Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty.--C. Simmons

Without method, little can be done to any good purpose.--Macaulay

A place for everything, and everything in its place.--Old Proverb

Order is the law of all intelligible existence.--Blackie

Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of

the city, and the secur
ty of the state.--Southey

The two words "order" and "method" are so closely akin to each other

that it is quite difficult to separate them, even in the mind. "Order is

heaven's first law," it is said; also, "Method consists in the right

choice of means to an end." Here a distinction is made; but the two

words taken together, cover the line of thought we now wish to follow.

Children nowadays do not learn to read as they once did. They go to

kindergartens; but order is the rule even in such play-schools, and it

is the one great reason why they succeed. All schools and colleges

depend upon order for successful work.

"He who every morning plans the transactions of the day," says Victor

Hugo, "and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him

through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of

his time is like a ray of light which darts itself through all his

occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is

surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, all things lie huddled

together in one chaos, which admits of neither distribution nor


There is no talent like method; and no accomplishment that man can

possess, like perseverance. These two powers will usually overcome every

obstacle; and there is no position which a young man may not hope to

secure, when, guided by these principles, he sets out upon the great

highway of life. In after years, the manners and habits of the man are

not so readily adapted to any prescribed course to which they have been

unaccustomed. But in youth habits of system, method, and industry, are

as easily formed as others; and the benefits and enjoyments which result

from them, are more than the wealth and honors which they always secure.

"Never study on speculation," says Waters; "all such study is vain. Form

a plan, have an object; then work for it, learn all you can about it,

and you will be sure to succeed. What I mean by studying on speculation,

is that aimless learning of things because they may be useful at some

time; which is like the conduct of the woman who bought at auction a

brass door-plate with the name Thompson on it, thinking it might some

day be of service."

Orderly boys and girls are fair scholars, firm friends, and good

planners; they make few mistakes, and succeed pretty well in all they

do. Order does not make a genius; but a genius without order is

exasperating when he is a man, and is only pardoned for his want of

order when he is a boy because he is expected to do better each day.

Begin with orderly _habits_; next day try order in _thought_; and then

will follow naturally order in _principles_.

"You would be the greatest man of your age, Grattan," said Curran, "if

you would buy a few yards of red tape and tie up your bills and papers."

Curran realized that methodical people are accurate as a rule, and


The celebrated Nathaniel Emmons, whose learning made him famous through

all New England, claimed that he could not work at all, unless order

reigned about him. For more than fifty years the same chairs stood in

the same places in his study; his hat hung on the same hook; the shovel

stood on the north side of the open fireplace, and the tongs on the

south side; and all his books and papers were so arranged that he

claimed to be able to find any information he needed in three or four


The demand for perfection in the make-up of Wendell Phillips was

wonderful. Every word must express the exact shade of his thought; every

phrase must be of due length and cadence; every sentence must be

perfectly balanced before it left his lips. Exact precision

characterized his style. He was easily the first legal orator America

has produced. The rhythmical fullness and poise of his periods are


A. T. Stewart was extremely systematic and precise in all his

transactions. Method ruled in every department of his store, and for

every delinquency a penalty was rigidly enforced. His eye was upon his

business in all its various branches; he mastered every detail and

worked hard.

It has also been repeatedly asserted that Noah Webster never could have

prepared his dictionary in thirty-six years, unless the most exacting

method had come to the rescue. He himself claimed that his orderly

methods saved him ten or twenty years, and a vast amount of anxiety and


Good habits are the first steps in order for children,--punctuality,

neatness, a place for everything. Yet, do not let habits master you, so

that you never can do anything except in a fixed manner at a fixed time,

and cannot give up your way of doing for the sake of something greater.

It is true, however, that there is a wonderful force in mere regularity.

A writer by the name of Bergh tells of a man beginning business, who

opened and shut his store at the same hour every day for weeks, without

selling two cents' worth of goods, yet whose application attracted

attention and paved the way to fortune.

Sir Walter Scott has also said that "When a regiment is under march, the

rear is often thrown into confusion because the front does not move

steadily and without interruption. It is the same thing with business.

If that which is first in hand be not instantly, steadily, and regularly

dispatched, other things accumulate behind, till affairs begin to press

all at once, and no human brain can stand the confusion."

The great enemy of order is laziness. It is too much trouble to do a

thing when it ought to be done, instead of doing it when you want to do

it. Young people should learn to think, talk, read in an orderly manner.

The country, the state, the town, the home, depend upon order.

Supposing each person did what he wished, without regard to the welfare

of others,--that meals, parties, lessons, came at any time; that

caucuses and elections happened when any one desired them; that prisons

and hospitals took people or not, just as superintendents felt; that

everybody was a self-constituted policeman, yet no one wanted to be

looked after himself;--what a hard time all people would have!

A very important point still remains to be noticed. It is this: Our

principles ought to be strong enough to govern our habits. Habits may

make us disagreeable and fussy; principles make us broad, far-seeing,

sympathetic, and independent. Success in life depends upon having the

_principle_ of order. Always do the _important_ thing _first_; for that

is what order means. Some boys and girls are orderly about their rooms,

but disorderly in their ways of doing things,--always in a hurry, and

always puzzled what to do next. Orderly people make plans, allow a

margin of time for carrying them out, so that they shall not overlap one

duty with another; and then, if there is any time left, they fill it

with some extra employment or enjoyment, which they have kept in the

background all ready for use.


If John Wesley had not been such an orderly boy, he never could have

been the founder of Methodism. He was born at Epworth, England, in 1703,

and had nineteen brothers and sisters, though only ten of them lived

long enough to be educated.

His brother Charles was his intimate companion. When students at Oxford,

they and two other friends formed a small society, which was called the

"Holy Club" by those who laughed at it. They had sets of questions,

labeled in order for their examination. From the exact regularity of

their lives and their methods of study, they came to be called

Methodists, in allusion to some ancient physicians who were so termed.

The name was so quaint that it became immediately popular. They visited

the poor and sick, and had regular lists of inquiries and rules for

general use.

All the orderly habits of his youth guided him even when he became a

man; and the amount of work he accomplished is almost beyond belief. In

the last three years of his life, although sick nearly all the time, he

preached as many times as ever until a week before his death, in 1791.

Always anxious never to lose a moment, and to be methodical in all his

habits, he read as he traveled on horseback for forty years. He

delivered forty thousand sermons, and wrote many books and essays, and

gave away in charity one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which was

a great sum in those days.

The secret of John Wesley's success began in his love of order, and

culminated in the wonderful, orderly discipline of the immense Methodist

denomination. At his death there were nearly eighty thousand members,

whose leaders, great and little, had definite duties to perform. Yet, in

his love for order, he never lost sight of individual poor and sick

people, but remembered to serve each one.

[Footnote: See "Lives of Wesley," by Tyerman (1876); Riss (1875); Isaac

Taylor's "Wesley and Methodism" (1868); and "Wesley's Journals," in

seven volumes.]