A Christmas Sermon

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C. Scribner's Sons, 1900 - Christmas sermons - 23 pages
 

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Page 8 - To be honest, to be kind — to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends but these without capitulation — above all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himself — here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.
Page 22 - A late lark twitters from the quiet skies ; And from the west, Where the sun, his day's work ended, Lingers as in content, There falls on the old, gray city An influence luminous and serene, A shining peace. ' The smoke ascends In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires Shine, and are changed. In the valley Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun, Closing his benediction, Sinks, and the darkening air Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night— Night, with her train of stars And her great gift of...
Page 21 - Friendships fall through, health fails, weariness assails him; year after year, he must thumb the hardly varying record of his own weakness and folly. It is a friendly process of detachment. When the time comes that he should go, there need be few illusions left about himself. Here lies one who meant well, tried a little, failed much: — surely that may be his epitaph, of which he need not be ashamed.
Page 11 - If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong. I do not say "give them up," for they may be all you have; but conceal them like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of better and simpler people.
Page 23 - In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires Shine, and are changed. In the valley Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun, Closing his benediction, Sinks, and the darkening air Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night — Night with her train of stars And her great gift of sleep. So be my passing ! My task accomplished and the long day done, My wages taken, and in my heart Some late lark singing, Let me be gathered to the quiet west, The sundown splendid and serene, Death.
Page 22 - ... complain at the summons which calls a defeated soldier from the field: defeated, ay, if he were Paul or Marcus Aurelius! — but if there is still one inch of fight in his old spirit, undishonoured. The faith which sustained him in his life-long blindness and life-long disappointment will scarce even be required in this last formality of laying down his arms. Give him a march with his old bones; there, out of the glorious suncoloured earth, out of the day and the dust and the ecstasy — there...
Page 14 - There is an idea abroad among moral people that they should make their neighbors good. One person I have to make good : myself. But my duty to my neighbor is much more nearly expressed by saying that I have to make him happy — if I may.
Page 5 - It is probable that nearly all who think of conduct at all, think of it too much; it is certain we all think too much of sin. We are not damned for doing wrong, but for not doing right...
Page 9 - There is indeed one element in human destiny that not blindness itself can controvert : whatever else we are intended to do, we are not intended to succeed ; failure is the fate allotted.
Page 8 - ... something bold, arduous, and conclusive; we had rather found a schism or suppress a heresy, cut off a hand or mortify an appetite. But the task before us, which is to co-endure with our existence, is rather one of microscopic fineness, and the heroism required is that of patience. There is no cutting of the Gordian knots of life; each must be smilingly unravelled.

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