Devotional Reading for the Young in Years and Young in Heart

Compiled by Eliza Ambler Foulke

In memory of my dear husband Thomas Albert Foulke - ever young in heart

Foulkeways, Gwynedd 1976

Dear Friends - Young in Years and Young in Heart,

God speaks to each person directly, - this we know from experience. From experience also, we know that He speaks through all His creation; the Universe; Life on His world, - all are his. A great blessing is ours when we learn to recognize His speech through persons. We read and we listen to the words of the sages, of saints and of common persons aware that by them we may be guided to deep communion within ourselves with God, our Creator.

From the age of sixteen to sixty-five years through sorrow and joy, I collected words written by persons I admired and respected. In 1958 this collection was made into a pamphlet, "Devotional Reading for Daily Use in the Family," dedicated to the Young Mothers of Gwynedd Meeting.

Today, eighteen years later at the age of eighty-three, I have another collection that I want to share with you, my friends - Young in Years and Young in Heart. Today's young in years are learning early to turn their thoughts God-ward. I have faith in their steadiness. May they and we who are older in years but young in heart find help in the words of others to come to God with joyous expectancy on each of his days!

In love,
Eliza A. Foulke


BEAUTY - God's lavish gift of beauty

COURAGE - Struggle is God's gift

DEATH AND HEAVEN - Love reaches beyond horizons

FAITH - Nothing is impossible

GOALS- SERVICE - SUCCESS - Religion is a way of life

GOD - Not by our power

GROWTH - MATURITY - How may time did I say "no" to God today?

JOY - To the World

KINDNESS - COURTESY - No man is an island

LOVE - A part of the divine life

MARRIAGE - CREATING A HOME - In the presence of God

A NEW YEAR - Ring in the valiant man and true

PEACE - The God of Peace be with you

PRAYER - More things are wrought by prayer

QUAKERS - Who are the Quakers?

STEWARDSHIP - Are we stewards of God's world?

THANKSGIVING - To begin each morning with a thankful heart

TIME - This is the day which the Lord has made

WORSHIP - The experience and practice of God

YEARS PASS - Youth shows but half

God's lavish Gift of Beauty

The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the wind at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the husking of the corn
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born,
Out in the fields with God.

-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning


The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,
No higher than the soul is high
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.

--Edna St. Vincent Millay


There is a daily round for beauty as well as for goodness, a world of flowers and books and cinemas and manners as well as of mountains and masterpieces. God is in all beauty, not only in the natural beauty of earth and sky - the quantity of God, so to speak, varies in different examples, but his quality of beauty in fitness remains the same.

-- Caroline C. Gravenson

Nature is painting for us, day by day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them.

-- John Ruskin

As a countenance is made beautiful by the Soul's shining through it, so the world is beautiful by the shining through of God.

-- Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi

Struggle is God's Gift

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary, His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no sight He increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they that wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

-- Isaiah 40:28-31

We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God. If at times we are somewhat stunned by the tempest, never fear. Let us take breath and go afresh.

-- Francis de Sales

Who ne'er has suffered has lived but half
Who never failed, he never strove nor sought.
Who never wept is stranger to a laugh
And he who never doubted, never thought.

-- J. B. Goode

Doing God's will as if it were my own
Yet trusting not in my strength but in His alone.

-- John Greenleaf Whittier

In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.

-- Isaiah 30:15

I find the greatest thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it; but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Shun not the struggle, face it; - 'Tis God's gift... - Be Strong!

I learned that most of our fears are merely the fear of the unknown... -If we somehow find the courage to push ahead and do the thing we are afraid of, then the new life may turn out to be ten times better than the old.

-- Madeline Gray

I call no fight a losing fight
If, fighting I have gained some straight new strength;
If fighting I turned ever toward the light,
All unallied with forces of the night;
If, beaten, quivering, I could say at length;
"I did no deed that need to be unnamed;
I fought - and lost - and I am unashamed.

-- Miriam Teichner

I have the strength to do all things through Him, who give me Power.

-- Phil. 4:13

Defeat may serve as well as victory
To shake the soul and let the glory out.
When the great oak is straining in the wind,
The boughs drink in the new beauty, and the trunk
Send down a deeper root on the windward side.
Only the soul that knows the mighty grief
Can know the mighty rapture. Sorrows come
To stretch out spaces in the heart for joy.

-- Edwin Markham

You will be what you will be;
Let failure find its false content
In that poor word "environment,"
But spirit scorns it and is free.

The river seeking for the sea
Confronts the dam and precipice,
Yet knows it cannot fail or miss;
You will be what you will be.

--Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Dare to be true; nothing can need a lie;
A fault which needs it most, grows two thereby.

-- George Herbert

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Always the most important question is, and ultimately we must realize that it is, not what we do nor what we know but what we are. Blessed, most blessed are they, who waken wide-eyed and early to the fact.

-- Little

Pluck wins. It always wins. Though days be slow, and nights be dark twixt days that come and go. Still, pluck will win... He wins the most, who can the most endure, - Who faces issues -- He who never shirks -- Who waits and watches and who always works.

-- From "Illustrated World", "He Spells Luck with a P" , a biography of Elbridge A. Stuart


The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.

-- Ingersoll

O a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn't the fact that you are hurt that counts
But only - how did you take it?

-- Edmund Vance Cooke

What we call Luck
Is simply Pluck
And doing things over and over;
Courage and Will
Perseverance and Skill
Are the four leaves of Luck's clover.

--The Book of Good Cheer (published 1911)


What you are speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising every time we fall.

-- Confucius

The child, the seed, the grain of corn,
The acorn on the hill,
Each for some separate end is born
In season fit, and still,
Each must in strength arise to work the Almighty will.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Love reaches beyond horizons

Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

-- Rossiter Worthington Raymond

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal.

-- Nathaniel Hawthorne

I trouble not myself about the manner of future existence. I content myself with believing even to positive conviction, that the power that gave m existence is able to continue it in any form and manner he pleases either with or without this body; and it appears more probable to me that I shall continue to exist hereafter, than that I should have had existence, as I now have it, before that existence began.

-- Thomas Paine

This world is no conclusion
A sequel stands beyond,
Invisible as music
But positive as sound.

-- Emily Dickinson

I know now, as I look back across the years, that nothing has carried me up into the life of God, or done more to open out the infinite meaning of love, than the fact that love can span the break of separation, can pass beyond the visible and hold right on across the chasm. The mystic has not broken and knows no end, 'Yes, where there is so much love, there must be more.'

