The Jericho Road
By W. Bion Adkins

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Gems of Beauty

More hopeful than all wisdom is one draught of human pity that will not forsake us.

Laughing is one of the products of civilization. In the uncivilized tribes laughter is entirely unknown.

Let him who neglects to raise the fallen fear lest, when he falls, no one will stretch out his hand to lift him up.

Time is a species of wealth which it is impossible for us to hoard, but which we may spend to good advantage.

Character is the eternal temple that each one begins to rear, yet death can only complete it. The finer the architecture, the more fit for the indwelling of angels.

It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy; and the two can not be separated with impunity.–John Ruskin.

Don’t moralize to a man who is on his back. Help him up, set him firmly on his feet, and then give him advice and means.

There is a pleasure in contemplating good; there is a greater pleasure in receiving good; but the greatest pleasure of all is in doing good, which comprehends the rest.

Morality without religion is only a kind of dead reckoning–an endeavor to navigate a cloudy sea by measuring the distance we have to run, but without observation of the heavenly bodies.

Most people keep too strong a hold of their personality to be able to forget themselves in their subject; they carry an unacknowledged self-consciousness along with them. If to be single-minded is to have an undivided interest in things, they are not single-minded.

Real affection is independent. A woman may passionately love a man who does not care for her, and men have gone mad for the sake of women who were indifferent to them. That affection which survives coldness or even contempt on the part of the subject is a stronger proof of its strength than jealousy, however well founded.

To have a respect for ourselves guides our morals, and to have a deference for others governs our manners.

If you want to be miserable, think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, what respect people pay you, and what people think of you.

One great impediment to the rapid dissemination of new truths is that a knowledge of them would convict many sage professors of having long promulgated error.

The leaves that give out the sweetest fragrance are those that are the most cruelly crushed; so the hearts of those who have suffered most can feel for others’ woes.

Each of us can so believe in humanity in general as to contribute to that pressure which constantly levers up the race; can surround ourselves with an atmosphere optimistic rather than the contrary.–Selected.

He who has more knowledge than good works is like a tree with many branches and few roots, which the first wind throws on its face; while he who does more than he says is like a tree with strong roots and few branches, which all the winds can not uproot.–Talmud.

If we waited until it was perfectly convenient, half of the good actions of life would never be accomplished, and very few of its successes.

A helping word to one in trouble is often like a switch on a railroad track, but one inch between wreck and smooth rolling prosperity.

Prayer is the key of day and lock of the night; and we should every day begin and end, bid ourselves good morrow and good night, with prayer.

In order to love mankind, expect but little from them; in order to view their faults without bitterness, pardon them. The wisest men have always been the most indulgent.

There are souls which fall from heaven like flowers, but ere the pure and fresh buds can open they are trodden in the dust of the earth, and lie soiled and crushed under the foul tread of some brutal hoof.

Many of the men we calmly set down as failures may have been doing as much as those who have made ten times as much noise in the world. A great deal of the best work in the world is anonymous, if we do not confine the term to writing.

To a man of brave sentiments midnight is as bright as noonday, for the illumination is within.

That man who lives in vain lives worse than vain. He who lives to no purpose lives to a bad purpose.–Nevins.

Labor is the law of the world, and he who lives by other men’s means is of less value to the world than the buzzing, busy insect.

Deep is the sea, and deep is hell, but pride runneth deeper; it is coiled as a poisonous worm about the foundation of the soul.–Tupper.

The integrity of the heart, when it is strengthened by reason, is the principal source of justice and wit; an honest man thinks nearly always justly.

Be firm, but be not too hasty to decide; weigh well before you act, but, having weighed, act promptly, and abide the result. This is the test of judgment.

Wit loses its respect with the good when seen in company with malice; and to smile at the jest which plants a thorn in another’s breast is to become a principal in the mischief.

Success never did, never will come to that young man who knows everything–in his own opinion.

In love, as in everything else, truth is the strongest of all things, and frankness is but another name for truth.

Frequent disappointment teaches us to mistrust our own inclination, and shrink even from vows our hearts may prompt.

For children there is no leave-taking, for they acknowledge no past, only the present, that to them is full of the future.

To love, in order to be loved in return, is man, but to love for the pure sake of loving, is almost the characteristic of an angel.

Fond as a man is of sight-seeing, life is the great show for every man–the show always wonderful and new to the thoughtful.

The sweetest book in all the world, if properly read, is the Bible. Its leaves are as fragrant as a bed of violets in full bloom.

Pity gilds mortality with rays of immortal light, and through faith enables its possessor to triumph over sin, sorrow, tribulation and death.

If we can not live so as to be happy, let us at least live so as to deserve happiness.–Fichte.

Little by little fortunes are accumulated; little by little knowledge is gained; little by little character and reputation are achieved.

Don’t rely for success upon empty praise. The swimmer upon the stream of life must be able to keep afloat without the aid of bladders.

