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worldly associates would at heart have respected them
We submit to the reader, if this is not a most important subject for his consideration. Can you be at a loss which course of action to choose, the selfish or benevolent?
Suppose you were to become very wealthy, of what possible use would your riches be to you, beyond the necessary wants of each day, except to bestow upon others? The Hon. Edward Everett once related the following incident in a speech at a public dinner : “Some one was asked whether he would be willing to take care of all Mr Astor's property-one or two millions sterling-merely for his board and clothing.
“No,' was the answer; do you think me a fool ?'
“Well, rejoined the other, that is all Mr Astor himself gets for taking care of it; he is found, and that is all. The houses, the warehouses, the ships, the farms which he counts by the hundred, and is obliged to take care of, are for the accommodation of others.'
“ • But then he has the income, the rents of all this mighty property, above one hundred thousand pounds per annum.'
“Yes, but he can do nothing with his income but build more houses, and warehouses, and ships, or lend more money on mortgages for the convenience of others. He is found, and you can make nothing else out of it."
There is much meaning in this anecdote. However much wealth a person has, he derives no personal benefit from it, after deducting his own expenses of living, except in giving it away. If he hoards it, he of course enjoys nothing from spending, and no more from giving it, for he does neither. The son of Mr Astor, now living in New York city, has an income of £600 per day, and yet he is obliged to live on a Graham diet to ward off the gout, and his whole expense of living is not more than £3 a week. Does he enjoy any more, or even so much, as the labourer who earns £3 per week ? Is not the latter just as well off as Astor ?
Reader, never forget that, unless your money is used in the way of benevolence, more than you need for a livelihood is of no particular benefit to you. Indeed, it may prove the greatest curse of your life. There is nothing that so stints and corrupts the soul as hoarded wealth, unless it be the gross forms of vice which shock our sensibilities. What a thrilling announcement of Scripture is that to a class of the wealthy: “Your gold and
your silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat up your flesh as it were fire !” Far better be poor, and dwell in a hovel, than have riches in a palace, with the curse that falls upon a penurious or miserly spirit.
That benevolence was one of the elements of Lawrence's success, no one can doubt. We can readily see that it must have created a public feeling in his favour, and established a strong bond of sympathy between him and his fellow-men. It probably did much to secure that almost unparalleled public confidence which he shared, It shewed to the world that he was not in the “ race for riches,” to promote his own aggrandisement; and this does much to win the hearts of men. Moreover, does not his life prove that those promises of God's Word, respecting the rewards of benevolence, are a living reality ? that they are not unmeaning words, as the practice of many individuals appears to say ? God was evidently with him, and crowned that noble spirit of benevolence which marked his life with eminent
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase : so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses burst out with new wine.”
“ The liberal soul shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.”
“There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches."
“ The liberal man deviseth liberal things ; and by liberal things shall he stand.”
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to
“He which soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully."
DISCRIMINATION is the faculty of distinguishing the nature, tendency, and relations of things. Men differ very much in this particular—those wanting this power
being found among the unsuccessful class. They who are not discriminating do not seek to know the reason of things, they make failures in buying and selling, inventing and planning, and in many other things which they attempt to do.
Let me illustrate. Thousands of people had seen an apple fall, again and again, before Newton saw it in the garden; but his active mind was stimulated thereby to inquire, why? He could not rest satisfied until he thoroughly understood the cause of this phenomenon. The great mass of men cared nothing about the fall of an apple; not they. “Let it fall,” their practice only said. But Newton would know the reason. So, many had witnessed the oscillations of the lamp in the temple of Pisa without once thinking of the cause. But Galileo exclaimed, when he saw it: “The world is in motion." He knew there must be a cause for that oscillation, and he was determined to know it. In like manner, Ferguson differed from most of those around him in desiring to know the cause of eclipses; and he sought until he found it.
Now, these men were distinguished for the quality under discussion. Even in their boyhood they were known above all their companions for inquiring into the why and wherefore of things. Newton was the youthful inventor of the kite and wind-mill. His discernment led him to the belief that a kite would sail in the air, and a wind-mill fly in the wind. He set himself to work to apply his theory, and succeeded. Galileo was wont to spend his time in mending the toys of his companions, instead of joining in their sports. They cared more about play than knowledge; but he loved
to see how things were made better than to sport with them after they were constructed. Ferguson, also, was distinguished for this quality. He was ever studying into the mechanism of the articles around him. He learned exactly how a clock was constructed by examining his father's. Then he wanted to understand the principle upon which a watch is constructed ; and he accomplished his object in the following way : One day a gentleman was passing his father's house, on horseback, and stopped to make some inquiry of young Ferguson, who was in the yard, concerning the way. After politely giving the gentleman the information required, he asked him what was the time of day. The gentleman took out his watch and told him; whereupon the boy asked for the privilege of looking into it. The gentleman readily granted permission. His first question was :
“What makes that box go round !” “A steel spring," the owner replied. “How in the world can a steel spring in a box turn it around so as to wind up all the chain ?” This was explained; but the lad said: “I don't see through it yet.” “Well, my young friend,” said the gentleman," take a long thin piece of whalebone ; hold one end of it fast between your finger and thumb, and wind it round your finger; it will then endeavour to unwind itself; and if you fix the other end of it to the inside of a small hoop, and leave it to itself, it will turn the hoop round and round, and wind up a thread tied to the inside.” This was enoughFerguson understood it—he went home and made a wooden watch, which he put into a case of the size of a tea-cup.
These facts are cited to shew, not only what discri