Monday, June 29, 2009

the little crosses...

We left Henry Ware Jr. guarding our thoughts. Today he continues on the Temper and Feelings. I must confess that the "little crosses and petty disappointments" are often a trial for me and Ware's view of what constitutes a Christian Character seems far in the hazy distance. But now and again...

From: "The Religious Discipline of Life" cont.

"If the thoughts, which may be expressed in words, are to be thus guarded, the Temper and Feelings, which are often so indefinable in language, require a no less anxious guardianship. In the perplexities and trials of daily life, in the conflict with the various tempers and frequently perverse dispositions of those around us, in the little crosses, the petty disappointments, the trifling ills which are our perpetual lot, we are exposed to lose that calm equanimity of mind which the Christian should habitually possess. We are liable to be ruffled and irritated, and to feel and display another spirit than that gentleness which ' bears all things and is not easily provoked.' The selfishness of some, the obstinacy of other?, the pride of our neighbor, the heedlessness of our children, and the unfaithfulness of our dependents, tire our patience, and disturb our self-possession; while bodily infirmity and disordered nerves magnify insignificant inconveniences into serious evils, and irritate to peevishness and discontent the temper which duty calls to cheerfulness and submission. Some are blessed with a native quietness of temperament which hardly feels these hourly vexations. But of some they form the great trial, and peculiar cross; they can bear any thing better. And to all persons they constitute an exposure full of hazard, and demanding cautious vigilance. The very spirit and essential traits of the Christian character require watchfulness against them, and imply conquest over them. The humility, meekness, forbearance, gentleness, and love of peace ; the long- suffering, the patience, the serenity, which form so lovely a combination, which portray a character that no one can fail to admire and love ;—these are to be maintained only by much and persevering watchfulness.

Without this, the most equable disposition by nature may become irritable and unhappy. With it, under the authority and guidance of Christian faith, the most unfortunate natural temper is subdued to the gentleness of the lamb. Without it, the internal condition of man is restless, rebellious, full of wretchedness, having no peace in itself, and enjoying nothing around. With it, the aspect of the world becomes changed ; every thing is bearable, if not pleasant; the sweet light which beams within, shines on all without, making pleasant the aspect of all men, and smoothing the roughnesses of all affairs."

May your rough places be made smooth. Blessings

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