â€œHONOR BRIGHT?"



I'LL be back, sure and certain, on Friday afternoon, and will give you the money for it then. Will that suit?" 

"Yes. All right." 

"You'll be sure to for me until then?" 

"Certainly I will." 

"Honor bright?" 

There was a slight tinge of pride in the tones of the speaker as he answered in a clear voice, "I keep my honor bright. I don't shine it up for special occasions."

"Oh, well," responded the first speaker, "you needn't take offense. Rob Whiton is reckoned about as honorable as most, I suppose, but he cheated me all the same out of the Virgil I was to have had of him. 

He promised fair and square to keep it till the next day for me. Tom Lyon came along about an hour later, and offered him a quarter more than he had agreed to take from me for it, and he let him have it. Good faith was at a terrible discount when there was a twenty-five-cent piece to be considered."

"I'm not offended," returned the lad addressed; "but I'm not one of the sort who believes in a tarnished honor. I think more of my word than I do of a quarter of a dollar, or of a quarter of a million dollars. 

And it rather vexes me to have a fellow sing out, 'Honor bright, now?' after I've given my word. As if I'd give a fig for honor that was ever anything, else than bright!"

"Well, you are high-toned. Long may you wave!" laughed the respondent.

And that was all I heard of it. I was waiting on a street-corner for a car, and two lads of sixteen or seventeen years of age stood near me, engaged in the above colloquy. It set me to thinking. I remembered that I had often heard boys, yes, and men indeed, sometimes ladies query of each other in precisely the same fashion as did this first lad, "Honor bright?"

But in all my life I think I never before heard the frank, out-spoken, noble reply, "I keep my honor bright."

It sounded grand and glorious. And I put up a prayer I couldn't help it; right there in the streetcar, I shut my eyes and prayed that God would enable this brave boy ever and always to keep his honor bright; ever and always to despise a tarnished honor; ever and always to be an influence, as he had been this day, in the direction of noble, high-minded thought and word and deed.

Why, what is honor if it be not bright? 

Can you imagine a dulled honor? A blurred or dimmed honor?  A tarnished honor?  A darkened honor?  Would you value such honor? Is honor any longer honor after it ceases to be bright?

What would be your candid opinion of a boy of whom it might with truth be said, that he was upright and honorable only occasionally? Would you envy him?

If honor is worth anything, it is worth everything.

Of course, by the term honor, I mean integrity, moral principle, that nobleness of mind and purpose that tends unerringly to truthful word and work. That quality of character that gives dignity to its possessor. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches." Yes, infinitely rather.

And who is there that bears within him a tarnished honor, that can win and wear as his very own that priceless jewel, a good name?

Dear boys, keep your honor bright. It is the one thing that you can never afford to suffer to grow dim, or to become tarnished. A lie, a subterfuge, an equivocation, each and all will tarnish honor. 

Therefore, guard against them. If you make a bad bargain, stand to it. You will not suffer loss by so doing. No spot will darken your good name. But if, for the sake of a paltry material gain, you will discount your own word, ah! Whom will you ever find to rate it at par?

You have saved a few cents, or dollars. A curse clings to them! You have lost that for which the whole earth's riches can never compensate. And, remember, that though you may tarnish your honor, and imperil your moral character, by selling the truth, you can only sell it. You cannot destroy it. It lives on in spite of you. 

In time the truth will triumph. Remember, "The eternal years of God are hers."

"Truth is mighty, and will prevail." 

Your sin will find you out. And then there will remain only the everlasting shame and disgrace.

Oh, be not tempted to part with this priceless jewel entrusted to your keeping! 

Neither let its luster become dimmed or tarnished. The light of a bright honor will not only shine out as a helpful beacon to lighten other hearts and lives, but it will illumine every action of your own life, and shed its glorifying radiance all along your own pathway through life and time.

As you value happiness, contentment, the esteem of your fellows, and the approbation of your Heavenly Father, I entreat you, keep your honor bright.





S. S. Classmate.