If it is our glory and happiness to have a rational nature, that is endued with wisdom and reason, that is capable of imitating the divine nature, then it must be our glory and happiness to improve our reason and wisdom, to act up to the excellency of our rational nature, and to imitate God in all our actions, to the utmost of our power.
Next to reading, meditation, and prayer, there is nothing that so secures our hearts from foolish passions, nothing that preserves so holy and wise a frame of mind, as some useful, humble employment of ourselves.
As the health and strength or weakness of our bodies is very much owing to their methods of treating us when we were young, so the soundness or folly of our minds is not less owing to those first tempers and ways of thinking which we eagerly received from the love, tenderness, authority, and constant conversation of our mothers.
If parents should be daily calling upon God in a solemn deliberate manner, altering and extending their intercessions as the state and growth of their children required, such devotion would have a mighty influence upon the rest of their lives.
Pray for others in such forms, with such length, importunity, and earnestness, as you use for yourself; and you will find all little, ill-natured passions die away, your heart grow great and generous, delighting in the common happiness of others, as you used only to delight in your own.
Personal pride and affectation, a delight in beauty, and fondness of finery, are tempers that must either kill all religion in the soul, or be themselves killed by it: they can no more thrive together than health and sickness.
Calidus contents himself with thinking that he never was a friend to heretics and infidels; that he has always been civil to the minister of his parish, and very often given something to the charity-schools.
You are to honour, improve, and perfect the spirit that is within you: you are to prepare it for the kingdom of heaven, to nourish it with the love of God and of virtue, to adorn it with good works, and to make it as holy and heavenly as you can.
Whatever littleness and vanity is to be observed in the minds of women, it is, like the cruelty of butchers, a temper that is wrought into them by that life which they are taught and accustomed to lead.