Quotations for April, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Commemoration of Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, teacher, 1872
The eve His life of love drew near its end,Thus Jesus spoke: “Whoever loveth Me,And keeps My word as Mine own faithful friend,My Father, then, and I his guests will be;Within his heart will make Our dwelling above.Our palace home, true type of heaven above.There, filled with peace, We will that he shall rest,With us, in love.”
... Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, Boston, Angel Guardian Press, 1907, “To Live of Love”, n. 1
(see the book; see also John 14:23-27; Rev. 3:20; more at Easter, Faith, Friend, Heaven, Jesus, Love, Peace)
Friday, April 2, 2010
God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, “I love you.”
... Billy Graham (b. 1918), The Quotable Billy Graham, Droke House, 1966, p. 82
(see the book; see also John 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 John 4:9-10,19; more at Christ, Cross, Death, Easter, God, Love, Proof, World)
Saturday, April 3, 2010
If [Jesus] were God and nothing else, his immortality means nothing to us; if he were a man and no more, His death is no more important than yours or mine. But if He really was both God and man, then when the man Jesus died, God died too, and when the God Jesus rose from the dead, then man rose too, because they were one and the same person.
... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World, Eerdmans, 1969, p. 16
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:21-22; 2 Cor. 5:21; more at Death, Easter, God, Incarnation, Jesus, Man)
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Ye choirs of New Jerusalem,Your sweetest notes employ,The Paschal victory to hymnIn songs of holy joy! For Judah’s Lion burst his chainsAnd crushed the serpent’s head;Christ cries aloud through death’s domainsTo wake the imprisoned dead. Triumphant in his glory now,To him all power is given;To him in one communion bowAll saints in earth and heaven. All glory to the Father be,All glory to the Son,All glory to the Spirit beWhile endless ages run.
... Fulbert of Chartres (11th century), tr. Robert Campbell (1814-1868), Songs of Praise, enl. ed., Ralph Vaughan Williams, et al., ed., Oxford University Press, 1931, p. 44
(see the book; see also Gen. 3:15; 49:9,10; Matt. 28:18; John 20:18; Rev. 5:5-10; more at Christ, Death, Easter, Glory, Joy, Power, Song, Victory)
Monday, April 5, 2010
The only saving faith is that which casts itself on God for life or death.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), A Treasury of Sermon Illustrations, Charles Langworthy Wallis, ed., Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1950, p. 116
(see the book; see also Rom. 14:8; Phil. 1:21; Heb. 2:14-15; more at Death, Faith, God, Life, Salvation)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Commemoration of Albrecht Dürer, artist, 1528, and Michelangelo Buonarrotti, artist, spiritual writer, 1564
Art—if it is to be reckoned as one of the great values of life—must teach men humility, tolerance, wisdom, and magnanimity. The value of art is not beauty, but right action.
... W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), Mr. Maugham Himself, Doubleday, 1954, p. 673
(see the book; see also 1 Chr. 15:16; Ps. 27:4; Isa. 52:7; more at Action, Art, Attitudes, Beauty, Humility, Teach, Wisdom)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
With the death of absolutes, the prospects are grim for any lover of justice, freedom, and order. Western culture will lurch drunkenly between chaotic lawlessness and countering authoritarianism, in which some particularly abysmal vacuum of confidence could finally issue in a supreme dictatorship, mocking the Western aspirations for democracy as ineffective and demonstrating the strong alliance between technology and the state. Until then, violence, blood brother of such a totalitarianism, will play its fateful part, naked or disguised, in an inevitable power struggle on all levels.
