There are no times in life when opportunity, the chance to be and do, gathers so richly about the soul as when it has to suffer. Then everything depends on whether the man turns to the lower or the higher helps. If he resorts to mere expedients and tricks the opportunity is lost. He comes out no richer nor greater; nay, he comes out harder, poorer, smaller for his pain. But, if he turns to God, the hour of suffering is the turning hour of his life.
The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.
No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and pure and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.
Topics: Influence, Existence, Goodness
The only way to realize that we are God’s children is to let Christ lead us to our Father.
Dreadful will be the day when the world becomes contented, when one great universal satisfaction spreads itself over the world. Sad will be the day for every man when he becomes absolutely contented with the life that he is living, with the thoughts that he is thinking, with the deeds that he is doing, when there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger which he knows that he was meant and made to do because he is a child of God.
Topics: Prophecy, Growth, Dreams, Vision, Success, Doing Your Best
While men believe in the possibilities of children being religious, they are largely failing to make them so, because they are offering them not a child’s but a man’s religion—men’s forms of truth and men’s forms of experience.
Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.
Self-confidence is either a petty pride in our own narrowness, or the realization of our duty and privilege as God’s children.
Wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely way, there God is hewing out the pillars for His temple.
The earth has grown old with its burden of care
But at Christmas it always is young,
The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair
And its soul full of music breaks the air,
When the song of angels is sung.
Christmas day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both.
Christianity knows no truth, which is not the child of love and the parent of duty.
We anticipate a time when the love of truth shall have come up to our love of liberty, and men shall be cordially tolerant and earnest believers both at once.
The best advisers, helpers and friends, always are not those who tell us how to act in special cases, but who give us, out of themselves, the ardent spirit and desire to act right, and leave us then, even through many blunders, to find out what our own form of right action is.
To say, “well done” to any bit of good work is to take hold of the powers which have made the effort and strengthen them beyond our knowledge.
Greatness after all, in spite of its name, appears to be not so much a certain size as a certain quality in human lives. It may be present in lives whose range is very small.
Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long-continued process.
Topics: Decide, Act, Life, Character, Rest, Fail, Great
If we could sweep intemperance out of the country, there would be hardly poverty enough left to give healthy exercise to the charitable impulses.
There is not one life which the Life-giver ever loses out of His sight; not one which sins so that He casts it away; not one which is not so near to Him that whatever touches it touches Him with sorrow or with joy.
Call your opinions your creed, and you will change them every week. Make your creed simply and broadly out of the revelation of God, and you will keep it to the end.
Topics: Opinions, Opinion
Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance, but taking hold of God’s willingness.
There is such a difference between coming out of sorrow merely thankful for belief, and coming out of sorrow full of sympathy with, and trust in, Him who has released us.
The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.
The copy-books tell us that “to err is human.” That is wrong. To err is inhuman, to be holy is to live in the straight line of duty and of truth to God’s life in every intrinsic existence.
No man has come to true greatness who has not felt in some degree that his life belongs to his race, and that what God gives him He gives him for mankind.
Topics: Greatness & Great Things, Help, God, Cooperation, Greatness
The truest help we can render an afflicted man is not to take his burden from him, but to call out his best energy, that he may be able to bear the burden.
Topics: Assistance, Service, Aid, Help
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Sam Shoemaker American Episcopal Priest
- Edward Everett Hale American Unitarian Clergyman
- Hosea Ballou American Theologian
- Thomas Merton American Trappist Monk
- William Laurence Sullivan American Unitarian Clergyman
- James Freeman Clarke American Unitarian Clergyman
- Edward McKendree Bounds American Methodist Clergyman
- Frederick Buechner American Presbyterian Clergyman
- Harry Emerson Fosdick American Baptist Minister
- Henry Ward Beecher American Protestant Clergyman