Quotations for August, 2016
Monday, August 1, 2016
During the last year or so, I have come to appreciate the “worldliness” of Christianity as never before. The Christian is not a homo religiosus but a man, pure and simple, just as Jesus was man... It is only by living completely in this world that one learns to believe. One must abandon every attempt to make something of oneself, whether it be a saint, a converted sinner, a churchman, a righteous man, or an unrighteous one, a sick man or a healthy one. This is what I mean by worldliness—taking life in one’s stride, with all its duties and problems, its successes and failures, its experiences and helplessness... How can success make us arrogant or failure lead us astray, when we participate in the sufferings of God by living in this world?
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Letters and Papers from Prison, London: Macmillan, 1962, p. 226-227
(see the book; see also John 17:15-18; Matt. 6:1-7; Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 4:10; Col. 1:24; 1 Pet. 4:13-14; more at Affliction, Appreciation, Belief, God, Jesus, Life, Man, Repentance, Simplicity, Worldly)
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The situation in which we find ourselves in this world seems to be a condition of estrangement from God, with little feeling of contact with Him, yet a curious nostalgic feeling that somewhere He exists and that our life would be much more complete if we were in relationship with Him. The deep, seemingly indestructible awareness of something like homesickness for God is the natural basis for believing in some kind of “fall”—we seem to remember something better and to be possessed to recapture it. There appears to be a gap, a chasm, between God and us which must be crossed if we are to be in relationship with him. We know that our own wrongdoing can widen the chasm: we are not so sure what will close it. Yet our first great need is not for a set of rules about how to be good: it is for something to bridge that yawning canyon between us and the God we dimly seem to remember but cannot entirely forget.
... Samuel M. Shoemaker (1893-1963), The Experiment of Faith, New York: Harper, 1957, p. 10
(see the book; see also John 9:1-3; 2 Sam. 14:14; Ps. 58:3; Isa. 9:2; Matt. 11:5; John 11:4; 12:46; more at Existence, Fall, Forget, Knowing God, Need, Remembrance)
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
God is present by Love alone. By Love alone He is great and glorious. By Love alone He liveth and feeleth in other persons. By Love alone He enjoyeth all the creatures, by Love alone He is pleasing to Himself, by Love alone He is rich and blessed. O why dost not thou by Love alone seek to achieve all these, by Love alone attain another self, by Love alone live in others, by Love attain thy glory? The Soul is shriveled up and buried in a grave that does not Love. But that which does love wisely and truly is the joy and end of all the world, the King of Heaven, and the Friend of God, the shining Light and Temple of Eternity, the Brother of Jesus Christ, and one Spirit with the Holy Ghost.
... Thomas Traherne (1637?-1674), Centuries of Meditations, edited and published by Bertram Dobell, in London, 1908, #50, p. 116
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:31; 13; Gal. 5:6; 1 Thess. 1:3; 1 John 4:7; more at Glory, God, Greatness, Holy Spirit, King, Love, Temple, Wisdom)
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Feast of John Vianney, Curè d’Ars, 1859
I thank Thee, O Lord God, that though with liberal hand Thou hast at all times showered thy blessing upon our human kind, yet in Jesus Christ Thou hast done greater Things for us than Thou ever didst before:Making home sweeter and friends dearer:Turning sorrow into gladness and pain into the soul’s victory:Robbing death of its sting:Robbing sin of its power:Making peace more peaceful and joy more joyful and faith and hope more secure.Amen.
... John Baillie (1886-1960) & Donald M. Baillie (1887-1954), A Diary of Private Prayer, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1939, p. 103
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 9:15; Isa. 35:10; 1 Cor. 15:55-57; Tit. 3:4-7; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; more at Blessing, Death, Gladness, God, Jesus, Pain, Peace, Prayers, Sin, Sorrow, Victory)
Friday, August 5, 2016
Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642
I sought Him where my logic led.“This friend is always sure and right;His lantern is sufficient light.I need no Star,” I said.
I sought Him in the city square.Logic and I went up and downThe marketplace of many a town,But He was never there.
I tracked Him to the mind’s far rim.The valiant intellect went forthTo east and west and south and north,But found no trace of Him.
We walked the world from sun to sun,Logic and I, with Little Faith,But never came to Nazareth,Nor met the Holy One.
We sought in vain. And finally,Back to the heart’s small house I crept,And fell upon my knees, and wept;And Lo! He came to me!