... Os Guinness (b. 1941), The Dust of Death, Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973, p. 160
(see the book; see also Ps. 146:3-4; Amos 5:21-24; Acts 4:24-30; 1 Cor. 13:6; more at Culture, Freedom, Justice, Power, Social)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Commemoration of William Augustus Muhlenberg of New York, Priest, 1877
I like to begin a service with some divine assurance of the liberality and the eager forgiveness of the God who is now meeting with us; not by beseeching Him to be gracious, but by believing that He is; that He stands to His promises; and that, quite safely, we can deal with Him on that assumption.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In the Secret Place of the Most High, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947, p. 54
(see the book; see also Joel 2:13; Mark 1:15; Acts 17:30,31; 2 Tim. 2:25-26; 1 John 1:9; more at Assurance, Belief, Forgiveness, God, Grace, Promise, Safety)
Friday, April 9, 2010
Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945
We Lutherans... have paid the doctrine of pure grace divine honours unparalleled in Christendom; in fact, we have exalted the doctrine to the position of God Himself. Everywhere Luther’s formula has been repeated, but its truth perverted into self-deception. So long as our Church holds the correct doctrine of justification, there is no doubt whatever that she is a justified Church! So they said, thinking that we must vindicate our Lutheran heritage by making this grace available on the cheapest and easiest terms. To be “Lutheran” must mean that we leave the following of Christ to the Nomians, the Calvinists, and the Anabaptists—and all this for the sake of grace! We justified the world, and condemned as heretics those who tried to follow Christ. The result was that a nation became Christian and Lutheran, but at the cost of true discipleship... We poured forth unending streams of grace. But the call to follow Jesus was hardly ever heard.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 53-54
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:32-39; Luke 14:26-27; John 1:17; Rom. 6:14; 1 Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:8-10; more at Call, Christ, Church, Disciple, Grace, Jesus, Self)
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761
Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347
Commemoration of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest, Scientist, Visionary, 1955
All of the early Christians were missionaries. They did not leave the evangelistic task either to professional evangelists or to pastors to whom they paid salaries, for these did not exist... The early Church did not have a missionary arm; it was a missionary movement.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), The Incendiary Fellowship, New York: Harper, 1967, p. 112
(see the book; see also Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 13:10; Luke 24:46-48; Acts 13:47; more at Church, Evangelization, Missionary)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Commemoration of George Augustus Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, 1878
“I am learning never to be disappointed, but to praise,” Arnot of Central Africa wrote in his journal long ago... I think it must hurt the tender love of our Father when we press for reasons for His dealings with us, as though He were not Love, as though not He but another chose our inheritance for us, and as though what He chose to allow could be less than the very best and dearest that Love Eternal had to give.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), Rose from Brier , London: SPCK, 1950, p. 116
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:11-14; Tit. 3:4-7; more at Disappointment, Father, Inheritance, Love, Praise, Tender, Weakness)
Monday, April 12, 2010
Without the historical Jesus, the Christ of the church is hollow, a radiant shell, a mythical hero without historical weight. On the other hand, anyone who clings to the historical Jesus alone is blind, for without the light of the Easter creed, he is swallowed up by the darkness of the cross.
... Otto Betz (1917-2005), What Do We Know About Jesus?, translation of Was wissen wir von Jesus?, 1965, London, S.C.M. Press, 1968, p. 113
(see the book; see also Acts 2:36; 1 Cor. 1:23; 2 Pet. 1:16; more at Creed, Cross, Darkness, Easter, Historical, Jesus, Light)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
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)
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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)
Thursday, April 15, 2010
[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)
Friday, April 16, 2010
On April 16, 1521, German reformer Martin Luther, 34, arrived at the Diet of Worms, where he afterward defended his theological position behind the “Ninety-Five Theses” (first advanced in 1517). It was at this assembly where Luther concluded his defense with the historic words: “Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders tun. Gott hilffe mir. Amen.” (“Here I stand! I can do nothing else. God help me! Amen.”)
... Bill Blake
(see also Luke 11:28; 1 Cor. 2:12-15; more at God, Historical, Steadfast, Theology)
Saturday, April 17, 2010
It is essential to our life as Christians, that we should recognize cheerfully and realistically that no worth-while work is accomplished without patience and sacrifice; and more important still, that we should realize with a sudden quickening of the pulses that the cost we bear is, not a kind of occupational nuisance, but the honour of sharing God’s cost in bringing men to Himself and changing them from being wayward human beings into sons of Himself.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole, London: Highway Press, 1952, p. 45
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:4; 2 Cor. 1:5-7; Col. 1:24; Heb. 10:36; 12:1; more at Achievement, Honor, Kindness, Patience, Sacrifice, Share, Work)
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Yet still, over all these limitations and humiliations, I felt astonishingly and profoundly free; I felt a flame, a secret little life of liberty beating away inside me, a liberty I could never lose. They could keep me locked up; they could take me to a Concentration Camp to-morrow, but they could never touch the sanctuary where my soul watched, where I was alone master. They might deceive me, abuse me, weaken me; they might get words out of me when my mind staggered from their cruelty, words which they could take as an admission; they could kill me. But they could never force my will, for it could never belong to them; it was between myself and God, and no one else could ever touch it.
