"In our spiritual life we have highs and lows; there are times indeed of kindled purpose and high affections to us all; when the spirit is willing and our faculties strong; when the mighty stream of Resolution sweeps rapidly away, and plays with difficulties as with the momentary bubbles that eddy on its wave; when a purer atmosphere seems to clear and swell the soul, and every speck of evil passion melts and disappears; and then indeed to the meek and holy there is no cross to bear; they do not pace up the hill of death, but are rather borne down the mount of triumph over scattered flowers to the City of their God.
But, duty is constant; affection is transient; obligation often rises, while the spirit sinks; and after the divine freshness of the morning air, a sluggish mist damps down, and turns life, which had looked brilliant as Eden, into a flat and weary marsh. And then it comes to pass, that we know the path that we should go, but love it no more.
Ease bids us stay at home; inclination shows us a pleasanter way; or if we set out on the thorny track, we begin to pity our own bleeding feet, and reward with admiration our half-spent strength. When the soul has lost its earliest tension, evil, with close collapse, presses in upon it again; worthless temptations resume a dreadful force; the dainty senses are not so easy to despise; peevish works and sullen thoughts torment us as our familiar friends; the moments lent for holy service we desire to steal for selfish whims; and to the dulled and slothful eye our nearest work seems unnaturally hard." Martineau.