Rise and Live
Awake, my spirit! be more fervent; cast off the galling chains that drag thee to earth; plume thine immortal wings and rise,—rise and live worthy of thine exalted destiny! Thou art not like the worm of the valley, which perisheth; thou art not like the flower of the field, which springeth up and maketh a goodly show for a little time, and then fadeth forever away; no, thou shalt live, though thy frail body be rendered to the low, strange tomb; thy soul—thy heaven-born soul—shall return, glad in its glorious being, to God, who first gave it life;—for He created man to be immortal, and made him an image of His own eternity.
— Dorothea L. Dix (1802-1887)
The Promise of Spring
Soon will the Spring be here; and as we wander out to drink in the tender quickening influences, we shall feel all around, above and beneath, new life; swelling in the buds and down at the roots of the grass; living in the air, sparkling in the waters of the bay, thrilling in our veins, and that life will be the life of God. And when the summer months come, and we go and lie down beneath the shadow of the great hills, or in the aromatic air of the pine woods, we shall find the stillness filled with a breathing and palpitating life; and that life will be the life of God. We shall see the landscape we look out upon to be not a painted surface, but an outgrowth from the Spirit, — from that God ‘who out of His own beauty maketh all things fair.’
— Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892)
The Infinitely Potential
“Speak, history! Who are life’s victors? Unroll thy long annals and say!” Which has triumphed more often—life or death, right or wrong, good or evil, peace or war, health or disease, joy or sorrow, love or hate? There seems to be an eternal concern in the world over anything that interferes with the achievement of the best. Were it not so then the earth and all man’s fair works would have faded into oblivion aeons ago. Man is no transient visitor come to this earth from a strange outside. Man came from the heart of life, he is bone of its bone, and spirit of its spirit. Since man is Life, and Life is eternally victorious, he cannot be defeated or destroyed. So Easter breathes the exhilarating assurance that at the heart of birth and death is victorious Life. Though man is the frail child of dust, yet evermore is he the mighty son of eternity. Not as a dumb, impersonal thing of matter came he to the universe. But as Life, a creature of will and purpose and love, the instrument by which the infinitely potential is made incarnate in the world.
— W. Waldemar W. Argow (1891-1961)
The worth of a character that flowers into beauty in men and women who work faithfully and live nobly is in itself a triumph of the spirit. Among these are to be numbered saints and great leaders, and we must include a great host of unknown people who spread their benediction of kindly words and helpful deeds. Our own personalities are to be counted also, for a true understanding of our worth contributes to the argument. Even among the wayward there are elements of good. By our sense of human excellence, we are convinced that life so richly charged with divine implications is of imperishable value. To the worth of this life we add our hope of immortality.
Still more convincing is the career of Jesus. He made his friends conscious of a greatness of spirit which rose above disaster, and there was a feeling of fellowship that death could not break. They recalled his saying, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” It was a word of assurance so vivid that they became participants with him in a consciousness of eternal life. They were caught up in the persuasion that he still lived, and out of that conviction they joyous cry has sounded down the ages: “Christ Is Risen!.”
— Charles G. Girelius