At the start of this series, it did seem at first that the good pastor was harder on the ladies, but as we continue, I think not. He was just operating on the principles of ladies first. now he’s off and running with a long list of things the Ideal Young Man must be, must do, must aspire to.
“Over the page of the writer, over the bust of the sculptor or canvas of the painter, over the home of the husband and wife, there should hover the divine ideal, till each would say, “This work is not my best. I must do better than this.”
Over each of your finished products, you may well say as the old painter of Sienna said as he stood before his canvas, “May God forgive me that I did not do it better.
Thus desire, never tiring in the everlasting pursuit of hope, will sing:
Still through our paltry stir and strife,
Glows down the wished ideal,
And longing molds in clay what life
Carves in the marble real;
To let the new life in, we know,
Desire must ope the portal-
Perhaps the longing to be so
Helps make the soul immortal.
It is a great privilege to be a young man to day. Behind you is the ever ascending pathway of our fathers leading up to the present high plane of achievements. Before you are the ever widening fields awaiting your sowing and reaping. In the literature of to morrow you are to be more than punctuation points. In the homes of to-morrow you are to be more than mere boarders. Keep yourselves sound at the core so you may become pillars in the temples of both church and state. In the business world you are not to be things, but men.
A traveler tells of seeing the following on a tombstone in England:
‘Here lies ______.
He was born a man.
He died a grocer.’
That man had been drowned in his business.
Remember that a crash in character is far more serious than a crash on Wall Street, that converting grain and railroad stock into cash is far less important than converting a sinner into a saint.
As a beneficiary of this Christian nation, you have an obligation to both Christ and Caesar and the obligation you owe to one is not after all so very different from the obligation you owe to the other.
Christ was an ideal citizen. He loved Jerusalem more than any licentious Roman could love Rome. He was infinitely more interested in her welfare than was the blatant priesthood that charged him with treason. He wept over her disgraces as every true citizen should weep over our nation’s shame,
and her coming humiliation broke his patriotic heart.
Nothing but Christian citizenship is worthy your attempt. If you are a Christian citizen, you will not abdicate the throne of power in favor of the vile god of rum. No man or nation can be lynx-eyed and dizzy-headed at the same time.
Shun that most common form of atheism that allows you to worship God in your homes and in the church, but does not hinder you from denying him in your business and at the voting booth. This is the very worst form of atheism and goes out only by fasting and prayer.
Judas sold his Lord for about fifteen dollars, but in the voting booth men have been known to sell him for a mere devil’s promise of some petty office- which promise, his satanic majesty never expected to fulfill.
Acting on right principles, any legitimate profession may become sacred. Unless you do so act, even the ministry is the profanest of professions. Your profession is quite largely incidental. Your character, your virtue, and your integrity are everything. But any reputation you may crave will turn to ashes unless He is its inspiration. Thus inspired, thought is as sacred and holy as prayer. Thus led, your thoughts become your sweetest invocations, and your office or desk becomes your sacred temple, where daily you meet God face to face. New thoughts are given us not for mere admiration or selfish boasting, but for the same general purpose as that for which Christ used the cross- to save men. Remember, too, that self possession is one of the first and essential laws of giving. Before you can give yourself to any great cause you must own yourself in self-mastery. Therefore, keep thyself pure is the divine injunction laid at the threshold of all truly great lives. Easy faiths go with easy men. Weak faiths and weak men are boon companions. A weak man swears off. Strong men quit. Beware! A strenuous life demands a strenuous faith. A man with opinions lets things go. A man with a strenuous faith makes things go.”