September 30

OUR Father! while our hearts unlearn
The creeds that wrong Thy name,
Still let our hallowed altars burn
With faith’s undying flame.

Not by the lightning-gleams of wrath
Our souls Thy face shall see;
The star of love must light the path
That leads to heaven and Thee.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

LET every dawn of morning be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close; then let every one of these short lives leave its sure record of some kindly thing done for others, some goodly strength or knowledge gained for yourselves; so, from day to day, and strength to strength you shall build up indeed by art, by thought, and by just will an ecclesia of England, of which it shall not be said, “See what manner of stones are here!” but, “See what manner of men.”
John Ruskin

I DO desire with God that all, but yet affirm with men that few, shall know salvation; but the bridge is narrow, the passage strait, unto life; yet those who do confine the Church of God either to particular nations, churches, or families, have made it far narrower than Our Saviour ever meant it.
Sir Thomas Browne


September 29

YET do thy work; it shall succeed
In thine or in another’s day;
And, if denied the victor’s meed,
Thou shalt not lack the toiler’s pay.
John G. Whittier

DO right, and God’s recompense to you will be the power of doing more right. Give, and God’s reward to you will be the spirit of giving more: a blessed spirit, for it is the Spirit of God Himself, whose Life is the blessedness of giving. Love, and God will pay you with the capacity of more love; for love is Heaven—love is God within you.
Frederick W. Robertson

HE is truly great, that is great in charity. He is truly great, that is little in himself, and that maketh no account of any height of honour.
Thomas A Kempis

NOTHING great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. The way of life is wonderful; it is by abandonment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 28

MAN’S work is to labour and leaven
As best he may—earth here with heaven.
Robert Browning

O MY brother, be not thou a quack! Die rather, if thou wilt take counsel: ’tis but dying once, and thou art quit of it for ever. Cursed is that trade; and bears curses, thou knowest not how, long ages after thou art departed, and the wages thou hadst are all consumed; nay as the ancient wise have written—through Eternity itself, and is verily marked in the Doom-Book of God!
Thomas Carlyle

THE ledger of the Almighty is strictly kept, and every one of us has the balance of his operations paid over to him at the end of every minute of his existence.
Thomas H. Huxley

THE most tremendous judgment of God in this world is the hardening of the hearts of men.
John Owen

September 27

DOUBT no longer that the Highest is the wisest
and the best,
Let not all that saddens Nature blight thy hope or
break thy rest,
Quail not at the fiery mountain, at the shipwreck,
or the rolling
Thunder, or the rending earthquake, or the famine
or the pest!
Alfred Tennyson

WHAT art thou afraid of? Wherefore, like a coward, dost thou for ever pip and whimper, and go cowering and trembling? Despicable biped! What is the sum-total of the worst that lies before thee? Death? Well, Death; and say the pangs of Tophet too, and all that the Devil and Man may, will, or can do against thee! Hast thou not a heart; canst thou not suffer whatso it be; and, as a Child of Freedom, though outcast, trample Tophet itself under thy feet, while it consumes thee? Let it come, then; I will meet it and defy it!
Thomas Carlyle

WHAT have I gained, that I no longer immolate a bull to Jove, or to Neptune, or a mouse to Hecate; that I do not tremble before the Eumenides, or the Catholic Purgatory, or the Calvinistic Judgment-day,—if I quake at opinion, the public opinion, as we call it; or at the threat of assault, or contumely, or bad neighbours, or poverty, or mutilation, or at the rumour of revolution, or of murder? If I quake, what matters it what I quake at?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 26

THOU judgest us: Thy purity
Doth all our lusts condemn;
The love that draws us nearer Thee
Is hot with wrath of them.
John G. Whittier

UNHAPPY man! Thou bearest about with thee a God, and knowest it not! Thinkest thou I speak of some God of gold and silver, and external to thee? Nay, but in thyself thou dost bear him, and seest not that thou defilest him with thine impure thoughts and filthy deeds. In the presence even of an image of God thou hadst not dared to do one of those things which thou dost. But in the presence of God himself within thee, who seeth and heareth all things, thou art not ashamed of the things thou dost both desire and do. O thou unwitting of thine own nature, and subject to the wrath of God!

