"AND HE ... BLESSED THEM."

It would seem that Thackeray was looking directly at little children and was endeavoring to paint a picture of their happy, beaming faces when he wrote, "What indeed does not that word cheerfulness imply? It means a contented spirit, it means a pure heart, it means a kind and loving disposition, it means humility and charity, it means a generous appreciation of others and a modest opinion of self." A better allusion to this picture could not be found than the one afforded by Montaigne, "The most magnificent sign of wisdom is continual cheerfulness."

Ever since I was one of them, children have been accorded first place in my love for humankind. They have been little guides along the highways of experience, little wayshowers in my journey from sense to Soul. Their radiant smiles and their simple faith have ever caused me to look upward and onward, away from the disappointing conventionality of the adult, away from blighting, gross materialism. To me the child at his best has been and is an inspiration, so remote are his thoughts from self, so pure and beautiful, while his impulses are glorious in goodness, his actions nobly sincere. Such a child gives a splendid suggestion of the Father's own image and likeness; and "of such," said Jesus, "is the kingdom of heaven."

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THE SPIRITUAL LIGHTHOUSE
January 8, 1910
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