Twelve Greatest Things Series — Love

Twelve Greatest Things In Life

Hello History Lovers!

The new year brings with it a new series to The Farmer’s Wife Magazine–the Twelve Greatest Things In Life–written by Reverand John W. Holland. The series was originally published in monthly installments in THE FARMER’S WIFE–A MAGAZINE FOR FARM WOMEN. Each month’s article featured a topic regarding the human condition therefore the topics are as pertinent today as they were in 1926. Installments of this series will be posted on the first Sunday of every month throughout 2022.

I hope you enjoy!


THERE are hosts of people who “have something to say”—all they ask is an audience. There are very few who have a message to deliver, something of importance to pass on. Dr. Holland is “a man with a message”. During the months of 1926, he will speak his message through the columns of THE FARMER’S WIFE. It is a queer thing but no matter how wise a man or woman may be, if they know nothing about country life, what they have to say to country people somehow falls short. Dr. Holland is the product of an Iowa farm with which he still is in close touch. He is a minister, serving a large city charge. Between that farm home and young manhood, he worked his way through school.  What Dr. Holland has to say about “The Twelve Greatest Things In Life” is a real message from a real man. Hear him! —Editors.

Twelve Greatest Things in Life — Love

Dr. John W. Holland

I AM Love. I have been called “the greatest thing in the world.” This is true since I make people do the very greatest of things. I have been with men and women since the beginning of creation and shall never desert them unless they try to degrade me into lust.

I cause young lovers to become blind to each other’s faults. For me will a woman leave her father’s house, assume the duties of a wife, crown her life with the sufferings of motherhood, choke her own hunger with a crust that her children may have bread, and wear always a smile won from bitter tears.

I touch the spiring soul of the youth and henceforth he forgets how to live for himself. I put burden after burden upon his shoulders that make him stoop while I sprinkle his head with the snows that never melt. Through long years a man will give his all for Love and call it good.

I cause men and women to love each other, and lo, poetry springs into being.

I incline men to love their country, and they sing of patriotism.

I inspire them with devotions to God, and their hearts break forth into psalms and prayers for courage and purity.

Filled with the holy passion that I am, men always have called me divine, and through hearts purified by Love have called the Deity by my Name.

None can live without me. Kings have left their lonely thrones for one sweet joy which has inspired. Misers have parted with their gold when I kindled my sacred fires in their hearts.

Only through me may men ever understand each other. Whatever wrongs there are which I am not allowed to settle never can be settled by heat and force. Men talk foolishly of making a better earth through the agencies of force or commerce alone. I smile at them for I know that without me there never will be any bond strong enough to bind the nations together.

I teach mankind the sublime secret of inner beauty and for every controlling of their animal natures, I strengthen within their souls the vision of the angelic.

When I am honored in human lives, I build and adorn. When I am driven from the motives of any heart, I become a lurid flame that destroys. Men may fool with me only at their own peril.

Therefore, I call you to Love. Make me the center of your very being. Teach promise to cast out fear, impurity, and hate from their hearts forever. Under my sway, growing youth will become God-like. I swear in honor to sow the flouters of hope and happiness in every home where I am enthroned unto all the years of man’s life upon this earth. I guarantee a peaceable community to every group of neighbors that will receive me.

The highest proof of my heavenly origin I gave from dying lips upon a Cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Verily, I am the greatest Truth for all men and women—LOVE!

The above article was originally published in The Farmer’s Wife–A Magazine For Farm Women, January 1926; Webb Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota. Article may be edited for length and clarity.