... Henri Perrin (1914-1954), Priest-Workman in Germany, London: Sheed & Ward, 1947, p. 181-182
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:28; 16:26; Mark 8:36-37; John 8:35-36; more at Affliction, Historical, Liberty, Life, Soul)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012
It often happens that one who is not a Christian hath some knowledge, derived from the evidence of his senses, about the earth, about the heavens, about the elements of this world, about the movements and revolutions, or about the size and distance of the stars, about certain eclipses of the sun and moon, about the course of the years and the seasons, about the nature of animals, plants, and minerals... Now it is an unseemly and mischievous thing, and greatly to be avoided, that a Christian man speaking on such matters, as if according to the authority of the Christian Scriptures, should talk so foolishly that the unbeliever on hearing him and observing the extravagance of his error, should hardly be able to refrain from laughter. And the great mischief is not so much that the man himself is laughed at for his errors, but that our authors are believed, by many people without the Church, to have taught such things, and so are condemned as unlearned and cast aside, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we are so much concerned. [Continued tomorrow]
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), On Genesis , tr. John Hammond Taylor, Newman Press, 1982, I.xix, p. 42-43
(see the book; see also Eccl. 1:13-18; 2:13-15; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; Tit. 3:9; more at Apologetics, Belief, Church, Error, Knowledge, Salvation, Scripture, World)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
[Continued from yesterday]For when they find one belonging to the Christian body falling into error on a subject with which they themselves are thoroughly conversant, and when they see him moreover enforcing his groundless opinion by the authority of our Sacred Book, how are they likely to put trust in these Books about the resurrection of the dead, and the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, having already come to regard them as fallacious about those things they had themselves learned from observation, or from unquestionable evidences? And indeed it were not easy to tell what trouble and sorrow some rash and presumptuous men bring upon their prudent brethren, who, when they are charged with a perverse and false opinion by those who do not accept the authority of our Books, attempt to put forward these same Holy Books in defense of that which they have lightly and. falsely asserted, sometimes even quoting from memory what they think will suit their purposes, and putting forth many words without well understanding either what they say, or what they are talking about.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), On Genesis , tr. John Hammond Taylor, Newman Press, 1982, I.xix, p. 43
(see the book; see also Pr. 21:23-24; 1 Cor. 15:12-13; 2 Pet. 2:10-11; more at Apologetics, Body of Christ, Error, Eternal life, Kingdom, Resurrection, Scripture, Sorrow, Understanding)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Feast of Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1109
My God and my Lord, my hope and the joy of my heart, speak unto my soul and tell me whether this is the joy of which thou tellest us through thy Son: Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24). For I have found a joy that is full, and more than full. For when heart, and mind, and soul, and all the man, are full of that joy, joy beyond measure will still remain. Hence, not all of that joy shall enter into those who rejoice; but they who rejoice shall wholly enter into that joy.
... St. Anselm (1033-1109), Discourse on the Existence of God, Chicago: The Opencourt Publishing Co, 1903, p. 33
(see the book; see also Hab. 3:18; John 16:23-24; 1 Thess. 1:4-6; 5:16; 1 Pet. 4:13; 1 John 1:4; more at God, Heart, Hope, Joy, Mind, Son, Soul)
Thursday, April 22, 2010
We see in the risen Christ the end for which man was made, and the assurance that the end is within reach.
... Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), The Revelation of the Risen Lord, London: Macmillan, 1881, p. xiv
(see the book; see also Ps. 23:4; Eph. 3:12; Col. 2:2-3; more at Assurance, Christ, Easter, Man)
Friday, April 23, 2010
Feast of George, Martyr, Patron of England, c.304
Commemoration of Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1988
Not praying is a clear proof that a person is not yet a true Christian. They cannot really feel their sins. They cannot love God. They cannot feel themselves a debtor to Christ. They cannot long after holiness. They cannot desire heaven. They have yet to be born again. They have yet to be made a new creature. They may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk if they do not pray.
... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), A Call to Prayer, published in the 1850’s as a pamphlet, American Tract Society, 1867, sec. II
(see the book; see also Isa. 59:12-13; Matt. 6:5; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Authenticity, Christ, Confidence, Debt, Holiness, Love, People, Prayer, Predestination, Proof, Sin)
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Commemoration of Mellitus, First Bishop of London, 624
We profess that we know God, but by works we deny Him; for beatitude doth not consist in the knowledge of divine things, but in a divine life, for the devils know them better than man.
... Walter Raleigh (1552?-1618), The Works of Sir Walter Ralegh, Kt., v. II, Oxford: The University press, 1829, p. 32
(see the book; see also Prov. 1:7; Matt. 10:33; 26:69-75; Acts 3:14; Jas. 2:14-19; 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 2:22-23; more at Blessing, Devil, Goodness, Knowing God, Knowledge, Man, Work)
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Feast of Mark the Evangelist
Fix my thoughts, my hopes, and my desires, upon heaven and heavenly things; teach me to despise the world, to repent me deeply for my sins; give me holy purposes of amendment, and [spiritual] strength and assistances to perform faithfully whatsoever I shall intend piously. Enrich my understanding with an eternal treasure of Divine Truths, that I may know thy will: and thou, who workest in us to will and to do of Thy good pleasure, teach me to obey all Thy commandments, to believe all Thy revelations, and make me partaker of all Thy gracious promises.
