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sculptors of the day. Here we must stop. The names and deeds of how many such men as these might we enumerate, did time permit? Their name is legion. Instances of a similar character almost without number may be seen in Charles Knight's“Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties,” “Successful Men of Modern Times,”, published by the Religious Tract Society; and Smiles Self-Help," the whole of which may be purchased for a few shillings, and are well worth the study of any young man.
II. The histories of such men as these (as indeed you cannot have failed to observe) are not without their lessons. They show us how much may be done by ourselves towards achieving success in life; but they show us something more - they show how it is to be done. They draw aside the veil ; they take us behind the scenes, and show the secret springs, and how certain results have been brought about ;-thus first rousing our enthusiasm, and then setting us perseveringly and determinately to the work of selfadvancement.
There is no royal road to advancement, any more than to learning. If a man really wishes to rise in the world, and to be what God intended him to be -an honourable man amongst men, happy, respectable, and respected; or if such be the Divine will, to stand, like Saul, above his brethren; the means of his advancement must be sought for in himself, in his own character, in his conscientious, unflinching, untiring, and well-directed efforts, crowned by the blessing of his God. I dare say many of you know the fable of the Waggoner and Jupiter: it is old, but it exactly illustrates my meaning. The waggon being stuck fast in the mud, the waggoner fell on his knees and cried out most lustily—“Help, allpowerful Jupiter, help!” but Jupiter, instead of extricating him from his difficulties, quietly replied—“Put your own shoulder to the wheel.” There is frequently a good deal of truth even in a fable. God does help those that help themselves ; or, as the old saying is—“Fortune aids the brave.” When you have nearly climbed the ladder, you may have plenty of assistance; but when you are at the bottom, in nine cases out of ten you may stay there, unless you can get up of yourself. In thus advocating self-reliance, self-exertion, self-help, as the means of self
improvement, I am in nowise taking away the glory of God. God works commonly by means, and it is His ordination that unless the means are used the end shall not follow. As the Creator of the hunan frame, He has rendered obedience to certain laws imperatively necessary to the preservation of bodily health ; so in like manner He has ordained the strenuous, conscientious, persevering use of certain means as indispensably necessary to success in life. Success cannot possibly be attained except upon certain conditions. What those conditions are we shall endeavour as briefly as may be to show. · First, then, there must be a certain amount of brain power; you cannot expect a man who is “not all right there” to do much in life. At the same time it must be remembered that men are more often made geniuses than born such, God has given to by far the greater number of men amply sufficient intellectual and moral power to enable them to obtain and to keep a fair position in society. I do not hesitate to say that most of you are possessed not merely of fair, but of good mental and moral powers. The large round head, the broad, full lofty forehead, the clear bright eye, are all indicative of the powers of the mind.
The next thing in order to success, is.“ a sound mind in a healthy body." You cannot do much in the way of selfadvancement in a thoroughly efficient manner, without both mind and body being in good sound condition. When the ancient wrestler entered the arena where he was to contend with his fellows, every part of his frame, every nerve and every muscle, as far as was possible, was in the very best condition: so should it be with you, if you would really do your best in the struggle of life;—and much in this respect may be accomplished by a little care; brain power may be increased ; nerves may be braced up and strengthened ; muscles may be developed; the weak may become strong. To accomplish this, live upon good plain food; nothing better than a good mess of oatmeal porridge and new milk; take plenty of exercise in the open air; get your lungs filled with the oxygen or vivifying principle of the atmosphere, that the blood may be thoroughly purified. Keep the skin, with its eight millions of pores, in a clean, healthy condition, by a good wash down every day, both winter and summer, with plenty of cold water, so that the corrupt matter constantly forming in the system may
be thrown off. Walk with your head erect and chest expanded, as if you were the lords of the ground upon which you tread: nothing hardly is more detrimental to health than to walk with round shoulders and an over-hanging chest. Avoid all excesses; do not fancy that because you have a good constitution you can sit up to all hours of the night-get drunk with impunity amongst boozing companions--or go every now and then on the spree. Avoid all alcoholic drinks; it is very questionable whether they are actually necessary for anyone ; certainly they are quite unnecessary for anyone in health.
