Being and Doing

Being and Doing – 17 April – Friendship

Being and Doing – 17 April – Friendship

THIS communicating of a man’s selfe to his friend works two contrarie effects; for it redoubleth joies and cutteth griefes in halfes.   For there is no man that imparteth his joies to his friend but he grieveth the less…   Certain it is that whosoever hath his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits and understanding do break up and clarifie in the communicating and discoursing with another.   He tosseth his thoughts more easily, he marshalleth them more orderly, he seeth how they look when they are turned into words, finally he waxeth wiser then himselfe, and that more by an houre’s discourse than by a day’s meditation…   Neither is this second fruit of friendship in opening the understanding restrained only to such friends as are able to give a man counsell (they indeed are best): but even without that, a man learneth of himselfe, and bringeth his owne thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against a stone which itselfe cuts not.   In a word, a man were better to relate himselfe to a statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to passe in smother…   I have given the rule where a man cannot fitly play his own part, if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.


THUS fortune’s pleasant fruits by friends increased be;

The bitter, sharp, and sour by friends allay’d to thee 

That when thou dost rejoice, then doubled is thy joy;

And eke in cause of care, the less is thy annoy.


These quotes are from ‘Being and Doing’ A selection of helpful thoughts from various authors arranged for daily reading.

Collected by Constance M Whishaw and first published in 1908 for members of the Being and Doing Guild whose object is to do all they can for the relief of suffering and misery.

Most of the writers are 19th Century Christians from Britain and Europe who were committed to living their faith through deeds as well as words – Being AND Doing.

For many years these words have kept me company and encouraged me on the journey of faith.  I hope they will encourage others also.

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