However much we may admire and crave for light, it is apt to
dazzle our eyes when they have been long accustomed to darkness;
and on first visiting a foreign country, we are sure to feel
strange among its inhabitants, however kindly or courteous they
may be. Even so, my child, your changed life may be attended with
some inward discomfort, and you may feel some reaction of
discouragement and weariness after you have taken a final farewell
of the world and its follies.
Should it be so, I pray you take it patiently, for it will not
last,--it is merely the disturbance caused by novelty; and when it
is gone by, you will abound in consolations.
At first you may suffer somewhat under the loss what you
enjoyed among your vain, frivolous companions; but would you
forfeit the eternal gifts of God for such things as these? The
empty amusements which have engrossed you hitherto may rise up
attractively before your imagination, and strive to win you back
to rest in them; but are you bold enough to give up a blessed
eternity for such deceitful snares?
Believe me, if you will but persevere you will not fail to
enjoy a sweetness so real and satisfying, that you will be
constrained to confess that the world has only gall to give as
compared with this honey, and that one single day of devotion is
worth more than a thousand years of worldly life.
But you see before you the mountain of Christian perfection,
which is very high, and you exclaim in fearfulness that you can
never ascend it. Be of good cheer, my child. When the young bees
first begin to live they are mere grubs, unable to hover over
flowers, or to fly to the mountains, or even to the little hills
where they might gather honey; but they are fed for a time with
the honey laid up by their predecessors, and by degrees the grubs
put forth their wings and grow strong, until they fly abroad and
gather their harvest from all the country round.
Now we are yet but as grubs in devotion, unable to fly at will,
and attain the desired aim of Christian perfection; but if we
begin to take shape through our desires and resolutions, our wings
will gradually grow, and we may hope one day to become spiritual
bees, able to fly. Meanwhile let us feed upon the honey left us in
the teaching of so many holy men of old, praying God that He would
grant us doves' wings, so that we may not only fly during this
life, but find an abiding resting-place in Eternity.