Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Richard Watson Gilder

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Through love to light! Oh wonderful the way
That leads from darkness to the perfect day!
--
After-song (1894), reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

 
Richard Watson Gilder

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Here are two kinds of light, the light on the hither side of the darkness and the light beyond the darkness. We must press on through the darkness and the terror of it if we would reach the holier light beyond.
We are here no matter who put us here, or how we came here to fulfil a task. We cannot afford to go of our own volition until the last item of our duty is discharged.

 
Felix Adler
 

But if there has been on this earth no real, perfect human life, no love that never cooled, no faith that never failed, which may shine as a loadstar across the darkness of our experience, a light to light amidst all convictions of our own meanness and all suspicions of other's littleness, why, we may have a religion, but we have not a Christianity. For if we lose Him as a Brother, we cannot feel Him as a Saviour.

 
Frederick William Robertson
 

So, then, as darkness had no beginning, neither will it ever have an end. So, then, is it eternal. The negation of aught else, is its affirmation. Where the light cannot come, there abideth the darkness. The light doth but hollow a mine out of the infinite extension of the darkness. And ever upon the steps of the light treadeth the darkness; yea, springeth in fountains and wells amidst it, from the secret channels of its mighty sea. Truly, man is but a passing flame, moving unquietly amid the surrounding rest of night; without which he yet could not be, and whereof he is in part compounded.

 
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We must understand well that we do not proceed from a unity of God to the same unity of God again. We do not proceed from one chaos to another chaos, neither from one light to another light, nor from one darkness to another darkness. What would be the value of our life then? What would be the value of all life?
But we set out from an almighty chaos, from a thick abyss of light and darkness tangled. And we struggle plants, animals, men, ideas in this momentary passage of individual life, to put in order the Chaos within us, to cleanse the abyss, to work upon as much darkness as we can within our bodies and to transmute it into light.

 
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There are many kinds of love, as many kinds of light,
And every kind of love makes a glory in the night.
There is love that stirs the heart, and love that gives it rest,
But the love that leads life upward is the noblest and the best.

 
Henry van Dyke
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