-- Rufus M. Jones

For death is no more than a Turning of us over from Time to Eternity.

-- William Penn

They have not gone who pass
Beyond the clasp of hand,
Out from the strong embrace,
They are but near
They need not reach hands
Nor look to see, nor try
To catch the sound of feet.
They have put off their shoes
Softly to walk by day
Within our thought, to tread
At night our dream led paths
Of sleep.

They are not dead who live
In hearts they leave behind;
In those whom they have blest
They live again and shall
Go down the years arrayed
In shining memories
Ever more beautiful,
As time declares their good,
Forgets the rest, and proves
Their immortality.

-- Hugh Robert Orr

Never say 'I have lost this' - but say, 'I have given it back.' Thy son is not dead. Thou hast given him back.

-- Epicetus

Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God.

-- Psalms 90:1-2

Life from the Center is a life of unhurried peace and power. It is serene. It is amazing. It is triumphant. It is radiant. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time... We need not get frantic. He is at the helm. And when our little day is done, we lie down quietly in peace, for all is well.

-- From "Testament of Devotion" by Thomas Kelly

Nothing is impossible

No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith.

-- Albert Schweitzer


Faith will turn any course, light any path, relieve any distress, bring joy out of sorrow, peace out of strife, friendship out of enmity, heaven out of hell. Faith is God at work

-- F. L. Holmes


I saw a star flame in the sky,

I heard a wild bird sing,

And down where all the forest stirred

Another answering.

All suddenly I felt the gleam

That made my faith revive;

Ah God, it takes such simple things

To keep the soul alive.

-- Harold Vinal


The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved. It is a reality to be experienced.

-- Jacobus van der Leum


There is no unbelief.

Whoever plants a seed beneath the sod,

And waits to see it push away the clod,

He trusts in God.

-- Lizzie York Case


To me every hour of the day and night is an unspeakable perfect miracle.

-- Walt Whitman


Dear Lord, help me to live this day quietly, easily, to lean upon Thy strength, restfully, trustfully, to wait for the unfolding of Thy will patiently, serenely to face tomorrow courageously, confidently.

-- Charles R. Brown


If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for you.

-- Matthew: 17-20


Each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.

-- I Corinthians 7:7


The good life is not easily achieved. It is the result of a lifetime of dreaming, hoping, striving, accepting, adjusting and achieving. Faith in God, in others, in life itself, helps us in these moments of doubt when our faith in ourselves is shaken by the realities of existence. But without the moments of despair, our ultimate triumphs would be robbed of their deepest satisfaction.

-- Ralph G. Eckert


It is only by forgetting yourself that you draw near to God.

-- Henry David Thoreau


Within us we have a hope which always walks in front of our present narrow experience; it is the undying faith in the infinite in us; it will never accept any of our disabilities as a permanent fact; it sets no limit to its own scope; it dares to assert that man has oneness with God; and its wild dreams come true every day.

-- Tagore


It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.

-- Confucius


Religious faith, when it comes to its true power turns water to wine, brings prodigals home, sets men on their feet, makes the impossible become possible. The master secret of life is the attainment of the power of serenity in the midst of stress and action and adventure.

-- Rufus M. Jones


Who sees the rosebud in the seed

When it's dropped in the ground?

Who sees the love we are told

Makes the world go around?

Who sees beyond this hour - this day

What's on ahead but those

Who have the faith to PLANT the seed

And KNOW there'll be a rose.

-- Helen Farries


Take your needle and work at your pattern, it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that; one stitch at a time taken patiently, and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes


Faith ever say, "If thou wilt," -not, "If thou canst."

-- Martin Luther


Because someone has faith in me

I need to keep my heart quite true,

My own faith strong,

My vision clear, that I may see,

Undaunted by what meets my view,

... Fail I cannot; one I know

has faith in me.

-- Grace Noll Crowell


Do not be anxious about tomorrow. Do today's duty, fight today's temptations and do not weaken nor distract yourself by looking to things which you cannot see and could not understand, if you saw them.


Art appears in many forms. To some degree every human being is an artist, dependent on the quality of his growth. Art need not be intended. It comes inevitably as the tree from the root, the branch from the trunk, the blossom from the twig. None of these forget the present in looking backward or forward. They are occupied wholly with the fulfillment of their own existence. The branch does not boast of the relation it bears to its great ancestor the trunk, and does not claim attention to itself for this honor, nor does it call attention to the magnificent red apple it is about to bear, because it is engaged in the full play of its existence, because it is full in its own growth, its fruit is inevitable.

-- From "The Art Special" by Robert Henri


Religion is a way of life

Let all nations hear the sound by word or writing. Spare no place, spare no tongue nor pen, but be obedient to the Lord your God. Go through the world and be valiant for the Truth upon the earth. Be patterns, be examples n all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people and to them; then you will walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.

-- George Fox


He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

-- II Corinthians 9:6-8


I am only one

But still I am one;

I cannot do everything

But I still can do something;

And because I cannot do everything

I will not refuse to do something I can do.

-- Edward Everett Hale


Your disposition will be suitable to that you most frequently think on; for the soul is as it were, tinged with color and complexion of its own thoughts... Your life is what your thoughts make it.

-- Marcus Aurellius


All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.

-- Budha


Every man has two educations - one that which is given to him and the other, that which he gives himself... Indeed, all that is most worthy in a man he must work out and conquer for himself.

-- Jean-Paul Richter


There is always another chance ... The thing we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down.

-- Mary Pickford


Which commandment is the first of all? Jesus answered, "The first is, you shall love the Lord God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength; the second is this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself."

-- Mark 12:28-32


Somebody said that it couldn't be done

But he with a chuckle replied

That "maybe it couldn't," but he wouldn't say so till he'd tried.

So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin

on his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn't be done and he did it.

-- Edgar E. Guest


For myself to have had some part in the healing ministry of relief, and to have seen hardness of heart yield to the simple ministry to body and spirit, leads me to the clear conviction that the power to overcome evil lies in our hands. Our great difficulty is lack of confidence. Today we are assured that our security depends on force; but time, I feel sure, will show that true transformation will come only through the art of self-giving goodwill. This I believe to be not weak idealism but the only true idealism.

