DECEMBER - 2014

Sun in Santa Hat graphic

EDITORIAL OPINION

1. On October 29, just like last year at about this time, as I was cutting some wood, my neighbor, Gregory Baker, walked by my home. He offered to hold a hard limb for me and he bent it down a little so I could get a good angle to cut it. Sure was helpful to cut that wood. Yes, a neighbor’s helping hand is much appreciated when life is as hard and difficult as a tough, old limb. Thanks Greg.

2. Again this year Dorothy and I will not get involved with the pervasive world of Christmas gifts, although it is enjoyable to feel the love behind gifts received any time of the year.

3. I found the following passage from True Christian Religion number 589 in one of our church magazines: “By lifting our intellect above the love that resides in our will, we are all capable of grasping those truths, saying them, teaching them and preaching them.” I wonder if Swedenborg meant preaching truths from a pulpit as an ordained minister or just telling people, as in an authoritative or perhaps preachy manner, what he/she understands to be knowledges of spiritual truth. I have been preached at occasionally by laymen and laywomen. You too, I bet.

4. From a book on Hatboro, Pa:

a. THE PENNYBACK CREEK. The Native Americans called this creek by the name Pemmapecka, then taken to mean thick, muddy water.

b. THE JOHN HARRISON HOUSE. This home was built by John Harrison, the great-grandson of Nicholas More. More was the man who received the original tract of 10,000 acres known as the Manor of Moreland from William Penn. This became the home of the Hatboro Federal Savings and Loan at 221 South York Road.

c. PITCAIRN AIRCRAFT. The original company was named the Pitcairn Aircraft Company. Harold F. Pitcairn was the sole owner and started airmail delivery routes along the eastern seaboard in 1928. The routes became those of Eastern Air Lines. In the 1930s, the company shifted its interest to autogyros and was called the Pitcairn Autogyro Company.

QUOTATIONS

“As we learn we always change, and so our perception. This changed perception then becomes a new Teacher inside each of us.” - Hyemeyohsts Storm, Cheyenne Indian, born 1935

“We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on our difficulties.” - Oswald Chambers

“The last of human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” - Viktor Frankel

QUOTES OF THOMAS MERTON, TRAPPIST MONK, 1915-1968

“We must make choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.” - Thomas Merton

“Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ.”

“The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.”

“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.”

“Perhaps I am stronger than I think.”

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

“Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved.”

IDEAS

Growth demands a temporary surrender of your sense of security.

Tell others when you admire them.

Stand on your own two feet.

POEMS by HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

(Longfellow, 1807-1882, was a professor at Bowdoin College in Maine and at Harvard.)

First verse of MY LOST YOUTH:

Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
And a verse of a Lapland song
Is haunting my memory still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

MY CATHEDRAL

Like two cathedral towers these stately pines – Uplift their fretted summits tipped with cones – The arch beneath them is not built with stones – Not Art but Nature traced these lovely lines – And carved this graceful arabesque of vines – No organ but the wind here sighs and moans – No sepulcher conceals a martyr’s bones – No marble bishop on his tomb reclines. – Enter! the pavement, carpeted with leaves – Gives back a softened echo to thy tread! – Listen! the choir is singing; all the birds – In leafy galleries beneath the eaves –Are singing! – listen, ere the sound be fled – And learn there may be worship without words.

QUOTATIONS

“O our God…it would go ill with the most praiseworthy life lived by men, if you were to examine it with your mercy laid aside! ....Our one hope, our one confidence, our one firm promise is your mercy.” - St. Augustine

“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” - Washington Irving

In reference to spiritual insanity, Emanuel Swedenborg wrote: “By insanity we mean a derangement of the mind resulting from falsities, and the derangement is pronounced when it is a derangement of mind resulting from falsifications of truths, even to the point that the falsifications are believed to be matters of wisdom.” - Married Love 212

“Little, vicious minds abound with anger and revenge, and are incapable of feeling the pleasure of forgiving their enemies.” - Philip Chesterfield (1694-1773)

“A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the full value of time and will not let it pass away in unnecessary pain.” - Rambler (?)

“To be vain of one’s rank or place, is to show that one is below it.” - Leszinski Stanislas (1677-1766), King of Poland

“The door of opportunity won’t open unless you do some pushing.” - Anon

“God helps those who help themselves.” - Benjamin Franklin

IDEAS

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. - Motto of Special Olympics

When you are happy do not look too far ahead. Enjoy the moment.

FROM RICHARD LINQUIST’S BOOK ON THE CATHEDRAL

The oak trees were felled within a radius of about fifteen miles from the Cathedral site. Many were cut into logs at Isaac Ryan’s sawmill north of Bryn Athyn along the Neshaminy Creek. Horse-drawn carts brought them to Bryn Athyn where they were, “…sent to the woodworking shop where they were worked down by handsaw and adze, mortised and tenoned, and put together with wooden pins.” (Page 7 of Bruce Glenn’s book on the Cathedral) In the journal, The American Architect, in 1917, Ralph Adams Cram stated that the oak logs were stacked for seasoning. They were 32 feet long and 2 feet by 3 feet in width and height. He noted that some of the logs were sunk in a “local bog” (the pond on James Junge’s property.) The water kept the logs from drying out….

