The Reverend George Butler published a famous set of sermons preached in Cheltenham College chapel and his sermon 'On Christian Earnestness' contains passages that display a generally recognizable theme in mid-tolate Victorian public school sermons. Butler declaimed:

Every work needs attention. It may call for the exercise of very few faculties of mind, but these cannot be dispensed with. Even those athletic games which call into exercise the bodily powers, and which demand certain gifts of strength and activity as necessary conditions of excellence, require also the exercise of important qualities of mind - observation, judgement, recollection of past experience and of the laws of the game, which must be borne in mind whether consciously or unconsciously; and most important moral qualities - courage, temper, self-reliance, decision and patience. Without these, as you know, no quickness of sight, no elasticity of muscle, nor sympathy of the eye and the hand are sufficient to secure a high degree of excellence in those manly games in which you seek recreation from your studies, and gain that physical strength and development of the bodily powers, which are in some cases a necessary, in all an useful, basis of an energetic and active life, whatever profession you may enter upon.54