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´╗┐Title: The Book of Courage
Author: Faris, John Thomson
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Book of Courage" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *




      By JOHN T. FARIS

      Volumes on other subjects in preparation for this series



      By JOHN T. FARIS


      Frontispiece in color, 113 illustrations and 2 maps


      Frontispiece in color and 101 illustrations


      117 illustrations and a map


      By JOHN T. FARIS


      97 illustrations and five maps

       *       *       *       *       *




Author of
"The Victory Life," "Making Good," "Old Roads Out of
Philadelphia," "Seeing Pennsylvania," Etc.


Philadelphia & London
J. B. Lippincott Company

Copyright, 1920, by J. B. Lippincott Company

Printed by J. B. Lippincott Company
At the Washington Square Press
Philadelphia, U. S. A.


A TEACHER has told of the greatest moment of discouragement that ever
came to her. At cost of great labor she had fitted up a room for the use
of children, placing pictures on the walls, plants in the windows,
goldfish on the table, and a canary in a cage. But the night before the
day when she planned to welcome the children to the room there was a
cold snap, and the janitor let the fire go out. In the morning she
looked on broken radiators, frozen goldfish, drooping plants, and what
she feared was a dead bird. In her despair she was about to decide that
she would never make another effort to have things pleasant for the
children, when the bit of fluff in the bird-cage, roused from stupor by
the noise made by the discouraged woman, lifted its voice in song.

That song told her that she had reached once again the point that comes
to everyone, times without number, the point that separates the life of
conquest from the life of defeat, the life of cowardice from the life of
courage. She was at the crossroads, and she took the turning to the
right. The bird's song marked for her the end of discouragement.

"I can sing, as well as the bird," she said to herself. And at once she
began to make plans for her charges.

Everywhere there are people who feel that the odds are against them,
that difficulties in the way are unsurmountable, that it is useless to
make further effort to conquer. The author of "The Book of Courage"
knows by experience how they feel, and he longs to send to them a
message of cheer and death-to-the-blues, a call to go on to the better
things that wait for those who face life in the spirit of the gallant
General Petain, whose watchword, "They shall not pass!" put courage into
his men and hope into the hearts of millions all over the world.

"Courage!" is the call to these. "Courage" is likewise the word to those
who are already struggling in the conquering spirit of Sir Walter Scott
who, when both domestic calamity and financial misfortune came, said to
a comforter, "The blowing off of my hat on a stormy day has given me
more weariness," who called adversity "a tonic and a bracer."

The world needs courage--the high courage that shows itself in a life of
daily struggle and conquest, that smiles at obstacles and laughs at

How is the needed courage to be secured? What are the springs of
courage? What are some of the results of courage? These are questions
"The Book of Courage" seeks to answer by telling of men and women who
have become courageous.

Glorious provision has been made by the Inspirer of men for giving
courage to all, no matter what their difficulties or their hardships.
Among His provisions are home and friends, work and service, will and
conscience, the world with all its beauty, and Himself as Companion and

Thus we are left absolutely without excuse when we are tempted to let
down the bars to worry and gloom and discouragement.

Keep up the bars! Don't let the enemies of peace and progress pass! And

          "Like the star,
          That shines afar,
          Without haste,
            And without rest,
          Let each man wheel, with steady sway
          Round the tasks that rule the day,
            And do his best."
                                     J. T. F.



      CHAPTER                                  PAGE
      1. THE COURAGE OF SELF-CONQUEST            13
          I. RESTRAINING SELF                    15
         II. EFFACING SELF                       18
        III. FORGIVING INJURIES                  22
         IV. FORGETTING WRONGS                   25
          V. GETTING RID OF EVIL                 29
         VI. LOOKING BEYOND MONEY                32

          I. LEARNING                            42
         II. DEPENDING ON SELF                   47
        III. UNCOMPLAINING                       51
         IV. PERSISTING                          56
          V. TOILING                             63
         VI. CONQUERING INFIRMITY                67

      3. THE COURAGE OF INDUSTRY                 78
          I. BEGINNING                           79
         II. PURPOSE FORMING                     82
        III. USING TIME WISELY                   89
         IV. WORKING HARDER                      94
          V. ABUSING THE WILL TO WORK            99

          I. VENTURING                          105
         II. FORMING CHARACTER                  107
        III. TRUTH TELLING                      111
         IV. DUTY DOING                         117
          V. FINDING HIS LIFE                   119

      5. COURAGE FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS         122
          I. IMPARTING COURAGE                  123
         II. CONQUERING HAPPINESS               126
         IV. DID HE GO TOO FAR?                 132

      6. GOLDEN RULE COURAGE                    138
          I. LOOKING OUT FOR OTHERS             140
        III. SERVICE BY SYMPATHY                146
         IV. DOING BUSINESS FOR OTHERS          150
          V. PRAYING AND HELPING                152
         VI. GIVING THAT COUNTS                 155
        VII. EXPENSIVE ECONOMY                  157

          I. COMPANIONSHIP WITH FRIENDS         162
         II. SUCCESSFUL COMRADES                165
         IV. COMPANIONSHIP WITH NATURE          176
          V. COMPANIONSHIP WITH GOD             183
         VI. A CHAPTER OF--ACCIDENTS?           190

      8. GOD THE SOURCE OF COURAGE              196
          I. THAT'S FOR ME!                     197
         II. BANING ON GOD'S PROMISES           201
         IV. GETTING CLOSE TO THE BIBLE         210
          V. THE BIBLE AND ONE MAN              213
         VI. OUT OF THE DEPTHS                  218




THE highest courage is impossible without self-conquest. And
self-conquest is never easy. A man may be a marvel of physical courage,
and be a coward in matters of self-government. Failure here threatens
dire disaster to his entire career.

Alexander the Great conquered most of the world he knew, but he
permitted his lower nature to conquer his better self, and he died a
disappointed, defeated man.

Before the days of Alexander there was a man named Nehemiah from whom
the world-conqueror might have learned a few secrets. He was a poor
exile in the service of a foreign ruler. That ruler sent him down to
Jerusalem, the capital city of his own home land, with instructions to
govern the people there. Now, in those days, it was a common thing for
governors of cities to plunder the people unfortunate enough to be in
their charge. Thus Nehemiah would have had ample precedent to fill his
own coffers by injustice, profiteering and worse: he had the power.
Possibly he was tempted to do something of the sort. But he had the
courage to shut up tight all baser passions, and then to sit firmly on
the lid. In the brief record of his service he referred to some of the
self-seeking governors, and told of their rascally deeds. Then he added
the significant words, "_So did not I._"

That was certainly courage--the courage of self-conquest.

As a young man Ulysses S. Grant was a brave soldier, but he nearly
wrecked his life because of weak yielding to his appetite. His real
career began only with self-conquest. When he found the courage to fight
himself--and not until then--he became ready for the marvelous life of
high courage that never faltered when he was misunderstood by associates
and maligned by enemies, that pressed steadily onward, in the face of
biting disease, until work was done, until honor was satisfied.



A little girl four years old came trembling to her mother and asked for
pencil and paper. Then, teeth set and eyes flashing, she pounced on the
paper and began to make all sorts of vicious marks. Asked what she was
doing, she said she was writing a letter to a sister who had offended
her by an act that had been misunderstood. "She is not a nice girl," the
little critic said, "and I'm telling her so. I don't like her any more,
and I'm saying that." As she wrote her hand trembled; she was carried
away by her unpleasant emotion. After a few moments, unable to go on
with her self-appointed task, she flung herself, sobbing, into her
mother's arms and for half an hour she could not control herself.

The sight was pitiful. But far more pitiful is the spectacle of one old
enough to know better who yields to vexation and hatred, thereby not
only making himself disagreeable, but robbing himself of power to
perform the duties of the hour. For there is nothing so exhausting as
uncontrolled emotion. There is so much for each one of us to do, and
every ounce of strength is needed by those who would play their part in
the world. Then what spendthrift folly it is to waste needed power on
emotion that is disquieting, disagreeable and disgraceful!

That lesson was never impressed more forcibly than by a French officer
of whom a visitor from America asked, "Did I understand that you had
lost three sons?" "Yes, sir, and two brothers," was the proud reply.
"How you must hate the Boche," remarked a bystander. "No, no," was the
instant reply, "not hate; just pity, sir; pity, but not hate. Hate, you
know, is an excessive emotion, sir; and no one can do effective work if
he spends his vitality in an excess of emotion. No," he concluded, "we
cannot hate; we cannot work if we burn up ourselves inside. Pity, sir;
pity. 'They know not what they do.' That's the idea. And they don't."

The same lesson of self-restraint was taught by Marshal Foch in his
words to the soldiers of France. He urged them to keep their eyes and
ears ready and their mouths "in the safety notch"; and he told them they
must obey orders first and kick afterwards if they had been wronged. He
said, "Bear in mind that the enemy is your enemy and the enemy of
humanity until he is killed or captured; then he is your dear brother
or fellow soldier beaten or ashamed, whom you should no further
humiliate." He told them that it was necessary to keep their heads clear
and cool, to be of good cheer, to suffer in silence, to dread defeat,
but not wounds, to fear dishonor, but not death, and to die game.
Because so many of the soldiers under him heeded this wise admonition,
they did not waste their precious strength on useless and harmful
emotions, but they were ever ready to go to their task, with the motto
of their division, "It shall be done."

What a blessing it will be to the world that millions of young men were
trained in France to repress hurtful emotion, to exercise
self-restraint--which may be defined as the act or process of holding
back or hindering oneself from harmful thoughts or actions. And what a
wonderful thing it will be if the lesson is passed on to us, so that we
shall not be like the torrent that wastes its power by rushing and
brawling over the stones, all to no purpose, but like the harnessed
stream whose energy is made to turn the wheels of factory and mill. For
only guarded and guided strength is useful and safe.



"Every man that falls must understand beforehand that he is a dead man
and nothing can save him. It is useless for him to cry out, and it may,
by giving the alarm, cause the enterprise to fail."

This was the message to his men of the officer to whom Napoleon
committed the capture of Mt. Cenis.

The historian tells us that at one point in the ascent of a precipitous
track, three men fell. "Their bodies were heard bounding from crag to
crag, but not a cry was heard, not a moan. The body of one hero was
recovered later. There was a smile on his lips."

How that record of the silence succeeded by a smile grips the heart, for
it was not the false courage that plays to the grandstand, but the
deeper, truer courage that sinks self for the good of others, and does
this not merely because it is a part of the game, but with the gladness
that transfigures life.

Such courage does not wait for some great occasion for exhibiting
itself; it is revealed in the midst of the humdrum routine of daily
life--a routine that is especially trying to those who have been
looking forward to some great, perhaps dramatic service.

A young man of seventeen entered the navy, with his parents' consent, as
an apprentice. When he left home he had dreams of entering at once on a
life of thrilling adventure where there would be numberless
opportunities for the display of high courage. At the end of a month a
friend asked him how he liked life at the navy yard. "Fine!" was the
reply. "What are you doing?" was the next query. "They haven't given me
anything but window washing to do yet," he replied, with a smile that
was an index of character.

A newspaper writer has told of a college student nineteen years old who
enlisted in the navy. He was sent to one of our naval stations and told
to guard a pile of coal. As the summer passed he still guarded that coal
pile. He wrote home about it:

"You know, dad, when we were little shavers, you always rubbed it into
us that anything that was worth doing at all was worth doing as well as
it could be done. I've been standing over that coal pile nearly three
months now, and it looks just exactly as small as it did when I first
landed on the job."

"He was relieved from the coal pile at last and promoted," said the
writer who told of him. "At the same time the government gave him a last
chance to return to his college work. He thought it over carefully. He
realized that America was going to need trained men as never before, but
still, he decided, the best service that he individually could give was
the one that he had chosen. He had a few days of leave before going on
to his next assignment, and he hurried back to his home. He found that
his summer task was a matter of town history, and he had to face a good
deal of affectionate raillery about his coal pile. Of course he did not
mind that. But his answer revealed his spirit:

"'You may laugh, but that coal pile was all right. I'll admit it got on
my nerves for a bit, but I figured it out that while I was taking care
of that coal pile I was releasing some other fellow who knew things I
didn't know, and who could do things I couldn't do. I'm ready to stand
by a coal pile till the war ends, if that's where I can help the most.'"

"That is the spirit that will conquer because it is the spirit that
never can be conquered," was the comment made on the incident. "There is
no self in it--only consecration to duty; no seeking for large
things--only for an opportunity to serve whenever the call comes. That
is the spirit that is growing in America to-day--and only through such
spirit can we accomplish our great task in the life of the world."

The man who really desires to serve his fellows does not think of
declaring that he will not do humble tasks, but he demands that the work
he is asked to do shall be needed.

A young man who was seeking his life work made known his willingness to
be a shoe-black, if he could be convinced that this was the work God
wanted him to do. An immigrant in New York City read in the morning,
"Lord, my heart is not haughty nor mine eyes lofty." Then he went out to
sweep a store, and he swept it well. It is worthy of note that the young
man who was willing to be a shoe-black became one of the foremost men of
his generation, and that the immigrant became the pastor of a leading
city church. But a far more important fact is that the quality of the
service given counted more in their minds than the character of the

The service of the man who would be worth while in the world must
partake of the spirit of the successful figure on the baseball diamond
or the football gridiron: readiness to do everything, or anything--or
to do nothing, if he is so directed--in the interests of the team. It
must take a leaf from the book of General Pershing and his fellow
officers who, in a time of stress for the Allies, were willing and eager
to brigade their troops with the soldiers of France and England, thus
losing the identity of their forces in the interest of the great cause
for which they stood. It must learn the lesson taught by the life of Him
who emptied Himself for the sake of the world--and did it with a smile.



A gifted writer has told the story of a workman in a Bessemer steel
furnace who was jealous of the foreman whom he thought had injured him.
The foreman was making a good record, and the workman did not want to
see him succeed. So he plotted his undoing--he loosened the bolts of the
cable that controlled an important part of the machinery, and so caused
an accident that not only interfered seriously with the day's turn, but
put a section of the plant out of commission for the time being. As a
result the superintendent was discharged. When he left he vowed
vengeance on the man whom he suspected of causing his discharge: "I'll
get you for this some day," he declared. Perhaps he would have been even
more emphatic if he had known the extent of his enemy's culpability.

Years passed. The workman who had loosened the bolts became
superintendent of the mill. He, too, tried to break a production record,
and was in a fair way to succeed until some mysterious difficulty
developed that interfered seriously with results. And just when the new
superintendent was losing sleep over his problem, the old superintendent
came to town.

"He's come for his revenge!" was the thought of the new superintendent.

But the superintendent did not wait for a visit from the man he feared;
he sought him at once. "He must know the extent of my meanness," he
decided. So he told his story. To his surprise the former foreman seemed
more interested in the account of the progress of the mill than in the
sorry tale of past misdeeds. Learning of the mysterious difficulty that
threatened failure in the attempt to break the production record, the
injured man showed real concern. "I can't imagine where the difficulty
is, but I'd like to take a look around for it," he said. Arm in arm,
then, the two men, once bitter enemies, moved toward the mill. The
search was successful, the difficulty was corrected, and the record was

Fine story, isn't it? What a pity it is only a story, that such things
don't ever happen in real life!

Don't they? How about Henry Nasmyth, the English inventor of the steam
piledriver, whose ideas were stolen by French machinists? His first
knowledge of the piracy was when he saw a crude imitation of his
piledriver in a factory in France. Instead of seeking damages and
threatening vengeance, he pointed out mistakes made in construction and
helped his imitators perfect the appliance they had stolen from him.

Yes, such things do happen in daily life. They are happening every day.
As we read of them or hear of them or meet people who are actors in such
a drama, we are conscious of admiration for the deed, a quickening of
the pulse, and the thankful thought that the world is not such a bad
place after all.

But are we to stop with quickened heartbeats and gratitude for the
greatness of heart shown by others? How about the bitterness we have
been treasuring against some one who has injured us--or some one we
think has injured us (it is astonishing how many of the slights and
indignities for which vengeance has been vowed are only imaginary, after
all!) How long do we intend to persist in treasuring the grudge that has
perhaps already caused sorrow that cannot be measured? Let's be
courageous enough to own ourselves in the wrong, when we are in the
wrong, and to forgive the evil that has been kept alive by our
persistent efforts to remember it. Let the quickened pulse-beat be ours
not merely because we are hearing about forgiveness, but because we
ourselves are rejoicing in friendship restored.



There are people whose minds are like a lumber-room, littered with all
sorts of odds and ends. In such a room it is impossible to count on
laying hands promptly on a desired article, and in such a mind confusion
takes the place of order. The mind had better be empty. An empty mind
presents a fine opening for the proper kind of filling, but a confused
mind is hopeless. How is it possible to make the memory a helpful
servant unless nothing is allowed to find lodgment there that is not
worth while?

An old proverb says, "No one can keep the birds from flying about his
head, but one can keep them from nesting in his hair." That proverb
points the way to saving the mind from becoming a lodging place for
lumbering thoughts and ideas; everything that is certain to hinder
instead of help one to be worth-while to the world must be told that
there is "positively no admittance."

Among the things one must not afford permission to pass the bars is the
thought that some associate may have said or done something that seemed
like a slight or an injury. No man can afford to injure another, but any
man can better afford to be injured than to allow his thoughts to dwell
on the injury, to brood over it, until he is in a degree unfitted for
his work. Far better is it to be like a father who said to his son when
the latter, years after the commission of the deed, was speaking of his
sorrow that he had grieved his father so: "Son, you must be dreaming; I
don't recall the incident."

Then one must know when to forget evil things heard of another.
Sometimes it is necessary to remember such facts, but so often the
insinuations made concerning other people are not worth consideration,
because they are not true. Even where there is ground for them, they are
not proper subjects for thought and remembrance.

It is best to forget past achievements, unless they are made
stepping-stones to greater achievements, spurs to work that could never
be done without them. Yet how often the temptation comes to gloat in
thought over these things, and over the good things said of one because
of them, while opportunities for greater things are passed by. Thus a
school-boy thought with delight of a word of commendation from his
teacher when he ought to have been giving attention to the recitation of
the pupil next to him; the result was a reprimand that stung. A soldier
in the trenches has no time to gaze in admiration at the medal he has
won by valor when at any moment there may sound the call to deeds of
still greater valor. No more should a civilian imperil future success by
failure to forget "the things which are behind."

The individual who refuses to forget a kindness he has done to someone
else is another cumberer of the ground. A safe rule is, never forget a
kindness received from another, but forget at once a kindness done to
another. It is not difficult to sympathize with the youth who, after
being reminded for the twentieth time by his brother of a trip to New
Orleans for which the brother had paid out of his savings, said, "Yes,
and I wish I had never taken a cent of the money!"

A thing to be forgotten always is the off-color story with which some
people persist in polluting the atmosphere. Unfortunately there are
always to be found folks like the young man of whom Donald Hankey said
"He talks about things that I won't even think." When such talk is
heard, don't think of it. If you do, you are apt to think of it again
and again, until, perhaps, you will be telling it to some one else. And
no one wants to be remembered as was the business man, proposed for the
presidency of a great concern, of whom one said, "No, don't let's have
him; he has earned a reputation for telling questionable stories."

If a good memory is to be a good servant, it must be trained to remember
only the things that are helpful. And that takes courage!



One of the trying disappointments of daily life comes with the discovery
that something on which we have been depending is no longer worthy of
confidence, because a foreign substance, some adulterant, has been mixed
with it, without our knowledge. This seemed to be the case perhaps more
than ever before during the recent days of war when a severe strain was
put on the products of nearly every kind.

In many parts of the country those who were compelled to replenish their
coal supply during the worst weather of a severe winter complained
because the anthracite then secured gave out little heat; it contained
such a large proportion of culm or other waste product which, in
ordinary times, is carefully removed before shipment, that it could not
do its work properly.

Disappointed in their anthracite, some turned to bituminous coal, only
to find that at least fifty per cent, of a shipment received during the
days of stress was made up of rock and clay.

Experience with the coal should have prepared one of the purchasers for
his disappointment in a restaurant where he had been accustomed to be
served with a splendid oyster stew. But he was surprised and displeased
when he found that at least one-third of the milk which should have gone
into the stew had been displaced by water.

At home that evening the same man was told more of the activity of
dealers who permit impurities to interfere with the comfort of those who
like pure products; the grocer had that day sent a package of soup beans
which contained at least ten per cent. of gravel.

It is easy to appreciate the disappointment and embarrassment that come
from the failure of the coal dealer, the restaurant keeper or the grocer
to supply us with pure food and fuel. Then isn't it strange that we are
apt to pay so little attention to the adulterants in character that are
the cause of so much of the world's sorrow? That is to say, it seems odd
that we pay so little attention to the things in our own lives that
interfere; we are not apt to find it a difficult matter to rail at
others because they permit evil to mix with good in their lives. Our
vision is so much better when we are looking at motes in others than
when we are looking straight past the beams in our own make-up.

There is daily need for each one of us to ask God for grace to go on a
hunt for the evil that adulterates his own life, making it a
disappointment to others and a cause of sorrow to God. Those who are
bold enough to scrutinize themselves without flinching will be apt to
find not merely things that are unquestionably evil, but they will be
dismayed to see that even much of the good in which they have been
taking comfort is adulterated with evil--as, for instance, the deed of
helpfulness performed for a friend with the unconscious thought, "Some
day he may be able to do something for me," or the gift made to a needy
cause, accompanied by the assurance that the treasurer of the fund is
one whom we particularly wish to impress with our liberality so that
possibly a future benefit will come from him to us.

The adulterants of evil mixed with the good in our lives must be
removed. And there is just one way to get rid of them--to submit
ourselves to the sifting of Him who not only knows the good from the
evil, the wheat from the chaff, but will also show the way to retain the
wheat and throw out the chaff.

Of course one does not have to yield himself to Christ's sifting. But of
one thing we can be sure; there will be a sifting. If Christ is not
invited to do the work, the Devil will take up the task. But his purpose
in sifting is always to retain the evil, and drive out all the good.

God asks for "pure religion and undefiled." There is no place in his
calculations for adulterants. Be courageous, and get rid of them!



Money is a good thing, when it is properly secured and properly used.
But there are better things than money. Honor is better, and loving
service, and thoughtful consideration of others.

This was the lesson taught by the life of a man who was a shareholder in
a mining company that was about to go out of business. The shareholders
would sustain very heavy losses, so a friend who knew the secrets of the
company determined to warn this man, whom everybody liked. The hint was
given that it would be to his advantage to sell quickly. "Why?" asked
Mr. N. "Well, you know, the value of the mines is greatly depreciated."
"When I bought the shares I took the risk." "Yes, but now you should
take the opportunity of selling while you can, so as not to lose
anything." "And supposing I don't sell, what then?" "Then you will
probably lose all you have." "And if I do sell, somebody else will lose
instead of me?" "Yes, I suppose so." "Do you suppose Jesus Christ would
sell out?" "That is hardly a fair question. I suppose he would not." "I
am a Christian," said Mr. N., "and I wish to follow my Master, therefore
I shall not sell." He did not, and soon after lost everything, and had
to begin life again.