... Sara Henderson Hay (1906-1987), A Footing on this Earth: Poems, Doubleday, 1966, p. 214
(see the book; see also Gal. 4:6-7; Ps. 27:8; 69:32; Pr. 8:17; Matt. 6:33; 7:7-8; John 5:39-40; Acts 2:21; Rom. 2:7; Heb. 11:6; 1 John 4:19; more at Faith, Heart, Knowing God, Light, Logic, Need)
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Undoubtedly, messengers had often to be sent with letters round the congregations of the province. In the earlier stages of Church development, probably, those messengers were volunteers, discharging a duty which among the pagans was almost entirely performed by slaves: just as Luke and Aristarchus, when they travelled with St. Paul to Rome, must have voluntarily passed as his servants, i.e. as slaves, in order to be admitted to the convoy. In such cases, it is apparent how much this sense of duty ennobled labour and raised the social standing of the labourer, who was now a volunteer, making himself like a slave in the service of the Church. In this there is already involved the germ of a general emancipation of slaves and the substitution of free for slave labour.
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1904, p. 33
(see the book; see also Mark 10:43-44; Acts 19:29; Col. 4:10; Philem.1:10-13,24; more at Church, Congregation, Duty, Emancipation, Historical, Labor, Service, Slave, Travel)
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Commemoration of John Mason Neale, Priest, Poet, 1866
The essential amorality of all atheist doctrines is often hidden from us by an irrelevant personal argument. We see that many articulate secularists are well-meaning and law-abiding men; we see them go into righteous indignation over injustice and often devote their lives to good works. So we conclude that “he can’t be wrong whose life is in the right”—that their philosophies are just as good guides to action as Christianity. What we don’t see is that they are not acting on their philosophies. They are acting, out of habit or sentiment, on an inherited Christian ethic which they still take for granted though they have rejected the creed from which it sprang. Their children will inherit somewhat less of it.
... Joy Davidman (1915-1960), Smoke on the Mountain, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1955, reprint, Westminster John Knox Press, 1985, p.79
(see the book; see also Pr. 1:22; Ps. 10:4; 14:1-3; Pr. 1:7; 27:22; Rom. 1:18-23,28; Eph. 2:12; more at Apologetics, Atheism, Devotion, Good works, Heritage, Life, Philosophy, Righteousness)
Monday, August 8, 2016
Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
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; John 3:16; 4:13-14; 5:39-40; 10:28-30; 20:27; Rom. 8:37-39; Col. 3:3-4; ; more at Eternal life, Jesus, Joy, Love, Meaning, Perfection, Promise, Providence, Purpose)
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921
Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust, not in the living God but in dying men. The unbeliever denies the self-sufficiency of God and usurps attributes that are not his. This dual sin dishonors God and ultimately destroys the soul of the man.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Knowledge of the Holy, Harper & Row, 1975, p. 42
(see the book; see also Heb. 3:12; Gen. 8:21; Jer. 18:21; Lam. 3:17-18; Matt. 17:17; Mark 7:21-23; 16:14; John 20:27; more at Dishonor, Faith, God, Man, Sin, Trust, Unbelief)
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Feast of Lawrence, Deacon at Rome, Martyr, 258
As Christians, and followers of Jesus, we have not taken pride half seriously enough. But the Devil has. The Devil knows that as long as he can control human pride it does not matter how many prayer meetings, how many services, how much devotion goes on—he can still wreck any group of Christians sooner or later, and frustrate God’s purpose for them; and for the world.
... Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 43
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:18-20; Isa. 5:21; Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:18-21; 4:10; 8:1-2; Gal. 6:3; more at Devil, Devotion, God, Jesus, Prayer, Pride, Purpose, Service, Sin)
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253
Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890
Never... think we have a due knowledge of ourselves till we have been exposed to various kinds of temptations, and tried on every side. Integrity on one side of our character is no voucher for integrity on another. We cannot tell how we should act if brought under temptations different from those we have hitherto experienced. This thought should keep us humble. We are sinners, but we do not know how great. He alone knows who died for our sins.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Parochial Sermons, v. 1, New York: D. Appleton, 1843, p. 30
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 3:16-17; Matt. 4:1; 26:39; 1 Cor. 10:13; Gal. 6:1; Heb. 2:18; 1 Pet. 4:19; more at Death, Integrity, Knowledge, Sin, Sinner, Temptation, Weakness)
Friday, August 12, 2016
He prays well who is so absorbed with God that he does not know he is praying.
