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The Power of the Tongue

The Power of the Tongue

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"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."

Proverbs xviii. 21.


"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."

Proverbs xviii. 21.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE POWER OF THE TOGUE CHAPTERS FOR TALKERS. BY BEJAMI SMITH, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Proverbs xviii. 21. PREFACE It sometimes happens that a mine, rich in ore, but imperfectly explored, has to be forsaken. To leave the place where the labourer is fully convinced there are large stores of wealth, which superior skill and strength might have secured, is humiliating and painful. The miner, though he may have brought to the surface a little precious ore, feels disappointed as he observes how greatly his performance has fallen short of his desires and hopes. Regret of a similar kind is experienced by the writer of the following chapters, as he lays down his pen. He doubted not, when he commenced his task, that truth of incalculable importance was here to be obtained. At the entrance of this mine, in ancient and indelible characters, and written by a Hand unerring because Divine, was many a legend such as the one selected to adorn the title-page of this volume : ^^ Death and life are in the power of the tongue. ^^ We are thus assured, on the highest possible autho- rity, that the subject is closely connected with our real and endless blessedness. General experience and observation furnish abundant illustration of this lesson. There was no room for doubt. When,
however, the attempt was made to grasp the priceless A 3 VI PREFACE. truth, and so to exhibit it, in its multiplied aspects and relations, that its worth should be clearly per- ceived, and its power suitably felt, the task was not found to be an easy one. But comparative failure in working the mine has occasioned no change in the labourer's opinion as to its richness, except an aug- mented conviction thereof. He has discerned gleams of precious things which he could not fully reach. Inaptitude has limited his success; weariness has caused his tools to be laid aside ; other tasks demand his earnest care. But he ventures to call the atten- tion of others to the unerring declarations concerning the hidden treasure. That a volume on this important subject was needed, the writer believed ; or these pages would not have been written. It is not unlikely that the thoughtful reader may, when laying down the book, say within himself, "A volume on this subject is still needed.'* But, should such be the case, the present effort may not have been altogether in vain. An unskilled labourer may carry the stones which by abler men shall be formed into an admirable edifice. Those who preside over the operations of the loom, and who thereby produce a thousand forms of beauty, are indebted for the raw material to those who have toiled in fields far away. Even a bird alighting on the mast, or a leaf floating on the wave, or tiny shells clinging to the lead, may have indicated to the intelligent though bewildered and discouraged voyager that the country for which he was searching was nigh. Or, to return to an illus-
tration already employed, men who possess neither sufficient knowledge, nor vigour, nor capital, nor leisure, fully to work a mine, may still be able to call the attention of others to indications that the PREFACE. Vll soil is rich, in mineral products, or otherwise worthy of careful examination. From the secret treasure- chambers of our globe wealth, various in kind and vast in amount, is annually obtained. Tens of thousands are labouring beneath the surface of our island-home, and tens of thousands beneath the surfeice of other lands. But though now much learning, and immense toil, and complicated machinery, and resources of various kinds are employed in the acquisition of this mineral wealth, men devoid of these have formerly done something toward this result. The rude guesses, and feeble attempts, and puny achievements of the iminstructed prepared the way for those who will manifest the triumphant power of weU-directed labour. Those who never secured more than that which lay near the surface, or was apparent in the side of some cliff, or had been laid bare by volcanic shock, or had been brought down by mountain-torrent, indicated what might be gained by those who were observant, and mighty, and patient. Beyond doubt, there are, in the subject here, suggested, lessons of immense worth. Look at that infallible direction chiselled in the living and indestructible rock, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Besides that are others innumerable, of equal authority, and confirmatory and explanatory of this one. Here are treasures of truth. If I have succeeded in laying bare the soil, penetrating a little way beneath the surface, and

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