Quotations for November, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Feast of All Saints
He took upon Him the flesh in which we have sinned, that by wearing our flesh He might forgive sins; a flesh which He shares with us by wearing it, not by sinning in it. He blotted out through death the sentence of death, that by a new creation of our race in Himself He might sweep away the penalty appointed by the former Law... For Scripture had foretold that He who is God should die; that the victory and triumph of them that trust in Him lay in the fact that He, who is immortal and cannot be overcome by death, was to die that mortals might gain eternity. [Continued tomorrow]
... St. Hilary (ca. 300-367?), On the Trinity, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, v. IX, Philip Schaff & Henry Wace, ed., New York: Christian Literature Company, 1902, p. 44
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:21,26,53-55; 1 John 5:5-7; more at Gospel)
Friday, November 2, 2007
Feast of All Souls
[Continued from yesterday]In this calm assurance of safety did my soul gladly and hopefully take its rest, and feared so little the interruption of death, that death seemed only a name for eternal life. And the life of this present body was so far from seeming a burden or affliction that it was regarded as children regard their alphabets, sick men their draughts, shipwrecked sailors their swim, young men the training for their profession, future commanders their first campaign; that is, as an endurable submission to present necessities, bearing the promise of a blissful immortality.
... St. Hilary (ca. 300-367?), On the Trinity, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, v. IX, Philip Schaff & Henry Wace, ed., New York: Christian Literature Company, 1902, p. 44
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:26; more at Gospel)
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Feast of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher, 1600
Commemoration of Martin of Porres, Dominican Friar, 1639
People make mistakes when they believe. They may even want something so badly that passion creates its own evidences. Reprehensible though these habits are, they nonetheless fall within the pale of man’s general effort to conform the self to things as they are. But when a person acknowledges the deficiency of evidences and yet goes right on believing, he defends a position that is large with the elements of its own destruction. Any brand of inanity can be defended on such a principle.
... Edward John Carnell (1919-1967), The Case for Orthodox Theology, Philadelphia: Westminister, 1959, p. 24
(see the book; see also Matt. 24:23,24; 26:41; more at Apologetics)
Sunday, November 4, 2007
We are susceptible to heretical teachings because, in one form or another, they nurture and reflect the way that we would have it be, rather than the way God has provided, which is infinitely better for us. As they lead us into the blind alleys of self-indulgence and escape from life, heresies pander to the most unworthy tendencies of the human heart.
... C. FitzSimons Allison (b. 1927), The Cruelty of Heresy, Harrisburg, Pa.: Morehead Publishing, 1994, p. 17
(see the book; see also Hos.14:6; 2 Cor. 4:3,4; more at Blindness, God, Heart, Heresy, Selfish, Way, Weakness)
Monday, November 5, 2007
We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is “of him.” If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects that he might learn to feel our pain. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgment, in the power given to him to judge. In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, II.xvi.19, p. 475-476
(see the book; see also Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 1:30; 8:6; Heb. 2:17; Gal. 3:3; Heb. 2:18; 4:15,16; more at Anoint, Gentleness, Gifts, Jesus, Judgment, Purity, Redemption, Resurrection, Sacrifice, Spirit, Strength)
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Feast of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1944
The principle of sacrifice is that we choose to do or to suffer what apart from our love we should not choose to do or to suffer.
... William Temple (1881-1944), Readings in St. John’s Gospel, London: Macmillan, 1939, 1952, p. xxix-xxx
(see the book; see also Heb. 13:16; more at Choices, Love, Obedience, Sacrifice, Suffer)
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739
In that age they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be as the angels... We are destined to a better state—destined to rise to a spiritual consortship. So we, who shall be with God, shall be together: since we shall all be with the one God, though there be many mansions in the house of the same Father; and, in eternal life, God will still less separate them whom He has joined together, than, in this lesser life, He allows them to be separated.
