What would you say of a man who, wanting to possess a mansion in which to dwell peacefully, purchased the site, and then knelt down and asked God to build the house for him? Would you not say that such a man was foolish? And of another man who, having purchased the land, set the architects and builders and carpenters at work to erect the edifice, would you not say that he was wise? And as it is in the building of a material house, even so is it in the building of a spiritual mansion. Brick by brick, pure thought upon pure thought, good deed upon good deed, must the habitation of a blameless life rise from its sure foundation, until at last it stands out in all the majesty of its faultless proportions. Not by caprice, nor gift, nor favor does a man obtain the spiritual realities, but by diligence, watchfulness, energy and effort.
And a crown is of night;
But this thing is God:—
To be man with thy might,—
To grow straight in the strength ot thy spirit,
And live out thy life as the light.
—A. C. Swinburne
More Articles by This Author James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.