Quotations for May, 2019
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Feast of Philip & James, Apostles
Deep unto deep, O Lord,Crieth in me,Gathering strength I come,Lord, unto Thee.Jesus of Calvary,Smitten for me,Ask what Thou wilt, but giveLove to me.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), If , London: SPCK, 1961, p. 78
(see the book; see also Ps. 42:7-8; more at Jesus, Love, Prayers)
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Feast of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher, 373
A man’s personality actuates and quickens his whole body. If anyone said it was unsuitable for the man’s power to be in the toe, he would be thought silly, because, while granting that a man penetrates and actuates the whole of his body, he denied his presence in the part. Similarly, no one who admits the presence of the Word of God in the universe as a whole should think it unsuitable for a single human body to be by Him actuated and enlightened.
... St. Athanasius (293?-373), The Incarnation of the Word of God [4th century], St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1996, XLII, p. 77
(see the book; see also John 5:26; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3; more at Church, Enlighten, Man, Power, Universe)
Friday, May 3, 2019
Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.
... Edwin Hubbel Chapin (1814-1880), paraphrased from Duties of Young Men, Boston: Phillips, Sampson, 1853, p. 160
(see the book; see also 1 Tim. 6:12-16; more at Action, Eternity, Practical Christianity)
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Feast of English Saints & Martyrs of the Reformation
God the Father is the giver of Holy Scripture; God the Son is the theme of Holy Scripture; and God the Spirit ... is the author, authenticator, and interpreter of Holy Scripture.
... James I. Packer (b. 1926), God has Spoken: revelation and the Bible, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1965, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979, p. 97
(see the book; see also 2 Pet. 1:19-21; Matt. 21:42; 22:43; Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 3:15-16; more at Bible, Father, Giving, Holy Spirit, Meaning, Scripture, Son)
Sunday, May 5, 2019
If I am a son of God, nothing but God will satisfy my soul; no amount of comfort, no amount of ease, no amount of pleasure, will give me peace or rest. If I had the full cup of all the world’s joys held up to me, and could drain it to the dregs, I should still remain thirsty if I had not God.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 38-39
(see the book; see also Ps. 42:1-2; Matt. 5:6; Eph. 2:19; 1 John 3:1-2; more at Attitudes, God, Peace, Satisfaction, Son)
Monday, May 6, 2019
There has been a tendency of late to interpret alienation from faith in intellectual rather than experiential terms. Academically oriented Christians especially tend to think that the barriers to faith should be removed by repackaging the content of the message in a way more congenial to the modern outlook. But it is quite possible that we are dealing not so much with a failure of intellect, as with a failure of experience, an alienation from the experiential roots of Christianity itself so amply attested in the New Testament.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Reason Enough, Exeter: Paternoster, 1980, p. 48-49
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 4:3-4; Matt. 24:12; 2 Tim. 3:1-4; more at Bible, Experience, Failure, Faith)
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
We cannot know whether we love God, although there may be strong reason for thinking so; but there can be no doubt about whether we love our neighbor or no. Be sure that, in proportion as you advance in fraternal charity, you are increasing your love of God, for His Majesty bears so tender an affection for us that I cannot doubt He will repay our love for others by augmenting, in a thousand different ways, that which we bear for Him.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Interior Castle , tr., E. Allison Peers, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, p. 128
(see the book; see also Mark 12:29-31; 1 John 4:20; more at Charity, God, Love, Neighbor)
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Feast of Juliana of Norwich, Mystic, Teacher, c.1417
Commemoration of Dallas Willard, Teacher, Spiritual Writer, 2013
He said not: Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be distressed; but He said: Thou shalt not be overcome.
... Juliana of Norwich (1342?-1417), Revelations of Divine Love, Grace Harriet Warrack, ed., Methuen, 1901, xviii.ii
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:4; John 16:33; Rom. 12:21; 2 Cor. 4:8-10; Jas. 1:12; more at Affliction, Defeat, Trouble, Weakness)
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Biblical man did not look upon a miracle quite as we do. He did not have such a word in his vocabulary. He spoke of “signs and wonders.” Any unusual or spectacular happening that was a sign of the direct working of God—this was his miracle. If a modern man could have stood beside him and given a rational explanation of all the events through which he passed, he would not have been particularly impressed. His question would always have been, “Well, why did they happen at exactly this time in this way and secure this result?” To us the major focus of attention in the matter of miracle is to explain how it could have happened without setting aside natural law. With him the point was rather what was happening, what was going on, what result God achieved through the unusual.
