[C. H. Spurgeon Picture]


By C. H. Spurgeon

[GospelWeb.net Globe]

Chapter 22


OF all the pretty little songs I have ever heard my youngsters sing, that is one of the best which winds up:

"If at first you don't succeed, Try, try, try again."

I recommend it to grown up people who are down in the mouth, and fancy that the beats thing they can do is to give up. Nobody known what he can do till he tries. "We shall get through it now," said Jack to Harry as they finished up the pudding. Everything new is hard work, but a little of the TRY ointment rubbed on the hand and worked into the heart makes all things easy.

Can't do it sticks in the mud, but Try soon drags the wagon out of the rut. The fox said Try, and he got away from the hounds when they almost snapped at him. The bees said Try and turned flowers into honey. The squirrel said Try, and up he went to the top of the beech tree. The snowdrop said Try and bloomed in the cold snows of winter. The sun said Try, and the spring soon threw Jack Frost out of the saddle. The young lark said Try, and he found that his new wings took him over hedges and ditches and up where his father was singing The ox staid Try and plowed the field from end to end. No hill too steep for Try to climb, no clay too stiff for Try to plow, no field too wet for Try to drain, no hole to big for Try to mend.

"By little strokes - Men fell great oaks."

By a spadeful at a time the canal laborers dug the cutting, cut a big hole through the hill, and heaped up the embankment.

"The stone is hard, and the drop is small, But a hole is made by the constant fall."

What man has done, man can do; and what has never been, may be. Plowmen have become gentlemen, cobblers have turned their lapstones into gold, and tailors have sprouted into members of Parliament. Tuck up your shirt sleeves, young hopeful, and go at it. Other there's a will, there's a way. The sun shines for all the world. Believe in God, stick to hard work, and see if the mountains are not removed. A faint heart never won a fair lady. Cheer, boys, cheer, God helps those who help themselves. Never mind luck - that's what the fool had when he killed himself with eating suet pudding; the best luck in all the would is made up of joint oil and sticking plaster.

Don't wait for helpers. Try those two old friends, your strong arms. Self's the man. If the fox wants poultry for his cubs, he must eat the chickens home himself. None of her Miens can help the hare: she must run for herself, or the greyhounds will have her. Every man must carry his own sack to the mill. You must put your own shoulder to the wheel and keep it there, for there are plenty of ruts in the road. If you wait till all the ways are paved, you hare light shining between your ribs. If you sit still till great men take you on their backs, you will grow to your seat. Your own legs are better than stilts; don't look to others, but trust in God and keep your powder dry.

Don't be whining about not having a fair start. If you throw a sensible man out of a window, he'll fall on his legs and ask nearest way to his work. The more you have to begin with, the less you will have at the end. Money you earn yourself is much brighter and sweeter than any you get out of dead men's bags. A scant breakfast in the morning whets the appetite for a feast later in the day. He who has tasted a sour apple will have the more relish for a sweet one; your present want will make future prosperity all the sweeter. Eighteen pence has set up many a peddler in business, and he has turned it over till he has kept his carriage.

As for the place you are cast in, don't find fault with that. you need not be a horse because you were born in a stable. If a bull tossed a man of mettle sky high, he would drop down into a good place. A hard working young man, with his wits about him, will make money where others do nothing but lose it.

Who loves his work and knows to spare, May live and flourish anywhere.

As to a little trouble, who expects to find cherries without stones or roses without thorns? He who would win must learn to bear. Idleness lies in bed sick of the mulligrubs, where industry finds health and wealth. The dog in the kennel barks at the fleas, the hunting dog does not even know they are there. Laziness waits till the river is dry and never gets to market; Try swims it and makes all the trade. Can't do it couldn't eat the bread and butter which was cut for him, but Try made meat out of mushrooms.

Everybody who does not get on lays it all on competition. When the wine was stolen they said it was the rats; it's very convenient to have a horse to put the saddle on. A mouse may find a hole, be the room ever so full of cats. Good workmen are always wanted. There's a penny to be turned at the worst booth in the fair. No barber ever shaves so close but another barber will find something left. Nothing is so good but what it might be better; and he who sells the best wins the trade. We were all going to the workhouse because of the new machines, or so the prophets down at the taproom were telling us. But instead of it, all these threshing, and reaping, and hay-making machines have helped to make those men better off who had sense enough to work them. If a man has not a soul above clodhopping, he may expect to keep poor; but if he opens his eyes and picks up here and there a little, even Johnny Raw may yet improve. "Times are bad," they say; yes, and if you go gaping about and send your wits woolgathering, times always will be bad.

Many don't get on because they have not the pluck to begin in right earnest. The fat pound laid by is the difficulty. The fast blow is half the battle. Over with that beer jug, up with the Try flag, then out to your work, and away to the savings bank with the savings, and you will be a man yet. Poor men will always be poor if they think they must be. But there's a way up out of the lowest poverty if a man looks after it early, before he has a wife and half-a-dozen children: after that he carries too much weight for racing, and most commonly he must be content if he finds bread for the hungry mouths and clothes for the little backs. Yet, I don't know; some hens scratch all the better for having a great swarm of chicks. To young men the road up the hill may be hard, but at any rate it is open. They who set stout heart against a stiff hill shall climb it yet. What was hard to bear will be sweet to remember. If young men would deny themselves, work hardy live hard, and rave in their early days, they; need not keep their noses to the grindstone all their lives, as many have to do. Let them be teetotalers for economy's sake; water is the strongest drink, it drives mills. It's the drink of lions and horses, and Samson never drank anything else. The beer money would soon build a house.

If you want to do good in the world, the little word "Try" comes in again. There are plenty of ways of serving God, and some that will fit you exactly as a key Kilts a lock. Don't hold back because you cannot preach in St. Paul's; be content to talk to one or two in a cottage. Very good wheat grows in little fields. You may cook in small pots as well as in big ones. Little pigeons can carry great messages. Even a little dog can bark at a thief, wake up the master, and save the house. A spark is fire. A sentence of truth has heaven in it. Do what you do right thoroughly, pray over it heartily, and leave the result to God.

Alas! Advice is thrown away on many, like good seed on a bare rock. Teach a cow for seven years, but she will never learn to sing the Old Hundredth. Of some it seems true that when they were born, Solomon went by the door but would not look in. Their coat of arms is a fool's cap on a donkey's head. They sleep when it is time to plow and weep when harvest comes They eat all the parsnips for supper, and wonder they have none left for breakfast. Our working people are shamefully unthrifty, and as old England swarms with poor. If what goes; into the moonshine still went into the kneading trough, families would be better fed and better taught. If what is spent in waste were only saved against a rainy day, workhouses would never be built.

Once let every man say try, Very few on straw would lie, Fewer still of want would die; Pans would all have fish to fry; Pigs would fill the poor man's sty; Want would cease and need would fly, Wives and children cease to cry; Poor rates would not swell so highs - Things wouldn't go so much awry - You'd be glad, and so would I.

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