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


November 18

BUT lovely concord, and most sacred peace.
Doth nourish virtue, and fast friendship breeds,
Weake she makes strong, and strong thing does increace,
Till it the pitch of highest praise exceeds:
Brave be her warres, and honorable deeds.
By which she triumphes over yre and pride.
And winnes an Olive girlond for her meeds.
Be, therefore, O my deare Lords! pacifide,
And this misseeming discord meekely lay aside.
Edmund Spenser

BE deaf unto the suggestions of Tale-bearers, Calumniators, Pickthank or Malevolent Delators, who, while quiet Men sleep, sowing the Tares of discord and division, distract the tranquillity of Charity and all friendly Society. These are the Tongues that set the world on fire, cankers of reputation, and, like that of Jonas his Gourd, wither a good name in a night. Evil Spirits may sit still while these Spirits walk about, and perform the business of Hell.
Sir Thomas Browne

LISTEN not to a tale-bearer or slanderer, for he tells thee nothing out of good will, but as he discovereth of the secrets of others, so he will of thine in turn.

August 22

FEAR death?—to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face,
When the snows begin, and the blasts denote
I am nearing the place,
The power of the night, the press of the storm,
The post of the foe;
Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible form,
Yet the strong man must go:
For the journey is done, and the summit attained,
And the barriers fall,
Though a battle’s to fight ere the guerdon be gained,
The reward of it all.
Robert Browning

FOR neither in war nor yet at law ought I or any man to use every way of escaping death. Often in battle there can be no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not to avoid death, but to avoid unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death.
Socrates (to those who had condemned him to death)

MEN are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and ideas which they form about them. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our idea that death is terrible.