March 8

SEARCH thine own heart. What paineth thee
In others, in thyself may be;
All dust is frail, all flesh is weak;
Be thou the true man thou dost seek.
John G. Whittier

THE chief stronghold of hypocrisy is to be always judging one another.
John Milton

IF we would reprove with success, and show another his mistake, we must see from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is generally true; and, admitting this truth, show him the side on which it is false.
Blaise Pascal

BELIEVE nothing against another but upon good authority; nor report what may hurt another unless it be a greater hurt to others to conceal it.
William Penn


February 17

DROP Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease:
Take from our souls the strain and stress;
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
John G. Whittier

AN imperturbable demeanour comes from perfect patience. Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.
Robert Louis Stevenson

CERTAINLY at present, and perhaps through all your life, your teachers are wisest when they make you content in quiet virtue, and that literature and art are best for you which point out, in common life, and in familiar things, the objects for hopeful labour, and for humble love.
John Ruskin

January 22

SO to the calmly gathered thought
The innermost of truth is taught,
The mystery dimly understood,
That love of God is love of good, . . .
That to be saved is only this,—
Salvation from our selfishness.
John G. Whittier

EVIL consists in living for self—that is to say, for one’s own vanity, pride, sensuality, or even health. Righteousness consists in willingly accepting one’s lot, in submitting to and espousing the destiny assigned us, in willing what God commands, in renouncing what He forbids us, in consenting to what He takes from us or refuses us.
Henri F. Amiel

FOR God will have us perfectly subject unto Him, that, being inflamed with His love, we may transcend the narrow limits of human reason.
Thomas à Kempis

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

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 26

IN vain shall waves of incense drift
The vaulted nave around,
In vain the minster turret lift
Its brazen weights of sound.

The heart must ring Thy Christmas bells,
Thy inward altars raise;
Its faith and hope Thy canticles,
And its obedience praise!
John G. Whittier

EVIL consists in living for self— that is to say, for one’s own vanity, pride, sensuality, or even health. Righteousness consists in willingly accepting one’s lot, in submitting to and espousing the destiny assigned to us, in willing what God commands, in renouncing what He forbids us, in consenting to what He takes from us or refuses us.
Henri F. Amiel

YES! it is here and nowhere else that the essence of religion lies; not ecclesiastical order, not theological soundness, not even morality and purity of life, but love and loyalty to Christ.
John Caird

LOVE taketh up no malign elements; its spirit prompteth it to cover in mercy all things that ought not to be exposed, to believe all of good that can be believed, to hope all things that a good God makes possible, and to endure all things that the hope may be made good.
John Thom

December 21

ALL souls that struggle and aspire,
All hearts of prayer by Thee are lit;
And, dim or clear, Thy tongues of fire
On dusty tribes and twilight centuries sit.
John G. Whittier

RELIGION is not a system of doctrines, an observance of modes, a heat of affections, a form of words, a spirit of censoriousness. Religion is not a hear-say, a presumption, a supposition; is not a customary pretension and profession; is not an affectation of any mode; is not a piety of particular fancy, consisting in some pathetic devotions, vehement expressions, bodily severities, affected anomalies and aversions from the innocent usages of others; but consisteth in a profound humility and an universal charity.
Benjamin Whichcote

UNLESS men can prove that we have not the Spirit of God, that we do not savingly believe in Jesus Christ, that we do not sincerely love all the saints, His Body, and every member of it, they cannot disprove our interest in the Catholic Church. Whilst I know this one thing, that whereas I was blind, now I see, I shall not certainly be moved with the disputes of men that would persuade me I do not belong to the Catholic Church, because I do not follow this or that or any party of men in the world. . . .
John Owen

November 28

DEAR Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our feverish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind;
In purer lives, Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
John G. Whittier

MAKE a man perceive worth, and in its reflection he sees his own relative unworth, and worships thereupon inevitably, not with stiff courtesy, but rejoicingly, passionately, and, best of all restfully: for the inner capacity of awe and love is infinite in man; and only in finding these, can we find peace.
John Ruskin

TO see all things in God: to make of one’s own life a journey towards the ideal; to live with gratitude, with devoutness, with gentleness and courage; this was the splendid aim of Marcus Aurelius. And if you add to it the humility which kneels, and the charity which gives, you have the whole wisdom of the children of God, the immortal joy which is the heritage of the true Christian.
Henri F. Amiel

November 13

HE prayeth best who leaves unguessed
The mystery of another’s breast;
Why cheeks are pale, why eyes o’erflow,
Or heads are white thou needst not know;
Enough to note by every sign
That every heart hath needs like thine.
John G. Whittier

GOD save us from the bitterness and scorn of the cynical spirit; by giving us the faith of the godly in the secret springs of good! For him, in his intercourse with men, the presumption is always on the side of simplicity and rectitude; he does not believe in knavery till his keen search has been pushed through all the title-deeds of good repute; he recognizes a provisional claim in humanity itself, and allows his respect to enter into possession, until some fatal flaw compels its retreat.
James Martineau

NO man can justly censure or condemn another, because indeed no man truly knows another. This I perceive in myself; for I am in the dark to all the world, and my nearest friends behold me but in a cloud.
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