The only legitimate purpose of amusement

(William Sprague, "Lectures to Young People")

If you will accomplish the greatest amount of good
in your life--so far as is possible, the whole of your
time should be occupied in doing good.

I would not be surprised, if the query should arise in
some of your minds, whether this is indeed possible;
and whether it is not necessary, from the very
constitution of our nature, that part of our time
should be devoted to amusement?

I answer, the constitution of our nature does require an
occasional cessation from severe labor, and an occasional
change of employment. But it does not require that it
should be a change from what is useful--to what is useless
or foolish! On the contrary, the whole purpose--the only
legitimate purpose of amusement
--is answered by a
change from one useful employment to another--an
employment which keeps you still doing good, though
you are doing good in a different way.

If you govern your conduct by this principle, you will
find yourselves blessed with a far higher degree of
activity both of mind and body, and will be far better
fitted for the discharge of your ordinary duties, than
if you should yield yourselves up to absolute inactivity,
or to what ordinarily passes with the world under the
name of amusement--which is usually useless or foolish.

In this way, too, many of your precious moments which
would otherwise be lost--or worse than lost--are improved
to the benefit of your own soul, your fellow-men, and the
glory of God.