Quotations for September, 2014
Monday, September 1, 2014
Commemoration of Giles of Provence, Hermit, c.710
If ye keep watch over your hearts, and listen for the Voice of God and learn of Him, in one short hour ye can learn more from Him than ye could learn from Man in a thousand years.
... Johannes Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), The Inner Way, Sermon XV
(see the book; see also Matt. 26:40-41; Ps. 19:14; 104:34; Mark 13:33-37; Acts17:27; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 13:15; more at God, Heart, Listening, Man, Prayer)
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942
Not one of us yet knows how to pray. All we have done has only been pottering and guessing and experimenting... God cares not for the length of our prayers, or the number of our prayers, or the beauty of our prayers, or the place of our prayers; but it is the faith in them that tells—believing that prayer soars higher than the lark ever sang, plunges deeper than diving-bell ever sank, darts quicker than lightning ever flashed. Though we have used only the back of this weapon instead of the edge, what marvels have been wrought! If saved, we are all the captives of some earnest prayer.
... Thomas De Witt Talmage (1832-1902), The Pathway of Life, Historical Publishing Company for the Christian Herald, 1894, p. 280
(see the book; see also Heb. 11:6; Ps. 119:151; 139:1,7-10; Matt. 6:5; Acts 15:8; Rom. 8:26; Eph. 6:18; Heb. 4:13; Jas. 4:8; Jude 1:20; more at Authenticity, Faith, Prayer, Salvation)
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Feast of Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, Teacher, 604
By saying “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance,” [Jesus] made humility the very gate into paradise.
... Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel, tr. Mrs. Humphry Ward, New York: Macmillan, 1885, p. 263
(see the book; see also Luke 15:4-7; Pr. 3:34; Matt. 11:29; 18:12-14; Luke 1:52; 5:32; Eph. 4:2; Jas. 1:9; 4:6; more at Heaven, Humility, Jesus, Joy, Paradise, Repentance, Sinner)
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Commemoration of Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester (Oxon), Apostle of Wessex, 650
Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this. Your sermon .. lasts but an hour or two—your life preaches all week. ... If Satan can only make you a covetous minister, or a lover of pleasure, or a lover of praise, or a lover of good eating, he has ruined your ministry for ever. Give yourself to prayer, ... and get your texts, your thoughts, your words, from God.
... Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Dundee: W. Middleton, 1845, p. 365-366
(see the book; see also Rom. 6:19-22; John 15:16; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:8-10; Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:10-11; more at God, Holiness, Life, Love, Minister, Obedience, Pleasure, Praise, Prayer, Satan, Thought)
Friday, September 5, 2014
The beauty of the world is Christ’s tender smile for us coming through matter.
... Simone Weil (1909-1943), Waiting for God, Emma Craufurd, tr., Putnam, 1951, p. 164-165
(see the book; see also Col. 1:17; 1 Sam. 2:8; Ps. 75:3; Isa. 40:26; Matt. 10:29-30; Acts17:27-28; Rom. 1:20; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:3; more at Beauty, Christ, Grace, Tender, World)
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851
Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.
