THEY are slaves who fear to speak
For the fallen and the weak;
They are slaves who will not choose
Hatred, scoffing, and abuse,
Rather than in silence shrink
From the truth they needs must think;
They are slaves who dare not be
In the right with two or three.
James Russell Lowell
EVERY sincere utterance of the soul, every testimony faithfully borneto a personal conviction, is of use to some one and some thing, even when you know it not, and when your mouth is stopped by violence, or the noose tightens round your neck.
Henri F. Amiel
THE history of success, as we can never too often repeat to ourselves, is the history of minorities. And what is more, it is for the most part the history of insurrection exactly against what the worldly spirits of the time, whenever it may have been, deemed mere trifles and accidents, with which sensible men should on no account dream of taking the trouble to quarrel.
HOW happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill.
Sir Henry Wotxon
FOR to do anything because others do it, and not because the thing is good, or kind, or honest in its own right, is to resign all moral control and captaincy upon yourself, and go posthaste to the devil with the greater number. The respectable are not led so much by any desire of applause as by a positive need for countenance. The weaker and the tamer the man, the more will he require this support; and any positive quality relieves him, by just so much, of this dependence.
Robert Louis Stevenson
NEVER assent merely to please others. For that is, besides Flattery, oftentimes Untruth; and discovers a Mind liable to be servile and base. Nor contradict to vex others, for that shows an ill Temper, and provokes, but profits no Body.
SPEAK to Him thou, for He hears, and Spirit
with Spirit can meet—
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands
RELIGION is no more possible without prayer, than poetry without language, or music without atmosphere. In the dumb heart it invariably dies; and where it lives, it is in the habitual faith that as we “give good gifts to our children, much more will the heavenly Father give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”
BURY the dead; join hands in loving act and thought, and go forward. God created us for life; and do you fear that He will not reveal Himself to His creatures, when—assembled to interrogate their own hearts upon their own belief and to study the ways of the future—they invoke His aid?
BUT you,—had you chosen—had you stretched hand—
Had you seen good such a thing were done—
I, too, might have stood with the souls that stand
In the sun’s sight, clothed with the light of the sun:
I had grown pure as the dawn and the dew,
You had grown strong as the sun or the sea.
Algernon C. Swinburne
GREATNESS of character is a communicable attribute. … It has nothing exclusive in its nature. It cannot be the monopoly of an individual, for it is the enlarged and generous action of faculties and affections which enter into and constitute all minds,—I mean reason, conscience, and love,—so that its elements exist in all.
William E. Channing
THE man may teach by doing, and not otherwise. If he can communicate himself, he can teach, but not by words.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
PURE truth cannot be assimilated by the crowd; it must be communicated by contagion.
Henri F. Amiel
AH yet, tho’ all the world forsake,
Tho’ fortune clip my wings,
I will not cramp my heart, nor take
Half-views of men and things.
IT is necessary to have a corner of the mind always open and free, to leave a place there for the opinions of one’s friends, and to entertain them as they pass by. It becomes really intolerable to talk to men in whose brains the divisions are filled up, and into which nothing from without can enter. Let us strive after hospitable hearts and minds.
IF any one can convince me of an error, I shall be very glad to change my opinion, for truth is my business, and nobody was ever yet hurt by it. No; he that continues in ignorance and mistake, it is he that receives the mischief.
TO do Thy will is more than praise,
As words are less than deeds,
And simple trust can find Thy ways
We miss with chart of creeds.
John G. Whittier
HERE we are in a world of mystery, where all is difficult, and very much dark—where a hundred jarring creeds declare themselves to be The Truth, and all are plausible. How shall a man decide? Let him do the right that lies before him: much is uncertain—some things at least are clear. Whatever else may be wrong, it must be right to be pure—to be just and tender, and merciful and honest. It must be right to love, and to deny one’s-self. Let him do the Will of God, and he shall know. Observe—men begin the other way. They say, If I could but believe, then I would make my life true: if I could but be sure what is truth, then I would set to work to live in earnest. No—God says, Act—make the life true, and then you will be able to believe. Live in earnest, and you will know the answer to “What is Truth?”.
Frederick W. Robertson
MAN is only what he becomes — profound truth; but he becomes only what he is— truth still more profound.
Henri F. Amiel
BUT indeed Conviction, were it never so excellent, is worthless till it convert itself into Conduct.
AND is there care in heaven? And is there love
In heavenly spirits to these creatures bace,
That may compassion of their evilles move ?
There is: else much more wretched were the cace
Of men then beasts. But O! th’ exceeding grace
Of highest God that loves His creatures so,
And all His workes with mercy doth embrace,
That blessed Angels He sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe.
THERE is not a secular reform in the whole development of modem civilization which (if it is more than mechanical) has not drawn its inspiration from a religious principle. Infirmaries for the body have sprung out of pity to the soul; schools for the letter, that free way may be opened to the spirit; sanitary laws, that the diviner elements of human nature may not become incredible and hopeless from their foul environment. Who would ever lift a voice for a slave, that looked no further than his face? or build a reformatory for the culprit child, if he saw nothing but the slouching gait and thievish eye? Nay, what impulse would even science itself have had, if sustained only by the material utilities? what inspiring zeal, but for that secret wonder which feels the universe to be sacred and is a virtual thirst for God?
In me lived a sin
So strange, of such a kind, that all of pure,
Noble, and knightly, in me twined and clung
Round that one sin, until the wholesome flower
And poisonous grew together, each as each,
Not to be plucked asunder.
AND when we are to execute the fierce anger of the Lord upon our sins, yet we are kind- hearted, and spare the Agag, the reigning sin, the splendid temptation; we have some kindnesses left towards it.
THERE is no road or ready way to virtue; it is not an easie point of art to disentangle our selves from this riddle, or web of sin.
Sir Thomas Browne
THE best measure of the profundity of any religious doctrine is given by its conception of sin and the cure of sin.
Henri F. Amiel
IN God’s presence sin gets an infinite significance.
R. W. Barbour
LET us not always say,
“Spite of this flesh to-day
I strove, made head, gained ground upon the whole!”
As the bird wings and sings,
Let us cry, “All good things
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, than flesh
THE preservation of health is a duty. Few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.
IT is as great a duty to help the body to its due alacrity and fitness for service, as it is to tame it and bring it under.
THE first wealth is health. Sickness is poor-spirited, and cannot serve any one: it must husband its resources to live.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
IT is better to lose health like a spendthrift, than to waste it like a miser.
Robert Louis Stevenson
BUT souls that of his own good life partake,
He loves as his own self; dear as his eye
They are to him: He’ll never them forsake:
When they shall die, then God Himself shall die;
They live, they live in blest eternity.
A ROOT set in the finest soil, in the best climate and blessed with all that sun and air and rain can do for it, is not in so sure a way of its growth to perfection, as every man may be, whose spirit aspires after all that which God is ready and infinitely desirous to give him. For the sun meets not the springing bud that stretches towards him with half the certainty, as God, the Source of all good, communicates Himself to the soul that longs to partake of Him.
FEEBLE minds, in apology for their puny growth or premature decay in excellence, complain of the climate in which God has planted them; but where there is any vigour of life, the good seed will not wait to burst, till it be removed to some sunny slope or luxuriant garden of the Lord: give it but a lodgment on the rock, and feed it with the melting snow, and it will start a forest on the hills, climbing with giant feet, fast as the seasons can make steps.