... François de Sales (1567-1622)
(see also Gen. 5:24; Ps. 25:8-9; 119:105; Pr. 3:5-6; Isa. 30:20-21; 58:11; more at Contemplation, Forget, God, Knowledge, Prayer)
Saturday, August 13, 2016
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
Avoid idleness, and fill up all the spaces of thy time with severe and useful employment: for lust easily creeps in at those emptinesses where the soul is unemployed and the body is at ease; no easy, healthful, idle person was ever chaste, if he could be tempted. But of all employments, bodily labour is the most useful, and of the greatest benefit for driving away the devil.
... 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. 65
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 4:11-12; Acts 20:33-35; 1 Cor. 4:12; Eph. 4:28; 2 Thess. 3:7-12; Tit. 3:14; more at Attitudes, Chastity, Devil, Labor, Temptation, Weakness)
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
The doctrine of the “body” in First Corinthians... is a picture of the local church, [which] is distinguished by a great variety of gifts, outlooks, and cultures. The various members belong organically to each other in Christ, and are to exhibit that harmony practically in their common life. The recognition of how they differ from each other, and are yet one, is to enrich their worship, inspire their ministry, and quicken their love. To divide the local church is... to witness to a divided Christ, or to a discipleship to lesser masters than Christ, such as Paul or Apollos. Both implications are equally unthinkable. There is no New Testament pattern of serving the one Christ, except in one local body, formed by the incorporation given in the one baptism, and the continued life sustained by breaking and sharing the one bread.
... C. O. Buchanan (b. 1934), “The Unity of the Church”, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 117-118
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:27-31; Acts 2:42; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 10:17; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 3:11; more at Body of Christ, Christ, Church, Gifts, Love, Minister, Worship)
Monday, August 15, 2016
... I heard a good man say long since, “Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame, if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago.”
... John Wesley (1703-1791), The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, v. IV, New York: J. & J. Harper, 1826, p. 24
(see the book; see also 1 Tim. 4:13-16; Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2; 77:12; 119:15; Phil. 2:14-16; more at Authenticity, Commitment, Historical, Sermon)
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
By a man’s reaction to Jesus Christ, that man stands revealed. By his reaction to Jesus Christ his soul is laid bare. If he regards Christ with love, even with wistful yearning, for him there is hope; but if in Christ he sees nothing lovely he has condemned himself. He who was sent in love has become to the man, judgment.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of John, v. 1, Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1965, p. 131
(see the book; see also John 12:44-48; Matt. 10:40; Mark 9:37; John 13:20; 1 Pet. 1:21; more at Christ, Gospel, Hope, Jesus, Judgment, Love, Man, Revelation)
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
While sitting on the bank of a river one day, I picked up a solid round stone from the water and broke it open. It was perfectly dry in spite of the fact that it had been immersed in water for centuries. The same is true of many people in the Western world. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity; they live immersed in the waters of its benefits. And yet it has not penetrated their hearts; they do not love it. The fault is not in Christianity, but in men’s hearts, which have been hardened by materialism and intellectualism.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), The Gospel of Sadhu Sundar Singh, Friedrich Heiler & Olive Wyon, G. Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1927, p. 89
(see the book; see also John 12:37-40; Isa. 6:9-10; 53:1; Matt. 11:20; 13:3-23; Luke 16:31; John 1:11; 9:39; 15:24; Acts 28:26-27; Rom. 11:8; more at Attitudes, Heart, Love, Man, People)
Thursday, August 18, 2016
All things are God’s already; we can give him no right, by consecrating any that he had not before, only we set it apart to his service: just as a gardener brings his master a basket of apricots, and presents them; his lord thanks him, and perhaps gives him something for his pains, and yet the apricots were as much his lord’s before as now.
... John Selden (1584-1654), Table-Talk , Whitefriars: Davidson, 1821, p. 45
(see the book; see also Ps. 97:1-6; 93:1; 96:10-11; 99:1; Obad. 1:21; Matt. 6:10; Luke 17:7-10; Rev. 11:17; more at Consecration, God, Master, Providence, Service)
Friday, August 19, 2016
However important it may be to have a creed that is sound or an emotion that is warm, the Christian life, according to the Gospels, is primarily determined by the direction of the will, the fixing of the desire, the habit of obedience, the faculty of decision. Are you determined in your purpose? Have you the will to do the will? Then, even with half a creed and less than half a pious ecstasy, you are at least in the line of the purpose of Jesus Christ, and as you will to do the will, may come some day to know the teaching.
