Literary and Spiritual Excerpts

Benjamin Franklin's notion of good works

Letter to Joseph Huey

I can only show my Gratitude for those Mercies from God, by a Readiness to help his other Children and my Brethren. For I do not think that Thanks, and Compliments, tho’ repeated Weekly, can ...

Mansur al-Hallaj — Sufi mystic

Executed by Islamic authorities

I entered unannounced into Hallaj’s room one day (says Ibn Fatik); someone had been in before me. Hallaj was in prayer, and his brow pressed to the ground, he was saying: O Thou Whose closeness ...

Sitting by a Rivulet: An Image of Eternity

Ah lovely stream, how fitly may’st thou be, By thy immutability, Thy gentle motion and perennity, To us the emblem of eternity: And to us thou do’st no less A kind of omnipresence too express. ...

The Koran

Excerpts from the central religious text of Islam

“The Opening” In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate Praise be to God, the Lord of the Universe, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Authority on Judgment Day. It is You whom we worship ...

"He doth not only prescribe the medicine...."

Edward Scarisbrick, once hunted down, then made royal chaplain

Almighty God, the great and omnipotent physician of our souls, is so passionately charitable, that he undertakes the cure himself; he visiteth in person the patient, affording him his corporeal presence in our assumed nature; ...

Immortality in the Rg Veda

Ancient Sanskrit hymn on praise and knowledge

The Man has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet. He pervades the earth everywhere and extends beyond for ten fingers’ breadth. The Man himself is all this, whatever has been and whatever ...

Creation of man in the Rg Veda

Eastern tradition

And his phallus was stretched out in eagerness for the act of a man, the manly one pulled back. He drew back again from the maiden, his daughter, that tireless phallus which had been thrust ...

God exists: George Fox

Often persecuted, frequently imprisoned

One morning, as I was sitting by the fire, a great cloud came over me, and a temptation beset me; and I sat still. It was said, “All things come by nature”; and the elements ...

Mary Ward on Retreat at Liege in October 1619

The nun who laid the groundwork for active modern women’s religious orders

He was very near me and within me, which I never perceived Him to be before. I was moved to ask Him with great confidence and humility, what I came to know to whit, what ...

Two Temple Poems of Annamayya

Foundation for Indian classical music

Born a man.Serves another man.Suffers every day Goes into every wretched placeAnd begs for a morsel to eat.Craves the place he was born.That’s why he’s never free. Born a man. God is born in all ...

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