"LET his hands be sufficient for him." This was a part of the blessing pronounced by Moses, the man of God, upon the tribe of Judah. See Deuteronomy 33:7. It implied a noble, self-reliant principle, an independence of character, which would educate the hands to labor and toil, and the mind to guide, in works of usefulness and profit. 

It would not depend upon the unwilling favors of friends, nor upon the legacies left by ancestors, nor upon the spoils of war; but honest industry and skill would be the right arm of his power. This has been realized in the history of that people; and to this day they are seldom given to idleness or suffer want; for all young men among the Jews are taught some trade; and they are taught to do the best quality of work.

Our Saviour worked at the carpenter's trade, until he entered upon his public ministry. The apostle Paul was a manufacturer of tents, and no doubt made the best and most durable article. He says, "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. 

Yea, ye yourselves know that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me." If he had been dependent upon the church for a support, it is not likely his ministry would have been as successful as it was.

In early life, the hand should be taught to execute works of usefulness and skill. 

A good trade, well learned, is a fortune in itself. The educated hand, guided by an intelligent mind, may prove a very profitable servant, asking no wages, making no complaint, always obedient, always teachable, always ready. To crown the whole, the mind, the hand, and the fortune should be consecrated to God.



"WHAT is your plan in life, Neddie? "I asked a small boy, turning from his brothers, who were talking about theirs, to which he and I had been listening; "what is yours, Neddie?"

"I am not large enough for a plan yet," said Neddie, "but I have a purpose."  "That is good; it is not every one who has a purpose. What is your purpose, Neddie?"

"To grow up a good boy, so as to be a good man like my father," said Neddie.

And by the way he said it, it was plain he meant it. His father was a noble Christian man, and Neddie could not do better than to follow in his steps. A boy with such a purpose will not fail of his mark.