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


November 23

LET knowledge grow from more to more,
But more of reverence in us dwell;
That mind and soul, according well,
May make one music as before,
But vaster.
Alfred Tennyson

DOES not every true man feel that he is himself made higher by doing reverence to what is really above him? No nobler or more blessed feeling dwells in man’s heart.
Thomas Carlyle

THUS all real joy and power of progress in humanity depends on finding something to reverence, and all the baseness and misery of humanity begin in a habit of disdain.
John Ruskin

WONDER, no doubt, arises from ignorance, but from a peculiar kind of ignorance, from what might be called a fertile ignorance; an ignorance which, if we look back at the history of most of our sciences, will be found to have been the mother of all human knowledge.
Max Muller

November 1

HE there does now enjoy eternall rest
And happy ease, which thou doest want and crave,
And further from it daily wanderest:
What if some little payne the passage have,
That makes frayle flesh to feare the bitter wave,
Is not short payne well borne, that bringes long ease,
And lays the soule to sleepe in quiet grave?
Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas,
Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please.
Edmund Spenser

NATURAL death is as it were a haven and a rest to us after long navigation. And the noble Soul is like a good mariner; for he, when he draws near the port, lowers his sails and enters it softly with gentle steerage . . . . And herein we have from our own nature a great lesson in suavity; for in such a death as this there is no grief nor any bitterness: but as a ripe apple is lightly and without violence loosened from its branch, so our soul without grieving departs from the body in which it hath been.
Dante Alighieri

WE reckon too little with death, and then when it comes it overwhelms us. We know all the time that our friends must go, and that we must go, but we shut our eyes, and enjoy their love and friendship as if life could never end.
Max Müller

August 18

LOOKING back along life’s trodden way
Gleams and greenness linger on the track;
Distance metes and mellows all to-day,
Looking back.

Rose and purple and a silvery grey,
Is that cloud the cloud we called so thick?
Evening harmonizes all to-day,
Looking back.
Christina Rossetti

BUT, indeed, with the passing of years, the decay of strength, the loss of all my old active pleasant habits, there grows more and more upon me that belief in the kindness of this scheme of things, and the goodness of our veiled God, which is an excellent and pacifying compensation.
Robert Louis Stevenson

AS one is getting old, and looks forward with fear rather than with hope to what is still in store for us, one learns to appreciate more and more the never-failing pleasure of recalling all the bright and happy days that are gone. Gone they are, but they are not lost. Ever present to our calling and recalling, they assume at last a vividness, such as they hardly had when present, and when we poor souls were trembling for every day and hour and minute that was going, and ever going, and would not and could not abide.
Max Muller

June 8

BE true to every inmost thought;
Be as they thought thy speech
What thou hast not by suffering bought,
Presume thou not to teach.
Henry Alford

IT is difficult to be always true to ourselves, to be always what we wish to be, what we feel we ought to be. As long as we feel that, as long as we do not surrender the ideal of our life, all is right. Our aspirations represent the true nature of our soul much more than our everyday life.
Max Müller

THERE is nothing the body suffers that the soul may not profit by.
George Meredith

UNLESS we perform Divine service in every willing act of life, we never perform it at all. The one Divine work, the one ordered sacrifice— is to do justice; and it is the last we are ever inclined to do. Anything rather than that! As much charity as you choose, but no justice.
John Ruskin

June 6

TOWER, and dome, and bridge-way proud,
Are mantled with a golden cloud,
And to wise hearts this certain hope is given:
“No mist that man may raise shall hide the eye of
John Keble

WE have no light promised us to show us our road a hundred miles away, but we have a light for the next footstep, and if we take that we shall have a light for the one which is to follow.
Mark Rutherford

THERE is enough light for those whose wish is to see, and enough darkness for those who are of a contrary disposition.
Blaise Pascal

LET us trust in Him to whom alone we owe all blessings. If we do not forsake Him, He will never forsake us—we cannot fathom His love, but we can trust.
Max Müller

May 28

IN vain through every changeful year,
Did Nature lead him as before;
A primrose by the river’s brim
A yellow primrose was to him,
And it was nothing more.
William Wordsworth

TO see in all mountains nothing but similar heaps of earth, in all rocks nothing but similar concretions of solid matter, in all trees nothing but similar accumulations of leaves, is no sign of high feeling or extended thought.
John Ruskin

THOSE to whom the earth is not consecrated, will find their heaven profane.
James Martineau

THERE is to me a beauty and mystery and sanctity about flowers, and when I see them come and go, no one knows whence and whither, I ask what more miracles do we want?
Max Müller