I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.
It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.
Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
All human affairs follow nature's great analogue, the growth of vegetation. There are three periods of growth in every plant. The first, and slowest, is the invisible growth by the root; the second and much accelerated is the visible growth by the stem; but when root and stem have gathered their forces, there comes the third period, in which the plant quickly flashes into blossom and rushes into fruit.
If a man meets with injustice, it is not required that he shall not be roused to meet it; but if he is angry after he has had time to think upon it, that is sinful. The flame is not wring, but the coals are.
Indeed, unless a man can link his written thoughts with the everlasting wants of men, so that they shall draw more from them as wells, there is no more immortality to the thoughts and feelings of the soul than to the muscles and bones.
The gravest events dawn with no more noise than the morning star makes in rising. All great developments complete themselves in the world and modestly wait in silence, praising themselves never, and announcing themselves not at all. We must be sensitive, and sensible, if we would see the beginnings and endings of great things. That is our part.
Sink the Bible to the bottom of the ocean, and still man's obligations to God would be unchanged. He would have the same path to tread, only his lamp and guide would be gone; the same voyage to make, but his chart and compass would be overboard!
Speak of the appetite for drink; or of a bon-vivant's relish for dinner! What are these mere animal throes and ragings compared with those fantasies of taste, of those yearning of the imagination, of those insatiable appetites of intellect, which bewilder a student in a great bookseller's temptation-hall.
Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.
October is nature's funeral month. Nature glories in death more than in life. The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming - October than May. Every green thin loves to die in bright colors.
If anyone, then, asks me the meaning of our flag, I say to him - it means just what Concord and Lexington meant; what Bunker Hill meant; which was, in short, the rising up of a valiant young people against an old tyranny to establish the most momentous doctrine that the world had ever known - the right of men to their own selves and to their liberties.
If you attempt to beat a man down and to get his goods for less than a fair price, you are attempting to commit burglary, as much as though you broke into his shop to take the things without paying for them.
Caution and conservatism are expected of old age; but when the young men of a nation are possessed of such a spirit, when they are afraid of the noise and strife caused by the applications of the truth, heaven save the land! Its funeral bell has already rung.
The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man, and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game.
It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stoney street, to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence, the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass, like a spark dropped from the sun.
An oyster, that marvel of delicacy, that concentration of sapid excellence, that mouthful bwefore all other mouthfuls, who first had faith to believe it, and courage to execute? The exterior is not persuasive.
A good digestion is as truly obligatory as a good conscience; pure blood is as truly a part of mankind as a pure faith; and a well ordered skin is the first condition of that cleanliness which is next to Godliness.
The morbid states of health, the irritableness of disposition arising from unstrung nerves, the impatience, the crossness, the fault-finding of men, who, full of morbid influences, are unhappy themselves, and throw the cloud of their troubles like a dark shadow upon others, teach us what eminent duty there is in health.
There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.
Men do not avail themselves of the riches of God's grace. They love to nurse their cares, and seem as uneasy without some fret as an old friar would be without his hair girdle. They are commanded to cast their cares upon the Lord, but even when they attempt it, they do not fail to catch them up again, and think it meritorious to walk burdened.
A dull axe never loves grindstones, but a keen workman does; and he puts his tool on them in order that it may be sharp. And men do not like grinding; but they are dull for the purposes which God designs to work out with them, and therefore He is grinding them.
A cup of coffee - real coffee - home-browned, home ground, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream that never cheated, but was real cream from its birth, thick, tenderly yellow, perfect!
There is an ugly kind of forgiveness in this world,--a kind of hedgehog forgiveness, shot out like quills. Men take one who has offended, and set him down before the blowpipe of their indignation, and scorch him, and burn his fault into him; and when they have kneaded him sufficiently with their fiery fists, then--they forgive him.
Our yearnings are homesicknesses for heaven; our sighings are for God, just as children that cry themselves asleep away from home, and sob in their slumber, know not that they sob for their parents. The soul's inarticulate moanings are the affections yearning for the Infinite, and having no one to tell them what it is that ails them.
Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. Nothing ever happens twice alike. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects. The most tranquil house, with the most serene inhabitants, living upon the utmost regularity of system, is yet exemplifying infinite diversities.
