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Byways of Blessedness

Byways of Blessedness

This book was first published in 1904. James Allen described this as "A book for all. It aims to reveal the sublime principles which lie hidden in the common facts of daily life."

The book expounds those right states of mind and wise modes of action which, when adopted under trying circumstances, bring about results fruitful of blessedness. The principles put forth are applicable to the common circumstances of daily life, in which all are frequently involved, and upon the wrong or right use of which all our misery or happiness depends; and those who put these principles into practice will very rapidly prove for themselves that circumstances are subordinate to the human will, and as the potter molds the unsightly clay into shapes of beauty, so the spiritual potter (he who has acquired the right state of mind) brings out of "adverse conditions" results that are precious, beautiful, and blessed.

This book instructs how to meet, understand, and master the everyday difficulties and trials of life. When trouble or difficulty is fully understood, it is finally conquered and passes away. This book shows how every day can be made fully blessed.

"A brightly written book is Mr. James Allen's new volume, entitled Byways of Blessedness." —Light

"Mr. Allen's latest book appeals to us as being his best. Particularly are the chapters on 'Forgiveness' and on 'Silentness' full of wise thought, calmly yet impressively uttered. It is a useful book for a quiet hour." —The Christian Life

"A book which, with careful reading, Christians of all shades of creed will find beneficial, for it inspires to the pursuit of the loftiest ideals of holy, happy living. Moreover, the work is written in a terse, lucid, and forcible style, contains numerous clear-cut gems of rich thought, and is evidently the result of ripe experience and rare reflection. For these reasons, then, I heartily commend Byways of Blessedness. —Christian Million

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Foreword

Along the highways of Burma there is placed, at regular distances away from the dust of the road, and under the cool shade of a group of trees, a small wooden building called a "rest-house", where the weary traveler may rest a while, and allay his thirst and assuage his hunger and fatigue by partaking…
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Right Beginnings

All common things, each day's events,That with the hour begin and end;Our pleasures and our discontentsAre rounds by which we may ascend.""We have not wings, we cannot soar;But we have feet to scale and climb.—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow For common life, its wantsAnd ways, would I set forth in beauteous hues. —Robert Browning Life is full…
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Small Tasks and Duties

Wrapped in our nearest duty is the keyWhich shall unlock for us the Heavenly Gate:Unveiled, the Heavenly Vision he shall see,Who cometh not too early nor too late.   Like the starThat shines afar,Without hasteAnd without rest,Let each man wheel with steady swayRound the task that rules the day,And do his best.—Goethe As pain and…
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Transcending Difficulties and Perplexities

Man who man would be Must rule the empire of himself; in it Must be supreme, establishing his throne On vanquished will, quelling the anarchy Of hopes and fears, being himself alone.—Shelley Have you missed in your aim? Well, the mark is still shining. Did you faint in the race? Well, take breath for the…
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Burden-Dropping

This to me is life;That if life be a burden, I will join To make it but the burden of a song.—Philip James Bailey Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.—Walt Whitman…
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Hidden Sacrifices

What need hath manOf Eden passed, or Paradise to come,When heaven is round us and within ourselves?—Philip James Bailey Lowliness is the base of every virtue:Who goes the lowest, builds, doubt not, the safest.—Philip James Bailey Truth is within ourselves; it takes no riseFrom outward things, whate'er you may believe.—Browning It is one of the…
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Sympathy

When thy gazeTurns it on thine own soul, be most severe:But when it falls upon a fellow-manLet kindliness control it; and refrainFrom that belittling censure that springs forthFrom common lips like weeds from marshy soil.—Ella Wheeler Wilcox I do not ask the wounded person how he feels,I myself become the wounded person.—Walt Whitman We can…
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Forgiveness

If men only understoodAll the emptiness and actingOf the sleeping and the wakingOf the souls they judge so blindly,Of the hearts they pierce so unkindly,They, with gentler words and feeling,Would apply the balm of healing—If they only understood.—From If Men Only Understood by James Allen in Poems of Peace   Kindness, nobler ever than revenge.—Shakespeare…
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Seeing No Evil

The solid, solid universeIs pervious to love;With bandaged eyes he never errs,Around, below, above.His blinding lightHe flingeth whiteOn God's and Satan's brood,And reconcilesBy mystic wilesThe evil and the good.—Emerson If thou thinkest evil, be thou sureThine acts will bear the shadow of the stain;And if they thought be perfect, then thy deedWill be as of…
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Abiding Joy

Who carry music in their heartThrough dusky alone and wrangleing mart,plying their daily toil with busier feet,Because their secret souls a holier repeat.—John Keble Serene will be our days and bright,And happy will our nature be,When love is an unerring light,And joy its own security.—Wordsworth Abiding joy! Is there such a thing? Where is it?…
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Silentness

Be still! The crown of life is silentness.Give thou a quiet hour to each long day,Too much of time we spend in profitlessAnd foolish talk. Too little do we say.If thou wouldst gather words that shall avail,Learning a wisdom worthy to express,Leave for a while thy chat and empty tale—Study the golden speech of silentness.—A.L.…
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Solitude

Why idly seek from outward thingsThe answer inward silence brings?Why climb the far-off hills with pain,A nearer view of heaven to gain?In lowliest depths of bosky dellsThe hermit Contemplation dwells,Whence, piercing heaven, with screened sight,He sees at noon the stars, whose lightShall glorify the coming night.—John Greenlead Whittier In the still hour when passion is…
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Standing Alone

By all means use to be alone, Salute thyself; See what thy soul doth wear.—George Herbert He that has light within his own clear breastMay sit in the center and enjoy bright day.—John Milton In the life of blessedness self-reliance is of the utmost importance. If there is no peace there must be strength; if…
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Understanding the Simple Laws of Life

Watch narrowlyThe demonstration of a truth, its birth,And you trace back the effluence to its springAnd source within us.—Robert Browning More is the treasure of law than gems;Sweeter than comb its sweetness. Its delights,Delightful past compare.—The Light of Asia Walking those byways which I have so far pointed out, resting in their beauty and drinking…
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Happy Endings

Such is the Law which moves to righteousness,Which none at last can turn aside or stay;The heart of it is Love, the end of itIs peace and consummation sweet. Obey.—The Light of Asia So, haply, when thy task shall end,The wrong shall lose itself in right,And all thy weekday Sabbaths blendWith the long Sabbath of…
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