Industry–In seeking a situation, remember that the right kind of men are always in demand, and that industry and capacity rarely go empty-handed.

Frankness is the child of honesty and courage. Say just what you mean to do on every occasion, and take it for granted that you mean to do what is right.

To be always intending to lead a new life, but never to find time to set about it, is as if a man should put off eating from one day to another till he is starved.

A man loved by a beautiful and virtuous woman carries a talisman that renders him invulnerable; every one feels that such a one’s life has a higher value than that of others.

The great beauty of charity is privacy; there is a sweet force, even in an anonymous penny.

Every heart has its secret sorrows, and oftentimes we call a man cold when he was only sad.

A promise should be given with caution, and kept with care; it should be made with the heart and kept with the head.

“The mind of a young creature,” says Berkely, “can not remain empty; if you do not put into it that which is good, it will be sure to use even that which is bad.”

We all see at sunset the beautiful colors streaming all over the western sky, but no eyes can behold the hand that overturns the urns whence these streams are poured.

We often live under a cloud, and it is well for us that we should do so. Uninterrupted sunshine would parch our hearts. We want shade and rain to cool and refresh them.

Poverty is very terrible to you, and kills the soul in you sometimes; but it is the north wind that lashed men into vikings; it is the soft, luscious south wind that lulls to lotus dreams.

There is nothing so valuable, and yet so cheap, as civility; you can almost buy land with it.

It has been justly said nothing in man is so Godlike as doing good to our fellows.–Selected.

Contentment swells a mite into a talent, and makes even the poor richer than the Indies.–Addison.

Never was a sincere word utterly lost, never a magnanimity fell to the ground; there is some heart always to greet and accept it unexpectedly.

There are people who often talk of the humbleness of their origin, when they are really ashamed of it, though vain of the talent which enabled them to emerge from it.

A witty old deacon put it thus: “Now, brethren, let us get up a supper and eat ourselves rich. Buy your food, then give it to the church; then go and buy it back again; then eat it up, and your church debt is paid.”

Self-sacrifice is the essential mark of the Christian, and the absence of it is sufficient at once to condemn the man who calls himself by that name and yet has it not, and to declare that he has no right to it.–Bolton.

There are many comfortable people in the world, but to call any man perfectly happy is an insult.

Women often make light of ruin. Give them but the beloved objects, and poverty is but a trifling sorrow to bear.–Thackeray,

Independence is a name for what no man possesses; nothing in the animate or inanimate world is more dependent than man.

Wealth is to be used only as an instrument of action, not as the representative of civil honors and moral excellence.–Jane Porter.

There is nothing purer, nothing warmer than our first friendship, our first love, our first striving after truth, our first feeling for nature.–Jean Paul Richter.

Shakespeare is as much out of the category of eminent authors as he is out of the crowd. He is inconceivably wise; the others conceivably.–Representative Men.

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. Neither do uninterrupted prosperity and success qualify a man for usefulness and happiness. The storms of adversity, like the storms of the ocean, arouse the faculties and excite the invention, prudence, skill and fortitude of the voyager.

It is not work that hurts men. It is the corrosion of uncertainty; it is the anticipation of trouble; it is living in a state of painful apprehension. Therefore we should endeavor to rise out of the atmosphere of gloomy forebodings. The man who is lifted above fear and its whole brood of mischief can go through twice as much trouble as a man who is subject to its influence.

He that looks out upon life from a sour or severe disposition, with hard and stringent notions, is ill prepared to meet the experiences of the world; but he who has the sweetness of hope, he who has an imagination lit up with cheerfulness, he who has the sense of humor which softens all things–he who has this atmosphere of the mind–has made himself superior to accident. As the angel described by Milton, who was smitten by the sword, and whose wounds healed as soon as the sword was withdrawn, so ought man to be; and when he receives a spear thrust in life, no sooner should the spear be withdrawn than his flesh ought to “close and be itself again.”

A married man falling into misfortune is more apt to retrieve his situation in the world than a single one, chiefly because his spirits are soothed and retrieved by domestic endearments, and his self-respect kept alive by finding that, although all abroad is darkness and humiliation, yet there is a little world of love at home over which he is monarch.


Dedication  •  Preface  •  Today’s Demand  •  Tomorrow’s Fulfillment  •  Contents  •  the Jericho Road  •  The Objects and Purposes of Odd-Fellowship  •  Early Organizations.  •  Odd-Fellowship,  •  The Secresy Objection.  •  What Is Odd-Fellowship?  •  Friendship, Love and Truth.  •  Friendship, Love and Truth.  •  Friendship, Love and Truth.  •  Pithy Points  •  The Bible in Odd-Fellowship  •  Brother Underwood’s Dream.  •  The Imperial Virtue  •  Quiet Hour Thoughts.  •  Love Supreme.  •  Gems of Beauty  •  Husband and Father  •  Odd-Fellowship and the Future

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By W. Bion Adkins
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