Thursday, February 28, 2013

Of Life

Of Life

The epitome of common life is seen in the common epitaph,
Born on such a day, and dead on such another, with an interval of threescore years.
For time has been wasted on the senses, and that leads hourly to the diminishing of spirit:

Lean is the soul and it pines away in the midst of abundance for the body:
He forgot the worlds to which he was intended, and the true nobility creatures were made for,
Nor does he listen to hope or wholesome fear, lest it stir him from his hardened satisfaction.

And this is death in life; to be sunk beneath the waters of every day life,
Without one feebly-struggling sense of an airier spiritual realm:
Affection, fancy, feeling ---dead; imagination, conscience, faith,
All willfully expunged, till they leave the man a mere carcass.

See that you have life, while you are alive:
for the heart must live, and the soul,
But worry and sloth and sin and self, combine to kill that life.

A man will grow into a machine, an appendage to the counter or the desk,
If the mind and spirit be not roused, to raise up the plodding groveler:

Then Praise God for Sabbaths, for books, and dreams, and pains,
Also for the recreative face of  nature and for kindling loves within the home;

And remember, you that labor, -- your leisure is not a loss,
If it helps to expose and undermine that solid falsehood, -- the Material.

Martin F. Tupper.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Despair letter

I got this letter when I worked at Teen Challenge; it is a hopeless heart cry, and it is all too common. The utter loss of hope makes us want to just reach out and rescue, sometimes we can, sometimes not; but woe to me if I don't try.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beauty of spirit

Triune beauty is that of the body, mind and soul; who can resist? Beauty of the soul may come in the most distressing disguises, and the following quote tells of the spirit’s beauty without that of body or mind, but still it captures us.

“And now there is beauty of the spirit; the mind in its perfect flowering,
Fragrant, expanded into the soul, full of love and blessed.
Go to some squalid couch, some famishing death-bed of the poor;
He is shrunken, cadaverous, diseased; -- there is here no beauty of body:
Never has he fed on knowledge, nor drank at the steams of science,
He is of the common herd, illiterate; -- there is here no beauty of reason:
But lo! His filming eye is bright with love from heaven,’
In every look it beams with praise, as worshipping with angels;
What honeycomb is hived upon his lips, eloquent of gratitude and prayer,---
What triumph shrined serene upon that clammy brow,
What glory flickering transparent under those thin cheeks, ---
What beauty in his face: --- Is it not the face of an angel?” Martin F. Tupper.

 This beauty of spirit is what has kept me going back to the nursing homes, having seen it so many times. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day care is common today and supported by many, but that was not always the case; listen to the counsel from 150 years ago ---

“Drive not a timid infant from his home, in the early spring-time of his life,
Commit not that treasure to an hireling, nor wrench the young heart’s fibers:
In his helplessness leave him not alone, a stranger among strange children,’
Where affection longs for your love, counting the dreary hours: and innocence weeps unheard.” Martin F. Tupper

Monday, February 18, 2013


There are times when I want to fly from it all, just get away and never have to chafe myself in the society of men. Don’t we all feel that way at times? This little piece from my new book by Martin F. Tupper addresses it and its consequences.

“The branch can not but wither, that is cut from the
parent vine.
Wouldst thou be a dweller in the woods, and cast
away the cords that bind thee,
Seeking, in they bitterness or pride, to be exiled
from they fellows?
Behold, the beast shall hunt thee, weak, naked,
houseless outcast,
Disease and Death shall track thee out, as
bloodhounds in the wilderness:
Better to be humblest of thy kind, in the hated
company of men,
Than to live a solitary wretch, dreading and wanting
all things;
Better to be chained to thy labor, in the dusky
thoroughfares of life,
Than to reign monarch of Sloth, in lonesome savage

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We should know of Sarah Martin

Take a minute and read about this Christian woman who inspires me so. 

  Sarah Martin was the daughter of poor parents and was left an orphan at an early age. She was brought up by her grandmother, and earned her living by going out to families as assistant dress-maker, at a shilling a day. 
  In 1819 a woman was tried and sentenced to imprisonment in Yarmouth Jail, for cruelly beating and ill-using her child, and her crime became the talk of the town. The young dress-maker was much impressed by the report of the trial, and the desire entered her mind of visiting the woman in jail and trying to reclaim her. She had often before, on passing the walls of the borough jail, felt impelled to seek admission, with the object of visiting the inmates, reading the Scriptures to them, and endeavoring to lead them back to the society whose laws they had violated.
At length she could not resist the impulse to visit the imprisoned mother. She entered the jail-porch, lifted the knocker, and asked the jailer for admission. For some reason or other she was refused, but she returned, repeated her request, and this time she was admitted. The culprit mother shortly stood before her. When Sara Martin told the motive of her visit, the criminal burst into tears, and thanked her. Those tears and thanks shaped the whole course of Sarah Martin’s after-life, and the poor seamstress, while maintaining herself by her needle, continued to spend her leisure hours in visiting the prisoners and endeavoring to alleviate their condition. 
She constituted herself their chaplain and school-mistress, for at that time they had neither; she read to them and taught them to read and write. She gave up an entire day in the week for this purpose, besides Sundays, as well as other intervals of spare time. She taught the women to knit, to sew, and to cut out ---She then sold the articles enabling her to buy other materials, and to continue the industrial education thus begun. She also taught the men to make straw hats, men’s and boy’s caps, gray cotton shirts, and even patchwork, anything to keep them out of idleness, and from preying on their own thoughts. Out of the earnings of the prisoners in this way she formed a fund, which she applied to furnishing them with work on their discharge; thus enabling them again to begin the world honestly, and a the same time affording her, as she herself says, “the advantage of observing their conduct.”

  By attending too exclusively to this prison work, however, Sarah Martin’s dress-making business fell off; and the question arose with her whether, in order to recover her business, she was to suspend her prison work. But her decision had already been made. 
“I had counted the cost,” she said, “and my mind was made up. If, while imparting truth to others, I became exposed to temporal want, the privations so momentary to an individual would not admit of comparison with following the Lord, in thus administering to others.

 ” She now devoted six or seven hours every day to the prisoners, converting what would otherwise have been a scene of dissolute idleness into a hive of orderly industry. 
Newly admitted prisoners were sometimes resistant, but her persistent gentleness eventually won their respect and co-operation. Men old in years and crime, pert London pickpockets, depraved boys and dissolute sailors, profligate women, smugglers and the promiscuous horde of criminals which usually fill the jail of a sea-port and county town, all submitted to the benign influence of this good woman; and under her eyes they might be seen, for the first time in their lives, striving to hold a pen, or to master the characters in a penny primer. She entered into their confidence, watched, wept, prayed, and felt for all by turn. And for the next twenty years she strengthened their good resolutions, cheered the hopeless and despairing, and endeavored to put all, and hold all, in the right road of amendment.

  She was now becoming old and infirm, and the unhealthy atmosphere of the jail did much toward finally disabling her. While she lay on her death-bed, she resumed the exercise of a talent she had occasionally practiced before in her moments of leisure --- the composition of sacred poetry. As works of art, they may not excite admiration; yet never were verses written truer in spirit, or fuller of Christian love. But her own life was a nobler poem than any she ever wrote – full of true courage, perseverance, charity, and wisdom. It was indeed a commentary upon her own words:

            “The high desire that others may be blest
            Savors of Heaven.”