A LIFE of hope deferred too often is
A life of wasted opportunities;
A life of perished hope too often is
A life of all-lost opportunities:
Yet hope is but the flower and not the root,
And hope is still the flower and not the fruit;—
Arise and sow the seed: a day shall come
When also thou shalt keep thy harvest home.
GREAT opportunities for service neglected, and great gifts not improved, are oftentimes the occasion of plunging the soul into great depths. Gifts are given to trade withal for God; opportunities are the market days for that trade; to napkin up the one and let slip the other will end in trouble and disconsolation. Disquietments and perplexities of heart are worms that will certainly breed in the rust of unexercised gifts. God loseth a revenue of glory and honour by such slothful souls, and He will make them sensible of it. I know some at this day whose omissions of opportunities for service are ready to sink them into the grave.
PERHAPS he wanted one thing, the want of which is but too often fatal to the sons of genius, and without which genius is little more than a splendid toy in the hands of the possessor — perseverance, dogged perseverance, in his proper calling; otherwise, though the grave had closed over him, he might still be living in the admiration of his fellow-creatures.