Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Time, Faith, Energy
by [?]

“I DON’T see that I am so much better off,” said Mr. Gordon, a man who had recently given up drinking. “I lost my situation on the very day I signed the pledge, and have had no regular employment since.”

“But you would have lost your situation if you hadn’t signed the pledge, I presume,” said the individual to whom he was complaining.

“Yes. I lost it because I got drunk and spoiled my job. But to hear some temperance people talk, one who didn’t know would be led to believe that, the very moment the pledge was signed, gold could be picked up in the streets. I must confess that I haven’t found it so. Money is scarcer with me than it ever was; and though I don’t spend a cent for myself, my family haven’t a single comfort more than they had before.”

“Though there’s no disputing the fact that they would have many less comforts if you hadn’t signed the pledge?”

“No, I suppose not. But I cannot help feeling discouraged at the way things go. If I had the same wages I received before I signed the pledge, I could be laying up money. But, as it is, it requires the utmost economy to keep from getting in debt.”

“Still, you do manage to keep even?”


“On about half your former income?”

“A little over half. I used to get ten dollars a week. Now I manage, by picking up odd jobs here and there, to make about six.”

“Then you are better off than you were before.”

“I hardly see how you can make that out.”

“Your family have enough to live upon–all they had before–and you have a healthier body, a calmer mind, and a clearer conscience. Isn’t here something gained?”

“I rather think there is,” replied Gordon, smiling.

“And I rather think you are a good deal better off than you were before. Isn’t your wife happier?”

“O! yes. She’s as cheerful as a lark all the day.”

“And doesn’t murmur because of your light wages?”

“No, indeed! not she. I believe if I didn’t earn more than three dollars a week, and kept sober, she would make it do, somehow or other, and keep a good heart. It’s wonderful how much she is changed!”

“And yet you are no better off? Ain’t you better off in having a happy wife and a pleasant home, what I am sure you hadn’t before?”

“You are right in that. I certainly had neither of them before. Oh! yes. I am much better off all around. I only felt a little despondent, because I can’t get regular employment as I used to, and good wages; for now, if I had these, I could do so well.”

“Be patient, friend Gordon; time will make all right. There are three words that every reformed man should write on the walls of his chamber, that he may see them every morning. They are ‘Time, Faith, Energy.’ No matter how low he may have fallen; no matter how discouraging all things around him may appear; let him have energy, and faith in time, and all will come out well at last.”

Gordon went home, feeling in better heart than when he met the temperance friend who had spoken to him these encouraging words.

Henry Gordon, when he married, had just commenced business for himself, and went on for several years doing very well. He laid by enough money to purchase himself a snug little house, and was in a good way for accumulating a comfortable property, when the habit of dram-drinking, which he had indulged for years, became an over-mastering passion. From that period he neglected his business, which steadily declined. In half the time it took to accumulate the property he possessed, all disappeared–his business was broken up, and he compelled to work at his trade as a journeyman to support his family. From a third to a half of the sum he earned weekly, he spent in gratifying the debasing appetite that had almost beggared his family and reduced him to a state of degradation little above that of the brute. The balance was given to his sad-hearted wife, to get food for the hungry, half-clothed children.