This shareholder would have appreciated Professor A. H. Buchanan, who
was for forty years professor of mathematics in Cumberland University,
Tennessee. After his death it was told of him that at one time he was
offered an appointment in government service to which a $3,000 salary
attached. His income as professor in a church college was $600 a year.
But he saw more chance to make his life count for Christian things in
the professor's place than in public service, so he declined the $3000
and stayed by the $600. One who spoke of these facts in the professor's
life said, in comment:

"If he had taken the $3,000, everybody would have regarded him as an
ordinary sort of man. Now everybody who has heard of Professor
Buchanan's exceptional devotion appreciates that he was a very
extraordinary man. A very cheap person indeed is capable of accepting a
bigger salary."

At about the time of the death of this professor of mathematics a daily
paper mentioned a civil engineer who was transforming the appearance of
a western city, and said of him: "Two or three times he has had chances
to get three or four times his present salary. Each time he has said:
'No, my work is here; I haven't finished it. The money doesn't count, so
I shall stick here and finish my work.'"

After the death of a famous minister in St. Louis a story was told of
him that he had not allowed to be known widely during his lifetime. This
was the romantic tale, as related by a writer in The New York _Sun_:

"When a young man, he found to his amazement among his father's papers a
deed to five thousand eight hundred and eighty-three acres of land,
located in what is known as West Virginia. This deed was a great
surprise to all who saw or heard of it. Putting this deed in his
pocket, young Palmore, the only heir to the property, made a trip to
West Virginia, to look over his vast estate, which was far in the

"Starting from the city of Charleston, West Virginia, he drove in a
buggy into the region where his plantation was located. He traced the
boundaries of his property and found that hundreds of families had
settled on it without any right to it, but were living as if secure in
the possession of their separate little patches of territory. He found
that beneath the surface of this land there was almost limitless wealth,
but the multitudes who had built themselves humble homes on the surface
did not know of it, and had been living thus in undisturbed possession
for a number of years. He quietly walked about at night and looked
through the windows at the parents and children living on his estate.
Great lawyers were ready to inaugurate legal proceedings that would have
made him a millionaire, and such legal proceedings would doubtless have
been instituted if the heir in person had not visited the scene of his
great estate. As he dreamed in the nighttime about dispossessing such a
multitude of people of their humble homes, he began to feel that,
instead of such a fortune being a blessing, an estate received at such
an expense would be a burden.

"After earnest prayer and sleepless hours in the midst of his vast
acres, he was seized with the conviction that each member of this
multitude of families living on his property needed it more than did the
heir, and there and then he made up his mind that he would leave them in
quiet possession of his estate."

The reporter who related the story said that the man had been called a
fool, and commented, "He was God's fool."

Then he said that the incident he had related would have been
unbelievable if it had not been so well attested. But why unbelievable?
Is it because of the common idea that "every man has his price," that it
is unthinkable that a sane man would let a fortune that he could claim
honestly slip through his fingers?

Perhaps it is true that every man has his price. However, if this snarl
of the pessimist is to have universal application, the price must be
understood to be--in many instances--not selfish gratification, but the
opportunity for courageous service. There are men and women who can be
won by such an opportunity who cannot be reached by any argument of mere
private advantage. Such people silence the complaints of the croaker and
command the confidence of those who are struggling to help their

Louis Agassiz, the naturalist, was such a man. "I have no time to make
money," was his remark when urged by a friend to turn aside from the
important work of the moment to an easy, lucrative task. His reason was
thus explained at another time: "I have made it the rule of my life to
abandon any intellectual pursuit the moment it becomes commercially
valuable." It was his idea that there were many who would then be
willing to carry on work he had begun.

A contrast is presented by the famous inventor who, early in life, made
it a rule never to give himself to any activity in which there was no
prospect of financial gain. His first question was not, "Does the public
need this invention?" but "Is there money in it?" Having answered to his
satisfaction, he was ready to go ahead.

The world could not well have spared either of these men, for both
rendered valuable service. But, judging from the stories of their
careers, there was more joy in the life of the naturalist, who,
satisfied to earn a living, thought most of serving his fellows, than in
the life of the inventor before whose eyes the dollar continually loomed
large. The counting-house measure of life is not the most satisfying nor
is it the most useful.

That was the notion of Jacob Riis, of whom a minister who was devoting
his life to the interest of young working men near his church once asked
if such effort was merely thrown away, if he was pocketing himself.
"Pocketing yourself, are you?" Riis replied. "Stick to your pocket. It
is a pretty good pocket to be in. Out of such a pocket, worked in the
way you are working it, will come healing for the ills of the day that
now possess us. I would rather be in such a pocket, working for the
Lord, than in a $1,000,000 church, working for the applause of a

Those who are familiar with inside history at Washington say that the
day after Garfield's election as President, a dispatch was sent to
Milton Wells, a Wisconsin preacher, whose vote in the convention had
kept Garfield's name on the list of candidates to the very last, asking
him if he would become governor of Arizona Territory. Mr. Wells
answered: "I have a better office that I cannot leave. I am preaching
here for $600 per year."

There was once a man named Paul who might have enjoyed position and
power, if he had wished, but he chose instead a life of courageous
service of which he was able once to write, without boasting:

"In labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly; in stripes above
measure, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes
save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I
suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in
journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils
from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city,
in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false
brethren; in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and
thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness."

How could Paul bear all these things? They were enough to break down a
dozen strong men. Probably he sometimes felt that he could not bear the
burden any longer, but always there came to him the assurance of Christ,
"My grace is sufficient for thee." Then he could bear anything; yet not
he, but Christ, who lived in him. Thus his glory was not in his own
strength but in his weakness, which made place in his life for the
strength of Christ.

Until men and women learn how to gain strength in their weakness as Paul
did, their lives will be unsatisfying, their days will be full of
complaint. Their burdens, which seemed like mountains before learning to
trust Christ, will be borne as easily as if they were feathers.

God does not promise to make us all dollar millionaires if we look at
Him for strength in our weakness, but He does promise to make us all
millionaires of faith and hope and courage. Paul was; we can be, too.



"YOU may expect to spend the rest of your days tied to your chair."

Theodore Roosevelt's physician made this disconcerting announcement to
his patient a few weeks before his death.

How would the courageous man receive an announcement like that? How
would you receive it?

Let the words spoken in reply by the lion-hearted Roosevelt never be
forgotten by others who struggle with difficulties:

"All right! I can work and live that way, too!"

Surely the triumphant words justified the characterization made by
Herman Hagedorn of this colossal worker:

"He was frail; he made himself a mountain of courage."

At a dinner given to celebrate the worthy achievement of a public man, a
guest spoke of him to a companion at table.

"No wonder he has been so well. Everything is in his favor: he is young,
he is brilliant, he is in good health."

"In good health?" was the answering comment. "Where did you get that?
For years he has been in wretched health; many a night he was unable to
sleep except he knelt on the floor by the bedside and stretched himself
from his waist across the bed. But it is not strange that you did not
know, he has said nothing of his ailments; he is so full of courage
himself that he makes everyone around him courageous."



When the famous Sioux Indian, Charles A. Eastman, was a boy, his father,
who had learned the joys of civilized life, urged his son to secure an
education. "I am glad that my son is brave and strong," he said to him.
"I have come to start you on the White Man's way. I want you to grow to
be a good man."

Then he urged his son, Ohiyesa, as he was called, to put on the
civilized clothes he had brought with him. The boy rebelled at first; he
had been accustomed to hate white men and everything that belonged to
them. But when he reflected that they had done him no harm, after all,
he decided to try on the curious garments.

Together father and son traveled toward the haunts of the white man. As
they traveled Ohiyesa listened to tales of the wonderful inventions he
would see. He was especially eager to look on a railroad train.

But even after he had gone with his father, he was reluctant to enter on
his long training, until his father suggested that he make believe he
was starting on a long war-path, from which there could be no honorable
return until his course was completed. Entering into the spirit of the
proposal, the Indian lad began his schooling at Flandreau Indian Agency,
and persisted for twelve long years. After graduating from college he
devoted himself to his people, and in many years since has accomplished
wonders for them, teaching them the patience he had himself learned, and
enabling them to understand that such patience and persistence always
brings its reward.

The experience of Isaac Pitman, the inventor of shorthand, was
different, yet, after all, it was much the same. As a boy he had little
education. But soon after he went to work he made up his mind to supply
the lack. The record of how he did this is one of the most remarkable
instances of courageous patience on record.

The long office hours at his place of employment, from six in the
morning until six at night, made study difficult, but he showed
conclusively that where there is a will there is a way, and that he had
the will. He was accustomed to leave his bed at four, that he might
study two hours before the beginning of the day's work. Two hours in the
evening also were set apart for study. Sometimes it happened that work
at the factory was light, and the young clerk was excused for the
morning. Instead of taking the time for sport, it was his habit to take
a book with him into the fields or under the trees.

Thomas Allen Reid, in his biography of Pitman says: "One of the books
which he made his companion in morning walks into the country was
Lennie's Grammar. The conjugation of verbs, list of irregular verbs,
adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions, and the thirty-six rules of
syntax, he committed to memory so that he could repeat them in order.
The study of the books gave him a transparent English style."

His father was a subscriber to the local library. "I went regularly to
the library for fresh supplies of books," Isaac said, in 1863, "and thus
read most of the English classics. I think I was quite as familiar with
Addison, and Sir Roger, and Will Honeycomb, and all the Club, as I was
with my own brothers and sisters ... and when reading The Spectator at
that early age, I wished that I might be able to do something in

Before he left school he formed the habit of copying choice pieces of
poetry and prose into a little book which he kept in his pocket. These
bits he would commit to memory when he had leisure. A later pocket
companion contained a neatly written copy of Valpey's Greek Grammar, as
far as the syntax, which he committed to memory. In his morning walks in
1832 he committed to memory the first fourteen chapters of Proverbs. He
would not undertake a fresh chapter until he had repeated the preceding
one without hesitation.

As most of his knowledge of words was gained from books, he had
difficulty in pronunciation. "His method of overcoming the deficiency
was ingenious," his biographer wrote. "Again and again he read 'Paradise
Lost.' Careful attention to the meter enabled him to correct his faulty
pronunciation of many words. Words not found in the poem he discovered
in the dictionary. With unusual courage he decided to read through
Walker's Dictionary, fixing his mind on words new to him and on the
spelling and pronunciation of familiar terms. On the pages of one of his
pocket-books he copied all words he had been in the habit of
mispronouncing. Although there were more than two thousand of these
words, the plan was carried out before he was seventeen."

The labor of writing out so many extracts from books led him to study
the imperfect system of shorthand then current, and to develop the
system that was to bear his name.

So many young people feel that they "simply cannot abide" the long
process of getting an education; they give up when they are only a part
of the way to the goal. But for most of them the day of bitter regret
will come when they will wish that they had been more like Eastman or
Pitman in their determination to be patient and persistent, to allow
nothing to stand in the way of their purpose to fit themselves in the
best possible manner for the serious business of life.



Young men just starting out in life nowadays, who find the path to
success difficult, are more fortunate than some of those who struggled
with hard times a century or more ago, because they are determined to
make a self-respecting fight on their own merits. It was not always so;
once nothing was thought of the effort made by an impecunious young man
to throw himself on the generosity of one who had already achieved
success. Then it was a habit of many authors to seek as a patron a man
of influence and means who would help them live till their books were
ready for the publisher, and then help to get the books before the

From letters of George Crabbe, a poet of some note in his century,
asking Edmund Burke to become his patron, something of his story may be
known. As a boy he was apprenticed to an apothecary; later he was
proprietor of a small shop of his own. Business, neglected for books and
writing, did not prosper. With his sister, his housekeeper, he "fasted
with much fortitude." Then he went to London, with a capital of nine
pounds, and starved some more. Months were spent in trying to enlist
two patrons. At last, threatened with a prison for debt, he decided to
try a third patron; and this was his procedure, as he himself described

"I looked as well as I could into every character that offered itself to
my view, and resolved to apply where I found the most shining abilities,
for I had learnt to distrust the humanity of weak people in all

So he wrote to Edmund Burke, telling him that he could no longer be
content to live in the home of poor people, who had kept him for nearly
a year, and had lent him money for his current expenses. Describing
himself as "one of those outcasts on the world, who are without a
friend, without employment and without bread," he told of his vain
appeal to another for gold to save him from prison, added that he had
but one week to raise the necessary funds, and made his request.

"I appeal to you, sir, as a good, and, let me add, a great man. I have
no other pretensions to your favor than that I am an unhappy one. It is
not easy to support thoughts of confinement, and I am coward enough to
dread such an end to my suspense ... I will call upon you, sir,
to-morrow, and if I have not the happiness to obtain credit with you I
must submit to my fate ... I have only to hope a speedy end to a life so
unpromisingly begun ... I can reap some consolation in looking to the
end of it."

The appeal was successful. Edmund Burke became Crabbe's patron. The poet
was glad to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, and
submitted to many unpleasant slights and insinuations while he received
the dole of charity.

That suing thus for a patron did not always have the effect of
destroying an author's self-respect is shown by a letter written by Dr.
Samuel Johnson to Lord Chesterfield. When, after years of hard labor,
Dr. Johnson's dictionary was known to be ready for publication, Lord
Chesterfield wrote for "The World" two flattering articles about the
author, evidently thinking that the work would be dedicated to him. At
once Dr. Johnson wrote:

"My Lord: When, upon some slight encouragement, I first visited your
lordship, I ... could not forbear to wish ... that I might obtain that
regard for which I saw the world contending; but I found my attendance
so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to
continue it....

"Seven years, my lord, have passed since I waited in your outward room,
or was repulsed from your door, during which time I have been pushing on
my work through difficulties, of which it is useless to complain, and
have brought it at last to the verge of publication, without one act of
assistance, one word of encouragement or one smile of favor. Such
treatment I did not expect for I never had a patron before.... The
notice which you have been pleased to take of my labor, had it been
early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and
cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am
known, and do not want it.... I have long awakened from that dream of
hope, in which I once boasted myself with so much exultation, my lord,

"Your lordship's most humble, most obedient servant,

                                           "Sam Johnson."

The lapse of a century has brought a change. Self-respecting, courageous
young workers do not seek a patron to help them to fame. To-day they ask
only to fight their own battles, win their own victories.



Nor do courageous workers complain when little things go wrong.

"I don't know what I shall do if the mail does not come to-morrow. Think
of being two days without a morning paper!"

The complaint was heard when railway traffic had been tied up by
washouts on the railway. The inconvenience suffered by the speaker
seemed to him very great. Though there had been no other interruption to
the many comforts and conveniences to which he had been accustomed, the
single difficulty made him lose his temper and spoiled his day.

When one is tempted to magnify such a small difficulty into a mountain
it is worth while to look at things from the standpoint of a man whose
life far from the centers of civilization makes him so independent of
circumstances and surroundings that he can be cheerful even in the face
of what seem like bitter privations.

A company of travelers in the forests of Canada thought that the
knowledge of the most recent news was necessary to happiness. They
learned their mistake when they reached the camp of a man from whom
they expected to learn news more recent than the events reported in the
paper the day they left civilization, seven weeks before. They felt sure
that, as he lived on the trail, he would have seen some traveler who had
left the railroad since their own departure.

When they asked him for late news from the States, he said he had some
very recent news, and proceeded to tell of events eight months old! "Do
you call that recent?" he was asked, in disgust.

"What's the matter with that?" was the wondering reply. "It only
happened last fall, and there ain't been nobody through here since." And
he contentedly resumed the task at which he had been engaged when
interrupted by the demand for "recent" news.

On the same journey the travelers--whose story is told in "Trails in
Western Canada"--showed that they were learning the lesson. Carelessness
in handling a campfire caused a forest fire which threatened their food
supply. They saved this, but lost their only axes. After a long search
they found these in the embers, but the temper had been utterly ruined
by the heat. Only a few hours before they felt that an axe was
absolutely necessary not only to comfort but to life itself, yet when
the ruined tools were found the travelers turned to their tasks without
giving the disaster a second thought. They knew that there is always a
way out of difficulty. They continued their expedition without an axe,
and found that they managed very well.

The lesson was impressed still more by the attitude of a guide who spent
a few days with them. Like many other people on vacation they allowed
themselves to worry about finances. But their thoughts were set on a new
track by the guide, who, after telling of the success in trapping
grizzly bear and beaver which had enabled him to save a little money,
said: "Life is too short to worry about money. If I lose all I have
to-morrow, I can get a couple of bear traps and by next spring I'll be
on my feet again. The mountains are always here, and I know where there
is a bunch of bear and a colony of beaver, and I can get along out here,
and live like a prince while those poor millionaires are lying awake at
nights, lest someone come and steal their money."

Two other guides were engaged to pole the travelers' raft down the
Fraser River. Nearly every day the cold rain fell in torrents, but the
men were unmoved. "All day long they would stand in their wet clothes,
their hands numb and blue from the cold as they handled their dripping
poles; yet not a comment indicating discomfort is recalled. Physical
annoyances, which in the city would bring an ambulance, scarcely are
mentioned by them."

One day one of the men was asked what they did when they were sick.
"Cain't say we ever are sick," was the reply. "The worst thing that ever
happened to us, I reckon, was when Mort here had a bad tooth; but, after
a day or two, we got sick of it, and took it out." That was all he
thought worth saying about it till he was pressed for an account of the
operation. "Oh, I looked through our dunnage bag," he said, "and found
an old railroad spike. Mort held it against the tooth and I hit the head
with a big rock, and knocked her out the first time."

His companion was unwilling to agree that this was the most trying
experience. He told of a day when the man who had reported the tooth
extraction, cut his foot severely with an axe. "Oh, that didn't bother
us," the victim interrupted. "I just slapped on some spruce gum and
never thought anything more about it." Asked how long he was laid up,
the surprised answer was: "Laid up for that? We weren't laid up at all.
Couldn't travel quite as fast for a day or two, but we didn't lose no
time at that, for we traveled longer to make up."

Still another guide gave an object lesson in making light of
difficulties when his horse fell on him, bruising one of his knees so
that it swelled to an enormous size. The injured man made no complaint,
though his companions were full of sympathy. He knew he could reduce the
swelling by heroic remedies.

One day when traveling was unusually difficult, the guide cheered his
employers by telling them of the fine camp he owned just ahead--"a house
like a hotel," he said. And when the camp was reached he pointed proudly
to "a great log with a few great pieces of bark and some cedar slivers
stretched over the top." In this camp the night was spent, without
blankets and in the rain. "But as no one seemed to consider this
anything out of the ordinary, the travelers made no complaint."

Perhaps a taste of the wilderness is what we need when we become
impatient of trifles and make ourselves miserable because everything
does not go to suit us.



Failure camps on the trail of the man who is ready to give up because
difficulties multiply. A representative of a large paper warehouse made
up his mind to add to his list of customers a certain Michigan firm.
Repeated rebuffs did not daunt him. Every sixty days he sent the firm a
letter of invitation to buy his goods. During twenty-seven years one
hundred and sixty-one letters were mailed without result. Then, in reply
to the one hundred and sixty-second letter, the Michigan firm asked for
quotations. These were given promptly, and two carloads of paper were
sold. What if this letter writer had become discouraged before he wrote
this final letter?

"I thought you were planning to complete your education," a friend said
to a young man whom he had not seen for some time; "yet now you are
clerking in a store. Perhaps, though, you are earning money for next
year's expenses."

"No, I am earning money for this year's expenses," was the discouraged
reply. "I did want an education, but I found it was too difficult to get
what I sought, so I have decided to settle down."

Of course it is easier to give up than it is to push on in the face of
difficulty, but the youth who pushes on is fitting himself to fill a
man's place in the world, while the young man who is easily discouraged
is fitting himself for nothing but disappointment. The world has no
place for a quitter.

There is a tonic for young people who purpose to make the most of
themselves in glimpses of a few college students who had the courage to
face difficulty. One of these was an Italian boy, who was glad to beat
carpets, wash windows, scrub kitchen floors, mow lawns, teach grammar,
arithmetic and vocal exercises at a night school for foreigners.
Then--as if his time was not fully occupied by these occupations--he
made arrangements to care for a furnace and sift the ashes, in exchange
for piano lessons. That student finished his preparatory course with
credit, taking a prize for scholarship.

A seventeen-year-old boy wanted an education, but he had nine brothers
and sisters at home, and he knew that he could look for no financial
assistance from his parents. So he picked cotton at sixty cents a
hundred pounds, sawed wood, cut weeds and scrubbed floors--and thus paid
his expenses.

One student could not spare the money to pay his railroad fare to the
school of his choice. But he had a pony. So he rode the pony the entire
distance of five hundred miles, working for his expenses along the way.

A beginner in college was too full of grit to give up when bills came on
him more heavily than he had expected. During the school year he did
chores, rang the bell for the change of classes, did janitor work, and
waited on table in restaurants. In the summer he found work on farms
near by.

"No task is too difficult for the man with a purpose," declared a worker
with young men, some of whom were ready to give up. "Two things are
necessary if you would be successful," was another man's message to
those whom he wished to inspire to do purposeful work. "First: know what
you want to do. Second: do it."

Those who permit obstacles to stand in the way of the performance of
tasks they know they ought to perform if they would make the most of
themselves, need to take to heart the message given by a mother to her
son when he was ready to give up the unequal struggle with poverty and
physical infirmity. "Thou wilt have much to bear, many hardships to
suffer," she said. "But mark what I say, we must not mind the trouble.
During the first part of the night we must prepare the bed on which to
stretch ourselves during the latter part."

Giving up after failure is always easier than trying again, but the men
and women who count are those who will not be dismayed by failure. When
J. Marion Sims, the famous surgeon, was beginning the practice of
medicine, he proudly tacked an immense tin sign on the front of his
office. Then he lost two patients, and pride and courage both failed
him. "I just took down that long tin signboard from my door," he wrote
in the story of his life. "There was an old well back of the house,
covered over with boards. I went to the well, took that sign with me,
dropped it in there, and covered the old well over again. I was no
longer a doctor in the town." But fortunately he conquered
discouragement, made a fresh beginning, and overcame tremendous
obstacles. After his death a famous man said that if all his discoveries
should be suppressed, it would be found that his own peculiar branch of
surgery had gone backward at least twenty-five years.

Indomitable perseverance is necessary for the business man as for the
professional man; and it will just as surely bring reward to those who
are engaged in Christian work as to those who are seeking worldly honor.
So when the uphill climb seems too difficult, there must be no
faltering. Remember--as Christina Rossetti said--"We shall escape the
uphill by never turning back."

In gathering material for a history of Charles V of Spain, a Spanish
historian was painstaking in his researches. Finally he was able to tell
the king's whereabouts on every day of his career, except for two weeks
in 1538.

Then friends assured him that he had done his best. In all probability
nothing of importance happened during those days. But the historian
believed in being thorough to the end. So he delayed publication. For
fifteen years he sought news of the missing fortnight. Finally, and
reluctantly, when he was seventy-five years old, he published the book.

At length an American woman, studying in the archives of Spain, having
learned of the lost days, resolved to find them. Among musty documents,
in many libraries, she toiled. Then, by a woman's intuition, she was led
to look for documents of a sort the Spanish historian had never thought
of. And she found where the king was on some of those days. The news was
sent to the historian, just in time for him to make additions to his
inaugural address to be delivered on taking his seat in the Academy of
History. In this address he rejoiced to give full credit for the
discovery to the American.

