February 19

LORD of all being! throned afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Centre and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!
Oliver Wendell Holmes

AMONG the children of God, there is always that fearful and bowed apprehension of His Majesty, and that sacred dread of all offence to Him which is called the Fear of God; yet of real and essential fear there is not any, but clinging of confidence to Him as their Rock, Fortress, and Deliverer; and perfect love and casting out of fear; so that it is not possible that, while the mind is rightly bent on Him, there should be dread of anything earthly or supernatural; and the more dreadful seems the height of His Majesty, the less fear they feel that dwell in the shadow of it. Of whom shall I be afraid?”
John Ruskin

GOD accounts a flight to the strong tower of His name to be the most excellent valour.
John Owen


November 5

WHY comes temptation but for man to meet,
And master and make crouch beneath his feet,
And so be pedestaled in triumph ?
Robert Browning

THE way to argue down a vice is, not to tell lies about it—to say that it has no attractions, when everybody knows that it has—but rather to let it make out its case, just as it certainly will in the moment of temptation, and then meet it with the weapons furnished by the Divine armoury.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

TO avoid an occasion for our virtues is a worse degree of failure than to push forward pluckily and make a fall. It is lawful to pray God that we be not led into temptation, but not lawful to skulk from those that come to us.
Robert Louis Stevenson

IF we cannot at once rise to the sanctities of obedience and faith, let us at least resist our temptations.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 30

OUR Father! while our hearts unlearn
The creeds that wrong Thy name,
Still let our hallowed altars burn
With faith’s undying flame.

Not by the lightning-gleams of wrath
Our souls Thy face shall see;
The star of love must light the path
That leads to heaven and Thee.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

LET every dawn of morning be to you as the beginning of life, and every setting sun be to you as its close; then let every one of these short lives leave its sure record of some kindly thing done for others, some goodly strength or knowledge gained for yourselves; so, from day to day, and strength to strength you shall build up indeed by art, by thought, and by just will an ecclesia of England, of which it shall not be said, “See what manner of stones are here!” but, “See what manner of men.”
John Ruskin

I DO desire with God that all, but yet affirm with men that few, shall know salvation; but the bridge is narrow, the passage strait, unto life; yet those who do confine the Church of God either to particular nations, churches, or families, have made it far narrower than Our Saviour ever meant it.
Sir Thomas Browne

June 13

BUILD thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!
Oliver Wendell Holmes

WE must never rouse an ideal against us; our business is to point man to another ideal, purer, higher, more spiritual than the old, and so to raise behind a lofty summit one more lofty still.
Henri F. Amiel

HIGH hearts are never long without hearing some new call, some distant clarion of God, even in their dreams; and soon they are observed to break up the camp of ease, and start on some fresh march of faithful service. And, looking higher still, we find those who never wait till their moral work accumulates, and who reward resolution with no rest; with whom, therefore, the alternation is instantaneous and constant; who do the good only to see the better, and see the better only to achieve it; who are too meek for transport, too faithful for remorse, too earnest for repose; whose worship is action, and whose action ceaseless aspiration.
James Martineau