I have chosen the way of faithfulness: Thy judgments have I set before me. - Psalms 119:30

MANY will remember how strongly one of the great teachers of the past generation laid hold of one of these two thoughts (referred to in the previous day's note) - and, alas! only of one of them - when he insisted, with reiteration that would have been wearisome if it had not been so earnest, on doing the duty that lies nearest us. Alas! that he did not, with equal decisiveness, insist on the reality of the Christian vision of the ultimate goal, which glorifies the smallest proximate duties! But we should combine both in our view, that the sight of the land that is very far off may both hearten us for, and direct us to, the next step in our march. Abraham "went out, not knowing whither he went"; but yet he knew whither, in the first instance, to shape his course, for he "went forth to go into the land of Canaan."

One condition of a blessed life - certainly a condition of a strenuous, fruitful, and noble one - is to make very clear to ourselves, and even to reiterate to ourselves, what is the ultimate aim to which we are shaping our conscious efforts. I believe that nine-tenths of all the failures in this world come from men not interrogating themselves and answering honestly and thoroughly this question, "What am I living for?" Of course, all the nearer aims which our physical necessities, our tastes, and our appetites, prescribe to us are clear enough to everybody; but back of them - suppose I have made my fortune, won my wife, filled my home with blessings, made my position as a student, an artist, a man of "commerce"; behind all these lies - What then? What then? These are not ends; they are means. What is the end that I am living for - back of all these and above them all? Oh! brother, if the average, unreflecting man, who lives from hand to mouth, recognizing only the aims for life which the necessities of living impose upon him, would but wake up to ask himself, for one reflective half-hour, "What is it all about? what does it all lead to? what am I going to do after I have attained these nearer aims?" there would not be so many wasted lives; there would not be so many bitter old men who look back upon a life in which failure has been at least as conspicuous as success. Let us be sure that we know where we are going, and let our aim be the highest, noblest, ultimate aim, befitting creatures with hearts, minds, consciences, and wills like ours. What that aim should be is not doubtful. The only worthy aim is God. Canaan is usually regarded as an emblem of heaven, and that is correct. But the land of our inheritance is not wholly across the river, for " the Lord is the portion of mine inheritance." God is Heaven. To dwell with Him and in Him, to have all the current of our being setting towards Him, to remember Him in the struggle and strenuous effort of life, and to look to Him in hours of solitude and sadness, are the conditions of all blessedness, and of all strength and peace.