Let but the trough be full — and the swine are happy!
(Charles Spurgeon, "Multitudinous Thoughts and Sacred Comforts" 1869)
If man were a mere animal — his joy and sorrow would depend entirely upon outward things. Let but the trough be full — and the swine are happy! Let the pasture be abundant — and the sheep are content! In the sunshine — every sparrow will be twittering on the trees; but let the heavens weep — and every wing is drooping. In long drought, or severe frost, or pinching famine — the animal creation languishes and pines.
You cannot, however, be sure of making a man happy — by surrounding him with abundance. Nor can you plunge a Christian into wretchedness — by any deprivations which you may cause him.
Man's greatest joy or sorrow — must arise from inner springs. The mind itself is the lair of misery — or the nest of happiness. Thoughts are the flowers from which we must distill the essential flavorings of life. Paul and Silas sing in the stocks, because their minds are at ease; while Herod frets on his throne, because of an accusing conscience.