One feature which distinguishes The Epoch from most other journals, indeed from any other journal known to me, is the marked impress of the personality of its Editor which it bears, and especially the expressions of affection to particular correspondents and to the readers in general. Mrs. Allen doubtless knows that expressions of this kind are regarded with some degree of ridicule by many worldly people, and are characterized as effeminacy. But let us look into this matter and discover, if we can, what this attitude really means. What is it but this: Mrs. Allen is writing right "out from the heart." We know, of course, that words of affection, if sincere, must come from the heart. But Mrs. Allen is living out from the heart; revealing the deepest, nearest, holiest things she knows—giving them for the benefit of others. With this attitude, expressions of regard and affection to unknown readers are quite in keeping.
I am not writing this to belaud Mrs. Allen (though I hope she will allow me to use this illustration). Why, I would ask, do we not all live out from the heart? For it is only by so living that we live our true lives. Have we not in this example of Mrs. Allen something not less valuable than her writings? It is not necessary for me to write here of the folly of living "to keep up appearance" and of regulating one’s life to "what people think"—as so many do live: there are many whose lives are not thus trammeled who yet do not truly live "out from the heart." We get into the way of living on the surface: we get absorbed in our personal affairs occasionally an impulse comes to us to do some good work, or to give help in another direction. But we doubt; we hesitate; other affairs carry us on, and the impulse is forgotten. That is all.
It is easy to let these impulses pass unfulfilled; easy to forget them. Yes, dear reader; but what is so easy is so calamitous to yourself. If you wish to live truly, to live your real life, give careful heed to that silent voice. Carry out its every word; and give thanks for it. Emerson has written: "If you accept your thoughts as inspirations from the Supreme Intelligence, obey them when they prescribe difficult duties, for they come only so long as they are used." Yes; and these inspirations must be obeyed not only when they give us difficult duties, but also when they call us to acts of kindness, and even expressions of affection. If they are disregarded they will cease to come. So long as we live on the surface, by custom, by habit, we live a life of unreality; we are in the dreary desert of "dead habit." Only as we live out from the heart, out from the very heart of hearts, do we find our way to our real self—the true self of all; only so do we find the way to the true riches, power, and joy of life; and only thus can we give our full meed of help and blessing to the world. Who are the truly happy people?
Are they not those who live out from the heart? Who have been the men and women of power—who have accomplished a great work? Have they not been those who have obeyed, and had faith in, a great inspiration? Who are the preachers and writers of real influence? Are they not those who speak and write out from the heart?
Let us, then, not be afraid of living out of the heart. It is failure so to live that we have to fear. Let us give careful heed to every good suggestion from within; and thus, by living the life, we shall find our way more and more to the true riches of life. And we need not wait for some novel suggestion. Much that needs doing in their world is obvious.
Let us begin with these things. One thing I would suggest. Nothing is more needed in the world, I believe, than such teaching as that found in The Epoch; and no better work can be done than by helping to get the journal firmly established and increase its circulation. The Epoch is one of the few small craft which are sailing over the stormy seas, bound for the far country in which the beautiful ideal is to be made real. It is a sacred duty on us to keep it steadily on its course. "The EPOCH must live. The EPOCH must increase." Thus the voice from the heart. Dear Reader, obey!