The Avenue of Sympathy
Here stands one of the noblest outlooks and entrances to your house. It is that avenue of sympathy by which you not only reach the common interests of mankind, but through some touch of fellow-feeling in yourself, enter into the faith of the faithful, the courage of the brave, the tenderness of the lover, the strength of the conqueror. Many a blessed revelation is given to the willing and waiting soul, but scarcely any that surpasses this, — the disclosures that sometimes come to us of the exquisite goodness in human hearts. Well for us, if we find out that goodness, because we have that in ourselves which is akin to it and calls it out. Well for us, even if it comes in response not to our sympathy, but to our defect and need, — the forgiveness of a pure heart that we have wronged falling upon us with its blessing, the help that answers our cry, the heart that takes upon itself our burden. Human help in our need, human forgiveness of our wrong-doing, human love in our loneliness : these are the sacraments through which, at their sweetest and purest, we feel a Divine help and forgiveness and love flowing into our souls.
— George S. Merriam (1843-1914)
The Harvest of Life
— Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853)