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The Elements of Character   By:

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THE

ELEMENTS OF CHARACTER.

BY

MARY G. CHANDLER.

"An exclusively intellectual education leads, by a very obvious process, to hard heartedness and the contempt of all moral influences. An exclusively moral education tends to fatuity by the over excitement of the sensibilities. An exclusively religious education ends in insanity, if it do not take a directly opposite course and lead to atheism." EDINBURGH REVIEW.

1854

THE REV. E.H. SEARS, MY FORMER PASTOR,

UNDER WHOSE SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE AND INSTRUCTION, MY MIND LEARNED TO DWELL UPON RELIGIOUS THEMES WITH PLEASURE, WHILE MY HEART FOUND PEACE IN BELIEVING.

THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED, AS A TRIBUTE OF GRATEFUL AFFECTION, BY THE AUTHOR.

CONTENTS.

CHARACTER. THE HUMAN TRINITY. THOUGHT. IMAGINATION. AFFECTION. LIFE. CONVERSATION. MANNERS. COMPANIONSHIP. CHARACTER.

"We have been taught, consciously or unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally, to seek rather what virtue gives than what virtue is; the reward rather than the service, the felicity rather than the life, the dowry, let me say, rather than the bride." T.T. STONE.

"His practice was of a more divine extraction, drawn from the word of God, and wrought up by the assistance of his Spirit; therefore, in the head of all his virtues I shall set that which was the head and spring of them all, his Christianity; for this alone is the true royal blood that runs through the whole body of virtue, and every pretender to that glorious family, who has no tincture of it, is an impostor. This is that same fountain which baptizeth all the gentle virtues that so immortalize the names of the old philosophers; herein they are regenerated, and take a new name and nature. Dug up in the wilderness of nature, and dipped in this living spring, they are planted and flourish in the paradise of God. By Christianity I intend that universal habit of grace which is wrought in a soul by the regenerating Spirit of God, whereby the whole creature is resigned up into the divine will and love, and all its actions directed to the obedience and glory of its Maker." MEMOIRS OF COL. HUTCHINSON, BY HIS WIDOW.

The weakness and helplessness of humanity, in relation to the fortunes of this life, have been a favorite theme with philosophers and teachers ever since the world began; and every term expressive of all that is uncertain, insubstantial, and unstable has been exhausted in describing the feebleness of man's power to retain in possession the good things of this life, or even life itself. However firmly the hand of man may seem to grasp power, reputation, or wealth; however numerous may be the band of children or friends that surrounds him, he has no certainty that he may not die friendless and a pauper. In fact, the most brilliant success in life seems sometimes to be permitted only that it may make the darkness of succeeding reverses the more profound.

Weak and helpless as we may be in the affairs of this life, there is, however, one thing over which we have entire control. Riches may take to themselves wings, though honest industry exert its best efforts to acquire and retain them; power is taken away from hands that seek to use it only for the good of those they govern; reputation may become tarnished, though virtue be without spot; health may vanish, though its laws, so far as we understand them, be strictly obeyed; but there is one thing left which misfortune cannot touch, which God is ever seeking to aid us in building up, and over which he permits us to hold absolute control; and this is Character. For this, and for this alone, we are entirely responsible. We may fail in all else, let our endeavors be earnest and patient as they may; but all other failures touch us only in our external lives. If we have used our best endeavors to attain success in the pursuit of temporal objects, we are not responsible though we fail. But if we do not succeed in attaining true health and wealth and power of Character, the responsibility is all our own; and the consequences of our failure are not bounded by the shores of time, but stretch onward through the limitless regions of eternity... Continue reading book >>




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