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The sculptor, with an ideal form in his thought, produces a statue from the block of marble. Every measurement of the block, every turn of the drill, every blow of the mallet upon the chisel, and every effort of the sculptor's mind, goes to make up the finished form, which is the production of his ideal, as nearly as the materials would admit. So, our Lord, as our Maker, has the idea toward which he seeks to form us. And all his operations are but steps in the work of our formation. Every measurement of our life by the divine truth, tests our capacity to attain the ideal; every turn of the drills of penetrating precepts of life, prepares us for the ideal character; every blow of the hammer of circumstances is, in the hands of the divine providence, constantly shaping us toward the heavenly pattern. And, in the perfect economy of our Lord, never do we have to bear one measurement, or one penetrating cut, or one blow of circumstances, that is not absolutely needed to produce the most perfect work which we will allow to be done within us.—Sel.