-- Clarence E. Pickett


Let me do my work from day to day,

In field and forest, at the desk or loom,

In roaring market-place or tranquil room;

Let me but find it in my heart to say

When vagrant wishes beckon me astray,

This is my work, my blessing, not my doom;

Of all who live, I am the only one by whom

This work can best be done in the right way.

Then shall I see it not too great, nor small,

To suit my spirit and to prove my powers;

Then shall I cheerful greet the laboring hours

And cheerful turn, when the long shadows fall

At eventide, to play and love and rest.

Because I know for me my work is best.

-- Henry Van Dyke


Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.

-- American Indian


Not failure, but low aim is crime.

-- James Russell Lowell


And only the Master shall praise us, And only the Master shall blame;

And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame;

But each for the joy of working, and each in his separate star,

Shall draw the Thing as he sees it for the God of Things as They Are!

-- Rudyard Kipling


It is much easier to be critical than to be correct. Justice is truth in action.

-- Disraeli


My strength is as the strength of ten,

Because my heart is pure.

-- From "Sir Galahad" by Alfred Lord Tennyson


Man must work. That is certain as the sun, But he may work grudgingly or he may work as a machine. There is no work so rude that He may not exalt it; no work so impassive that He may not breathe a soul into it, no work so dull that He may not enliven it.

-- Henry Giles


Religion is not something apart from life and business, not something for special days or sacred places. It is the whole of life. It is a way of life. It is something one does and is.

-- Rufus M. Jones


Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours; yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ's compassion to the world, yours are the feet from which He is to go about doing good, and yours are the hands which he is to bless us with now.

-- Saint Theresa

No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Luke 2:52


You can do as much as you think you can,

But you'll never accomplish more;

If you're afraid of yourself, young man,

There's little for you in store.

For failure comes from the inside first,

It's there if we only knew it,

And you can win, though you face the worst,

If you feel that you're going to do it.

-- Edgar A. Guest


If a thing is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well.


If you can't be a highway than just be a trail,

If you can't be the sun be a star;

It isn't the size you win or fail,

Be the best at whatever you are!

-- Douglas Malloch


If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be, now put foundations on them.

-- Thoreau


Trying to be kind and honest seems an affair too simple and too inconsequential... We had rather set ourselves to be something bold, arduous and conclusive... But the task before us, which is to co-endure with our existence, is rather one of microscopic fineness, and the heroism required is that of patience. There is no cutting of the Gordian knots of life, each must be smilingly unraveled. ...above all... to keep friends with himself ... here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson


Not by our power

Paul, standing in the middle of the Aropagus, said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are religious, for as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To an unknown God.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by men, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And He made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their habitation that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him. He is not far from each one of us, for 'In Him we live and move and have our bding!'


For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything also in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

-- Romans 8:38-39


God is not an abstract reality, an absolute Alone, at the far end of Bethel ladders and Babel towers. He is central in the stream of Life and Love and Truth and Beauty...The reason we hope to find God is that He is here, engaged all the time in finding us... We can find Him because in Him because in Him we live and move and have our being.

-- Rufus M. Jones


God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.

-- John 4:24


I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

-- George Washington Carver


Do you not know that you are God's temple and God's spirit dwells in you?

-- I Corinthians 3:16


God is the only reality, and we are real in so far as we are in His order.

-- St. Augustine


How many times have I said "no" to God today? He is merciful, tender and loving but let me remember that he requires obedience.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


Little birds of many kinds come to my patio and ask for their dessert of cracker and toast crumbs as I eat my meals close by. My eyes can no longer distinguish their markings clearly but their names are not necessary for I welcome them as "my little friends." I marvel at the many kinds - each with his own special voice, characteristics and color. I think of other birds over the world, very different in size, color and habits from "my little friends." Birds are useful in various ways and I ask myself - "Could they fulfill their mission in life if all had been the same size and color?" God's way of developing His Plan is beyond our human understanding but we can learn as we observe, - For instance, the absence of dullness and monotony. Life is a miracle, a miracle of interest, variety and beauty that challenges our every sense. Our eyes, our ears, our minds, our hearts are rewarded hourly by knowledge that our Creator, God, is continuing His creation in marvelous ways. I give thanks daily for the little birds, so different but all His creation, guided by Him that come to greet me daily.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


Flower in the crannied wall,

I pluck you out of the crannies.

Hold you here, root and all, in my hand,

Little flower - but if I could understand

What you are, root and all, and all in all,

I could know what God and man is.

-- Alfred Lord Tennyson


Bless the Lord, O my soul! - O Lord, my God, Thou are very great!!

-- Psalms 104:1


He drew a circle that shut me out -

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But love and I had the wit to win;

We drew a circle that took him in.

-- Edwin Markham


Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

Forgive our foolish ways;

Reclothe us in our rightful mind,

In purer lives thy service find,

In deeper reverence praise.

Drop they still dews of quietness,

Till all our striving cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of thy peace.

-- John Greenleaf Whittier


Be still and know that I am God.

-- Psalms 46:10

Make holy that bit of life

which is entrusted to you.

-- Martin Buber

We can be eternally grateful to the spiritual giants who, down through the years, wrote down the words of life for us. These two quotations which complement each other have bee strong supports in my life. And how often I have needed them. Doubtless there are some fortunate souls who manage to keep their lives on an even keel, but I'm not one of them. There are so very many times in my life when I need the strong injunction: Be Still! "Be still and know that I am God." A whole meditation - yea, countless meditations- can be built on these words, emphasizing the key words one at a time. Then when I am still and calm, what next? "Make holy that bit of life entrusted to you." Just my own little orbit. Make it holy. How lovely. How simple. How inspiring. But wait a minute. On second thought is it so simple? Or does it go deeper and deeper? - Be still and know that I am God. Yes, Lord, I hear you. Make holy that bit of life entrusted to you. Yes, Lord. Give me the strength and courage to try to do so.

-- Blanche P. Zimmerman


If God ever spoke He is still speaking. If He has ever been in mutual and reciprocal communication with the persons He has made, He is still a communicating God as eager as ever to have listening and receptive souls. If there is something in His image and superscription in our innermost structure and being, we ought to expect a continuous revelation of His will and purpose through the ages... He is the GREAT I AM, not a GREAT HE WAS.

