Length of days are in her right hand and in her left riches and honor; her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace —Proverbs 3:16,17.
Nothing so develops the human faculties, composes and directs the whole man, as an inward sense of God; of his authority over us; of the laws he has set us; of his eye ever upon us; of his hearing our prayers, assisting our endeavors, watching over our concerns; and of his being our final judge…Nothing will give a man such a detestation of sin, and such a sense of the goodness of God, and of our obligations to holiness, as a right understanding, and a firm belief of the Christian religion: nothing can give a man so calm a peace within, and such a firm security against all fears and dangers without as the belief of a kind and wise providence and of a future state. An integrity of heart gives a man a courage and a confidence that cannot be shaken. A man is sure that, by living according to the rules of religion, he becomes the wisest, the best, and happiest creature that he is capable of being: honest industry, the employing of his time well, and a constant sobriety, an undefiled purity and chastity, with a quiet serenity, are the best preservers of life and health; so that, take a man as a single individual, religion is his guard, his perfection, his beauty, and his glory; this will make him the light of the world, shining brightly, and enlightening many round about him.
You love yourselves, and you love happiness, and therefore one would reasonably expect you would choose that which will afford you the most solid, refined, and lasting happiness, and abandon whatever is inconsistent with it. … Religion not only proposes future happiness beyond the comprehension of thought, but will afford you present happiness, beyond whatever you have known while strangers to it. The pleasures of a peaceful approving conscience, of communion with God, the supreme good, of the most noble dispositions, and most delightful contemplations; these are the pleasures of religion…. Besides, religion has infinitely the advantage of other things as to futurity. Those pleasures which are inconsistent with it end in shocking prospects…But religion opens the brightest prospects; prospects of everlasting salvation and happiness; prospects that brighten the gloomy shades of death and the awful world beyond; and run out infinitely beyond our sight through a vast eternal duration.
About the Author and the Source
In the preface to his Daily Monitor, Charles Brooks (1795–1872), minister of Third Church in Hingham, Massachusetts, declared his intention was “to convey heat rather than light.” He was a strong supporter of normal schools (teachers’ colleges).
Charles Brooks. Daily Monitor, or Reflections for Each Day of the Year… Boston: N.S. Simpkins & Co., 1828.