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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Phillips Brooks
 
        O little town of Bethlehem!
How still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by.
Yet, in thy dark street shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years,
Are met in thee, to-night.
  1
        O Risen Christ! O Easter Flower!
  How dear Thy Grace has grown!
From east to west, with loving power,
  Make all the world Thine own.
  2
        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 forth on the air
  When the song of the angels is sung.
  
It is coming, Old Earth, it is coining tonight!
  On the snowflakes which cover thy sod
The feet of the Christ-child fall gentle and white,
And the voice of the Christ-child tells out with delight
  That mankind are the children of God.
  3
        Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer;
Death is strong, but life is stronger;
Stronger than the dark, the light;
Stronger than the wrong, the right;
Faith and hope triumphant say,
“Christ will rise on Easter day!”
  4
        Up and down our lives obedient
Walk, dear Christ, with footsteps radiant,
Till those garden lives shall be
Fair with duties done for Thee;
And our thankful spirits say,
“Christ arose on Easter Day.”
  5
  A prayer, in its simplest definition, is merely a wish turned heavenward.  6
  Anger, is self-immolation.  7
  Be courageous. Be independent. Only remember where the true courage and independence come from.  8
  Call your opinions your creed, and you will change it every week. Make your creed simply and broadly out of the revelation of God, and you may keep it to the end.  9
  Devotion is like the candle which Michael Angelo used to take in his pasteboard cap, so as not to throw his shadow upon the work in which he was engaged.  10
  Every sermon must have a solid rest in Scripture, and the pointedness which comes of a dear subject, and the conviction which belongs to well-thought argument, and the warmth that proceeds from earnest appeal.  11
  Everywhere the flower of obedience is intelligence. Obey a man with cordial loyalty and you will understand him.  12
  Go and try to save a soul, and you will see how well it is worth saving, how capable it is of the most complete salvation. Not by pondering about it, nor by talking of it, but by saving it, you learn its preciousness.  13
  Happiness is the natural flower of duty.  14
  He made little, too little of sacraments and priests, because God was so intensely real to him. What should he do with lenses who stood thus full in the torrent of the sunshine.  15
  Heaven does not make holiness, but holiness makes heaven.  16
  Heaven is not to sweep our truths away, but only to turn them till we see their glory, to open them till we see their truth, and to unveil our eyes till for the first time we shall really see them.  17
  It never frightened a Puritan when you bade him stand still and listen to the speech of God. His closet and his church were full of the reverberations of the awful, gracious, beautiful voice for which he listened.  18
  Jesus chose this method of extending the knowledge of Himself throughout the world; He taught His truth to a few men, and then He said, “Now go and tell that truth to other men.”  19
  Joy in one’s work is the consummate tool.  20
 
