March 30

HERE, while the tide of conquest rolls
Against the distant golden shore,
The starved and stunted human souls
Are with us more and more.

Vain is your science, vain your art,
Your triumphs and your glories vain
To feed the hunger of their heart
And famine of their brain.

Your savage deserts howling near,
Your wastes of ignorance, vice, and shame,
Is there no room for victories here,
No field for meeds of fame?
William Watson

IF you think that it is a more grand, a more beneficial, or a more wise policy, to invent subtle expedients for increasing the revenue, to multiply our naval and military force, to rival in craft the Ambassadors of foreign States, to form skilful treaties and alliances, than to administer unpolluted justice to the people, to redress the injured, and to succour the distressed, and speedily restore to every one his own, you are involved in a cloud of error; and too late will you perceive, when the illusion of those mighty benefits has vanished, that in neglecting these, which you now think inferior considerations, you have only been precipitating your own ruin and despair.
John Milton

THAT which is not for the interest of the whole swarm is not for the interest of a single bee.
Marcus Aurelius


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 11

WHOSO hath felt the Spirit of the Highest
Cannot confound nor doubt Him nor deny:
Yea with one voice, O world, tho’ thou deniest,
Stand thou on that side, for on this am I.
F. W. H. Myers

IT is much more important to do right than not to do wrong; further, the one is possible, the other has always been and will ever be impossible.
Robert Louis Stevenson

WHERE I chooser, a dram of well-doing should be preferred before many times as much forcible hindrance of evil doing. For God, sure, esteems the growth and completion of one virtuous person more than the restraint of ten vicious.
John Milton

One, on God’s side, is a majority.
Wendell Phillips

January 21

A CREED is a rod,
And a crown is of night;
But this thing is God:
To be man with thy might
To grow straight in the strength of thy spirit, and
live out thy life as the light.
Algernon C. Swinburne

I CANNOT praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and seeks her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.
John Milton

TO enjoy true happiness we must travel into a very far country, and even out of ourselves; for the Pearl we seek for is not to be found in the Indian, but in the Empyrean Ocean.
Sir Thomas Browne

WHAT I must do concerns me, not what the people think.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 13

TRUTH is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fulness.
Robert Browning

A MORE secret, sweet, and overpowering beauty appears to man when his heart and mind open to the sentiment of virtue. Then he is instructed in what is above him. He learns that his being is without bound; that, to the good, to the perfect, he is born, low as he now lies in evil and weakness. That which he venerates is still his own, though he has not realized it yet. He ought. He knows the sense of that grand word, though his analysis fails to render account of it. When in innocency, or when by intellectual perception, he attains to say: “I love the Right; Truth is beautiful within and without for evermore. Virtue, I am thine; save me; use me; thee will I serve, day and night, in great, in small, that I may not be virtuous, but virtue ”—then is the end of the creation answered, and God is well pleased.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

FOR who knows not that Truth is strong, next to the Almighty? She needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings, to make her victorious; those are the shifts and the defences that error uses against her power; give her but room, and do not bind her when she sleeps.
John Milton

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 25

NOR war, or battle’s sound
Was heard the world around:
The idle spear and shield were high up hung.
The hooked chariot stood
Unstain’d with hostile blood,
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they knew their sov’reign Lord was by.
John Milton

CHRISTMAS is Emmanuel: God, God Himself with us, and not merely His gifts; with us though sin is in us, yea, because it is in us, cleansing us from its stains by the fires of His love and purity. God is with us, not to extinguish us, but to make us realize ourselves, to save us from being daunted and overcome by things; God is with us, enlarging our world by making us new “creatures,” and thereby He finds for us more and more in the world that has affinity with us, more and more potencies that we can use. With the sons of God it is always Christmas and the dawning of the newest of the years.
John Clifford

WE celebrate this incident of the Birth of Jesus in our churches. Poets sing of it. Painters illustrate it. But do we recall it when we meet the beggar in the streets, or pass the hovel with its patched windows, leaking roof, and smoky walls?
William E. Channing

December 15

TIS, finally, the Man, who, lifted high,
Conspicuous object in a Nation’s eye,
Or left unthought-of in obscurity,—
Plays, in the many games of life, that one
Where what he most doth value must be won:

*  *  *

Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
Looks forward, persevering to the last,
From well to better, daily self-surpast . . .
This is the happy Warrior; This is He
Whom every Man in arms should wish to be.
William Wordsworth

HE alone is worthy of the appellation who either does great things, or teaches how they may be done, or describes them with a suitable majesty when they have been done; but those only are great things which tend to render life more happy, which increase the innocent enjoyments and comforts of existence, or which pave the way to a state of future bliss more permanent and more pure.
John Milton

GREATNESS of mind is not shown by admitting small things, but by making small things great under its influence. He who can take no interest in what is small, will take false interest in what is great.
John Ruskin

November 19

MAMMON, the least erected spirit that fell
From Heaven; for e’en in Heaven his looks and thoughts
Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heaven’s pavement, trodden gold,
Than aught Divine or holy else enjoy’d
In vision beatific.
John Milton

HE poor think that none are worldlings and covetous but the rich. But he may love riches that wanteth them, as much as he that hath them. If thou lovest the world and worldly plenty inordinately, and covetest more, thou art a covetous worldling, though thou wish it not from another. It is the worldly mind and love of wealth that is the sin at the root; the way of getting it are but the branches.
Richard Baxter

IT is a Preposterous thing, that Men can venture their souls where they will not venture their Money! For they will take their Religion upon trust, but not trust a Synod about the Goodness of Half a Crown.
William Penn

FOR a small income, a long journey is undertaken; for everlasting life, many will scarce once lift a foot from the ground.
Thomas a Kempis

October 26

LIFE may change, but it may fly not;
Hope may vanish, but can die not;
Truth be veil’d, but still it burneth;
Love repulsed,—but it returneth!

Yet were Life a charnel where
Hope lay coffin’d with Despair;
Yet were Truth a sacred lie,
Love were lust—if Liberty

Lent not life its soul of light,
Hope its iris of delight,
Truth its prophet’s robe to wear,
Love its power to give and bear.
Percy B. Shelley

WITHOUT this inward, spiritual freedom, outward liberty is of little worth. What boots it that I am crushed by no foreign yoke, if through ignorance and vice, through selfishness and fear, I want the command of my own mind? The worst tyrants are those which establish themselves in our own breasts. The man who wants force of principle and purpose, is a slave, however free the air he breathes.
William E. Channing

UNLESS that liberty which is of such a kind as arms can neither procure nor take away, which alone is the fruit of piety, of justice, of temperance, and unadulterated virtue, shall have taken deep root in your minds and hearts, there will not long be wanting one who will snatch from you by treachery what you have acquired by arms.
John Milton