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ROCKS AND WAVES.
thing else. Gentleness is quiet, calm ; its tone is low, but very sweet. Its voice is not heard in
and tumult; it never speaks at those times, it stands quietly on one side, and looks on; but its eyes have a magical influence, it stills the storm ; the storm may beat against it, but all is quiet and immovable. It always reminds me of rocks I have seen in the ocean, which remain firm and steadfast while the angry waves dash up against them; the fury of the sea sweeps over them, but all in vain, when the sea is again calm, there the rocks stand, firm as ever.
“ Boys, which of the two combatants will you encourage ? Shall it be the most noisy one, the most vehement, or the other ? Which, think you, is the most powerful—the thunder-storm or the gentle dew, and the soft, sweet, refreshing rain ? “Passion is a fearful fellow to side with. The pro
Passion maketh a man a beast;' and another, ' Passionate men, like fleet hounds, are apt to overrun the mark;' while some Roman philosopher says, “A passionate man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes '—that is as much as to say, while in a passion he goes blindly at anything, for true it is that.' Passionate men heed no counsel,' and ' Passion is a short madness.'
“What things have been done in passionate moments ! deeds which a whole lifetime has not been able to blot out from the memory. 'Passion begins with folly and ends with repentance;' but repentance can't always repair the mischief passion does.
Passion is often more hurtful than the injury which caused it.
“I remember an incident which occurred a few weeks after I was apprenticed, and which I have often thought of since. In the same shop where I worked was another lad, about my own age, named Sampson
– Passionate Sampson,' the men called him, because on the slightest provocation he was beside himself with passion, and capable of doing the rashest of actions. Many of the men played off harmless tricks upon him, on purpose to see him indulge in a fit. This was wrong, of course, for if we know a neighbour or companion has a fault—and which of us has not ?—we have no right to foster it and make it worse, but, on the contrary, should strive all we can to assist our neighbour or companion to root it up and cast it on one side. But the men did not do this for · Passionate Sampson.
“There was one man in particular who could never leave him alone long at a time. One day he was passing the lad's bench, when he squirted some cold water on the back of his head. Sampson was using a quarter chisel at the time; directly he felt the water, he turned round, and threw the chisel with all his force at his tormentor. It entered the man's knee, making a terribly dangerous wound, and with a cry of pain he fell to the ground. His shopmates ran to his assistance, and picking him up, conveyed him home on a shutter, and then fetched a surgeon. PASSION AND REPENTANCE.
* Passionate Sampson' turned very pale when he saw what mischief he had done, while his passion vanished in a moment. He was locked up in jail for a few days, for it was thought the man would die.
However, things did not come to so bad a pass as that, and Sampson was released; but it was a long time before the man at whom he had thrown the chisel, was able to return to his employment; and although after many weeks he was able to get about again, he walked a little lame ever afterwards. Sampson repented of the action the instant it was done, but all the repentance in the world could not undo the mischief.
“ Beware of anger, boys; guard and arm yourself against it. There is an armoury ready for you, where you may go and equip yourself, and a good sword waiting ready for you to wield it. where the armoury is, and what the sword is presently; but hear now what Solomon says concerning passion or anger. He says: Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous.' 'Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.' He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly.' 'An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.' • Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go.'
“Fight against Passion, have nothing to do with it; cultivate the friendship of gentleness and you will not be likely to do an action which, like a snake,
I will tell you
will turn and sting you. Great is the power of gentleness; it is powerful, yet tender; strong, yet wonderfully considerate. An earthquake—which I always like to think of as the earth in a passion-may, and does, rend rocks asunder, destroy villages, towns, and sometimes even cities; it spreads ruin and desolation to both habitation and man. I have seen volcanoes vomiting forth streams of red-hot lava, which has destroyed beautiful vineyards and many houses. The silent dew, the gentle, refreshing rain, maketh the corn to grow and become ripe for the harvest, and the garden to bloom with lovely flowers, and covereth the earth with beautiful green; while hedgerow and meadow rejoice in treasures of loveliness,
“When you come to think about it, boys, what a deal you have to fight against, instead of with each other. Of course, as I said before, it is only different aspects of that one force, power, or personality, called Sin. It seems to me a man cannot possess a good quality without a bad one trying to grow by its side, and it is this you have constantly to root up; as a careful gardener is ever on the watch to see that no noisome weeds spring up to carry all the nutriment away from his plants, so you must be careful not to let a bad quality creep up by the side of a good one.
“ You must be as watchful as sentinels in the time of war when enemies are on the alert, and ready to take advantage of the least carelessness.
“I have told you that I should like each and all of
A CHEERFUL COUNTENANCE.
you boys to side with Duty and Gentleness in the battle of life, and not with Inclination and Passion. Now, there is one other thing I should like you to do battle for, and that is cheerfulness. Cheerfulness will enable you to fight well ; some lads I have known have thought moodiness, ill-humour, and sulkiness, much better than Cheerfulness. But I say, fight for cheerfulness; encourage it. There is a proverb which says, 'God helps a merry fellow;' and another · Laughter does good to the blood ;' while a third runs, ' Every time you laugh you take a nail from your coffin.' A cheerful, merry fellow is like sunshine in a home, and a blessing to his friends.
A sulky spirit is not by any means the best spirit with which to begin life, no one cares to be friendly with such a lad. He is like a human hedgehog, prickly all over, and if touched is more likely to wound than anything else. 'Every house sees the sun,' says the proverb, and every boy experiences the mercy and care of our great Heavenly Father, and to me it seems very ungrateful to reflect back all His mercy and kindness with a surly countenance, and to look up to His skies with a sour face. Cares, troubles, and trials will have to be battled with as you go on in life, and you have more chances of success if you go at them with a cheerful heart, than if you view them surlily and fight discontentedly. Solomon says, ' Greater is he that ruleth his otin spirit, than he that taketh a walled city.'