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Dora (Dorothy) Greenwell.

Grandmother's scrap-book, or, The way to do good. Designed to encourage the highest religious attainments within the power of man .. online

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Online LibraryDora (Dorothy) GreenwellGrandmother's scrap-book, or, The way to do good. Designed to encourage the highest religious attainments within the power of man .. → online text (page 14 of 16)
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even by loose stones in the way, if we look Man-
ward ; if we look Godward, faith will not be
staggered by inaccessible mountains stretching
across and obstructing apparently our onward
progress. " Go forward," is the voice from
heaven ; and faith obeying, finds the mountains
before it as flat as plains. " God with us," is
the watchward of our warfare, the secret of our
strength, the security of our triumph. "■ If
thou canst believe, all things are possible to him
that believeth." How strong faith is when we
are just fresh from the fountain of redeeming
love ! A good conscience, and then faith will
do all things, for it is in its very nature such as
to let God work all ; we may say that it is the
most active when it is most passive, and that it
wearies least when it does most work.



OR, THE WAY TO DO GOOD. 327



THE STATE OF PROBATION.

The seed we sow in the ground has its suc-
cessive stages of beauty and utility — " first tlie
blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in
the ear ; " and, having thus attained the limit
of its existence, it dies, to live again a hundred-
fold. True it is that the world changes less
than its inhabitants ; still the truths of nature
aid us in understanding those higher revela-
tions of grace which instruct us that our pres-
ent state is one of probation, and far, very far,
from being that in which human nature can
attain its noblest dignity and happiness — a
state of progression introductory to a holier and
a better one, of unchangeable nature and end-
less duration. Woe to them who live as if
earth were home ! Woe to them who live as if
Christ had never died for them, risen again for
them, and ascended into heaven to prepare a
place for them forever.



328 grandmother's scrap-book ;



ETERNITY.

Eternity has no gray hairs. The flowers
fade, the heart withers, man grows old and
dies ; the world lies down in the sepulchre of
ages, but Time writes no wrinkles on Eternity.
Eternity ! Stupendous thought ! The ever-
present, unborn, undecaying and undying, the
endless chain, compassing the life of God ; the
golden thread, entwining the destinies of the
universe. Earth has its beauties, but time
shrouds them for the grave ; its honors are but
the sunshine of an hour ; its palaces, they are
but the gilded sepulchres ; its pleasures, they
are but as bursting bubbles. Not so in the \m-
tried bourn. In the dwelling of the Almighty
can come no footsteps of decay.



Natural Law. — Every vice has its penalty.
The lazy must expect to be poor ; the intemper-
ate to be diseased ; the luxurious to die young.



329



• DIVINITY OF CHRIST.

Two gentlemen were engaged in a discussion
on the Divinity of Christ. One of them, who
argued against it, said, ' If it were true, it cer-
tainly would have been expressed in more clear
and unequivocal terms." '' Well" said the other,
" admitting that you believed it, were authorized
to teach it, and allowed, to use your own lan-
guage, how would you express the doctrine, to
make it satisfactory and indubitable ? " "I
would say," replied the first, " that Jesus
Christ is the true GodP' " You are happy,"
rejoined the other, " in the choice of your
words, for you have happened to hit upon the
very words of inspiration. St. John, speaking
of Christ, says, ' This is the true God, and
eternal life ! ' " — John v. 20.



He who can take advice is superior to him
who gives it.



330 grandmother's scrap-book;



EXPERIENCE.

Great is the difference between the experi-
mental reality of human life and that beaute-
ous picture of earthly bliss which the young
and buoyant heart is wont to paint. Ripened
experience and matured judgment go far to
modify the hasty and crude decisions of the
untutored and untried imagination. In the
morning of life the future appears bright, and
the prospect altogether lovely ; but more ma-
ture age, without extinguishing this joyous
feeling, chastens and subdues it, enables it to
find a more substantial basis, teaches it to cling
more to that which is really and intrinsically
good, and to be guided more by the sound de-
ductions of wisdom than by external fascina-
tions, which fade away whilst we admire them,
and perish in using them.



OR, THE WAY TO DO GOOD. . 381



FROM LAVATER.

All that pertains to humanity is, for us, a
family affair. Thou art man; and all else
which is man is as a branch of the same tree, a
limb of the same body. man ! rejoice in the
existence of all which rejoices to exist, and
learn to endure all which God allows. The
existence of one man cannot render that of an-
other superfluous, and no man can replace
another.

Be faithful in the smallest matters. Fix thy
attention upon that which thou dost, as though
thou hadst but that alone to do. He who has
acted well in the present moment, has accom-
plished a good action for all eternity. Simplify
all things in acting, in enjoying, in suffering.
Give thy heart to Him who governs hearts." Be
just and exact in the least details. Hope in
the future, know how to wait, know how to
enjoy all, and learn to do without all.



832 grandmother's scrap-^ook;



A FRAGMENT FROM ANDREW FULLER.

