Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cheerfulness

Echinacea~
More often known as Cone Flower~

This plant is a favourite in the garden, not only of the gardener but of butterflies and bees as well. Its' medicinal uses far outweigh its beauty. (I like to add the dark green leaves to tea or a salad.) While it is said to ward off colds and flu as well as hasten recovery by strengthening the immune system, some believe the leaves will help one resist the uncomfortable affects of Poison Ivy. 

It isn't a remedy for everything but well-worth inclusion in the perennial garden as well as the herb garden just for its stunning yet simple beauty which is enough to give a lift to the downcast spirit!

Newcomb writes of a better remedy for everything than Echinacea:
"It is a mistake often made--to associate piety with a downcast look, a sad countenance, and an aching heart. But there is nothing in true piety inconsistent with habitual cheerfulness.

There is a difference between cheerfulness and levity. Cheerfulness is serene and peaceful. Levity is light and trifling. Cheerfulness promotes evenness of temper and equanimity of enjoyment. Levity drowns sorrow and pain for a short time, only to have it return again with redoubled power.

I do not deny that there are certain kinds of sinful pleasures which piety spoils; but then it first removes the taste and desire for them--so their loss is nothing to be lamented.

The Christian hope, and the promises and consolations of God's Word, furnish the only true ground of cheerfulness. Who should be cheerful and happy, if not one who is delivered from the terrors of hell and the fear of death--who is raised to the dignity of a child of God--who has the hope of eternal life--the prospect of dwelling forever in the presence of God, and in the enjoyment of perfect felicity?

But no one would associate these things with that frivolity, levity and mirth, which are the delight of the pleasure-loving world. The gospel of Jesus Christ has a remedy for everything in life that is calculated to make us gloomy and sad. It offers the pardon of sin to the penitent and believing; the aid of grace to those who struggle against an evil disposition; and help against temptation. It promises to relieve the believer from fear, and affords consolation in affliction.

There is no reason why a true Christian should not be cheerful. There are, indeed, many things, which he sees, within and without, that must give him pain. But there is that in his Christian hope, and in the considerations brought to his mind from the Word of God, which is able to bear him high above them all.

~Harvey Newcomb, "The Young Man's Guide to the Harmonious Development of Christian Character, 1847