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living , in The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor, D.D., v. III, London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1847, p. 34
(see the book; see also Ps. 25:1-5; 119:11,12,25-40,64-68; Matt. 13:34,35,51,52; more at Belief, Commandment, Heaven, Hope, Intention, Obedience, Prayers, Promise, Repentance, Sin, Thought, Truth)
Monday, April 26, 2010
Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. “He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,” is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. And it has held up ever since above the European lances the banner of the mystery of chivalry: the Christian courage, which is a disdain of death; not the [Oriental] courage, which is a disdain of life.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Orthodoxy, London, New York: John Lane Company, 1909, p. 170
(see the book; see also Ps. 31:24; Matt. 16:25; Acts 4:13; 7:52-58; Heb. 13:6; more at Attitudes, Courage, Death, Heroism, Life, Paradox, Philosophy, Saint)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Feast of Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894
An Easter Carol. Spring bursts today,For Christ is risen and all the earth’s at play. Flash forth, thou Sun,The rain is over and gone, its work is done. Winter is past,Sweet spring is come at last, is come at last. Bud, Fig and Vine,Bud, Olive, fat with fruit and oil and wine. Break forth this mornIn roses, thou but yesterday a thorn. Uplift thy head,O pure white lily through the winter dead. Beside your damsLeap and rejoice, you merry-making Lambs. All Herds and FlocksRejoice, all Beasts of thickets and of rocks. Sing, Creatures, sing,Angels and Men and Birds, and everything, All notes of DovesFill all our world: this is the time of loves.
... Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), Christina Rossetti: the complete poems, London: Penguin Classics, 2001, p. 363-364
(see the book; see also Son. 2:11-13; Matt. 6:28; 1 Cor. 15:42-45; 1 John 5:20; more at Christ, Easter, Love, Resurrection, Spring, Today)
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Commemoration of Peter Chanel, Religious, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841
How many are there not who seem capable of anything for the sake of the church or of Christianity, except the one thing the Lord cares about—that they should do what He tells them! He would deliver them from themselves into the liberty of the sons of God, make them His brothers; they leave Him to vaunt their church.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Displeasure of Jesus”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 188
(see the book; see also Matt. 12:50; Luke 11:28; John 13:17; 14:15,23; 15:14; Eph. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:13-16; Jas. 1:22-25; more at Authenticity, Church, God, Liberty, Obedience, Son)
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Feast of Catherine of Siena, Mystic, Teacher, 1380
And what am I, to knowyour promises, your mercies, your grace, your love?Suppose my heart is (as I can only too well believe)hard, unfruitful, deep, deceitful—is that beyond the powerof the fingers that made the heavens? O, majestic Lord, you care for me,you have me in your mind and heart.In that I rest.Amen.
... Timothy Dudley-Smith (b. 1926), Someone Who Beckons: readings and prayers for 60 days, InterVarsity Press, 1978, p. 29
(see the book; see also Jer.7:5-7; 17:9; Heb. 3:12-13; 4:1,11; more at Grace, Knowing God, Mercy, Power, Promise, Rest)
Friday, April 30, 2010
Commemoration of Pandita Mary Ramabai, Translator of the Scriptures, 1922
The Old Testament [is] a reflection of national life in sharply defined phases: the Hebrews, Israel, and the Jews successively appear as its bearers. But there is a religious unity through the complicated story, a unity which carries with it a continuity of purpose. The people themselves were not always conscious of that purpose; even when they were, they frequently did their best to thwart it. Nevertheless, the purpose prevailed. The religious mind calls it a revelation of God, and the more we pass through a study of the literature into a conception of the people among whom it arose, the more we compare their faith and fortunes with those of their neighbours, the more impossible it seems to explain the rise and career of these particular Semitic clans within the ancient world, a part from a Divine choice. Those who called the literature the “Old Testament” believed that this Divine choice and purpose was fulfilled in the “New Testament,” in the religious movement within Judaism which, during the first century A.D., named itself after Jesus Christ. The members of this movement held that the Old Testament was unintelligible apart from the New, and the New unintelligible apart from the Old. The Church believes that the divine purpose revealed in the Old Testament is not to be fulfilled in any national future for Judaism, within Palestine or elsewhere, but in a catholic community for the world. Hence its Bible adds the New Testament to the Old as the one and only sequel.
... James Moffatt (1870-1944), A New Translation of the Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1935, New York: Harper, 1935, Introduction, p. xv-xvi
(see the book; see also Ps. 18:2; 67:1,2; Acts 2:16-18,36; Rom. 8:1,2; Heb. 1:1-2; 12:1-2; more at Bible, Church, Fulfillment, Israel, Life, Nation, Purpose, Revelation, Unity)
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