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The Young Man With 

a Program 
And Other Sermons to Young Men 







% Ae Sch. R 



THESE sermons are given substantially as they 
were delivered to the congregations for which they 
were prepared. ‘Their single purpose is to offer 
practical reasons to young men for yielding them- 
selves to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. An at- 
tempt has been made to preserve a certain unity by 
repeatedly turning over the familiar truth that char- 
acter is always in process of making, and that every 
man has it in his own power to determine what 
sort of person he will become. Hence constant em- 
phasis is laid upon the spiritual office of the Will, 
and the first discourse is made introductory to the 








THE YouNG MAN AND His Capirat, 

. THE Younc MAN IN His HouszE, - 
. THE YounG MAN AT His Work, - 

. THE Younc Man WiTrH AN Ax- 

BITION, - - - - - 


TIONS, - - - - . - 

THE YounGc MAN AND His Oppor- 
TUNITIES, - - - - = 

PASSION, - - - - - 



“I am resolved what to do.”—LUKE XVI, 4. 

Even a bad man may sometimes set a good ex- 
ample. His iniquity will never become a virtue, 
but the qualities he exhibits in the practice of evil 
may be excellent. The devil is the picturesque em- 
bodiment of absolute meanness, but his industry, his 
patience, his wisdom are exemplary. Napoleon 
Bonaparte was one of the most conscienceless 
knaves that ever devastated the earth. He did little 
to benefit Europe except build some admirable 
roads, which were intended chiefly as highways 
through which to proceed to conquest. Neverthe- 
less, by the methods of his nefarious activity, and 
by his sententious utterances on many topics, he 
has afforded even preachers of righteousness fruit- 
ful illustrations of moral themes. When one reads 
the story from which our text is taken he observes 


10 Tur Younc Man witH A PrRocRAM. 

that the man who said, “I am resolved what to do,” 
had determined upon a very dishonest thing. Nevy- 
ertheless he is commended for his promptitude and 
his alertness in a bad situation. What he did was 
simply thievish. The way in which he did it was 
thoroughly admirable. We must denounce his act 
on ethical grounds, while we can not refrain from 
admiring his forethought and sagacity. 

“The children of this world are in their gen- 
eration wiser than the children of light.” However, 
the text can be viewed quite apart from the indi- 
vidual who first uttered it. “I am resolved what to 


do.” For our present purpose the words attain a 
better climax if we reverse their order after a fash- 
ion, and unravel their meaning from the end rather 

than from the beginning of the sentence. 

I. SometHinc To Br Done. 

“To do.’’ Success in life never was an accident 
and never can be. Good fortune might be consid- 
ered accidental, if we could ever believe that a regu- 
lated world has anything fortuitous in it. But suc- 
cess certainly is not an accident, because that is an 
achievement, and not a circumstance. Wealth may 
be inherited, talents may be native, but success is 
attained. When some one charged Rufus Choate 


with having accomplished a certain fine result by 
accident, he exclaimed, ‘““Nonsense! You might as 
well drop the Greek alphabet on the ground, and ex- 
pect to pick up the Iliad!” 

If you rise in the world, envious people will say 
it is the issue of good luck rather than of good man- 
agement. But that will not be true if your ascent 
is an achievement. A windfall, it is true, may bring 
you money or notoriety. But you can be a failure, 
according to the nobler measures of success, in 
spite of your lucre and your publicity. 

Jealous people try to falsify the returns. Cir- 
cumstances, to which they attribute so much, doubt- 
less aid men to get on in the world, but they are 
far from being responsible for achievement. 
Streams run down hill, and follow depressions 
which lie in the direction of their progress. That 
is nature, not achievement. Water is forced up hill 
by artificial agents, and made to pass through ducts 
prepared for it by the skill of man, and compelled 
to do work which is assigned to it by a superior 
power. That is achievement, not nature. Every- 
thing seems to turn to money in the hands of some 
men. Whatever they do appears to prosper by some 
inevitable foreordination. Evidently they have been 
endowed with the subtle “knack of doing things.” 

12 Tue Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM, 

ut the most envious must confess that these for- 

tunate mortals are industrious with their talents. 
Waiting for something to happen is never a sub- 
stitute for activity. “Not what J have, but what I 
do,—that is my kingdom!” cries the Sage of Chel- 
sea. Man, there is something to be done! 

We admire the persons who have achieved. We 
ignore the labor by which they have attained. 
Superficial people declare it is easy for a much ad- 
vertised commodity to command a ready market. 
The manufacturer or producer has acquired a repu- 
tation. They forget the work he did to make his 
name famous, and his product worthy of confidence. 
A professor in a New England college said the 
other day, that he found great difficulty in impress- 
ing his students with the fact that men of achieve- 
ments get up in the world by climbing rather than 
by stumbling. In this age of mechanical propul- 
sion we are prone to believe that all elevations are 
reached by elevators, and that all distances are 
traversed by tramways. We forget that the ele- 
vator is an embodiment of energy, and that the en- 
gine is charged with force. When the graduate 
from one of our scientific schools passes out into 
the world he is sometimes chagrined that he must 
don a serviceable suit of clothing, and go into the 

re) eh 

ae 4 

Ture Younc MAN witH A PRocRAM. 13 

foundry or the shop on a level with the mechanic 
who has had no technical training at a seat of learn- 
ing. But there is no better way. The physician 
with a lucrative practice has built it up. The law- 
yer in great demand has found his clients by his 
learning and his skill. The merchant became a 
prince by first becoming a slave. Among the works 
of art which gladden your eyes and fire your soul in 
the great Metropolitan Museum yonder in Central 
Park are some admirable examples of the genius of 
Sir Joshua Reynolds. Listen to what this master said 
one day: “Whoever is resolved to excel in paint- 
ing, or indeed any other art, must bring all his mind 
to bear on that one object from the moment that he 
rises till he goes to bed.” That explains the 
painter’s power to captivate your imagination. He 
toiled terribly. Man, there is something to be done! 

All this, of course, is said in a figure. A pulpit 
is no place in which to glorify material success as an 
end in itself. The preacher of righteousness must 
be employed with more serious business. Yet the 
lower achievements of life may serve to illustrate 
the highest. The greatest thing attainable by man 
is character. But, like every other genuine suc- 
cess, it can not be secured without industry. ‘The 
hardest piece of work any of us will ever do is the 

14 Tur Younc MAN wiTH A PROGRAM. 

making out of ourselves what we ought to be. 
Character is an acquisition, not a gift. We admire 
a man compact of all virtues, who can not be 
bought, or bent, or broke. There is scarcely a man 
who in his better moods does not wish to possess 
such a character. But let us not forget that to 
realize such an ideal there is something to be done. 
Neglecting the problem will only bring sad disap- 
pointment. Character never comes by accident. 
Poets may be “born, not made;” but the poetic in- 
stinct alone would not produce “Paradise Lost” or 
the “A‘neid” in a hundred millenniums. The gen- 
uine poet toils passionately. No more truly is char- 
acter a native endowment. People may be born 
good—of that there is doubt in some minds—but 
they do not remain good by nature, but by resist- 
ance. We depreciate by gravity. We appreciate 
by industry. The pure-minded Socrates did not 
happen to be what he was. He became so by an 
evolution of which he was the guide and deter- 
miner. It requires huge industry to become a saint. 
It is not an affair of chance, as the biographies of 
the holiest men abundantly show. ‘There is some- 
thing to be done. Now you are moving off into a 
new year of grace. You will have some valuable 
commodities in your possession.—three hundred and 

Tur Younc MAN wItH A PROGRAM. 15 

sixty-five golden days, a certain number of ounces 
of physical strength, a definite quantity of intel- 
lectual force, a certain amount of nervous vitality. 
You will get a modicum of stimulation from the 
external world. Society will react upon you. But 
do not forget that there is something to be done, if 
you are to realize the best of which you are capable. 

II. Purpose. 

“What to do.” Again we turn to common life 
for types of the higher career of the soul. Said 
Thomas Carlyle, “The latest gospel in the world is, 
Man, know thy work, and do it.” Aye, that know- 
ing is of incalculable value. No one ever suc- 
ceeded by simply doing what happened in his way. 
That may seem to be necessary to the man who 
has not prepared himself to meet emergencies. 
Even then it can only be a temporary expedient at 
best. Continued as a policy in life, it leads to 
penury. Something definite, to be persisted in, some » 
one thing to which everything else is tributary, is 
the prime requisite. There is Immanuel Kant pass- 
ing his days in comparative isolation, and never 
going thirty miles away from his native K6nigs- 
berg, hammering out in silence his profound phil- 
osophic scheme. We talk of broadening influences 

16 Tur Younc MAN witTH A PROGRAM 

in our twentieth-century civilization. What seems 
to be required is a narrowing process which shall 
confine our thought and energy to some sublime 
one thing. 

Let a man, therefore, sit down, and reckon with 
himself. Let him ascertain what are his possibili- 
ties and what are his impossibilities. There are 
throngs of persons attempting to do things they 
would never have undertaken if they had given 
serious thought to their own manifest limitations. 
They are palpable misfits. Their associates know 
that they are not apt for the tasks they have chosen. 
When a clergyman tried to secure a position for a 
man out of work, and suggested the line of effort 
the unfortunate individual fancied he was designed 
to pursue, the great personage to whom the appeal 
was made burst forth into uproarious laughter, and 
shouted, “Why, of all things in the world, that is 
the last for which this man has any capacity!” To 
be sure, the predictions of our friends concerning 
our powers are often ill-chosen. The college presi- 
dent who warned Phillips Brooks that public speak- 
ing was a profession in which he could never expect 
io excel fell very far from the mark. The masters 
of music have more than once admonished a bud- 
ding genius that she could never learn to sing, only 

Tue Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM. 17 

to find the resolute woman a prima donna in time. 
And if we know what to do, and then proceed to 
do it against all croaking prophecies of failure, we 
have proven ourselves great beyond the power of 
any to discredit us. But let us be sure we are right 
about what to do. 

Success when translated into moral terms, as 
already indicated, means character, and that you 
must feel is the highest achievement, or there would 
be no significance in your being inside a church. 
The persons who are only ambitious for money or 
fame or material power are out yonder in the world. 
You have come here because you would be helped 
to the formation of character, and if the Church 
can not teach you that, she has no good reason for 
her existence. 

Are there any impossibilities to be reckoned with 
in the production of character? Are there things 
which you can not do for yourself in making your- 
self what you ought to be? Most assuredly. You 
can not repair the grievous faults you have com- 
mitted in the past, which have left their record on 
your soul. You can not forgive your own sins, 
unless you are a Christian Scientist, and then you 
will only play at it. You will attempt to pardon 

your transgressions by pretending that you are sin- 

18 Tus Younc MANn witH A PROGRAM. 

less, but you will deceive no one, neither yourself, 
nor your associates, nor your God. When you look 
into your heart, you discover therein a disposition 
to evil, a fatal bias, a constitutional trend, which 
you realize must be curbed, or it will lead you to 
ruin. You can not cure that of yourself. You can 
retard it, but you can not subvert it. When least 
expected, it will break forth with exasperating vio- 

An English officer in India reared a tiger’s cub 
as a pet in his tent. It would play with him like a 
kitten. One day, when it was full-grown, it sport- 
ively licked the back of his hand. Its rough tongue 
scratched the skin, and it got its first taste of blood. 
Instantly if became a voracious beast ready to spring 
upon its protector and devour him. It must be shot 
at once to save the officer’s life. In like manner the 
sinful lusts of the human heart suddenly display 
their deadly virulence when their presence is least 
suspected. That fatal propensity must be checked 
and conquered. You can not do it for yourself. 
Yet it must be done. 

Your necessity is to lay hold on God. He alone 
can transform the passions of men into instruments 
of law and order. He only can expunge the sin 
which has blotted the record of life. We can easily 

Tur Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM. 19 

see the process. An educated man is one who has 
laid hold on books, or schools, or men, or things 
about him, and has helped himself to wisdom and 
strength. A strong soul is one who has taken hold 
of God, and received from Him the might of a 
sound character. You must take the initiative, for 
God has given man freedom of choice. But He 
must effect the actual work of correcting character. 

Apelles and Protogenes were painters in the 
same city, but Apelles was the finer artist. Protog- 
enes determined to make one picture which should 
excel anything Apelles had produced. He began 
his task, and fancied he was realizing his aim, when 
he was called away from the canvas. Apelles en- 
tered, and seeing the picture, took up his brush and 
worked diligently for a space, until he had produced 
a fairer result than Protogenes had dreamed of, and 
then withdrew. When the latter returned and gazed 
upon the picture he exclaimed, “Apelles has been 
here, for no one but Apelles could have wrought so 
wondrously.” When you see the finest type of a 
man he will be found to be a man whom God has 
been fashioning. No human touch can make the 
highest form of character. If you have resolved to 
make character the chief end of life, on no account 
leave God out of the reckoning. He is the one 

20 Tur Younc MAN wit A PROGRAM. 

supreme and indispensable factor in the process of 
getting the utmost out of life. 

III. Pian. 

“Resolved.” No man ever accomplished much, 
even though his field of endeavor had been deter- 
mined, without a definite scheme. Lord Macaulay 
begins the first volume of his monumental work with 
this sentence: “I purpose to write the history of Eng- 
land from the accession of King James the Second 
down to a time which is within the memory of men 
still living.” He did not live to see the end of his con- 
templated task, but the result was great in propor- 
tion to the fidelity he showed to his plan, and the 
plain statement of his purpose is duly impressive. 
Napoleon said in explanation of his triumphs, “My 
hand of iron was not at the extremity of my arm. 
It was immediately connected with my head.” Says 
Emerson, “Few men have any next. ‘They live 
from hand to mouth. They are without plan, and 
soon come to the end of their line.’”’ Grant said, “I 
propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all 
summer.” The successful novel is written after 
years of weary preparation. Nansen went so far 
North because he had built a ship for the purpose, 
and provisioned her for years of absence, and qual- 


ified his men by the most rigid discipline. The 
Japanese have astonished the world by their feats 
in war because they were prepared. The Russians 
have dismally failed because they were taken un- 
awares. No meteorologist forecasts the weather 
more carefully than the successful merchant exam- 
ines the conditions of trade. Political parties only 
succeed with straight and easily comprehended 

Now, character can no more be fashioned on 
mere caprice than a house can be constructed with- 
out a plan. Longing to be good will make no man 
a saint. A specific ideal rigidly pursued is abso- 
lutely necessary. “I'll own a building like this 
some day,” said George W. Childs, looking upon a 
huge architectural pile in Philadelphia, and ulti- 
mately that very structure was his. “I'll be a 
painter,” said Correggio, gazing at the canvas ofa 
contemporary, and he soon became one. “I'll be an 
orator,” said Demosthenes, as he listened to a law- 
yer pleading a cause, and he went out to become 
one. “Ill tread the quarter-deck of my own ship,” 
said young Farragut, and he fulfilled his prophecy. 
“T’ll be marshal of France,” said a young soldier, 
and he. kept his word. 

Is there an analogue to these instances in the 

22 Tus Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

achievement of character? Unquestionably. Think 
of the Cilician tent-maker! “Ill be altogether a 
Christian,” said St. Paul; “I will immerse myself in 
the spirit of Christ; I will know the power of His 
resurrection. I will have fellowship with His suf- 
ferings, I will be comformable to His death. I will 
avail myself to the uttermost of the very experiences 
of Christ.” This plan he pursued so scrupulously 
that he could say, “I am crucified with Christ. Nev- 
ertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; 
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by 
the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and 
gave Himself for me.” What a hero this adoption 
of Christ as the vitalizing center of his life made 

There is the secret of a great life. The plan of 
it is Christ Himself. That is a practical scheme. It 
did not make a vaporing idealist of Gladstone. It 
did not take the fire and blood out of Bismarck. It 
did not weaken the fiber of the Earl of Shaftesbury. 
It did not enervate the intellectual vigor of Sir Isaac 
Newton. It did not impoverish the valor of Wash- 
ington. It did not evaporate the commercial in- 
stinct of John Wanamaker. It will do no man any 
harm. It has made-heroes of thousands of men. 
The beauty of it is that it presents not only an illus- 

Ture Younc Man witH A ProGRAM. 23 

tration of a fine life, but provides a method of mak- 
ing every life fine. Christ pours His own life into 
the life of men, and lo! they become like Him. You 
can not become a Christian by copying Christ,—you 
might as well attempt to copy the sun,—but by ad- 
mitting His life into yours, and by being trans- 
formed by Him. That is the plan for the highest 


“IT am resolved what to do.” First person, 
singular number, nominative case. Too many young 
men consider themselves always in the objective 

iF, Gk 

case. “To me,” “for me,’ “me”—these are the 
words of weaklings. “The world owes me a 
living,” they say. Of course, that is not true. 
A New England schoolmaster had a cross above 
his desk, and around it the words of a great 
toiler, “What hast thou to do with happiness, ex- 
cept the happiness of getting thy work well done?” 
All this is true of making character. Goodness will 
not come to us. It is never superimposed. The 
Christ-life is not spontaneously generated. It is 
sought and secured through prayer, by the aid of 
the Holy Spirit. The longing soul proffers its 
plea. The loving God grants the petition. Here 

24 Tur Younc Man witH A PROGRAM, 

beginneth the new creation in Christ Jesus, old 
things passing away, and all things becoming new. 
Yet the work divine commences only with a human 
purpose put into earnest entreaty and perfect sur- 
render. “I am resolved what to do.” I will give 
myself to Christ. I, always I, must take the matter 
in hand. Fowell Buxton, whose interest in the 
abolition of slavery continued until there was not 
a slave in the British dominions, once said, “The 
longer I live the more certain I am that the great 
difference between the feeble and the powerful, the 
great and insignificant, is energy—invincible deter- 
mination—a purpose once fixed and then death or 
victory! That quality will do anything that can be 
done in this world; and no talents, no circumstances, 
no opportunities will make a two-legged creature 
a man without it.” One can say the same about 
the Christian life. It depends primarily upon the 
purpose to become one, and the will to remain one 
by the help of God, despite all temptations to depart 
from that holy aspiration. 

