Quotations for August, 2000
Tuesday, August 1, 2000
The Son of God did not come from above to add an external form of worship to the several ways of life that are in the world, and so to leave people to live as they did before, in such tempers and enjoyments as the fashion and the spirit of the world approve; but as He came down from heaven, altogether Divine and heavenly in His own nature, so it was to call mankind to a Divine and heavenly life; to the highest change of their own nature and temper; to be born again of the Holy Spirit; to walk in the wisdom and light and love of God, and to be like Him to the utmost of their power, to renounce all the most plausible ways of the world, whether of greatness, business, or pleasure; to a mortification of their most agreeable passions; and to live in such wisdom, purity, and holiness as might fit them to be glorious in the enjoyment of God to all eternity. [Continued tomorrow]
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life , London: Methuen, 1899, p. 157
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:21; more at Christlikeness, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Pleasure, Renunciation, Repentance, Worship)
Wednesday, August 2, 2000
[Continued from yesterday]Whatever, therefore, is foolish, ridiculous, vain, or earthly, or sensual, in the life of a Christian is something that ought not to be there, that is a spot and a defilement that must be washed away with tears of repentance. But if any thing of this kind runs all through the course of our life, if we allow ourselves in things that are either vain, foolish, or sensual, we renounce our profession.For as sure as Jesus Christ was wisdom and holiness, as sure as He came to make us like Himself and to be baptized into His Spirit, so sure is it, that none can be said to keep to their Christian profession but they who, to the utmost of their power, live a wise and holy and heavenly life. This, and this alone, is Christianity, a universal holiness in every part of life, a heavenly wisdom in all our actions, not conforming to the spirit and temper of the world, but turning all worldly enjoyments into means of piety and devotion to God.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life , London: Methuen, 1899, p. 157-158
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 6:1,2; more at Baptism, Devotion, Jesus, Renunciation, Repentance, Spirit)
Thursday, August 3, 2000
As sure as ever God puts his children in the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them.
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), Gleanings Among the Sheaves, New York: Sheldon, 1869, p. 10
(see the book; see also Dan. 3:19; more at God, Obedience, Presence of God)
Friday, August 4, 2000
Feast of John Vianney, Curè d’Ars, 1859
Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God’s voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Plain Man’s Book of Prayers, London: Collins, 1959, p. 21
(see the book; see also 1 Kings 19:11-13; Matt. 6:7,8; more at Prayer)
Saturday, August 5, 2000
Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642
Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Efficacy of Prayer , Cincinnati: Forward Movement, 2003, back cover
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:16; Eph. 6:10-18; more at Prayer)
Sunday, August 6, 2000
Contentment is not satisfaction. It is the grateful, faithful, fruitful use of what we have, little or much. It is to take the cup of Providence, and call upon the name of the Lord. What the cup contains is its contents. To get all that is in the cup is the act and art of contentment. Not to drink because one has but half a cup, or because one does not like its flavor, or because somebody else has silver to one’s own glass, is to lose the contents; and that is the penalty, if not the meaning, of discontent. No one is discontented who employs and enjoys to the utmost what he has. It is high philosophy to say, we can have just what we like if we like what we have; but this much at least can be done, and this is contentment,—to have the most and best in life by making the most and best of what we have.
... Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901), Thoughts for Every-day Living, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1901, p. 54
(see the book; see also Phil. 4:10-13; more at Providence)
Monday, August 7, 2000
Commemoration of John Mason Neale, Priest, Poet, 1866
For all the vigour of his polemic, St. Paul does not content himself with the denunciation of error, but finds the best defense against its insidious approaches in a closer adherence to the love of God and faith in Christ.
... F. F. Bruce (1910-1990/1), The Apostolic Defense of the Gospel, London: Inter-Varsity Press, 1959, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959, p. 83
(see the book; see also Gal. 5:4-6; more at Bible, Error, Faith, God, Love)
Tuesday, August 8, 2000
Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
The mystery revealed, in a unique degree and form, in Christ’s life, is really a universal spiritual-human law: the law of suffering and sacrifice, as the one way to joy and possession, which has existed, though veiled till now, since the foundation of the world.
