What Spare Moments Can Do

Spare moments made Isaac Taylor a famous author, Abraham Lincoln a statesman and president, [and] Benjamin Franklin a great philosopher . . .

Dr. Franklin said, "Leisure is time for doing something useful," not the time for lounging and idleness. Leisure moments should not be idle moments. Used right, they may become the most profitable moments of the whole life, leading up to higher and grander aims.

Amos Lawrence says in his diary that in the boarding house where he stayed, "All boarders who remained in the public room after supper were to be quiet, at least for one hour, to give those who chose to study or read an opportunity of doing so without disturbance. The consequence was that we had the most quiet and improving set of young men in the town. The influence of this small measure will, perhaps, be felt throughout generations.
 Photo by John Allen

Young people usually have many spare moments. If a youth can command one hour a day for reading, twenty pages could be read thoughtfully in that time, or one hundred and forty pages in a week. In a single year, that would mean more than seven thousand pages, which is equal to eighteen large volumes.

we have an eminent illustration of the result of one hour's reading per day for forty years, in the life of the late Charles G. Frost, of Vermont. At fourteen years of age he was apprenticed to a shoemaker; and he resolved, on going to his trade, to ready and study one hour daily on the average. In thirty-one years from that tie, at the age of forty-five, it was said of him: "In mathematical science he has made so great attainments, that is doubtful whether there can be found ten mathematicians in the United States at his level."

When Albert Barnes first thought of preparing his commentary on the Bible, his hands were full; but finally he decided to accomplish the great work by rising and spending an hour before breakfast on it.

--from Gaining Favor with God and Man

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