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To cultivate a contented spirit is a very necessary beginning to a regenerate life; it is a preliminary step to all the higher virtues, therefore we should all cultivate it. Perhaps it maybe thought by some to be so difficult to attain that it can hardly be considered as a preliminary step; but I think it is, for how is it possible to be happy unless one is content? Peace cannot be realized while discontent is felt; still less can one have the Joy born of Peace, unless contentment fills the soul; therefore we must first cultivate the Spirit of Contentment; and, indeed, it needs cultivation, for at first it is not easy to be content under all circumstances; to worry when things go wrong, and when people misunderstand us, seems so natural; and we grumble because our enterprises are not successful, and we feel anxiety about our friends and their welfare and think it impossible to do otherwise; but eventually we learn the futility of worry and anxiety and grumbling, and gradually we feel the desirability and the beauty of the Spirit of Contentment. Does it seem too difficult to attain to? What does it entail? That we shall learn to accept whatever life brings us, whether pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad, sickness or health, with calmness, knowing it is the best thing for us, and without wishing things were different. If pleasant things come in our path, let us enjoy them, fill our lives with the sunshine of happiness; and if unpleasant, bear them calmly, quietly, and unrepiningly. In this way we shall soon grow not only happier but find ourselves surrounded by happier conditions of life, for in proportion as our contentment increases, so will our capacity for a happier state of things be engendered, and consequently given us, it is always thus "to him that hath shall be given." "Ask and receive that your joy may be full." Yes! when we ask for and receive the Spirit of Contentment, we shall then soon be filled with Peace and joy and Love; and we shall find then that this world is a beautiful place to live in, and we shall know that "the whole earth is full of God's glory."

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Emma Allum

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