2. Great prudence and discretion are necessary in everything. Do nothing rashly. When you have any enterprise in view, first sit down and consider the matter seriously. Pray over it. Look at it in all its bearings, and inquire what good will be likely to result from it. When you have satisfied yourself on this point, inquire whether you have reasonable ground to hope for success. Then summon all your wisdom to contrive a judicious plan of operations. When this is done, proceed with energy and perseverance, till you have either accomplished your object, or become convinced that it is impracticable. Pay especial regard to the feelings and advice of those who act with you. Keep as much in the back-ground as you can without embarrassing your efforts; and whenever you can do it, put others forward to execute the plans you have devised. This will save you from becoming the object of jealousy, and also serve to mortify your pride.
3. Be resolute and persevering. When satisfied you are in the way of duty, do not be moved by the scoffs and sneers of the giddy multitude. If some good people disapprove your conduct, thinking that you attempt too much, let it lead you to a candid and impartial reexamination of your course. If by this you become convinced that you are wrong, in the particular matter in question, confess it, and change your conduct. But, if this review of the affair confirms you in the opinion that your course is right, pursue it with decision and firmness. There are some well-meaning people, of limited views, and excessive carefulness, who disapprove of the best of measures, if they happen to be at variance with their long-established customs; or, more frequently, if they were not consulted before the particular enterprise was undertaken.
4. BE MUCH IN PRAYER. Upon this will greatly depend your success in all things. Feel that of yourself you can do nothing; but that you can do all things through Christ strengthening you. Before undertaking anything, pray that God would give you wisdom to direct and strength to perform; and if it is anything in which the efforts of others will be required, pray that he would incline their hearts to engage in the work. Before you go out on an errand of mercy, first visit your closet, and commit yourself to the direction of the Lord. Pray that he would give you wisdom, courage, and discretion; and that he would keep down the pride of your heart, and enable you to do all things for his glory.
Your affectionate Brother.
“In like manner also that
women adorn themselves in modest
apparel, with shame-facedness, and sobriety; not with broidered
hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.”—1 TIM. 2:9.