-- from "A Call to What is Vital" by Rufus M. Jones


I am blessed this morning with the realization that God does not require me to understand, - to explain His words and His power. He does require me to feel His presence and to accept His Power beyond all understanding. May I build no blocks of haste, laziness, carelessness, unkindness between myself and God, my Creator! - May I learn and may I remember on each new day.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


I lift my eyes to the hills, - from whence does my help come?

My help comes from Lord - who made heaven and earth.

Psalms I:1


God teaches us and prepares us for life through our experiences. Nothing can take the place of a living experience. And yet we shun many experiences (new paths) because we do not want to disturb our pleasant easy-going lives. Our experiences are our stepping stones. Let us thank God for each new experience from Him, be it bitter or sweet. Let us thank God for our growing sense of dependence upon Him as we meet a new experience.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


A fire-mist and a planet,

A crystal and a cell,

A jelly-fish and a saurian,

And caves where the cave-men dwell;

Then a sense of law and beauty

And a face turned from the clod, -

Some call it Evolution,

And others call it God.

A haze on the far horizon,

The infinite tender sky,

The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,

And the wild geese sailing high;

And all over upland and lowland

The charm of the golden-rod, -

Some of us call it Autumn,

And other call it God.

Like tides on a crescent sea-beach,

When the moon is new and thin,

Into our hearts high yearnings

Come welling and surging in;

Come from the mystic ocean

Whose rim no foot has trod, -

Some of us call it Longing,

And others call it God.

A picket frozen on duty,

A mother starved for her brood,

Socrates drinking the hemlock,

And Jesus on the rood;

And millions who, humble and nameless,

The straight, hard pathway plod, -

Some call it Consecration,

And others call it God.

-- William H. Carruth


He prayeth best who loveth best

All things both great and small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.

-- Samuel Coleridge



How many times did I say "no" to God today?

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,

As the swift seasons roll!

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,

Til thou at length art free,

Leaving thine out grown shell by life's unresting sea!

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes


You want to gain emotional poise? ... Remember the hour glass, the grains of sand dropping one by one... The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time.

-- Gilkey


Try to do to others as you would have them do to you, and be not discouraged if they fail sometimes. It is much better that they should fail than that you should.

-- Charles Dickens


Are you aware of the Power of God? The Power of the Divine Spirit, God, is around you in all situations, ever creating, ever building, ever performing seeming miracles. It is not yesterday but - today, now, here, surrounded by the unseen Power of God, the Creator, that you grow into the fullness of your life.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore ... they had better aim at something high.

-- Henry David Thoreau


Let a man strive to purify his thoughts. What a man thinketh, that is he; this is the eternal mystery. Dwelling within his self with thoughts serene, he will obtain imperishable happiness. Man becomes that of which he thinks.

-- Upanishads


To grow - is to be open to God and to our fellow humans. This is no easy task. Emerson said, "God does not impart His truth to cowards." Likewise only the brave and the sensitive can be open to others.

-- Barbara Sprogell Jacobson


My business is not to remake myself, but to make the absolute best of what God has made.

-- Robert Browning


Practice - the expression of faith, can be as flexible and varied as each individual - a complete spectrum of responses to the infinite variety and wonder of the revelations of God.

-- Barbara Sprogell Jacobson


You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. The danger lies in refusing to face fear, in not coming to grips with it. If you fall anywhere along the line, it will take away your confidence. You must do the thing you cannot do.

-- Eleanor Roosevelt


O Lord, we pray that we may be:

Able to suffer without complaining

To be understood without explaining

Able to endure without breaking

To be forsaken without forsaking

Able to give without receiving

Able to ask without commanding

To love despite misunderstanding

Able to turn to the Lord for guarding

Able to wait for His own rewarding.


How firm is our faith? How steady our courage? Daily, almost hourly, we are tested. By tests we grow. No test is a real test that strengthens with rewarding growth - unless it is difficult.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


"Lord, do I need patience! Teach me to sit still, to think, to pray, so that when there is something to do - I may do it with clear sight, with energy and with love." Amen


Vain regrets never help one to be the courageous, loving person one wants to become. The building of such a life requires positive thinking and constructive words and deeds.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


Upon every face is written the record of the life the man has led; the prayers, the aspirations, the disappointments, all he hoped to be and was not -- all are written there; nothing is hidden nor indeed can be.

-- Elbert Hubbard


To the World

Joy to the world! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room and heaven and nature sing.

-- Isaac Watts


And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold I bring you news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is well pleased!"

Luke 2:10-14


You understand so little of the joy of life! You perform so many of your avocations as burdensome tasks instead of labours of love. Be like little children felled with secret wonder and joy and the spirit of high adventure."

-- Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood


I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of daffodils,

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

For oft when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

-- William Wordsworth


How lovely is thy dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God!

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may lay her young, at thy alters, O Lord of hosts

my King and my God.

-- Psalms 84:1-4


Small tendrils of a morning glory to the well ropes cling;

Then let us go beg water from a neighbor's spring!

Chiyo-Ni, 1701-1775


Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe to the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness - you are willing to do these things for even a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

-- Henry Van Dyke


The year's at the spring,

And day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven

The hillside's dew-pearled;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in His Heaven -

All's right with the world!

-- Robert Browning


O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of His salvation from day to day,

Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!

For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!

-- Psalms 96:1-4


Laugh a bit and sing a song,

Where they are there's nothing wrong;

Joy will dance the whole world through,

But it must begin with you.

-- Joseph Morris


No man is an island

Not what we give but what we share

For the gift without the giver is bare;

Who giveth himself with his alms feeds three

Himself, his hungry neighbor and me.

-- James Russell Lowell


We are enjoined to "speak" to that of God in one another, what about "listening" to that of God in one another? For God speaks directly to us and also indirectly through others. Through all His creations, we can see and hear Him. In today's society we are assailed by so much noise, talk, reading materials, that we attempt to preserve ourselves by closing out, or skimming all that comes near. In so doing we short change ourselves and those, who approach us. To look directly at another, to see him, to hear him, to give complete attention to another is not only the greatest compliment, but often the greatest service we can render. When that happens, we are there at the moment, in the flesh and spirit. Or as Douglas Steere said, "Being present where you are."

-- Barbara Sprogell Jacobson


There are two good rules that ought to be written on every heart: Never believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true; Never tell even that, unless you feel it is absolutely necessary and that God is listening while you tell it.

-- Henry Van Dyke


Say! Let's forget it! Let's push it aside!

Life is so large and the world is so wide.