Nineteen out of every twenty who take their glass of beer twice or three times a day, would be far better without a drop. Have nothing to do with tobacco or snuff-though slow, they are deadly poisons, exercising a most injurious effect upon the liver and the nervous system. Drinking, smoking, snuffing, late hours, riotous company, will ruin any man's constitution. If you want to do any good for yourselves, you must shun these as you would shun the plague. But further :-a fair amount of brains, a sound mind in a sound body-what do you want more, in order to make your way in life? There are other things as necessary to success as these ; and first, there must generally be a purpose or definite aim in life. There are many men who mentally and physically are equal to almost anything, and who nevertheless do not accomplish hardly anything. Why ?-Because they have no decision of character, and consequently no settled purpose or aim in life. Let them set some object before them-let them bend all their energies, and consecrate all their powers upon its attainment, and success would be certain. The first Sir Robert Peel-Lord Langdale, who rose from a comparatively humble position to the honourable post of Master of the Rolls-Flaxman, Chantrey, Warren Hastings, Napoleon, Wellington, and many others who might be mentioned, and who have attained high positions, were men of purpose. With decision of character, some definite object in view, backed by steadfast determination, humanly speaking a man is pretty sure to succeed. A second quality equally * requisite is industry. A lazy man, however definite his object, or however great his mental and other powers, will accomplish nothing. Many men would be glad to get on in the world, but they have not sufficient industry to spur them to make a determined and continuous effort. I have
before me at the present time, in my mind's eye, the case of a young man whom I knew at college—a man of first-class abilities, but plagued by a spirit of insufferable laziness. His powers were consequently lost-completely sacrificed. Other men, immeasurably inferior in point of ability, by real plodding industry regularly stood before him in the college examinations, and took the prizes and honours, of which they would have had no chance but for his abominable laziness. Lord Langdale, to whom we have previously alluded, was a man of untiring industry, winning
the senior wranglership at Cambridge solely by dint of hard work. Lord Eldon, too poor in his youth to do more than buy a few sprats for his supper, but afterwards Lord Chancellor of England, owed his success to his industry. Lord Brougham, to a constitution apparently made of iron, united the most unflinching industry, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Disraeli, and myriads of others, have attained success almost solely by the force of industry. Of the latter it is related that his maiden speech in the House of Commons was an utter failure, every sentence being hailed with “loud laughter” or “derisive cheers.” Writhing under the sarcasms of the honourable members, Disraeli gnashed with his teeth, shook his fist, and said—“I have begun several times many things, and have succeeded in them at last. I shall sit down now, but the time will come when you will hear me.” I need hardly remind you that Disraeli is now confessedly one of the most finished and effective of parliamentary speakers. I believe steady, plodding industry is really of more importance to a man in making his way in life, than even great abilities. Sir Isaac Newton, the prince of philosophers, ascribed his great attainments to industry. Dalton, the celebrated chemist, whose statue stands over a doorway in John-Dalton-street, Manchester, repudiated the idea of his having been born a genius, contending that he owed all to industry. Dr. Adam Clarke, the commentator; the celebrated Dr. Chalmers ; Dean Swift; the brilliant Sheridan ; Sir Walter Scott; Robert Burns-all distinguished men, were dull, stupid, heavy boys. It was not till the habit of industry was acquired and brought into practice that they began to shine. Elihu Burritt, the learned American blacksmith, whilst earning his daily bread at the forge, mastered, by sheer industry, some eighteen ancient and modern languages, besides
twenty-two European dialects. Speaking of himself and his own career, he once uttered these memorable words :“All that I have accomplished, or expect or hope to accomplish, has been and will be by that plodding, patient, persevering process of accretion which builds the ant-headparticle by particle, thought by thought, fact by fact.”
III. To industry there should be joined perseverance and indomitable energy. Success in any department of life is not to be easily achieved ; the battle must in most cases be fought and won inch by inch, and, as it were, to use a military figure, at the point of the bayonet. The history of Sir Charles Napier furnishes an apt illustration. When surrounded by difficulties in one of his campaigns, he said
“They only make my feet go deeper into the ground.” His battle of Meanee must rank as one of the most extraordinary feats of history. With 2,000 men, of whom 400 only were Europeans, he met and utterly overthrew an army of 35,000 hardy, well-armed Beloochees. Inspired by the spirit of their chief, each man of his little band became for the time a hero–held for four long hours the field -- and at length drove back the foe, though numbering nearly twenty to one.
William Phipps, the founder of the Mulgrave family, was remarkable for persevering energy---actually setting out on a voyage to the coast of Hispaniola to endeavour to raise a Spanish treasure ship which he had heard say had been sunk somewhere off that coast more than half-a-century before. Unsuccessful in his first voyage, but nothing daunted, he set out again, and eventually succeeded, recovering treasure to the amount of about £300,000, and so laying the foundation of his family.
Clarkson, whose noble efforts eventually brought about the abolition of slavery in the English dominions, once visited every sea-port where the English vessels of war lay, boarded and examined every ship, in search of a sailor whose evidence he judged to be of importance to his cause. For some time, in connection with the slavery question, he corresponded with upwards of 400 persons, and during his labours travelled more than 35,000 miles.
Give me then, I say, a man with the qualities already enumerated, viz.-average intellectual powers, ordinary physical stamina, a purpose in life, decision of character,