No feeling that mankind can encourage is more rational...


No feeling that mankind can encourage is more rational and right than a spirit of thanksgiving to God, for upon the very fact of His existence—which some unthinking people profess to disbelieve—depends all the possibilities for good that are open to man. Our concepts of Deity may differ, but all must agree that there is a beneficent basis of being, else no good achievement would be possible; and for the very fact of the existence of a limitless Source of Good, all men should be truly thankful. Imagine the physical universe without the sun, and we get something like an adequate conception of what would result if we were a moment without God. In fact there could be no existence without the "everlasting arms"—the fact of basic good—to uphold it. If the Source of good—call it what you will—were obliterated, and evil, which is destructive in its nature, were left, it would destroy itself and existence cease, just as in the world, as we now know it, all life would disappear were the sun blotted out, and darkness, with its disintegrating tendencies, left to take its place. Evil is not basic to our being, but a transitory shadow which we experience when we turn away from God. That infinite good, on the other hand, is at the basic of our being, is a fact for which mankind should be unceasingly grateful—otherwise we are unworthy of life and its possibilities of happiness and well-being.

If we but realized it, a spirit of thankfulness is of itself fraught with the faculty of opening the "windows of heaven," and letting down upon those who exercise it the blessings we so much desire. The thankful spirit, with its peace and hope, approximates the normal in the mental realm, and upon normal mental conditions depend man's ability to overcome the limitations which here beset him, so that in proportion to his thankfulness for the blessings he receives is his ability to bring into his experience more of the infinite, circumambient beneficence; more of the abundance of good which God has provided for those who love and serve Him. And this includes health of body as well as all the blessings that constitute man's happiness here, for it is becoming more and more evident to mankind that physical well-being is dependent upon mental conditions—it is being realized that to happify one's mentality means the improvement of one's bodily condition—so that it is not going too far to say that a thankful heart does a great deal to promote and preserve health, and thus brings to man one of the very choicest blessings. In view of these considerations it is evident that thanksgiving is both reasonable and right, and that we do ourselves a great injustice—in addition to robbing God—we are not thankful for life and its manifold blessings.

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December 28, 1907

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