I LIFT my heart to Thee,
For Thou art all to me,
And I am Thine.
Is there on earth a closer bond than this—
That “my Beloved’s mine, and I am His”?
Charles E. Mudie
TOO late I loved Thee, Thou Beauty, so ancient and yet so new! too late I loved Thee! Yet, lo! Thou wast within my heart, whilst I, wandering abroad, sought Thee outside; I, unlovely, rushing heedlessly among the things of beauty Thou hadst made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with Thee. Things held me far from Thee, which, if not in Thee, were nowhere to be found. Thou didst call to me, and cry aloud, and so burst through my deafness. In flashes and in splendour didst Thou gleam and put to flight my blindness. Odours didst Thou shed forth, and I drew in my breath, and now I pant for Thee, I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. Thou touchedst me and I burned for Thy peace.
MEN may Tire themselves in a Labyrinth of Search, and talk of God: But if we would know Him indeed, it must be from the Impressions we receive of Him; and the softer our Hearts are, the deeper and livelier those will be upon us.
THEY are all gone into the world of light!
And I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
And my sad thoughts doth clear.
WHILE we poor wayfarers still toil, with hot and bleeding feet, along the highway and the dust of life, our companions have but mounted the divergent path, to explore the more sacred streams, and visit the diviner vales, and wander amid the everlasting Alps, of God’s upper province of creation. Death, in short, under the Christian aspect, is but God’s method of colonization; the transition from this mother-country of our race to the fairer and newer world of our emigration.
O ELOQUENT, just and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised: thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, Hie jacet!
Sir Walter Raleigh
SOME, O Thou Traveller unknown,
Whom still I hold, but cannot see!
My company before is gone,
And I am left alone with Thee;
With Thee all night I mean to stay,
And wrestle till the break of day,
* * *
Will Thou not yet to me reveal
Thy New, unutterable Name?
Tell me, I still beseech Thee, tell;
To know it now resolved I am;
Wrestling, I will not let Thee go,
Till I Thy Name, Thy Nature know.
I CAN NOT too earnestly insist upon the need of our holding each man for himself, by some faith which shall anchor him. It must not be taken up by chance. We must fight for it, for only so will it become our faith.
THE thing a man does practically believe (and this is often enough without asserting it even to himself, much less to others); the thing a man does practically lay to heart, and know for certain, concerning his vital relations to this mysterious Universe, and his duty and destiny there, that is in all cases the primary thing for him, and creatively determines all the rest. That is his religion.
TO have religion upon authority, and not upon conviction, is like a finger-watch, to be set forwards or backwards, as he pleases that has it in keeping.
SMALL service is true service while it lasts:
Of humblest Friends, bright creature! Scorn not one;
The Daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
Protects the lingering dew-drop from the Sun.
IF there is any one point which, in six thousand years of thinking about right and wrong, wise and good men have agreed upon, or successively by experience discovered, it is that God dislikes idle and cruel people more than any others:—that His first order is, “Work while you have light;” and His second, “Be merciful while you have mercy.”
TO be honest, to be kind—to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not to be embittered, to keep a few friends, but these without capitulation—above all, on the same grim conditions, to keep friends with himself—here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.
Robert Louis Stevenson
TWAS but one little drop of sin
We saw this morning enter in,
And lo! at eventide the world is drowned.
FOR first there cometh to the mind a bare thought of evil, then a strong imagination thereof, afterwards delight, and an evil motion, and then consent. And so by little and little our wicked enemy getteth complete entrance, whilst he is not resisted in the beginning. And the longer a man is negligent in resisting, so much the weaker does he become daily in himself, and the enemy stronger against him.
Thomas à Kempis
THE free being who abandons the conduct of himself, yields himself to Satan; in the moral world there is no ground without a master, and the waste lands belong to the Evil One.
Henri F. Amiel
Aspire, break bounds! I say
Endeavour to be good, and better still,
And best! Success is nought, endeavour’s all.
AS we dwell, we living things, in our isle of terror and under the imminent hand of death, God forbid it should be man the erected, the reasoner, the wise in his own eyes—God forbid it should be man that wearies in well-doing, that despairs of unrewarded efforts, or utters the language of complaint. Let it be enough for faith, that the whole creation groans in mortal frailty, strives with unconquerable constancy: surely not all in vain.
Robert Louis Stevenson
IS not a man’s walking in truth always this: “a succession of falls”? Man can do no other. In this wild element of a life, he has to struggle onwards; and ever, with tears, repentance, with bleeding heart, he has to rise again, struggle again still onwards. That his struggle be a faithful, unconquerable one: that is the question of questions.
BUT welcome fortitude, and patient cheer,
And frequent sights of what is to be borne!
Such sights, or worse, as are before me here—
Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.
THOSE who have not suffered are still wanting in depth; but a man who has not got happiness cannot impart it. We can only give what we have. Happiness, grief, gaiety, sadness, are by nature contagious. Bring your health and your strength to the weak and sickly, and so you will be of use to them. Give them, not your weakness, but your energy, so you will revive and lift them up. Life alone can rekindle life. What others claim from us is not our thirst and our hunger, but our bread and our gourd.
Henri F. Amiel
IN his own life, then, a man is not to expect happiness, only to profit by it gladly when it shall arise; he is on duty here; he knows not how or why, and does not need to know; he knows not for what hire, and must not ask. Somehow or other, though he does not know what goodness is, he must try to be good; somehow or other, though he cannot tell what will do it, he must try to give happiness to others.
Robert Louis Stevenson
INTO the truth of things—
Out of their falseness rise, and reach thou, and remain!
FOR myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; … as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture. So I thought my nature had a kind of familiarity and relationship with Truth.
IT is wondrous how the truer we become, the more unerringly we know the ring of truth, discern whether a man be true or not, and can fasten at once upon the rising lie in word and look and dissembling act.
Frederick W. Robertson
WHERESOEVER the search after truth begins, there life begins. Wheresoever that search ceases, there life ceases.
O ONLY source of all our light and life,
Whom as our truth, our strength, we see and feel,
But whom the hours of mortal moral strife,
Alone aright reveal.
Mine inmost soul before Thee inly brought,
Thy presence owns, ineffable, divine;
Chastised each rebel self-encentred thought,
My will adoreth thine.
Arthur H. Clough
ONE secret act of self-denial, one sacrifice of inclination to duty, is worth all the mere good thoughts, warm feelings, passionate prayers, in which idle people indulge themselves.
John Henry Newman
THE true affinities of sacrifice are with pleasure, with rapture even. It is only by evil or want within that sacrifice can be other than glad.
BOOKS! ’tis a dull and endless strife;
Come, hear the woodland linnet.
How sweet his music! on my life,
There’s more of wisdom in it.
A MORNING-GLORY at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.
POETRY is to be found nowhere unless we carry it within us.
THOUGH we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson