“Language is the clothing of thought.” - Anon
“In that worthiest of all struggles, the struggle for self-mastery and goodness, we are far less patient with ourselves than God is with us.” - J.G Holland (1819-1881)
“Old age is a blessed time. It gives us leisure to put off our earthly garments one by one, and dress ourselves for heaven. Blessed are those who are home-sick, for they shall get home." - Lydia M. Child (1802-1880)
“There is no brotherhood of man without the fatherhood of God.” - Henry Martin Field (1822-1907)
“The meanest, most contemptible kind of praise is that which first speaks well of a man, and then qualifies it with a ‘but.’” - Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)
“I have four good reasons for being an abstainer [from alcohol] – my head is clearer, my health is better, my heart is lighter, and my purse is heavier.” - Thomas Guthrie (1803-1873)
“Make money your god; it will plague you like the devil.” - Henry Fielding (1822-1907)
“Mammon is the largest slave-holder in the world.” - Frederick Saunders (1807-1902)
To be interesting, be interested.
Talk about more than just the weather.
Never underestimate the power of forgiveness.“
A snail walks into a car dealership and asks for the fastest, snazziest car available. The salesman, rubbing his hands together in anticipation of a huge commission says: “Well, sir that would be our Mazda MX-Z, but it is a little pricey!”
“Money is not an object”, says the snail, “and I intend to pay cash up front!” By now the salesman has dollar signs in his eyes and his enthusiasm does not diminish when the snail is obviously enamored with the sporty little fire-engine red two-seater. “I’ll take it!” he exclaims. “However”
“Oh oh”, thinks the salesman. “I knew it was too good to be true.”
“There is one little detail I would like you to change”, continues the snail. “See that letter ‘Z’ in the Mazda designation?”
The salesman nods confounded.
“I want it changed to an ‘S’!”
With vast relief the salesman stammers, “Why yes sir! For a slight extra charge of course.”
The snail readily agrees and the two arrange all the financial and legal paperwork. The car is to be ready to pick up the following morning. Upon arrival in the morning the snail appears and inspects the change and is quite satisfied and prepares to leave, when the salesman can no longer contain his curiosity.
“Why on Earth did you ask for that name change sir?” he blurts out.
“Why, that’s simple”, answers the snail. “When I go zooming past all the other cars on the highway I want them to exclaim: ‘WOW look at that ess-car-go!’ ”
There is no Frigate like a Book by EMILY DICKINSON
There is no Frigate like a Book – To take us to Lands away – Nor any Coursers like a Page – Of prancing Poetry – This Traverse may the poorest take – Without oppress of Toll – How Frugal is the Chariot – That bears the Human soul.
When I was one-and-twenty by A.E. Housman
When I was one-and-twenty – I heard a wise man say, “Give crowns and pounds and guineas – But not your heart away – Give pearls away and rubies – But keep your fancy free.” – But I was one-and-twenty – No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty – I heard him say again – “The heart out of the bosom – Was never given in vain – ‘Tis paid with sighs a plenty – And sold for endless rue.” – And I am two-and-twenty – And oh, ‘tis true, ‘tis true.
FAITH by Edwin McNeill Poteat, born in 1892
And must I say that God is Christ – Or Jesus God in human guise – When I can say He has suffered – To bring the light to shadowed eyes?
I do not care to speculate – On things mysterious to the mind – But Oh the rapture, early, late – Of light to eyes that once were blind.
Reaching old age is a form of winning.
Genius begins great works; labor finishes them.
Tell people only what needs to be done, not how.
Education begins at home.
Save for a rainy day.
Children should be bent toward good, not broken by severity.
They should be protected from what is harsh and harmful.
The teacher should not bring evil associate spirits into the classroom.
Only that which enters the mind with delight remains.
Thoughts should be built within the mind, affections led out.
No systematic instruction should be given in the first five years, while remains are being stored.
The fundamentals of spiritual and natural knowledges should be given between the ages of six and fourteen.
After fourteen the child should learn how to question, and be given subjects which develop the rational mind.
EDITORIAL OPINION: These concepts strike me as having the seeds of some excellent ideas about the art and science of teaching innocent children. When I think back on my education in Bryn Athyn, it seems to me that my teachers did a fine job of keeping any personal evil influences out of the classroom. However I do remember one day in high school when the teacher entered the classroom, kicked a metal waste basket across the room and roared something unpleasant at the class. (And I cannot help but think that I lost my job at the Cathedral simply because I frowned at someone whom, I thought was being a bit disorderly. I was just doing my job of maintaining order so that a wedding could occur without disruption and my conscience is clear in this matter.)
Remind yourself to smile and laugh.
Become a visionary thinker.
1. On page 73 of the 1926 booklet THE ACADEMY OF THE NEW CHURCH, 1876-1926, we find a section about the Bryn Athyn Elementary School written by the principal Otho Ward Heilman. In the late 1800s there was a New Church school on Cherry Street in Philadelphia and in 1895 after some Philadelphia New Church families moved to Huntingdon Valley, there was a small school of 16 students in Huntingdon Valley. So there were two schools and Rev. Homer Synnestvedt was a teacher in both schools. And on page 73 we find this remarkable statement, “…and Mr. Synnestvedt, then the recognized head of the Elementary School, made a daily trip by bicycle, teaching both in the city and country schools.”
Maybe he would teach in the Philadelphia school in the morning and then pedal out to Huntingdon Valley for afternoon classes. Perhaps he would stay overnight in the country, then teach in the morning before pedaling back to the city for afternoon classes. I wonder how often he made this long ride. I suppose that he did not take the train to Bethayres to save money or perhaps he made the trip by bicycle just in fair weather. (As I recall when Cairnwood was opened in 1895, horse-drawn carriages were sent to Bethayres to pick up guests from the train from Philadelphia. So there was train service to Bethayres that Mr. Synnestvedt could have used, if my memory is correct.)
