The first real mental illumination I remember to have experienced was when I saw that the universe exists in each of its individual atoms - that is, the universe is the result of a few simple processes infinitely repeated. When a drop of water has been mathematically measured, every principle will have been used which would be called form in the measurement of the heavens. All life on the globe is sustained by digestion and assimilation; when by voluntary and traumatic action these stop death follows. The history of an individual mind is the history of the race. Know one thing in its properties and relations and you will know all things.
Gentleness in the gait is what simplicity is in the dress. Violent gesture or quick movement inspires involuntary disrespect. One looks for a moment at a cascade; but one sits for hours, lost in thought, and gazing upon the still water of a lake. A deliberate gait, gentle manners, and a gracious tone of voice - all of which may be acquired - give a mediocre man an immense advantage over those vastly superior to him. To be bodily tranquil, to speak little, and to digest without effort are absolutely necessary to grandeur of mind or of presence, or to proper development of genius.
They [trees] hang on from a past no theory can recover. They will survive us. The air makes their music. Otherwise, they live in savage silence, though mites and nematodes and spiders teem at their roots, and though the energy with which they feed on the sun and are able to draw water sometimes hundred of feet up their trunks and into their twigs and branches calls for a deafening volume of sound.
Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.
It is not true that there are no enjoyments in the ways of sin; there are, many and various. But the great and radical defect of them all is, that they are transitory and insubstantial, at war with reason and conscience, and always leave a sting behind... They may and often do satisfy us for a moment; but it is death in the end. It is the bread of heaven and the water of life that can so satisfy that we shall hunger no more and thirst no more forever.
Like a great poet, Nature produces the greatest results with the simplest means. These are simply a sun, flowers, water and love. Of course, if the spectator be without the last, the whole will present but a pitiful appearance; and, in that case, the sun is merely so many miles in diameter, the trees are good for fuel, the flowers are classified by stamens, and the water is simply wet.
When a pump is frequently used, the water pours out at the first stroke, because it is high; but, if the pump has not been used for a long time, the water gets low, and when you want it you must pump a long while; and the water comes only after great efforts. It is so with prayer. If we are instant in prayer, every little circumstance awakens the disposition to pray, and desire and words are always ready; but, if we neglect prayer, it is difficult for us to pray, for the water in the well gets low.
Those who give the first shock to a state are naturally the first to be overwhelmed in its ruin. The fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by the man who was the first to set it a going; he only troubles the water for another’s net.
Is pure water different whether it be contained in a goblet of gold or an earthen sewer?