Is it true that character is the highest achieve- 
ment in human life, that it can not reach its noblest 
development without Divine assistance, that its finest 
ideal is in Jesus the Christ, that He is immediately 
available to all who honestly seek Him, and that 

in , 

THE Younc Man wit A ProcrRAM. 2 

destiny turns upon our personal relations to Him? 
Then, by every consideration which can have 
weight with thoughtful minds, let us resolve to give 
ourselves utterly to Him, and to do so from this 

“Boys, don’t waste any shots!’ shouted An- 
drew Jackson, as he saw the long line of red-coats 
advancing at the battle of New Orleans. “Make 
every shot count. We must finish this business to- 

That is the point. We can not afford to be 
prodigal of our powers. Let us waste neither time 
nor energy on things of doubtful import. Here is 
the supreme thing. Let us do it now! 


“Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to 
the bankers, and at my coming I should have 
received back mine own with interest.” —Matt. 
XXV, 27. Revised Version. 

Tuts rebuke was administered to a man who 
had a small capital and did nothing with it. He 
would have done nothing more with a large capital. 
The trouble was with the man and not with his 
money. ‘That is chiefly the difficulty whenever fail- 
ure occurs. ‘There is no charm attaching to money 
which makes it flourish in one man’s hands, and 
dwindle in another’s. There is no magic in the soil 
which makes it laugh with fertility under one man’s 
cultivation, and frown with barrenness under the 
care of another. The cunning of capital lies in the 
hand that employs it. 


It is true we entered the world empty-handed. 
But much awaited us on our arrival. The angel of 


Tue Younc Man anv His Capiral. 27 

Providence met us on the threshold of being and 
endowed us with great possessions. Pauperism is 
abnormal. God is infinite fuliness. Nature is the 
most lavish of benefactors. The Creator places a 
generous capital at our disposal. It lies all around 
us and within us. 

Chatterton, the ill-starred genius, used to say 
that “God had sent His creatures into the world 
with arms long enough to reach anything, if they 
chose to be at the trouble.” And provided these 
arms do not reach after other people’s property, 
there is no occasion to denounce their activity. An 
Italian philosopher was wont to call time “an estate 
which produces nothing of value without cultiva- 
tion, but, duly improved, never fails to recompense 
the labors of the diligent worker.” 


The story in the Bible is that Divine displeasure 
drove our progenitors out of the Garden of Eden 
into the cheerless world. And lo! they transformed 
the thorny wilderness into a paradise of wonders, 
and filled the earth with the structures of civiliza- 

See the crowded commerce of the world flying 
with white wings over the ocean’s bosom. See the 

28 Tur Younc MAn witH A PROGRAM. 

proud cities sitting, like queens arrayed in purple 
and diadems, on the banks of great rivers and the 
shores of vast seas. See the gorgeous temples and 
palaces which glitter in the sunlight, the triumphs 
of genius and of love. Go to the summits of high 
mountains, and survey the kingdoms of the world 
spread out at your feet in ever-widening vistas. 
All came from the hands of that half-naked pair 
and their children. Hungry and weak we stumbled 
into the world, but with capacities of sublime pro- 
portions; with bodies which are the marvel of the 
physicist and the delight of the anatomist; with 
muscular energy and physical skill unsurpassed 
among the myriad forms of creation; with intel- 
lects which impel us to master every kind of knowl- 
edge capable of being acquired; with sensibilities 
which make us susceptible of the profoundest emo- 
tions and the most celestial aspirations; with wills 
which transmute ambition into effort, and effort 
into achievement. And with such endowments the 
duty of employing our possessions and of increasing 
our acquisitions is imperative. 

A Sure THING. 

A safe investment is one that conserves the capi- 
tal and produces a revenue. Capital invested is a 

Tur Younc Man AnD His Capitan. 29 

messenger sent forth to bring in returns. Noah 
may have been glad when his last dove failed to 
reappear, but the capitalist is disconsolate if his 
ventures bring not back some olive branch of divi- 

Many specious bids are made for the control of 
our capital. Those which promise most are likely 
to produce least. When the advertisement of a 
proprietary medicine agrees to cure every disease 
to which flesh is heir, we are certain it will cure no 
human ailment whatsoever. When a financial proj- 
ect is said to be capable of making investors rich 
in a few months, we know it will make them poor 
the day they take it up. Good investments require 
time and patience and skillful management. 

“Thou oughtest to have put my money to the 
bankers.” That is another way of saying, “Trust 
your capital with the celestial financier.’”’ Employ 
it under God’s direction, and all will go well. What- 
ever you have, or secure, of any commodity may 
be safely dedicated to Him. The capital will re- 
main intact and large dividends will be assured. 
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, 
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where 
thieves break through and steal; but lay up for 
yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust 

30 Tur Younc MAN witrH A PROGRAM. 

doth not corrupt and where thieves do not break 
through and steal.” That is not a keen thrust at 
rich men. It applies equally to the pauper on the 
curbstone and the prince in his palace. 

I, Material wealth is only one form of capital, 
but since it is of large significance it may be con- 
sidered first. The importance of securing the means 
of self-reliance must be frankly admitted. Robert 
Burns understood the real value of money, though 
he did not altogether profit by his knowledge— 

“Not for to hide it in a hedge, 
Not for a train attendant, 
But for the glorious privilege 
Of being independent.” 
Poverty is not an enviable condition. Said Sydney 
Smith, “I have been very poor the greatest part of 
my life, and have borne it as well, I believe, as most 
people; but I can safely say that I have been 
happier every guinea I have gained.” 

Maxine Money. 

Before money can be invested it must be ac- 
quired, a thing not so difficult in America as on the 
surface it seems to be. Some persons are born in 
possession of it. Their problem is not how to get 

Tur Younc Man anv His Capirat. 31 

it, but how to get rid of it. The greatest number 
are compelled to search for it, and in this country 
the quest is not unhopeful for any man who has 
health and a fair quality of brains. So many opu- 
lent princes in America began with poverty as a 
companion that no average person need despair of 
a competency, if he is willing to pay the price in 
assiduous toil and patient frugality. Foreigners 
come to these shores expecting to find gold and sil- 
ver in the streets, and are disappointed at not seeing 
them instantly before their superficial gaze. Never- 
theless money is here in amazing abundance, and 
the ill-conditioned European peasant often discovers 
it by searching. He is constantly developing from 
a pauper in a shed to a nabob in a mansion. Hav- 
ing a consuming passion to acquire property, and 
being willing to live meagerly, while he saves pinch- 
ingly, not all the trusts in the world can keep him 
down. Hebrews, Italians, and other representative 
classes, are forever teaching our native American 
stock that wealth is a possibility to him who will 
pay for it. The accumulation of substance is by no 
means the noblest work in life, but to some men it 
is a providential duty, and to nearly all it is an un- 
questioned possibility. 

32 Tur Younc MAn wit A PROGRAM. 


With money at one’s disposal, safe investment 
becomes a matter of natural solicitude. Few are 
content to let it alone, and this is indeed one of the 
worst things that can be done with it. You think 
you could be happy with a fortune. But what 
would you do with it? Place it in a strong box, 
and lie awake at night worrying about it? Deposit 
it in a safety vault, and despise yourself for permit- 
ting it to be wasted in idleness? Put it in a say- 
ings or trust institution, and expose it to loss 
through thieves and defaulters? Invest it in houses 
and lands, which may depreciate in value? Buy 
government bonds or other permanent securities 
with it, knowing they will probably yield dividends 
for your heirs after your departure? Aye, there’s 
the point—your departure! Would it not be a fine 
investment that should give its earnings to you in 
person after your departure, in another world? 
That is the kind of channel for money we are seek- 
ing. The opportunity is open. Lay it up in heaven. 
Trust it to God. It can not be lost. It will pay. 
rich dividends. 

How Ir Is Done. 

The rich man in the parable, whose barns were 
bursting with the excess of his harvest, exclaimed, 
“What shall I do, because I have no room where 

Tue Younc Man AND His CaPiTaL. 33 

to bestow my fruits?” And he said, “This will I do: 
I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and 
there will I bestow my fruits and my goods, and I 
will say to my soul, ‘Soul, thou hast much goods 
laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, 
and be merry. 

But there were good opportunities for invest- 
ment all about him in the orphans who might be 
fed, the widows who might be housed, the poor 
who might be clothed, the sick who might be com- 
forted. Poor, blind worldling! he was shrewd 
enough to acquire, but he was too stupid to invest 
properly, and in one night he lost all! For God said 
to him, “Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be re- 
quired of thee: then whose shall those things be 
which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up 
treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” 

Yonder stands a great hospital, the foundations 
of which were planted in the munificence of one of 
New York’s great-hearted princes. When ina sud- 
den reverse, his fortune was swept away, this bene- 
factor, George I. Seney, could say, “What I have 
given away, I have; what I attempted to keep for 
myself, I have lost.” The same blessed paradox is 
expressed in Bunyan’s couplet, 


“A man there was, some called him mad; 
The more he gave away, the more he had,” 


34 Tue Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

The wise man saith, ‘“There is that scattereth, 
and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth 
more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.” ‘There 
is a principle which has relation to the business of 
this world, and reaches out to the world which is 
to come. 

The building of great monuments at public ex- 
pense to celebrate the valor of heroes is not es- 
teemed extravagant. The maintenance of public 
libraries, art galleries, and museums is regarded a 
worthy object upon which to spend the people’s 
money. Grand opera was long sustained in this city 
at a positive loss for the sake of what is consid- 
ered by many a valuable form of culture. Better 
still are those financial investments in human beings 
which one can make through the redemptive agen- 
cies of the Christian Church, which seek to relieve 
physical want and to ameliorate social wrongs, and 
to save the souls of men. 

Edward Everett Hale declares that in the first 
week after Fort Sumter had been fired upon, when 
a New Englander asked his neighbor to sell him a 
horse, the response would be, “You are going to 
the front? The horse is yours.” The men who 
poured out their blood and treasure to save the 
Union did not feel that their expenditures were in 

THe Younc MAN AND His Capirau. 35 

vain. A restored country and an unblemished flag 
were sufficient returns for every sacrifice. Send 
your money round the world to bring the blessings 
of Christian civilization to the destitute and bar- 
barous. The dividends will keep accruing forever. 

II. A definite intellectual capital is the inherit- 
ance of every human being, and this may be greatly 
developed. Safety is found only in the employment 
of this peculiar treasure. The mere attempt to 
keep what has been given will only result in de- 
terioration and loss. Education is the process by 
which the native powers of the mind are drawn 
out and strengthened for the noblest achievements. 
It is the method by which intellectual capital is 
made secure and productive. 


Channing declared that parents ought to reduce 
_ themselves to poverty, if necessary, in order to give 
their children a sufficient education. Bancroft, the 
historian, tells us that when William Penn left home 
for America, he said to his wife: “Live low and 
sparingly until my debts are paid: but spare no 
cost on the education of the children, for by such 
parsimony all is lost that is saved.” Benjamin 


Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his 
head, no man can take it away from him. An in- 
vestment in knowledge always pays the best inter- 
est.” The Duke of Wellington used to say that the 
battle of Waterloo was won on the playground at 
Eton when he was a schoolboy. The discussion 
never ends touching the value of a university train- 
ing for a business career. The unfortunate ele- 
ment in the debate is the question of the money- 
getting power of an education which is forever in- 
troduced. Apart from all financial considerations 
the acquisition of knowledge is an imperative duty. 
Happy the man who is so absorbed in a passion for 
wisdom that, like Agassiz, he has “no time to make 
money.’ Whatever one’s pursuit, an education 
which broadens and deepens life is of the highest 
importance. Pursue it in this world, pursue it in the 
next world. It will pay in time and in eternity. 


When intellectual culture has been secured in- 
vest it with God. Thus the debt which one owes 
to society will in part be discharged. Education is 
not intended to differentiate its possessors from the 
mass of the uncultivated, but to make it possible for 
the fortunate to aid the unfortunate. It is not be- 
cause the great philanthropists have been uniformly 

THe Younc Man anv His Capitan. 37 

rich, for this is not the case, that they have bestowed 
such benefits upon humanity, but because they have 
consecrated their gifts of whatever sort to the good 
of the world. Who was David Livingstone? A 
cotton-spinner in Scotland who, having acquired an 
education with incredible toil, laid it at the feet of 
Christ for the redemption of Africa. Who was 
John Wesley? The poor son ofa still poorer clergy- 
man who, writing books which brought the bless- 
ings of spiritual knowledge to millions, was able 
out of the proceeds of their sale, and by the strictest 
personal economy, to give away in the course of his 
lifetime more than two hundred thousand dollars 
for Christ’s sake. Who was Florence Nightingale? 
A gentlewoman of England who devoted her cul- 
ture, her time, and her money to the sublime task of 
relieving the misery of soldiers in the Crimea and 
elsewhere, and who by her appeals in behalf of the 
unfortunate induced the governments of Europe to 
show Christian mercy to thousands, 

Do1inc Goop sy Deputy. 

The mischief of modern organized charity is 
that it divests multitudes of Christians of the sense 
of personal responsibility. They commit deeds of 
mercy to paid officials. When an old legionary of 

38 Tur Younc MAN wiTH A PROGRAM. 

Cesar Augustus besought the emperor to help him 
in a case soon to be tried, and the monarch as- 
signed the task to one of his friends, the old soldier 
said, “It was not by proxy that I fought for you 
at Actium.” Augustus acknowledged the obliga- 
tion and pleaded in person for the faithful veteran. 
It was not by proxy that Christ suffered for our 
redemption, and if there is any good thing by reason 
of a Christian education which we possess that less 
fortunate persons do not have, our duty has not 
been accepted till we attempt to share our fortune 
with the hapless and the hopeless. And whatever 
we do to enlighten the world, whether by the ex- 
penditure of money or of brains, will return unto us 
after not many days in never-ending blessing. 

III. Character is a young man’s most valuable 
asset. When every other item in his capital has 
tailed to be remunerative, this will be found pro- 
ductive, if it is a character worth having. It is al- 
ways negotiable. Some Chicago merchants were 
able to resume business after the great conflagra- 
tion, though all their wealth had been swept away 
by the flames, because of their characters. Here 
is an acquisition open to all persons. It counts for 
more than any other possession. 


THe Younc Man anp His CapiTAL. 39 


While we are making money, gaining an educa- 
tion, or attaining any excellence, we are constructing 
a character which must stand us in stead forever. 
Let it be a solid character. 

Character is that indefinable somewhat that dis- 
tinguishes a man from his fellows, gives meaning 
to his personality, differentiates his will, imparts 
color to his intelligence, individualizes himself. It 
was character that enabled Washington, in the face 
of almost insuperable obstacles, to lead the Amer- 
ican patriots to glorious victory. 

It was character that made it possible for Wil- 
liam of Orange to raise on his personal credit two 
hundred thousand pounds in forty-eight hours from 
the citizens of London, though James had not been 
able to secure a much smaller sum by pledging the 
possessions of the throne. It was character that en- 
abled Sheridan to wheel the fleeing army of the 
Shenandoah into battle line, and snatch victory out 
of the jaws of defeat. 

It was said of Alexander I, of Russia, that his 
personal character was equal to a constitution. 
Character must always be the main dependence of 
the successful man. Therefore be always making 

40 Tue Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 


The construction and the preservation of char- 
acter may be safely intrusted to Jesus Christ. The 
investment of one’s individuality with Him is the 
soundest policy which can be pursued. He who is 
in Himself the finest exhibition of manhood the 
world has known, who in Himself knows men most 
thoroughly because He made men, is in Himself 
also the one sufficient Guide and Savior of men. 

He is the Pearl of Great Price for which all the 
merchandise of the world might shrewdly be ex- 
changed, but who is available to every man without 
money and without price. One can afford to lose 
money, to fail of an education, to miss the honor 
of the world, but not to lose Him. “What shall it 
profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose 
himself ?” 

In Christ every man finds himself, for only so 
does the utmost possibility of life become realizable 
to him. 


Nowhere else is there absolute safety. Pile up 
money, will you? The strongest financial institu- 
tions may come tumbling down some day, carrying 
hoarded wealth to an abyss of destruction. Pile 

Tue Younc Man anv His CapPiTaL. 41 

up fame, will you? “Moth and rust doth corrupt, 
thieves break through and steal.” Popular favor 
will choose a new object, the multitude will wor- 
ship at another shrine. Pile up social dignities, will 
you? Your costly equipage will be ruined by rust 
and mold, your groaning board will be emptied of 
its steaming viands, the applause of society will sink 
away into dismal silence. The queen of hearts will 
sit one day in tearful solitude, her beauty faded, her 
courtiers fled, sadly musing on the evanescence of 
human glory. Pile up pleasure, will you? Age 
will creep on apace, and steal the zest of life away. 
The appetite for carnal indulgence will be cloyed, 
the power to be pleased will sink into its grave. 
“If ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden 
bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the 
fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern,” all 
is gone. Ring down the curtain, turn out the lights, 
the play is over, the farce has screamed itself to 
death, and life is wasted. 

But of heavenly treasures one can not be robbed. 
“Fear not little flock ; it is your Father’s good pleas- 
ure to give you the kingdom.” His will is written 
in the blood of Calvary, sealed by the Spirit of God, 
probated in the court of Heaven. It will surely be 
executed to the letter. With money, with talents, 

42 Tue Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM. 

with character, He may be trusted. For “godliness 
is profitable unto all things, having promise of the 
life which now is, and of that which is to come.” 


