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The starting in life
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The Baldwin Library
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rsntbepftrr.-tatng in Life.
-"and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace."
STARTING IN LIFE;
HINTS ADDRESSED TO AN ELDER SCHOLAR
TO WHICH 18 ADDED
BY THE LATE REV. T. H. GALLAUDET.
tgr io odi ."'
AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
1122 CoESTm STREET.
NEW YORK: 599 BROADWAY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by
IHE AMERICAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
DEAR YOUNG FRIEND:-
As you have reached the age at which
most young folks begin to work for their
living, you will not wonder txat your
teachers should feel more than e v,.r anx-
ions about you.
We cannot help that feeling. VWk know
that you will become more familiar nith a
world which has been truly said to b full
of snares. Yes, full of snares;. espec&.flly
snares for a young lad,-such as you.
You cannot be surprised, then, that we
wish once more to put you upon y 'ir
guard, and that we are very desirous V)
6 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
offer you some advice, --advice which, if fol-
lowed, will insure you a happy mind, the
respect of all good men, the advancement
of your true interests in this world, and a
welcome reception into that of which we
have often sung,-
"Oh, how happy we shall be!
For our Saviour we shall see,
Exalted on his throne."
You will not deny that in asking you
to attend to what we may have to say, we
are asking for that to which we have good
claim. For all the instruction we have
given you, we have charged you nothing I
And as you are well known to have been
a scholar in our Sunday-school, and can
by your future conduct bring honour or
disgrace upon it, you must at once admit
that gratitude and good sense demand
from you that which we now ask,-your
IMPORTANCE OF STARTING WELL.
We are very anxious that you should
start well; because, if you do this, you
will be likely to go on well. Many
young men have thought that they would
take their fill of what they have called
"pleasure," however sinful, then stop, and
turn over a new leaf.
Do you not see how foolish this is?
It is well for you to see it now, for thou-
sands have seen it when it has been too
lately Nothing can be more certain than
that the further a man goes on in sin the
harder it is for him to stop. What, then,
ought a young man to do, but at once to
treat sin as his enemy? for such, what-
ever he may sometimes think to the con-
trary, it really is.
Now, the advice you will receive in this
little book is such as your conscience will
approve. Be candid, then, whilst you read
it. If it tells you something you do not
8 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
like, don't lay it aside, but ask if what is
said be true, and if you feel that you must
answer "yes," you will then know what
you ought to do.
We do not forget that, whilst you have
many duties to discharge in this world, as
a WORKER, you have a living to seek in
it; and, as we want to do you all the good
we can, we wish to advise you how' to
proceed, so as to secure to yourself what-
ever real earthly advantages may be
within your reach. Yes, we want to give
you advice for both worlds: if we did not,
we should have written about one or the
other; but, as we have said, we want to
do you all the good we can, and therefore
we shall speak to you respecting the life
that now is, as well as of that which is to
come. You will, therefore, we trust, feel
the more convinced that we have your
true interest at heart.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR MIND. 9
Earnestly, then, do we hope that you
will show the valuable influence of a
Sunday-school education, by practically
attending to the following advice of your
SEIZE EVERY OPPORTUNITY OF IMPROVING
Without this, you will never make way
in the world,-never "go ahead." A man's
mind is given t9 him to use for his good.
Many folks appear to disbelieve this, and
let their minds run to waste. If you
have any wish to be useful to yourself and
to others, take care of your mind. Use
it as you would a plot of ground that be-
longed to you, not leaving it to itself, but
putting into it all the good things you can
get, and rooting outfall that is hurtful or
If you do not do this with your mind,
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
it would have been better if God had
never blessed you with it; but he has, and
given plenty for it to do.
Do not fall into the common mistake
of supposing that when you have left
school your education has been completed.
The instruction you receive there is only
intended to furnish you with the means
of educating yourself in after-life, and
the lad who makes the best use of
those means will become the best-edu-
You can read. Do not neglect the ad-
vantages which this ability gives you.
* Employ your spare moments in reading;
but take care what you read. Bad books
are like bad company, sure to do a young
man harm and to unfit him for good so-
ciety. Take some useful periodica,-not
for pictures or stories but for improving
matter to read; but do not confine your
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU READ. 11
reading to periodicals. These supply by
no means the most useful sort of reading.
