Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife
by Charles Kingsley
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Westward Ho! chap. xii.

Open Thou mine Eyes. June 1.

I have wandered in the mountains mist-bewildered, And now a breeze comes, and the veil is lifted; And priceless flowers, o'er which I trod unheeding, Gleam ready for my grasp.

Saint's Tragedy, Act i. Scene ii. 1847.

The Spirit of Romance. June 2.

Some say that the spirit of romance is dead. The spirit of romance will never die as long as there is a man left to see that the world might and can be better, happier, wiser, fairer in all things than it is now. The spirit of romance will never die as long as a man has faith in God to believe that the world will actually be better and fairer than it is now, as long as men have faith, however weak, to believe in the romance of all romances, in the wonder of all wonders, in that of which all poets' dreams have been but childish hints and dim forefeelings—even

"That one divine far-off event Towards which the whole creation moves,

that wonder which our Lord Himself has bade us pray for as for our daily bread, and say, "Father, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven."

Water of Life Sermons. 1865.

The Everlasting Music. June 3.

All melody and all harmony upon earth, whether in the song of birds, the whisper of the wind, the concourse of voices, or the sounds of those cunning instruments which man has learnt to create, because he is made in the image of Christ, the Word of God, who creates all things; all music upon earth, I say, is beautiful in as far as it is a pattern and type of the everlasting music which is in heaven, which was before all worlds and shall be after them.

Good News of God Sermons. 1859.

Gifts are Duties. June 4.

Exceeding gifts from God are not blessings, they are duties, and very solemn and heavy duties. They do not always increase a man's happiness; they always increase his responsibility, the awful account which he must render at last of the talents committed to his charge. They increase, too, his danger.

Water of Life Sermons.

Summer Days. June 5.

Now let the young be glad, Fair girl and gallant lad, And sun themselves to-day By lawn and garden gay; 'Tis play befits the noon Of rosy-girdled June; . . . . . The world before them, and above The light of Universal Love.

Installation Ode, Cambridge. 1862.

"Sufficient for the Day." June 6.

Let us not meddle with the future, and matters which are too high for us, but refrain our souls, and keep them low like little children, content with the day's food, and the day's schooling, and the day's play-hours, sure that the Divine Master knows that all is right, and how to train us, and whither to lead us; though we know not and need not know, save this, that the path by which He is leading each of us, if we will but obey and follow step by step, leads up to everlasting life.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1871.

Secret of Thrift. June 7.

The secret of thrift is knowledge. The more you know the more you can save yourself and that which belongs to you, and can do more work with less effort. Knowledge of domestic economy saves income; knowledge of sanitary laws saves health and life: knowledge of the laws of the intellect saves wear and tear of brain, and knowledge of the laws of the spirit—what does it not save?

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

Out-door Worship. June 8.

In the forest, every branch and leaf, with the thousand living things which cluster on them, all worship, worship, worship with us! Let us go up in the evenings and pray there, with nothing but God's cloud temple between us and His heaven! And His choir of small birds and night crickets and booming beetles, and all happy things who praise Him all night long! And in the still summer noon, too, with the lazy-paced clouds above, and the distant sheep-bell, and the bee humming in the beds of thyme, and one bird making the hollies ring a moment, and then all still—hushed—awe-bound, as the great thunder-clouds slide up from the far south! Then, then, to praise God! Ay, even when the heaven is black with wind, the thunder crackling over our heads, then to join in the paean of the storm-spirits to Him whose pageant of power passes over the earth and harms us not in its mercy!

Letters and Memories. 1844.

God's Countenance. June 9.

Study nature as the countenance of God! Try to extract every line of beauty, every association, every moral reflection, every inexpressible feeling from it.

Letters and Memories. 1842.

Certain and Uncertain. June 10.

"Life is uncertain," folks say. Life is certain, say I, because God is educating us thereby. But this process of education is so far above our sight that it looks often uncertain and utterly lawless; wherefore fools conceive (as does M. Comte) that there is no Living God, because they cannot condense His formulas into their small smelling-bottles.

O glorious thought! that we are under a Father's education, and that He has promised to develop us, and to make us go on from strength to strength.

Letters and Memories. 1868.

Sensuality. June 11.

What is sensuality? Not the enjoyment of holy glorious matter, but blindness to its meaning.

MS. 1842.

The Journey's End. June 12.

Let us live hard, work hard, go a good pace, get to our journey's end as soon as possible—then let the post-horse get his shoulder out of the collar. . . . I have lived long enough to feel, like the old post-horse, very thankful as the end draws near. . . . Long life is the last thing that I desire. It may be that, as one grows older, one acquires more and more the painful consciousness of the difference between what ought to be done and what can be done, and sits down more quietly when one gets the wrong side of fifty, to let others start up to do for us things we cannot do for ourselves. But it is the highest pleasure that a man can have who has (to his own exceeding comfort) turned down the hill at last, to believe that younger spirits will rise up after him, and catch the lamp of Truth, as in the old lamp-bearing race of Greece, out of his hand before it expires, and carry it on to the goal with swifter and more even feet.

Speech at Lotus Club, New York. 1874.

Punishment Inevitable. June 13.

It is a fact that God does punish here, in this life. He does not, as false preachers say, give over this life to impunity and this world to the devil, and only resume the reigns of moral government and the right of retribution when men die and go into the next world. Here in this life He punishes sin. Slowly but surely God punishes. If any of you doubt my words you have only to commit sin and then see whether your sin will find you out.

Sermons on David. 1866.

The Problem Solved. June l4.

After all, the problem of life is not a difficult one, for it solves itself so very soon at best—by death. Do what is right the best way you can, and wait to the end to know.

MS. Letter.

But remember that though death may alter our place, it cannot alter our character—though it may alter our circumstances, it cannot alter ourselves.

Discipline and other Sermons.

The Father's Education. June 15.

Sin, [Greek text], is the missing of a mark, the falling short of an ideal; . . . and that each miss brings a penalty, or rather is itself the penalty, is to me the best of news and gives me hope for myself and every human being past, present, and future, for it makes me look on them all as children under a paternal education, who are being taught to become aware of, and use their own powers in God's house, the universe, and for God's work in it; and, in proportion as they do that, they attain salvation, Letters and Memories. 1852.

Parent and Child. June 16.

Superstition is the child of fear, and fear is the child of ignorance.

Lectures on Science and Superstition. 1866.

A Charm of Birds. June 17.

Listen to the charm of birds in any sequestered woodland on a bright forenoon in early summer. As you try to disentangle the medley of sounds, the first, perhaps, which will strike your ear will be the loud, harsh, monotonous, flippant song of the chaffinch, and the metallic clinking of two or three sorts of titmice. But above the tree-tops, rising, hovering, sinking, the woodlark is fluting tender and low. Above the pastures outside the skylark sings—as he alone can sing; and close by from the hollies rings out the blackbird's tenor—rollicking, audacious, humorous, all but articulate. From the tree above him rises the treble of the thrush, pure as the song of angels; more pure, perhaps, in tone, though neither so varied nor so rich as the song of the nightingale. And there, in the next holly, is the nightingale himself; now croaking like a frog, now talking aside to his wife, and now bursting out into that song, or cycle of songs, in which if any man find sorrow, he himself surely finds none. . . . In Nature there is nothing melancholy.

Prose Idylls. 1866.

Notes of Character. June 18.

Without softness, without repose, and therefore without dignity.


Our Blessed Dead. June 19.

Why should not those who are gone be actually nearer us, not farther from us, in the heavenly world, praying for us, and it may be influencing and guiding us in a hundred ways of which we, in our prison-house of mortality, cannot dream? Yes! Do not be afraid to believe that he whom you have lost is near you, and you near him, and both of you near God, who died on the cross for you.

Letters and Memories. 1871.

Silent Influence. June 20.

Violence is not strength, noisiness is not earnestness. Noise is a sign of want of faith, and violence is a sign of weakness.

By quiet, modest, silent, private influence we shall win. "Neither strive nor cry nor let your voice be heard in the streets," was good advice of old, and is still. I have seen many a movement succeed by it. I have seen many a movement tried by the other method of striving and crying and making a noise in the streets, but I have never seen one succeed thereby, and never shall.

Letters and Memories. 1870.

Chivalry. June 21.

Some say that the age of chivalry is past. The age of chivalry is never past as long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth, and a man or woman left to say, "I will redress that wrong, or spend my life in the attempt." The age of chivalry is never past as long as men have faith enough in God to say, "God will help me to redress that wrong; or if not me, surely He will help those that come after me. For His eternal will is to overcome evil with good."

Water of Life Sermons. 1865.

Nature and Art. June 22.

When once you have learnt the beauty of little mossy banks, and tiny leaves, and flecks of cloud, with what a fulness the glories of Claude, or Ruysdael, or Berghem, will unfold themselves to you! You must know Nature or you cannot know Art. And when you do know Nature you will only prize Art for being like Nature.

MS. Letter. 1842.

Simple and Sincere. June 23.

There are those, and, thanks to Almighty God, they are to be numbered by tens of thousands, who will not perplex themselves with questionings; simple, genial hearts, who try to do what good they can in the world, and meddle not with matters too high for them; people whose religion is not abstruse but deep, not noisy but intense, not aggressive but laboriously useful; people who have the same habit of mind as the early Christians seem to have worn, ere yet Catholic truth had been defined in formulae, when the Apostles' Creed was symbol enough for the Church, and men were orthodox in heart rather than exact in head.

For such it is enough if a fellow-creature loves Him whom they love, and serves Him whom they serve. Personal affection and loyalty to the same unseen Being is to them a communion of saints both real and actual, in the genial warmth of which all minor differences of opinion vanish. . . .

