Quotations for August, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts we are deceivers, and since only in prayer can we obtain it, let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication... Think not to be a messenger of grace to others till you have seen the God of grace for yourselves, and had the word from his mouth.
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), Lectures to My Students, New York: R. Carter & Brothers, 1890, p. 80-81
(see the book; see also Ps. 45:7; Isa. 59:21; Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20,27; more at Anoint, God, Grace, Prayer)
Thursday, August 2, 2012
To speak of the pre-existence of the Son is to say that God did not begin to redeem men when Jesus Christ came into this world, but that throughout all ages the redeeming power and the sacrificial work of God had been at work. To speak of the pre-existence of the Son means that the love which was demonstrated on Calvary is an eternal movement of the heart of God to men.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Mind of St. Paul, Harper & Row, 1975, p. 59
(see the book; see also Gen. 22:17-18; Isa. 45:18; John 1:1-3,10; 5:17; 1 Cor. 8:5-6; Eph. 1:18-23; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:3; more at Beginning, Calvary, Crucifixion, Everlasting, God, Jesus, Love, Power, Redemption, Son)
Friday, August 3, 2012
There is never a “Christian revolution”. Our task is not to set up Christian states or societies, but to humanize the secular order... The coming of the Kingdom confronts Christianity and society with the dynamic principle of a society always reforming. If revolution means “change of relationships”, “new life”, “new men”, etc., these are clearly Christian concepts.
... David Kirk (1935-2007), Quotations from Chairman Jesus, Springfield, Ill.: Templegate Publishers, 1969, p. 53
(see the book; see also Ps. 85:4,8; Jer. 7:3; 18:11; Amos 5:24; Mal. 3:5; Mark 13:9-11; Luke 12:11-12; 21:15; Rom. 13:1-6; Eph. 2:13-17; Phil. 4:8; more at Kingdom, Life, Man, Reform, Social, Task)
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Feast of John Vianney, Curè d’Ars, 1859
As every pilgrim in the spiritual life knows, it is hard to hold the unseen in our mental and spiritual grasp. Visions of eternal truth, crystal-clear at the time, have a disconcerting way of fading from our memory. But here I may reassure myself. Here I know that Christ Himself, taking pity on our blindness, and understanding our limitations, is allowing the seen and the unseen, the material and the spiritual, to coincide. Here, by His appointment, I can receive and absorb things that are physical and know that they are really things which are spiritual. It is no mere piece of bread or sip of wine that I receive—I receive the very Body and Blood of Christ into my own imperfect self.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Appointment with God, New York, Macmillan, 1954, p. 36
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:27; 2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:1; more at Christ, Communion, Everlasting, Knowledge, Pilgrim, Spiritual life, Truth, Vision)
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642
Mercy is the attribute that God shows forth in all His works: therefore a merciful man is a truly godlike man. For mercy is brought forth by love and kindness. Therefore the true Friends of God are much more merciful, and more ready to believe in the sinful and suffering, than those who are not loving. Mercy is born of that love which we ought to exercise towards each other.
... Johannes Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), The Inner Way, Sermon XXV
(see the book; see also Hos. 6:6; Amos 5:24; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 5:7; Luke 6:36; Col. 3:12-13; Jas. 2:12-13; more at Friend, God, Kindness, Love, Mercy, Sin, Suffer)
Monday, August 6, 2012
The man who really prays never attempts to justify himself. In true prayer, he knows that he cannot do so.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), Church Dogmatics, v. II, part 2 , Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, p. 752
(see the book; see also Rom. 3:10-12,22-23; 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 John 1:9; 5:16-17; more at Knowledge, Man, Prayer, Self-righteousness, Truth)
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Commemoration of John Mason Neale, Priest, Poet, 1866
Let us rise in early morning,And, instead of ointments, bringHymns of praises to our Master,And His Resurrection sing:We shall see the Sun of JusticeRisen with healing on His wing.
Thy unbounded loving-kindness,They that groaned in Hades’ chain,Prisoners, from afar beholding,Hasten to the light again;And to that eternal PaschaWove the dance and raised the strain.
Go ye forth, His Saints, to meet Him!Go with lamps in every hand!From the sepulchre He riseth:Ready for the Bridegroom stand:And the Pascha of salvationHail, with His triumphant band.
... John of Damascus (c.676-749) & John Mason Neale (1818-1866), Hymns of the Eastern Church, London: J. T. Hayes, 1870, p. 100
(see the book; see also Ps. 5:3; 59:16; Ps. 90:14; Rom. 6:9-10; 8:22; 2 Cor. 13:4; Rev. 1:17-18; more at Justice, Morning, Passion of Christ, Praise, Resurrection, Sacrifice, Saint, Salvation)
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
Prayer, the Church’s banquet, Angel’s age,God’s breath in man returning to his birth,The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;
Engine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tower,Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,The six days world-transposing in an hour,A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;
Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,The milky way, the bird of Paradise,
Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,The land of spices, something understood.
