fainter. "Evidently circling again," I mused. I was
getting to be quite a huntsman, and chuckled at how David Crocketty my
observations were.

Another hour I waited. A squirrel came out on a limb, and with its
antics and barking helped me pass the time. A while I watched it, now
and then dropping my eyes to a level for the expected deer. Suddenly,
as I dropped my eyes, the most thrilling sight confronted them. They
nearly popped out--my eyes. There, within fifty feet of me, stood a
magnificent buck.

I shall never forget the picture. His beautiful, keen limbs slightly
quivering, his sleek sides glistening in the slanting rays of the sun
as they throbbed in and out with his rapid panting. His head held
high, the antlers looked like a picture.

All this had happened in less than five seconds. I only had to veer my
gun two inches. My hand was on the trigger, and with a perfect "bead"
on his left shoulder--right where the old guide had said the night
before was the spot to aim for.

Snap! left barrel.

Snap! right barrel.

Off like the wind, Mr. Buck!

Fellows, I have never been sicker than I was at that moment, but once.
My sickest was in the next moment, when I unbreached my gun and found
_there was no shell in either barrel_!

Foolish?

You can call it any name you please and I won't defend it. Think of me
at the camp-fire that night, fellows.

Foolish? Yes, I suppose that is the right word. It is a much stronger
word, though, than we realize. Jesus used it in this parable of the
ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. But He used it to
describe a real tragedy, the greatest tragedy of life; the tragedy of
being unprepared at His coming.

And when is He coming, fellows? Nobody knows. He has not even told the
angels that secret. We don't have to know it. We only have to be
ready.

And how to be ready? Simple as A B C, fellows. Just be busy, doing
God's will--or making an honest effort to do it, and asking Him to
help. Anybody can be ready to meet Him when He comes, if he wants to
and will try. Just be doing your work and playing your play, as He
would have you do it.

But, fellows, it is a big risk to "put off" getting ready. Do it now
while you are young, with all life before you, by saying: "Lord Jesus,
here is my life. Use it in just whatever way you choose. Plan it for
me and help me carry out the plan." That is the way to bag the Big
Game. Some of life's greatest opportunities come but once, and then by
surprise. The happiest and most successful life is the God-planned
life, and a God-planned life never misses the Big Opportunity, because
it is ready--always ready. Ready for life, however long or short it
may be; ready for death whenever that must be; ready for the Coming of
the Lord Himself, which may be any moment, in the twinkling of an eye.

Are you ready, fellows?

     _Read Matthew 25:1-13._



XXII

REMEMBERING


Say, fellows, all through the United States some years ago there
sounded a slogan. It was a slogan of hate,--a slogan of revenge. It
was the rallying cry of the Navy, it was shouted by the Army.
Newspapers carried it daily on the front page, alongside their titles;
business houses had it printed on their stationery; it was engraved
upon souvenirs; it hung as a motto upon the walls at many public
gatherings, and it became a household word throughout the nation:
"Remember the Maine!"

Remember--remember--never forget. And the purpose in remembering was
Retaliation. One night while the United States battleship _Maine_ lay
peacefully at anchor in the harbour of Havana, an explosion tore a
great hole in her hull and she quickly sank, carrying down many
officers and men to sudden death.

There was hardly any doubt that Spanish officers had from the shore
treacherously exploded a mine underneath the battleship, and later
investigations seemed to confirm this theory. Immediately the United
States, an outraged nation, arose to drive the Spanish army from Cuba
and her navy from American waters, and the spirit of revenge was kept
alive by the slogan, "Remember the Maine!"

Now, fellows, those are just the cold facts to show how powerfully
can be used the word, Remember--how powerfully to kill and to destroy;
how powerfully to nourish the harsh and cruel side of our natures. Not
that it was wrong for America to lift the Spanish yoke from helpless
Cuba, we are not dealing with that question. That with which we have
to do to-day is the energy and force developed by _remembering_. Like
dynamite, it can be force for good or for evil. Remembering the taunts
and cruelties of our enemies usually carries us into a cruel and
destructive program.

I am so glad this lesson presents to us the good side of that really
great word Remember, for to-day it is Remember Jesus. When you link
that Name with a word it transforms it; link that Name with a life and
it transforms it. Jesus Himself gave us the slogan. He was so intent
upon our keeping it in mind that He instituted a feast by which we
might commemorate it.

Even the food of that supper had a significance: Bread, to represent
His own body nailed upon the cross for us, and wine to represent His
blood which flowed for us. I think, fellows, if you should give your
life to save another, you would not like that one to forget all about
it, would you?

But Jesus had more than that in mind. He knew that "remembering" would
mean much to you who are trying to live a straight-out Christian life.
Celebrating at stated times by this Remembrance Supper would help you
to remember Him also _between times_. It is in these between times we
so much need the power which comes by Remembering Jesus.

Am I downhearted because I have been mistreated? Remember Jesus. He
was most mistreated of all men. Am I feeling that I'd like to "get
even" with somebody and redress a wrong? Remember Jesus. He did not
strike back, but laid down His life for His enemies. Am I feeling that
I cannot hold out in this Christian program? Remember Jesus. He is
right by my side and will help me hold out. Do people seem to
misunderstand me? Remember Jesus. He understands, and that is
sufficient. Does it look as if I am about to make a failure? Remember
Jesus, through whom we are more than conquerors.

I tell you, fellows, it is the biggest and finest Remember of all,
because it makes us strong, it makes us happy, it enables us to
overcome, it makes us invincible!

Remember Jesus.

     _Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-34._



XXIII

GETTING EVEN


Say, fellows! I saw a big touring car sideswipe a Ford runabout and
knock it several feet to one side on the country road. Of course each
of the drivers thought the other was to blame, and a warm argument
followed.

The big car was unhurt, and proceeded on its way, but the flivver had
its running board and fender badly battered. While the young fellow of
the runabout examined to see what further damage his car might have
sustained, the prosperous-looking gentleman was speeding up the
highway, chuckling over his own car's escape from injury.

I asked the man of the Ford if his engine had suffered. No, he thought
it was all right; he would crank up and see. Good! She started off
with a clutter, and he asked me if I wanted to ride. I had not far to
go, but gladly accepted, for I was rather struck with this young
fellow's grip on himself. It took self-control to avoid making the air
blue with abuse. The way that big fellow had hurried on, leaving the
runabout in trouble, was certainly not on the square, to say the
least.

A turn in the road brought a fresh surprise. There was the touring
car, a hundred yards ahead, standing in the middle of the road, hood
up, and the big man peering into the engine. There was room to pass,
and I wondered what the man at the wheel in the runabout would do.
Would the little car rattle past with its damaged fender? It would be
only human nature to sing out some sort of a taunt: "Thought you were
in a hurry!" or "Don't block the road!"--and yet this young fellow did
not seem to be that kind. His self-control during the incident back
there in the road made me expect something different, and I was not
disappointed. The runabout did pass, but stopped ten yards ahead, and
my companion got out.

"Engine trouble? Need any help?"

The big fellow's face was a puzzle, as he looked up with a worried
grin and mopped his brow with a grease-smeared hand. Yes, there was
engine trouble, and it was serious.

To make a long story short, when last I saw them as they turned the
curve of the road ahead, the big car's front axle was connected by a
chain to the rear of the runabout as it chugged away in low gear
dragging the big one to the nearest garage.

Say, fellows! it takes a dead game sport to do a trick like that. Any
cheap skate can whiz past and give his enemy in trouble the
hard-boiled eye, but it takes a fine soul to be generous when the
natural impulse calls for spite work.

In the small hours of that fine morning, as Saul slept and as his
guards were heavy with sleep about him, David put one over on his
pursuer--an act of kindness which overwhelmed him with shame. David
had not only to fight a natural impulse to get even, but he had with
him an adviser who used the most persuasive arguments to induce him
to take Saul's life. Indeed, Abishai proposed to do the deed himself,
as though that would leave David clear of guilt in the matter. But no,
David was a man of principle, and he knew three very vital things:

1. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," said the Lord.

2. A magnanimous spirit wins, and no sad regrets cloud the victory.

3. He that ruleth his own spirit is better than he that taketh a city.

     _Read twenty-sixth chapter of 1 Samuel and Romans 12:20-21._



XXIV

GREATNESS


Say, fellows, if I should make up an unusually good story about you,
some noble thing you did, or some kind and generous act, to whom
should I tell it, to be sure it would be believed? Yes, I see you know
of whom I am thinking--your mother. I might tell your brother and
sister, and they would say: "Phew! are you sure it was Dick?" I might
tell your employer, and his eyes would roam around over the objects on
his desk; or your teacher, and he would look at the sky and say:
"Think it will rain?" I might tell your father, and he would be
grateful--but surprised! But let me tell your mother! There I would
find one who is ready to believe anything good I would say about you.

I tell you, fellows, a mother is a wonderful gift to a boy, for her
prayers alone. Long before you learned to say, "Now I lay me down to
sleep," she was praying that you would be a great and good man some
day. Those prayers of mothers have kept many a boy from going wrong.
One night in a great city where I had gone to find work I had fallen
in with some young fellows who "knew the ropes," and being far from
home and lonesome I was glad to accept their companionship. They
invited me to join them in an "evening lark" to which no loyal
Christian would lend himself, and though I was a nominal Christian I
was tempted sorely. I regarded myself as "my own man," having just
turned twenty-one.

But just as I wavered between right and wrong, my mother's face
flashed before me. It was only for an instant, but it was enough. I
heard her voice, heard it in prayer. That night a thousand miles away
she was praying for me, and saved me from what might have been a fatal
step. I firmly believe, fellows, but for my mother's prayers that
night and many nights, before and since, I should not now be enjoying
the privilege of talking about the great things of life and the
Kingdom to you.

Treasure that dear mother, if you have one, fellows; she is God's
peculiar gift.

Well, James and John had such a mother, and she did the most natural
and motherly kind of a thing. She wanted _her boys_ to go away up
high; they must even stand in the highest places, on the right and
left hand of the King in His glory. Like all mothers, she was
ambitious for her boys.

Then Jesus in His wonderful way explained that the road to true
greatness was not that which the world was following, in which those
in power and authority were overbearing masters to their inferiors;
but it is a path of service to mankind, a path already blazed by
Himself. Last night in the local evening paper I saw these headlines:
CHATTANOOGA DOCTOR ATTAINS EMINENCE. The article stated that a very
remarkable invention for the removal of foreign particles from the
lungs or bronchial tubes, such as might be accidentally swallowed, had
been successfully demonstrated before a national medical society, and
had been written up in the _American Medical Journal_; it was said
that the discovery had brought great honour to the doctor in the world
of medicine.

That was the recognition, but what had preceded? Days and nights at
bedsides of suffering; days and nights in the laboratory; days and
nights of study to relieve pain; hours of weariness unknown to the
world, but borne on by the thought of doing a service to humanity. And
do you suppose the final publicity is what rewards this doctor?
Hardly. A reporter on his local city paper sought an interview, after
the far-away medical journal had published the first news, but the
doctor, in his service overalls in the midst of treating his patients,
declined the interview, saying it would involve a technical
description which the general public would hardly be interested in.
Then it was "Good-morning," and the doctor returned to his work.

True greatness does not care to make one dash to fame, then loaf in
its glory.

The thing our great Commander wants us to be earnest about is doing
our best, wherever the place of service. He will look after the
reward. He is even more ambitious for us than our mothers are.

     _Read Matthew 20:20-28._



XXV

"PAW, I WANTA BE SOMEBODY!"


Say, fellows, away back in the mountains of western North Carolina,
far up on the mountainside, at the head of a cove, there lived a
fifteen-year-old boy. He had sisters and brothers and parents, but
they dwelt in a little tumble-down shack and were wretchedly poor.
Jake was the oldest of the children, and he had to work hard in the
little patch of corn on the steep mountainside, which barely yielded a
crop.

Down the path a mile or so there was a little log schoolhouse where a
lady teacher gave some of the mountain children lessons in "readin',
ritin', and 'rithmetic." Jake had passed and repassed that schoolhouse
many times and wished that he might "go thar and larn," but Jake was
too important a hand on "the farm" to "waste enny time at sich"--so
thought his parents, neither of whom could read or write. "An' Jake
was pow'ful handy 'bout fixin' things, like tools en sich."