 
  Let us beware of losing our enthusiasms. Let us ever glory in something, and strive to retain our admiration for all that would ennoble, and our interest in all that would enrich and beautify our life.  21
  Let us give thanks to God upon Thanksgiving Day. Nature is beautiful and fellowmen are dear, and duty is close beside us, and God is over us and in us. We want to trust Him with a fuller trust, and so at last to come to that high life where we shall “be careful for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our request be made known unto God”; for that, and that alone, is peace.  22
  Never be afraid to bring the transcendent mysteries of our faith, Christ’s life and death and resurrection, to the help of the humblest and commonest of human wants.  23
  Never fear to bring the sublimest motive to the smallest duty, and the most infinite comfort to the smallest trouble.  24
  Newton’s great generalization, which he called the “third law of motion,” was that “Action and reaction are always equal to each other;” and that law has been one of the most pregnant of all truths about the mystery of force, one of the brightest windows through which modern eyes have looked into the world of Nature.  25
  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.  26
  No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure, and good, without the world being the better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.  27
  Obedience completes itself in understanding.  28
  Oh, my dear friends,—you who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, meaning to clear them up some day,—if you only could know and see and feel that the time is short, how it would break the spell! How you would go instantly and do the thing which you might never have another chance to do!  29
  Only the soul that with an overwhelming impulse and a perfect trust gives itself up forever to the life of other men, finds the delight and peace which such complete self-surrender has to give.  30
  Pray for and work for fullness of life above everything; full red blood in the body; full honesty and truth in the mind; and the fullness of a grateful love for the Saviour in your heart.  31
  Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance, but taking hold upon God’s willingness.  32
  Self-confidence is either a petty pride in our own narrowness, or a realization of our duty and privilege as one of God’s children.  33
  So shall we join the disciples of our Lord, keeping faith in Him in spite of the crucifixion, and making ready, by our loyalty to Him in the days of His darkness, for the time when we shall enter into His triumph in the days of His light. And the beauty of it is that the same method runs throughout the disciples’ work which ran through His work. Christ’s method is repeating itself in the work of His disciples for ever and ever. As He who first gained the great victory overcame by undergoing the power of evil, shall we be surprised if that is the sort of victory that God calls upon us to gain? It is the victory which it is always the best to gain which makes the richest victory for any soul.  34
  Society does not exist for itself, but for the individual; and man goes into it, not to lose, but to find himself.  35
  The absence of sentimentalism in Christ’s relations with men is what makes His tenderness so exquisitely touching.  36
  The essence of that by which Jesus overcame the world was not suffering, but obedience. Yes, men may puzzle themselves and their hearers over the question where the power of the life of Jesus and the death of Jesus lay; but the soul of the Christian always knows that it lay in the obedience of Christ. He was determined at every sacrifice to do His Father’s will. Let us remember that; and the power of Christ’s sacrifice may enter into us, and some little share of the redemption of the world may come through us, as the great work came through Him.  37
  The faith which you keep must be a faith that demands obedience, and you can keep it only by obeying it.  38
  The form of godliness may exist with secret and with open wickedness, but the power of godliness cannot.  39
  The lives of men who have been always growing are strewed along their whole course with the things they have learned to do without.  40
  The man who goes through life with an uncertain doctrine not knowing what he believes, what a poor, powerless creature he is! He goes around through the world as a man goes down through the street with a poor, wounded arm, forever dodging people he meets on the street for fear they may touch him.  41
  The place where two friends first met is sacred to them all through their friendship, all the more sacred as their friendship deepens and grows old.  42
  The real Lent is the putting forth of a man’s hand to quiet his own passions and to push them aside, that the higher voices may speak to him and the higher touches fall upon him. It is the making of an emptiness about the soul, that the higher fullness may fill it. Perhaps some day the lower needs may themselves become, and dignify themselves by becoming, the meek interpreters and ministers of those very powers which they once shut out from the soul. There will be no fasting days, no Lent, in heaven. Not because we shall have no bodies there, but because our bodies there will be open to God, the helps and not the hindrances of spiritual communication to our souls.  43
  The Saviour comes in the strength of righteousness. Righteousness is at the bottom of all things. Righteousness is thorough; it is the very spirit of unsparing truth.  44
  The shepherd of the people! that old name that the best rulers ever craved. What ruler ever won it like this dead President of ours? He fed us faithfully and truly. He fed us with counsel when we were in doubt, with inspiration when we sometimes faltered, with caution when we would be rash, with calm, clear, trustful cheerfulness through many an hour, when our hearts were dark. He fed hungry souls all over the country with sympathy and consolation. He spread before the whole land feasts of great duty and devotion and patriotism, on which the land grew strong. He fed us with solemn, solid truths. He taught us the sacredness of government, the wickedness of treason. He made our souls glad and vigorous with the love of liberty that was in his. He showed us how to love truth and yet be charitable—how to hate wrong and all oppression, and yet not treasure one personal injury or insult. He fed all his people, from the highest to the lowest, from the most privileged down to the most enslaved. Best of all, he fed us with a reverent and genuine religion. He spread before us the love and fear of God just in that shape in which we need them most, and out of his faithful service of a higher Master, who of us has not taken and eaten and grown strong? “He fed them with a faithful and true heart.” Yes, till the last. For at the last, behold him standing with hand reached out to feed the South with mercy, and the North with charity, and the whole land with peace, when the Lord who had sent him called him, and his work was done!  45
  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.  46
  There are passages of the Bible that are soiled forever by the touches of the hands of ministers who delight in the cheap jokes they have left behind them.  47
  There is no life so humble that, if it be true and genuinely human and obedient to God, it may not hope to shed some of His light. There is no life so meager that the greatest and wisest of us can afford to despise it. We cannot know at what moment it may flash forth with the life of God.  48
  To whatever world He carries our souls when they shall pass out of these imprisoning bodies, in those worlds these souls of ours shall find themselves part of the same great temple; for it belongs not to this earth alone.  49
  We may say that on the first Good Friday afternoon was completed that great act by which light conquered darkness and goodness conquered sin. That is the wonder of our Saviour’s crucifixion. There have been victories all over the world, but wherever we look for the victor we expect to find him with his heel upon the neck of the vanquished. The wonder of Good Friday is that the victor lies vanquished by the vanquished one. We have to look deeper into the very heart and essence of things before we can see how real the victory is that thus hides itself under the guise of defeat.  50
 
 
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