February 7

THERE are in this loud stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
With whom the melodies abide
Of th’ everlasting chime;
Who carry music in their heart
Through dusky lane and wrangling mart,
Plying their daily task with busier feet,
Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.
John Keble

A HAPPY man or woman is a better thing to find than a five-pound note. He or she is a radiating focus of goodwill; and their entrance into a room is as though another candle had been lighted. We need not care whether they could prove the forty-seventh proposition; they do a better thing than that, they practically demonstrate the great theorem of the Liveableness of Life.
Robert Louis Stevenson

NEVER is it so hard to follow and trust a higher inspiration, as amid the crowd of customary things.
James Martineau

THOSE who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
James M. Barrie


February 4

THE morning drum-call on my eager ear
Thrills unforgotten yet; the morning dew
Lies yet undried along my field of noon.

But now I pause at whiles in what I do,
And count the bell, and tremble lest I hear
(My work untrimmed) the sunset gun too soon.
Robert Louis Stevenson

BUT there is nothing that stands still in time, so that no duty at all admits of delay; each is strictly the duty of the moment; and our moral life is a race of perpetual speed, in which, at every step, the ground breaks from beneath us, and if our foot be not ready for the advance we must sink with it and fall away.
James Martineau

THERE is nothing of which we are apt to be so lavish as of Time, and about which we ought to be more solicitous; since without it we can do nothing in this World. Time is what we want most, and what, alas! we use worst; and for which God will certainly most strictly reckon with us, when Time shall be no more.
William Penn

January 19

THEREFORE to whom turn I but to Thee, the ineffable name?
Builder and Maker, thou, of houses not made with hands!
What, have fear of change from Thee who art ever the same?
Doubt that Thy power can fill the heart that Thy power expands?
There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;
The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound;
What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more;
On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round.
Robert Browning

HE that finds God a sweet, enveloping thought to him never counts his company. When I sit in that presence, who shall dare to come in?
Ralph Waldo Emerson

HE who ceases to kneel before the Divine wisdom soon talks superciliously of the human, and ends with the worship of his own.
James Martineau

WE seek God that we may have the joy of finding Him, and we find Him only to seek Him more eagerly.
St. Augustine

January 18

THINE are all the gifts, O God!
Thine the broken bread;
Let the naked feet be shod,
And the starving fed.

Let Thy children, by Thy Grace,
Give as they abound,
Till the poor have breathing space,
And the lost are found.
John G. Whittier

EVERY man, in proportion as he is a true son of the Highest, feels that he cannot stand by, seeing misery and guilt within his reach, and say, “It is no concern of mine;” he knows himself responsible for all the wrong he might prevent, as well as for all he may positively do.
James Martineau

TRULY at the day of judgment we shall not be examined as to what we have read, but as to what we have done; not how well we have spoken, but how religiously we have lived.
Thomas A Kempis

January 3

IT shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven.
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-master’s eye.
John Milton

WE have all a cure of souls and every man is a priest.
Henri F. Amiel

THE souls that would really be richer in duty in some new position, are precisely those who borrow no excuses from the old one; who even esteem it full of privileges, plenteous in occasions of good, frequent in divine appeals which they chide their graceless and unloving temper for not heeding more. Wretched and barren is the discontent that quarrels with its tools instead of with its skill; and, by criticizing Providence, manages to keep up complacency with self. How gentle should we be, if we were not provoked; how pious, if we were not busy; the sick would be patient, only he is not in health; the obscure would do peat things, only he is not conspicuous.
James Martineau

NO morning can restore what we have forfeited.
George Meredith

December 28

HE forgot his own soul for others,
Himself to his neighbours lending,
And found the Lord in his suffering brothers,
And not in the clouds descending.
John G. Whittier

