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Festus. The value of a thought cannot be told ; REDEEM We time—its loss we dearly buy. But it is clearly worth a thousand lives,
No blank, no trifle, nature made or meant. Like many men's. And yet men love to live, Virtue, or purposed virtue, still be thine : As if mere life were worth their living for.
This cancels thy complaint at once ; this leaves What but perdition will it be to most?
In act no trifle, and no blank in time.
This, the bless'd art of turning all to gold;
Thy purpose firm is equal to the deed ;
Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more. We should count time by heart-throbs. He most
Young lives Who thinks most,-feels the noblest, -acts the best. 31. ACTION. Record of
Philip James Bailey.
Though history, on her faded scrolls,
Fragments of facts and wrecks of names enrolls, 29. ACTION. Present
Time's indefatigable finger writes
Men's meanest actions on their souls,
In lines which not himself can blot :
These the last day shall bring to light,
Though through long centuries forgot,
When hearts and sepulchres are bared to sight.
Ah! then shall each of Adam's race,
In that concentred instant, trace,
Upon the tablet of his mind,
His whole existence in a thought combined,
Thenceforth to part no more, but be
Impictured on his memory ;
-As in the image-chamber of the eye,
Seen at a glance, in clear perspective, lie
Myriads of forms of ocean, earth, and sky.
32. ACTION. Resolution in
Be just in all thy actions, and if join'd
With those that are not, never change thy mind ;
If aught obstruct thy course, yet stand not still,
But wind about till thou hast topp'd the hill.
33. ACTION. Room for
THROUGH the blue Immense
Strike out, all swimmers ! cling not in the way
Of one another, so to sink, but learn
The strong man's impulse, catch the fresh’ning spray
He throws up in his motions, and discern
By his clear, westering eye, the time of day.
Thou, God, hast set us worthy gifts to earn,
Besides Thy heaven and Thee! and when I say
There's room here for the weakest man alive
Balm wouldst thou gather for corroding grief? To live and die,--there's room too, I repeat, Pour blessings round thee like a shower of gold. For all the strongest to live well and strive,
'Tis when the rose is wrapt in many a fold, Their own way, by their individual heat,
Close to its heart, the worm is wasting there Like a new bee-swarm leaving the old hive,
Its life and beauty; not when, all unroll’d, Despite the wax which tempts so violet-sweet. Leaf after leaf, its bosom, rich and fair, Then let the living live, the dead retain
Breathes freely its perfumes throughout the ambient Their grave-cold flowers ! through honour's best supplied,
Wake, thou that sleepest in enchanted bowers, By bringing actions to prove theirs not vain.
Lest these lost years should haunt thee on the night Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
When death is waiting for thy number'd hours
To take their swift and everlasting flight ; 34. ACTIONS. Good
Wake ere the earth-born charm unnerve thee quite, Good actions crown themselves with lasting bays, And be thy thoughts to work divine address'd : Who deserves well needs not another's praise. Do something--do it soon-with all thy might;
Heath. An angel's wing would droop if long at rest, If thou doest ill, the joy fades, not the pains ;
And God himself, inactive, were no longer blest. If well, the pain doth fade, the joy remains.
Some high or humble enterprise of good
Contemplate till it shall possess thy mind, 35. ACTIONS: how their moral quality is to be And kindle in thy heart a flame refined.
Become thy study, pastime, rest, and food, determined.
Pray Heaven for firmness thy whole soul to bind
To this thy purpose—to begin, pursue,
With thoughts all fix'd and feelings purely kind;
Strength to complete, and with review,
And grace to give the praise where all is ever due.
Shalt bless the earth while in the world above : 36. ACTIONS: must not be indiscreet.