There is an Indian legend of a king who re- 
solved to build the most beautiful palace ever 
erected on the earth. To this end he employed 
Jakoob, the builder, giving him a great sum of 
money, and sending him away among the Hima- 
layas, there to erect the wonderful structure. When 
Jakoob came to the place he found the people there 
suffering from a sore famine, and many of them 
dying. He took the king’s money and all of his 
own and provided food for the starving multitude, 
thereby saving many lives. Presently the king 
came to see his palace, but found nothing done 
toward it. He sent for Jakoob, and learned why 
he had not obeyed his command. He was very 
angry, and cast him into prison, saying that on the 
morrow he must die. That night the king had a 
dream. He was taken to heaven, and saw there a 
wonderful palace, more beautiful than any he had 
ever beheld on earth. He asked what palace it was, 
and was told that it was built for him by Jakoob 
In spending the king’s money for the relief of suf- 



THe Younc Man anp His Capitan. 43 

fering ones on the earth, he had reared this palace 
inside of Heaven’s gates. The king awoke, and, 
sending for the builder, told him his dream, and 
pardoned him. 

The legend carries its own lesson. It is the 
teaching of our text and of all Scripture: invest- 
ments with God pay the highest dividends, and 
eternity alone will be sufficient to compute their 


“And every man went unto his own house.’—JOHN 
VIL, 53: 

SOME texts resemble a great body of fresh water, 
like beautiful Lake Lucerne, nestling yonder in the 
bosom of the Alps—crystalline in purity, as pellucid 
as the atmosphere, permitting you to peer into its 
depths without effort, leaving you to desire only 
that no man shall muddy it with his soundings 
while you absorb its azure glory. Other texts re- 
semble veins of rich ore half concealed in rocky 
beds, requiring to be disclosed by the toil and pa- 
tience of the skilled workman, and to be pursued 
until all the precious metal has been extracted. Yet 
other texts remind you of pictures—nothing in 
themselves but paint and canvas, form and color, 
but suggesting to the illumined fancy whole conti- 
nents of thought, like Millet’s “Angelus,” which to 
casual glance reveals nothing but a couple of peas- 
ants with bowed heads, standing in a devotional at- 


THE Younc Man 1Nn His Houser. 45 

titude on a bare, brown field wherein they have been 
toiling, but which to the enlightened imagination 
unfolds a vision in which one can hear the chiming 
of church bells and see the atmosphere of heaven, 
the essential grandeur of the human soul, and the 
unfathomable glory of God. Our present text be- 
longs to this last class. It has no depth of beauty 
in itself, being only a plain narrative sentence. It 
is not a refreshing fountain nor a vault containing 
treasure. The most learned exegesis could never 
make anything out of its terms beyond the prosaic 
declaration that “every man went to his own house.” 
Yet those words signify much to the mind searching 
for truth in the commonplaces of life. Let us dwell 
a moment on the bare facts which cluster about 
this text. 
A ParaBLe oF LIFE. 

A company of men, who have been exercising 
their minds over matters difficult to explain, break 
up into individuals and go back to their own homes, 
carrying their problems with them. They return 
to places where as men they are reduced to their 
simplest terms—to houses where they find a sure 
retreat from the-world but not from themselves, 
to homes the characters of which they have created* 
and from which they can not be separated in fel- 

46 Tur Younc Man witH A PROGRAM, 

lowship and feeling. Now, do you not see, all this 
is but a type of that retirement of the soul upon 
itself which is the inevitable lot of every human 
being? A man’s self is his real place of residence. 
His character is the structure which all his lifetime 
each of us is building about his soul. Out of every 
crowd from which he emerges he withdraws to him- 
self. Thither he carries the problems of life. There 
he finds his natural retreat from the world. The 
place to which he comes is of his own making, and 
at the end of life’s little day he will still retain it 
for the unending future; for when eternity dawns 
upon him every man will go “to his own house.” 
Observe, then, what important truths are foreshad- 
owed in this unromantic sentence. 

I. His own house is the most excellent of a 
man’s material possessions, provided always it is a 
genuine home. If it deserves this designation, its 
simplicity or magnificence are questions of indif- 
ference. For a man may dwell in a cottage, for 
which he must pay monthly hire, and without a 
servant to wait upon his table, and be as happy as 
an angel in Paradise if his house is a home; or live 
in a palace filled with a retinue of slaves and main- 
tained by the revenues of a kingdom, and be as mis- 

Tue Younc Man 1n His House. 47 

erable as a fiend in perdition if his abode is not a 
home. “Better a dinner of herbs where love is than 
a stalled ox and hatred therewith,” said the Wise 
Man. Better a hovel lighted with the sunshine of 
affection and pervaded with the atmosphere of 
peace than a royal mansion whose firelights are 
shadowed with clouds of suspicion and envy. 


We know what Constitutes a genuine home so 
well that definition and analysis are unnecessary. 
A home is not a building, but human lives knitted 
into a confederation of love. There is a man who, 
as husband and father, with the Spirit of Divine 
Providence in his bosom, counts it his highest joy 
to labor for the contentment and happiness of his 
household. There is a woman who, as mother and 
wife, with the brooding spirit of eternal love in 
her breast, finds her chief delight in suffering any 
straitening of her own life that she may bless the 
lives of those whom God has given to her care. 
To these add innocent, merry, and obedient child- 
hood, and you have a home anywhere in the world, 
with or without a house. The German Kaiser says 
of his imperial wife that she fulfills the old Ger- 
man ideal, confining herself to the three K’s— 

48 Tur Younc Man with A PROGRAM. 

kirche, kiiche, kinder: “church,” “kitchen,” “chil- 
dren.” We should know from this that the royal 
houses of Germany were homes wherever they were 
located, for where God is honored, the household 
nurtured, and the prattle of children welcomed, 
there is a home. 

A home is a place wherein one throws off the 
ceremony of the world and is himself detached 
from all the artificial conventions of an over-refined 
society; a retreat within whose safe inclosure the 
irritations of the competitive herd outside can not 
enter ; a covert from the storms of life; the shadow 
of a great rock in a weary land; a quiet nest among 
the hills; a strong castle which no envious foe can 
successfully storm; an oasis in the desert, gushing 
perennial springs. Home is everything but heaven, 
and the only earthly figure of celestial bliss that can 
satisfy the imagination. Young man, make a home! 
The moment you find a soul twin to your own, un- 
incumbered with silly conceits of the importance 
of much pelf, ready to share life’s destinies with 
you without asking that you sit at kings’ tables, 
not calculating your significance by the size of your 
balance at the bank—that moment make the first 
movement toward the building of a home. Wait not 
to make a fortune before constructing a home. Lay 

Ture Younc Man 1n His Houszs, 49 

the foundations of your fortune in a home. A 
home will make you victorious over the hard condi- 
tions of a busy and exacting life, and will restore 
your spirit when fainting under the burdens of care 
and anxiety. Without a home, without an anchor- 
age. France knows the miseries which follow hard 
upon the decay of the home, and America is in peril 
of making the same sad discovery in her large 
cities. When every man goes to his club in prefer- 
ence to his home, look for the dissolution of society 
and the disintegration of character. The Lord hath 
set humanity in families. Do not attempt to vio- 
late the providential order. Let every man go to 
“his own house.” 

Tue Dreerer MEANING. 

Yet all this is but a figure of that profound fact 
in human life which we can not disregard if we 
would. Men may propose to ignore the Divine or- 
der regarding the establishment of homes, but they 
can not escape the requirement of retreating upon 
themselves. No man can absent himself from his 
personal character. He is compelled ever and anon 
to retire upon his selfhood. His own house in this 
sense is his greatest spiritual possession, if it is a 
true home. If it is not this, it has become a sepul- 


50 Tue Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM. 

cher full of uncleanness, a cellar dark and pesti- 
lential, a perdition from which there is no escape. 
I’xternal conditions bear no important relation to 
such a house. The imprisoned Paul is at home in 
the Mamertine dungeon. The enthroned Czsar 
is an alien under the purple canopy of an empire. 
Tet us be at home with ourselves. Let every man 
go to his own house with joy, and not with reluc- 
tance. The advantages of this are manifold and 

II. In his own house every man is reduced to his 
simplest terms. Not only does he fling off his ar- 
tificiality because he relishes his freedom, as Lord 
John Russell is said to have shuffled out of his robes 
of state, with an expression of relief, exclaiming, 
“Tie there till to-morrow morning !’’—but because, 
also, he is aware that no pretense will save him 
from the knowledge of those who live in his own 
home. They understand him perfectly. Those 
wrangling Jews to whom our text refers, could 
maintain a lordly air among their fellows, but they 
were simply men of very ordinary measure when 
they returned to their own homes. Break up any 
crowd of human beings, however proud they may 
be, and send them back to their own houses as in- 



THe Younc Man 1Nn His House. 51 

dividuals, and observe how much difference exists 
between these souls taken singly and the same souls 
considered in the mass. The bully may overawe 
his comrades by his noisy bluster, only to be re- 
duced to pigmy proportions under the calm and 
steady glance of a little woman at home who knows 
him to the core of his being. And the farther any 
man shrinks within himself, the lighter the valua- 
tion he will place upon himself, and that is by no 
means an unwholesome thing for his character. 

At Home WitH Owner’s SELF. 

It is inevitable that we should fall back upon 
ourselves at last. Let us come home to our own 
souls with a pious purpose to look ourselves bravely 
in the face, dissevered from all the circumstances 
of life, that we may the better understand what 
manner of persons we are. In no other way can we 
master the world. Stopping is often more valuable 
than striding ahead. Rests in music, as Ruskin has 
pointed out, play as important a part as bars 
crowded with notation. They are not music in 
themselves, but there is the making of music in 
them. When a distinguished promoter of great en- 
terprises was asked how it was possible for him to 
sit in the British Parliament unperturbed while im- 


miense personal interests were under discussion, 
knowing no haste or excitement, he replied, “I can 
not afford to be in a hurry. It is too expensive.” 
The principle he announced applies to life generally. 
We can not afford to rush through the world incon- 
siderately. Pausing is quite as necessary as push- 
ing. Let us sit down for long periods in our own 
houses, those characters we are ceaselessly con- 
structing, and busy ourselves with introspection, al- 
most a lost art in the twentieth century. 

Ill. In his own house a man is compelled to 
solve those problems which are peculiarly his own. 
Detached from all considerations which inhere in 
business, profession, or other vocation, are the prob- 
lems of the personal household, those questions of 
a social significance which relate to the history be- 
ing made within the four walls of a home. The out- 
side world can not settle them, and would not be 
allowed to do so if it were possible. Books of ad- 
vice can only offer suggestions. No one can as- 
sume the responsibility of these tasks but the nat- 
ural head of the household. 

His Own Task. 

It is so with the soul. All the problems of char- 
acter are absolutely personal. In the last analysis 

Tur Younc Man 1n His House. 53 

each man for himself attends to his own interests, 
if they have any attention whatsoever. The pro- 
foundest intellects have found no other way. Isola- 
tion from the world they have required for achiev- 
ing the highest results. Jesus of Nazareth felt him- 
self under the same law. “‘His soul was like a star, 
and dwelt apart.” His deeper associations were not 
with the people of His generation, but with Him- 


self. “He was there alone,” is the description of 
His retirement for physical and spiritual refresh- 
ment, but it is a figure of His withdrawal into the 
closed chamber of His own soul, to engage in strug- 
gles fiercer than any which men witnessed. And 
whether one desires it or not, he is forced by the 
very law of his being to go back to “his own house” 
with all the real problems of life. Happy the man 
who can do this with joy and not with sorrow. 

IV. In his own house, if it is a genuine home, 
a man finds his secure retreat from the irk and irri- 
tation of the world. Said a man vexed with a thou- 
sand trials, and bending beneath a burden too heavy 
for his shoulders, ““When I pass through the portal 
of my home all the darkness is shut out, all the cares 
are dropped on the doorstep. Within are laughing 
children, a loving wife, a blessed circle, flooded 

54 Tue Younc Man wit A PROGRAM. 

with sunshine. Within that charmed fellowship all 
the woes of life are forgotten.” On the morrow 
he would pick up that burden from the doorstep, 
and trudge along wearily with it through the day, 
but the moment he entered his home the cares of 
life vanished. God pity the man who is deprived 
of such a home! 



But “his own house,” in the sense now given to 
these words is deeper than this. It is himself. Can 
a man find strength and consolation within? Is his 
soul well furnished enough to supply sustenance 
when, apart even from friends and household, he 
must depend upon himself for comfort? For there 
will come seasons of stress and trial when no one 
can share his burdens with him. Can he then get 
within himself, and be at peace? Hear Cowper 
“O for a lodge in some vast wilderness, 
Some boundless contiguity of shade, 
Where rumor of oppression and deceit, 
Of unsuccessful and successful war, 
Might never reach me more. My ear is pained, 
My soul is sick, with every day’s report 
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.” 
How many tormented souls have echoed these 

plaintive words! A spiritual house which is a gen- 

Tur Younc Man 1n His House. 55 

uine home of the soul will enable its possessor to 
retire within and shut out the jarring dissonances 
of the world. St. Paul had the secret of building 
such a house, for he said, “I have learned, in what- 
soever state I am, therewith to be content.” Con- 
tentment with him, as a close study of these words 
will show, meant “self-sufficiency,” “self-contain- 
ment ;” not in any false sense of self-reliance, for 
his sufficiency he declared was in Christ; but he 
found no necessity to look abroad for help. He 
possessed great reserves of strength and consola- 
tion in his own soul, for he had a “life hid with 
Christ in God.” If every man could return from 
the world to such a house as this, what a blessed 
thing life would everywhere become! 

V. In his own house a man sees the product of 
his own life. ‘This he may know is what he has 
made with his own hands. It did not descend upon 
him from Heaven, nor rise at the touch of a magi- 
cian’s wand from the depths of the earth. He has 
created it himself. The wife, the children, the pic- 
tures, the books, the furnishings, the adornments, 
the comforts, the very atmosphere of the place, the 
quality and the quantity of all things here, speaking 
broadly, are to be accredited to him. For weal or 

56 Tue Younc MAN wirH A PROGRAM, 

woe he is responsible for what exists in this sacred 
place. Alas! alack! if he has been untrue to his 
obligations! But if he has built a real home, what 
joy to look upon the fashioning of his own hands! 


How profoundly true is this of character! The 
house into which a man withdraws is his own ar- 
chitecture. The character in which he is enveloped 
was not flung over his shoulders as Elijah’s mantle 
was dropped upon the figure of Elisha. It was not 
taken from the wardrobe of the celestial hosts as 
soldiers receive their equipment from the armory of 
the state. It has been growing upon him for a 
lifetime as his soul expanded or contracted, as he 
turned away from this wickedness and embraced 

that virtue, and his own will has been gradually, 

but inevitably, making a house for him. What is in 
it? Chambers of imagery, such as Ezekiel saw in 
his painful vision, with walls defiled by pictures of 
infamy? Or is it filled with the beauty and fra- 
grance of the flowers of righteousness and truth? 
That is a question of the deepest import. For in 
“his own house” every man sees the product of his 
own life. 


Tur Younc Man 1n His Howse. 57 

VI. In his own house, speaking of material pos- 
sessions, a man may not see that which is perma- 
nently his, for the vicissitudes of time may fre- 
quently shift the place of his abode, and when death 
terminates his earthly stay, he must leave behind 
him all the structures of wood and stone which he 
may have occupied. But in “his own house,” speak- 
ing of spiritual possessions, a man does see that 
which is to be eternally his. That is a fact fraught 
with possibilities of both joy and sorrow. If char- 
acter has been well constructed the thought of its 
continuance in the future world is attended with 
bliss, but if the building has been marred and dis- 
torted by sin the thought of its perpetuation beyond 
this life is one of misery. 

Gornc Homer. 

The devotion of men to their ancestral firesides 
is one of the most attractive traits of the race. The 
deeper the nature, the fonder the heart of the hearth- 
stone. Alfred Krupp, the great gunmaker of Ger- 
many, preserved the cottage in which he was born, 
and in which his father had known such care and 
sorrow, in the very heart of his gigantic works. 
By the provisions of his will it still remains intact. 
It was home, and to him as sacred as a temple. It 

58 Tur Younc Man WITH A PROGRAM. 

must not be desecrated even though unoccupied. 
The finest natures have always been quickened by a 
similar sentiment. Witness Goldsmith, compelled 
to drift helplessly through the world, saying discon- 
solately of his childhood’s home in “Auburn, love- 
liest village of the plain :” 
“Tn all my wanderings round this world of care, 

In all my griefs—and God hath given my share— 

I still had hopes my latest hours to crown 

Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down; 

To husband out life’s taper at the close, 
And keep the flame from wasting by repose. 

I still had hopes, my long vexations past, 
Here to return—and die at home at last.” 

This instinct of return to the home of one’s ear- 
liest experience is native to the human breast, and 
one of the most unquenchable passions of the soul. 

It is akin to that indestructible desire of men to 
retain their personal identity through all possible 
changes of environment which may come with the 
passing of earthly life. Much as we may long for 
the happier surroundings or more glorious posses- 
sions of other men, we never sigh to be other per- 
sons than ourselves. We would be ourselves under 
more favoring circumstances, but always and only 
ourselves. And such we ever must be. Every man 
must go to “his own house.” 

THE Younc Man 1n His House. 59 


Every argument for the immortality of the soul 
is also an argument for the doctrine of the perpet- 
uation of character. We can conceive of no pro- 
jection of individual lives beyond the grave which 
does not involve the projection of individual char- 
acters. What we live in when we close our eyes 
upon the twilight of death we shall be occupying 
when we open them on the dawn of the eternal 
morrow. Of Judas Iscariot it is said that he went 
“to his own place.” That will be the destiny of 
each of us. What gradual enlargements or adorn- 
ings God may make possible to us in His long 
eternity we can not know, though ultimately we 
shall understand. For the present it ought to be 
clear to us that the houses we are building now 
will inclose us in the distant land whither our souls 
are now carrying us, and from whence we shall 
never return. Holmes has spoken eloquently, but 
inadequately, in his famous soliloquy : 

“Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, 
As the swift seasons roll! 
Leave thy low-vaulted past! 
Let each new temple, nobler than the last, 
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, 
Till thou at length art free, 
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea.” 

