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The Future Overworked.

The Future Overworked.

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Published by glennpease
By DAVID SWING


"Now is the accepted time."
By DAVID SWING


"Now is the accepted time."

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/27/2013

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THE FUTURE OVERWORKED.By DAVID SWIG"ow is the accepted time.""IF it be true, as the optimist teaches, that everyevil has its good, it is also true that every goodcarries its own evil. One statement is as true asthe other. The meaning of all such statements mustbe that life is full of conflicting forces, physical andspiritual, and that to balance these in such a mannerthat usefulness and happiness may result, is theproblem and 'duty of man.Among the supposed virtues of this world, menhave assigned a high place to its great law of pro-gress. It is the consolation of all hearts that weare all moving forward to all that is noble in intel-lect and sentiment. The privilege of this forwardmovement is at least supposed to be offered to all^and there are many who contend that not simplythe privilege but the destiny of progress rests uponall. This at least is true, that a grand law of 104 THB FUTURE OVERWORKED.advance pervades the universe, and reveals itself inthe seed of the oak, in the development of animallife, and in the unfolding of the human intellect.We look back and at once pity our fathers, for ourboat has floated away from their barren, wintryshore, far down to what seems to us the land of spontaneous harvest and perpetual spring. Progressis real and beautiful, a great law of man full of present happiness and of hope. Of this great goodwhat now is the evil side ? What is the drop of 
 
poison in this cup ? It is found in the fact, thatthis coming glory of the future is always drawingthe heart away from the present. In our inabilityto see two objects at once, we gaze at the futureand sit down and wait for it to come. Thus thegreat outlook of the soul is suffered to neutralizethe idea of doing with one's might what the handfinds to do.There is no way for abating the evil, so far asall the world is concerned, but the evil is graveenough to merit notice, and then there may be hereand there an individual heart that will perceive theevil and fly from it. It would be a great gain toour store of practical philosophy and religion if wecould learn to feel that the future does not createnor bring progress: it only receives it. It is only aTHE FUTURE OVEBWOMKED. 105storehouse into which the present empties itself. If the present be barren, the future remains empty also,and, moving itself further away, waits for a laborious,patient present to precede it. The future is onlythe final estimate, the summing up of all the formerdays. There is no honor, or learning, or salvation, init, except so far as the present is busy over thelearning, or honor, or salvation.It is to be regretted that we make bad use of thevirtues of the soul. God implanted hope and expec-tation in the breast to cheer it, to make it able tobear dark hours, and as such .it is one of the noblestvirtues of the soul. Paul places it down among thedivinities of earth, between Faith and Charity. Butthis virtue planted in ' the bosom to cheer it, is per-verted from its office and is transformed into thething hoped for. Hope is metamorphosed into actual
 
riches, actual goodness, actual religion. Instead of toiling at a new world, we think hope is busy fixingit all up for us. Years pass by in dreamy indolencebecause that great thing called progress seems to beout in the advance preparing all the forms of bless-edness, earthly and heavenly. We have personifiedhope and progress until they have become actuallaborers, going on before us, making paths and build-ing homes for us. And so well are they doing this106 THE FUTURE OVEBWOBKED.world-work that nothing remains for us but todream and wait. Wonderful and essential as thedemand of expectation is in all the days of man, yetit seems that at all times man should look into theface of the present and see what meaning there maybe in its quiet countenance. The present is theeventful day. The future is only the summing upof that which has gone by.In the discussion of our theme to-day, all theissues of life are alike interested. Religion, and edu-cation, and business, and home, and the uncounteddetails of a busy life, are all affected by this potencyof the future. They are all liable to be cheered by itsproper use or blinded by its bad application. Allthe passions of the soul need regulation. Man cannot, like a brute, follow nature. In food, and drink,and work, and play, and sleep, man dare not followthe simple desires of his physical organism. If aman sleeps to the uttermost from boyhood up tomiddle life, his mind weakens and he becomes anidiot from too much sleep. 'He may, also, fail anddie from too little. So all through the catalogue of physical and mental tastes and tendencies man cannot follow nature. He was destined to followanother guide called reason, a being appointed of 

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