Preface to Tauler's Sermons. 1854.

God's Words. June 24.

Do I mean, then, that this or any text has nothing to do with us? God forbid! I believe that every word of our Lord's has to do with us, and with every human being, for their meaning is infinite, eternal, and inexhaustible.

MS. Letter.

Taught by Failure. June 25.

So I am content to have failed. I have learned in the experiment priceless truths concerning myself, my fellow-men, and the city of God, which is eternal in the heavens, for ever coming down among men, and actualising itself more and more in every succeeding age. I only know that I know nothing, but with a hope that Christ, who is the Son of Man, will tell me piecemeal, if I be patient and watchful, what I am and what man is.

Letters and Memories. 1857.

Presentiments. June 26.

"I cannot deny," said Claude, "that such things as presentiments may be possible. However miraculous they may seem, are they so very much more so than the daily fact of memory? I can as little guess why we remember the past, as why we may not at times be able to foresee the future." . . .

Two Years Ago, chap. xxviii.

A thing need not be unreasonable—that is, contrary to reason—because it is above and beyond reason, or, at least, our human reason, which at best (as St. Paul says) sees as in a glass darkly.

MS. Letter. 1856.

Common Duties. June 27.

But after all, what is speculation to practice? What does God require of us, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him? The longer I live this seems to me more important, and all other questions less so—if we can but live the simple right life—

Do the work that's nearest, Though it's dull at whiles; Helping, when we meet them, Lame dogs over stiles.

Letters and Memories. 1857.

Lost and Found. June 28.

"My welfare? It is gone!"

"So much the better. I never found mine till I lost it."

Hypatia, chap. xxvii. 1852.

How to bear Sorrow. June 29.

I believe that the wisest plan is sometimes not to try to bear sorrow—as long as one is not crippled for one's everyday duties—but to give way to it utterly and freely. Perhaps sorrow is sent that we may give way to it, and in drinking the cup to the dregs, find some medicine in it itself, which we should not find if we began doctoring ourselves, or letting others doctor us. If we say simply, "I am wretched—I ought to be wretched;" then we shall perhaps hear a voice, "Who made thee wretched but God? Then what can He mean but thy good?" And if the heart answers impatiently, "My good? I don't want it, I want my love;" perhaps the voice may answer, "Then thou shalt have both in time."

Letters and Memories. 1871.

A certain Hope. June 30.

Let us look forward with quiet certainty of hope, day and night; believing, though we can see but little day, that all this tangled web will resolve itself into golden threads of twined, harmonious life, guiding both us, and those we love, together, through this life to that resurrection of the flesh, when we shall at last know the reality and the fulness of life and love. Even so come, Lord Jesus!

Letters and Memories. 1844.


Whit Sunday.

Think of the Holy Spirit as a Person having a will of His own, who breatheth whither He listeth, and cannot be confined to any feelings or rules of yours or of any man's, but may meet you in the Sacraments or out of the Sacraments, even as He will, and has methods of comforting and educating you of which you will never dream; One whose will is the same as the will of the Father and of the Son, even a good will.

Discipline Sermons.

Trinity Sunday.

Some things I see clearly and hold with desperate clutch. A Father in heaven for all, a Son of God incarnate for all, and a Spirit of the Father and the Son—who works to will and to do of His own good pleasure in every human being in whom there is one spark of active good, the least desire to do right or to be of use—the Fountain of all good on earth.

Letters and Memories.

JUNE 11. St. Barnabas, Apostle and Martyr.

. . . Which is Love? To do God's will, or merely suffer it? . . . . . No! I must headlong into seas of toil, Leap far from self, and spend my soul on others. For contemplation falls upon the spirit, Like the chill silence of an autumn sun: While action, like the roaring south-west wind, Sweeps laden with elixirs, with rich draughts Quickening the wombed earth.

Saint's Tragedy.

JUNE 21. St. John the Baptist.

How shall we picture John the Baptist to ourselves? Great painters have exercised their fancy upon his face, his figure, his actions. The best which I can recollect is Guido's—of the magnificent lad sitting on the rock, half clad in his camel's-hair robe, his stalwart hand lifted up to denounce he hardly knows what, save that things are going all wrong, utterly wrong to him—his beautiful mouth open to preach he hardly knows what, save that he has a message from God, of which he is half conscious as yet—that he is a forerunner, a prophet, a foreteller of something and some one who is to come, and which is very near at hand. The wild rocks are round him, the clear sky over him, and nothing more, . . . and he, the noble and the priest, has thrown off—not in discontent and desperation (for he was neither democrat nor vulgar demagogue), but in hope and awe—all his family privileges, all that seems to make life worth having; and there aloft and in the mountains, alone with God and Nature, feeding on locusts and wild honey and clothed in skins, he, like Elijah of old, preaches to a generation sunk in covetousness, party spirit, and superstition—preaches what?—The most common—Morality. Ah, wise politician! ah, clear and rational spirit, who knows and tells others to do the duty which lies nearest to them! . . . who in the hour of his country's deepest degradation had divine courage to say, our deliverance lies, not in rebellion but in doing right.

St. John the Baptist, All Saints' Day Sermons.

JUNE 29. St. Peter, Apostle and Martyr.

God is revealed in the Crucified; The Crucified must be revealed in me:— I must put on His righteousness; show forth His sorrow's glory; hunger, weep with Him; Taste His keen stripes, and let this aching flesh Sink through His fiery baptism into death.

Saint's Tragedy.

St. Peter, as he is drawn in the Gospels and the Acts, is a grand and colossal human figure, every line and feature of which is full of meaning and full of beauty to us.

Sermons, Discipline.


It was a day of God. The earth lay like one great emerald, ringed and roofed with sapphire: blue sea, blue mountain, blue sky overhead. There she lay, not sleeping, but basking in her quiet Sabbath joy, as though her two great sisters of the sea and air had washed her weary limbs with holy tears, and purged away the stains of last week's sin and toil, and cooled her hot worn forehead with their pure incense-breath, and folded her within their azure robes, and brooded over her with smiles of pitying love, till she smiled back in answer, and took heart and hope for next week's weary work.

Heart and hope for next week's work.—That was the sermon which it preached to Tom Thurnall, as he stood there alone, a stranger and a wanderer like Ulysses of old: but, like him, self-helpful, cheerful, fate defiant. He was more of a heathen than Ulysses—for he knew not what Ulysses knew, that a heavenly guide was with him in his wanderings; still less that what he called the malicious sport of fortune was, in truth, the earnest education of a Father. . . . "Brave old world she is after all," he said; "and right well made; and looks right well to-day in her go-to-meeting clothes, and plenty of room and chance for a brave man to earn his bread, if he will but go right on about his business, as the birds and the flowers do, instead of peaking and pining over what people think of him."

Two Years Ago, chap. xiv.

Nature and Grace. July 1.

God is the God of Nature as well as the God of Grace. For ever He looks down on all things which He has made; and behold they are very good. And therefore we dare to offer to Him in our churches the most perfect works of naturalistic art, and shape them into copies of whatever beauty He has shown us in man or woman, in cave or mountain-peak, in tree or flower, even in bird or butterfly. But Himself? Who can see Him except the humble and the contrite heart, to whom He reveals Himself as a Spirit to be worshipped in spirit and in truth, and not in bread nor wood, nor stone nor gold, nor quintessential diamond?

Lecture on Grots and Groves. 1871.

Love and Book-Learning. July 2.

I see more and more that the knowledge of one human being, such as love alone can give, and the apprehension of our own private duties and relations, is worth more than all the book-learning in the world.


The Ancient Creeds. July 3.

Blessed and delightful it is when we find that even in these new ages the Creeds, which so many fancy to be at their last gasp, are still the finest and highest succour, not merely of the peasant and the outcast, but of the subtle artist and the daring speculator. Blessed it is to find the most cunning poet of our day able to combine the rhythm and melody of modern times with the old truths which gave heart to the martyrs at the stake, to see in the science and the history of the nineteenth century new and living fulfilments of the words which we learnt at our mother's knee!

Miscellanies. 1850.

A Master-Truth. July 4.

Every creature of God is good, if it be sanctified with prayer and thanksgiving! This to me is the master-truth of Christianity, the forgetfulness of which is at the root of almost all error. It seems to me that it was to redeem man and the earth that Christ was made man and used the earth!—that Christianity has never yet been pure, because it never yet, since St. Paul's time, has stood on this as the fundamental truth, and that it has been pure or impure, just in proportion as it has practically and really acknowledged this truth.

Letters and Memories. 1842.

English Women. July 5.

Let those who will sneer at the women of England. We who have to do the work and fight the battle of life know the inspiration which we derive from their virtue, their counsel, their tenderness—and, but too often, from their compassion and their forgiveness. There is, I doubt not, still left in England many a man with chivalry and patriotism enough to challenge the world to show so perfect a specimen of humanity as a cultivated British woman.

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

Life retouched again. July 6.

Even in the saddest woman's soul there linger snatches of old music, odours of flowers long dead and turned to dust,—pleasant ghosts, which still keep her mind attuned to that which may be in others, though in her never more; till she can hear her own wedding-hymn re-echoed in the tones of every girl who loves, and see her own wedding-torch re-lighted in the eyes of every bride.

Westward Ho! chap. xxix.

Mystery of Life. July 7.

"All things begin in some wonder, and in some wonder end," said St. Augustine, wisest in his day of mortal men. It is a strange thing, and a mystery, how we ever got into this world; a stranger thing still to me how we shall ever get out of this world again. Yet they are common things enough—birth and death.

