March 22

THEN life is—to wake not sleep,
Rise and not rest, but press
From earth’s level where blindly creep
Things perfected more or less,
To the heaven’s height, far and steep.
Robert Browning

AN aspiration is a joy for ever, a possession as solid as a landed estate, a fortune which we can never exhaust and which gives us year by year a revenue of pleasurable activity. To have many of these is to be spiritually rich.
Robert Louis Stevenson

GET knowledge all you can; and the more you get, the more you breathe upon its nearer heights their invigorating air and enjoy the widening prospect, the more you will know, and feel how small is the elevation you have reached in comparison with the immeasurable altitudes that yet remain unsealed. Be thorough in all you do, and remember that, though ignorance often may be innocent, pretension is always despicable. Quit you like men, be strong, and the exercise of your strength to-day will give you more strength tomorrow. Work onwards, and work upwards; and may the blessing of the Most High soothe your cares, clear your vision, and crown your labours with reward.
William E. Gladstone


January 24

LET me not deem that I was made in vain,
Or that my being was an accident
Which Fate, in working its sublime intent,
Not wished to be, to hinder would not deign.
Each drop uncounted in a storm of rain
Hath its own mission, and is duly sent
To its own leaf or blade, not idly spent
’Mid myriad dimples on the shipless main.
The very shadow of an insect’s wing,
For which the violet cared not while it stayed,
Yet felt the lighter for its vanishing,
Proved that the sun was shining by its shade.
Then can a drop of the eternal spring,
Shadow of living lights, in vain be made?
Hartley Coleridge

THE man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder: a waif, a nothing a no-man. Have a purpose in life . . . and having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into thy work as has been given thee.
Thomas Carlyle

BE inspired with the belief that life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and grovelling tiling that we are to shuffle through as we can, but an elevated and lofty destiny.
William E. Gladstone

September 24

I BELIEVE it! ’Tis Thou, God, that givest, ’tis I who receive:
In the first is the last, in Thy will is my power to believe.
All’s one gift: Thou canst grant it moreover, as prompt to my prayer
As I breathe out this breath, as I open these arms to the air.
Robert Browning

NOTHING so marks the degradation of our modern Christianity as the notion that faith is only opinion—that a man may have it or not without affecting his moral worth—that it is the result of intellectual accident or opportunity, for which God will never call him to account. It is, on the contrary, beyond all comparison, the most complete and distinct exponent of a man’s character; and if only we can get to know it, he is revealed to us more clearly than if the whole catalogue of his actions were given to us to read.
James Martineau

TALK of the questions of the day—there is but one question, and that is the Gospel. It can and will correct everything needing correction. My only hope for the world is in bringing the human mind into contact with divine revelation.
William E. Gladstone

August 31

NO fable old, nor mythic lore,
Nor dream of bards and seers,
No dead fact stranded on the shores
Of the oblivious years;—

But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
A present help is He;
And faith has yet its Olivet,
And love its Galilee.
John G. Whittier

THE whole interests of the human race depend upon one question—the question of Belief; as again Belief is summed up in Christianity, and Christianity in Christ. He is for us the true Alpha and the true Omega. . . . Every measure and every movement in matters of religion, without any exception, ought to be tried by its tendency to bring mankind nearer to Christ, or to remove them further from Him.
William E. Gladstone

A RAY of heavenly light traversing human life, the message of Christ has been broken into a thousand rainbow colours, and carried in a thousand directions. It is the historical task of Christianity to assume with every succeeding age a fresh metamorphosis, and to be for ever spiritualizing more and more her understanding of the Christ and of salvation.
Henri F. Amiel