Carefully peruse books of sterling value,
that you may thoroughly master the sub-
jects of which they treat. Never meddle
with trashy tales, which can do you no
good, but may do you much harm.
Read nothing but what you believe will
do you good, and real good. What advan-
tages you have in comparison with those
your fathers possessed in their youth!
Do not neglect them. There are books in
abundance,-profitable and cheap: do your
part in using them. For a lad who can
read, to live as if he cold not read, is as
stupid an act as for a man who can see to
keep his eyes shut. You have judicious
and kind friends: ask them what books
you had better read.
But do not be satisfied with mere read-
ing: think of what you read, and how
THE STARTING I7 LIFE.
you can best apply it to your good. Above
all, recollect that GOD has given you a
book to read, which, if you have any re-
gard to your eternal good, you will make
your constant companion throughout your
We have a word or two to say to you
about writing. Many a lad has lost a
good situation because of his not being
able to write a good plain hand.- If
obliged to leave school before you can do
this, lose no time in improving yourself;
for, if you do, it is more than probable
that at some time or other you will
deeply regret it.
BE CAREFUL AS TO WHO ARE YOUR COM-
That is a good old saying,-" Tell me
your company, and I will tell you what
you are;" for, as "birds of a feather
CHOOSE GOOD COMPAMION. 13
always flock together," so do men who
love bad habits delight in the company
of those who love them too.
Now, it is far easier to keep from bad
companions than to leave them after you
have once associated with them. If you
find any one anxious to form an acquaint-
ance with you whose character is known
to be bad, just show him that you would
rather be alone than be seen with him.
Many a lad who has bid fair to grow up a
respectable man has been wholly ruined by
mixing with evil companions. The habits
which some lads contract of resorting to
public houses or places, where profane and
thoughtless persons assemble, and fritter-
ing away their golden hours in smoking
and drinking, have, in thousands of in-
stances, laid the foundation of a disgrace-
ful life, a wretched death and a miserable
eternity. Let their fate be a warning to
14 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
you, and lead you to choose associates of
a different (.haracter.
There is one habit which you must
form at the very outset of life, if you
would have it an easy matter to be free
from bad company. It is this: dare
to act differently from others when you
know that they are doing wrong. Let
this become a habit, and you will find it
no trouble to repel the advice and in-
fluence of the evil-disposed. It may ap-
pear awkward to do it at first; but, when
done once or twice, it is done, and done
for good; and then the consciousness of
having done right,-why, it is worth far
more than the approval of thousands who
have no love for that which is right.
One word more on this point. If you
have any wish to secure the esteem of
men whose influence is such as to render
them capable of occasionally helping a
young man on in life, you must never
once be seen with such characters as we
have described. No: if you would not
only respect yourself, but have the respect
of others, you must shun the very pre-
sence of those who, having no regard for
their own character, would soon make
havoc with your's.
To WHATEVER OCCUPATION YOq MAY BE
CALLED AS A MEANS OF OBTAINING A LIVE-
LIHOOD, DETERMINE TO UNDERSTAND IT WELL
AND TO WORK HEARTILY AT IT.
Here are many seasons why you should
do this. Perhaps your lot has been cast
among that class which comprises most
of our Sunday-school teachers, and which
is known as "the WORKING class:" there-
fore, for you to live you must work, and
we do not suppose that you wish to live
without. If you do, as it is a wish not
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
likely to be realized, the sooner you give
it up the better, ar-d let resolute industry
take its place.
