Nothing progresses more rapidly in a heart set upon doing good than an ability to be useful. They who at first are timid, shy, awkward, in such efforts, soon acquire courage, expertness, and efficiency.
Let us never forget that, to be profited, that is, to be spiritually improved in knowledge, faith, holiness, joy and love, is the end of hearing sermons, and not merely to have our taste gratified by genius, eloquence and oratory.
To bear adversity with meek submission to the will of God; to endure chastisement with all long-suffering and joyfulness; to appear cheerful and amid surrounding gloom, hopeful amidst desponding circumstances, happy in God when there is nothing else to make us happy; he who does this has indeed made great advances in the divine life.
Too many have no idea of the subjection of their temper to the influence of religion, and yet what is changed, if the temper is not? If a man is as passionate, malicious, resentful, sullen, moody, or morose after his conversion as before it, what is he converted from or to?