Some years ago a man employed by a mercantile firm became subject to discouragement, following an occurrence which made impossible the fruition of a cherished hope. This event was beyond his power to control, as he was unaware of anything in his own experience having caused it; and no instruction in his life previous to this time had given him a glimpse of the fact that unfolding courage in his consciousness would free him from a dejected mental condition.

In this trouble he sought advice from one who had shown a friendly interest in his welfare, a man of wider experience. This friend, evidently knowing no way to destroy the direct result of the incident, counseled him to try to find relief by faithful efforts in the business in which he was engaged. His advice was to this effect: that the despondency would in time lose force, and if during the lapse of time every opportunity was improved to gain success in business, this success would be accompanied with results which would annul the consequences of the disappointment. Considered from a business view-point, this was not bad counsel, but its lack of anything that would increase his courage to endure, by turning thought to the spiritual, was apparent. The friend who recommended this course was an excellent type of manhood, one who met all obligations to the best of his ability and frequently sacrificed his own welfare for the benefit of others, yet his highest hope appeared to be in the result of human achievement. The teaching of Christianity had certainly influenced his life in many ways; but though the Christian imprint had proved helpful in shaping his manhood into a good standard of character, the wonder was that so much had been done without creating more dependence on a help above the human.

February 22, 1913

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