Daily Thoughts - selected from the writings of Charles Kingsley by his wife
by Charles Kingsley
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Letters and Memories. 1852.

Nature's Parable. November 2.

There is a devil's meaning to everything in nature, and a God's meaning too. As I read nature's parable to-night I find nothing in it but hope. What if there be darkness, the sun will rise to-morrow; what if there seem chaos, the great organic world is still living and growing and feeding, unseen by us all the night through; and every phosphoric atom there below is a sign that in the darkest night there is still the power of light, ready to flash out wherever and however it is stirred.

Prose Idylls. 1849.

Passing Onward. November 3.

Liturgies are but temporary expressions of the Church's heart. The Bible is the immutable story of her husband's love. She must go on from grace to grace, and her song must vary from age to age, and her ancient melodies become unfitted to express her feelings; but He is the same for ever.

MS. 1842.

See how the autumn leaves float by decaying, Down the wild swirls of the dark-brimming stream; So fleet the works of men back to their earth again— Ancient and holy things pass like a dream.

A Parable. 1848.

The Divine Intention. November 4.

I am superstitious enough, thank God, to believe that not a stone or a handful of mud gravitates into its place without the will of God; that it was ordained, ages since, into what particular spot each grain of gold should be washed down from an Australian quartz reef, that a certain man might find it at a certain moment and crisis of his life.

Science Lectures.

Christ Weeping over Jerusalem. November 5.

That which is true of nations is true of individuals, of each separate human brother of the Son of man. Is there one young life ruined by its own folly—one young heart broken by its own wilfulness—or one older life fast losing the finer instincts, the nobler aims of youth, in the restlessness of covetousness, of fashion, of ambition? Is there one such poor soul over whom Christ does not grieve? One to whom, at some supreme crisis of their lives, He does not whisper—"Ah, beautiful organism—thou too art a thought of God—thou too, if thou wert but in harmony with thyself and God, a microcosmic City of God! Ah! that thou hadst known—even thou—at least in this thy day—the things which belong to thy peace"?

MS. Sermon. 1874.

Love Expansive. November 6.

The mystics think it wrong to love any created thing, because our whole love should be given to God. But as flame increases by being applied to many objects, so does love. He who loves God most loves God's creatures most, and them for God's sake, and God for their sake.

MS. Note-book. 1843.

Still the same. November 7.

Those who die in the fear of God and in the faith of Christ do not really taste death; to them there is no death, but only a change of place, a change of state; they pass at once into some new life, with all their powers, all their feelings, unchanged; still the same living, thinking, active beings which they were here on earth. I say active. Rest they may, rest they will, if they need rest. But what is true rest? Not idleness, but peace of mind.

Water of Life Sermons. 1862.

An absolutely Good God. November 8.

Fix in your minds—or rather ask God to fix in your minds—this one idea of an absolutely good God; good with all forms of goodness which you respect and love in man; good, as you, and I, and every honest man, understand the plain word good. Slowly you will acquire that grand and all-illuminating idea; slowly and most imperfectly at best: for who is mortal man that he should conceive and comprehend the goodness of the infinitely good God! But see, then, whether, in the light of that one idea, all the old-fashioned Christian ideas about the relation of God to man—whether Providence, Prayer, Inspiration, Revelation, the Incarnation, the Passion, and the final triumph of the Son of God—do not seem to you, not merely beautiful, not merely probable, but rational, and logical, and necessary, moral consequences from the one idea of an Absolute and Eternal Goodness, the Living Parent of the universe?

Westminster Sermons. 1873.

Nature's Lesson. November 9.

Learn what feelings every object in Nature expresses, but do not let them mould the tone of your mind; else, by allowing a melancholy day to make you melancholy, you worship the creature more than the Creator.

MS. Letter. 1842.

Morals and Mind. November 10.

Not upon mind, not upon mind, but upon morals, is human welfare founded. The true subjective history of man is not the history of his thought, but of his conscience: the true objective history of man is not that of his inventions, but of his vices and his virtues. So far from morals depending upon thought, thought, I believe, depends on morals. In proportion as a nation is righteous—in proportion as common justice is done between man and man, will thought grow rapidly, securely, triumphantly; will its discoveries be cheerfully accepted and faithfully obeyed, to the welfare of the whole common weal.

Inaugural Lecture, Cambridge. 1860.

Fastidiousness. November 11.

Do not let us provoke God (though that is really impossible) by complaining of His gifts because they do not come just in the form we should have wished. . . .

MS. Letter. 1844.

Unconscious Faith. November 12.

For the rest, Amyas never thought about thinking or felt about feeling; and had no ambition whatsoever beyond pleasing his father and mother, getting by honest means the maximum of "red quarrenders" and mazard cherries, and going to sea when he was big enough. Neither was he what would be nowadays called by many a pious child, for though he said his Creed and Lord's Prayer night and morning, and went to service at the church every forenoon, and read the day's Psalms with his mother every evening, and had learnt from her and his father that it was infinitely noble to do right and infinitely base to do wrong, yet he knew nothing more of theology or of his own soul than is contained in the Church Catechism.

Westward Ho! chap. i. 1855.

Silence. November 13.

There are silences more pathetic than all words.


The Nineteenth Century. November 14.