AND let no man be deceived as if the contagions of the soul were less than those of the body; they are yet greater; they convey more direful diseases; they sink deeper, and creep on more unsuspectedly.
Francis Petrarch

HURT not your conscience with any known sin.
Samuel Rutherford

September 25

IN common things that round us lie
Some random truths he can impart;—
The harvest of a quiet eye
That broods and sleeps on his own heart.
William Wordsworth

NONE of us yet know, for none of us have yet been taught in early youth, what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thoughts—proof against all adversity. Bright fancies, satisfied memories, noble histories, faithful sayings, treasure-houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb, nor pain make gloomy, nor poverty take away from us— houses built without hands for our souls to live in.
John Ruskin

WE all seek happiness so eagerly, that in the pursuit we often lose that joyous sense of existence, and those quite daily pleasures, the value of which our pride alone prevents us from acknowledging. It has been said with some meaning, that if men would but rest in silence, they might always hear the music of the spheres.
Sir Arthur Helps

September 24

I BELIEVE it! ’Tis Thou, God, that givest, ’tis I who receive:
In the first is the last, in Thy will is my power to believe.
All’s one gift: Thou canst grant it moreover, as prompt to my prayer
As I breathe out this breath, as I open these arms to the air.
Robert Browning

NOTHING so marks the degradation of our modern Christianity as the notion that faith is only opinion—that a man may have it or not without affecting his moral worth—that it is the result of intellectual accident or opportunity, for which God will never call him to account. It is, on the contrary, beyond all comparison, the most complete and distinct exponent of a man’s character; and if only we can get to know it, he is revealed to us more clearly than if the whole catalogue of his actions were given to us to read.
James Martineau

TALK of the questions of the day—there is but one question, and that is the Gospel. It can and will correct everything needing correction. My only hope for the world is in bringing the human mind into contact with divine revelation.
William E. Gladstone

September 23

WORK of his hand
He nor commends nor grieves;
Pleads for help the fact;
As unrepenting Nature leaves
Her every act.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

MAKE not the Consequence of Virtue the Ends thereof. Be not beneficent for a Name or Cymbal of Applause, nor exact and punctual in Commerce, for the Advantages of Trust and Credit, which attend the Reputation of just and true Dealing: for such Rewards, tho’ unsought for, plain Virtue will bring with her, whom all Men honour, tho’ they pursue not.
Sir Thomas Browne

WHO is only good that others may know it, and that he may be the better esteemed when ’tis known, who will do well but upon condition that his virtue may be known to men, is one from whom much service is not to be expected.
Michael E. Montaigne

September 22

LARGELY Thou givest, gracious Lord,
Largely Thy gifts should be restored;
Freely Thou givest, and Thy word
Is “ Freely Give.”
He only who forgets to hoard
Has learned to live.
John Keble

IF Riches increase, let thy Mind hold pace with them; and think it not enough to be liberal, but munificent. Tho’ a Cup of cold Water from some hand may not be without its Reward, yet stick not thou for Wine or Oyl for the wounds of the distressed; and treat the poor, as our Saviour did the Multitude, to the Relicks of some Baskets.
Sir Thomas Browne

AS soon as prudence has begun to grow up in the brain, like a dismal fungus, it finds its expression in a paralysis of generous acts.
Robert Louis Stevenson

September 21

“WHERE is your God?” they say:
Answer them, Lord most holy!
Reveal Thy secret way
Of visiting the lowly;
Not wrapped in moving cloud,
Or nightly-resting fire;
But veiled within the shroud
Of silent high desire.
James Martineau

WHERE, then, is our God? You say, He is everywhere; then show me anywhere that you have met Him. You declare Him everlasting; then tell me any moment that He has been with you. You believe Him ready to succour them that are tempted, and to lift those that are bowed down: then in what passionate hour did you subside into His calm grace? in what sorrow lose yourself in His “more exceeding” joy? These are the testing questions by which we may learn whether we too have raised our altar to an “unknown God” and pay the worship of the blind; or whether we commune with Him “in whom we live, and move, and have our being.”
James Martineau

A DUNGEON with Christ is a throne; and a throne, without Christ, a hell.
John Owen