Posts Tagged ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’

A Christmas Sermon by Robert Louis Stevenson

December 23, 2012

This was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886.

Christmas is not only the mile-mark of another year, moving us to thoughts of self-examination: it is a season, from all its associations, whether domestic or religious, suggesting thoughts of joy.  A man dissatisfied with his endeavors is a man tempted to sadness.  And in the midst of the winter, when his life runs lowest and he is reminded of the empty chairs of his beloved, it is well he should be condemned to this fashion of the smiling face. 

Classic-Festive-Christmas-Living-Room-DecorationNoble disappointment, noble self-denial are not to be admired, not even to be pardoned, if they bring bitterness.  It is one thing to enter the kingdom of heaven maim; another to maim yourself and stay without.  And the kingdom of heaven is of the childlike, of those who are easy to please, who love and who give pleasure.  Mighty men of their hands, the smiters and the builders and the judges, have lived long and done sternly and yet preserved this lovely character; and among our carpet interests and twopenny concerns, the shame were indelible if we should lose it. 

Gentleness and cheerfulness, these come before all morality; they are the perfect duties.  And it is the trouble with moral men that they have neither one nor other.  It was the moral man, the Pharisee, whom Christ could not away with.  If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong.  I do not say “give them up,” for they may be all you have; but conceal them like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of better and simpler people.

 Click on A Christmas Sermon to read the whole thing.

Click on Robert Louis Stevenson Website for background on the author of Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.