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 20

I LIFT my heart to Thee,
Saviour Divine,
For Thou art all to me,
And I am Thine.
Is there on earth a closer bond than this—
That “my Beloved’s mine, and I am His”?
Charles E. Mudie

TOO late I loved Thee, Thou Beauty, so ancient and yet so new! too late I loved Thee! Yet, lo! Thou wast within my heart, whilst I, wandering abroad, sought Thee outside; I, unlovely, rushing heedlessly among the things of beauty Thou hadst made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with Thee. Things held me far from Thee, which, if not in Thee, were nowhere to be found. Thou didst call to me, and cry aloud, and so burst through my deafness. In flashes and in splendour didst Thou gleam and put to flight my blindness. Odours didst Thou shed forth, and I drew in my breath, and now I pant for Thee, I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. Thou touchedst me and I burned for Thy peace.
St. Augustine

MEN may Tire themselves in a Labyrinth of Search, and talk of God: But if we would know Him indeed, it must be from the Impressions we receive of Him; and the softer our Hearts are, the deeper and livelier those will be upon us.
William Penn

March 18

SOME, O Thou Traveller unknown,
Whom still I hold, but cannot see!
My company before is gone,
And I am left alone with Thee;
With Thee all night I mean to stay,
And wrestle till the break of day,

* * *

Will Thou not yet to me reveal
Thy New, unutterable Name?
Tell me, I still beseech Thee, tell;
To know it now resolved I am;
Wrestling, I will not let Thee go,
Till I Thy Name, Thy Nature know.
Charles Wesley

I CAN NOT too earnestly insist upon the need of our holding each man for himself, by some faith which shall anchor him. It must not be taken up by chance. We must fight for it, for only so will it become our faith.
Mark Rutherford

THE thing a man does practically believe (and this is often enough without asserting it even to himself, much less to others); the thing a man does practically lay to heart, and know for certain, concerning his vital relations to this mysterious Universe, and his duty and destiny there, that is in all cases the primary thing for him, and creatively determines all the rest. That is his religion.
Thomas Carlyle

TO have religion upon authority, and not upon conviction, is like a finger-watch, to be set forwards or backwards, as he pleases that has it in keeping.
William Penn

March 8

SEARCH thine own heart. What paineth thee
In others, in thyself may be;
All dust is frail, all flesh is weak;
Be thou the true man thou dost seek.
John G. Whittier

THE chief stronghold of hypocrisy is to be always judging one another.
John Milton

IF we would reprove with success, and show another his mistake, we must see from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is generally true; and, admitting this truth, show him the side on which it is false.
Blaise Pascal

BELIEVE nothing against another but upon good authority; nor report what may hurt another unless it be a greater hurt to others to conceal it.
William Penn

February 28

GOOD, to forgive;
Best, to forget!
Living, we fret;
Dying, we live.
Fretless and free,
Soul, clap thy pinion!
Earth have dominion,
Body, o’er thee!
Robert Browning

DRAW the curtain of night upon injuries, shut them up in the tower of oblivion, and let them be as though they had not been. To forgive our enemies, yet hope that evil will punish them, is not to forgive them enough.
Sir Thomas Browne

IT is only by removing ourselves from charity that we withdraw ourselves from God.
Blaise Pascal

IN taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over he is superior, for it is a Prince’s part to pardon.
Francis Bacon

IF I am even with my enemy, the Debt is paid; but if I forgive it, I oblige him for ever.
William Penn

February 16

THE One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven’s light for ever shines, Earth’s shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments.
Percy B. Shelley

THEY that love beyond the World, cannot be separated by it.

William Penn

WE fancy that we fall into darkness when we die; but, alas! we are most of us in the dark till then; and the eyes of our souls only then begin to see, when our bodily eyes are closing.
William Law

IT is a brave act of valour to contemn death; but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live.
Sir Thomas Browne

February 4

THE morning drum-call on my eager ear
Thrills unforgotten yet; the morning dew
Lies yet undried along my field of noon.

But now I pause at whiles in what I do,
And count the bell, and tremble lest I hear
(My work untrimmed) the sunset gun too soon.
Robert Louis Stevenson

BUT there is nothing that stands still in time, so that no duty at all admits of delay; each is strictly the duty of the moment; and our moral life is a race of perpetual speed, in which, at every step, the ground breaks from beneath us, and if our foot be not ready for the advance we must sink with it and fall away.
James Martineau

THERE is nothing of which we are apt to be so lavish as of Time, and about which we ought to be more solicitous; since without it we can do nothing in this World. Time is what we want most, and what, alas! we use worst; and for which God will certainly most strictly reckon with us, when Time shall be no more.
William Penn

January 17

HE number’d not the changes of the year,
The days, the nights, and he forgot all fear
Of death: each day he thought there should have been
A shining ladder set for him to climb
Athwart some opening in the heavens, e’en
To God’s eternity, and see sublime—
His face whose shadow passing fills all time.
A. O’Shaughnessy

FINDING we could not understand what he said he paused a little, and then with all the remaining strength he had, cried out, “The best of all is, God is with us”;—and then, as if to assert the faithfulness of our promise-keeping Jehovah, and comfort the hearts of his weeping friends, lifting up his dying arm in token of victory, and raising his feeble voice with a holy triumph not to be expressed, again repeated the heart-reviving words, “The best of all is, God is with us!”
John Wesley {on his deathbed)

THE Humble, Meek, Merciful, Just, Pious, and Devout Souls are everywhere of one religion; and when Death has taken off the Mask, they will know one another; though the divers Liveries they wear here make them strangers.
William Penn

January 16

DEAR Work! Art thou the curse of God?
What must His blessing be?
Elizabeth B. Browning

BE not uneasy, discouraged, or out of humour, because practice falls short of precept in some particulars. If you happen to be beaten, come on again, and be glad if most of your acts are worthy of human nature. Love that to which you return, and do not go like a schoolboy to his master, with an ill will.
Marcus Aurelius

LOVE Labour: For if thou dost not want it for Food, thou mayest for Physick. It is wholesome for thy Body, and good for thy Mind. It prevents the Fruits of Idleness, which many times comes of nothing to do, and leads too many to do what is worse than nothing.
William Penn

THE more we do, the more we can do; the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.
William Hazlitt

January 14

I WAS a stricken deer that left the herd
Long since; with many an arrow deep infixed
My panting side was charged, when I withdrew
To seek a tranquil death in distant shades.
There was I found by one who had himself
Been hurt by the archers. In his side he bore
And in his hands and feet the cruel scars,
With gentle force soliciting the darts,
He drew them forth and healed and bade me live.
William Cowper

IF wearied by the world of pleasure or of toil, I wish to find my soul again and live a deeper life; I can accept no other Guide and Master than Jesus Christ, because in Him alone optimism is without frivolity, and seriousness without despair.
A. Sabatier

FOR though our Saviour’s Passion is over, his Compassion is not. That never fails his humble, sincere disciples: in Him, they find more than all that they lose in the World.
William Penn