One day, when "the crop" was pretty well "laid by," Jake came to the
shack and, throwing his hoe into the corner, said: "Paw, I wanta be
Somebody!" Then Jake went on to say he had been thinking that now the
corn was in shape to go ahead and make what it would, he "might put
in some time ev'y day at the schoolhouse a-larnin' how to read and
write."

"But y'ain't got nothin' to buy books," was suggested.

"I'll see 'bout that 'ar," said Jake.

Next morning when the teacher arrived, Jake was waiting at the
schoolhouse door.

"Teacher," said he, "I ain't got no money to buy books, but I kin git
up the wood ev'y day for the stove, 'n I kin sweep out the schoolhouse
'n keep it clean--cain't ye loan me a book 'n let me come 'n larn?"

Jake's terms were accepted. No boy was ever prouder of a university
scholarship than Jake was of that chance to "larn" in the little
mountain schoolhouse. Jake went after "larnin'" as a boy goes for pie
at the picnic dinner.

A few months later, the school was visited by the superintendent of
one of the large North Carolina mountain mission schools. When the
teacher told him about Jake, he offered him an opportunity to enter
the mission school and succeeded in persuading his parents to let him
go. Jake was put to work taking care of the farm machinery in the
agricultural department of the mission, but with ample time to pursue
his studies in the schoolroom.

It was noticed that he had special aptitude for fixing the farm
implements and adjusting the parts--even making some of the missing
parts at the old blacksmith forge. The superintendent was so impressed
with this that as soon as Jake's education had made pretty fair
progress, he secured him a position in the dynamo room of a large
manufacturing plant in a near-by town. Jake had accepted Jesus Christ
as his Saviour and Master while at the mission school, owned his
Bible, read it faithfully every day, and was a consistent young
Christian.

It was a triumph for Jake, when he got a discarded dynamo out of its
corner and saved the purchase of a new machine. His employers soon saw
that he was entitled to even a better chance than they could give him,
and after they had some correspondence with a great electrical
manufacturing firm in New England, Jake one day bade farewell to his
"Tarheel" friends and took a north-bound train.

At the great electrical plant, his career was continuously upward.

It takes five figures to name his salary. Every Sunday morning you
will see Jake and his family get into their big car and motor into the
city, where Jake teaches a large and enthusiastic class of young men.

The mountain boy has realized his wish: he is Somebody!

No fellow can do a finer thing than make his life count as a force in
Christianizing the nation--to make it stand out a shining light,
pointing the world to Christ. And one effective way to do that is to
apply himself, with a Christ-loving heart, to the opportunity that
comes to his hands to build himself up in a Christian way and in a
business way. For good business and Christian integrity are twin screw
propellers.

The fellow that gets the good job, the fellow that suddenly finds
himself in a position of power and privileged service to his world
about him is the fellow who is found faithful to the smaller work or
the smaller opportunity that lies next to his hand.

Oh, fellows, it is the only life!

     _Read Matthew 25:14-30._



XXVI

"LET DOWN YOUR FEET!"


Say, fellows, something happened two summers ago at a well-known
resort in the mountains, which even at this late day it quickens my
pulse to recall. I was one of the very few eyewitnesses of the
"tragedy," and it nearly put me to bed with nervous prostration. It
was about twilight one evening when I passed near the lake on my way
to our cottage for supper.

The gay throng of swimmers had apparently all dispersed to the hotels
and cottages for the evening meal and preparation for the concert in
the auditorium. That lake was a very popular place in the afternoon;
there were accommodations for all grades of swimmers--from the expert
divers who used the platform, spring-board, and tall diving ladder on
the deep side, to the smallest children, who paddled and waded in the
shallow water under the watchful care of their nurses on the other
side. The lake was not over a hundred yards wide at the widest.

I was just noting how deserted and quiet was the place which only a
few moments before had been fairly alive with a happy throng of sport
lovers, little and big, when I saw coming toward the platform from the
bath house a tall, thin man in his bathing suit. He looked so pale and
weak and thin that I wondered if he could possibly be thinking of
going into that cold water at that time of evening and _alone_!

I had not long to be in doubt about it, for straight out on the
platform he went and then _on the spring-board_! He lifted his arms
above his head and pointed his hands together as a man going to dive.
The man looked so weak and thin that I felt positive he would not be
able to swim in that water, so chilled by the mountain springs that
fed it. I wondered if he knew how cold it was and how weak he was.

Should I run the risk of "butting in," and warn him? Suppose I did not
and he should begin to sink, could I jump in that fifteen-foot water
with my clothes on and save him? These thoughts flashed rapidly
through my mind, but in the twinkling of an eye he was off the
spring-board, head downward into the water.

I held my breath and waited for him to rise. It seemed he had gone to
the bottom and stuck there; the water became actually smooth again,
and almost still, where he had disappeared. I thought he would never
come up. My heart jumped into my throat.

Then he came up--very near where he had gone down--and faintly struck
out swimming. I thought of course he would at once make for the piers
of the platform; surely a fellow swimming as weakly as that, all
alone, and in water cold and deep, would not risk himself far from
shore. But, to my amazement, he was apparently starting for the other
side!

It was then I discovered I was not the only witness. On the other side
of the lake, down close to the water's edge, and watching with evident
anxiety, was a lady. It was easy to see by her movements that she had
a strong personal interest in the swimmer's actions, and that she was
very anxiously watching him. She had evidently come down to keep him
company, or as a precaution, while he took his solitary evening swim.

These things, which were taken in at a glance, coupled with the fact
that the swimmer was plainly growing weaker and making very poor
progress, confirmed all my apprehensions, and I was just thinking I
must quickly take measures for his relief when I saw coming out of the
bath house on a dead run, two husky young fellows in bathing suits,
making for the spring-board.

At the same time the lady shouted: "Father! Father! can you make it?"

The swimmer gurgled something which sounded like, "No."

He had gotten about half-way across and was merely struggling to keep
his head above water. The two huskies went off the spring-board so
close one behind the other that it looked foolhardy, and struck out
rapidly for the drowning man, but he had gone down his second time
already.

It was a race between life and death. I said: "They will never reach
him in time." The lady screamed. Then a new voice broke upon the still
evening air. A boy over on the walkway by the dam shouted at the top
of his lungs: "_Mister! Let down your feet!_" The struggling man heard
it; he did let down his feet, rose up about waist deep in the water
_and walked out_!

Fellows, as I walked on up the hill toward supper, trying to work my
heart back down where it belonged, I did some tall thinking. Had _I_
ever "drowned" in shallow water? Sure, I had. The great big things God
has planned for you and me to do seem impossible because we do not
take into account that they are to be done through God's power and not
our own.

We summon the nerve to tackle the task, but, forgetting Him, like
Peter trying to walk on the water, we sink. We foolishly try to do the
thing in our own strength, when there at our hand is the great power
of Almighty God just waiting to flow through us and accomplish it
gloriously.

Oh, fellows, if you would just let down your feet on the mighty power
of God, you would walk out of all your difficulty. Here is a great
overpowering temptation getting the best of you--and you, drowning in
shallow water.

Let down your feet! Here is an inspiring challenge out of God's Word,
to put forth your hand and heart and mind and help win the world for
Him. You are tempted to say: "Who am I?" Let down your feet, and
you'll see who you are. You are a child of God, through whom He is
willing to do mighty works.

And you will rise upon your feet, you poor, weak fellow, and you will
hold aloft the Banner of the Cross, and you will achieve for God in a
way that will set all the bells of heaven ringing.

     _Read Matthew 28:16-20._



XXVII

AN "UNASSISTED TRIPLE PLAY"


Say, fellows, when that "Indian," Wambganss, put three men out with
one unassisted play in the world's series and retired the Brooklyn
Dodgers with bases full, twenty thousand frantic Cleveland fans rose
as one man and sent up a yell that sounded like the roar of Niagara.
It comes but once in a generation for a lone baseball player to make
an "unassisted triple play" in a world's series, and doubtless that
night the Cleveland second baseman was the most envied baseball player
in the world. For one man to do, alone, what thousands of onlookers
could not do, was enough to turn all fandom topsy-turvy in a delirium
of amazement.

There is something in you and me, fellows, that leaps to its feet and
screeches with delight when we see any one rise to the demands of a
crisis and do the fine thing. Now, I want you to turn to a place in
the Bible where is described a finer thing than could happen in any
world's series. It has always seemed to me to be about the most
wonderful event that ever happened. It is John's account of one of the
most wonderful miracles that Jesus performed.

More than five thousand hungry people lingered on the hillsides near
the lake shore, and there was nothing for them to eat. Jesus was
testing His men that day to see how far they had recognized His
divine power. He turned to Philip and said: "Where shall we get food
for them?" Philip did not know it was a test question; neither did he
realize that Jesus could turn every blade of grass to a loaf of bread
if He chose to do so. Therefore, Philip replied: "I do not know, Lord;
it looks as if they will have to go home hungry."

Now Andrew was casting about to see what he might discover to help out
the situation, and his eye fell upon a boy standing near by with a
rather familiar shaped bundle in the folds of his tunic. Andrew
sniffed, and saw the tails of two dried fish sticking through. Andrew
had a long nose for fish. He knew what it was: the boy had brought a
lunch with him.

"How many barley cakes have you, son?" inquired Andrew. "Five,"
answered the boy. "Wait a minute," said Andrew. Something had flashed
into his mind. It was a big moment for Andrew; he was on the verge of
doing a fine thing, himself, and he stepped quickly to where Jesus
stood.

"Master!" he said, his eyes snapping with the very thought of what
_might happen_--"Master, there's a lad here with five barley cakes and
two small fishes--" and (oh, the tragedy of it!) then he must have
caught Philip's hard-boiled eye. He must have thought, "Now, Philip is
saying I'm a fool for suggesting such a thing--and I guess I am"; for
he quickly added "--_but what are they among so many?_"

Jesus calmly turned His eyes on Andrew, as though He said:
"Almost!--Andrew--almost did your faith win a victory; make the men
sit down on the grass, and bring the lad's lunch to me."

Now, fellows, I can imagine Andrew going back to that boy and saying,
"Son, the Master has need of this food you have brought; shall I take
it to Him?" And this boy's first thought, naturally, was: "Then, what
will I do? I'm a long way from home; I'm hungry, and I was just fixing
to eat it myself--but--"

The boy had been listening to Jesus as He talked to the crowd. He had
seen those wonderful eyes melting with compassion. His own eyes had
feasted upon that majestic countenance, and his ears had tingled, and
his boyish heart thrilled with the marvellous words which fell from
the Master's lips. "Surely," he had thought, "this _must_ be the
Messiah, for no other could speak like Him, nor work these marvellous
cures." So quickly he brushed aside his self-interest, and held out
the little bundle of fishes and bread.

Now, fellows, watch--What?--a triple play at a world series and twenty
thousand fans leaping and yelling like mad? Bless you, no. Something
happened right then which will be remembered a millennium after
baseball has been forgotten. Jesus took the boy's lunch and fed five
thousand hungry men, besides women and children, until they could eat
no more.

I have many times tried to picture in my imagination that glad and
astonished boy. His eyes must have nearly popped out when he saw what
was going on, the Master giving out the bread and fishes--and the
bread and fishes _never giving out_!

And the big news to-day, fellows, is that you and I can make a play
like that. No matter what it is you've got in your hand, let Jesus use
it. He can do more with it than we can. No matter whether it is much
or little, give it to Him. In fact, that's the way to save it and make
the most of it. He said so (Luke 9:24) Himself; give it to Him. It
matters not so much _what_ it is in your hand; the thing that matters
is _what you do with it_. Give it to Him. You may not hear the
bleachers roar over your gift, but, listen, fellows, when a life is
surrendered to Christ the battlements of heaven ring with a shout that
encircles God's throne, and the score is for Eternity!

Fellows, let's play the REAL GAME.

     _Read John 6:5-14._



XXVIII

FORGIVING


Say, fellows, I want you to take a look at Simon Peter to-day. He is
as interesting as a fast game of volley ball. And he did get some hot
ones handed to him. Impulsive fellow that he was, he was always
getting his foot into it. Peter was a plunger; he wanted to _do
things_, and do them right now. Loyal soul--he would fight for his
friend at the drop of a hat; but he was subject to fits of depression,
and at such times his heart would fail him, or he would lose his grip
on himself and do something to regret sorely afterward.

