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Title: Life and Conduct

Author: J. Cameron Lees

Release date: July 11, 2007 [eBook #22050]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Al Haines


E-text prepared by Al Haines





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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

EDINBURGH, 28th June, 1892.







Everything in the practical conduct of life depends upon character.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are certain things which directly tend to success in life:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is the way to succeed in life.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Stalker's Imago Christi.

[2] Hain Friswell, The Gentle Life.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Sir Henry Taylor, Notes from Life.

[2] Life Questions, by M. J. Savage.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          8 )
                         to ) Work
                         11 )

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

                          2 )
       Afternoon, to ) Work
                          5 )

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

                         10 )
       Night to ) Sleep.
                          4 )

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

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

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

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

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

[2] Beginning Life.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He who fears God will know no other fear.

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Eat wholesome food, drink pure water.

3. Let your house and room be well ventilated.

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

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

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

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

[1] Frederic Harrison, Popular Science Monthly Supplement.

[2] Plain Living and High Thinking.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The first true gentleman that ever breathed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] The Secret of Success.

[2] Plain Living and High Thinking.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] See Appendix.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] Dr. James Martineau.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[2] Confession of Faith.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



  The Bible.
  Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians.
  Max Von Dunche's History of the Ancient World.
  Plutarch's Lives.
  History of Greece—Grote or Curtius.
  History of Rome—Arnold or Mommsen.
  Menzel's History of the Germans.
  Green's History of the English People.
  Life of Charlemagne.
  Life of Pope Hildebrand.
  The Crusades.
  Sismondi's History of the Italian Republics.
  Prescott's America.
  Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella.
  Italy, by Professor Spalding.
  Chronicles, by Froissart.
  The Normans—Freeman and Thierry.
  Motley's Dutch Republic.
  Life of Gustavus Adolphus.
  The French Revolution—Thiers, Carlyle, Alison.
  Bourrienne's Life of Napoleon.
  Wellington's Peninsular Campaign.
  Southey's Life of Nelson.
  The Stuart Rising of 1745, by Robert Chambers.
  Carlyle's Life of Cromwell.
  Foster's Statesmen of the Commonwealth.
  Life of Arnold—Stanley.
  Life of Dr. Norman Macleod.
  Life of Baron Bunsen.
  Neander's Church History.
  Life of Luther.
  History of Scottish Covenanters—Dodds.
  Dean Stanley's Jewish Church.
  Milman's Latin Christianity.



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



  The Niebelungen Lay.
  The Morte D'Arthur.
  Goethe—Faust, Meister, and Eckermann's Conversations.
  Walter Scott.
  Charles Lamb.
  Dean Swift, "Tale of a Tub" and "Gulliver's Travels."
  Don Quixote.
  Goldsmith, "Vicar of Wakefield."
  George Eliot.
  Robinson Crusoe.
  Andersen's Fairy Tales, "Mother Bunch."
  Grimm's Popular Songs and Ballads, especially
    Scotch, English, Irish and German.



  Ferguson's History of Architecture.



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



  J. G. Wood's Books on Natural History.
  White's Natural History of Selbourne.
  Geology—Hugh Miller, Ramsey, Geikie, Ansted.
  Botany—General Elements of British.
  Science of Language—Trench and Farrar, Max Müller.
  Taylor's Words and Places.



In every variety; especially the old collections.


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

Self-Culture, by John Stuart Blackie. Edinburgh: David Douglas. Twentieth edition. 1892.

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

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

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

On the Threshold, by Theodore T. Munger. London: Ward, Lock & Co. 1888.

Beginning Life, by John Tulloch, D.D. London: Chas. Burnet & Co. 1883.

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

The Gentle Life, by J. Hain Friswell. London: Sampson Low & Marston. 1870.

Self-Culture, by James Freeman Clarke. Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co. 1881.

Life Questions, by M. J. Savage. Boston: Lockwood, Brooks & Co. 1879.

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

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

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

Home Life, by Marianne Farningham. London: James Clarke & Co.

The Domestic Circle, by the Rev. John Thomson. London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. 1886.