Saturday, July 23, 2011

each day is a life...

Today is the birthday of Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham. Born in Boston in 1793, Frothingham is, as much as anyone, the inspiration for this blog. His son, Octavius Brooks' biography of his father, "Boston Unitarianism" describes a way of being religious that I wanted (and still want) to preserve. For all posts Frothingham, go here. This from his sermon, "The Day's Duty."

"That every day is enough for its own evil, was a word of Jesus Christ. It was a word intended to raise men's hearts above undue and useless anxieties, and to allay the fever of worldly care. It has always been received as true. It has been repeated, perhaps, as often as any of the sayings of our Lord. And there is another word that may be grafted on this. It is, that every day is enough for its own duty. Let this, too, be received as true. It has a like spirit with the other. It is suited to withdraw the thoughts from a vague futurity, and collect them upon a space that can easily be surveyed, judged of, commanded. A day is one of the small circles of time. We can lay out its work, though we cannot predict its fortunes. We can remember how it has been spent, whatever may have come to pass in it. We soon run through its course, whether brighter or darker, whether employed to good purposes or thrown foolishly or wickedly away. It is capable of holding as much duty as our minds can well compass. He who fills each of them well, as they pass and are recorded, is wanting in nothing. Let us, in our present reflections, separate this portion of our lives from their great sum, and see if what has now been affirmed of it has been affirmed truly. This discourse will attempt to illustrate the fact, that what "the duty of every day" requires is just that amount of service which God requires, and which we can with the most profit set before us as the direct object of our endeavors.

We hear it often said, that life is but a day. It is said to express the shortness of our stay upon the earth. It is said, for the most part, sorrowfully. Let us reverse it, and say with more striking truth that each day is a life."

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful source of inspiration!

boston unitarian said...

Thank you very kindly Elizabeth! BU