Those who have attained things worth having in this world have worked while others idled, have persevered while others gave up in despair, have practiced ...the valuable habits of self-denial, industry, and singleness of purpose.
The man who is poor in spirit desires and says with his whole heart, Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. It is as though he himself disappears; everywhere and in everything he wishes to see God-in himself and in others. 'Let everything by Thine, not mine.'
Naturally, men are prone to spin themselves a web of opinions out of their own brain, and to have a religion that may be called their own. They are far readier to make themselves a faith, than to receive that which God hath formed to their hands; are far readier to receive a doctrine that tends to their carnal commodity, or honor, or delight, than one that tends to self-denial.
It is a mournful fact that most men, and indeed all men of worldly character, have so much regard to public opinion that they dare not act according to the dictates of their consciences when acting thus would incur the popular frown.
... so large a portion of those who hold much capital, instead of using their various advantages for the greatest good of those around them, employ the chief of them for mere selfish indulgences; thus inflicting as much mischief on themselves, as results to others from their culpable neglect. A great portion of the rich seem to be acting on the principle, that the more God bestows on them, the less are they under obligation to practise any self-denial, in fulfilling his benevolent plan of raising our race to intelligence and holiness.
We pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self denial, anxiety and discouragement.