Quotations for March, 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601
When a man has had so much benefit from the gospel, as to know his own misery, his want of a Redeemer, who he is, and how is he to be found; there everything seems to be done, both to awaken and direct his prayer, and make it a true praying in and by the Spirit. For when the heart really pants and longs after God, its prayer is a praying, as moved and animated by the Spirit of God; it is the breath or inspiration of God, stirring, moving, and opening itself in the heart. For though the early nature, our old man, can oblige or accustom himself to take heavenly words at certain times into his mouth; yet this is a certain truth, that nothing ever did, or can have the least desire or tendency to ascend to heaven, but that which came down from heaven; and therefore nothing in the heart can pray, aspire, and long after God, but the Spirit of God moving and stirring in it.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Prayer , London: E. Justins for Ogles, Duncan, and Cochran, 1816, p. 152
(see the book; see also Ps. 84:1-2; Job 19:25; Ps. 42:1-2; Rom. 8:26; Eph. 6:18; Jude 1:20; more at Aspiration, Awakening, God, Heart, Holy Spirit, Inspiration, Longing, Prayer)
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
Let songs of praises fill the sky!Christ, our ascended Lord,Sends down his Spirit from on high,According to his word. The Spirit by his heavenly breath,New life creates within:He quickens sinners from the deathOf trespasses and sin. The things of Christ the Spirit takes,And shows them unto men;The fallen soul his temple makes,God’s image stamps again. Come, Holy Spirit, from above,With thy celestial fire:Come, and with flames of zeal and loveOur hearts and tongues inspire.
... Thomas Cotterill (1779-1823), included in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, Isaac Watts & ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, p. 672
(see the book; see also Acts 2:1-4; Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 20:22; Acts 1:8-9; 5:20; Rom. 6:4; more at Christ, Fire, Holy Spirit, Love, Pentecost, Zeal)
Friday, March 3, 2017
Faith is not belief in spite of evidence, but life in scorn of consequences—a courageous trust in the great purpose of all things, and pressing forward to finish the work which is in sight, whatever the price may be.
... Kirsopp Lake (1872-1946), Landmarks in the History of Early Christianity, London: Macmillan, 1922, p. 74
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 1:12; Rom. 1:16-17; 4:19-20; 8:28; Heb. 11:1; more at Belief, Courage, Faith, Life, Purpose, Scorn, Work)
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647
The reconciliation of man to God begins when God accepts the child of man, exactly as he is, into a relationship with himself—“this grace wherein we stand.” This He does for the sake of what man is to inherit, to become. And for the means, He gives him over to a Person, Christ, and a community, the Church; and in attachment to these, personality grows, freedom is attained, sin is forgiven, estrangement is ended, capacities for relationship extend. Reconciliation is the Spirit’s liberating work of love, exercised through a Person and a community of persons.
... G. R. Dunstan
(see also Rom. 11:13-15; Acts 20:32; Rom. 5:1-2,11; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Col. 1:19-22; Heb. 2:16-18; more at Community, God, Grace, Inheritance, Love, Man, Reconciliation)
Sunday, March 5, 2017
General wisdom is not a threat to the gospel, because everything good traces to God. God is merciful and kind; he bestows truth, as well as rain and sunshine, upon the just and the unjust. Christ is the “true light that enlightens every man.” This bestowal should inspire feelings of joy, not resentment, in the heart of a Christian. Aristotle said many wise things about logic, Confucius many wise things about morals. When a Christian attacks general wisdom in the name of the gospel, the natural man will attack the gospel in the name of general wisdom.