Now, fellows, Jesus loved Peter with a mighty love, and He spent much
time helping him to gain self-control and learn to be a steady,
thoroughgoing, dependable Christian. Many times Jesus had to call him
down sharply. Once He even called Peter "Satan" (see Mark 8:33). It
really was Satan to whom Jesus spoke--Satan operating in Peter, as he
operates in you and me sometimes when we are weak enough to permit it;
but it must have been an awful jolt to Peter to get that from his
Master.

Peter gradually improved. He was making an honest effort to be the man
he ought to be; but there one thing which gave him more trouble than
anything else. He got to the point where he could close his jaws
tight and keep from calling down the fellow who made him mad, but he
couldn't keep from surging inside. He would surge when he went to bed,
and he would be still surging when he got up--all inside. After a
while he got to where he could forgive, but when the offense was
repeated it was "all off," and Peter would find himself surging again.
Now the second surging was just as uncomfortable and made him feel as
mean as the first, so Peter began to wonder just what would be the
limit, according to Jesus' idea, to which a man must forgive and then
surge and feel good over it. You see, Peter was trying to train by the
rules of Jesus, so it was quite the proper thing for him to ask Jesus
about it when in doubt. A good sport is always ready to listen to the
Coach.

Jesus was teaching the Golden Rule, the law of kindness and of
good-will. He had just been showing how to make peace with one who has
done you an injury, when Peter spoke up and asked the question which
brought forth one of Jesus' most remarkable parables. Peter said:
"Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
until seven times?"

Seven times! Think of that. It was going some, wasn't it? Doubtless
Peter thought so. Perhaps he said to himself: "Well, for once I have
proposed something which will show the Lord that I have learned to be
a longsuffering Peter. Just imagine it: Forgave him Sunday; he
repeated the offense Monday, and I forgave him again; also the same on
Tuesday. He deliberately did that dirty trick again on Wednesday, and
I still stood my ground on the forgiving program. Thursday and Friday
the rascal repeated the offense, and I forgave, and did it again on
Saturday; that was seven times, and lo! when Sunday came the
ungrateful wretch was at it again, and I'm done. Seven times! It was a
wonderful test of my control, and I shall present it to the Lord--"

And what did Jesus say? Why, Peter must have staggered under that
answer, for it revealed to him far more than the "four hundred and
ninety times" program. In the light of that parable in Matthew
18:21-35, it revealed to Peter that God had already forgiven so much
that was sinful in him that he might just as well settle down to a
program of forgiving his brother every day for the balance of his
life, if he did not want to forfeit the forgiveness of God. No more
surging for Peter.

And that is what the lesson means for you and for me to-day. A
missionary once said, "We cannot outgive God." It is quite as true
that we cannot out-forgive God. And, moreover, we dare not harbour
unforgiveness in our hearts against any fellow-being, for when we do
it we are dangerously close to the edge of a fearful precipice, where
one slip would put us--with the Tormentors.

Let's all shake hands--hard!

     _Read Matthew 18:21-35._



XXIX

PARADOX


Say, fellows, do you know what a paradox is? It is something which
seems to contradict itself. I saw a man hold in his hand something
worth one hundred dollars. I would have been willing to give him one
hundred dollars for it. He destroyed it right before my eyes; yet his
action caused nobody any loss. Now there is a paradox, and it seems
quite puzzling, doesn't it? It looks quite impossible, you may say.
But the explanation is very simple. What the man held in his hand was
his own check on the bank. He had made a slight scratch on it which
did not affect its value, only its neatness, and he preferred to tear
it to pieces and rewrite it.

Here now in the eleventh chapter of Matthew, our Lord in His
impressive way is teaching in a paradox, and you may mark it well, for
it indicates a specially important proposition. He says: "Come unto
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." It seems queer that in
coming in answer to that invitation you should have a yoke to put on.

But your first wrong impression is that the Lord is sorry for folks
who work. Not at all; work is a blessed privilege. Pity the poor
idler, not the worker. Be sorry for him who is by any cause debarred
from working, not for the red-blooded fellow who is feeling the thrill
of accomplishing something. Our Lord is sorry for those who are "heavy
laden" while they work--laden with worry, with anxiety, with fears and
forebodings--yes, even with a guilty conscience.

Then the yoke. Who would think of a yoke in connection with rest? I
suppose you fellows have seen oxen wearing yokes. They do not look
very restful, do they? Yet Jesus clearly says His yoke is "easy"!
Well, let's see.

For a moment, think of life as a great game. In many respects it is
just that. It takes skill and wit and patience and determination to
win the ordinary game; also the willingness to take a lot of
punishment at times. There are three things about the game of life
which are like all other games: (1) We must either win or lose; (2)
there is uncertainty; and (3) we all want to win. But there are also
three things true of the life game which are not true about other
games.

The first of these three dissimilarities is that in the life game you
have got to play whether you will or no. You can beg off from a game
of tennis, or baseball, or dominoes; but the life game you have got to
play, willing or unwilling, sick or well, fit or not fit. There's no
choice; you've got to play--_you are already playing._

Second, you must play against an adversary who is not only more
skillful, more speedy, more enduring, but is _invisible_, and whom,
humanly speaking, it is absolutely impossible to beat. Such a game!
Such an adversary!

But the third dissimilarity is the most remarkable of all, and it is
the shot which carries the big news to-day,--there is a rule by which
you can certainly win. Can you say that about any other game? In other
games, your rival can apply the rule as well as you, but in the game
of life the rule is only available for you, and it is an absolutely
sure winner. Turn to your Bibles and look at it, in the twenty-fourth
verse of the ninth chapter of Luke: "Whosoever will save his life
shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same
shall save it."

Losing your life for Jesus--which simply means _investing_ it for Him.
Whatever you do, do that thing in His name and in a way worthy of Him.
Your _life_, you know, is simply made up of the events of the
twenty-four hours of each day. Invest each event with Jesus. That
means your play as well as work. It means clean play and good hard
playing to win, but in the way Christ would approve, honest, fair,
chivalrous--and it is true sport, I tell you. That is a part of what
it means, wearing Jesus' yoke, simply doing the thing as Jesus would
do it.

     _Read Matthew 11:28-30._



XXX

FRAUD


Say, fellows, the greatest circus man who ever lived said the American
people like to be humbugged, and proceeding on that theory, P.T.
Barnum got together more animals and performers and freaks under
canvas than had ever been seen before. He made a tremendous fortune.
There is something in human nature which makes us an easy mark for any
pretentious thing that comes down the pike with banners flying. The
bigger the claim and the larger the figures, the more readily we fall
for it, but simple things must be proved.

When we are told there are 290,680,493,115 stars we accept it without
question, but if there is a sign saying "FRESH PAINT" we touch the
paint with our fingers to see if it is really so.

Fellows, there is a big sign posted all over the country, carrying in
large letters the two words, "It satisfies." It is the expensive
advertising propaganda of cigarette manufacturers, and the
"satisfaction" they are offering you is that brief and fleeting
sensation of being doped, so that "stern realities are changed to
pleasant seemings." It matters not to them that your health and morals
and money and life pay the cost, just so they sell their product.
They tell you cigarettes "satisfy." It is a preposterous fake. They
do not satisfy--they produce further craving--and they know that that
craving grows, until the habit is formed and their "satisfied" victim
becomes a hopeless slave--known as a cigarette fiend. There is only
one drawback for the cigarette manufacturer, his consumer is too short
lived; the cigarette devitalizes, pauperizes, and destroys. Like the
shock troops of the German army, they must be continually
recruited--recruited in numbers which almost stagger the imagination.

Did you know, fellows, that to keep up the consumption of cigarettes
at the present rate of manufacture there must be _two thousand_ new
smokers _daily_ to contract the habit? Nearly all these new smokers
must be boys, for men are not fooled into this practice so easily.

In a village I recently saw a large bill-board sign at the top of
which in bold letters were the words, WANTED: ONE MILLION RECRUITS!
Upon reading farther, I found it was the advertisement of a certain
brand of cigarettes, and the manufacturers boldly stated that the "one
million recruits" were wanted to join the large and growing army of
"delighted smokers" of their "richly blended" cigarette.

You don't have to fall for it. You do not _have_ to be one of the two
thousand daily new recruits to the cigarette manufacturer's army of
shock troops.

But the sly wolf comes in disguise, and in this case the disguise is
"satisfaction" offered. Once the wolf gets its victim it throws off
the disguise and stops talking about "satisfaction," but simply hands
the "coffin tacks" across the counter, and takes your money, health,
morals, success, and real satisfaction, in exchange, while you--well,
you proceed to drive the tacks, one by one.

Says the cigarette: "I am not much of a mathematician, perhaps, but I
can ADD nervous trouble; I can SUBTRACT from physical energy; I can
MULTIPLY aches and pains; I can DIVIDE the mental powers; I can take
INTEREST from work and I can DISCOUNT chances for success."

Dr. Heald, writing in _Life and Health_, says cigarettes are in many
cases the direct cause of cancer, blindness, deafness, heart disease
and dyspepsia. He further says they dwarf the body, benumb the brain
and weaken character.

That cigarettes "hinder the development of the body" is testified to
by the following physical directors of universities: Drs. Seaver and
Anderson, of Yale; Dr. Hitchcock, of Ambrose; Dr. Meylin, of
Columbia--as a result of repeated and careful measurements both of
smokers and non-smokers.

Judge Ben Lindsey says: "No pure-minded, honest, manly, brave boy will
smoke a cigarette."

"Home-Run" Baker says: "I do not smoke--never did. If any youngster
wants advice from one who doesn't mean to preach, there it is: Leave
cigarettes alone!"

Dr. Coffin, of the Whittier Reform School, says: "Of the 1,700 boys
who have been inmates of this institution, 1,670 were cigarette
smokers!"

_There_ is "satisfaction" for you; no, not for you, but only
satisfaction for the cigarette manufacturer and dealer, such
satisfaction as comes from ill-gotten gains, which after all cannot be
permanent.

Yes, "it satisfies"--the cigarette,--it satisfies--satisfies the
devil, and _he_ laughs, and _his_ is the only real long laugh that the
cigarette affords.

The cigarette-tree is known by its fruit. Cut it out.

     _Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27._



XXXI

THE BIG TASK


Say, fellows, some years ago France gave a man a large task. The man's
name was De Lesseps, and the task was to cut a ditch seventy-two feet
wide across Panama, to unite the two great oceans. Part of the cutting
was to be through hills two hundred and fifty feet high. It was a big
order, and although De Lesseps had the resources of a great republic
back of him, he failed to deliver. Aside from the gigantic feat of
digging and removing stone and earth, there were malaria and yellow
fever in the swamps, which killed thousands of labourers, and there
were theft and bribery in the financial management, which swallowed up
the money. These things were like giants invincible, blocking the way
against success.

Twenty-two years later the United States tackled that same job.
General Goethals was sent to Panama, and he put it through. Himself a
skillful engineer, confident of the success of the enterprise, and
with all the resources of Uncle Sam back of him, he set to work.
Surgeon-General Gorgas stamped out yellow fever and malaria by
draining the swamps and eliminating the mosquito, making the canal
zone practically a health resort.

Thus, with unlimited financial power, the latest discoveries of
science and invention, skill, and an ample supply of labour, coupled
with faith in the plan and an unconquerable spirit, the man cut
through, two oceans came together, and the world's commerce passed
back and forth in an endless stream.

It was a big order, nobly executed.

Yet, fellows, there was an infinitely bigger order given to those
twelve faithful, believing men, when our Lord calmly told them to go
out and do five things, namely: "Preach the Gospel, heal the sick,
cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils"--infinitely
bigger, in that it required infinitely more power. Jesus furnished the
power, the disciples furnished the faith and effort, and the five
things were done.

There was the malaria of sin in the way, and mountains of unbelief,
but they _cut through_, and the ocean of God's love, on one side, and
the ocean of man's need, on the other, were united!

Had you thought of it, fellows, that every Christian is challenged and
commissioned to do a big, hard task for Jesus? The task is big and
hard because it requires Almighty Power, but Jesus supplies the power.
Our part is simply to throw ourselves into the job. We hesitate
because we forget that God gives no task but that He sees us through,
and the bigger and harder the job the more abundant and free is the
supply of power. Our part is to _proceed_. He will see that we
succeed. We take a step at a time; we go by the blueprints while He
holds the future in His hand.

    "A man went down to Panama,
      Where many men had died,
    To slip the sliding mountain
      And lift the eternal tide.
    A man went down to Panama,
      And the mountain stood aside."

That's the poetry of it, fellows, but the practical prose is like
this:

    A shovel.
    A pick.
    And dig.
    And dig.
    And dig.

