"The first movement in the true life is self-renunciation; a renunciation, unqualified, absolute, complete. Only when man loses himself, can he find himself. This may be, perhaps, the great idea from which mythologies have derived their sayings of a final absorption of created things in the uncreated. A man absorbed in the Supreme Essence, so soon as, with the awful fear of he knows not what, in the immense possibilities of the universe, he lets the whole pass by leaving him desolate and alone, trusting only to the Unseen, finds himself no longer alone, no longer desolate. By losing even his life, he has found it. The demons are gone, and angels minister unto him. But there is one grand condition by which the blessing is guarded. The renunciation must be literally unqualified. If a person says within himself, "Now let me try some other way of happiness than has misled me hitherto. Now I will surrender these worldly pursuits, bringing me nothing but disappointment and anxiety, for those heavenly gifts which I believe will make me content and bring no care "; be sure he will be deceived. It is with him only a spiritual bargain. He sells off his present goods, to purchase a better stock; rather, he invests what he holds in something safer and yielding a larger income for the future. He may be satisfied to live somewhat poorly now, waiting for the Indian treasures and the luxurious paradise which a few days will bring him. Alas! his is an empty phantom, a bewildering shadow, a deathful delusion. What odds do time and place make in the great principles of the Divine Life? The selfishness, which asks for heaven, just as it grasps earth; which would find indulgence and grandeur and power after death, just as it seeks them before death; which is proud of spiritual attainments and turns them to means of aggrandizement, just as it is proud of any temporary thing and turns it to kindred use; is but the spirit of darkness transforming itself into angel of light, and seduces the wandering soul only the more surely, because the evil is more concealed and the good more obtrusive. Not in dying for the sake of living, but in dying to the self wholly without thought of reward, comes the true life. Not in giving up earth for the sake of heaven, is heaven won, but in sacrificing the world without demand of compensation, comes the real heaven. Not in worshipping the self through God, but in worshipping him alone, the self removed, is peace found. Then, never else, the Devil leaveth us: behold, then, never else, angels come and minister unto us."