George H. Morrison
There are some virtues which are exclusive virtues and are only demanded in peculiar circumstances. They have at the best a partial application. In certain emergencies they are obligatory or in certain social relationships; that virtue of which we speak tonight can never be included among these. The child needs patience when he goes to school, for without it he will never learn. The boy needs patience on the football field, for without it he will never play. The mother needs it among her growing children; the father, amid the anxieties of business; he who is in work needs it every day, and he who is out of work needs it even more.
There are certain natures, it is true, more liable than others to impatience, and sometimes the finest natures are so tempted. There is a note of impulse and of eagerness in certain natures which are full of charm-a nimbleness of apprehension, a sudden flashing as of a swallow's wing-and often it is natures such as these, which do so much to beautify society, that are most sorely tempted to impatience. It is the fairest of our Highland lakes which are most liable to sudden storm. In a tamer country they would escape the squall; we could reckon on them more in duller levels. But the very grandeur of the hills around them tosses them swiftly into wild commotion, and so is it with certain men and women. We think of Moses, meekest of God's servants, shattering the tables of the law. We think of Peter in impulsive loyalty cutting off the ear of the priest's servant. And we seem to see the Highland lake again with its silent hills forever reaching heavenward and its corries1 which are the caverns of the wind.
It is well also to remember constantly that there is a noble and an ignoble patience. Of this, as of all the other virtues, the devil always has his counterfeit. If we seek for the perfect pattern of patience, instinctively we turn to our Redeemer; yet of one thing Christ was utterly imp ...
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