Religious Items

"If it were attempted to run a line through society which should separate the wise from the foolish," says the Christian Register, "probably no two persons could be found who would agree as to just where that line should lie. It may be assumed, however, that in any number of cases there would be this similarity: all would concur regarding their own side of the line as that on which would be found the wise. How can it be otherwise, our own faculties being our necessary starting-point for any apprehension of what constitutes wisdom or foolishness? Yet, if one accepts this natural position, it is at least interesting to look across the line and regard with wonder the mighty host of those who differ from us in so many ways, and to whom we could give such excellent advice, that it is no wonder we look upon them as the foolish.

"A newspaper paragraph recently stated that a certain otherwise insignificant individual had devoted fifteen hours out of every twenty-four, for twenty years, to training and strengthening his muscles for performance on a trapeze! What wisdom in one so foolish! What unimaginable patience and endurance for how small an end! There are men, however, familiar to all, who spend endless hours taking infinite pains, and devote concentration and persistence and real self-denial merely to playing billiards or acquiring the noble art of golf. One cannot help saying to one's self: If I were as patient, as energetic, as concentrated, as determined, in the practice and promotion of pure Christianity, in adherence to the principles of the higher life, in discipleship to Jesus; if I were as enthusiastic, as perservering, as those who seem to me so foolish in wasting their time and powers over the trivialities of worldliness,—what a noble impulse I might add to the cause I hold so dear. Can it be that men who hunt after the trifles that perish, yet give to that end a devotion and energy more than I am ready to offer in the pursuit of eternal realities?"

March 15, 1900

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