O LORD, in me there lieth nought
But to Thy search revealbd lies;
For when I sit
Thou markest it,
No less Thou notest when I rise;
The closest closet of my thought
Hath open windows to Thine eyes.
Sir Philip Sydney
NEVER fear that your wants are forgotten, because the boundless Creation sends up a cry to its common Father, and He has an infinite Family for whom to provide. Never think that your characters are objects of little interest, because innumerable orders of beings of higher attainments and virtues attract the regards of this munificent King. Were you His only creature alive, He could not think of you more constantly and tenderly, or be more displeased with your resistance to duty, or feel more joy in your fidelity to right, than He does now.
William E. Channing
SHOULD we not invariably act in this life as though the God whom our heart desires with its highest desire were watching our every action?
HE who hath watched, not shared the strife,
Knows how the day hath gone.
He only lives with the world’s life,
Who hath renounced his own.
THE real corrupters of society may be, not the corrupt, but those who have held back the righteous leaven, the salt that has lost its savour, the innocent who have not even the moral courage to show what they think of the effrontery of impurity,—the serious, who yet timidly succumb before some loud-voiced scoffer,—the heart trembling all over with religious sensibilities that yet suffers itself through false shame to be beaten down into outward and practical acquiescence by some rude and worldly nature.
John H. Thom
WHAT are great gifts but the correlative of great work? We are not born for ourselves, but for our kind, for our neighbours, for our country; it is but selfishness, indolence, a perverse fastidiousness, an unmanliness, and no virtue or praise to bury our talent in a napkin.
John H. Newman
ANY man that walks the mead,
In bud or blade, or bloom may find
According as his humours lead,
A meaning suited to his mind.
THE true standard of the arts is in every man’s power; and an easy observation of the most common, sometimes of the meanest, things in nature, will give the truest lights, where the greatest sagacity and industry, that slights such observation, must leave us in the dark, or, what is worse, amuse and mislead us by false lights.
NO most gifted eye can exhaust the significance of any object. In the commonest human face there lies more than Raphael will take away with him.
IT is the treating of the commonplace with the feeling of the sublime that gives to art its true power.
Jean F. Millet
THEN welcome each rebuff
That turns earth’s smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go!
Be our joy three-parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!
HE doeth much, that doeth a thing well. He doeth well that rather serveth the community than his own will.
Thomas A Kempis
MEN combine for some higher object; and to that higher object it is, in their social capacity, the privilege and real happiness of individuals to sacrifice themselves. The highest political watchword is not Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, nor yet solidarity, but Service.
Arthur H. Clough
IN society and politics we call those great who have devoted their energies to some noble course, or have influenced the course of things in some extraordinary way. But in every instance, whether in art, science, or religion, or public life, there is a universal condition, that a man shall have forgotten himself in his work. If any fraction of his attention is given to the honours or rewards which success will bring him, there will be a taint of weakness in what he does.
J. A. Froude
WE are children of splendour and flame,
Of shuddering also and tears; Magnificent out of the dust we came,
And abject from the spheres.
MAN is an intellectual animal, therefore an everlasting contradiction to himself. His senses centre in himself, his ideas reach to the ends of the universe; so that he is torn in pieces between the two without the possibility of its ever being otherwise. A mere physical being or a pure spirit can alone be satisfied with itself.
THE voice of our whole nature indeed, properly interpreted, is a cry after higher existence. The restless activity of life is but a pressing forward towards a fulness of good not to be found on earth, and indicates our destination for a state more brightly beautiful than we can now conceive.
William E. Channing
THE mind is the man. If that be kept pure, a man signifies somewhat; if not, I would very fain see what difference there is betwixt him and a beast. He hath only some activity to do some more mischief.
LIFE may change, but it may fly not;
Hope may vanish, but can die not;
Truth be veil’d, but still it burneth;
Love repulsed,—but it returneth!
Yet were Life a charnel where
Hope lay coffin’d with Despair;
Yet were Truth a sacred lie,
Love were lust—if Liberty
Lent not life its soul of light,
Hope its iris of delight,
Truth its prophet’s robe to wear,
Love its power to give and bear.
Percy B. Shelley
WITHOUT this inward, spiritual freedom, outward liberty is of little worth. What boots it that I am crushed by no foreign yoke, if through ignorance and vice, through selfishness and fear, I want the command of my own mind? The worst tyrants are those which establish themselves in our own breasts. The man who wants force of principle and purpose, is a slave, however free the air he breathes.
William E. Channing
UNLESS that liberty which is of such a kind as arms can neither procure nor take away, which alone is the fruit of piety, of justice, of temperance, and unadulterated virtue, shall have taken deep root in your minds and hearts, there will not long be wanting one who will snatch from you by treachery what you have acquired by arms.
OWAD some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion !
LIFE is deeper than it seems; and it may well check our petty cavils and censorious judgments to remember, that He who sees and loves according to the truth of things may have His place and dear abode in the inner mind of the very neighbour we criticize and the heretics we shun; may think nothing at all of the small matters we derisively apprehend, and gently love the greater ones we blindly overlook; and find not only many a precious thing concealed from us, but gracious affection and pure thought that do not even see themselves.
WE can all be angry with our neighbour; what we want is to be shown, not his defects, of which we are too conscious, but his merits, to which we are too blind.
Robert Louis Stevenson
I WILL place within them as a guide
My umpire, Conscience, whom, if they will hear,
Light after light well used they shall attain,
And, to the end persisting, safe arrive.
CONSCIENCE is the territory or dominion of God in man, which he hath so reserved to himself that no human power can possibly enter into it or dispose of it in any wise.
CONSCIENCE is authority,—divine authority, universal authority; or it is nothing. It is a right-royal power, that cannot stoop to serve: dethrone it, and it dies.
IF conscience had the power, as it has the right, it would rule the world.
ONE friend in that path shall be,
To secure my step from wrong;
One to count night day for me,
Patient through the watches long,
Serving most with none to see.
THE end of friendship is a commerce the most strict and homely that can be joined; more strict than any of which we have experience. It is for aid and comfort through all the relations and passages of life and death. It is fit for serene days, and graceful gifts, and country rambles, but also for rough roads and hard fare, shipwreck, poverty, and persecution.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
NO friendship is worth the name unless it does the highest good, assisting us to escape from the manifold forms of selfishness, and to look at duty with fresh impulse.
Frederick W. Robertson
FRIENDSHIP maketh indeed a fair day in the affections from storm and tempests, but it maketh daylight in the understanding out of darkness and confusion of thoughts.
FOR love, and beauty, and delight;
There is no death, nor change; their might
Exceeds our organs, which endure
No light, being themselves obscure.
Percy B. Shelley
AND yet the love that will be annihilated sooner than treacherous has already made death impossible, and affirms itself no mortal, but a native of the deeps of absolute and inextinguishable being.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
WE know but little now about the conditions of the life that is to come. But what is certain is that Love must last. God, the Eternal God, is Love. Covet therefore that everlasting gift, that one thing which it is certain is going to stand, that one coinage which will be current in the Universe when all the other coinages of all the nations of the world shall be useless and unhonoured. You will give yourselves to many things, give yourself first to Love. Hold things in their proportion. Hold things in their proportion.
HE doeth much that loveth much.
Thomas a Kempis