. . . What so maddening as the new motion of our age—the rush of the express train, when the live iron pants and leaps and roars through the long chalk cutting, and white mounds gleam cold a moment against the sky and vanish; and rocks and grass and bushes fleet by in dim blended lines; and the long hedges revolve like the spokes of a gigantic wheel; and far below meadows and streams and homesteads, with all their lazy old-world life, open for an instant, and then flee away; while awestruck, silent, choked with the mingled sense of pride and helplessness, we are swept on by that great pulse of England's life-blood rushing down her iron veins; and dimly out of the future looms the fulfilment of our primeval mission to conquer and subdue the earth, and space too, and time, and all things—even hardest of all tasks, yourselves, my cunning brothers; ever learning some fresh lesson, except the hardest one of all, that it is the Spirit of God which giveth you understanding?

Yes, great railroads, and great railroad age, who would exchange you, with all your sins, for any other time? For swiftly as rushes matter, more swiftly rushes mind; more swiftly still rushes the heavenly dawn up the eastern sky. "The night is far spent, the day is at hand." "Blessed is the servant whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find watching."

Prose Idylls.

Unreality. November 15.

Those who have had no real sorrows can afford to play with imaginary ones.


The indwelling Light. November 16.

The doctrine of Christ in every man, as the indwelling Word of God, the Light who lights every one who comes into the world, is no peculiar tenet of the Quakers, but one which runs through the whole of the Old and New Testaments, and without which they would both be unintelligible, just as the same doctrine runs through the whole history of the Early Church for the first two centuries, and is the only explanation of them.

Theologica Germanica. 1854.

Woman's Calling. November 17.

What surely is a woman's calling but to teach man? and to teach him what? To temper his fiercer, coarser, more self-assertive nature by the contact of her gentleness, purity, self-sacrifice. To make him see that not by blare of trumpets, not by noise, wrath, greed, ambition, intrigue, puffery, is good and lasting work to be done on earth; but by wise self- distrust, by silent labour, by lofty self-control, by that charity which hopeth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things; by such an example, in short, as women now in tens of thousands set to those around them; such as they will show more and more, the more their whole womanhood is educated to employ its powers without waste and without haste in harmonious unity.

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

Waste. November 18.

Thrift of the heart, thrift of the emotions—how are they wasted in these days in reading sensation novels! while British literature—all that the best hearts and intellects among our forefathers have bequeathed to us—is neglected for light fiction, the reading of which is the worst form of intemperance—dram-drinking and opium-eating, intellectual and moral.

Lecture on Thrift.

True Penance. November 19.

"Senor," said Brimblecombe, "the best way to punish oneself for doing ill seems to me to go and do good; and the best way to find out whether God means you well is to find out whether He will help you to do well."

Westward Ho! chap. xxv.

Political Economy of the Future. November 20.

I can conceive a time when, by improved chemical science, every foul vapour which now escapes from the chimney of a manufactory, polluting the air, destroying the vegetation, shall be seized, utilised, converted into some profitable substance, till the black country shall be black no longer, the streams once more crystal clear, the trees once more luxuriant, and the desert, which man has created in his haste and greed, shall in literal fact once more blossom as the rose. And just so can I conceive a time when by a higher civilisation, formed on a political economy more truly scientific, because more truly according to the will of God, our human refuse shall be utilised like our material refuse; when man as man, down to the weakest and most ignorant, shall be found (as he really is) so valuable that it will be worth while to preserve his health, to develop his capabilities, to save him alive, body, intellect, and character, at any cost; because men will see that a man is, after all, the most precious and useful thing on the earth, and that no cost spent on the development of human beings can possibly be thrown away.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1870.

God's Pleasure. November 21.

The world was not made for man: but man, like all the world, was made for God. Not for man's pleasure merely, not for man's use, but for God's pleasure all things are, and for God's pleasure they were, created.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1869.

The Hospital Nurse. November 22.

Fearless, uncomplaining, she "trusted in God and made no haste." She did her work and read her Bible; and read, too, again and again at stolen moments of rest, a book which was to her as the finding of an unknown sister—Longfellow's "Evangeline."

Two Years Ago, chap. xxviii.

Let us learn to look on hospitals not as acts of charity, supererogatory benevolences of ours towards those to whom we owe nothing, but as confessions of sin, and worthy fruits of penitence; as poor and late and partial compensation for misery which we might have prevented.

National Sermons. 1851.

No Work Lost. November 23.

If you lose heart about your work, remember that none of it is lost—that the good of every good deed remains and breeds and works on for ever, and that all that fails and is lost is the outside shell of the thing, which, perhaps, might have been better done; but better or worse has nothing to do with the real spiritual good which you have done to men's hearts.

Letters and Memories. 1862.

True Temperance. November 24.

What we all want is inward rest; rest of heart and brain; the calm, strong, self-contained, self-denying character, which needs no stimulants, for it has no fits of depression; which needs no narcotics, for it has no fits of excitement; which needs no ascetic restraints, for it is strong enough to use God's gifts without abusing them; the character, in a word, which is truly temperate, not in drink and food merely, but in all desires, thoughts, and actions.

Essays. 1873.

A Present Veil. November 25.

What is there in this world worth having without religion? Do you not feel that true religion, even in its most imperfect stage, is not merely an escape from hell after death but the only real state for a man—the only position to live in in this world—the only frame of mind which will give anything like happiness here. I cannot help feeling at moments—if there were no Christ, everything, even the very flowers and insects, and every beautiful object, would be hell now—dark, blank, hopeless.

