Frederick William Robertson, aka Roberson of Brighton
Robertson, aka Roberson of Brighton
In that fearful loneliness of spirit, when those who should have been his friends and counselors only frown upon his misgivings, and everything seems wrapped in hideous uncertainty, I know but one way in which a man may come forth from his agony scathless: it is by holding fast to those things which are certain still--the grand, simple landmarks of morality. In the darkest hour through which a human soul can pass, whatever else is doubtful, this at least is certain. If there be no God and no future state, yet even then it is better to be generous than selfish, better to be chaste than licentious, better to be true than false, better to be brave than to be a coward. Blessed beyond all earthly blessedness is the man who in the tempestuous darkness of the soul has dared to hold fast to these venerable landmarks.
Let a man begin in earnest with "I ought," and he will end, by God's grace, if he persevere, with "I will." Let him force himself to abound in all small offices of kindliness, attention, affectionateness, and all these for God's sake. By and by he will feel them become the habit of his soul.
A silent man is easily reputed wise. The unknown is always wonderful. A man who suffers none to see him in the common jostle and undress of life easily gathers round him a mysterious veil of unknown sanctity, and men honor him for a saint.
Every day in this world has its work; and every day as it rises out of eternity keeps putting to each of us this question afresh, What will you do before to-day has sunk into eternity and nothingness again? And now what have we to say with respect to this strange, solemn thing â€” Time? That men do with it through life just what the apostles did for one precious and irreparable hour in the garden of Gethsemane â€” they go to sleep.
Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any dread of ridicule.
In the darkest hour through which a human soul can pass, whatever else is doubtful, this at least is certain. If there be no God and no future state, yet, even then, it is better to be generous than selfish, better to be chaste than licentious, better to be true than false, better to be brave than to be a coward. Blessed beyond all earthly blessedness is the man who, in the tempestuous darkness of the soul, has dared to hold fast to these venerable landmarks. Thrice blest is he who, when all is dreary and cheerless within and without, when his teachers terrify him, and friends shrink from him, has obstinately clung to moral good.
All truth undone becomes unreal; "he that doeth his will shall know," says Jesus.
Every natural longing has its natural satisfaction. If we thirst, God has created liquids to gratify thirst. If we are susceptible of attachment, there are beings to gratify that love. If we thirst for life and love eternal, it is likely that there are an eternal life and an eternal love to satisfy that craving.
How different is the poet from the mystic. - The former uses symbols, knowing they are symbols; the latter mistakes them for realities.
In these two things the greatness of man consists, to have God so dwelling in us as to impart his character to us, and to have him so dwelling in us that we recognize his presence, and know that we are his, and he is ours. - The one is salvation: the other the assurance of it.