But the woman was not satisfied; there was still a gap to be filled. She
made further trials, and failed. Again intuition led her to documentary
sources that had hardly been touched since they were filed away nearly
three hundred years before. She succeeded, and now that bit of history
is complete.

A well known writer for young people was also persistent in tracing a
story to its source. When he came to America from his native Holland he
heard for the first time the story of the Dutch hero who stopped the
hole in the dike, a story unknown in Holland. He resolved to prove or
disprove this. The record of his long search was published later. Not
only did he prove the existence of the boy, but he proved that the boy's
sister was a partner in the heroic deed. Thus the helpful story has been
saved for future generations.

These incidents make interesting reading. But do they not do more?
Surely it is unnecessary to urge the lesson of persistence in a task
seriously undertaken. Often there is temptation to slight some
worth-while task, after one has worked on it painstakingly for a time.
"Why pay so much attention to detail?" is asked. "Surely no real harm
will be done if I give less time to some of these things that seemed so
important at the beginning!"

Fortunately there are multitudes of workers who are constitutionally
unable to slight a task. The proofreader on a paper of large circulation
is an example. It is a part of her work to prove statements made, to
verify facts and figures, to see that these are altogether accurate.
Once when there was an unusual pressure of work the editor suggested
that she might wish to take certain things for granted, but she showed
her conscientious thoroughness by performing the task to the end,
according to the rules of the office, and in the face of weariness that
was almost exhaustion.

It may not be given to you to be a historian. You may not be called upon
to prove the story of a hero. It may not be your task to read proof or
to verify manuscripts. But each one has a definite part in the work of
the world and there is no one to whom the example of historian and
proofreader is without value. All need to remember the truth in the
assurance, "There is nothing so hard but search will find it out."



Two young people were passing out of a building where they had just
listened to a speaker of note.

"What a wonderful talk that was!" said one who found it a heavy cross to
make the simplest address in public. "I wish I had such a gift of

"It isn't a gift in his case; it is an acquirement," was the response.
"If you had known that man five years ago, you would agree with me. When
I first knew him he could not get up in a public meeting and make the
simplest statement without floundering and stammering in a most pitiful
manner. But he had made up his mind to be a public speaker, and he put
himself through a severe course of discipline. To-day you see the

The biography of Dr. Herrick Johnson tells of courageous conquest of
difficulties that seemed to block the way to success: "Hamilton College
has always given great attention to public speaking and class orations.
The high standard was set by a remarkably gifted man, Professor
Mandeville, who instituted a system in the study of oratory and public
speaking which has been known ever since, with some modification, as the
'Mandeville System.'"

"In 1853, Dr. Anson J. Upson was in the Mandevillian chair, and had
lifted up to still greater height the standard of public speaking, and
had awakened a great, inextinguishable enthusiasm for it. Not one of the
boys who entered that year, and who were at that prize-speaking contest,
could fail to be seized with the public-speaking craze. It especially
met Herrick Johnson's taste and trend and gifts, and fired his highest
aim. Probably there was nothing he wanted so much as the prize in his
class at the next commencement. But unfortunately his standards and
ideals of public speaking were just then as far as possible from the
Mandevillian standard. He had acquired what was called a ministerial
tone, and other faults fatal to any success, unless eradicated. The best
speakers of the upper classes were the recognized and accepted
'drillers' of the new boys, who at once put themselves under their care
and criticism. Every spring and fall a certain valley with a grove,
north of the college, was the resort of the aspirants for success at
this time. The woods would ring with their 'exercises' and strenuous
declamation, and I presume it is the same to-day.

"Herrick Johnson had a magnificent voice, well-nigh ruined by his sins
against the right method of using it. He soon saw that it was going to
be essential for him to go down to the foundation of his wrong methods
and break them all up and absolutely eradicate his 'tone.' It was no
easy thing to do, but the young man was intensely ambitious, and so he
worked with the greatest energy. He failed of an appointment on the
'best four' of his Freshman class. But he worked away throughout his
Sophomore year and failed again. The upperclassmen saw his pluck, they
recognized his grand voice, and they worked with him during his Junior
year, until he had mastered the Mandevillian style, wholly eradicated
his 'tone,' corrected all defects, and got his appointment for one of
the best four speakers of the Junior year; and on the prize-speaking
night of that commencement, he went on the platform conscious of his
power and swept everything before him as the Junior prize speaker. It
set the standard for that young man. Voice, manner, address, were all
masterful and accounted easily for his great success as a public speaker
through all his subsequent prominent and successful career in his

A part of the good of "speaking a piece" is to try again, determined to
retrieve failure. Success is not always a good thing for a boy or a
girl, any more than for a man or a woman. The discipline of failure is
sometimes needed. To fail is not always a calamity, if the failure leads
to the correction of the faults that lead to failure. Whether it be
speaking a piece or learning a lesson or facing a trying situation in
business, no matter how many times one has failed, he needs to take to
heart the message of Macbeth:

                        We fail!
          But screw your courage to the sticking-point,
          And we'll not fail.

Always there is a reward for those who fight against difficulties, who
persist in their struggle even when failure follows failure. Everyday
the glad story of the sequel to such persistent struggles is recorded.
The records of commercial life, of school life, of home life are full of



Of all obstacles that can stand in the way of courageous conquest, one
of the most fatal, in the opinion of many, is blindness. Yet it is not
necessary that the loss of the eyes should be the fatal handicap it is
almost universally considered. It is a mistake to feel that when a
worker has anything seriously and permanently wrong with his eyes he
cannot be expected longer to perform tasks that are normal for one who
has the full use of all his five senses. In fact, when we hear that a
man is going blind we are apt to dismiss with a sigh his chance for
continuing productive labor of any sort; we feel that there is little
left for him but sitting resignedly in a chimney corner and listening to
others read to him or patiently fingering the raised letters provided
for the use of the blind.

In protest against this error a novelist has taken for his hero a young
man who lost his sight. His friends pitied him, talked dolefully to him,
promised to look after him in the days of incapacity. Of course he sank
lower and lower in the doleful dumps. Then one came into his life who
never seemed to notice his blindness, who talked to him as if he could
see, who encouraged him to do things by taking it for granted that they
would be performed. Her treatment proved effective; before long the
blind man was learning self-reliance, and was well on the road to

The story was true to life for, times without number, blind men and
women have shown their ability to work as effectively as if they could
see. More than two hundred years ago a teacher in London named Richard
Lucas lost his eyesight. Many of his friends thought that he would, of
course, give up all idea of being a useful man; in that day few thought
of the possibility of one so afflicted doing anything worth much. But
the young man thought differently. He listened to others as they read to
him, and completed his studies. He became the author of a dozen volumes,
and was among the leaders of his day. One of his greatest works was the
book "An Enquiry after Happiness." He knew how to be happy, in spite of
his affliction, so he could teach others to follow him.

A little earlier there lived on the farm of a poor Irishman the boy
Thomas Carolan. When he was five years old, he had smallpox, a disease
that was much more virulent in those days than it is to-day because the
treatment required was not understood. As a result the boy lost his
sight. Soon he showed a taste for music, and he was able to take a few
lessons, in spite of the poverty at home. As a young man he composed
hundreds of pieces of music, and it has been said of him that he
contributed much towards correcting and enriching the style of national
Irish music.

Another youthful victim of smallpox was Thomas Blacklock, the son of a
bricklayer in Scotland. "He can't be an artisan now," his friends said.
But it did not occur to them that he could be a professional man. His
father read him poetry and essays. When he was only twelve the boy began
to write poetry in imitation of those whose verses he had heard. After
his father's death, when the blind boy was but nineteen, he was more
than ever dependent on himself. By the help of a friend he was enabled
to go to school for a time. Then he became an author, and, later, a
famous preacher. Often, as he walked about, a favorite dog preceded him.
On one occasion he heard the hollow sound of the dog's tread on the
board covering a deep well, and just in time to avoid stepping on the
board himself. The covering was so rotten that he would surely have
fallen into the water.

As a boy Francis Huber, of Geneva, Switzerland, was a great student. He
insisted on reading by the feeble light of a lamp, or by the light of
the moon, even when he was urged not to do so, and the result was
blindness. A few years later he married one who rejoiced to be "his
companion, his secretary and his observer." He became the greatest
authority of his day on bees, although he knew nothing of the subject
until after his misfortune. The strange thing is that all his
conclusions were based on observation. Among other things he studied the
function of the wax, the construction of their combs, the bees' senses
and their ability to ventilate the hive by means of their wings. In
recognition of his work he was given membership in a number of learned
societies. His name must always be connected with the history of early
bee investigation.

Not long after the close of the American Revolution James Holman, a
British naval officer, lost his eyesight while in Africa. He was then
about twenty-five years old. Later he became one of the best known
travelers of his day. The world was told of his travels in lectures and
in books, and others were also inspired to travel. "What is the use of
traveling to one who cannot see?" he was asked at one time. "Does every
traveler see all he describes?" he replied. He said that he felt sure he
visited, when on his travels, as many interesting places as others, and
that, by having the things described to him on the spot, he could form
as correct a judgment as his own sight would have enabled him to do.

In 1779 Richmond, Virginia, gave birth to James Wilson, who lost his
sight when he was four years old, because of smallpox. He was then on
shipboard, and was taken to Belfast, Ireland, where he grew to manhood.
When a boy he delivered newspapers to subscribers who lived as far as
five miles from the city. When fifteen he used part of his earnings to
buy books which he persuaded other boys to read to him. At twenty-one he
entered an institution for the blind, for fuller instruction. Then he
joined with a circle of mechanics in forming a reading society. One
friend promised to read to him every evening such books as he could
procure. The hours for reading were from nine to one every night in
summer and from seven to eleven every night in the winter. "Often I
have traveled three or four miles, in a severe winter night, to be at my
post in time," he said once. "Perished with cold and drenched with rain,
I have many a time sat down and listened for several hours together to
the writings of Plutarch, Rollins, or Clarendon." After seven or eight
years of this training, he was "acquainted with almost every work in the
English language" his biographer says, perhaps a little extravagantly.
His education he used in literary work.

B. B. Bowen was a Massachusetts boy just a century ago. When a babe he
lost his sight. In 1833 Dr. Howe--husband of Julia Ward Howe--selected
him as one of six blind boys on whom he was to make the first
experiments in the instruction of the blind. Later he wrote a book of
which eighteen thousand copies were sold.

Another of the men who proved the loss of sight was not a bar to
successful work was Thomas R. Lounsbury, the Yale scholar whose studies
in Chaucer and Shakespeare made him famous. Toward the close of his busy
life he was engaged in a critical study of Tennyson, preparatory to
writing an exhaustive book on the life of the great poet. He did not
live to complete the work, but he left it in such shape that a friend
was able to put it in the hands of the publishers.

In the Introduction to the biography this friend told of the courageous
manner in which Professor Lounsbury faced threatening blindness and
continued his writing in spite of the danger. We are told that his eyes,
never very good, failed him for close and prolonged work. "At best he
could depend upon them for no more than two or three hours a day.
Sometimes he could not depend upon them at all. That he might not
subject them to undue strain, he acquired the habit of writing in the
dark. Night after night, using a pencil on coarse paper, he would sketch
a series of paragraphs for consideration in the morning. This was almost
invariably his custom in later years. Needless to say, these rough
drafts are difficult reading for an outsider. Though the lines could be
kept reasonably straight, it was impossible for a man enveloped in
darkness to dot an _i_ or to cross a _t_. Moreover, many words were
abbreviated, and numerous sentences were left half written out. Every
detail, however, was perfectly plain to the author himself. With these
detached slips of paper and voluminous notes before him, he composed on
a typewriter his various chapters, putting the paragraphs in logical

Francis Parkman, the historian who made the Indian wars real to
fascinated readers, was a physical wreck on the completion of "The
Oregon Trail," when he was but twenty-five years old. He could not write
even his own name, except with his eyes closed; he was unable to fix his
mind on a subject, except for very brief intervals, and his nervous
system was so exhausted that any effort was a burden. But he would not
give up. During the weary days of darkness he thought out the story of
the conspiracy of Pontiac and decided to write it. Physicians warned him
that the results would be disastrous, yet he felt that nothing could do
him more harm than an idle, purposeless life.

One of his chief difficulties he solved in an ingenious manner. In a
manuscript, published after his death, his plan was described:

"He caused a wooden frame to be constructed of the size and shape of a
sheet of letter paper. Stout wires were fixed horizontally across it,
half an inch apart, movable back of thick pasteboard fitted behind
them. The paper for writing was placed between the pasteboard and wires,
guided by which and using a black-lead crayon, he could write not
illegibly with closed eyes."

This contrivance, with improvements, he used for about forty years of

The documents on which he depended for his facts were read to him,
though sometimes for days he could not listen, and then perhaps only for
half an hour at a time. As he listened to the reading he made notes with
closed eyes. Then he turned over in his mind what he had heard and
laboriously wrote a few lines. For months he penned an average of only
three or four lines a day. Later he was able to work more rapidly and he
completed the book in two years and a half. No publisher was found who
was willing to bear the expense of issuing the volume, and the young man
paid for the plates himself.

Friends thought that now he would have to give up. His eyes were still
troubling him, he became lame, his head felt as if great bands of iron
were fastened about it, and frequently he did not sleep more than an
hour or two a night. Then came the death of his wife, on whom he had
depended for some years. At one time his physician warned him that he
had not more than six months to live. But when a friend said that he had
nothing more to live for, he made the man understand that he was not
ready to hoist the white flag.

He lived for forty-five years after it was thought that he could never
use his eyes again, and during all this time he worked steadily and
patiently, accomplishing what would have been a large task for a man who
had the full use of all his powers.

An Englishman was told by his physician he could never see again. For a
time the news weighed heavily upon him. Afterward he said: "I remained
silent for a moment, thinking seriously, and then, summoning up all the
grit I possessed, I said, 'If God wills it, He knows best. What must be
will be. And,' I added, putting my hand up to a tear that trickled down
my face, 'God helping me, this is the last tear I shall ever shed for my
blindness.'" It was. He secured the degrees of doctor of philosophy and
master of arts. He was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and
the Chemical Society. He made many valuable scientific discoveries and
inventions, saved a millionaire's life, and received the largest fee
ever awarded any doctor--$250,000.

To these men difficulties were a challenge to courage. They accepted the
challenge and proved themselves superior to circumstances. Thus their
lives became a challenge to the millions of their countrymen who read of
their triumph.



ANYBODY can drift, but only the man or woman of courage can breast the
current, can fight on upstream.

It is so easy to be idle or to work listlessly. Average folks drift
heedlessly into occupations in which they have no special interest and
for which they have as little fitness. Most people waste their evenings
or use them to little profit: it never occurs to them that each day they
waste precious hours. They give more thought to schemes to do less work
than to attempts to increase output.

And so they show their weakness, their unfitness for bearing
responsibility, their cowardice when the world is calling for courage.

Worth-while work demands the finest kind of courage, and with perfect
fairness work gives back courage to those who put courage into it.



"Yes, he's a right good worker, when you once get him started," a
country newspaper editor said to a friend who was inquiring about a boy
who had been in the office three months. "Watch him now; you'll see what
I mean."

The boy had just brought from the express office the package of "patent
insides," as the papers for the weekly edition of the newspaper, already
half printed in the nearby city, were called. With a sigh he dragged
these up the stairs and laid them on the folding table. With another
sigh he contemplated the pile and thought how much time would be
required to fold the eight hundred papers. After lengthy calculation he
stopped to read a column of jokes from the top paper in the pile. At
least five minutes passed before the first paper was folded. At the end
of ten minutes he had succeeded in folding perhaps twenty-five papers.
When the noon hour arrived not one third of the task was completed.

While he ate his lunch he was thinking of the dread ordeal of the
afternoon--six hundred more papers to be folded! Would he ever be done?
He was still pitying himself as he walked slowly back to the office.
Just before reaching the doorway into which he must turn, he spied an
acquaintance. He made his way over to the boy who had attracted him, not
because he had anything to say to him, but that he might delay a little
longer the moment of beginning work at the folding table.

"What are you going to do?" he asked idly of the boy, who had taken off
his coat and was rolling up his sleeves.

"The boss wants me to sort that lot of old iron," was the reply.

"What, that huge pile! It will take you a week, won't it? Just think how
much of it there is!"

"No, there isn't time to think how much of it there is," was the reply.
"And what would be the good? Not a bit of use getting discouraged at the
very start, and that is what would happen if I didn't pitch in hard. The
job is going to be done before night--that is, if I'm not interrupted by
too many loafers coming in to ask fool questions."

The boy from the printing office was about to resent this speech of the
boy at the iron pile, but he thought better of it. "Perhaps there is
something in what he says," he said to himself, as he went up the
stairs. "Suppose I try to pitch in hard."

So he surprised the foreman by beginning at the pile of six hundred
papers as if he was to be sent to a ball game when he finished. And he
surprised himself by finishing his task in a little more than an hour.

The lesson he learned that day stood him in good stead when later he was
taking his first difficult examination in a technical school. His
neighbor stopped to look over the paper from beginning to end, and was
heard to mutter, "How do they expect us to get through ten questions
like these in an hour's time?" The boy from the printing office had no
time for such an inquiry, but began work at once on the first question,
without troubling himself about those that came later until he was ready
for them.

So it was when, his technical course completed, he was confronted by his
first great railroad task, the clearing up of a wreck that looked to his
assistants like an inextricable tangle. After one good look at it he
pitched in for all he was worth, thus inspiring the men who had felt the
task was impossible, and within a few hours the tracks were clear.

The ability to pitch in at once on a hard job is one characteristic of
the man who accomplishes tasks that make others sit up and take notice.
John Shaw Billings, the famous librarian, had this ability. To a friend
who praised him for the performance of what others thought to be a most
difficult task, he said:

"I'll let you into the secret--it is nothing really difficult if you
only begin. Some people contemplate a task until it looks so big it
seems impossible, but I just begin, and it gets done somehow. There
would be no coral islands if the first bug sat down and began to wonder
how the job was to be done."



One of the interesting points the fascinated reader of biography comes
to look for is the first hint of the formation of the purpose that later
characterized the life of the subject. There is infinite variety, but in
every case there is apt to be something that takes the purposeful reader
back to the days when his own ambition was taking shape.

For instance, there is Daniel Boone. One would not be apt to select him
as an example of one whose life was ruled by a purpose deliberately
formed and adhered to for many years. Yet he had his vision of what he
desired to accomplish when, at twenty-one years of age, he was marching
from North Carolina to Pennsylvania to join Braddock's company. On the
way he met John Finley, a hunter who had traveled through Ohio and into
the wild regions to the south. His tale of Kentucky fired Boone's
imagination, and the two men planned to go there just as soon as the
trip to Fort Duquesne was at an end. It proved impossible to carry out
the plan for many years, but Boone never lost sight of his purpose, and
ultimately he carved out the Wilderness Road and opened the way for the
pioneers to seek homes in the Kentucky Wilderness.

Alexander Hamilton was but twelve years old when he wrote from his home
in St. Croix, in the West Indies, to a friend in America:

"I contemn the grovelling condition of a clerk, or the like, to which my
fortune condemns me, and would willingly risk my life, though not my
character, to exalt my station. I am confident, Ned, that my youth
excludes me from any hope of immediate preferment, nor do I desire it,
but I mean to prepare the way for futurity."

Not for a day did he lose sight of his purpose. The opportunity he
sought came years later. He sailed for America, and began the career
that led to usefulness and fame.

As a boy Robert Fulton was ambitious. He had two dreams. He wished to go
to Europe to study art, and he wished to buy a farm for his widowed
mother. For these objects he saved every dollar he could. On his
twenty-first birthday he took his mother and sister to the home he had
bought for them, and later in the same year he sailed for Europe.

When Peter Cooper was making his way against odds in New York City he
felt the need of an education. But he had to work by day and there was
no night school. Night after night he studied by the light of a tallow
candle. And while he studied, his life purpose was formed: some day he
would make it easy for apprentice boys to secure an education after
working hours. Many years passed before he was able to carry this
purpose into effect. By this time the apprentice system had been
displaced, but he felt that young people still needed the school he had
in mind. In 1859, nearly fifty years after his own boyhood struggle, he
founded Cooper Union, in which thousands have had the opportunity "to
open the volume of Nature by the light of truth--so unveiling the laws
and methods of Deity that the young may see the beauties of creation,
enjoy its blessings and learn to love the Being from whom cometh every
good and perfect gift."

As a boy Abraham Lincoln made up his mind "to live like Washington." He
was twenty-two years old when, in New Orleans,--where he had taken a
flatboat loaded with produce--he saw a slave auction and spoke the
never-to-be-forgotten words: "If ever I get a chance to hit that thing,
I'll hit it hard." Thirty-five years later came his chance, and he did
"hit that thing hard" with the Emancipation Proclamation.

Alexander Graham Bell's life ambition was to teach deaf children how to
articulate. Funds were short. That he might have more funds he engaged
in experiments that led to the invention of the telephone. When the
telephone instrument was given the attention it deserved at the
Philadelphia Centennial of 1876, the inventor wrote triumphantly to his
parents: "Now I shall have the money to promote the teaching of speech
to deaf children."

James Stewart, the Scotch boy who became a famous missionary in South
Africa, was fifteen years old when, one day while following the plow in
Perthshire, he began to brood over the future. "What was it to be?" The
question flashed across his mind, "Might I not make more of my life than
by remaining here?" Then he said, "God helping me, I will be a
missionary." At another time, while hunting with a cousin, he said "Jim,
I shall never be satisfied till I am in Africa with a Bible in my pocket
and a rifle on my shoulder, to supply my wants."

James Robertson was a school teacher in Canada when he became a
Christian. On the Sunday he was to take his vows as a follower of
Christ, he walked two miles to church with a friend who has told of his
memories of the day thus:

"As we went along the Governor's Road there was a bush, 'Light's Woods,'
on the south side of the road. Robertson suggested that we turn aside
into the bush, not saying for what purpose. We penetrated it a short
distance, when, with a rising hill on our right and on comparatively
level ground, the tall maples waving their lovely heads far above us,
and the stillness of the calm, sunny day impressing us with a sense of
the awful, we came to a large stone. Robertson proposed that we engage
in prayer. We knelt down together. He prayed that he might be true to
the vows he was about to take, true to God and ever faithful in his

From that day the young man's purpose was inflexible. He would be a
minister. He did not dream of conspicuous places in the church. When the
temptations came to seek place and position, he wrote to Miss Cowing,
who had promised to be his wife, "We are no longer our own. The time for
self is gone for us."

William Duncan likewise was tempted to seek a position of prominence.
When he decided to become a missionary, his employers sought to dissuade
him. "You have one of the keenest brains in England," one of them said.
"Don't you see you are making a fool of yourself?" "Fool or no fool, my
mind is made up, and nothing can change it," was the positive reply. And
he set his face like a flint, and in time began the wonderful work that
has written his name indelibly in the history of the Indians of Western
Canada and Alaska.

Washington Gladden was a country newspaper man in Owego, New York, when
he united with the church, and began to make definite plans for a larger
future than he had yet dreamed of. First he went to the Academy and
then to college, with the ministry always in view.