Now, if you look upon your employ-
ment as mere drudgery,-as something
which, whilst it must be done, may be
done anyhow,-depend upon it, a mere
drudge you will always be. There are
two classes of young working-men,-those
who labour without thought and without
energy, and those who throw both thought
and energy into their labour. The first
do their best to keep themselves down;
the others do their best to raise themi-
selves: and both, in thE end, will just
reap that whicn they have sown. You
may, perhaps, say, "But my occupation
is such that no thought is needed; there
is nothing particular to understand." You
are much mistaken. Why, a plain coun-
tiy lad. whose duties are only those of a
BE INDUSTRIO S.
shepherd-boy, has much in his way that
may be made both useful and instructive
to him. Let him strive to know all about
sheep; study them well,-their habits,
their food, their structure, their use. Let
him understand something of these, and
he will find his labour far more agreeable,
his mind far more improved, and that he
is far more valued by his employer, than
if he merely watched and fed his charge
day by day. Never let country lads fancy
that there is nothing in their various occu-
pations which can help to make them in-
telligent-whilst they till the earth, gather
its fruits, or take charge of the crea-
tures which God has given for the service
If you live in a city, and are getting a
living by or a of the many means which
such a place affords, determine to under-
stand thoroughly every thing connected
18 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
with your employment. Make good use
of your time for your own sake; for each
minute cannot be of more importance to
your employer than it is to you. He
may reap now of your industry, but the
knowledge and habits that industry will
bring will be your's to turn to account
through life. If engaged in a factory or
large workshop in one of our principal
towns, you may have the advantage of
coming in contact with many intelligent
and well-informed men, from whom you
may leai n much. You will also meet
with many of a very different character,
whom you will do well to avoid.
Let your conduct be such as to insure
the approval of those above you. Resolve
to learn every thing that can be of service
to you. Let "promptly and well" be the
mark at which you aim in relation to every
matter of business with which you are
BE KIND AND COURTEOUS. 19
intrusted; and never forget that upon
your diligence in youth will depend your
success as a man.
ACCUSTOM YOURSELF TO ACT KINDLY AND
COURTEOUSLY TO EVERY ONE.
By doing this, you will gain many
friends, and thus make your path through
life far easier than that of those who ap-
pear almost to make it their aim to be
hated or pitied by all who know them.
Be slow to resent an injury; for you will
never blame yourself for having shown
that you are unwilling to quarrel. Let
the Saviour's golden rule be your's, As ye
would that men should do unto you, so do
ye unto them; for it is the best you can
Be respectful to those above you, if you
wish to be respected by them. Prompt
THE STARTING IN lIFE.
and willing attention will not only gain
you their notice, but their esteem. The
difference on the point of obedience be-
tween two lads is often very striking.
Both will obey; but whilst on the part of
one there is a heartiness in the obedience,
and an evident wish to please, there is
shown by the other such an absence of
all care about pleasing, that no one can
wonder if the former gains and the latter
loses in the estimation of those to Whom
that obedience is due. You well know
that only one of these is likely to rise in
the world by the help of others, and it is
your interest as well as your duty to imi-
tate that one. Moreover, you hardly need
to be told that the most obedient boy is
likely to be the best ruler of others when he
comes to be a man.
To those whom you may happen to think
beneath you, never use coarse or harsh lan-
BE KIND AND COURTEOUS.
guage, for although you may thus cause
yourself to be feared; you will never be
respected by them.
It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to cau-
tion you against the low and vulgar habit
of swearing. It is a practice as stupid as
it is sinful. You know that no boy could
ever say that it did him any good, whilst
thousands have been compelled to own
that it has done them harm.
Do not be surprised if we urge you to
act as a gentleman in every thing. There
is a great mistake made by some people
as to the use of the word. gentleman;"
for they think that to be a gentleman a
man must be rich. Now, there are many
men who, if they were ever so rich, would
never be gentlemen, their manners are so
coarse and so rough; whilst there are
others who, if they were ever so poor,
would always be gentlemen, their man-
22 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
ners are so respectful and so kind. Do
not fancy that it lies in dress; for that
cannot make a gentleman, although it can
make a fop. One man's coat may have
cost thirty dollars, and another's may not
have cost five; but the cheap coat may
cover the best gentleman of the two. It
is what a man says and what he does that
must decide whether he is a gentleman or
not; and, if you act upon the advice we
have given, you will be one.
CAREFULLY AVOID ALL EXTRAVAGANT
You may think that such advice is
unnecessary, for you have not much to
be extravagant with. You may not have;
but, for all that, you can be extravagant,
and are extravagant, if you spend a penny
when you do not need to spend it. In
this matter of economy, like every thing
else, by beginning right, you will keep
right. The boy who squanders his dimes
would, whatever he may think to the con-
trary, squander dollars, if he had them.
