Friends and Neighbors eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 294 pages of information about Friends and Neighbors.

How many who read this can sympathize with Andrew Lyon!  Few men who have hearts to feel for others but have been impelled, at some time in their lives, to seek aid for a fellow creature in need.  That their office was a thankless one, they have too soon become aware.  Even those who responded to their call most liberally, in too many instances gave in a way that left an unpleasant impression behind.  How quickly has the first glow of generous feeling, that sought to extend itself to others, that they might share the pleasure of humanity, been chilled; and, instead of finding the task an easy one, it has proved to be hard, and, too often, humiliating!  Alas that this should be!  That men should shut their hearts so instinctively at the voice of charity!

We have not written this to discourage active efforts in the benevolent; but to hold up a mirror in which another class may see themselves.  At best, the office of him who seeks of his fellow men aid for the suffering and indigent, is an unpleasant one.  It is all sacrifice on his part, and the least that can be done is to honour his disinterested regard for others in distress, and treat him with delicacy and consideration.


OH! if there is one law above the rest,
Written in Wisdom—­if there is a word
That I would trace as with a pen of fire
Upon the unsullied temper of a child—­
If there is anything that keeps the mind
Open to angel visits, and repels
The ministry of ill—­’tis Human Love!
God has made nothing worthy of contempt;
The smallest pebble in the well of Truth
Has its peculiar meanings, and will stand
When man’s best monuments wear fast away. 
The law of Heaven is Love—­and though its name
Has been usurped by passion, and profaned
To its unholy uses through all time,
Still, the external principle is pure;
And in these deep affections that we feel
Omnipotent within us, can we see
The lavish measure in which love is given. 
And in the yearning tenderness of a child
For every bird that sings above its head,
And every creature feeding on the hills,
And every tree and flower, and running brook,
We see how everything was made to love,
And how they err, who, in a world like this,
Find anything to hate but human pride.


WHAT if a drop of rain should plead—­
  “So small a drop as I
Can ne’er refresh the thirsty mead;
  I’ll tarry in the sky?”

What, if the shining beam of noon
  Should in its fountain stay;
Because its feeble light alone
  Cannot create a day?

Does not each rain-drop help to form
  The cool refreshing shower? 
And every ray of light, to warm
  And beautify the flower?


SCORN not the slightest word or deed,
  Nor deem it void of power;
There’s fruit in each wind-wafted seed,
  Waiting its natal hour. 
A whispered word may touch the heart,
  And call it back to life;
A look of love bid sin depart,
  And still unholy strife.

Project Gutenberg
Friends and Neighbors from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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