George Grenfell, who became a missionary in Africa, was thirteen years
old when he began to think of devoting his life to work for others. The
reading of Livingstone's first book turned his thoughts to Africa.

William Waddell was fifteen years old when he became a Christian. At the
time he was working for a ship-joiner at Clydebank, Scotland. The
ambition took possession of him to become a missionary to Africa.
Neither lack of education nor scarcity of funds was allowed to stand in
his way. He kept at his work until he saw an advertisement asking for
men to go to the Orange Free State to assist in building a church. He
volunteered, and, as a layman and a mechanic, began his wonderful career
in Africa.

David Lloyd-George was an orphan in Wales when he determined to be a
lawyer. So he read, under the guidance of his shoemaker uncle, and when
he was fourteen he was ready for the preliminary examination. For six
years more he continued his preparation. Before he was twenty-one he set
out on the career that has made him the leader to whom King and people
of England alike turned eagerly.

These men found their place and did their work, not because they sought
great things for themselves, but because they lived in the spirit of the
advice given by a celebrated Canadian to a company of young people:

"You cannot all attain high positions: there are not enough to go
around. You cannot all be preachers or premiers, but you can all do
thoroughly and well what is set you to do, and so fit yourselves for
some higher duty, and thus by industry and fidelity and kindness you can
fill your sphere in life and at last receive the 'Well done' of your



A remark made by an acquaintance in the street car showed such
familiarity with the work and trials of the busy conductor that inquiry

"Yes, I was a conductor once," the man said, "but I had my eye on
something else. At night I took a business course, and soon was able to
take a position with a railroad company."

"That was fine!" was the answering comment. "How you must have enjoyed
resting on your oars as you reaped the fruits of extra toil."

"Enjoyment--yes! But rest--no!" came the reply. "I wasn't done. I still
had my evenings, and I kept on studying. The things I learned in these
extra hours came in handy when the Superintendent asked me to become his

Service in the railroad office was interrupted by enlistment in the
army, although the worker was well beyond the age of the draft. "How
could I think of anything but service at the front?" he said, with a
matter-of-fact accent. While in the service the habit of study in spare
hours persisted; becoming familiar with the military manual he attracted
the attention of his officers, and was marked for added responsibility.
At the close of the war he resumed his work for the railroad and entered
a technical school which provides night courses for the ambitious.

Forty years of age, and still learning!

An employer has written of an employee who, ten years ago, was securing
fifteen dollars per week. But he was studying, and he soon attracted the
attention of the head of the business, who called him "a rough diamond."
He knew that the ambitious man seemed to lack some of the vital
elements of success. But he watched him as he took evening courses in
business psychology and salesmanship. "This man is paid by me to-day
from $12,500 to $15,000 a year," was the gratifying conclusion of the
employer's story.

A great executive recently told in a magazine article of a young man in
the office of his employment director who attracted attention because of
an exceptionally pleasing personal appearance. Before the director saw
him the executive asked him what he was studying. "When I left school,"
was the reply, made with something of a sneer, "I promised myself I
would never open a book again as long as I lived, and I'm keeping my

The executive was about to leave the office for a two weeks' vacation.
First, however, he wrote a few words about the applicant, placed them in
a sealed envelope, and left this with the employment director, to be
kept for him. On his return he asked about the applicant, by name. The
answer came, with prompt disgust:

"That fellow was the limit! Fired him two days after he was hired. Dead
from the neck up!"

Then the sealed letter was produced and the message enclosed was read:

"You will hire A---- H---- on his looks. Within two weeks you will fire
him. He's dead from his neck."

A writer in _Association Men_ has made a comparison between two men, and
the way they spent their leisure:

"Here is my friend Chris Hall--that is not his real name, but I assure
you he is a real person. I like Chris, and so does everybody who knows
him. He is honest and kind and clean, but in spite of these splendid
characteristics he never makes progress. Five years ago he was promoted
to his present position, and he draws as salary just about what he did
then. And there is no prospect that he will ever draw much more. Yet he
could make himself worth four times as much in a very short while--$200
a week instead of $50--if he would only fit himself for the job ahead.
But he lives entirely in the present. Perhaps the best way to describe
him is to give his diary for a week, a record of how he spent his time
when not actually working. And, please notice that everything he did was
perfectly legitimate and honorable; but also notice, that everything was
for immediate personal pleasure:

          _Monday_--Rainy evening; went to bed early after
          playing a while with the kids.

          _Tuesday_--Strolled over to see Mollie's brother,
          who is just back from France; he looks well but
          would not talk much about the fighting; advised
          him not to hurry about getting a job, as he
          deserved a good long spell of rest after the hard

          _Wednesday_--Left office early; first big league
          game this year; went around to the club and talked
          it all over with the boys after supper.

          _Thursday_--Office closed all day on account of
          parade of returning troops; took Mollie and
          children to see it; awfully tired and went to bed

          _Friday_--Sold my two Liberty Bonds which I had
          bought on installments; Mollie needed summer
          dresses and there were several small debts I had
          to pay; took Mollie to the movies after supper.

          _Saturday_ (afternoon)--Whole family went to
          Seaside Park by steamer--children enjoyed it for a
          while but soon got tired and fretful; what with
          the heat and the crowds and the late hour of
          getting home it really didn't pay.

          _Sunday_--In bed till nearly noon; read the
          papers; changed the soil in Mollie's potted
          plants; afternoon, Tom and his wife and Charlie
          Nichols and his best girl came over and all stayed
          to supper; strolled over to Mother's and found
          everyone there.

"Over against that let me put a few lines from the diary of Elihu

          _Monday_--Headache; 40 lines Cuvier's 'Theory of
          the Earth'; 64 pages French; 11 hours forging.

          _Tuesday_--60 lines Hebrew; 30 pages French; 10
          pages Cuvier; 8 lines Syriac; 10 lines Danish; 10
          lines Bohemian; 9 lines Polish; 15 names of
          stars; 10 hours forging.

          _Wednesday_--25 lines Hebrew; 8 lines Syriac; 11
          hours forging.

"Who was Elihu Burritt? He was a New England blacksmith who worked on an
average 10 hours a day at his forge; but who studied in his spare
moments until he became known and honored all over the world as 'the
learned blacksmith.' He became great--not by forging--but by the way he
used his afterwork hours."



"It was the rule of his life to study not how little he could do, but
how much."

These words were spoken of a great publisher and might have been made
the text of the volume issued to commemorate the centenary of the
business house founded by the man of whom they were spoken.

The young man was sixteen when his father drove him from their country
home to the city, and apprenticed him to a firm of printers.

As an apprentice he and another young man were frequently partners in
working an old-fashioned hand press. "One applied the ink with
hand-balls, and the other laid on sheets and did the pulling. They
changed work at regular intervals, one inking and the other pulling."
The biographer who gives this description of the work of the two, adds
that his hero was accustomed to remain at his press after the other men
had quit work whenever he could secure a partner to assist him.

The young man's fellow worker was often persuaded to assist him in these
extra efforts--usually much against his will. While he often felt like
rebelling because of his partner's ambition to do his utmost for his
employers, he could not restrain his admiration for the man's industry.

Once the unwilling partner said: "Often, after a good day's work, he
would say to me, 'Let's break the back of another token (two hundred and
fifty impressions)--just break its back.' I would often consent
reluctantly but he would beguile me, or laugh at my complaints, and
never let me off till the token was completed, fair and square. It was a
custom for us in the summer to do a clear half-day's work before the
other boys and men got their breakfast. We would meet by appointment in
the grey of the early morning and go down to the printing-room."

Fellow workmen made sport of the ambitious young man, not only because
of what they felt was his excessive industry, but because of his
homespun clothes and heavy cow-hide boots. He seldom retorted, but once,
when jests had gone further than usual, he said to a tormentor: "When I
am out of my time and set up for myself, and you need employment, as you
probably will, come to me and I will give you work." The man little
thought the prophecy would be fulfilled, but forty years after, when the
industrious apprentice was mayor of the city and one of the world's
leading publishers, he was reminded of the promise made to the
tormentor, and the promised position was given to him. The workman who
believed in doing more than was expected of him had won his way to fame
and fortune, while his derider had made no progress.

In 1817 the industrious apprentice asked a brother--who in the meantime
had served his apprenticeship in a printing office--to go into business
with him. Later two other brothers were taken into the firm. All were
believers in the doctrine that had led the oldest member of the firm to
success--the doctrine of doing as much instead of as little as possible.

Their readiness to work constantly enabled the four brothers, who
started with little capital except their knowledge of their trade, to
build up within a generation one of the world's greatest publishing
houses. They improved every moment. But they were never tempted to work
on Sunday; business was never so pressing that they would break into the
day of rest, or make their men do so. In this they were only living in
accordance with purposes formed during their days of working for others.
It is stated of one of the brothers, whose employer rejoiced in his
readiness to do hard work and plenty of it, that he was expected to work
on Sunday, in order to get ready the catalogue of an auction sale which
was to be held next day. "That I will not do," he said, respectfully but
firmly: "I cannot work on Sunday." He did work till midnight; then--in
spite of the threat that he would be discharged--he laid down his
composing stick on the case. On Monday morning his employer apologized
and asked him to return to work.

Thirty-six years after the founding of the house, it occupied five
five-story buildings on one street and six on another street. Then a
careless plumber started a fire that--within a few hours--destroyed the
entire property. But the energetic men who knew how to work were not
discouraged at the thought of beginning again. The night after the fire
they met for conference. As they separated one of them remarked that the
evening had seemed more like a time of social festivity than a
consultation over a great calamity.

Business associates hastened to make offers of loans. Within forty-eight
hours the firm was tendered more than one hundred thousand dollars.
Publishers offered their presses, printing material and office room.
Authors wrote that they were ready to wait indefinitely for pay, while
employees not only made a like suggestion, but said they were willing to
have their pay reduced. While none of these offers were accepted, they
were greatly appreciated, for they told of the place the brothers had
won for themselves by untiring industry and sterling integrity.

After the fire the house became greater than ever, so that to-day it
stands as an example of what "hard work coupled with high ideals" may
accomplish. And to every young man the thought of it gives inspiration
to follow in the steps of the founder who "made it the rule of his life
to study not how little he could do, but how much."



There are times when the real test of a worker's courage is not his
readiness to work but his will to curb the temptation to be intemperate
in work.

When the word "intemperance" is mentioned most people think at once of
strong drink; many people are unwilling to think of anything but strong
drink. As if where there is no temptation to drink there can be no
temptation to intemperance!

Paul had a different idea. When he wrote to the Corinthians, "Every man
that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things," he must have
had in mind scores of different ways in which intemperance endangers

If people were to make a list of some of the aspects of intemperance
that are characteristic of modern life, it is quite likely that a large
proportion would omit one of the most serious of all--the intemperance
of the man who lives to work, who drives himself to work, who is never
happy unless he is working, who makes himself and others unhappy because
he labors too long, and too persistently, perhaps with the result that
his own promising career is wrecked and the industry of others is
interfered with seriously.

One of the most striking illustrations of intemperance in work is
supplied by the life of Samuel Bowles, editor of the Springfield,
Massachusetts, _Republican_, one of the famous editors of the generation
beginning a few years after the Civil War.

Mr. Bowles was but eighteen years old when he had his first warning that
his system could not stand the strain of the work to which a strong will
drove him. His mother used to set a rocking chair for him at the table
at meal-time, because, as she said, "Sam has so little time to rest."
But the rocking chair was empty for months, when a breakdown sent him
South for a long period of recuperation.

When he returned home he plunged into work with all his might. "He
worked late at night; vacations and holidays were unknown; of recreation
and general society he had almost nothing," his biographer says. For
years his office hours began before noon and continued until one or two
in the morning. Finally the strain became too great, and loss of sight
was feared. Still he forced himself to work, and the injury to his brain
was begun that was later to cause his death. He would take a bottle of
cold tea to the office, that by its use he might aid his will to work
when nature said, "Stop!" For a long time his only sleep--and it was
sadly broken sleep--was on a lounge in the office, from two to six or
seven in the morning. Then he would set to work again. "By his unceasing
mental activity he wore himself out," the comment was made on his
career. "For the last twenty years of his life his nerves and stomach
were in chronic rebellion. Heavy clouds of dyspepsia, sciatica,
sleeplessness, exhaustion, came often and staid long."

The intemperate worker knew what he was doing. Once he wrote to a
friend, "You can't burn the candle at both ends, and make anything by it
in the long run; and it is the long pull that you are to rely on, and
whereby you are to gain glory." Persistent headaches, "nature's sharp
signal that the engine had been overdriven," added to the warning. At
last, when he was thirty-seven, he wrote: "My will has carried me for
years beyond my mental and physical power; that has been the offending
rock. And now, beyond that desirable in keeping my temper, and forcing
me up to proper exercise and cheerfulness through light occupation, I
mean to call upon it not at all, if I can help it, and to do only what
comes freely and spontaneously from the overflow of power and life. This
will make me a light reader, a small worker."

Well for him if he had kept his resolution. Still he drove himself to
work beyond what his body and brain could stand. Then came paralysis.
"Nothing is the matter with me but thirty-five years of hard work," he
said. At the time of his death he was not fifty-one years old.

His friends could not but admire him for strength of will, for
achievement in the face of ill health, for triumph, by sheer will-power,
over every obstacle except the will that drove him to his death. He
accomplished much, but how much more he might have accomplished if he
had been temperate in his use of the wonderful powers of mind and body
which God had given him!

In connection with this glimpse of the life of one who illustrates the
disaster brought by the will to be intemperate, it is helpful to think
of the life of another American man of letters whose will to be
temperate in his treatment of a body weak and frail prolonged life and

Francis Parkman, the historian, was never a well man after his trip
that resulted in the writing of _The Oregon Trail_. In fact, he was a
physical wreck at twenty-five years of age. He could not even write his
own name, until he first closed his eyes; he was unable to fix his mind
on a subject, except for very brief intervals, and his nervous system
was so exhausted that any effort was a burden. However, in spite of this
limitation, which became worse, if possible, instead of better, he
managed to accomplish an immense amount of the finest literary work by
doing what he could and stopping when this was wise. His will to take
care of himself was given the mastery of his will to work. For
forty-four years after the completion of _The Oregon Trail_ he labored
on, preparing history after history. He was seventy years old when he
died, leaving behind him achievements that would have been a tremendous
task for a man in perfect health.

To everyone is given the marvelous equipment of body and brain, as well
as the will which makes possible their judicious investment or their
prodigal waste in the struggle to make life count.



YOUNG people sometimes play the game of "Consequences." The sport
increases in proportion to the strangeness of the results.

Perhaps the reason the game has so many attractions is the fact that
life is a long story of consequences.

There are people who do not like to play the game of life seriously
because they say the consequences of self-denial and self-sacrifice are
too uncertain; they prefer the cowardice of inaction to the courage of
purposeful living.

The folks worth while are those who, refusing to be troubled by what may
or may not be the consequences of their acts, still have the pluck to go
on with what they know is right. Let the results be what they may, they
propose to be straightforward and true. This is the courage that counts.

There may be uncertainty as to the specific form the results of their
stand may take, yet that result is sure to be pleasing and helpful.



When Washington Irving was about to return to America from Madrid, where
he had been minister of the United States to the court of Spain, the
Philadelphia house that had been publishing his books, discouraged by
the decreasing sales, sent word to him that the public was not able to
appreciate his books, and they would have to allow them to go out of
print. The books had been printed directly from the type, so there were
no plates which another publisher might use to bring out further
editions at small expense.

The author, who was then sixty-five years of age, sorrowfully accepted
the verdict of his publisher, and planned to take desk-room in the New
York office of his brother, John Treat Irving, where he hoped to make a
living by the practice of law.

But this was not to be. In New York was a young publisher who believed
that Washington Irving's works were classics, and that the American
public would buy them eagerly if properly approached. Friends told him
that he might make a mistake, but he had the courage to go ahead. So he
wrote to the discouraged author what must have seemed to other
publishers a daring letter; he proposed to publish new editions of all
Irving's old books, on condition that new books, also, be given to him;
and he promised that royalties for the first year should be at least one
thousand dollars, for the second year two thousand dollars, and for the
third year three thousand dollars.

When Irving received the letter, he kicked over the desk in front of
him, at the same time saying to his brother:

"There is no necessity, John, for my bothering with the law. Here is a
fool of a publisher going to give me a thousand dollars a year for doing

But the publisher was not so foolish as he seemed. His promises were
more than made good. Sales were large. Other authors were attracted,
until the publishing house became one of the leaders among American

Nine years later Washington Irving had an opportunity to show his
gratitude. Just before the panic of 1857 a young man whom the generous
publisher had taken into partnership, involved him seriously. The
defalcations were not discovered until the accidental death of the
partner. Thus weakened, the firm was unable to survive the panic; its
affairs were put in the hands of a receiver, and all accounts were
sold. At the age of forty-two, the head of the firm bravely faced the
necessity of beginning life over.

At the receiver's sale Washington Irving bought the plates of all his
books. A number of publishers offered him fancy terms if he would permit
them to bring out new editions, but he turned a deaf ear to their
entreaties and offered the plates to their former owner, to be paid for
in annual installments. Touched by the gratitude of his friend, the
publisher accepted the offer.

The author never had cause to regret his action. During the years that
elapsed before his death the results of the new venture were more
satisfactory than ever. The courageous action of both publisher and
author had been amply vindicated by results.



The best time to learn the courage that proves so effective in the
struggle of life is in youth. More than fifty years ago two boys in
Scotland were hunting rabbits. Tiring of the comparatively easy hunting
on the ground, they looked longingly at a cliff of hard clay several
hundred feet high, in whose precipitous side were many rabbit burrows.
They managed to climb the cliff. At length they were making their way
along an almost perpendicular parapet, cutting their way with their
knives. Then one of the boys fell, with a scream, to the bottom of the
cliff. There was a moment of terror. This was succeeded by a grim
determination to go forward, the only way of escape. Driving his knife
deep in the clay, he rested on this for a moment. That moment, it has
always since seemed to him, marked the first momentous period in his
life, the time when his personality first emerged into consciousness. He
says: "I whispered to myself one word, 'Courage!' Then I went on with my
work." At length he reached the ground.

The lesson learned at such fearful cost told emphatically on the boy's
character. From that day he showed that there was in him the making of a
man who would not be balked by unfavorable circumstances. He did not
understand how or why, but he felt that new will-power had come to him
with the appeal to himself to take courage in the face of death.

A few years later he went to Brazil. A Spaniard told him that moral
deterioration within six months was all but certain to come to every
young man who began life there. But he was determined not to give way to
bad habits. When he reached Santos, his companions urged him to give
himself up to all kinds of vice; they told him that it was either this
or death, or perhaps something worse than death. They emphasized their
words by pointing to a young man who had determined to keep straight,
and had been left to himself until he was demented. But the boy who had
learned courage on the precipice made up his mind that he must live as
God wished him to live, and he turned a deaf ear to all entreaties.

Another book of biography tells of a boy who delighted in playing cards
with his father and mother. But when he united with the Church and
became President of the Christian Endeavor Society he began to wonder if
he was doing right. One night his father took up the cards and called
him to play whist.

"I don't think I'll play whist any more," he said quietly. "I've been
thinking that perhaps it wasn't right for me to play."

"Are you setting yourself up to judge your father and mother, young
man?" his father asked, sternly.

"No, I didn't say it isn't all right for you to play," was the reply.
"But you know I am President of the Christian Endeavor Society and some
of the members don't think it is right to play. So I guess I'd better

His father looked at him thoughtfully for a minute, then picked up the
cards and threw them back into the drawer.

"Charlie," he said, "I want you to understand that I think you have done
a manly thing to-night, and I honor you for your courage."

That was the end of whist in that house.

Courage showed itself in much the same way in the life of J. Marion
Sims, the great surgeon. He used to tell how, when he was a boy at a
South Carolina School, he was able to take a stand that had its effect
on his whole after-life. Many of his fellow students were sons of
wealthy planters, and their habits were not always the best. On several
occasions they tried to lead him into mischief. They were particularly
anxious to make him a companion in their drinking bouts. Twice he gave
way to their pleas, but after sorrowful experience of the results of his
lapses, he decided to make a brave stand. So he said to his tempters:

"See here, boys, you can all drink, and I cannot. You like wine and I do
not. I hate it; its taste is disagreeable, its effects are dreadful,
because it makes me drunk. Now, I hope you all will understand my
position. I don't think it is right for you to ask me to drink wine when
I don't want it, and when it produces such a bad effect on me."

To say this required real courage, but the results were good, not only
in himself, but also, fortunately, in some of his companions.



Those who, in early life, learn to be courageous in the face of
difficult tasks will be ready for the temptation that is apt to come to
most young people to compromise with what they know to be right and
true, to allow an exception "just this once!" in the straightforward
course they have marked out for themselves. And the worst of it is that
such a temptation is apt to come without the slightest warning and to
present itself in such a light that it is easy to find an excuse for
yielding, and to deem it quixotic and unreasonable not to yield.

Once a young teacher who later became famous at Harvard, had occasion to
censure a student who had given, as he believed, the wrong solution of
a problem. On thinking the matter over at home, he found that the pupil
was right and the teacher wrong. It was late at night and in the depth
of winter, but he immediately started for the young man's room, at some
distance from his own home, and asked for the man he had wronged. The
delinquent, answering with some trepidation the untimely summons, found
himself the recipient of a frank apology.

"Why, in the name of reason, do you walk a mile in the rain for a
perfectly unimportant thing?" this man was asked on another occasion.
"Simply because I have discovered that it was a misstatement, and I
could not sleep comfortably till I put it right," was the reply.

Again the story is told of him that he borrowed a friend's horse to ride
to a town where he expected to take the stage. He promised to leave the
animal at a certain stable in the town. Upon reaching the place he found
that the stage was several miles upon its way. This was a serious
disappointment. A friend urged him to ride to the next town, where he
could come up with the vehicle, promising himself to send after the
borrowed horse and forward it to its owner. The temptation to accept the
offer was great. The roads were ankle deep in mud, and the stage
rapidly rolling on its way. The only obstacle was his promise to leave
the horse at the appointed place. He declined the friendly offer,
delivered the horse as he had promised, and, shouldering his baggage,
set off on foot through the mud to catch the stage.

At this time he was eighteen years old, but he had learned the lesson
that made him remarkably efficient and dependable through life.

Dr. W. T. Grenfell has told of a hardy trapper in Labrador, the partner
of a man who was easily discouraged; the arrangement was that they
should share equally the hardships and the rewards of the trapping
expeditions. Both were very poor. The stronger man was most unselfish in
his treatment of his associate. One winter their lives were all but lost
during the severity of a storm which burst on them while they were
setting their traps on an ice-girt island. On reaching the mainland the
timid man insisted on dissolving the partnership; he was unwilling to
repeat the risks, even for the sake of his needy family. In a few days
the hardy trapper revisited the traps on the mainland. To his great joy
he found in one trap a magnificent silver fox, whose skin was worth five
hundred dollars--a fortune to the Labrador trapper, especially welcome
during that hard winter. "How glad I am the partnership has been
dissolved, and that the fox is all mine," was his first thought. But
first thought was not allowed to be last thought. There was a struggle.
At length the decision was made that the needy man who had set the trap
with him should share in the prize; the argument that he had forfeited
all right to a share was not allowed to weigh against the unselfish
arguments for division.