There is a vast amount of real extrava-
gance among working-people, although it
is certain that they can the least afford to
be extravagant. It is by early habits of
carefulness that you may escape from the
consequences which always follow ex-
Some young lads, when they begin to
have a little money of their own, will
seek after pleasure in a manner that would
lead us to think they did not for a moment
suppose they could ever suffer for the
want of that money. We do not want
you to give up all idea of amusements. It
is quite possible to be merry and wise;"
and occasional recreation is as beneficial
24 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
to the mind as it is to the body. But too
many get into the habit of visiting places
of amusement, or even public houses, and
thus throw away their money and their
character at the same time; for, depend
upon it, you cannot frequent such places
without injuring both your pocket and
your reputation. Perhaps you will find
it best, as soon as you can afford it, to
join some useful beneficial society, which
does not hold its meetings at a public
house, and which is made up of virtuous
persons; for, as sickness will, in all pro-
bability, at some time befall you, it is
your duty, when in health, to make such
provision for it as will keep you from
being dependent upon the charity of
others,-a duty which every lad of a truly
independent spirit will not be slow to re-
DETERMINE TO POSSESS A CHARACTER FOR
It is possible that more than once in
your life you may be tempted to, break
the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal."
Many lads, alas I have not withstood
that temptation, and are now reaping
the sad fruit of their folly. If there be
one sin more likely than another to find a
young man out, it is that of dishonesty.
One act of dishonesty only suffices to
satisfy present desires; apparent success
leads to a repetition of the crime, till, some
time or other, detection follows, and the
character is lost. We say lost, for rarely
indeed does a lad recover it after he has
once been detecte& in theft or fraud.
The temptation, then, in whatever form
it presents itself, must be firmly resisted,
and it will soon lose its power. Remem-
26 THE SrARTING IN LIFE.
ber that it is not the amount which makes
a thief. Whether a thing taken be worth
a dollar or a cent, if you have no right
to it, you are alike dishonest. If you
think you are free from all possibility of
detection, recollect that, if you yield, you
cannot deceive God. Nor would con-
science be easy: you would have to up-
braid yourself whenever you heard of the
detection of others; and, if you escaped
their fate, you could not avoid the tri-
bunal of Him who gave the command-
ment you have dared to break.
Let your conduct be such as to keep
you from. even the suspicion of making
use of the property of others. There are
lads who are always under that suspicion;
they contract expensive habits, associate
with suspected characters, and seem to be
continually bent upon pleasure-seeking at
any cost. You, perhaps, shrink at the
very thought of your ever becoming a
thief, or a robber, or a defaulter! Avoid,
then, those habits which have made others
dishonest whose character was once as
blameless as your own.
CULTIVATE A STRICT REGARD FOR TRUTH.
This is a duty you owe to God, to
whom" lying lips are an abomination;" and
the strict discharge of that duty is neces-
sary if you would render yourself worthy
of the confidence of your fellow-creatures.
A boy once detected in an untruth will
often be unjustly suspected; so true is it
that "integrity and uprightness" will only
The temptation to tell a falsehood is
often very strong,-often very trying to a
lad. The advantage to be gained will
sometimes' appear so evident that it will
require firmness indeed not to make the
28 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
lie. We don't wish to conceal this, but
will only remind you that, however much
you may deceive others, you cannot de-
ceive God. Besides, there is a meanness
in taking refuge under a falsehood of which
none but a real coward will be guilty.
Tell the truth, then, even to your own
injury; and the fact that you will dare to
injure yourself rather than be guilty of a
falsehood will not fail to insure you the
respect of those who have no particular
regard for the truth themselves. If you
would not lie for your own convenience,
refuse to do it for the convenience of
others, and they will bhnour you in the
end. The following fact so strikingly
proves this that we introduce it for your
perusal: it is the experience of a gentle-
man, who mentions it in some valable
"Advice to Apprentices:"-
ADVICE 73 APF ENTICES.
