Assorted Writings


by Phillips Brooks (attributed)

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college.

He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with the world except the naked power of His divine manhood.

While still a young man, thy tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him.He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trail. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying--and that His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.

All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

from Words of a Believer
by Felicite De Lamennais

You have but one day to pass upon earth: order it so that you may pass it in peace.
Peace is the fruit of love; for love lies at the bottom of pure hearts as the drop of dew in the calyx of a flower.
Oh, if you knew what it was to love!
You say that you love, and many of your brothers lack bread to sustain life; clothing to cover their naked limbs; a roof to shelter them; a handful of straw to sleep upon; while you have abundance of everything.

You say that you love, while there are sick ones in great numbers, languishing on their wretched couches without help; unhappy ones weeping, and no one to weep with them; little children going about all stiff with cold, from door to door, asking the rich for a crumb of bread from their tables, and not getting it.
You say that you love your brothers, and what would you do if you hated them?

In School Days
by John Greenleaf Whittier

He saw her lift her eyes; he felt
The soft hand'slight caressing,
And heard the tremble of her voice,
As if a fault confessing,

"I'm sorry I spelt the word;
I hate to go before you,
Because,"--the brown eyes lower fell--
"Because, you see, I love you!"

Still memory to a gray-haired man
That sweet child-face is showing.
Dear girl! the grasses on her grave
Have forty years been growing!

He lives to learn, in life's hard school,
How few who pass above him
Lament their triumph and his loss,
Like her--because they love him.

from Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

If there were a man who dared to say all that he thought of this world there would not be left him a square foot of ground to stand on.When a man appears the world bears down on him and breaks his back. There are too many rotten pillars left standing, too much festering humanity for man to bloom.

The superstructure is a lie and the foundation is a huge quaking fear. If at intervals of centuries there does appear a man with a desperate, hungry look in his eye, a man who would turn the world upside down in order to create a new race, the love that he brings to the world is turned to bile and he becomes a scourge.

If now and then we encounter pages that explode, pages that wound and sear, that wring groans and tears and curses, know that they come from a man with his back up, a man whose only defenses left are his words and the words are always stronger than the lying, crushing weight of the world, stronger than all the racks and wheels which the cowardly invent to crush out the miracle of personality.

If a man ever dared to translate all that is in his heart, to put down what is really his experiece, what is truly his truth, I think the world would go to smash, that it would be blown to smithereens and no god, no accident, no will could ever again assemble the pieces, the atoms, the indestructible elements that have gone to make up the world.

from Adventures In Friendship

by David Grayson

Happiness, I have discovered, is nearly always a rebound from hard work. It is one of the follies of men to imagine that they can enjoy mere thought, or emotion, or sentiment. As well try to eat beauty! For happiness must be tricked! She loves to see men at work.

She loves sweat, weariness, self-sacrifive. She will be found not in palaces but lurking in cornfields and factories and hovering over littered desks; she crowns the unconscious head of the busy child. If you look up suddenly from hard work you will see her, but if you look too long she fades sorrowfully away.

There is something fine in hard physical labor. One actually stops thinking.I often work long without any thought whatever, so far as I know, save that connected with the monotonous repetition of the labor itself--down with the spade, out with it, up with it--and repeat. And yet sometimes, mostly in the fore noon when I am not at all tired, I will suddenly have a sense as of the world opening around me--a sense of its beauty and its meaning--giving me a peculiar deep happiness, that is near complete content.

These Are The Gifts I Ask

Henry Van Dyke

These are the gifts I ask
Of Thee, Spirit serene:
Strength for the daily task,
Courage to face the road,
Good cheer to help me bear the traveler's load,
And, for the hours of rest that come between,
An inward joy of all things heard and seen.

These are the sins I fain
Would have Thee take away;
Malice and cold disdain,
Hot anger, sullen hate,
Scorn of the lowly, envy of the great,
And discontent that casts a shadow gray
On all the brightness of the common day.

Preamble of The Constitution Of The United States

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.

from The Declaration of Independance

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, A decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which inpel them to the separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, It is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying itsFoundation on such principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

from Oklahoma!

by Oscar Hammerstein II

There's a bright, golden haze on the meadow,
There's a bright, golden haze on the meadow.
The corn is as high as a elephant's eye
An' it looks like it's climbin' clear up to the sky.

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I got a beautiful feelin'
Ev'rythin's goin' my way.

All the cattle are standin' like statues,
All the cattle are standin' like statues.
They don't turn their heads as they see me ride by,
But a little brown mav'rick is winkin' her eye.

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I got a beautiful feelin'
Ev'rythin's goin' my way.

All the sounds of earth are like music,
All the sounds of earth are like music.
The breeze is so busy it don't miss a tree
And a ol' weepin' willer is laughin' at me!

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I got a beautiful feelin'
Ev'erthin's goin' my way---
Oh, what a beautiful day!

from The Dreamer

by Ruth Margaret Gibbs

"Let there be light", God said;
And lo! across the chasm of the deep
All darkness fled
Dismayed before the One
Whose radiance outshines a noonday sun;
And dawn came on,
And morning out of night,
When God, sweeping across the chaos, said,
"Let there be light!"

"Let there be light," God said;
And lo! from out my sinful heart
The darkness fled;
From bondage I was free.
I only looked in faith to Calvalry,
Saw One and loved Him;
Thus I gained my sight
When God swept down across my soul, and said,
"Let there be light!"

The Beautiful Life

Author Unknown

When you go out in the morning
To begin the work of the day,
Don't neglect the little chances
You find along your way;
For in lifting another's burden,
And speaking a word of cheer;
You will find your own cares lighter,
And easier for you to bear.

Forget each kindness that you do
As soon as you have done it;
Forget the praise that falls to you
The moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear
Before you can repeat it
Forget each slight, each spite, each sneer
Wherever you may meet it.

Remember every kindness done
To you whate'er its measure;
Remember praise by others won,
And pass it on with pleasure;
Remember every promise made,
And keep it to the letter,
Remember those who lent you aid,
And be a grateful debtor.

f rom Merchant Of Venice

by William Shakespeare

T he quality of mercy is not strained,---
It droppeth as gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed,---
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:

'T is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptred sway,---
It is entroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God Himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice.

But Once I Pass This Way

Author Unknown

But once I pass this way,
And then--and then, the silent Door
Swings on its hinges---
And no more
I pass this way,
So while I might,
I will essay
Sweet comfort and delight
To all I meet upon the Pilgrim Way,
For no man travels twice
The Great Highway
That climbs through darkness up to light
Through night to day.

from Man's Search For Freedom

by Viktor E. Frankl

We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of his freedoms to go--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

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Background For this Page from Victorian Elegance.