The good begun by thee shall onward flow For good and well must in our actions meet;
In many a branching stream, and wider grow;
The seed that, in these few and fleeting hours,
Thy hands unsparing and unwearied sow,
Shall deck thy grave with amaranthine flowers, 37. ACTIONS. Sudden
And yield thee fruits divine in heaven's immortal Actions rare and sudden, do commonly
bowers.-Carlos Wilcor. Proceed from fierce necessity : or else
41. ACTIVITY : how much it accomplishes. From some oblique design, which is ashamed To show itself in the public road.
The keen spirit
Start into instant action, and at once 38. ACTIVITY: admired.
Plans and performs, resolves and executes ! CELERITY is never more admired
Hannah More. Than by the negligent. - Ben Jonson.
42. ACTIVITY. Incentives to 39. ACTIVITY : characteristic of the wise.
MAKE haste, O man, to live,
For thou so soon must die;
Time hurries past thee like the breeze;
How swift its moments fly!
To breathe, and wake, and sleep, 40. ACTIVITY. Christian
To smile, to sigh, to grieve; WOULDST thou from sorrow find a sweet relief?
To move in idleness through earth, Or is thy heart oppress'd with woes untold ?
This, this is not to live!
Make haste, O man, to do
Whatever must be done;
Thy day will soon be gone.
Fling ease and self away ; This is no time for thee to sleep,
Up, watch, and work, and pray ! The useful, not the great,
The thing that never dies ; The silent toil that is not lost,
Set these before thine eyes. The seed, whose leaf and flower,
Though poor in human sight, Brings forth at last the eternal fruit,
Sow thou by day and night.
Thy time is almost o'er :
48. ADAM AND EVE. Description of
Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
The loveliest pair
43. ACTIVITY: its necessity.
Take the instant way;
49. ADAM AND EVE. Transgression of
44 ACTIVITY. Mental
THERE is a fire-fly in the southern clime
Philip James Bailey.
With fatal and disastrous ease Listing her hand into the clustering boughs, She touch'd, she took, she tasted. One small taste Sufficed. Her eyes were open'd; and she seem'd, The moorings cut which bound her to the shore, Launch'd on an ocean of delights. Alas, Perfidious sea, on which the fairest bark E'er floated suffer'd foulest wrong and wreck ! Awhile as in a dream she stood, but soon Her scatter'd thoughts recall’d, and from the boughs Selecting one loaden with luscious fruit, She pluck'd it bower'd in leaves, and took her way To seek her absent lord. Him soon she met Returning with no laggard steps ; for when The serpent slid with such strange haste away The loitering minutes hours appear’d, and then A strange solicitude unknown before Began to creep around his boding heart, And he retraced his path. But when he saw
On it goes,
45. ACTIVITY: must not be excessive. Run if you like, but try to keep your breath ; Work like a man, but don't be work'd to death.
0. W. Holmes.
The cedar withereth on a wall, while the house-leek
is fattening in a hotbed ; And the dock, with its rank leaves, hideth the sun
from violets. To everything a fitting place, a proper, honourable
use; The humblest measure of mind is bright in its
humbler sphere; The blind at an easel, the palsied with a graver, the
halt making for the goal, The deaf ear tuning psaltery, the stammerer discours
ing eloquence,What wonder if all fail ? the shaft fieth wide of its
mark Alike if itself be crooked, or the bow be strung awry.
Eve with flush'd cheek and agitated mien
O Eve, my wife, Heaven's last, Heaven's dearest gift, what hast thou
done ? Me miserable! Thou hast undone thyself, Thyself and me; for if thou diest I die, Bone of my bone, flesh of my very flesh,Eve, in whose veins my heart's best juices flow. What can I do, what suffer for thee? Say I rigorously refuse this fatal fruit, What, shall I see thy warm and gentle limbs Stiffen in death, and live myself? How live? Alone? Or peradventure God will take Another rib, and form another Eve? Nay, we are one. My heart, myself am thine. Our Maker made us one. Shall I unmake His union? and transfer from heart to heart My very life? Far higher I deem of love, No transferable perishable thing, But flowing from its secret fountain, God, Like God immortal and immutable. But oh, what follows ? Adam, be thou sure Of thy inflexible resolve-death, death : Both cannot live, and therefore both must die.' So saying, from her hand he took and ate, Not circumvented by the serpent's fraud, But blindly overcome hy human love, Love's semblance, which belied its name, denying The Great Creator for the creature's sake.
