Washington Gladden

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"A little while," and the load
Shall drop at the pilgrim's feet,
Where the steep and thorny road
Doth merge in the golden street.

Washington Gladden (February 11, 1836July 2, 1918) was a leading American Congregational church pastor and early leader of the Social Gospel movement. He was a leading member of the Progressive Movement, serving for two years as a member of the Columbus and campaigning against Boss Tweed as acting editor of the New York Independent. Gladden was probably the first leading U.S. religious figure to support unionization of the workforce; he also opposed racial segregation. He was a prolific writer, with 40 books to his credit, as well as a number of hymns.


Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Every one of us may know what is the ruling purpose of his life; and he who knows that his ruling purpose is to trust and follow Christ knows that he is a Christian.
    • P. 17.
  • The wayfaring man, Christ Jesus, has helped many and many a tired traveler home with burdens quite as heavy as yours. Often and often He goes up and down this thoroughfare of life in search of just such overladen pilgrims; and His voice is sounding forth above all the babble of the busy tongues and the clatter of the busy wheels, saying, — "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
    • P. 98.
  • O Master, let me walk with Thee
    In lowly paths of service free;
    Tell me Thy secret; help me bear
    The strain of toil, the fret of care.
    • P. 124.
  • The substance of all realities is in this religion of Jesus Christ; but it can be real only to those who will do His will.
    • P. 135.
  • The one injurious and fatal fact of our present church work is the barrier between the churches and the poorest classes. The first thing for us to do is to demolish this barrier. The impression is abroad among the poor that they are not wanted in the churches. This impression is either correct or incorrect. If it is correct, then there is no missionary work, for us who are pastors, half so urgent as the conversion of our congregations to Christianity. If it is incorrect, we are still guilty before God in that we have allowed such an impression to go abroad; and we are bound to address ourselves, at once and with all diligence, to the business of convincing the poor people that they are wanted, and will be made welcome in the churches.
    • P. 146.
  • No, there are no long stages of preparation through which you must pass; all things are now ready; there is nothing to hinder you from becoming a Christian this very hour. And, if any of you have been trying to make yourself better until you are weary and discouraged in the work, all you have to do is to put it into stronger hands.
    • P. 152.
  • You are not so good a Christian when you are neglecting a plain duty as when you are performing it. And joining the church is a plain duty for all who mean to be Christians.
    • P. 155.
  • If you were good enough, there would be no need of confessing Christ at all. It is just because you are not good enough, that Christ says to you, "Follow me." He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. It is not the perfect people whom He wants in His church, but those who have a deep sense of their own imperfection, and who believe that His strength is made perfect in weakness.
    • P. 155.
  • "A little while," and the load
    Shall drop at the pilgrim's feet,
    Where the steep and thorny road
    Doth merge in the golden street.
    • P. 300.
  • Will you tell Him frankly, that you cannot carry your load, and that you need help? Will you suffer Him to help you in His own way, and be glad and thankful if He will only take you under His care, and direct the whole course of your life for you?
    • P. 594.

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