     _Read Matthew 17:14-21._



XXXII

POWER


Say, fellows, Marconi has succeeded in lighting an incandescent bulb
eight miles away without the use of a wire. It is the transmission of
power by wireless. Experiments have also been successful in
electrically guiding, starting, and stopping, without visible
connection, a torpedo or even a battleship from the land or from a
ship. The human voice has been projected through the ether from
Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, by wireless telephone.

These things are sufficiently marvellous to make us gasp--and yet how
far they fall short of the things which Jesus did, as recorded in the
eighth and ninth chapters of Matthew. The centurion's servant was sick
some distance away. It would have been miracle enough if Jesus had
gone to him, touched him, and healed him; but Jesus met a new brand of
faith in the centurion, and He more than matched it with a new sample
of His divine power.

He simply spoke, and the man in the distance was instantly made well.
In Hebrews 1:3 you will find this phrase: "By the word of his power."
It was that word which created the universe; by that word He had
created the centurion's servant; and now by that same wonder of
wonders He reaches through space and re-creates; He lifts the sick
man off his bed, twelve miles away (it might just as well have been
thousands of miles), puts him on his feet, sound and well, and serving
his master!

Now, fellows, you and I can link up to that power, and we only have to
apply for a connection; we need not make a journey to get it. When we
want light or fuel gas or a telephone in our home, we simply apply for
it; the company connects the house with the supply mains, and the
power comes within reach of our hands. But here is divine power
available, and we do not get it because we do not ask for it.

The centurion had unusual faith when he believed Jesus could command
the forces of nature and be obeyed, just as he [the centurion] could
command his household servants and be obeyed, and Jesus met that faith
in a marvellously unusual way. You and I are continually making
mistakes and failures and "messing things up." We want to be a success
in life. We want everything we undertake, in work or play, to "pan
out" well. But unseen forces are at work to hinder, and circumstances
intervene which we cannot control. Here's the magic secret: link up
with Jesus' power.

I asked a modest tennis player how he had managed to win out in the
finals against an opponent who was much his superior in skill and
training. He replied: "I'm afraid I took an 'unfair' advantage of
him--I prayed to win"; and he smiled. I heard of a famous quarterback
on one of the big 'varsity teams who linked his game with prayer and
got unusual power in the play. And why not?

But there is more to the secret. To make that "linking up" effective,
it must be accompanied by complete surrender of the life to Jesus'
authority. Power is unsafe unless divinely controlled--worse than
that, it is fatal.

Let's put the whole matter in Jesus' hands, and we'll have a great
time!

     _Read John 4:46-54._



XXXIII

CHRISTMAS


Say, fellows, when it was announced in the Edison home seventy-three
years ago that a boy was born, and his name was Tom, it was a great
day for the world. It was a great day for you and for me--though we
were not yet born. Think a minute how it would be without the electric
light, now illuminating every city and town in the world--at the touch
of a button in millions of homes and halls and offices and factories
turning darkness into day. It is wonderful that the birth of one boy
named Tom should mean so much to the world. Yet who can say that had
Edison not been born none would have discovered the incandescent lamp?

It was another wonderful day when Mr. and Mrs. Watt announced the
birth of their son James--a wonderful day for the world and for you
and me. Think of how many ways steam power, through manufacture and
transportation, adds to our comfort and pleasure. Yet who can say that
no man would have discovered and harnessed this giant to serve mankind
if James Watt had not seen the light of day?

Still another wonderful day it was when the Bells announced the birth
of a boy whom they named Alexander Graham--a wonderful day for the
world and for you and me. How would we get on without the telephone?
Yet who can say that no one would have invented the telephone if
Alexander Graham Bell had not been born?

But, oh, fellows, the supreme birthday of all time was that which was
announced by the angels to the shepherds watching their flocks by
night in the Judean fields; it was that birthday signalled by a
glorious star to the Wise-men who came to Bethlehem with gifts of gold
and frankincense and myrrh. The birth of Jesus means more to the world
and to you and me than all the other birthdays combined. Those other
birthdays brought material blessings. The coming of Jesus into the
world not only made possible the highest enjoyment of all material
blessing, but--far more important--made possible the most wonderful
_spiritual_ blessing imaginable, and that is the only benefit which
can endure through life and eternity.

Neither can it be said that if Jesus had not been born some other
might have brought us salvation and life and joy, for "there is none
other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Edison was used of God to give us light to read by; Jesus gives us
light to live by and to die by.

Watt was used of God to give us steam power with which to manufacture
and to haul; Jesus gives us power to overcome evil which would destroy
us, body and soul, and that power is infinitely more necessary.

Dr. Bell was used of God to supply us with the means of speaking and
hearing over long distances; Jesus gives us connection with God and
shortens to whispering nearness and forgiveness the long distance of
separation between an outraged Heavenly Father and a disobedient
child.

     _Read Luke 2:1-20._



XXXIV

AIMING HIGH


Say, fellows, on the train sometimes a fellow-passenger becomes
confidential and tells a story right out of his heart. One of this
kind came to me the other day.

There were two brothers--clever boys, keen, alert, ambitious. They
lived in a Christian home. God spoke very clearly to both of them,
calling them to lives of consecrated service for Him.

A---- decided to train for the ministry. B---- said the ministry was
poorly paid. He felt that A---- was needlessly committing himself to a
life of sacrifice. He shuddered at the prospect of a poor preacher's
hand to mouth existence. As for him, he would sell _his_ talents in
the world market, where brains and training counted for something and
brought a large price. Not for him the narrow life in a small corner,
when a young man of ambition and push could live and have a good time
in the big current. A fortune, a fame, and a life on the high road of
ease and pleasure were the things really worth striving for, and for
these he proposed to drive.

Twelve or fifteen years have passed since these decisions were formed.
A---- finished his seminary training, was licensed as a minister, and
accepted a little country charge. It was hard sledding, the salary was
small, and the work was more or less discouraging, but it was a clean
course and a clear road, and he buckled down, throwing into his work
all his resources.

B---- went to a large city and got a trial job as reporter on a big
daily. He had a mind for writing--a good vocabulary, and a flow of
language which gave promise of carrying him to the goal of his
ambition. He wrote verses in good style, and had had a number of poems
in his college magazine. B----'s program, you remember, put special
emphasis upon "having the good things of this life while you may."
Putting the emphasis there is likely to warp one's judgment as to what
are really "the good things," and so it proved in B----'s case, for he
spent his salary on luxuries, and for the temporary gratification of
his appetite and his ideas of "a good time."

He had to call on his father periodically for money to pay for dire
necessities. It was not surprising that B----'s jobs changed
frequently and he went from city to city--the general direction of his
fortunes, habits, and health being downward. Just now he has a job on
a little weekly paper in a village. His bare pittance in these parlous
days of H.C.L. hardly sustains his solitary bachelor existence. He is
a broken-hearted and discouraged man--not old in years, but with the
snap and vigour of young manhood gone. He is in debt, and there is
small chance of his getting out. He is practically a cipher in his
community. Life is one daily reminder of failure, and the relentless
bearing down of bitter disappointment.

But look at A----. He is the happy and enthusiastic pastor of a large
and growing congregation, which congregation is simply "daffy" about
him. They pay him a good salary, even as salaries go in these advanced
times, and he is absolutely free from financial care. He has a
commodious and comfortable home, presided over by his wife and blessed
with little children. His congregation recently made him an
anniversary present of a three thousand dollar car, replacing one they
had previously given him, of a cheaper make.

My passenger companion (who, by the way, is the father of these two
boys) said when he was at A----'s home recently, two dressed turkeys
were sent in by two families of his congregation on the same day. His
is one of the progressive churches of the state. It supports a number
of outpost missions, "manned" by the members of his congregation. He
is held in high esteem, not only in the community but in the state.
And with all this, he seems to be only upon the threshold of his
life-work, with a career of greatest usefulness laid out invitingly
before him. Endowed, like his brother, with unusual natural ability,
he is finding widest scope for the free play of all his powers; and
these powers being fully consecrated, are illuminated and energized by
the very-power of God.

Now, fellows, which of these two was wise? Which would you rather be?

Truly God means what He says when He tells you and me to-day: "Seek ye
first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things
shall be added unto you"!

     _Read Matthew 6:25-34._



XXXV

WAITING


Say, fellows, are you "game" to consider a tough little word in the
language to-day? All right, brace up, for it is one of the hardest
things a fellow has to tackle, and the main reason _why_ it is hard is
that you can't tackle it, but have to wait.

There! I have said it--the word is W-A-I-T.

The boys who went to France say they didn't so much mind "going over
the top" as they did the sometimes long waiting and suspense which
preceded.

In every fellow's boyhood days there are necessary periods of waiting;
not idle waiting, mind you. The "prodigal son" couldn't stand it,
you remember. "Dad, give me what is coming to me, and let me get
away from the humdrum life of the farm. I want to see life!" and he
picked his fruit green and ate it. That poor fellow got an awful
stomach-ache--and it was the worse ache of _emptiness_ and not of
fullness!

But maybe you are wondering what all this has to do with these three
parables of the kingdom spoken by our Lord. Just this: they are "wait"
parables. The servants of the man who had sowed wheat in his field,
said: "Master, look! tares are coming up with the wheat--what shall we
do?" Their master said, "Wait." Then when the harvest ripened and the
thing could be safely handled without injuring the wheat, the tares
were separated and destroyed. A fellow struggling along, trying to do
right, finding it up-hill work and the denial of many so-called
pleasures, sees another fellow running a loose and reckless program,
doing all the forbidden things, yet without injury apparently.

It looks as though one can disobey all the rules, have a fine time,
and suffer no setbacks. What's the use stinting and pinching oneself
into a straight and narrow track when those out on the broad way are
having all the life--and getting away with it? Well, bo, you just
_wait_. It looked awful gloomy for the Allies all through those trench
waiting months of 1915 to 1918; but in 1918 Chateau-Thierry popped
through. The strength of an ally had been developing, and there
followed in rapid succession the victories of Belleau Wood, the
Argonne, and St. Mihiel--and Right came into its own.

Remember, the waiting time of a boy's life is that time of silent
growing of the moral fiber, the character, and at the proper moment he
will rise in the full strength of a well-rounded manhood and take his
rightful place in the world of things, while tares which were ever so
flourishing go to the dump heap and the trash burning.

The mustard seed was very small, lying there in the ground. It had to
_wait_. Even when it came up and looked about, it seemed there was
hardly a chance for so fragile a stem, but it _waited_, and while it
waited, it _grew_. After a while it became a full-grown bush, and the
birds of the air came and lodged in it. There is a legend about trees
longing for birds to come to their branches, some trees growing
lonesome or jealous because other trees seemed to be more inviting to
the birds. That is much like human nature. We naturally like to be
sought out. "Wait" is the watchword; keep sweet and hustle, and soon
enough our branches will reach high and spread.

The woman put the yeast in the dough, then set it by to _wait_. What a
mistake it would have been to try to cook it at once; the bread would
have been almost as heavy as lead, and totally unfit to eat. But while
she waited, the leaven _worked_--and so while you patiently wait,
doing God's will as best you know how, _God works_, and what a mighty
Worker is He! Then, as you grow, He gives you a part to do alongside
with Him; He and you work together.

Let's not be in too big a hurry for the Eats, fellows; let's work and
wait--and then how good the Reward will taste.

That is the style of the kingdom of heaven.

     _Read Matthew 13:24-43._



XXXVI

ACTION


Say, fellows, there come times when a fellow must act, and act
promptly, or lose his chance to clinch a good thing. In the preceding
talk our key-word was "Wait." To-day it is a shorter, quicker, sharper
word, and one that a boy likes better. A-c-t--that's it. _There_ is
movement,--something doing. The word is all pep, touch and go! We like
it, don't we?

When he was twelve years old, Thomas Edison was a newsbutch on a road
running out of Detroit. As the train left Detroit one morning, Edison,
as usual, went back into the first-class coach with the morning
papers. Near the front sat two young fellows, acting very gay. They
hailed everybody who passed in the aisle, and they hallooed out the
window at folks and objects as the train rolled along. They were on a
lark, and wanted everybody to know it.

"Morning papers!" called out Edison.

"How much are they worth?" sang out one of the jolly fellows.

"Five cents," said Edison.

"Oh, how much for the whole bunch?" retorted the young man.

"Why," said the newsbutch looking a little surprised, "there are
forty--they're worth two dollars."