MS. Letter. 1843.

Cowardice. November 26.

There is but one thing which you have to fear in earth or heaven—being untrue to your better selves, and therefore untrue to God. If you will not do the thing you know to be right, and say the thing you know to be true, then indeed you are weak. You are a coward; you desert God.

True Words for Brave Men.

Blind Faith. November 27.

In Him—"The Father"—I can trust, in spite of the horrible things I see happen, in spite of the fact that my own prayers are not answered. I believe that He makes all things work together for the good of the human race, and of me among the rest, as long as I obey His will. I believe He will answer my prayer, not according to the letter, but according to the spirit of it; that if I desire good, I shall find good, though not the good I longed for.

MS. Letter. 1862.

Small and Great. November 28.

Begin with small things—you cannot enter into the presence of another human being without finding there more to do than you or I or any soul will ever learn to do perfectly before we die. Let us be content to do little if God sets us little tasks. It is but pride and self-will which says, "Give me something huge to fight and I shall enjoy that—but why make me sweep the dust?"

Letters and Memories. 1854.

True and False. November 29.

We must remember that dissatisfaction at existing evil (the feeling of all young and ardent minds), the struggle to escape from the "circumstance" of the evil world, has a carnal counterfeit—the love of novelty, and self-will, and self-conceit, which may thrust us down into the abysses of misrule and uncertainty; as it has done such men as Shelley and Byron; trying vainly every loophole, beating against the prison bars of an imperfect system; neither degraded enough to make themselves a fool's paradise within it, nor wise enough to escape from it through Christ, "the door into the sheepfold," to return when they will, and bring others with them into the serene empyrean of spiritual truth—truth which explains, and arranges, and hallows, and subdues everything.

Letters and Memories. 1842.

The Mind of Christ. November 30.

How can we attain to the blessed and noble state of mind—the mind of Christ, who must needs be about His Father's business, which is doing good? Only by prayer and practice. There is no more use in praying without practising than there is in practising without praying. You cannot learn to walk without walking; no more can you learn to do good without trying to do good.

Sermons for the Times. 1855.


NOVEMBER 1. All Saints' Day. Commemoration of the Blessed Dead.

"If any man serve Me, him will My Father honour," said the Blessed One. And if God honours His servants, shall not we honour them likewise? We may not, as our forefathers did blindly, though lovingly, worship them as mediators and lesser gods, and pray to them instead of to their Father in heaven to whose throne of grace we may all come boldly through Christ Jesus, or believe that their relics will work miracles in our behalf, thus honouring the creature instead of the Creator. This we may not do, but we may honour the Creator in His creature, and honour God in those who have lived godly and God-like lives; and when they have passed away from among us—souls endued by God with manifold virtues and precious gifts of grace—we may give thanks and say, These, O God, are the fruits of Thy Spirit. Thou honourest them in heaven with Thy approving smile. We will honour them on earth, not merely with our lips, but in our lives. What they were we too might be, if we were as true as they to the inspiration of Thy Spirit. Help us to honour their memories, as Thou and they would have us do, by following their example; by setting them before us, and not only them, but every holy and noble personage of whom we have ever heard, as dim likenesses of Christ—even as Christ is the likeness of Thee. Amen.

MS. Sermon.

NOVEMBER 30. St. Andrew, Apostle and Martyr.

Form your own notions about angels and saints in heaven—as you will, . . . but bear this in mind: that if the saints in heaven live the everlasting life, they must be living a life of usefulness, of love, and of good works. The everlasting life cannot be a selfish, idle life, spent only in individual happiness.

Good News of God Sermons.


It chanced upon the merry, merry Christmas eve, I went sighing past the Church across the moorland dreary: "Oh! never sin and want and woe this earth will leave, And the bells but mock the wailing sound, they sing so cheery. How long, O Lord! how long before Thou come again? Still in cellar and in garret, and on moorland dreary, The orphans moan, and widows weep, and poor men toil in vain: Till earth is sick of hope deferred, though Christmas bells be cheery."

Then arose a joyous clamour from the wild-fowl on the mere, Beneath the stars across the snow, like clear bells ringing, And a voice within cried, "Listen! Christmas carols even here! Though thou be dumb, yet o'er their work the stars and snows are singing. Blind! I live, I love, I reign, and all the nations through With the thunder of my judgments even now are ringing; Do thou fulfil thy work but as yon wild-fowl do, Thou wilt heed no less the wailing, yet hear through it the angels' singing."

A Christmas Carol.

The Final Victory. December 1.

I believe that the ancient creed, the eternal gospel, will stand and conquer, and prove its might in this age, as it has in every other for eighteen hundred years, by claiming and subduing and organising those young anarchic forces which now, unconscious of their parentage, rebel against Him to whom they owe their being.

Yeast, Preface. 1851.

Drifting away. December 2.

They drift away—Ah, God! they drift for ever. . . . . . . I watch them drift—the old familiar faces, Till ghosts, not men, fill old beloved places. . . . . . . Shores, landmarks, beacons drift alike. Yet overhead the boundless arch of heaven Still fades to night, still blazes into day. Ah, God! My God! Thou wilt not drift away!

A Fragment. 1867.

Our Father. December 3.

Take your sorrows not to man, but to your Father in heaven. If that name, Father, mean anything, it must mean that He will not turn away from His wandering child in a way in which you would be ashamed to turn away from yours. If there be pity, lasting affection, patience in man, they must have come from Him. They, above all things, must be His likeness. Believe that God possesses them a million times more fully than any human being.