"On one occasion an order had been re-
ceived by my employers, which was counter-
manded in a day or two afterwards. The
second partner in the firm came to me with
a persuasive smile, and said: 'Mr. ,
reply to this letter, and say that the goods
were shipped before the receipt of the letter
countermanding the order.' 'I cannot, sir,'
was my reply. 'And why not, sir?' was
asked, with angry hastiness. 'Because the
goods are now in the yard, and it would
therefore be a lie on my part, sir.' I hope
you will always be so particular,' he re-
marked, turning on his heel, and .leaving me.
From that time I had more frequent, intri-
cate and confidential matters intrusted to
me. When I left, I received a present of a
sum of money, and my successor was received
at my recommendation."
Now, this was only the natural conse-
quence of paying regard to truth. Men,
if they tell falsehoods themselves, cannot
but honour those who are above such
deception. Do you think that the em-
30 THE STARTINa IN LIFE.
ployers of this young man would have
had any more esteem for him had he
shown his willingness to tell a falsehood?
No: depend upon it, a love of the truth is
not only pleasing to God, but it will
always command the approval of men.
IF YOUR PARENTS ARE LIVING, DO YOUR
UTMOST TO PROMOTE THEIR HAPPINESS AND
This is no slight matter, whatever some
lads and young men may think of it.
The manner in which too many of them
speak of their parents, and to them, would
indicate that they must be as wanting in
good sense as they are in gratitude.
Now, if there be a young man who
ought to be despised by all right-thinking
persons, it is he who, forgetting or caring
nothing for th3 anxieties which his parents
have experienced on his account, will dare
HONOUR YOUR PARENTS. 31
u hurt their feelings by rough language
or cold neglect. You need only to be re-
\minded of your helpless condition in in-
fancy to convince you of what you owe to
them; but their anxiety respecting you
has increased with your growth. They
naturally feel a deep interest in your wel-
'4are. If you have cause for joy, they re-
joice with you; if for sorrow, no sym-
pathy is so genuine as their's. Why,
then, should they be treated as if they
cared nothing about you? Many a lad,
who has been a heavy burden upon the
industry of his parents, has afterwards
lived as if they were not living, although
he might easily have shown them many
little kindnesses which would have been
prized far above their cost. We would
entreat YOU, as a lad who has been taught
to honour his parents, never to follow so
discreditable a course.
32 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
RECOLLECT THAT YOUR PRCGRESS IN LIFE
MUST DEPEND UPON YOUR OWN EXERTION.
This is too often forgotten by young
men. Many appear as if they lived upon
the hope that something might "turn up"
to their advantage, when they ought to be
striving to make something turn up. They
would sooner hang upon others than trust
to their own exertions. Now, such young
men will never get on; nor ought they.
The man who, being able, is not willing
to work for his living, is unworthy the
gift of life. We would strongly advise
you, whilst you avail yourself of all the
help and influence you can honourably
secure, to ;emember that, valuable as that
help and influence may be, it is upon
your own exertion that your future posi-
tion will mainly depend. Resolve that,
with God's blessing, that position shall not
SEEK GQD'S BLESSING.
be a mean one, and you will add another
to the many proofs that persevering in-
dustry fails not to meet its reward.
Having pointed out the way for you to
attain earthly good, you will expect that
before we have done we shall say a word
or two upon the still more important sub-
ject of your eternal good.
You know the question that Jesus put,
--" What shall it profit a man if he gain
the whole world and lose his own soul?"
and you well know that it would be a
most wretched bargain.
What, then, is our advice upon this
matter? It is soon given.
SEEK GOD'S BLESSING, AND GIVE YOURSELF
TO HIS SERVICE.
What dowe mean by this? Not merely
attending public worship,-for a bad man
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
may do that,-but honouring the great
Being who gave you your life, by dedi-
cating that life to him. Remember that,
as you have broken his commandments,
you require his mercy; and, consequently,
y6u must seek that mercy if you would
avoid the effects of his anger. You have
been taught that only in Christ Jesus can
that mercy be obtained. If you have not
yet sought it, seek it at once; for how
will You- a Sunday-scholar- stand in
his presence, if you have never sought it?
Think very seriously for a moment. It
is now for you to settle whether the God
in whose holy law you have been in-
structed, and whose power has no limit,
shall or shall not be your friend. (Oh,
what will it be not to have him a friend?)
