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The late great English Congregationalist clergyman and church leader, Robert William Dale (1829-1895), once wrote:

"We do not please God more by eating bitter aloes than by eating honey. A cloudy, foggy, rainy day is not more heavenly than a day of sunshine. A funeral march is not so much like the music of angels as the songs of the birds on a May morning. There is no more religion in the gaunt, naked forest in winter than in the laughing blossoms of the spring, and the rich ripe fruits of autumn. It was not the pleasant things in the world that came from the devil, and the dreary things from God! It was "sin" brought death into the world and all our woe; as the sin vanishes, the woe will vanish too. God Himself is the ever-blessed God. He dwells in the light of joy as well as of purity, and instead of becoming more like Him as we become more miserable, and as all the brightness and glory of life are extinguished, we become more like God as our blessedness becomes more complete. The great Christian graces are radiant with happiness. Faith, hope, charity--there is no sadness in them; and if penitence makes the heart sad, penitence belongs to the sinner, not to the saint; as we become more saintly, we have less sin to sorrow over."

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