... George Ernest Wright (1909-1974) & Reginald Fuller (1915-2007), The Book of the Acts of God, London: Doubleday, 1957, p. 78
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:1-4; Mark 8:11-12; John 2:11; more at Achievement, Historical, Miracle, Reason, Will of God, Wonder, Work)
Friday, May 10, 2019
A memory of yesterday’s pleasures, a fear of tomorrow’s dangers, a straw under my knees, a noise in mine ear, a light in mine eye, an any thing, a nothing, a fancy, a chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayers.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon LXXX, p.477
(see the book; see also Luke 18:7; John 11:21; more at Memory, Prayer, Tomorrow, Trouble, Yesterday)
Saturday, May 11, 2019
The belief in baptismal regeneration of infants, which had... become almost universal [in the middle ages], and the reliance on mysterious sacramental efficacy for sanctification and heavenly admission, strongly militated against regeneration and spiritual reality within the Church. The complete professionalization of a priestly ministry largely eliminated laymen from direct evangelism and robbed them of the missionary spirit, since they were not to be trusted to teach and could not validly administer the saving symbols. The reliance on organization and ceremonial grace, along with the growing concept of the representative relation of the Pope on earth to the Christ in heaven, involved a practical ignoring of the Holy Spirit as the divinely ordained Counterpart of the Christ and the informing soul of the Church... The vast territorial extent of Christianity and the very general ignorance of world geography made it possible for Christians to lose sight of the non-Christian world and to feel, even if somewhat vaguely, that the Christian task was complete, so far as its world occupation was concerned. The Mohammedan growth had encircled the Christian territories. The relations between Christendom and the Mohammedan world fostered anything else than a spirit of helpfulness and a disposition to give the blessings of the one to the other. Christian information about the heathen world was largely cut off by... Mohammedanism; and in order to reach the heathen, missionaries would have to make their way through Mohammedan territory.
... William Owen Carver (1868-1954), The Course of Christian Missions, New York, Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1932, p. 77-78
(see the book; see also Matt. 24:14; more at Baptism, Evangelization, Heathen, Historical, Holy Spirit, Minister, Missionary, Priest, Regeneration, Sacrament)
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Commemoration of Aiden Wilson Tozer, Spiritual Writer, 1963
I believe that pure thinking will do more to educate a man than any other activity he can engage in. To afford sympathetic entertainment to abstract ideas, to let one idea beget another, and that another, till the mind teems with them; to compare one idea with others, to weigh, to consider, evaluate, approve, respect, correct, refine; to join thought with thought like an architect till a whole edifice has been created within the mind; to travel back in imagination to the beginning of the creation and then to leap swiftly forward to the end of time; to bound upward through illimitable space and downward into the nucleus of an atom; and all this without so much as moving from our chair or opening the eyes—this is to soar above all the lower creation and come near to the angels of God.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), Man: The Dwelling Place of God, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1966, p. 145
(see the book; see also Phil. 4:8; more at Angel, Attitudes, Imagination, Mind, Thought)
Monday, May 13, 2019
It was not a marriage only, but a marriage-feast to which Christ conducted His disciples. Now, we cannot get over this plain fact by saying that it was a religious ceremony: that would be mere sophistry. It was an indulgence in the festivity of life; as plainly as words can describe, here was a banquet of human enjoyment. The very language of the master of the feast about men who had well drunk, tells us that there had been, not excess, of course, but happiness there and merry-making.Neither can we explain away the lesson by saying that it is no example to us, for Christ was there to do good, and that what was safe for Him might be unsafe for us. For if His life is no pattern for us here in this case of accepting an invitation, in what can we be sure it is a pattern? Besides, He took His disciples there, and His mother was there: they were not shielded, as He was, by immaculate purity. He was there as a guest at first, as Messiah only afterwards: thereby He declared the sacredness of natural enjoyments... For Christianity does not destroy what is natural, but ennobles it. To turn water into wine, and what is common into what is holy, is indeed the glory of Christianity.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Sermons, v. II, Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1861, v. 2, p. 259
(see the book; see also John 2:1-11; more at Example, Holiness, Jesus, Marriage, Messiah)
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Feast of Matthias the Apostle
Tempting God is the precise opposite of faith. Faith is a complete founding of the whole man upon what God has said and done, upon His self-revelation. Tempting God means trying to get more assurance than God has given.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Household of God, London, SCM Press, 1953, New York: Friendship Press, 1954, p. 29
(see the book; see also Ex. 17:7; more at Assurance, Faith, God, Revelation, Temptation)
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945
Social enthusiasms have such power today, they raise people so effectively to the supreme degree of heroism in suffering and death, that I think it is as well that a few sheep should remain outside the fold in order to bear witness that the love of Christ is essentially something different.
