I possess, I always have possessed, an unusually good memory. I did not make that. I was naturally observant. No credit can accrue to me from that source. I loved to learn. Some grammarians may differ with me in the use of the word “love,” but let them; I do not care, it may be because they have never loved in that way. I must have inherited that. I was passionately fond of music. Another 68 day stands out across the years as memory travels back, when as a boy of eight or nine years of age I traveled from the little log cabin on the farm where I lived to the nearest town, three miles away, with a pail of blackberries on my arm which I peddled from door to door. In my travels I found myself in the vicinity of a group of fine brick and stone buildings which I knew instinctively was the State Normal School and from within the walls of that building there floated strains of heavenly music. It may have been some pupil practicing scales, I know not; but this I do know, it was celestial to me, and I see that boy in poor, shabby clothes, but neat as mother’s love could make them, barefooted, tired, dusty, standing there with the big tears running down his cheeks, his heart filled with an inexpressionable longing to be able to play like that, and with it a desire to go to school and obtain an education. I did not make that desire.
And then at the back of and under and through all the woof of every man’s life, if he be not blind, he can see, or if he be not dishonest and will acknowledge it, there ever runs the warp of the wonderful influences of other lives and the strange providential guidings which do more than anything else to make men and women.
Tips, opportunities to make money：pink floyd music video moneySupreme among these influences, as in most men’s lives, was the influence of my sainted mother, whose self-sacrifice for her boy, who so many times was so unworthy of it, has been the most potent factor in 69 helping me achieve whatever of real success I may have attained.
My mother was a widow left with six children, five of whom were at home. The youngest was a girl less than two years of age, another was under four, and I was not yet six years of age. We moved at the time of her widowhood from the city to my grandfather’s farm. Grandfather had died and grandmother was left with no one to care for the farm. My brother and I were the farmers. He was fifteen years of age and I was about six. The country school was a mile and a half from our home. I went winters rather irregularly, for the cold weather and deep snows of northwestern Pennsylvania in those days made it well-nigh impossible to attend regularly. In the summer there was the farm work which prevented my getting the benefit of the summer term. But I studied and read not with any definite aim, but just because I liked to study and read. Grandmother’s death and the sale of the old farm when I was about eleven years of age, left the mother with nothing but her bare hands to support her growing family. I went to work on a farm and the outlook for an education was anything but reassuring. I still continued to get some schooling at the little country school during the winter. The summer that I was fifteen I was working in the garden of the pastor of the little Christian church, which I attended, and he told in the neighborhood that he had found a diamond in the rough. I have 70 never questioned the latter part of that statement as applied to me, but have always felt that the good old man’s vision must have been somewhat impaired by his years. However that may be, he resolved to see if some way could not be devised for polishing the rough specimen.
Soon after this he retired from the active ministry and went to live in the town of Yellow Springs, Ohio. At this place the Christian denomination had a college known as Antioch College.
One day our little family was thrown into excitement by a letter from the afore-mentioned pastor, the Rev. Joseph Weeks, saying that he had procured for my mother the position of cook for the college boarding club and an opportunity for me and my sister, next younger than I, to work our way through school. After much deliberation and many councils, it was finally decided that we go. That was a happy time for me. The impressions which crowded thick and fast into my life at this time can never be erased or forgotten. The wonderful journey, the great stone building, the dormitories, the beautiful campus, the teachers, and the dear old library. Oh, the library was best of all.
On my arrival I went to work in the dining-room. It was my duty to fill the water glasses on the tables before each meal and then to assist in clearing the tables at the close of each meal and to help in the washing of the dishes. I also carried coal and water for the kitchen. I spent one happy year 71 there and I do not think that my teachers during the nine months that I was under their training and polishing ever discovered any diamond-like qualities about me except the roughness. Overtaxed with the work, mother’s health broke and we were forced to leave. It was a bitter disappointment to me. I, as the oldest at home, felt that I must try to do something to help care for the rest of the family. Then came days of darkness and struggle. I could find no work. Finally a farmer, taking advantage of my desperate condition, hired me for the munificent salary of six dollars per month. At one time during this period I walked twenty miles to the city of Erie and hunted for work as faithfully as I knew how to look for work in a great city, but found none, and was forced to walk back again disheartened, only to be told by a penurious relative where I had been staying that “I had not tried to get work.” I hope God has forgiven him. I believe I have, but it still hurts when I think of it. Then I walked fifty miles to the city of Ashtabula, Ohio, stopping at the towns on the way, in some of which I had acquaintances, and tried to find work, but without avail. Finally, finding myself in the city friendless, homeless, penniless, night came on and I crept under a sidewalk hungry and thoroughly disheartened, and slept. In the morning somewhat rested I walked to a neighboring town where a cousin of my mother’s resided; there I got a dinner and a good night’s rest. From there I journeyed back home. 72
But the darkest day will have its dawning and the longest lane its turning, and that fall again the way opened and I entered the Old Waterford Academy at Waterford, Pa. Here I did janitor work the first year, in the Academy, and earned what extra money I could around the town by splitting wood and doing odd jobs during my leisure hours. The second year I obtained the janitorship of the graded school. By dint of hard work, carrying seven studies each term, I completed the three years’ course in two years, graduating in 1889. Then I felt that on account of my mother and sisters I could not remain longer in school, but must look after them, which I did until the death of my mother and the marriage of my sisters. During these years I had varied experience, working at shoveling dirt on the streets of Erie, unloading lumber barges at the docks, as attendant in the State Hospital for the Insane, teaching school, driving a team in the lumber woods as a lumber jack, working three years at printing, two years in a general agency of fire insurance, as secretary of Young Men’s Christian Association and physical director of same, and finally, entering the ministry.
After the death of my mother and after someone else had relieved me of responsibility for the care of my sisters, I felt the need of further preparation for the work to which I had been called. I felt that I was too old to attempt a college course, and decided that if it were possible I would like to take 73 a course in the Moody Bible School at Chicago. I did not have the money to do this, but felt that some way would open. God almost miraculously opened a way, and I became director of the religious and club work for men and boys in a social settlement in Chicago where the salary was sufficient to aid me in doing this very well. Thus I was able to graduate from the Moody Bible Institute, the best school I know of for the training of Christian workers.
I would like to say to any young man or woman, anywhere, I can think of but two things that need stand in your way of getting a thorough school training. One is, health so poor that you cannot attain it, or the care of others which may demand your time and energies to such an extent that you cannot devote either to the pursuit of knowledge. To such let me say that there are lessons to be learned under these circumstances of equal value with the training of the schools, and the curriculum of no school, college or university can furnish them. Your loss will not be without its compensation. If you meet the disappointments cheerily, bravely, and strive to make the most of life and learn your lessons from the school in which you are ever being trained, the great school of life, you will grow into a broader, deeper, tenderer, nobler man or woman.
It is not so much poverty and environment that will keep boys and girls from an education as it is lack of vision, desire, determination, perseverance.
Tips, opportunities to make money：pre money post money valuationI am not at all anxious about the boy or girl who 74 has these qualities. They will succeed in the great race of life, if upheld by a strong moral purpose at the back of it all. It is the boy or girl who, having the advantages, the opportunity, the means for an education, has not the vision, the desire, the purpose, that needs our sympathy and anxious thought.