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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 26, 2014

Just For Today
June 26, 2014
Surrendering Self-Will

“Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender. We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression.”
Basic Text p. 26

Surrender is the beginning of a new way of life. When driven primarily by self-will, we constantly wondered whether we’d covered all the bases, whether we’d manipulated that person in just the right way to achieve our ends, whether we’d missed a critical detail in our efforts to control and manage the world.

We either felt afraid, fearing our schemes would fail; angry or self-pitying when they fell through; or guilty when we pulled them off. It was hard, living on self-will, but we didn’t know any other way.

Not that surrender is always easy. On the contrary, surrender can be difficult, especially in the beginning. Still, it’s easier to trust God, a Power capable of managing our lives, than to trust only ourselves, whose lives are unmanageable. And the more we surrender, the easier it gets.

When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power, all we have to do is our part, as responsibly and conscientiously as we can. Then we can leave the results up to our Higher Power. By surrendering, acting on faith, and living our lives according to the simple spiritual principles of this program, we can stop worrying and start living.

Just for today: I will surrender self-will. I will seek knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out. I will leave the results in my Higher Power’s hands.

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Daily Reflections
June 26, 2014
A GIFT THAT GROWS WITH TIME

For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry.  It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 151

The longer I chased these elusive feelings with alcohol, the more out of reach they were. However, by applying this passage to my sobriety, I found that it described the magnificent new life made available to me by the A.A. program. It “truly does get better” one day at a time.  The warmth, the love and the joy so simply expressed in these words grow in breadth and depth each time I read it. Sobriety is a gift that grows with time.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 26, 2014
A.A. Thought For The Day

We must know the nature of our weakness before we can determine how to deal with it. When we are honest about its presence, we may discover that it is imaginary and can be overcome by a change of thinking. We admit that we are alcoholics and we would be foolish if we refused to accept our handicap and do something about it. So by honestly facing our weakness and keeping ever present the knowledge that for us alcoholism is a disease with which we are afflicted, we can take the necessary steps to arrest it. Have I fully accepted my handicap?

Meditation For The Day

There is a proper time for everything. I must learn not to do things at the wrong time, that is, before I am ready or before conditions are right. It is always a temptation to do something at once, instead of waiting until the proper time. Timing is important. I must learn, in the little daily situations of life, to delay action until I am sure that I am doing the right thing at the right time. So many lives lack balance and timing. In the momentous decisions and crises of life, they may ask God’s guidance, but into the small situations of life, they rush alone.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may delay action until I feel that I am doing the right thing. I pray that I may not rush in alone.

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As Bill Sees It
June 26, 2014
Money–Before and After, p. 177

In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply were inexhaustible, though between binges we’d sometimes go to the other extreme and become miserly. Without realizing it, we were just accumulating funds for the next spree. Money was the symbol of pleasure and self-importance. As our drinking became worse, money was only an urgent requirement which could supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of oblivion it brought.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we find we cannot place money first. For us, material well-being always follows spiritual progress; it never precedes.

1. 12 & 12, p. 120
2. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 127

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Walk In Dry Places
June 26, 2014
Let it Happen
Easy Does it.

Student pilots learn a simple method for getting an airplane out of a stall; Release the stick forward, and the airplane rights itself. Continue to hold the stick back, and you cause a fatal spin.

Many times, we cling too tightly to conditions that could simply right themselves if we would only let go. Situations often work themselves out when we stop pushing and pulling too hard.

If we’re living on a spiritual basis and following our 12 Step program, lots of unpleasant conditions will clear up without any strain or struggle on our part. The secret, then, is to do our part and act prudently, but also to be willing to let things happen.

I’ll remember today not to push or pull too hard to get my way. Things might work themselves out if I simply let natural forces work properly in every situation.

