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Our Inquiry Meeting

Our Inquiry Meeting image
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NO. 3. llave all our friends arrived í If so, be seated, while we inquire to night why it is thatsome men and women acconiplish so much inthe world, and others so little. Let us look abroad in society, and see what every body is about. The first thing that strikes us is the fact that the greater part of men and women have no definite, paramount and permanent object in view, beyond the suj)ply of their immediate wants. They float carelessly down the stream of time, occupying themselves for the moment with catching at the bubbles which float near them, following each for a short period, and then turning to another, until the life which was commenced and pursued without a paramount or ruling object, is finished without Ieaving a trace behind. Such is the biography of the greater part of our race ; and of them you may notice this one thing : tint thore who have not a permanent and abiding purpote in them, never accomplish great results. Go through all the records of history, frorn the 'building of the Ark by Noah to the Anncxation of Texas, and you will find that eminent results werc accomplished only by those who had a will to achieve thém. - When you have traced the history of the past, look around through yóiir own country and the communify where you live, andseeifit be not so. Inquire into the history of that oíd miser, who has added dollar to dollar, or farm to farm for half a century : of the politician, who stands high in public lifc : of the author, whose works are quoted as unquestione.l standards : and of the accomplished orator who sways the multitudes at his will. Ask each of these individuals how he has been able to transcend his fellows with whom he commenced his career, and he will teil you it was because he had a will lo doso. But the rule will be found to apply to ordinary as well as eminent persons. The scholar who confines himself closely to his book is expected by all the school, and by every body to excel those whose thoughtsare on sport and play. Why? Because he has a purpose to learn. Old people rermark of the clerk or hiredman who carefully savcs his wages that he will become rich. Why ? Because he has á purpose of saving. Henee they prophesy perpetual poverty to the good natured, shiftless fellow who spends his wages prodigatly, because, he has no purpose of saving. Experience shows that that they are right. By the time you have completed this examina tion and satisfied yourself that a fixed purpose and important results are inseparably connected,anothcr great truth, akin to this, Will loom up before you - to wit, that other things being equal, the achievemeitts of eminent persons have been -propotlionate to the intensily oftnind with which they have willed and acted for a single purpose. When the entire being of an individual has been consecrated to a particular object, he has made far greater advances towards success, than he who, with the same ruling purpose, has labored for it less strongly, or scattered hisenergies overölarge field ofeiïbrt. But what is the meaning of the smiling and whispcring that extend around the room"? What does that lady say - "theOne Ideal" Yes, madam the 'One Idea is insepurably connected with great achievements in every department oflife. People will.never accomplish any more than they try to accomplish. Had Miss Edgcworth, orMrs. Child, had no higher ambition than to sweep tho house, boil potatoes, and excel in the village dances, they would not have amused and instructed millions of the human race, exertine an abiding influence on those of whose existenco even they were entirely unconscious. But it is uselcss to quote il-' lustrations. If you would be any body in the world, you must get an "idea" of some kind into your mind and keep it there. You cannot do any thing without a purpose. If you have no ruling will ofyourown, you will be the more sport of circumstances, and fall into all kinds ofinconsistenciesand follies. This ruling purpose or "One Idea," developed by systcmatic perseverance, is the foundation of all true greatncss, and the secret of attaiuing success in life. But those poor, irresolute, mental invalids who considêr the world asonly "an empty dream," in their own case, will find it to be so. To dreamers it will doubtless, be a dream, and not always a pleasantone. But he who afterhis d3para!ur% would leave "some footsteps on the sands of time," will regard it vër'y differently, and say and fecl with Longfcllow, - Not cnjoyment nnJ not Birrow, Is our destinetl end or way ; But to act, that ench tomorrow, Find ut iiirther tlun to day."