Temptation he said was the greatest subject on which to speak to young men They most need help need to be shown how to contend against this inevitable enemy; for temptation is the necessary experience, of every one, a personal characteristic, as a walk or a laugh. It follows everywhere. It cuts off a man in a moment from all his friends, picks off the best and the greatest But it is hard to conted with for there is no one to blame or applaud if you fail or succeed against it.
Can we find where it comes from and how to meet it? It is natural that there should remain in us some of the qualities of that from which we evolved and since we believe man to be of animal origin we must have in us some of the brute qualities. After the animal stage came the the lone discipline of the savage, leaving the relics of the savage in us But no matter what origin we give for our temptations, our construction is always this the animal, the savage and then the man. This analysis may make it clearer what our temptations are.
But temptation it must be remembered is no sin It is a sin only when yielded to when welcomed and played with- It is however a most valuable ingredient of human nature A man with no temptation can be no man Just as we develop our muscles by frequent use of them do we develop our mind and soul by working against our temptations How we shall work against them is another matter. We must deal with the two parts of our nature; must allow the animal and savage parts no place in our affairs. But it is not sufficient to live thus negatively. we must do something If we continually encourage the higher parts of our nature, we must of necessity put under the lower part. The growth of one means the destruction of the other It is all rational, and psychological. A man cannot have two distinct conscious-nesses at the same time. If he retains one he must lose the other, and just so as the new man can only be put on as the old is taken off. "If ye walk in the spirit ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh."
A man must live, and live too every moment, either in the body or the mind. and so to escape the lower parts of his nature he must live strongly. He must not try to suppress any of his energy that is leading to sin. but to turn its course, and transform it into virtue. This way any one can rise above himself and become a man, no matter how low be may have fallen. The ideal of the perfect man-the picture of Christ.-the thought of mother. father. or a loved one. all in some way reflection of Christ, are the things which will turn a man the quickest from yielding to temptations.