“In John Ploughman’s Talk I have tried to talk for ploughmen and common people. Hence refined taste and dainty words have been discarded for strong old proverbial expressions and homely phrases. I have aimed my blows at the vices of many, and tried to inculcate those moral virtues without which men are degraded and miserable. Much that needs to be said to the toiling masses would not suit well the pulpit and the Sabbath; these lowly pages may teach thrift and industry all the days of the week, in the cottage and the workshop: and if some learn these lessons I shall not repent the adoption of the rustic style.”
—Charles Spurgeon, from the Preface
I (DM) went to bed last night craving me some “John Ploughman”
Couldn’t lay my hand on the little antique green leather bound book my wife had picked up @ our local Library fundraiser a few years ago, but this morning I found it.
John Ploughman’s talks were written by Charles H. Spurgeon in the mid/ late 1800′s.
A series of short pithy modern day proverbs.
Here’s what I read this morning :
On Good nature and firmness
Do not be all sugar or all the world will suck you down; but do not be all vinegar, or the world will spit you out.
There is a medium in all things: only blockheads go to extremes.
We need not be all rock or all sand, all iron or all wax. We should neither fawn upon everybody like silly lap-dogs, nor fly at all persons like surly mastiffs.
…others take fire as fast as tinder at the smallest offence, and are as dangerous as gunpowder.
To have a fellow going about the farm as cross with everybody as a bear with a sore head, with the temper as sour as vinegar and as sharp as a razor, looking as surly as a butcher’s dog, is a great nuisance, and yet there may be some good points about the man, so that he may be a man for all that; but poor soft Tommy, as green as grass and as ready to bend as a willow, is nobody’s money and everybody’s scorn.
A man must have a backbone, or how is he to hold his head up? but that backbone must bend, or he will knock his brow against the beam.
A friend to everybody is often a friend to nobody, or else in his simplicity he robs his family to help strangers, and becomes a brother to the beggar.
There is wisdom in generosity, as in everything else; and some had need to go to school to learn it.
A kind-hearted soul may be very cruel to his own children, while he takes the bread out of their mouths to give to those who call him a generous fellow, but laugh as his folly.
Very often he that his money lends loses both his gold and his friends, and he who is surety is never sure. Take John Ploughman’s advice, and never be security (collateral) for more than you are quite willing to lose.
When we are injured, we are bound as Christians to bear it without malice; but we are not to pretend that we do not feel it, for this will but encourage our enemies to kick us again. He who is cheated twice by the same man is half as bad as the rogue….
With children we must mix gentleness with firmness; they must not always have their own way, but they must not always be thwarted. Give to a pig when it grunts and to a child when it cries, and you will have a fine pig and a spoiled child…”
This was just what I (DM) needed to hear.
Wanted to pass it on to you…especially if you’re the type that struggles with speaking up and being assertive in the right way.