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and love which abide, then riches, talents, and all outward visible things have a divine value. That which can become an infinite good is itself almost an infinite good. We will not, then, despise these things which God lends us because they are not yet
We will bless Him for the tranquil joys of every day, the simple affections of time, the common every-day work of life, the springs and summers which come and go, the talents we have and use, the business we transact, for all are parts of that Jacob's ladder which reaches from earth to heaven.
Oh, my heart, learn to love God through his works! Love the infinite truth and perfect beauty in the universe and in human lives, through the finite duties of each passing hour. Love all that is good here, and so love the infinite goodness here and beyond. Look away from darkness to light. Seek the best things in all God's children, by whatever name they may be called. Respect and love goodness, wherever it may be, and believe that all the goodness in thyself and in others must come down from the Supreme Goodness and lead back to Him. Turn away, O my soul, from all things false, base, and mean; rise and look up to the pure and perfect heaven of truth, which hangs its deep canopy of blue above us, unsoiled by the passing cloud; the home of the eternal stars; the highway of the majestic sun; the emblem of a divine purity and an illimitable peace.
WHAT WILL MAKE US GENEROUS ?
THINK I may assume that we all wish to be
generous, for certainly no one would willingly be selfish. If I had treated of some other form of disinterested love; if, for example, I had selected for my topic, “How can we make ourselves pious ?”
“How can we make ourselves philanthropic ?” the case would be different.
I could not assume that we all desire to be pious, for piety has been connected in many minds with disagreeable associations. That which is called piety is sometimes gloomy and morose ; sometimes narrow, bigoted, sectarian, and intolerant; sometimes, alas! it is found in company with sharp bargains in business and mean habits of life. This, of course, is not real piety, for that is simply love to God and man, and cannot be gloomy, narrow, or mean. But since professional piety is sometimes associated in our minds with these poor qualities, I will not use this word here, but take one unsoiled by such associations. Besides, there are no pious people in Scrip