Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

"help" is always timely and welcome. Both together may bring sound instruction and blessing that will endure. It is with such a hope that these brief and varied papers are issued, -blending as they do the breathing example with the less lively but not less pointed precept. If any one gets here a hint of better things or a help on the way, this little volume will not be in vain.

CHAPTER I.

CHARACTER AND INFLUENCE.

I. THE POWER OF CHARACTER.

THE

'HE greatest power which a man wields in

this world is the power of character—an influence that emanates from the summary of his sterling virtues. This is substantial and enduring in comparison with the influence that springs from any other. cause. That which results from the acquisition of wealth or office is liable to vanish any day, since both the wealth and office may disappear thus suddenly. But power that is based on character is lasting as character itself. It has taken time to develop those sturdy elements of character that command the respect of beholders, and the power which they wield in consequence is not evanescent. It is real worth of soul-qualities, and it will stand. Calumny and scandal cannot rob it of its true value, however virulent and spiteful

they are. They may blacken it for the time being in the eyes of some, but this is readily removed, like tarnish from solid silver.

On this point young men frequently hold mistaken notions. They witness, for example, the deference that is paid to rank, and follow the man who is lauded to the skies for the office that he fills, and they say that “rank yields the greater power to man.” Or they behold the rich man, with his retinue of servants, and observe the homage which is paid to him for his wealth, and they say that "wealth will give the greater power." On this account we find one striving for position and another for wealth, as a means of acquiring power over men. Their plans are laid and their pursuits are chosen with reference to this resultsecuring power through the acquisition of riches or distinction, or something of the kind. Tact, shrewdness, skill, also come in necessary instrumentalities in accomplishing the object. Much dependence is often placed on these latter means to rise in the world. To be shrewd at a bargain or wire-pulling is thought to be indispensable to the end proposed, whatever may be the principles that lie back of this in the heart. A great mistake this.

A sterling character, that has been formed by strict adherence to right and duty through a series

as

« ForrigeFortsett »