English Unitarian Preacher and Author
English Unitarian Preacher and Author
Day and night, and every moment, there are voices about us. All the hours speak as they pass; and in every event there is a message to us; and all our circumstances talk with us; but it is in Divine language, that worldliness misunderstands, that selfishness is frightened at, and that only the children of God hear rightly and happily.
Selfishness, eager for a heaven of enjoyment, is quite a different thing in the soul from love and purity and truth, yearning together for what is their natural element.
Do we not hear voices, gentle and great, and some of them like the voices of departed friends,â€” do we not hear them saying to us, "Come up hither?"
The day of our decease will be that of our coming of age; and with our last breath we shall become free of the universe. And in some region of infinity, and from among its splendors, this earth will be looked back on like a lowly home, and this life of ours be remembered like a short apprenticeship to duty.
God would never have let us long for our friends with such a strong and holy love, if they were not waiting for us.
The second childhood of a saint is the early infancy of a happy immortality, as we believe.
I do not say the mind gets informed by action, â€” bodily action; but it does get earnestness and strength by it, and that nameless something that gives a man the mastership of his faculties.
The years of old age are stalls in the cathedral of life in which for aged men to sit and listen and meditate and be patient till the service is over, and in which they may get themselves ready to say "Amen" at the last, with all their hearts and souls and strength.
It is not in the bright, happy day, but only in the solemn night, that other worlds are to be seen shining in their long, long distances. And it is in sorrow â€” the night of the soul â€” that we see farthest, and know ourselves natives of infinity, and sons and daughters of the Most High.
There is no burden of the spirit but is lightened by kneeling under it. Little by little, the bitterest feelings are sweetened by the mention of them in prayer. And agony itself stops swelling, if we can only cry sincerely, "My God, my God!"
It is our souls which are the everlastingness of God's purpose in this earth.
This earth will be looked back on like a lowly home, and this life of ours be remembered like a short apprenticeship to duty.
It would not be more unreasonable to transplant a favorite flower out of black earth into gold dust than it is for a person to let money-getting harden his heart into contempt, or into impatience, of the little attentions, the merriments and the caresses of domestic life.
To understand at all what life means, one must begin withâ€¦ belief. And I think knowledge may be sorrow with a man unless he loves.
Let God do with me what He will, anything He will; and, whatever it be, it will be either heaven itself, or some beginning of it.
What thousands and millions of recollections there must be in us! And every now and then one of them becomes known to us; and it shows us what spiritual depths are growing in us, what mines of memory.
Men would not be so hasty to abandon the world either as monks or as suicides, did they but see the jewels of wisdom and faith which are scattered so plentifully along its paths; and lacking which no soul can come again from beyond the grave to gather.
When we feel how God was in our sorrows, we shall trust the more blessedly that He will be in our deaths.
Night by night I will lie down and sleep in the thought of God, and in the thought, too, that my waking may be in the bosom of the Father; and some time it will be, so I trust.
Where is the subject that does not branch out into infinity? For every grain of sand is a mystery; so is every daisy in summer, and so is every snow-flake in winter. Both upwards and downwards, and all around us, science and speculation pass into mystery at last.
No martyr ever went the way of duty, and felt the shadow of death upon it. The shadow of death is darkest in the valley, which men walk in easily, and is never felt at all on a steep place, like Calvary. Truth is everlasting, and so is every lover of it; and so he feels himself almost always.
With a mind not diseased, a holy life is a life of hope; and at the end of it, death is a great act of hope.
Not every hour, nor every day, perhaps, can generous wishes ripen into kind actions; but there is not a moment that cannot be freighted with prayer.
Yes, death, â€” the hourly possibility of it, â€” death is the sublimity of life.
A man who is not poor nor ill, nor about to be stoned to death, must not distress himself if he does not feel all through his life what faith Stephen had only in his last moments.