... Tertullian (Quintus S. Florens Tertullianus) (160?-230?), The Writings of Quintus Sept. Flor. Tertullianus, v. III, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1870, p. 41-42
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:29,30; more at Bible)
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England
Old truths must constantly be re-stated if they are not to be forgotten. To Homer, the dawn was “rosy-fingered;” to Shakespeare, it was “in russet mantle clad;” to Housman, “the ship of sunrise burning.” The scientist can explain exactly why the sky looks as it does in the early morning, the physiologist why we perceive as we do. Yet no one suggests that there is no dawn at all, or that its appearance has changed over the centuries, or that any one of these percipients was mad or deceitful. Why should our knowledge of the Creator be less capable of variety and development than our knowledge of any aspect of Creation?
... Raymond Chapman (b. 1924), The Ruined Tower, London: G. Bles, 1961, p. 32
(see the book; see also Ps. 149:1; more at Historical)
Friday, November 9, 2007
Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433
One can say: “I will, but my body does not obey me;” but not: “My will does not obey me.”
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
(see the book; see also Mark 7:20-23; more at Sin)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461
Lord, forgive—That I have dwelt too long on Golgotha,My wracked eyes fixedOn Thy poor, tortured human form upon the cross,And have not seenThe lilies in Thy dawn-sweet garden bendTo anoint Thy risen feet; nor known the waysThy radiant spirit walks abroad with men.
... Pauline Schroy, in Upper Room Bulletin, v. XVII, Upper Room Bible Class, 1931, p. 188
(see the book; see also John 20:14-16; more at Jesus)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397
Doctrinal rightness and rightness of ecclesiastical position are important, but only as a starting point to go on into a living relationship—and not as ends in themselves.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian, Good News Publishers, 1986, p. 46
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:6; more at Mission)
Monday, November 12, 2007
Why should any man have power over any other man’s faith, seeing Christ is the author of it?
... George Fox (1624-1691), Journal, v. II, Philadelphia: B. & T. Kite, 1808, p. 118
(see the book; see also Heb. 5:7-9; more at Faith)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Feast of Charles Simeon, Pastor, Teacher, 1836
The Church seems to have lost heart somewhat, has allowed the old assurance and enthusiasm to cool below the temperature at which big things get done, is always whimpering and complaining about something, has developed a foolish trick of gathering into corners in discouraged groups and bleating disconsolately that God seems to be strangely little in our day, the very mood that so maddened the Hebrew prophets that they itched to lay violent hands upon their countrymen, and literally shake it out of them. We Church people have become so prone to loud and abusive self-depreciation that the thing amounts to a disease... and though these doleful spirits are not altogether serious, ... the world is listening, and takes us, not unnaturally, at our own dismal and unflattering valuation.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 286
(see the book; see also Rom. 10:11-12; Rev. 2:1-5; more at Church, Discouragement, Folly, Listening, People, Prophet, World)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796
Here you have the true reason why revenge or vengeance is not allowed to man; it is because vengeance can only work in the evil or disordered properties of fallen nature. But man being himself a part of fallen nature, and subject to its disordered properties, is not allowed to work with them, because it would be stirring up evil in himself, and that is his sin of wrath or revenge.God therefore reserves all vengeance to Himself, not because wrathful revenge is a temper or quality that can have any place in the holy Deity, but because the holy supernatural Deity, being free from all the properties of nature, whence partial love and hatred spring, and being in Himself nothing but an infinity of love, wisdom, and goodness, He alone knows how to overrule the disorders of nature, and so to repay evil with evil, that the highest good may be promoted by it.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Love [1752-4], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VIII, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 66
(see the book; see also Rom. 12:19; more at Evil, Goodness, Holiness, Love, Man, Nature, Sin, Vengeance)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
When the bones have become most dry, when they are lying most scattered and separate from each other, there is still a word going forth— ... from Him who liveth for ever and ever—the voice which says, “These bones shall rise.” ... All struggles after union, though they may be of the most abortive kind, though they may produce fresh sects and fresh divisions, though they must do so as long as they rest on the notion that unity is something visible and material, yet indicate a deep and divine necessity which men could not be conscious of in their dreams if they were not beginning to awake.
... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, Cambridge: Macmillan, 1853; Boston: Crosby, Nichols, 1853, p. 448-449
(see the book; see also Eze. 37:4-6; more at Church)
Friday, November 16, 2007
Feast of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church, 1093
Commemoration of Edmund Rich of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1240
This idea of the Bible’s unity is not a concept which is imposed upon the Bible because of the dogmatic assertion that it is verbally inspired. To the contrary, it is inherent in the Bible, for the Bible declares itself to be the Word of God. If it be the Word of God, its various teachings should all form a coherent unity. This presupposition of the Bible’s unity provides a test for the validity of a system of interpretation: if the system is not able to demonstrate the Bible’s unity, it must be an inadequate system.
... Daniel P. Fuller (b. 1925), Gospel and law: contrast or continuum? : The hermeneutics of dispensationalism and covenant theology, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980
(see the book; see also Isa. 40:7,8; more at Bible)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200
Frightful this is in a sense, but it is true, and every one who has merely some little knowledge of the human heart can verify it: there is nothing to which a man holds so desperately fast as to his sin.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Christian Discourses, tr. Walter Lowrie, New York: Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 385
(see the book; see also Isa. 9:18; 57:20,21; Amos 5:12; John 3:19,20; more at Sin)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Every day is a little life; and our whole life is but a day repeated: whence it is that old Jacob numbers his life by days; and Moses desires to be taught this point of holy arithmetic—To number, not his years, but his days. [And so, those] that dare lose a day, are dangerously prodigal; those that dare misspend it, desperate.
... Joseph Hall (1574-1656), from a letter, The Works of the Right Reverend Joseph Hall, v. VI, Oxford: University Press, 1863, p. 280
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 5:1,2; more at Sin)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280
The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the well-meaning: it is for the desperate.
... James Denney (1856-1917), quoted in The Gospel of Matthew, v. 2, William Barclay, Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1958, p. 9
(see the book; see also Ps. 142:6,7; Matt. 11:12-15; more at Despair, Heaven, Kingdom, Sin)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Feast of Edmund of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
Commemoration of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876
The sacred page is not meant to be the end, but only the means toward the end, which is knowing God himself.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
(see the book; see also Prov. 2:3-5; Rom. 11:33-36; more at Knowing God)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Faith is required of thee, and a sincere life, not loftiness of intellect, nor deepness in the mysteries of God. If thou understandest not... the things which are beneath thee, how shalt thou comprehend those which are above thee? Submit thyself unto God, and humble thy sense to faith, and the light of knowledge shall be given thee, as shall be profitable and necessary unto thee.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, IV.xviii.2, p. 286
(see the book; see also Heb. 5:8,9; Luke 8:10; 1 Cor. 2:7-10; more at Faith)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963
The sort of love I have been describing... can also be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection: for a Church or (alas) a party in a Church, or for a religious order. This terrible subject would require a book to itself. Here it will be enough to say that the Heavenly Society is also an earthly society. Our (merely natural) patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and use them to justify the most abominable actions. If ever the book which I am not going to write is written, it must be the full confession by Christendom of Christendom’s specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of “the World” will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the service of Moloch.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 30
(see the book; see also Rom. 2:23-25; more at Historical)
Friday, November 23, 2007
Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100
Eternal life is not an unending continuance of this life—that would, perhaps, be Hell—but Eternal Life is quite a different life, divine, not mundane; perfect, not earthly; true life, not corrupt half-life. We cannot form a conception of Eternal Life. What we imagine is ever simply of the earth, temporal, worldly. Nor could we know anything about our eternal life if it had not appeared in Jesus Christ. In him we realize that we were created for the eternal life. If we ask, what is this eternal life? What sense is there in thinking about it if we can have no conception of it?, the answer is, “It is life with God, in God, from God; life in perfect fellowship.” Therefore it is a life in love, it is love itself. It is a life without the nature of death and of sin, hence without sorrow, pain, anxiety, care, misery. To know this suffices to make one rejoice in eternal life. If there were no eternal life, this life of time would be without meaning, goal, or purpose, without significance, without seriousness and without joy. It would be nothing, for what ends in nothing, is itself nothing. That our life does not end in nothing, but that eternal life awaits us, is the glad message of Jesus Christ. He came to give us this promise as a light in this dark world. A Christian is a man who has become certain of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), Our Faith , tr. John William Rilling, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1954, p. 151-152
(see the book; see also Rom. 6:8; more at Eternal life, Jesus, Joy, Love, Meaning, Perfection, Promise, Providence, Purpose)
Saturday, November 24, 2007
The tragedy of life and of the world is not that men do not know God; the tragedy is that, knowing Him, they still insist on going their own way.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Revelation of John, v. II, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1961, p. 166
(see the book; see also Rev. 5:9,10; more at Knowing God, Life, Selfish, Sin, Tragedy, World)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Commemoration of Katherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th century
Most people feel unworthy of forgiveness. They have a tremendous sense of unworthiness, even if outwardly they are antagonistic toward God and the Gospel.
