In our prayers of thanksgiving this week let us thank God...

Boston Evening Transcript

In our prayers of thanksgiving this week let us thank God for our friends. "He who would have a friend must be one," said Emerson. But how are we to be friends? What is the secret of friendship? There are maxims in all languages, ancient and modern, in praise of friendship, but how little light they throw on its nature! The supposed bases of friendship, such as nearness of age, identity of race, social equality, similarity of tastes, community of business or profession—these are only occasions for friendship. The causes lie deeper.

Many real friendships between old and young, master and servant, men of different races, tastes, and occupations show that there are deeper roots than those commonly recognized. Circumstances bring people together but cannot create friendships; they make for pleasant acquaintance but not for abiding loyalties. The accident of birth or station is no basis for friendship, which is obviously a spiritual, not a circumstantial or casual thing.

... There is a fine line, "Whoso feareth the Lord shall direct his friendship aright." Here is a real prescription for friendship, not a mere description. He who has reverence for truth, to whom loyalty is sacred, who has the capacity for divine sympathy and forgiveness, and to whom ideals are realities—this is he who has the fear of the Lord in his heart, who has found the secret of friendship.

Gratitude leads to nobler service...
November 23, 1929

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