... Simone Weil (1909-1943), Waiting for God, Emma Craufurd, tr., Putnam, 1951, p. 81
(see the book; see also Heb. 11:15-16; more at Social)
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877
The seven works of bodily mercy be these: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and needy, harbour the houseless, comfort the sick, visit prisoners, bury the dead. The seven works of spiritual mercy be these: teach men the truth, counsel men to hold with Christ’s law, chastise sinners by moderate reproving in charity, comfort sorrowful men by Christ’s passion, forgive wrongs, suffer meekly reproofs for the right of God’s law, pray heartily for friend and for foe.
... Middle English Sermons, Woodburn O. Ross, ed. by H. Milford, London: Oxford University Press, 1940, included in The New Christian Year, Charles Williams, London: Oxford University Press, 1958, p. 63
(see the book; see also Luke 14:12-14; Matt. 5:43-45; 10:42; 25:34-40; John 7:37-38; Rom. 12:20-21; Rev. 21:6; more at Comfort, Counsel, Death, Forgiveness, Giving, Historical, Meekness, Mercy, Prayer, Prisoner, Sickness, Sinner, Teach, Truth, Work)
Friday, May 17, 2019
It seems clear that those people who personally are completely convinced of justification by grace alone, and who heartily grant to people of another color the right to the same justification (as long as they remain in their own churches, schools, ghettos, handyman occupations), give an ugly expression to the Augustinian and Reformation understanding of justification. By their emphasis upon the primacy of individual justification, they deny the immediate social character and impact of the justification of the Jews and Gentiles, and they obstruct or delay the changes in common life which belong to the “new creation”
... Markus Barth (1915-1994), “Jews and Gentiles”, Markus Barth
(see also Gal. 6:15; 2 Cor. 5:17; more at Church, Creation, Grace, Justification, Reformation, Social, Understanding)
Saturday, May 18, 2019
He has gone away, the Well-Beloved,For our sake!He is risen, the Well-Beloved,For our sake!He has prayed, the Well-Beloved,For our sake!He has spoken, He has sung,The Word was with God.Praises of the Father,Substance of the Father,The stamp and issue forever,In Love!Word of Love!
... Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), Three Small Liturgies of the Divine Presence , Paris: Editions Durand & Cie., c1952, sec. II
(see the book; see also John 14:2; more at Ascension, Easter, Father, Love, Resurrection)
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Feast of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
Who belongs to the Church? Who is my true brother? We cannot always tell whether or not a man believes in Christ; but we can always ask—Christianity is not a secret society. And if a man says he loves the Lord, why should I not treat him as my brother? If I should happen to welcome one who is only a professing Christian, who has not given his heart to Christ, what harm has it done? I will have offered the love of God to one who rejects it, and I will have given a few hours of my life to an enemy—but our Father holds out His hands all day long to a rebellious people, and our Savior gave His life for me when I was His enemy.
... Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985), “Receiving One Another”
(see the book; see also 1 John 3:14; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 5:18-20; more at Belief, Brotherhood, Christ, Church, Enemy, Father, God, Love, Social)
Monday, May 20, 2019
Evil-doers delight in hiding themselves; shun appearing; are bewildered when discovered; being accused, deny; not even when tortured, readily or always confess; certainly mourn when condemned; sum up against themselves, impute either to fate or to the stars the impulses of a wicked mind; for they will not have that to be their own, which they acknowledge to be evil. But what doth the Christian like this? None is ashamed, none repenteth, save indeed that he was not such long ago. If he be marked down, he glorieth; if accused, maketh no defense; being questioned, confesseth even of his own accord; being condemned, giveth thanks. What manner of evil is this, which hath not the natural marks of evil, fear, shame, shrinking, penitence, sorrow? What manner of evil is this, whereof he that is accused rejoiceth?