2. Here is a quote given through Emanuel Swedenborg: “‘Eternal rest does not mean idleness,’ he said, ‘because idleness affects the mind and consequently the whole body with listlessness, lethargy, insensibility and slumber, and these are conditions of deadness, not life, much less the eternal life experienced by the angels of heaven. Eternal rest, therefore, is rest that dispels these states and vitalizes a person, and this must be something which rouses the mind. Thus it is some pursuit or employment by which the mind is awakened, animated, and afforded delight, which in turn depends on some useful service for the sake of which, in which, and toward which it is working. So it is that the whole of heaven is viewed by the Lord as a world of useful service, and each angel is an angel according to the service he renders….’ ’’ (MARRIED LOVE, number 207.)
Especially in the summer as I walk on the path parallel to Buck Road, I like to look across the fields to Glencairn and the Cathedral. To escape Bryn Athyn’s sultry summer heat, it is very easy to allow my mind to be transported back to the second and third decades of the Twentieth Century. I can almost hear the sounds of construction and see groups of men busily building a great Cathedral. Surely many of these artisans thought of their own European culture and about the opportunity that they now had to make use of their special skills.
If we look closely, we may be able to see Attilio Marchiori carving one of the stone eagles on the Tower. There he is, with each foot in a bucket of water to stay cool on a hot summer day. Yes, his fellow workers are enjoying the strange sight. But that was not unusual for Mark. I recall that Gunny had a playful, happy expression on his face whenever he was talking about this cheerful Italian. More than once Gunny told me that Mark was always doing something to make the men laugh.
Gunny said, “…he was only about four feet, six inches tall. He was quite wide, a chubby little fellow, very happy. He was always singing.”
Gunny liked to tell this story about Marchiori when he was carving the frieze in the Council Hall. “But he was working on that carving one day and Mr. Bowman told me about this. Mr. Bowman was our superintendent. He was a big Prussian fellow and he had a big handlebar-type mustache. In those days he used to blow a police whistle when it came time for the men to stop for lunch. And when it was time to begin again, he would blow it again. Well, Mark was working on that thing and he was working away. He didn’t want to stop just when the whistle blew, so he finished what he was doing. And when he finished, he sat down and started to eat his lunch. Well, when the whistle blew, he was right in the middle of his lunch. Mr. Bowman came around and he looked down on Mark and he said, ‘What’s the matter Mark? Didn’t you hear the whistle?’ The little fellow looked up at him and said, ‘Mr. Bowman, my mama didn’t make me with a whistle.’…. I can still hear Gunny chuckling after he told me this story of the attitude of an artist….”
Within my earthy temple there’s a crowd – There’s one of us that’s humble, one that’s proud – There’s one that’s broken-hearted for his sins – There’s one that unrepentant, sits and grins – There’s one that loves his neighbor as himself – And one that cares for naught but fame and self – From much corroding care I should be free – If I could determine which is me. - Edward Sanford Martin (1856-1939)
So many stars in the infinite space – So many worlds in the light of God’s face.
So many storms ere the thunders shall cease – So many paths to the portals of Peace.
So many years, so many tears – Sighs and sorrows and pangs and prayers.
So many ships in the desolate night – So many harbors, and only one Light.
So many creeds like the weeds in the sod – So many temples, and only one God. - Frank L. Stanton (1857-1927)
On me nor Priest nor Presbyter nor Pope – Bishop nor Dean may stamp a party name – But Jesus, with his largely human scope – The service of my human life may claim. – Let prideful priests do battle about creeds – The church is mine that does most Christ-like deeds. - Anonymous
Neighbors make the neighborhood.
The quieter you become the more you can hear.
Starting to do something often is the hardest part of doing something.
August 22, 1935 Col. John Wells has had his picture in the city papers as a result of his victory in the trotting race at Glouchester County Fair, New Jersey…. We congratulate both the Colonel and his horse, “Juryman”. We understand Mr. Wells, age 75, was the oldest contestant.
Sept. 26, 1935 The first floor of the Elementary School Building was laid on Wednesday of this week. As concrete floors must be laid complete when started, lights were placed in the building to continue the work during the night.
Nov. 2, 1935 OUR BOROUGH The Borough was formally incorporated on February 8th, 1916….In 1916, fire protection, street lighting, roads and sanitary sewers all received attention…In 1924 speed signs were erected…. in 1929 Alden road was permanently paved with concrete gutters and a tar-bound roadway.
Nov.14, 1935. Tommy Hilldale broke his collarbone at the football game…but Tommy was not in the game. He was playing on the sideline with another boy.
Nov. 6, 1936 Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Howard were guests of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Rose on Monday. After visiting the Cathedral, they visited Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Pitcairn and attended a tea at Cairncrest. Both were pleasant to meet, jolly and willing to discuss any subject of interest. Mr. Howard has been playing Hamlet in the city with his own company.
Nov.26, 1936 The Spread Eagle Hotel, one of Pennsylvania’s famous Inns, has now been completely demolished to make way for relocating Second Street Pike, at Bethayres Station. Sorrel Horse Hotel, at the corner of the pike and Byberry road, was raised several years ago. And the Martha Washington Inn was remodeled as a private dwelling shortly after the war.
Dec. 3, 1936 Bryn Athyn is witnessing these days the gradual revealment of a beautiful structure – the magnificent residence of Mr. [and Mrs.] Raymond Pitcairn. As the scaffold is removed, piece by piece, the exquisite beauty of the roof comes into view.