Letters and Memories.

Circumstance. December 4.

Our wanton accidents take root, and grow To vaunt themselves God's laws, until our clothes, Our gems, and gaudy books, and cushioned litters Become ourselves, and we would fain forget There live who need them not.

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

Duty. December 5.

When a man has once said honestly to himself, "It is my duty;" when that glorious heavenly thought has risen upon his soul, like the sun upon the earth, warming his heart and enlightening it, and making it bring forth all good and noble fruits, then that man will feel a strength come to him and a courage come from God which will conquer all his fears, his selfish love of ease and pleasure, and enable him to bear pain and poverty and death itself, provided he can do what is right, and be found by God working His will where He has put him.


Humanity and the Bible. December 6.

He who has an intense perception of humanity must know that Christianity is divine, because it is the only religion which has a perfect perception of human relations, wants, and feelings. None but He who made the heart could have written the Bible.

MS. Note-book. 1843.

Music. December 7.

There is music in heaven, because in music there is no self-will. Music goes on certain laws and rules. Man did not make those laws of music, he has only found them out, and if he be self-willed and break them, there is an end of his music instantly; all he brings out is discord and ugly sounds.

Music is fit for heaven. Music is a pattern and type of heaven, and of the everlasting life of God which perfect spirits live in heaven; a life of melody and order in themselves; a life of harmony with each other and with God.

Good News of God Sermons. 1859.

Waiting. December 8.

Ay—stay awhile in peace. The storms are still. Beneath her eider robe the patient earth Watches in silence for the sun: we'll sit And gaze up with her at the changeless heaven, Until this tyranny be overpast.

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

True or False Toleration? December 9.

"One thing at least I have learnt," he said, "in all my experiments on poor humanity—never to see a man do a wrong thing without feeling I could do the same in his place. I used to pride myself on that once, fool that I was, and call it comprehensiveness. I used to make it an excuse for sitting by and seeing the devil have it all his own way, and call that toleration. I will see now whether I cannot turn the said knowledge to a better account, as common sense, patience, and charity, and yet do work of which neither I nor my country need be ashamed."

Two Years Ago, chap. xxiii. 1856.

Success and Defeat. December 10.

In many things success at first is dangerous, and defeat an excellent medicine for testing people's honesty—for setting them honestly to work to see what they want, and what are the best modes of attaining it. Our sound thrashing, as a nation, in the first French war was the making of our armies; and it is good for an idea, as well as for a man, to bear the yoke in his youth.

Lectures on Ancien Regime. 1867.

Passing Emotions. December 11.

Beware of depending on your own emotions, which are often but the fallings and risings of the frail flesh, and mistaking them for spiritual feelings and affections!

* * * * *

Think less of what you feel—even of trying to be anything. Look out of yourself at God. Pray and praise, and God will give you His Spirit often when you feel most dull.

MS. Letter. 1842.

Christ's Church. December 12.

. . . What a thought it is that there is a God! a Father, a King! a Husband not of individuals, that is a Popish fancy, which the Puritans have adopted—but of the Church—of collective humanity. Let us be content to be members; let us be, if we may, the feet, lowest, hardest worked, trodden on, bleeding, brought into harshest contact with the evil world! Still we are members of Christ's Church! . . .

Letters and Memories. 1843.

Confound me not. December 13.

Have charity, have patience, have mercy. Never bring a human being, however silly, ignorant, or weak, above all, any little child, to shame and confusion of face. Never by petulance, by suspicion, by ridicule, even by selfish and silly haste, never, above all, by indulging in the devilish pleasure of a sneer, crush what is finest, and rouse up what is coarsest in the heart of any fellow-creature.

Westminster Sermons. 1872.

The Divine Hunger and Thirst. December 14.

God grant us to be among "those who really hunger and thirst after righteousness," and who therefore long to know what righteousness is, that they may copy it—those who long to be freed not merely from the punishment of sin after they die, but from sin itself while they live on earth, and who therefore wish to know what sin is that they may avoid it.

Preface to Tauler's Sermons. 1854.

Religion or Godliness? December 15.

This is the especial curse of our day, that religion does not mean, as it used, the service of God—the being like God and showing forth God's glory. No, religion means nowadays the art of getting to heaven when we die, and saving our own miserable souls, and getting God's wages without doing God's work—as if that was godliness, as if that was anything but selfishness, as if selfishness was any the better for being everlasting selfishness!

Village Sermons. 1849.

Christ's Coming. December 16.

Christ may come to us when we are fierce and prejudiced, with that still small voice—so sweet and yet so keen, "Understand those who misunderstand thee. Be fair to those who are unfair to thee. Be just and merciful to those whom thou wouldst like to hate. Forgive and thou shalt be forgiven." He comes to us surely, when we are selfish and luxurious, in every sufferer who needs our help, and says, "If you do good to one of these, my brethren, you do it unto Me."

Last Sermon. MS. 1874.

God's Nature. December 17.

When will men open their eyes to the plain axiom that nothing is impossible with God, save that He should transgress His own nature by being unjust and unloving?

Preface to Tauler. 1854.

Educators of Men. December 18.