Whether the world in which he has
placed you shall be the better or the
worse for your living in it. Whether the
GIVE GOD YOUR HEART.
termination of your short life here is to
be followed by an eternity of joy or sor-
row. You do not want to be told what
kind of a decision about these things will
be the best for you to make. You know
Do not be deceived with the idea that
you can secure God's favour without giving
him your whole heart. Many* persons
make this serious mistake. They think
that the bare performance of certain acts
which their consciences will tell them are
right is sufficient to insure the appro-
bation and even the love of God. But
what is his language to you? My son,
give me thine heart." It is, you see, the
HEART that God asks. He will be satis-
fied with nothing less; and, you may
depend upon it, you will never be truly
satisfied yourself till you have give him
your heart. When this is done, you will
36 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
feel that you are under the guardianship,
of almighty power, and therefore all
things will work together for your good;
that you will be guided by unerring
counsel; and that whatever may befall
you will happen with the permission of
your heavenly Father and your best
It is only by living to God's service
that you can know what it is to be truly
happy; for living as his servant i8 to be
happy: happy, because you will feel
assured that he is your friend; happy,
because you will not fear to think on
death; happy, because you, will feel that,
whatever may be your earthly blessings,
eternity will surpass them all, and that,
whatever may be your sorrows, you are
on the way to a world where sorrows can
never be known; happy, because you will
feel that in serving GoD you are doing
that which ycur conscience will tell you is
Forget not that one proof of love to
God is shown in acts of kindness and
mercy to your fellow-creatures. So that,
if you would live to his glory, you must
day by day pray for the help of his Holy
Spirit to enable you to do so.
One word of caution. Do not let the
conviction that it is your duty to be'what
is called "religious" be at all altered by
the conduct of some persons who profess
to be so, and disgrace their profession.
Their inconsistency will not excuse you
from the obligation under which you lie
to obey God's law. Besides, as wisdom's
t: ways are ways of pleasantness, and all
her paths are peace," it would be foolish
for you to suffer yourself to be deprived
of such happiness, because men are to be
found in the world who pretend to enjoy
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
it and really do not. If you should ever
possess a purse of gold dollars, you would
not value it less because you might happen
to know that there were a number of bad
dollars in circulation; and it would be
just as unwise for you to be indifferent to
God's truth because there happen to be
some sham professors of it.
But it is not only your duty to serve
God *yourself: you 'must try to persuade
others to do so. We would remind you of
one place where his claims have oftentimes
been pressed upon your attention, and
seriously ask you whether you ofight not
only to acknowledge those claims your-
self, but to urge them upon others. The
opportunity of doing so is afforded you.
The SUNDAY-WcHOOL has been a benefit to
you; help to make it so to others. You
know that it has done you good to be
there; help, then, to do good to others,
BE STRICTLY TEMPERATE.
and thus show your gratitude for what
you have been taught.
BE STRICTLY TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS.
We generally use the word" temperate"
in reference to the use of intoxicating
drink; and that is indeed, in our time
and country, the most common form of
intemperance. The variety of forms in
which the temptation to indulge in strong
drink presents itself to young men can
scarcely be counted. Finding themselves
in pleasant company, and not willing to
seem odd, they acquire the habit before
they are aware of it. The use of tobacco,
in chewing or smoking, is very generally
connected. with the use of strong drink,
and is in itself a most pernicious and ex-
pensive practice. If you would avoid the
risk of becoming the slave of the intoxi-
40 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
casting cup, you will put yourself on the
footing of total abstinence from all strong
drink and from whatever provokes the
appetite for it. Temperance in the in-
dulgence of all our appetites is as much a
duty as temperance in respect to ardent
spirits. Such appetites are given us to
be our servant and to minister to our
health and enjoyment; but the moment
Lhey obtain the mastery over us we be-
come their slaves, and are very likely
to groan in. bondage through this life,
and, unless prevented by timely repent-
ance and faith, through the endless life
BE ESPECIALLY REGARDFUL OF THE LO1D'S
DAY, AND ON NO ACCOUNT DESECRATE IT.
Perhaps there is no one misstep that has
led so many to the ruin of soul and body
REGARD .'HE LORD'S DAY.
as trampling upon the day of sacred rest.
