Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Religion in Social Conversation

It is unfortunate that religion has come to be tabooed in ordinary social conversation. We can talk about politics, business, literature, music, art, our homes, our friends, the weather, but we seem to regard the religious life as too sacred to be brought into common conversation. This may be partly because of reserve, partly because we fear the suspicion of ostentation, partly because we have reacted against the Phariseeism which delights in exhibitory piety. But, whatever the cause, the result is unfortunate. There is no more reason why religious convictions should be excluded from common conversation than political convictions; no more reason why we should tacitly forbid all reference to our religious life than why we should put a similar prohibition on our art, literature, or domestic life.

Lyman Abbott (1835-1922)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Sad is my lot; among the shining spheres 
Wheeling, I weave incessant day and night, 
And ever, in my never-ending flight, 
Add woes to woes, and count up tears on tears. 
Young wives’ and new-born infants’ hapless biers 
Lie on my breast, a melancholy sight; 
Fresh griefs abhor my fresh returning light; 
Pain and remorse and want fill up my years. 
My happier children’s farther-piercing eyes 
Into the blessed solvent future climb, 
And knit the threads of joy and hope and warning; 
But I, the ancient mother, am not wise, 
And, shut within the blind obscure of time, 
Roll on from morn to night, and on from night to morning.

— William Roscoe (born March 8, 1753)

Prayer From Correspondences

O thou Spirit of Truth; visit our minds once more!
Give us to read, in letters of light, the language celestial,
Written all over the earth — written all over the sky:
Thus may we bring our hearts at length to know our Creator,
Seeing in all things around types of the Infinite Mind.

Christopher Pearse Cranch (born March 8, 1813)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

Obsolescent Souls

The universe is not big enough to contain perpetually all the human souls and the other living beings that have been here for their short spans. A theory of personal resurrection or reincarnation of the individual is untenable when we but pause to consider the magnitude of the idea. On the contrary, I must believe that rather than the survival of all, we must look for survival only in the spirit of the good we have done in passing through. This is as feasible and credible as Henry Ford's own practice of discarding the old models of his automobile. When obsolete, an automobile is thrown in the scrap heap. Once here and gone, the human life has likewise served Its purpose. If it has been a good life, it has been sufficient. There is no need for another.

Luther Burbank (born March 7, 1849)

Luther Burbank (1849-1926)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Almost all error is some truth carried to excess: almost all sin is some good or useful principle suffered to be immoderate and ungovernable, or suppressed and denied its proper influence and action. Let, then, moderation be a leading trait of our virtue and piety. Nothing is more wise and more admirable in action than to be resolute, and yet calm; earnest, and yet self-possessed; decided, and yet modest; to contend for truth and right with meekness and charity; to give without pride, and to withhold without meanness; to rejoice with moderation, and to suffer with patience.

Orville Dewey (1794-1882)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Beneath the sheltering walls the thin snow clings, —
Dead winter's skeleton, left bleaching, white,
Disjointed, crumbling, on unfriendly fields.
The inky pools surrender tardily 
At noon, to patient herds, a frosty drink
From jagged rims of ice; a subtle red
Of life is kindling every twig and stalk
Of lowly meadow growths; the willows wrap 
Their stems in furry white; the pines grow gray
A little in the biting wind; mid-day
Brings tiny burrowed creatures, peeping out
Alert for sun.
Ah, March! we know thou art
Kind-hearted, spite of ugly looks and threats,
And, out of sight, art nursing April's violets!

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cheerfulness Taught By Reason

I think we are too ready with complaint
In this fair world of God's. Had we no hope
Indeed beyond the zenith and the slope
Of yon gray bank of sky, we might be faint
To muse upon eternity's constraint
Round our aspirant souls. But since the scope
Must widen early, is it well to droop
For a few days consumed in loss and taint?
O pusillanimous heart, be comforted, —
And, like a cheerful traveller, take the road,
Singing beside the hedge. What if the bread
Be bitter in thine inn, and thou unshod
To meet the flints? At least it may be said,
"Because the way is short, I thank thee, — God!"

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The February Hush

Snow o'er the darkening moorlands, —
Flakes fill the quiet air;
Drifts in the forest hollows,
And a soft mash everywhere.

The nearest twig on the pine-tree
Looks blue through the whitening sky,
And the clinging beech-leaves rustle
Though never a wind goes by.

But there's red on the wild-rose berries,
And red in the lovely glow
On the cheeks of the child beside me,
That once were pale, like snow.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911)

I Look to Thee in Every Need

I look to thee in every need,
And never look in vain;
I feel thy strong and tender love,
And all is well again.
The thought of thee is mightier far
Than sin and pain and sorrow are.

Discouraged in the work of life,
Disheartened by its load.
Shamed by its failures or its fears,
I sink beside the road, —
But let me only think of thee,
And then new heart springs up in me.

Thy calmness bends serene above,
My restlessness to still;
Around me flows thy quickening life.
To nerve my faltering will;
Thy presence fills my solitude.
Thy providence turns all to good.

Embosomed deep in thy dear love.
Held in thy law, I stand;
Thy hand in all things I behold.
And all things in thy hand;
Thou leadest me by unsought ways,
And turn'st my mourning into praise.

Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892)