60 Tur Younc MAN wiTH A PROGRAM. 

The truth is more sublime than this. We shall 
outgrow our ignorance, our temporal limitations, 

but we shall never outgrow ourselves. We shall — 

rid ourselves of our corporeal slavery, and leave 
the outgrown earthly shell on the shore of time. 
But we ourselves must abide in ourselves. We can 
not escape our characters. Plotinus thanked God 
that his soul was not tied to an immortal body, but 
we are bound to an indissoluble selfhood. We can 
shuffle off the husk of our human life, but the es- 
sential character will forever refuse to be flung 

What kind of houses, then, are we building? 
The question is of eternal import. To what sort 
of “own place” are we to return when our earthly 
days are numbered? Would we make sure of a 
genuine home? Let Christ enter and construct the 
house. If in childhood he took up His abode with 
us, and has continued until this hour, there is no 
doubt of the usefulness, symmetry, and comfort of 
our houses. If He has not companied with us, our 
buildings are probably awkward and unseemly. As 
you look with rueful eyes upon the blunders you 
have made in the construction of character, you 
doubtless sometimes wish you could tumble the 
whole fabric down to the ground, as a sportive child 

Tue Younc Man 1n His House. 61 

playing with his wooden blocks suddenly rends the 
structure he has carelessly piled before him, and 
sends the whole into a mass of ruins, that he may 
begin anew. That is exactly what is possible to 
you. “If any man be in Christ, there is a new crea- 
tion. Old things pass away. Behold, all things 
become new.” Jesus said: “I go to prepare a 
place for you.” How can He do this save in har- 
mony with the law of life? He must needs prepare 
us that the place may fit. “We know that if this 
earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved we 
have a building of God, a house not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens.”’ What can that 
building of God be but the character which he has 
enabled us to construct by His grace? Evermore 
the ideal of the builder, toward which his highest 
ambitions climb, is Christ the Lord. To be like 
Him is the loftiest aim. Looking at Him, and con- 
stantly following Him, we say with the poet of the 
long gone past, “I shall be satisfied when 1 awake 
with Thy likeness.” 


“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a work- 
man that needeth not to be ashamed.”—2 Tim. 

LENBACH, the German painter, called upon Bis- 
marck on the latter’s eightieth birthday, and re- 
marked, as he was leaving, that he was sure his 
distinguished patron had many happy years yet be- 
fore him. “My dear Lenbach,” said Bismarck, with 
grim humor, “the first eighty years of a man’s life 
are always the happiest.” What a commentary 
upon the advice of the ancient preacher: “Remem- 
ber now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while 
the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh 
when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” 
Yet a man’s best days may be his last days, and 
the period beyond eighty may be far happier than 
any years preceding it. 

There can be no question that the first eighty 



Ture Younc Man at His Work. 63 

years of a man’s life are determining years. If he 
has acquired the art of living in that time he will 
never lose it in this or any subsequent life. Indeed, 
it is a fair presumption that the real significance of 
this life lies in its disciplinary character. It is a 
great opportunity to learn how to live. 

Tue Art oF LIvING. 

Much attention has been paid in recent times to 
the sciences which aid in prolonging physical life. 
Clubs have been organized for the purpose of study- 
ing the methods by which all its members may be- 
come centenarians. The best fashion of fighting the 
deadly bacillus, the most accurate knowledge of san- 
itation, ventilation, hygiene, diet, clothing, exercise, 
and other matters relating to the preservation of 
health have been examined with the utmost care. 
With the wisdom of this procedure we have no de- 
bate. But this is not the art which concerns us 
most. This is simply the art of staying on the earth. 
Life in its deeper meaning is something nobler than 
this. It is the process of making character. That 
is no mere bagatelle. As a product of conscien- 
tious labor and refined skill it transcends in im- 
portance and beauty the best achievements of 
painters, sculptors, poets, and other artists in their 

64 Tur Younc Man witH A PROGRAM 

chosen field. What concerns us all in this business 
is, that life must be learned anew by every person 
who enters this world. History is a fascinating and 
profitable study. Biography is one of the most use- 
ful and provocative forms of reading to which we 
can give our attention. But every human being 
begins life in just the same ignorance of the art as 
if no one had ever lived before him. The maxims 
of philosophy and the axioms of mathematics are 
hoary with age, and their wisdom has been verified 
thousands of times, but they have to be acquired by 
each generation in turn. 

A young man came to this city not long since 
to assume an important, but difficult, position. 
Those who secured him, frankly told him all the 
obstacles to success in his new field. They with- 
held nothing of its hardships from him. Yet he de- 
clares that he learned more of its real perplexities 
in six weeks that any one could have taught him in 
six years. If you could conceive of a human being 
coming to this world with full maturity of intellect- 
ual powers, and richly endowed with many graces 
of character, it would still be necessary for him to 
learn the subtle art of living for himself. We are 
here, despite all the experience which has been pre- 
served for our instruction, to work out for our- 

. ae 

Tur Younc Man at His Worx, 65 

selves, one by one, the never-ending problem—how 
to live. 

I. The thought that life is essentially a piece 
of workmanship, on which human beings are to 
bend their skill and intelligence, is one which took 
a firm grasp upon the mind of Paul.. It is probable 
that in this figure we have the tracery of his own 
manual labor. Repeatedly he had returned to the 
craft of his youth, and had supported himself by 
tent-making, that he might preach the Gospel with- 
out being a tax upon the Churches to which he min- 
istered. He transfers the thought to spiritual cul- 
ture, for he bids his readers “work out” their “own 
salvation with fear and trembling.” Jesus was im- 
bued with the same spirit, and Paul may have 
caught the idea of life as labor from his Master. 
“I must work the works of Him that sent me,” ex- 
claims Christ, and gave Himself to unremitting toil. 
This has been the conception of life which has in- 
spired the greatest minds at all times. They have 
felt that they were in the world to be something, 
and to do something. Corot, the painter, was ac- 
customed to work far into the afternoon, and when 
the sun’s decline made it impossible for him to paint 
any longer, he would say with a sigh, “Well, I must 


66 THe Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

stop. My Heavenly Father has put out my lamp.” 
The finest souls have always been constrained to 
keep toiling until the sun of life has set. But that 
is not a thought to which the mind moves up nat- 
urally and easily. On the contrary, it is first ap- 
proached with a feeling of resentment. Life seems 
to the youthful mind to be such a simple matter. 
We are here, not by our own determination, but by 
the will of others. We do not choose our path. It 
is, apparently, laid down for us. The thought of 
obligation in life is acquired with slowness. It 
would seem to be natural to permit one’s self to be 
tioated whithersoever circumstances might direct. 

/ When it is first realized that life means work and 
not play, that we are to determine for ourselves the - 

way we shall proceed and the end we shall attain, 
the idea gives us pain. To be compelled to grind 
everlastingly at the mill, to be forever doomed to 
toil at a task, to be always thinking how to get the 
most out of life—this is not an exhilarating pros- 

THE GospeEL oF Work. 

Yet it is this which gives life its true dignity. 
In our best moods we are sharply aware of this. In 
our loftiest moments we think nothing more con- 
temptible than the able-bodied, full-blooded man 

ih cen ti 

Tue Younc Man at His Work. 67 f 

who sits calmly at a desk with no higher motive 
than to occupy a chair, and who complacently cuts 
coupons when they mature, with no serious purpose 
beyond that of permitting his money to work for 
kim. The humblest toiler is princely in compari- 

A young millionaire recently wrote to the editor 
of one of our newspapers seeking advice. He de- 
sired to know what he should do to make life val- 
uable. He could not escape wealth any more than 
the majority of men can escape poverty. Should he 
enter some department of labor and compete un- 
fairly with others who needed that wage-earning 
opportunity in order to secure bread? That seemed 
unchivalrous. Should he seriously set himself the 
task of distributing his money among the poor? 
That would be harming, in many instances, where 
he intended only to help, for it is a hard matter to 
spend money wisely, even in charity. The position 
of the young millionaire was difficult. One can 
sympathize with his perplexity. But his disposition 
to do something in life which should make his char- 
acter a genuine contribution to the values of society 
is the thing which interests us, and which glorifies 

For, coincident with this filling up life with 

VE a? a 
c 4 

68 Tur Younc MAN wiTH A PROGRAM. 

work, which shall produce an output of worth to the 
world, is the business of making character, which is 
the finest product of living. Whatever else a man 
does, or avoids doing, he is working at himself. 
And the difference between men in this particular 
is that some are studying patiently to this end, as 
Paul suggests all should do, and others are both- 
ering themselves not at all over the problem. 

Economics oF LiIF£. 

But those who are negligent about this are ex- 
ceedingly improvident. For, when this season of 
apprenticeship is over, the only possession which 
any of us will have is character, the product of 
living. Multitudes are waiting for some inventive 
genius to discover a method by which houses, lands, 
money, and jewels can be transported from this 
world to that unseen life which we speak of as “the 
beyond.” ‘Thus far all attempts to find a means of 
transit for the material effects of life have failed. 
It may be a confusing thought, but it is true, that 
one minute after he has stopped breathing the mil- 
lionaire will not be worth one cent. What he takes 
with him can not be reckoned in commercial terms. 
When a rich man dies people frequently ask, “What 
did he leave?” Well, he leaves everything, posi- 


Tue Younc Man at His Work. 69 

tively everything, except himself. He will not re- 
quire a special train to carry his character into the 
next world. He will not need a vessel as large as 
the urn that contains his ashes after he has been 
cremated. All there is of him—his character— 
will go out with his breath, and will find its way to 
its own place. 

It would seem to be the highest wisdom, there- 
fore, to make that character fit for him to live with 
in the next world. He should be taught to remem- 
ber that there is no least thing in life which does not 
affect the product of his workmanship, character ; 
that one can not daub mortar over two bricks and 
put them side by side without affecting character. 
You suppose that you can slight a small task with 
impunity because it is small. You will do well 
enough to satisfy the charitable eye of your em- 
ployer, but you will not worry yourself into doing 
the best of which you are capable. That is suicide. 
The characters of human beings are frightfully 
marred by rooms not swept, dinners not cooked, 
buildings not finished, solos not sung, sermons not 
preaclied up to the limit of one’s ability. Robbing 
one’s self seems like a silly crime, but many per- 
sons are guilty of it. Ideal perfection is not re- 
quired, but the best one can do is demanded, if for 


no other reason, that we may serve our own ad- 

Life is a piece of workmanship, and we are 
bound to meet what we turn out. That thing which 
you are constructing will confront you some day. 
That horseshoe the blacksmith is forging, that piece 
of embroidery the needlewoman is fashioning, that 
task the schoolboy is droning over, that ship the 
naval architect is shaping, will rise up in the toiler’s 
character to bring joy or shame to the soul of the 
doer. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, 
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” 

II. The product of living as a fine art will be 
subjected to three kinds of criticism, two of which 
are mentioned in this text. The third, which we 
may consider first, as of little consequence, is evi- 
dently not in the mind of the apostle. That is the 
criticism of society, which we sometimes refer to as 
“the world.” People sit in judgment upon us as if 
we were pictures or books. This is inevitable. We 
have put ourselves in the public mart, and we must 
submit to the consequences. “There is no occasion 
to be irritated if the criticism pronounced upon us 
is undiscriminating, not to say unjustified. That is 


Tue Younc Man at His Work, 71 

the way of much criticism. “Who ever saw moun- 
tains like those? Or such an atmosphere? Or such 
clouds?” contemptucusly asked a visitor to an art 
gallery, as he stood looking at a large picture. “TI 
have,” said a man at his side, “in Italy, where I 
painted this subject.” 


There is no occasion to be flattered by criticism 
which is favorable. “Beware when all men speak 
well of you.” Popularity may be discreditable to 
character. Public disapproval may be a high en- 
comium. Many persons thought Christ a fool, and 
some considered him a knave. The folly and foul- 
ness of his enemies were thus disclosed. Despite 
their condemnation, He was both wise and holy. 

There is no occasion to be influenced by popular 
judgment, in any case. We are individuals, and 
there is no better evidence of our personal deterio- 
ration than a disposition to conform to the types of 
the world. We are insulted when we are addressed 
in the mass, as if we had no distinctiveness. Let 
us refuse to be nonentities. Let us assert our in- 
dividuality, and defend it at all hazards. The fact 
that everybody does a thing is often the best of 
reasons for us to refrain from doing it. 

~ es 
Se pi 

72 THE Younc Man witu A PROGRAM. 


The criticism of one’s self is of far more im- 
portance than the criticism of our fellows. “A 
workman that needeth not to be ashamed” is the 
ideal we seek to realize if we have a true conscious- 
ness of the influence of self-respect in forming char- 
acter. That is the testing point with every great 
artist. He desires, above everything else, to satisfy 
himself with the products of his genius. The pro- 
fessional critic may be right or wrong; but if the 
worker be ashamed of his own handicraft, it mat- 
ters little to him what others may think of it. It 
is difficult to tell whether we blush most deeply on 
account of praise we do not merit, or because of 
blame which we do not deserve. Each is hard 
enough for a conscientious person to bear. In each 
soul God has set up a court of inquiry, before which 
actions are weighed and motives are balanced. That 
is conscience, moral sense. How do I stand with 
myself? That is the question of paramount im- 

Robert Browning’s father was placed by his 
father in an important commercial position in the 
West Indies. But he threw up the position because 
it involved him in some recognition of slavery. 
Whereupon his father disinherited him, flung him 

Tue Younc Man at His Work. 73 

out of doors, and sent him a bill for the cost of his 
education. Still, young Browning had saved his 
self-respect, and could face his own moral sense 
without blushing. We are the judges of ourselves. 
Our future destiny, not less than the present, will 
be determined by our own consciences. John New- 
ton, once very wicked, and afterward very useful as 
a preacher of the truth, was converted by a dream. 
He saw the Judge on the great white throne. Be- 
fore Him, in unending procession, appeared the 
millions of earth’s inhabitants, to be judged from 
the Book of Life. But the Judge said nothing. He 
did not lift His finger. Each man, as he came to 
the place of judgment tore open his bosom as one 
would tear open his shirt, and compared himself 
with the commandments in the book. According as 
he found his life in correspondence with, or in de- 
fiance of, these laws he went to right or left, to 
heaven or hell, by his own self-judgment. That is 
not a dream only; that is fundamental fact. We 
shall know our destiny independently of any judi- 
cial sentence. 

Tue Divine STANDARD. 

The criticism of God is the supreme test of 
character. “Study to show thyself approved unto 

= Ss 


God.” One night, when many travelers were eager 
to reach their homes, the man at the door of the 
railway station leading to the train insisted on ex- 
amining every ticket, despite the murmurs of the 
crowd. A gentleman said to him, “You are a very 
unpopular man to-night.” The reply was senten- 
tious and significant, “I wish to be popular with 
only one man—the superintendent.” If we meet 
the approval of God we need never torture our 
souls over the question of our popularity with 

We have God’s standard of conduct and charac- 
ter plainly set forth in the Holy Scriptures. We 
may complain that it is exceedingly high and prac- 
tically unattainable. This is true of the noblest 
ideals always. But the loftier the purpose the 
higher ihe reach. God holds before us perfection 
as the goal toward which we are to stretch. Had 
He placed anything less than this for our ambitions 
to seek we should have been content with imperfec- 
tion. A holy discontent with ourselves impels us to 
aim at the highest excellence. We have but to do 
our best, following the light of God’s revealed will, 
and we shall safely pass the Divine scrutiny. But 
alas! who does his utmost? An infidel said that if, 
when he died, he found there was a God he would 

Tue Younc Man at His Work. 75 

walk up to him and say, “I was mistaken; but you 
placed me in a difficult position. You have been a 
hard master. Now do with me as you will.” He 
will never do it. It is impossible to conceive of a 
human being so devoid of moral sense, so warped 
out of all semblance of spiritual intelligence, so de- 
graded in character, as ever to attempt such bravado 
in the presence of an infinitely holy God. When it 
1s our fortune to stand before the face of Him “who 
loved us and gave Himself for us,” we shall confess 
without a moment’s hesitation that the responsi- 
bility of our misguided conduct is our own, and cast 
ourselves wholly upon the unfailing mercy of our 
Savior. He came that we might have life, and that 
we might have it in abundance. He who said, “I 
am the way, the truth, and the life,” also said, 
“Learn of Me.” 

If our purpose has been fixed to do His will, the 
deficiencies of our lives will be pieced out by His 
perfect righteousness, and our work, with all its 
imperfections, will pass under His approving glance 
of love. Not what we succeed in accomplishing, 
but what we have honestly striven to do, will be the 
measure of our merit in His infallible judgment. 
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a work- 
man that needeth not to be ashamed.” 


“Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence.” 
—3 JOHN, 9. 

Wir a single flourish of his facile pencil, the 
framer of these words has dashed off a character- 
portrait which is singularly effective. He has thus 
provided the means of studying one aspect of 
human life under conditions which are peculiarly 
favorable, for the mind of the reader is not dis- 
turbed by a confusing mass of details. The study 
of character is of great value to the young. By 
pursuing it they learn how to avoid the blunders 
which have ruined some of their predecessors and 
how to emulate the virtues which have made others 
successful. ‘This makes the reading of biographies 
as useful in the formation of character and the regu- 
lation of conduct as the study of mathematics, lan- 
guages, and science is important in preparing for 
the common work of the world. Herein also lies 
the value of good fiction. In so far as it is true to 



life as it really exists, it shows in a dramatic way 
the pitfalls which are to be avoided, the safe paths 
which are to be chosen. 