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Keep It Simple
June 26, 2014

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads.
—Albert Camus

Sometimes we sat we’re getting out lives together. Together with what? With our selves. The Twelve Steps help us clean up the mess we’ve made. We’re fixing our mistakes. We’re looking at ourselves closely—at what we believe, what we feel, what we like to do, who we are. We’re asking our High Power to help us to be our best.

No wonder over lives are coming together! No wonder we feel more peace, harmony, and happiness!

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me remember the best harmony comes when I sing from Your songbook.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll make choices that are in line with who I am.

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 26, 2014

Mental health, like dandruff, crops up when you least expect it.
—Robin Worthington

We’re responsible for the effort but not the outcome. Frequently, a single problem or many problems overwhelm us. We may feel crazy, unable to cope and certain that we have made no progress throughout this period of recovery. But we have. Each day that we choose sobriety, that we choose abstinence from pills or food, we are moving more securely toward mental health as a stable condition.

We perhaps felt strong, secure, on top of things last week, or yesterday.

We will again tomorrow, or maybe today. When we least expect it, our efforts pay off – quietly, perhaps subtly, sometimes loudly – a good belly laugh may signal a glimmer of our mental health.

No one achieves an absolute state of total mental health. To be human is to have doubts and fears. But as faith grows, as it will when we live the Twelve Steps, doubts and fears lessen. The good days will increase in number.

Meeting a friend, asking for a raise, resolving a conflict with my spouse, or friend, will be handled more easily, when I least expect it. Looking forward with hope, not backward, is my best effort-today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 26, 2014
The Vicious Cycle

How it finally broke a Southerner’s obstinacy and destined this salesman to start A.A. at Philadelphia.

In the spring of 1917, in order to beat being fired from school, I became “patriotic” and joined the Army. I am one of the lads who came out of the service with a lower rank than when I went in. I had been to OTC the previous summer, so I went into the Army as a sergeant but I came out a private, and you really have to be unusual to do that. In the next two years, I washed more pans and peeled more potatoes than any other doughboy. In the Army, I became a periodic alcoholic–the periods always coming whenever I could make the opportunity. However, I did manage to keep out of the guardhouse. My last bout in the Army lasted from November 5 to 11, 1918. We heard by wireless in the fifth that the Armistice would be signed the next day (this was a premature report), so I had a couple of cognacs to celebrate; then I hopped a truck and went AWOL. My next conscious memory was in Bar le Duc, many miles from base. It was November 11, and bells were ringing and whistles blowing for the real Armistice. There I was, unshaven, clothes torn and dirty, with no recollection of wandering all over France but, of course, a hero to the local French. Back at camp, all was forgiven because it was the End, but in the light of what I have since learned, I know I was a confirmed alcoholic at nineteen.

pp. 222-223

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 26, 2014

Step Ten – “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

When evening comes, perhaps just before going to sleep, many of us draw up a balance sheet for the day. This is a good place to remember that inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It’s a poor day indeed when we haven’t done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all. Under these conditions, the pains of failure are converted into assets. Out of them we receive the stimulation we need to go forward. Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for we know that the pains of drinking had to come before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.

pp. 93-94

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Xtra Thoughts
June 26, 2014

However many holy words you read, However many you speak, What good will they do you, If you do not act upon them?
–Buddha

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.
–Kahlil Gibran

The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.
–John Holt

Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.
–Wilfred Peterson

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
–Helen Keller

“Seven days without a meeting makes one weak.”
–unknown

“There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.”
–Peter A. Cohen

Words are powerful tools. Use them to help and not hurt.
–Cited in BITS & PIECES

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 26, 2014
GENIUS

“In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.”
–Robert G. Ingersoll

Spirituality is a creative and positive energy that forever seeks new ways to improve and heal itself. Spirituality is never satisfied with mediocrity. God is alive in musicians, writers, singers and prophets — and always the standard of “excellence” is searched for; best can be made better!

