Tuesday forenoon, November 26, 1723
“It is a most evil and pernicious practice, in the meditations of afflictions, to sit ruminating on the aggravations of the affliction, and reckoning up the evil, dark, circumstances thereof, and dwelling long on the dark side: it doubles and trebles the affliction. And so when speaking of them to others, to make them as bad as we can, and use our eloquence to set forth our own troubles, is to be all the while making new troubles, and feeding and pampering the old; whereas the contrary practice would starve our affliction. If we dwelt on the bright side of things in our thoughts, and extenuated them all that we possibly could, when speaking of them, we should think little of them ourselves, and the affliction would really, in a great measure vanish away.” Jonathan Edwards

A remarkable aspect of this statement from Jonathan Edwards is he was 20 years old when he wrote it. His words written 287 years ago are very pertinent for use today. Yesterday was Thanksgiving and according to one source the social advice columns were filled with how to solve your problem of having to be with people you don’t like for the day. Perhaps the social advisers would be advised to listen to Jonathan Edwards and advise people to look beyond their own troubles, then maybe these wise advisors of society would have something to speak to our day. Instead of giving the same advise they wrote last year and the year before under a new title.

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