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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Frivolity of Mind
If over that little heap of dust you hold a good magnet, should there be present a nail, or a needle, or a few iron filings, they will at once spring up and cling to the attracting bar. And were there only a magnet strong enough, it might soon become the monopolist of that metal, which, after all, is more precious than silver or gold.
If now, on your coat-sleeve, or on the woolen table-cover you rub a stick of wax or amber, you impart to this substance also an attractive power. But it is a magnet of a very different sort. Hold it ever so near that knife or needle, and there is no movement. Hold it near the carpet, or, better still, insinuate it into some unswept corner, and every loose particle, the thread-clippings and paper-shavings, the stray feathers, and silky fibers, will instantly leap up to it, and convert its bald apex into a little mass of rubbish.
Some minds have a powerful affinity for what is sterling and useful. Themselves strong like the loadstone, they are constantly acquiring facts, and principles, and maxims of wisdom. They gain the respect of others. They become master-spirits, moving and controlling their fellows. If in business, they turn out successful merchants; if students, they step forth the chiefs of their profession; if thrown into public life, they graduate into the highest ranks of statesmanship, and become the moulders of an age, the disposers of an empire, the movers of mankind.
But some minds have an attraction quite as intense for what is frivolous. In early life they do not 'take to' tasks and lessons; and all throughout they retain the intellectual languor, which deprecates instruction and refuses to apply. Their theory of life is perpetual recreation, and ignoring the commandment which says, 'Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work,' they never know the sweetness of a true Sabbatic repose. Unused to self-denial, and seldom roused to exertion, if they enter business you soon hear that they have 'stopped;' and in a learned profession, if they do not 'stop,' it is only because they never could get on.: Excelsior.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Frivolity of Mind'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fff/f/frivolity-of-mind.html. 1870.
the Third Sunday after Epiphany