Let a man begin with an earnest "I ought," and if he perseveres, by God's grace he will end in the free blessedness of "I will." Let him force himself to abound in small acts of duty, and he will, by and by, find them the joyous habit of his soul.
The Divine wisdom has given us prayer, not as a means whereby to obtain the good things of earth, but as a means whereby we learn to do without them; not as a means whereby we escape evil, but as a means whereby we become strong to meet it.
Our higher feelings move our animal nature; and our animal nature, irritated, may call back a semblance of those emotions; but the whole difference between nobleness and baseness lies in the question, whether the feeling begins from below or above.
Every natural longing has its natural satisfaction. If we thirst, God has created liquids to gratify thirst. If we are susceptible of attachment, there are beings to gratify that love. If we thirst for life and love eternal, it is likely that there are an eternal life and an eternal love to satisfy that craving.
However dark and profitless, however painful and weary, existence may have become, life is not done, and our Christian character is not won, so long as God has anything left for us to suffer, or anything left for us to do.