" As to myself, I feel a good deal dejected at
times, thinking I shall never be of much use.
My writing and preaching seem to want some-
thing, and God withholds his blessing from me.
I was thinking this week on John xv. 8. Fruit
is more than regularity of conduct or respecta-
bility of character. We may be kept from
God-dishonoring crimes, and yet be ' unprofit-
able servants.' Much fruit is necessary to do
honor to a gardener. Here and there a berry
may ascertain the nature of a plant or tree,
but it is the loaded branch that honors him that
planted it. I have been thinking also on
Psalm xcii. ' Fruits in old age.' I am turned
of fifty-four. I want to find the cluster men-
tioned in Romans v. — ' Patience — Experience
— Hope!'"



The path of duty is the only path of safety.



OR, THE WAY TO DO GOOD. 333



TWO CLASSES OF CHRISTIANS.

There are two classes of Christians : those
who live chiefly by emotion, and those who live
chiefly by faith. The first class, those who live
chiefly by emotion, remind one of ships, that
move by the outward impulse of winds operat-
ing upon sails. They are often at a dead calm,
often out of their course, and sometimes driven
back. And it is only when the winds are fair
and powerful that they move onward with
rapidity. The other class, those who live chiefly
by faith, remind one of the magnificent steam-
ers which cross the Atlantic, whicli are moved
by an interior and permanent principle, and
which, setting at defiance all ordinary obstacles,
advance steadily and swiftly to the destination,
through calm and storm, through cloud and
sunshine.



Luxury. — The greatest luxury is doing
good. It is the peculiar food of the mind. No
fleshly banquet can equal it.



334 grandmother's scrap-book;



"MY LIFE HAS BEEN A FAILURE."

So said a capitalist in this country worth his
several millions, on being asked why he did not
have a biography of his life written. What an
answer, and what a sad truth, to be made and
considered by one who has spent a whole life
in amassing wealth, and now, with trembling
limbs, stepping into the grave, the startling
truth, quite to late, it is to be feared, flashes
across his mind, that his life had been a failure

— its great object, and the only one worthy the
attention of an immortal being, having been
entirely overlooked and neglected! What
more than such a thought need occupy a sane
mind, to fill and keep it full of unutterable an-
guish ? Life a failure ! Probation squandered

— ending f the soul lost !

Reader, whoever you may be, poor or rich,
did you ever ask yourself whether your life also
has not been a failure ? — whether you are liv-
ing merely for this world ? laying up the treas-



335 •

ures which cannot avail yourself in your time
of greatest need? Will you go to the judgment
with the awful truth sounding in your ears,
that your life has been a failure ? If you would
not, mend that life — mend it to-day ; to-mor-
row is not yours. Put off no longer a work so
important, involving your all, and one which
should have been done the first day of your ac-
countability.



I CALLED last evening to see a friend, who,
with his family, has not, until very recently,
attended church for five years past.

It was stated that some thirty or forty inquir-
ers were in the vestry after sermon.

A brother requested prayers for the youngest
son of a family of five children. All the others
have been brought into the kingdom, — two
sisters about six weeks since. The one for
whom prayers were requested, was last evening
in a state of deep anxiety for the salvation of
his soul.



336 grandmother's scrap-book;



WHAT PLEASES GOD WILL PLEASE ME.

We were much impressed in reading, a few
days since, this declaration of a deeply afflicted
Christian, a great sufferer under the hand of
God, and who in a short time was carried to
the grave. Yet he was happy — very happy —
in thus having his will swallowed up in that of
his heavenly Father. What a burden of vex-
ation and anxious sorrow will this spirit of holy
resignation to the divine will lift from the
soul ! and how will it sweeten not only mercies,
but even sharp affliction, thus to receive all as
the wise and holy dispensations of Him whose
will is always supremely right and good, and
therefore just what ought to occur in all cir-
cumstances of toil, pain and trial ! " Even so,
Father, for it seemeth good in thy sight."



OR, THE WAY TO DO GOOD. 337



WORTHY OF RESPECT.

He alone is worthy of respect, who is of use
to himself and others, and who labors to con-
trol his self-will. Each man has a fortune in
his hands, as the artist has a piece of rude
matter, which he is to fashion to a certain
shape. But the art of living rightly is like all
arts ; the capacity is born with us ; it must be
learned and practised with incessant care.



Rise up in the name and strength of God,
and set thyself in earnest to thy duty ; honestly
study to know and do the will of God ; take
heed of defiling thy conscience with any known
or wilful sin ; call upon God for his grace, by
constant and daily prayer ; and in this way of
well-doing, commit thy soul to the goodness
and mercy of God in Christ Jesus ; and whilst
thou do so, be assured that thou art safe, and
canst never miscarry.
22



338 grandmother's scrap-book;



ANECDOTE OF DANIEL WEBSTER.

It is related of Mr. Webster, that while
pacing the halls of Marshfield he sought repose
from disturbing agitations of threatened trouble
with Great Britain in chanting to himself those
lines that have become immortal in our Chris-
tian worship : —

«« Eternity, with all its years,
Stands present to thy view :
To thee there's nothing old appears.
Great God, there's nothing new.



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Online LibraryDora (Dorothy) GreenwellGrandmother's scrap-book, or, The way to do good. Designed to encourage the highest religious attainments within the power of man .. → online text (page 14 of 16)