"We'll take 'em," said the noisy passenger, and whipping out two
crisp one-dollar bills, took the papers from Edison and handed them to
his companion, who threw the entire bunch out of the train window.
Evidently these young men had plenty of money to spend, and were
inclined to make a sensation and attract attention.

Edison quickly took in the situation. "Phew," said he to himself,
"here is a chance for real business," and he hurried forward to the
"baggage" where his supply trunk was stored. He quickly returned with
an armful of magazines, some rather out of date.

"How much are they worth?" promptly inquired the young spendthrifts.

"Twenty-five cents apiece, or $5.50 for the pile."

"Take 'em," said the spokesman, and paying the money he and his
companion dumped the magazines out of the window.

Back to the "baggage" went Edison, and returned with his basket of
fruit, candy, chewing-gum, and other things. Again the transaction,
and goods, basket, and all went through the window.

Then Edison rushed once more to the "baggage." He piled everything he
could lay any claim to into his supply box, some things old, some new,
some unsalable, dragged the box through the train, crossing its open
platforms between coaches with some difficulty, and at last drew up
nearly breathless before these reckless buyers. Quickly he pulled off
his coat, hat, collar, tie, and shoes, and piled them on top of the
box and announced: "Everything I've got is for sale!" The price was
paid, and the young men directed their servant, who was near by, to
drag the box to the back of the coach and throw it out, which order
was obeyed.

The newsbutch with a chuckle went forward to tell his friend the
baggage man about his "streak of luck," while he fondly fingered a fat
little roll of bills down deep in his trousers. His entire stock in
trade had been transmuted into the coin of the realm, his profits were
secure, his losses were nil. He had found a good thing, he had
recognized an opportunity, and he had let no grass grow under his feet
while he laid hold upon it and reaped the golden harvest.

Fellows, there is something like that, only far better, offering to
you this moment. It is the _treasure_--not of perishable value like
gold, but of eternal value. Jesus Christ is offering to take you into
business with Him and let you deal with values so much finer and
higher than anything else that the surprise and joy of them will last
through all eternity.

     _Read Matthew 13:44-52._



XXXVII

A CORONATION


Say, fellows: This is David's big day. Let's enjoy it with him. Let's
get in the crowd gathering at Hebron and see a coronation.

And what a crowd! About three hundred and forty-four thousand mighty
men of war--all the tribes of Israel were represented there that
day--and they came over the hills of Judah from north and east and
south to put a crown on David which would make him king of all Israel.

For many years David had waited for this day. At the death of Saul,
two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, had proclaimed him king, but ten of
the tribes had crowned Saul's son, Ishbosheth, as his father's
successor. So David waited seven and a half years longer, and then the
whole kingdom came under his rule.

Many times during those long years when a fugitive from Saul, hiding
in caves or seeking the protection of heathen kings, it must have
seemed as if God had forgotten him, and once David did almost break
down, but he rallied, took a fresh hold, and "carried on."

Now, fellows, it must be a fine sight to see a man receive a royal
crown, but it is a finer sight when there are fine qualities in a man
deserving honour and reward. No head deserves a crown unless there
are crowning virtues in the life. What were some of the qualities in
David which merited a crowning on that great day?

One was his faith. Faith in God; faith in his fellow-man; faith in
himself. It takes faith even to start anywhere, and it takes more
faith to arrive. David's faith was of the coronation variety.

Another was his patience. David waited. He did not try to force
matters. Whenever God was ready--that was David's time. In one of his
great psalms, he wrote: "I waited patiently for the Lord, and he heard
my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry
clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." David's
patience was crowned.

Another was David's continual kindness to a foe. He was even kind to
Saul's memory and rewarded the men who reverently took Saul's body
from the wall of Bethshan and gave it decent burial. David's chivalry
was crowned.

But, fellows, the fine thing to know is that the same princely
qualities can exist to-day in each one of us; not for crowns on our
heads, but for a great satisfaction in our hearts. Faith, patience,
and a knightly spirit are just as possible possessions now as they
were in David's day. They are spoken of in slightly different terms by
Paul in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians,--Faith, hope, and
love. You can have them all. They are priceless, but you can have them
if you ask for them.

Be a prince of the Royal House!

     _Read 2 Samuel 2:1-7._



XXXVIII

DO IT RIGHT


Say, fellows, down-town the other day a man tried to save a boy who
was caught near some wires, and got killed himself for his trouble.
Hard luck, wasn't it? Yet he had nobody to blame for it but himself.
He took hold of a wire which carried the electric current for the
street cars. He broke a law of nature and got punished. There was a
way he could have gotten the wire away from the boy. A Boy Scout did
it later _with a pole_.

Just the difference between touching with the hand or touching with a
stick--very little, perhaps, but the law of electricity made the
difference important, so that the one meant death--the other, life!

Now here comes along King David trying twice to move the ark of the
Lord up to Jerusalem, where it ought to be, the first attempt proving
fatal because he was foolish enough to try to handle it as the
Philistines did, instead of doing it strictly by the rules God had
made--rules which David should have known very well, because they were
in his Bible (Num. 4:4-6, 15; also 1 Chron. 15:11-15). The rules
required that the ark should be carried on poles resting on the
shoulders of certain men set apart for that service, but David
permitted them to put it on an ox cart, attended by Ahio and Uzzah,
two well-meaning fellows, no doubt, but not according to the rules.
One of the oxen stumbled, the ark jostled, and Uzzah put his hand on
it to steady it. Presto! Uzzah a dead man on the side of the road!

They called David from where he was marching at the front of the
procession, and when he got back there and saw what had happened, it
gave him an awful shock, for he knew he was just as guilty as
Uzzah--and perhaps more so. He ordered the men to take the ark into
Obed-edom's house beside the road and be careful to pick it up by the
poles. Then he went on back to Jerusalem without it. He got out the
Book of Numbers and went over the rules about the ark very carefully.
For three months he studied the matter. Then he went after the ark
again--this time in God's way. He called for the priests and the men
appointed to carry the ark; he organized a band and a great choir of
singers, and went to Obed-edom's house. There they picked up the ark
by the poles and started. Still David was scared, and when they had
moved forward only ten yards ("six paces") he made them stop, while a
sacrifice of oxen and rams was made to the Lord.

David was overjoyed when he saw everything going well, and he began to
dance and to sing. All the way to Jerusalem he danced and shouted for
joy.

David thought a lot of the ark, because it meant the presence of God,
and that meant in this case the blessing of God. As he grew older and
wiser he had greater reverence for God's house and all the holy things
which were tokens of God's presence. In one of the psalms he wrote:

    The Lord is in His holy temple;
    Let all the earth keep silence before Him.

The least a boy can do for God's honour is to keep quiet in church.

The best a boy can do for himself is to put God at the very center of
his every interest--the fear of God, love for God, and reverence for
all His holy law.

Take hold as God says, and everything will go fine!

     _Read 2 Samuel 6:1-11._



XXXIX

KEEPING FAITH


Say, fellows, it takes a real sport to live up to a promise when
conditions shift on him. If there is a streak of yellow in his system
he will find some way to kick out every time. Life is a big game, and
it takes a real man to play it on the square--if only square and no
more.

But, fellows, what can you say about that one man in a thousand who
plays the game of "Remember and Pay" as finely as David did?

Young gentlemen, please meet Mephibosheth, this man of the twisted
feet and outlandish name. Kings did not usually choose such to live in
their courts and sit at the royal table. Only the fine-looking men and
beautiful women were invited to become members of the king's
household.

But, worse still, this Mephibosheth, being a grandson of Saul, was at
any time a possible pretender to the throne. It was the custom of
kings to get rid of such. Not so David. When he finds out about the
poor cripple over there across the mountains east of the Jordan, he
sends for him and invites him to come and live at the palace in
Jerusalem.

Now you will find David's promise to Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20:14-17;
and his promise to Saul in 1 Samuel 24:20-22. David had only agreed
that when he became king he would not kill Saul's descendants. He
could have fulfilled his promise by simply allowing Mephibosheth to
live as he was doing, visiting around, kind of sneaky like, without
any pocket change, among the few friends who would take him in.

What do you suppose Mephibosheth thought when the messengers showed up
one morning at Machir's house and called for him to appear before the
king? Scared to death, don't you think? No doubt he thought it was all
over for him now, except the "slow driving and music on the hill."
Why, when he came before the king he bowed clear down to the marble
floor, doing obeisance, and called himself a dead dog. Then, what
happened? He had to pinch himself to see whether he was dreaming. He
never got over the surprise of it as long as he lived. King David
helped him up on his crutches and told him to cheer up, for from that
time forward he should sit at his table, and be as one of the king's
own sons.

More than that: with all the thoughtfulness and fine courtesy of a
Christian gentleman, David turned over to this cripple his grandfather
Saul's estate, together with Saul's servant, old Ziba, with his
fifteen sons and twenty slaves, to till the land. That was to provide
Mephibosheth with an income.

Now, what do you know about that, fellows? It was playing the game of
kindness to win, wasn't it? Win what? Why, to win the satisfaction
which can only come to one who keeps his promise--and then some, for
good measure!

Yes, it takes even more than a good sport to do that. It takes one who
is willing to be Christlike.

     _Read 2 Samuel, Chapter 9._



XL

THE GAME THAT CAME NEAR BLOWING UP IN THE SEVENTH INNING


Say, fellows, have you heard the sorrowful news about David? Too bad!
Just as we were beginning to think David, with his fine manly ways,
his love for God's honour, for God's ark, his bravery, his fairness
and kindness--just as we were thinking he would make a clean record to
the end of the game, now here comes an awful flunk!

It's kind of like when the score is 2 to 0, in favor of the home team,
and we are feeling good--then all of a sudden in the seventh inning
the boys go all to pieces, and let the other side put four men across
the plate.

Strange how David fumbled and played badly when he had had such a long
winning streak, but so it must ever be when you get the idea you're
"it" and can't slip. David let down, and away down. Fellows, would you
believe it if it were not in the Bible--he broke all the commandments
from the sixth to the tenth, inclusive. God says whatsoever a man
sows, that shall he also reap. David sowed the wind and reaped the
whirlwind. Absalom, his son, committed all the sins his father did,
and added some, for he broke the fifth commandment also, and broke his
father's heart.

David was very fond of Absalom, and would have done anything for him,
but that boy didn't appreciate it. He was a good-looking chap; the
girls admired him, and a lot of foolish fellows hung around him,
flattered him, and made him vain.

Absalom had the big-head. If there is a sorry sight upon earth it is a
fellow that is stuck on himself. Absalom was conceited and proud. He
wanted even to be king in place of his father, and was unwilling to
wait for what would have come in due time. Many a fellow spills the
beans by being unwilling to wait. He ruins his best chance by trying
to pick the fruit before it is ripe. If there is ever a time when
patience is golden it is in the time of youth. A boy wants to stop
studying and training, and take a short-cut to fame and success. It is
usually a bad mistake.

Absalom's blunder was fatal. He tried to land on his father's throne
by treachery; he landed in a tree, caught by his head. He thought to
win a crown; he got three hot darts between the ribs from Joab. He
planned to have a pile of wealth quickly gained, but by the end of the
week his handsome form was buried deep beneath a pile of rocks. Ever
afterward when an Israelite passed that monument of dishonour, he
picked up a stone and cast it upon the heap to show his contempt for
the memory of a disloyal son.

Oh, fellows, the tragic day of a boy's life is when he decides to
throw over a good father. No matter what prize is offered. It may be
to get more liberty; it may be to escape restraint or rebuke, but it
is a bad trade at best. Ordinarily a boy's best man friend is his
father. If this does not seem to be the case, usually it is because
the son won't allow it. Many a father longs, like David, for his boy's
confidence and companionship. Many a boy could have in his father the
finest chum imaginable, if he would give his father a chance to show
him what a real chum is.

Fellows, let's give Dad some of that fine Scout loyalty and watch him
warm up to it. He may have some chum qualities you never thought of.

     _Read 2 Samuel 11:1-27, and
           2 Samuel 15:7-18._



XLI

THE BITTEN APPLE


Say, fellows, I was visiting a boy friend one afternoon and while we
played his mother called him. Wondering if there was anything wrong, I
waited and listened while he answered the summons. I could hear her
speaking to him as she said: "Bob, here are two apples--one for you
and one for Wade."

