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There is a lazy fatalism that looks for increase from idle talents and harvests from unsown fields. We sometimes hear people talk piously of trusting in God for success, who do very little to earn success, and who, when failure or misfortune comes, speak with base complaining, or even baser resignation, of God's will as opposed to them or their efforts and desires, while they are but duly chastised for neglecting to do His will, and so failing to meet the prime condition of success. There is nothing meaner or essentially more blasphemous than that cant of submission to the will of God which is only a cheating excuse for sloth or carelessness or reckless waste of divine opportunity and manly powers, veiling our neglects and sneaking shabbiness with the poor veneer of an insincere and impotent piety. When a man excuses his failures in life by pleading the unpropitious heavens, let him ask himself whether he has used the energy and manly boldness with which John the Baptist preached repentance in the wilderness. Let no one comfortably charge his pious inefficiency to the chastening providence of God, when he ought to be turning in shame and self-rebuke to the first bit of honest hard work that may give him any claim to the respect of men or the awards of heaven. Only they who bravely aspire and loyally work, who have done their best and utmost to fill with strenuous service the limits of their day and strength, have any right to be content in the narrowing bounds or passing opportunity of their work or their success. Only in such divinely ordered pause may any man rest his uncompleted task, justified in the releasing sentence, "A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven." Rev. H. H. Barber.
The Christian Register.

They who are forever looking out for their own interests are commonly left by their neighbors in exclusive charge of that department. It is being so well cared for that nobody presumes to interfere. They who are serving others find themselves generously served by others. Their affection wins affection. The selfish person prefers his own company and walks by himself, and wonders why he has no friends. The unselfish person lives in an environment of happiness, surrounded by those whom he has helped to be happy and who in return are endeavoring to bring happiness to him.

Dean Hodges.
The Churchman.

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February 10, 1906

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