A careful study of biography and of the saner 
fiction discloses the fact that one fundamental char- 
acteristic determines the whole trend and effect of 
a life. There is one dominant note in every sig- 
nificant life. Of one person you say he is courage 
personified, as was the case with John Knox, at 
whose grave Melville said: “Here lies one who 
never feared the face of man.” Of another you say 
he is a concrete expression of perseverance, as 
was the fact with Robert Bruce, who after twelve 
successive defeats at the hands of Edward, rallied 
his forces for a thirteenth onset, and as a conse- 
quence wore the crown of Scotland. Of another 
you say that he is faith incarnate, as might be your 
characterization of Columbus, who believed though 
other men doubted and scoffed, and by faith 
triumphed gloriously. Of another you say that his 
name is synonymous with pride, as was Milton’s 
Satan, or with covetousness, as was the same poet’s 
Mammon, or you will call another the incarnation 
_ of selfishness. 

78 Tur Younc Man with A ProcRAM. 

Now, it is obvious that if the dominate charac- 
teristic is excellent it will make the whole life ad- 
mirable, or if it is ignoble it will make the whole 
career detestable. A brave man will swing all his 
qualities over into subordination to his heroism. 
On the other hand, a coward will impregnate his 
better nature with his craven spirit. 


As a drop of poison pollutes a whole glass of 
water, so one touch of evil sullies and weakens an 
entire character. No man is greater than his pre- 
eminent defect. I know a man who has spoiled his 
life by suspicion. It has come to be a species of in- 
sanity with him. His most intimate friends are 
subject to the scrutiny of an eye made green with 
jealousy, and yellowed by the jaundice of suspicion. 
His morbid vigilance in watching other men and 
mistrusting their motives has made him incapable of 
great achievement, for it has weakened his whole 
moral fiber. This secret sin has neutralized his vir- 
tues. The other day the newspapers chronicled the 
fact that a car full of miners had suddenly torn 
away from its connections and shot down the shaft 
several hundred feet to ruin and death. The cables 
had been inspected that very morning, and the car- 


riage pronounced safe. But some part of the struc- 
ture was at fault, though it escaped observation. 
The man who goes to pieces publicly has torn his 
character secretly at some vital point long ago. No 
life is stronger than its one fundamental defect. 

Tur Case oF DioTREPHES. 

Of the truth of these reflections the phrase 
chosen for our text is an illustration. All we know 
of Diotrephes is that he had a passion for promi- 
nence, and that his fatal fondness for power made 
him a nuisance to the Church of which he was a 
member. It is uncertain whether he was a layman 
oraclergyman. In any case he was a self-assertive, 
recalcitrant, heady disturber of the peace. He was 
given to the rule-or-ruin policy. He would not re- 
ceive John’s letter to the Church, nor have fellow- 
ship with the messengers of religion which were 
sent. He would scorn the authority of any apostle. 
He loved to have the pre-eminence himself. He 
would take commands from no one. Self-seeking 
was his dominant characteristic. And this ruined 
him, despite any fine qualities he possessed, which 
under other circumstances might have made him 
very effective. If Diotrephes was a bishop, as some 
maintain, then though he were as eloquent as an 

80 Tur Younc Man wit A PROGRAM. 

archangel, or as wise as the foremost statesman of 
Rome, it would avail little. If he was a layman, 
though he were orthodox to the core, generous to 
the utmost of his power, busy to the fullest extent 
of his time, it would not be sufficient to counteract 
the fell influence of his overweening ambition. 
Self-seeking crowded love out of his heart. Paul 
has stated the case for all such misguided religion- 
ists: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and 
of angels, and have not charity, I am become as 
sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though 
i have the gift of prophecy, and understand all 
mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all 
faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have 
not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow 
all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my 
body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth 
me nothing.” Love will not permit a man to push 
himself forward against authority, to trample others 
under foot. But where no love is, selfishness will 
reign supreme, and character will be ruined. 

The perils of an unsanctified ambition have been 
so frequently described by seers and poets, that per- 
haps they need not be emphasized here. Yet the 
admonition can scarcely be overdone. ‘To occupy 
lofty station under any circumstances is beset with 


danger, but conspicuous places gained through self- 
ish endeavor are peculiarly hazardous. 

It is said that Pius V, when dying, cried out in 
despair, “When I was in low condition I had some 
hope of salvation; when I was advanced to be a 
cardinal I greatly doubted it; but since I came to 
the popedom I have no hope at all.” Alexander I, 
of Russia, was accustomed to say, “Kings have 
These typical utterances of 


great need of mercy.’ 
thoughtful potentates indicate how perilous high 
position is. How much increased the danger must 
be when personal prominence has been made the 
supreme object of the soul’s ambition. 


But we must remember that not every ambition, 
the fulfillment of which involves personal advance- 
ment, should be denounced as culpably selfish. 
There may exist an aspiration which, though it re- 
sult in the exaltation of him who possesses it, is 
not inherently evil. Ambition plays a legitimate 
and very important part in any rational scheme of 
life. It is a great motive power. It propels the 
machinery of life. It preserves the steadiness of 
the soul in the midst of the world’s alarms. It sus- 
tains the famishing heart with food and drink. It 


82 Tuer Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

is another name for hope, without which life is not 
worth living; and it is not to be deprecated. I stood 
by the bedside of a godly man while he was dying, 
and heard him say in a self-condemnatory tone, “I 


have been very ambitious,” as though he were ac- 
cusing himself of a mortal sin. Yet all who knew 
his inner life understood that the thing for which 
he was chastising himself had been responsible for 
a large measure of his usefulness in the Church of 
Christ. Probably as he slowly advanced toward 
the awful reality which death introduces, all earthly 
things shrank into insignificance, and he felt that 
aspirations in a world so evanescent were foolish 
and sinful. His sensations were akin to those of 
Edmund Burke, who, when he was about to con- 
front a political antagonist on the hustings, the peo- 
ple having assembled in great numbers, and demon- 
strations of enthusiasm having risen to an un- 
wonted pitch, suddenly received a message an- 
nouncing the death of his opponent. Amid the 
breathless silence which followed he lifted up his 
voice and said, “What shadows we are; and what 
shadows we pursue!” ‘That was a healthful senti- 
ment. Nevertheless life is only great as its pur- 
poses are large, and ambition unmixed with ignoble 

motives must not be condemned, 



Youth is the period in which ambition usually 
flowers forth into its greatest vitality. As age 
creeps on, aspirations wane. It is not because men 
of years decrease in ability that they decline so 
sadly in effectiveness, but because their store of am- 
bition diminishes with increasing age. By every 
standard of measuring power men and women of 
experience ought to be worth more to society than 
persons of youth and immaturity. The trouble is 
that to age the ambitions of youth seem to be mere 
illusions which vanish at the touch of real life. The 
game does not seem to justify the hazard. What’s 
the use of so much effort?” is the querulous cry of 
elderly persons. But youth has not yet suffered dis- 
illusionment. Like Beaconsfield it shouts, “Nothing 
is difficult to the brave!” or like Napoleon exclaims, 
“There shall be no Alps!” To the young there are 
no impossibilities and no impracticabilities. Therein 
lies the secret of keeping young. Let the aging man 
be resolved that he will never succumb to the feel- 
ing that effort does not pay, and he will have par- 
taken of the fountain of perpetual youth. Paul 
never became an old man, though he suffered 
enough to wear out a score of bodies. Luther was 
youthful in spirit to the end of life. Defoe wrote 

84 Ture Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

the best book for boys in the English language 
when he was sixty. ‘The saddest hour in any man’s 
life is that in which he lays aside his early ambi- 
tion, folding it up in a napkin and burying it in a 
deep, unmarked grave of oblivion. Retain your 
aspirations. "They contain the secret of life. Re- 
ligious development, as well as intellectual achieve- 
ment and material success, are dependent upon it. 
Unless one aspires to be increasingly holy as his 
years multiply, he will never come to the fullest ripe- 
ness of character. While he was yet a stripling Jona- 
than Edwards wrote down his resolution that, on 
the supposition that there was only one man in a 
generation who most fully realized in his life the 
highest Christian character, he would endeavor to 
be that man in his time. There can be no question 
about the beneficent effect of that ambition upon his 
religious life. 

An ambition to be first in any legitimate field of 
human achievement is not of itself blameworthy. 
It was said of an English statesman that had his 
lot been that of a bootblack, he would have deter- 
mined to make himself the most effective boot- 
black in the British dominions. ‘Transfer that pur- 
poseful spirit to the realm of spiritual life, and it 
becomes truly sublime. 

THe Younc Man wWItH AN AMBITION. 85 


To the Christian the pursuit of high place is 
permissible only on certain conditions: 1. When 
the purpose is to realize the utmost in life of which 
one is capable. The highest dignity in life consists 
in doing one’s best. To aim at less than this is to 
fall below mediocrity. To do just well enough to 
be respectable is really to be discreditable. More- 
over, it is to cheat one’s self, one’s neighbor, one’s 
God. How sadly the artist suffers when he paints 
below his ideals! Rousseau, the French painter, 
called the attention of a brother artist to a certain 
space on one of his most famous pictures, and asked 
him if he did not think it finer and more expressive 
than anything else in the canvas. His friend ac- 
knowledged it was. “Then,” said Rousseau, “all 
the rest must be brought into harmony with that 
diapason of light.” Whereupon his friend said: 
“But such a course, generally pursued, would make 
it impossible for an artist to paint more than one 
picture in a life time.” “Well,” replied Rousseau, 
“an artist ought to be generous enough to spend 
his whole life on one picture, that he might thereby 
ennoble his race and glorify his Creator.” If, in 
any department of activity we are seeking to develop 
our talents to the uttermost for the glory of God, 

86 Tur Younc Man with A PROGRAM, 

who endowed us with these gifts and graces, per- 
sonal ambition can not be reckoned reprehensibly 
selfish. 2. When there is a purpose to serve hu- 
manity, seeking personal advancement is not 
blameworthy. There is a divine motive in such self- 
assertion. That was one of Christ’s distinctive 
characteristics. He pushed Himself to the fore; 
He repudiated the claims of competitors; He obsti- 
nately set Himself for the primacy among men; He 
arrogated ultimate authority to Himself, only and 
always that He might serve humanity. That was a 
mark of Abraham Lincoln’s greatness. When he 
saw slavery in one of its grossest and foulest man- 
ifestations, while yet a mere youth, he swore that 
he would smite the infernal iniquity if ever the 
chance came to him; and whatever other political 
ambitions may have been mixed with this purpose, 
it was the supreme motive which nerved his arm and 
inspired his toil. Pre-eminence is sometimes sought 
through the accumulation of wealth. There is noth- 
ing inherently evil in that. But the power which 
money gives can only be legitimately sought by the 
Christian as a means of increasing his ability to 
serve his fellows. 3. When a sense of duty de- 
mands self-advancement, it may be worthily made 
an object of search. When one sees that conspicu- 

Tue Younc MAN wiTtH AN AMBITION. 87 

ous places are being badly and inadequately occu- 
pied, and says, “I will take this leadership because 
I can discharge it effectively and thus save society 
from harm,” there is something sublime in the as- 
piration. It is a noble thing for a youth to deter- 
mine that he will make himself master of a certain 
situation because he is capable of managing it bet- 
ter than it is being directed. Duty sounds the most 
imperative call in the world. Wordsworth saw its 
divine dignity as few are capable of perceiving it. 
“Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear 
The godhead’s most benignant grace; 
Nor know we anything so fair 
As is the smile upon thy face: 
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds, 
And fragrance in thy footing treads; 
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong; 
And the most ancient heavens through thee are fresh 
and strong.” 
If duty summons thee to a certain task, face 
the world’s scorn and assume it, I charge thee ey 
the highest interests of thy soul. 


These are motives of which the self-seeking 
Diotrephes knew nothing. He loved the pre-emi- 
nence for the mere sake of being lordly. He would 
not harness himself to any other leadership. He 

88 Ture Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

must be the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning 
and the end; the first and the last. There are many 
like him, who think only of themselves when they 
determine to engage in any enterprise. The policy 
is suicidal, besides being a mere waste of energy. 
Federation, concentration, combination are the 
watchwords of the twentieth century. Individual- 
ism has received its death blow in almost every field 
of human endeavor. It ought to be so in the realm 
of religious movements. An army all colonels 
would soon disintegrate. To follow is as impor- 
tant as to lead. To associate is wiser than to differ- 
entiate under many circumstances. 

Hear a parable. A couple of shining dewdrops, 
glistening on a green leaf near the top of a tall 
tree, fell into conversation. One said, “I propose 
to lead an independent life. I shall sally forth into 
the world presently and make a record for myself.” 
Eut the other said, “If I can find anybody to join 
me, I propose to unite my energies with others, and 
thus contribute to some general movement for the 
benefit of the world.” Just then the jolly old sun 
pushed his face down between the branches of the 
tree and drank up the first dewdrop, which was 
never heard of again. But the wind, in a friendly 
spirit, brushed the other dew-drop into the brook 

Tue Younc Man witH AN AMBITION. 89 

that babbled at the foot of the tree. There it found 
companions, and in their society went laughing 
toward the river, and thence through many miles of 
happy pilgrimage to the sea, and all the while it 
bore its part in sweetening the land and refresh- 
ing the souls of men. Let us not be deluded into 
supposing we lose ourselves in the mass if we are 
federated with others for a good purpose. Not an 
cunce of our energy will be lost, not a particle of 
our individuality wasted. On the contrary, we shall 
multiply our powers of blessing humanity. 


What has just been said must not be construed 
as denying the righteousness of aiming at a proper 
leadership on the part of those who are qualified for 
commanding positions. But neither must we ignore 
the prime requisites for leadership. Men fall into 
influential positions not capriciously, but by a defi- 
nite law of human life. The demand is always for 
serviceable men. To render themselves most ef- 
fective, men must know how to sacrifice themselves 
for the advantage of others. The path to power lies 
through Gethsemane and over the brow of Gol- 
gotha. “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men 
unto Me,” said Christ. “Whosoever will be great 

90 Tur Younc Man wit A PROGRAM. 

among you, let him be your minister; and whoso- 
ever will be chief among you, let him be your sery- 


ant Paul understood this principle and said, 
“God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross 
of our Lord Jesus Christ,’’ and he declared that if 
he must boast, it should be, not in his successes, but 
in his infirmities and losses, that Christ might be 



It was a Divine utterance that “whosoever shall 
exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall 
humble himself shall be exalted.’ But the world, 
speaking broadly, awards its prizes on the same 
principle. The Duke of Alva erects a great statue 
of himself in the Brussels Square, but the people 
who are being destroyed by his leadership of King 
Philip’s cruel minions rend the monument to frag- 
ments, and mold its metal into bullets to fight their 
inveterate foe. The Duke of Wellington goes down 
into the trenches to fight in company with his sol- 
diers, and goes up into the shining ranks of the 
world’s most illustrious servants. Washington con- 
descends to engage in the most menial tasks of the 
common militiaman, but he wins a distinction peer- 
less among great leaders. St. Bernard forsakes a 

Tur Younc Man wWitH AN AMBITION. 91! 

great inheritance, refuses emoluments, immures 
himself in a monastery, but he becomes, as Gibbon 
declares, the oracle of Europe, at whose feet mon- 
archs and great ecclesiastics sit and learn. The 
pre-eminence will come to that man who denies 
himself, takes up his cross daily, and follows Christ. 
St. Paul said to Timothy, “Let no man despise 
thy youth;” by which he did not mean that ambi- 
tious youth should stoutly maintain its rights by 
braggart force. He explained himself in the next 
sentence: “But be thou an example of the believers, 
in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in 
faith, in purity.” In other words: “Compel def- 
erence by deserving it.” He alone is worthy to 
reign who has abased himself to serve even with 
suffering. Over the crown thus obtained the glory 
of Divine favor will hover with eternal radiance. 



“Think on these things.”—Puit. tv, 8. 

WHEN the soul of Justin Martyr began to be 
athirst for God, he first sought relief among the 
representative philosophers of his day. But the 
Stoic simply intensified his anguish by telling him 
it was foolish. The Peripatetic disgusted him by 
demanding a fee. The Pythagorean dismissed him 
because he did not understand music and mathe- 
matics. Then he fell in with a Platonist, who told 
him to think, and to do nothing else, until his mind 
soared away to Deity. Charmed by this advice, he 
went to dwell by the seashore, that, undisturbed by 
the world’s tumult, he might think his way to God. 
One day, while he was pacing the sands to the 
rhythm of the waves, he found himself staring into 
the face of an old man, who said, “Do you know 
me that you gaze so earnestly upon me?” Startled 


i a 

Ture Younc Man anv His MEpDITATIONS. 93 

into self-consciousness by this sudden interruption, 
Justin explained that he was in search of truth, and 
disclosed the method of his quest, whereupon the 
aged stranger deftly drew his attention to the Chris- 
tian revelation, as containing the sublimest exposi- 
tion of truth ever made to the mind of man. It en- 
chained his thought; it captivated his spirit. He 
became a convert to its amazing philosophy. With- 
out doffing his scholastic robes, he went through 
the classic cities, intent on winning learned pagans 
to Christ. He took his position near the public 
baths in Rome, and conversed with the passing 
throng on the interests of their souls, and until he 
attested his faith by a martyr’s death, he continued 
to be an eloquent advocate of the doctrines of Chris- 
tianity. The thinker had been provided with an ob- 
ject worthy of his profoundest meditations. That 
was a fact of the deepest importance, for it is in- 
dispensable to the highest spiritual development 
that there shall be first a disposition to think, and 
then a divine somewhat on which to expend the 
mind’s energies. Christianity supplies these two 
essentials. It awakens dormant intellectual powers 
to activity, and then furnishes the mightiest themes 
which can engage the thought. In this lies one of 
the secrets of its omnipotence. 