... Luis Palau (b. 1934), in a private communication from the Luis Palau Association
(see also Matt. 9:2-7; more at Abasement, Forgiveness, God, Gospel, People)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748
More than any other religion or, indeed, than any other element in human experience, Christianity has made for the intellectual advance of man in reducing languages to writing, creating literatures, promoting education from primary grades through institutions of university level, and stimulating the human mind and spirit to fresh explorations into the unknown. It has been the largest single factor in combating, on a world-wide scale, such ancient foes of man as war, disease, famine, and the exploitation of one race by another. More than any other religion, it has made for the dignity of human personality. This it has done by a power inherent within it of lifting lives from selfishness, spiritual mediocrity, and moral defeat and disintegration, to unselfish achievement and contagious moral and spiritual power [and] by the high value which it set upon every human soul through the possibilities which it held out of endless growth in fellowship with the eternal God.
... Kenneth Scott Latourette (1884-1968), Advance Through Storm, vol. VII of A history of the expansion of Christianity, London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1939-45, p. 480-481
(see the book; see also Rom. 1:5; more at Historical)
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
For the ancient philosopher and priest of esoteric cults, steeped in the tradition of Classical Greek, the grammatical forms in the Lord’s Prayer would seem almost rude. One does not find the optative forms of polite petition so characteristic of elaborate requests made to earthly and heavenly potentates. Rather than employing such august forms, the Christians made their requests to God in what seem to be blunt imperatives. This does not mean that Christians lacked respect for their heavenly father, but it does mean that they were consistent with a new understanding of Him. In the tens of thousands of papyri fragments which have been rescued from the rubbish heaps of the ancient Greek world, one finds the imperative forms used constantly between members of a family. When the Christians addressed God as “Father,” it was perfectly natural therefore for them to talk to Him as intimately as they would to their own father. Unfortunately, the history of our own English language has almost reversed this process. Originally, men used “thou” and “thee” in prayer because it was the appropriate familiar form of address; but now these words have become relegated to prayer alone.
... Eugene A. Nida (1914-2011), God’s Word in Man’s Language, New York: Harper, 1952, p. 68
(see the book; see also Isa. 41:8,9; more at Bible)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
If Christianity should happen to be true—that is to say, if its God is the real God of the universe—then defending it may mean talking about anything and everything. Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true. [All] things not only may have something to do with the Christian God, but must have something to do with Him if He lives and reigns.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton, Joseph Pearce, Ignatius Press, 1997, p. 80
(see the book; see also Eph. 1:22,23; 2 Pet. 1:16; more at Apologetics)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Belief in law is essential to the philosophical conception of prayer. If the universe were a mere chaos of chances, or if it were a result of absolute necessity, there would be no place for intelligent prayer; but if it is under the control of a Lawgiver, wise and merciful, not a mere manager of material machinery, but a true Father of all, then we can come to such a Being with our requests, not in the belief that we change His great plans, nor that any advantage could result from this if it were possible, but that these plans may be made in His boundless wisdom and love to meet our necessities.
... J. W. Dawson (1820-1899), The Origin of the World, Harper, 1877, p. 172-173
(see the book; see also Isa. 33:22; more at Father, Law, Love, Mercy, Philosophy, Prayer, Universe, Wisdom)
Friday, November 30, 2007
Feast of Andrew the Apostle
“Why was I born?” “Why am I here?” Theology answers, “You are here to grow, to grow up in every way unto the full stature of a man newborn in Christ.”
... Frederick Ward Kates (1910-1987), A Moment Between Two Eternities, New York: Harper & Row, 1965, p. 12
(see the book; see also Eph. 4:11-13; more at Christ, Growth, Purpose, Theology)
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