... Edward John Carnell (1919-1967), The Case for Orthodox Theology, Philadelphia: Westminister, 1959, p. 128
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:44-45; 1 Kings 3:7-9; Ps. 145:9; Pr. 1:20-33; 8; 9; Matt. 11:18-19; Luke 2:52; John 1:9; Acts 14:17; more at Apologetics, Christ, Enlighten, God, Goodness, Gospel, Joy, Light, Logic, Morality, Rain, Truth, Wisdom)
Monday, March 6, 2017
Nothing could better illustrate this authentic spirit of Christian monasticism, stemming from Johannite monasticism, than one of its most recent examples, Father de Foucauld. If he went out to the Ahaggar plateau, it was not only to find but also to proclaim God, thereby teaching the gospel in a way which desert people could understand. After his death, the example set by this hermit was followed by others who, far from settling in the desert places of the Sahara, set out to mingle with the peopled deserts of the great cities, there to preach the gospel by their example and their very presence.
... Jean Steinmann (1911-1963), Saint John the Baptist, New York: Harper, 1958, p. 164
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:15-16; Pr. 4:18; Isa. 45:14; Zech. 8:23; Acts 17:22-23; Gal. 1:21-24; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:12; more at Authenticity, Desert, Example, Gospel, Historical, Preach, Teach)
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
Sectarianism is limitation. Some truth taught in Scripture, some part of the Divine revelation, is apprehended, and the heart responds to it and accepts it. As it is dwelt upon, expounded, defended; its power and beauty increasingly influence those affected by it. Another side of truth, another view of revelation, also contained in Scripture, seems to weaken, even to contradict, the truth that has been found to be so effectual. and in jealous fear for the doctrine accepted and taught the balancing truth is minimized, explained away, and even denied. So on a portion of revelation, on a part of the Word, a sect is founded, good and useful because it preaches and practices Divine truth, but limited and unbalanced because it does not see all truth, nor frankly accept the whole of Scripture. Its members are not only deprived of the full use of all Scripture, but are cut off from the fellowship of many saints, who are less limited than they, or limited in another direction.
... E. H. Broadbent (1861-1945), The Pilgrim Church, London: Pickering & Inglis, 1931, p. 197
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:17; Matt. 11:25; Luke 10:21; John 6:45; 1 Cor. 2:9-12; 10:31-32; 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:15; more at Church, Fellowship, Goodness, Heart, Preach, Revelation, Saint, Scripture, Sect, Teach, Truth)
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
Religion leaves a million questions unanswered and apparently unanswerable. Its purpose and object is not to make a man certain and cocksure about everything but to make him certain about those things of which he must be certain if he is to live a human life at all. Religion does not relieve us from the duty of thought; it makes it possible for a man to begin thinking. It does not put an end to research and enquiry, it gives a basis from which real research is made possible and fruitful of results; a basis without which thinking only means wandering round in circles, and getting nowhere in the end, and research means battering at a brass door that bruises our knuckles, and does not yield by the millionth part of an inch.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 33-34
(see the book; see also Luke 6:39; Isa. 9:16; Matt. 15:14; 23:16-26; John 8:31-32; 16:13; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; more at Beginning, Certainty, Life, Man, Question, Religion, Thought)
Thursday, March 9, 2017
In the whole range of history there is no more striking contrast than that of the Apostolic churches with the heathenism around them. They had shortcomings enough, it is true, and divisions and scandals not a few, for even apostolic times were no golden age of purity and primitive simplicity. Yet we can see that their fullness of life, and hope, and promise for the future was a new sort of power in the world. Within their own limits they had solved almost by the way the social problem which baffled Rome, and baffles Europe still. They had lifted woman to her rightful place, restored the dignity of labour, abolished beggary, and drawn the sting of slavery. The secret of the revolution is that the selfishness of race and class were forgotten in the Supper of the Lord, and a new basis for society found in love of the visible image of God in men for whom Christ died.
