Many persons are oppressed with the littleness of their lives ; they would like to be doing great things, and the petty duties of each day take up all their time. They do not recollect that faithfulness is the first and highest thing required of us, that this may be shown in little things as well as in great, and that the commonest lot may be transfigured by the love, the patience, and the sweetness we put into it. What is, after all, wanted most in the world is not great persons fitted for great occasions, or ordinary ones fitted for the ordinary, but great persons who will throw their greatness into the ordinary; who will show how much dignity, how much goodness, how much sweetness may characterize the life of every day; whose minds are conversant with principles that their most private actions exemplify; whose very "good-morning" makes us glad,- and whose " good-by" seems like a benediction; whose daily look mirrors a heaven of love, of self-renouncement, and of peace. Ah, Friend, fight the battle in thy obscure corner of life, fight the battle with thyself, thy restlessness, thy fears, and accept thy lot! Thou canst not choose thy task, perhaps, but thou canst " choose to do it well." Thou canst not do what thou wouldst, yet thou canst do bravely what thou must. Do it! for the deepest law of human life is faithfulness, and by obeying it thou dost acquire a worth that life itself cannot exhaust and death cannot destroy. "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much," said Jesus. A great saying, for it upsets the measurements of the world and of our worldly morality. It is enough to endear him to the hearts of men; for it shows that he looked upon the heart, and judged men by what they were, and not by what they could do.
Another virtue much needed in our daily inter-' course with others, is readiness to own a fault. The whole virtue is in our readiness, in being quick to own we have been in the wrong. We do not like of course to shame ourselves, not only before others, but in our own eyes. Nothing is more unwelcome. Therefore there are few more genuine moral experiences than those of confessing a fault, provided it be spontaneous, and we are not driven or compelled to it. We separate ourselves in such an act from what we ought to be, and feel the " ought to be" as above us and as it were condemning us. It is sensitiveness we need to have. Most persons know when they do wrong, but they do not rue it, they do not grieve over it; they do not confess it if they confess at all until the feelings of contrition have lost their warmth and the confession half its virtue. It is an affecting passage of Scripture : " Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." Each blessed day in this life of ours makes a kind of whole, and no evil should be done in it that is not repented of before its close. For who will allow that confession is only a childish virtue, or, if it were, would not ask that he might keep the child's heart and the child's habit, and even if it be before some sainted spirit of the dead, or before Jesus, or before some image of the Highest, which seems to bend over and listen to him, might pour out his sorrow and his shame rather than not have any sorrow and shame at all ? But the man's habit should differ from the child's only in that while the child confesses to a father or mother, the man should confess to himself. The dignity of man is that he is both the doer and the judge of his actions. The child could not humble itself before the parent, did not the parent voice the dormant conscience of the child. The man only reaches the true stature of a man when his conscience becomes awake and alive.
" Sits there no judge in heaven, our sin to see ? More strictly, then, the inward judge obey".
Is this impossible ? No; an unwelcome, a difficult task it may be to sit in judgment on ourselves, but not impossible. I believe a man can be as vigilant over himself as ever God or angel could be. I believe he may be as impartial toward himself, as high in his demands, and as sure in his condemnations. There is a God in every man, and it is for us to let him speak, and to hear him ; and not till we do this is the true aim of our being carried out.