To confess weakness is to induce it; but to recognize and diligently seek to eliminate the cause is preliminary to the attainment of strength. We fail because we lack confidence in ourselves, and allow torturing fears to dissipate our vitality; we are weak because we neither understand nor arouse ourselves to develop the power within. As in physical culture it is necessary to exercise the various muscles regularly, gradually increasing the strain, to repair the tissues with proper food, and keep the body healthy by an occasional fast; so, on the mental and spiritual planes, it is by exercise and renunciation that we become strong.
Physical culture is of importance to us all. There is no reason why this instrument of the brain should not be trained up to the highest degree of efficiency; for where this obtains its expression will be symmetrical, clear, and well-defined. The more perfectly the workman fashions his tools, the greater accuracy will he display in the work executed. In the sense of health and strength there is joy and gladness which the man who pampers himself can never know.
But to be mentally strong is still more important. Now I suggest as exercise that we take the trouble to thoroughly understand the little duties of life; that we learn well every lesson of failure and disappointment until they are completely transcended; and that we accept no opinion as Truth until our highest reason comprehends and approves. This exercise will elevate and attune the mind to become receptive of ever-ascending states of intelligence, which may be described as its food. The renunciation to be practiced is of mental indolence and the narcotics of prejudice.
Spiritual strength is of transcendent importance; and herein is the secret of power divine—that we do the will of the Father. Grace is added for used grace; and knowledge for used knowledge. Only by acts of virtue, deeds of love, and steadfastly treading underfoot the temptations of illusion do we partake of the more abundant life and link ourselves with Omnipotence. This strength is in all; but awaits the necessary conditions in order to manifest; and it is therefore the bounden duty of those who would attain, to banish from their hearts all that is contrary to the will of God. The Hand that guides the Universe is tenderly leading you to joys ineffable and perfect peace. Resist not, but obey. "In confidence and quietness, shall be your strength."
—Sir Walter Scott