... Henry M. Gwatkin (1844-1916), Early Church History to A.D. 312, v. I, London: Macmillan, 1912, p. 73
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:28-29; Matt. 22:19-21; Mark 12:15-17; Luke 20:24-25; John 1:18; James 3:17; 1 John 4:12; more at Communion, Historical, Labor, Power, Selfish, Social, Woman, World)
Friday, March 10, 2017
God is especially present in the hearts of His people, by His Holy Spirit; and indeed the hearts of holy men are temples in the truth of things, and in type and shadow they are heaven itself. For God reigns in the hearts of His servants; there is His Kingdom. The power of grace hath subdued all His enemies; there is His power. They serve Him night and day, and give Him thanks and praise; that is His glory. This is the religion and worship of God in the temple. [Continued tomorrow]
... 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. 24
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Ps. 91:1-2; 141:1-2; Eph. 2:21-22; Heb. 7:26-28; 9:24; more at Grace, Heart, Holy Spirit, Kingdom, Presence of God, Temple, Worship)
Saturday, March 11, 2017
[Continued from yesterday]The temple itself is the heart of man, Christ is the high priest, who from thence sends up the incense of prayers, and joins them to His own intercession, and presents all together to His Father; and the Holy Ghost by His dwelling there hath also consecrated it into a temple; and God dwells in our hearts by faith, and Christ by His Spirit, and the Spirit by His purities: so that we are also cabinets of the mysterious Trinity, and what is this short of heaven itself, but as infancy is short of manhood?... The same state of life it is, but not the same age. It is heaven in a looking glass, dark but yet true, representing the beauties of the soul, and the grace of God, and the images of His eternal glory, by the reality of a special presence.
... 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. 24
(see the book; see also Heb. 2:17-18; Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 3:16; 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Christ, Heart, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Intercession, Prayer, Presence of God, Temple, Trinity)
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Martin Luther described the doctrine of justification by faith as ... the article of faith that decides whether the church is standing or falling. By this he meant that when this doctrine is understood, believed, and preached, as it was in New Testament times, the church stands in the grace of God and is alive; but where it is neglected, overlaid, or denied, ... the church falls from grace and its life drains away, leaving it in a state of darkness and death.
... James I. Packer (b. 1926), introductory essay to The Doctrine of Justification , James Buchanan, London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1961, p. vii
(see the book; see also Gal. 3:8; Gen. 18:18; 22:18; 16:4; 28:14; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:21-24,29-30; 9:30; Gal. 3:16; more at Belief, Church, Darkness, Death, Faith, Grace, Justification, Neglect)
Monday, March 13, 2017
God in His providence has not allowed the survival of actual physical objects. But we have infinitely more than this, for instead of dead relics, however “authentic” and well preserved, we have a living life-line, stretching unbroken to Christ Himself. We have all the comfort and security that comes from historic tradition, but instead of being given the sad nostalgia of looking at an object and saying, “Look, how wonderful! This is what He touched then,” we are given an evergreen memorial [in communion] which says, “This is what He touches now.”
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Appointment with God, New York, Macmillan, 1954, p. 8-9
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Jer. 31:31-34; Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 10:3-4,16-17; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; Tit. 3:9; more at Authenticity, Christ, Communion, Historical, Providence, Security, Tradition)
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Here [in His holy House of Prayer] we may come on our day of rest, and be safe, if we will, from any thoughts but those of the world to come. Here we gather together for no earthly business, but for a purpose of one sort only; and that purpose is the same for which saints and angels are met together in that innumerable company before the throne of God. If there is a place on earth which, however faintly and dimly, shadows out the courts of God on high, surely it is where His people are met together, in all their weakness and ignorance and sin, in their poor and low estate, yet with humble and faithful hearts, in His House of Prayer.