94. Tue Younc MAN wiTH A PROGRAM. 


One peculiarity of the passage from which our 

text is taken is that it presents a catalogue of ex- 
cellences on which to think, and that these admirable 
things are equally praised by both pagan and Chris- 
tian writers. “Whatsoever things are true, what- 
soever things are honest, whatsoever things are 
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things 
are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; 
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, 


think on these things.” Now these are things which 
you will find commended by Seneca, Plato, Epicte- 
tus, and other heathen writers. They are also 
taught by such modern pagans as Goethe, Carlyle, 
and Emerson. Nothing slanderous is intended by 
this way of characterizing these great persons. 
Goethe had an insight into the spiritual nature of 
man which was quite divine. Carlyle has taught 
us the nobility of truth and sincerity as few apos- 
_tles have been able to do. Emerson was an angel 
cf light and leading to many souls of men. But 
these teachers were not essentially Christian. They 
were beautiful-souled pagans. They illustrate the 
possibility of learning truth from enlightened minds 
of all cults. The supercilious disdain of heathen 
writers sometimes affected by good people is not 

Tue YouNc Man anv His MepiraTIONs. 95 

genuinely Christian. Nor is any contempt of human 
nature. There is something good in humanity 
everywhere. God is present, however obscurely, in 
every man. Where God is, there good is, whether 
we are able to discover it or not. 

“If there be any virtue, and if there be any 
praise, think on these things.” That word virtue 

was a great term with the Romans. It expressed 

the sum of all excellences. It meant valor, man- 
hood, civic righteousness, social health, national 
integrity. Paul uses it but once. It is never em- 
ployed again in the New Testament in this sense. 
But Paul would omit no appeal which might move 
his readers. He therefore bids these Philippians 
meditate upon the heathen virtues which they had 
been taught before Christianity had touched them. 


But it must be remembered that Christianity em- 
braces all that is good in any system of morals, and 
that it contains much more than all others com- 
bined. Its supremacy consists in the fact that, in — 
addition to this advantage, it is able to ‘do what no 
other religion ever has done—it offers these great 
excellences embodied in a personality. They are 
vitalized and made active in Jesus Christ. What- 

96 Tue Younc MAn with A PROGRAM. 

scever things are true inhere in Him who is the 
Truth. Paul would commend to these Philippians 
and to all Christians everywhere the thoughtful 
consideration of goodness, however expressed, as a 
means of constructing character. And if abstract 
goodness can not seize upon the heart with much 
firmness, as it must be confessed it frequently can 
not, he would have us study goodness concretely 
exhibited in character and conduct, and especially 
in the spirit and life of Jesus Christ. The blessed 
consequences of such contemplative study are truly 

I, The first great benefit of habitual medita- 
tion upon moral excellences as expressed in char- 
acter, to which attention is now drawn, is that a man 
will thus come to know himself, which is the be- 
ginning of any advance toward personal improve- 
ment. Ruminating on goodness will lead one to 
institute comparisons. By far the larger part of 
our accurate knowledge about any matter is reached 
through the process of comparison. Self-knowl- 
edge is the greatest human wisdom we can attain. 
Studying goodness, as displayed in good persons, 
will surely reveal by contrast the defects in our own 
characters. We shall come to know ourselves. 

Tue Younc Man anv His MEpi?raTIONs. 97 

An Englishman used to meet the great philoso- 
pher, Arthur Schopenhauer, every morning walk- 
ing with his ugly poodle along the promenade in 
Irankfort-on-the-Main. Schopenhauer’s eccentric 
appearance, deeply immersed in thought, excited 
the Englishman’s curiosity to such an extent that 
one day he could contain himself no longer, and, 
walking up to the philosopher, he addressed him 
sharply thus: “Tell me, sir, who in the name of 
fate are you?” “Ah,” said Schopenhauer, “I only 
wish I knew myself.” In a more serious and truth- 
ful sense thousands of our fellows might well con- 
fess their ignorance of themselves. 

Introspection, which may indeed run into mor- 
bid and unduly prolonged self-examination, if not 
properly guarded, is almost obsolete in the twentieth 
century. Channing has well said, “Millions live and 
die as truly strangers to themselves as to countries 
of which they have learned the names, but which 
human foot has never trodden.” 


The conditions of modern life render self-knowl- 
edge very difficult and rare. Absorption in busi- 
ness, preoccupation with the affairs of the bustling 
world, have made meditation a lost art. We think 


*% eA. 
Vee ale 
MAP Ses 


98 Ture Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

earnestly enough upon the material interests of life 
—what to eat and wherewithal to be clothed, and 
how to realize the ambitions of life—but our intel- 
lectual life is so burdened by these things, our 
brains are so wearied by them, that we have no 
strength for more important concerns. The conse- 
quence is that, unaware of their moral decline, men 
often surprise themselves by their own lapses from 
right conduct. We may be very certain that when 
men who have reached high positions in public es- 
teem, and are known for their adherence to Chris- 
tian ideals, suddenly violate the highest code of 
ethics in their commercial transactions, they are 
almost as much surprised at the disclosures of their 
guilt in the newspapers as are their friends. We 
have all doubtless been appalled at our own unpre- 
meditated actions, and have asked, upon awakening 
to a sense of our wickedness, “Is it possible I am 
that kind of a man?” 

Now, thoughtfulness touching moral excellence 
is one of the surest safeguards against such sudden 
losses of moral equilibrium. And in cases of moral 
lapse, thinking in this sense is a kind of John the 
Baptist crying in the soul, “Repent ye, for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was only when 
the prodigal son had “come to himself,” had ar- 



Tue Younc Man Anp His MEpIrvaTIONS. 99 

rived at sanity, that he said, “I will arise and go to 
my father.” Shakespeare makes the Archbishop 
of Canterbury say concerning the youthful Henry 
V, whose early years had been spent in riotous ex- 
cess, but who on the death of his father began to 
“ Consideration like an angel came, 
And whipped the offending Adam out of him, 

Leaving his body as a Paradise 
To envelop and contain celestial spirits.” 

Samuel Johnson said, after returning one night 
from a fashionable entertainment in London, that 
what most powerfully impressed him when there 
was the fact that not one of the people present dared 
go home and think. Yet thinking is the first re- 
quisite for any improvement in moral character, 
the initial step of which is self-knowledge. 

II. While thus arriving at self-knowledge, the 
thoughtful soul will also be obtaining an education 
in moral judgment. The need of a safe standard 
by which to estimate moral values is very impera- 
tive in our day. Conscience is capable of perver- 
sion as well as culture. Meditation upon the true, 
the honest, the pure, the reputable, will conduce to 
the formation of a correct gauge of ethical qualities. 

too §}«6°7T' Hr Younc MAN WITH A PROGRAM. 

Minp AnD Morats. 

“A thinking man,” said Thomas Carlyle, “is the 
worst enemy the Prince of Darkness can have. 
Every time such an one announces himself, I doubt 
not there runs a shudder through the nether empire ; 
and new emissaries are trained with new tactics to, 
if possible, entrap him, and hoodwink and handcuff 


him.” Accepting this conjecture as correct, the ~ 
most strategic work of the Christian, we may confi- 
dently assert, is to educate thinking men and 
women. A religion without intellect is both unsat- 
isfactory and unproductive. It is true that a man 
all head will become a skeptic. It is equally true 
that a man all heart will become a fanatic. And, 
with all reverence, let us say, “Better be a skeptic 
and doubt many things, than a fanatic and believe 
what is monstrous in its character and stultifying in 

’ “Tt were better to have no opinion of 

its influence.’ 
God at all,” said Lord Bacon, “than such an opinion 
as is unworthy of Him,” and he illustrated his 
meaning by a reference to Plutarch, who said: 
“Surely I had rather a great deal men should say 
there was no such man at all as Plutarch than that 
they should say there was one Plutarch that would 
eat his children as soon as they were born.” Such 

a view of Deity had the ancients in their conception 

—- )* 

Tuer Younc Man Anp His MEDITATIONS. ro1 

of the god Saturn. Agnosticism itself could not 
have a more baneful effect upon character than 
such puerile fancies. Intelligent faith is the only 
reliable faith. THoreau held that, under certain 
conditions, even God could admire an atheist. Cer- 
tainly, to believe there is no God is not so pernicious 
as to believe there is a God whose character is 

The phrase “Ignorance is the mother of devo- 
tion” is a lying proverb that was coined in the brain 
of the devil, and owes its currency to the children 
of perdition. It impeaches the integrity of God’s 
character. It implies that the designs of the In- 
finite are unnatural and improper, and can not be 
known without inspiring contempt and hatred, in- 
stead of reverence and love; that human existence 
is an unavoidable calamity which is easiest endured 
by those who least understand it. This is such 
frightful madness that it could have originated only 
in the fever-disordered imagination of a fallen 
angel. True religion, therefore, has nothing to do 
with ignorance but to destroy it. There can be no 
compromise in the matter without injury to religion. 
When ignorance and religion come in contact with 
each other one of two things must occur: religion 
must crush out ignorance, or ignorance will per- 

102 Tur Younc MAN wItH A PROGRAM. 

vert religion into superstition. And superstition is 
as little like true religion as a monkey is like a man. 
It is the infinite shame of an ape that he so much 
resembles a man and yet falls so far short of being 
aman. It is the crying disgrace of superstition 
that is so often mistaken for religion while it dif- 
fers so widely from it. Superstition, Dr. Johnson 
said, was “religion without morals.” You will see 
how admirable that definition is when you examine 
the facts that give it a basis. Ignorance and super- 
stition produce veneration in men. But this may 
exist without moral sense or conscience. You may 
find a thousand men who will worship something 
tc one man who will live honestly and deal merci- 
fully. The instinct of adoration is so pronounced 
in men that no nation is without some kind of wor- 
ship. But mere worship is far from true religion. 

RELIGION Minus EvTruics. 

The devout Mussulman does not outrage his 
sense of sanctity by rushing from his knees to com- 
mit rapine and plunder. The devout Hindu does 
no violence to his religious conceptions when he 
leaves his incantations to perform some loathesome 
crime, and even professed Christians have been 
known to commit deeds that would shame a savage. 

Tue Younc Man Anp His MEpIraTIONs. 103 

When the Duke of Anjou had determined to play 
falsely with the Dutch provinces that had made him 
their sovereign lord subject to their ancient con- 
stitution, he called his minions about him after he 
had gone to bed, and when they applauded his in- 
famous propositions, he leaped from his bed, and, 
kneeling in his night clothes by its side, he piously 
invoked the blessing of Heaven upon his nefarious 
project. The trouble with the Duke of Anjou, as 
with the Mussulman, the Hindu, and all other pious 
frauds, is a defect in conscience—not veneration. 
And conscience is capable of an education, which is 
quite as much of the head as of the heart. One 
reads of a theologian whose heart is Christian but 
whose mind is pagan. And every Christian min- 
ister has met scores of persons whose sentimental 
regard for religion, and whose emotional attitude 
toward truth, was above fault, but whose mental 
apprehension of right and wrong was strangely in 
error. They were never quite able to see truth in 
tight relations. The importance of applying the 
processes of reasoning to the study of moral ques- 
tions is, therefore, very obvious. Let us employ 
our brains, as well as our hearts, in siffing truth 
from falsehood. 

ire &. 

104 THE Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM. 

III. Such thinking will not only acquaint the 
soul with itself, and afford it a standard by which to 
judge the moral quality of things, but it will also 
lead to the devotional habitude. It will thus con- 
duct the soul out of the realm of the merely ethical 
into the larger world of the spiritual. It is easier to 
see that vile thoughts will produce loathsome lives 
than to perceive that pure thoughts create holy char- 
acters. Yet one is as true as the other. Milton 

“He that has light within his own clear breast 

May sit i’ th’ center and enjoy bright day; 
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts, 

Benighted walks under the midday sun; 
Himself is his own dungeon.” 

The contemplation of moral excellence will in- 
evitably lead to a love for the true, the beautiful, and 
the good, and so following to the Author of all 
good. As the lover of outdoor life, the scientist 
who studies the forms of matter, the artist who 
scans the beauty of nature, the traveler who strolls 
through museums, galleries of art, and historic 
shrines, will involuntarily be drawn by his thought- 
ful contemplation of these objects to consider the 
origin of such manifestations of Divine energy in 
men and things, and thus ultimately find God; so 
constant meditation upon ioral loveliness will 
surely bring the mind at last to the vision of the 


Tue Younc Man anv His MEDITATIONS. 105 

Eternal Goodness. And as men grow in love for 
goodness they will become more conscious of their 
inability to realize the perfect excellence in their 
own characters without Divine assistance, and thus 
come to feel the pressing need of such a personal 
power as proceeds from vital contact with Jesus 
Christ, the Savior of men. 


The ethical codes of the old Eastern nations con- 
tain much of the best morality to be found even in 
the Bible. Yet every traveler to the Orient con- 
fesses that the life of the people in these far-away 
lands is not on the high plane which is reached by 
Christian civilization. The precepts of the sages do 
not filter down into the lives of the great masses of 
the population. Even the priests, who stand as in- 
terpreters of these old cults, do not arrive at the 
realization of these precepts in their own charac- 
ters. This is because the teachings of the best 
leaders have no great personality back of them in 
which they are set forth in vital reality. But the 
sayings of Jesus are concretely exhibited in His 
faultless life; and the Sermon on the Mount, which 
would be as incapable of lifting humanity to God- 
like heights as are the precepts of Confucius with- 
out such a personal vitalization, becomes active in 

106 Tur Younc MAN wirH A PROGRAM. 

nultitudes of human lives which derive their 
strength from living fellowship with Jesus Christ. 
A German thinker who had not only been indif- 
ferent to the Christian religion, but positively and 
publicly hostile to its claims, was suddenly con- 
verted, and explained his remarkable transforma- 
tion by saying, that when he found his life in ruins, 
he discovered that the supreme need of his soul was 
a Savior like Jesus, the Son of God. In the pres- 
ence of an appreciation of Christ’s power to re- 
deem the soul from’ destruction, his infidelity was 
shattered to pieces like an ill-constructed house 
smitten by an earthquake. Let the young man who 
supposes that skepticism is an evidence of strong 
intellectuality, know that it is not too much, but too 
little thinking which has betrayed him into doubt. 

Let him think deeply enough, and he will find Christ © 

an eternal necessity of his being. 

O, how much we need to get out of the hurly- 
burly into the peace and calm, away from the pois- 
oned atmosphere of a worldly environment into the 
pure fellowship of divine thoughts! John Wesley 
used to say, “It can hardly be that we should spend 
one entire day in a continual intercourse with men 
without suffering loss in our soul, and in some 
measure grieving the Holy Spirit.” Until one con- 
siders the corroding influence of the world’s tem- 

- ae 

sei ; ; 

: Tue Younc Man Anp His MEpITATIONS. 107 


| poral interests upon the spiritual life, he is in- 
clined to regard this an extravagant statement. 

. _ Then he perceives that it is moderate and reason- 
able. Think! “If there be any virtue, and if there 
be any praise, think on these things,” alone with 

A professional woman, whose eyes failed her 

through overwork, lived for a season in a little vil- 
lage, and being forbidden to engage in her accus- 
tomed pursuits, and requiring occupation for her 
mind, she cultivated the friendship of all the little 
children in the place and made herself their idol. 
Whereupon she learned a thousand deep things 
from her association with these cherubs, fresh from 
the hand of God, of which she had never dreamed, 
and ever after looked upon this experience as of in- 
calculable value to her own soul. Are you weary 
with the tasks of a sordid life? Are you heart-sick 
because the ideals of a noble life are so far from 
being realized? Do you sink oppressed with the 
consciousness of your own failure? Turn your 
gaze away from material interests. Think upon the 
moral excellences which are displayed so perfectly 
in Jesus, the Christ, and draw from fellowship 
with Him the strength of His Divine nature, and 
find how possible it is, approximately at least, to 
be like Him. 



“Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to 
fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and 
he a man of war from his youth.’-—1 Sam. 
RVIL 933: 

Tue king’s reckoning was poor. Even royalty 
sometimes blunders. David disappointed the pre- 
dictions of both friends and foes, smiting Goliath 
to death with a swiftness which appalled the Philis- 
tines and intoxicated the Israelites. ~The story is 
three thousand years old, and familiar to every 
child in Christendom. Yet it is of perennial inter- 
est, retaining all the fascination of the most recent 
military exploit. The blood of the youth is fired 
by the taunts of the giant; his brave spirit is stung 
by the inaction and cowardice of his countrymen. 
Against the protests of reason and prudence he sal- 
lies forth with an unheroic shepherd’s sling and a 



THE Younc MAN AND His Opportunities. 109 


few smooth pebbles from the brook, weapons so 
ludicrously inadequate, as it seems, that the giant 
can scarcely contain himself for the contempt he 
feels toward the foolish lad. A few melodramatic 
sentences on both sides, some round cursing by the 
giant, and a little pious indignation on the part of 
the stripling—then David suddenly whirls his sling, 
sinks a stone into the forehead of Goliath, decapi- 
tates him with his own sword, and thus enables the 
Israelitish army to drive the fleeing Philistines 
with frightful slaughter clear to the gates of Gath. 
It was a glorious vindication of the ability of con- 
secrated youth to accomplish mighty and valorous 
deeds. It teaches a lucid lesson for our times. As 
the hope of Israel rested in David, and the strength 
of her arms centered in his devotion, so the reliance 
of modern civilization is placed upon the youth of 
the age. Will the young men of to-day fulfill the 
hopes of their generation? 


Jean Paul Richter once said, “Providence has 
given to the French the empire of the land, to the 
English that of the sea, and [pleasantly satirizing 
their speculative habit] to the Germans that of the 

air.” It may be said with equal truthfulness and 

cm, as 

. ‘ 

110 ©THE Younc Man wirH A PROGRAM, F 

greater seriousness that Providence has given to . 
the young men of our day a still larger inheritance. 
Everything belongs to them. All paths to power 
converge at their feet. All doorways of oppor- 
tunity fly open at their approach. All treasure- 
stores are disclosed by their touch. The world 
grows weary of many things, but it shows an in- 

creasing fondness for young men. 