... F. G. Peabody, Mornings in the College Chapel, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1907, p. 201-202
(see the book; see also Matt. 7:21; Isa. 30:20-21; Jer. 31:33-34; Matt. 11:26-27; Mark 4:23; John 10:27; 2 Cor. 3:18; Rev. 11:17; more at Creed, Direction, Jesus, Obedience, Purpose, Will of God)
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153
Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890
Honor and glory are indeed due to God and to Him alone, but He will accept neither of them if they be not preserved in the honey of love. Love is sufficient of itself; it pleases by itself and on its own account. It is itself merit and is itself its own reward. Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit. It is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love; I love that I may love. Love is a great thing provided it recurs to its beginning, returns to its origin, and draws always from that fountain which is perpetually in flood. Of all the feelings and affections of the soul, love is the only one by which the creature, though not on equal terms, is able to respond to the Creator and to repay what it has received from Him... For when God loves us He desires nothing but to be loved. He loves for no other reason, indeed, than that He may be loved, knowing that by their love itself those who love Him are blessed.
... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), Cantica Canticorum (Sermons of the Song of Songs), in Bernard of Clairvaux: selected works, Gillian Rosemary Evans, tr., Paulist Press, 1987, 83:4, p. 272-273
(see the book; see also 1 John 5:1-3; Mark 12:32-34; Rom. 5:5; 8:28; Rev. 4:11; more at Blessing, Glory, God, Honor, Love)
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Take care that all your offerings be free, and of your own, that has cost you something; so that ye may not offer of that which is another man’s, or that which ye are entrusted withal, and not your own.
... George Fox (1624-1691), Journal, v. II, Philadelphia: B. & T. Kite, 1808, p. 323
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:1-4; 8:4; 9:30; Mark 1:44; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 6:18; Heb. 13:16; 1 John 3:17-19; more at Attitudes, Freedom, Man, Offering)
Monday, August 22, 2016
If our common life is not a common course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we don’t live the lives of Christians.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life , London: Methuen, 1899, p. 10-11
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 4:1-2; Rom. 15:5-6; 1 Cor. 11:1; 14:1; Gal. 5:22-23; 1 John 2:15; more at Affection, Attitudes, Humility, Life, Poverty, Renunciation, Self-sacrifice)
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Commemoration of Rose of Lima, Contemplative, 1617
I have heard professing Christians of our own day speak as though the historicity of the Gospels does not matter—all that matters is the contemporary Spirit of Christ. I contend that the historicity does matter, and I do not see why we, who live nearly two thousand years later, should call into question an Event for which there were many eye-witnesses still living at the time when most of the New Testament was written. It was no “cunningly devised fable” but an historic irruption of God into human history which gave birth to a young church so sturdy that the pagan world could not stifle or destroy it.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Ring of Truth, London: Hodder & Stoughton; New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967, p. 40-41
(see the book; see also 2 Pet. 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:2,14,17; Eph. 4:14; 1 Tim. 4:1,7; 1 Pet. 1:21; 2 Pet. 3:3-4; more at Bible, Church, God, Historical, Pagan, Witness)
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life—to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it means to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “On Forgiveness” , in Fern-seed and Elephants, Walter Hooper, Fontana, 1975, p. 43
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:12,14-15; 18:21-35; Hos. 6:6; Mark 5:25,26; Luke 6:37; 11:4; 17:3-4; more at Charity, Forgiveness, God, Meaning, Mercy, Offering, Prayer, Remembrance)
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Oh my debt of praise, how weighty it is, and how far run up! Oh, that others would lend me to pay, and teach me to praise.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Jan. 1, 1637, p. 136
(see the book; see also Ps. 19:1-3; 25:4; 51:15; Rev. 5:12; more at Debt, Praise, Teach, Worship)
Friday, August 26, 2016
People should think less about what they ought to do and more about what they ought to be. If only their being were good, their works would shine forth brightly. Do not imagine that you can ground your salvation upon actions; it must rest on what you are. The ground upon which good character rests is the very same ground from which man’s work derives its value, namely, a mind wholly turned to God. Verily, if you were so minded, you might tread on a stone and it would be a more pious work than if you, simply for your own profit, were to receive the Body of the Lord and were wanting in spiritual detachment.
... Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?), quoted in The Perennial Philosophy , Aldous Huxley, New York: HarperCollins, 2004, p. 178
(see the book; see also Heb. 9:13-14; Ps. 51:7,10; 1 Cor. 2:16; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10; 1 John 1:7; more at Action, God, Goodness, Mind, Obedience, Salvation, Work)
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Feast of Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
If there were a righteousness which a man could have of his own, then we should have to concern ourselves with the question of how it can be imparted to him. But there is not. The idea of a righteousness of one’s own is the quintessence of sin.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998)
(see also Mark 14:37-38; Prov. 14:12; Isa. 5:21; 64:6; Matt. 5:20; 23:29-31; Luke 16:14,15; Rom. 10:3; 2 Cor. 10:17-18; more at Man, Righteousness, Self-righteousness, Sin)
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Feast of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430
Ye have enemies; for who can live on this earth without them? Take heed to yourselves: love them. In no way can thy enemy so hurt thee by his violence, as thou dost hurt thyself if thou love him not... And let it not seem to you impossible to love him... Believe first that it can be done, and pray that the will of God may be done in you. For what good can thy neighbor’s ill do to thee? If he had no ill, he would not even be thine enemy. Wish him well, then, that he may end his ill, and he will be thine enemy no longer. For it is not the human nature in him that is at enmity with thee, but his sin.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Sermon VI in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, v. VI, Philip Schaff, ed., New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888, p. 278
(see the book; see also Luke 6:35; Matt. 5:44; 6:9-13; Luke 23:34; Rom. 12:14,20-21; 1 Cor. 4:12-13; 13:4-8; 1 Pet. 2:23; 3:9; more at Enemy, Life, Love, Neighbor, Prayer, Sin, Will of God)
Monday, August 29, 2016
We must not measure the reality of love by feelings, but by results. Feelings are very delusive. They often depend on mere natural temperament, and the devil wrests them to our hurt. A glowing imagination is apt to seek itself rather than God. But if you are earnest in striving to serve and endure for God’s Sake, if you persevere amid temptation, dryness, weariness, and desolation, you may rest assured that your love is real.
... Jean Nicolas Grou (1731-1803), The Hidden Life of the Soul, London: Rivingtons, 1870, p. 137
(see the book; see also Eph. 5:1-2; John 13:34; 1 Cor. 16:14; Eph. 4:2,15; Col. 3:14; 1 Thes. 4:9; 1 Pet. 4:8; 1 John 3:11; more at Assurance, Desolation, God, Illusions, Imagination, Love, Perseverance, Service, Strife, Temptation, Weary)
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
As to deliberate mortifications—I take it you do feel satisfied that you accept fully those God sends. That being so, you might perhaps do one or two little things, as acts of love, and also as discipline? I suggest by preference the mortification of the tongue—as being very tiresome and quite harmless to the health. Careful guard on all amusing criticisms of others, on all complaints however casual and trivial; deliberately refraining sometimes from saying the entertaining thing.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The Letters of Evelyn Underhill, Charles Williams, ed., London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1991, p. 259
(see the book; see also Ps. 34:13; 39:1; Pr. 18:21; Matt. 12:35-37; Jas. 1:19,26; 3:5-10; more at Discipline, Love, Obedience, Satisfaction, Self-control)
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Feast of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
Commemoration of Cuthburga, Founding Abbess of Wimborne, c.725
Commemoration of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688
[John Bunyan] had to live through that obscure night—“wide, vast, and lonely”—which fell upon St. John of the Cross before; like him, he knew that grace would enter “the dark caverns where the senses live.” In the meantime, Bunyan tossed to and fro, as it were between heaven and hell. It has been said that he paints too dark a picture of his moral condition when a young man, that he exaggerates his wickedness at this period, and afterwards wrestles with phantoms of his vivid imagination. But spiritual sins, though not so obvious as those that are sensual, may be just as real; and Bunyan’s intensity of feeling and expression arose from the intensity of his spiritual nature.
... Arthur Stanley (c. 1873-1961), The Bedside Bunyan: an anthology of the writings of John Bunyan, John Bunyan, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1947, p. 126
(see the book; see also Matt. 4:16; Ps. 107:10-14; Isa. 9:1-2; 42:6-7; 60:1-3; Mic. 7:8; Matt. 9:12-13; Luke 1:76-79; 2:30-32; more at Darkness, Evil, Grace, Heaven, Hell, Historical, Night, Sin)
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