Those “buts” and “ifs” ought to be christened intellectual revolvers, for they kill more reputations than any other two words in the English language. We have known instances where pastors and editors and others have felt weary of living, from having to encounter the spirit of discouragement among their brethren; and oh! how many wives, husbands and children, are dying deaths daily from this same prolific source of suffering. Give encouragement, then, wherever and whenever you can, and you will find that you have not lived in vain. If God blesses those who offer but a cup of cold water in charity, how much more will He regard the kind heart that has refreshed a weary spirit fainting by the way. Death quickens recollections painfully. The grave can not hide the white faces of those who sleep. The coffin and the green mound are cruel magnets. They draw us farther than we would go. They force us to remember. A man never sees so far into human life as when he looks over a wife’s or mother’s grave. His eyes get wondrous clear then, and he sees as never before what it is to love and to be loved; what it is to injure the feelings of the loved.
Let us deal gently with those around us. Remember every day a flower is plucked from some sunny home; a breach made in some happy circle; a jewel stolen from some treasury of love; each day from summer fields of life some harvester disappears—yea, every hour some sentinel falls from his post and is thrown from the ramparts of time into the surging waters of eternity. Even as I write, the funeral of one who died yesterday winds like a winter shadow along some silent street. Daily, when we rise from the bivouac to stand at our posts, we miss some brother soldier whose cheering cry in the sieges and struggles of the past has been as fire from heaven upon our hearts. Each day some pearl drops from the jeweled thread of friendship—some harp to which we have listened has been hushed forever. Love, however, annihilates death even; blots away all record of time and creates the world it lives in; conjures back arms to embrace, lips to kiss, and eyes to smile, whispers its own praises and breathes its own names of endearment. Thus, love maketh the light to our dreams and planteth hope in the midst of our sorrow. In darkness and in danger, too, love cometh to us ever, ever, now warning, now chiding, now blessing, and always safely guarding. Love lightens labor, shortens distance and quickens time. Love teaches us to forgive, helps us to forget and whitens the memory of all things. Love paints every hope, brightens every scene and maketh beautiful whatsoever it shines on. Love is wisdom. Love is high. Love is holy. Love is God. Love gloweth in the hearts of the angels, wreathes the smiles on their brows and melts the kisses on their lips. Love is the light of the beautiful beyond.