There are those who consider—and I agree with them—that the education of boys under the age of twelve years ought to be entrusted, as much as possible, to women. Let me ask—of what period of youth and manhood does it not hold true? I pity the ignorance and conceit of the man who fancies that he has nothing left to learn from cultivated women. I should have thought that the very mission of woman was to be, in the highest sense, the educator of man, from infancy to old age; that that was the work towards which all the God-given capacities of women pointed.

Lecture on Thrift. 1869.

The Earthly Body. December 19.

Let us remember that if the body does feel a burden now (as it must at moments), what a happiness it is to have a body at all: how lonely, cold, barren, would it be to be a "disembodied spirit." As St. Paul says, "Not that we desire to be unclothed, but to be clothed upon"—to have a spiritual, deathless, griefless life instilled into the body.

MS. Letter. 1842.

Home at Last. December 20.

When all the world is old, lad, And all the trees are brown, And all the sport is stale, lad, And all the wheels run down; Creep home and take your place there, The spent and maimed among: God grant you find one face there You loved when all was young.

The Water Babies. 1862.

The Bible. December 21.

The hearts and minds of the sick, the poor, the sorrowing, the truly human, all demand a living God who has revealed Himself in living acts; a God who has taught mankind by facts, not left them to discover Him by theories and sentiments; a Judge, a Father, a Saviour, an Inspirer; in a word, their hearts demand the historic truth of the Bible—of the Old Testament no less than the New.

Sermons on Pentateuch. 1863.

Shaking of Heaven and Earth. December 22.

"Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but heaven" (Hebrews xii. 26- 29). This is one of the royal texts of Scripture. It declares one of those great laws of the kingdom of God which may fulfil itself once and again at many eras and by many methods; which fulfilled itself most gloriously in the first century after Christ; again in the fifth century; again at the time of the Crusades; and again at the great Reformation in the sixteenth century,—and is fulfilling itself again at this very day.

Westminster Sermons. 1872.

Self-Respect the Voice of God. December 23.

Never hurt any one's self-respect. Never trample on any soul, though it may be lying in the veriest mire; for that last spark of self-respect is as its only hope, its only chance; the last seed of a new and better life; the voice of God which still whispers to it, "You are not what you ought to be, and you are not what you can be. You are still God's child, still an immortal soul. You may rise yet, and fight a good fight yet, and conquer yet, and be a man yet, after the likeness of God who made you, and Christ who died for you." Oh! why crush that voice in any heart? If you do the poor creature is lost, and lies where he or she falls, and never tries to rise again.

Good News of God Sermons. 1859.

Christmas Eve. December 24.

We will have no sad forebodings on the eve of the blessed Christmas-tide. He lives, He loves, He reigns; and all is well; for we are His and He is ours.

Two Years Ago, Introduction. 1856.

The Miracle of Christmas Night. December 25.

After the crowning miracle of this most blessed night all miracles are possible. The miracle of Christmas night was possible because God's love was absolute, infinite, unconquerable, able to condescend to anything that good might be done. . . . This Christmas night is the one of all the year which sets a physicist on facing the fact of miracle, and which delivers him from the bonds of sense and custom by reminding him of God made Man.

Letters and Memories. 1858.

Redemption. December 26.

All things are blessed now, but sin; for all things, excepting sin, are redeemed by the life and death of the Son of God. Blessed are wisdom and courage, joy and health and beauty, love and marriage, childhood and manhood, corn and wine, fruit and flowers, for Christ redeemed them by His life. . . . Blessed is death, and blest the unknown realms where souls await the Resurrection Day, for Christ redeemed them by His death. Blessed are all days, dark as well as bright, for all are His, and He is ours; and all are ours, and we are His for ever.

National Sermons. 1848.

Fellow-workers with Christ. December 27.

To abolish the superstition, the misrule, the vice, the misery of this world. That is what Christ will do in the day when He has put all enemies under His feet. That is what Christ has been doing, step by step, ever since that day when first He came to do His Father's will on earth in great humility. Therefore, that is what we must do, each in our place and station, if we be indeed His subjects, fellow-workers with Him in the improvement of the human race, fellow-soldiers with Him in the battle against evil.

All Saints' Day Sermons. 1867.

The bright Pathway. December 28.

There is a healthy ferment of mind in which one struggles through chaos and darkness, by means of a few clues and threads of light—and—of one great bright pathway, which I find more and more to be the only escape from infinite confusion and aberration, the only explanation of a thousand human mysteries—I mean the Incarnation of our Lord—the fact that there really is—a God-Man!

MS. Letter. 1844.

New Worship. December 29.

Blessed, thrice blessed, is it to find that hero-worship is not yet passed away! that the heart of man still beats young and fresh; that the old tales of David and Jonathan, Damon and Pythias, Socrates and Alcibiades, Shakespeare and his nameless friend, of love "passing the love of woman," ennobled by its own humility, deeper than death and mightier than the grave, can still blossom out, if it be but in one heart here and there, to show man still how, sooner or later, "he that loveth knoweth God, for God is love."

Miscellanies. 1850.

Links in the Chain. December 30.

The heart will cry out at times, Oh! blissful future! Oh, dreary present! But let us not repine. What is dreary need not be barren. Nothing need be barren to those who view all things in their real light, as links in the great chain of progression both for themselves and for the Universe. To us all Time should seem so full of life: every moment the grave and the father of unnumbered events and designs in heaven and earth, and the mind of our God Himself—all things moving smoothly and surely in spite of apparent checks and disappointments towards the appointed end.

