heavens

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.

He that studies to know duty, and labors in all things to do it, will have two heavens - one of joy, peace and comfort on earth, and the other of glory and happiness beyond the grave.

Virtue maketh men on the earth famous, in their graves illustrious, in the heavens immortal.

It is a truly sublime spectacle when in the stillness of the night, in an unclouded sky, the stars, like the world’s choir, rise and set, and as it were divide existence into two portions - the one, belonging to the earthly, is silent in the perfect stillness of night; whilst the other alone comes forth in sublimity, pomp, and majesty. Viewed in this light, the starry heavens truly exercise a moral influence over us; and who can readily stray into the paths of immorality if he has been accustomed to live amidst such thoughts and feelings, and frequently to dwell upon them? How are we entranced by the simple splendors of this wonderful drama of nature!

Reason inspired by love of truth is the only eye with which man can see the spiritual heavens above us.

The reality of God’s existence appears as love in the manifestation of goodness, beauty, and truth… Apart from God’s existence as living and active, existence has no ultimate meaning. However far we may look backwards in time, we cannot reach a time when the ordered beauty of the heavens – that beauty which seems overwhelming when we contemplate it – was not present. The existence of truth, order and beauty are eternal, since God is eternal.

Everything is linked with everything else down to the lowest ring on the chain, and the true essence of God is above as well as below, in the heavens and on earth, and nothing exists outside Him.

Thank heavens we don’t get all the government we pay for.

There is no place in the highest heavens above nor in the deepest waters below where the moral law does not reign.

The heavens are as deep as our aspirations are high.

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and the more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within.

By anticipation we suffer misery and enjoy happiness before they are in being. We can set the sun and stars forward, or lose sight of them by wandering into those retired parts of eternity when the heavens and earth shall be no more.

We are naught but frail atoms in the heavens of the infinite and we cannot but obey and surrender to the will of Providence. If we love, our love is neither from us, nor is it for us. If we rejoice, our joy is not in us, but in Life itself. If we suffer, our pains lies not in our wounds, but in the very heart of Nature.

There is a spirit in the soul, untouched by time and flesh, flowing from the Spirit, remaining in the Spirit, itself wholly spiritual. In this principle is God, ever verdant, every flowering in all the joy and glory of His actual Self. Sometimes I have called this principle the Tabernacle of the soul, sometimes a spiritual Light, anon I say it is a Spark. But now I say that it is more exalted over this and that than the heavens are exalted above the earth. So now I name it in a nobler fashion... It is free of all names and void of all forms. It is one and simple, as God is one and simple, and no man can in any wise behold it.

As the love of the heavens make us heavenly, the love of virtue virtuous, so doth the love of the world make one become worldly.

He is of the earth, but his thoughts are with the stars. Mean and petty his wants and desires; yet they serve a soul exalted with grand, glorious aims, - with immortal longings, with thoughts which sweep the heavens and wander through eternity. A pigmy standing on the outward crest of this small planet, his far-reaching spirit stretches outward to the infinite, and there alone finds rest.

You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars, and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you.

It is impossible for the mind which is not totally destitute of piety to behold the piety to behold the sublime, the awful, the amazing works of creation and providence - the heavens with their luminaries, the mountains, the ocean, the storm, the earthquake, the volcano, the circuit of the seasons, and the revolutions of empires - without marking them all the mighty hand of god, and feeling strong emotions of reverence toward the Author of these stupendous works.

It is written: "Forever, O G‑d, Your word stands firm in the heavens" (Psalms 119:89). Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, of blessed memory, explained the verse thus: Your word which you uttered, "Let there be a firmament..." (Genesis 1:6), these very words and letters stand firmly forever within the firmament of heaven and are forever clothed within the heavens to give them life and existence... And so it is with all created things, down to the most corporeal and inanimate of substances. If the letters of the "ten utterances" by which the world was created during the six days of creation were to depart from it for but an instant, G‑d forbid, it would revert to absolute nothingness.

The test of character is: Do you have the courage to stand up for truth even though the heavens fall? Can you smile in trouble? Can you say "No" when evil tempts?