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Christ not only knows what we do, but why we do it.

We should act with as much energy as those who expect everything from themselves; and we should pray with as much earnestness as those who expect everything from God.

Calling to mind the learning of the ancient fathers we might think they did nothing but read; seeing their works that they did nothing but write; considering their devotion that they did nothing but pray.

A Lord Chancellor being asked how he got through so much business, said : “I have three rules; the first is, I am a whole man to one thing at a time; the second is, I never lose a passing opportunity of doing anything that can be done; and the third is, I never entrust to other people what I ought to do myself.”

Industry accomplishes things that to the idle and indolent appear impossibilities.

Let us then be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labour and to wait. The active do commonly more than they are obliged to do; the indolent do less.

To business that we love, we rise betimes,
And go to it with delight.
The wise and active conquer difficulties,
By daring to attempt them: sloth and folly
Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard,

And make the impossibility they fear. A man who is deeply in earnest acts upon the motto of the pick-axe on the old seal, “Either I will find a way or I will make one."

Napoleon, on the eve of a battle, being told that circumstances were against him, replied: "Circumstances ! I make or control circumstances, not bow to them.” I must never suffer the invaluable moments of


life to steal by unimproved, and leave me in idleness and vacancy. I must be always either reading, or writing, or praying, or meditating, or employed in some useful labour for the common goodAs ever in my great Taskmaster's

eye. The present moment is the time to do good; the place where I am the locality for my labour of love. I must not wait for a more convenient season; I must not wait for better opportunities of glorifying God, or benefiting my neighbour.

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Adversity. “In the day of adversity consider.”—Ecc. vii. 14.

"Remember them which suffer adversity”—HEB. xiii. 3—by praying for them, visiting them, sympathizing with them, relieving them.

Let me “consider," as God counsels me, in this day of my adversity. Wherefore hath this distress come upon me ? Why does God contend with me? Why does He thus deal with me? for He is the Author of this adversity whoever is the instrument. God's design in this adversity is to humble me; to wean me from the world ; to make me feel my dependance upon Him; perhaps to call some unrepented sin to repentance; to teach me not to set my heart on riches, or pleasures, or honours, and not to trust in an arm of flesh.

If God blights my gourd it is that He Himself may be my shadow; if He barks my fig-tree it is that He may lead me to the tree of life, and under the shadow of that tree I may

sit down with great delight, and the fruit of that tree shall be sweet to my taste.

I must not murmur, I must not fret under this dark dispensation, for adversity borrows its sharpest sting from our impatience. I must trust in God my Father, Who careth for me, and Who

to believing souls Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair. “ Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.”

If I have a still and quiet conscience, a mind at peace with God, then the res angusta domi, the straitened circumstances of my home, need not overwhelm me, for God can always help

, me; nothing is too hard for Him; and He hath said, “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee. Call upon Me in the day of trouble : I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." It is still true that

When sorrows come, they come not single spies,

But in battalions.
And it is also true that friends

“in prosperous days
They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head
Not to be found, tho' sought.”

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Let me remember that earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal; the bitter past, more welcome is the sweet; things at the worst will cease, or mend. Then "be cheerful, wipe

thine eyes.

Some falls are means the happier to arise.
When it is darkest then dawn is nigh.
My desolation does begin to make a better life.

The good are better made by ill :

As odours crush'd are sweeter still.
Affliction is the good man's shining scene :
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.
Thus Spenser lived, with mean repast
Content, depressed by penury, and pined
In foreign realm, yet not debased his verse

By fortune's frown.
Adversity teaches many to think and to reason.

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without adversity.

Res est sacra miser, a person in distress is a sacred object, even tho' he be “a man most poor, made tame by fortune's blows. I must help my distressed neighbour if I can. I may some day come to like distress and may perhaps need his help.

Sweet are the uses of adversity!
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in everything. “A friend cannot be known in prosperity : and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.

“In the prosperity of a man enemies will be grieved : but in his adversity even a friend will depart.”—ECCLESIASTICUS xii.

8, 9.

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament: Adversity is the blessing of the New.

Who has not known ill fortune, never knew himself, or his own virtue.

“If thou faint in the day of adversity thy strength is small.” I must never say even in my heart, “I shall never be in adversity.”

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NEVER give advice unasked.
Every one in distress is ready to say,

“Give me money, not advice.” Advice, like snow, the softer it falls, the longer it dwells apon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind.

He who can take advice is often superior to him who can give it. The worst men often give the best advice.

Advice is easily given, and bears a show of wisdom and superiority.

Let no man presume to give advice to others that has not first given good counsel to himself.

His friends were summon’d on a point so nice,
To pass their judgments and to give advice;
But fixed before and well resolv'd was he,

As those who ask advice are sure to be.
He that will not be counselled cannot be helped.
He that will not hear must feel.

Advice is not compulsion. My power, said

Reason, is to advise, not to compel.
Every one thinks himself able to advise another.
Nothing is so freely given as advice.

Be niggards of advice on no pretence,

For the worst avarice is that of sense. Take help of many, counsel of few.

Take counsel of him who is greater, and of him who is less than yourself, and then recur to your own judgment.

Weigh well the opinions you receive, not for the purpose of adopting them all, which would be impossible, but for correcting your own views.

It is in the use of the advice given that distinguishes the wise man from the fool.

A fool may put something into a wise man's head.

It was a saying of Cato the elder that wise men learnt more by fools, than fools by wise men.

The adviser's authority should be unimpeachable—but few people qualify themselves for the post of advisers.


Advice is not disliked for its own sake, but because so few people know how to give it.

The inefficacy of advice is usually the fault of the counsellor.

He who is always his own counsellor will often have a fool for his client.

Solon said, Advise not what is most agreeable, but what is best.

Be cautious in giving advice, and consider before you adopt advice.

He who is wise enough in youth to take the advice of his seniors, unites the vivacity and enterprise of early, with the wisdom and gravity of later, life; and what can you lose by at least asking their opinion, who can have no abstract pleasure in misleading you; and who can, if they please, furnish you with a chart of that ocean, to many unexplored, but over which they have passed, while thousands have perished there for want of that wisdom they are willing to communicate to you. The world is too much for juvenile sagacity, and he must have become grey-headed who is wise enough to walk in and out amidst the machinery of nature, and the subtleties of human life, without being crushed by the one or duped by the other.

Advice is often seen By blunting us, to make our wits more keen. It is expedient to have an acquaintance with those who have looked into the world; who know men, understand business, and can give you good intelligence and good advice when they are wanted.

Advice is offensive, not because it lays us open to unexpected regret, or convicts us of any fault which has escaped our notice, but because it shows us that we are known to others as well as ourselves; and the officious monitor is persecuted with hatred, not because his accusation is false, but because he assumes the superiority which we are not willing to grant him, and has dared to detect what we desire to conceal.

Whosoever is wise, is apt to suspect and be diffident of himself, and upon that account is willing to “hearken unto counsel whereas the foolish man, being in proportion to his folly full of himself, and swallowed up in conceit, will seldom take any counsel but his own, and for that very reason because it is

his own.

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