We are here to add to the sum of human goodness. To prove the thing exists. And however futile each individual act of courage or generosity, self-sacrifice or grace-it still proves the thing exists. Each act adds to the fund. It needs replenishment. Not only because evil flourishes, and is, most indefensibly, defended. But because goodness is no longer a respectable aim in life. The hound of hell, envy, has driven it from the house.
We are like vessels tossed on the bosom of the deep; our passions are the winds that sweep us impetuously forward; each pleasure is a rock; the whole life is a wide ocean. Reason is the pilot to guide us, but often allows itself to be led astray by the storms of pride.
We are living in a day of self-seeking and irresponsibility, even in Christian circles. Few indeed are the Christian believers who have truly laid their all on the altar for Christ. Few are the spiritual leaders who truly put God FIRST . Rather they think first, albeit subconsciously, of their positions, popularity, salaries and the success of the organizations over which they preside. While professing strong allegiance to God and His Word, they are nevertheless careful not to emphasize those passages from the Word which might ruffle feathers or rock the boat, as we say. In spite of their professed fidelity to God's Word and will, their first objective is actually to keep their organizations running smoothly and pleasantly so that they may continue to grow in numbers. This has become a way of life in Christendom, but in this matter too we should 'search the Scriptures daily,' to determine whether these things have God's approval, for however good and right a thing may seem, if it is at variance with the Word, rightly divided, it is contrary to the will of God and therefore wrong.
We are the men of intrinsic value, who can strike our fortunes out of ourselves, whose worth is independent of accidents in life, or revolutions in government we have heads to get money, and hearts to spend it.
We can easily become as much slaves to precaution as we can to fear. Although we can never rivet our fortune so tight as to make it impregnible, we may by our excessive prudence squeeze out of the life that we are guarding so anxiously all the adventurous quality that makes it worth living.
We can work on inner peace and world peace at the same time. On one hand, people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centered life into the life centered in the good of the whole. On the other hand, one of the ways of working for world peace is to work for more inner peace, because world peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it.
We cannot afford merely to sit down and deplore the evils of city life as inevitable, when cities are constantly growing, both absolutely and relatively. We must set ourselves vigorously about the task of improving them; and this task is now well begun.
We cannot put off living until we are ready. The most salient characteristic of life is its coerciveness it is always urgent, 'here and now,' without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point-blank.
We cannot too soon convince ourselves how easily we may be dispensed with in the world. What important personages we imagine ourselves to be! We think that we alone are the life of the circle in which we move; in our absence, we fancy that life, existence, breath will come to a general pause, and, alas, the gap which we leave is scarcely perceptible, so quickly is it filled again; nay, it is often the place, if not of something better, at least for something more agreeable.
We deliberate about the parcels of life, but not about life itself, and so we arrive all unawares at its different epochs, and have the trouble of beginning all again. And so finally it is that we do not walk as men confidently towards death, but let death come suddenly upon us.
We do not first get all the answers and then live in the light of our understanding. We must rather plunge into life meeting what we have to meet and experiencing what we have to experience and in the light of living try to understand. if insight comes at all, it will not before, but only through and after experience.