... John S. Piper (b. 1946), Let the Nations Be Glad!, Baker Academic, 2010 (3rd ed.), p. 229
(see the book; see also Phil. 2:9-11; Deut. 6:13; Isa. 45:23-25; Rom. 14:10-11; Eph. 3:14-15; Rev. 4:9-11; 5:13-14; more at Church, Goal, God, Impermanence, Man, Mission, Worship)
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Commemoration of Douglas Downes, Founder of the Society of Saint Francis, 1957
Sufficient for every day is the good and the evil thereof. This daily doing of the will of God is the coming of his kingdom within us, and at the same time our daily bread. We should be faithless indeed, and guilty of heathen distrust, did we desire to penetrate the future, which God has hidden from us; leave it to Him: let Him make it short or long, bitter or sweet; let Him do with it even as it shall please Himself.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Spiritual Progress: or, Instructions in the Divine Life of the Soul, New York: M. W. Dodd, 1853, p. 79
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:34; Ps. 37:3; 55:22; Luke 12:28-31; John 14:27; 16:33; 2 Cor. 12:9; 1 Thess. 3:8; 1 Pet. 5:7; more at Bread, Day, Evil, Future, God, Goodness, Kingdom, Will of God)
Monday, September 8, 2014
Commemoration of Søren Kierkegaard, Teacher and Philosopher, 1855
To thee, O God, we turn for peace; but grant us, too, the blessed assurance that nothing shall deprive us of that peace, neither ourselves, nor our foolish, earthly desires, nor my wild longings, nor the anxious cravings of my heart.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Journals, ed. Alexander Dru, Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 85
(see the book; see also John 14:27; Ps. 85:8; Luke 2:14; John 16:33; Rom. 5:1-2; 8:6; 14:17; 15:33; 1 Cor. 14:33; Eph. 2:14-18; Phil. 4:7; Col. 3:15; more at Anxiety, Assurance, Folly, Peace, Prayers)
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
There is no life so humble that, if it be true and genuinely human and obedient to God, it may not hope to shed some of His light. There is no life so meager that the greatest and wisest of us can afford to despise it. We cannot know at all at what sudden moment it may flash forth with the life of God.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Candle of the Lord , E. P Dutton & Co., New York, 1903, p. 9
(see the book; see also Isa. 57:15; Ps. 37:11; 147:6; Isa. 29:19; 66:2; Mic. 6:8; Matt. 5:3; 11:29; 18:2-4; 23:12; Mark 9:35-37; 10:43-44; Luke 22:26-27; John 13:14-16; Rom. 12:3; Eph. 5:21; Phil. 2:3-11; Jas. 1:9-10; more at God, Greatness, Humility, Knowledge, Life, Obedience, Wisdom)
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
In all our criticism and near-despair of the institutional Church, it should never be forgotten that many powers and possibilities really exist in it, but often in captivity; they exist as frozen credits and dead capital.
... Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965), A Theology of the Laity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1958, p. 176
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Deut. 5:29; Matt. 24:12-13; Mark 13:33; Rom. 12:11; Heb. 6:10-12; Rev. 2:4-5; 3:1-3,15-17; more at Church, Criticism, Existence, Power)
Thursday, September 11, 2014
The Partisan Review, a journal of literary opinion representing a section of advanced secular thought, recently published a series of papers answering the question, “Why has there been a turn toward religion among intellectuals?” The asking of the question is significant. Few writers dispute the fact implied by it. Most of the contributors, whether they count themselves among those who have “turned to religion” or not, find the principal reason for it in the collapse of the optimistic hope that modern science and human good will would bring the world into an era of peace and justice. The confidence in that outcome has been so violently shaken that men must ask whether there are not higher resources than man’s to sustain courage and hope. The faith of the Bible points to such sources. God works within the tragic destiny of human efforts with a healing power, and a reconciling spirit. Even those who have felt completely superior to all “outworn” religious notions, must look today at least wistfully to the possibility that such a God lives and works.
