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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Cecil
 
  A Christian will find his parenthesis for prayer, even through his busiest hours.  1
  A contemplative life has more the appearance of a life of piety than any other; but it is the divine plan to bring faith into activity and exercise.  2
  A friend called on me when I was ill, to settle some business. My head was too much confused by my indisposition to understand fully what he said, but I had such unlimited confidence in him that I did whatever he bid me, in the fullest assurance that it was right. How simply I can trust in man, and how little in God! How unreasonable is a pure act of faith in one like ourselves, if we cannot repose the same faith in God.  3
  A warm blundering man does more for the world than a frigid wise man.  4
  All extremes are error. The reverse of error is not truth, but error still. Truth lies between these extremes.  5
  An accession of wealth is a dangerous predicament for a man. At first he is stunned, if the accession be sudden; he is very humble and very grateful. Then he begins to speak a little louder; people think him more sensible, and soon he thinks himself so.  6
  An idle man has a constant tendency to torpidity. He has adopted the Indian maxim that it is better to walk than to run, and better to stand than to walk, and better to sit than to stand, and better to lie than to sit. He hugs himself into the notion, that God calls him to be quiet.  7
  Aversion from reproof is not wise. It is a mark of a little mind. A great man can afford to lose; a little insignificant fellow is afraid of being snuffed out.  8
  Duties are ours; events are God’s. This removes an infinite burden from the shoulders of a miserable, tempted, dying creature. On this consideration only can he securely lay down his head and close his eyes.  9
  Eloquence is vehement simplicity.  10
  Every man is an original and solitary character. None can either understand or feel the book of his own life like himself.  11
  Every man will have his own criterion in forming his judgment of offers. I depend very much on the effect of affliction. I consider how a man comes out of the furnace; gold will lie for a month in the furnace without losing a grain.  12
  Every year of my life I grow more convinced that it is wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and good and dwell as little as possible on the dark and the base.  13
  He who sows, even with tears, the precious seed of faith, hope and love shall “doubtless come again, with joy and bring his sheaves with him”; because it is in the very nature of that seed to yield, under the kindly influence secured to it, a joyful harvest.  14
  Hypocrisy is folly. It is much easier, safer, and pleasanter to be the thing which a man aims to appear than to keep up the appearance of being what he is not.  15
  I cannot look around me without being struck with the analogy observable in the works of God. I find the Bible written in the style of His other books of Creation and Providence. The pen seems in the same hand. I see it, indeed, write at times mysteriously in each of these books; thus I know that mystery in the works of God is only another name for my ignorance. The moment, therefore, that I become humble, all becomes right.  16
  I could write down twenty cases, wherein I wished God had done otherwise than He did; but which I now see, had I had my own will, would have led to extensive mischief. The life of a Christian is a life of paradoxes.  17
  I extend the circle of real religion very widely. Many men fear God, and love God, and have a sincere desire to serve him, whose views of religious truth are very imperfect, and in some points utterly false. But may not many such persons have a state of heart acceptable before God?  18
  If I have made an appointment with you, I owe you punctuality; I have no right to throw away your time, if I do my own.  19
  If there is any person to whom you feel a dislike, that is the person of whom you ought never to speak.  20
 
 
  It requires as much reflection and wisdom to know what is not to be put into a sermon as what is.  21
  Keep thyself unspotted from the world.  22
  Never was there a man of deep piety, who has not been brought into extremities—who has not been put into fire—who has been taught to say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”  23
  Nothing can be proposed so wild or so absurd as not to find a party, and often a very large party to espouse it.  24
  Our nature is like the sea, which gains by the flow of the tide in one place what it has lost by the ebb in another. A man may acquiesce in the method which God takes to mortify his pride; but he is in danger of growing proud of the mortification.  25
  Philosophy is a proud, sullen detector of the poverty and misery of man. It may turn him from the world with a proud, sturdy contempt; but it cannot come forward and say, here are rest, grace, pardon, peace, strength, and consolation.  26
  Power rests in tranquillity.  27
  Providence is a greater mystery than revelation.  28
  Religion is such a belief of the Bible as maintains a living influence on the heart.  29
  Self-will is so ardent and active that it will break a world to pieces to make a stool to sit on.  30
  Self-wit is so ardent and active that it will break a sword to pieces to make a stool to sit on.  31
  Solitude shows us what we should be; society shows us what we are.  32
  The Christian will sometimes be brought to walk in a solitary path. God seems to cut away his props, that He may reduce him to Himself. His religion is to be felt as a personal, particular, appropriate possession. He is to feel that, as there is but one Jehovah to bless, so there seems to him as though there were but one penitent in the universe to be blessed by Him.  33
  The grand aim of a minister must be the exhibition of gospel truth. Statesmen may make the greatest blunders in the world, but that is not his affair. Like a king’s messenger, he must not stop to take care of a person fallen down: if he can render any kindness consistently with his duty, he will do it; if not, he will prefer his office.  34
  The grandest operations, both in nature and in grace, are the most silent and imperceptible. The shallow brook babbles in its passage, and is heard by every one; but the coming on of the seasons is silent and unseen. The storm rages and alarms, but its fury is soon exhausted, and its effects are partial and soon remedied; but the dew, though gentle and unheard, is immense in quantity, and the very life of large portions of the earth. And these are pictures of the operations of grace in the church and in the soul.  35
  The heart must be divorced from its idols. Age does a great deal in curing the man of his frenzy; but if God has a special work for a man, he takes a shorter and sharper course with him. This grievous loss is only a further and more expensive education for the work of the ministry; it is but saying more closely, “Will you pay the price?”  36
  The history of all the great characters of the Bible is summed up in this one sentence; They acquainted themselves with God, and acquiesced in His will in all things.  37
  The meanness of the earthen vessel, which conveys to others the gospel treasure, takes nothing from the value of the treasure. A dying hand may sign a deed of gift of incalculable value. A shepherd’s boy may point out the way to a philosopher. A beggar may be the bearer of an invaluable present.  38
  The nurse of infidelity is sensuality.  39
  The Old and New Testaments contain but one scheme of religion. Neither part of this scheme can be understood without the other.  40
  The religion of a sinner stands on two pillars; namely, what Christ did for us in the flesh, and what He performs in us by His Spirit. Most errors arise from an attempt to separate these two.  41
  The spirit and tone of your home will have great influence on your children. If it is what it ought to be, it will fasten conviction on their minds, however wicked they may become.  42
  The very heart and root of sin is in an independent spirit. We erect the idol self; and not only wish others to worship, but worship ourselves.  43
  The world looks at ministers out of the pulpit to know what they mean when in it.  44
  There are so many things to lower a man’s top-sails—he is such a dependent creature—he is to pay such court to his stomach, his food, his sleep, his exercise—that, in truth, a hero is an idle word. Man seems formed to be a hero in suffering, not a hero in action. Men err in nothing more than in the estimate which they make of human labor.  45
  There is something in religion when rightly comprehended that is masculine and grand. It removes those little desires which are the constant hectic of a fool.  46
  To have too much forethought is the part of a wretch; to have too little is the part of a fool.  47
  We are too fond of our own will; we want to be doing what we fancy mighty things: but the great point is to do small things, when called to them, in a right spirit.  48
  We erect the idol self, and not only wish others to worship, but worship ourselves.  49
  Whatever, below God, is the object of our love, will, at some time or other, be the matter of our sorrow.  50
  When two goats met on a bridge which was too narrow to allow either to pass or return, the goat which lay down that the other might walk over it was a finer gentleman than Lord Chesterfield.  51
 
 
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