Let him who fancies that these words exag- 
gerate the current advantages of youth observe the 
facts which are everywhere patent. We are making 
bank presidents of young men at less than thirty- 
five years of age. Railway magnates ascend their 
thrones at a time of life when their fathers were yet 
dangling their legs from an office stool. Look upon 
the faces of the men most conspicuous in all lines 
ef commercial and professional activity, as they are 
pictured in the illustrated periodicals of the day, 
and notice how youthful they are. Observe that 
editors, heads of corporations, lawyers, business 
potentates, men of all classes in high and leading 
places, are in large numbers singularly young. So 
far as the male population is concerned, it is safe to 
assert that the social, commercial, political, and re- 
ligious life of this nation is predominantly under 
the direction, not of those whose locks are white, 

Tue Younc MAN AND His OpportTunIrTIES. 111 

but of those who are striving with indifferent suc- 
cess to raise hair of any color on their beardless 
cheeks. This is one of the most impressive facts of 
cur modern life. A similar disposition to surrender 
the scepter to youth has manifested itself in every 
age, and it grows out of well-recognized facts in 
the very constitution of society. The aged pass 
steadily off the stage of action and leave the boards 
to new players. By the stern elimination which 
death executes the old are doomed to give place to 
the young. Mature persons care less and less for 
the prizes of life, and will not contend as earnestly 
for them as they did in earlier years. Thus they 
yield the arena of conflict to those inferior in age 
and experience. This has always been true to an 
appreciable extent. But the twentieth century sur- 
passes all other periods in the eagerness which it 
shows to push the tasks of the world into the hands 
of young men. 

Tuer SovEREIGNTY oF Younc MEN. 

We need not pause to ask ourselves whether this 
temper of society is wise or foolish, and whether or 
not we see premonitory signs of a change in senti- 
ment, which shall ultimately lead to a saner judg- 
ment. Sapient or silly, the disposition of our times 

112 ‘THE Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM. 

is obvious enough, and the young men of our time 
should make the most of it while it lasts. 
Thackeray tells us that the mother of George 
III was forever dinning in his ears the injunction, 
“George, be king!” <A king the simple, stuttering, 
affectionate, bigoted man tried to be. The obliga- 
tions of royalty were upon him, and he probably 
did the best he could to discharge them, though the 
whole world knows he did not attain a distinguished 
success. The compulsion of sovereignty presses 
upon the young manhood of America. “Be king!” 
is the perpetual admonition. The duty of service 

and leadership can not be thrust aside. The conse- — 

quences of bearing well or ill the sacred trust which 
Divine Providence has assigned to the young men 
ef our day can not be avoided. Once again, and 
with redoubled emphasis, sounds the message of the 
preacher in Ecclesiastes, “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 judg- 
ment.” If like the brave-hearted shepherd on the 
plain before Ephes-Dammin, the youth of our day 
will cherish those virtues for which he was con- 
spicuous, some of which were born of his very 


Bal of teak — 

THE Younc MAN AND His OpporvtunitiEs. 113 

youthfulness, others of which were the result of his 
sublime confidence in God, they will also demon- 
strate their ability to do mighty conquests for right- 
eousness, and will deliver their elders from the fear 
which torments them, as they gaze upon the con- 
flicts yet to be won, and shudder at the apparent in- 
competency of those about to enter the lists. 

I. Observe, in the first place, that David dared. 
Only the brave demolish the giants. Youth is the 
period of rashness and intrepidity. Nelson at the 
age of fourteen attacked a polar bear with a hand- 
spike, and when reproved for it said he did not 
know Mr. Fear. That is characteristic of youth. 
It does not calculate the chances of peril and fail- 
ure. Maturity is often equally courageous, but 
more cautious. Excessive prudence frequently de- 
feats the possibilities of heroic action. David was 
devoid of fear. He was scarcely old enough to 
have made fellowship with prudence. ‘The tried 
warriors of the Israelitish army were conservative. 
The scarred veterans of many a gory field knew 
the perils of war, and hesitated. They gazed with 
terror on the giant’s huge dimensions, and begged 
to be excused. They spent forty days in the melan- 
choly business of considering the blusterer’s spear, 


2g EF 

114 THe Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

in size like a weaver’s beam. ‘They shuddered at 
the magnitude of the spear’s head, twenty pounds 
weight of iron. They estimated the resistance of 
that ponderous coat of mail, a hundred and sixty 
pounds of brass. They held their breath as they 
surveyed the giant’s enormous body towering up 
eight feet into the air, and capped with a huge 
brazen helmet. With one accord they drew back 
and said, “It is not a good day for single combats. 
Prudence is the better part of valor. We will take 

no risks.” ‘That was not necessarily cowardice; 

that was caution. 

THE Vator oF YourH. 

The young shepherd, who single-handed had 
killed a lion and a bear, and loved to boast of it, 
looked the giant over with a glance which made his 
dimensions shrink to pigmy proportions, looked 
through his coat of mail to his very soul, and said, 
“He is but a bragging coward. His heart is not as 
big as his spear-head. God has written his death- 
warrant, and I am his divinely appointed execu- 
tioner;” and having secured royal permission, 
rushed at him with well-judged impetuosity, and in 
less time than is required to tell the tale Goliath 
of Gath lost his head, and the armies of Israel 
raised the shout of triumph. : 

Tue Younc MAN AND His Opportuniviks. 115 

History is brimful of illustrations of the bene- 
fits accruing to civilization from the intrepidity of 
youth. The very boys in the colonial period of our 
history were bolder than the men of experience, 
and hurried events along at a swifter pace than 
otherwise they would have taken. When the Eng- 
lish Parliament passed the infamous Stamp Act in 
1765, Benjamin Franklin, a man in his sixtieth 
year, a magnificent character from youth to age, but 
an example of the conservatism and hesitation of 
maturity, said discouragingly, “The sun of Amer- 
ican liberty has set.” ‘The General Assembly was 
slow to move, and spoke of the outrage in muffled 
tones. Then Patrick Henry, only twenty-nine years 
cf age, the youngest member of the Virginia House 
of Burgesses, waited only till he saw no one older 
would resent the insult, and snatching a blank leaf 
from an old law-book, drew up a series of inflamma- 
tory resolutions, and upon this platform of his own 
building, thundered forth such a philippic as made 
the ears of England’s statesmen tingle with shame, 
and roused the heart and conscience of the whole 
American people. 

There were thousands of persons in Germany at 
the opening of the sixteenth century who were 
shocked at the scandalous sale of indulgences and 

116 ‘THe Younc Man witH A PROGRAM 

alarmed at the notorious wickedness of the Romish 
Church, but it remained for the monk of Erfurt to 
stand forth alone and rebuke a hierarchy which was 
prostituting religious authority to private gains. He 
acknowledged in later years that he was at that 
time ignorant of the work that he had undertaken. 
It was the rashness of an enthusiast, many declared, 
and would soon defeat itself. But Luther was the 
embodiment of courage, and four years after he had 
nailed his theses to the door of the Wittemberg 
church he braved the Holy Roman Empire to its 
face, while all Christendom stood aghast with as- 
tonishment. The results of that temerity in the en- 
couragement of religious liberty can only be meas- 
ured in eternity; but not a century of history has 
since fled away without seeing humanity lifted to a 
higher plane by the seemingly rash and unpromis- 
ing efforts of that young champion of truth. 


There is a superb egotism in youth, which may 
be the offspring of inexperience, and which cer- 
tainly provokes much ridicule, but which often 
seems like the natural inspiration of the Almighty 
before it has been checked and suppressed by the 
world’s opposition. The whole earth appears to 

THe Younc MAN AND His Opporrunirigs. 117 

stretch out before the young man of spirit as a field 
which he is to conquer, nor does he doubt his abil- 
ity to subdue it at the beginning of his career. 
After he has broken a lance or two in a tilt with 
his foes, or has been unhorsed once and again in 
the tournament of life, he will not hold his prowess 
in such high esteem. With increasing years he will 
lose that strong self-reliance which has made him so 
bold. That will be a pathetic loss, however justly 
an excessive dependence on self may be derided by 
the satirist. The extreme caution which advancing 
years will bring, the fear of the outlandish which 
comes with mature judgment, puts a bridle on the 
exultant spirit, and checks rapidity of movement. 
Says Howells, “As you get along in the forties you 
will understand that life is chiefly what life has 
been.” Phelps, of Andover, has catled attention to 
the fact which every observant person has noticed, 
that few men change their opinions in politics, re- 
ligion, or any other matter, after they are forty. 
That entails a most important responsibility upon 
the young. There is no need to recite from history 
the evidence of what every student of life well 
knows, that most of the startling advances in the 
record of civilization have been made by men while 
they were comparatively young. Julius Cesar, 

118 ‘THE Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

John Wesley, William Lloyd Garrison, these are 
three out of hundreds of great figures which might 
be summoned from the past to show how much we 
are indebted to the fact that men will undertake in 
youth what they could not be dragooned into at- 
tempting after they are sixty. If David had been 
as old as Saul the probability is that he would have 
staid in the rear. 

Let us not underestimate the worth of caution. 
Tt is an indispensable counterbalance to the inordi- 
nate enthusiasm of youth. Zeal without knowledge 
is terribly destructive. It is like the lightning let 
loose, dealing death and disaster wherever it listeth. 
it needs to be curbed, confined, directed by wisdom, 
that like the electric current, it may be a blessing to 
mankind. On the other hand, knowledge without 
zeal is nerveless and ineffective. It is not knowing 
alone, but knowing and doing, twin factors in the 
subjugation of evil and the enthronement of good, 
upon which we must depend for the world’s re- 
demption. Attention is called to the natural vigor 
and earnestness of youth, not to exalt it unduly, but 
to impress those who are young with the sacred 
obligation which rests upon them to consecrate 
whatever enthusiasm they have to the support of 
those great causes which God has thrust upon the 

Tue Younc Man anp His Opporrunitiks. 119 

world in their time. As the young David feared no 
bragging giant, and hurled himself at the monster, 
so let our youth of to-day fearlessly fling them- 
selves upon the foes of righteousness before the evil 
days of hesitancy creep upon them to enervate their 
zeal. An open eye will discover opportunities for 
valor. To perceive an opportunity is to have a 
revelation of duty. To shirk a duty is to suffer ir- 
reparable harm. It requires but the full dedication 
of one’s powers to make the performance of duty 
keen delight. 

“So nigh is grandeur to our dust, 
So near to God is man, 
When Duty whispers low, ‘ Thou must!’ 
The youth replies, ‘I can!” 

II. Observe, in the second place, that David had 
Sense, a most valuable quality, in which some young 
men are said to be occasionally deficient. David 
clung to his sling and his pebbles, instead of trying 
to masquerade in the king’s armor. He had a dif- 
ficult task upon his hands, but he had no fantastic 
notions about equipment. When Saul tried the 
royal coat of mail on him, he felt oyerloaded and 
awkward, and preferred to meet the giant as he was 
accustomed to confront the beasts that attempted to 
enter his sheepfold. All this provoked the giant 
to ponderous mirth. He said: “Am I a dog that thou 

120. THE Younc Man witH A PROGRAM, 

comest to me with staves? Come to me, and I will 

give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the 
beasts of the field.” How premature the gibe was 
Goliath knew when the first stone flew to its mark 
from the shepherd’s sling. : 


The moral of this is very easy to read. Obey the 
dictates of your individuality. To be terse and 
plain: What you can do you ought to do, and 
what you ought to do you must do; but what you 
must do you only can do in the use of your per- 
sonal endowments. An ounce of mother-wit is 
worth tons of technical training when an unex- 
pected crisis occurs. “Shoemaker, stick to your 
last.” When you have discovered your character- 
istic gifts, work them to their fullest capacity, but 
do not bother around with artificial agencies, the 
nature of which you do not understand. 

In the Book of the Judges we have an account 
of the various deliverances which were effected by 
the heroes who figured so prominently in the days 
when there were no kings in Israel. There is one 
brief narrative which runs, “And after him was 
Shamgar, the son of Anath, which slew of the 
Philistines six hundred men with an ox-goad; and 


Tue Younc Man AND His Opportuniri£s. 121 

he also delivered Israel.” That is the whole of 
Shamgar’s recorded history, but it is eloquent with 
meaning. He worked his talents, and did not try 
his hand at methods of warfare he did not under- 
stand. An ox-goad would not ordinarily be con- 
sidered a very imposing weapon of offense. But 
Shamgar could do better execution with it than 
with swords and spears. 

In the same book we are told of the Benjamites, 
that “Among all this people there were seven hun- 
dred chosen men, left handed; every one could sling 
stones at an hairbreadth, and not miss.”’ These sharp- 
shooters were worth more than all the rest of the 
fighting population of Benjamin combined, though 
their weapons were of the most ordinary character. 
Use your own tools. Prosecute your work in the 
channels of your own individuality. “Neglect not 
the gift that is in thee.” Too many misguided per- 
sons are seeking to imitate some other man’s 
method. See what you have, and seize the first 
opportunity to employ it. What have you? The 
divine gift of speech? Use it to persuade your fel- 
lows to the truth. The celestial endowment of a 
sympathetic nature? Put your arms about a 
stricken comrade, and hearten him for his strug- 
gies. The sacred power of a magnetic personality ? 

122 ‘THs Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

Turn it to account in winning the lost to righteous- 
ness. The material question is this, When you have 
ascertained what it is that you can do, will you do 
it with all your might? 

“T slept, and dreamed that life was beauty; 
I woke, and found that life was duty. 
Was then my dream a shadowy lie? 

Toil on, sad heart, courageously, 
And thou shalt find thy dream to be > 
A noonday light and truth to thee.” 

III. Observe in the third place that David 
trusted God. Mark the religious tone of his lan- 
guage, as he urges his claim to go against the giant 
upon the attention of Saul. Notice the pious fervor 
of his brave retort upon the blustering giant. Da- 
vid had begun to remember his Creator in the days 
of his youth. After Samuel has anointed him pros- 
pective successor of Saul, it was said that “the 
Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day 
forward.” How wondrously heightened the powers 
of our young men in America would be if they 
would “seek first the kingdom of God and His 

righteousness !”’ 


Wendell Phillips represents one of the finest 
types of character which the history of America, if 

Tur Younc MAN AND His OpportuniriEs. 123 

not of the entire world, has given to us. A friend 
asked him one day, “Mr. Phillips, did you ever con- 
secrate yourself to God?” “Yes,” he replied, “when 
[ was a boy fourteen years of age, in the old church 
at the North End, I heard Lyman Beecher preach 
on the theme, You Belong to God. I went home 
after that service, threw myself on the floor in my 
room, with locked doors, and prayed, ‘O God, I be- 
long to Thee. Take what is Thine own. I ask 
this, that whenever a thing is wrong, it may have 
no power of temptation over me, and that whenever 
a thing is right, it may take no courage to do it.’ 
From that day it has been so. Whenever a thing 
has been known to me to be wrong, it has held no 
temptation for me; and whenever I have known a 
thing to be right, it has taken no courage to do it.” 
That act of consecration will account for the de- 
cision of Phillips when he saw the mob carrying 
Garrison along the streets of Boston, bareheaded, 
with a rope around his waist, his clothing torn and 
bedraggled, but with brow upturned, face calm, and 
eyes flashing with the heroism of a martyr going to 
the stake. “Who is that?” asked Phillips. “That,” 
answered a bystander, “that is Garrison, the damned 
Abolitionist. They are going to hang him.” The 
mob swept on, but by the very compulsion of his 

124 ‘Tue Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

consecration to the right, Phillips was from that 
moment a stanch defender of Garrison and his 

antislavery cause. He was then twenty-four years 
of age, and a rising young barrister, but it was not 
long ere the lawyer’s office was abandoned for the 
agitator’s platform, and until slavery went down 
into a grave never to be opened, Wendell Phillips 
poured forth his soul in eloquent assaults upon “the 
sum of all villianies.” 


When one observes the righteous causes which 
await fearless champions in this day, he is con- 
strained to believe that thousands of our young men 
have not begun life with a consecration to God, 
but with a dedication to self. Many of our noblest ~ 
youth are being absorbed in the struggle for wealth. 
Their vital energies are being dried up by the 
sponge of commercial enterprise, while the greatest 
of all undertakings, the furtherance of Christ’s 
kingdom, is suffering for leadership. 

Immense interests are pressing for attention. 
For not forty days, but for thrice forty years, the 
braggart giant Intemperance has been defying the 
armies of the living God in America, growing more 
and more insolent every year, threatening to give 


the advocates of sobriety over to the vultures, chal- 
lenging them to come forth to single combat upon 
the sands of public life. But conservative and cau- 
tious veterans say it is not an opportune time for 
fighting. They see the brazen helmet with its nod- 
ding plume of gold, the coat of mail plated with 
heavy license fees, the politicians bearing a mighty 
shield compacted of legal enactments, the ponder- 
cus spear already crimsoned with the blood of a 
hundred thousand yearly victims, and they are 
affrighted. Little will be done to stifle the brag- 
gart’s taunts if the youth of the country will not 
rise and sally forth to meet him. His cause is so 
deeply intrenched behind the cupidity of tax-payers 
and the representatives of the vested interests in- 
volved, that even good men hesitate to acgept his 
challenge. Let the rising generation assume the 
obligation of their position, and smite the tyrant 
to the dust. They can purchase deliverance, if they 

Can Wr DEPEND Upon You? 

This is but one of many evils requiring to be 
vanquished. But it is typical of all. Society is 
grievously tormented and vexed with a legion of 
devils. They need not be named. Their hateful 

126 ‘THe Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

presence all too plainly proclaims their nefarious 
influence. What are you going to do about it? 

