Quotations for March, 2003
Saturday, March 1, 2003
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601
Original sin ... is that which makes us paint in white and black the relative good we do and the evil we combat; it is that which sends us corporately from one false absolute to its dialectical opposite; it is that which moves us to fight for our prejudices as if we were fighting for God, or else to contract out of decision in the world unless we can envisage the choice as having unconditional divine warrant; it is that which bids us attribute others’ evil to the malice of their free will and our own to the pressure of circumstances.
... V. A. Demant (1893-1983), The Religious Prospect, London: F. Muller, 1941, p. 226-227
(see the book; see also Isa. 59:1-4; 64:7; John 7:16-17; Rom. 8:6-7; 2 Pet. 1:5-9; more at Evil, Fight, Free will, God, Goodness, Prejudice, Sin, World)
Sunday, March 2, 2003
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
Clerics often say that if voluntary clergy were admitted, the laity would cease to support stipendiary clergy, and that they would say, “We can get clergy for nothing, why should we pay for them?” That argument suggests that the laity do not want stipendiary clergy and must be compelled to have them against their will. Whatever truth there may be in it, and it is a very serious indictment of the present stipendiary clergy as a body, one thing is certain: we cannot make people want what they do not want by compelling them to pay for it.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Case for Voluntary Clergy, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1930, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 149
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 4:10-13; 9:14-18; 2 Cor. 11:9-11; 2 Thess. 3:7-9; more at Church, Minister, People, Providence, Truth)
Monday, March 3, 2003
Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 9
(see the book; see also Mal. 2:7; Luke 1:76-79; Phil. 3:8; more at Bible, Church, Experience, God, Heart, Satisfaction, Teach, Truth)
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647
It occurred to me that in our work with secular organizations, the leader shapes the heart and passion of the corporate entity. In our work with non-profit organizations, we have found the same principle to be operative. When it comes to the focus of the organization, the people who serve there tend to take on many of the core personality traits of the leader toward fulfilling the mandate of the organization. If this is true, and most churches seem to lack the fervor and focus for evangelism, is it reasonable to conclude that it may be because of the lack of zeal most pastors have for identifying, befriending, loving and evangelizing non-Christian people?
... George Barna (b. 1955), Evangelism that Works, Gospel Light Pubns., 1995, Regal Books, 1995, p. 90
(see the book; see also Acts 11:22-26; Gal. 1:10; Jude 1:3; more at Great Commission, Mission, Zeal)
Wednesday, March 5, 2003
... stooping very low, He engraves with careHis Name, indelible, upon our dust,And, from the ashes of our self-despair,Kindles a flame of hope and humble trust.He seeks no second site on which to build,But on the old foundation, stone by stone,Cementing sad experience with grace,Fashions a stronger temple of His own.
... Patricia St. John (1919-1993), from “The Alchemist”, in Patricia St. John Tells Her Own Story, Kingsley Press, 2004, p. 17
(see the book; see also John 2:19; 1 Cor. 3:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:1; Eph. 2:19-22; more at Builder, Despair, Dust, Grace, Hope, Humility, Kingdom, Providence, Strength, Temple)
Thursday, March 6, 2003
God will either give you what you ask, or something far better.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), The Life and Remains, Letters, Lectures, and Poems of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne, Andrew Alexander Bonar, New York: R. Carter, 1866, p. 168
(see the book; see also 1 Kings 3:7-14; Luke 23:42-43; 1 John 5:14-15; more at Generosity, Giving, God, Providence)
Friday, March 7, 2003
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
There were in the eighteenth century terrible theologians who held that “God did not command certain things because they are right, but certain things are right because God commanded them.” To make the position perfectly clear, one of them even said that though God has, as it happens, commanded us to love Him and one another, He might equally well have commanded us to hate Him and one another, and hatred would then have been right. It was apparently a mere toss-up which He decided on. Such a view of course makes God a mere arbitrary tyrant. It would be better and less irreligious to believe in no God and to have no ethics than to have such an ethics and such a theology as this.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Reflections on the Psalms, Edinburgh: James Thin, 1958; G. Bles, 1958, p. 61