Good News of God Sermons.

Beauty of Life. July 8.

The Greeks were, as far as we know, the most beautiful race which the world ever saw. Every educated man knows that they were the cleverest of all nations, and, next to his Bible, thanks God for Greek literature. Now the Greeks had made physical, as well as intellectual education a science as well as a study. Their women practised graceful, and in some cases even athletic exercises. They developed, by a free and healthy life, those figures which remain everlasting and unapproachable models of human beauty.

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

Study the human figure, both as intrinsically beautiful and as expressing mind. It only expresses the broad natural childish emotions, which are just what we want to return to from our over subtlety. Study "natural language"—I mean the language of attitude. It is an inexhaustible source of knowledge and delight, and enables one human being to understand another so perfectly. Therefore learn to draw and paint figures.

Letters and Memories. 1842.

True Civilisation. July 9.

Civilisation with me shall mean—not more wealth, more finery, more self- indulgence, even more aesthetic and artistic luxury—but more virtue, more knowledge, more self-control, even though I earn scanty bread by heavy toil.

Lecture on Ancient Civilisation. 1874.

The Church. July 10.

"The Church is a very good thing, and I keep to mine," said Captain Willis, "having served under her Majesty and her Majesty's forefathers, and learned to obey orders, I hope; but don't you think, sir, you're taking it as the Pharisees took the Sabbath Day?"

"How then?"

"Why, as if man was made for the Church, and not the Church for man."

Two Years Ago, chap. ii. 1856.

What does God ask? July 11.

What is this strange thing, without which even the true knowledge of doctrine is of no use? without which either a man or a nation is poor, and blind, and wretched, and naked in soul, notwithstanding all his religion? Isaiah will tell, "Wash you, make you clean, saith the Lord. Do justice to the fatherless, relieve the widow." Church-building and church-going are well, but they are not repentance. Churches are not souls. I ask for your hearts, and you give me fine stones and fine words. I want souls, I want your souls.

National Sermons. 1851.

Work or Want. July 12.

Remember that we are in a world where it is not safe to sit under the tree and let the ripe fruit drop into your mouth; where the "competition of species" works with ruthless energy among all ranks of being, from kings upon their thrones to the weed upon the waste; where "he that is not hammer is sure to be anvil;" and "he who will not work neither shall he eat."

Ancien Regime. 1867.

True Insight. July 13.

It is easy to see the spiritual beauty of Raffaelle's Madonnas, but it requires a deeper and more practised, all-embracing, loving, simple spirituality, to see the same beauty in the face of a worn-out, painful, peasant woman haggling about the price of cottons.

Form and colour are but the vehicle for the spirit-meaning. In the "spiritual body" I fancy they will both be united with the meaning—all and every part and property of man and woman instinct with spirit!

MS. 1843.

Retribution inevitable. July 14.

Know this—that as surely as God sometimes punishes wholesale, so surely is He always punishing in detail. By that infinite concatenation of moral causes and effects, which makes the whole world one mass of special Providences, every sin of ours will punish itself, and probably punish itself in kind. Are we selfish? We shall call out selfishness in others. Do we neglect our duty? Then others will neglect their duty to us. Do we indulge our passions? Then others who depend on us will indulge theirs, to our detriment and misery.

All Saints' Day Sermons.

Antinomies. July 15.

Spiritual truths present themselves to us in "antinomies," apparently contradictory pairs, pairs of poles, which, however, do not really contradict, or even limit, each other, but are only correlatives, the existence of the one making the existence of the other necessary, explaining each other, and giving each other a real standing ground and equilibrium. Such an antinomic pair are, "He that loveth not knoweth not God," and "If a man hateth not his father and mother he cannot be My disciple."

Letters and Memories. 1848.

False Refinement. July 16.

God's Word, while it alone sanctifies rank and birth, says to all equally, "Ye are brethren, work for each other." Let us then be above rank, and look at men as men, and women as women, and all as God's children. There is a "refinement" which is the invention of that sensual mind, which looks only at the outward and visible sign.

MS. Letter. 1843.

Music's Meaning. July 17.

Some quick music is inexpressibly mournful. It seems just like one's own feelings—exultation and action, with the remembrance of past sorrow wailing up, yet without bitterness, tender in its shrillness, through the mingled tide of present joy; and the notes seem thoughts—thoughts pure of words; and a spirit seems to call to me in them and cry, "Hast thou not felt all this?" And I start when I find myself answering unconsciously, "Yes, yes, I know it all! Surely we are a part of all we see and hear!" And then, the harmony thickens, and all distinct sound is pressed together and absorbed in a confused paroxysm of delight, where still the female treble and the male bass are distinct for a moment, and then one again—absorbed into each other's being—sweetened and strengthened by each other's melody. . . .

Letters and Memories. 1842.

Vagueness of Mind. July 18.

By allowing vague inconsistent habits of mind, almost persuaded by every one you love, when you are capable by one decided act of leading them, you may be treading blindfold a terrible path to your own misery.

MS. Letter. 1842.

A Faith for Daily Life. July 19.

That is not faith, to see God only in what is strange and rare; but this is faith, to see God in what is most common and simple, to know God's greatness not so much from disorder as from order, not so much from those strange sights in which God seems (but only seems) to break His laws, as from those common ones in which He fulfils His laws.

Town and Country Sermons.

Charms of Monotony. July 20.

I delight in that same monotony. It saves curiosity, anxiety, excitement, disappointment, and a host of bad passions. It gives a man the blessed, invigorating feeling that he is at home; that he has roots deep and wide struck down into all he sees, and that only the Being who can do nothing cruel or useless can tear them up. It is pleasant to look down on the same parish day after day, and say I know all that is beneath, and all beneath know me. It is pleasant to see the same trees year after year, the same birds coming back in spring to the same shrubs, the same banks covered by the same flowers.

Prose Idylls. 1857.

How to attain. July 21.

If our plans are not for time but for eternity, our knowledge, and therefore our love to God, to each other, to everything, will progress for ever. And the attainment of this heavenly wisdom requires neither ecstacy nor revelation, but prayer and watchfulness, and observation, and deep and solemn thought.

Two great rules for its attainment are simple enough—Never forget what and where you are, and grieve not the Holy Spirit, for "If a man will do God's will he shall know of the doctrine."

Letters and Memories. 1842.

The Divine Discontent. July 22.

I should like to make every one I meet discontented with themselves; I should like to awaken in them, about their physical, their intellectual, their moral condition, that divine discontent which is the parent first of upward aspiration and then of self-control, thought, effort to fulfil that aspiration even in part. For to be discontented with the divine discontent, and to be ashamed with the noble shame, is the very germ and first upgrowth of all virtue.

Lecture on Science of Health. 1872.

Dra et labora. July 23.

"Working is praying," said one of the holiest of men. And he spoke truth; if a man will but do his work from a sense of duty, which is for the sake of God.


Distrust and Anarchy. July 24.

Over the greater part of the so-called civilised world is spreading a deep distrust, a deep irreverence of every man towards his neighbour, and a practical unbelief in every man whom you do see, atones for itself by a theoretic belief in an ideal human nature which you do not see. Such a temper of mind, unless it be checked by that which alone can check it, namely, the grace of God, must tend towards sheer anarchy. There is a deeper and uglier anarchy than any mere political anarchy,—which the abuse of the critical spirit leads to,—the anarchy of society and of the family, the anarchy of the head and of the heart, which leaves poor human beings as orphans in the wilderness to cry in vain, "What can I know? Whom can I love?"

The Critical Spirit. 1871.

A Future Life of Action. July 25.

Why need we suppose that heaven is to be one vast lazy retrospect? Why is not eternity to have action and change, yet both like God, compatible with rest and immutability? This earth is but one minor planet of a minor system. Are there no more worlds? Will there not be incident and action springing from these when the fate of this world is decided? Has the evil one touched this alone? Is it not self-conceit which makes us think the redemption of this earth the one event of eternity?

Letters. 1842.

An Ideal Aristocracy. July 26.

We may conceive an Utopia governed by an aristocracy that should be really democratic, which should use, under developed forms, that method which made the mediaeval priesthood the one great democratic institution of old Christendom; bringing to the surface and utilising the talents and virtues of all classes, even the lowest.

Lectures on Ancien Regime. 1867.

Our Weapons. July 27.

God, who has been very good to us, will be more good, if we allow Him! Worldly-minded people think they can manage so much better than God. We must trust. Our weapons must be prayer and faith, and our only standard the Bible. As soon as we leave these weapons and take to "knowledge of the world," and other people's clumsy prejudices as our guides, we must inevitably be beaten by the World, which knows how to use its own arms better than we do. What else is meant by becoming as a little child?

MS. Letter. 1843.

Uneducated Women. July 28.

Take warning by what you see abroad. In every country where the women are uneducated, unoccupied; where their only literature is French novels or translations of them—in every one of those countries the women, even to the highest, are the slaves of superstition, and the puppets of priests. In proportion as women are highly educated, family life and family secrets are sacred, and the woman owns allegiance and devotion to no confessor or director, but to her own husband or her own family.

Lecture on Thrift. 1860.

Pardon and Cure. July 29.

After the forgiveness of sin must come the cure of sin. And that cure, like most cures, is a long and a painful process.

But there is our comfort, there is our hope—Christ the great Healer, the great Physician, can deliver us, and will deliver us, from the remains of our old sins, the consequences of our own follies. Not, indeed, at once, or by miracle, but by slow education in new and nobler motives, in purer and more unselfish habits.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1861.