Edward Henry Bickersteth.
ADIEU ! adieu ! what means adieu !
52. ADMIRATION: and Esteem.
They say that esteem is a diamond so bright,
It enkindles the eye that by sorrow is shaded ; But glory to me is the sun's dazzling light, That illumines a world which in darkness had
Esteem is the dew-drop that freshens the flower ;
Admiration, the arch'd hues that splendidly shine. The one is a sprinkle, the other a showerLet mine be the rainbow, the dew may be thine.
James Gates Percival.
53. ADVENT. Christ's first
50. ADAPTATION. Utility of A SMITH at the loom and a weaver at the forge were
but sorry craftsmen : And a ship that saileth on every wind never shall
reach her port; Yet there be thousands among men who heed not
the leaning of their talents, But, cutting against the grain, toil on to no good
end; And the light of a thoughtful spirit is quenched
beneath the bushel of commerce, While meaner plodding minds are driven up the
mountain of philosophy ;
O sight of strange surprise
55. ADVENT, THE SECOND : importance of That fills our gazing eyes !
preparation for it.
BEHOLD, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of A leaning mother poor, and child that helpless lies.
the night, Art Thou, O wondrous sight,
And blest is he whose loins are girt, whose lamp is
But woe to that dull servant whom the Master shall
surprise Who than the glorious heavens art more exceeding With lamp untrimm'd, unburning, and with slumber bright?
in his eyes! 'Tis so : Faith darts before,
Do thou, my soul, beware, beware, lest thou in sleep And, through the cloud drawn o'er,
sink down, She sees the God of all,
Lest thou be given o'er to death, and lose the golden Where angels prostrate fall,
crown ; Adoring, tremble still, and trembling still adore. But see that thou be sober, with watchful eyes, and Within us, babe Divine,
thus Be born, and make us Thine;
Cry 'Holy, holy, holy God, have mercy upon us !' Within our souls reveal
That day, the day of fear, shall come: my soul, Thy love and power to heal ;
slack not thy toil, Be born, and make our hearts Thy cradle and Thy But light thy lamp, and feed it well, and make it shrine.- Isaac Williams.
bright with oil; 54. ADVENT, THE SECOND : its approach. Who knowest not how soon may sound the cry at O'ER the distant mountains breaking
eventide, Comes the redd’ning dawn of day,
• Behold, the Bridegroom comes ! Arise ! Go forth Rise, my soul, from sleep awaking,
to meet the Bride.' Rise and sing, and watch and pray:
Beware, my soul; beware, beware, lest thou in 'Tis thy Saviour
slumber lie, On His bright returning way.
And, like the five, remain without, and knock and O Thou long-expected ! weary
vainly cry ; Waits mine anxious soul for Thee,
But watch, and bear thy lamp undimm'd, and Christ Life is dark and earth is dreary
shall gird thee on Where Thy light I do not see ;
His own bright wedding-robe of light,--the glory of O my Saviour !
the Son.— Tr. from the Greek by G. Moultrie. When wilt Thou return to me? Long, too long, in sin and sadness,
56. ADVENT, THE SECOND: its nearness. Far away from Thee I pine,
BRIDE of the Lamb, awake! awake!
Why sleep for sorrow now?
The hope of glory, Christ, is thine,
A child of glory thou.
Thy spirit, through the lonely night,
From earthly joy apart,
Hath sigh’d for one that's far away,
The Bridegroom of thy heart.
But see! the night is waning fast,
The breaking morn is near ;
And Jesus comes, with voice of love,
Thy drooping heart to cheer.
He comes-for oh ! His yearning heart
No more can bear delay-
To scenes of full, unmingled joy,
To call His bride away.