Religious Items

The Christian Endeavor World says: "Half the battle of the spiritual life consists in keeping up a cheerful spirit. How many Christians fail at just this point! 'I can find a hundred zealous, working Christians,' says a recent writer, 'where I can find a single Christian who, under the o'erbrooding love of God. sits like a robin on its bough singing and swinging, without one trouble in its heart, one discord in its minstrelsy.' No one can contend successfully with spiritual foes so long as his heart is full of forebodings and his mind of prophecies of defeat. Faint heart never won anything worth winning, whereas victories have been won against fearful odds by troops that have suddenly been flushed with confidence by some good news. 'An ounce of cheerfulness,' says good Thomas fuller, a pre-eminently cheerful man, 'is worth a pound of sadness to serve God with.' If we wish to help our fellow men, we can hardly do them a greater service than by being so strong, earnest, and cheerful that the disheartened will take a new lease of hope from us, the doubting a new vision of faith, and the fallen a new impulse to get on their feet again."

A writer in the (Baptist) Standard furnishes the following suggestive anecdote: "An infidel squire was one day talking with an unlearned miller who now and then preached to the people of his neighborhood, and the squire expressed his opinion that one so ignorant should not try to lead the people in religious matters. The miller, pointing to a map on the wall, said, 'Squire, is not that a map of your possessions?' 'Yes,' replied he, 'those are my farms.' 'I suppose,' said the miller, 'you know all the roads very well.' 'Yes,' said the squire, 'I know them perfectly.' 'Well,' said the miller, 'you remember how when you could not find your way through the woods one day my little girl directed you?' 'Yes, I remember it very well, and she did it nicely, too.' 'You knew the road,' said the miller, 'on the map, but my little girl knew the road from walking in it, and could lead you safely through the woods.' As workers for Christ we must have this knowledge."

A writer in the (Baptist) Standard says: "Gladness is God's ideal for His children. He means them to be sunny-faced and happy-hearted. He does not wish them to be heavy and sad. He has made the world full of beauty and full of music. The mission of the gospel is to start songs wherever it goes. Its keynote is joy—it is good tidings of great joy to all people. We are commanded to rejoice always. This does not mean that the Christian's life is exempt from trouble, pain, and sorrow. The gospel does not give us a new set of conditions with the hard things left out. The Christian's home is not sheltered from life's storms any more than the worldly man's home. God's gladness is not the absence of sorrow, but divine comfort overcoming sorrow—sunshine striking through the black clouds, transfiguring them,"

March 28, 1901

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