As a drunk I often settled for convenience, “no sweat”, mediocrity.  My motto was “Why bother? It can be done tomorrow.” I had low energy. Addiction robs the human being of God’s productive energy.

In recovery I seek the best because I believe I am the best; God made me — and I respect His choice!

Lord, save me from the “comfortable way” that makes no demands on my genius.

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Bible Scriptures
June 26, 2014

As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor — this is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 5:19

“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with Him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”
Luke 8:38-39

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7

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Daily Inspiration
June 26, 2014

Enjoy life while you’ve got the chance. Lord, may I view each day as a gift and a privilege.

Knowing about God and knowing God are very different things. Lord, may I recognize Your workings in my life so that I may really know You.

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A Day At A Time
June 26, 2014

Reflection For The Day

How many of us would presume to announce, “Well, I’m sober and I’m happy.  What more can I want, or do?  I’m fine just the way I am.”  Experience has taught us that the price of such smug complacency — or, more politely, self-satisfaction — is an inevitable backslide, punctuated sooner or later by a very rude awakening.  We have to grow, or else we deteriorate.  For us, the status quo can only be for today, never for tomorrow. Change we must;  we can’t stand still.  Am I sometimes tempted to rest on my laurels?”

Today I Pray

May I look around me and see that all living things are either growing or deteriorating;  nothing that is alive is static, life flows on.  May I be carried along on that life-flow, unafraid of change, disengaging myself from the snags along the way which hold me back and interrupt my progress.

Today I Will Remember

Living is changing.

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One More Day
June 26, 2014

A man can’t retire his experience.  He must use it.
–  Bernard Baruch

We may want to pretend that some of our life experiences didn’t happen to us, but they did happen.  We even helped create some of our bad experiences.

We can own our behaviors and attitudes and even admit to the ones we are not comfortable with.  By doing so, we are not permanently passing judgment on ourselves.  We can use our negative experiences as a basis for the changes we need to make.  Our weaknesses can be useful to us when we let them teach us where we need to begin our change.  They will lead us to new attitudes and strengths we will be proud to claim as our own.  When we are ready, we can create and accept improvements in ourselves.

I am the sum total of my experiences.  I can use my past experiences to guide me into positive change.

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One Day At A Time
June 26, 2014
TOOLS

”We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or tire… give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
–Winston Churchill

We use tools everyday to complete a task at hand. To cook, we need tools such as pots, pans, knives, and silverware; to tend to our laundry, we need soap and water; to clean our home, we use a vacuum, dust rags, and cleaners.

Our journey of recovery is handled in the same way. The tools we use to help us throughout each day include: Step Work, Sponsorship, Meetings, Prayer, Meditation, Writing, Literature, Meal Plan, Service and Abstinence. These tools assist us in keeping our days balanced and they allow for a meaningful, productive day, each day of our recovery.

We hold strong to our recovery with the assistance of these tools, building our endurance each day. Like soldiers marching across the field, we are on the frontline day-to-day. By using these tools and keeping them close to us, we are ready to take on anything that might come our way.

One day at a time…
Give us the tools, and I will keep them close to me.

~ Kimber

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – June 26

“…when faithful human beings or other creatures called upon them for help, they [the Powers of the Four Directions] must send their powers…”
–Fools Crow, LAKOTA

Each of the four directions has special powers. These powers or Grandfathers are there to help us. The powers are from the East, the South, the West, and the North.

To call upon the power we need to stand in the center and face each of the directions and honor all forms of life in each direction.  Facing the East we honor all the two legged, four legged, winged ones, plants’ nation and the animals.

We repeat this prayer in each of the four directions. This allows us to become centered. When we are centered, then we are ready to call the helpers. It is said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. If we are to be ready, we need to remember to always get quiet first. We do this by honoring and praying to the four directions.

Grandfathers from the four directions, come to me today with Your powers. Give me Your gifts so I can serve the people.