... R. W. Church (1815-1890), Village Sermons, New York: Macmillan Company, 1897, p. 111
(see the book; see also Ps. 66:16; 84:2,10; 100:4; Acts 1:13-14; 20:7; Rom. 16:3-5; Eph. 3:14-15; Heb. 10:25; more at Angel, Faith, Heaven, Humility, Ignorance, Poverty, Prayer, Rest, Saint, Sin, Weakness)
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee; Thou only knowest what we need; Thou lovest me better than I know how to love myself. O Father! give to Thy child that which he himself knows not how to ask... Teach me to pray; pray Thyself in me.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fénelon, ed. Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879, p. 192
(see the book; see also John 16:23-24; Matt. 6:6-8,31-32; Luke 11:11-13; 12:28-30; Rom. 8:26; more at Child, Knowledge, Love, Need, Prayers, Teach)
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Prayer is co-operation with God. It is the purest exercise of the faculties God has given us—an exercise that links these faculties with the Maker to work out the intentions He had in mind in their creation. Prayer is aligning ourselves with the purposes of God...Prayer is commitment. We don’t merely co-operate with God with certain things held back within... We, the total person, co-operate. This means that co-operation equals commitment. Prayer means that the total you is praying... Your whole being reaches out to God, and God ... reaches down to you...Prayer is communion. Prayer is a means, but often it is an end in itself... There are times when your own wants and the needs of others drop away and you want just to look on His face and tell Him how much you love Him...Prayer is commission. Out of the quietness with God, power is generated that turns the spiritual machinery of the world. When you pray, you begin to feel the sense of being sent, that the divine compulsion is upon you.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Growing Spiritually, New York: Abingdon, 1953, p. 290,295,296,298
(see the book; see also Ps. 63:1-4; Matt. 26:36-39; Luke 6:12; 9:28; 1 Cor. 3:9; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 6:18; Jas. 4:8; more at Commitment, Communion, God, Power, Prayer, Work)
Friday, March 17, 2017
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460
If we would talk less and pray more about them, things would be better than they are in the world; at least, we should be better enabled to bear them.
... John Owen (1616-1683), A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. VI-IX , in Works of John Owen, v. IV, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 319
(see the book; see also Ps. 17:1; 28:1,2; 70:5; Dan. 9:3; Luke 18:1-7; Acts 4:29-31; Jas. 5:13; more at Adversity, Affection, Prayer, Strength, World)
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Every true prayer has its background and its foreground. The foreground of prayer is the intense, immediate desire for a certain blessing which seems to be absolutely necessary for the soul to have; the background of prayer is the quiet, earnest desire that the will of God, whatever it may be, should be done. What a picture is the perfect prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane! In front burns the strong desire to escape death and to live; but, behind there stands, calm and strong, the craving of the whole life for the doing of the will of God... Leave out the foreground—let there be no expression of the wish of Him who prays—and there is left a pure submission which is almost fatalism. Leave out the background—let there be no acceptance of the will of God—and the prayer is only an expression of self-will, a petulant claiming of the uncorrected choice of Him who prays. Only when the two, foreground and background, are there together,—the special desire resting on the universal submission, the universal submission opening into the special desire,—only then is the picture perfect and the prayer complete!
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Light of the World, and Other Sermons, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1904, p. 120-121
(see the book; see also Matt. 26:39,42; 20:22; John 6:38; 10:17-18; 12:27; 18:11; Rom. 15:1-3; more at Blessing, Choices, Jesus, Prayer, Self, Soul, Submission, Will of God)
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth
Prayer opens the understanding to the brightness of Divine Light, and the will to the warmth of Heavenly Love—nothing can so effectually purify the mind from its many ignorances, or the will from its perverse affections. It is as a healing water which causes the roots of our good desires to send forth fresh shoots, which washes away the soul’s imperfections, and allays the thirst of passion.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life , London: Rivingtons, 1876, II.i, p. 64
(see the book; see also Eph. 2:18; Isa. 55:6-7; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 10:19-22; Jas. 4:8; 1 John 1:9; more at Goodness, Ignorance, Light, Love, Prayer, Purity, Soul, Understanding, Water)
Monday, March 20, 2017
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687
We might well pray for God to invade and conquer us, for until He does, we remain in peril from a thousand foes. We bear within us the seeds of our own disintegration... The strength of our flesh is an ever present danger to our souls. Deliverance can come to us only by the defeat of our old life. Safety and peace come only after we have been forced to our knees... So He conquers us and by that benign conquest saves us for Himself.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Divine Conquest, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1950, Revell, 1950, p. 57
(see the book; see also Ps. 94:11-13; Job 7:17-19; Ps. 8:3-4; 49:10-13; Rom. 1:21-22; 3:3-4; more at Danger, Deliverance, Foe, God, Peril, Prayer, Strength)
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I have come to see that I do not limit my mind enough simply to prayer, that I always want to do something myself in it, wherein I do very wrong and wish most definitely to cut off and separate my mind from all that, and to hold it with all my strength, as much as I can, to the sole regard and simple unity. By allowing the fear of being ineffectual to enter into the state of prayer, and by wishing to accomplish something myself, I spoilt it all.