Letters and Memories. 1844.

Past, Present, Future. December 31.

Surely as the years pass on they ought to have made us better, more useful, more worthy. We may have been disappointed in our lofty ideas of what ought to be done, but we may have gained more clear and practical notions of what can be done. We may have lost in enthusiasm, and yet gained in earnestness. We may have lost in sensibility, yet gained in charity, activity, and power. We may be able to do far less, and yet what we do may be far better done. And our very griefs and disappointments—have they been useless to us? Surely not. We shall have gained instead of lost by them if the Spirit of God has been working in us. Our sorrows will have wrought in us patience, our patience experience, and that experience hope—hope that He who has led us thus far will lead us farther still, that He who has taught us in former days precious lessons—not only by sore temptations but most sacred joys—will teach us in the days to come fresh lessons by temptations, which we shall be more able to endure; and by joys which, though unlike those of old times, are no less sacred, but sent as lessons to our souls by Him from whom all good gifts come.

Water of Life Sermons.

Out of God's boundless bosom, the fount of life, we came; through selfish, stormy youth, and contrite tears—just not too late; through manhood, not altogether useless; through slow and chill old age, we return whence we came, to the bosom of God once more—to go forth again, it may be, with fresh knowledge and fresh powers, to nobler work. Amen.

The Air Mothers. 1869.


DECEMBER 21. St. Thomas, Apostle and Martyr.

The spirits of just men made perfect, freed from the fetters of the gross animal body, and now somewhere in that boundless universe in which this earth is but a tiny speck, doing God's will as they longed to do it on earth, with clearer light, fuller faith, deeper love, mightier powers of usefulness! Ah, that we were like unto them!

All Saints' Day and other Sermons.

DECEMBER 25. Christmas Day.

Thank God, that One was born, at this same time, Who did our work for us: we'll talk of Him: We shall go mad with thinking of ourselves— We'll talk of Him, and of that new-made star, Which, as He stooped into the Virgin's side, From off His finger, like a signet-gem, He dropped in the empyrean for a sign. But the first tear He shed at this His birth-hour, When He crept weeping forth to see our woe, Fled up to Heaven in mist, and hid for ever Our sins, our works, and that same new-made star.

Saint's Tragedy, Act iv. Scene iv.

DECEMBER 26. St. Stephen, the Martyr.

These are the holy ones—the heroes of mankind, the elect, the aristocracy of grace. They are those who carry the palm branch of triumph, who have come out of great tribulation, who have dared and fought and suffered for God and truth and right; who have resisted unto blood, striving against sin. What should easy-going folk like you and me do but place ourselves with all humility, if but for an hour, where we can look afar off upon our betters, and see what they are like and what they do.

All Saints' Day and other Sermons.

DECEMBER 27. St. John, Apostle and Evangelist.

And what do they do, these blessed beings? They longed for, toiled for, it may be died for, the true, the beautiful, and the good; they entered while on earth into the mystery and glory of self-sacrifice, and now they find their bliss in gazing on the one perfect and eternal sacrifice, and rejoicing in the thought that it is the cause and ground of the whole universe, even the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.

All Saints' Day and other Sermons.

DECEMBER 28 Holy Innocents' Day.

Christ comes to us in many ways. But most surely does Christ come to us, and often most happily, and most clearly does He speak to us—in the face of a little child, fresh out of heaven. Ah, let us take heed that we despise not one of these little ones, lest we despise our Lord Himself. For as often as we enter into communion with little children, so often does Christ come to us. So often, as in Judaea of old, does He take a little child and set him in the midst of us, that from its simplicity, docility, and trust—the restless, the mutinous, and the ambitious may learn the things which belong to their peace—so often does He say to us, "Except ye be changed and become as this little child, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. For I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

MS. Last Sermon, Westminster Abbey, Nov. 30, 1874.