The benevolence of our heavenly Father
is very conspicuous in the appointment of
a fixed period at which we shall pause in
the pursuit of our worldly business and
think of the interests of the soul.
Though we may read a chapter in the
Bible, and seek God's blessing in daily
prayer, still the busy cares of life will
shut out the thoughts of God. And we
may sometimes spend most of the day,
if not all of it, without once thinking
that God is present, compassing our
path, hearing all our words, knowing all
our thoughts and plans, and protecting us
with his watchful care. Now, it is well
for us that once in seven days our minds
should be called away from the noise and
confusion of the busy world to commune
with Him in "whom we live and move
and have our being." His holy word can
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
then be read and studied. We can offer
him private and public worship, and train
our minds to a more careful regard for
his glory and honour in our future life.
We earnestly beg you, therefore, to make
"the Sabbath of the Lord your God" a
day of true and happy rest, a day in
which you can delight yourself in medi-
tation upon heavenly and divine things,
MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL.
As soon as opportunity offers, you will
do well to connect yourself with some
Sunday-school, either as a member of a
Bible-class or perhaps as a teacher. As
we have already intimated, whatever ad-
vantages you have received in the way
of instruction you are bound to use for
the advantage of others. All our gifts
are bestowed with a view to our employ-
ing them for the happiness and welfare
of others. The sooner you form Chris-
tian associations and secure the sym-
pathy and regard of the wise and good,
the safer and the happier you will be.
There are few spectacles more sad than
that of a young man, exposed to the
temptations and disappointments of life,
without any refuge or resource except a
group of thoughtless and worldly asso-
ciates. A prudent young man will fore-
see his need of judicious and sympathizing
Christian friends, and will seek them
All our suggestions and counsels may
be summed up in the beautiful language
of Holy Scripture, "Seek ye first the
kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these [necessary] things will be
added unto you."
And now, dear young friend, we must
conclude. Earnestly do we pray that God
44 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
may bless to you these few words of simple
advice; that he may favour you with his
guidance throughout your whole life; and
that, when your time of toil shall bave
ended, he may welcome you to the rest
which remains for his people.
[The following counsels, contained in a letter of the Rev. T.
EL Gallaudet, will form an appropriate supplement to the pre-
My DEAR YOUNG FRIEND:-
Will you permit one, who has long felt
a deep interest in your welfare, to say a
few things to you in the way of friendly
counsel, as you are about embarking in
your new and arduous enterprise? I
write from the heart, and I pray God
that he would add his blessing to what I
affectionately address to your considera-
Look ahead. Should you persevere in
leading a mechanic's life, think where
you will find yourself some ten, twenty,
or thirty years hence, if your life is
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
spared thus long. Do you mean to Tise
above the situation of a common work-
man ? Do you aim to be a thoroughly
qualified, respectable and useful master
of your trade? Then remember that if
you ever reach that station it will be by
successive steps of advancement. You
will advance, too, in proportion as you
acquire the confidence of others; and this
confidence will depend upon the character
you are every day forming.
The first day you go into the shop,
and begin to act and to be observed by
those around you, you will begin to esta-
blish this character; and every follow-
ing day, through succeeding months and
years, will be adding traits to it, either
favourable or unfavourable. Little things
-as you may estimate them, but most
momentous in their results-will go to
make up this character; and they will be
recollected, too, and constitute future
answers to inquiries about you, with a
minuteness of which you may now have a
very inadequate conception.
-What sort of a lad was young
when he was apprentice to you?" will
be asked some years hence, in order tc
know whether confidence can be placed
in you with reference to your advance-
ment to some superior station. "Who
were master and foreman of the shop?
