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Gold Dust A Collection of Golden Counsels for the Sanctification of Daily Life   By: (1826-1914)

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GOLD DUST

A Collection of Golden Counsels for the Sanctification of Daily Life

TRANSLATED AND ABRIDGED FROM THE FRENCH

BY E. L. E. B.

EDITED BY CHARLOTTE M. YONGE

GROSSET & DUNLAP

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK

Printed in the United States of America

To

E. B. H.

This little book is most lovingly dedicated

PREFACE

This little book is a translation from a collection of devotional thoughts published in France under the title of "Paillettes d'Or." It is necessarily a selection, since the gold dust which suits French readers requires a fresh sifting for the English; but the value of most of the thoughts seems to me well to deserve the term of gold. There are many who will much enjoy having this little collection on their table, so as to be able to take it up and dwell upon some one of its grains at leisure times throughout the day's business.

C. M. YONGE.

Feb. 12, 1880.

INTRODUCTION

In the south of France, during the summer, little children and old and infirm poor who are incapable of hard work, in order to earn a livelihood, employ themselves in searching the beds of dried up rivers for "Paillettes d'Or," or golden dust, which sparkles in the sun, and which the water carries away as it flows. What is done by these poor people and little children for the gold dust GOD has sown in those obscure rivers, we would do with those counsels and teachings which GOD has sown almost everywhere, which sparkle, enlighten, and inspire for a moment, then disappear, leaving but regret that the thought did not occur to collect and treasure them.

Who is there that has not experienced at some time in his life those teachings so soft and gentle, yet so forcible, which make the heart thrill, and reveal to it suddenly a world of peace, joy, and devotion?

It may have been but a word read in a book, or a sentence overheard in conversation, which may have had for us a two fold meaning, and, in passing, left us touched with an unknown power.

It was the smile on the lips of a beloved one whom we knew to be sorrowful, that spoke to us of the sweet joy of resignation.

It was the open look of an innocent child that revealed to us all the beauty of frankness and simplicity.

Oh! if we had but treasured all the rays of light that cross our path and sparkle but for a moment; oh! if we had but engraved them on our hearts! what a guide and comfort they would have been to us in the days of discouragement and sorrow; what counsels to guide our actions, what consolations to soothe the broken heart!

How many new means of doing good!

It is this simple work of gathering a little from every source from nature, from books, above all, from mankind itself that is the intention of one of your fellow creatures, dear souls, you who long so to make your lives more holy and devout!

And in the same way as the gold dust, gathered and accumulated from the river's bed, was the means of bringing a little profit to the hearth, so would we endeavor to carry a little joy to your hearts, and peace to your souls.

Gather, then, these little counsels; gather them with watchfulness; let them for a moment penetrate deep into your heart; then scatter them abroad again, that they may go with their good words to the help of others.

They will not be importunate, will not even ask to be preserved; they do not desire fame; all that they seek is to convey a transient blessing.

GOLD DUST

I.

"My LORD!" exclaimed once a devout soul, "give me every day a little work to occupy my mind; a little suffering to sanctify my spirit; a little good to do to comfort my heart."

II.

If by our deeds we become saints, true it is, that by our deeds also we shall be condemned.

Yes, it is little by little that we press onward, either towards salvation or eternal ruin; and when at last we reach the gate of glory, or that of perdition, the cry escapes our lips, "Already!"

The first backward step is almost imperceptible; it was those tiny flakes of snow, seeming to melt as they touch the earth, but falling one upon another, that have formed that immense mass which seems ready to fall and crush us... Continue reading book >>




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