Days are so short and there's so much to do,

What if it was false, - there's plenty that's true.

Say! Let's forget it! Let's brush it away!

Now and forever, so what do you say?

All the bitter words said may be praise

One of these days.

-- James William Foley


'Tis the human touch in the world that counts,

The touch of your hand and mine,

Which means far more to the fainting heart,

Than shelter, bread or wine.

For shelter is gone when the night is o'er,

And bread lasts only a day,

But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice

Sing in the soul always.

-- Favorite of the Mother


I built a chimney for a comrade old,

I did the service not for hope or hire -

And then I traveled in winter's cold,

Yet all the day I glowed before the fire.

-- Edwin Markham


The quality of mercy is not strained.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath; it is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes;...

-- William Shakespeare


Keep us, O God, from pettiness; let us be large in thought, in word, in deed

Let us be done with fault-finding, and leave off self-seeking.

May we never be hasty in judgement and always generous.

Let us take time for all things; make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.

Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid.

Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences;

that in the big things of life we are one.

And may we strive to touch and to know the great, common heart of us all, and, -

O Lord God, let us forget not to be kind.

--from "Collection for Club Women" by Mary Stewart


No man is an island,

No man stands alone.

Each man's joy is joy to me,

Each man's grief is my own.

We need one another,

So I will defend

Each man as my brother,

Each man as my friend.

-- John Donne


There is a destiny that makes us brothers;

None goes his way alone;

All that we send into the lives of others

Comes back into our own.

-- Edwin Markham


A part of the Divine Life

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at the wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends... So faith, hope, love abide, these three but the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13:4


An act of love that fails is just as much a part of the Divine Life as an act of love that succeeds, for love is measured by its own fullness, not by its reception.

-- Harold Loukes


This I command you, to love one another.

-- John 15:17


Without Faith - how futile would be every dream, -

Without Hope - how hopeless the future would seem, -

And without Love - the greatest of the three -

How empty, how meaningless - our live would be!

-- Helen Farries


What's the earth - With all its art, verse, music, worth - compared with love, found, gained and kept?

-- Robert Browning


Love is the hardest lesson of Christianity; but for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it.

-- William Penn


I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.

-- William Penn


That best portion of a good man's life, ...

His little nameless, unremembered acts

Of kindness and of love.

-- William Wordsworth


Sometimes a little touch of love

That we know someone feels,

Not only brightens a day -

It blesses and it heals.

-- Helen Farries


Faith and practice make a formidable strength, and when combined further with love, it becomes an indomitable strength. However strange it may seem for now, love can equate strength. It is our strength; it can overcome force, it can change attitudes, people and situations.

-- Barbara Sprogell Jacobson


As I become more in tune with God and His world, I become conscious of the beauty surrounding me. I stand in awe at the glory and splendor of God given beauty. Wonder as well as gratitude fills me for the beauty that God gives lavishly and freely. As I rejoice in this bounteous gift, I realize that thus God gives His gift of love; - lavishly, fully completely. It is ours for the accepting as beauty is ours for the seeing and hearing.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


Those who do most in the world are those who love most.


No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us... God is love, and he who abides in love abides n God, and God abides in him... And this commandment we have from him, (Jesus) that he who loves God should love his brother also... Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

-- from I John, chapters 3 & 4


I will sing of they steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations.

For thy steadfast love was established forever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

-- Psalm 89:1-2


You have heard it was said, "Ye shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy," but I say to you, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? ... You, therefore must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect."

-- Matthew 5:43-46, 48


In the presence of God

In the presence of God and these our friends, I take thee ... promising with Divine assistance to be unto thee ... loving and faithful so long as we both shall live.

-- Quaker marriage vows [insert name where the ... is]

Gwynedd Monthly Meeting welcomes the Oversight of the marriage of its members. Assistance in this religious sacrament which is to bring deepening happiness through the years is a privilege.

-- from the pamphlet "Marriage at Gwynedd Meeting"

The religious sacrament of marriage is an unselfish sharing of man and woman with faith in the goodness of each other and in the desire and ability to build a home that radiates happiness, peace and a growing of love of God ... and ... for all mankind.

-- from an article written for Friends Journal, August 1975


We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.

-- Goethe


No Christians reverence [anything] more highly than the Quakers the sacrament of marriage. For them, God alone can bless such a union and give significance to such a mystery. The personal promises before God made by each of the couple, together with the certificate signed by them and those present as witnesses, leave the contracting parties little doubt that they have been very thoroughly married.

-- from "A Quaker Marriage", Philadelphia Yearly Meeting


Marriage is a thing you've got to give your whole mind to.

There can be no freedom or beauty about a home that depends on borrowing and debt.

-- Henrik Ibsen


Never marry but for love; but see to it that thou lovest what is lovely: he that minds a body, and not a soul has not the better part of that relation, and will consequently want the noblest comfort of a married life.

-- William Penn


Forgiveness - "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him: As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."

-- Matthew 18:21-24


... True glory - lies in the silent conquest of ourselves.

-- Thompson


Barrow Cadbury, after fifty years of marriage, wrote from notes 'gathered from personal experience and from observation; for the help of young people... "Start out together on a fifty-fifty basis, each sharing with the other, and thereby doubly enriching both. Recognize the equality of the service each performs, even though the work differs... The wider your interest outside your regular occupation, the more fruitful life will be. After all, if two people are going to live together for thirty, forty or sixty years, they must have interesting things to talk about, or they will get cruelly on one another's nerves... The foregoing suggestions are dictated by a common-sense view of life, and common-sense is one of God's best gifts, which is not always used. But for full enjoyment of all that God gives us in marriage and home life, we need spiritual union. Underlying all must be the spiritual union and communion which bring unto married life the power and grace which can carry a couple through the most difficult time of testing."

-- Christian Faith and Practice, London Yearly Meeting, 1960


Simplicity should characterize the life of every Friends' family ... Family conversation may determine whether or not children will look for the good in the people they meet, and whether they will be sensitive to that of God in everyone.

-- Faith and Practice, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting


The Quaker home offers a supreme opportunity for the expression of the Quaker way of life. Outward circumstances have varied with the times... Nothing has changed the basic experience of Quaker home-making. Husband and wife are partners with God.

-- Christian Faith and Practice, London Yearly Meeting


The love of God expresses itself not only in individual life, but in family life. A man and his wife whose love for each other is part of their love for God, discover a more splendid love and a more exuberant life than those who love each other only.

