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The River of Renunciation

Viewed from the animal shore, the great river of Renunciation appears dark and forbidding, and our poor eyes cannot see the farther shore. We think, perchance the other side is a bleak, and desolate country, as the river must rob us of many things our flesh delights in, and of many others we now think essential to our wellbeing. But let a man have faith; let him plunge into the river, nothing wavering, and the dark waters will lose their terrifying aspect; and as the swimmer catches sight of the shore ahead, and hears the distant strains of angels' singing, he will be strengthened and comforted; for he sees that it is no bleak and desolate country to which he has come, but a land of joy greater far than that of the world of narrow vision and narrower joys from which he has fled.

Personal character can only be established on fixed principles, for if the mind be allowed to be agitated by violent emotions, to be excited by fear, or unduly moved by the love of pleasure, it will be impossible for it to be made perfect. A man must reason calmly, for without reason he would look and not see, listen and not hear, eat and be ignorant of its flavor.

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