The Chinese have a proverb which says, "If you talk with a soft voice, you do not need a thick stick." If any man desires to live peaceably, this proverb shows the way. The fighting man seldom lacks antagonists. If we carry the big stick, it is sure to be flourished, and it means that other big sticks will appear, with no end of a row in prospect. The man who persists in carrying a gun is sure to pull it sooner or later.
But the soft word has no recoil. It never seems to challenge the other fellow to a fight. In fact, it makes him rather ashamed of his fiery speech and combative attitude. Miles Standish was willing to fight, and he had plenty of chances; William Penn would not fight, and the Indians who fought Standish so fiercely had no quarrel at all with Penn. War begets war: peace produces peace.
If you want to make friends with a cross dog, don't stir him up with a stick.—Selected.
"Blessed are the peacemakers."
Philip Henry often would quote Luther's story of the two goats that met upon a narrow bridge over a deep water. "They could not go back; they durst not fight. After a short parley, one of them lay down and let the other go over him, and thus no harm is done. The moral," he would say, "is easy: Be content if thy person be trod upon for peace's sake. Thy person, I say, not thy conscience."—The Elim Evangel.
"Mama, dear, I was a peacemaker today," said a little girl as she snuggled up to her mother in the evening. "How was that?" asked the mother, "I heard something, and I didn't tell it," was the reply. "Blessed are the peacemakers."—The King's Business.
Yes, we can doubtless gain your case for you; we can set a whole neighborhood at loggerheads; we can distress a widowed mother and her six fatherless children, and thereby get for you six hundred dollars to which you seem to have a legal claim, but which rightfully belongs, it appears to me, as much to the woman and her children as it does to you. You must remember, however, that some things legally right are not morally right. We shall not take your case, but we will give you a little advice for which we will charge you nothing. You seem to be a sprightly, energetic man. We would advise you to try your hand at making six hundred dollars in some other way.—Watchman-Examiner.
"Do you think it would be wrong for me to learn the noble art of self-defense?" a religiously inclined young man inquired of his pastor. "Certainly not," answered the minister. "I learned it in youth myself, and I have found it of great value during my life." "Indeed, sir! Did you learn the old English system or the Sullivan system?" "I learned neither," said the minister. "I learned the Solomon system." "The Solomon system?" answered the young man. "Yes; you will find it in the first verse of the fifteenth chapter of Proverbs: 'A soft answer turneth away wrath.' It is the best system of self-defense of which I know!" It would be well if more would know this way of self-defense.—Youth's Counselor.
Some boys were playing baseball. Joe Harding said angrily, "You did." "No, I did not," quickly replied Frank Talbot. "I say you did; and if you say you didn't, that is the same as calling me a liar. And nobody shall call me a liar." Joe was a splendid looking fellow, the envy of all the boys; for he was the best ballplayer in the school. But he had a quick temper, and it was easy for him to fight when he was angry. "He always manages to keep cool when Frank is around," said Tom. "Frank is his match; so we will never see that fight," he added sneeringly. Everybody rushed up to where the boys were, as soon as they saw there was going to be a fight. But what! Frank a coward? not going to fight? There he stood, with his hands at his side, saying as Joe rushed at him, "I never called a boy a liar," but Joe struck him a blow in the face, which sent him reeling. He recovered himself in time to take another blow, then another and another, merely saying, "I did not call you a liar." "Shame to hit a fellow that will not hit back," called some big boys; and they caught Joe and held him. There stood Frank, his face all bruised and bleeding.
"Why on earth didn't you fight him? you are his match." "No, I am trying to be a Christian," replied Frank. "I do not think it is right to fight." "You are a fool, that's what you are," said big Tom. "Are you going to let your face be battered in this way?" "I can't help that; I have made up my mind never to fight as long as I live." That evening, in Frank's room, you might have seen a sight, that none would have thought possible. Joe kneeling to Frank, begging pardon for what he had done.
"Why, Joe, get up this instant; of course it's all right between us," and Frank lifted Joe up by the hand. "I can never forgive myself for striking you as I did."
"Joe is conquered for once," said the boys at supper. "I always said Frank was his match," replied big Tom, "but I didn't think he was going to take that way to conquer him." Joe never struck a boy after that. Soon it came to be a disgrace to fight in that school. Love is better than revenge any time.—Gospel Herald.
The father was telling at the table of a row between two men in which he had interfered. One had swung a shovel aloft, shouting, "I'll knock your brains out!"
"It was at this moment," the head of the family explained, "that I stepped in between them."
Little Johnnie had been listening, round-eyed with excitement. Now, he burst forth:
"I guess he couldn't knock any brains out of you, could he, pa?"