Saturday, February 25, 2006

Vice has little allurement....

"Onward to Fame and Fortune" by Wm. M. Thayer,1897,


"Self-respect is the noblest garment with which a man may clothe himself, the most elevating feeling with which the mind can be inspired. One of Pythagoras’ wisest maxims in his ‘Golden Verses,’ is that in which he enjoins the pupil to ‘reverence himself.’ Borne up by this high idea, he will not defile his body by sensuality, nor his mind by servile thoughts. This sentiment, carried into daily life, will be found at the root of all the virtues – cleanliness, sobriety, chastity, morality, and religion. To think meanly of one’s self is to sink in one’s own estimation, as well as in the estimation of others. And as the thoughts are, so will the acts be. A man cannot live a high life who grovels in a moral sewer of his own thoughts. He cannot aspire if he looks down; if he would rise he must look up. The very humblest may be sustained by the proper indulgence of this feeling, and poverty itself may be lifted and lighted up by self-respect.
Self-respect maintains a close alliance with virtue. So long as a youth of either sex has true self-respect, vice has little allurement for him or her.
It is when this sterling virtue is sacrificed and the thoughtless or reckless one ceases to care what is thought of him or her, that vice claims its victim.
He who cares not whether men think well or ill of him does not possess self-respect; and so he is easily lured into sin, becoming more and more indifferent to the good-will of others, and more abandoned and criminal in his daily life. With the loss of self-respect, he is likely to lose all that makes manhood true and ennobling."

When I read this piece, especially the last paragraph or so, it really hit a chord with me.
Helping children develop self-respect became more important. I believe that vice has far less allurement in people with self-respect. I won't ramble with my thoughts, I'm sure each of us has our own and I hope this piece encourages you.

Magnanimity ( greatness of mind; dignity of soul )

"When Abraham Lincoln was candidate for United States Senator in Illinois, Lyman Trumbull, a political opponent, was put forward as a candidate by Democrats opposed to forcing slavery upon Kansas and Nebraska, a scheme to which Lincoln was also opposed.
Govenor Matheson was the candidate of the Douglas party in favor of abandoning the above States to slavery, and on the third or fourth ballot, he lacked but four votes of an election.
"Withdraw my name at once," said Lincoln, "and support Trumbull."
"Never; we can never do it," replied one of his friends.
"But we cannot afford to risk another ballot; four more votes for Matheson, and our cause is lost," answered Lincoln, with much feeling.
"Nevertheless, we shall not withdraw your name, returned his friend.
Rising to his full height, and with an emphasis that could not be misinterpreted, Lincoln said,
"It must be done; my name is withdrawn."
Some of his political friends wept as they abandoned his candidacy, and voted for Trumbull, who was elected; but none of them were ever more in love with his magnanimity than they were then. He sacrificed all political ambition to the cause of freedom.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Growing in Grace

I was reading in Thomas Watson's "Body of Divinity" and ran across the following paragraph that made me stop and think. I hate to pull something out of a whole chapter of context, but this is considering the scripture- 2Peter 3:18 "But grow in grace"
The general point is that bearing much fruit is growing in grace. I have heard different ideas on the description of what fruit is in the believer's life, but his take is simply 'growing in grace'.
Here is the paragraph I found thought provoking--

"Growth in grace is the beauty of a Christian. The more a child grows, the more it comes to its favour and complexion, and looks more ruddy; so, the more a Christian grows in grace, the more he comes to his spiritual complexion, and looks fairer. Abraham's faith was beautiful when in its infancy, but at last it grew so vigorous and eminent, that God himself was in love with it, and crowned Abraham with this honor, to be the "father of the faithful."
The more we grow in grace, the more glory we bring to God. God's glory is more worth than the salvation of all men's souls. This should be our design, to raise the trophies of God's glory; and how can we do it more, than by growing in grace? " Hereby is my Father glorified, if ye bring forth much fruit." John 15:8
Though the least drachm of grace will bring salvation to us, yet it will not bring so much glory to God. "Filled with the fruits of his righteousness, which are to the praise of his glory." Phil. 1:11 It commends the skill of the husbandman when his plants grow and thrive; it is a praise and honor to God when we thrive in grace."

This last thought is interesting as well...

"The more we grow in grace, the more will God love us. Is it not that which we pray for? The more growth, the more God will love us. The husbandman loves his thriving plants; the thriving Christian is God's chief delight. Christ loves to see the vine flourishing, and the pomegranates budding. Song of Sol. 6:11 He accepts the truth of grace, but commends the growth of grace. " I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Matt. 7:10 Would you be as the beloved disciple that lay in Christ's bosom? Would you have much love from Christ? Labor for much growth let faith florish with good works, and love increase to zeal."