Eternal Law. July 30.

The eternal laws of God's providence are still at work, though we may choose to forget them, and the Judge who administers them is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, even Jesus Christ the Lord, the Everlasting Rock, on which all morality and all society is founded. Whosoever shall fall on that Rock, in repentance and humility, shall indeed be broken, but of him it is written, "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise."

Discipline and other Sermons. 1866.

God's Mercy or Man's? July 31.

"He fought till he could fight no more, and then died like a hero, with all his wounds in front; and may God have mercy on his soul."

"That last was a Popish prayer, Master Frank," said old Mr. Carey.

"Most worshipful sir, you surely would not wish God not to have mercy on his soul?"

"No—Eh? Of course not, for that's all settled by now, for he is dead, poor fellow!"

"And you can't help being a little fond of him still?"

"Eh? Why, I should be a brute if I were not. Fond of him? why, I would sooner have given my forefinger than that he should have gone to the dogs."

"Then, my dear sir, if you feel for him still, in spite of all his faults, how do you know that God may not feel for him in spite of all his faults? For my part," said Frank, in his fanciful way, "without believing in that Popish purgatory, I cannot help holding with Plato that such heroical souls, who have wanted but little of true greatness here, are hereafter, by strait discipline, brought to a better mind."

Westward Ho! chap. v. 1854.

The Chrysalis State.

You ask, "What is the Good?" I suppose God Himself is the Good; and it is this, in addition to a thousand things, which makes me feel the absolute certainty of a resurrection, and a hope that this, our present life, instead of being an ultimate one, which is to decide our fate for ever, is merely some sort of chrysalis state in which man's faculties are so narrow and cramped, his chances (I speak of the millions, not of units) of knowing the Good so few, that he may have chances hereafter, perhaps continually fresh ones, to all eternity.

Letters and Memories. 1852.


JULY 25. St. James, Apostle and Martyr.

And they will know his worth Years hence . . . And crown him martyr; and his name will ring Through all the shores of earth, and all the stars Whose eyes are sparkling through their tears to see His triumph, Preacher and Martyr. . . . . . . . . . . It is over; and the woe that's dead, Rises next hour a glorious angel.

Santa Maura.


"I cannot tell what you say, green leaves, I cannot tell what you say; But I know that there is a spirit in you, And a word in you this day.

"I cannot tell what ye say, rosy rocks, I cannot tell what ye say; But I know that there is a spirit in you, And a word in you this day.

"I cannot tell what ye say, brown streams, I cannot tell what ye say; But I know, in you too, a spirit doth live, And a word in you this day."

"Oh! rose is the colour of love and youth, And green is the colour of faith and truth, And brown of the fruitful clay. The earth is fruitful and faithful and young, And her bridal morn shall rise erelong, And you shall know what the rocks and streams And the laughing green woods say."

Dartside, August 1849.

Sight and Insight. August 1.

Do the work that's nearest, Though it's dull at whiles, Helping, when you meet them, Lame dogs over stiles; See in every hedgerow Marks of angels' feet, Epics in each pebble Underneath our feet.

The Invitation. 1857.

Genius and Character. August 2.

I have no respect for genius (I do not even acknowledge its existence) where there is no strength and steadiness of character. If any one pretends to be more than a man he must begin by proving himself a man at all.

Two Years Ago, chap. xv.

Nature's Student. August 3.

The perfect naturalist must be of a reverent turn of mind—giving Nature credit for an inexhaustible fertility and variety, which will keep him his life long, always reverent, yet never superstitious; wondering at the commonest, but not surprised by the most strange; free from the idols of sense and sensuous loveliness; able to see grandeur in the minutest objects, beauty in the most ungainly: estimating each thing not carnally, as the vulgar do, by its size, . . . but spiritually, by the amount of Divine thought revealed to him therein. . . .

Glaucus. 1855.

The Masses. August 4.

Though permitted evils should not avenge themselves by any political retribution, yet avenge themselves, if unredressed, they surely will. They affect masses too large, interests too serious, not to make themselves bitterly felt some day. . . . We may choose to look on the masses in the gross as objects for statistics—and of course, where possible, for profits. There is One above who knows every thirst, and ache, and sorrow, and temptation of each slattern, and gin-drinker, and street-boy. The day will come when He will require an account of these neglects of ours—not in the gross.

Miscellanies. 1851.

We sit in a cloud, and sing like pictured angels, And say the world runs smooth—while right below Welters the black, fermenting heap of life On which our State is built.

Saint's Tragedy, Act ii. Scene v.

Love and Knowledge. August 5.

He who has never loved, what does he know?


Siccum Lumen. August 6.

How shall I get true knowledge? Knowledge which will be really useful, really worth knowing. Knowledge which I shall know accurately and practically too, so that I can use it in daily life, for myself and others? Knowledge too, which shall be clear knowledge, not warped or coloured by my own fancies, passions, prejudices, but pure and calm and sound; Siccum Lumen, "Dry Light," as the greatest of philosophers called it of old.

To all such who long for light, that by the light they may live, God answers through His only begotten Son: "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find."

Westminster Sermons. 1873.

This World. August 7.

What should the external world be to those who truly love, but the garden in which they are placed, not so much for sustenance or enjoyment of themselves and each other, as to dress it and to keep it—it to be their subject-matter, not they its tools! In this spirit let us pray "Thy kingdom come."

MS. 1842.

The Life of the Spirit. August 8.

The old fairy superstition, the old legends and ballads, the old chronicles of feudal war and chivalry, the earlier moralities and mysteries—these fed Shakespeare's youth. Why should they not feed our children's? That inborn delight of the young in all that is marvellous and fantastic—has that a merely evil root? No, surely! it is a most pure part of their spiritual nature; a part of "the heaven which lies about us in our infancy;" angel-wings with which the free child leaps the prison-walls of sense and custom, and the drudgery of earthly life. It is a God-appointed means for keeping alive what noble Wordsworth calls those

". . . . obstinate questionings, . . . . . . Blank misgivings of a creature Moving about in worlds not realised."

Introductory Lecture, Queen's College. 1848.

A Quiet Depth. August 9.

The deepest affections are those of which we are least conscious—that is, which produce least startling emotion, and most easy and involuntary practice.

MS. 1843.

Acceptable Sacrifices. August 10.

Every time we perform an act of kindness to any human being, ay, even to a dumb animal; every time we conquer our worldliness, love of pleasure, ease, praise, ambition, money, for the sake of doing what our conscience tells us to be our duty,—we are indeed worshipping God the Father in spirit and in truth, and offering Him a sacrifice which He will surely accept for the sake of His beloved Son, by whose Spirit all good deeds and thoughts are inspired.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1871.

Chivalry. August 11.

Chivalry; an idea which, perfect or imperfect, God forbid that mankind should ever forget till it has become the possession—as it is the God- given right—of the poorest slave that ever trudged on foot; and every collier lad shall have become

"A very gentle, perfect knight."

Lectures on Ancien Regime. 1867.

God waits for Man. August 12.

Patiently, nobly, magnanimously, God waits; waits for the man who is a fool, to find out his own folly; waits for the heart that has tried to find pleasure in everything else, to find out that everything else disappoints, and to come back to Him, the fountain of all wholesome pleasure, the well-spring of all life, fit for a man to live.

God condescends to wait for His creature; because what He wants is not His creature's fear, but His creature's love; not only his obedience, but his heart; because He wants him not to come back as a trembling slave to his master, but as a son who has found out at last what a father he has still left him, when all beside has played him false. Let him come back thus.

Discipline and other Sermons.

Thrift. August 13.

The secret of thriving is thrift; saving of force; to get as much work as possible done with the least expenditure of power, the least jar and obstruction, the least wear and tear. And the secret of thrift is knowledge. In proportion as you know the laws and nature of a subject, you will be able to work at it easily, surely, rapidly, successfully, instead of wasting your money or your energies in mistaken schemes, irregular efforts, which end in disappointment and exhaustion.

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

Revelations. August 14.

Only second-rate hearts and minds are melancholy. When we become like little children, our very playfulness tells that we are seeing deep, when we see that God is love in His works as well as in Himself, and we look at Nature as a baby does, as a beautiful mystery which we scarcely wish to solve. And therefore deep things, which the intellect in vain struggles after, will reveal themselves to us.

MS. 1842.

Christ comes in many ways. August 15.

Often Christ comes to us in ways in which the world would never recognise Him—in which perhaps neither you nor I shall recognise Him; but it will be enough, I hope, if we but hear His message, and obey His gracious inspiration, let Him speak through whatever means He will. He may come to us by some crisis in our life, either for sorrow or for bliss. He may come to us by a great failure; by a great disappointment—to teach the wilful and ambitious soul that not in that direction lies the path of peace; or He may come in some unexpected happiness to teach that same soul that He is able and willing to give abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think.

MS. Sermon. 1874.

Lesson of the Cross. August 16.

On the Cross God has sanctified suffering, pain, and sorrow, and made them holy; as holy as health and strength and happiness are.

National Sermons. 1851.

The Ideal Unity. August 17.

"Oh, make us one." All the world-generations have but one voice! "How can we become One? at harmony with God and God's universe! Tell us this, and the dreary, dark mystery of life, the bright, sparkling mystery of life, the cloud-chequered, sun-and-shower mystery of life, is solved! for we shall have found one home and one brotherhood, and happy faces will greet us wherever we move, and we shall see God! see Him everywhere, and be ready to wait for the Renewal, for the Kingdom of Christ perfected! We came from Eden, all of us: show us how we may return, hand in hand, husband and wife, parent and child, gathered together from the past and the future, from one creed and another, and take our journey into a far country, which is yet this earth—a world-migration to the heavenly Canaan, through the Red Sea of Death, back again to the land which was given to our forefathers, and is ours even now, could we but find it!"