A friend of young people has told of an incident which occurred in a
great Boston department store where she sought to match some dress
goods. After turning away from several discourteous clerks she showed
her sample to a salesman who gave respectful attention to her. Glancing
at the slits cut in the side of the bit of goods, he remarked:

"That isn't one of my samples. I will ask the clerk who mailed this
sample to wait on you."

"But I don't want any other clerk to wait on me," responded the women,
hastily, fearing that the sample might have come originally from one of
the discourteous clerks first encountered; "I want you to have this

"If you had asked for goods of that quality, width and price, without
showing me the sample, I could have found it for you at once," replied
the clerk, with a smile, "but now, this sale belongs to the clerk who
sent out the sample."

"Then I won't give you this sample to hunt it up by," said the woman,
wishing to see if she could carry her point, and she proceeded to tuck
the sample away in her purse.

"But I know that I have seen it, and my conscience knows it," was the
clerk's comment, as he laughingly laid his hand on his heart and turned
to look for the other salesman.

The purchaser went on to tell thus of the salesman's unerring loyalty to
his principles: "In a moment he returned. The other clerk was at lunch.
What a sigh of relief I gave! 'I will make out the sale and turn it over
to him when he comes in,' he said, displaying the shining black folds of
the goods I desired."

A real estate dealer in a Texas city was once tempted to be false to his
principles, "just once," when he felt sure a sale depended on it. His
prospective customer was a foreigner, who wished the salesman to drink
with him after a trip to examine the property on Saturday and then to
promise to make an engagement to continue the search next morning. But
the business man was opposed to the use of liquor, and he had never done
business on Sunday. What was he to do on this occasion? Would it hurt
anything if he should make an exception in favor of this customer who
could not be expected to understand his scruples?

The temptation was acute; but it was conquered. Respectfully but firmly
the buyer was told why the salesman could not join him in taking a
drink, and why he could not go with him again until Monday morning. The
man went away in a rage.

Next morning the real estate man saw the foreigner in the hands of a
rival. "That sale is gone!" he thought. When three days more passed
without the return of the buyer he decided that he had paid heavily for
being true to his better self.

But on Thursday evening the foreigner sought the conscientious real
estate dealer and surprised him by saying:

"Those other fellows showed me lots of farms, but you wouldn't drink
with me, nor show me land on Sunday because you think it wrong. So,
maybe, I think you won't lie to me. I buy my farm of you."

Many times the reward of being true to one's conscience will not come so
promptly--except in the satisfaction the man has in knowing that he has
done the right thing. But the sure result is to bring him a little
nearer to the great reward that must come to a man whose integrity has
stood the test of years--the appreciation of those who know him and
their confidence in his honor.



It is not always necessary that a man should be aquainted with another
to be able to repose implicit confidence in him. A life of fearless,
straightforward duty-doing will inevitably leave its record in the face.
Sometimes a frank, open countenance that cannot be misread is far better
than any letter of introduction.

"We are suspicious of strangers," a man said to one who had sought at
his hands a favor that called for trust; then he added, with a smile,
"but some faces are above suspicion," and proceeded, with overwhelming
generosity, to grant far more than had been asked.

Years ago a business man unexpectedly found himself without sufficient
funds to continue his journey through Europe. As this was before the
days of travelers' checks or the ocean cable, he was at a loss what to
do. In his uncertainty he went to an Italian banking house and asked
them to cash a large draft on his home bank. After an instant's pause
the request was granted. Years later the merchant again saw the
accommodating banker, and asked why a stranger was given such a large
sum. "In plain truth, it was just your honest face, and nothing else,"
was the reply. On another trip abroad the merchant had a similar
experience. During a thunderstorm he took refuge with his wife in a
curio shop. The English-speaking woman in charge was so cordial, and her
goods were so pleasing, that the visitor said he would have liked to
make some purchase, but his remaining funds were not more than
sufficient for his journey home. The reply was: "Take whatever you
please, sir. No one could look in your face and distrust you."

A similar story was told by a Russian Jew who entered New York a
penniless immigrant. After a disheartening period of working in the
sweatshop he saw an opportunity to start in business for himself. But he
had no capital. At a venture he asked a business man to trust him for
the stock in trade. After gazing at him closely the man said, "You have
a credit face, so I will do as you ask."

It is worth while to have a face that insures confidence. But let it be
remembered that the possession of such a face is not an accident; it
belongs only to those who have the courage to think honestly, deal
fairly and live truly.



During the boyhood of Charles Abraham Hart, who was later the youngest
soldier in the War with Spain, he was on confidential terms with his
mother. One day when they were visiting together, she asked him about
something that had happened the winter before, which she was unable to
understand. His father had given to him and to his brothers two dollars
each to spend for Christmas presents. William spent the entire sum, but
Charles bought cheap presents, and it was evident that he had kept back
a part of the amount. Other members of the family misunderstood him, but
his mother thought she knew him well enough to be sure he had done
nothing selfish.

The record of the conversation between mother and son is told in the
boy's biography:

"The presents you bought were very cheap presents," she said to him. "I
don't think they could have cost more than seventy-five cents."

"They cost sixty-five cents," he told her.

"And your father asked what you had done with the rest of your money,
and you said you didn't want to tell him."

"Yes, I remember that father thought I was stingy, too."

"Do you mind telling me now what you did with the money?"

The boy did not answer for a few moments. Then he said, quietly:

"I bought a Bible for Fred Phillips. He didn't have a good Bible, and I
thought he needed one more than you and the boys needed expensive

"But why didn't you tell your father?"

"Because Fred was ashamed not to be able to buy the Bible for himself,
and he wouldn't take mine until I had promised that I wouldn't tell
anybody that I had given it to him. Since Fred has moved to Boston, I
feel he wouldn't care if I told you. I want you to know, for I just
heard to-day that Fred has joined the church. Isn't that good news?"

"Yes, indeed. Perhaps your giving him the Bible helped him to do it,
too. Charles, when you get to be a man, do you suppose you will always
be so careless of how others may misunderstand you?"

"I am not careless of that now," he declared. "The desire to be popular
is one of the things I have to fight against all the time."

What shall we choose? Comfort of service? Ease, or honorable performance
of duty? The desire for popularity, or the purpose to be of use? Service
is the best way to find comfort; honorable performance of duty is the
sure road to the only ease worth while, and thoughtfulness for others is
the open sesame to popularity.

There is nothing new in this statement. It is only one of the thousand
and one possible applications of the lesson taught by the great Teacher
when He said, "He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it."



FROM Norway comes a moving tale of a lighthouse keeper. One day he went
to the distant shore for provisions. A storm arose, and he was unable to
return. The time for lighting the lamp came, and Mary, the elder child,
said to her little brother, "We must light the lamp, Willie." "How can
we?" was his question. But the two children climbed the long narrow
stairs to the tower where the lamp was kept. Mary pulled up a chair and
tried to reach the lamp in the great reflector; it was too high. Groping
down the stairs she ascended again with a small oil lamp in her hand. "I
can hold this up," she said. She climbed on the chair again, but still
the reflector was just beyond her reach. "Get down," said Willie, "I
know what we can do." She jumped down and he stretched his little body
across the chair. "Stand on me," he said. And she stood on the little
fellow as he lay across the chair. She raised the lamp high, and its
light shone far out across the water. Holding it first with one hand,
then with the other, to rest her little arms, she called down to her
brother, "Does it hurt you, Willie?" "Of course it hurts," he called
back, "but keep the light burning."

The boy was wise beyond his years. He would do the important thing, no
matter how it hurt. Here the thing of chief importance was looking out
for the men at sea. To put them first took real courage. But what of it?
That is the attitude toward life of the worker worth while; he does not
stop to ask, "Is this easy?" Instead he asks, "Is this necessary? Will
it be helpful?" Having answered the question he proceeds to do his best.
It may hurt at first, but the time will come when it will hurt so much
to leave the service undone that the inconvenience involved in doing it
is lost sight of.



A young man won local fame as a bicycle long-distance rider. But
over-fatigue, possibly coupled with neglect, caused contraction of
certain muscles. He was unable to stand erect. He walked with bent back,
like an old man. "What useful work can he do, handicapped as he is?"
his friends asked.

But he did not lose courage. He continued to smile and make cheer for
others. Finally he secured work in the office of the supervisor of a
National Forest. And he made good. Most of his activities were at the
desk; when he sat there his back was normal.

According to the idea of many, it would have been enough for the
crippled man to look out for himself. What could he do for others? But
he had not been trained in such a school; the cheerfulness that enabled
him to be useful made it impossible for him to see another in need and
not plan to do something for him.

The man who needed him was at hand--a cripple, whose feet were clumsy,
misshapen. No one else thought that anything could be done for him but
to speak dolefully and to assure him that he was fortunate in having
parents and brothers who would look out for him.

But the man in the Forestry Service urged the cripple to apply for a
summer appointment on the rocky, windy summit of a mountain nine
thousand feet high. There it would be his duty to keep a vigilant eye on
the forest stretching far away below his lofty eyrie, and to report the
start of a forest fire. At first he laughed at the idea; had he not
been told that he could never hope to do anything useful? Yet as he
listened to his friend his eyes began to sparkle. Finally he dared to
agree to make application for the position.

During the winter months the forester spent many evenings with his
friend, coaching him in some of the lore of the forests, giving him
books to read, and showing him what his specific duties would be, and
how to perform them.

In the spring the situation was secured, and when the season of forest
fires came the young man bravely climbed the steep trail over the snow
to his lonely cabin. An able-bodied man is able to make the climb from
the end of the wagon road in much less than an hour; the cripple
required more than five hours to reach the top. Then he took up his
residence there, cooking his own food, making his observations from
morning until night, receiving his mother and his brothers when from
time to time they came to see how he was getting on and to help him in
some of the rougher tasks about the cabin. They thought they would need
to speak words of cheer to a lonely, discouraged man, but they soon
learned their error; not only did he have cheer enough for himself, but
he was able to send his visitors away happier than when they came
because of their contact with the man for whom life had been made over
by the acts of a thoughtful friend, a friend whose own courage had been
increased by his efforts to encourage a friend.



In a volume of short stories published some years ago there is included
the vivid narrative of two humble citizens of an Irish village, a
husband and wife, upon whom hard times have come. The husband is too
feeble to make his living as of old at his trade as a road-mender. Their
only hope is a son in America, and not a word comes from him, so they
are compelled to go to the poor house.

Friends condole with them, and they are sad enough to suit the notions
of those who feel that an awful ending is coming to their lives. One of
the saddest of their friends is their physician who dreads going to see
the unhappy old people in their new home. At last, however, he drives to
the entrance to the poor farm. There he has his first surprise. Instead
of seeing the disreputable place he had been accustomed to, he notices
that the gate is on its hinges, the weeds by the side of the driveway
are no longer in evidence, and an attempt has been made to give the
house itself a more presentable appearance. About the doors are no
discontented-looking old people, quarreling with one another. And when
the wife of the poor farm keeper answers his knock at the door, the
doctor hardly recognizes her; instead of a discouraged-looking slattern
she is actually neat and cheerful looking.

"You wonder what has happened here, don't you?" the woman remarks. "It's
all because of those blessed old folks you are asking for. They were
disheartened, just at first, but soon they began to do helpful things
for the rest of the folks. That cheered us all up, and it's made a
different place of the farm."

The doctor's errand that day is to take word to the couple that their
son from America wishes them to spend the remainder of their days with
him. He has expected them to be overjoyed by the news. But, after
talking together of the invitation, they assure him that their place is
where they are. "We be road-mending here, making ways smoother for the
folks that have rough traveling," is the explanation. "We think we ought
to bide at the farm."

Thus the old people took the way of conquering unhappiness made known so
long ago by Him who set the example of finding joy in caring for other
people, the way taken by a modern follower of His who wrote home from
the army:

"I cast my lot where I knew the road would be rough, and why should I
complain? It seems to me at times that I must give way to my lower self
and let the work slip off my back on others perhaps more tired than
myself. But I have a tender, kind Father in heaven who tells me that my
way is right. I have very little to uphold me in this work away from my
friends. My happy moments are those which I spend with my Bible during
my night watches, or thinking of happy days gone by, or building me
air-castles for days to come. I am happy, too, when I read the little
verse written in the front of my Testament, and so thankful for the
power to understand it:

          "So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
             So near is God to man,
           When duty whispers low, 'Thou must,'
             The youth replies, 'I can.'"

Yet there are those who insist that it is the duty of one whose lot is
hard to be morose and sad; that by covering his sadness with the
gladness of service he is making a cheat of himself! In verse a writer
with insight has pilloried such critics:

          "He went so blithely on his way,
           The way men call the way of life,
           That good folks who had stopped to pray,
           Shaking their heads, were wont to say,
           It was not right to be so gay
           Upon that weary road of strife.

          "He whistled as he went, and still
           He bore the young where streams were deep,
           He helped the feeble up the hill,
           He seemed to go with heart athrill,
           Careless of deed and wild of will--
           He whistled, that he might not weep."



There are people who spend so much time looking for the large,
spectacular opportunities for serving others, that they pass by as
unworthy of notice the opportunities for doing what seem to be little
kindnesses. Fortunately, however, there are people who are so taken up
with rendering what they call little services, that they have no time to
worry because the big opportunities do not come their way.

A magazine writer tells of one of these doers of simple kindnesses:

"I was the shabbiest girl in the office," she says. "It was no one's
fault and no one's shame that we were poor. I had intelligence enough to
know that. I knew, too, what a sacrifice mother had made to pay for my
tuition at business school. Still, the knowledge of my shabby clothes
forced itself upon me, particularly my old black skirt! Mother had
cleaned it and pressed it and cleaned it, but it seemed bent with age,
and all the office girls looked so fresh and pretty in their trim
business suits. I imagined all the first morning that they were pitying
me and felt them looking at my shabbiness, and during noon hour I was so
miserable; but when I went back next morning, I noticed that one of the
girls had on nearly as old clothes as I did, and she was so nice to me
that I fancied she was glad I had come because of our mutual poverty.
Not until after I earned enough money to buy some suitable, nice clothes
did I realize that the 'poor girl,' as I thought her, had drifted back
into the prettiest, most tasteful clothes worn by any of the girls. She
had only borne me company at a most trying time, and she knew, because
her fellow-workers all admired her, that the little object lesson would
keep them from hurting my feelings. The day has come now when new
clothes are usual, when I may even achieve an appearance that is known
as 'stylish.' But in my office, when a girl comes in shabby, painfully
sensitive, as I was, I 'bear her company' until the better times shall

From another observer comes the story of the simple deeds of kindness
done by a company of young people in Brooklyn to a young woman married
to an elderly and uncongenial man. She showed symptoms of taking her
life into her own hands. She felt that the world owed her happiness, and
she was tempted to take it anywhere it might be found, especially in one
undesirable direction. She was poor and outside of many ordinary social
pleasures. The word was passed along the line that Mrs. D... needed
especial attention and friendliness shown her. Immediately one girl,
whose notice was in itself a compliment, invited her to attend a concert
with her. Two more volunteered to see her home from Sunday school, and
call for her as well. Books were loaned her, calls made, and in brief, a
rope of warm sturdy hands steadying her over the hard place in the road,
until she found herself and settled down to the duty she was on the
point of leaving forever.

The widespread hunger for such little kindnesses was shown one day when
a New York man accosted in Central Park a poor foreigner, who could
speak little English. Noting that the man looked dejected, he offered
him his hand. Then he asked the man if he was in need. "No, I don't need
money," was the reply; "I was just hungry for a handshake." Blessings on
those who are not too busy to think of the poor who are hungry for the
little services they can render.

If they could know the ultimate effect of some of their deeds, these
would not always seem insignificant. The man who is always on the
lookout for little chances for service is more apt to perform services
that are of great importance, than the man who spends his time dreaming
of big things he will do some day.



When an urgent call went out from Washington for physicians to go to
France for hospital work among the men of the American Expeditionary
Force, a specialist in a city of the Middle West decided to respond. Of
course some of his friends told him he was foolish; they urged that he
was needed for service at home. "Let doctors go who can be spared
better than you," they said. "Think of the great work you are
doing--work that will be more than ever necessary because thousands of
others are leaving practices and going to the Front. Think of your
past--how you worked your way through medical college at cost of severe
toil; think of your family and the increasing demands on you; think of
the future--what will become of your lucrative practice?"

The specialist did think of these things; he had delayed decision
because the arguments had presented themselves forcibly to his own mind.

At last, however, his mind was made up. He would go to France. He would
leave his patients in charge of two capable friends who would do
everything possible to turn over, on the return of the volunteer, the
lucrative office practice built up through many years.

He spent six months in camp with the members of the hospital unit of
which he was given charge. Just before he went "over there" a friend
said to him:

"It is fortunate that your practice is to be cared for so efficiently."

"What's that?" was the reply. "Oh, you mean the colleagues who took over
my patients? They, too, have enlisted, and will soon be going abroad."

"But what of your $35,000 income?" was the dismayed rejoinder. "Surely
you haven't the courage to give up all that!"

The major snapped his fingers, and said, with a smile, "_That_ for the
practice! It is my business to respond to my country's call. Don't talk
of the sacrifice. What if I do have to start all over again when I come
home? Just now I don't have to think about that."

This incident came to mind when reading in a popular weekly a telling
story, camouflaged as to names, location and business, but recorded as
the experience of a captain of industry. The story made him a
manufacturer of shoes who, in the beginning, was rejoicing that his
plants were running full time, turning out so many shoes for the regular
trade that the profits of the year were bound to be tremendous. With
others, he heard the plea of the Government for shoes for the soldiers.
Carefully he assured himself that he would not need to respond; there
were many manufacturers who would rush headlong for government
contracts. When he learned that there were not enough volunteers he felt
uncomfortable. Then, to his relief, he was asked to take the
chairmanship of the subcommittee on shoes of the State Council of

"I'll do it!" he decided. "That will let me out honorably. As chairman I
shall be criticized if I bid on the contracts myself."

Of course he learned his mistake. At length he decided to turn over one
of his six plants to government contracts. The decision made him feel
quite virtuous. Content was his only a little while, however. So he
decided to devote another plant. Yet when he made his figures he thought
he would add five cents a pair to his bid, as an extra margin of safety.
Again his calculations were upset when his son told him that he had

"That wasn't necessary," the father said. "What made you do it?"

"Why, dad, you know you'd expect me to feel ashamed if you didn't do
just every little thing you could in a business way to help win this
war--if you held back a shoe that would help the Government or charged a
cent more than you ought to. You furnish the shoes and I'll furnish the

Of course more had to be done after that. Soon half the plants were
enlisted for the country. Surely nothing more could be asked than that
he should go fifty-fifty, half for the country and half for himself.

The remainder of the story can be imagined--in one form it was lived out
in the experience of millions. "Why don't you have done with that
half-way patriotism?" came a voice that he could not silence.

The battle between Patriotism and Private Profits was decided
gloriously--in the only possible manner. Away with fifty per cent.
patriotism! Every one of the plants was put on Government orders.

Naturally there were those who asked, "Was such a sacrifice necessary?"
But the reply was convincing.

That is the question that has been asked of Christians ever since the
day when Christ said to Peter and Andrew, "Follow me." Our hearts are
stirred by the simple record of what followed: "Straightway they left
their nets,"--their livelihood, their associates, their families, their
position in the world, everything--"and followed Him." The question was
put to Prince Gallitzin when he renounced title and fortune and went to
the mountains of Pennsylvania to make a home for some of his oppressed
Russian countrymen. The words were hurled at the son of a wealthy
English brewer, because he decided that if he would obey Christ fully
he must renounce the source of his wealth as well as the money that had
been made in an unrighteous business. The inquiry was heard many times
by Matthias W. Baldwin, the builder of Old Ironsides and founder of the
Baldwin Locomotive Works, when he gave up the making of jewelry because
he thought that, as a Christian man, he ought to make his talents count
for something more worth-while, and later on when he insisted on
borrowing from the banks in time of financial panic to pay his pledges
to Christian work.

Still the query persists, as it will persist long as the world stands.

You have heard it yourself, if you, like Caleb of old, are trying to
follow God wholly. "Was the sacrifice necessary?"

Beware of the question, for it is a temptation to slack service, though
often spoken by one who would show himself a friend. Necessary? Of
course. Isn't it involved in courageous following of Christ?



          "There is so much good in the worst of us,
           And so much bad in the best of us,
           That it hardly becomes any of us
           To talk about the rest of us."

THAT popular rhyme hits the nail squarely on the head. We are not to
judge others. The world would be a pleasanter dwelling place if we would
lay aside our critical attitude, and look on the best side of the men
and women about us. Instead, however, it sometimes seems as if we were
determined to forget all the good, and remember only the evil. Our
additions to the comments of others are not praise, but blame. We do not
seek to correct an unfavorable comment by saying, "But think of the good
there is in his life"; we insist on drowning merited praise by saying,
"But think how selfish he is; how careless of the comfort of others!"
That is the cowardly thing to do. And life calls for courage.

The worst thing about the maker of such comments is that the readier he
is to see--or imagine--faults in another, the more blind he is apt to
become to faults in himself. This inability to see his own shortcomings
would be ludicrous if it were not so pitiful. Yet these shortcomings are
apparent to all who know him. Jesus, who knew human nature, said, "Judge
not, that ye be not judged ... first cast out the beam out of thine own
eye; then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy
brother's eye."

The courageous task of reforming ourselves seems prodigious when we
think what good opinions we have of ourselves and what poor opinions we
have of others, but the task is not impossible, for God has promised to
give us the help we need, and He will never disappoint us. An earthly
father knows how to give good things to his children; shall not the
Heavenly Father do as much and more?

Since we have such a Father, it is the least we can do to learn of Him
the true philosophy of life. Listen while He tells us what it is:

"All things, therefore, whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you,
even so do ye also unto them."

Impossible and impracticable? Let us see.



The president of a big manufacturing concern, who is also its active
operating head, is quoted as saying that he finds a growing tendency
among young men to go after business by sharp practice when they cannot
get it any other way. They will "cut the corners of a square deal to
land an order." In applying for positions, he goes on to say, some young
fellows have tried to recommend themselves by telling how they got
orders for former employers by some neat trick.

"I have had to tell them, square and plain," he adds, "that there wasn't
any recommendation in that kind of talk with me. I have made up my mind
that I am going to write out some plain talks on righteousness and post
them up around the offices and shops where everybody will have a chance
to read them. I have explained my plan about these bulletins to a number
of other manufacturers, and I think several of them are going to do the
same thing. Besides the moral reasons for the policy, it's the only
policy to build up a sound business on. Take even the men who would be
willing to make profit for themselves by shady deals, and they all want
to buy goods for themselves of a firm that they can depend on. I think
our history this past year has proved the wisdom of it; business has
been rolling in from points that we never had an idea of getting
anything from. The Golden Rule works."

Nathan Strauss was once asked what contributed most to his remarkable
success. "I always looked out for the man at the other end of the
bargain," he said.

