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The Editor's Letter Box

Dear Mrs. Allen,

I see my subscription for the two numbers of The Epoch is due. I beg to enclose cheque. There is always something to encourage and inspire in your Magazine, and I am perfectly certain that "out there," or in European countries, or others, where such literature is sparse—nay, practically unknown—The Epoch would be educational, spiritual, uplifting, priceless. France, Holland, Italy should have it.

Of all your books that little one In the Garden of Silence appeals most to me. It is so full of Truth, pathos, life and imagination!

Very sincerely,

M. H.

Dear Mrs. Allen,

I am a Land and Farm worker, being amongst the cows, pigs, etc., and doing all sorts of field work. The Epoch comes to me as the greatest help and boon, it is absolutely invaluable for the limited leisure one has for anything outside the work.

I feel I must quote from an appreciative letter from one to whom I send The Epoch.

Many thanks for The Epoch. My friends enjoy it as much as I. Each issue is better than the last. I hope next year to subscribe myself. The articles are so good to refer to, and to read over and over again, still finding fresh thought to dwell upon."

To an onlooker our special war work is not considered intellectual, therefore a paragraph from H. E. E. Hayes has greatly appealed to me, viz:—

"There are tasks which ennoble those who do them, altho' they may require little intelligence and a great deal of physical energy."

Most gratefully yours,
E. G. E.

Ans.

When one is addressing a congregation of people one can sense very fully whether one is helping or not. One feels the sympathy flowing out from the united hearts of listeners, and that subtle something that all public speakers know, reveals at once whether one's message is vital or not. But when one addresses a congregation one never sees; when instead of the voice the pen is used as the medium of communication, then it is not so easy to judge whether the word is going forth with power or not. One may be in touch with the needs of the readers, or one may not. So letters like the two quoted above must come as a refreshing and encouragement to any editor who ever he or she may be. I know there is a calm poise where the men and women dwell who are above all disturbing thoughts as to whether the work they are doing is acceptable or not. Such are to be envied, but this writer has to confess that the desire to bless and help is so intense within her heart that such letters as the above come with rich blessing, and enter her heart like a benediction. Yet, one must remember that it is action and action alone that concerns us, results are not our concern. Yet even that may be misunderstood if we do not enter into the spirit of it. If we write a letter full of words expressing the deepest love to a friend, but in reality we do not love so deeply as our words seem to express, then only the measure of love that we really feel will be conveyed to the other, the words will be powerless in themselves. And it is so with all our actions, as Emerson says,—"That which is done for love is felt to be done for love; that which is done for effect is known to be done for effect." So, although we are masters of our actions only, we are in a measure responsible for the result of the action, but we are responsible for the result before the action, because the result will be according to the power that worketh in us. But once the act is accomplished, once the word has gone forth weighted with the worth of our spirit, then are we powerless to alter results. Oh, to be so filled with the power of the spirit that each word written or spoken might be blest indeed! Oh, to so enter into the pain and suffering of the human heart that one might write words so full of inspiration and power; might speak words so weighty with conviction and sympathy; might act with such strong force, that the result might be the highest service to the greatest number. It is a thought of immensity to realize that we can do nothing, speak no word, nor write any sentence higher, weightier, truer than we are in ourselves.

For this reason we should not shun pain, neither should we seek to escape from sorrow. Had we never suffered then we could never enter into the suffering of another. Had we never wept, then the tears of others would have no meaning for us. What can that heart that has never loved know about the power, and the pathos, and the suffering, and the purifying of a great love. James Allen said "To love much is to suffer much," and who that has loved and suffered would give sup the love to escape the suffering? To gain much sympathy, much insight, much power it is necessary to live deeply. Oh, to feel, even to suffering, the needs of the human soul! Then we shall be among those who can minister to human needs, and our service can never be dead, hollow, lifeless. Impossible! Each word will be forged in the fire of the soul before it be either spoken or written, and it will go forth bearing the stamp of its worth,—its own hall mark, and it will be known for its true worth. Then everything will be beautiful to us, and no task degrading. No matter what the work may be to which we put our hands, we shall make it noble and beautiful, and the nobility and beauty will be reflected back upon ourselves making our lives, our faces, our voices radiant and glorious, bringing blessing and happiness to all around us.

I have so much from my own pen in this month's issue I really must not allow the Letter Box to be very lengthy, so I will stop.

Affectionately always,

Lily L. Allen

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Lily L. Allen

  • Born on December 30th, 1867 at Burrishoole, Eire
  • Wife of author James Allen
  • Wrote many books of her own
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