Letters and Memories. 1843.

Body and Soul. August 18.

The mystics considered the soul, i.e. the intellect, as the "moi" and the body as the "non moi;" and this idea that the body is not self, is the fundamental principle of mysticism and asceticism, and diametrically opposed to the whole doctrines and practice of Scripture. Else why is there a resurrection of the body? and why does the Eucharist "preserve our body and soul to everlasting life?"

MS. 1843.

Childlikeness. August 19.

If you wish to be "a little child," study what a little child could understand—Nature; and do what a little child could do—love. Feed on Nature. It will digest itself. It did so when you were a little child the first time.

Keep a common-place book, and put into it not only facts and thoughts, but observations on form, and colour, and nature, and little sketches, even to the form of beautiful leaves. They will all have their charm . . . all do their work in consolidating your ideas. Put everything into it. . . .

Letters and Memories. 1842.

Inspiration. August 20.

Every good deed comes from God. His is the idea, His the inspiration, and His its fulfilment in time; and therefore no good deed but lives and grows with the everlasting life of God Himself.


Lifting of the Veil. August 21.

I seldom pass those hapless loungers who haunt every watering-place without thinking sadly how much more earnest, happier, and better men and women they might be if the veil were but lifted from their eyes, and they could learn to behold that glory of God which is all around them like an atmosphere, while they, unconscious of what and where they are, wrapt up each in his little selfish world of vanity and interest, gaze lazily around them at earth, sea, and sky—

And have no speculation in those eyes Which they do glare withal

Glaucus. 1855.

The Cross—its meaning. August 22.

To take up the cross means, in the minds of most persons, to suffer patiently under affliction. It is a true and sound meaning, but it means more. Why did Christ take up the cross? Not for affliction's sake, or for the cross's sake, as if suffering were a good thing in itself. No. But that He might thereby do good. That the world through Him might be saved. That He might do good at whatever cost or pain to Himself.


The Crucifix. August 23.

If I had an image in my room it should be one of Christ glorified, sitting at the right hand of God. The crucifix has been THE image, because the idea of torture and misery has been THE idea in the melancholy and the ferocious (for the two ultimately go together),. . . and thus ascetics became inquisitors. . . .

MS. 1843.

Love to God proved. August 24.

Our love to God does not depend upon the emotions of the moment. If you fancy you do not love Him enough, above all when Satan tempts you to look inward, go immediately and minister to others; visit the sick, perform some act of self-sacrifice or thanksgiving. Never mind how dull you may feel while doing it; the fact of your feeling excited proves nothing; the fact of your doing it proves that your will, your spiritual part, is on God's side, however tired or careless the poor flesh may be. The "flesh" must be brought into harmony with the spirit, not only by physical but by intellectual mortification.

MS. Letter. 1843.

Training of Beauty. August 25.

There is many a road into our hearts besides our ears and brains; many a sight and sound and scent even, of which we have never thought at all, sinks into our memory and helps to shape our characters; and thus children brought up among beautiful sights and sweet sounds will most likely show the fruits of their nursing by thoughtfulness and affection and nobleness of mind, even by the expression of the countenance.

True Words to Brave Men. 1848.

Ignorance of the Cynic. August 26.

Be sure that no one knows so little of his fellow-men as the cynical, misanthropic man, who walks in darkness because he hates his brother. Be sure that the truly wise and understanding man is he who by sympathy puts himself in his neighbours' place; feels with them and for them; sees with their eyes, hears with their ears; and therefore understands them, makes allowances for them, and is merciful to them, even as his Father in heaven is merciful.

Westminster Sermons. 1872.

Penitential Prayer. August 27.

Faith in God it is which has made the fifty-first Psalm the model of all true penitence for evermore. Penitential prayers in all ages have too often wanted faith in God, and therefore have been too often prayers to avert punishment. This, this—the model of all true penitent prayers—is that of a man who is to be punished, and is content to take his punishment, knowing that he deserves it, and far more besides.

Sermons on David. 1866.

A Real Presence. August 28.

Believe the Holy Communion is the sign of Christ's perpetual presence; that when you kneel to receive the bread and wine, Christ is as near you—spiritually, indeed, and invisibly, but really and truly as near you as those who are kneeling by your side.

And if it be so with Christ, then is it so with those who are Christ's, with those whom we love. . . . Surely, like Christ, they may come and go even now, though unseen. Like Christ they may breathe upon our restless hearts and say, "Peace be unto you," and not in vain. For what they did for us when they were on earth they can more fully do now that they are in heaven.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1862.

A Living God. August 29.

Man would never have even dreamed of a Living God had not that Living God been a reality, who did not leave the creature to find his Creator, but stooped from heaven, at the very beginning of our race, to find His creature.

Sermons on David. 1866.

Thine, not mine. August 30.

Whensoever you do a thing which you know to be right and good, instead of priding yourself upon it as if the good in it came from you, offer it up to your Heavenly Father, from whom all good things come, and say, "Oh, Lord! the good in this is Thine and not mine; the bad in it is mine and not Thine. I thank Thee for having made me do right, for without Thy help I should have done nothing but wrong. For mine is the laziness, and the weakness, and the selfishness, and the self-conceit; and Thine is the kingdom, for Thou rulest all things; and the power, for Thou doest all things; and the glory, for Thou doest all things well, for ever and ever. Amen."


The Unquenchable Fire. August 31.

A fire which cannot be quenched, a worm which cannot die, I see existing, and consider them among the most blessed revelations of the gospel. I fancy I see them burning and devouring everywhere in the spiritual world, as their analogues do in the physical. I know that they have done so on me, and that their operation, though exquisitely painful, is most healthful. I see the world trying to quench and kill them; I know too well that I often do the same ineffectually. But, in the comfort that the worm cannot die and the fire cannot be quenched, I look calmly forward through endless ages to my own future, and the future of that world whereof it is written, "He shall reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet, and death and hell shall be cast into the lake of fire."

* * * * *

The Day of the Lord will be revealed in flaming fire, not merely to give new light and a day-spring from on high to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, but to burn up out of sight, and off the universe, the chaff, hay, and stubble which men have built on the One Living Foundation, Christ, in that unquenchable fire, of which it is written that Death and Hell shall one day be cast into it also, to share the fate of all other unnatural and abominable things, and God's universe be—what it must be some day—very good.

* * * * *

Because I believe in a God of absolute and unbounded love, therefore I believe in a loving anger of His, which will and must devour and destroy all which is decayed, monstrous, abortive, in His universe, till all enemies shall be put under His feet, to be pardoned surely, if they confess themselves in the wrong and open their eyes to the truth. And God shall be All in All. Those last are wide words.

Letters and Sermons. 1856.


AUGUST 24. St. Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr.

Blessed are they who once were persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Great indeed is their reward, for it is no less than the very beatific vision to contemplate and adore that supreme moral beauty, of which all earthly beauty, all nature, all art, all poetry, all music, are but phantoms and parables, hints and hopes, dim reflected rays of the clear light of everlasting day.

All Saints' Day Sermons.


That poet knew but little of either streams or hearts who wrote—

"Nor ever had the breeze of passion Stirred her heart's clear depths."

The lonely fisher, the lover of streams and living fountains, knows that when the stream stops it is turbid. The deep pools and still flats are always brown—always dark—the mud lies in them, the trout sleep in them. When they are clearest they are still tinged brown or gray with some foreign matter held in solution—the brown of selfish sensuality or the gray of morbid melancholy. But when they are free again! when they hurry over rock and weed and sparkling pebble-shallow, then they are clear! Then all the foreign matter, the defilement which earth pours into them, falls to the ground, and into them the trout work up for life and health and food; and through their swift yet yielding eddies—moulding themselves to every accident, yet separate and undefiled—shine up the delicate beauties of the subaqueous world, the Spirit-glories which we can only see in this life through the medium of another human soul, but which we can never see unless that soul is stirred by circumstance into passion and motion and action strong and swift. Only the streams which have undergone long and severe struggles from their very fountain-head have clear pools.

MS. 1843.

Goodness. September 1.

Always say to yourself this one thing, "Good I will become, whatever it cost me; and in God's goodness I trust to make me good, for I am sure He wishes to see me good more than I do myself." And you will find that, because you have confessed in that best and most honest of ways that God is good, and have so given Him real glory, and real honour, and real praise, He will save you from the sins which torment you, and you shall never come, either in this world or the world to come, to that worst misery, the being ashamed of yourself.

Sermons for the Times. 1855.

Be good to do Good. September 2.

What we wish to do for our fellow-creatures we must do first for ourselves. We can give them nothing save what God has already given us. We must become good before we can make them good, and wise before we can make them wise.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1867.

The Undying I. September 3.

The youngest child, by faith in God his Father, may look upon all heaven and earth and say, "Great and wonderful and awful as this earth and those skies may be, I am more precious in the sight of God than sun and moon and stars; for they are things, but I am a person, a spirit, an immortal soul, made in the likeness of God, redeemed into the likeness of God. This great earth was here thousands and thousands of years before I was born, and it will be here perhaps millions of years after I am dead. But it cannot harm Me, it cannot kill Me. When earth, and sun, and stars have passed away I shall live for ever, for I am the immortal child of an immortal Father, the child of the everlasting God."

Sermons for the Times. 1855.

Love and Time. September 4.

