One of my greatest difficulties in consenting to think of religion was that I thought I should have to give up my beautiful thoughts and my love for the things God has made. But I find that the happiness springing from all things not in themselves sinful is much increased by religion. God is the God of the Beautiful—Religion is the love of the Beautiful, and Heaven is the Home of the Beautiful—-Nature is tenfold brighter in the Sun of Righteousness, and my love of Nature is more intense since I became a Christian—-if indeed I am one. God has not given me such thoughts and forbidden me to enjoy them.
Foolish is the man, and there are many such men, who would rid himself or his fellows of discomfort by setting the world right, by waging war on the evils around him, while he neglects that integral part of the world where lies his business, his first business, namely, his own character and conduct.
Anybody with leisure can do that who is willing to begin where everything ought to be begun--that is, at the beginning. Nothing worth calling good can or ever will be started full grown. The essential of any good is life, and the very body of created life, and essential to it, being its self operant, is growth. The larger start you make, the less room you leave for life to extend itself. You fill with the dead matter of your construction the places where assimilation ought to have its perfect work, building by a life-process, self-extending, and subserving the whole. Small beginnings with slow growings have time to root themselves thoroughly--I do not mean in place nor yet in social regard, but in wisdom. Such even prosper by failures, for their failures are not too great to be rectified without injury to the original idea.
The ruin of a man's teaching comes of his followers, such as having never touched the foundation he has laid, build upon it wood, hay, and stubble, fit only to be burnt. Therefore, if only to avoid his worst foes, his admirers, a man should avoid system. The more correct a system the worse will it be misunderstood; its professed admirers will take both its errors and their misconceptions of its truths, and hold them forth as its essence.
He had fallen in love with her almost, already; for her anger made her more charming than any one else had ever beheld her; and, as far as he could see, which certainly was not far, she had not a single fault about her, except, of course, that she had not any gravity. No prince, however, would judge of a princess by weight.
But the princess had to learn to walk, before they could be married with any propriety. And this was not so easy at her time of life, for she could walk no more than a baby. She was always falling down and hurting herself. “Is this the gravity you used to make so much of?” said she one day to the prince, as he raised her from the floor. “For my part, I was a great deal more comfortable without it.” “No, no, that’s not it. This is it,” replied the prince, as he took her up, and carried her about like a baby, kissing her all the time. “This is gravity.” “That’s better,” said she. “I don’t mind that so much.