Then I waited, and as Bob did not return at once I stepped to the
corner of the house to see what kept him. That fellow was sitting on
the step digging his teeth into one of the apples. I thought: "Well,
that's polite, starting on his own before he gives the other to his
guest!" It rather disgusted me. Directly Bob came round the corner,
kind of sheepish like, and what do you suppose he did? Well, fellows,
he offered me _the bitten apple_!

That was enough for me. Take it? I guess not. I turned on my heel
without a word and went straight home. I don't think anything ever
inspired more contempt in me as a boy than that piece of petty
thievery.

Of course, fellows, that was not a Christian way to treat an erring
playmate, and I fear I had very little charity in my heart; I am just
telling you frankly how that act of Bob's impressed me. And it was
only in the beginning of Bob's eventful career. Twenty-five years
later, Bob's name was in the daily papers all over the country. He
had gotten away with a big sum of money that belonged to others who
had trusted him, and now he is a poor hunted fugitive from his native
land, if indeed he is alive.

The boy who begins taking just a bite of somebody else's apple is
likely going to pull off _something big_ some day!

Suppose Bob's mother had handed him seven apples and asked him to save
one of them for her, and he had made away with the whole lot, don't
you think that would have been pretty mean and low down?

Listen, fellows, something mighty close to that--only a lot worse--is
happening with boys to-day who look upon themselves as the souls of
honour. I am just wondering if they fully realize it. It is not in
their relationship to mother, but to God their heavenly Father and
creator. He has placed in your hands and in mine, each week, seven
full twenty-four hour days. He says, "Six for you and one for Me."

He trusts you to keep that One Day, the Sabbath, for Him. How do we
discharge that trust? Are we worthy of it? God does not lock us up in
a dark room on Sunday and handcuff us and chain our feet to the floor.
No, He trusts us; He prefers to trust us. He wants us to honour His
laws about the Sabbath, of our own free will. That is the kind of
service God likes--willing service.

And, fellows, you cannot abuse that trust and escape the penalty. God
has commanded in His Word, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day
is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work."
No man, no boy, can continually break the Sabbath day and get away
with it. Sooner or later he will come to sorrow because of it.

On the other hand, God distinctly promises blessings upon those who
honour His Sabbath (Isa. 58:13, 14).

Fellows, God is the best "payer" that ever promised. He always pays
more than He promises. His day concerns our happiness, our health, our
prosperity, our usefulness, our success. All these vital issues are
involved.

And I am going to tell you just one more fine secret. It is a nugget
of pure gold. The best way to avoid violating God's Sabbath is to get
busy honouring it with service--service to Him. Go regularly to
Sunday-school and to church service--and go _on time_. You will find
something to do there.

Spend your Sabbath afternoon in the study of God's Word, read some
good book that will feed your soul; spend some time in some work of
mercy. Take a bit of something good to eat to the poor fellow in jail
and tell him you do it because you love Jesus Christ and are trying to
serve Him, and want him to love Christ and serve Him, too. You will
find it a short day, but, oh, such a fine and happy one, and you will
go to bed refreshed. Next morning you will wake up whistling and you
will turn off work at the store or at school like a forty-horse
tractor.

     _Read Exodus 20:8-11, and
           Isaiah 58:10-14._



XLII

MY KINGDOM


Say, fellows, I heard a boy quoting Shakespeare the other day. He was
coming out of a movie with two other boys, just as I was passing. They
had probably been in there an hour or more, for they seemed glad to
get out in the fresh air. But the boy's exclamation was what caught my
attention; it was this:

"My kingdom for a cigarette!"

To be sure, Shakespeare makes Richard III say, "My kingdom for a
horse!"--the boy changed a word; and it was just a careless remark
expressing his craving for a smoke, but it raised a question in my
mind: Did that young fellow realize he said a very important and true
thing? When Richard III cried out, "My kingdom for a horse!" he was
dead in earnest; he was fighting for his very life against
overwhelming odds, and he was really willing to surrender his kingdom
for some swift means of getting away from that desperate scene of
carnage. But if the cigarette boy had been faced pointblank with the
proposition I do not believe he would have agreed to give up _his_
kingdom for the "coffin tack."

Yes, this boy had a kingdom; every boy has a kingdom.

As I paused on the corner, the three boys entered a store and quickly
came out, each with a cigarette in his mouth, taking deep inhalations
and expelling smoke through lips and nostrils as they sauntered down
the street.

I was still thinking of the boy's kingdom. Through a wonderful plan
God, the Creator, puts each boy over an empire. Perhaps you may think
it is a small one, but to him it is greater and means more for his
success and happiness than any empire on earth. God places a scepter
in each boy's hand and says, "Govern!--Rule over your kingdom!" And it
is a very wonderful kingdom, with four splendid provinces called
Physical, Mental, Social, and Spiritual. Each of these provinces is
capable of producing great values and making rich and powerful almost
beyond belief.

God also places at each boy's hand the resources for fighting off the
enemies of his kingdom. This defensive armament, which is also for
building work, in part consists of common sense, information (or
education), will-power, determination, aspiration, and physical
strength--and to make each of these effective, He gives His Word and
sends His Holy Spirit to guide and sustain. If a fellow just realized
it and would use what God puts in his hand he would have a kingdom he
wouldn't exchange for Solomon's.

But, fellows, what a pity when a boy will exchange his kingdom for a
cigarette; in comes the cigarette; down goes the physical
province--the cigarette destroys the delicate tissues of the mucous
membrane; down goes the mental province--the cigarette makes the mind
dull and listless and takes away its snap and vigour; down goes the
social province--the cigarette makes its victim shun the best and seek
the lower grades of social life and activity; down goes the spiritual
province, the most precious of all--for spirit chokes and dies in the
atmosphere of the cigarette and its inevitable accompaniments.

This, of course, is just one of the enemies of a boy's kingdom; I have
spoken of it particularly because it is the one which seems to catch
boys off their guard most easily. There are many others. Intemperance
of any kind is an enemy to the best interests of your empire. Send out
a proclamation to yourself, to-day, and put all provinces on notice
that _you_ are on your throne and God is your Counsellor--and that
henceforth none of the kingdom's enemies will be admitted across the
border.

     _Read 1 Corinthians 10:9-15._



XLIII

A TOOL BOX


Say, fellows, on one of my boyhood birthdays I received a tool box. It
was a peach of a tool box, too; not one of the dime store variety,
with a saw the same length as the gimlet, but with a set of tools that
no amateur carpenter would despise. I was greatly delighted with that
tool box, and immediately began planning the things I would make.
Mother wanted a shelf on the back porch and a coop for an old hen just
off with her chicks; my dog needed a dog house, and I even aspired to
a rowboat for the pond. I could hardly wait for material before
getting to work. Fingering over those tools, my eye fell upon a motto
graven on the inside of the lid of the box. It read:

BE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT--THEN GO AHEAD

Very good advice, I thought; but perhaps intended for fellows who knew
less about tools than I did. I guessed I was not so apt to make
mistakes, knowing so well what I wanted to do, and being so determined
to do it. Several dollars' worth of lumber and nails were laid in, and
I entered at once upon the work of "general manufacturing." Fritz was
wagging his tail and barking as if he had scented the dog house in my
plans, so I decided to attend to that first. It would have been better
to start with the shelf, as that was simpler; but I slashed away on
the dog house, and soon had some stuff sawed up for the framework. It
didn't match. I sawed some more, and that didn't match. I began to
think perhaps Fritz didn't specially need a dog house anyhow; so I
tried to work the dog house materials into the chicken coop, but that
wouldn't go, either. Then I sawed some more for the chicken coop. It
was not as simple a proposition as I had thought it would be, besides
there was a confusion of design somehow in my mind. The day wound up
with nothing accomplished, except a lot of good material butchered to
the point of kindling wood only. Next morning I tackled something I
"knew I could do,"--the shelf. But that proved to be a surprisingly
obstinate job; the supports I sawed at different angles, and when
trying to force the joints together by nailing, I split them both. The
shelf was a failure.

Then I saw a light.

I was rather dejectedly pondering the situation as I stood by the tool
box, and my eye fell again on that motto! In not one instance had I
made sure I was right before I went ahead. My zeal had been without
knowledge. I had mistaken "Purpose" and "Determination," as the high
prerequisites, instead of "Being Sure I was Right."

Fellows, Saul the Pharisee had zeal without knowledge. He blazed away
upon the presumption that Jesus was an impostor. Why, the Jesus idea
was preposterous, Saul mused. God's Kingdom was to be set up with a
great capital at Jerusalem and a great and powerful king on the throne
to whom all the world around would come and pay tribute. Anybody who
claimed that the King had already come and been crucified like a thief
was a dangerous fanatic and should be haled to prison or put to death.

This brilliant young Pharisee, carefully trained in ecclesiastical law
and the traditions of the elders, went forth bitterly persecuting the
followers of Jesus--even witnessing and approving the cruel stoning of
Stephen. This showed Saul's Purpose and Determination, which he
mistook for being Right. Well, we know that after that Saul suddenly
"saw a light"; but think of the havoc Saul wrought before he came to
his senses. Think of the Service Time wasted. Think of the fine
Material destroyed--sawn asunder. Think of Stephen!

Fellows, are you building anything these days? Are you sure you are
Right? Or are you just blazing away at something because you have warm
red blood and all the zeal and purpose of youth? There is one thing
each one of you is building. You are building a Life. Oh, fellows, be
sure you are Right, for it is the most important structure you will
ever put up, and remember that "other foundation can no man lay than
that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Be sure you are right--then go
ahead. When your life is built on Jesus, you may go forward with
confidence. Any other way means wasted time, wasted material, regrets,
disappointment--and Failure at last.

    "I have not built my house on sands,
      Tho' golden sands there be;
    I have not built with greedy hands
      A building fair to see;
    But my house on a solid Rock,
      And not the Builder I,
    But guest in house to stand the shock
      When tempests rend the sky.
    Lo, Christ! the Builder of my house,
      He laid foundation stone,
    So reck I not if storms carouse,
      For He will hold His own."

     _Read Acts 7:59-8:3._



XLIV

SAUL NIAGARA


Say, fellows, if there were two hundred railroad tracks out there, and
on each track, every moment, passed a freight train carrying fifty
cars, each car holding fifty tons of water (maximum load for the
largest tank car), the two hundred trains, with their ten thousand
cars per minute would not be more than sufficient to carry away the
water as fast as it tumbles over Niagara Falls. With crushing and
destructive force that mighty volume plunges downward into a great
stone bowl which it has carved out for itself, so deep that if the
Woolworth Building were set down in it not more than half of it would
show above the top of the Falls. Engineers have estimated the total
energy of Niagara Falls at sixteen million horse-power!

Fellows, I think of the life of Saul, afterward known as the Apostle
Paul, as somewhat like Niagara River. The great river flows
majestically, uninterruptedly, more than half of its length, having a
fall of not more than twenty feet in twenty-two miles. Then suddenly
something happens. Something tremendously tragic and startling
happens. It plunges headlong over a precipice. Here is power gone mad.

Saul, the Pharisee, the scholar, the zealot--the colossal
mind--sweeping everything before him like an irresistible tide, riding
upon the crest of power, haling men and women to prison, breathing out
threatenings and slaughter and making havoc of the church, fell
headlong to the earth, as a blinding light burst forth from heaven and
the voice of the Lord sounded in his ears--the "still small voice,"
yet mightier than the roar of any cataract.

"Who art thou, Lord?" "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." "Lord, what
wilt thou have me to do?" Saul's conversion was complete. Convert
means to _turn about_. It means an entire change; not to be robbed of
one's powers, but to have those powers diverted into another and
entirely different channel.

Look again at the Falls--that great destructive mass tumbling over the
cliff, beating rocks to pieces and slashing gigantic gorges in its
course. What is happening? Science is harnessing the power of the
cataract and with it producing light and heat and power for the cities
of Canada and the United States. Darkness is dispelled, warmth takes
the place of chill, the wheels of industry are humming, and men and
women are enabled to live and make bread for their little ones,
because of the conversion of a mighty force into life-giving
usefulness.

