January 27

SERVANTS of God! or sons
Shall I not call you? Because
Not as servants ye knew
Your Father’s innermost mind,
His, who unwillingly sees
One of His little ones lost—
Yours is the praise, if mankind
Hath not as yet in its march
Fainted, and fallen, and died!
Matthew Arnold

AND do not be offended at my telling you the truth: for the truth is, that no man who goes to war with you or any other multitude, honestly striving against the many lawless and unrighteous deeds which are done in a State, will save his life; he who will fight for the right, if he would live even for a brief space, must have a private station and not a public one.
Socrates (to his Judges)

A SAINT’S life in one man may be less than common honesty in another. From us, whose consciences He has reached and enlightened, God may look for a martyr’s truth, a Christian’s unworldly simplicity, before He will place us on a level even with the average of the exposed classes. We perhaps think our lives at least harmless. We do not consider what He may think of them, when compared with the invitations of His that we have slighted, with the aims of His Providence we are leaving without our help, with the glory for ourselves we are refusing and casting away, with the vast sum of blessed work that daily faithfulness in time can rear without overwork on any single day.
John H. Thom


December 7

CALM soul of all things! make it mine
To feel, amid the city’s jar,
That there abides a peace of thine,
Man did not make, and cannot mar.

The will to neither strive nor cry,
The power to feel with others give!
Calm, calm me more! nor let me die
Before I have begun to live.
Matthew Arnold

THE desire of rest planted in the heart is no sensual, no unworthy one; but a longing for renovation, and for escape from a state whose every phase is mere preparation for another equally transitory, to one in which permanence shall have become possible through perfection. Hence the great call of Christ to men, that call on which St. Augustine fixed as the essential expression of Christian hope, is accompanied by the promise of rest; and the death bequest of Christ to men, is peace.
John Ruskin

THE peace of fact is not the peace of principle. There are indeed two happinesses, that of nature and that of conquest,—two equilibria, that of Greece and that of Nazareth,—two kingdoms, that of the natural man and that of the regenerate man.
Henri F. Amiel

December 3

WE cannot kindle when we will
The fire which in the heart resides;
The spirit bloweth and is still,
In mystery our soul abides.
But tasks in hours of insight will’d
Can be through hours of gloom fulfill’d.
Matthew Arnold

IN the Occasionalism of piety, I see not its shame, but its distinctive glory; and would lay stress on the intermittency of the devout affections, as the sign, not of poverty or weakness, but specifically of their grandeur in themselves, and their accurate accordance with what is highest in God’s realities.
James Martineau

THERE is a difference between one and another hour of life, in their authority and subsequent effect. Our faith comes in moments; our vice is habitual.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

October 30

HE who hath watched, not shared the strife,
Knows how the day hath gone.
He only lives with the world’s life,
Who hath renounced his own.
Matthew Arnold

THE real corrupters of society may be, not the corrupt, but those who have held back the righteous leaven, the salt that has lost its savour, the innocent who have not even the moral courage to show what they think of the effrontery of impurity,—the serious, who yet timidly succumb before some loud-voiced scoffer,—the heart trembling all over with religious sensibilities that yet suffers itself through false shame to be beaten down into outward and practical acquiescence by some rude and worldly nature.
John H. Thom

WHAT are great gifts but the correlative of great work? We are not born for ourselves, but for our kind, for our neighbours, for our country; it is but selfishness, indolence, a perverse fastidiousness, an unmanliness, and no virtue or praise to bury our talent in a napkin.
John H. Newman

October 10

THE help in strife,
The thousand sweet, still joys of such
As hand in hand face earthly life.
Matthew Arnold

THE spirit of Love must work the works, and speak the tones, of Love. It cannot exist and give no sign, or a false sign. It cannot be a spirit of Love, and mantle into irritable and selfish impatience. It cannot be a spirit of Love, and at the same time make self the prominent object. It cannot rejoice to lend itself to the happiness of others, and at the same time be seeking its own. It cannot be generous, and envious. It cannot be sympathizing, and unseemly; self-forgetful, and vain-glorious. It cannot delight in the rectitude and purity of other hearts, as the spiritual elements of their peace, and yet unnecessarily suspect them.
John H. Thom

BUT in Christian life every moment and every act is an opportunity for doing the one thing of becoming Christ-like. Every day is full of a most impressive experience. Every temptation to evil temper which can assail us to-day will be an opportunity to decide the question whether we shall gain the calmness and the rest of Christ, or whether we shall be tossed by the restlessness and agitation of the world.
Frederick W. Robertson

September 15

NO small profit that man earns,
Who through all he meets can steer him,
Can reject what cannot clear him,
Cling to what can truly cheer him;
Who each day more surely learns
That an impulse, from the distance
Of his deepest best existence,
To the words, “Hope, Light, Persistence,”
Strongly sets and truly burns.
Matthew Arnold

INDEED, I can see no dishonesty in not avowing a difference; and especially in these high matters, where we have all a sufficient assurance that, whoever may be in the wrong, we ourselves are not completely right. … I know right well that we are all embarked upon a troublesome world, the children of one Father, striving in many essential points to do and to become the same.
Robert Louis Stevenson

IT is not the differing opinions that is the cause of the present ruptures, but want of charity; it is not the variety of understandings, but the disunion of wills, and affections; it is not the several principles, but the several ends, that cause our miseries; our opinions commence, and are upheld, according as our turns are served, and our interests are preserved; and there is no cure for us but piety and charity.
Jeremy Taylor

September 13

YOUTH dreams a bliss on this side death;
It dreams a rest, if not more deep,
More grateful than this marble sleep:
It hears a voice within it tell:
Calm’s not life’s crown, though calm is well.
Matthew Arnold

WITHOUT great effort was nothing worthy ever achieved; and he who is never conscious of any strong lift within his mind, may know that he is a cumberer of the ground.
James Martineau

IN moments of effort, one learns to do the easy things that people like.
Robert Louis Stevenson

IT is only by labour that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labour can be made happy.
John Ruskin

July 16

HOW fair a lot to fill
Is left to each man still.
Matthew Arnold

GENTLENESS and cheerfulness, these come before all morality; they are the perfect duties. . . . If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it, they are wrong. I do not say, “Give them up,” for they may be all you have; but conceal them, like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of better and simpler people.
Robert Louis Stevenson

WE are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves. The consciousness of wrong-doing makes us irritable, and our heart in its cunning quarrels with what is outside it, in order that it may deepen the clamour within.
Henri F. Amiel

UNHOLY tempers are always unhappy tempers.
John Wesley