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Sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character;
sow a character, reap a destiny.-ANON.
Man is not the creature of circumstance. are the creatures of men.-DIsraeli.
We shape ourselves the joy or fear
Of which the coming life is made
And all our future's atmosphere with sunshine or with shade.
Time the shuttle drives, but you
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.-EMERSON.
If we would see the color of our future we must look for it in our present. If we would gaze on the star of our destiny we must look for it in our hearts.-CANON Farrar.
The end of life is to be like God, and the soul following Him will be like Him.-SOCRATES.
THE smallest fraction of human life does not know chance, and scoffs at fate. Destiny is in the citadel of law and guarded by all the forces in the universe. Greek and Roman fates are still frowning upon a trembling world. Their despotism is the gift of pagan theology. Dignity of freedom is forced back by their power and boldness. The human will is left out of the weaver's hands and the fabric of life is tangled and knotted threads. This has not the sanction of reason, experience, or revelation. There are three forces which operate in human life,—will, environment, and God. They not only operate but cooperate in the making of character and fixing of destiny. Man is no more the creature of circumstances than the creator of circumstances, and a supernatural power forces its way into his environment. No one questions the effect of surroundings upon character and life, but
kingly man swings his sceptre over these conditions and says, "There shall be no Alps." He calls " impossible" a "blockhead word," and casts it out of his vocabulary and finds no definition for it in the dictionary. The engine halts before the great barrier of the mountain-range, but man speaks the impossible and says, go on, go on," but his commands are for obedience, and a hole is bored through the granite hills. Bedford Jail makes Pilgrim's Progress and Milton's blindness makes Paradise Lost." One day is as good as another. We are the foolish victims of superstition. Friday is the best day in American history.
Friday, Christopher Columbus sailed on his voyage of discovery.
Friday, ten weeks after, he discovered America.
Friday, Henry VII. of England gave Cabot his commission, which led to the discovery of North America.
Friday, St. Augustine, the oldest town in the United States, was founded.
Friday, the Mayflower, with the Pilgrims, arrived at Provincetown; and on
Friday, they signed the august compact, the forerunner of the present Constitution.
Friday, George Washington was born.
Friday, Bunker Hill was seized and fortified.
Friday, the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown occurred; and on
Friday, the motion was made in Congress that the United States were, and of right ought to be, free and independent.
God makes man, but man also makes himself. In that is his responsibility. He has been endued with will power, and that is the maker of character. This power of choice makes every man the author of his own destiny. The glory of manhood and its distinctive feature is its power to choose. The absolute necessity of freedom is in morality, and character, and destiny. There could be no moral quality in action if chance or fate were in control. There must be free agency in order to manhood, morality, or religion. Napoleon said he had his star, his fate, but he toiled and strained every faculty and nerve to the highest tension nineteen hours out of each day. Success and character are surrounded by conditions which every man must courageously face. This is the genius of salvation. It is offered to every man upon his personal acceptance of the conditions; a complete surrender to its claims. Chance does not control it, and fate does not compel it. One journey through the halls of memory in the companionship of conscience stamps this
great truth upon the soul of every man. He recognizes himself as the architect of his own life and its destiny. God never hardened any Pharoah's heart. He was the maker of his own condition, the author of his own end. He ruled by obduracy and selfishness. He forgot God and the principles of truth and righteousness; he mocked heaven's messengers and ignored their warning. He trampled upon the law of God, and by that process made his own heart as hard as the granite rock. This sad result was reached by laws as binding and relentless as the laws which make the mountains themselves. The law of gravity works no more perfectly or effectively than this law of the soul life. A hard heart is ever the result of man's act. It was not compulsion; it was choice. This is not the sovereignty of force; this is the kingdom of will. God is to us only what we are to Him. He does not compel us; he begins where we are. The process of hardening is the process of nature. God's sovereignty is never divorced from God's love. Man's freedom is never destroyed in the presence of divine power. Man has no control over his birth, and finds himself in a world which he did not create. He is subjected to these conditions, and, in a measure, under their