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New Starts in Life.

New Starts in Life.

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By Phillips Brooks

" And when he had agreed with the laborers for a peany a day
he sent them into his vineyard." — Matthew xx. 2.
By Phillips Brooks

" And when he had agreed with the laborers for a peany a day
he sent them into his vineyard." — Matthew xx. 2.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By Phillips Brooks" And when he had agreed with the laborers for a peany a dayhe sent them into his vineyard." — Matthew xx. 2.The parable from which these words are taken isone of the most complete in its details of any thatthe Saviour ever spoke. It covers a whole day, andas we read it the whole course of the day stands outclear before us. In the words which I have quotedwe are set at one moment of the vivid story and cansee exactly what is going on. The master of avineyard having gone out into the highways andfound some workmen waiting there now stands athis vineyard gate and, coming to an agreement witheach man about the wages which he will receive, hesends each in succession into the great field wherethe work is waiting. It is a bright, fresh picture.Everything is sparkling in the morning hght. Themen all ready for work stand waiting. The master,thoughtful and considerate, stands talking withthem. Through the open door we see the vineyard2 NEW STARTS IN LIFE.with its long rows of young vines. Here is strengthwaiting for work. Here is work waiting for strength.The two are just upon the point of touching oneanother. There is no sense of exhaustion any-where. Everything shines with vigor and hope.There is no Hmit to the work which we dream maybe done before the day is over. The exhilaration of beginning fills the verses.A man has faded out of the real happiness andstrength of life who does not know what that exhila-ration is, who does not feel the brightness of thepicture which this verse draws. It is sad indeedwhen any man comes to that state in which eachnew day does not seem in some true sense to beginthe world anew, recalling every departed hope andbrightening every faded color of the night before.There is a human instinct which tells us that ourlife, while it is meant to have a great continuousnessand to be always one, is no less meant to be full of new starts, to be ever refreshing its forces and be-ginning once again. The true proportion betweenthese two feelings, between the sense of continuityand the sense of ever new beginning, makes the fin-est, the freshest, and the primest life. We maypicture to ourselves two rivers of wholly differentkinds. One is a great, broad, quiet stream, evermoving swiftly but smoothly on, unbroken by rapids,majestic in its calm and noble monotony, each mile
of its great course seeming like every other mile, soperfectly and evidently is it everywhere itself. Itsgreat thought is continuity. The other river is amountain torrent. Broken and stopped perpetually,NEW STARTS IN LIFE. 3it is always gathering itself up in a pool, at the footof the rock that stopped it, for a fresh start. It isalways full of new beginnings. It is different ineach mile of its course from what it is in every othermile ; when it grows calm for a moment it seems asif it had wholly stopped, until it finds an outlet andplunges down another precipice, and with a newcascade begins its life again. Like the first stream,like the majestic and continuous river, is the life of God. Continuousness and identity is our greatthought of Him. " From everlasting to everlastingthou art God," we cry. Full of movement, the im-pression of His life is stillness, like the impressionof the vast and solemn Nile. But like the mountaintorrent is the life of man. With a true continuity,so that it is the same life from its beginning to itsend, it yet forever is refreshing its vitality with newbeginnings. It loves to turn sharp corners into un-seen ways. It loves to gather itself into knots andthen start out with the new birth of a new resolu-tion. It loves to take into itself the streams of new-born lives that its monotony may be refreshed withtheir freshness. It is wonderful how ingenious menwill be in making artificial new starts in their lives,as if at midday they shut up the house and lightedall the lamps and made believe that it was night,only in order that in a moment they might fling theshutters back again as if a new morning had comewith its enthusiasm. So all live men covet the ex-hilaration of beginning.I want to speak to-day about beginnings or newstarts in life. It is a subject which the time sug-4 NEW STARTS IN LIFE.gests. For, beside the aspect of perpetual renewalof which I have been speaking, life here among us inthe city in these autumn days has a peculiar look of newness which belongs to the season and the place.For in our city life we have changed the feeling of theseasons. The autumn is the real spring-time of thetown. It is then that the gray pastures of our pavedstreets begin to blossom once again with their brightflowers of enterprise and fellowship and charity.And I am speaking this morning to more of thespirit of expectation, of experiment, of new hope in
new circumstances than I should find here at anyother season of the year. The schools have justbegun ; the college boys have started their newyear. The young recruits in all the old professionsare making the old ranks look young again with thatperpetual youth which one of the great professionsalways keeps. In many ways there is a sense of stirand start about us. He must be dull who does notfeel it. And so I want to speak about the true dig-nity and beauty of beginnings.The essential power of a new beginning, then,seems to be very simple. It is that it recalls andfreshens the principle and fundamental motive underwhich a work is done, and so keeps it from degene-rating into mechanical routine. When the streamstarts over a new fall it cannot help being consciousanew of its own fluidness and of the force of gravita-tion. It is the renewed sense of these things, of what it is and of what a great power is at work uponit, that sparkles in it and fills it full of life as it beginsits new career, which is simply the old career withNEW STARTS IN LIFE. 5its fundamental consciousness freshened and revived.And so when a man starts afresh, either with thenewness of a new day, or with the stimulus of alteredcircumstances, or with the inspiration of a new work,what his new start ought to do for him is to refreshthe deepest principles by which he lives. You feelthe engine when the steamer starts. After thatwhen the steamer is on its long monotonous voyageyou feel as if the machinery moved itself. So in anew beginning men ought to feel, and in some waymore or less real and clear they do feel, what theyare and what great powers are at work upon them,as they do not ordinarily feel these things in com-mon times.Let us keep all this in our mind as we come back and stand in the bright morning light which floodsthe vineyard gate where the laborers of the parableare just beginning their day's work. " When thehouseholder had agreed with them for a penny aday, he sent them into his vineyard." In thatverse, taken as the story of the way in which humanlife as a whole and also of the way in which anyspecial department or enterprise of human life be-gins, there are two ideas — which we may examineand develop in succession. One of them is the ideaof mission. The other is the idea of wages. Firstthe master of the vineyard sends the men to dotheir work, and second he agrees with them for ' ' apenny a day." We will look at these two ideas inrelation to the great new starts or beginnings that

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