Quotations for April, 2019
Monday, April 1, 2019
Commemoration of Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, teacher, 1872
We do not ... cease to be children because we are disobedient children.
... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), The Kingdom of Christ, 1837, p. 266-267
(see the book; see also Eph. 2:1-3; more at Child, Obedience, Permanence, Perseverance)
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
All antinomianism is a radical denial of Christ and of God. And antinomianism is by no means merely a thing of the past. It is present wherever zeal for the Christian religion, for worship, theology, and all manner of other Church activities is unaccompanied by moral earnestness, wherever Christians can complacently and without any sense of incongruity combine piety with indifference to their neighbours’ needs and a comfortable acquiescence in social and political injustice.
... C. E. B. Cranfield (1915-2015), I & II Peter and Jude, London: SCM Press, 1960, p. 158
(see the book; see also Jude 1:4; more at Antinomianism, Justice, Neighbor, Religion, Worship, Zeal)
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
It would be the height of absurdity to label ignorance tempered by humility “faith;” for faith consists in the knowledge of God and Christ, not in reverence for the Church.
... 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.ii.3, p. 491
(see the book; see also John 17:3; Prov. 2:6; Rom. 3:22; Eph. 1:15-23; Jude 1:3; more at Christ, Church, Faith, Humility, Knowing God, Reverence)
Thursday, April 4, 2019
There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that situation create something that is surpassingly good. He did it at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today.
... Handley Moule (1841-1920)
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:28; Gen. 1:31; Phil. 2:5-11; more at Creation, Cross, God, Goodness, Gospel, Today)
Friday, April 5, 2019
With what presumption have we dared to voice“Thank You for home (although we hold the deed),Our acre, trees, and flowers (ours by choice),Our faithful dog and cat (though it’s agreedNo one can own the latter), each good book(A gift, or purchased), all else we foresawThat we should cherish, and have made to lookOurs by possession (nine points of the law).” With what presumption have we called them ours,And even felt unselfish when we shared them—When, if the truth be known, they have been YoursFrom the beginning, Lord! You have prepared themFor us to borrow, using as our own:So thank You, Father, for this generous loan.
... Elaine V. Emans
(see also Ps. 100:1-3; more at Attitudes, Father, Generosity, Home, Thanksgiving)
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Commemoration of Albrecht Dürer, artist, 1528, and Michelangelo Buonarrotti, artist, spiritual writer, 1564
We are born knowing nothing and with much striving we learn but a little; yet all the while we are bound by laws that hearken to no plea of ignorance, and measure out their rewards and punishments with calm indifference. In such a state, humility is the virtue of men, and their only defense; to walk humbly with God, never doubting, whatever befall, that His will is good, and that His law is right.
... Paul Elmer More (1864-1937), Pages from an Oxford Diary, Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1972, c1937, excerpt included in The Questing Spirit, Halford E. Luccock & Frances Brentano, New York: Coward-McCann, 1947, p. 602
(see the book; see also Eccl. 8:16-17; 12:12; Mic. 6:8; Ps. 19:7-9; 1 Cor. 13:9,12; more at Doubt, Goodness, Humility, Ignorance, Law, Virtue, Weakness)
Sunday, April 7, 2019
Who was it that set up the Cross? Not fiends incarnate, but plain flesh and blood like us; quite ordinary men, decent and kindly souls enough, some of whom, no doubt, went to their homes that day from Calvary and took their children on their knees and loved them very genuinely. Only, they were a bit old fashioned in the make-up of their minds, had grown stiff and inelastic in their thinking, inhospitable to new notions—surely a very minor sin at worst; and some feared for their vested interests; and one, poor Pilate, had lost his temper with these impossible Jews in days gone by, and had received a curt warning from Rome that there must be no further bloodshed in Jerusalem, and here was a new trouble at the very worst of times in the whole year, with fanatics in tens of thousands come up for the Feast; and one wanted to save the world by quick-running machinery, and so put Christ into a situation where He could no longer dilly-dally but must do something vivid, dramatic, revolutionary. And the people? No need for us to bother being there at the decision between Jesus and Barabbas. He had the lined streets cheering for Him yesterday. And we have relatives to see, and messages from neighbours to deliver to their kindred. He’ll be all right; we needn’t worry to be there. Such simple and plebian sins—minds grown a trifle out of date, a little selfishness, some temper and its consequences, a bit of worldly wisdom, and an indifference that did nothing at all—these brought about the shame of mankind, and the tragedy of history, and the blot upon our annals that will not rub out. And they are all of them within your heart, and mine.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), Experience Worketh Hope, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1945, p. 176
(see the book; see also Mark 15:9-13; more at Calvary, Cross, Easter, Fear, Heart, Historical, Indifference, Kindness, Selfish, Sin, Tragedy, Wisdom, Worldly)
Monday, April 8, 2019
Commemoration of William Augustus Muhlenberg of New York, Priest, 1877
Since the life of Christ is every way most bitter to nature and the Self and the Me (for in the true life of Christ, the Self and the Me and nature must be forsaken and lost and die altogether), therefore in each of us, nature hath a deep horror of it.