Charles, king of Sweden, father of Gustavus 
Adolphus, was an earnest Protestant, and proposed 
more for the cause of religious freedom in Europe 
than he was able to accomplish. His son, who was 
wondrously gifted, even in infancy, was his father’s 
hope. Often, when some delicate and difficult re- 
formatory movement was under discussion, the king 
would lay his hand fondly upon the head of Gus- 
tavus, and say to the bystanders, “He will do it. 
He will do it.””. The world knows how ardently the 
brave son strove to fulfill his father’s prophecy. 
Will you do your part in like fashion? Will you 
courageously seize the manifest opportunities open- 
ing before you to-day, and discharge your duty in 
the fear of God? Only so can your Master “see 
of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.” 




“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed.”— 
PSA. LVII, 7. 

IF ever a king is interesting, it is not when mul- 
titudes are doffing their hats in his august presence, 
or shouting huzzas at his splendid pageantry, but 
when he is whelmed is disaster, pursued by his ene- 
mies, or beset with rebellion. Alfred the Saxon 
hiding in the cottage of a peasant while the storm 
of Danish upheaval in passing ; Louise Philippe cast 
upon the shores of Great Britain while his French 
subjects are creating a republic in Paris; James II 
housed at St. Germains with the Grand Monarch 
while a Dutch prince administers his government 
and occupies his throne,—these are more attractive, 
though more tragic, figures than any prosperous 
sovereign in the full tide of a successful reign. 

If ever a poet is fascinating, it is when his verses 
are crimsoned with the blood-drops of sorrow 


-A 4 

128 Tur Younc MAn witH A PROGRAM, 

pressed from a breaking heart, or illumined by the 
ruddy flames of martyrdom. Ovid on the bar- 
barous and inhospitable shores of the Euxine Sea, 
watching passing ships sweep grandly on to the 
Rome from which he has been cruelly banished; 
Milton submerged in the gross darkness of sight- 
less eyes, and suffering the stings of political ani- 
mosity ; Wesley singing seraphic stanzas while mobs 
of infuriated ruffians are barking at his heels,—these 
are men who take deeper hold upon our sympathy 
and imagination than the poets-laureate who bask 
in royal favor and feast on popular applause. 

I bring to your attention such a prince and such 
a poet in one personality,—David, the son of Jesse, 
illustrious through all time for superb qualities, a 
prince from whose line the Messiah is to issue at. 
length, a poet from whose deft fingers fall some of 
the noblest lines which live in literature. 


Here is a man of genius, destined to fill a large 
place in the world’s thought, announcing that he 
has found the true center of life, that he has at- 
tached himself to moorings from which he will 
never permit himself to drift, that he has surren- 
dered himself to a sacred passion which is to con- 


trol his life. That is a supreme moment in his 
career. Character is bound to be strengthened by 
such a consecration of the soul to God. 

Devotion to something we must all have, if we 
are to approximate the dignity for which we were 
created. A human heart without an absorbing pas- 
sion is like an eye without a ray of light, a mechan- 
ism without a purpose, a function without employ- 
ment. If you have seen a human being devoid of 
a profound affection, you have seen a desert where 
no flowers bloom, a wilderness where living crea- 
tures can not subsist, an abyss where unfathomable 
darkness prevails; for, as Victor Hugo says, “If 
nobody loved, the sun would be extinguished.” Let 
a great mind, which has once been dominated by a 
supreme passion, be deprived of its objective, and 
life loses its sustaining charm. Not long before his 
departure Bismarck, the “man of blood and iron,” 
said with deep pathos, “I feel tired, but I am not 
sick. My complaint is uneasiness of life, in which I 
have no longer any object. Nothing that I see gives 
me pleasure.” The loss of his beloved wife, the 
engrossment of his sons in their own pursuits, his 
involuntary retirement from political leadership, 
conspired to make his life aimless and empty. 

On the other hand, if you have known persons 


130 «Tur Younc Man witH A PROGRAM, 

with a consuming devotion to some worthy object, 
you have probably seen humanity at its best. For 
nothing is better calculated to develop the finer 
qualities of manhood and womanhood. 


The misery of much of our modern life is that 
so many persons of truly noble powers are willing 
to lavish their affections upon objects too small for 
immortal souls. They give to brutes the loving at- 
tention which ought to be conferred upon men, or 
they squander their affections on pursuits, excellent 
enough in themselves, but not of sufficient dignity 
to claim the whole devotion of a creature made in 
the image of God. It would be unjust to declare 
that the employments of the bibliophile, the anti- 
auary, the numismatist are not commendable; but 
it is only truth to say that human beings are of 
more value than richly bound books, musty manu- 
scripts, or the coins and medals of an obscure and 
distant civilization. Polite letters and scientific re- 
search may properly awaken our enthusiasm; but 
he who has the Spirit of Christ will not quarrel 
with Wesley for saying, “Gaining knowledge is a 
good thing, but saving souls is a better.” When 
John Stuart Blackie, whose contributions to the 




science of philology made him famous in two con- 
tinents, resigned his chair of Greek in the University 
of Edinburgh, and resolved to devote himself to the 
Highland crofters, he said, in extenuation of his 
course, “Let Greek and Hebrew die, let learning go 
to the dogs, but let human brotherhood and charity 
live.” To the spirit of this performance, if not to 
the act itself, we may give a respectful plaudit. 


These Comparisons enable us the better to ap- 
prehend what it is which may be properly desig- 
nated the supreme passion, and which is indicated 
in the profession of the poet-prince. He proclaims 
that he has given his heart irrevocably to God. To 
Him he will bring his imperial intellect. To His 
scepter he will swing all his immense resources of 
power. To Him he will devote the love of his 
mighty heart. The distractions of an Oriental court, 
the pomp and ceremony of a great State, the pleas- 
ures and palaces of an extensive kingdom, shall not 
be permitted to turn him aside. When these pos- 
sessions have become his, which by Divine promise 
have been guaranteed to him, he will put them un- 
der contribution to God. “My heart is fixed, O 
God, my heart is fixed. I will sing and give praise.” 

132 THe Younc Man wit A PROGRAM. 

Nothing in all the range of human ambitions can 
so steady and centralize a man’s powers as this pas- 
sion for God. Behold a modern instance of its 
efficiency. See David Livingstone in the heart of 
Africa the last year of his life, writing in his jour- 
nal on his birthday, “My Jesus, my King, my life, 
my all, I again dedicate my whole self to Thee!” 
There you have the secret of an unquenchable zeal 
which carried through perils incredible with sub- 
lime heroism one of the grandest figures of any age. 

It is this enthronement of Christ as the supreme 
object of the affections which is advocated in this 


Can any other right affections co-exist harmo- 
niously with this supreme passion? Why not? A 
Church dignitary has said, “A sermon should have 
one idea and many thoughts.” ‘Thus an earnest 
Christian may have one supreme love, and many 
other right affections. For all pure dispositions are 
related. Truth, we say, isa great unity. But it has 
manifold expressions. Truth is fundamental. 
Truths are ramifications of the true. So love that is 
pure is related essentially to all affections which 
are good in themselves. Love for wife, children, 
country, humanity are only intensified and purified 


by love for Christ. A consecrated Christian ought 
to have a finer love for nature, home, native land 
than any other person. He ought to be able to de- 
vote himself to art, literature, music, every form of 
legitimate activity, with a finer ardor than the mere 
worldling. | Havelock was every inch a soldier, 
though he was a thorough Christian. His men were 
called “Havelock’s Saints,” partially in derision, but 
the English regiments contained no better fighters. 
Daniel Webster said that whatever made a good 
Christian made a good citizen. All civil and do- 
mestic virtues have their strength renewed by a pas- 
sion for Christ. Indeed, they derive their chief 
beauty and vigor from Him. We admire the beauty 
of the flowers, the brilliant hues of bird plumage, 
the flashing splendors of the diamond, the bright 
tints of the rainbow, the azure glory of the sky, the 
purple haze of the mountains. But we must know 
that the sun alone makes this beauty visible, as it 
aione makes it possible. So Christ brightens every- 
thing pure and good by His presence in the soul. 
There is never any question about patriotism, or 
parental and filial affection, or any other com- 
mendable devotion, when Christ is the object of a 
supreme love. Moreover, there are certain prac- 
tical results of such a commanding affection which 

134 THE Younc MAN witH A PROGRAM. 

are easily discernible. Prominent among these is 
the salvation of the soul from cheap passions. 


All good affections are related in spirit. It is not 
difficult, therefore, to find illustrations of the power 
of a grand passion to redeem life from littleness. 

Here is Newton, with a passion for the problems 
of the physical universe, poring over his studies 
through the long watches of the night, and so trans- 
ported as the morning dawns with enthusiasm for 
his work that he must needs call for help to steady 
his enraptured soul, as he approaches the comple- 
tion of a great demonstration. Here is Joshua Rey- 
nolds, with a passion for art, holding his glowing 
pencil in his hand for thirty-six hours at a stretch, 
until he crowds his canvas with figures of enduring 
beauty. Here is Schliemann, with a passion for 
Oriental research, dreaming of buried Troy at eight 
years of age, finding time in the midst of uncon- 
genial and unremunerative toil, which occupies him 
from early morning till late at night, to study the 
classics; with unremitting labor acquiring the lan- 
guages of modern Europe, increasing his income 
each year by persistent industry, until at length the 
dream of his youth is realized; the civilization of 


prehistoric times is exposed to view by his spade, 
he handles the jewels and crowns of departed kings, 
and takes his place among earth’s most distin- 
guished men. Here is Henry Martyn, an English 
scholar of high degree, with a passion for lost 
humanity. He plunges into India, confronts heath- 
enism with a mild and beautiful spirit, preaches the 
Gospel with subtle power, translates the Scriptures 
into Hindustani, saying that in such delightful work 
days pass like moments. Despite premonitory 
symptoms of consumption he drives on trium- 
phantly with his work, Bible in hand, cool, coura- 
geous, wise, blameless, “from Shiraz to Ispahan, 
from Ispahan to Teheran, from Teheran to Tocat, 
from Tocat to Heaven.” 


These illustrations serve to make apparent the 
method by which a master passion for Christ will 
not only purify and intensify all other good affec- 
tions, but will also deliver life from cheap passions, 
and thus redeem it from littleness and baseness. 
We are aware how one low passion will deprive the 
soul of the power to attend to right things. Lofty 
mountains sometimes condense the cloudy moisture 
upon their slopes, and leave the plains below them 

136 THe Younc MAN with A PROGRAM. 

arid deserts. So sensuality, cupidity, or unholy am- 
bitions, if they are permitted to become the impor- 
tant elements in life, will use up the soul’s energies 
cn ignoble purposes, so that they can not be directed 
to noble aspirations. The converse of this proposi- 
tion fortunately is also true. If the soul is centered 
on some great and divine passion, its forces will be 
drawn away from the base and unworthy. Here is 
young Richter in his boyhood lying on the bank of 
a river deeply absorbed in a sensational novel. He 
suddenly lifts his eyes from the page, and exclaims, 
“This will not do. The more I read of this, the more 
disinclined to study I become,” and he tosses the 
book into the stream. Here is Jenny Lind forsak- 
ing the operatic stage despite the protests of her 
friends, because, as she declares, the pursuit of her 
profession makes it more difficult for her to enjoy 
the beauties of nature and the wonders of the Bible. 
In this fashion it will be seen that a supreme pas- 
sion for Christ will draw men away from evil. It 
is impossible to build a Chinese wall around human 
beings. They are as free as God himself. They 
can not be hemmed in by artificial restraints. But 
such self-imposed limitations are unnecessary where 
there is a supreme love for Christ in the souls of 
men. The Ten Commandments are not obsolete or 


inoperative in the lives of true Christians. They 
are spiritualized and made unconsciously sovereign 
by the power of love. Pledges of duty and rules of 
conduct are not absent from such lives, but they are 
not apparent, because they are gathered up into one 
all-embracing principle of devotion to Christ. It 
is futile to legislate on questions of conscience. But 
it is very safe to trust a person with a master pas- 
sion for Christ. Such a one may commit blunders 
of judgment, but his heart will evermore incline him 
to keep God’s law. 


The problems of life will thus be wondrously 
simplified. One of the notable defects in the lives 
of even religious people is their lack of singleness 
of devotion. Complex and various are the inter- 
ests which draw upon the affections of Christian 
people. In consequence of yielding to these in- 
fluences we find dual and triple and quadruple per- 
sonalities in one man. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are 
not mere creations of an ingenious mind. They 
are realities which society discloses all around 
us. In one of our great cities a striking ex- 
ample of the double personality has recently been 
discovered. This man has two names. By one 

138 THs Younc Man witH A PROGRAM. 

he is known to the police as a desperate character ; 
by the other he is regarded as an honest man, mak- 
ing his living by an honorable calling. He is a clever 
person, and boasts that he has earned a thousand 
dollars a year by his trade. But he has made almost 
as much in a single night through dishonest prac- 
tices. He is much attached to his aged mother, but 
he is not ashamed of having undergone penal servi- 
tude for a, murderous assault. There are many such 
persons in the world, though their good and bad 
propensities are not so glaringly displayed. There 
are Christians who are trying to hold two worlds in 
their hands, striving to serve God and mammon at 
the same time. This is not only impossible, but the 
attempt is fraught with misery. A master passion 
for Christ will straighten out such moral tangles, 
and reduce life to a simple basis of devotion to Him 
who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” 


But ethical questions are not the only problems 
which interfere with the simplification of life. 
There are intellectual difficulties respecting creeds 
which torment many honest souls. Jesus was ex- 
ceedingly delicate in his treatment of such persons. 
There is nothing kindlier in the whole range of 

Ture Younc MAN AND SuPREME PAsSION. 139 

merciful deeds than His beautiful condescension to 
the skeptical Thomas, when he said, “Reach hither 
thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither 
thy hand and thrust it into my side; and be not 
faithless, but believing.” He gave also to all 
doubtersa great working principle by which the con- 
stitutionally skeptical could test the validity of his 
teaching. “If any man will do His will, he shall 
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or 
whether I speak of myself.” In another form that 
means, Trust me and keep my commandments, and 
your uncertainties and misgivings will be dispelled. 
Let us not be so foolish as to quarrel with creeds as 
though they were inherently evil. They are val- 
uable charts showing the progress and development 
of theological thought. They are safe mooring 
places within the secure inclosure of which the re- 
ligious navigator may take refuge in stress’ of 
weather. They are points of vantage from which 
the explorer may take observations. Their con- 
venience is unquestionable. ‘They are a necessity 
of our intellectual life. When a man says he has 
no creed he stultifies himself in the estimation of 
thoughtful people, who know that he can not un- 
dertake the commonest social and commercial duties 
without having a creed tacitly, if not formally,‘con- 

140 THE Younc Man witTH A PROGRAM. 

ceived in his brain. At the same time there is no — 
power in a creed considered by itself to affect char- 
acter in any helpful way. Some of the foremost 
rascals on the earth have been the greatest sticklers 
for theological formularies. Even devils believe 
and tremble. It is safer to trust a man with a pas- 
sion for Christ in any labyrinth of perplexity and 
doubt than a man with a lapful of correct theolog- 
ical propositions who has no absorbing love for 
Christ. St. Paul was in terror of schism and dis- 
sension. And there is always just ground for such 
a fear. But we may safely go with Fairbairn, who 
said, “There is only one schism, separation from the 
great Head of the Church.” While men are cen- 
tered in Him there will be no trouble about either 
creeds or conduct, and by parity of reasoning they 
will be sound in all social and civic relations. 


Moreover, a master passion for Christ will make 
life productive of the highest usefulness and, hence, 
of the greatest happiness. Usefulness, of course, 
is not a matter of making money, but of spending 
it; not of acquiring an education, but of employing 
it for good ends; not of securing personal emolu- 
ment, but of placing it under contribution for the 


benefit of others; not of attaining success in art or 
literature or music, but of devoting that pre-emi- 
nence to the interests of society. It is strange that 
men should mistake their achievements for useful- 
ness. The money a man made in Wall Street is 
no necessary measure of his utility. The case which 
the jury gave the lawyer, the medal which the 
academy gave the artist, the office to which his fel- 
low-citizens elevated a leader, these are not meas- 
ures of a man’s usefulness, but of his ability. His 
real value consists in the conscientious use of the 
opportunities thus afforded for benefiting mankind. 
The master passion for Christ will regulate all that. 
It will not only correct and tone up his methods of 
winning success, but it will guide him to the proper 
consecration of that success. One can see Christ 
entering the counting-house and laying his pierced 
hands upon the ample securities therein treasured, 
striding into the artist’s studio, the editor’s sanctum, 
the musician’s chamber, the lawyer’s office, the states- 
man’s cabinet, and the minister’s study to receive 
the voluntary service of labor and genius for the 
help of humanity. And if Christ actually possessed 
the undivided affection of his disciples, there would 
be no pictures or books or sermons or music in the 
hands of Christians which did not bear His image 

142. THE Younc MANn wITH A PROGRAM, 

and superscription, and there would be no money or 
jewels or lands in their possession which would not 
be available for his employment. There would be 
no humanity helplessly groaning for relief, and no 
social problems vainly crying for solution, and no 
great causes dying for lack of intelligent advocates, 
and no heathen world perishing for the bread of life. 
Meanwhile, in return for the simplicity and frank- 
ness of their surrender to Christ these followers of 
our Lord would be supremely happy. For a con- 
suming devotion to Christ is the deathless secret of 
the perfectly felicitous life. 

Under a picture of the Crucifixion, Count Zin- 
zendorf wrote these words: “I have but one pas- 
sion: it is He, only He!” Let us read His words, 
and study His works, and live His life, until, all un- 
worthy competitors having faded from our soul’s 
vision, we find ourselves loving Him supremely. So 
shall life attain without a conscious effort its high- 
est possible excellence. 

Date Due 

JAN 2 1 '30 
NOV5 30 




che 3 D. ' 
S o-, rh 171 
ie a 


Library Bureau Cat. no, 1137