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XV.

the thankful heart.

That I may make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard, and tell of Thy wondrous works.—Psalm

xxvi 7.

7F F one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me

there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes and search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to detect them; but let me make a magnet and sweep through it, and how would it draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction ! The unthankful heart, like my fingers in the sand, discover no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour some heavenly blessings-only the iron in God's hand is gold.

H. W. BEECHER.

THOUSAND blessings, Lord, to us Thou didst impart-
We ask one blessing more-O Lord ! a thankful heart.

XVI.

the prayers of the Wise.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the Lord.—Psalm iv. 4.5.

God is in heaven, and thou art on earth; therefore let thy words be few.-Ecclesiastes v. 2.

HE Lacedæmonians, when they offer sacrifice,

pray simply that they may obtain what is honorable and good, without farther stating what that should be. This language is acceptable to the gods, more acceptable than the costly festivals of Athens. It has procured for the Spartans more continued prosperity than the Athenians have enjoyed; the gods honor wise and just men—that is, men who know what they ought to say and to do, both towards God and towards men, more than those who make numerous and splendid offerings.

PLATO. F thou hast yesterday thy duty done,

And thereby cleared firm footing for to-day,
Whatever clouds make dark to-morrow's sun,
Thou shalt not miss thy solitary way.—GOETHE.
Say, what is

prayer
when it is

prayer

indeed ?
The mighty utterance of a mighty need.
The man is praying who doth press with might
Out of his darkness into God's own light.
All things that live from God their sustenance wait,
And sun and moon are beggars at his gate.

JF

XVII.

the Overruling power.

The Lord is the true God; He is the living God and King everlasting. He hath made the earth by His power; He hath established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by His insight.—

Jeremiah x. 10, 12.

HE evil-doer, who is a slave to his passions, destroys

the peace of his soul, thereby causing his own unhappiness; for harmony and unity are the beatitude of spirits. But he cannot disturb the order of the whole, over which omnipotence watches with inplacable vigor; his actions must, in the end, conform to God's all-wise intentions. His providence overrules the conflict of human passions as well as that of the elemental forces. Tyranny and lust serve His Divine behests, as does thunder and earthquakes. Ultimately all evil, moral and physical, must change into good and all forces chime in with the great symphony of praise, sounding from all parts of the world. O! Thou primal Source of wisdom, teach us to be wise, that we may be truly happy; teach us to comprehend Thy goodness, and to enjoy Thy blessings, in accordance with the kindness and abundance with which Thy hand bestows them on

The trials of our life, oh, help us to bear them contentedly, yea, even thankfully; since Thou canst do no wrong, and all Thy decrees are done in wisdom and

us.

in mercy.

MOSES MENDELSSOHN.

WAIT oh my soul, thy Maker's will

Tumultuous passions all be still, Nor let one murmuring thought arise : His ways are just, His counsels wise.

In heaven and earth, in air and seas.
He executes His wise decrees.
Know this alone, and be at rest
That what He does is ever best.

XVIII

Meeting with God.

Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel ; for lo, He that formeth the mountains and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought. . . the Lord, the God of hosts is His name. -Amos iv. 13.

WHATEVER Thou doest or proposest to do, forget

not that thou standest before God; before Him whose glory fills the earth, whose majesty rules over thee. Study the Divine Law as often as possible, always with the view of ordering thy life in accordance with it. When thou closest the book, ask thyself whether there was anything in what thou didst read that thou shouldst carry out; morning and evening examine thine actions and try thy heart; so will thy whole life be pure by means of repentance. During prayer remove every thought from thy heart foreign to thy communion with God; weigh thy words ere thou dost utter them, this will put thy soul into that state in which it is prepared to meet with God. In general I counsel thee to be considerate and careful in thy speech; not to be hasty and thoughtless whilst at thy meals. Shun the company of the proud mocker, and walk thou in humility with thy God; then wilt thou pursue the right path, and thy prayers will be pure and acceptable in heaven.

MOSES OF EVREUX,

(XIII Century.)

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And Moses said : I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, show me now Thy way that I may know Thee, and ever find grace in Thy sight. And He said: My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. .. Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live.—Exodus xxxiii. 13, 19.

WHENCE man's thirst for knowledge, his joy in finding

truth, his gladness in doing good to others; above all, whence this mysterious voice that tells him: This thou shalt do, and that thou shalt leave undone? What is it that drives noble-minded men and women to pestbreeding houses, and the more loathsome scenes in the haunts of vice, if so be that by their purity and selfsacrifice, they may redeem some lives ? If this world is indeed but a soulless mechanism, and no trace of a God to be found anywhere in all its immensities, then man is God; but, alas! not an omnipotent, but an impotent

Woe to him that he should feel and think God

one.

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