-- Kenneth Boulding


Ring in the valiant man and true

Another year is dawning - Dear Father let it be,

In working or in waiting - Another year with Thee..

-- Frances R. Havergal, 1874



I will try this day to live a simple, sincere, and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self seeking, cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity and the habit of holy silence, exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity n every trust and a childlike faith in God.

-- Bishop Brent


Ring out, wild bells to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light;

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out wild bells and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells across the snow;

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring in the valiant man and free;

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness in the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

-- Tennyson


Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could, some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with all its hopes and invitations to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Yet O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou art our potter; we are the work of Thy hand.

-- Isaiah 64:8


This is the day, which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

-- Psalm II 8:24



The God of Peace be with you.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

-- John 14:27


I told them .. that I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars.

-- George Fox, 1651


A Petition presented to the King in 1660 by George Fox:

Our principle is, and our practices have always been, to seek peace and ensue it; to follow after righteousness and the knowledge of God; seeking the good and welfare, and that which tends to the peace of all ... We earnestly desire and wait, that (by the word of God's power, and its effectual operation in the hearts of men) the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ; that he may rule and reign in men by his spirit and truth...


A Declaration presented to Charles II by Quakers in 1661:

We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world. The spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move into it; and we do certainly know, and we testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ, which leads us unto all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ nor for the kingdoms of this world.


First keep thyself in peace, and then shalt thou be able to make peace among others.

-- Thomas a' Kempis


Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.

-- Philippians 4:8-9



More things are wrought by prayer

Prayer releases energy as certainly as the closing of an electric current does. It heightens all human capacities. It refreshes and quickens life. It unlocks reservoirs of power. It is effective and operative as surely as are the forces of steam and gravitation. ... The joy of communion and intercourse with God is the central feature of prayer and it is one of the most impressive facts of life... Fortunately we do not need to understand vital processes and energies of life before we utilize them and start living by them. The child would die in unconscious infancy if he refused to turn to his mother's breast for nourishment until he had acquired a good working theory of the value and efficacy of mother's milk... It is a way of life that is as old as the human race is, and it is as difficult to "explain" as is our joy over love and beauty.

-- Rufus M. Jones


Teach me, my God and King,

In all things Thee to see,

And what I do in anything.

To do it as for Thee.

-- George Herbert


Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect... Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

-- Romans 12


We ask Friends to remember the opportunity for prayer and communion afforded in daily life by a silent prayer at the commencement of each family meal... Silence may check our thought amid the rush of outward life, and call us to an inward act of devotion, by which the meal may be made a sacrament.

-- Christian Discipline, London Yearly Meeting


Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer

-- Psalm 19: 14


God intends us to realize that we are His. He can use us only if we are conscious of His mastery. A half-hearted questioning, careless acceptance of His power is no acceptance. Either we are His or we are not. When we are willing to recognize that we are His then He can train us, prepare us, make us open channels of his love to the world.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


A prayer for every day:

God, give me sympathy and sense

And help me keep my courage high;

God, give me calm and confidence,

And, please, a twinkle in my eye.

-- Margaret Bailey


Have you been praying about a loved one and felt your prayers were not adequate? Are you clinging to the thought of how things can be made right, what shape and what form the solution should take? Then release it! Loose! Let go and - let God! Remember that God does the work.

-- Guideposts


O God, may my life demonstrate that I trust Thee, that I draw from Thee - vision and courage! May my thoughts, words and acts show my awareness of Thee! To accomplish this, O God, I must be quiet and relaxed. I cannot draw from "within" while I am partially "without." To receive from Thee, O Divine Spirit, I must be wholly and completely turned "within."

-- Eliza A. Foulke


Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.

-- Michelangelo


More things are wrought by prayer, ... Than this world dreams of.

-- Alfred Lord Tennyson


A prayer in its simplest definition is merely a wish turned Godward.

-- Phillips Brooks


What do you ask for when you pray? That God will shield you from hardship and give you an easy life or that He will count you worthy to have a sacrificial part in His enterprise of building a Christian world?


Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle never know.

-- Charles Kingsley


Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.

-- Phillips Brooks


Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!

-- Psalm 139:23


I give thanks to Thee, O Lord, my God

with my whole heart

and I will glorify Thy name forever

For great is thy steadfast love toward me.

-- Psalm 86


Make me to know Thy ways, O Lord;

teach me Thy paths,

Lead me in Thy truth and teach me,

for Thou art the God of my salvation;

for Thee I wait all the day long.

-- Psalm 25


O my God, why dost Thou ever remember me, while I, alas, so often forget Thee?

- St. Francis de Sales


Who are the Quakers?

George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, was born n England in 1624. He records in his Journal, "when all my hopes in men were gone, so I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do, then, O then, I heard a voice which said, 'There is one, Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.' And when I heard it, my heart did leap for joy and this I know experientially."


Rufus M. Jones writes, "I was not christened in a church but I was sprinkled from morning till night with the dew of religion. We never ate a meal which did not begin with a hush of thanksgiving; we never began a day without a family gathering at which mother read a chapter of the Bible, after which there would follow a weighty silence.


The belief in the immediate presence of the light of Christ within the soul and in His power to transform men into the sons of God has been the vital message of Quakerism wherever it has been effective. It is a faith that does not stand on ritual and creed, but on the experience and practice of the presence of God in the individual heart. It is universal in its scope and speaks to the spiritual needs of all men.

-- Faith and Practice, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting


True godliness doesn't turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavors to mend it, not hide their candle under a bushel, but set it upon a candlestick... and ... Let us try then what Love will do; for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us... Force may subdue, but Love gains; and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.

-- from "No Cross, No Crown" by William Penn


The Quaker discovery includes the fact of immediate guidance possible to be experienced within each of us. But until each of us can say, "The Lord has come to lead His people and He is leading me," we are merely reading about an interesting historical event in the life of George Fox.

-- Thomas Kelly


Since Friends believe that God reveals His presence and gives guidance to all who seek Him, it behooves them in their Meeting to hear with attentive and open minds the messages and views of their members present. This is applicable no less in Meetings for Business than in Meeting for Worship.

-- Faith and Practice, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting


Concern is a word which has tended to become debased by excessive common usage among Friends, so that too often it is used to cover only a strong desire. The true 'concern' emerges as a gift from God, a leading of His Spirit which may not be denied.