... Jeanne Françoise de Chantal (1572-1641)
(see also 2 Cor. 12:9-10; Matt. 6:6-13; 26:39; Acts 8:18-23; Rom. 8:35-39; 2 Cor. 4:8-10; more at Achievement, Mind, Prayer, Simplicity, Unity, Wrong)
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Prayer is a wine which makes glad the heart of man.
... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)
(see the book; see also Eph. 5:18; Ps. 32; 104:14-15; more at Gladness, Heart, Man, Prayer)
Thursday, March 23, 2017
The primary object of prayer is to know God better; we and our needs should come second.
... Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 96
(see the book; see also Hos. 6:6; Prov. 1:7; Jude 1:20,21; more at Knowing God, Need, Prayer, Self)
Friday, March 24, 2017
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953
I have called my material surroundings a stage set... In this I can act.And you may well say “act.” For what I call “myself” (for all practical, everyday purposes) is also a dramatic construction; memories, glimpses in the shaving glass, and snatches of the very fallible activity called “introspection,” are the principal ingredients. Normally I call this construction “me,” and the stage set “the real world.”Now the moment of prayer is for me—or involves for me as its condition—the awareness, the reawakened awareness, that this “real world” and “real self” are very far from being rock-bottom realities. I cannot, in the flesh, leave the stage, either to go behind the scenes or to take my seat in the pit; but I can remember that these regions exist. And I also remember that my apparent self—this clown or hero or super—under his grease-paint is a real person with an off-stage life. The dramatic person could not tread the stage unless he concealed a real person: unless the real and unknown I existed, I would not even make mistakes about the imagined me. And in prayer this real I struggles to speak, for once, from his real being, and to address, for once, not the other actors, but—what shall I call Him? The Author, for He invented us all? The Producer, for He controls all? Or the Audience, for He watches, and will judge, the performance?
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1964, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 80-81
(see the book; see also Heb. 12:1-2; Ps. 11:4; Jer. 17:10; 1 Cor. 11:28; 2 Cor. 13:5; more at Awareness, People, Prayer, Remembrance, Self)
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary
In our praying, we should speak to God about Himself—that is praise; about His gifts—that is thanksgiving; about other people—that is intercession; about our sins—that is confession and penitence; about our needs—that is petition. Prayer has five fingers, like a hand, and each in turn must be pointed to God, that our prayer may be full and complete.
... Frederick Ward Kates (1910-1987), A Moment Between Two Eternities, New York: Harper & Row, 1965, p. 86
(see the book; see also 1 Tim. 2:1,8; 1 Pet. 2:9; Jas. 5:16; Jude 1:24; Rev. 14:7; more at Confession, Gifts, Intercession, Penitence, Praise, Prayer, Sin, Thanksgiving)
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883
Jeremy Taylor (q.v.) gives us some fundamental rules for prayer. And the chief of them is this: “Do not lie to God.” And that curt piece of advice, so bluntly thrown down for us, is indeed all-important. Do not burn false fire upon God’s altar; do not pose and pretend, either to Him or to yourself, in your religious exercises; do not say more than you mean, or use exaggerated language that goes beyond the facts, when speaking to Him whose word is truth.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In the Secret Place of the Most High, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947, p. 26-27
(see the book; see also Luke 12:2; Ps. 40:10; Matt. 6:8,32; 10:26; Mark 4:22; Luke 18:10-14; John 17:17; Rom. 1:16; more at Altar, Fire, God, Prayer, Rule, Truth)
Monday, March 27, 2017
THE ELEMENTS OF PRAYERIts ground: God, by whose goodness it springeth in us.Its use: to turn our will to His will.Its end: to be made one with Him and like to Him in all things.
