Quotations for August, 2004
Sunday, August 1, 2004
It is to no purpose to boast of Christ, if we have not an evidence of His graces in our hearts and lives. But unto whom He is the hope of future glory, unto them He is the life of present grace.
... John Owen (1616-1683), The Glory of Christ [1684, 1691], in Works of John Owen, v. I, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1850, p. 318
(see the book; see also Rom. 5:1,2; Rev. 3:20; more at Boasting, Christ, Future, Glory, Grace, Heart, Hope, Jesus, Life)
Monday, August 2, 2004
Among our own people also the church sorely needs clergy in close touch with the ordinary life of the laity, living the life of ordinary men, sharing their difficulties and understanding their trials by close personal experience. Stipendiary clergy cut off by training and life from that common experience are constantly struggling to get close to the laity by wearing lay clothing, sharing in lay amusements, and organizing lay clubs; but they never quite succeed. To get close to men, it is necessary really to share their experience, and to share their experience is to share it by being in it, not merely to come as near to it as possible without being in 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. 150
(see the book; see also Acts 18:1-3; Isa. 53:2-5; Luke 22:27-28; Eph. 4:28; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; Heb. 2:17-18; 4:15; 5:2; more at Affliction, Church, Experience, Life, Share, Trial, Understanding)
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
As I do no good action here, merely for the interpretation of good men, though that be one good and justifiable reason of my good actions: so I must do nothing for my salvation hereafter, merely for the love I bear to mine own soul, though that also be one good and justifiable reason of that action; but the primary reason in both, as well as the actions that establish a good name, as the actions that establish eternal life, must be the glory of God.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, p. 76
(see the book; see also Hab. 2:14; more at Action, Eternal life, Glory of God, Goodness, Love, Reason, Salvation, Self, Soul)
Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Feast of John Vianney, Curè d’Ars, 1859
I love, my God, but with no love of mineFor I have none to give;I love Thee, Lord, but all that love is Thine,For by Thy life I live.I am as nothing, and rejoice to beEmptied and lost and swallowed up in Thee.
... Mme. Guyon (1648-1717), included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 100
(see the book; see also Phil. 3:8,9; more at Love)
Thursday, August 5, 2004
Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642
Slowly, through all the universe, that temple of God is being built. Wherever, in any world, a soul, by free-willed obedience, catches the fire of God’s likeness, it is set into the growing walls, a living stone. When, in your hard fight, in your tiresome drudgery, or in your terrible temptation, you catch the purpose of your being, and give yourself to God, and so give Him the chance to give Himself to you, your life, a living stone, is taken up and set into that growing wall... Wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways;—there God is hewing out the pillars for His temple. O, if the stone can only have some vision of the temple of which it is to lie a part forever, what patience must fill it as it feels the blows of the hammer, and knows that success for it is simply to let itself be wrought into what shape the Master wills.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Candle of the Lord , E. P Dutton & Co., New York, 1903, p. 71-72
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:16,17; more at Weakness)
Friday, August 6, 2004
We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity.Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible...The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Of God and Men, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1960, p. 103,105
(see the book; see also Matt. 14:23; more at Devotion, Eternity, Solitude, Treasure)
Saturday, August 7, 2004
Commemoration of John Mason Neale, Priest, Poet, 1866
The word “carnal” is ambiguous. “Flesh” means sin and corruption, and is opposed to the Spirit; but embodiment, outward manifestation, concrete form, is not opposed to the Spirit. “Carnal” means sinful and hostile to God; the evil spirits, who we suppose possess no bodies, are carnal, but the Son of God became man, the Word was made flesh, He took upon Him a human body as well as a reasonable soul. God’s ways and thoughts are not ours. While the abstract and ethereal imaginations of human reason create a god, who is not spirit, and whom they do not worship in spirit and truth, the God of the Bible is God manifest in the flesh—Immanuel... Did not Jesus, after His resurrection, eat before His disciples, who gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and honey? Is not the earth to be the scene of God’s triumph and manifestation? Whatever is revealed in spiritual, whatever man imagines is carnal; the end of the ways of God is embodiment.
