This was the name of a man who lived,

more than two thousand years ago, in a country

called Persia. He was the son of a king,

and himself became a king. He possessed

many good and noble traits of character, and

performed many great and wonderful actions

during his life; but we shall speak more

 particularly of his boyhood.

The Persians were at that time noted for

their sobriety and love of justice; hence, Cyrus

was carefully educated in the same virtues,

and was taught to despise ease and luxury.

His food was of the most simple character

possible, being selected with reference to

health, without regard to appetite. All his

habits were regulated by the same principle.

He thus learned to govern himself, which

 prepared him to govern others. Although he

was beautiful, he was not vain of his beauty;

but possessed so amiable a disposition that

his character appeared as beautiful as his


When he was twelve years of age, he went

to Media on a visit to his grandfather, who

was king of that country. The people who

lived there, though near neighbors to the

 Persians', were far different from them in 

character, spending much of their time in 

feasting and revelry. All this was very new to 

Cyrus; but he did not allow himself to be led 

astray by these evil influences. On the contrary,

 he manifested contempt for such a manner of 

life, and endeavored to show his friends 

the folly of it. One day his grandfather, being

 very fond of, and wishing to please, him, 

prepared, for his gratification, a great feast 

which was furnished with all the delicacies that

 wealth could procure. When everything was in

 readiness, Cyrus was brought in; but what was

 the king's surprise to see him, instead of sitting

down to enjoy the dainties, immediately

 commence distributing them among the

 servants, reserving none for himself. He was

 still more astonished when, upon requesting him

 to taste some wine, he refused, saying that he

 feared there was poison in it, as he had noticed

 that those who drank it acted afterward as

 thoughthey did not know what they were about,

 and could scarcely stand upon their feet. The

king, although much surprised at the conduct

of Cyrus, was not angry, but rather admired

his manly firmness and good sense.

Do we not also admire such a course? And

may we not derive good instruction from it?

There was Cyrus, a small boy, in a foreign

land, surrounded by those who would lead

him into wrong, and yet firmly adhering to

the right, though he was not a Christian, and

knew nothing of the God who created him.

How many of us who profess to be followers

of Jesus, and have received so much instruction

in the right way, would have acted

as nobly under like circumstances? We can

easily answer this question by asking ourselves

another. How do we act when placed in a

similar position? If we happen to be in company

with persons who indulge in frivolity,

jesting, and foolish talking, do we join with

them, or do we try to point out to them the

sin of such a course? I fear that many of us

yield to temptation at such times, and grieve

pure and holy angels by so doing. In fact,

do we not often do that which is wrong and

sinful, even when surrounded by the very best


We need more of that firmness and decision

of character which young Cyrus had. We

should serve God from principle, and should

have that principle so firmly fixed in our hearts

that circumstances cannot affect us. May the

Lord give us courage to do right.