... George Herbert (1593-1633), The Poetical Works of George Herbert, New York: D. Appleton, 1857, p. 61
(see the book; see also Isa. 25:6-8; John 3:3; 19:34; Eph. 3:4-6; Col. 1:25-27; more at Bread, Creation, Gladness, Heaven, Kindness, Man, Prayer, Sinner)
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921
Christians have often been their own worst enemy in the way that they have invented problems for themselves that need not have arisen, not only causing themselves a good deal of anxiety but also deterring otherwise interested parties from looking into the truth further... Even today Christians are doing battle with the scientific establishment on behalf of what they call creationism as if the Christian faith depended on it. Surely it does not. The Bible does not date the creation of the human race, nor does it describe the methods employed in its formation. Whether it took millions of years or only a [few] is not part of Christian essentials. It only makes it harder for a person to consider the gospel seriously when such a concept is made a prerequisite to faith.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Reason Enough, Exeter: Paternoster, 1980, p. 109
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:1; John 1:1-3; Rom. 10:9,17; more at Bible, Creation, Dependence, Faith, Gospel, People, Today)
Friday, August 10, 2012
Feast of Lawrence, Deacon at Rome, Martyr, 258
There is no property of God more celebrated in the Scripture than this of his goodness, and his giving out of the fruits of it to all his creatures. And he is so only good, that there is nothing so in any sense but by a participation of it, and a likeness unto him therein. They, therefore, who are like unto God, and they only, are useful in this world.
... John Owen (1616-1683), V.1 in A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V , in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 583
(see the book; see also Ps. 136:1; 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Tim. 2:20-21; 1 John 3:2; more at Giving, God, Goodness, World)
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253
Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890
Men do not like to hear of the interposition of Providence in the affairs of the world; and they invidiously ascribe ability and skill to His agents, to escape the thought of an Infinite Wisdom and an Almighty power. They will be unjust to their brethren, lest they must be just to Him.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Sermons, Bearing on Subjects of the Day, London: J. G. F. & J. Rivington, 1844, p. 347
(see the book; see also Isa. 29:16; 64:8; Rom. 9:21; 2 Tim. 2:20-21; more at Power, Providence, Unbelief, Wisdom, World)
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Words are merely carriers of the secret, supernatural communications, the light and call of God. That is why spiritual books bear such different meanings for different types and qualities of soul, why each time we read them they give us something fresh, as we can bear it.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Light of Christ, New York: Longmans, Green, 1949, p. 56
(see the book; see also Luke 4:22; 1 Cor. 14:9; more at Attitudes, Bible, Call, Light, Spiritual life)
Monday, August 13, 2012
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
He that remembers that God stands a witness and a judge beholding every secrecy, besides his impiety must have put on impudence, if he be not much restrained in his temptation to sin.
... 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. 25
(see the book; see also Ps. 139:7-8; Matt. 10:26; Mark 4:22; 1 Cor. 4:5; more at God, Judgment, Sin, Temptation, Witness)
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 142
(see the book; see also Heb. 4:14-15; more at Christ, Evil, Fight, Goodness, Knowledge, Life, Man, Strength, Temptation)
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
To those who, among the conflicting claims and confused teachings of polytheism, were seeking for some unity in the world of nature and of thought, St. Paul brought a doctrine, at once simple and profound, of one personal God living and true, the Creator of all. To men who sought for some intelligent account of the world, its nature and its end, St. Paul revealed a moral purpose in the light of which all the perplexities, uncertainties, and apparent contradictions, resolved themselves into a divine harmony. To men of high moral instincts, appalled and dismayed at the impurity of society around them, St. Paul offered the assurance of a moral judgment. To men oppressed by the sense of sin he brought the assurance of pardon and release. [Continued tomorrow]
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or ours?, London: World Dominion Press, 1927, reprinted, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1962, p. 69
(see the book; see also Acts 20:20-21; more at Assurance, God, Judgment, Pagan, Revelation, Simplicity, Unity)
Thursday, August 16, 2012
[Continued from yesterday] To the downtrodden, the sad, the hopeless, he opened the door into a kingdom of light and liberty. To those who were terrified by the fear of malignant spirits he revealed a Spirit benignant, watchful and ever present, all-powerful and able at a word to banish the power of darkness. To men dissatisfied with the worship of idols he taught the pure service of one true God. To people whose imaginations were overwhelmed by the terrors and darkness of the grave he gave the assurance of a future beyond the grave in the bliss and peace of the Risen Lord. To the weak who needed support, to sinners bound with the chain of vice, to people unable to cope with the depressed morality of their heathen surroundings, he brought the promise of an indwelling Spirit of power. To the lonely he offered the friendly warmth and society of a company all eagerly looking forward to a bright day when Grace would come and this world with all its perplexities and troubles pass away.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or ours?, London: World Dominion Press, 1927, reprinted, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1962, p. 69-70
(see the book; see also Acts 20:24; more at Death, Grace, Holy Spirit, Hopelessness, Idol, Kingdom, Liberty, Revelation, Sadness, Terror, Trouble, Worship)
Friday, August 17, 2012
Speak for eternity. Above all things, cultivate your own spirit. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear, and your heart full of God’s Spirit, is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Dundee: W. Middleton, 1845, p. 94
(see the book; see also Ps. 136:1; more at Conscience, Eternity, God, Heart, Sin, Spirit)
Saturday, August 18, 2012
We are not our own; therefore, neither is our own reason or will to rule our acts and counsels. We are not our own; therefore, let us not make it our end to seek what may be agreeable to our carnal nature. We are not our own; therefore, as far as possible, let us forget ourselves and the things that are ours. On the other hand, we are God’s; let us, therefore, live and die to him.
