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you love God above all other things, and weakened if you prefer other things to Him. All religious acts, such as the reading of Scripture, praying and performing of ordinances, are only means to fill our mind with the thought of God and free it from worldliness. however, we pray with the motion of our lips, and our face toward the wall, but think all the while of our business, read the Law and think of the building of our house, perform ceremonies with our limbs only, whilst our hearts are far from God, then there is no difference between these acts and the digging of the ground, or the hewing of wood.
Moses MAIMONIDES. t 'HE anxious strife, the eager race,
The cares of self for Thee I leave;
Let there Be Light.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good.Genesis i, 3.
MARK Well, my soul, this first creative word of the
Almighty and let not the night of sorrows so settle over and envelop thy heart that no brightness can pierce it. Close not the eye against a star of hope if it rise in the gloomy sky. Flee not from the streak in the East, which announces the return of the morning. It is God who says: “Let there be light:” and wilt thou answer: Nay, it shall be darkness?
It is God who says: "the light is good: ”and wilt thou answer : It is not good for me ? Rather say to thyself with the Seer: Arise, shine! for my light is coming.
Who is there amongst you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servants, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the Lord and stay upon his God.—Isaiah, l, 10.
EAR on, brave soul, bear on thy load ;
But let no deeper shadows fall
the Boodness of Bod.
Only goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of God for all the length of time.—Psalm xxiii, 6.
(T cannot be said of God that He directly creates evil,
or that He has the intention to create it; this is impossible. His works are all good and perfect. He only produces existence, and all existence is good. But evils are of a negative character and cannot be acted upon. - The Book which enlightened the darkness of
the world, says therefore: "And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good." Death and all other evils are likewise good for the permanence of the Universe and the continuation of the order of things; one thing departs and another succeeds. Rabbi Meir, therefore, explains the words "and behold, it was very good” by saying that even death was good. Consider this and you will understand all that the prophets and our sages remarked about the perfect goodness of all the direct works of God.
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
the Justice of God.
All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.Psalm xxv. 10.
'HE soul, when accustomed to superfluous things,
acquires a strong habit of desiring others, which are neither necessary for the preservation of the individual, nor for that of the species. This desire is without limit; whilst things which are necessary are few, and
restricted within certain bounds. Lay this well to heart, reflect on it again and again; that which is superfluous is without end (and therefore the desire for it also without limit). Thus you desire to have your vessels of silver, but golden vessels are still better; others have even vessels studded with sapphires, emeralds or rubies. Those, therefore, who are ignorant of this truth, that the desire for superfluous things is without limit, are constantly in trouble and pain. They expose themselves to great dangers by sea-voyages, or in the service of Kings. When they thus meet with the consequences of their course they complain of the judgments of God; they go so far as to say that God's power is insufficient, because He has given to this Universe the properties which they imagine cause these evils.
Moses MAIMONIDES. AVE me alike from foolish pride
Or impious discontent
Or aught Thy goodness lent.
the Boodness of Bod's Work.
For affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground. - Job. v. 6.
EN frequently think that the evils in the world are
more numerous than the good things; many sayings and songs of the nations dwell on this idea. They say that the good is found only exceptionally, whilst evil things are numerous and lasting. The origin of this error is to be found in the circumstance that men judge of the whole universe by examining one single person, believing that the world exists for that one person only. If anything happens to him contrary to his expectation, forth with they conclude that the whole universe is evil. All mankind at present in existence form only an infinitesimal portion of the permanent universe. It is of great advantage that man should know his station. Numerous evils to which persons are exposed are due to the defects existing in the persons themselves. We seek relief from our own faults; we suffer from evils which we inflict on ourselves; and we ascribe them to God, who is far from connected with them. As Solomon explained it: The foolishness of man perverteth his way, and his heart fretteth against the Lord.—Prov. xix. 3.
Moses MAIMONIDES. w HEN thou hast thanked the Lord for every blessing sent,
What time will then remain for murmur and lament?
the Everpresent Bod.
In all thy ways acknowledge God, and He will direct thy paths.- Prov. iii. 6.
Thou wilt kindle my light; the Lord, my God, will illume my darkness.—Psalm xviii. 28.
try, and betaken myself to the desert, that I might see some higher vision; and it has profited me