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Journey To The Heart
June 26, 2014
Say Good-Bye with Love

When traveling with another person, we sometimes come to a junction. It may be in the best interests of one person to go one way to see certain sights, gain certain experiences, learn particular lessons, and for the other to go in another direction. This is a difficult time of challenges, maybe hard choices.

Blending journeys sometimes is not always best, or even possible. We can accompany another on his or her journey, but there may be a price to pay for that. We may forgo our own journey and become passive observers. We can ask or insist that the other go along with us on our journey. But for the most part, he or she may be as bored and restless as we would be if the situation were reversed. Sometimes we need to let go. Sometimes we need to say good-bye.

These junctions can surprise us. They can appear early on or after years and years. They can occur in friendships, professional relationships, love relationships, or with family members. Although arriving at these junctions may be a surprise, it’s usually not an accident. often it’s an important part of the journey.

Feel all your feelings. Although you may need to feel angry for a while, clear all resentments from your heart as soon as possible. Say good-bye with blessings and love toward the other, thanking that person for all he or she has helped you learn. Remember that any curses you place on another will ultimately come back to harm you,too.

Grieve your losses. Say your good-byes. then let each travel down the road that he or she needs to go. Holding on won’t help. Let both be free to plan their own journeys, map their own trips, and embrace and enjoy their own destinies.

Set others free to achieve and experience the path that leads to their highest good and you, too, will become free to find yours.

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Today’s Gift
June 26, 2014

One cricket said to another – come, let us be ridiculous, and say love!
—Conrad Aiken

Let’s all sit in a circle and take turns being ridiculous about what our love is like. Let’s play tag with it, and pass it on. Let’s say that our love is like diamonds sprinkled on a clear moonless sky, and let’s pass it on. Let’s say it’s like one rose petal too tender to touch, and let’s pass it on. Let’s say it’s like rainbows filling a city sky, and pass it on. Let’s say it’s small and hard, like an agate or shell, and let’s keep passing it on.

We can find images for love all around us, and when we express it to others this way, it grows.

What is my love like today?

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The Language of Letting Go
June 26, 2014
Surviving Slumps

A slump can go on for days. We feel sluggish, unfocused, and sometimes overwhelmed with feelings we can’t sort out. We may not understand what is going on with us. Even our attempts to practice recovery behaviors may not appear to work. We still don’t feel emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as good as we would like.

In a slump, we may find ourselves reverting instinctively to old patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, even when we know better. We may find ourselves obsessing, even when we know that what we’re doing is obsessing and that it doesn’t work.

We may find ourselves looking frantically for other people to make us feel better, the whole time knowing our happiness and well being does not lay with others.

We may begin taking things personally that are not our issues, and reacting in ways we’ve learned all to well do not work.

We’re in a slump. It won’t last forever. These periods are normal, even necessary. These are the days to get through. These are the days to focus on recovery behaviors, whether or not the rewards occur immediately. These are sometimes the days to let ourselves be and love ourselves as much as we can.

We don’t have to be ashamed, no matter how long we’ve been recovering. We don’t have to unreasonably expect “more” from ourselves. We don’t ever have to expect ourselves to live life perfectly.

Get through the slump. It will end. Sometimes, a slump can go on for days and then, in the course of an hour, we see ourselves pull out of it and feel better. Sometimes it can last a little longer.

Practice one recovery behavior in one small area, and begin to climb uphill. Soon, the slump will disappear. We can never judge where we will be tomorrow by where we are today.

Today, I will focus on practicing one recovery behavior on one of my issues, trusting that this practice will move me forward. I will remember that acceptance, gratitude, and detachment are a good place to begin.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 26, 2014
Take a time-out

“Tickets! Tickets!” And you give yours to the big man in the beard and the T-shirt at the gate and step onto the carousel. So many choices! Horses and carriages of every color. The white one with the golden tail? The green one with fire in his eyes? Yes, he looks fast– but no, someone else got there first. You settle for the black-and-red horse with the sparkling silver saddle. Someone bumps past, leaving sticky cotton candy on your arm. And then the music starts– loud, creaky organ music, blaring through old blown-out speakers. The lights flash on and off, and the world spins around you. Children shriek in delight while you tug on the reins, guide your mount around the course, and try to let go of the nagging suspicion that the green horse would have been more fun. You vow to get back in line and get that one next time.

