Continuing in my re-writes of a great inpiration to me, Charles Spurgeon, here is another of his piece on Hope.
Eggs are eggs,
for some are rotten;
hopes are hopes,
for many of them are delusions. Hopes are like women:
there is a touch of angel about them, but there are two sorts.
Tom has been blowing out a lot of birds’ eggs
and threading them on a string;
I have been doing the same thing with hopes,
and here’s a few of them-good, bad and indifferent.
The sanguine man’s hope pops up in a moment like jack-in-the-box;
it works with a spring and does not go by reason.
Whenever this man looks out of the window, he sees better times coming;
although it is nearly all in his own eye and nowhere else,
yet to see plum puddings in the moon
is a far more cheerful habit
than croaking at everything like a two-legged frog.
This is the kind of brother to be on the road
with on a pitch-dark night when it pours with rain,
for he carries candles in his eyes and a fireside in his heart.
Beware of being mislead by him,
and then you may safely keep his company.
His fault is that he counts his chickens
before they are hatched
and sells his herrings before they are in the net.
All his sparrow’s eggs are bound to turn into thrushes, at the least,
if not partridges and pheasants. Summer has fully come,
for he has seen one swallow. He is sure to make his fortune
at his new shop, for he had not opened the door five minutes
before two of the neighbors crowded in,
one of them wanting a loaf of bread on trust
and the other asking change for a penny.
Some people were born on the first of April
and are always hoping without sense or reason.
Their ship is to come in soon; they are to dig up a pot of gold
or to hear something to their advantage.
they have wind on the brain
and dream while they are awake.
They may hold their mouths open a long while before fried ham and eggs
will come flying into them,
and yet they really seem to believe that some stroke of luck,
some windfall of golden apples, will one day set them up and make gentlemen of them.
They hope to ride in their coaches,
and by-and-by they find themselves shut up
in a place where the coaches won’t run over them.
You may whistle a long time before goldfinches will hop on to your thumb.
Once in a while one man in a million may stumble against a fortune,
but thousands ruin themselves by idle expectations.
Expect to get half of what you earn,
a quarter of what is your due,
and none of what you have lent, and you will be near the mark;
but to look for a fortune to fall from the moon
is to play the fool with a vengeance.
A man ought to hope within the bounds of reason
and the promises of the good old Book.
Hope leans on an anchor,
but an anchor must have something to hold by and to hold to.
A hope without grounds is a tub without a bottom,
a horse without a head, a goose without a body,
a shoe without a sole, a knife without a blade.
Who but Simple Simon would begin to build a house at the top?
There must be a foundation. Hope is no hope, but sheer folly,
when a man hopes for impossibilities,
or looks for crops without sowing seed and for happiness without doing good.
He who takes his boys to the bar and trusts
that they will grow up sober puts his coffeepot
on the fire and expects to see it look bright as new tin.
Men cannot be in their senses
when they brew with bad malt and look for good beer,
or set a wicked example and reckon
upon raising a respectable family. You may hope and hope
till your heart grows sick; but when you send your boy up the chimney,
he’ll come down black for all your hoping.
Teach a child to lie, and then hope that he will grow up honest;
better put a wasp in a tar barrel
and wait till he makes you honey. When will people act sensibly with their boys and girls?
Not till they are sensible themselves.
C.H. Spurgeon, 1896