EVERY act done in Christ receives its exact and appropriate reward. They that are meek shall inherit the earth. They that are pure shall see God. They that suffer shall reign with Him. They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever. They that receive a righteous man in the name of a righteous man— that is, because he is a righteous man—shall receive a righteous man’s reward. Even the cup of cold water, given in the name of Christ, shall not lose its reward.
Frederick W. Robertson

I DO not now refer to the consequences of conduct in a future life; but to a certain perpetual and indestructible influence it must have upon this world. It is a mistake to suppose that any service rendered to mankind, any interesting relations of human life, any exhibition of moral greatness, even any peculiar condition of society, can ever be lost; their form only disappears; their value still remains, and their office is everlastingly performed.
James Martineau

December 20

THINK truly, and thy thoughts
Shall the world’s famine feed:
Speak truly, and each word of thine
Shall be a fruitful seed:
Live truly, and thy life shall be
A great and noble creed.
Horatius Bonar

TO get good, is animal; to do good, is human; to be good, is divine. The true use of a man’s possessions is to help his work: and the best end of all his work, is to show us what he is.
James Martineau

IT is not what he has, nor even what he does, which directly expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.

Henri F. Amiel

TRUE religion, that is practical, active, living religion, has little or nothing to do with logical or metaphysical quibbles. Practical religion is life, is a new life, a life in the sight of God, and it springs from what may truly be called a new birth.
Max Müller

December 17

THE sun set, but set not his hope:
Stars rose; his faith was earlier up:
Fixed on the enormous galaxy,
Deeper and older seemed his eye;
And matched his sufferance sublime
The taciturnity of time.
He spoke, and words more soft than rain
Brought the Age of Gold again:
His action won such reverence sweet
As hid all measure of the feat.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

NOW see what a Christian is, drawn by the hand of Christ. He is a man on whose clear and open brow God has set the stamp of truth: one whose very eye beams bright with honour; in whose very look and bearing you may see freedom, manliness, veracity: a brave man. . . . Young men! if you have been deterred from religion by its apparent feebleness and narrowness, Remember—It is a manly thing to be a Christian.
Frederick W. Robertson

NO sublimer spectacle do I know on earth than the faculties of a grand and passionate nature, as in a Socrates or a Paul, falling into stillness before the face of God, and by the awful light of His countenance turned from a stormy nobleness into a loving and working power.
James Martineau

December 14

YET I doubt not thro’ the ages one increasing
purpose runs,
And the thoughts of men are widen’d with the
process of the suns.
Alfred Tennyson

A HIGHER civilization, by which I understand neither superior clothes, nor better houses, nor richer wines, nor even more destructive gunpowder, but a nobler system of ideas and aspirations possessing a community, must commence, where alone ideas and aspirations can have a beginning, in somebody’s mind.
James Martineau

YE seek to perform a work of regeneration, and,—since without this all political organization is fruitless—of moral personal amelioration; and you hope to accomplish it by banishing every religious idea from your work! Politics merely accept man as he is, in his actual position and character; define his tendencies, and regulate his action in harmony with them. The religious idea alone has power to transform both.
Joseph Mazzini

December 13

AND fierce though the fiends may fight.
And long though the angels hide,
I know that truth and right
Have the universe on their side;
And that somewhere beyond the stars,
Is a love that is better than fate;
When the night unlocks her bars,
I shall see Him—and I will wait.
Washington Gladden

AS well might you attempt to build upon the restless sea, or to steer by shooting stars, or keep time by the leaves dancing in the wind, as shape a mind or train a character amid a scene whose courses were unsteady and where action was a lottery.
James Martineau

THERE is no stability of power, no steadfast peace but in immovable principles of right; no true royalty but in the rule of our own spirits; no real freedom but in unbounded disinterested love; and no fulness of joy but in being alive to that Infinite Presence, Majesty, Goodness, in which we live and move and have our being.
William E. Channing

WE who interpret things heavenly by things earthly must not hope to juggle with them for our pleasures, and can look to no absolution of evil acts.
George Meredith