(see the book; see also Deut. 6:5; 7:9; 10:12-16,19; 30:6; Mark 12:30-31; John 15:12-13; 1 Thess. 3:12; 4:9; Heb. 13:1; 1 John 4:16; 2 John 5; more at Belief, Commandment, God, Hatred, Historical, Love, Theology, Tyranny)
Saturday, March 8, 2003
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
The faculty of faith is not meant to kill the faculty of criticism and the instinct of curiosity, but rather to keep them keen and alive, and prevent them dying of despair. Faith is the mark of those who seek and keep on seeking, who ask and keep on asking, who knock and keep on knocking, until the door is opened. The passive, weak-kneed taking of everything on trust which is often presented as faith is a travesty of its truth. True faith is the most active, positive, and powerful of all virtues. It means that a man, having come into spiritual communion with that great personal Spirit Who lives and works behind the universe, can trust Him, and, trusting Him, can use all his powers of body, mind, and spirit to cooperate with Him in the great purpose of perfection; it means that the man of faith will be the man of science in its deepest, truest sense, and will never cease from asking questions, never cease from seeking for the reason that lies behind all mysteries.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Hardest Part, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919, p. 83-84
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:6; 6:33; Luke 11:9-10; 1 John 4:1-3; more at Faith, Question, Reason, Trust, Truth, Virtue)
Sunday, March 9, 2003
I get not my feasts without some mixture of gall; neither am I free of old jealousies; for he hath removed my lovers and friends far from me; he hath made my congregation desolate, and taken away my crown; and my dumb sabbaths are like a stone tied to a bird’s foot, that wanteth not wings; they seem to hinder my flight, were it not that I dare not say one word, but “Well done, Lord Jesus.”
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 20, 1637, p. 192-193
(see the book; see also Lam. 3:19-23; 2 Tim. 4:8; Jas. 1:12; more at Congregation, Desolation, Friend, Jesus, Love, Sabbath, Trust, Weakness)
Monday, March 10, 2003
If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible to him who believes in him.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), Sermons on Several Occasions, v. II, New York: Carlton & Phillips, 1855, p. 446
(see the book; see also Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17; Matt. 6:22-23; 19:26; more at Providence)
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Reply to Faustus the Manichaean, tr., R. Stothert, in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, v. IV, Philip Schaff, ed., Buffalo: Christian Literature Company, 1887, XVII.3, p. 235
(see the book; see also Gal. 1:6-9; Rev. 22:18-19; more at Authenticity, Belief, Gospel, Self)
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Very many deny that the Sacred writers wrote according to the rules of art. Nor do we contend for the contrary; for they wrote not according to art, but according to grace, which is above all art; for they wrote that which the Spirit gave them to speak. And yet they who wrote on art made use of their writings from which to frame their art, and to compose its comments and rules.
... St. Ambrose of Milan (Aurelius Ambrosius) (339-397), letter to Justus, A.D. 381, The Letters of S. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Oxford, J. Parker, 1881, p. 27
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:42-45; Acts 2:4; 4:25; more at Art, Bible, Grace, Holy Spirit, Rule)
Thursday, March 13, 2003
The fact that a belief is subjectively determined does not mean that it is untrue; it may be a rationalization of our wishes and may, nevertheless, be in accordance with the evidence. Sometimes we are in the fortunate position of knowing that this is so. We may hold a belief to be true because we wish it to be true, and we may at a later date gratefully acknowledge that the evidence is strongly in its favour. It is by no means to be taken for granted that religious beliefs do not fall within this category. I make this point because many people argue as if it were sufficient to show that our religious beliefs are rationalizations, ... in order to disprove them; as if the fact that religious beliefs fulfilled our wishes and comforted our feelings was in itself a reason for supposing them to be false.