Fellows, some people seem to think to accept Christ as the Master of
their lives means to take away or paralyze their powers--to deprive
them of some special activeness they possess and which they shrink
from giving up. Bless you, there could not be a worse mistake. To
accept Christ means to have those same powers, even though they might
have been devoted to evil, now turned into channels of finest, highest
service--the kind of service that really satisfies the cravings of the
human heart. I see a boy who, because he is of an intensely sociable
disposition, seeks the companionship of a gang of fellows around the
loafing places and pool-rooms in the evenings. Touched by the spirit
of Christ, those social qualities will be even more enthusiastically
devoted to winning other young people into Christian life and service.
I see a young fellow with an unbroken will, glorying in his freedom,
as he sees it, to resist the counsels of wiser ones against his evil
habits, cigarettes or any other destructive thing that may have gotten
into his life. That same will-power, that same stubbornness, touched
by the power of Christ becomes the rock-ribbed steadfastness that has
enabled men to put through great achievements for God. I see a boy who
can invent much devilment and get himself and others into an almost
incredible amount of trouble and sorrow. It might be the judgment of
some that "killing is the only thing good for him," but touched by the
spirit of Jesus, that boy becomes a veritable genius for doing
effective things to promote the Kingdom of God--and no fellow in the
community happier than he. He verily throbs with the joy of living.

No, fellows, you don't turn a river back up-stream to convert it; you
simply harness it, and its powers flow on, but for good and not for
destruction. If you want to be a power that blesses wherever it
touches, and dashes back into your own heart the spray of the salt
and the tang of the fresh morning air, hear to-day the Voice of your
Master, and quickly answer: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"

     _Read Acts 9:1-19._



XLV

"TURNING THE BATTLE AT THE GATE"


Say, fellows, now and then a thing happens which sets our blood
tingling and makes every nerve in us want to send up a mighty shout.
For instance, when the score is against us in the ninth inning, and
with two men out and the bases full, our pinch hitter comes to bat,
coolly waits, picks out the "good one," and swats the pill over
left-field fence! Or when Hindenburg's hordes are pouring into the
Marne wedge, almost to the gates of Paris, Foch calmly waits--and
prays while he waits--then at the crucial moment hurls those chafing
reserves against them, turns disaster into victory and enshrines the
names of Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and the American Marines in
song and story for ages to come.

Fellows, every life is a campaign, and it is the biggest game of all;
into this great contest come crises now and then, and the way we meet
them largely determines the result. If those crises have not begun to
come in your life, let it be the sure sign to you that God is holding
them off while He gives you the opportunity to make the necessary
preparation for them, for come they will. There will be times when the
storm is breaking around your head and the ground will seem to be
crumbling beneath your feet. Such times come to every fellow who sets
his face to a principle and determines to stand like a man, no matter
what it costs.

Fellows, Paul was that kind of a man. He had that steadfastness to
principle, that firmness of purpose, which gave him poise when all
about him was tumult. Other men lost their heads; Paul kept cool. It
was a critical moment around the temple court that morning; the Jewish
mob was murderous, the Roman chief captain was petulant, and he was
cold and relentless as steel.

Paul had to handle both on separate grounds to keep them from
"handling" him--and both at the same time. He shrewdly "played both
ends against the middle." He drew from his quiver two keen but
entirely different arrows, and both "went home." To the chief captain,
he whispered one small word, "I am a Roman citizen." That made the
grim warrior's jaw drop. It thoroughly frightened him and gave him
such profound respect for his prisoner that on a later occasion he did
Paul a very vital service.

To the mob of Jews clamouring for Paul's life, Paul having gained the
chief captain's permission, turned and informed them in the Hebrew
tongue that he was a better Jew than any of them, and he made out his
case so well that they listened--and before they realized it, Paul had
accomplished his object and delivered his shot, which was to proclaim
Christ as "that Just One," the Saviour of the world--including the
despised Gentiles. The Truth had gone home, and they gnashed their
teeth, tore their own clothes into shreds, and threw dust into the
air, while Paul was taken into the castle for further examination
and, for the time being, was safe.

Fellows, baseball does furnish now and then a moment's thrill--and
thank God for the clean game; a world war makes the earth tremble for
many years--and may the Lord have pity upon its victims; but Paul was
grappling the Big Event upon which Eternity shivers--the Disaster of
rejecting Jesus Christ! And as we look upon Paul's life, his superb
manner of meeting great crises as they came, how he held not his own
life dear, we think of one of the great sayings of the prophet Isaiah:

"_In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for
a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit
of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength_ TO THEM
THAT TURN THE BATTLE AT THE GATE."

Fellows, if you and I want a career that will give highest
satisfaction now, and will best bear record in Eternity, let's make
Christ at once its dominant Theme and sustaining Power!

     _Read Acts 21:27-40 and 22:1-24._



XLVI

A KING IN RAGS


Say, fellows, a little ragamuffin--so the story goes--was being set
upon by a mob of larger boys in the streets of London many years ago.
These big bullies were jeering him and throwing sticks and cans at
him. The little fellow was plucky and defiant, and it made them all
the more cruel.

Suddenly there appeared in the crowd a tall swarthy young fellow
slashing the tormentors right and left; until, after a stiff and
unequal fight, in which the rescuer was greatly outmatched in
strength, the cowardly ruffians were put to flight. That little
ragamuffin was no less a personage than the King of England, and the
curious circumstance by which he got into those rags and into that
cruel torture is told by Mark Twain, in his most interesting
story-book, "The Prince and the Pauper."

In a later chapter we see the little king restored to his rightful
place upon the throne, and there amid the splendour of the court with
all the lords and ladies looking on, a tall, swarthy young man
advances and kneels and is knighted by the king. It is the same young
man who broke through the crowd, and at the risk of getting his own
head cracked took the part of the helpless little ragamuffin, not
knowing he was a king.

That sounds like a romance--and it is; but, fellows, the same thing in
all its interesting elements and its happy outcome is happening
to-day in the streets and homes of your town and mine. All about us
there are folks being set upon--cruelly set upon. The tormentors may
not be ruffians in flesh and blood. They may simply be cruel
circumstances. Sometimes fire, sometimes sickness, sometimes financial
loss, sometimes accident, sometimes a combination of a number of
pestering calamities, getting the victim down and making life very
miserable in mind and uncomfortable in body.

Now think of the folks in your block, fellows; how many of them are in
some sad plight which would make you shrink from exchanging places
with them? They are being set upon; can you get in there and help in
some way,--you with your good free strong arm, your big, sympathetic
heart, your pocketbook, your resources of interest and fun?

And whom will you choose to help, and why? Will it be Tom Jones up
here on the corner, who broke his arm and needs somebody to come sit
with him and talk,--Tom Jones, who is rich and has a car of his own,
and who will likely share it with you when he gets well, if you are
good to him? Or will it be little Willie Bell over there across the
railroad, who is a hopeless cripple, whose folks are poor as anything,
and who can probably never repay you in any sort of way?

Do you know, fellows, why some folks choose the Willie Bells to help?
Why, it is because they love Jesus Christ. They believe God's Word as
it tells us in to-day's wonderful passage in Matthew: "Then shall the
King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me
drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me;
I was sick and ye visited me.... Then shall the righteous answer him,
saying, Lord, when did we see _thee_ hungry, or thirsty, or naked, or
sick--and helped?... And the King shall answer and say unto them,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of
these, ye have done it unto me."

You see, fellows, it takes some faith and some imagination. Ask God to
give you, first, Faith. Then ask Him to give you a consecrated
Imagination. Then you will see in every unfortunate person that you
can help--you will see _your King_. You have His own word for it, to
justify that imagination and to confirm it.

Oh, yes, you may sometimes in your zeal help somebody who is unworthy.
Don't let the fear of that make you miss the blessing. The very fact
that you go to him in the name of your Christ and for His sake, may be
the means of helping that poor unworthy one to cast off his rags of
sin and become clothed in the righteousness of your King.

I tell you, fellows, it is a wonderful thing to be in the service of
such a Master. All your efforts for Him are given full value. Even
your mistakes, if honestly made are transmuted into the gold of
satisfaction. Let's launch out for Him, to-day. Let's take Him at His
word, and see how it works.

     _Read Matthew 25:31-46._



XLVII

SHAKING UP PHILIPPI


Say, fellows, that was one exciting day in Philippi. Not since Mark
Antony's Roman legions went tearing through to meet and destroy the
armies of Brutus and Cassius, nearly a hundred years before, had the
town been so shaken up; and all because of two inoffensive looking
Jews who had quietly walked in there and told about Jesus Christ. They
had come over the winding road from Neapolis, nine miles distant on
the seashore, where they had gotten out of a ship from Asia. A poor
crazy girl, a fortune teller, heard the message, her heart was changed
and she became sane and normal; it put an end to her "fortune telling"
and this enraged her masters, who had Paul and Silas arrested and put
into prison.

That created some stir, but it was nothing to what was to follow. The
jailer seemed to take special pains to make his prisoners secure,
putting them in an inside cell and making their feet fast in the
stocks. These fellows looked so unworried that he probably suspected
they had a well-laid plan to escape. The jailer was further surprised
to hear the two prisoners singing--actually singing some of their
hymns, though they must have been in great discomfort.

Away into the night they sang. The other prisoners heard them and
marvelled. Surely these new jail-birds had something which they, the
old ones, did not possess. The jailer, as he retired, doubtless
remarked to his wife: "Well, there's something uncanny about those two
men; here it is midnight and they are singing and going on like two
schoolboys on a picnic excursion!"

He hadn't been asleep long, when a brick fell out of the mantelpiece
near the jailer's bed and the furniture about the room began to dance
a jig. Mrs. Jailer screamed and the children began to cry in terror.
The door creaked and pushed off its hinges, falling with a slam-bang.
The jailer jumped and landed in the middle of the floor. A flash of
lightning put a photograph on his staring eye that he never got rid of
to his dying day. The prison walls were cracked and falling, the doors
were down and the dazed prisoners were groping about.

Alas, poor jailer, the thing of all most dreaded was about to
happen--his prisoners would escape! Earthquakes were bad enough, but
the sudden thought he got of himself answering to the governor next
morning with his life for the escape of those put in his charge was
more than he could bear. Reaching for his sword he placed it, hilt to
the ground, to fall upon its point and end his life right there;--then
he heard a clear voice coming through the darkness: "Stop! don't do
that. We're all here; nobody wants to get away."

It was one of those psalm singing Jews! he recognized that at once,
and putting up his sword he called to his wife to light the lamp quick
and bring it; then he rushed into the cell where Paul and Silas stood,
their feet free from stocks and hands unmanacled, and fell down on his
face before them.

"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And the Philippian jailer was
thinking about the peril of his soul, for like a flash it had been
revealed to him that these men were from God. Paul's answer came quick
and true: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,
and thy house." And thy house--for Paul saw behind the jailer his
crouching, trembling wife and children. Paul told them all about it
then, and as the blessed truth came into their hearts, they stopped
trembling and began to find new hope in Jesus and a new joy in
service. Immediately, the jailer and his wife got basins of water and
washed the bruised stripes on the backs of the men. They saw in those
stripes the suffering Saviour's wounds which they would like to
soften; very differently they had viewed them the evening before.
Right there Paul baptized the whole household, and quickly afterward
the jailer straightened up the tumbled down kitchen stove and Mrs.
Jailer cooked something good and savoury for the men of God to eat.

Fellows, it ends like a fairy tale, which says "they lived happy ever
after," for the record says the jailer "rejoiced, believing in God,
with all his house." And in this one word, "Rejoiced," I would like to
hand you the strangely wonderful and fine thing in to-day's lesson.
Rejoicing puts the climax of satisfaction of joy into any experience.
Let it stand the test proof of rejoicing and you've got the true
value. If believing in and serving Jesus Christ could bring rejoicing
to a jailer and his household under such circumstances, surely then we
can better understand the force of Paul's word to Timothy when he
speaks of "the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."

Here is a jailer. A jailer's office at best would not be much of a
rejoice shop. This jailer's life is in jeopardy when his prisoners
escape. His jail is cracked open, the doors are down and he cannot
shut them. The prisoners are walking about. At daylight he must reckon
with the authorities. Yet he is rejoicing. And the secret of his
rejoicing is in his believing--believing God.

Fellows, it means everything to believe--to believe like the
Philippian jailer did. He not only accepted Christ and was baptized,
but he immediately began to minister to Christ's servants. It was the
one way in which he could in those first moments of his belief express
his faith, and he did it. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the
least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

This is the thing which is crowned by Rejoicing.

     _Read Acts 16:16-34._



XLVIII

GO IN YET--AND WIN!


Say, fellows, look in upon three interesting personalities--Paul,
Barnabas and Mark; each one widely differing from the other two, yet
their lives bound up together in the biggest enterprise the world ever
knew--the winning of the world for Christ.

