March 29

THOUGH private prayer be a brave design,
Yet public hath more promises, more love;
And love’s a weight to hearts, to eyes a sign.
We all are but cold suitors; let us move
Where it is warmest. Leave thy six and seven;
Pray with the most; for where most pray is heaven.
George Herbert

PUBLIC Worship is very commendable if well performed. We owe it to God and good Example. But we must know, that God is not tyed to Time or Place, who is everywhere at the same Time: And this we shall know, as far as we are capable, if where ever we are, our Desires are to be with Him.
William Penn

YET religious discourses of spiritual things do greatly further our spiritual growth, especially when persons of one mind and spirit be gathered together in God.
Thomas à Kempis


March 16

TWAS but one little drop of sin
We saw this morning enter in,
And lo! at eventide the world is drowned.
John Keble

FOR first there cometh to the mind a bare thought of evil, then a strong imagination thereof, afterwards delight, and an evil motion, and then consent. And so by little and little our wicked enemy getteth complete entrance, whilst he is not resisted in the beginning. And the longer a man is negligent in resisting, so much the weaker does he become daily in himself, and the enemy stronger against him.
Thomas à Kempis

THE free being who abandons the conduct of himself, yields himself to Satan; in the moral world there is no ground without a master, and the waste lands belong to the Evil One.
Henri F. Amiel

March 6

LOSSE is no shame, nor to be lesse then foe;
But to bee lesser then himselfe doth marre
Both loosers lott, and victours prayse alsoe:
Vaine others overthrowes who selfe doth overthrow.
Edmund Spenser

THE best way in the world for a man to seem to be anything is really to be what he would seem to be. . . . All other arts will fail, but truth and integrity will carry a man through, and bear him out to the last.
Archbishop Tillotson

WHAT thou are, that thou art; neither by words canst thou be made greater than what thou art in the sight of God. If thou consider what thou art within thee, thou wilt not care what men talk of thee. Man looketh on the countenance, but God on the heart. Man considereth the deeds, but God weigheth the intentions.
Thomas à Kempis

I AM more afraid of my own heart than of the Pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, self.
Martin Luther

March 3

MAN is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.
Beaumont and Fletcher

HE, therefore, is the devout man, who lives no longer to his own will, or the way and spirit of the world, but to the sole will of God; who considers God in everything, who serves God in everything, who makes all the parts of his common life parts of piety, by doing everything in the Name of God, and under such rules as are conformable to His glory.
William Law

THEN will it appear that he was wise in this world, who had learned to be a fool and despised for Christ’s sake. Then shall every affliction patiently undergone delight us, when the mouth of all iniquity shall be stopped. Then shall all the devout rejoice, and all the profane mourn. Then shall he more rejoice that hath beat down his own flesh, than he that hath abounded in all pleasure and delight. Then shall the poor attire shine gloriously, and the precious robes seem vile and contemptible. Then the poor cottage shall be more commended than the gilded palace. Then will constant patience more avail us, than all earthly power. Then simple obedience shall be exalted above all worldly wisdom.
Thomas à Kempis

February 23

WHERE are your books?—that light bequeathed
To beings else forlorn and blind!
Up! Up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
William Wordsworth

READ not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
Francis Bacon

LET not the authority of the writer offend you, whether he be of great or small learning; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read.
Thomas à Kempis

February 15

BE calm in arguing: for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.
Why should I feel another man’s mistakes
More than his sicknesses, or poverty?
In love I should; but anger is not love,
Nor wisdom neither; therefore gently move.
George Herbert

BUT since Goodness is exemplary in all, if others have not our Virtues, let us not be wanting in theirs, nor, scorning them for their Vices whereof we are free, be condemned by their Virtues wherein we are deficient. There is Dross, Alloy, and Embasement in all human Temper; and he flieth without Wings, who thinks to find Ophyr or pure Metal in any.
Sir Thomas Browne

HE that well and rightly considereth his own works will find little cause to judge hardly of another.
Thomas à Kempis

February 6

WHAT, never speak one evil word,
Or rash, or idle, or unkind!
Oh, how shall I, most gracious Lord,
This mark of true perfection find?
Charles Wesley

THAT man is not himself blessed with a very happy temper who is unable to endure the cross-grained people with whom the world abounds. In the business of life copper coins as well as gold pieces are necessary.
La Bruyère

BUT to be able to live peaceably with hard, and perverse persons, or with the disorderly, or with such as go contrary to us, is a great grace, and a most commendable and manly thing.
Thomas à Kempis

February 3

One adequate support
For the calamities of mortal life
Exists, one only:—an assured belief
That the procession of our fate, howe’er
Sad or disturbed, is ordered by a Being
Of Infinite benevolence and power;
Whose everlasting purposes embrace
All accidents, converting them to good.
William Wordsworth

FOR when the grace of God cometh unto a man, then he is made able for all things. And when if goeth away, then is he poor and weak, and as it were left only for the lash and scourge. In this case thou oughtest not to be dejected, nor to despair; but at God’s will to stand steadily, and whatever comes upon thee, to endure it for the glory of Jesus Christ; for after winter followeth summer, after night the day returneth, and after a tempest a great calm.
Thomas À Kempis

THE burthen of suffering seems a tombstone hung around us, while in reality it is only a weight necessary to keep down the diver while he is collecting pearls.
Jean P. F. Richter

OUT of suffering comes the serious mind; out of salvation, the grateful heart; out of endurance, fortitude; out of deliverance, faith.
John Ruskin

January 30

I SAY, the acknowledgment of God in Christ
Accepted by thy reason, solves for thee
All questions in the earth and out of it,
And has so far advanced thee to be wise.
Robert Browning

“I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Without the Way, there is no going; without the Truth, there is no knowing; without the Life, there is no living. I am the Way, which thou oughtest to follow; the Truth, which thou oughtest to trust; the Life, which thou oughtest to hope for. I am the inviolable Way, the infallible Truth, the endless Life. I am the straightest Way, the supreme Truth, the true, the blessed, the uncreated Life. If thou remain in My way, thou shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make thee free, and thou shalt lay hold on eternal life.
Thomas A Kempis

JESUS astonishes and overpowers sensual people. They cannot unite Him to history, or reconcile Him with themselves. As they come to revere their intuitions and aspire to live holily, their own piety explains every fact, every word.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 22

SO to the calmly gathered thought
The innermost of truth is taught,
The mystery dimly understood,
That love of God is love of good, . . .
That to be saved is only this,—
Salvation from our selfishness.
John G. Whittier

EVIL consists in living for self—that is to say, for one’s own vanity, pride, sensuality, or even health. Righteousness consists in willingly accepting one’s lot, in submitting to and espousing the destiny assigned us, in willing what God commands, in renouncing what He forbids us, in consenting to what He takes from us or refuses us.
Henri F. Amiel

FOR God will have us perfectly subject unto Him, that, being inflamed with His love, we may transcend the narrow limits of human reason.
Thomas à Kempis