... Friedrich von Hügel (1852-1925), The Mystical Element of Religion: Introduction and biographies, J. M. Dent & sons, 1923, p. 34
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:24,25; 1 Pet. 2:21; more at Jesus)
Wednesday, August 9, 2000
Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921
When evangelicals call the Bible “inerrant,” part at least of their meaning is this: that, in exegesis and exposition of Scripture and in building up our biblical theology from the fruits of our Bible study, we may not (1) deny, disregard, or arbitrarily relativize, anything that the biblical writers teach, nor (2) discount any of the practical implications for worship and service that their teaching carries, nor (3) cut the knot of any problem of Bible harmony, factual or theological, by allowing ourselves to assume that the inspired writers were not necessarily consistent either with themselves or with each other. It is because the word “inerrant” makes these methodological points about handling the Bible, ruling out in advance the use of mental procedures that can only lead to reduced and distorted versions of Christianity, that it is so valuable and, I think, so much valued by those who embrace it.
... James I. Packer (b. 1926), in Foundation of Biblical Authority, ed. James Montgomery Boice, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978, p. 77
(see the book; see also Mark 12:35-37; Heb. 4:12; more at Bible, Harmony, Inspiration, Meaning, Scripture, Service, Teach, Theology, Worship)
Thursday, August 10, 2000
Feast of Lawrence, Deacon at Rome, Martyr, 258
Have you stopped seeing great things happen in your life? Perhaps you have stopped believing that God can work in a mighty way even in our generation.
... Luis Palau (b. 1934), in a private communication from the Luis Palau Association
(see also Ps. 66:7; more at Faith, God, Life, Unbelief, Work)
Friday, August 11, 2000
Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253
Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890
In the first ages, [catechizing] was a work of long time; months, sometimes years, were devoted to the arduous task of disabusing the mind of the incipient Christian of its pagan errors, and of moulding it upon the Christian faith. The Scriptures indeed were at hand for the study of those who could avail themselves of them; but St. Irenaeus does not hesitate to speak of whole races who had been converted to Christianity, without being able to read them. To be unable to read or write was in those times no evidence of want of learning; the hermits of the deserts were, in one sense of the word, illiterate, yet the great St. Anthony, though he knew not letters, was a match in disputation for the learned philosophers who came to try him.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), “What is a University?”, in The Office and Work of Universities, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1856, p. 22-23
(see the book; see also Acts 4:13; more at Conversion)
Saturday, August 12, 2000
Any single verse of the Bible, taken in isolation, may actually be dangerous to your spiritual health. Every part of it must be read in relation to the whole message.
... Louis Cassels (1922-1974), Christian Primer, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1964, p. 39
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 3:16,17; more at Bible, Danger, Spiritual life)
Sunday, August 13, 2000
Feast of Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor, Priest, Teacher, 1667
Commemoration of Florence Nightingale, Social Reformer, 1910
Commemoration of Octavia Hill, Worker for the Poor, 1912
The kingdom of God did not then consist in words, but in power, the power of Godliness; though now we are fallen upon another method, we have turned all religion into faith, and our faith is nothing but the production of interest or disputing;—it is adhering to a party and a wrangling against all the world beside; and when it is asked of what religion he is, we understand the meaning to be what faction does he follow, what are the articles of his sect, not what is the manner of his life: and if men be zealous for their party and that interest, then they are precious men, though otherwise they be covetous as the grave, factious as Dathan, schismatical as Korah, or proud as the fallen angels.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. VI, London: Ogle, Duncan & Co., 1822, Sermon III, p. 283-284
(see the book; see also Num. 16:1-3; 1 Cor. 4:20; Jas. 2:24; more at Religion)
Monday, August 14, 2000
Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
Whether God revealed Himself to the patriarchs by oracles and visions, or suggested, by means of the ministry of men, what should be handed down by tradition to their posterity, it is beyond a doubt that their minds were impressed with a firm assurance of the doctrine, so that they were persuaded and convinced that the information they had received came from God... But since we are not favored with daily oracles from heaven, and since it is only in the Scriptures that the Lord hath been pleased to preserve His truth in perpetual remembrance, it obtains the same complete credit and authority with believers, when they are satisfied of its divine origin, as if they heard the very words pronounced by God Himself... Let it be considered, then, as an undeniable truth, that they who have been inwardly taught by the Spirit feel an entire acquiescence in the Scripture, and that it is self-authenticated, carrying with it its own evidence, and ought not to be made the subject of demonstration and arguments from reason; but it obtains the credit which it deserves with us by the testimony of the Spirit.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.vi.2,I.vii.1,5, p. 72-73,75,79-80
(see the book; see also Isa. 43:10-13; 59:21; more at Holy Spirit)
Tuesday, August 15, 2000
So let thyself be found also in this hour; thou who art the father of all, let thyself be found with a good gift to everyone who needs it, that the happy may find courage to accept thy good gifts, that the sorrowful may find courage to accept thy perfect gifts. For to men there is a difference of joy and of sorrow, but for thee, O Lord, there is no difference in these things; everything that comes from thee is a good and perfect gift.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Journals, ed. Alexander Dru, Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 173
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:17; more at Prayers)
Wednesday, August 16, 2000
By giving to Jesus Christ—the Man who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, this historical personality—the name of Lord, the Saviour, all mysticism is renounced. For mysticism in the strict sense exists only where one soars above the sphere of history, and where in place of the Mediator and the historical event are put the inner word of God, the inner motions of the soul, in order to reach immediacy between soul and God, and, in the end, the identity of both.But while it is necessary to safeguard the Christian message of the Holy Spirit from the mystical misunderstanding by calling attention to its relation to Jesus Christ, it is necessary on the other hand to safeguard the message of Jesus Christ and His work from the orthodox and rationalist misunderstanding by emphasizing the fact that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Spirit.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Word and the World, London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1931, p. 60
(see the book; see also Acts 26:24-29; more at Attitudes)
Thursday, August 17, 2000
A science which does not bring us nearer to God is worthless.