Love proves its spiritual origin by rising above time and space and circumstance, wealth and age, and even temporary beauty, at the same time that it alone can perfectly use all those material adjuncts. Being spiritual, it is Lord of matter, and can give and receive from it glory and beauty when it will, and yet live without it.

MS. 1843.

Common Duties. September 5.

The only way to regenerate the world is to do the duty which lies nearest us, and not to hunt after grand, far-fetched ones for ourselves. If each drop of rain chose where it should fall, God's showers would not fall as they do now, on the evil and the good alike. I know from the experience of my own heart how galling this doctrine is—how, like Naaman, one goes away in a rage, because the prophet has not bid us do some great thing, but only to go wash in the nearest brook and be clean.

Letters and Memories. 1854.

Despair—Hope. September 6.

Does the age seem to you dark? Do you feel, as I do at times, the awful sadness of that text, "The time shall come when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Lord, and shall not see it"? Then remember that

The night is never so long But at last it ringeth for matin song.

. . . Even now the dawn is gilding the highest souls, and we are in the night only because we crawl below.

Prose Idylls. 1850.

The Critical Spirit. September 7.

"Judge nothing before the time." This is a hard saying. Who can hear it? There never was a time in which the critical spirit was more thoroughly in the ascendant. Every man now is an independent critic. To accept fully, or as it is now called, to follow blindly; to admire heartily, or as it is now called, fanatically—these are considered signs of weakness or credulity. To believe intensely; to act unhesitatingly; to admire passionately; all this, as the latest slang phrases it, is "bad form"; a proof that a man is not likely to win in the race of this world the prize whereof is, the greatest possible enjoyment with the least possible work.

The Critical Spirit. 1871.

Toil and Rest. September 8.

Remember always, toil is the condition of our being. Our sentence is to labour from the cradle to the grave. But there are Sabbaths allowed for the mind as well as the body, when the intellect is stilled, and the emotions alone perform their gentle and involuntary functions.

Letters and Memories. 1842.

Storm and Calm. September 9.

Then Amyas told the last scene; how, when they were off the Azores, the storms came on heavier than ever, with terrible seas breaking short and pyramid-wise, till, on the 9th of September, the tiny Squirrel nearly foundered, and yet recovered, and the General (Sir Humphrey Gilbert), sitting abaft with a book in his hand, cried out to us in the Hind, "We are as near heaven by sea as by land," reiterating the same speech well be-seeming a soldier resolute in Jesus Christ, as I can testify he was.

Westward Ho! chap. xiii.

On the Heights. September 10.

It is good for a man to have holy and quiet thoughts, and at moments to see into the very deepest meaning of God's word and God's earth, and to have, as it were, heaven opened before his eyes; and it is good for a man sometimes actually to feel his heart overpowered with the glorious majesty of God—to feel it gushing out with love to his blessed Saviour; but it is not good for him to stop there any more than for the Apostles in the Mount of Transfiguration.

Village Sermons. 1849.

In the Valley. September 11.

The disciples had to come down from the Mount and do Christ's work, and so have we. Believe me, one word of warning spoken to keep a little child out of sin,—one crust of bread given to a beggar-man because he is your brother, for whom Christ died,—one angry word checked on your lips for the sake of Him who was meek and lowly of heart; any the smallest endeavour to lessen the amount of evil which is in yourselves and those around you,—is worth all the speculations, and raptures, and visions, and frames, and feelings in the world; for these are the good fruits of faith, whereby alone the tree shall be known whether it be good or evil.

Village Sermons. 1849.

Self-Conceit. September 12.

Self-conceit is the very daughter of self-will, and of that loud crying out about I, and me, and mine, which is the very bird-call for all devils, and the broad road which leads to death.

Westward Ho! chap. i.

Facing Fact. September 13.

It is good for a man to be brought once, at least, in his life, face to face with fact, ultimate fact, however horrible it may be, and to have to confess to himself shuddering, what things are possible on God's earth, when man has forgotten that his only welfare is in living after the likeness of God.

Miscellanies. 1858.

The Heroical Rest. September 14.

Right, lad; the best reward for having wrought well already is to have more to do; and he that has been faithful over a few things must find his account in being made ruler over many things. That is the true and heroical rest which only is worthy of gentlemen and sons of God. As for those who either in this world or in the world to come look for idleness, and hope that God will feed them with pleasant things, as it were with a spoon, Amyas, I count them cowards and base, even though they call themselves saints and elect.

Westward Ho! chap. vii. 1855.

Body and Soul. September 15.

Remember that St. Paul always couples with the resurrection and ascension of our bodies in the next life the resurrection and ascension of our souls in this life, for without that, the resurrection of our bodies would be but a resurrection to fresh sin, and therefore to fresh misery and ruin.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1870.

Love in Absence. September 16.

Absence quickens love into consciousness.


The baby sings not on its mother's breast; Nor nightingales who nestle side by side; Nor I by thine: but let us only part, Then lips which should but kiss, and so be still, As having uttered all, must speak again.

Sonnet. 1851.

Special Providence. September 17.

If I did not believe in a special Providence, in a perpetual education of men by evil as well as good, by small things as well as great, I could believe nothing.

Letters and Memories.

Love of Work. September 18.

"Can you tell me, my pastor, what part of God's likeness clings to a man longest and closest and best? No? Then I will tell you. It is the love of employment. God in heaven must create Himself a universe to work on and love. And now we sons of Adam, the sons of God, cannot rest without our mundus peculiaris of some sort—our world subjective, as Doctor Musophilus has it. But we can create too, and make our little sphere look as large as a universe."

MS. Novel. 1844.

Fret not. September 19.

Fret not, neither be anxious. What God intends to do He will do. And what we ask believing we shall receive. Never let us get into the common trick of calling unbelief resignation, of asking and then, because we have not faith to believe, putting in a "Thy will be done" at the end. Let us make God's will our will, and so say Thy will be done.

MS. 1843.

Peace! Why these fears? Life is too short for mean anxieties: Soul! thou must work, though blindfold.

Saint's Tragedy, Act ii. Scene x.

Battle before Victory. September 20.

Whenever you think of our Lord's resurrection and ascension, remember always that the background of His triumph is a tomb. Remember that it is the triumph over suffering; a triumph of One who still bears the prints of the nails in His sacred hands and feet, and the wound of the spear in His side; like many a poor soul who has followed Him, triumphant at last, and yet scarred, and only not maimed in the hard battle of life.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1870.

Night and Growth. September 21.

As in the world of Nature, so it is in the world of men. The night is peopled not merely with phantoms and superstitions and spirits of evil, but under its shadow all sciences, methods, social energies, are taking rest, and growing, and feeding, unknown to themselves.

Prose Idylls. 1850.

Passion. September 22.

Self-sacrifice! What is love worth that does not show itself in action? and more, which does not show itself in passion in the true sense of that word: namely, in suffering? in daring, in struggling, in grieving, in agonising, and, if need be, in dying for the object of its love? Every mother will give but one answer to that question.

Westminster Sermons. 1870.

Worth of Beauty. September 23.

It is a righteous instinct which bids us welcome and honour beauty, whether in man or woman, as something of real worth—divine, heavenly, ay, though we know not how, in a most deep sense Eternal; which makes our reason give the lie to all merely logical and sentimental maunderings of moralists about "the fleeting hues of this our painted clay;" and tell men, as the old Hebrew Scriptures told them, that physical beauty is the deepest of all spiritual symbols; and that though beauty without discretion be the jewel of gold in the swine's snout, yet the jewel of gold it is still, the sacrament of an inward beauty, which ought to be, perhaps hereafter may be, fulfilled in spirit and in truth.

Hypatia, chap. xxvi. 1852.

Empty Profession. September 24.

What is the sin which most destroys all men and nations? High religious profession, with an ungodly, selfish life. It is the worst and most dangerous of all sins; for it is like a disease which eats out the heart and life without giving pain, so that the sick man never suspects that anything is the matter with him till he finds himself, to his astonishment, at the point of death.

National Sermons. 1851.

True Poetry. September 25.

Let us make life one poem—not of dreams or sentiments—but of actions, not done Byronically as proofs of genius, but for our own self-education, alone, in secret, awaiting the crisis which shall call us forth to the battle to do just what other people do, only, perhaps, by an utterly different self-education. That is the life of great spirits, after, perhaps, many many years of seclusion, of silent training in the lower paths of God's vineyard, till their hearts have settled into a still, deep, yet swift current, and those who have been faithful over a few things are made rulers over many things.

MS. Letter. 1842.

Office of the Clergy. September 26.

There is a Christian as well as political liberty quite consistent with High Church principles, which makes the clergy our teachers—not the keepers of our consciences but of our creeds.

Letters and Memories. 1842.

Opinions are not Knowledge. September 27.

. . . As to self-improvement, the true Catholic mode of learning is to "prove all things," as far as we can, without sin or the danger of it, to "hold fast that which is good." Let us never be afraid of trying anything new, learnt from people of different opinions to our own. And let us never be afraid of changing our opinions. The unwillingness to go back from once declared opinion is a form of pride which haunts some powerful minds: but it is not found in great childlike geniuses. Fools may hold fast to their scanty stock through life, and we must be very cautious in drawing them from it—for where can they supply its place?

Letters and Memories. 1843.

The Worst Punishment. September 28.

God reserves many a sinner for that most awful of all punishments (here)—impunity.


The Divine Order. September 29.

