Saturday, October 20, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

William Alexander

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O if thou knew’st how thou thyself dost harm,
And dost prejudge thy bliss, and spoil my rest;
Then thou would’st melt the ice out of thy breast
And thy relenting heart would kindly warm.
--
Sonnet: To Aurora

 
William Alexander

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Why then dost thou choose to act in the same way? and why dost thou not leave these agitations which are foreign to nature, to those who cause them and those who are moved by them? And why art thou not altogether intent upon the right way of making use of things which happen to thee? for then thou wilt use them well, and they will be material for thee. Only attend to thyself, and resolve to be a good man in every act which thou doest; and remember...

 
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Think not so much of what thou hast not as of what thou hast: but of the things which thou hast, select the best, and then reflect how eagerly they would have been sought, if thou hadst them not. At the same time, however, take care that thou dost not, through being so pleased with them, accustom thyself to overvalue them, so as to be disturbed if ever thou shouldst not have them.

 
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Either all things proceed from one intelligent source and come together as in one body, and the part ought not to find fault with what is done for the benefit of the whole; or there are only atoms, and nothing else than a mixture and dispersion. Why, then, art thou disturbed? Say to this ruling faculty, Art thou dead, art thou corrupted, art thou playing the hypocrite, art thou become a beast, dost thou herd and feed with the rest?

 
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All those things at which thou wishest to arrive by a circuitous road, thou canst have now, if thou dost not refuse them to thyself.

 
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What is the use of believing, if the dost blaspheme? Thou adorest Him as Head, and dost blaspheme Him in His body. He loves His body. Thou canst cut thyself off from the body, but the Head does not detach itself from its body. "Thou dost honor me in vain," He cries from heaven, "thou dost honor Me in vain!" If someone wished to kiss thy cheek, but insisted at the same time on trampling thy feet; if with his hailed boots he were to crush thy feet as he tries to hold thy head and kiss thee, wouldst thou not interrupt his expression of respect and cry out: "What are thou doing, man? Thou art trampling upon me!" ...
It is for this reason that before He ascended into heaven our Lord Jesus Christ recommended to us His body, by which He was to remain upon earth. For He foresaw that many would pay Him homage because of His glory in heaven, but that their homage would be vain, so long as they despise His members on earth. (pp. 436-437).

 
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