William Mountford

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William Mountford (31 May 181620 April 1885) was an English Unitarian preacher and author.


  • To understand at all what life means, one must begin with Christian belief. And I think knowledge may be sorrow with a man unless he loves.
    • Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895). p. 364.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • I do not say the mind gets informed by action, — bodily action; but it does get earnestness and strength by it, and that nameless something that gives a man the mastership of his faculties.
    • P. 5.
  • This earth will be looked back on like a lowly home, and this life of ours be remembered like a short apprenticeship to duty.
    • P. 385.
  • Yes, death, — the hourly possibility of it, — death is the sublimity of life.
    • P. 177.
  • Duty reaches down the ages in its effects, and into eternity; and when the man goes about it resolutely, it seems to me now as though his footsteps were echoing beyond the stars, though only heard faintly in the atmosphere of this world.
    • P. 197.
  • Yes, what I am to be everlastingly, I am growing to be now — now in this present time so little thought of, this time which the sun rises and sets in, and the clock strikes in, and I wake and sleep in.
    • P. 210.
  • Yes, I live in God, and shall eternally. It is His hand upholds me now; and death will be but an uplifting of me into His bosom.
    • P. 210.
  • Faith is the inspiration of nobleness, it is the strength of integrity; it is the life of love, and is everlasting growth for it; it is courage of soul, and bridges over for our crossing the gulf between worldliness and heavenly-mindedness; and it is the sense of the unseen, without which we could not feel God nor hope for heaven.
    • P. 220.
  • A man who is not poor nor ill, nor about to be stoned to death, must not distress himself if he does not feel all through his life what faith Stephen had only in his last moments.
    • P. 221.
  • Day and night, and every moment, there are voices about us. All the hours speak as they pass; and in every event there is a message to us; and all our circumstances talk with us; but it is in Divine language, that worldliness misunderstands, that selfishness is frightened at, and that only the children of God hear rightly and happily.
    • P. 266.
  • Selfishness, eager for a heaven of enjoyment, is quite a different thing in the soul from love and purity and truth, yearning together for what is their natural element.
    • P. 302.
  • God would never have let us long for our friends with such a strong and holy love, if they were not waiting for us.
    • P. 306.
  • Do we not hear voices, gentle and great, and some of them like the voices of departed friends,— do we not hear them saying to us, "Come up hither?"
    • P. 310.
  • With a mind not diseased, a holy life is a life of hope; and at the end of it, death is a great act of hope.
    • P. 328.
  • And so among the ruins of our pride, we grow to be loving children of the Most High.
    • P. 331.
  • O it is a happy thing to feel ourselves helpless and naught, for then the presence of God is felt to wrap us about so lovingly! Everlasting, infinite, almighty, — these are the words that strengthen us with speaking them.
    • P. 332.
  • It is our souls which are the everlastingness of God's purpose in this earth.
    • P. 339.
  • No martyr ever went the way of duty, and felt the shadow of death upon it. The shadow of death is darkest in the valley, which men walk in easily, and is never felt at all on a steep place, like Calvary. Truth is everlasting, and so is every lover of it; and so he feels himself almost always.
    • P. 339.
  • Let a disciple live as Christ lived, and he will easily believe in living again as Christ does.
    • P. 339.
  • At ease in a world in which my Lord was such a sufferer!
    • P. 344.
  • To understand at all what life means, one must begin with Christian belief. And I think knowledge may be sorrow with a man unless he loves.
    • P. 364.
  • Night by night I will lie down and sleep in the thought of God, and in the thought, too, that my waking may be in the bosom of the Father; and some time it will be, so I trust.
    • P. 406.
  • What thousands and millions of recollections there must be in us! And every now and then one of them becomes known to us; and it shows us what spiritual depths are growing in us, what mines of memory.
    • P. 407.
  • Where is the subject that does not branch out into infinity? For every grain of sand is a mystery; so is every daisy in summer, and so is every snow-flake in winter. Both upwards and downwards, and all around us, science and speculation pass into mystery at last.
    • P. 421.
  • Only let us love God, and then nature will compass us about like a cloud of Divine witnesses; and all influences from the earth, and things on the earth, will be ministers of God to do us good. Only let there be God within us, and then every thing outside us will become a godlike help.
    • P. 430.
  • The second childhood of a saint is the early infancy of a happy immortality, as we believe.
    • P. 438.
  • The years of old age are stalls in the cathedral of life in which for aged men to sit and listen and meditate and be patient till the service is over, and in which they may get themselves ready to say "Amen" at the last, with all their hearts and souls and strength.
    • P. 439.
  • There is no burden of the spirit but is lightened by kneeling under it. Little by little, the bitterest feelings are sweetened by the mention of them in prayer. And agony itself stops swelling, if we can only cry sincerely, " My God, my God!"
    • P. 466.
  • Not every hour, nor every day, perhaps, can generous wishes ripen into kind actions; but there is not a moment that cannot be freighted with prayer.
    • P. 470.
  • All noblest things are religious,— not temples and martyrdoms only, but the best books, pictures, poetry, statues, and music.
    • P. 500.
  • When we feel how God was in our sorrows, we shall trust the more blessedly that He will be in our deaths.
    • P. 556.
  • It is not in the bright, happy day, but only in the solemn night, that other worlds are to be seen shining in their long, long distances. And it is in sorrow — the night of the soul — that we see farthest, and know ourselves natives of infinity, and sons and daughters of the Most High.
    • P. 556.
  • For knowledge to become wisdom, and for the soul to grow, the soul must be rooted in God: and it is through prayer that there comes to us that which is the strength of our strength, and the virtue of our virtue, the Holy Spirit.
    • P. 616.
  • Ownership in the world I have none, but I have an infinite interest in it; for if not my own it is my God's; and so it is mine in a higher than a legal sense. Yes, this is the beauty, this is the whole sublimity, this is the tender delight of life — that it is of God's governing.
    • P. 620.
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