In 1901 the State of Wisconsin struck a beautiful bronze medal in honor
of Professor Stephen Moulton Babcock, the inventor of the milk test
machine. Professor Babcock, so one admirer says, "knew its value to
farmer and dairyman. He also knew its possibilities of fortune for
himself. This invention has 'increased the wealth of nations by many
millions of dollars and made continual new developments possible in
butter and cheesemaking.' All this Professor Babcock knew it would do
when he announced his discovery in a little bulletin to the farmers of
Wisconsin. But at the bottom of that bulletin he added the brief and
unselfish sentence, 'this test is not patented.' With that sentence he
cheerfully let a fortune go. He wanted his invention to help other
people, rather than make himself rich."

What a difference it would make if everyone should take the Golden Rule
as the motto for each day, asking Christ's help in living in accordance
with it! What a difference it would make in every home if father and
mother and all the sons and daughters should resolve to make theirs a
Golden-Rule household! The first thing necessary in bringing about such
a change in the home is for one member to make the resolution and to do
his best to live up to it. Others will follow inevitably when they note
his careful, unselfish life and helpful acts.

There is a Jewish tradition that a Gentile came to Hillel asking to be
taught the law, in a few words, while he stood on one foot. The answer
was given, "Whatsoever thou wouldst that men should not do to thee, that
do not thou to them." This was good, as far as it went, but there was
nothing positive about it. Christ's teaching supplies the lack, showing
what we are to do as well as what we are to leave undone. Christ always
gives the touch required to make old teachings glow with life.



When John E. Clough was a student working his way through college, he
was employed in a menial capacity at a hotel in a western town. His
employer was absent for a season and the student was compelled to take
charge of the hotel. He was successful, for he learned how to handle men
of many sorts, how to provide for their comfort, how to make them feel
that he was doing his best for them.

Years later, when he was a missionary in India, it became necessary for
him to plan for the temporary entertainment of the men and women who
came to the mission station by hundreds, and even by thousands, seeking
Christian baptism. For days it was necessary to provide for their
comfort. Many men would have been dismayed by the task, but to Dr.
Clough the problem presented was simple; he had only to do on a large
scale the very things which made his boyhood efforts at hotel-keeping
such a pronounced success.

Experience in a hotel is a good course of preparation for any young man,
whether he plans to be a missionary or to serve in any of the home
callings that demand the Christian's time and thought. However, it is
not possible for more than a very small proportion of young people to
serve a period in a hotel; so it will be helpful to them to read some of
the suggestions that have been made by a successful hotel proprietor.
Those who heed these suggestions are apt to be successful in dealing
with men and women anywhere.

It is worth while to note some of these rules:

"The hotel is operated primarily for the benefit and convenience of its

"Any member of our force who lacks the intelligence to interpret the
feeling of good will that this hotel holds toward its guests, cannot
stay here very long.

"Snap judgments of men often are faulty. The unpretentious man with the
soft voice may possess the wealth of Croesus.

"You cannot afford to be superior or sullen with any patron of the

"At rare intervals some perverse member of our force disagrees with a
guest as to the rightness of this or that.... Either may be right.... In
all discussions between hotel employees and guests, the employee is dead
wrong from the guest's standpoint, and from ours....

"Each member of our force is valuable only in proportion to his ability
to serve our guests.

"Every item of extra courtesy contributes towards a better pleased
guest, and every pleased guest contributes toward a better, bigger

Yet a young man should not have to go to a hotel to learn these lessons.
They were taught in the Book that every one of us should know better
than any other book in our library. Listen to these messages of the
Book, and compare them with the rules of the hotel:

"Not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the
things of others....

"Be tenderly affectioned one to another, in honor preferring one

"Judge not that ye be not judged.... The rich and the poor meet
together: Jehovah is the maker of them all....

"Better it is to be of a lowly spirit....

"He that is slow in anger appeaseth strife....

"I am among you as he that serveth....

"Ye are the light of the world...."

The best book for anyone who is trying to be a success in the world is
the Bible, for the Bible teaches how to serve, and he who has the
courage best to serve his fellows in the name of the great Servant is
the most successful man.



It has been said that, while the word "sympathy" does not occur in the
Bible, the idea is there; it is in bud in the Old Testament, but it is
in full blossom in the New Testament. Christ was always sympathetic. He
felt for the disturbed host at the wedding; His heart went out to
Zaccheus; He wept with Mary and Martha; He listened to the plea of the
blind and the lepers; He was deeply stirred as He saw the funeral
procession of him who was the only son of his mother, a widow.

An eloquent preacher was talking to his people of this glorious flower
of the Christian life. "Beholding the lily," he said, "sympathy breathes
a prayer that no untimely frost may blight the blossom; beholding the
sparrow, sympathy fills a box with seeds for the birds whose fall 'the
Heavenly Father knoweth'; beholding some youth going forth to make his
fortune, sympathy prays that favorable winds may fill these sails and
waft the boy to fame and fortune. Do the happy youth and maiden stand
before the marriage altar, the Christian breathes a prayer that love's
flowers may never fall, and that 'those who are now young may grow old

One of the pleasing stories told of Richard Harding Davis, the writer
and war correspondent, was of an incident when real sympathy transformed

In May, 1898, when the Massachusetts troops were about to go from
Florida to Cuba, Mr. Davis entered the encampment as the men were
saddened by the first death in the company. At once his cheerful face
took on a subdued look. The next day proved to be "a broiling dry hot
day which set the blood sizzling inside of one," but Davis tramped for
two hours in the search of flowers. Then he learned that eight miles
away he might secure some. Though no one was abroad who did not have to
be, Mr. Davis started on a sixteen-mile horseback trip. Securing the
flowers, he brought them back and made a cross of laths on which he tied
them. Then came the search for colors to make the flag. Again he tramped
a weary distance, but at last he found red, white and blue ribbon. That
night he laid his tribute on the casket.

An American author who lived several generations before Davis was noted
for his sympathetic attitude to the suffering. Richard Henry Dana was
compelled when a young man to take a voyage around Cape Horn on a
sailing ship. That classic of the sea, "Two Years Before the Mast," was
one of the results of that experience. Another result was that when the
author became a lawyer in Boston, his knowledge of ships made him a
favorite advocate in nautical cases. His knowledge of the sufferings of
the men before the mast, who were so often abused, was responsible for
his taking their part in many an unprofitable case. He had learned by
bitter experience what the sailors under a brutal captain had to suffer,
and any mistreated seaman had in him a firm friend and a fearless

The truest sympathy comes from those who, like Dana, know what suffering
means. An author in Scotland, who lived in Dana's generation, never
heard of the American friend of seamen, but he had the same spirit, born
of his own suffering. He was not accustomed to complain, and was always
reticent in speaking of himself. Once, however, for the sake of a
friend, he allowed himself to tell of his own life:

"With all your sorrows I sympathize from my heart," he wrote. "I have
learned to do so through my own sufferings. The same feeling which made
you put your hand into your pocket to search among the crumbs for the
wanting coin for the beggar, leads me to search in my heart for some
consolation for you. The last two years have been fraught to me with
such sorrowful experiences that I would gladly exchange my condition for
a peaceful grave. A bankrupt in health, hope and fortune, my
constitution shattered frightfully, and the almost certain prospect of
being a cripple for life before me, I can offer you as fervent and
unselfish a sympathy as ever one heart offered another. I have lain
awake, alone, and in darkness, suffering severe agony for hours, often
thinking that the slightest aggravation must make my condition
unbearable and finding my only consolation in murmuring to myself the
words patience, courage and submission."

That, surely, is a part of what Robert Louis Stevenson meant when, as
one element in his statement of the ideal for the perfect life, he named
"to be kind." True kindness is impossible without sympathy.

So long as there is so much real sympathy in the world there can be no
place for the maunderings of a pessimist. Every sight of a man, a woman
or a child whose life is beautified by the outgoing of sympathy is an
effective message of courage, of cheer, of hope.



A Boston boy, Samuel Billings Capen, wanted to become a minister. Yet it
did not seem possible to secure the special training which was
essential. Instead of being discouraged, he determined to go into

But he resolved that he would be a business man of God. From the first
he carried his Christian principles with him into the carpet business.
His faithful work as office boy was a part of his testimony for Christ,
and when--within five years--he became a member of the firm, he was
known as one of the solid Christian men of the city. Always his duty to
Christ came first. In the words of his biographer, "There was not a
moment when he would not have left the firm with which he was associated
had the business demanded any compromise with the best things of

Once he spoke to young men of these few things essential to vital

"The first is fidelity--that kind of conscientiousness which performs
the smallest details well.

"The second condition is earnestness. There is no chance for the idle or

"The third condition is integrity--not that lower form which refuses to
tell a downright falsehood, but that higher form of conscientiousness
which will not swerve a hair's breadth from the strictest truth, no
matter what the temptation; the courage to lose a sale rather than to do
that which is mean or questionable.

"The fourth condition I would name is purity of heart and life. I do not
believe it is possible for any man to be true and pure and faithful in
every respect without help from above. We need the personal help of a
personal God."

Thirteen years after beginning his service as apprentice, Mr. Capen's
health failed. For many months his life was in danger. God used the
sickness to draw the young man nearer to Himself. "Compelled to remain
for months in absolute idleness, unable to talk to his friends except to
a limited extent, he made the solemn resolve with his God that if his
health was restored he would never shirk any work nor complain of any
task that might be presented to him."

For a generation he was not only a leader in business, but he was as
conspicuous in his service of the State as in his services in the

Why did he succeed? He was not a genius. His health was poor. He was
not mentally brilliant. In these respects he was just an average man.
But in other respects he was above the average. He had the courage to
give himself in service of his fellows. "He believed that conscious
fellowship with God is the foundation of every strong life."

A life like that influenced for good everyone about him. Many men were
drawn by him into the paths of righteousness. Others were held back by
him from ways of evil. Once he presided over a public meeting which
corrupt politicians had planned to capture for their own purpose. But
they made no attempt to carry out their plans. "How could we succeed
with that man watching us?" they asked their friends.

It is good to be a minister of the gospel. But for every minister the
world needs hundreds of men who are possessed of Samuel B. Capen's
courageous eagerness to live for God in the midst of business cares.



A business man entered the office of a friend just as the friend was
hanging up the receiver of the telephone. There were tears in the eyes
of the man at the desk as he turned from the instrument to take the hand
of his visitor.

"I'm afraid you have had bad news," the visitor said, deciding that it
was not a propitious time to talk of the matter on which he had come.

"No bad news--the best of news," was the reply. "Now see if you don't
agree with me. This morning my wife, who is always thinking of other
people, remarked that it was too bad my pastor's wife could not have a
vacation this summer; she shows the need of it because of a severe
strain that had been on her. Yet we knew that she could not look forward
to a vacation.

"'Let's pray about it,' my wife suggested, just before we knelt at the
family altar. We prayed then; we've been praying since. And the answer
has come quickly. My wife was on the telephone just now; she told me
that the postman had brought a letter from a California friend of whom
we had all but lost sight. Fifteen years ago we lent him a sum of money
which we never expected to see again. Yet the letter contained a check
for the amount of the loan!

"'What shall we do with the money?' my wife asked.

"'I wonder if you are not thinking the same thing I am,' I said to her.

"'Yes, isn't it the answer to our prayer?' she replied. 'I'm going to
take it to our pastor's wife right now.'"

The business man was thoughtful as he passed from his friend's office.
Just a few hours before he had been told by an acquaintance of his
longing, when on a long trip, to have such a glimpse of the life of one
of the many passengers near him that he would be able to help that
passenger before the end of the journey. The wish was a prayer. Not long
after the making of the prayer he noted a man who was so restless that
he could not sit still. Every moment or two he looked at his watch, then
studied his time table. Evidently he was disturbed because the train was

"I hope you are not to lose a connection in Chicago?" the observing
traveler said to him.

"Yes, I'll miss it--and my baby is dying five hours from Chicago," was
the response, given with a sob.

The time was short, but there was opportunity for the interchange of a
few words, then for a conference with the conductor, who wired asking
that the connecting train--at another station and on another road--be
held for ten minutes.

A week later came a note from the happy father. His babe was rapidly
recovering. "And I'll never forget the words you spoke to me in my
agony," he wrote. "God is more real to me since our talk as we went into
Chicago. You put heart into me."



An old fable tells of a good man to whom the Lord said he would give
whatever he most desired. Besought by friends to ask great things, he
refused. Finally he asked that he might be able to do a great deal of
good without ever knowing it. And so it came about that every time the
good man's shadow fell behind him or at either side, so that he could
not see it, it had the power to cure disease, soothe pain and comfort

When he walked along, his shadow, thrown on the ground on either side or
behind him, made arid paths green, caused withered plants to bloom, gave
clear water to dried up brooks, fresh color to pale little children, and
joy to unhappy mothers.

But he simply went about his daily life, diffusing virtue as the star
diffuses light and the flower perfume, without ever being aware of it.
And the people, respecting his humility, followed him silently, never
speaking to him about his miracles. Little by little, they even came to
forget his name, and called him only "The Holy Shadow."

It would be a splendid thing if all would learn the lesson taught in the
fable--that the man who would do good should have the courage to be
unconscious of the good he is doing, and so as unlike as possible the
rich woman of whom some one has told, who turned a deaf ear to every
petition for help unless there was a subscription paper circulated and
she was given the chance to head the list. "But no poor person came into
her house who said, 'May God reward you!' She never experienced the
pleasure of making a poor woman on the back stairs happy with a cup of
warm coffee, or hungry children with a slice of bread and butter, or an
infirm man with a penny. Perhaps she satisfied her conscience by saying
that she did not believe in indiscriminate charity. Frequently that
excuse is given conscientiously but how often the real meaning is, 'I do
not believe in charity that does not make people talk of my

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught the folly of giving in such a
manner. The lesson was enforced by two pictures--a man standing on the
street, giving alms to the poor, while attention is called to his
generosity by the sounding of a trumpet which everyone must hear, and a
man whose giving is so much a matter of secrecy that he does not think
of it a second time. There is no rolling of it over as a sweetmeat under
his tongue, as if to say, "What a generous man I am!" Nor is there any
motive in the giving but pure desire to glorify God. All this is
properly included in the interpretation of "Let not thy left hand know
what thy right hand doeth."



A magazine editor offered a prize for the best account by a reader of
the adjustment of income and expenditure made necessary by the vaulting
prices of recent years. The prize was awarded to one whose revised
budget showed the revision downward of many items, and the elimination
of two or three other items. The comparison of the budgets was
interesting and helpful; most readers would be apt to approve heartily
all but one of the changes and eliminations. This was the exception:
the earlier budget allowed five dollars per month for "church and
charity," while the revised budget made no mention of the claims of
others, no provision for the privilege of giving.

If you had been a judge in that contest, would you have felt like giving
the prize to a paper that suggested such an omission? Suppose you had
the task of cutting your budget, would you feel like revising downward
the provision for giving? What do you think of the statement of a famous
business man who, having insisted in time of financial reverses on
making gifts as usual, said to objecting friends, "Economy should not
begin at the house of God." Why not let economy begin there?

What answer would have been given to such a query by the poor tenement
dweller in New York City who, though compelled to earn the support of
her family by scrubbing floors in a great office building, set aside a
dollar and a half per week for the care of four orphans in India who but
for her gifts would have starved?

What answer would have been made by the Polish Jew, long resident in
America, who directed in his will that regular gifts be made at
Christmas and Easter to the Christians as well as to the Jews of his
home town in Europe? That bequest was made in memory of days and nights
of terror when, as a boy, he hid in the house from the fiendish
persecutions of so-called Christians who thought Easter and Christmas
favorable times for the intimidation of the Jews. What would he have
said to the idea of economy that forgets the needs of others and makes
no provision for satisfying the hungry, to help the suffering?

What would have been the comment of Him who told the parable of the rich
man who built great barns to hold the surplus product of his lands,
thinking that there was nothing better in life than to eat, drink, and
be merry; who compared the gifts of the rich man and the poor widow; who
commended the love of the woman who poured out the costly ointment upon
His head; who promises glorious recognition to those who give, in His
name, to any who are in need?

A successful manufacturer, whose eyes have been opened to the folly of
attempting to save by cutting off gifts, has written a series of essays
on "The Business Man and His Overflow," his purpose being to show that
happiness is dependent on helpfulness. "Who is the most successful
business man?" he asks. "The man who has the largest bank account? Not
necessarily.... The most successful business man is he who renders the
greatest service to mankind and whose life is most useful."

Two paths are open to us: we can give, and we can give more, or we can
economize in giving until we give nothing.

Which is the path of courage?



THE world is full of lonely people--people who keep to themselves,
turning away from every approach of others, from all invitations to come
out of retirement. They persist in living alone, thinking their own
thoughts, pleasing only themselves.

"I can have no place in my life for friendship," one of these
unfortunates says.

"I can't be expected to devote myself to my family; it is all I can do
to make a living," is the complaint of another.

"I live in the present," says a third; "the past has no interest for me,
and the future holds nothing but worries."

"Live more out-of-doors, you say!" is the word of a fourth. "Why should
I bother about Nature when Nature does nothing but thwart me?"

"Make God my friend?" a fifth asks in surprise. "Talk to me in rational
terms. God doesn't bother about me; why should I bother about Him?"

Is it any wonder that the lives of so many everywhere are empty? It does
not occur to them that by their determination to isolate themselves they
cut themselves off from the surest road to courage, both received and
given--the road of companionship with the people and things most worth



There are those who say that friendship is a lost art; that modern life
is too busy for friendship. "Why don't you pause long enough to call on
B----?" a father asked his son; "you used to be such good friends." "Oh,
I haven't time for that now," was the careless reply; "if I am to get
ahead, I feel I must devote myself only to those things that can be a
decided help to my advancement."

The mistake made by that son is emphasized by the advice of a keen old
man, spoken to a business associate: "If I were asked to give advice to
a group of young men who wanted to get ahead in business, I would simply
say, 'make friends.' As I sat before the fire the other night I let my
mind run back, and it was with surprise that I learned that many of the
things which in my youth I credited to my ability as a business man came
to me because I had made influential friends who did things for me
because they liked me. The man who is right has the right kind of
friends, and the man who is wrong has the kind of friends who are
attracted by his wrongness. A man gets what he is."

Possibly some will think that advice faulty in expression, for it seems
at first glance to put friendship on a coldly calculating basis, as if
it urged the maker of friends to say before consenting to try for a
man's friendship, "Is there anything I can get out of such a friendship
for myself?" Of course it is unthinkable that anyone should estimate
friendship in that way; friendship that calculates is unworthy the name,
and the calculator ought to be doomed to the loneliest kind of life.
But, evidently, what the adviser had in mind is the spirit that makes
friends because it is worth while to have friends for friendship's sake,
that never counts on advancement through the efforts of others. Such a
spirit is bound to be surprised some day by the realization that for his
success he owed much to the friends whom he made without a thought of

One beginner in business decided that he must find his friendships in
serving others. There were those who told him he was making a mistake,
but he went calmly on, devoting hours each week to service with an
associate in a boys' club. Nothing seemed to come of this but
satisfaction to himself and joy to a group whose homes were cheerless.
Yet, there was something more--the pleasure of friendship with his
associate. One day he was surprised by an invitation to call on the head
of a large manufacturing concern. "You don't know me," the man said,
"but I know you, for you have been teaching with my son down at the
boys' club. For a long time I have been on the lookout for a young man
who can come into this business with a view to taking up the work with
my son when I must retire. From what I have heard your friend, my son,
tell of you, you are the man I have sought."

It is impossible to count on a thing like that as a result of
friendship, and the man who is worthy of such a friendship never thinks
of reckoning on anything but giving to his friend the best that is in
him as he enjoys the comfort of association with him.

Many years ago the author of _The Four Feathers_ wrote of such a
friendship between two men:

"It was a helpful instrument, which would not wear out, put into their
hands for a hard, lifelong use, but it was not and never had been spoken
of between them. Both men were grateful for it, as for a rare and
undeserved gift; yet both knew that it might entail an obligation of
sacrifice. But the sacrifices, were they needful, would be made, and
they would not be mentioned."

It has been well said that "Love gives and receives, and keeps no
account on either side," but that is very different from deliberately
using friendship for selfish ends.



For days two men had been together, tramping, driving, boating, eating,
sleeping, talking. And when the time for separation came, one said to
the other: "Will you please give a message to your wife? Tell her for
me, if you will, that she has made her husband into a real comrade."

That man would have been at a loss to tell what are the elements that go
to the making up of a good comrade. In fact, he intimated as much on the
last day of the excursion. "You can no more tell the things that go to
make up a real comrade than you can explain the things that make a
landscape beautiful; you can only see and rejoice."

Just so, it is possible to see instances of good comradeship and

In order that there may be real comradeship between two individuals it
is not at all necessary that they shall belong to the same station in
life. One of those to whom John Muir, the great naturalist, proved
himself a true comrade was a guide who many times went with him into the
fastnesses of the high Sierras of California. "It was great to hear him
talk," the guide has said. "Often we sat together like two men who had
always known each other. It wasn't always necessary to talk; often there
would be no word said for half an hour. But we understood each other in
the silence."

Nor is it essential that people shall be much together before they can
be real comrades. Theodore Roosevelt and Joel Chandler Harris knew one
another by reputation only until the red letter day when Uncle Remus
entered the door of the White House, in response to an urgent letter of
invitation in which the President wrote: "Presidents may come and
presidents may go, but Uncle Remus stays put. Georgia has done a great
many things for the Union, but she has never done more than when she
gave Joel Chandler Harris to American literature." When the two
animal-lovers finally came together there was real comradeship. That the
reporters understood this was evident from the wire one of them sent to
his paper: "Midnight--Mr. Harris has not returned to his hotel. The
White House is ablaze with light. It is said that Mr. Harris is telling
the story of Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby." But the Georgian's own
colloquial account of the memorable session with his comrade at
Washington was more explicit:

"There are things about the White House that'll astonish you ef ever you
git there while Teddy is on hand. It's a home; it'll come over you like
a sweet dream the minnit you git in the door.... It's a kind of feelin'
that you kin have in your own house, if you've lived right, but it's the
rarest thing in the world that you kin find it in anybody else's
house.... We mostly talked of little children an' all the pranks they're
up to from mornin' till night, an' how they draw old folks into all
sorts of traps, and make 'em play tricks on themselves. That's the
kinder talk I like, an' I could set up long past my bedtime an' listen
to it. Jest at the right time, the President would chip in wi' some of
his adventures wi' the children.... I felt just like I had been on a
visit to some old friend that I hadn't seen in years."

When Robert Louis Stevenson and Edward Livingston Trudeau spent days
together at Dr. Trudeau's Adirondack sanitarium--the one as patient, the
other as physician--they proved that true comradeship is possible even
when men's tastes are most unlike. It was possible because they knew how
to ignore differences and to find common ground in the worth-while
things. "My life interests were bound up in the study of facts, and in
the laboratory I bowed duly to the majesty of fact, wherever it might
lead," Dr. Trudeau wrote. "Mr. Stevenson's view was to ignore or avoid
as much as possible unpleasant facts, and live in a beautiful,
extraneous and ideal world of fancy. I got him one day into the
laboratory, from which he escaped at the first opportunity.... On the
other hand, I knew well I could not discuss intelligently with him the
things he lived among and the masterly work he produced, because I was
incompetent to appreciate to the full the wonderful situations his
brilliant mind evolved and the high literary merit of the work in which
he described the flights of his great genius."

