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as a sorcerer.
of herbage was left uninjured, in the centre of its bite. As to that which formed the burden of the beast, the busy ants informed me that it was corn on the one side, and the clustering flies, that it was honey on the other.”
That disposition among men to ascribe the eminent success of some persons to good fortune does not differ very much from the merchants who arrested the dervise
He had been a keen observer of men and their affairs, and this alone so distinguished him from his accusers that they really regarded him as a
If the reader will study the lives of those men who have the reputation of being the favourites of fortune, he will find that, in common with other qualities, they are like the dervise in the Arabian tale, discriminating.
That pupil who wins laurels in the school-room, possesses this quality. So does he who becomes a famed surgeon, like John Hunter, or a renowned musician, like Handel. So does the mason who becomes a geologist, and the blacksmith who masters fifty languages, and the shoemaker who rises to distinction as a scholar and statesman. So does the shepherd boy who turns out a learned astronomer, and the young clerk who finally is known as the prince of merchants.
THE reader must have observed how wide and pure was the influence of Mr Lawrence. Even far back in his
youth, when he was associating with several young clerks, we discover that his example and precepts were unexceptionable. No companion received the slightest taint from anything he said or did. On the other hand, his strict regard to propriety must have exerted a restraining and beneficial influence over them. He was such a youth as considerate parents would have their sons associate with. Temperate, frugal, industrious, enterprising, intelligent, amiable, moral—would not these qualities tend to bless all whom he made familiar friends ? A youth, on his bed of death, once exclaimed: “Oh that I could take all my wicked influence and bury it with me in the grave !" He had been reckless and vicious, and more than one associate had been corrupted by his pernicious life; and now, that he was on the verge of eternity, he would, if possible, recall every word and act of sin, and bury them in oblivion. But this he could not do. After he was gone, his influence would continue to live. Had Amos Lawrence died ere he went to the city of Boston, no such regret would have disturbed his soul. A retrospective view of the past, would, at least, have been pleasant, by awakening the reflection that no one was the worse for his having lived.
Many of the incidents already narrated shew how careful Mr Lawrence was of his influence in later life. Those young men whom he employed in his store preserved unsullied characters. They are now occupying posts of distinction, and bear testimony to the ever exemplary walk of their beloved employer. This is one of the most interesting views to take of an employer's whole career-his influence upon the young men in his service. He enjoys a favourable opportunity to make salutary impressions, that will live in their characters long after he himself is dead. Mr Lawrence was one of the excellent few who appear to have realised it; and no opportunity to lead a young man in the path of rectitude, both by precept and example, was lost.
Think also of his influence upon the citizens around him. It was not only good, but great. His presence always challenged respect and esteem. His very name was associated in every circle with all that is valuable in purity and usefulness. None knew but to honour him. And this influence was to him as much a talent as his money. He appeared to regard it in this light, and use it with equal wisdom and sense of responsibility.
Moreover, his influence through his large benevolence was very extensive. Doubtless, if he had devoted himself to learning, he would have made a useful man in some of the learned professions. Yet, he might not have accomplished more good if he had been a minister of the Gospel, probably not as much. For his wealth enabled him to provide for the education of many for this profession, and to aid every philanthropic enterprise as he otherwise could not have done. It is sometimes said of a young person, “he ought to be a minister," when, perhaps, he ought not to be one. The case of Lawrence may serve for an illustration. If his wealth enabled him to do more good than he could have done without it in the ministry, then he was wise in deciding to be a merchant. This is a subject important for the young to consider, when the various callings of life come up before them for choice. Duty says: “Choose that which will be of the greatest benefit to
-a principle which determines, we fear, the choice of
few. Nearly every one of the men whose names have been introduced into this volume were distinguished for moral power of character, and that for good. Purity of motive and conduct is essential to wide-spread, salutary influence. Some may have been moral from policy rather than principle; and if so, it was because they saw thať a high standard of moral action is necessary to secure the respect and confidence of mankind. When it is known that a man is actuated by selfish motives, or is corrupt at heart, his power over others is comparatively lost, shewing that the influence of good principles and conduct is indispensable to the highest suc
Let the reader reflect, at this point, upon the awful responsibility of evil influence. Think of leading another into paths of vice, and starting him off upon a career of guilt that will terminate in hopeless ruin. Who will dare run the dreadful hazard ? When John Newton was a youth, he became a sailor. He was second to no shipmate in evil propensities and deeds. On board the same ship was a youth of his own age, with whom he became particularly intimate. He was bent, too, upon his ruin. He seemed to desire to make him equally wicked with himself, and he succeeded. The youth became corrupt and profligate. Years rolled by, and Newton was converted, and entered the ministry. Subsequently he met his old shipmate in a certain seaport, upon his death-bed. The meeting was unexpected and serious to both. They were now in middle life. The dying man was horrified at the approach of death, and Newton knew full well that he brought him to the gates of hell by his own wicked conduct. We can readily conceive of the intense and distressing anxiety with which Newton stood by, and pointed him to the Lamb of God. With tears and supplications he besought him to flee to Christ. But it was vain. The profligate died without hope; and Newton said that, though he himself might be pardoned, and go to heaven, it would always be true that one soul was in perdition which he sent there. Awful thought! No reformation can recall an influence that is already working death. It will continue to roll on, like a wave of the sea, when the penitent author of it has perhaps yielded his guilty soul to Christ.
If the reader were presiding at an organ in the sanctuary, and he knew that if he touched the keys in a particular way it would send a thrill of delight through every heart in the assembly, and that if he touched them otherwise a twinge of excruciating pain would extort a shriek from every worshiper, how carefully would he handle those keys ! Eye, ear, hand, soul, body, his entire self, would be engaged, to occasion the emotion of joy instead of the thrill of anguish. But here is only a symbol of that delicate arrangement of Providence through which we cause joy or sorrow by our influence. Every youth commands the keys of moral power, and as he touches them properly or otherwise, he will gladden or sadden many hearts around him. Oh, beware how you employ this mysterious power! Study to make joyous every soul you can reach by the purity of a welllived life. A writer says:
“ How often, when we have met a