... Adolph Saphir (1831-1891), Christ and Israel, London: Morgan and Scott, 1911, p. 180
(see the book; see also Luke 24:30,31; more at Corruption, Evil, God, Jesus, Man, Sin, Spirit)
Sunday, August 8, 2004
Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
It is the fellowship of the Cross to experience the burden of the other. If one does not experience it, the fellowship he belongs to is not Christian. If any member refuses to bear that burden, he denies the law of Christ.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together , tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 101
(see the book; see also Rom. 15:1; Gal. 6:2; more at Church)
Monday, August 9, 2004
Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921
I would not favour a fiction to keep a world out of hell. The hell that a lie would keep any man out of is doubtless the very best place for him to go to. It is truth, yes, The Truth that saves the world.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, v. I , London: Strahan & Co., 1873, p. 144
(see the book; see also John 8:44; 14:6; 1 Tim. 1:9-10; Rev. 21:27; more at Gospel, Hell, Salvation, Truth, World)
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Feast of Lawrence, Deacon at Rome, Martyr, 258
It is only by forgetting yourself that you can draw near to [God].
... Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), Walden, A Writer’s Journal, Dover Publications, 1960, p. 19
(see the book; see also Ex. 20:5; Matt. 16:24; more at Forget, God, Knowing God, Unselfish)
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253
Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890
May I be patient! It is so difficult to realise what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are intended, real blessings.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), in a letter, 1828, Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman, v. I, London: Longmans, Green, 1903, p. 160
(see the book; see also Jas. 1:3,4; more at Belief, Blessing, Patience, Trial, Weakness)
Thursday, August 12, 2004
When our Lord began his ministry he announced a manifesto, far more comprehensive, thoroughgoing, and revolutionary than any socialism, which spoke of the good news to the poor, release for prisoners, and recovery of sight to the blind. The Church must learn to stand solidly behind all efforts to bring fuller life to people.
... John W. Sadiq (1910-1980), “The Church’s Mission to the World, on the Political Frontier (Theme Address,” included in Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. 58
(see the book; see also Isa. 61:1,2; Luke 4:17-21; more at Gospel, Life, People, Social, Tidings)
Friday, August 13, 2004
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 law of nature is nothing but the law of God, given to mankind for the conservation of his nature, and the promotion of his perfective end. A law of which a man sees a reason and feels a necessity: God is the lawgiver.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), The Rule of Conscience, bk. 2, in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. XII, London: Ogle, Duncan & Co., 1822, p. 213
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:11-12,28; 2:19-20; Job 12:7-10; Ps. 8:1-9; 19:1-6; Acts 14:17; Rom. 1:18-20; more at God, Law, Man, Nature, Reason)
Saturday, August 14, 2004
Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
What is said in the passage [James 2:14 ff.] is like a two coupon train or bus ticket. One coupon says, “Not good if detached” and the other says, “Not good for passage.” Works are not good for passage; but faith detached from works is not saving faith.
... Charles C. Ryrie (b. 1925), Ryrie Study Bible, Moody Publishers, 1986, note on James 2:24
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:14-18; more at Faith, Goodness, Salvation, Work)
Sunday, August 15, 2004
The fulfillment of the Lord’s mercy does not depend upon believers’ works, but... he fulfills the promise of salvation for those who respond to his call with upright life, because in those who are directed to the good by his Spirit, he recognizes the only genuine insignia of his children.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.xvii.6, p. 39
(see the book; see also Ps. 15:1-2; Isa. 33:14-15; Rom. 8:14; more at Call, Child, Goodness, Holy Spirit, Mercy, Promise, Salvation, Upright, Work)
Monday, August 16, 2004
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “Is Theology Poetry?”, in They Asked for a Paper, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1962, p. 165
(see the book; see also John 8:12; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:6; more at Belief, Faith, Sight)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
There is such a thing as taking ourselves and the world too seriously, or at any rate too anxiously. Half of the secular unrest and dismal, profane sadness of modern society comes from the vain idea that every man is bound to be a critic of life, and to let no day pass without finding some fault with the general order of things, or projecting some plan for its improvement. And the other half comes from the greedy notion that a man’s life does consist, after all, in the abundance of the things that he possesses, and that it is, somehow or other, more respectable and pious to be always at work making a larger living, than it is to lie on your back in the green pastures and beside the still waters, and thank God that you are alive.
... Henry van Dyke (1852-1933), Little Rivers: a book of essays in profitable idleness, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1908, p. 35
(see the book; more at Attitudes)
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
I can tell you for an eternal truth that troubled souls are always safe. It is the untroubled that are in danger. Trouble in itself is always a claim on love, and God is love. He must deny Himself if He does not come to help the helpless. It is the prisoners, and the blind, and the leper, and the possessed, and the hungry, and the tempest-tossed, who are His special care. Therefore, if you are lost and sick and bound, you are just in the place where He can meet you. Blessed are the mourners. They shall be comforted.