Ah, that God's will were but done on earth as it is in the material heaven overhead, in perfect order and obedience, as the stars roll in their courses, without rest, yet without haste—as all created things, even the most awful, fire and hail, snow and vapour, wind and storm, fulfil God's word, who hath made them sure for ever and ever, and given them a law which shall not be broken. But above them; above the divine and wonderful order of the material universe, and the winds which are God's angels, and the flames of fire which are His messengers; above all, the prophets and apostles have caught sight of another divine and wonderful order of rational beings, of races loftier and purer than man—angels and archangels, thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, fulfilling God's will in heaven as it is not, alas! fulfilled on earth.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1867.

True Resignation. September 30.

. . . Christianity heightens as well as deepens the human as well as the divine affections. I am happy, for the less hope, the more faith. . . . God knows what is best for us; we do not. Continual resignation, at last I begin to find, is the secret of continual strength. "Daily dying," as Boehmen interprets it, is the path of daily living. . . .

Letters and Memories. 1843.


SEPTEMBER 21. St. Matthew, Apostle, Evangelist, and Martyr.

There is something higher than happiness. There is blessedness; the blessedness of being good and doing good, of being right and doing right. That blessedness we may have at all times; we may be blest even in anxiety and in sadness; we may be blest, even as the martyrs of old were blest, in agony and death.

Water of Life Sermons.

SEPTEMBER 29. Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.

The eternal moral law which held good for the sinless Christ, who, though He were a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which He suffered, must hold good of you and me, and all moral and rational beings—yea, for the very angels in heaven. They have not sinned. That we know; and we do not know that they have ever suffered. But this at least we know, that they have submitted. They have obeyed, and have given up their own wills to be ministers of God's will. In them is neither self-will nor selfishness; and, therefore, by faith, that is, by trust and loyalty, they stand. And so, by consenting to lose their individual life of selfishness, they have saved their eternal life in God, the life of blessedness and holiness, just as all evil spirits have lost their eternal life by trying to save their selfish life and be something in themselves and of themselves without respect to God.

All Saints' Day Sermons.


A beautiful October morning it was; one of those in which Dame Nature, healthily tired with the revelry of summer, is composing herself, with a quiet satisfied smile, for her winter's sleep. Sheets of dappled cloud were sliding slowly from the west; long bars of hazy blue hung over the southern chalk downs, which gleamed pearly gray beneath the low south- eastern sun. In the vale below, soft white flakes of mist still hung over the water meadows, and barred the dark trunks of the huge elms and poplars, whose fast-yellowing leaves came showering down at every rustle of the western breeze, spotting the grass below. The river swirled along, glassy no more, but dingy gray with autumn rains and rotting leaves. All beyond the garden told of autumn, bright and peaceful even in decay; but up the sunny slope of the garden itself, and to the very window-sill, summer still lingered. The beds of red verbena and geranium were still brilliant, though choked with fallen leaves of acacia and plane; the canary plant, still untouched by frost, twined its delicate green leaves, and more delicate yellow blossoms, through the crimson lace- work of the Virginia creeper; and the great yellow noisette swung its long canes across the window, filling all the air with fruity fragrance.

Two Years Ago, chap. i.

Blessing of Daily Work. October 1.

Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self- control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know.

Town and Country Sermons. 1861.

The Forming Form. October 2.

As the acorn, because God has given it "a forming form," and life after its kind, bears within it not only the builder oak but shade for many a herd, food for countless animals, and at last the gallant ship itself, and the materials of every use to which Nature or Art can put it, and its descendants after it, throughout all time, so does every good deed contain within itself endless and unexpected possibilities of other good, which may and will grow and multiply for ever, in the genial light of Him whose eternal mind conceived it, and whose eternal spirit will for ever quicken it, with that life of which He is the Giver and the Lord.

Preface to Tauler's Sermons. 1854.

Special Providences. October 3.

And as for special Providences. I believe that every step I take, every person I meet, every thought which comes into my mind—which is not sinful—comes and happens by the perpetual Providence of God watching for ever with Fatherly care over me, and each separate thing that He has made.

MS. Letter.

Virtue. October 4.

Nothing, nothing can be a substitute for purity and virtue. Man will always try to find substitutes for it. He will try to find a substitute in superstition, in forms and ceremonies, in voluntary humility and worship of angels, in using vain repetitions, and fancying he will be heard for his much speaking; he will try to find a substitute in intellect, and the worship of intellect and art and poetry, . . . but let no man lay that flattering unction to his soul.

Sermons on David. 1866.

God-likeness. October 5.

"We can become like God—only in proportion as we are of use," said —-. "I did not see this once. I tried to be good, not knowing what good meant. I tried to be good, because I thought it would pay me in the world to come. But at last I saw that all life, all devotion, all piety, were only worth anything, only Divine, and God-like and God-beloved, as they were means to that one end—to be of use."

Two Years Ago, chap. xix. 1856.

The Refiner's Fire. October 6.

"Not quite that," said Amyas. "He was a meeker man latterly than he used to be. As he said himself once, a better refiner than any whom he had on board had followed him close all the seas over, and purified him in the fire. And gold seven times tried he was when God, having done His work in him, took him home at last."

Westward Ho! chap. xiii.

The Prayer of Faith. October 7.

With the prayer of faith we can do anything. Look at Mark xi. 24—a text that has saved more than one soul from madness in the hour of sorrow; and it is so simple and wide—wide as eternity, simple as light, true as God Himself. If we are to do great things it must be in the spirit of that text. Verily, when the Son of God cometh shall He find faith in the earth?

Letters and Memories. 1843.

Mountain-Ranges. October 8.

We fancy there are many independent sciences, because we stand half-way up on different mountain-peaks, calling to each other from isolated stations. The mists hide from us the foot of the range beneath us, the depths of primary analysis to which none can reach, or we should see that all the peaks were but offsets of one vast mountain-base, and in their inmost root but One! And the clouds which float between us and the heaven shroud from us the sun-lighted caps themselves—the perfect issues of synthetic science, on which the Sun of Righteousness shines with undimmed lustre—and keep us from perceiving that the complete practical details of our applied knowledge is all holy and radiant with God's smile. And so, half-way up, on the hillside, beneath a cloudy sky, we build up little earthy hill-cairns of our own petty synthesis, and fancy them Babel-towers whose top shall reach to heaven!

MS. Note-book. 1843.

The Temper for Success in Life. October 9.

The men whom I have seen succeed best in life have always been cheerful and hopeful men, who went about their business with a smile on their faces, and took the changes and chances of this mortal life like men, facing rough and smooth alike as it came, and so found the truth of the old proverb that "good times and bad times and all times pass over."


Want of Simplicity. October 10.

Faith and prayer are simple things, . . . but when we begin to want faith, and to assist prayer by our own inventions and to explain away God's providence, then faith and prayer become intricate and uncertain. We cannot serve God and mammon. We must either utterly depend on God (and therefore on our own reason enlightened by His spirit after prayer), or we must utterly depend on the empirical maxims of the world. Choose!

MS. Letter.

True Rest. October 11.

What is true rest? To rest from sin, from sorrow, from doubt, from care; this is true rest. Above all, to rest from the worst weariness of all—knowing one's duty and not being able to do it. That is true rest; the rest of God who works for ever, and yet is at rest for ever; as the stars over our heads move for ever, thousands of miles a day, and yet are at perfect rest, because they move orderly, harmoniously, fulfilling the law which God has given them. Perfect rest in perfect work; that surely is the rest of blessed spirits till the final consummation of all things.

Water of Life Sermons. 1867.

God's Image. October 12.

. . . "Honour all men." Every man should be honoured as God's image, in the sense in which Novalis says—that we touch Heaven when we lay our hand on a human body! . . . The old Homeric Greeks, I think, felt that, and acted up to it, more than any nation. The Patriarchs too seem to have had the same feeling. . . .

Letters and Memories. 1843.

Woman's Work. October 13.

Let woman never be persuaded to forget that her calling is not the lower and more earthly one of self-assertion, but the higher and diviner one of self-sacrifice; and let her never desert that higher life which lives in and for others, like her Redeemer and her Lord.

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

Self-Enjoyment. October 14.

"How do ye expect," said Sandy, "ever to be happy, or strong, or a man at a', as long as ye go on only looking to enjoy yersel—yersel? Mony was the year I looked for nought but my ain pleasure, and got it too, when it was a'

"'Sandy Mackaye, bonny Sandy Mackaye, There he sits singing the lang simmer day; Lassies gae to him, And kiss him, and woo him— Na bird is so merry as Sandy Mackaye.'

An' muckle good cam' o't. Ye may fancy I'm talking like a sour, disappointed auld carle. But I tell ye nay. I've got that's worth living for, though I am downhearted at times, and fancy a's wrong, and there's na hope for us on earth, we be a' sic liars—a' liars, I think—I'm a great liar often mysel, especially when I'm praying."

Alton Locke, chap. vii.

Temptations of Temperament. October 15.

A man of intense sensibilities, and therefore capable, as is but too notorious, of great crimes as well as of great virtues.

Sermons on David.

The more delicate and graceful the organisation, the more noble and earnest the nature, the more certain it is, I fear, if neglected, to go astray.

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

Egotism of Melancholy. October 16.

Morbid melancholy results from subjectivity of mind. The self-contemplating mind, if it be a conscientious and feeling one, must be dissatisfied with what it sees within. Then it begins unconsciously to flatter itself with the idea that it is not the "moi" but the "non moi," the world around, which is evil. Hence comes Manichaeism, Asceticism, and that morbid tone of mind which is so accustomed to look for sorrow that it finds it even in joy—because it will not confess to itself that sorrow belongs to sin, and that sin belongs to self; and therefore it vents its dissatisfaction on God's earth, and not on itself in repentance and humiliation.

The world looks dark. Shall we therefore be dark too? Is it not our business to bring it back to light and joy?

