English Nonconformist Divine
English Nonconformist Divine
When children ask you questions about gray hairs, and wrinkles in the face, and sighs that have no words, and smiles too bright to be carved upon the radiant face by the hands of hypocrisy--when they ask you about kneeling at the altar, speaking into the vacant air, and uttering words to an unseen and in an invisible Presence--when they interrogate you about your great psalms, and hymns, and anthem-bursts of thankfulness, what is your reply to these? Do not be ashamed of the history. Keep steadily along the line of fact. Say what happened to you, and magnify God in the hearing of the inquirer.
Self-denial is indispensable to a strong character, and the loftiest kind thereof comes only of a religious stock - from consciousness of obligation and dependence upon God.
The books which help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is by easy reading: but a great book that comes from a great thinker - it is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and with beauty.
The whole sum and substance of human history may be reduced to this maxim: that when man departs from the divine means of reaching the divine end, he suffers harm and loss.
It is vain to trust in wrong; as much of evil, so much of loss, is the formula of human history.
It is very sad for a man to make himself servant to a thing, his manhood all taken out of him by the hydraulic pressure of excessive business. I should not like to be merely a great doctor, a great lawyer, a great minister, a great politician - I should like to be also something of a man.
Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle and we knew that victory for mankind depended upon our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world.
Magnificent promises are always to be suspected.
Mankind never loses any good thing, physical, intellectual, or moral, till it finds a better and then the loss is a gain. No steps backward is the rule of human history. What is gained by one man is invested in all men, and is a permanent investment for all time.
Every man has at times in his mind the ideal of what he should be, but is not. This ideal may be high and complete, or it may be quite low and insufficient; yet in all men that really seek to improve, it is better than the actual character... Man never falls so low that he can see nothing higher than himself.
Falsehood is a hurry; it may be at any moment detected and punished; truth is calm, serene; its judgment is on high; its king cometh out of the chambers of eternity.
Never violate the sacredness of your individual self-respect. Be true to your own mind and conscience, your heart and your soul; so only can you be true to God.
No true manhood can be trained by a merely intellectual process. You cannot train men by the intellect alone; you must train them by the heart.
No virtue fades out of mankind. No over-hopeful by inborn temperament, cautious by long experience, I yet never despair of human virtue.