Step off of the carousel.

Take a break for a moment and watch all the horses go hurrying past. The green one is no better than the red one, just different, and certainly not any faster. All your frantic pulling on the reins is wasted effort,too. See, they come right back again. They keep right on going around whether you are there or not. Let them.

Sure, it’s fun to be on the ride, to be right in the middle of all the action, up and down,’ round and ’round, lights flashing, music blaring. Just remember that you have a choice. You can be on the ride, or you can get off. Be where you want to be, and occasionally, relax.

God, help me remember that I have choices, and relaxing and letting go are two of them.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
June 26, 2014

God is near me (or rather in me), and yet I may be far from God because I may be far from my own true self.
—C. E. Roll

Our relationship with God and our relationship with ourselves are always interwoven. Sometimes we feel disconnected from ourselves or emotionally flat. We may block the flow of communication with our deeper selves by trying to evade a difficult or painful truth. At those times we grope for some kind of contact and may even ask, “Where is God?”

God is always with us, but sometimes we are the missing party. In the past, most of us were deeply alienated from ourselves and from our Higher Power. Our first moments of spiritual awakening may have been when we saw how far we were from our true selves. This honest message from ourselves to ourselves was painful but was also a re-contact with the truth that made it possible to find God.

I need not ask where God is because God is loving and always near. I only need to ask, “Where am I?”

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Daily TAO
June 26, 2014
Unfortunate

      An unfortunate one is a rootless ghost,
      His walk a mad angel’s gait.
      Insolent steps of thrown from heaven
      To toil in red dust,
      As if he had not had enough
      In a thousand previous lifetimes.
      Where is his heart? Where is his soul?
      To call this heaven’s will
      Is a cheap answer.

There was once a god who committed a crime. His punishment was to be thrown back to earth to suffer the misfortunes of being human.

When you see those less fortunate than yourself, whether they are the homeless on the streets or simply the ugly and unpopular, can you be sure they are not like that god flung back to this made planet?

Is their misfortune their own fault? Or do you explain with references to morality, destiny, reincarnation, and cosmic justice? Even the words of saints offer no relief for their suffering, so ti hardly seems fair to blame them.

Let us not hold ourselves above our fellow human beings, no matter how great the disparity. To withhold your scorn is already beautiful. To see how we are all of one family is compassion.

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In God’s Care
June 26, 2014

Prayer for many is like a foreign land, when we go there, we go as tourists.
~~Robert McAfee Brown

One of the many benefits of our Twelve Step program is to make prayer a familiar experience in our life. If prayer has been difficult for us, we are encouraged when we hear other people talk about what prayer has meant in their lives.

Matthew Fox says prayer is nothing more than being joyfully attentive to life, moment by moment. We don’t have to speak certain words or assume a particular posture or demeanor. We simply must be awake to the currents in our life and be grateful.

The most wonderful gift of prayer is the friendship we discover with God. This friendship promises security in the midst of any turmoil. We can know this security at any time. It is available in the quiet of our mind when we recall God’s presence and hear, ever so softly, all is well. Making the choice to pray, to let God offer comfort will become easier with each surrender.

    Today, I will seek God’s comforting presence through prayer, even if my words fail me.

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 Day By Day
June 26, 2014
    Listening by reading

We need to listen to drug-free members of the program to hear what it takes to stay clean and sober. But “listening” is not limited to meetings: There is a lot of literature that discusses the program and how to work it more effectively.

