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Hold that fast which thon hast, that no man may take thy
crown.-- REVELATION üi. 11.
Now I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured ; and they had raiment put on which shone like gold. Those also that met them had harps and crowns, and gave them to them; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the city rang again for joy; and that it was said unto them, “ Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.” I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, “ Blessing, honour, glory and power, be to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever.” Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them; and behold, the city shone like the sun, the streets also were paved with gold, and in them walked many men with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal. There were also of them that had wings; and they answered one another without intermission, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord.” And after that they shut up the gates, which when I had seen I wished myself among them.—BUNYAN.
O praise the Lord, for the Lord is gracious.—PSALM cxxxv. 3.
My God, I thank Thee, who hast made
The earth so bright:
Beauty and light;
Noble and right!
I thank Thee more that all our joy
Is touched with pain;
That thorns remain;
And not our chain.
Our weak heart clings,
Yet all with wings,
Blessed are they that mourn.-MATTHEW v. 4. It was a high speech of Seneca, that the “good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired.” The virtue of prosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of
the New, which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet, even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes, and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are crushed; for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.-BACON.
Let us then be up and doing,
One of the best instruments for contentedness is the sedulous application of our minds to honest employment. Honest studies and cares divert our minds, and drive sad thoughts from them; they cheer our spirits with wholesome food and pleasant entertainments; they yield good fruits and a success accompanied with satisfaction, which will extinguish or temper discontent. While we are studious or active, discontent cannot easily creep in, or will be quickly stifled. Idleness is the great mother or nurse of discontent; it layeth the mind open for melancholy conceits to enter; it yieldeth harbour to them; and it depriveth of all the remedies and allays
which business affordeth. Reciprocally, discontent also begetteth idleness, and by it groweth ; they are like ice and water arising each out of the other. We should therefore not suffer any sadness so to encroach upon us, as to hinder us from attending to our business, for it thereby will grow stronger and more hardly vincible.-BARROW.
I would not have you to be ignorant concerning them which are
asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.—1 THESSALONIANS iv. 13.
Now I saw in my dream, that by this time the pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant; the way lying directly through it, they solaced themselves there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and they saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth day and night, wherefore it was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to; also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof, for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of heaven.-BUNYAN.
As we have opportunity, let us do good to all men.
GALATIANS vi. 10. To work, what incalculable sources of cultivation lie in that process, in that attempt. How it lays hold of the whole man, thereby to awaken dormant faculties, root out old errors, at every step! He that has done nothing has known nothing. Vain it is to sit scheming and plausibly discoursing; up and be doing! If thy knowledge be real, put it forth from thee; grapple with real nature; try thy theories there, and see how they hold out. A new light will rise on thee at the doing of all things whatsoever. Truly a boundless significance lies in work; whereby the humblest craftsman comes to attain much which is of indispensable use, but which he who is of no craft, were he never so high, runs the risk of missing. To make some nook of God's creation a little fruitfuller, better, more worthy of God; to make some human hearts a little wiser, manfuller, happier, more blessed, less accursed, oh, this is great—it is a work for God.-T. CARLYLE.
No Cross ! no Crown!
In his sufferings the Christian is often tempted to think himself forgotten. But his afflictions are the clearest proof that he is an object of God's fatherly discipline. Satan would give the man the