... Daniel Day Williams (1910-1973), Interpreting Theology, 1918-1952, Daniel Day Williams, London: SCM Press, 1953, ed. 3, under alternative title, New York: Harper, 1959, p. 25
(see the book; see also Ps. 46:6-7; 2:1-4; Isa. 8:9-10; Nah. 1:5; Hab. 3:5-6; 2 Pet. 3:10-12; more at Apologetics, Confidence, God, Peace, Question, Reason, Reconciliation, Religion, Science, Thought)
Friday, September 12, 2014
Thou wilt never be spiritually minded and godly unless thou art silent concerning other men’s matters and take full heed to thyself.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.v.2, p. 91
(see the book; see also Prov. 17:27; Col. 3:22-24; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:11; 1 Pet. 4:10-11; more at Godly, Self-examination, Silence, Weakness)
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Feast of John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, Teacher, 407
The devil then lies in wait [during prayer], deceiver that he is. For since he sees very great gain accruing to us from prayer, then most he assails us, in order that he may disable us from our defence; that he may send us off home emptyhanded... The devil, when he has seen us coming to the judge, drives us away to a distance, not by any staff, but through our own slackness. For he knows, he knows clearly, that if they have come to him in a sober spirit, and have told the sins committed, and have mourned with their soul fervent, they will depart having received full forgiveness; for God loves mankind; and on this account [the devil] is beforehand with them, and debars them from access, in order that they may obtain no one of the things which they need, [doing so] with no compulsion, but by deceiving us, and throwing us into security.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407), A, Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, v. IX, New York: Christian Literature Company, 1889, p. 237
(see the book; see also Ps. 51:7; 32:5; Matt. 7:7-8; John 8:44; 1 John 1:9; more at Confession, Devil, Forgiveness, God, Mourning, Prayer, Security, Sin)
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Feast of the Holy Cross
Justice and Judgment are thy throneYet wondrous is thy grace;While truth and mercy joined in one,Invite us near thy face.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748),  Psalms of David Imitated , in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, Ps. 89, second part, p. 182
(see the book; see also Ps. 89:7-15; 85:10; Amos 5:15,23-24; Matt. 12:7; 1 Cor. 13:6; Rev. 15:3; more at Grace, Judgment, Justice, Mercy, Providence, Truth)
Monday, September 15, 2014
It is not said in the Book, “The Word became printer’s ink,” but it is said, “The Word became flesh.” Had the Word become printer’s ink, we should have followed a code. Instead our code is a Character. We follow a living mind instead of a fixed letter.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), The Christ of the American Road, Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1944, p. 20
(see the book; see also John 1:14; Isa. 51:6; Rom. 2:29; 3:20; 4:14-16; 7:6,9-11; 2 Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:10-12; Col. 2:13-14; Heb. 8:13; more at Book, Christ, Life, Mind)
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Feast of Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, Martyr, 258
Commemoration of Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle to the Picts, c. 430
Commemoration of Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, tractarian, 1882
Although tares, or impure vessels, are found in the Church, yet this is not a reason why we should withdraw from it. It only behoves us to labour that we may be ... vessels of gold or of silver. But to break in pieces the vessels of earth belongs to the Lord alone, to whom a rod of iron is also given. Nor let any one arrogate to himself what is exclusively the province of the Son of God, by pretending to fan the floor, clear away the chaff, and separate all the tares by the judgment of man. This is proud obstinacy and sacrilegious presumption, originating in a corrupt frenzy.
... St. Cyprian (Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus) (?-258), Lib. 3, Ep. 5, to Maximus, quoted in The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, John Calvin & tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, IV.i.19, p. 240
(see the book; see also Matt. 13:24-30; Ps. 2:9; Rom. 9:22-25; 2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:20-21; 1 Pet. 1:7; Rev. 2:27; 3:18; more at Church, Corruption, God, Gold, Judgment, Man, Pride, Son, Work)
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Feast of St. Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179
In the first place, [fashionable theories about the ‘historical Jesus’] all tend to direct men’s devotion to something which does not exist, for each ‘historical Jesus’ is unhistorical. The documents say what they say and cannot be added to; each new ‘historical Jesus’ therefore has to be got out of them by suppression at one point and exaggeration at another, and by that sort of guessing (brilliant is the adjective we ... apply to it) on which no one would risk ten shillings in ordinary life.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Screwtape Letters, Macmillan, 1944, p. 138