MS. Letter. 1843.

Poetry of Doubt. October 17.

The "poetry of doubt" of these days, however pretty, would stand us in little stead if we were threatened by a second Armada.

Miscellanies. 1859.

Work of the Physician. October 18.

The question which is forcing itself more and more on the minds of scientific men is not how many diseases are, but how few are not, the consequences of men's ignorance, barbarism, folly, self-indulgence. The medical man is felt more and more to be necessary in health as he is in sickness, to be the fellow-workman not merely of the clergyman, but of the social reformer, the political economist, and the statesman; and the first object of his science to be prevention, and not cure.

National Sermons. 1851.

Love Many-sided. October 19.

There are many sides to love—admiration, reverence, gratitude, pity, affection; they are all different shapes of that one great spirit of love—the only feeling which will bind a man to do good, not once in a way but habitually.

National Sermons. 1851.

The only Path to Light. October 20.

The path by which some come to see the Light, to find the Rock of Ages, is the simple path of honest self-knowledge, self-renunciation, self-restraint, in which every upward step towards right exposes some fresh depth of inward sinfulness, till the once proud man, crushed down by the sense of his own infinite meanness, becomes a little child once more, and casts himself simply on the generosity of Him who made him. And then there may come to him the vision, dim, perhaps, and fitting ill into clumsy words, but clearer, surer, nearer to him than the ground on which he treads, or than the foot which treads it—the vision of an Everlasting Spiritual Substance, most Human and yet most Divine, who can endure; and who, standing beneath all things, can make their spiritual substance endure likewise, though all worlds and eons, birth and growth and death, matter and space and time, should melt indeed—

And like the baseless fabric of a vision, Leave not a rack behind.

Preface to Tauler's Sermons. 1854.

Proverbs False and True. October 21.

There is no falser proverb than that devil's beatitude, "Blessed is he who expecteth nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." Say rather, "Blessed is he who expecteth everything, for he enjoys everything once at least, and if it falls out true, twice also."

Prose Idylls. 1857.

True Sisters of Mercy. October 22.

Ah! true Sisters of Mercy! whom the world sneers at as "old maids," if you pour out on cats and dogs and parrots a little of the love that is yearning to spend itself on children of your own. As long as such as you walk this lower world one needs no Butler's Analogy to prove to us that there is another world, where such as you will have a fuller and a fairer (I dare not say a juster) portion.

Two Years Ago, chap. xxv. 1856.

The Divine Fire. October 23.

Well spoke the old monks, peaceful, watching life's turmoil, "Eyes which look heavenward, weeping still we see: God's love with keen flame purges, like the lightning flash, Gold which is purest, purer still must be."

Saint's Tragedy, Act iii. Scene i. 1847.

The Cross a Token. October 24.

Have patience, have faith, have hope, as thou standest at the foot of Christ's Cross, and holdest fast to it, the anchor of the soul and reason, as well as of the heart. For, however ill the world may go, or seem to go, the Cross is the everlasting token that God so loved the world that He spared not His only-begotten Son, but freely gave Him for it. Whatsoever else is doubtful, that at least is sure—that good must conquer, because God is good, that evil must perish, because God hates evil, even to the death.

Westminster Sermons. 1870.

The True Self-Sacrifice. October 25.

What can a man do more than die for his countrymen?

Live for them. It is a longer work, and therefore a more difficult and a nobler one.

Two Years Ago, chap. xix. 1856.

Now as Then. October 26.

Men can be as original now as ever, if they had but the courage, even the insight. Heroic souls in old times had no more opportunities than we have; but they used them. There were daring deeds to be done then—are there none now? Sacrifices to be made—are there none now? Wrongs to be redrest—are there none now? Let any one set his heart in these days to do what is right, and nothing else; and it will not be long ere his brow is stamped with all that goes to make up the heroical expression—with noble indignation, noble self-restraint, great hopes, great sorrows; perhaps even with the print of the martyr's crown of thorns.

Two Years Ago, chap. vii. 1856.

One Anchor. October 27.

In such a world as this, with such ugly possibilities hanging over us all, there is but one anchor which will hold, and that is utter trust in God; let us keep that, and we may yet get to our graves without misery though not without sorrow.

Letters and Memories. 1871.

Self-Control. October 28.

Settle it in your minds, young people, that the first and the last of all virtues and graces which God can give is Self-Control, as necessary for the saint and the sage lest they become fanatics and pedants, as for the young in the hey-day of youth and health.

Sermons on David. 1866.

Nature's Permanence. October 29.

We abolish many things, good and evil, wisely and foolishly, in these fast-going times; but, happily for us, we cannot abolish the blue sky, and the green sea, and the white foam, and the everlasting hills, and the rivers which flow out of their bosoms. They will abolish themselves when their work is done, but not before. And we, who, with all our boasted scientific mastery over Nature, are, from a merely mechanical and carnal point of view, no more than a race of minute parasitic animals burrowing in the fair Earth's skin, had better, instead of boasting of our empire over Nature, take care lest we become too troublesome to Nature, by creating, in our haste and greed, too many great black countries, and too many great dirty warrens of houses, miscalled cities, peopled with savages and imps of our own mis-creation; in which case Nature, so far from allowing us to abolish her, will by her inexorable laws abolish us.

MS. Presidential Address. 1871.

The Only Refuge. October 30.

Prayer is the only refuge against the Walpurgis-dance of the witches and the fiends, which at hapless moments whirl unbidden through a mortal brain.

Two Years Ago, chap. xix. 1856.

England's Forgotten Worthies. October 31.

Among the higher-hearted of the early voyagers, the grandeur and glory around them had attuned their spirits to itself and kept them in a lofty, heroical, reverent frame of mind; while they knew as little about what they saw in an "artistic" or "critical" point of view as in a scientific one. . . . They gave God thanks and were not astonished. God was great: but that they had discovered long before they came into the tropics.

Noble old child-hearted heroes, with just romance and superstition enough about them to keep from that prurient hysterical wonder and enthusiasm which is simply, one often fears, a product of our scepticism! We do not trust enough in God, we do not really believe His power enough, to be ready, as they were, as every one ought to be on a God-made earth, for anything and everything being possible; and then when a wonder is discovered we go into ecstasies and shrieks over it, and take to ourselves credit for being susceptible of so lofty a feeling—true index, forsooth, of a refined and cultivated mind!!

Smile if you will: but those were days (and there never were less superstitious ones) in which Englishmen believed in the living God, and were not ashamed to acknowledge, as a matter of course, His help, and providence, and calling, in the matters of daily life, which we now, in our covert atheism, term "secular and carnal."

Westward Ho! chap. xxiii.


OCTOBER 18. St. Luke, Physician and Evangelist.

It is good to follow Christ in one thing and to follow Him utterly in that. And the physician has set his mind to do one thing—to hate calmly, but with an internecine hatred, disease and death, and to fight against them to the end. In his exclusive care for the body the physician witnesses unconsciously yet mightily for the soul, for God, for the Bible, for immortality. Is he not witnessing for God when he shows by his acts that he believes God to be a God of life, not of death; of health, not of disease; of order, not of disorder; of joy and strength, not of misery and weakness? Is he not witnessing for Christ when, like Christ, he heals all manner of sickness and disease among the people, and attacks physical evil as the natural foe of man and of the Creator of man?

"Water of Life," and other Sermons.

OCTOBER 28. St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles and Martyrs.

He that loseth his life shall save it. The end and aim of our life is not happiness but goodness. If goodness comes first, then happiness may come after; but if not, something better than happiness may come, even blessedness.

Oh! sad hearts and suffering! look to the Cross. There hung your King! The King of sorrowing souls; and more, the King of Sorrows. Ay, pain and grief, tyranny and desertion, death and hell,—He has faced them one and all, and tried their strength and taught them His, and conquered them right royally. And since He hung upon that torturing Cross sorrow is divine,—godlike, as joy itself. All that man's fallen nature dreads and despises God honoured on the Cross, and took unto Himself, and blest and consecrated for ever. . . . And now—Blessed are tears and shame, blessed are agony and pain; blessed is death, and blest the unknown realms where souls await the Resurrection-day.

National Sermons.


"The giant trees are black and still, the tearful sky is dreary gray. All Nature is like the grief of manhood in its soft and thoughtful sternness. Shall I lend myself to its influence, and as the heaven settles down into one misty shroud of 'shrill yet silent tears,' as if veiling her shame in a cloudy mantle, shall I, too, lie down and weep? Why not? for am I not 'a part of all I see'? And even now, in fasting and mortification, am I not sorrowing for my sin and for its dreary chastisement? But shall I then despond and die?

"No! Mother Earth, for then I were unworthy of thee and thy God! We may weep, Mother Earth, but we have Faith—faith which tells us that above the cloudy sky the bright clear sun is shining, and will shine. And we have Hope, Mother Earth—hope, that as bright days have been, so bright days soon shall be once more! And we have Charity, Mother Earth, and by it we can love all tender things—ay, and all rugged rocks and dreary moors, for the sake of the glow which has gilded them, and the fertility which will spring even from their sorrow. We will smile through our tears, Mother Earth, for we are not forsaken! We have still light and heat, and till we can bear the sunshine we will glory in the shade!"

MS. 1842.

Sympathy of the Dead. November 1.

Believe that those who are gone are nearer us than ever; and that if (as I surely believe) they do sorrow over the mishaps and misdeeds of those whom they leave behind, they do not sorrow in vain. Their sympathy is a further education for them, and a pledge, too, of help—I believe of final deliverance—for those on whom they look down in love.

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