As flowers carry dewdrops, trembling on the edges of the petals, and ready to fall at the first waft of wind or brush of bird, so the heart should carry its beaded words of thanksgiving; and at the first breath of heavenly flavor, let down the shower, perfumed with the heart's gratitude.
Like the cellar-growing vine is the Christian who lives in the darkness and bondage of fear. But let him go forth, with the liberty of God, into the light of love, and he will be like the plant in the field, healthy, robust, and joyful.
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. We should live for the future, and yet should find our life in the fidelities of the present; the last is only the method of the first.
It is not what we read, but what we remember, that makes us learned. It is not what we intend, but what we do that makes us useful. It is not a few faint wishes, but a life long struggle, that makes us valiant.
When a man's pride is subdued it's like the sides of Mount Aetna. It was terrible during the eruption, but when that is over and the lava is turned into soil, there are vineyards and olive trees which grow up to the top.
Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others are plain, honest and upright, like the broad faced sunflower and the hollyhock.
The continuance and frequent fits of anger produce in the soul a propensity to be angry; which oftentimes ends in choler, bitterness, and moronity, when the mid becomes ulcerated, peevish, and querulous, and is wounded by the least occurrence.
If a boy is not trained to endure and to bear trouble, he will grow up a girl; and a boy that is a girl has all a girl's weakness without any of her regal qualities. A woman made out of a woman is God's noblest work; a woman made out of a man is His meanest.
A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth.
Our flag means all that our fathers meant in the Revolutionary War. It means all that the Declaration of Independence meant. It means justice. It means liberty. It means happiness.... Every color means liberty. Every thread means liberty. Every star and stripe means liberty.
Some of God's noblest sons, I think, will be selected from those that know how to take wealth, with all its temptations, and maintain godliness therewith. It is hard to be a saint standing in a golden niche.
This world is not a platform where you will hear Thalberg-piano-playing. It is a piano manufactory, where are dust and shavings and boards, and saws and files and rasps and sandpapers. The perfect instrument and the music will be hereafter.
We know much of a writer by his style. An open and imperious disposition is shown in short sentences, direct and energetic. A secretive and proud mind is cold and obscure in style. An affectionate and imaginative nature pours out luxuriantly, and blossoms all over with ornament.
I used to think the Lord's Prayer was a short prayer; but as I live longer, and see more of life, I begin to believe there is no such thing as getting through it. If a man, in praying that prayer, were to be stopped by every word until he had thoroughly prayed it, it would take him a lifetime.
Do not be troubled because you have not great virtues. God made a million spears of grass where He made one tree. The earth is fringed and carpeted, not with forests, but with grasses. Only have enough of little virtues and common fidelities, and you need not mourn because you are neither a hero or a saint.
The clearest window that ever was fashioned if it is barred by spiders' webs, and hung over with carcasses of insects, so that the sunlight has forgotten to find its way through, of what use can it be? Now, the Church is God's window; and if it is so obscured by errors that its light is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Our children that die young are like those spring bulbs which have their flowers prepared beforehand, and leave nothing to do but to break ground, and blossom, and pass away. Thank God for spring flowers among men, as well as among the grasses of the field.
What if the leaves were to fall a-weeping, and say, "It will be so painful for us to be pulled from our stalks, when autumn comes?" Foolish fear! Summer goes, and autumn succeeds. The glory of death is upon the leaves; and the gentlest breeze that blows takes them softly and silently from the bough, and they float slowly down, like fiery sparks, upon the moss.
If any man is rich and powerful he comes under the law of God by which the higher branches must take the burnings of the sun, and shade those that are lower; by which the tall trees must protect the weak plants beneath them.
Earthly love is a brief and penurious stream, which only flows in spring, with a long summer drought. The change from a burning desert, treeless, springless, drear, to green fields and blooming orchards in June, is slight in comparison with that from the desert of this world's affection to the garden of God, where there is perpetual, tropical luxuriance of blessed love.
Heaven answers with us the same purpose that the tuning-fork does with musicians. Our affections, the whole orchestra of them, are apt to get below the concert-pitch; and we take heaven to tune our hearts by.
As long as society is absolutely divided as milk is, the cream being at the top and the impoverished milk at the bottom, so long will society be unbalanced, and liable to be thrown into convulsions out of which will spring wars. A circulation throughout keeps it in health.
Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism?