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No Excellence Without Labor.
Nothing great and good can be accomplished without labor and toil. Motion is the law of living nature. Inaction is the symbol of death, if it is not death itself. The hugest engines, with strength and capacity sufficient to drive the mightiest ships across the stormy deep, are utterly useless without a moving power.
Energy is the steam power, the motive principle of intellectual capacity. It is the propelling force; and as in physics momentum is resolvable into velocity and quantity of matter, so in metaphysics, the extent of human accomplishment may be resolvable into the degree of intellectual endowment and the energy with which it is directed. A small body driven by a great force will produce a result equal to, or even greater than, that of a much larger body moved by a considerably less force. So it is with minds. Hence we often see men of comparatively small capacity, by greater energy alone, leave, and justly leave, their superiors in natural gifts far behind them in the race for honors, distinction and preferment.-ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.
Labor Is Life.
Labor is life! 'Tis the still water faileth;
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth;
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth;
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Labor is glory! The flying cloud lightens;
Only the waving wing changes and brightens;
Idle hearts only the dark future frightens.
Play the sweet keys, wouldst thou keep them in tune!
Labor is rest from the sorrows that greet us;
Work, and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow;
FRANCES S. OSGOOD.
All Labor Sacred.
It has been too much the fashion to divide the service of God from the work of the world, to call on men to leave all to follow Christ-as if Christ meant, when He called Peter and Matthew away for a special missionary work, that no one should remain to do the needful works of life, and that no one who did not leave those works could follow Him. By this mistaking of a particular call of special men to a particular work for a universal call for all men the fatal division was made of sacred and profane work. The true lesson of His teaching was that all work was given to man by God, and was to be done divinely with love and faith and joy.-STOPFORD A. BROOKE.
A Spiritual Conception of Labor.
There are two ways of looking at David as he plays his harp before Saul. To a mere outsider it was harpplaying. To David it was an attempt to help a man by driving away an evil spirit. In playing the harp he was doing a great spiritual work. It would help us in our work if we looked at its spiritual rather than at its merely outward aspect. The influence of a spiritual worker never ceases. David's harp is being played still, and its strains are expelling many an evil spirit. Had his work been merely so much manipulation upon a musical instrument, his work would have perished with his physical existence; but David played with his soul as well as with his fingers. Hence his strains linger in the air and find their way into the hearts of men.-JOSEPH PARKER.
I stood up straight and worked
My veritable work. And as the soul
Which grows within a child makes the child grow;
And roughs with scale and knob, before it strikes
The course I took, the work I did.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
It is not labor that makes things valuable, but their being valuable that makes them worth laboring for. And God, having judged, in His wisdom, that it is not good for man to be idle, has so appointed things, by His providence, that few of the things which are most desirable can be obtained without labor. It is ordained that man should eat bread in the sweat of his face, and about all the necessary comforts and luxuries of life are obtained only by labor.-R. WHATELY.
Labor in Genius.
When a lady once asked Turner, the celebrated English painter, what his secret was, he replied: "I have no secret, madam, but hard work. This is a secret that many never learn, and they do not succeed because they do not learn it. Labor is the genius which changes the world from ugliness to beauty and the great curse to a blessing.'
In putting on your armor, do not forget that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Not content with merely reading your Bible, study it. Instead of skimming over whole acres of truth, put your spade into the most practical passages, and dig deep. Study the Twenty-fifth Psalm and the twelfth chapter of Romans, as well as the sublime eighth chapter. Study the whole Epistle of James. It will teach you how a Christian ought to behave before the world. As you get on farther
you may strike your hoe and your mattock down into the rich ore-beds of the Book of John. heart with God's Word.-T. L. CUYLER.
Let us do all the work we can. If we can not be a light-house, let us be a tallow candle. There used to be a period when people came to meeting bringing their candles with them. The first one, perhaps, would not make a great illumination, but when two or three got there, there would be more light. If the people of Boston should do that now, if each one should come here in this Tabernacle with a candle, don't you think there would be a little light?-MOODY.
If we are going to be successful, we have got to take our stand for God, and let the world and every one know we are on the Lord's side. I have great respect for the woman who started out during the war with a poker. She heard the enemy were coming, and she went out to resist them. When some one asked her what she could do with the poker, she said she would at least let them know what side she was on. And that is what we want. -MOODY.
I have one great principle which I never lose sight of -to insist strongly on the difference between Christian and non-Christian, and to sink into nothing the differences between Christian and Christian.--DR. ARNOLD.
It is the greatest pleasure of living to win souls to Christ.-MOODY.
Work is God's ordinance as truly as prayer.-GEORGE D. BOARDMAN.