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WE POINT to two ways in life, and if the young man and maiden whose feet are lingering in soft green meadows and flowery paths will consider these two ways soberly and earnestly before moving onward, and choose the one that truth and reason tell them leads to honor, success and happiness, they will wisely choose the “noble life.” Every youth should form at the outset of his career the solemn purpose to make the most and the best of the powers God has given him and to turn to the best possible account every outward advantage within his reach. Decide at once upon a noble purpose, then take it up bravely, bear it off joyfully, lay it down triumphantly.

Life is grand. God made it glorious. How much life means words can not tell. Take life like a man. Take it just as it is—an earnest, vital, essential affair. Take it just as though you were personally born to the task of performing a merry part in it, as though the world had waited for your coming. Take it as though it were a grand opportunity to do and achieve, to carry forward great and good schemes, to help and cheer the suffering, weary, the brokenhearted.

We counsel the young man or woman, as the case may be, never to despair. If he can make nothing by any work that presents itself now, he can at least make himself; never be cast down by misfortunes. If a spider breaks his web, over and over he will mend it again. Do not fall behind the very insect on your walls. If the sun is going down, look up to the stars; if earth is dark, keep your eyes on heaven. With the presence and promise of God we can bear up under anything and should press on and never falter or fear. Do not rely upon others, but let there be in your own bosom a calm, deep, decided, and all-pervading principle. Look to God to aid you in the task before you and firmly plant your foot on the right. Let others live as they please—tainted by low tastes, debasing passions, a moral putrefaction. Be you the salt of the earth; incorrupt in your deeds, in your inmost thoughts and feelings; your manners blameless; your views of duty not narrow, false, and destructive, but a savor of life to all around you. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with the salt of truth, honor, manliness, and benevolence.

Now, dear reader, a word in conclusion. Have you ever thought of the influence of a life? You know that God has made you, fashioned all your members, and breathed into you the breath of life. Stop and think for what purpose he has done so. Surely he did not intend to form you and place you in this world for no higher end than that you might live to yourself, seeking only your own gratification. No you can not think so. He formed you for his glory, placed you here, and gave you a work to do for him. Here you must exercise the influence of a life. There are only two sides—God’s and Satan’s. Your life must exercise an influence on some around you, either for good or evil. It must do so even if that influence be unconscious. Oh, rest not till you can say from your heart that you belong to God and that your desire is that God’s great gift to you of life may be used for his glory, that the love of Jesus in your own heart may constrain you to seek to lead others to him also, and that the Holy Spirit may bless to those around you the influence of your life. All may not know how much God has used them for his glory. But be assured that no Christian life is spent in vain. And what we know not now Christ has told us we shall know hereafter. Our duty is to reflect our Savior’s light, leaving in his hands the effect that light shall produce on others.

The writer of this book is hoping that some of its young readers will pause and think how solemn a thing it is to live, is hoping to lead them to consider that the great gift of life has been given to them by God, not to be frittered away in the vain follies of the world, but to be spent in the service of their blessed Savior, whose yoke they will find to be easy and whose burden is light. This is the earnest prayer of the writer to Him whose blessing alone maketh the words of man of any avail.

One has well said:


Thou must be true to thyself

If thou the truth wouldst teach;

Thy soul must overflow if thou

Another’s soul would reach;

It needs the overflow of heart

To give the lips full speech.


Think truly, and thy thoughts

Shall the world’s famine feed;

Speak truly and each word of thine

Shall be a truthful seed;

Live truly, and thy life shall be

A great and noble creed.