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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Charles Kingsley
 
        As we pledge the health of our general, who fares as rough as we,
What can daunt us, what can turn us, led to death by such as he?
  1
        Ay, marriage is the life-long miracle,
The self-begetting wonder, daily fresh.
  2
        Be good, my child, and let who will be clever;
Do noble deeds, not dream them all day long;
And so make life, death, and that vast forever
One grand, sweet song.
  3
        Changeless march the stars above,
Changeless morn succeeds to even;
And the everlasting hills
Changeless watch the changeless heaven.
  4
        Dreary East winds howling o’er us,
Clay-lands knee-deep spread before us;
Mire and ice and snow and sleet;
Aching backs and frozen feet;
Knees which reel as marches quicken,
Ranks which thin as corpses thicken;
While with carrion birds we eat,
Culling puddle-water sweet,
As we pledge the health of our general, who fares as rough as we:
What can daunt us, what can turn us, led to death by such as he?
  5
                    Every winter,
When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into the vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay—
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses.
  6
        High in the home of the summers, the seats of the happy immortals,
Shrouded in knee-deep blaze, unapproachable; there ever youthful
Hebé, Harmonié, and the daughter of Jove, Aphrodité,
Whirled in the white-linked dance, with the gold-crowned Hours and Graces.
  7
        Our wanton accidents take root, and grow
To vaunt themselves God’s laws.
  8
        Possession means to sit astride of the world,
Instead of having it astride of you.
  9
        See the land, her Easter keeping,
  Rises as her Maker rose;
Seeds so long in darkness sleeping
  Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices;
  Fields and garlands hail the spring;
Shaughs and woodlands ring with voices
  While the wild birds build and sing.
  10
        See the rivers, how they run,
Changeless to the changeless sea.
  11
        The western tide crept up along the sand,
    And o’er and o’er the sand,
    And round and round the sand,
      As far as eye could see
The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
      And never home came she.
  12
        The world goes up and the world goes down,
  And the sunshine follows the rain;
And yesterday’s sneer and yesterday’s frown
  Can never come over again.
  13
        Those clouds are angels’ robes.—That fiery west
Is paved with smiling faces.
  14
  A fine lady; by which term I wish to express the result of that perfect education in taste and manner, down to every gesture, which heaven forbid that I, professing to be a poet, should undervalue. It is beautiful, and therefore I welcome it in the name of the author of all beauty. I value it so highly that I would fain see it extend not merely from Belgravia to the tradesman’s villa, but thence, as I believe it one day will, to the laborer’s hovel and the needlewoman’s garret.  15
  A garden, sir, wherein all rainbowed flowers were heaped together.  16
  After all, there is such a thing as looking like a gentleman. There are men whose class no dirt or rags can hide, any more than they could Ulysses. I have seen such men in plenty among workmen, too; but, on the whole, the gentleman—by whom I do not mean just now the rich—have the superiority in that point. But not, please God, forever. Give us the same air, water, exercise, education, good society, and you will see whether this “haggardness,” this “coarseness” (etc., for the list is too long to specify), be an accident, or a property, of the man of the people.  17
  Ah, my friends, we must look out and around to see what God is like. It is when we persist in turning our eyes inward and prying curiously over our own imperfections, that we learn to make God after our own image, and fancy that our own darkness and hardness of heart are the patterns of His light and love.  18
  All but God is changing day by day.  19
  And how high is Christ’s cross? As high as the highest heaven, and the throne of God, and the bosom of the Father—that bosom out of which forever proceed all created things. Ay, as high as the highest heaven! for—if you will receive it—when Christ hung upon the cross, heaven came down on earth, and earth ascended into heaven.  20
 
