What is the Christian? Everywhere the man who, so far as he comprehends Jesus Christ, so far as he can get any knowledge of Him, is His servant - the man who makes Christ a teacher of his intelligence and the guide of his soul - the man who obeys Christ as far as he has been able to understand him. . . . I would know any man as a Christian, would rejoice to know any man as a Christian, whom Jesus would recognize as a Christian; and Jesus Christ, I am sure, in these old days recognized His followers even if they came after Him with the blindest sight, with the most imperfect recognition and acknowledgment of what He was and of what He could do.
No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and pure and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of the goodness.
The best advisers, helpers and friends, always are not those who tell us how to act in special cases, but who give us, out of themselves, the ardent spirit and desire to act right, and leave us then, even through many blunders, to find out what our own form of right action is.
Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long-continued process.
Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall not be a miracle, But you yourself shall be the miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself: At the richness of life which has come in you by the grace of God.