... Theologia Germanica , Anonymous, ascribed to Johannes de Francfordia, (1380?-1440) & Susanna Winkworth, tr., published anonymously by Martin Luther, ch. XX
(see the book; see also Rom. 6:5-7,11; Col. 3:9,10; more at Attitudes, Bitterness, Christ, Death, Life, Nature, Self)
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945
There remains for us only the very narrow way, often extremely difficult to find, of living every day as though it were our last, and yet living in faith and responsibility as though there were to be a great future.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), “After Ten Years”, in A Testament to Freedom: the essential writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Geffrey B. Kelly, F. Burton Nelson, eds., HarperCollins, 1995, p. 484
(see the book; see also John 16:33; Jer. 32:15; Matt. 6:34; John 14:27; Heb. 13:5-6; more at Faith, Future, Life, Way)
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Feast of William Law, Priest, Mystic, 1761
Commemoration of William of Ockham, Franciscan Friar, Philosopher, Teacher, 1347
Commemoration of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest, Scientist, Visionary, 1955
There is no wrath that stands between God and us, but what is awakened in the dark fire of our own fallen nature; and to quench this wrath, and not His own, God gave His only begotten Son to be made man. God has no more wrath in Himself now than He had before the creation, when He had only Himself to love... And it was solely to quench this wrath, awakened in the human soul, that the blood of the Son of God was necessary; because nothing but a life and birth, derived from Him into the human soul, could change this darkened root of a self-tormenting fire into an amiable image of the Holy Trinity as it was at first created.
... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Regeneration , in Works of Rev. William Law, v. V, London: G. Moreton, 1893, par. 110-112
(see the book; see also John 3:36; more at Blood, Darkness, Salvation, Sin, Trinity)
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Commemoration of George Augustus Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, 1878
The kingdom of heaven is not come even when God’s will is our law; it is fully come when God’s will is our will.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), David Elginbrod, vol. 2 , Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1871, p. 194
(see the book; see also Matt. 13:45-46; 12:49-50; Mark 3:35; Rom. 8:29; 12:1-2; more at God, Kingdom, Law, Legalism, Will of God)
Friday, April 12, 2019
The more we study the early Church, the more we realize that it was a society of ministers. About the only similarity between the Church at Corinth and a contemporary congregation, either Roman Catholic or Protestant, is that both are marked, to a great degree, by the presence of sinners.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), The Incendiary Fellowship, New York: Harper, 1967, p. 39
(see the book; see also Matt. 9:12-13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32; Rom. 5:8; more at Church, Congregation, Minister, Sinner)
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Let them pretend what they please, the true reason why any despise the new birth is because they hate a new life. He that cannot endure to live to God will as little endure to hear of being born of God.
... John Owen (1616-1683), III.1 in A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V , in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 216
(see the book; see also John 1:12-13; Ps. 51:5; John 3:5,8,36; Rom. 3:19; 5:15-18; Eph. 2:3; Tit. 3:3-4; 1 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 3:9; 5:1-4,18; more at Attitudes, New birth, Sanctification, Truth)
Sunday, April 14, 2019
No man ever did, nor ever shall, truly go forth to convert the nations, nor to prophesy in the present state of witnesses against Antichrist, but by the gracious inspiration and instigation of the Holy Spirit of God... I prejudice not an external test and call, which was at first and shall be again in force at the resurrection of the churches, ... but in the present state of things I cannot but be humbly bold to say that I know no other true sender but the most Holy Spirit. And when He sends, His messengers will go, His prophets will prophesy, though all the world should forbid them.
... Roger Williams (1603?-1683), The Hireling Ministry, London, 1652, p. 3-4
(see the book; see also Luke 12:11-12; more at Evangelization, Holy Spirit, Nation, Prophet, World)
Monday, April 15, 2019
Still as of oldMen by themselves are priced—For thirty pieces Judas soldHimself, not Christ.
