Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
If that impression does not remain on this intrepid and powerful people, into whose veins all nations pour their mingling blood, it will be our immense calamity. Public action, without it, will lose the dignity of consecration. Eloquence, without it, will miss what is loftiest, will give place to a careless and pulseless disquisition, or fall to the flatness of political slang. Life, without it, will lose its sacred and mystic charm. Society, without it, will fail of inspirations, and be drowned in an animalism whose rising tides will keep pace with its wealth.
The man who has given himself to his country loves it better; the man who has fought for his friend honors him more; the man who has labored for his community values more highly the interests he has sought to conserve; the man who has wrought and planned and endured for the accomplishment of God's plan in the world sees the greatness of it, the divinity and glory of it, and is himself more perfectly assimilated to it.
Look back to the cross, and the disciples gazing on it in terror from afar, and then look around on the nations that are influenced by the faith that there centres — and note the change! Then take these elements, established in history, and calculate the orbit Christianity is to fill.
No matter where the skeptical thought originates, or how it gets access to our minds, we see at once that it flattens the level of life and every aspiration. It makes our character less vigorous. The gospel is not simply a philosophy of religion or law of life, but it is an apocalypse, showing the heavens to our thought, and so bringing its spiritual benedictions to every heart and life.
God forgives; forgives not capriciously, but with wise, definite, Divine prearrangement; forgives universally, on the ground of an atonement, and on the condition of repentance and faith.
Always carry with you into the pulpit a sense of the immense consequences which may depend on your full and faithful presentation of the truth.
Whether you do your work with notes or without them, do it courageously, earnestly, with devotion; with a glad sense of the greatness of it, and a full consecration of every force and faculty to it.
If any of you ever go into the pulpit "simply upon the cold legs of custom," be very careful to take a manuscript with you. But if you go to speak to the assembly because your mind is full of the truth, and you long to impart that truth to them, for their sake and for God's sake, — then charge your mind with it, and speak with all the force you can give it, without any notes.
I verily believe that the kingdom of God advances more on spoken words than it does on essays written and read; on words, that is, in which the present feeling and thought of the teaching mind break into natural and forceful expression.
One must build to the praise of a Being above, to build the noblest memorial of himself. Then, Angelo may verily " hang the Pantheon in the air." Then the unknown builder, whose personality disappears in his work, may stand an almost inspired mediator between the upward-looking thought and the spheres overhead. Each line then leaps with a swift aspiration, as the vast structure rises, in nave and transept into pointed arch and vanishing spire. The groined roof grows dusky with majestic glooms; while, beneath, the windows flame, as with apocalyptic light of jewels. Angelic presences, sculptured upon the portal, invite the wayfarer, and wave before him their wings of promise. Within is a worship which incense only clouds, which spoken sermons only mar. The building itself becomes a worship, a Gloria in Excelsis, articulate in stone; the noblest tribute offered on earth, by any art, to Him from whom its impulse came, and with the ineffable majesty of whose spirit all skies are filled.
Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 499.
Nature does not conquer the world to God. It never has. It never will. In America, with its vast abounding wealth, its grand expanse of prairie, its reach of river, and its exuberant productiveness, there is danger that our riches will draw us away from God, and fasten us to earth; that they will make us not only rich, but mean; not only wealthy, but wicked. The grand corrective is the cross of Christ, seen in the sanctuary where the life and light of God are exhibited, and where the reverberation of the echoes from the great white throne are heard.
To speak for Him will be our impulse. No matter how timid, nervous, self-diffident, we are in ourselves, as we touch His pierced and royal hand, we shall be instantly masterful and strong.
Just as soon as any conviction of important truth becomes central and vital, there comes the desire to utter it—a desire which is immediate and irresistible. Sacrifice is gladness, service is joy, when such an idea becomes a commanding power.