"I am going down into the pit; you hold the ropes,"; said Carey the pioneer missionary. They that hold the ropes, and the daring miner that swings away down in the darkness, are one in work, may be one in the motive, and, if they are, shall be one in the reward.
You have to live with Him day by day, and year by year, and to learn to know Him as we learn to know husbands and wives, by continual experience of a sweet and unfailing love, by many a sacred hour of interchange of affection and reception of gifts and counsels.
Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music; and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry to the sight that has gazed on the vision of the great white throne and the crystal sea.
Do not let the loud utterances of your own wills anticipate, nor drown, the still, small voice in which God speaks. Bridle impatience till He does. If you cannot hear His whisper, wait till you do. Take care of running before you are sent. Keep your wills in equipoise till God's hand gives the impulse and direction.
Remember that vision on the Mount of Transfiguration; and let it be ours, even in the glare of earthly joys and brightnesses, to lift up our eyes, like those wondering three, and see no man any more, save Jesus only.
It is not the thinker who is the true king of men, as we sometimes hear it proudly said. We need one who will not only show, but be the Truth; who will not only point, but open and be the way; who will not only communicate thought, but give, because He is the Life. Not the rabbi's pulpit, nor the teacher's desk, still less the gilded chairs of earthly monarchs, least of all the tents of conquerors, are the throne of the true king. He rules from the cross.
To pursue joy is to lose it. The only way to get it is to follow steadily the path of duty, without thinking of joy, and then, like sheep, it comes most surely unsought, and we "being in the way," the angel of God, bright-haired joy, is sure to meet us.
Do not let the empty cup be your first teacher of the blessings you had when it was full. Do not let a bard place here and there in the bed destroy your rest. Seek, as a plain duty, to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.
The joys of heaven are not the joys of passive contemplation, of dreamy remembrance, of perfect repose; but they are described thus: "They rest not day nor night." "His servants serve Him, and see His face."
Kindness does not require us to be blind to facts or to live in fancies, but it does require us to cherish a habit of goodwill, ready to show pity if sorrow appears, and slow to turn away even if hostility appears.