When we first come into the program, it is wise to keep our mouths shut and our eyes and ears open. Reading books, magazines, and pamphlets is an important way of listening. It is a gift from our fellow addicts that so much listening is available to us.

Am I well read on the program?

    Higher Power, help me to “listen” in all the ways available to me

    Today I will read…

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Food for Thought
June 26, 2014
Abstaining Is Not Easy

Abstaining is not easy, but it is much easier than overeating! The reason that we think it easy to overeat is because overeating was a habit. In actuality, processing the extra food was hard on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When we abstain, we break an old habit and learn a new one. The transition requires concentration and dedication. We abstain every minute of the day and night. Even when we are eating, we are abstaining, because we are eating only planned, moderate meals. We are not overeating compulsively, according to whim and irrational pressure.

Some of us apparently have to go through a certain amount of “white knuckled abstinence” before we arrive at the point where abstaining is easier than not abstaining. Others of us are able from the beginning to relax and abstain comfortably. Whatever our individual experience, we each have available to us the Higher Power that sees us through.

May I stay with You when the way is hard.

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Daily Zen
June 26, 2014

The Flower Ornament Scripture says:
“I now see all sentient beings everywhere
fully possess the wisdom and virtues
of the enlightened ones,
but because of false conceptions
and attachments they do not realize it.”

– Buddha

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Faith’s Check Book
June 26, 2014
It Will Not Be Long

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
(James 5:8)

The last word in the Canticle of love is, “Make haste, my beloved,” and among the last words of the Apocalypse we read, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come”; to which the heavenly Bridegroom answers, “Surely I come quickly.” Love longs for the glorious appearing of the Lord and enjoys this sweet promise-“The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” This stays our minds as to the future. We look out with hope through this window.

This sacred “window of agate” lets in a flood of light upon the present and puts us into fine condition for immediate work or suffering. Are we tired? Then the nearness of our joy whispers patience. Are we growing weary because we do not see the harvest of our seed-sowing? Again this glorious truth cries to us, “Be patient.” Do our multiplied temptations cause us in the least to waver? Then the assurance that before long the Lord will be here preaches to us from this text, “Stablish your hearts.” Be firm, be stable, be constant, “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” Soon will you hear the silver trumpet which announces the coming of your King. Be not in the least afraid. Hold the fort, for He is coming; yea, He may appear this very day.

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This Morning’s Meditation
June 26, 2014

“Art thou become like unto us?”
—Isaiah 14:10.

HAT must be the apostate professor’s doom when his naked soul appears before God? How will he bear that voice, “Depart, ye cursed; thou hast rejected me, and I reject thee; thou hast played the harlot, and departed from Me: I also have banished thee for ever from my presence, and will not have mercy upon thee.” What will be this wretch’s shame at the last great day when, before assembled multitudes, the apostate shall be unmasked? See the profane, and sinners who never professed religion, lifting themselves up from their beds of fire to point at him. “There he is,” says one, “will he preach the gospel in hell?” “There he is,” says another, “he rebuked me for cursing, and was a hypocrite himself!” “Aha!” says another, “here comes a psalm-singing Methodist—one who was always at his meeting; he is the man who boasted of his being sure of everlasting life; and here he is!” No greater eagerness will ever be seen among Satanic tormentors, than in that day when devils drag the hypocrite’s soul down to perdition. Bunyan pictures this with massive but awful grandeur of poetry when he speaks of the back-way to hell. Seven devils bound the wretch with nine cords, and dragged him from the road to heaven, in which he had professed to walk, and thrust him through the back-door into hell. Mind that back-way to hell, professors! “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” Look well to your state; see whether you be in Christ or not. It is the easiest thing in the world to give a lenient verdict when oneself is to be tried; but O, be just and true here. Be just to all, but be rigorous to yourself. Remember if it be not a rock on which you build, when the house shall fall, great will be the fall of it. O may the Lord give you sincerity, constancy, and firmness; and in no day, however evil, may you be led to turn aside.

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