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
SERVE God before the world; let Him not go
Until thou hast a blessing; then resigne
The whole unto Etim; and remember who
Prevailed by wrestling ere the sun did shine.
Pour oyl upon the stones, weep for thy sin,
Then journey on, and have an eie to heav’n.
CAN you then declare to us in what manner you have taken thought for your soul? For it is not likely that a wise man like yourself, and one of repute in the State, would overlook the best thing you possess, and use no diligence or design about it; but leave it neglected and perishing? Surely not.
THOU dost excite us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless till it find rest in Thee.
WALK with thy fellow-creatures; note the hush
And whispers amongst them. There’s not a spring
Or leafe but hath his morning-hymn; each bush
And oak doth know I Am. Canst thou not sing?
O leave thy cares and follies! Go this way,
And thou art sure to prosper all the day.
THE man who cannot wonder, who does not habitually wonder (and worship), were he President of innumerable Royal Societies, and carried the whole Meccinique Celeste and Hegel Philosophy, and the Epitome of all Laboratories and Observatories, with their results, in his single head — is but a pair of spectacles, behind which there is no Eye. Let those who have eyes look through him, then he may be useful.
THUS revering the soul, and learning, as the ancient said, that “its beauty is immense,” man will come to see that the world is the perennial miracle which the soul worketh, and be less astonished at particular wonders; he will learn that there is no profane history; that all history is sacred; that the universe is represented in an atom, in a moment of time. He will weave no longer a spotted life of shreds and patches, but he will live with a divine unity. He will cease from what is base and frivolous in his life, and be content with all places and with any service he can render. He will calmly front the morrow in the negligency of that trust which carries God with it, and so hath already the whole future in the bottom of the heart.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
HAPPY those early dayes, when I
Shin’d in my angell infancy!
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race,
Or taught my soul to fancy ought
But a white, celestiall thought;
When yet I had not walkt above
A mile or two from my first love,
And looking back, at that short space,
Could see a glimpse of His bright face.
IT is of all things the most melancholy to watch the moral clouding over of life’s early dawn; to trace the dim veil stealing over the artless look; to notice how the earnest tone begins to leave the voice, and every worthy enthusiasm dies away into indifference; how it comes to be thought a fine thing to speak coolly of what is odious for its vice, and critically of what is awful for its beauty.
THE awful feelings about Life and God are not those which characterize our earlier years. It is quite natural that in the first espousals of the soul in its freshness to God, bright and hopeful feelings should be the predominant Or the only ones. Nay, by God’s merciful arrangement, even sin is not that crushing thing in early life which it sometimes becomes in later years, when we mourn not so much a calculable number of sinful acts, as a deep pervading sinfulness.
Frederick W. Robertson