English Unitarian Preacher and Author
English Unitarian Preacher and Author
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!
Science and speculation pass into mystery at last.
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.