WE all have known
Good critics who have stamped out poet’s hope,
Good statesmen who pulled ruin on the state,
Good patriots who for a theory risked a cause,
Good kings who disembowelled for a tax,
Good popes who brought all good to jeopardy,
Good Christians who sat still in easy-chairs
And damned the general world for standing up.—
Now may the good God pardon all good men!
Elizabeth B. Browning
IF for every rebuke that we utter of men’s vices, we put forth a claim upon their hearts; if for every assertion of God’s demands from them, we could substitute a display of His kindness to them; if side by side with every warning of death, we could exhibit proofs and promises of immortality; if, in fine, instead of assuming the being of an awful Deity, which men, though they cannot and dare not deny, are always unwilling, sometimes unable to conceive, we were to show them a near, visible, inevitable, but all beneficent Deity, whose presence makes the earth itself a heaven, I think there would be fewer deaf children sitting in the market-place.
LET us be silent as to each other’s weakness, helpful, tolerant, nay, tender towards each other! Or, if we cannot feel tenderness, may we at least feel pity ! May we put away from us the satire which scourges and the anger which brands: the oil and wine of the good Samaritan are of more avail. We may make the ideal a reason for contempt; but it is more beautiful to make it a reason for tenderness.
Henri F. Amiel