These chapters are written with the purpose and hope of stimulatingthose who may read them to earnest and worthy living. If they seemurgent, if they present continually motives of thoughtfulness, if theydwell almost exclusively on the side of obligation and responsibility,if they make duty ever prominent and call to self-renunciation andself-sacrifice, leaving small space for play, it is because life itselfis really most serious, and because we must meet it seriously,recognizing its sacred meaning and girding ourselves for it with allearnestness and energy.
souls, a new ardor, a new enthusiasm. They were on fire with love for Christ. They entered upon a service in which all their energies flamed.
The living sacrifice includes all the life,--not what it is now only, but all that it may become. Life is not a diamond, but a seed, with possibilities of endless growth. Dr. Lyman Abbott has used this illustration: "I pluck an acorn from the greensward, and hold it to my ear; and this is what it says to me: 'By and by the birds will come and nest in me. By and by I will furnish shade for the cattle. By and by I will provide warmth for the home in the pleasant fire. By and by I will be shelter from the storm to those who have gone under the roof. By and by I will be the strong ribs of the great vessel, and the tempest will beat against me in vain, while I carry men across the Atlantic.' 'O foolish little acorn, wilt thou be all this?' I ask. And the acorn answers, 'Yes; God and I.'"
I look into the faces of a company of children, and I hear a whisper, sayi