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feel I have done something; I should be glad, indeed, to do greater things, but I will not neglect this.NEWTON.
If an angel were sent to find the most perfect man, he would probably not find him composing a body of divinity; but perhaps a cripple in a poor-house, whom the parish wish dead, and humbled before God, with far lower thoughts of himself than others have of him. -IBID.
When a Christian goes into the world because he sees it his call, yet, while he feels it also his cross, it will not hurt him.-IBID.
If two angels were sent from heaven to execute a divine command, one to conduct an empire, and the other to sweep a street in it, they would feel no inclination to change employments.—IBID.
A Christian should never plead spirituality for being a sloven. If he be a shoe-cleaner, he should be the best in the parish.—IBID.
We are surprised at the fall of a famous professor; but, in the sight of God, he was gone before; it is only we that have now first discovered it. “ He that despiseth small things shall fall by little and little.”IBID.
There are critical times of danger. After great services, honours, and consolations, we should stand upon our guard. Noah, Lot, David, Solomon, fell in
these circumstances. Satan is a footpad: a footpad will not attack a man in going to the bank, but in returning with his pocket full of money.—IBID.
When we first enter into the divine life, we propose to grow rich: God's plan is to make us feel poor.IBID.
God deals with us as we do with our children: he first speaks, then gives a gentle stroke, at last a blow. -IBID.
There is the same difference between people now as there was between the Egyptians and Israel of old. Multitudes are buried alive under a cloud of thick darkness; but all the Lord's people have light in their dwellings. Ah! how many great and fair houses are there without the heavenly inhabitant! It might be written upon their doors, “ God is not here;' and
be sure of it, for there is neither peace nor truth within the walls.-IBID.
when you go
In Cicero and Plato, and such other writers, I meet with many things wittily said, and things that have a manifest tendency to move the passions; but in none of them do I find these words, “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."-AUGUSTIN.
The high and the low, the young and the old, the busy and the idle, alike shun acquaintance with God, as if his very name brought uneasiness, and disturbed
our comfort and repose. If we mention God to the young, we too often seem to be troubling them with what they had rather forget in such early days : while the aged dislike to be reminded of their misfortune, that their time on earth is drawing near to an end. If we mention God to the gay and happy, we appear to be interfering with their pleasures. If we mention him to the great and to the learned, they will intimate that such subjects belong rather to a humbler class and station. But the poor and laborious, on their part, refer us to those who have more information and more leisure. Thus a large portion of mankind, in all classes, strive to keep God out of their thoughts, and to live, so far as in them lies, without him in the world. Yes, without him, who, as the apostle says, “is not far from any one of us : for in him we live, and move, and have our being.” Why should they act so strangely and unreasonably, if they believed that acquaintance with God would give them peace ?SUMNER.
In any adversity that happens to us in this world, we ought to consider, that misery and afflictions are not less natural than snow and hail, storm and tempest; and it were as reasonable to hope for a year without winter, as for a life without trouble. Life (how sweet soever it seems) is a draught mingled with bitter ingredients: some drink deeper than others before they come at them; but if they do not swim at the top for youth to taste them, it is ten to one but old age will find them thick in the bottom. And it is the employment of faith and patience, and the work of wisdom and virtue, to teach us to drink the sweet part
down with pleasure and thankfulness, and to swallow the bitter without making faces. How.
Amongst great numbers of men which are accounted rich, there are few that really are so. I take him to be the only rich man that lives upon what he has, owes nothing, and is contented. For there is no determinate sum of money, nor quantity of estate, that can denote a man rich; since no man is truly rich that has not so much as perfectly satiates his desire of having more; for the desire of more is want, and want is poverty.-IBID.
There can be no friendship where there is no freedom. Friendship loves a free air, and will not be penned up in strait and narrow inclosures. It will speak freely, and act so too; and take nothing ill where no ill is meant; nay, where it is, it will easily forgive, and forget too, upon small acknowledgments. -PENN.
A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. These being the qualities of a friend, we are to find them before we choose one.-IBID.
Be not easily acquainted ; lest, finding reason to cool, thou makest an enemy instead of a good neighbour. Be reserved, but not sour; grave, but not formal; bold, but not rash; humble, but not servile; patient, not insensible; constant, not obstinate; cheer
ful, not light; rather sweet than familiar; familiar than intimate; and intimate with very few, and upon very good grounds.-IBID.
Amuse not thyself with the numerous opinions of the world; nor value thyself upon verbal orthodoxy, philosophy, or thy skill in tongues, or knowledge of the fathers; (too much the business and vanity of the world ;) but in this rejoice, “That thou knowest God, that is the Lord, who exerciseth loving-kindness, and judgment, and righteousness in the earth.”-IBID.
Force may subdue, but love gains; and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.-IBID.
Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for at reason, it should be most our care to learn it. “ Difficilis quæ pulchra.”—IBID.
I find all sorts of people agree, whatsoever were their animosities, when humbled by the approaches of death. Then they forgive, then they pray for, and love one another; which shows us, that it is not our reason, but our passion, that makes and holds up the feuds that reign among men in their health and fulness. They, therefore, that live nearest to that state in which they should die, must certainly live the best. -IBID.
“He that lives in love lives in God," says the beloved disciple: and, to be sure, a man can live nowhere better.--IBID.