Words of wisdom
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
An Offhand Rifleman’s Prayer.
From Shooting & Fishing, Vol. 37, December 1, 1904, No. 8
The following contribution is published on account of certain true principles of offhand rifle shooting which it embodies: “Thou knowest, oh, Lord, that Thy servant is most truly devoted to Thy service, thinking only and always of making high scores to Thy honor and glory; and, oh, Lord! Thy servant’s rifle and ammunition have made the possible at rest, but never more than eighty-five per cent offhand. p 151 Part 3 Now, therefore, oh, Lord, help Thou Thy servant to remember always the straight and narrow road to fine shooting; help him to stand straight up with shoulders nearly parallel with his rifle.
Prompt him to keep his right elbow up so that his arm shall not bind the butt against his body. Help him thus, oh, Lord! so to stand before Thee upon spread feet, that his rifle may recoil straight up each time. Cause him always to breathe naturally while steadying himself in position and grant him a fair good breath, to have and to hold, for the final aiming of each shot. And, last but not least, oh Lord! teach him to press the trigger slowly, but quickly, without disturbing the rifle.
P. S. Oh, Lord! let Thy servant remember that fine target shooting is not a Fourth of July celebration, and that the production of much noise in the making of a poor average is less pleasing to Thee than that judicious slowness and regularity which, coupled with the foregoing methods, is productive of fine totals with occasional cracking good scores, heaping honor and glory upon Thee and Thy humble servant.”
The Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve. Isaiah 24:3
O Lord, who art as the Shadow of a Great Rock in a weary land, who beholdest thy weak creatures weary of labour, weary of pleasure, weary of hope deferred, weary of self; in Thine abundant compassion, and unutterable tenderness, bring us, I pray Thee, unto Thy rest. Amen.
~ Christina G. Rossetti
Grant to me above all things that can be desired, to rest in Thee, and in Thee to have my heart at peace. Thou art the true peace of the heart, Thou its only rest; out of Thee all things are hard and restless. In this very peace, that is, in Thee, the One Chiefest Eternal Good, I will sleep and rest. Amen. ~Thomas A Kempis
I do not know when I have had happier times in my soul than when I have been sitting at work, with nothing before me but a candle and a white cloth, and hearing no sound but that of my own breath, with God in my soul and heaven in my eye, I rejoice in being exactly what I am, a creature capable of loving God, and who, as long as God lives, must be happy.
I get up and look for a while out of the window, and gaze at the moon and stars, the work of an Almighty hand. I think of the grandeur of the universe, and then sit down, and think myself one of the happiest beings in it.
~A poor methodist woman, 18th century
Though waves and storms go o’er my head,
Though strength and health and friends be gone,
Though joys be withered all, and dead,
Though every comfort be withdrawn,
On this my steadfast soul relies, Father!
Thy mercy never dies.
~Johann A. Rothe
Act as a free man, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 1 Peter 3:16
Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of the human race.
May He who holds in His hands the destinies of nations make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed and enable you, with pure hearts and pure hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge He has committed to your keeping.
~President Andrew Jackson
Excerpt, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837
The War Inevitable, March, 1775
They tell us, Sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger?
Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of People, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
Beside, Sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come! It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the matter.
Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that Gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! ~Patrick Henry
God Save the Flag
Vainly the prophets of Baal would rend it,
Vainly his worshippers pray for its fall;
Thousands have died for it, millions defend it,
Emblem of justice and mercy to all.
Borne on the deluge of old usurpations,
Drifted our Ark o’er the desolate seas,
Bearing the rainbow of hope to the nations,
Torn from the storm cloud and flung to the breeze!
God bless the Flag and its loyal defenders,
While its broad folds o’er the battle-field wave,
Till the dim star-wreath rekindle its splendors,
Washed from its stains in the blood of the brave!
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809-1894
God of Our Fathers Whose Almighty Hand
(Official Hymn of the United States Army)
God of our fathers, Whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
Daniel C. Roberts, 1876
Thy Will Be Done
On Thy breast, I pillow my head.
O Jesus, Lover of my soul,
Thy will be done in me.
Give me faith to trust where I cannot know.
Give me greater love and desire in prayer
for all for whom I daily intercede.
Give me faith to appropriate the grace I need to continue
by prayer, by effort, by giving, to do Thy will.
O, Lord, overcome, for the battle is Thine.
Forgive my doubts and save me from my fears.
Whatever my struggle, enable me to be helpful,
rather than a hindrance to Thy cause.
I love Thee, Thy will be done.
~Charles Spurgeon, 1834-1892