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.
DIVINE monition Nature yields,
That not by bread alone we live,
Or what a hand of flesh can give;
That every day should leave some part
Free for a sabbath of the heart:
So shall the seventh be truly blest,
From morn to eve, with hallowed rest.
THE first creature of God, in the work of the days, was the light of the sense; the last was the light of reason; and His Sabbath work ever since is the illumination of His Spirit. First, He breathed light upon the face of the matter, or chaos; then He breathed light into the face of man; and still He breathed light into the face of His chosen.
WE are sustained then by the sympathy of the highest inspiration, when we make it our “custom” too, to illuminate in our calendar some holy day, and to raise near every cluster of our dwellings a house where “prayer is wont to be made.”
GOOD, to forgive;
Best, to forget!
Living, we fret;
Dying, we live.
Fretless and free,
Soul, clap thy pinion!
Earth have dominion,
Body, o’er thee!
DRAW the curtain of night upon injuries, shut them up in the tower of oblivion, and let them be as though they had not been. To forgive our enemies, yet hope that evil will punish them, is not to forgive them enough.
Sir Thomas Browne
IT is only by removing ourselves from charity that we withdraw ourselves from God.
IN taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over he is superior, for it is a Prince’s part to pardon.
IF I am even with my enemy, the Debt is paid; but if I forgive it, I oblige him for ever.
WHERE are your books?—that light bequeathed
To beings else forlorn and blind!
Up! Up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
READ not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
LET not the authority of the writer offend you, whether he be of great or small learning; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read.
Thomas à Kempis
In our halls is hung
Armoury of the invincible knights of old;
We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.
HE that dies in an earnest pursuit, is like one that is wounded in hot blood; who, for the time, scarce feels the hurt; and, therefore, a mind fixed and bent upon somewhat that is good doth avert the dolours of death.
FIGHT on, thou brave, true heart, and falter not, through dark future, and through bright. The cause thou tightest for, so far as it is true, no further, yet precisely so far, is very sure of victory. The falsehood alone of it will be conquered, will be abolished, as it ought to be; but the truth of it is part of Nature’s own laws; co-operates with the world’s eternal tendencies; and cannot be conquered.
THE soldier armed with sword and gun
Palsied strikes the summer’s sun;
When gold and gems adorn the plough.
To peaceful arts shall envy bow;
The beggar’s rags fluttering in air
Do to rags the heavens tear.
CHARITY rendereth a man truly great, enlarging his mind into a vast circumference, and to a capacity nearly infinite; so that it, by a general care, doth reach all things, by an universal affection doth embrace and grace the world. . . . Even a spark of it in generosity of dealing breedeth admiration; a glimpse of it in formal courtesy of behaviour procureth much esteem, being deemed lo accomplish and adorn a man.
COMFORT the poor, protect and shelter the weak, and with all thy might right that which is wrong. Then shall the Lord love thee, inul God Himself shall be thy great reward.
Alfred the Great’s Last Words
THE nobler a soul is, the more objects of compassion it hath.
FOR want of me the world’s course will nor fail;
When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
The truth is great and shall prevail,
When none cares whether it prevail or not.
“TRUTH!” I cried, “though the Heavens crush me for following her: no Falsehood! though a whole celestial Lubberland were the price of Apostacy.”
TRUTH which only doth judge itself teachetd that the inquiry of truth (which is the love-making or wooing of it), the knowledge of truth (which is the presence of it), and the belief of truth (which is the enjoying of it) is the sovereign good of human nature.
NOWADAYS, truth is so obscure and falsehood is so established, that unless we love truth we are unable to recognize it.
O JOY that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.
PROSPERITY is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. Certainly, virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant, when they are incensed, or crushed; for prosperity doth best discover vice; but adversity doth best discover virtue.
ONLY they, it may be, have the right to deem themselves safe to whose arms there come to weep those whose eyes are heavy with tears. And, indeed, there are not a few in this world whose inner smile we can only behold when our eyes have been cleansed by the tears that lay bare the mysterious sources of vision; and then only do we begin to detect the presence of happiness that springs not from the favour or gleam of an hour, but from widest acceptance of life. Here, as in much beside, desire and necessity quicken our senses. The hungry bee will discover the honey, be it hid never so deep in the cavern; and the soul that mourns will spy out the joy that lies hidden in its retreat, or in most impenetrable silence.
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.
NOT from a vain or shallow thought
His awful Jove young Phidias brought;
Never from lips of cunning fell
The thrilling Delphic oracle;
Out from the heart of nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nature came,
Like the volcano’s tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below,—
The canticles of love and woe:
The hand that rounded Peter’s dome
And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,
Wrought in a sad sincerity;
Himself from God he could not free;
He builded better than he knew;—
The conscious stone to beauty grew.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
IF a man be gracious and courteous to strangers it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them. If he be compassionate towards the affliction of others it shows that his heart is like the noble tree that is wounded itself when it gives the balm. If he easily pardons and remits offences it shows that his mind is planted above injuries, so that he cannot be shot. If he be thankful for small benefits it shows that he weighs men’s minds, and not their trash. But, above all, if he have St. Paul’s perfection, that he would wish to be an anathema from Christ, for the salvation of his brethren, it shows much of a divine nature, and a kind of conformity with Christ Himself.