From Miscellaneous Writings by

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         What a word! I am in awe before it. Over what
         worlds on worlds it hath range and is sovereign! the un-

Page 250

1      derived, the incomparable, the infinite All of good, the
         alone God, is Love.

         By what strange perversity is the best become the most
         abused,—either as a quality or as an entity? Mortals
5      misrepresent and miscall affection; they make it what
         it is not, and doubt what it is. The so-called affection
         pursuing its victim is a butcher fattening the lamb to
         slay it. What the lower propensities express, should be
         repressed by the sentiments. No word is more mis-
10    construed; no sentiment less understood. The divine
         significance of Love is distorted into human qualities,
         which in their human abandon become jealousy and

         Love is not something put upon a shelf, to be taken
15    down on rare occasions with sugar-tongs and laid on a
         rose-leaf. I make strong demands on love, call for active
         witnesses to prove it, and noble sacrifices and grand
         achievements as its results. Unless these appear, I cast
         aside the word as a sham and counterfeit, having no ring
20    of the true metal. Love cannot be a mere abstraction, or
         goodness without activity and power. As a human quality,
         the glorious significance of affection is more than words:
         it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent,
         ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows;
25    the veiled form stealing on an errand of mercy, out of a
         side door; the little feet tripping along the sidewalk; the
         gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and
         woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark
         places of earth.

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Love is the liberator.