William Henry Channing’s Symphony

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common—this is my symphony.

william-henry-channing

William Henry Channing

This quote by William Henry Channing grew in popularity after Arthur Brisbane, one of the best-known newspaper editors of the twentieth century, used it in his syndicated editorial column in the Hearst newspapers. Here is Brisbane’s commentary on Channing’s quote.

TO LIVE CONTENT WITH SMALL MEANS.

This means to realize to the full the possibilities of life. Contentment means ABSENCE OF WORRY. It is only when free from worry that the brain can act normally, up to its highest standard. The man content with small means does his best work, devotes his energies to that which is worth while, and not to acquiring that which has no value.


TO SEEK ELEGANCE RATHER THAN LUXURY.

The difference between elegance and luxury is the difference between the thin, graceful deer, browsing on the scanty but sufficient forest pasture, and the fat swine revelling in plentiful garbage.


REFINEMENT RATHER THAN FASHION.

The difference between refinement and fashion is the difference between brains and clothing, the difference between an Emerson or a Huxley and a Beau Brummel or other worthless but elaborately decked carcass.


TO BE WORTHY, NOT RESPECTABLE.

In other words, to be like Henry George, and not like the owner of a trust.


WEALTHY, NOT RICH.

The man who has a good wife and good children, enough to take care of them, but not enough to spoil them, is WEALTHY. He is happier than the man who is RICH enough to be worried, rich enough to make it certain that his children will be ruined by extravagance, and perhaps live to be ashamed of him.


TO LISTEN TO STARS AND BIRDS, BABES AND SAGES, WITH OPEN HEART.

This means to enjoy the noblest gifts that God has given to man. He is happy who takes more pleasure in a beautiful sunset than in the sight of a flunky with powdered hair, artificial calves and lofty manners, handing him something indigestible on a plate of gold.


TO STUDY HARD; TO THINK QUIETLY, ACT FRANKLY, TALK GENTLY.

To exercise in this way the brain that is given to us is to lead the life of a MAN, a life of self-control, a life that is worth while, that leads to something and helps forward the improvement of the race.

 

In the words which we have quoted at the top of this column William Henry Channing has given a recipe for wise living. —-

 

WHO WAS CHANNING?

arthur-brisbane

Arthur Brisbane

He was a good man, and a wise man. He was one of the most eloquent clergymen ever born in this country, and as sincere a friend of individual man and of the race in general as ever lived.

 

He was an enthusiast and an optimist–admirable combination.

 

He was born in 1810, and died in 1884. His biography has been written by Octavius B. Frothingham.

 

Channing saw the world through generous, charitable eyes.

 

He was an ardent admirer of Charles Fourier, and appreciated the philosophy and social law-giving of that gigantic intellect.

 

The quotation we print above is an index to his whole character, just as one flower tells the story of the beautiful garden in which it grew.

 

Channing, unlike many sayers of fine things, was personally as fine as the things he said. He was worthy even of his own best thoughts, and that can be said for few fine thinkers.

 

Admire him. Read some of his sermons and other writings if you have the chance.






ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA

Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.

Click here to order your copy of Through God’s Eyes from GodsEyesAmazon.com.
For an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!
SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT

Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.

Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.




Like to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 44-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER




Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.



logic-of-living-a-spiritual-life-book-cover

Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?


Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.



SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.

Click here to order Sixty Seconds.

Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.

Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.





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