Reason for a Mirror
Socrates, that great father of philosophy, advised young men to carry a mirror. If they were good looking, they should remind themselves that an ugly life was out of keeping with good looks. If their appearance was not attractive, they were told to remember that handsome actions offset ugly looks.
Humble before God
Moody used to say, "You can always tell when a man is a great way from God-he is always talking about himself, how good he is. But the moment he sees God by the eye of faith, he is down on his knees, and like Job, he cries, 'Behold, I am vile.' " This is not an easy realization to come to-to see that while you may be morally clean you are vile in your own self-righteousness.
A Great Man
One of the finest descriptions of a magnanimous man is Emerson's brief characterization of Abraham Lincoln: "His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong."
Secret of Peace
Helen Keller wrote, "If we trust, if we relinquish our will and yield to the Divine will, then we find that we are afloat on a buoyant sea of peace and under us are the everlasting arms."
Jerome, the Church historian, relates of the Apostle John that when he became old he used to go among the churches and assemblies everywhere repeating the words, "Little children, love one another." His disciples, wearied by the constant repetition, asked him why he always said this. "Because," he replied, "it is the Lord's commandment; and if it only be fulfilled, it is enough."
Rich or Poor?
As Beecher said, "No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has."
Not One Grain Too Many
The words of Henry Ward Beecher come to mind in times of trial: "No physician ever weighed out medicine to his patients with half so much care and exactness as God weighs out to us every trial. Not one grain too much does He ever permit to be put on the scale."
Never Choose Sin
These are the words of Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, who died at the beginning of the twelfth century: "If I should see the shame of sin on the one hand, and the pain of hell on the other, and must of necessity choose one, I would rather be thrust into hell without sin than go into heaven with sin."
Two Good Answers
Someone asked Augustine where God was before the heavens were created. Augustine replied, "He was in Himself." He is indeed that only self-contained Being; for He is the only Infinite One. And when Luther was asked the same question, he answered, "He was creating hell for idle, proud, and inquisitive spirits like you."
Indwelt by Christ
Martin Luther said, "If anyone knocks at the door of my breast and says, 'Who lives there?rsquo; my answer is, 'Jesus Christ lives here, not Martin Luther.' "