... C. E. M. Joad (1891-1953), God and Evil, New York: Harper, 1943, p. 228
(see the book; see also Jer. 25:31; 2 Cor. 10:2-5; Col. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:23-24; Titus 3:9; more at Apologetics, Argument, Belief, Comfort, Fulfillment, Gratitude, Knowledge, Reason, Truth)
Friday, March 14, 2003
Another age may learn to look upon our use of activities much as we look upon the use of the sword by an earlier age. Because in them money takes so prominent a place, ours may one day be known as the age of financial Christianity, just as we look upon that earlier age as the age of military Christianity. As we regard the sword so a later age may regard money. It may learn the wisdom of the Apostle and decline to use such an ambiguous weapon. If the sword was an ambiguous weapon which might easily confuse the issue, money and activities which depend upon money, are not less ambiguous and may as easily confuse the issue. The time is not yet full. We have yet to learn the consequences of our use of money.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Mission Activities , included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 109
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:5-16; Mark 6:7-12; Luke 10:1-11; 22:35; 1 Cor. 4:10-13; 1 Thess. 2:9; more at Confusion, Dependence, Mission, Money, Sword, Wisdom)
Saturday, March 15, 2003
I wonder how often the spiritual cure of faith in the Son of Man, the Great Healer, has been tried on those possessed with our modern demons. Is it proved that insanity has its origin in the physical disorder which, it is now said, can be shown to accompany it invariably? Let it be so; it yet appears to me that if the physician would, like the Son of Man himself, descend as it were into the disorganized world in which the consciousness of his patient exists, and receiving as fact all that he reveals to him of its condition—for fact it is, of a very real sort—introduce, by all means that sympathy can suggest, the one central cure for evil, spiritual and material, namely, the truth of the Son of Man, the vision of the perfect friend and helper, with the revelation of the promised liberty of obedience—if he did this, it seems to me that cures might still be wrought as marvelous as those of the ancient time.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), David Elginbrod, vol. 2 , Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1871, p. 239-240
(see the book; see also Luke 9:42; 10:17; Acts 5:15-16; more at Evil, Faith, Miracle, Physician, Social, Truth)
Sunday, March 16, 2003
Are we not all members of the same Body and partakers of the same Spirit and heirs of the same blessed hope of eternal life?... Why do we not, as becomes brethren, dwell together in unity? but are so apt to quarrel and break out into heats, to crumble into sects and parties, to divide and separate from one another upon every trifling occasion.Give me leave... in the name of our dear Lord ... to recommend to you this new commandment of his, that ye love one another. Which is almost a new commandment still, and hardly the worse for wearing; so seldom is it put on, and so little hath it been practised among Christians.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. II, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon XX, p. 247-248
(see the book; see also John 13:34-35; Rom. 6:8,9; 15:5-7; 1 John 4:20; more at Body of Christ, Church, Commandment, Eternal life, Hope, Love, Quarrel, Sect, Unity)
Monday, March 17, 2003
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460
At his Ascension our Lord entered heaven, and he keeps the door open for humanity to enter.
... Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), My Utmost for His Highest, Leicester: F.A. Thorpe, 1927, p. 138
(see the book; see also Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12; more at Ascension, Door, Heaven, Jesus, Man)
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Be pleased to hear all these good people, who can pray [the Lord’s Prayer] to Thee so fast. And, in Thy mercy, may some of Thy grace to them overflow to me, whom Thou hast made too slow of mind to speak such august words as these so rapidly with any understanding.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In the Secret Place of the Most High, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947, p. 57
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4; Rom. 8:26; more at Grace, Mind, Prayer, Prayers, Understanding)
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth
The Christian faith believes that the Atonement reveals God’s mercy as an ultimate resource by which God alone overcomes the judgment which sin deserves. If this final truth of the Christian religion has no meaning to modern men, including modern Christians, that is because even the tragic character of contemporary history has not yet persuaded them to take the fact of human sinfulness seriously.
... Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), Christianity and Power Politics, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1940, reprint, Archon Books, 1969, p. 21
(see the book; see also Matt. 20:28; Luke 6:36; John 3:16; Rom. 3:22-26; 5:11; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:7-27; 1 John 4:9; more at Atonement, Belief, Faith, God, Historical, Judgment, Mercy, Revelation, Sin)
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687
The central idea of the Christian religion, the idea which cannot be doubted or minimized without sacrificing the essential truth of Christianity, is that God, who had always through His messengers and prophets communicated His word to man, at last, as the climax of His grace, sent His only Son into the world. The Divine Nature, which is omnipresent and eternal, free from the human limitations of space and time, materialized itself in human form upon the earth, voluntarily subjecting itself to those limitations and yet continuing to be Divine... In so far as it was human, this expression of the Divine Nature in the world must have a beginning, a history for a term of years, and an end, i.e., a birth, life, and death. Yet, on the other hand, as being Divine, it was preexistent and deathless. The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was God. Birth and death have no bearing on the eternal Divine Nature. Thus the Divine Nature makes itself in appearance to us double, and this double nature is called by the terms Father and Son, which must of course be regarded as symbolical names attempting to make the Divine mystery intelligible to the human mind with its necessarily limited powers of understanding. [Continued tomorrow]
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), Pictures of the Apostolic Church, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910, p. 1-2
(see the book; see also Luke 24:46-51; John 1:1,14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 15:3-9; 1 John 4:2-10; 2 John 7; more at Everlasting, Grace, Historical, Incarnation, Revelation, Time, Understanding)
Friday, March 21, 2003
[Continued from yesterday]It was therefore an essential part of the Divine purpose, that those who had known the Divine Word in its human expression as the man Jesus, should become aware that death had no real power over Him. This result was accomplished by various events after such fashion that a sufficient number of persons were firmly convinced of the truth, and constituted a body of witnesses whose evidence might convince the world and give effect to the Divine will. [Continued tomorrow]
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), Pictures of the Apostolic Church, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910, p. 2
(see the book; see also Luke 24:46-51; John 1:1,14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 15:3-9; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; 1 John 4:8-10; more at Death & Resurrection, Historical, Power, Purpose, Witness)
Saturday, March 22, 2003
[Continued from yesterday]After this conviction was produced, we come to the final stage, the apparent departure of the embodied Divine Nature, the man Jesus, from the world. The earthly period had fulfilled its purpose and reached its climax. This is the Ascension. This term, like many of the other words which must be employed by man in discussing the subject, is an attempt to express Divine truth—which as Divine is not subject to worldly conditions—in the language of human imperfection. The Divine Nature is omnipresent. It does not lie more in one direction from us than in another; it is neither above nor below: it is everywhere. To say that Jesus went up into heaven is a merely symbolic expression; it has not a local significance; it is an emblematic statement of the truth. The truth which has to be conceived in the mind is that, at the due stage and the proper moment, Jesus ceased to be apparent to human senses in the world, and is God with God.
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), Pictures of the Apostolic Church, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910, p. 2-3
(see the book; see also Luke 24:46-53; John 1:1,14; Acts 1:8-11; 1 Cor. 15:3-9; 1 John 4:8-10; more at Ascension, God, Historical, Jesus, Omnipresence, Truth)
Sunday, March 23, 2003
Biblical man did not look upon a miracle quite as we do. He did not have such a word in his vocabulary. He spoke of “signs and wonders.” Any unusual or spectacular happening that was a sign of the direct working of God—this was his miracle. If a modern man could have stood beside him and given a rational explanation of all the events through which he passed, he would not have been particularly impressed. His question would always have been, “Well, why did they happen at exactly this time in this way and secure this result?” To us the major focus of attention in the matter of miracle is to explain how it could have happened without setting aside natural law. With him the point was rather what was happening, what was going on, what result God achieved through the unusual.
... George Ernest Wright (1909-1974) & Reginald Fuller (1915-2007), The Book of the Acts of God, London: Doubleday, 1957, p. 78
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:1-4; Mark 8:11-12; John 2:11; more at Achievement, Historical, Miracle, Reason, Will of God, Wonder, Work)
Monday, March 24, 2003
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953
The modern translator must be a close student, not only of Greek, but of the art of English translation... In every sentence he must recognize a new problem, for it must be rendered not only for itself but in such a way that its relation to the context is maintained. The best translation is ... one that makes the reader forget that it is a translation at all.