Yet these two men were great companions, for in spite of differences as
to details, their hopes and ambitions and ideals all pointed to the best
things in life. After the author's departure, he sent to the doctor a
splendidly bound set of his works, first writing in each volume a
whimsical bit of rhyme, composed for the occasion.

Though all of these men were real comrades, there is a higher
manifestation of comradeship than this. This was shown in the relation
of Daniel Coit Gilman, later President of Johns Hopkins University, when
he wrote to a fellow student of the deepest things in his life:

"I don't wish merely to thank you in a general way for writing as you
did an expression of sympathy, but more especially to respond to the
sentiments on Christian acquaintance which you there bring out. I agree
with you most fully and only regret that I did not know at an earlier
time upon our journey what were your feelings upon a few such topics. I
tell you, Brace, that I hate cant and all that sort of thing as much as
you or anyone else can do. It is not with everyone that I would enjoy a
talk upon religious subjects. I hardly ever wrote a letter on them to
those I know best. But when anyone believes in an inner life of faith
and joy, and is willing to talk about it in an earnest, everyday style
and tone, I do enjoy it most exceedingly."

Theodore Storrs Lee cultivated the relation of a comrade with his fellow
students that he might talk to them, without cant, on the deepest things
of life. His biographer says: "Many a time did he seek out men in lonely
rooms, bewildered or weakened by the college struggles. Many a quiet
talk did he have as he and his selected companion trod his favorite
walk. No one else in college had so many intimate talks with so many
men.... On one occasion, when he was urging a friend to give his life to
Christian service, he seemed to be unsuccessful--until, on leaving the
man at the close of the walk, he made a genial, large-minded remark that
opened the way to the heart of his friend." ... "It was only natural
that I should try to meet him half-way," the friend said later, in
explanation of his own changed attitude. He had been won by real
comradeliness. "It was this devotion to the men in college that led him
into the holy of holies of many a man's heart," wrote a friend, "causing
many of us to feel in a very real way the sentiment expressed by Mrs.

          "The face of all the world is changed, I think
           Since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul."



What, courage from companionship with the past? The pessimist says,
"Impossible! The past was so much better than the present. See how the
country is going to the dogs!" and they point to the revelations of
dishonesty in high places. "There were no such blots on our records when
the country was young."

A public man gave an effective answer to such croakers when he said:

"As we go on year by year reading in the newspapers of the dreadful
things that are occurring; wicked rich men, wicked politicians and
wicked men of all kinds, we are apt to feel that we have fallen on very
evil times. But are we any worse than our fathers were? John Adams, in
1776, was Secretary of War. He wrote a letter which is still in
existence, and told of the terrible corruption that prevailed in the
country; he told how everybody was trying to rob the soldiers, rob the
War Department, and he said he was really ashamed of the times in which
he lived. When Jefferson was President of the United States it was
thought that the whole country was going to be given over to French
infidelity. When Jackson was President people thought the country
ruined, because of his action in regard to the United States Bank. And
we know how in Polk's time the Mexican War was an era of rascality and
dishonesty that appalled the whole country."

It is a mistake to look back a generation or two and say, "The good old
days were better than these." In the address already referred to the
speaker continued:

"Only thirty years ago, on my first visit to California, I went with a
friend to the mining district in the Sierras. One summer evening we sat
upon the flume looking over the landscape. My friend was a distinguished
man of great ability. In the distance the sun was setting, reflecting
its light on the dome of the Capitol of the state, at Sacramento, twenty
miles off. He turned to me and said suddenly: 'I would like to be you
for one reason, that you are thirty years younger than I am, and they
are going to be thirty of the greatest years the world has ever seen.'
He is dead now, but his words were prophetic. He and I used to talk
about how we could send power down into the mines. An engine would fill
the mine with smoke and gases, and yet we must have power to run the
drills, etc., using compressed air. How easy to-day, just to drop a wire
down and send the power of electricity! At that time there was but a
single railroad running across the continent, which took a single
sleeping car each day. Look at the difference now, with six great trunk
lines sending out more than a dozen trains, and more than a hundred
sleeping cars each day."

Students of American history know something of the fears of early
adherents of the United States Government lest the republic prove a
failure, and of the threats of doubters and disaffected citizens to do
their best to replace the republic by a monarchy. But comparatively few
realize how great were the fears, and how brazenly the prophecies were

An examination of "The Complete Anas of Thomas Jefferson," the
collection of private memoranda made by the patriot when he was
successively Secretary of State, Vice-President, and President,
discloses the fact that some of the gravest of these fears were held by
those high in authority, and that the prophecies of evil came from men
who were leaders in the nation.

On April 6, 1792, President Washington, in conversation with Jefferson,
"expressed his fear that there would, ere long, be a separation of the
Union, that the public mind seemed dissatisfied and tending to this." On
October 1, 1792, he spoke to the Secretary of his desire to retire at
the end of his term as President. "Still, however, if his aid was
thought necessary to save the cause to which he had devoted his life
principally, he would make the sacrifice of a longer continuance."

On April 7, 1793, Tobias Lear, in conversation with Jefferson, spoke
pessimistically of the affairs of the country. The debt, he was sure,
was growing on the country in spite of claims to the contrary. He said
that "the man who vaunted the present government so much on some
occasions was the very man who at other times declared that it was a
poor thing, and such a one as could not stand, and he was sensible they
only esteemed it as a stepping-stone to something else."

On December 1, 1793, an influential Senator (name given) said to several
of his fellow Senators that things would never go right until there was
a President for life, and a hereditary Senate.

On December 27, 1797, Jefferson said that Tenche Coxe told him that a
little before Alexander Hamilton went out of office, he said: "For my
part I avow myself a monarchist; I have no objection to a trial being
made of this thing of a republic, but, ... etc."

On February 6, 1798, it was reported to Jefferson that a man of
influence in the Government had said, "I have made up my mind on this
subject; I would rather the old ship should go down than not." Later he
qualified his words, making his statement hypothetical, by adding, "if
we are to be always kept pumping so."

On January 24, 1800, it was reported to Jefferson that, at a banquet in
New York, Alexander Hamilton made no remark when the health of the
President was proposed, but that he asked for three cheers when the
health of George III was suggested.

On March 27, 1800, the Anas record: "Dr. Rush tells me that within a few
days he has heard a member of Congress lament our separation from Great
Britain, and express his sincere wishes that we were again dependent on

On December 13, 1803, Jefferson told of the coming to President Adams of
a minister from New England who planned to solicit funds in New England
for a college in Green County, Tennessee. He wished to have the
President's endorsement of the project. But "Mr. Adams ... said he saw
no possibility of continuing the union of the States; that their
dissolution must take place; that he therefore saw no propriety in
recommending to New England men to promote a literary institution in the
South; that it was in fact giving strength to those who were to be their
enemies, and, therefore, he would have nothing to do with it."

One who reads bits like these from Jefferson's private papers
appreciates more fully some of the grave difficulties that confronted
the country's early leaders; he rejoices more than ever before that the
United States emerged so triumphantly from troubled waters until, little
more than a century after those days of dire foreboding, it was showing
other nations the way to democracy; he takes courage in days of present
doubt and uncertainty, assured that the country which has already
weathered so many storms will continue to solve its grave problems, and
will be more than ever a beacon light to the world.



"Look at the World," is the advice David Grayson gives to those who
follow him in his delightful essays on Great Possessions--possessions
that cannot be measured with a yardstick or entered in the bank book.
This is his cure for all the trials and vexations that come in the
course of a busy life. For how can a man remain unsettled and morose and
distressed when he is gazing at the broad expanse of the sky, studying
the beauty of the trees, or listening to the mellow voices of the birds?
How can the wanderer in field and forest forget that God is love?

Some people think that to drink in the glories of nature they must go to
the mountains, or seek some other far-away spot. Mistake! The place to
enjoy God's world is just where one is, and the time is that very
moment. This was the lesson taught so impressively by Alice Freeman
Palmer, when she described the little dweller in the tenements who
resolved to see something beautiful each day, and who, one day, when
confined to the house, found her something in watching a rain-soaked
sparrow drinking from the gutter on the tin roof. And this was the
thought in the mind of Mr. Grayson when he said:

"I love a sprig of white cedar, especially the spicy, sweet inside bark,
or a pine needle, or the tender, sweet, juicy end of a spike of timothy
grass drawn slowly from its sheath, or a twig of the birch that tastes
like wintergreen."

Hamlin Garland, in "A Son of the Middle Border," has told the story of
his boyhood on an Iowa farm. He knew how to enjoy the sights to which so
many are blind:

"I am reliving days when the warm sun, falling on radiant slopes of
grass, lit the meadow phlox and tall tiger lilies to flaming torches of
color. I think of blackberry thickets and odorous grapevines, and
cherry-trees and the delicious nuts which grew in profusion throughout
the forest to the north. The forest, which seemed endless and was of
enchanted solemnity, served as our wilderness. We explored it at every
opportunity. We loved every day for the color it brought, each season
for the wealth of its experiences, and we welcomed the thought of
spending all our years in this beautiful home where the wood and the
prairie of our song did actually meet and mingle.... I studied the
clouds. I gnawed the beautiful red skin from the seed vessels which hung
upon the wild rose bushes, and I counted the prairie chickens as they
began to come together in winter flocks, running through the stubble in
search of food. I stopped now and again to examine the lizards unhoused
by the shares, ... and I measured the little granaries of wheat which
the mice and gophers had deposited deep under the ground, storehouses
which the plow had violated. My eyes dwelt enviously on the sailing hawk
and on the passing of ducks.... Often of a warm day I heard the
sovereign cry of the sand-hill crane falling from the azure throne, so
high, so far, his form could not be seen, so close to the sun that my
eyes could not detect his solitary, majestic, circling sweep.... His
brazen, reverberating call will forever remain associated in my mind
with mellow, pulsating earth, spring grass and cloudless glorious
May-time skies."

Henry Fawcett lived at about the same period in a rural district in
England. He, too, delighted to ramble in the fields. One day, when he
was out hunting with his father, an accidental gunshot deprived him of
his eyesight. But the boy would not think of shutting himself away from
the joys of nature which meant so much to him. "I very soon came to the
resolution to live, as far as possible, just as I had lived before....
No one can more enjoy catching a salmon in the Tweed of the Spey, or
throwing a fly in some quiet trout stream in Wiltshire or Hampshire."

In the story of the life of John J. Audubon an incident is told that
shows how the greatest joy can be found in what seems like one of the
most ordinary things in the life of the forest--the nesting of the

"He became interested in a bird, not as large as the wren, of such
peculiar grey plumage that it harmonized with the bark of the trees, and
could scarcely be seen. One night he came home greatly excited, saying
he had found a pair that was evidently preparing to make a nest. The
next morning he went into the woods, taking with him a telescopic
microscope. The scientific instrument he erected under the tree that
gave shelter to the literally invisible inhabitants he was searching
for, and, making a pillow of some moss, he lay upon his back, and
looking through the telescope, day after day, noted the progress of the
little birds, and, after three weeks of such patient labor, felt that he
had been amply rewarded for the toil and the sacrifice by the results he
had obtained."

When a boy David Livingstone laid the foundation for the love of the
open that helped to make his life in Africa a never-ending delight.
"Before he was ten he had wandered all over the Clyde banks about
Blantyre and had begun to collect and wonder at shells and flowers," one
of his biographers says.

Not far away, also in Scotland, Henry Drummond spent his boyhood. He,
too, knew the pleasure of wandering afield. He liked to go to the rock
on which stands grim Stirling Castle, and look away to the windings of
the crooked Forth, the green Ochil Hills, and, farther away, Ben Lomond,
Ben Venue, and Ben Ledi, the guardians of the beautiful Highland lochs.
He was never weary of feasting his eyes on them. In later years he would
go back to the scenes of his boyhood, climb to the Castle, and, looking
out on the beautiful prospect, would say "Man, there's no place like
this; no place like Scotland."

Bayard Taylor first made a name for himself by his ability to see the
things that many people pass by, and to describe them sympathetically.
But he, also, in boyhood days learned the lesson that paved the way for
later achievements. He was not six years old when he used to wander to a
fascinating swamp near his Pennsylvania home. If the child was missed
from the house, the first thing that suggested itself was to climb upon
a mound which overlooked the swamp. Once, from the roof of the house, he
discovered unknown forests and fresh fields which he made up his mind to
explore. Later, in company with a Quaker schoolmaster, he took long
walks, and thus learned many things about the trees and plants. When he
was twelve he began to write out the thoughts that came to him in this
intimate study of nature.

In far-away Norway Ole Bull had a like experience. At an early age he
began to be on familiar terms with the silent things about him. The
quality of his later work was influenced by the grandeur of the scenery
in which he lived. To him trees, rocks, waterfalls, mountains, all spoke
a language which demanded expression through the strings of his violin;
he turned everything into music. His biographer says:

"When, in early childhood, playing alone in the meadow, he saw a
delicate bluebell moving in the breeze, he fancied he heard the bell
ring, and the grass accompanying it with most exceptionally fine

John Muir, who later wrote of the great Sequoias of California and the
glaciers of Alaska, when a boy of ten found delight in scenes of which
he wrote as follows:

"Oh, that glorious Wisconsin wilderness! Everything new and pure in the
very prime of spring, when nature's pulses were beating highest and
mysteriously keeping tune with our own! Young hearts, young leaves,
flowers, animals, the winds and the streams and the sparkling lake, all
wildly, gladly rejoicing together."

There is something missing in the life of one who cannot enter into the
feelings of a boy like Muir or Taylor or Drummond. And when such a boy
grows up, the gap in the life will be more conspicuous than ever.

Think of the poverty of the stranger to whom a traveler, feeling that he
must give expression to his keen delight in the autumn foliage, said,
"What wonderful coloring!" "Where?" came the reply. "Oh, the trees!
Well, I'm not interested in trees. Talk to me about coal. I know coal."



Some people insist that it is impractical moonshine to speak of making a
companion of God, that folks who talk about such things are dreamers,
far removed from touch with the cold reality of daily life.

Then how about the nephew of whom Dr. Alexander MacColl told at
Northfield? He was surely a practical man. For four years he had been in
the thick of the fighting in France. Yet at the close of one of his
letters to his uncle he said: "I hope when the war is over that I may
be able to spend a month somewhere among the hills. I often think that
if more people in the world had lived among such hills as we have in
Scotland there would have been no world war."

"When I came yesterday afternoon, and saw again the glory of these
hills," was Dr. MacColl's comment, "I found myself sharing very deeply
in that feeling of my good nephew, and wishing that more people in the
world had known what it is to commune with God in the silences."

That fine young Scotchman would have known how to take a college student
who, while having a country walk with a friend, was explaining the
reason for his belief in God and his trust in Him. As he concluded his
message he pointed to a large tree which they were passing, saying as he
did so, "God is as real to me as that tree."

He had a right to say such a thing, for he not only believed, but he was
conscious that God was with him, his Companion wherever he went. This
being the case, prayer became for him the simplest and most natural
thing in the world. God was by his side; then why should not he talk to
God, by ejaculation as well as by more formal utterance? Yet his talks
with God never became formal. They were always intimate and
confidential--like the approaches of Principal John Cairns, the famous
Scotch minister. His biographer tells of a time when he was at the manse
of a country minister in whose church he was to preach next day. The
minister's wife withdrew to get a cup of tea for the old man, leaving
her little boy there. By and by she heard a strange, unaccustomed sound,
as it seemed to her under such conditions. And as she listened and
looked, she saw that the old man was kneeling with the boy. It had
seemed to him the most natural thing in the world to speak to his Great
Friend about his little friend.

Dr. Arthur Smith was like that with God, and his son Henry took after
him. One January day in 1905 the father reached New York from China and
sought his son. They went to a hotel room to bridge the time of absence
by "a tremendous lot of back conversation," as the son wrote to the
mother. But before they had any chance to talk of other matters the
father said, "Come, boy, let's have a prayer." "Wasn't that just like
him?" Henry asked his mother.

A minister who was spending his vacation in the northern woods was
called in to see a dying lumberman. Before leaving the visitor prayed
with the sick man, and suggested that he pray for himself. The objection
was made that it was useless to pray--God understood a man's trials, and
He knew what was wanted before a request was made. The minister asked
him if he didn't know what his children needed before they asked him, if
he didn't know they were disappointed or troubled; yet didn't he wish to
have them talk over these things with him?

The man thought a moment. Then he said, "Do you think that would be
prayer--just for me to lie here and tell God what He knows already--how
it hurts, and all my disappointment, and my anxiety for the future of my
children and my wife--and everything--just to tell Him?"

"I think it would," said the minister. "I think it would be prayer of a
very real kind."

One who had learned that prayer is not a mere formal exercise, to be
dreaded and postponed, has said:

"Pray often--in bits, with a persistency of habit that betrays a
childlike eagerness and absorption. Rise up to question God as children
do their earthly parents--at morning, noon and night and between times.
Ask Him about everything. Be with Him more than with all other persons.
Acquire the home habit with Him. Be a child in His hands. Do not fear
lest He be too busy to listen, or too grown up to care or to understand.
Just talk to Him, in broken sentences, half-formed with crude wishes; in
foolish chatter, if need be. Make the Heavenly Father the center of your
life, the source and judge of all your satisfactions. Be sure to let Him
put you to bed, waken you in the morning, wait on you at table, order
your day's doings, protect you from harm, soothe your disquiet, supply
all your daily needs."

Such a prayer is good, not only when one is sick, but when one is well
and busy with the affairs of daily life. A clergyman has told of a visit
to London during which he called on a merchant whom he had met in
America. At the business house he was told that he could not see the
merchant, as it was steamer day, and orders had been given not to
disturb him. But when the card was taken up, the merchant appeared, his
face beaming with pleasure. After a moment's greeting the visitor
offered to go away, but the merchant took him into his office, and said:

"I am very glad you have called. I would not have had you fail. I am
very busy, but I always have a moment for my Lord. I have a little
place for private prayer. You must come in with me, and we shall have a
season of prayer together."

Busy, but not too busy for prayer, longing to see his friend, but eager
to spend the ten minutes of the call in prayer with that other Friend
who made the brief visit worth while!

In telling this incident, one writer on the subject of prayer has said:

"Several, perhaps many merchants in one of our large cities have fitted
up for themselves dark, narrow, boxlike closets, whither, each by
himself, they are wont to retire for a few minutes at times, during the
pressure of the day's business, for the refreshment of soul, which they
find they really need in communion with God. One of these men is
reported to have said: 'On some days, if I had not that resort, I
believe I should go mad, so great is the pressure.'"

Dr. Purves once told an incident of the distinguished scientist,
Professor Joseph Henry, as given him by one of Dr. Henry's students. "I
well remember the wonderful care with which he arranged all his
principal experiments. Then often, when the testing moment came, that
holy as well as great philosopher would raise his hand in adoring
reverence and call upon me to uncover my head and worship in silence,
'because,' he said, 'God is here. I am about to ask God a question.'"

To Mary Slessor of Calabar, whom the Africans learned to love devotedly,
prayer was as simple and easy as talking to a friend in the room. "Her
religion was a religion of the heart," her biographer says. "Her
communion with her Father was of the most natural, most childlike
character. No rule or habit guided her. She just spoke to Him as a child
to its father when she needed help and strength, or when her heart was
filled with joy and gratitude, at any time, in any place. He was so real
to her, so near, that her words were almost of the nature of
conversation. There was no formality, no self-consciousness, no
stereotyped diction, only the simplest language from a quiet and humble
heart. It is told of her that once, when she was in Scotland, after a
tiresome journey, she sat down at the tea table alone, and, lifting up
her eyes, said, 'Thank you, Father--ye ken I'm tired,' in the most
ordinary way as if she had been addressing her friend. On another
occasion in the country, she lost her spectacles while coming from a
meeting in the dark. She could not do without them, and she prayed
simply and directly, 'O Father, give me back my spectacles!' A lady
asked her how she obtained such intimacy with God. 'Ah, woman,' she
said, 'when I am out there in the bush, I have often no other one to
speak to but my Father, and I just talk to Him....'"

"I just talk to Him!" There is the secret of getting and keeping close
to the Father, the most worth-while Companion we can possibly have with
us on country walk, on vacation excursion, amid business perplexities,
in the desert or in the thronged city street, when the days are crowded
with burdens, or when the time of rest after work has come.

Try Him and see if it is not so.



A man had planned a three-day trip with care. On paper everything looked
promising for a combination of business and pleasure that would make
these days stand out in the record of the year.

In the morning he would go to Washington. There he would have
opportunity to see in one of the Departments a man whose help in an
emergency would prove invaluable. At four in the afternoon he would
leave for Cincinnati. By taking the train he would miss a bit of scenery
at Cumberland, which he had hoped to see. This could not be helped,
however, for by the train he would be set down in Cincinnati in good
season for the important one-day session of a committee, the primary
object of the trip.

To be sure, he would have to miss another important committee meeting at
home, unless he should forego the Washington stop. But would it not be
worth while to miss one of the meetings when he did not see how he could
well arrange for both?

The ticket was bought and reservation was made. Then interruption number
one came. Most unexpectedly there was a call from a neighbor to render
such a service as can be given but once in a lifetime. Yet that
difficult service must be rendered at the moment when, according to
program, he would be taking the train for Washington.

Of course there could be no question as to his course. Instead of going
to Washington and seeing the man with whom conference would mean so
much, he must take train by a route more direct. This would enable him
to reach Cincinnati in season for the committee meeting; and it would
enable him also to attend the committee meeting at home which he had
decided to put aside for the sake of the Washington opportunity.

After serving his neighbor and attending the home meeting--this turned
out to be so important that to miss it would have been little short of a
calamity--the direct train for Cincinnati was taken, though not without
a sigh for the lost opportunity in Washington.

Yet the sigh was forgotten when on that train he became acquainted with
three fellow-passengers who gave him some new and needed glimpses of

A study of time tables showed him that he could return by way of
Washington, and could have two hours for the interview there on which he
had counted so much, before the hour came for completing the homeward

After a successful committee meeting in Cincinnati, the importance of
which proved to be even greater than had been anticipated, the train for
Washington was taken at the Cincinnati terminal. At the moment this
train was due to leave, there drew in on an adjoining track cars from
which weary, anxious-looking passengers alighted. "What train is that?"
was the question that came to his lips.

"Number two, boss," the porter replied. "Left Washington at four
yesterday afternoon. She's ten hours late, 'count of that big wreck down
in the mountains."

And that was the train he had planned to take after finishing his
business in Washington! If he had taken it, what of his touch with the
Cincinnati meeting?

In thankful spirit, and with the resolve renewed for the ten thousandth
time that he would cease to question God's wisdom in thwarting his
little plans, he went to his berth. First, however, he included in his
evening prayer a petition that the train might not be late in reaching
Washington, since the time there would be short enough, at best.

Three hours later he roused with the start that is apt to come with the
intense silence that marks a long night wait of a train between
stations. The delay was so prolonged that soon the time table showed the
loss of three hours.

There was one consolation, however: he would be able to pass during
hours of daylight through the incomparable mountains of West Virginia.

The unexpected blessing was forgotten when the train drew into the
Washington station so near the close of the afternoon that the traveler
thought he might as well go home at once. Later on, he might be able to
make a special trip to the Capital. "And I might have finished my
program without all that expense and trouble," he thought.