They are planning another big "hike"--one that will be full of
hardship and perils, and Paul and Barnabas are having a hot discussion
about Mark. Barnabas wants to take him and Paul wants to leave
him--and why? Well, last year when they were taking a trip of this
kind, Mark left them and went back home. Paul says he's done with
Mark; if a fellow hasn't got a backbone better than a stick of
spaghetti, he doesn't want to load up with him. Barnabas, on the other
hand, thinks a lot of Mark; in fact, Mark is his nephew and he has a
strong interest in him. He knows Mark made a mistake back there in
Pamphylia, but who does not make a slip sometime? "Let's give him
another chance; he will make good because he is deeply sorry; I have
talked to him and I know that he is determined to redeem himself."

"No," says Paul, and his jaw is set; "I would like to give him another
chance, but the Cause is too great and too important to take chances
on a fellow who has thrown a chance away."

So it goes. Both men are determined, and there happens the only thing
that can happen under such circumstances; they separate. Paul chooses
Silas as his companion, while Barnabas takes Mark with him. Barnabas
was one of the biggest-hearted fellows you ever saw. His very name
means, "Son of Consolation." He couldn't bear to see a fellow denied
the chance to make good. Paul, himself, had been befriended in that
same way by Barnabas at Jerusalem only a few years before. Humanly
speaking, it was through the friendly offices of Barnabas that Paul
had risen to prominence in the church.

Fellows, I am not criticizing Paul (far be it from me), because Paul
was doubtless conscientious in his stand about Mark; but let me tell
you fellows--don't ever miss a chance to help some poor fellow who has
made a mistake, to make good. One of the finest things that will come
to your experience will be seeing your touch of sympathy and
encouragement put life and hope into some unfortunate "Down but not
out."

What happened to Mark? Why, he made good. He made so good that Paul
afterward sent for him, and he and Paul put through some great schemes
together for Jesus Christ. And that was not all; one of the four
Gospels bears Mark's name. Think of what an honour that was! Peter got
him to help him write it. Yes, Mark made good.

I heard of a fine young fellow the other night, only eighteen years
old, who because he had made a mistake--had made a bad break and lost
his job--who knowing he was himself to blame--had formed some habits
that contributed to his downfall--for all that was hopelessly dejected
and actually saying he wished he could die. Well, what do you think of
that? With all the best and biggest part of his life before him, with
youth and health and loving parents, and some good friends ready to
help him, wanting to die! Piffle!

Do you know, I just wanted to slap that fellow on the back and bring
him to his senses. Make good? Of course he could. "Come back?" Sure!
There is just one thing to do with a failure, fellows. Get on top of
it with both feet and bury it--with success.

I heard of an old horse, too old and sick to work. His owner wanted to
get rid of him but was unwilling to shoot him. The old horse just
wouldn't die. He was that spunky. One day, he dropped into a well in
the pasture, but he hit the bottom still upon his feet. His owner,
thinking it a chance now to rid himself of his horse, took a shovel
and began vigorously shovelling the dirt in to cover him. But as each
shovel of dirt landed on the horse's back, he shook his skin, like
horses do, and trod the dirt down under his feet. Soon, the horse's
back appeared at the top of the well, and in another moment the old
fellow climbed out and began to crop the grass.

    "You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
      Come up with a smiling face.
    It's nothing against you to fall down flat;
      But to lie there--that's a disgrace.

    "The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce.
      Be proud of your blackened eye!
    It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;
      It's how did you fight--and why."

Fellows, what must be the opportunity for rising, to a fellow whose
God says to him: "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is
made perfect in weakness!"

     _Read Acts 15:36-41._



XLIX

GREEN FRUIT


Say, fellows, did you ever spend two days making a kite and just about
the time she was all ready, bridles adjusted and tail properly
balanced, it set in to rain?

Can't you see that beautiful thing, done in blue, all spangled over
with silver stars, leaning up there in the corner, panting for its
maiden voyage into the empyrean? And you have wound on a stick a fine
strong cord from the ball you purchased and hold it in your hand as
you stand by the window, looking with disgust and disappointment at
what seems to be developing into "a United States rain." No, son, you
might as well get a book and settle down for the afternoon, for there
is no kite-flying to be done to-day. Thank your silver stars if you
get her up by tomorrow!

And right here, fellows, make a note of this: whenever you are balked
in a scheme, stopped in your plans--right spang up against a stone
wall!--ninety-nine times out of a hundred it will prove a godsend and
a blessing to you in the end--IF you take it right.

I wish every fellow could get the habit under such circumstances, of
stopping still a moment and saying to himself: "Hey here, this thing
has a _meaning_--what can it be?" That will yield a better dividend
than fretting over the interruption. As a rule, he will discover
something he can be doing while he waits, something that immensely
strengthens the main chance.

When Lord Clive, "the founder of the Empire of India," sailed from
England for Madras, at the age of eighteen, all impatient to enter
upon his life plan, storms overtook the ship and so far diverted her
course that within a month young Clive found himself stranded in a
port of Brazil instead of India. There he had to remain nine months
before he resumed his voyage; but what did he do? Chafe over the
interruption and delay? Bless you, no; he seized the opportunity to
master the Portuguese language, which accomplishment proved to be a
tremendous asset later on, in his great constructive work in India.

Paul and Silas, as they travelled through those provinces of Western
Asia Minor, all afire with their great purpose of preaching the
Gospel, met blank disappointment. Upon arrival at each point they were
confronted with an unmistakable message from the Holy Spirit to keep
their mouths shut. What could it mean? What was the use? Should they
give it up? Should they sit down and sulk? No, said Paul, we will keep
agoing; the Lord will show us what He wants us to do when He is ready.
And sure enough, the big orders came one night in a vision to Paul, in
which a man appeared and delivered to him the great Macedonian
Call--the call which opened up to that patiently waiting servant
"God's Greater Plan" for his life--a far more splendid one than he
had ever dreamed of.

Fellows, I cannot give you any finer thing out of that period of
Paul's life, so full of fine things, than the thought of patient
waiting upon God's plan--His plan _for you_. And it does not mean to
sit still; rather the contrary. "All things come to him who (hustles
while he) waits." That is the revised version of an old saw, and I
like it better.

Here is a sad case of a young fellow I know. He had an ambition to
shine, but he wasn't willing to do the tedious grinding and polishing
so vitally necessary to shining. He had a chance at college, but he
also wanted to be a social lion, all too soon. He could not afford it
in the first place; he couldn't spare the time from his studies, in
the next place; but he spent his dad's money anyhow and he let his
classes go bang. He did the social stunt--on credit. Result: he got
E's and F's on his grades and he was shipped. The faculty regards that
kind of a student as demoralizing to the morale of a first-class
institution. In fact he could not be called a student; he was an
"inmate," and it is hard to make an alumni out of inmates.

This young fellow landed back home for the summer, "out of luck," in
debt, and a cruel disappointment to his doting parents. He had done
the social stunt, but he picked the fruit before it was ripe, and now
it's hurting him inside.

_He flew his kite in the rain!_

He decided he would make good by being a civil engineer. He wanted to
be a civil engineer right away, but when he started in he found that
the first stages of civil engineering consisted in carrying a chain
and a rod up and down hill in the heat and taking orders from a smart
chap who looked through a telescope and made notes, so within a few
days he quit; he wasn't willing to pay the price. He thought he would
play the violin, but he wasn't willing to spend hours practising the
scales and simple fingering, so he laid aside the violin. He wanted to
play Schubert's Serenade right off, but on learning the cost, he
contented himself with whistling it.

Fellows, he is of the sort that make up the great throng of
fourth-raters in the world to-day, drifting here and there; or
settling down with a family on his hands and a little two-by-four job
to eke out a bare living. And you fellows may as well face this fact:
you've got to _stint_, if you're going to pull off a stunt. No stint,
no stunt. Stinting is only another name for work and patience and
economy combined, and it brings its inevitable fruit--Success!

     _Read Acts 16:6-15._



L

THE BEDOUIN SLAVE


Say, fellows, I heard a story from the banks of the Nile which stirred
my blood. It may be only a legend, but it contains a big thought, and
I want you to have it. All day upon the hot sands the battle had
raged, and as the sun was setting a Bedouin chief fell, mortally
wounded. Quickly his watchful body-servant eased his master's dying
form from the back of the Arabian steed and dragged him out of the
thick fighting to a protected spot where he might say his last word
and die in comparative quiet. The chieftain's words were few but
significant. He simply said to his man: "Go and tell Allah that I
come." The loyal slave knew what it meant: only his spirit could carry
a message like that, and the clay house it occupied must be destroyed
before the spirit would depart.

Possibly he hesitated as his hand grasped the hilt of his dagger, for
life was sweet even to a slave; back home was a slave-maid in the
house of his master, and she had been promised as his bride upon
return from this campaign in the valley of the Nile. Many a daydream
of the future had served to shorten the tedious marches over the hot
sands as he rode beside his master. Long after the camp was asleep
the slave gazed at the star which seemed to guard her whose life and
future were bound up in his own. But only a moment he paused; one more
look at his chief, whose fast ebbing blood stained the sand upon which
he lay--this chief who was not only his master by right of actual
ownership, but one who had been always his benefactor and friend--one
searching look into the eyes whose merest glance he had learned to
interpret for a last sign of recognition; then with a firm,
unfaltering hand he drew his blade and thrust it deep into his own
heart, that his spirit might be free to fly "to Allah," with the
announcement of his master's coming.

Now, fellows, there is something fine about that, even if it
be only a romance. Loyalty that rises to the height of complete
self-forgetfulness challenges the best that is in us. But, after all,
the picture falls to pieces because it is built upon a false faith and
a suicide. I am glad that you and I can to-day, in real life, take
part in something finer--something requiring just as superb loyalty,
and for a Cause that is really worth the best that is in us.

Jesus Christ is the Chief of all chieftains. His last words upon earth
were, "Go ye--tell them." They were not the words of a dying chief,
but of one gloriously alive and triumphant over death, the last and
greatest enemy of all; not the command of one powerless in the
presence of his foes, but one who could say, "All power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth;" not a master who must send his obedient
slave on a fearful and futile mission alone, but one who girds his
courier with the assurance, "And lo, I am with you alway, even unto
the end of the world."

Saul caught a great vision of service when Jesus spoke to him in the
way. Prostrate upon the ground in the blinding light, Saul did not
say, "Lord, let me die!" He said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to
_live and do_?" You and I may say just as big and fine a thing as that
to our Lord to-day. Jesus' command to Saul was in substance, "Go
ye--tell them." It is the same to you and me.

Will it cost you anything to obey? Yes, it will cost you your life.
But not in the hopeless way the Arab's slave gave his. Your hand is on
the hilt of the dagger, but Jesus is not requiring a man so much to
die for Him these days; He is calling for living couriers, those who
will give their lives _in life_ for Him. So you plunge the dagger deep
into--not your heart, but your false pride--that thing which keeps you
back from "announcing" your Master's Name. You plunge it deep into
that thing in your life plan which would interfere with a real program
of witnessing for Jesus. With God's help you stab that habit of
thought or act which stifles your impulse to do His will and
embarrasses you in trying to serve Him. It is what Paul meant when he
said to the Galatians, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the
flesh with the passions and lusts."

Fellows, every one of us can be a herald of our Master's coming to the
souls about us who have not realized His near approach. No matter what
our "business" or "profession," if it be a fair and honest one we can
make it a help to our witnessing. There is no proper relationship in
life which may not afford the opportunity to tell about Jesus Christ
and His deathless love.

Saul became a messenger of Christ for his whole time. Comparatively
few are called of God into the ministry; but every boy should
seriously face the question, under God's guidance, whether or not he
be one of those few. Take a pencil and draw a vertical line on a sheet
of paper. On one side the line put down the reasons why you should go
into the ministry; on the other side, the reasons why you should not.
Be honest with yourself and with God. Weigh each reason, for or
against, upon your knees. Ask God to give you a clear vision of the
course He wants you to take. With all the earnestness of your soul,
ask Him, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Be still and listen.
And then, fellows, you will hear that unmistakable but "still small
voice," and He will send you forth surefooted in a path plainly
marked.

Oh, fellows, it is great to have clear running orders, with such a
Message and such a Master! Don't miss it.

     _Read Matthew 28:16-20._



     *     *     *     *     *     *


CHURCH AND SUNDAY SCHOOL WORK


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Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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