... Simone Weil (1909-1943), Gravity and Grace, Arthur Wills, tr., Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1997, p. 105
(see the book; see also Luke 12:54-56; more at Knowing God)
Friday, August 18, 2000
My biological work convinced me that the One who was declared dead by Nietzsche, and silent by Sartre, actually is very much alive and speaking to us through all things.
... C. J. Briejèr
(see also Gen. 1:20-22; Ps. 8:2,3; Rom. 10:16-18; more at Apologetics, Death, Life, Resurrection, Silence)
Saturday, August 19, 2000
The Christian cell in a factory or a professional circle, funding its own activities, deciding its own pattern of work, studying the Bible and perhaps celebrating the Lord’s supper as an entity on its own, comes very much closer to Independency as Robert Browne saw it than the unholy isolationism of a prosperous suburban church, with 200 members who scarcely know each other by sight. If a sizable proportion of the Free Church ministry were enabled to become itinerant once again—not necessarily itinerant in the geographical sense, but itinerant in the complex mazes of contemporary society, fathers in God to Christian organisms evolved by the lay men and women who spend their lives in these mazes—new heart would be put into both ministry and laity, and incidentally, new impetus given to the search for Christian unity.
... Christopher Driver (1932-1997), A Future for the Free Churches?, London: SCM Press, 1962, p. 118
(see the book; see also Acts 8:4; more at Church)
Sunday, August 20, 2000
Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153
Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890
Bernard [of Clairvaux] did not stop with love for God or Christ, he insisted also that the Christian must love his neighbors, including even his enemies. Not necessarily that he must feel affection for them—that is not always possible in this life, though it will be in heaven—but that he must treat them as love dictates, doing always for others what he would that they should do for him.
... A. C. McGiffert (1861-1933), A History of Christian Thought, v. II , New York, London: C. Scribner’s sons, 1960, p. 232
(see the book; see also Luke 6:31; more at Historical)
Monday, August 21, 2000
At the very moment when the pulpit has fallen strangely silent about sin, fiction can talk of little except evil, not indeed viewed as sin, but apparently as the invariable ways of a peculiarly repulsive insect, which it can’t help, poor thing; and there is no manner of use expecting from it anything except the nastinesses natural to it.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 88
(see the book; see also Matt. 23:23,24; more at Culture, Evil, Silence, Sin, Way)
Tuesday, August 22, 2000
What men turn to is more important than what they turn from, even if that to which they turn is only a higher moral truth; but to turn to Christ is far more important than to turn to higher moral truth: it is to turn the face towards Him in whom is all moral truth; it is to turn to Him in whom is not only the virtue which corresponds to the known vice from which the penitent desires to flee, but all virtue; it is to turn the face to all holiness, all purity, all grace. It was this repentance which the apostles preached after Pentecost.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Pentecost and the World, London: Oxford University Press, 1917, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 31
(see the book; see also Acts 2:38-40; 3:17-20; more at Repentance)
Wednesday, August 23, 2000
Commemoration of Rose of Lima, Contemplative, 1617
Four things a man must learn to doIf he would make his record true:To think without confusion clearly,To love his fellow men sincerely,To act from honest motives purely,To trust in God and heaven securely.