Acorn, 223

Action, 146, 167

Affections, 79, 179, 217, 279

Age, old, 63, 285

—reverence for, 81

Anarchy, 165

Angels, 175, 217, 218, 219, 269

Anger, God's loving, 195

Animals, dumb, 81, 181

Antinomies, 159

Anxiety, 211

Aristocracy, ideal, 167

Art, 31, 71, 119, 141, 151

Ascension, 93, 123, 211

Asceticism, 185, 189, 233, 263

Ascetic painters, 39

Atonement, the, 83

Attitude, language of, 155

Augustine, St., 155

Autumn, 51, 221


Beatific Vision, 73, 196, 295

Beauty, 15, 39, 73, 101, 175, 196, 213

—moral, 196, 213

—spiritual, 159

Bible, the, 103, 141, 167, 249, 259, 275, 285

Birds, 53, 77, 99, 101, 103, 125, 127, 137, 271

Blessedness, 218, 245

Body, sacredness of, 63, 67, 185, 229, 244, 285

—the spiritual, 159

Books, 57, 85, 169, 259

Book-learning, 151

Butler's Analogy, 237

CALMNESS, 55, 263

Character, 98, 175, 191

Charity, 37, 281

Cheerfulness, 149, 223, 227

Childhood and wonder, 179

Childlikeness, 31, 183, 187, 235

Children, 48, 109, 295

Chivalry, 139, 153, 179, 181

Christ-child, the, 48

Christ's life, 45, 97, 267

—Church, 121

—compassion, 251

—descent into hell, 98

—resurrection, 95, 98, 211

—the Word, 37, 127

Christianity, Divine, 273

Christmas, 271, 287, 289, 294

Chrysalis state, 171

Church, the, 75, 77, 121, 157

—Catechism, 47, 255

Civilisation, 105, 155, 261

Clergy, the, 215

Coming of Christ, 21, 23, 183, 283, 295

Communion of saints, 141, 193

—Holy, 193

Contemplation, 87, 146

Content, 59

Courage, 275

Cowardice, 207, 265

Creeds, the, 141, 151, 215, 273

Critical spirit, 165, 203

Cross, the, 83, 96, 97, 122, 185, 189, 237, 245

Crucifix, the, 123, 189

Custom, 31

Cynicism, 191

DARK days, 19, 201, 211, 233, 249, 289

Day of the Lord, 3, 195

Dead, the blessed, 21, 49, 95, 139, 193, 249, 253, 289

—prayers for, 24, 81

—work of, 95, 139, 249

Death, 17, 113, 135, 253

—sudden, 89

—and hell, 7, 195

Defeat, 279

Dignity, 137

Discontent, Divine, 165

Disease, 233, 244

Distrust, 165

Doctrines, 157

Doubt, poetry of, 233

Drifting away, 273

Duty, 5, 13, 65, 105, 129, 147, 165, 181, 201, 275

Dying, to live, 13, 55, 93, 97, 117, 217, 295

EARNESTNESS, 35, 139, 293

Earth, God's, 101, 149, 153, 247

Earthly and heavenly, 179

Easter, 93, 98

Eclecticism, 65

Education, 67

—of character, 85

—Divine, 91, 133, 135, 149, 209

—self, 215

—of boys, 283

—after death, 171, 249

Emotions, 5, 49, 79, 85, 179, 189, 203, 259, 279

Enthusiasm, 35

Epiphany, 24

Eternal life, 11, 43

Eternity, 43, 69, 167

Eucharist, the, 21, 65, 185

Excitement, 79, 163

FACTS of life, 103, 113, 207, 285

Failure, 143

Faith, 11, 59, 85, 127, 163, 191, 199, 227, 229

Fasting, 49

Fatherhood of God, 103, 107, 115, 133, 135, 149, 181, 223, 265, 273

Fear, 137, 265, 275

Fellowship of sorrow, 109, 111, 279

Fire of God, 195

—cleansing, 195, 225, 237

Flesh and spirit, 189

Flowers, 15, 99, 101, 105, 127, 151, 221

Fool's paradise, 111, 267

Forgiveness, 169

Forward, 3

Francis, St., 103

Friendship, 19, 61, 291

Future, the, 129, 195

—identity, 19, 253

—life, 57, 65, 71, 81, 113, 171, 237, 253, 293

GENIUS, 105, 175, 215

Gifts, 83, 111, 129

Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, 203

God, the Living, 7, 101, 103, 111, 133, 193, 243, 285

—the Ideal, 73

—an indulgent, 15

—of Nature, 103, 131, 151, 183

God's character, 33, 87, 111, 181, 195, 253, 273, 283

—countenance, 131

Godliness, 91, 281

Good, the eternal, 35, 171, 253

Good in all, 9, 287

Good deeds, 187, 263

Good Friday, 93, 97

Goodness, 5, 105, 113, 199, 245

Gratitude, 89

Greeks, the old, 67, 107, 133, 155, 229

HAPPINESS, 29, 59, 245, 265

Harmony, 5, 67, 83, 127, 161, 277

Hearts and streams, 119, 197

Heaven, 109, 167

Hell, 96, 98, 109, 195, 265

—keys of, 7

—a present, 43

Hero worship, 291

Heroism, 41, 61, 71, 207, 239, 294

History, philosophy of, 63

Hope, 39, 111, 145, 149, 237, 247

Hospitals, 263

Humanity, 275

Humility, 13, 41, 169, 193

I AM I, 55, 89, 185, 199

Ideal, the, 63, 73, 117

Ideals, high, 77

Idleness, 91, 157, 207

Impunity, 217

Incarnation, the, 146, 253, 291

Influence, silent, 139, 259

Intermediate state, 98, 245, 289

JOHN the Baptist, 147

John, St., 45, 53, 63, 113

Justification, 43

KINDNESS, 181, 205

Kingdom, coming, 21, 179; of God, 45, 185

Knowledge, 53, 79, 131, 135, 163, 177, 183

LAMP race, 133

Laws of God, 98, 117, 163, 169, 229, 277, 287

Lesson of life, 61, 293

Liberty, 215

Life everlasting, 11, 113, 219, 277

—long, 133

—value of, 61

Light, 33, 177, 249, 291

Liturgies, 249