... Edgar J. Goodspeed (1871-1962), Problems of New Testament Translation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1945, p. 8
(see the book; see also Acts 8:30-31; more at Bible, Holy Spirit)
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary
Long before I believed Theology to be true, I had already decided that the popular scientific picture at any rate was false. One absolutely central inconsistency ruins it... The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears. Unless we can be sure that reality in the remotest nebula or the remotest part obeys the thought-laws of the human scientist here and now in his laboratory—in other words, unless Reason is an absolute—all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world-picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based. The difficulty is to me a fatal one; and the fact that when you put it to many scientists, far from having an answer, they seem not even to understand what the difficulty is, assures me that I have not found a mare’s nest but detected a radical disease in their whole mode of thought from the very beginning. The man who has once understood the situation is compelled henceforth to regard the scientific cosmology as being, in principle, a myth—though no doubt a great many true particulars have been worked into it.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “Is Theology Poetry?”, in They Asked for a Paper, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1962, p. 162
(see the book; see also Prov. 3:5; 14:12; Acts 17:2-3; 1 Cor. 1:18; more at Belief, Man, Myth, Reason, Social, Theology, Thought, Truth)
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883
The nearness of God may inspire awareness of his activity, mystery and order in the most ordinary and “non-sacred” places. Therefore, Christians working in any kind of college must pray for and cultivate delicate sensitivity to God’s unexpected disclosures in the ordinary and even in the profane areas of life. The temptation of those who exalt the unrestricted activity of God in any and all places is that they may become overly diffuse in their outlook, seeing him where he does not deign to disclose himself or scorning the customary or conventional places of public worship. These, strangely enough, are the places where the very distance of God leads us. [Continued tomorrow]
... Wallace Gray, “Philosophy and Worship”
(see also Matt. 25:40; more at Awareness, God, Mystic, Prayer, Temptation, Worship)
Thursday, March 27, 2003
[Continued from yesterday]Because God has been so far from us, we feel the need to draw nigh to him. We use sacred word, sacred rite, and sacred music to celebrate his previous disclosures of his character and will for us. We perhaps await his further word and guidance. We certainly confess our faith that he is the answer or the resolution of our questions, the guide or the disturber of our conduct, the peace or the sword of our spirits. Confessions of faith tend to become specific and explicit. At their best, they win converts, rekindle loyalty, and place the confessors of creeds at the mercy and disposal of the almighty God. At their worst, creeds alienate the alien seeker in our midst, deaden our spontaneity, and protect us from adventuring beyond God’s previous calls. If the wideness of God’s possible revelations can be perverted into an idolatry of the world, the narrowness of an inflexible use of traditional forms of worship can also be perverted into its own kind of idolatry—the idolatry of book, altar, preacher, and propriety.
... Wallace Gray, “Philosophy and Worship”
(see also Ps. 135:15-18; Hab. 2:18; John 4:23-24; Rom. 1:25; more at Altar, Book, Consecration, Creed, Idol, Preacher, Worship)
Friday, March 28, 2003
Just as at sea those who are carried away from the direction of the harbor bring themselves back on course by a clear sign, so Scripture may guide those adrift on the sea of life back into the harbor of the divine will.
... St. Gregory of Nyssa (331?-396?), The Life of Moses, Paulist Press, 1978, p. 32
(see the book; see also Jonah 2:8-9; Matt. 8:24-27; 2 Tim. 3:16; more at Bible, Guidance, Life, Scripture, Sea, Will of God)
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974
Hear how the God of nature himself speaks of this matter: “Behold, I have set before thee life and death, fire and water,—choose whither thou wilt.” Here lies the whole of the divine mercy; ’tis all on this side the Day of Judgment: till the end of time, God is compassionate and long-suffering, and continues to every creature a power of choosing life or death, water or fire; but when the end of time is come, there is an end of choice, and the last judgment is only a putting everyone into the full and sole possession of that which he has chosen.
... William Law (1686-1761), An Appeal to All that Doubt , in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VI, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 98
(see the book; see also Deut. 30:15-17; Gal. 6:7; Jas. 5:11; 2 Pet. 3:9; more at Choices, Compassion, Day, Death, Judgment, Life, Mercy, Providence)
Sunday, March 30, 2003
[Jesus] does not waste a word in talking about immortality, as to whether it actually is or not; he states what it is, that it is the separation between the just and the unjust.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Christian Discourses, tr. Walter Lowrie, New York: Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 214
(see the book; see also Matt. 12:37; 25:31-46; Mark 8:38; Luke 3:17; 12:2-5; 2 Cor. 2:15-16; more at Immortality, Jesus, Judgment, Justification)
Monday, March 31, 2003
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
Consider the insupportable penances that were laid upon sinners, by those penitential canons, that went through the church in those primitive times; when for many sins which we pass through now, without so much as taking knowledge that they are sins, men were not admitted to the Communion all their lives—no, nor easily upon their death-beds. Consider how dangerously an abuse of that great doctrine of Predestination may bring thee to thinke, that God is bound to thee, and thou not bound to him; that thou mayest renounce him, and he must embrace thee, and so make thee too familiar with God, and too homely with religion, upon presumption of a decree.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon LXVIII, p. 216
(see the book; see also Ps. 65:5; Matt. 22:11-14; Mark 16:16; Rom. 8:29; more at Church, Communion, Danger, God, Historical, Predestination, Renunciation, Sin)
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