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of Aristotle in his sixteenth year, and his energies never flagged until his purpose was accomplished. At twelve years of age, Philip Melancthon resolved to devote himself to theological studies. He entered the University of Heidelberg, where he was made Bachelor of Arts at fourteen, and Doctor of Philosophy at seventeen ; at twenty-one he was appointed Professor of Ancient Languages in the University of Wittemberg, and at twenty-four published his most celebrated work. Pope devoted himself to poetry even when a child, wrote his "Rape of the Lock," "Temple of Fame," and other pieces, before he was twenty, but did not attain the climax of his renown until he was forty, when he wrote his “Dunciad,” and “Essay on Man.” The same was true of Milton, who was but seventeen years old when he composed his stanzas “On the Death of a Fair Infant,” and his “Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity ;" from which time he continued to develop his wonderful genius, until his efforts were crowned with that immortal work—“ Paradise Lost.” These were men of one purpose.
Such men are sometimes sneeringly called men of “one idea." But they are the only men who have accomplished much in the world. The one leading thought of Alexander's life was a conqueror's fame ; that of Pitt was the statesman's sphere ; that of Herschel, the science of the stars; that of Newton was philosophy; that of Pascal, mathematics ; that of Davy, chemistry; that of Wilberforce, British emancipation ; that of Mozart, music; that of Sir Thomas Lawrence, painting: and thus on through the whole catalogue of worthies who have lived in past ages.
It is of no particular consequence whether Amos Lawrence definitely resolved to nurture this trait of character or not. It is sufficient for our object to know that he possessed it. We simply desire to call the attention of youth and young men to the fact that he, in common with other men of mark, had one commanding purpose of life. This is evidently one of the conditions of success, or we should not find it to pervade the numerous characters named. Nor is it difficult to perceive how this quality influences the life to such a degree. For the mind is ever active-conceiving, planning, doing. and when one great purpose commands its powers, they all unite in striving for its attainment. It is the dividing of the attention between two or more objects that is the cause of so many abortive attempts in human enterprises.
Let the reader appreciate this subject. He may possess this quality by nature as many do, so that its development follows without particular attention to it. But if he is inclined to waste his energies upon different objects, he has reason to give heed to the foregoing counsels. Every day and hour he should watch himself, lest minor purposes divide his attention, and leave but half a heart for what ought to be the leading object of life. A good writer
who would succeed in life is like a marksman firing at a target : if his shots miss the mark, they are a waste of powder; to be of any service at all, they must tell in the bull's eye, or
So in the great game of life, what a man does must be made to count, or it is of little use. How worthless is the merely active man, who, though busy
from sunrise to sunset, dissipates his labour on trifles, when he ought skilfully to concentrate it on some great end.'
It is recorded of Hezekiah : “And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered." All other men prosper in their undertakings, when, in addition to prompt, diligent, and persevering efforts, in connection with singleness of purpose, they pursue their business with all their hearts. This is what gives energy,
and is usually a primary element of success.
Young Lawrence attended to his business “ with all his heart.” Indeed, this has been implied in what has been said of his industry, punctuality, and singleness of purpose. No person can possess those traits in a high degree, without having his heart in his work. It requires constant interest in one's pursuit to maintain, at all times, industrious and prompt habits amid the numerous temptations and inducements to the contrary. So that we have only to know that Lawrence possessed the qualities already ascribed to him, to be assured that energy was also an element of his character.
There are many clerks and other employees, whose hearts are not in their business, simply because the
business is not their own. Were they engaged in the same work on their own account, they would shew themselves to be far more energetic and efficient. It is a form of selfishness as contemptible as it is common. Youny Lawrence did not belong to this class. as he was an apprentice in the shop at Groton, he toiled for his master, just as he did afterwards for himself. He never appeared to think, as thousands do, “Well, this is not my business, and I will not exert myself to make it prosper. It is nothing to me whether my employer makes money or not, so long as I get my pay.” No! he possessed too much honour and conscience to reason thus. His time and energies belonged to his employer, and he appeared to so understand it. Early and late, year after year, through the whole of his seven years' service, he served his master with as much energy as he afterwards exhibited for himself.
The early life of Lawrence shews that he possessed marked energy of character. The first is that instance of decision when he took a stand for total abstinence against the example and derision of his fellow-clerks. It is not always the case that energy and decision are found together, though it is generally so. We have known instances of great energy among public men, as statesmen and ministers, where there was a total lack of decision, in times that especially tried them. Either fear or a time-serving spirit caused them to cower before the popular voice. But in the character of Amos Lawrence, the two elements were combined. Such decision as his, in refusing to touch the intoxicating cup, while no one regarded it as an ril, must have had no little energy behind it to enable him to keep the noble resolution. The whole heart must have been in the resolve, or he would have faltered before the example and advice of his associates. But he did not flinch one iota. He resolved to do it, and he did it-evidence of the right kind of energy.
If we look around us, we discover a great difference in men in this particular. Many plod along from year to year, snail-like, in the performance of their labours, not idle nor negligent, but yet without force enough to make much advancement in the world. Others are really shiftless, perhaps meaning well enough, but always lagging behind, and always poor. They are not up and at work early, but are well satisfied to get to their business any time before the morning has passed. Their hearts are not in their work—they do it only because it is a stern necessity. A large portion of the human family belong to this class. They pursue their daily employment only to save themselves and families from starvation.
A writer speaks of this subject in the following interesting manner. He is shewing the difference between the man of business and the business тап,
says: “ It is a great mistake to confound these two characters, as is frequently done by the thoughtless and unreflecting. The difference between them is the difference between the man who ascends the ladder of fortune with à quick, lithe, and easy step, and he who is always attempting to climb and never gets beyond the first round or two of the ascent. And how many of this latter class do we see—the men of business who are always standing at the bottom, looking upward, yet never put their hands and feet to the work. They don't