As for ourselves, save in rare and peculiar circumstances, good-bye to the lecturing platform, while we try for the rest of our life to imitate the minister who said, “This one thing I do!” There are exhilarations about lecturing that one finds it hard to break from, and many a minister who thought himself reformed of lecturing has, over-tempted, gone up to the American Library or Boston Lyceum Bureau, and drank down raw, a hundred lecturing engagements. Still, a man once in a while finds a new pair of spectacles to look through.
Between Indianapolis and Dayton, on that wild, swift ride, we found a moral which we close with—for the printer-boy with inky fingers is waiting for this paragraph—Never take the last train when you can help it. Much of the trouble in life is caused by the fact that people, in their engagements, wait til’ the last minute. The seven-o’clock train will take them to the right place if everything goes straight, but in this world things are very apt to go crooked. So you had better take the train that starts an hour earlier. In everything we undertake let us leave a little margin. We tried, jokingly, to persuade Captain Berry, when off Cape Hatteras, to go down and get his breakfast, while we took his place and watched the course of the steamer. He intimated to us that we were running too near the bar to allow a greenhorn to manage matters just there. There is always danger in sailing near a coast, whether in ship or in plans and morals. Do not calculate too closely on possibilities. Better have room and time to spare. Do not take the last train. Not heeding this counsel makes bad work for this world and the next. There are many lines of communication between earth and heaven. Men say they can start at any time. After a while, in great excitement, they rush into the depot of mercy and find that the final opportunity has left, and, behold! it is the last train!