Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime.
And departing leave behind us,
Footprints of the sands of time.
The study of biography is very inspiring. The examples which great men have set before us, if followed, will make us, also, noble and good. If we study the lives of great scientists, inventors, conquerors, and philosophers, we are struck by their earnestness, industry, courage, perseverance, and their unshaken faith in God and their work. Difficulties and failures did not daunt them. They remained firm like a rock in the midst of a stormy sea.
Another thing which great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, whilst their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Truth has been their strength, and duty their watchword. Galileo went to jail for truth, Socrates drank the cup of poison, Luther did not wave an inch from his position, though the whole power of the Pope was arrayed against him.
Such concrete examples have great force. They impress us more than mere theoretical truths. Craik’s “Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties,” and Smile’s books are full of such biographical anecdotes as an appeal to us with great force. Living examples of heroism and patriotism stimulate us to similar exertions.
Young men should read the biographies of great and good men, and choose the heroes in whose footsteps they may follow and take a lesson from their successes and failures and shape their lives accordingly.