... Grace Harriet Warrack, in the introduction to Revelations of Divine Love, Juliana of Norwich, Methuen, 1901, p. lii
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:26; Ps. 10:17-18; 130:1-6; John 17:20-21; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6; more at Christlikeness, God, Goodness, Prayer, Will of God)
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Although we ought always to raise our minds upwards towards God, and pray without ceasing, yet such is our weakness, which requires to be supported, such our torpor, which requires to be stimulated, that it is requisite for us to appoint special hours for this exercise, hours which are not to pass away without prayer, and during which the whole affections of our minds are to be completely occupied; namely, when we rise in the morning, before we commence our daily work, when we sit down to food, when by the blessing of God we have taken it, and when we retire to rest. This, however, must not be a superstitious observance of hours, by which, as it were, performing a task to God, we think we are discharged as to other hours; it should rather be considered as a discipline by which our weakness is exercised and stimulated. [Continued tomorrow]
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.xx.50, p. 137-138
(see the book; see also Heb. 13:15; Luke 18:1; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; more at Blessing, Discipline, God, Prayer, Rest, Weakness)
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974
[Continued from yesterday]It must be our anxious care, whenever we are ourselves pressed, or see others pressed by any trial, instantly to have recourse to God. And again, in any prosperity of ourselves or others, we must not omit to testify our recognition of God’s hand by praise and thanksgiving. Lastly, we must in all our prayers carefully avoid wishing to confine God to certain circumstances, or prescribe to him the time, place, or mode of action. In like manner, we are taught by [the Lord’s] prayer not to fix any law or impose any condition upon him, but leave it entirely to him to adopt whatever course of procedure seems to him best, in respect of method, time, and place. For, before we offer up any petition for ourselves, we ask that his will may be done, and by so doing place our will in subordination to his, just as if we had laid a curb upon it, that, instead of presuming to give law to God, it may regard him as the ruler and disposer of all its wishes.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.xx.50, p. 138
(see the book; see also Ps. 116:1-2; Matt. 6:9-13; 26:42; Rom. 12:2; 1 Thess. 5:18; more at God, Law, Praise, Prayer, Thanksgiving, Trial, Will of God)
Thursday, March 30, 2017
A man who prays without ceasing, if he achieves something, knows why he achieved it, and can take no pride in it; for he cannot attribute it to his own powers, but attributes all his achievements to God, always renders thanks to him and constantly calls upon him, trembling lest he be deprived of help.
... Dorotheus of Gaza (505-565), quoted in Early Fathers from the Philokalia, Saint Makarios (Metropolitan of Corinth), comp. & E. Kadloubovsky, Gerald Eustace Howell Palmer, trs., Faber and Faber, 1959, p. 157
(see the book; see also Ps. 51:15; Luke 18:1; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; Jude 1:20; more at Achievement, God, Prayer, Pride)
Friday, March 31, 2017
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
When all is done, the hell of hells, the torment of torments, is the everlasting absence of God, and the everlasting impossibility of returning to his presence; says the Apostle, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Yet there was a case, in which David found an ease, to fall into the hands of God, to escape the hands of men: When God’s hand is bent to strike, It is a fearefull thing, to fall into the hands of the living God; but to fall out of the hands of the living God, is a horror beyond our expression, beyond our imagination.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon LXXVI, p. 385-386
(see the book; see also Heb. 10:31; Isa. 30:33; Mark 16:16; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; more at Everlasting, Fall, God, Hell, Providence)
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