... Andrew Jukes (1815-1901), , Letters of Andrew Jukes, London: Longman, Green, and Company, 1903, , p. 155
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:4; 9:11,12; more at Weakness)
Thursday, August 19, 2004
We must face the recognition that what the early Christians saw in Jesus Christ, and what we must accept if we look at him rather than at our imaginations about him, was not a person characterized by universal benignity, loving God and man. His love of God and his love of neighbour are two distinct virtues that have no common quality but only a common source. Love of God is adoration of the only true good; it is gratitude to the bestower of all gifts; it is joy in holiness; it is “consent to Being.” But the love of man is pitiful rather than adoring; it is giving and forgiving rather than grateful. It suffers for and in their viciousness and profaneness; it does not consent to accept them as they are, but calls them to repentance. The love of God is nonpossessive Eros; the love of man pure Agape; the love of God is passion; the love of man, compassion. There is duality here, but not of like-minded interest in two great values, God and man. It is rather the duality of the Son of Man and Son of God, who loves God as man should love Him, and loves man as only God can love, with powerful pity for those who are foundering.
... H. Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962), Christ and Culture, New York: Harper, 1951, reprint, Harper & Row, 1956, p. 18-19
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:37-40; more at Love)
Friday, August 20, 2004
Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153
Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890
Why do we talk and gossip so continually, seeing that we so rarely resume our silence without some hurt done to our conscience? ... Devout conversation on spiritual things helpeth not a little to spiritual progress, most of all where those of kindred mind and spirit find their ground of fellowship in God.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.x.1, p. 42-43
(see the book; see also Rom. 12:9; more at Church, Conscience, Fellowship, God, Gossip, Progress, Silence, Spirit)
Saturday, August 21, 2004
In the world to which the Apostles preached their new message, religion had not been the solace of the weary, the medicine of the sick, the strength of the sin-laden, the enlightenment of the ignorant: it was the privilege of the healthy and the instructed. The sick and the ignorant were excluded. They were under the bondage of evil demons. “This people which knoweth not the law are accursed,” was the common doctrine of Jews and Greeks. The philosophers addressed themselves only to the well-to-do, the intellectual, and the pure. To the mysteries were invited only those who had clean hands and sound understanding. It was a constant marvel to the heathen that the Christians called the sick and the sinful.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or ours?, London: World Dominion Press, 1927, reprinted, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1962, p. 46
(see the book; see also John 7:49; Jas. 2:5; more at Bondage, Health, Heathen, Mission, Philosophy, Preach, Sickness, Weary, World)
Sunday, August 22, 2004
I will attempt no historical or theological classification of [George] MacDonald’s thought, partly because I have not the learning to do so, still more because I am no great friend to such pigeon-holing. One very effective way of silencing the voice of conscience is to impound in an Ism the teacher through whom it speaks; the trumpet no longer seriously disturbs our rest when we have murmured ‘Thomist,’ ‘Barthian,’ or ‘Existentialist.’ And in MacDonald it is always the voice of conscience that speaks. He addresses the will: the demand for obedience, for “something to be neither more nor less nor other than done” is incessant. Yet in that very voice of conscience every other faculty somehow speaks as well—intellect and imagination and humour and fancy and all the affections; and no man in modern times was perhaps more aware of the distinction between Law and Gospel, the inevitable failure of mere morality.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), George Macdonald, an Anthology, George MacDonald, Macmillan, 1947, p. 18
(see the book; see also Gal. 3:11,12; more at Historical)
Monday, August 23, 2004
Commemoration of Rose of Lima, Contemplative, 1617
We have been adopted as sons by the Lord with this one condition: that our life express Christ, the bond of our adoption. Accordingly, unless we give and devote ourselves to righteousness, we not only revolt from our Creator with wicked perfidy, but we also abjure our Savior Himself.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.vi.3, p. 616
(see the book; see also Gal. 3:27; more at Christ, Devotion, God, Life, Righteousness, Savior, Sin, Son)
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
It is often said with a sneer that the God of Israel was only a God of Battles, “a mere barbaric Lord of Hosts” pitted in rivalry against other gods only as their envious foe. Well it is for the world that He was indeed a God of Battles. Well it is for us that He was to all the rest only a rival and a foe. In the ordinary way, it would have been only too easy for them to have achieved the desolate disaster of conceiving Him as a friend. It would have been only too easy for them to have seen Him stretching out His hands in love and reconciliation, embracing Baal and kissing the painted face of Astarte... It would have been easy enough for His worshipers to follow the enlightened course of Syncretism and the pooling of all the pagan traditions. It is obvious indeed that His followers were always sliding down this easy slope; and it required the almost demoniac energy of certain inspired demagogues, who testified to the divine unity in words that are still like winds of inspiration and ruin, [to stop them]. The more we really understand of the ancient conditions that contributed to the final culture of the Faith, the more we shall have a real and even a realistic reverence for the greatness of the Prophets of Israel. As it was, while the whole world melted into this mass of confused mythology, this Deity who is called tribal and narrow, precisely because He was what is called tribal and narrow, preserved the primary religion of all mankind. He was tribal enough to be universal. He was as narrow as the universe.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), The Everlasting Man, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1925, Wilder Publications, 2008, p. 65
(see the book; see also Ps. 24:10; more at Knowing God)
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Religion is not ours till we live by it; till it is the Religion of our thoughts, words, and actions; till it goes with us into every place; sits uppermost on every occasion; and forms and governs our hopes and fears, our cares and pleasures.
... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Perfection , London: W. Baynes, 1807, p. 193
(see the book; see also Luke 4:3,4; more at Action, Faith, Fear, Hope, Life, Pleasure, Religion, Thought)
Thursday, August 26, 2004
We must be ready, indeed eager, to see God’s Name being hallowed outside the Church as well as inside. It may be that today the philosopher is honouring the Name of God when he insists that we should know what we mean when we utter our religious language and that we should be ready to have that meaning tested. It may be that other philosophers hallow the Name when they refuse to allow us to withdraw it to some supernatural realm, but insist on wrestling with the unknown God in the agony and joy of existence, crying with Jacob, “Tell me, I pray thee, thy Name.” And is not the scientist honouring the Name when he patiently and obediently follows where the evidence leads? Or the social scientist when he asks us to understand what is before we begin pronouncing what ought to be? God does not spend all His time in Church.
... Howard Hewlett Clark (1903-1983), “Sermon at the Opening Service,” included in Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. 11
(see the book; see also Gen. 32:24-29; Matt. 6:9; more at Church, God, Honor, Knowing God, Philosophy)
Friday, August 27, 2004
Feast of Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
Augustine shows clearly the religious character of sin. Sin for him is not a moral failure; it is not even disobedience. Disobedience is a consequence but not the cause of sin. The cause is turning away from God, from God as the highest good, as the love with which God loves Himself through us. For this reason, since sin has this character—if you say “sins,” it is easily dissolved into moral sins; but sin is first of all basically the power of turning away from God. For this very reason, no moral remedy is possible. Only one remedy is adequate—return to God. But this of course is possible only in the power of God, and this power is lost. This is the state of man under the conditions of existence.
... Paul Tillich (1886-1965), A History of Christian Thought, London: SCM, 1968, p. 126
(see the book; see also Eph. 2:1,2; more at Historical)
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Feast of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430
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)
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society’s own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
(see the book; see also Amos 8:11,12; 2 Tim. 4:3,4; more at Church)
Monday, August 30, 2004
John Bunyan understood the Gospel when he wrote that tract, “The Jerusalem Sinner Saved.” He knew that every sinner is a Jerusalem sinner who has crucified the Lord of Glory; and to whom, notwithstanding all this, the grace of God is exceedingly abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Therefore the Apostle Paul himself is a pattern... of the grace of God abounding to the Christ-crucifiers. A new covenant is made with those who transgressed the first covenant. It is the brethren of Joseph, who have sold him into Egypt, who are made the partakers of Joseph’s power and of Joseph’s riches.
... Adolph Saphir (1831-1891), Christ and Israel, London: Morgan and Scott, 1911, p. 191
(see the book; see also Acts 7:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:14; more at Crucifixion, Faith, God, Gospel, Grace, Jerusalem, Jesus, Sinner)
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Feast of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
Commemoration of Cuthburga, Founding Abbess of Wimborne, c.725
Commemoration of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688
But upon a day the good providence of God did cast me to Bedford to work on my calling: and in one of the streets of that town, I came where there were three or four poor women sitting at a door in the sun, and talking about the things of God; and being now willing to hear them discourse, I drew near to hear what they said, for I was now a brisk talker also myself in the matters of religion. But now I may say I heard, but I understood not; for they were far above, out of my reach; for their talk was about a new birth, the work of God on their hearts... And methought they spake as if joy did make them speak; they spake with such pleasantness of Scripture language, and with such appearance of grace in all they said, that they were to me as if they had found a new world.
... John Bunyan (1628-1688), Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners  The Whole Works of John Bunyan, v. I, London: Blackie, 1862, p. 10
(see the book; see also Jer. 33:10,11; Matt. 11:15; 1 Tim. 1:15,16; more at Conversion, God, Grace, Joy, New birth, Providence, Scripture)
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