-- Roger C. Wilson


The way of the mystic is not a drifting in quietness nor pleasant emotional release. It is the way of firm self-discipline, of constant vigilance.

-- Anonymous


Always minding the Light, we should come to our Meetings for Business prepared to be conscientious in attending to business, disciplined in participation, and constantly aware that we are about our Father's business... The basis upon which we hold our Meetings for Business is that this is God's world, that He has unfinished business for us to do, and that it is possible for us to ascertain His will for us in this world. The Meeting for Business is, in essence, the Meeting for Worship focused upon specific matters, and there well may be a significant correlation between the depth and power of the Meeting for Business and that of the Meeting for Worship.

-- Thomas S. Brown


Stress should be laid on the importance of regular attendance at our Meeting for Worship, not only as a joy and privilege to the individual and as a means of growth in grace, but for the sake of the congregation. Each true worshipper in the silent waiting upon God will help his fellowmen even if not called in the ministry of the spoken word... It should be made clear that a Friend can neither give nor receive all that true membership offers unless he is a regular attender of our Meetings for church affairs and takes proper share in, and responsibility for, the Society's activities.

-- Christian Faith and Practice, London Yearly Meeting


The Society of Friends from first to last has affirmed that the Spirit of man is the place of all others in which the spirit of God can shine... It has always insisted that each individual is responsible for obeying this Light, and that the whole life ought to be brought under the dominion of the Spirit.

-- William C. Braithwaite


Love of our fellow man is more fundamental than international influence or economics or even preservation of our nation. For three hundred years Quakers sensitive to the Spirit have endeavored to express a love that knows no limits of race or creed or nation. When motivated by this power, they have certified by word and deed to the dignity of all men everywhere.

-- Frank S. Loescher


And so, I find it well to come

For deeper rest to this still room,

For here the habit of the soul

Feels less the outer world's control.

The world that time and sense have known

Fall off and leaves us God alone.

-- John Greenleaf Whittier


Our belief in the Inward Light is the source of all our testimonies.

-- Friends World Conference, Oxford


Life's greatest achievement is to learn to live with God. Fellowship with Him is the greatest conceivable good... That unseen Presence, too often forgotten or ignored, is always with us.

-- William Littleboy


They were changed men themselves before they went about to change others. Their hearts were rent as well as their garments, and they knew the power and work of God upon them... And as they freely received what they had to say from the Lord, so they freely administered it to others.

-- from the Preface to George Fox's Journal by William Penn


All my life I have heard of the gift of Presence - that of God in everyone... I became aware that I could not qualify the Presence. Either the Presence Is or it is not. Either the Christ is in all or not at all. Either the Source of all Life is in all or not at all... It doesn't make any sense to me to think that Jesus came to earth to do these things if he was the only person who was going to do them. That would be an ego trip, and I just do not think of him that way. These gifts are ours... Who am I? What is your name? Who are you? These questions will be answered as we come to the place of knowing our true identity, as claiming our Christhood. How we see in ourselves what has always been present. Our scattered selves are restored and renewed and made whole as we accept the Gift of the Presence from the Giver of all life.

-- H. Louise Wilson


Rufus M. Jones in his call to all Quakers "Are we ready?" states, "If Quakerism is a Movement, as I always assume, it must move. And it must move with wisdom and insight... It will no longer do to say, when you are asked what Quakers stand for: 'I will lend thee a book.' The only answer that carries weight is the revelation of unique spiritual material in our lives and in our Meetings. We must be able to say to the inquirer, 'Come to Meeting and you will understand what Quakerism is, or see it revealed in James or John or Sarah or Susan.' But before we can say that with confidence, something more vital and transforming must take place in our membership. We must under God have a new birth of life and power... If we are to have a revival of spiritual power, our youth must be in the front of it. And we must as Friends live in a world of reality, and adjust our lives to the vital issues of the present and the future.


For the spiritual life is much its own proof as the natural life, and needs no outward or foreign thing to bear witness to it.

-- William Law, 1686


Are we steward's of God's world?

WORK! Thank God for a world where none may shirk.

Thank God for the splendor of work!

-- from "A Song of Triumph" by Angela Morgan


So nigh is grandeur to our dust,

So near to God is man,

When duty whispers low, Thou must,

The youth replies, I can.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


When men are quarreling about the land, God is standing among them and whispering, "I am the Proprietor."

-- Nicholai Velimirovic, Serbian Clergyman


As for our own planet, which God has given us for our dwelling place, we must be mindful that it is given us in stewardship. The power over nature that scientific knowledge has put into our hands, if used in lust or greed, fear or hatred, can bring us to utter destruction.

-- London Yearly Meeting, 1957


The world desperately needs men and women whose yea is yea and whose nay is nay. The testimony of our daily life still matters most. We pray that this may be our sure witness; that of us it may be said that our lives make it easier for men to believe in God.

-- London Yearly Meeting, 1943


Why should I wish to see God better than this day?

I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then;

In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own glass;

I find letters from God dropped in the street, and everyone is signed by God's name;

And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go

Others will punctually come for ever and ever.

-- Walt Whitman


Oft quoted sayings:

Money spent once cannot be spent again - neither can time.

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Don't spend money before it is in your pocket - or in the bank.


To begin each morning with a thankful heart

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom O Lord and Thou art exalted as head above all. In Thy hand are power and might; and in Thy hand it is to make great and give strength to all, And now we thank Thee, our God and praise Thy glorious name.

-- I Chronicles 29:10-11


Let us begin each new day, facing whatever may come of problems or joys - with a thankful heart and with praise to our Creator for our many blessings.

-- Eliza A. Foulke


I give thee thanks, O Lord with my whole heart; ... On the day I called, Thou didst answer me, my strength of soul - Thou didst increase... Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou dose preserve my life; The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Thy steadfast love, O Lord endures forever.

-- Psalm 138


Give me a good digestion, Lord,

And also something to digest;

Give me a healthy body, Lord

With sense to keep it at its best.

Give me a healthy mind, good Lord,

To keep the good and pure in sight,

Which seeing sin is not appalled

But finds a way to set it right;

Give me a mind that is not bored

That does not whimper, whine nor sigh;

Don't let me worry overmuch

About a fussy thing called "I."

Give me a sense of humor, Lord

Give me the grace to see a joke

To get some happiness from life

And pass it on to other folk.

