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" He either fears his fate too much,

Or his deserts are small,
Who dares not put it to the touch,

To gain or lose it all."

Seventh, the man of genius possesses a magnificent courage. He is the incarnation of the martyr's spirit. Cromwell—one man against the king. Luther-one man against the Church. Paul-one man against an empire. Galileo-one man against an age. Faith is courage taking hold. Hope is courage holding on. Stability is courage standing firm. Persistence is courage going on

Enthusiasm is courage burning on the altar of some noble cause. Patience is courage enduring all in hope. “Speak, history! who are life's victors ? Unroll thy

long annals and say,
Are they those whom the world called the victors-

who won the success of a day?
The martyrs, or Nero ? The Spartans, who fell at

Thermopyla's tryst,
Or the Persians and Xerxes ? His judges, or Socrates ?

Pilate, or Christ ?"

VII

THE LAW OF LANGUAGE

The Fatal Force of Words

A

MAN may be known by five things. First, by his character-what he is. Second, by

his conversation—what he says. Third, by his conduct—what he does. Fourth, by his contribution-what he gives. Fifth, by his creed-what he aspires to be. In this chapter we purpose concentrating our attention on the second of these characteristics, namely: Conversation. Select your own title for the discourse—" Slips In Conversation”. “The Fatal Force of Words"_"Tongues and Ears "_“The Science of Slander"-"Dangerous Talkers "_"Women Who Gossip and Men Who Swear.” Have your own title—and I like a titlebut understand me, I have a definite and distinct design in the presentation of this particular theme. I would like to write upon the walls of the Temple of Memory these words : “By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

A nation is known by its architecture. An individual is known by his language. Cromwell discovered that the word of a Quaker was better than the word of the average soldier. That is the best church which produces the best type of character. Character is the best expression of a man's creed. A man's words are a part, a vital part, of a man's character. The human soul seeks for expression. There are many forms of expression. Laughter is the most natural form of expression; beauty, the most acceptable ; music, the most universal ; architecture, the most dignified and impressive; eloquence, the most moving and convincing ; literature, the most enduring; painting and sculpture, the forms which are classic; but the oldest and most comprehensive form of human expression is-Language.

Language is one of God's greatest gifts to man. Every profession has its own vocabulary and every class its favourite phrases. The possibilities of linguistic development are as unlimited as human thought. The latest dictionary of the English language is said to contain four hundred thousand words. The average man uses less than four thousand words. Shakespeare used 15,000 words; Rufus Choate, 11,000 words; and John Milton, 8,000 words. All the words of your own language belong to you. Enrich your vocabulary. Every new word, coined or copied, increases your capacity for thought and improves your mode of expression.

Oh, the music, the witchery, the mystery, and the majesty of words. Charles Lamb must have known something of the secret of expression and the art of a skilled phraseology when he wrote : "In every truly great poem there is reason, not only for every

word, but for the position of every word.” A word is the incarnation of a thought and possesses the magic power to send a great idea leaping from soul to soul in the circle of those who know its meaning. This is the might of the pulpit—Thought agitation through the power of fitly chosen words. The“ foolishness" of preaching is the apparent weakness of the instrument in comparison with the results achieved. A single striking thought on the lips of an untutored Galilean fisherman has potency sufficient to revolutionize an empire, hoary with age and world-wide in its dominion. Oh, young preacher, what is your message? Have you a message? Are you a voice or an echo? A sounding board or a personified principle? Emerson affirmed that the philosophy of Margaret Fuller might be expressed in nine words: “I don't know where I am goingfollow me.” Conviction is the hidden dynamo of every species of genuine eloquence. Frederick Douglass, the coloured orator, whose experiences as a slave were written on his back in the red scars which registered the impact of the slave-driver's lash, used to say: "I never rise to speak before an American audience that I do not feel that my success or failure will seriously affect the future of the black race." Words winged with profound conviction will arouse the most indifferent audience.

But in the special message of this chapter we are to deal with the possibilities—the upward and downward possibilities—of ordinary conversation. It was Gregory of Armenia, called the “Illuminator." an early apostle of Christianity, who asserted that "if you divide the sins of men into two parts, one-half will be the sins of the tongue.” The “sins of the tongue” centre about personalities. Recall the words of Pascal : "If we all knew what one said of another, there would not be four friends in the world"; and Thackeray, too, remarks : “ Have you not entered a room when the sudden hush in the conversation seemed to say, 'We have been talking about

you'?"

Mark you! It is not wrong to talk about people if

you talk about them in the right way. But let me warn you—Words have wings! The Persians have a proverb to this effect: "The unspoken word is your slave—the spoken word is your master.” There is nothing so swift as slander. It

It is social blood-poisoning. A friend of mine, a Toronto physician of great skill and popularity, one day, during a surgical operation, scratched his finger with a tainted instrument. In less than two weeks he was in his grave. But slander travels faster than that! They have just discovered a branch of the “Black Hand” society in the United States, but there are social mischief makers who belong to a blacker society than the one indicated. In a recent novel a certain Dr. Packthread is thus described : “He could whisper away a character by an innocent interrogation-he could destroy a high reputation by a shrug of the shouldershe could assassinate a soul by silence, when silence became the strongest instrument.” What a garland to weave for the brow of fiendishness!

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