... 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.vii.1, p. 619
(see the book; see also Rom. 12:1-2; 14:8; 2 Cor. 5:5; more at Death, Forget, God, Life, Nature, Reason)
Sunday, August 19, 2012
The greatest drag on Christianity to-day, the most serious menace to the Church’s mission, is not the secularism without, it is the reduced Christianity within: the religious generalities and innocuous platitudes of a pallid, anaemic Christianity which is simply (in the language of arithmeticians) the “highest common factor” of half a dozen different religions.
... James S. Stewart (1896-1990), A Faith to Proclaim, New York: Scribner, 1953, p. 31
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:13-16; Mark 4:21-22; Rom. 12:1; 13:11-12; Eph. 5:8-10; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 John 1:5-7; more at Authenticity, Church, Mission, Religion, Simplicity)
Monday, August 20, 2012
Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153
Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890
The Scheme of Social Salvation is not worth discussion which is not as wide as the Scheme of Eternal Salvation set forth in the Gospel. The Glad Tidings must be to every creature, not merely to an elect few who are to be saved while the mass of their fellows are predestined to a temporal damnation. We have had this doctrine of an inhuman cast-iron pseudo-political economy too long enthroned amongst us. It is now time to fling down the false idol, and proclaim a Temporal Salvation as full, free, and universal, and with no other limitations than the “Whosoever will,” of the Gospel.
... William Booth (1829-1912), In Darkest England, London: Funk & Wagnalls, 1890, p. 36
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:25-26; 20:26-27; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:25; more at Gospel, Salvation, Social, Tidings)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Kings of the earth are men of might,And cities are burned for their delight,And the skies rain death in the silent night,And the hills belch death all day!
But the King of Heaven, Who made them all,Is fair and gentle, and very small;He lies in the straw, by the oxen’s stall—Let them think of Him to-day!
... Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), Joyce Kilmer: Memoir and Poems, v. I, New York: George H. Doran Company, 1918, p. 169
(see the book; see also Ps. 2:2; Isa. 42:1-4; Matt. 11:29; 27:1; Luke 2:6-7; 2 Cor. 10:1; Phil. 2:5-8; Rev. 17:12-14; more at Christmas, Death, Earth, Gentleness, Heaven, King)
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Search while thou wilt, and let thy reason goTo ransome truth even to th’ Abyss below;Rally the scattered Causes; and that lineWhich Nature twists, be able to untwine:It is thy Makers will, for unto none,But unto reason can he e’er be known...
Give thou my reason that instructive flight,Whose weary wings may on thy hands still light.Teach me so to soar aloft, yet ever so,When near the Sun, to stoop again below.Thus shall my humble Feathers safely hover,And, though near Earth, more than the Heavens discover.And then at last, when homeward I shall driveRich with the Spoils of nature to my Hive,There will I sit like that industrious Flie,Buzzing thy praises, which shall never die,Till death abrupts them, and succeeding GloryBid me go on in a more lasting story.
... Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), Religio Medici , W. Murison, ed., Cambridge University Press, 1922, p. 17-28
(see the book; see also Pr. 1:7; 2:10-11; 8:10-11; 24:3-5; 1 Cor. 13:9-12; Phil. 3:8; more at Death, Glory, Humility, Reason, Teach, Truth)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Commemoration of Rose of Lima, Contemplative, 1617
We who live in this nervous age would be wise to meditate on our lives and our days long and often before the face of God and on the edge of eternity. For we are made for eternity as surely as we are made for time, and as responsible moral beings we must deal with both.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Knowledge of the Holy, Harper & Row, 1975, p. 41
(see the book; see also Ps. 30:11-12; 90:1-2; 119:142; Eccl. 3:11; Matt. 19:29; 25:46; Luke 20:34-36; John 3:14-16; Rom. 2:6-7; 6:22-23; more at Creation, Eternity, God, Life, Meditation, Morality, Responsibility, Wisdom)
Friday, August 24, 2012
Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
If we do not bear the cross of the Master, we will have to bear the cross of the world—with all its earthly goods. Those who bear the Master’s cross know from experience that this cross bears them and takes them safely to their destiny. But the cross of this world actually drags us down and leads to destruction. Which cross have you taken up? Pause and consider.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), Wisdom of the Sadhu, with Kim Comer, Farmington, PA: Plough Publishing House, 2007, p. 150
(see the book; see also Matt. 10:28; 1 Cor. 1:17-18; Gal. 6:14; Eph. 2:14-16; Col. 2:13-15; more at Bearing, Cross, Knowledge, Safety, World)
Saturday, August 25, 2012
“Faith” in biblical terms is never a bare decision, or a general “spiritual” approach to life. It is always defined by its content, and the content of saving faith must be Jesus Christ. It is therefore certainly not enough to assume that anyone with however vague a “religious” approach to life must be a Christian in disguise; some of Jesus’ harshest words were reserved precisely for the “religious” people of his day.
... Michael Sadgrove (b. 1950) & N. T. Wright (b. 1948), “Jesus Christ the Only Saviour”, in The Lord Christ , John Stott, ed., vol. 1 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 78
(see the book; see also Luke 11:44-46; Ps. 24:1-2; Matt. 21:23-27; 23:27-28; John 14:6; Jas. 4:4; more at Attitudes, Christ, Faith, Jesus, People, Religion, Salvation)
Sunday, August 26, 2012
The church is to be a loving church in a dying culture. How, then, is the dying culture going to consider us? Jesus says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” In the midst of the world, in the midst of our present dying culture, Jesus is giving a right to the world. Upon his authority he gives the world the right to judge whether you and I are born-again Christians on the basis of our observable love toward all Christians.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The Mark of the Christian, Inter-Varsity Press, 1976, p. 12
(see the book; see also John 13:34-35; Gal. 6:2; 1 John 2:8-10; 3:10-11; 4:20-21; more at Church, Culture, Judgment, Love, World)
Monday, August 27, 2012
Feast of Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
I believe that no man is ever condemned for any sin except one—that he will not leave his sins and come out of them, and be the child of him who is his father.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “Justice”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 154-155
(see the book; see also Neh. 9:28; Pr. 28:13; Luke 5:32; John 5:14; 8:3-11; Rom. 5:20-21; 1 Pet. 4:3-5; more at Belief, Child, Condemnation, Father, Man, Sin)
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Feast of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430
If you think to build a high house of virtues, lay first a deep foundation of humility.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), paraphrased from Sermon XIX [Ben 69], Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, v. I, Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1844, p. 160
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:3; 7:24-27; 11:28-30; 18:4; 20:26-28; 23:12; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48; 18:10-14; John 13:14-16; Jas. 1:9-10; 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6; more at Builder, Humility, Virtue)
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
God’s true preachers have been distinguished by one great feature: they were men of prayer. Differing often in many things, they have always had a common center. They may have started from different points, and traveled by different roads, but they converged to one point: they were one in prayer. God to them was the center of attraction, and prayer was the path that led to God.
... E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), Preacher and Prayer, Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South, Dallas, Tex., 1907, p. 41
(see the book; see also Matt. 17:14-21; Acts 1:14; 4:31; 20:36; Eph. 6:18; Heb. 5:7; James 5:16; more at God, Prayer, Preacher)
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Since He looked upon me my heart is not my own. He hath run away to heaven with it.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, June 16, 1637, p. 346
(see the book; see also Isa. 33:6; Matt. 6:19-21; Luke 12:33-34; Rom. 7:5-6; Col. 3:1-3; Heb. 3:12; more at Heart, Heaven, Salvation)
Friday, August 31, 2012
Feast of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
Commemoration of Cuthburga, Founding Abbess of Wimborne, c.725
Commemoration of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688
For thee, who professest the name of Christ, do thou depart from all these things; do thou make conscience of reading and practising; do thou follow after righteousness; do thou make conscience of beginning the day with God; for he that begins it not with him will hardly end it with him; he that runs from God in the morning will hardly find him at the close of the day; nor will he that begins with the world and the vanities thereof, in the first place, be very capable of walking with God all the day after. It is he that finds God in his closet that will carry the savour of him into his house, his shop, and his more open conversation.
... John Bunyan (1628-1688), The Whole Works of John Bunyan, v. II, London: Blackie, 1862, p. 537
(see the book; see also Ps. 5:3; 88:13; Matt. 6:6; 1 Cor. 1:8; Eph. 5:25-27; Phil. 2:14-16; 2 Pet. 3:14; more at Beginning, Christ, Conscience, Day, God, Morning, Righteousness, Vanity, World)
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