 
  And we shall be made truly wise if we be made content; content, too, not only with what we can understand, but content with what we do not understand—the habit of mind which theologians call—and rightly—faith in God.  21
  And what is the joy of Christ? The joy and delight which springs forever in His great heart, from feeling that He is forever doing good; from loving all, and living for all; from knowing that if not all, yet millions on millions are grateful to Him, and will be forever.  22
  Because I believe in a God of absolute and unbounded love, therefore I believe in a loving anger of His which will and must devour and destroy all which is decayed, monstrous, abortive in His universe till all enemies shall be put under His feet, and God shall be all in all.  23
  Cheerfulness is full of significance; it suggests good health, a clear conscience, and a soul at peace with all human nature.  24
  Depend upon it, a man never experiences such pleasure or grief after fourteen years as he does before, unless in some cases, in his first love-making, when the sensation is new to him.  25
  Do not fancy, as too many do, that thou canst praise God by singing hymns to Him in church once a week, and disobeying Him all the week long. He asks of thee works as well as words; and more. He asks of thee works first and words after.  26
  Do to-day’s duty, fight to-day’s temptation; and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things which you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.  27
  Do you feel that you have lost your way in life? Then God Himself will show you your way. Are you utterly helpless, worn out, body and soul? Then God’s eternal love is ready and willing to help you up, and revive you. Are you wearied with doubts and terrors? Then God’s eternal light is ready to show you your way; God’s eternal peace ready to give you peace. Do you feel yourself full of sins and faults? Then take heart; for God’s unchangeable will is, to take away those sins, and purge you from those faults.  28
  Do you think that a man is renewed by God’s Spirit, when except for a few religious phrases, and a little more outside respectability, he is just the old man, the same character at heart he ever was?  29
  Duty—the command of heaven, the eldest voice of God.  30
  Feelings are like chemicals—the more you analyze them the worse they smell. So it is best not to stir them up very much, only enough to convince one’s self that they are offensively wrong, and then look away as far as possible, out of one’s self, for a purifying power; and that we know can only come from Him who holds our hearts in His hands, and can turn us whither He will.  31
  For men must work and women must weep.  32
  Grandeur  *  *  *  consists in form, and not in size: and to the eye of the philosopher, the curve drawn on a paper two inches long, is just as magnificent, just as symbolic of divine mysteries and melodies, as when embodied in the span of some cathedral roof.  33
  Have charity; have patience; have mercy. Never bring a human being, however silly, ignorant, or weak—above all, any little child—to shame and confusion of face. Never by petulance, by suspicion, by ridicule, even by selfish and silly haste—never, above all, by indulging in the devilish pleasure of a sneer—crush what is finest and rouse up what is coarsest in the heart of any fellow-creature.  34
  He was one of those men, moreover, who possess almost every gift except the gift of the power to use them.  35
  I am not aware that payment, or even favors, however gracious, bind any man’s soul and conscience in questions of highest morality and highest importance.  36
  I believe not only in “special providences,” but in the whole universe as one infinite complexity of “special providences.”  37
  If thou art fighting against thy sins so is God. On thy side is God who made all, and Christ who died for all, and the Holy Spirit who alone gives wisdom, purity, and nobleness.  38
  If you do anything above party, the true-hearted ones of all parties sympathize with you.  39
  If you wish to be like a little child, study what a little child could understand,—Nature; and do what a little child could do,—love.  40
  It has been said that true religion will make a man a more thorough gentleman than all the courts of Europe.  41
  Love can make us fiends as well as angels.  42
  Men must work, and women must weep.  43
  Music is a sacred, a divine, a Godlike thing, and was given to man by Christ to lift our hearts up to God, and make us feel something of the glory and beauty of God, and of all which God has made.  44
  My friends, let us try to follow the Saviour’s steps; let us remember all day long what it is to be men; that it is to have every one whom we meet for our brother in the sight of God; that it is this, never to meet anyone, however bad he may be, for whom we cannot say: “Christ died for that man, and Christ cares for him still. He is precious in God’s eyes, and he shall be precious in mine also.”  45
  No earnest thinker is a plagiarist pure and simple. He will never borrow from others that which he has not already, more or less, thought out for himself.  46
  Nothing like one honest look, one honest thought of Christ upon His cross. That tells us how much He has been through, how much He endured, how much He conquered, how much God loved us, who spared not His only begotten Son, but freely gave Him for us. Dare we doubt such a God? Dare we murmur against such a God?  47
  Nothing that man ever invents will absolve him from the universal necessity of being good as God is good, righteous as God is righteous, and holy as God is holy.  48
  Pray over every truth; for though the renewed heart is not “desperately wicked,” it is quite deceitful enough to become so, if God be forgotten a moment.  49
  Purge me, or Lord, though it be with fire. Burn up the chaff of vanity and self-indulgence, of hasty prejudice, second-hand dogmas—husks which do not feed my soul, with which I cannot be content, of which I feel ashamed daily—and if there be any grain of wheat in me, any word or thought or power of action which may be of use as seed for my nation after me, gather it, oh Lord, into Thy garner.  50
  Take comfort, and recollect however little you and I may know, God knows; He knows Himself and you and me and all things; and His mercy is over all His works.  51
  The righteousness which is by faith in Christ is a loving heart and a loving life, which every man will long to lead who believes really in Jesus Christ.  52
  There are two freedoms—the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where a man is free to do what he ought.  53
  Therefore, let us be patient, patient; and let God our Father teach His own lesson, His own way. Let us try to learn it well and quickly; but do not let us fancy that He will ring the school-bell, and send us to play before our lesson is learnt.  54
  This is eternal life; a life of everlasting love, showing itself in everlasting good works; and whosoever lives that life, he lives the life of God, and hath eternal life.  55
  This world is God’s world, after all.  56
  We shall be made truly wise if we be made content; content, too, not only with what we can understand, but content with what we do not understand,—the habit of mind which theologians call, and rightly, faith in God.  57
  What right has any free, reasonable soul on earth to sell himself for a shilling a day to murder any man, right or wrong, even his own brother or his own father, just because such a whiskered, profligate jackanapes as that officer, without learning, without any good except his own looking-glass and his opera-dancer,—a fellow who, just because he was born a gentleman, is set to command gray-headed men before he can command his own meanest passions. Good heavens! that the lives of free men should be intrusted to such a stuffed cockatoo; and that free men should be such traitors to their own flesh and blood as to sell themselves, for a shilling a day and the smirks of the nursery-maids, to do that fellow’s bidding.  58
  Whatever may be the mysteries of life and death, there is one mystery which the cross of Christ reveals to us, and that is the infinite and absolute goodness of God. Let all the rest remain a mystery so long as the mystery of the cross of Christ gives us faith for all the rest.  59
 
 
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