Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Facing the Future

Faith in the future means that one believes in the possibilities of the future, that one believes these possibilities can be made real, and that one believes that the future is consistently related to the past and the present, so that intelligent and loyal endeavor now will bear fruit in a future that shall be better than what has gone before.  Faith in the future means that it is possible to make long-range plans and work happily for their fulfillment even though one may not live to see it.  Faith in the future means confidence in the long-term stability of the universe, so that what one generation dreams of another generation may work for and still later generations see accomplished.  … Whoever plants a tree, or founds a school, or endows a laboratory, or enshrines an ideal in imperishable words, has faith in the future.  Whoever teaches a child that honor is more important than money, or kindness than brute force, or public service than private gain, has faith in the future.  That faith is among the most powerful of all forces in human experience.  It is the dynamic behind all progress.  Without it, the race would sink back into apathy and the dull contentment of fancied security, avoiding the hazards which alone make possible any real advance.  … Faith in the future means courage, more than anything else – the courage which Barrie called “the lovely virtue,” the courage that greets “the unseen with cheer,” that walks out into the darkest night with a quiet cheerfulness that transforms the face of the world until even the night is light about us.

Frederick May Eliot (born September 15, 1889)

Frederick May Eliot (1889-1958)

The Democratic Ideal

The democratic ideal, even in its present inadequate and half-developed form, has behind it the matchless energy of the divine will.  It may indeed suffer reverses, it may find itself betrayed by the half-hearted allegiance of timid souls, it may face the most serious difficulties in adjusting its program to new and unforeseen situations, it may have to fight for its very life against powers and principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places; but it cannot be overthrown or destroyed, so long as faith in our own highest ideals remains in the soul …  To doubt that is to doubt the very foundations of all civilized religious faith, to surrender one’s birthright, and sink below … into the dark and noisome pit from whence, through thousands of years of infinite and painful endeavor, humankind has slowly climbed.

Frederick May Eliot (born September 15, 1889)

The Religion of a Citizen

The longer and more intimate my knowledge of … political and social lives, the more deeply impressed I have become with the critical importance of the part that the Church and religion must play in making popular government what it ought to be, and in vindicating it as the best kind of government that an intelligent people can establish.

The necessity for the infusion of the religious spirit into the prevailing morality, for the purpose of giving it life and persistent influence, is a fact that everyone who studies the life of a people from the standpoint of a responsible administrator of government must recognize.  There are doubtless many individuals who live a moral and upright life, who are not conscious of religious faith or feeling or fervor; but however this may be in exceptional cases, it is the influence of religion and its vivifying quality that keeps the ideals of people high, that consoles them in their suffering and sorrow, and brings their practices more nearly into conformity with their ideals.  

William Howard Taft (born September 15, 1857)

No comments:

Post a Comment