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stranger, have we been impressed with feelings, the cause of which we could not explain. Sometimes it is a charm, sometimes a feeling of repulsion. There can be no doubt that it was the spiritual influence of that stranger's character, darted into our spirits along the invisible wires that God has laid between the souls of His creatures. It is by this unseen and mysterious process that the mightiest influences of characters are exerted upon us.
Sometimes we call this influence sympathy, sometimes love, sometimes repulsion, sometimes pleasure, sometimes pain. But though we give it these names, it is felt in its strongest power. When we name it not, when we feel it not, and know it not, it is at work. It is always on its sleepless mission. Then how solemn the thought that our characters are all the time operating upon all with whom we associate, whether we will or not.” Young persons
“I can never have much influence in the world, if I try. My avocation is such as to render it impossible for me to do much good or evil.” This is poor reasoning. It is with influence just as it is with the virtues considered in the foregoing chapters. A man can make them nearly what he pleases. No matter what his calling may be, nor how humble his origin, if his character be “fair as the moon and clear as the sun,” his influence will spread as the light.
Years ago a young man said to an intimate friend, as they were discussing the condition of the world : “My brother, you and I are little men, but before we die our influence must be felt on the other side of the world.” A listener would have pronounced it jesting or a hallu
cination. That a young man, in humble circumstances, about to enter the work of the ministry, could hope to exert such a far-reaching influence, seemed more a delusion than reality. But a few years only passed away, and the above words of the student were remarkably verified. That young man was Samuel J. Mills, whose missionary labours in Asia and Africa are known to the Christian world. Though he died in early life, he laid the foundation of Christian institutions “
on the other side of the world,” and to-day his influence lives to bless thousands of the human family.
On one cold winter morning of 1807, the preceptor of the academy in the town of Plainfield, Massachusetts, found a boy, fifteen years of age, in his schoolroom, as he entered it, who had walked from an adjoining town, the distance of seven miles. He told the teacher that he wanted an education. acquaintances in this place to render you assistance ?" the teacher inquired. “ No." “ Can your parents aid you ?" "No."
“Have you any friends or relations to help you ?" "No."
Well, how do you expect to obtain an education ?” “I don't know, but I thought I would come and see you.” There was little prospect that this poor youth would make his influence felt very far. But he has. Who has not heard of Dr Jonas King, our persevering and learned missionary in Greece. Perhaps no man ever exerted a more powerful influence upon the affairs of Greece than this preacher of the Gospel.
Such facts shew that men who possess the principal qualities developed in these pages will have an influence in the world. They prove that a controlling power over
“ Have you any the affairs of mankind is within the reach of the apparently humblest youth.
That the reader may perceive that the case of Lawrence is not an exception, but that the influence of other merchants of similar character has been great, we quote the following regarding Jonathan Goodhue, a late merchant of New York city. It is the recognised worth of private character which has extorted this homage. It is not what he has done, but what he has been, which thus attracts the gratitude and respect of this community. Jonathan Goodhue had succeeded, during a long and active life of business, in which he became known to almost all our people through the ordinary relations of trade and commerce, in impressing them with a deep and essential goodness. Collecting its evidence from a thousand untraceable sources, from the unconscious notice of his uniform and consistent life, from the indirect testimony of the thousands who dealt with him, from personal observation, and from the very countenance and manners of the man, this community had become penetrated with the conviction of his changeless virtue, of his spotless honour, of his secret and thorough worth.”
The history of this man was not wholly unlike that of Lawrence. At fifteen years
he entered a shop in Salem, where he not only enjoyed a good opportunity of making himself familiar with business, but also was daily impressed by the exemplary life of his good employer. From the first month of his entrance into that shop he began to advance, and his career was ever onward and upward, until his influence was second to no merchant in the great metropolis where he died.
Τ Η Ε
YOUNG MAN'S SABBATH.
On the first Sabbath after Amos Lawrence took up sidence in Boston, he worshipped at Brattle-street church. He had been taught to reverence the Sabbath as a day of rest and worship, and the first Sabbath of his absence from home found him acting consistently with his early lessons, and the convictions of his heart. From that day he considered himself a member of the Brattlestreet congregation, until he joined that larger congregation in the “temple not made with hands.” His pastor said of him :
“A constant worshipper here during the forty-six years of his residence in this city, for more than forty years of this period a communicant, and for more than ten a deacon of this church-resigning the office, at length, because of his invalid state of health—he had strong attachments to this house of God. 'Our venerable church,' he says in one of his notes to me, 'has in it deeply impressive, improving, instructive, and interesting associations, going back to the early days of my worshipping there; and the prayers of my friends and fellow-worshippers of three generations, came in aid of my weakness in time of need; and no other spot, but that home where I was first taught my prayers,
my domestic fireside, where my children have been taught theirs, has the same interest as our own Brattlesquare
Here we discover another secret of Lawrence's suc
For the reader will bear in mind that whatever contributed to form his good character served, more or less directly, to crown his secular efforts with success. The fact of his selecting some definite place of worship, and cementing himself with the congregation by securing a seat, so as to feel that he was one with them, must have been of great moral advantage. Contrast his course, in this particular, with that of many a young man who takes up his abode in the city. The Sabbath comes, and, if at all disposed to attend service among strangers, he visits one church in the morning, another in the afternoon, and perhaps a third in the evening. He has heard of Drs A., B., and C., and of the Rev. Mr D., whose reputation for talents and eloquence has awakened his curiosity, and he resolves to hear them in turn. In this way, Sabbath after Sabbath is spent in going from church to church-those of his own and other denominations—until he has begotten and nurtured the desires and habits of a roving worshipper, which is one of the great evils incident to the life of many country-born lads in the city. Such a course prevents the forming of any attachments to a particular society, and hence precludes the possibility of cherishing special interest in any religious enterprise.
Now, we contend that the simple connection of a youth or young man with a religious society, by hiring a seat, and paying something towards meeting its current expenses, has a most elevating influence upon his character. It enlists the highest and noblest feelings in behalf of a high and holy object. It brings him into the company of the best class of the community