English Unitarian Preacher and Author
English Unitarian Preacher and Author
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.
O it is a happy thing to feel ourselves helpless and naught, for then the presence of God is felt to wrap us about so lovingly! Everlasting, infinite, almighty, â€” these are the words that strengthen us with speaking them.
Yes, I live in God, and shall eternally. It is His hand upholds me now; and death will be but an uplifting of me into His bosom.
All noblest things are religious â€” not temples and martyrdoms only, but the best books, pictures, poetry, statues, and music.
Only let us love God, and then nature will compass us about like a cloud of Divine witnesses; and all influences from the earth, and things on the earth, will be ministers of God to do us good. Only let there be God within us, and then everything outside us will become a godlike help.
Yes, what I am to be everlastingly, I am growing to be now â€” now in this present time so little thought of, this time which the sun rises and sets in, and the clock strikes in, and I wake and sleep in.
And so among the ruins of our pride, we grow to be loving children of the Most High.
Ownership in the world I have none, but I have an infinite interest in it; for if not my own it is my God's; and so it is mine in a higher than a legal sense. Yes, this is the beauty, this is the whole sublimity, this is the tender delight of life â€” that it is of God's governing.
At ease in a world in which my Lord was such a sufferer!