Love, 9, 37, 41, 53, 55, 79, 117, 201, 209, 235, 251, 289, 219

—Divine, 117

—and beauty, 201

MAN in God's image, 89, 127, 199, 229

March, 51, 53

Martyrs, 17, 98, 172, 218, 294, 295

Masses, the, 177

May, 99

Melancholy, 137, 183, 233, 253

Melody, 5, 127, 277

Men and women, 39, 91, 93, 153, 259, 283

Metre, 119

Midsummer, 125

Miracles, 31, 99, 289

Moderation, 69

Monotony, 163

Morality, 29, 147, 255

Morbid mind, 233

Morning, 19, 125, 201, 249

Mother earth, 247

Mothers, 61, 74, 213

Music, 23, 107, 127, 161, 277

Mystery of life, 117, 155, 185, 291

Mystics, 55, 185, 251


Nature, 141, 183, 187, 221, 241, 247, 253

—study of, 7, 105, 131, 141, 175, 183, 187

Nature's worship, 131

Night, 201, 211

Nineteenth century, 3, 151, 257

Noble life, 5, 9

Noble studies, 63

North-east wind, 1

Novel reading, 85, 169, 259


Old truths, 151

Opinions, 215

Originality, 239

Orthodox, 141

PAINTERS, 39, 71, 141, 159

Parables, Nature's, 5, 99, 101, 127, 173, 175, 196, 197, 249

Passion, 35, 197, 213

—Week, 95

Patience, 59, 143, 237, 277, 281

Paul, St., 25, 53, 207

Peace, 23, 59, 193

Penitence, 191

Penuriousness, 67

Peter, St., 45, 148

Philamon, 9, 45

Physician, 233, 244

Pictures, 39, 71, 141

Plato, 171

Poetry, 23, 41, 69, 215

Political economy, 115, 261

Practice, 143, 267

Prayer, 89, 119, 163, 167, 227, 229, 241, 267

—the Lord's, 31

—unselfish, 31

Prayers for dead, 81

Present time, 3, 5

Presentiments, 143

Pride and humility, 193, 215, 235, 267

Problem of life, 135, 291

Profession, empty, 157, 213

Progress, 101, 163, 257, 291

Proverbs, 235

Providence, 115, 169, 243

—special, 55, 159, 209, 251

Psalms, 17, 191

Public opinion, 77

Punishment, 41, 135, 159, 191, 261, 281

Purgatory, 171


Rank, 15, 161

Reason, 35, 111, 143, 237

Redemption of earth and man, 153

Refinement, false, 161

Reformers, 77

Religion, 103, 265, 281

Renewal, the, 71, 81, 127, 185

Repentance, 41, 49, 157

Resignation, 117, 211, 217

Rest, 21, 49, 229, 253, 263

Resurrection, 63, 81, 93, 95, 98, 141, 145, 171, 185, 207

Retribution, 47, 81, 113, 135, 177

Reverence, 81, 175, 243

Reveries, 39

Righteousness, 117, 255, 281

Rights and duties, 39

Rock of Ages, 169, 235

Romance, 127

Rules of life, 83, 107, 163

Ruth, 79

SACRAMENTALISM, 15, 39, 101, 119, 213

Sacraments, 21, 146

Safety, 17, 57

Saints' Days, 24

Saints, the, 24, 98, 122, 141, 193, 268, 269, 294, 295

Salvation, 135

Sanitary science, 29, 261

Science, 33, 59, 115, 151, 227, 233, 261

Secular, 59

Self, 31, 233

Selfishness, 159, 219, 231, 281

Self-conceit, 205

Self-control, 165, 223, 241, 259, 263

Self-improvement, 215

Self-indulgence, 91, 275

Self-respect, 287

Self-sacrifice, 13, 21, 55, 71, 79, 95, 117, 146, 148, 189, 213, 231, 295

Security, false, 115

Sensuality, 133

Sentiment, 5

Shakespeare, 179

Shame, 199

Shelley, 267

Silence, 41, 139, 257, 259

Sin, 41, 135, 159, 169, 213, 233, 281

Sisters of Mercy, 237

Sneering, 281

Sorrow, 145, 183, 185, 227, 273

Spirit, the Holy, 146

Spiritual world, 179

Spring, 27, 51, 99, 101

Starlings, 51

Stream and shower, 119, 197

Strength, 263

Substitutes, 225

Success, 139, 227, 279

Summer days, 125, 129, 131, 137, 149

Superstition, 3, 137, 169, 175

Suspicion, 281

Symbols, 99, 101, 105, 127, 131, 151, 173, 196

Sympathy, 103, 151, 153

TACT, 35, 53, 113

Temperament, 231

Temperance, true, 223, 263

Temptation, 57

Theology, 87

Thrift, 131, 183, 259

Toleration, 63, 141, 277

Training, God's, 115, 129, 215

Transfiguration, the, 205

Trinity, the, 146

Trust, 239, 265

UNITY, 185

Usefulness, 225

Utopia, 167

VAGUENESS, 11, 161

Vineyards, 121

Violence, 139

Virgin, Blessed, 74

Virtue, 29, 41, 225

Visitation of God, 61

Voyagers, early, 243

WAITING, 135, 277

—of God, 181

War tragedies, 107

Water, 29, 119, 197

Welfare, 145, 255

Winter, 1, 27, 99

Wisdom, 37, 83, 105, 107, 163

Woman, 45, 153, 87

Woman's work, 39, 45, 79, 93, 231, 259

Women, educated, 85, 169

Word Christ, the, 7, 37

—the indwelling, 259

Words, 37, 113

—hard, 53

—of God, 141

Work, 71, 83, 133, 143, 157, 165, 175, 203, 209, 223, 263

World, the, 167

Worm, the undying, 195

Worship, 131

YOUTH, 13, 129


{3} The paper edition of this book has blank pages where the owner can write diary notes, etc. This is why the page numbers in the eText often miss out numbers.—DP.

{97} Lines written under a pen and ink drawing of a stormy shoreless sea, with two human beings lashed to a cross floating on the crest of the waves.


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