Friday, September 15, 2017

  "I like to see people sing when they have to stop in the middle of the verse and cry a little. I like such unwritten rests and pauses in the music. Beecher.

  "Going into a village at night, with the lights gleaming on each side of the street, in some houses they will be in the basement and nowhere else, and in others in the attic and nowhere else, and in others in some middle chamber; but in no house will every window gleam from top to bottom. So is it with men's faculties. Most of them are in darkness. One shines here, and another there; but there is no man whose soul is luminous throughout." Henry Ward Beecher.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

 "There is a personal language in the Bible; we hear in its pages living voices of living men speaking to us. 
Phrases of the Bible startle us by their direct application to us; they cling to us and reach even where no friend's voice can reach.
A presence falls quietly on the soul, stillness is appreciated, living without the epic, but finding under the surface an alluring simplicity.  
Every moment a promise, not to be found slipping through our fingers, but grasped, possessed, enjoyed.
New sensations of hope, and a heart quieting peace all permeated with a deep elation and joy. Leaving the shallows for deeper currents.
Jesus brings the fascination back into life: laughter, charm, and purpose. And even the smallest doubting faith finds a self-multiplying power." James Martineau. 

"The rules of quantity, the laws of weight and measure, do not hold beyond the outward world; they disappear wherever the Holy Spirit claims its own. The smallest spiritual store, taken into the most retired spot, has a self-multiplying power; and if only used with holy trust, will pass the dimensions of nature and betray the resources of the infinite. The great Creative Spirit is every ready to touch the merest grain of manna in the heart, and make it numerous to shine on all the ground. When He flings a handful of moral endowments into the furrows of our nature, he never withholds the mellowing winds and dews; and the germs will not perish unless we deny them root. Within the smallest genuine grace he has wrapped up boundless possibilities; and whoever will but believe in it and apply it faithfully shall never fail of more." 
James Martineau.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

  "Jesus was know as a Man of sorrows; of one serene indeed in spirit, and of strength divine and clear; but with a tinge throughout of sad earnestness, -- sometime flushing up into a transient glow of hope, -- rarely deepening into the shade of visible anguish; and yet throughout, from the wrestling’s in the desert to his cry upon the cross, showing itself in miracles of pity and in nights of prayer; in the light of his love and the flash of his invective, -- his delight in nature and in childhood, his abhorrence of Pharisees and hypocrites; in the deep beauty of his parables, and the melancholy wisdom of his prophecies; in the sedate unity of his life and quiet majesty of his death. How indeed is he represented by the emblem in which Christendom has embodies its veneration? The crucifix is the accepted symbol of grief divinely borne." J. Martineau.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

  When we are young, all is novel and thrilling, in life or in faith, "But the cycle of young experience soon completes itself. At each return its repetitions become more and more familiar. Change itself becomes customary, and visits the mind with monotony rather than variety. The spring seems to burst with a fainter verdure, and the winter hearth to burn with a less vivid glow. The morning-breeze of young enthusiasm, so fragrant of the night, so fresh from heaven, grows drowsy with the steady heat, and sinks to rest: and the mental and moral life which had been nursed in vicissitude threatens to perish under the opiate of usage.

Not that Providence abandons us in our maturity, or omits to ply us with awakening appeals. No sooner has life ceased to be a constant flow of novelty, than it enters on a series of grand crises, which intersect its even course: its current orbit has become as a beaten track: but there are nodes it cannot pass without a spark and thrill. When life-long ties are contracted, and the green path is entered at one end at whose other the death-shadow waits in ambush; when first the home of marriage is set in order; when the child is born; when the parent dies; when the friend deserts, or the business fails, or the sickness prostrates; the Angel of Change looks in again through her veil of light, or her curtain of shadows, and reminds us of Him who abideth in the midst for ever. As one crisis after another is brought upon our lot, it gives us the means of moral admeasurement and deeper self-knowledge: it reads off the reckoning of our spirits, and tells us whether we more deeply live, or more begin to die." Martineau.