What do they say of him? What do
the steady and respectable hands that
worked with him say of him?" Sup-
pose the united reply to be, (which I
ardently hope will prove to be the case,)
" He was one of the steadiest and best-
behaved fellows in the shop; faithful in
the discharge of his duties, strictly moral
in his conduct and habits; his shop-
mates say they never heard him utter a
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
profane or vulgar expressicn, or saw him
drink any intoxicating liquor: he was
esteemed and respected by all. It was
thought, too, that he was a pious young
man, and his example and influence
were worth a great deal in sustaining
good order: so that it will be no small
advantage, in this respect, to have him
in any shop in which he may choose tr
Such a character will be worth every
thing to you, even so far as your tem-
poral welfare is concerned,-worth more
than thousands of dollars, or the most
respectable family connections. For these,
however largely you may possess them,
can never procure you the confidence
of others, if your character is unde-
serving of it. If you aspire to have
that character which will lead others to
place confidence in you, remember that
* you must begin to form it the first day
that you go into the shop, and that you
must go on adding to it every day after-
wards. If you are so unfortunate as to
think that you are so young, and oc-
cupy so unimportant a station, that what
you say and do for the first few months
of your life will not be noticed and re-
membered, you will find yourself most
sadly mistaken. It will be very particu-
larly noticed and remembered, and have
a most important bearing on the whole
course of your future life.
Besides, if you do not begin right, you
will find it more and more difficult to get
right afterwards. If you swear some the
first month, habit will lead you to swear
more the second month, and the third,
and so on; and when will you have the
resolution to stop?
Drink ever so little spirit when you
THE STARTING IN LIFE.
first form acquaintance with your shop-
mates,-for company's sake, or to avoid
being laughed at for being a temperance-
man,-and do you think you will have
courage to abstain the second, third, or
fourth time you are invited? If it
should be soon seen that you can in-
dulge a little in loose and low con-
versation, or listen to it with satisfaction,
-that you can pass or enjoy a joke on
religious people or religious things,-how
hard it will be to turn about in opposition
to the remarks of those around you, and
do these degrading and sinful things no
Profane the first Sabbath, and let the
irreligious see that you belong to their
class; and will you be able to resist
their enticements or sneers, and keep the
second and following Sabbaths as you
Set out, from the very beginning, with
a fixed determination (looking to God in
frequent and earnest prayer to help you
keep it) that you will converse and act
as a discreet, respectable, and Christian
young man ought to do; and carry this
determination into effect without cant or
boasting,-in a calm, cheerful, kind and
yet decided manner, bearing a few hard
rubs, and perhaps some sarcastic or bitter
remarks, good-naturedly,-and you will be
gratified to see how soon all this will cease,
and you take your proper stand among
those around you, and be respected and
well treated even by the most profane and
But to do this you need divine strength;
you need to be a Christian in heart. This
will constitute your only true security.
Many and new temptations will sur-
round you. You will need moial courage
52 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
to resist them. Look, then, to God, in
humble and earnest prayer for the in-
fluence of his Holy Spirit to lead you to
sincere repentance for sin, and to a cor-
dial faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as
your only Saviour. Continue to look to
him, in the same way, for those daily sup-
plies of wisdom, grace and strength that
you will peculiarly need.
Read the Bible daily, if it be only a
few verses. Read it more fully on the
Sabbath, and also such other religious
books as y~u may have. "Remember
the Sabbath day to deep it holy." You
will have opportunities and modes of ob-
serving the day properly. You can abstain
from all conversation and conduct that is
inconsistent with its sacredness, and you
can let those around you see that you are
under the influence of Christian principle
in this respect.
Avoid intimacies with the profane, the
licentious and the irreligious, while you
treat all in a kind and gentlemanly man-
ner. Pray for such persons, and try to do
them good in all wise and proper ways.
Avoid bad and loose books and pictures
(if there should be any such in the shop)
as you would avoid poison. Show your
disapprobation of them in a marked and
decided manner. They have ruined thou-
If there are any decidedly steady-and,
still more, religious-men in the shop,
seek their acquaintance and cultivate
their friendship. Two or three can greatly
strengthen each other in what is right and
good. Think of your dear father and
mother, of your family and friends. Be-
have well for their sakes. Think of your
future prospects. Think of God, whose
eye will ever be upon you. Think of
54 THE STARTING IN LIFE.
death; it may overtake you unawares.
Think of eternity,-how soon you will be
there, to partake of its indescribable joys
or sorrows. May the Lord bless you,
guide and keep you in the way of duty,
of safety and of peace.
Your sincere friend,
T. H. GALLAUDET.
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