the Fourth Week of Lent
Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Ambition is like the sea which swallows all the rivers and is none the fuller; or like the grave whose insatiable maw for ever craves for the bodies of men. It is not like an amphora, which being full receives no more, but its fullness swells it till a still greater vacuum is formed. In all probability, Napoleon never longed for a sceptre till he had gained the baton, nor dreamed of being emperor of Europe till he had gained the crown of France. Caligula, with the world at his feet, was mad with a longing for the moon, and could he have gained it the imperial lunatic would have coveted the sun. It is in vain to feed a fire which grows the more voracious the more it is supplied with fuel; he who lives to satisfy his ambition has before him the labor of Sisyphus, who rolled uphill an ever-rebounding stone, and the task of the daughters of Danaus, who are condemned for ever to attempt to fill a bottomless vessel with buckets full of holes. Could we know the secret heart-breaks and wearinesses of ambitious men, we should need no Wolsey's voice crying, 'I charge thee, fling away ambition,' but we should flee from it as from the most accursed bloodsucking vampire which ever up rose from the caverns of hell,
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Ambition'. Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fff/​a/ambition.html. 1870.