Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?
I think there cannot any one moral rule be proposed whereof a man may not justly demand a reason: which would be perfectly ridiculous and absurd if they were innate; or so much as self-evident, which every innate principle must needs be, and not need any proof to ascertain its truth, nor want any reason to gain its approbation.
The commandment to love the Almighty requires that we should be willing to give up our lives if necessary out of love for Him. If a person has internalized that in reality he is a soul and his body is merely an outer garment that he temporarily wears, he will find it relatively easy to fulfill the commandment of giving up his life is need be. He does not feel as if he is sacrificing himself for he always retains his soul. His body which he is sacrificing is not himself but only an outer garment. For such a person giving up his life is not the ultimate sacrifice since his body is not an integral part of his identity.
If we have need of a strong will in order to do good, it is more necessary still for us in order not to do evil; from which it often results that the most modest life is that where the force of will is most exercised.
We need very strong ears to hear ourselves judged frankly, and because there are few who can endure frank criticism without being stung by it, those who venture to criticizes us perform a remarkable act of friendship, for to undertake to wound or offend a man for his own good is to have a healthy love for him.
Experience constantly proves that every man who has power is impelled to abuse it; he goes on till he is pulled up by some limits. Who would say; it! virtue even has need of limits.
Get to know two things about a man - how he earns his money and how he spends it - and you have a clue to his character, for you have a searchlight that shows up the inmost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, his real religion.
We cannot think two thoughts at the same time. Consequently, when negative thoughts arise, you do not need to fight them. Make an effort to think positive thoughts, and the negative thoughts will disappear.
They set the slave free, striking off his chains. Then he was as much of a slave as ever. He was still chained to servility. He was still manacled to indolence and sloth, he was still bound by fear and superstition, by ignorance suspicion and savagery. His slavery was not in the chains, but in himself. They can only set free men free. And there is no need of that. Free men set themselves free.
The need for devotion to something outside ourselves is even more profound than the need for companionship. If we are not to go to pieces or wither away, we all must have some purpose in life; for no man can live for himself alone.
All men need something to poetize and idealize their life a little - something which they value for more than its use and which is a symbol of their emancipation from the mere materialism and drudgery of daily life.