(Gorham Abbott, "The Family at Home", 1833)
"A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15
"But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these." 1 Timothy 6:8
A little simple food, and plain clothing, and humble shelter--this is all that man really needs. Outward things can neither make a man happy or miserable. Ahab was discontented on a king's throne. Paul and Silas were happy in a dungeon.
Nature is content with little;
grace is content with less.
Luxury is seldom satisfied;
lust is never satisfied.
If we have but little in this world, we may content ourselves with the reflection, that it is safer to have little than much. Many have been ruined by prosperity. Many have gone to hell splendidly clothed, and who lived each day in luxury!
Very wise was the prayer of Agur, "Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." Proverbs 30:8
Christians should be content, because time is short; and if time is short, trouble cannot be long! "Weeping may endure for a night--but joy comes in the morning!" These light afflictions are but for a moment--and then comes an eternal weight of glory! The Christian is traveling down a rough and dirty piece of road; but he is going home--to his glorious heavenly home! This is the true secret of finding happiness in a miserable world.