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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Rising in the World: Ambition for
Ambition, a good enough thing within reasonable bounds, is every Apollyon among men, when it gets the mastery over them. Have you ever seen boys climbing a greasy pole to reach a hat or a handkerchief? If so, you will have noticed that the aspiring youths for the most part adopt plans and tricks quite as slimy as the pole; one covers his hands with sand, another twists a knotted cord, and scarcely one climbs fairly, and he is the one boy whose chance is smallest. How plainly see we the politician's course in these young rascals; the Right Honourable Member for the town of Corruption vies with the equally Right Honourable representative for the county of Bribery; the most noble Conservative place-hunter will not be outdone by the Liberal office-lover; a man must have done a world of planing and shaving, chopping and chiselling, before he can reach the Treasury Bench. Nor less so is it in the path of trade. Small dealers and great contractors eager to rise, are each in their measure to Satan what a covey of partridges are to a sportsman, fair game if he can but reach them. The hasty desire to rise is the cause of many a fall. Those who see the glittering heaps of gold before them are frequently in so much haste to thrust their arms in up to the elbow among the treasure that they take short cuts, leave the beaten road of honest labour, break through hedges, and find themselves ere long in a ditch. It is hard to keep great riches without sin, and we have heard that it is harder still to get them. Walk warily, successful friend! Growing wealth will prove no blessing to thee unless thou gettest growing grace. Prosperity destroys a fool and endangers a wise man; be on thy guard, good friend, for whether thou be the one or the other, thy testing hour is come.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Rising in the World: Ambition for'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fff/r/rising-in-the-world-ambition-for.html. 1870.
the Fourth Week after Epiphany