Young Farmers Galatians 6:7

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.—Gal_6:7

To the boys and girls of long ago, these seemed terrible words. The reason was that the sermons preached upon them were nearly always about a harvest of sins, and the punishment of the sower. Little was said of the possibility of raising good crops and the reward that comes to those who do.
Here “crops” mean what men and women achieve in the world—poor crops fit only to be burned, or a harvest that will make the whole world richer. So, in a sense, you boys and girls are all farmers; to each of you has been given a piece of land on which to raise crops.

But you begin to wonder how such crops are raised. An old schoolmaster used to teach his boys to repeat this little sentence. “Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a destiny.” So you see that our crops are just our habits. If you think a good thought every morning before you go to school, a good action will be sure to follow. If you do that day after day, the good actions become a habit. That is the secret of the successful farming that Paul speaks about.

We all know that farmers have to work hard if they are to have good harvests. Yesterday it was my privilege to walk round a few of the fields of a man who raised wonderfully fine crops on his farm. His name was General Gordon: he has been called the St. Paul of the nineteenth century. One field had a magnificent crop of something every one of you boys and girls should sow. That is earnestness. Gordon was just a boy when he sowed it. He had already got the decoration of the Legion of Honor, so he must have been a brave soldier. The crop on another field quite near made a splendid show. I should say it was one of the best crops on the whole farm. It was duty. If General Gordon saw that a certain course was right, he never hesitated to take it, and he did not mind one bit what people said or thought about him.

One of the most beautiful fields on General Gordon’s farm was sympathy. Very often when soldiers have leisure they spend it in visiting or going to parties. General Gordon’s haunts were the infirmary and the workhouse. He would carry a bunch of grapes to the bedside of a poor working man, and place them one by one in his parched mouth. Here is one of his own notes: “I took a poor old bag-of-bones into my camp a month ago, and have been feeding her up, but yesterday she was quietly taken off and knows all things. She had her tobacco to the last, and died quite quietly. What a change from her misery! I suppose she filled her place as well as Queen Elizabeth.”

One other field. I know that many of you are already anxious to grow it. General Gordon constantly cultivated the presence of Jesus Christ. In whatever danger he was he never felt afraid. He once wrote, “No comfort is equal to that which he has who has God for his stay.” When at last he was shut up in the besieged city from which he was never rescued and never escaped, we get the following message, “I trust God alone!”

“God rules all,” he said, in his last farewell to his sister, “and as God will rule to His glory, and our welfare, His will be done.”

Wouldn’t you all like to be farmers after the pattern of that brave man? You are only boys and girls, but because that is so I have spoken to you about looking after your farm. For, like the country farmers, you must sow your seed in early spring—the spring-time of life