... Hester H. Cholmondeley (19th century), included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 302
(see the book; see also Matt. 26:14-16; more at Abasement, Betrayal, Christ, Crucifixion, Good Friday)
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
If it be all for naught, for nothingnessAt last, why does God make the world so fair?Why spill this golden splendor out acrossThe western hills, and light the silver lampOf eve? Why give me eyes to see, and soulTo love so strong and deep? Then, with a pangThis brightness stabs me through, and wakes withinRebellious voice to cry against all death?Why set this hunger for eternityTo gnaw my heartstrings through, if death ends all?If death ends all, then evil must be good,Wrong must be right, and beauty ugliness.God is a Judas who betrays His Son,And with a kiss, damns all the world to hell,—If Christ rose not again.
... Anonymous, Unknown soldier, killed in World War I, included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 205
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:13-14; more at Beauty, Death, Easter, Eternity, Resurrection, Sight, Wrong)
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Now, if our hopes, whatever we protest, really lie in this world instead of in the eternal order, we shall find it difficult to accept the New Testament teaching of the Second Coming. In our eyes the job is not yet done, and such an action would be, though we would not put it so, an interference. But suppose our hope rests in the purpose of God, then we safely leave the timing of the earthly experiment to Him. Meanwhile we do what we were told to do—to be alert and to work and to pray for the spread of His Kingdom.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, chapt. v, p. 70
(see the book; see also Matt. 24:30-31; more at Attitudes, Everlasting, Hope, Kingdom, Prayer, Second Coming, Work, World)
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Jesus invites His saintsTo meet around His board;Here pardon’d rebels sit and holdCommunion with their Lord. For food He give His flesh,He bids us drink His blood;Amazing favor! matchless grace—Of our descending God! This holy bread and wineMaintain our fainting breath,By union with our living LordAnd interest in His death. Let all our pow’rs be join’dHis glorious name to raise;Pleasure and love fill ev’ry mind,And ev’ry voice be praise.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Hymns and Spiritual Songs , in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, book III, hymn 2, p. 475
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:16-17; more at Blood, Bread, Church, Communion, Glory, Grace, Jesus, Love, Pleasure, Praise)
Friday, April 19, 2019
Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012
As out of Jesus’ affliction came a new sense of God’s love and a new basis for love between men, so out of our affliction we may grasp the splendour of God’s love and how to love one another. Thus the consummation of the two commandments was on Golgotha; and the Cross is, at once, their image and their fulfillment.
... Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), Jesus: the Man who Lives, London: Collins, 1975, p. 133
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:36-40; more at Affliction, Commandment, Cross, Fulfillment, God, Jesus, Love)
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly Kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He hath many desirous of consolation, but few of tribulation... Many love Jesus so long as no adversities befall them.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.xi, p. 103
(see the book; see also Luke 14:27; more at Adversity, Bearing, Cross, Kingdom, Love)
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Feast of Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1109
Modern attempts to get away from the sheer historical facts of the Resurrection are, at best, based on a total misunderstanding. The whole Bible proclaims the need for, and the achievement of, a salvation that will remake creation (not one that will ignore it or escape from it), and it is just such a salvation, at once supernatural and historical, that was won on Easter Day. If the Resurrection narratives are [merely] a subtle way of convincing us that God still loves us, or that there is a life (albeit, a non-material one) beyond death, they must be reckoned among the oddest and most ill-conceived stories ever written.
... 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. 73
(see the book; see also Acts 3:13-15; Matt. 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-11; John 20:11-18; more at Apologetics, Death & Resurrection, Easter, Historical, Salvation)
Monday, April 22, 2019
They haled him trembling to the Judgment Seat.“O Lord, the man who made the nails that pierced Thy hands and feet!”The Master laid a thin, scarred hand upon the shame-bowed head.“They were good nails,” he said.
... Kenneth W. Porter (1905-1981), The High Plains: poems by Kenneth Porter, New York: John Day, 1938, p. 84
(see the book; see also John 20:24-29, Col. 2:13-14; more at Easter, Judgment, Master, Passion of Christ)
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Feast of George, Martyr, Patron of England, c.304
Commemoration of Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1988
Dear Jesus! ’tis Thy Holy FaceIs here the star that guides my way;Thy countenance, so full of grace,Is heaven on earth, for me, to-day.And love finds holy charms for meIn Thy sweet eyes with tear-drops wet;Through mine own tears I smile at Thee,And in Thy griefs my pains forget.
... Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, Boston, Angel Guardian Press, 1907, “Canticle to the Holy Face”
(see the book; see also Luke 9:29; more at Guidance, Holiness, Jesus, Love, Star)
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Commemoration of Mellitus, First Bishop of London, 624
Great is the difference betwixt a man’s being frightened at, and humbled for, his sins. One may passively be cast down by God’s terrors, and yet not willingly throw himself down as he ought at God’s footstool.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), The Cause and Cure of a Wounded Conscience , Dial. VI.
(see the book; see also Jas. 4:10; more at God, Humility, Repentance, Terror)
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Feast of Mark the Evangelist
Should I worship Him from fear of hell, may I be cast into it. Should I serve Him from desire of gaining heaven, may He keep me out. But should I worship Him from love alone, may He reveal Himself to me, that my whole heart may be filled with His love and presence.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), Meditations on Various Aspects of the Spiritual Life , London Macmillan & Co., 1926, p. 9-10
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:18; more at Attitudes, Fear, Heaven, Hell, Love, Worship)
Friday, April 26, 2019
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them;—every day begin the task anew.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), The Beauties of St. Francis de Sales, London: Cowing, 1829, p. 220
(see the book; see also Jas. 5:7-8; more at Attitudes, Courage, Patience, Task)
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Feast of Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894
Heaven overarches earth and sea,Earth-sadness and sea-bitterness;Heaven overarches you and me:A little while and we shall be(Please God) where there is no more seaNor barren wilderness. Heaven overarches you and meAnd all earth’s gardens and her graves:Look up with me, until we seeThe day break and the shadows flee;What tho’ tonight wrecks you and me,If so tomorrow saves?
... Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), Christina Rossetti: the complete poems, London: Penguin Classics, 2001, p. 871
(see the book; see also 1 Chr. 29:14-15; Rom. 8:18; more at Heaven, Providence, Salvation, Sight, Tomorrow)
Sunday, April 28, 2019
Commemoration of Peter Chanel, Religious, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841
The higher faiths call their followers to strenuous moral effort. Such effort is likely to be arduous and painful in proportion to the height of the ideal, desperate in proportion to the sensitiveness of the conscience. A morbid scrupulousness besets the morally serious soul. It is anxious and troubled, afraid of evil, haunted by the memory of failure. The best of the Pharisees tended in this direction, and no less the best of the Stoics. And so little has Christianity been understood that the popular idea of a serious Christian is modelled upon the same type of character. [Continued tomorrow]
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 112
(see the book; see also Rom. 3:20-21; Ps. 55:22; 2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 2:13; Col. 1:20; 1 Thes. 2:13; more at Ideal, Legalism, Morality, Pharisaism, Philosophy)
Monday, April 29, 2019
Feast of Catherine of Siena, Mystic, Teacher, 1380
[Continued from yesterday]The ascetic believed that, because he was becoming so holy the Devil was permitted special liberties with him, and he found in his increasing agony of effort a token of divine approval. Not along this track lies the path of moral progress. Christianity says: face the evil once for all, and disown it. Then quiet the spirit in the presence of God. Let His perfections fill the field of vision. In particular, let the concrete embodiment of the goodness of God in Christ attract and absorb the gaze of the soul. Here is righteousness, not as a fixed and abstract ideal, but in a living human person. The righteousness of Christ is a real achievement of God’s own Spirit in man.
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 113
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 12:6; Eph. 1:19-20; 3:20-21; more at Devil, Ideal, Legalism, Perfection, Presence of God, Righteousness)
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Commemoration of Pandita Mary Ramabai, Translator of the Scriptures, 1922
Can we believe that God ever really modifies His action in response to the suggestions of men? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it. But neither does God need any of those things that are done by finite agents, whether living or inanimate. He could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food; or give us food without the aid of farmers, bakers, and butchers; or knowledge without the aid of learned men; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, He allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds, and wills of men to cooperate in the execution of His will. “God,” says Pascal, “instituted prayer in order to lend to His creatures the dignity of causality.” But it is not only prayer; whenever we act at all, He lends us that dignity. It is not really stranger, nor less strange, that my prayers should affect the course of events than that my other actions should do so.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Efficacy of Prayer , Cincinnati: Forward Movement, 2003, p. 9-10
(see the book; see also Eph. 6:18; Ps. 66:18-20; more at Action, Cooperation, Prayer, Wisdom)
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