But while he was there he decided he would call on the telephone the man
in the department whom he wished to see. He told the man of his late
train and his disappointment.

"Perhaps it is just as well," was the word from the other end of the
wire. "I have been afraid that the time set aside for our work this
afternoon was altogether too short. What do you say to coming to me the
first thing in the morning? Then we can devote to our program all the
time that proves necessary."

So he remained overnight. The evening gave him the chance he had sought
for a year to spend an evening consulting authorities at the
Congressional Library. Next morning the real business of the stopover
was attended to. Then he learned why it would have been impossible to
receive the afternoon before the attention he received during the
morning hours. He knew, too, that it would have been out of the question
to seek a second interview on the same business; therefore he would
have had to rest content with the results of the first conference.

The time came to take the train for the final stage of the journey. On
that train his seat-mate, a man he had never seen before, perhaps never
would see again, gave him a number of bits of vital information on the
very business that had led him to Washington!

Is it worth while to ask God to look out for the everyday needs of His



"BE strong and of a good courage!" More than three thousand years ago
the inspiring words were spoken by a great military leader to men about
to undertake a tremendous task. Some of them were dismayed. The
difficulties in the path appeared insurmountable. Their minds were
filled with worries and fears and anxieties, until the present was heavy
with doubt and the future loomed before them dread, angry, portentous.
Their hearts were like water, until Joshua, the leader, with great
confidence gave his message:

    "Be strong and of a good courage--
    "Only be strong and very courageous--
    "Have not I commanded thee?
    "Be strong and of a good courage.
    "For Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."



Two men were going around the marvelous horseshoe curve on the Tyrone
and Clearfield Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad when one called the
attention of his companion to the most picturesque part of the way.

"I was looking at that precipice when I had my first understanding of
the fact that the Bible is a personal message; that I had the right to
appropriate its words to my own life.

"It was the summer following the end of my final year in college. A few
months earlier I had reluctantly yielded to the urging, first of my
physician, then of a nerve specialist, by turning my back on college at
the vital portion of the year. They told me that if I persisted in
remaining they would not answer for the consequences; they said I had
applied myself unwisely to my books until my brain was in revolt. 'It is
a grave question if you will ever be able to take the professional
course to which you have been looking forward,' the specialist said.
'One thing is certain, however: if you do not do as you are told you
will not do any real brain work the rest of your days.'

"That scared me, for my heart was wrapped up in my plans for the
future. I felt that life would not be worth while without some sort of
active brain work. So I gave myself to a real bit of vacation. For
months I cut myself loose from all books except the little copy of the
Testament and Psalms which I carried with me more for form's sake than
for any other reason, I fear. Daily as I tramped here and there in the
wilds I read a verse or two, more because I thought I ought to do this
than because I had any idea of receiving help.

"Toward the close of the summer I submitted myself to a specialist who
shook his head, at the same time declaring that it was doubtful if even
yet I could go on with my plan. He wouldn't say it was impossible for me
to do brain work, but he urged that the probabilities were against me. A
second specialist told me the same thing.

"So I faced the future as all summer long I had feared to face it.
Finally my mind was made up to turn my back on professional studies.
When the decision was made a suggestion came that I go into the
mountains of Pennsylvania to investigate opportunity for a sort of work
that I might do.

"The journey was begun. As we left Tyrone to climb the mountains my
spirits sank lower and lower. I rebelled against the idea of taking the
offered opening. How I longed to enter professional school in two weeks!
But I dared not do it. To be sure, the physicians said that they saw no
reason why I should not, though they feared the result. Why not try it?
I had used all available means for restoration of the brain to the
old-time keenness. Yet it would be awful to try and fail. No, I did not

"So I was in the depths when my hand touched the pocket Testament and
Psalms. Mechanically the book was opened, probably because of the
unconscious realization that the daily portion had not yet been read.
But listlessness was gone in an instant when my eyes fell on the words
of Psalm 37:5:

"'Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will bring it
to pass.'

"At first the words dazed me. Then I said: 'That's for me, and I'll do
it! I've spent the summer as the doctors said I must. Surely I am
warranted in committing myself unto the Lord in just the way the Psalm
says. Of course I can't be sure that the result of going back to school
will be precisely what I hope; but I can trust, and do my best. Then if
the attempt results in failure, I shall have the satisfaction of
knowing that I am following Him to whom I have committed my way.

"Some of my friends thought it was folly to begin my professional
course. Can you imagine my joy when, from the day school opened, I had
no recurrence of my trouble? Of course I was very careful until I could
feel sure of my health."

"How do you explain your ability to go on with your studies?" his
companion asked.

"I am not trying to explain it," was the reply. "But without question
the assurance that came to me with that text from the Psalm, the
assurance that God is my God and that I have a right to count on Him,
made me strong to face things to which I had been unequal only a few
months before.

"And is it strange that I have often wondered if there would have been
any breakdown in college, if I had only known a little sooner of the
strength that waits for those who, while putting forth their own utmost
endeavor, at the same time count on God's unfailing strength?"



Isn't it strange that so many Christians while believing, theoretically,
in the reality and trustworthiness of God's promises, do not have the
same sort of practical belief in Him which they show in the promise of
their bank to pay them, on demand, the sum written down in their book of

And banks have been known to fail in keeping their very limited
promises, while God has never failed in keeping His unlimited assurances
of blessing.

For so many the strange delusion that God's promises are not to be
counted on in the same literal sense as the promises of our associates
persists through life, but there are fortunate Christians who have their
eyes opened to the truth. And what a difference the knowledge makes to

F. B. Meyer told in one of his public addresses of the transformation
wrought for him when his eyes were opened to the truth. As a boy of
thirteen he had been a student at Brighton College. He was timid and
sensitive, and the older students soon learned that they could make his
life a burden to him. With a sigh of relief he went home at the end of
the first week of school. On Sunday, however, the thought that he must
return came to him with oppressing force. How could he stand up against
the older students? He was idly turning the pages of his Bible when he
came to the 121st Psalm. "How voraciously I devoured it!" he said. "How
I read it again and again, and wrapt it round me! How I took it as my
shield! And the next day I walked into the great expanse in front of the
college so serene and strong. It was my first act of appropriating the
promises of God."

Three years later the student was agonizing because he wanted to be a
minister, yet feared to plan for the work because his voice was weak,
and he feared that he would not have the courage to speak. He had been
asking God to show him His will, and to help him in his difficulty. Then
he found Jeremiah 1:7, and read it for the first time. "With
indescribable feelings I read it again and again, and even now never
come on it without a thrill of emotion," he said of his experience. "It
was the answer to all my perplexing questionings. Yes, I was the child;
I was to go to those to whom He sent me, and speak what He bade me, and
He would be with me and teach my lips."

Another man, who had learned to accept literally God's promise, "Ask,
and it shall be given unto you," wrote gratefully of his experience:

"My life is one long, daily, hourly record of answered prayer. For
physical health, for mental overstrain, for guidance given marvelously,
for errors and dangers averted, for enmity to the Gospel subdued, for
food provided at the exact hour needed, for everything that goes to make
up life and my poor service, I can testify with a full and often
wonder-stricken awe that I believe God answers prayer. I know God
answers prayer. Cavillings, logical or physical, are of no avail to me.
It is the very atmosphere in which I live and breathe and have my being,
and it makes life glad and free and a million times worth living."

A worker among his fellows in India stated the ground of his belief in
God's promise to supply the needs of his people. The sentence was
written while he was at home on furlough:

"Whatsoever you ask, believe that you have received it, and you shall
have it. The belief is not the denial of a fact, but rather the
assurance that the petition is in accordance with God's will, and that
He is as disposed to give as we to receive; our reception of the gift
depends on our holding on to His will. Now the practical question is,
What is God's will? Am I conforming to it? Through lack of faith am I
failing to receive and appropriate for myself and Satara what I and
Satara need? Is it God's will that I should return and that there should
be better paid work? More of it? More school-houses? New houses for

A few days later he added to these notes the word "Yes." His faith
enabled him to claim God's promise.

A Christian young man in Japan was accustomed to stand at the entrance
to the park in Tokyo, offering Bibles and preaching the Gospel. Years
passed, and he saw no results of his work. Yet he believed in Him who
had promised that His name should be exalted among the heathen. At
length a Testament was bought by a young man to whom the words of John
3:16 brought life and joy. He went back to the old man from whose hand
he had received the book, and told him that he had become a Christian.
The man was overcome with joy.

"Ten years," he said, "I have been selling New Testaments here at the
park gates, and you are the first who has ever come to tell me you were

But throughout those ten years the faithful worker was sustained by his
belief in the faithfulness of Him who had promised to bless him in his
work. He knew that God would not fail him.



There is nothing like the Bible to put heart into a man. This is not
strange, for the Book was written for this purpose by men of God's
choosing whose business it was to strengthen their fellows.

One of the most vivid parts of the Bible is the book of Proverbs.

"Would that our young men were saturated with its thought," Albert J.
Beveridge said of it, while he was a member of the United States Senate.
"It is rich in practical wisdom for the minute affairs of practical
life. It abounds in apt and pointed suggestions and pungent warnings
concerning our companionship, our personal habits, our employments, our
management of finance, our speech, the government of tongue and temper,
and many other such things, which daily perplex the earnest soul, and
daily occasion harm to the thoughtless and misguided."

Years earlier, another eminent American, Washington Irving, used what is
the keynote of the book in an earnest talk with George Bancroft, later
the historian of his country, then a student in Europe. The two were
taking a walking excursion, when the older man said something the
student remembered all his life. It was natural, then, that Bancroft's
biographer should give this in his subject's own words, in "Life and
Letters of George Bancroft:"

"At my time of life, he tells me, I ought to lay aside all care, and
only be bent on laying in a stock of knowledge for future application.
If I have not pecuniary resources enough to get at what I would wish
for, as calculated to be useful to my mind, I must still not give up the
pursuit. Still follow it; scramble to it; get at it as you can, but be
sure to get at it. If you need books, buy them; if you are in want of
instruction in anything take it. The time will soon come when it will be
too late for all these things."

More than a century ago an immigrant from Scotland landed in New York.
In the story of his life he later told how the book of Proverbs became
his rock. The first night he slept in an old frame building with a
shingle roof. During the night he was aroused by a storm of rain
accompanied by thunder and lightning such as he had never experienced in
Scotland. Homesick, terrified, unable to sleep, he rose and took from
his chest the Bible his father had carefully packed with his clothes. He
wrote later that as the book was opened, "My eyes fell on the words, 'My
Son.' I was thinking of my father. I read on with delight. Having
finished the last verse I found I had been reading the third chapter of
the Proverbs of Solomon. Get a Bible and read the chapter. Then suppose
yourself in my situation--sore in body, sick at heart, and commencing
life among a world of strangers, and see if words more suitable could be
put together to fit my case. I looked upon it as a chart from heaven,
directing my course among the rocks, shoals and storms of life.... I
went forth with a light heart to work my way through the world, resolved
to keep this chapter as a pilot by my side."

The importance for to-day of the message in Proverbs 30:8, "Remove far
from me vanity and lies," is illustrated by several incidents told by
Lucy Elliot Keeler, in "If I Were a Boy:"

"The son of a distinguished American recently entered business in New
York, beginning, at his father's request, at the foot of the ladder, and
receiving the princely salary of $20 a month. At a time when his
father's name was in everybody's mouth the editor of a yellow journal
sent for the son and invited him to join the staff. 'You need not write
any articles,' he said, with a smile, 'nor do any reporting. Just sign
your name to an article which I will furnish you each day, and I will
pay you $200 a month....' The young man's reply was too emphatic to be
accurately reported here, but it was to the effect that he would rather
starve than pick untold dollars out of the gutter.

"A few years ago an American commissioner occupying a house in the West
Indies hired a man to wash the windows and another to scrub the floors.
The bills submitted were for $12 and $7, respectively. 'What does this
mean?' was the astonished query. '$12 for a day's work? Man, you are
crazy!' 'Oh,' came the soft reply, 'of course, I only expect a dollar
and a half for myself, but that was the way we always made out bills for
the Spanish officers.' 'Take back your bills,' was the American's
emphatic reply, 'and make them out honestly.'"

The wisdom of the warning in Proverbs 27:2, "Let another man praise
thee, and not thine own mouth," has seldom been more strikingly
illustrated than at a large convention when several thousand people
listened attentively as a speaker of reputation was introduced to them.
He talked fluently for several minutes, then began to ramble. He made
several attempts to regain his lost hold on his hearers, then took his

"I can't imagine what was wrong to-day," he said to his neighbor on the
platform. "I had all ready what I felt sure would be a telling address,
but somehow I couldn't say what I wanted." A sympathetic answer was
given by the man to whom he had spoken, but if he had said all that was
in his heart this would have been his message: "I know you had a telling
argument to present, for I read your manuscript. But you spent the first
three minutes in talking about yourself. It was there you lost the
attention of the people; they did not come to hear about you, but to
learn of your Master. And when you had put yourself in the foreground,
it was impossible for you to present Him with power."

The speaker's mistake is repeated every day, not merely by men on the
platform, but by everyday people in the home, in the school, and at
work. It is fatal to usefulness to put ourselves in the foreground; but
those who forget self and remember others are welcome wherever they go.



One of the blessings that came to the world out of the anguish of the
Great War was a new appreciation of God's Word on the part of many who
had never paid much attention to the inspired Book, and the formation of
the habit of Bible reading by tens of thousands of those who were once
heedless of God's Word.

Absence from home in hours of danger, privation and suffering, opened
the way for testing Him who reveals his power to give infinite blessing
by saying tenderly, "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I
comfort you." The sense of absolute powerlessness in the face of
barbarism led to dependence upon God who holds the worlds in His hands.
Realization of the uncertainty of life and familiarity with death made
easy and natural the approach to the Lord of life and death.

Probably there were soldiers who laughed at the words of Field Marshal
Lord Roberts, spoken when the first British troops were crossing the

"You will find in this little Book (the Bible) guidance when you are in
health, comfort when you are in sickness, and strength when you are in
adversity," but the day came when one of the soldiers themselves, Arthur
Guy Empey, wrote:

"How about the poor boy lying wounded, perhaps dying, in a shell hole,
his mother far away? Perhaps to him even God seems to have forgotten; he
feels for his first-aid packet, binds up his wounds, and then
waits--years, it seems to him--for the stretcher-bearers. Then he gets
out his Testament; the feel of it gives him comfort and hope. He reads.
That boy gets religion, even though when he enlisted he was an atheist."

A Young Men's Christian Association secretary told of an incident when
the soldiers were just leaving for the trenches. "He saw a young lad
nervously making his way up to the counter. He knew the boy wanted
something, and was afraid to ask or was timid about it. He said, 'Want
something, lad?' 'Yes, sir, I have got a Bible and I don't know much
about it. I'd like you to mark some passages in it. I am going out to
the trenches to-night.' 'Sure!' said the secretary. 'Mark some good
ones, now,' said the lad.

"While he was marking the first lad's book half a dozen other boys came
up and said, 'Mark mine, too, sir!' And for half an hour this secretary
was busy marking verses in the Bibles of those boys. An interested
observer asked him what he marked, and he said, 'Matthew 10:23; 11:28;
6:19, 20; John 3:16; Romans 8:35-39.'"

"Fighting" Pat O'Brian, of the Royal Fighting Corps, whose marvelous
escape from his German captors thrilled multitudes, said:

"I haven't been given to talking much about religion, but when, after
two months of flight through an enemy country as an escaped prisoner,
going without food except such as I could pick up in the fields and eat
raw, and time and again coming within a hair's breadth of being caught,
I finally got through the lines on to the neutral soil of Holland, I was
mighty glad to get down on my knees and thank God that He had got me
through. A lot of men who have never thought much about religion are
thinking about it now. I believe they will read those little khaki
Testaments, and I am sure they will get help from them."

That "those little khaki Testaments" were going into the hands of the
soldiers pleased General Pershing, who said, "Its teachings will fortify
us for our great task." And Secretary of the Navy Daniels rejoiced that
the books were going to the sailors, for he said, "The Bible is the one
book from which men can find help and inspiration and encouragement for
whatever conditions may arise."



In June, 1862, John E. Clough was graduated from an Iowa college. He had
been eager to make a name for himself. Many promising avenues of secular
work had opened to him, and he had tried to take one or another of them.
But always he knew that it was not right for him to plan for anything
but the ministry. The impression was deepened when the president of the
college took for the text of his baccalaureate sermon, "For none of us
liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." So the young graduate
left the college feeling that he was no longer free to go out and use
his education for the career he had dreamed of.

But he did decide to teach for a year. With Mrs. Clough, he made an
engagement to teach a public school one year. But he did not dare stay
for a second year, because the people were so good to the new teacher,
and there was so much evidence of this popularity, that the Bible words
kept ringing in his ears, "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of
you." He knew he was not in the right place. In later life, when
opposition came to him because he was doing faithful Christian work, he
was strengthened by the memory of this text that had once been anything
but a comfort to him.

At last came the beginning of the work in India that made the name of
John E. Clough famous. His success was due, in large measure, to the
fact that he emphasized God's Word. One of his first acts was to prepare
a tract in Scripture language, telling the things necessary for
salvation, and this proved useful throughout his services.

Everywhere he went he quoted Scripture to the people. He felt that
whatever else he might say to them, this would be most effective. One
text was used more than any other, in private conversation and in
sermons, the invitation of Jesus, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." This, he said, was always
new, and the people received his explanations gladly. Once, during a
time of grievous famine, when about them millions of the natives died of
want and disease, these words proved especially effective.

As a measure of famine relief the missionary took the contract for a
section of the great Buckingham Canal. Under his leadership the natives
were set to work on this. Native evangelists as well as white
missionaries toiled day after day, and this gave a splendid chance for
preaching the gospel. "The name of Jesus was spoken all day long from
one end of our line to the other," Mr. Clough wrote in his
autobiography. "The preachers carried a New Testament in their pockets.
It comforted the people to see the holy book of the Christians amid all
their distress. They said, when they sat down for a short rest, 'Read us
again out of your holy book about the weary and heavy laden.' That
verse, 'Come unto me all ye that labor,' was often all I had to give the
people by way of comfort. The preachers were saying it all day long. It
carried us through the famine. We all needed it, for even the strongest
among us sometimes felt our courage sinking."

All through Dr. Clough's missionary career there was one verse in
particular that carried him far. When he was out on tour among the
people, often many miles distant from home, Mrs. Clough was accustomed
to send after him a messenger who would take to him, for his
encouragement, the message she felt he needed. Knowing his fondness for
the text, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the
heathen," she sent the words to him on more than one occasion. In the
story of his life he told of a day when the text came to him with
special force:

"I was tempted to shake the dust off my feet and go. My helpers and I
had camped in a new place, and had been trying hard to get the people to
come and listen to the gospel, but they would not. I concluded that it
was a hard place, and told my staff of workers that we were justified in
leaving it alone and moving on elsewhere. Toward noon I went into my
tent, closed down the sides, let the little tent flap swing over my
head, and rested, preparatory to starting off for the next place. Just
then a basket of supplies was brought to my feet by a coolie, who had
walked seventy miles with the basket on his head. In the accompanying
letter Mrs. Clough quoted my favorite verse to me. While reading this,
some of the preachers put their heads into the tent and said, 'Sir,
there is a big crowd out here; the grove is full; all are waiting for
you. Please come out.'"

Once the two verses that were the keynote of the missionary's life were
especially prominent. For a long time he had been discouraged because
results seemed slow and difficulties were great. But the day came when
he stood before thousands and preached to them the Word, strong in the
assurance of the presence of Him who said, "Be still, and know that I am
God: I will be exalted among the heathen." The text that day, as so
often before, was "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden."
For an hour the people listened to his words. Then they began to plead
for baptism, and would not be denied. At length, after rigid
examination, baptism was administered to 3,536 within three days. And he
had not baptized one soul in fifteen months before this time!

God's Word gave courage to Clough; it enabled him to give courage to
others; and it will give courage to you.



During the year 1538 an Italian spent long weeks in a noisome
underground prison cell, where he was kept on account of religious
differences. For a precious hour and a half of each day, when the light
struggled in through a tiny window, he read the Bible, especially the
Psalms. Among the Psalms that meant most to him was the one hundred and
thirtieth, whose beginning "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O
Lord," expressed the longings of his heart for companionship and

Exactly two hundred years later, on May 24, 1738, John Wesley, then in
the midst of the greatest anxiety and longing for God, heard the choir
at St. Paul's Cathedral sing, "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee,
O Lord." The words brought joy to him. From the depths in which he found
himself that afternoon he cried unto God, and that evening there came to
him the knowledge of God's presence that gave him strength to begin the
wonderful work that built up the great Methodist Church.

These same words meant much to Josiah Royce, the American teacher of
philosophy, who died in 1916. In one of his later books, he wrote:

"We come to such deep places that we can only cry. We are astonished
that we can cry. And then we become aware that our cry is heard. And he
who hears is God. And so God is often defined for the plain man as 'He
who hears man's cry from the depths.'"

One who knew Professor Royce well wondered if he did not enter the
depths from which he cried to God and received such satisfying response,
after the death of his only son. In the same way those who delight in
the message of Psalm 130 wonder what could have been the experience of
depression that opened the way for his reception of God's blessing.

We can only speculate about these things. But there is one thing of
which we can be absolutely sure: there is no depth so low that the cry
of one of God's children will not reach from it to the heart of the
Father; no sorrow so crushing, no anxiety so overwhelming, no pain so
intense, no difficulty seemingly so unsolvable, no sin so awful, that
eager, earnest prayer will not bring God to the relief of the sufferer.

"If out of the depths we cry, we shall cry ourselves out of the depths,"
one has said who has written of the words that Professor Royce found so
helpful. Then he asks: "What can a man do who finds himself at the foot
of a beetling cliff, the sea in front, the wall of rock at his back,
without foothold for a mouse, between the tide at the bottom and the
grass at the top? He can do but one thing, he can shout, and, perhaps,
may be heard, and a rope may come dangling down that he can spring at
and catch. For sinful men in the miry pit the rope is already let down,
and their grasping it is the same as the psalmist's cry. God has let
down His forgiving love in Christ, and we need but the faith which
accepts it while it asks, and then we are swung up into the light, and
our feet set on a rock."

Each one has depths peculiarly his own, and longs to be out of them.
Then why not call to Him who hears men's cry from the depths, with the
quiet confidence of quaint old Herbert, who wrote:

        Of what an easie quick accesse,
        My blessed Lord, art Thou! how suddenly
        May our requests thine ears invade!
        If I but lift mine eyes my suit is made;
        Thou canst no more not heare than Thou canst die.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious punctuation errors were corrected.

Page 44, "conjuctions" changed to "conjunctions" (prepositions, and

Page 56, "year'sexpenses" changed to "year's expenses" (next year's

Page 62, "throughness" changed to "thoroughness" (thoroughness by

Page 96, "then" changed to "than" (further than usual)

Page 98, "begining" changed to "beginning" (thought of beginning)

Page 138 "mments" changed to "comments" (comments is that the)

Page 153, "be-because" changed to "because" (need of it because)

Page 164, "Yes" changed to "Yet" (Yet, there was something)

Page 214, "woud" changed to "would" (would be most effective)

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