“You can get through in less time than that, I know. I forgot to tell you that students sometimes enter college with money enough to carry them through the first two years; then they stay out a year and teach an academy or high school, for which they receive sufficient remuneration to carry them through the remainder of the course. It is a better plan, I think, than to teach a district school each winter; it don’t interfere so much with the studies of the college, and it is easier for the student. Then I have known several students who borrowed the money of friends to pay their bills, relying upon teaching, after getting through college, to liquidate the debt. By waiting until their college course was completed they obtained a more eligible situation, at a higher salary, than would have been possible before.”

“Well, I have no friends having money to loan,” remarked James. “I shall have to content myself with working my own way by earning all my money as I go along; and I am willing to do it. I had never thought it possible for me to go to college; but now I believe that I shall try it.”

“I hope you will,” answered the graduate, who had learned of James’s ability, and who had seen enough of him to form a high opinion of his talents. “You will never regret the step, I am sure. You get something in a college education that you can never lose, and it will always be a passport into the best society.”

From that time James was fully decided to take a college course, or, at least, to try for it; and he immediately added Latin and Greek to his studies.

During the last year of his connection with Geauga Seminary, James united with the Disciples’ Church in Orange. He took the step after much reflection, and he took it for greater usefulness. At once he became an active, working Christian, in Chester. He spoke and prayed in meeting; he urged the subject of religion upon the attention of his companions, privately as well as publicly; he seconded the religious efforts of the principal, and assisted him essentially in the conduct of religious meetings. In short, the same earnest spirit pervaded his Christian life that had distinguished his secular career.

In religious meetings his simple, earnest appeals, eloquently expressed, attracted universal attention. There was a naturalness and fervour in his addresses that held an audience remarkably. Many attended meetings to hear him speak, and for no other reason. His power as a public speaker began to show itself unmistakably at that time. No doubt his youthful appearance lent a charm to his words.

“He is a born preacher,” remarked Mr. Branch to one of the faculty, “and he will make his mark in that profession.”

“One secret of his power is, that he is wholly unconscious of it,” answered the member of the faculty addressed. “It seems to me he is the most eminent example of that I ever knew. He appears to lose all thought of himself in the subject before him. He is not a bold young man at all; he is modest as any student in the academy, and yet, in speaking, he seems to be so absorbed in his theme that fear is banished. He will make a power in the pulpit, if present appearances foreshadow the future.”

“It cannot be otherwise,” responded Mr. Branch, “if cause and effect follow each other. He developes very rapidly indeed. I wish it were possible for him to have a college education.”

All seemed to take it for granted that James would be a preacher, although he had not signified to any one that he intended to be. He had given no thought to that particular subject. He was too much absorbed in his studies, too much in love with them, to settle that question. But his interest in religious things, and his ability as a speaker, alone led them to this conclusion. The same feeling existed among the pupils.

“Jim will be a minister now,” remarked one of his companions to Henry.

“Perhaps so,” was Henry’s only reply.

“He will make a good one, sure,” chimed in a third, “By the time he gets into the pulpit, he will astonish the natives.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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