The teakwood that was used in the Cathedral was also put into the water. The trees were grown in India and Java, felled and sent by ship to England. From there they were brought to the USA. Some or most of the teak was transported on the decks of ships and there absorbed a lot of salt. The salt needed to be washed off and therefore the logs were put into the bog. … and according to Gunny, the local bog was made into a pond for the purpose of soaking and rinsing the teak.

Here is an idea that I could launch into the atmosphere of data surrounding the construction of the Cathedral. Occasionally when I am guiding at the Cathedral, I am tempted to say that our oak trees were “mined” locally. For it is true that the oak logs, after soaking in the pond, were brought up from below the surface of the earth, that is, they were mined. Now before you laugh at me, consider this information from an old book on wood. “During the 1700s, most of the nation’s shingle material came from the New Jersey cedar swamps….Those submerged logs, it was found, were of superior quality and contained good lumber…cedar mining prospered until the Civil War! The roof on Independence Hall in Philadelphia was made of this material and many of the three-foot shingles on historic American homes are from cedar that had been buried under the water for centuries.”

VARIOUS ITEMS

1. Below are words from the English publication PUNCH on the burial of Dr. David Livingstone in Westminster Abby, in 1873. Dr. Livingstone was a medical doctor and missionary in Africa who lived from 1813 to 1873. While in England he did much to publicize the horrors of the slave trade in Africa.

“He knew not that the trumpet he had blown – Out of the darkness of that dismal land – Had reached and roused an army of its own – To strike the chains from the slave’s fettered hand.

“Open the Abby doors and bear him in – To sleep with kings and statesmen, chief and sage – The missionary come of weaver-kin* – But great by work that brooks no lower wage.

“He needs no epitaph to guard a name – Which men shall prize while worthy work is known – He lived and died for good – be that his fame: Let marble crumble, this is Living-stone.”

*Perhaps members of his family were weavers of cotton or other materials.

2. Sir Walter Raleigh, born circa 1554 and lived to 1618, explorer, soldier, writer, left the following poem which was found in his Bible. “Even such is time, that takes in trust – Our youth, our joys, our all we have – And pays us but with age and dust – Who in the dark and silent grave – When we have wandered all our ways – Shuts up the story of our days. – But from this earth, this grave, this dust – My God shall raise me up, I trust!”

3. “Though my soul may be set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light – I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” - Sarah Williams, 1837-1868

FIRST, SECOND AND LAST VERSES OF A PSALM OF LIFE by LONGFELLOW

Tell me not, in mournful numbers – “Life is but an empty dream!” – For the soul is dead that slumbers – And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! – And the grave is not its goal – “Dust thou art, to dust returnest,” – Was not spoken of the soul. Let us, then, be up and doing – With a heart for any fate – Still achieving, still pursuing – Learn to labor and to wait.

THE UNDERSTANDING HEART by Georgia Harkness, born in 1891

Give me, O God, the understanding heart – The quick discernment of the soul to see Another’s inner wish, the hidden part – Of him who, wordless, speaks for sympathy. I would be kind, but kindness is not all – In arid places may I find the wells The deeps within my neighbor’s soul that call – To me, and lead me where his spirit dwells. When Jesus lifted Mary Magdalene – And Mary came with alabaster flask A deed was wrought – but more; that there was seen The bond of holy love for which I ask. Give me, O God, the understanding heart Lit with the quickening flame Thou doest impart.

BRYN ATHYN HISTORY from BRYN ATHYN POST

October 21, 1937 Last Saturday twenty-three members of the Boy’s Club joined in a ten-mile hike through the wilds of Pennypack Park. They were accompanied by their director, Mr. Harry C. Walter….

January 6, 1938 On December 30, Bryn Athyn Boro Council accepted, at a special meeting, a gift from Messrs. Raymond, Theodore, and Harold Pitcairn – a twenty-five acre tract of land, to be used for a park and playground purposes.

January 19, 1938 Mr. Morel Leonard comments that reports of annoyance caused by the continuous blasting in the quarry which he recently opened, are based on psychology alone. He set off only one blast, and that was on December 27th. It was some blast, however. It used half a ton of dynamite, and moved an estimated fall of 4500 tons, enough to last at least four months.

June 1, 1938 Children under 16 should not use the Pond unless accompanied by adults, until the official swimming season opens. Please do not fish in the Pond. The fish were put there on purpose – to keep down the algae.

June 22, 1938 Mr. Andrew Doering graduated with special mention from Hahnemann, and received the privilege accorded to the highest ranking students of the graduating class, of serving his internship at Hahnemann Hospital.

September 1, 1938 The Corn Roast on Sunday, August 28, proved to be very popular entertainment. Ariel Gunther, the chef, served an even hundred plate suppers, cooked outdoors, with satisfaction to the patrons, and profit to the Club. Doreen Cooper and Joan Davis staged games and races for the children, who won ice cream prizes donated by parents. The new quoits champions for Bryn Athyn are Theodore Cooper and Sam Croft; in Badminton, Bruce Glenn took the honors….