« EelmineJätka »
too, were not forgotten by him. He had a smile—and a gracious one it was—for every child and youth he met; and they knew him but to love him. Hence, when he died, and the news of his departure spread from street to street, and from town to town, all said, “ We have lost a friend.” With sad hearts they went up to the sanctuary to look once more upon the face of him whom they loved—the aged with grateful memories in their hearts, and the young with offerings of flowers in their hands.
This good man kept a diary. On January 1, 1852, he wrote as follows :
"The expenditure for all objects since January 1, 1842 (ten years), has been one hundred and twenty thousand pounds, more than five-sixths of which have been applied in making other people happy; and it is no trouble to find objects for all I have to spare.”
During his life he expended one hundred and forty thousand pounds in charitable purposes.
His pastor said of him, in a sermon,“We have met with a great loss. Death has snatched from us one whose departure will be sorely felt and widely lamented by many who saw him daily, and by many who never saw him.
His person was unknown to them, but his name was enshrined in the love and gratitude of their hearts. He will be missed here in this house of worship, and we must all unite our zeal, our fidelity and devotedness, to make his place good among us. He will be missed in our streets, where his cheerful presence has been so long known and noticed by all. He will be missed among the poor, and in our hospitals and asylums, where his frequent visits and presents brought a ray of light to many a darkened mind, and of gladness to many a sorrowing heart. He will be missed in the family circle, where he was an object of love."
The president of a college also remarks: “He was a true man, in sympathy with suffering humanity, and was always glad—it gave him real pleasure—to find a worthy object of his bounty. He sought out such objects. He learned the histories of reverses, and of noble struggles with adversity, that were stranger than fiction. Those thus struggling be placed in positions to help themselves, furnishing them, if necessary, with money to set them up in business. He visited alms-houses, and hospitals, and insane asylums, and retreats for the deaf and dumb, and the blind, and became deeply interested in many of their inmates. He was watchful of every thing needed there for comfort or for instruction, and his presence always carried sunshine with it. He distributed useful books. He aided genius, and encouraged promising talent. A true son of New England, he appreciated education, and gave his money and his influence to extend it, and to elevate its standard in every grade of our institutions, from the primary school to the college."
Such a man was the late Amos Lawrence, who was the youth mentioned as in the shop in Groton. His character is worthy the study and imitation of every youth in the land.
When a poor boy becomes a wealthy, influential, virtuous, and honoured man, it is worth while for the young to ask, “How?” For others may also become useful and renowned by adopting similar rules of life, and cultivating similar traits of character.
There is always a connection between youth and manhood—the former usually decides what the latter shall be. Hence, it is more important for the young than for the old to understand the elements of such success. For they can be benefited by this knowledge, while it is too late for the aged to be improved by it.
The object of these pages is to assist the young men in learning how the poor boy of Groton in 1799, became a merchant prince of Boston. We have seen that he was exposed to many temptations in early life; but these he overcame, and every obstacle he surmounted proved but a stepping-stone to increased success.
AT HOME AND ABROAD.
CHARACTER is generally formed at home. Very few sons and daughters change for the better after leaving the paternal roof. Some change for the worse, and have occasion to lament that they ever forgot the lessons, and broke away from the restraints of home. If the young would but appreciate the influence of parental love, counsel, discipline, and fidelity, upon their future career, happy would it be. Days and years of unhappiness and misery would be spared them; and bitter, harassing regrets would bring down fewer parents with sorrow to the
grave. A connection between youth and manhood is, then, easily traced. Good boys make good men. Bad boys make bad men. There are few exceptions to this rule. Hence we should justly infer that young Lawrence was a loving, obedient, faithful son in the family. Let us
It is not necessary to have the testimony of his parents that he was such a son. It is enough to know how he lived after he left home. Disobedient, unnatural sons are not likely to do well abroad. They seldom retain marked affection for their kindred, and are not often heard to speak of them in terms of reverence and affection, Their letters home are few and far between, if indeed they write at all; and they are cold, unaffectionate communications at best. When I see a young man living away from his father's family, yet never speaking of its members with any warmth of feeling, allowing month after month to pass without writing to them, and visiting them no oftener than he feels compelled to do, I conclude that he was not a good son in his youth. At any rate, it is far different with model sons. They are strongly attached to the family circle. They leave it very reluctantly. They never see a sadder day, possibly, than that on which they bid adieu to father and mother, brothers and sisters, to enter upon some chosen pursuit for life. They often send kind messages home.
. Their letters to the family friends are frequent; and they delight to visit the place of ther birth. No child ever loved home more than youug
Lawrence. During the seven years of his apprenticeship in the store at Groton, his time was almost wholly occupied, but he never allowed an opportunity of visiting his parents to pass unimproved. This attachment was so strong that it did not diminish with the lapse of years ; on the other hand, it seemed rather to grow with his growth and strengthen with his strength. After he became of age and went to Boston to reside, he found no time to visit Groton, except on Saturday afternoon, so as to reach home before Sunday began. On his return, he would leave Groton after twelve o'clock on Sunday night, and arrive in Boston on Monday morning by sunrise, thus depriving himself of rest, to gratify his affection for his relatives. The fact that he endeavoured to make these occasional visits so as not to encroach upon the Sabbath, speaks well for his principles. Many young men would have decided to sleep soundly on Saturday night, and drive over to Groton, in a fast way, on Sunday morning. But our young friend was early taught to regard the Lord's day, and he had not forgotten the early lesson.
About this time his letters to his brothers and sisters were frequent, and they shew that absence had not diminished his affection. In one of them he wrote:
“ DEAR E.-Although the youngest, you are no less dear to me than the other sisters. To you, therefore, I ought to be as liberal in affording pleasure as to S. and M.; and, if there is any benefit resulting from them, you have a claim to it as well as they. From these considerations, and with the hope that you will write to to me whenever you can do so with convenience, I have begun a correspondence which I hope will end only with life."
A few days after, he wrote to the same sister, and the following extracts will shew the character of the letter:
“ From you, my dear sister, the injunction not to forget the duties of religion, comes with peculiar grace.