Years ago I indexed a publication that began publication in 1885. It was fascinating, and I was amazed at how up-to-date the articles were; they could have been written today. I would like to share these thoughts with you now and then. Most of these are from the 1923 issue:
*Never fancy you could be something if only you had a different lot and sphere assigned you. The very things that you most deprecate as fatal limitations or obstructions, are probably what you most want. What you call hindrances, obstacles, discouragements, are probably God's opportunities. Anonymous.
*There is no sense is always telegraphing to Heaven for God to send a cargo of blessings unless we are at the wharf to unload the vessel when it comes. F.B. Meyer.
*What have I done that I should be anathematized? Am I not strong and green and pleasant? Have I injured anyone? Have I done harm in any way? It is not what you have done, but what you have not done. You have received God's gift of sunshine and shower and returned nothing but leaves. The world of hungry people expected fruit from you. They found it not. Exchange.
*LET IT OUT - Not the harsh word. Not the prompt and perhaps justifiable censure. Not the sarcasm which bites and stings. These slip out all too easily. Ordinarily they were best kept in. We shall rarely reproach ourselves in after years for failing to say cutting things. But the kind word, the praise which cheers, the encouragement which everybody needs -- let it out. If there is any good you can say, say it eagerly. Where got we the heathenish idea that gracious words are to be saved as a miser saves pennies? Say the very best thing you can think of concerning your friends, or even your enemies. Better far to exaggerate his virtues than his faults. If we must err, let it be on the side of kindness. George Clark.
*THE THREE Cs
The three Cs will carry you, as an individual or as a class, through almost any situation.
I will be CHEERFUL. -- The grouch never gets anywhere. If he happens to have an idea no one is willing to help him work it out, and one cannot do much alone. It takes cheerfulness to grow success, just as it takes sunshine to grow flowers. Don't let the glums get a hold upon you or upon your class.
I will be COURAGEOUS. -- Courage begets confidence. Face one difficulty and you will gather confidence to face a greater one. And there is nothing to be afraid of, if we only knew it. If you, or your class, set out to do a thing that is right and worth doing, man cannot stop you unless you are a coward and let him.
I will be CREATIVE. -- This does not mean that you must paint a great picture, or write a great book, or build a great building. It means that you must think your own thoughts, plan your own plans, work out your own ideas. The individual or the class that never tries anything except what someone else has tried before will soon get into a hopeless rut. -- Exchange.
*The woman who is successful in making a true home, where peace and love dwell, in which the children whom God gives her feel the sacredness and holy meaning of life, where her husband renews his strength for the struggles and activities of his life, in which all unite to promote the happiness and highest welfare of each other -- that woman has won the best crown there is in life, and she has served the world in a very high degree. The union of man and woman for the creation of a home breathing an atmosphere of love is Christ's best parable of the highest possible spiritual union where the soul is the bride and he is the Eternal Bridegroom, and they are one. Exchange.
*Don't delude yourself into thinking there is any new morality. We are still bound by the old eternal values that have not changed and will not change, and that makes the Ten Commandments the only rule of life. Dorothy Dix.
*The first five books of the Bible are called Penteteuch. Moses is the writer. It covers one-third of human history. It starts in a garden and ends in a wilderness. The books are:
Genesis -- The way down. The Fall, the Flood and the famine.
Exodus -- The way out. Moses, miracles and morals.
Leviticus -- The way up. Compassion, Confession, Communion.
Numbers -- The way around. Wandering, wondering, wonderful.
Deuteronomy -- The way home. Reviewing, renewing, returning. Anonymous.
*(From a 1920 issue): BE STILL: "Life today is a mad, wild rush. This busy, bustling age is so set on doing things that we scarcely have time to eat or sleep, much less rest or think. Consequently many are old before their time, grow weary of the strife, and occasionally put an end to it all. And slow suicide accomplishes the same end as razors, pistols and poison. but we have no more right to destroy life gradually than we have to destroy it instantly. And the restless rush of the day counts against us spiritually as well as physically. Of course, He is present everywhere, but we feel Him more plainly and feel Him more sensibly in the quiet of the closet than in the stir of the street. Therefore, for body's sake, for the mind's sake, and for the soul's sake, sit down some time and think whence you came, what you are, and whither you are bound. `Be still and know that I am God.'--Psalm 46:10." Anonymous.
*"Cheerfulness is what greases the axles of the world; some people go through life creaking." Anonymous.
***THE MASTER'S REWARD (1912 issue): "The master commits five talents to the servant, and the trust is shrewdly managed. The five become ten, and the master is fully satisfied. What reward does he propose for his servant? Is it a release from labor and responsibility, a future in contrast with the past? No; the past shapes the future, and this servant having served his apprenticeship, becomes himself a master, `ruler over many things.' So he entered into the joy of his Lord. And the joy for which Jesus endured the cross is a patient and perpetual ministry. Life will be raised, not reversed; work will not be closed, it will be emancipated. The fret will be gone, not the labor; the disappointment, not the responsibility. Our disability shall be no more; our capacity shall be ours forever, and so the thorns shall be taken from our crown." Ian Maclaren.