Little Atoms of Justice
In human affairs, the justice of God must work by human means. Men are the measures of God’s principles; our morality the instrument of His justice, which stilleth alike the waves of the sea, the tumult of the people, and the oppressor’s brutal strength. Justice is the idea of God, the ideal of man, the rule of conduct writ in the nature of mankind. The ideal must become actual; God’s thought a human thing, made real in a reign of righteousness, and a kingdom—no, a commonwealth—of justice on the earth. You and I can help forward that work. God will not disdain to use our powers, our self-denial, and the little atoms of justice that personally belong to us, to establish his mighty work—the development of mankind.
— Theodore Parker (1810-1860)
Our Infectious Moods Hinder Others
A vexation arises, and our expressions of impatience hinder others from taking it patiently. Disappointment, ailment, or even weather depresses us; and our look or tone depression hinders others from maintaining a cheerful and thankful spirit. We say an unkind thing, and another is hindered in learning the holy lesson of charity that thinketh no evil. We say a provoking thing, and our sister or brother is hindered in that day’s effort to be meek, How sadly, too, we may hinder without word or act! For wrong feeling is more infectious than wrong doing; especially the various phases of ill temper,—gloominess, touchiness, discontent, irritability,—do we not know how catching these are?
— Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)
The Limits of Tyrants
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. ... If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
— Frederick Douglass (died February 20, 1895)
|Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895)|