--Found in Chester Cathedral


The eternal God is your dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms.

-- Deut. 33:27


We plow the fields and scatter

The good seed on the land

But it is fed and watered

By God's almighty hand,

O thank the Lord - for all his love.


This is the day, which the Lord has made

New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;

They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth;

... attempt the future's portal with the past's blood-rusted key.

-- James Russell Lowell


"Dost thou love life?" asked Benjamin Franklin and answered himself, by saying, "Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."


Four things come not back -

The spoken word;

The sped arrow;

Time past;

Neglected opportunity.


Thomas Dreier says, "My daily desire is - to waken in the morning with smile; to greet the day with reverence for the opportunities it contains; to approach my work with a clear mind; to hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things, the Ultimate Purpose toward which I am working; to meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart; to be gentle and kind and courteous through all the hours; to approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep and the joy that comes from work well done."


Do as well as you can today, and perhaps, tomorrow, you may be able to do better.


Know the true value of time. Snatch, seize and enjoy every minute of it. ... No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination. Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today.

-- Lord Chesterfield


Great things are not accomplished by idle dreams but by years of patient study.


The experience and practice of God

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; Against such there is no law.

-- Galatians 5:22


It is the individual faithfulness of each Friend which is needed if our Meetings for Worship are to be held to the glory of God. Each one of us must come expecting not only to receive but to be used. This involves a preparation of spirit, but man interpret the phrase, "Come with heart prepared" too narrowly. The preparation needed is the living of our daily lives in constant awareness of the presence of God... Important though our part of preparation, dedication and faithfulness is, we have always to remember that our part is dependent upon that Power which comes to us, unlooked for and undeserved, the Power of the grace of God.

-- Ministry and Extension Committee, London Yearly Meeting


WORSHIP according to the ancient practice of the Religious Society of Friends, is entirely without human direction or supervision. A group of devout persons come together and sit down quietly with no prearrangement, each seeking to have an immediate sense of divine leading and to know at first hand the presence of the Living Christ. It is not wholly accurate to say that such a Meeting is held on the basis of silence; it is more accurate to say that it is held on the basis of "Holy Obedience." Those who enter such a Meeting can harm it in two specific ways: first, by an advance determination to speak and second, by advance determination to keep silent. The only way in which a worshipper can help such a Meeting is by an advance determination to try to be responsive in listening to the still small voice and doing whatever may be commanded. Such a Meeting is always a high venture of Faith, and it is to this venture we invite you.

-- Prepared for a Friends Meeting of delegates to the World Council of Churches, Amsterdam, Holland, 1948


True worship, whether vocal or silent is offering ourselves to God, body, mind and soul, for the doing of His will.

-- Faith and Practice, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting


Worship is not theory; it is not speculation; it is not thinking; it is not talking; it is discovery, adoration, joy, peace, communion, fellowship.

-- Rufus M. Jones


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

-- Jeremiah 29:13


As many candles lighted and put in one place do greatly augment the light, and make it shine forth, so when many are gathered together in the same life there is more of the glory of God, and his power appears to the refreshment of each individual, for each partakes not only of the light and life raised n himself, but in all the rest.

-- Robert Barclay


May we never forget that our public worship is a corporate act: we meet not as isolated individuals, but as a group. In the silence we enter into fellowship not only with God, but with one another. Our hearts go out to one another, we sense another's need and realize our common sharing n "the bundle of life," and so - whether in silence or in speech - we bear one another's burdens and can speak to one another's condition.

-- Gerald K. Hiebert


For when I came into the silent assemblies of God's people, I felt a secret power among them which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it, I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up.

-- Robert Barclay


Experience proves the exceeding value of seeking after inward silence as a real life discipline... And silence is assuredly an art to be acquired, a discipline to be steadily practiced before it can become the instinctive habit and unfailing resource of the soul ... to myself the practice of quietness in life is markedly facilitated b joining in a worship "based on silence."


At its best and truest, however, worship seems to me to be direct, vital, joyous personal experience and practice of God.

-- Rufus M. Jones


Youth shows but half

God keep my heart attuned to laughter

When youth is done;

When all the days are gray days coming after

The warmth, the sun;

God, keep me from bitterness, from grieving

When life seems cold;

God, keep me always loving and believing

As I grow old.


Aging is not for sissies. Aging is simply a kind of testing not unlike other challenges people face throughout their lives.

-- Terry Schuckman


Others shall sing the song

Others shall right the wrong-

Finish what I begin,

And all I fail to win.

What matters I or they?

Mine or another's day,-

So the right word be said

And life the sweeter made?

-- John Greenleaf Whittier


Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and every occasion. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains, they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years roll by... Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint - some of them are hard to live with. But a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.

-- Anonymous


No longer forward nor behind

I look in hope or fear:

But grateful, take the good I find

The best of now and here.

-- John Greenleaf Whittier


I learn as the years roll onward

And leave the past behind

That much I have counted sorrow

But proves that our God is kind;

That many a flower I longed for

Had a hidden thorn of pain

And many a rugged bypath

Led to fields of ripened grain.

-- Author unknown


Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made;

Our times are in His hand

Who saith, "A whole I planned,"

Youth shows but half; trust God; see all, nor be afraid!

-- Robert Browning


Years pass - we become Old in Years, "elderly," as naturally as day follows night in God's Plan. We find our physical selves accomplish less in our twenty-four hours. Frequently, we are impatient as this is noticed by ourselves and by others. Are we wise in finding new avenues of service - do we protest as we yield responsibilities to others? As the years pass, much experience has been gained. We are willing - eager - to pass on what we have learned to those Young in Years, but we find that this is not possible for they want to - indeed must, learn for themselves as we did through hard work, struggle, and disappointment and suffering. In all ages - those both young and old in years, - must grow awareness that experience is earned; earned and learned by living. The Creator molds us, forms us through our experiences and no person can arrange another's life; carry another's burden, suffer another's trials, enjoy another's peace. Through love, we, old and young, encourage each other to know God's will and His way, but - never can anyone take the place of "that of God" within each and every person.

"Dear God, our Father and our Creator, we give thanks that each of us is given Paths for him alone to walk with Light within to direct him."

-- Eliza A. Foulke

Note: The original book was duplicated by Norma Adams Price, Art work by Jean Price Norman and Typist Martha Parry Hankin. James Quinn copied this book and put in on the internet in February of 2012.

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