Young men! Let the nobleness of your mind impel you to its improvement; you are too strong to be defeated, save by yourselves. Refuse to live merely to sleep and eat. Brutes can do this; but you are men. Act the part of men. Prepare yourselves to endure toil. Resolve to rise—you have but to resolve. Nothing can hinder your success if you determine to succeed. Do not waste your time by wishing and dreaming, but go earnestly to work. Let nothing discourage you. If you have no books, borrow them; if you have no teachers, teach yourself; if your early education has been neglected, by the greater diligence repair the defect. Let not a craven heart or a love of ease rob you of the inestimable benefit of self-culture.
Have the courage to face a difficulty, lest it kick you harder than you bargained for. Difficulties, like thieves, often disappear at a glance. Have the courage to leave a convivial party at the proper hour for doing so, however great the sacrifice; and to stay away from one upon the slightest grounds for objection, however great the temptation to go. Have the courage to do without that which you do not need, however much you may admire it. Have the courage to speak your mind when it is necessary that you should do so, and hold your tongue when it is better you should be silent. Have the courage to speak to a poor friend in a seedy coat, even in the street, and when a rich one is nigh. The effort is less than many people take it to be, and the act is worthy of a king. Have the courage to admit that you have been in the wrong, and you will remove the fact in the mind of others, putting a desirable impression in the place of an unfavorable one. Have the courage to adhere to the first resolution when you can not change it for a better, and abandon it at the eleventh hour upon conviction.
The Bible is a book for the understanding; but much more it is a book for the spirit and for the heart. Many other kinds of learning are found in the Bible. It is a manual of Eastern antiquities, a handbook of political experiences, a collection of moral wisdom as applied to personal conduct, a mine of poetry, a choice field for the study of languages. The Bible is the book of God, and therefore it is the book of the future, the book of hope. It pierces the veil between this and another life, pointing us on to the realms of light. In sorrow, in sin, and in death we may, if we will, find in the Holy Bible patience, consolation and hope. The Bible opens the widest, freest outlook for the mind into the eternal, enlarging a man’s range of spiritual sight, and enabling him to judge of all things in both worlds in their true proportion. The Bible gets into life because it first came out of life. It was born of life at its best. Its writers were the tallest white angels literature has known. No other literature has five names equal to these: