In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.—PS. xciv. 19.

Perplexed, but not in despair; cast down, but not destroyed.—2 COR. iv. 8, 9.

  Discouraged in the work of life,
    Disheartened by its load,
  Shamed by its failures or its fears,
    I sink beside the road;—
  But let me only think of Thee,
  And then new heart springs up in me.


Discouragement is an inclination to give up all attempts after the devout life, in consequence of the difficulties by which it is beset, and our already numerous failures in it. We lose heart; and partly in ill-temper, partly in real doubt of our own ability to persevere, we first grow querulous and peevish with God, and then relax in our efforts to mortify ourselves and to please Him. It is a sort of shadow of despair, and will lead us into numberless venial sins the first half-hour we give way to it.


Never let us be discouraged with ourselves; it is not when we are conscious of our faults that we are the most wicked; on the contrary, we are less so. We see by a brighter light; and let us remember, for our consolation, that we never perceive our sins till we begin to cure them.