(see the book; see also 2 Thess. 2:9-10; 1 Cor. 1:22-24; 2 Cor. 2:17; 4:2; Eph. 4:14; 1 Tim. 1:3-7; 4:7; Tit. 1:13-14; 2 Pet. 1:16; more at Devotion, Historical, Jesus, Life, Man, Unbelief, Uncertainty)
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Commemoration of George MacDonald, Spiritual Writer, 1905
I cannot say I never doubt, nor until I hold the very heart of good as my very own in Him, can I wish not to doubt. For doubt is the hammer that breaks the windows clouded with human fancies, and lets in the pure light. But I do say that all my hope, all my joy, all my strength are in the Lord Christ and his Father; that all my theories of life and growth are rooted in him.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), in George MacDonald and His Wife, Greville MacDonald, G. Allen & Unwin, 1924, p. 374
(see the book; see also Luke 24:38-39; Ps. 42:5-6; 73:13-17; Matt. 4:16; 8:26; 14:31; 17:17; Mark 4:40; 9:19; Luke 8:25; more at Christ, Doubt, Goodness, Heart, Hope, Life, Light)
Friday, September 19, 2014
Commemoration of Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
We need a once-for-all forgiveness at justification, and we need a moment-by-moment forgiveness for our sins on the basis of Christ’s work in order to be in open fellowship with God. What the Lord has taught us to pray in the Lord’s prayer should make a Christian very sober every day of his life: We are asking the Lord to open to us the experiential realities of fellowship with himself as we forgive others.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The Mark of the Christian, Inter-Varsity Press, 1976, p. 24
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:12; Ps. 32:1; 51:7; Isa. 1:18; Luke 17:3-5; Eph. 1:7-8; 4:32; Col. 3:13; 1 John 1:7-9; more at Christ, Fellowship, Forgiveness, God, Justification, Prayer, Sin)
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Feast of John Coleridge Patteson, First Bishop of Melanesia, & his Companions, Martyrs, 1871
It does not make a very great difference what side of Christ’s work attracts us and appeals to us most. Doubtless Christ has many ways of drawing men to Himself. One side of Christ’s work will appeal most to one mind, another to another. The mistake that is often made by those who speak most about Christian experience is that they are so apt to insist upon everyone else’s experience—on penalty of its utter worthlessness—being exactly the same as their own. The great thing is that we should be attracted by Christ in some way, that we should come to God in that spirit of penitence which Christ taught was the one condition of acceptance with Him, and with that steady purpose of amendment which is, as he always taught, a part of true penitence.
... James Hastings Rashdall (1858-1924), Principles and Precepts, Oxford: B. Blackwell, 1927, p. 126-127
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:14-27; Joel 2:13; Jonah 3:9-10; Matt. 3:8; 4:17; Mark 6:12; Luke 18:10-14; Acts 8:22; 17:30; 2 Tim. 2:25-26; Jas. 4:8; more at Christ, Experience, God, Penitence, Repentance)
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Feast of Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist
Shall I withhold a little money or food from my fellow-creature, for fear he should not be good enough to receive it of me? Do I beg of God to deal with me, not according to my merit, but according to His own great goodness; and shall I be so absurd, as to withhold my charity from a poor brother, because he may perhaps not deserve it? Shall I use a measure towards him, which I pray God never to use towards me?
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life , London: Methuen, 1899, p. 73
(see the book; see also Mark 4:24; Ps. 31:9; Matt. 5:42; 7:1-2; Luke 6:30,38; 14:12-14; Rom. 8:28; 2 Thess. 1:6-7; Heb. 13:16; Jas. 2:12-13; 1 John 1:9; more at Charity, God, Goodness, Money, Poverty)
Monday, September 22, 2014
God insists that He set up His throne in the heart, and reign in it, without a rival. If we keep Him from His right, it will not matter by what competitor.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), Real Christianity, ed. James Houston, Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2005, p. 98
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Matt. 6:24; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 10:21-22; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Col. 3:5; Rev. 3:20; more at God, Heart, Kingdom)
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
The cross for the first time revealed God in terms of weakness and lowliness and suffering; even, humanly speaking, of absurdity. He was seen thenceforth in the image of the most timid, most gentle and most vulnerable of all living creatures—a lamb. Agnus Dei! [The Lamb of God!]
... Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), Jesus Rediscovered, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969, p. xi
(see the book; see also John 1:29; Ex. 12:3-4; Matt. 11:29; John 1:36; 10:17-18; 2 Cor. 13:4; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 5:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; more at Cross, Gentleness, God, Lamb, Suffer, Weakness)
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Prayer is the act by which we divest ourselves of all false belongings and become free to belong to God and God alone.
... Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932-1996), originally in “Letting go of all things” in Sojourners8, May 1979, p. 5-6, The Only Necessary Thing, p. 39
(see also Matt. 19:21; 6:6; 10:37-38; 16:24-25; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:34-35; 14:26; Rom. 8:26; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 3:7-9; ; more at Body of Christ, God, Prayer)
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Feast of Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester, Spiritual Writer, 1626
Commemoration of Sergius of Radonezh, Russian Monastic Reformer, Teacher, 1392
What is more kindly to behold “the Author” of faith, than faith? or more kindly for faith to behold, than her “Author” here at first, and her “Finisher” there at last? Him to behold first and last, and never to be satisfied with looking on Him, Who was content to buy us and our eye at so dear a rate.
... Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), preached March 29, 1605, on Good Friday, Ninety-six Sermons, v. II, Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1841, p. 177
(see the book; see also Heb. 12:1-3; Ps. 138:8; John 8:56; 1 Cor. 1:22-24; 6:19-20; 7:23; Eph. 1:18-19; 2 Tim. 4:8; Heb. 7:18-19; 11:27; 1 Pet. 1:17-18; 1 John 1:1-3; more at Faith, Redemption, Satisfaction)
Friday, September 26, 2014
Commemoration of Wilson Carlile, Priest, Founder of the Church Army, 1942
The evil of riches, then, for institutions, for nations, for individuals, is that those who possess or seek to possess almost invariably overvalue possessions and so cease to live creatively. They stop loving God with all the heart and all the soul and all the strength and all the mind. They stop loving their neighbors, too. When you find a person of means who is not either a self-centered bore or a low creature, you may know that God has worked a miracle.
... Bernard Iddings Bell (1886-1958), God is Not Dead, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945, p. 89
(see the book; see also Luke 12:27-34; Lev. 19:18,34; Deut. 6:5; Matt. 19:23-24; Mark 10:24-25; 12:30-31; Luke 12:15; 16:13; 18:24-25; 1 Tim. 6:9-10; Jas. 1:9-11; more at Evil, God, Love, Miracle, Neighbor, Possession, Sin)
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Feast of Vincent de Paul, Founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists), 1660
Above all, desire to please Christ; dread his disapproval above everything else.
... Rowland Croucher (b. 1937), Sunrise, Sunset, San Francisco: Harper, 1997
(see the book; see also Pr. 10:24; Luke 16:13; John 16:24; 2 Cor. 5:10-11; Heb. 10:26-27; 1 John 5:14-15; more at Christ, Fear, Obedience, Pleasure)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Love sinners, but hate their works; and do not despise them for their faults, lest you be tempted by the same. Remember that you share the earthly nature of Adam and that you are clothed with his infirmity.
... St. Isaac of Syria (d. c. 700), Homilies 5, in Ascetical Homilies, p. 51
(see the book; see also Jude 1:22-23; Matt. 9:13; Luke 6:36; Rom. 14:1; 15:1; 1 Cor. 10:12; Gal. 6:1; Col. 3:12-13; Heb. 12:13; Jas. 5:19-20; more at Hatred, Love, Nature, Sinner, Temptation, Weakness)
Monday, September 29, 2014
Feast of Michael & All Angels
Childlikeness is lost in life and recovered in holiness.
... Alexander Yelchaninov (1881-1934), Fragments of a Diary: 1881-1934, in A Treasury of Russian Spirituality, Georgii Petrovich Fedotov, ed., Nordland, 1975, p. 450
(see the book; see also Matt. 18:3-4; Isa. 11:2-3; Matt. 10:16; Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:16-17; Rom. 16:19; 1 Cor. 14:20; more at Child, Holiness, Life)
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
What we need, and what is given us, is not how to educate ourselves for this life; we have abundant natural gifts for human society, and for the advantages which it secures: but our great want is how to demean ourselves... towards our Maker, and how to gain reliable information on this urgent necessity.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), On the Inspiration of Scripture, G. Chapman, 1967, p. 108
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 5:5; Ps. 147:6; Isa. 57:15; 66:2; Rom. 12:3; 15:17, 18; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 4:11-13; more at Education, Humility, Knowing God, Need, Worship)
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