And first, let me say to you that the man that lives upon the altitudes of his spirit beholds with sure vision the issuance of his life in triumph. We speak of life habitually as being a complicated and intricate thing, and no doubt it is, upon its lower ranges. A man is prosperous today, sweeping, with sails full set, before the breeze, his bark leaping gladly, mounting buoyantly upon the waves; but no man can tell what the morrow will bring forth to him. Prosperity is not a matter of certitude, security or permanency. An ill wind comes, and the vessel is swept to disaster; on the shoals or rocks, rushing to destruction against some Scylla or swallowed up by some Charybdis. And what is true of prosperity is true of power. Today a man is the idol of the people, flattered, honored, extolled and crowned by them. They gather round him and intoxicate him with their plaudits. He is the man of the people, the great man of his day, but who can tell how long this will rule enthroned? An unfortunate speech, an error of conduct, a moment of indecision, a failure to appeal to the demagogic instincts of the race, and he is ruthlessly bereaved of his honor and his glory gone. The idols of yesterday are the broken statues of today; the heroes of yesterday are the “have-beens” of today. So capricious, so ephemeral, so mutable, so mercurial, so impermanent are the whims of humanity, and so unstable its idolatries and adorations.
And as the mighty fall, so the obscure rises. Names that were unknown ten years ago are blazoned almost on the skies. The insignificant come up and take the scepter in their hand. The poor man of a little while ago is the rich merchant or the successful lawyer of today. This is his hour, this the moment of his power. Strange, is it not? There seems to be no method, no system in those lower planes of life. The rich become poor and the poor rich, the strong weak and the weak strong; the ruler becomes the ruled and the ruled the ruler; the master becomes the servant and the servant the master. No order, no system, no method anywhere in mundane things, and therefore no power of vision and vaticination.
But now in the higher things there is none of this impermanence and instability. Everything is in order here. When man is living in the fulness of his nature, when he is living on the heaven-kissing pinnacles of his spirit, when his whole being is harmonious with the great and glorious laws of God, his future is assured; it is bound to be a great and beautiful success. No possibility of failure upon the heights; every possibility of failure upon the level; every possibility of disaster down there, but upon the peaks there can be no disaster, no mistake, no accident, no dethronement; there must be inevitable and unconditional achievement. Of course, I do not mean popular achievement—achievement as men usually count achievement, or success as men ordinarily rate success. So measured, every great