... Henry van Dyke (1852-1933), The Poems of Henry Van Dyke, New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1920, p. 277
(see the book; see also Mic. 6:8; more at Obedience)
Thursday, August 24, 2000
Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
The Bible is a supernatural book and can be understood only by supernatural aid.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Man: The Dwelling Place of God, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1966, p. 112
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 2:9-16; more at Bible)
Friday, August 25, 2000
Never was a book so full of incredible sayings—everywhere the sense of mystery dominates; unless you feel that mystery, all becomes prosaic—nothing about God is prosaic.
... Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 80
(see the book; see also Matt. 13:34-35; Eph. 3:8-11; more at Bible)
Saturday, August 26, 2000
Have you noticed this? Whatever need or trouble you are in, there is always something to help you in your Bible, if only you go on reading till you come to the word God specially has for you. I have noticed this often. Sometimes the special word is in the portion you would naturally read, or in the Psalm for the day, ... but you must go on till you find it, for it is always somewhere. You will know it the moment you come to it, and it will rest your heart.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), Edges of His Ways , London: SPCK, 1957, p. 41
(see the book; see also Ps. 119:97-99; more at Bible)
Sunday, August 27, 2000
Feast of Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
Christ is the master; the Scriptures are only the servant.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), quoted in The Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit, Auguste Sabatier, London: Williams & Norgate, 1904, p. 158
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 2:13; more at Christ, Master, Scripture, Service)
Monday, August 28, 2000
Feast of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430
Too late came I to love thee, O thou Beauty so ancient and so fresh, yea too late came I to love thee. And behold, thou wert within me, and I out of myself, where I made search for thee: I ugly rushed headlong upon those beautiful things thou hast made. Thou indeed wert with me; but I was not with thee: these beauties kept me far enough from thee: even those, which unless they were in thee, should not be at all.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions , Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, X.xxvii, p. 263
(see the book; see also Job 12:7-12; more at Prayers)
Tuesday, August 29, 2000
The Divine Perfections. How shall I praise th’ eternal God,That Infinite Unknown?Who can ascend his high abode,Or venture near his throne? The great invisible! He dwellsConceal’d in dazzling light:But his all-searching eye revealsThe secrets of the night. Those watchful eyes that never sleep,Survey the world around;His wisdom is the boundless deep,Where all our thoughts are drown’d. He knows no shadow of a change,Nor alters his decrees;Firm as a rock his truth remains,To guard his promises. Justice, upon a dreadful throne,Maintains the rights of God;While mercy sends her pardons down,Bought with a Saviour’s blood. Now to my soul immortal King,Speak some forgiving word;Then ’twill be double joy to singThe glories of my Lord.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Hymns and Spiritual Songs , in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, book II, hymn 166, p. 470
(see the book; see also 1 Sam. 15:29; Ps. 1:6; 66:2; 121:1-4; Rom. 11:33; Jas. 2:12-13; 1 John 1:5; more at God, Infinite, Joy, Justice, King, Mercy, Omniscience, Praise, Promise, Wisdom, Worship)
Wednesday, August 30, 2000
As for what the Church thinks and says, what influence does that have on the handling of American politics, the conduct of American education, the regulation of marriage and divorce, on sex and drink, on how industrial disputes are settled, on how we carry on business? As a plain matter of fact, religion in this country is generally regarded as a tolerated pastime for such people as happen to like to indulge in occasional godly exercises—as a strictly private matter in an increasingly close-knit and socially acting society—in other words, as something that does not count. I should like to see the Church recognize that it has been pushed into the realm of the non-essentials, and to persuade it to fight like fury for the right and the duty to bring every act of America and Americans before the bar of God’s judgment.[Christian leaders] are making valiant claim to such a right and duty; but the great mass of Church members are content to regard the Church as a conglomerate of private culture clubs, nice for christenings, weddings and funerals. Most Church members readily agree with the unchurched majority that it is not the proper business of the Church to criticize America or Americans.
... Bernard Iddings Bell (1886-1958), God is Not Dead, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945, p. 121
(see the book; see also Ps. 50:7-10; more at Church)
Thursday, August 31, 2000
Feast of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
Commemoration of Cuthburga, Founding Abbess of Wimborne, c.725
Commemoration of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688
Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have upon each of them the dew of Heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other’s roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of one another.
... John Bunyan (1628-1688), The Whole Works of John Bunyan, v. I, London: Blackie, 1862, p. xxviii
(see the book; see also Deut. 32:2; Gal. 5:13,14; more at Church, Fellowship, Flower, Teach)
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