... Tertullian (Quintus S. Florens Tertullianus) (160?-230?), Tertullian: Apologetic and practical treatises [2nd-3rd century], Oxford: J. H. Parker, 1842, p. 3-4
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:38-39; more at Confession, Evil, Fate, Historical, Joy)
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Feast of Commemoration of Helena, Protector of the Faith, 330
The truth is that so long as we hold both sides of the proposition together they contain nothing inconsistent with orthodoxy, but as soon as one is divorced from the other, it is bound to prove a stumbling-block. “Only those who believe obey” is what we say to that part of a believer’s soul which obeys, and “only those who obey believe” is what we say to that part of the soul of the obedient which believes. If the first half of the proposition stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of cheap grace, which is another word for damnation. If the second half stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of salvation through works, which is also another word for damnation.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 68
(see the book; see also Rom. 6:17-18; more at Belief, Danger, Grace, Obedience, Truth)
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
[God] is ever seeking to get down to us—to be the divine man in us. And we are ever saying, “That be far from Thee, Lord!” We are careful, in our unbelief, over the divine dignity, of which He is too grand to think. Better pleasing to God ... is the audacity of Job, who, rushing into His presence, and flinging the door of His presence-chamber to the wall, like a troubled—it may be angry—but yet faithful child, calls aloud in the ear of Him whose perfect Fatherhood he has yet to learn, “Am I a sea or a whale, that Thou settest a watch over me?”... The devotion of God to His creatures is perfect; He does not think about Himself, but about them; He wants nothing for Himself, but finds His blessedness in the outgoing of blessedness.Ah! it is a terrible—shall it be a lonely glory, this? We will draw near with our human response, our abandonment of self in the faith of Jesus. He gives Himself to us—shall we not give ourselves to Him? Shall we not give ourselves to each other whom He loves?
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Child in the Midst”, in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], London: A. Strahan, 1867, p. 20-21
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:22-23; more at Devotion, Father, Giving, Knowing God, Perfection, Unbelief)
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Commemoration of Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, 6th century
I shall not value his prayers at all, be he never so earnest and frequent in them, who gives not alms according to his ability.
... John Owen (1616-1683), I.3 in The Grace and Duty of being Spiritually Minded , in Works of John Owen, v. VII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 296
(see the book; see also Jas. 2:15-16; Acts 10:31; Jas. 1:27; more at Charity, Giving, Obedience, Prayer)
Friday, May 24, 2019
Feast of John and Charles Wesley, Priests, Poets, Teachers, 1791 & 1788
The cause of [the cessation of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost] was not, ... “because there was no more occasion for them,” because all the world was become Christians... The real cause was, “the love of many,” almost of all Christians, so called, was “waxed cold.” The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ, than the other heathens. The Son of man, when he came to examine his church, could hardly “find faith upon earth.” This was the real cause, why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian church; because the Christians were turned heathens again, and had only a dead form left.
... John Wesley (1703-1791), Sermons on Several Occasions, v. II, New York: Carlton & Phillips, 1855, Sermon XCIV. “The More Excellent Way,” vol. 2, p. 266
(see the book; see also Matt. 24:12-13; 1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1; Phil. 3:8; more at Death, Gifts, Heathen, Holy Spirit, Love)
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735
Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, 709
Make sure that you let God’s grace work in your souls by accepting whatever He gives you, and giving Him whatever He takes from you. True holiness consists in doing God’s will with a smile.
... Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) (1910-1997), A Gift for God: prayers and meditations, HarperCollins, 1996, p. 37
(see the book; see also Rom. 12:6-8; more at Giving, Grace, Holiness, Obedience, Will of God)
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Feast of Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
Commemoration of Arthur John Gossip, Spiritual Writer, 1954
A century since or so, they spoke of sharing our Lord with the heathen, and the world rocked with laughter at so crazy a scheme, with the Church joining loudly in the merriment. Yet today, who laughs now? We ought to be the gladdest and the most exultant people in the world; for we have found the key to our difficulties, and it turns; have come on a solution of life’s problems, and it works.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924, p. 38
(see the book; see also Acts 22:21; Hos. 8:1; more at Evangelization, Heathen, Laughter, Mission)
Monday, May 27, 2019
Commemoration of John Calvin, renewer of the Church, 1564
When we inculcate, that faith ought to be certain and secure, we conceive not of a certainty attended with no doubt, or of a security interrupted by no anxiety; but we rather affirm, that believers have a perpetual conflict with their own diffidence, and are far from placing their consciences in a placid calm, never disturbed by any storms. Yet, on the other hand, we deny, however they may be afflicted, that they ever fall and depart from that certain confidence which they have conceived in the Divine mercy.
... 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.17, p. 507
(see the book; see also Ps. 116:7; more at Affliction, Anxiety, Certainty, Confidence, Doubt, Faith, Mercy, Security)
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089
Just suppose members of our churches were voted on, like the members of certain civic clubs. Suppose three unexcused absences required that the individual’s name be automatically dropped from the roll, and he could be reinstated only by special vote of the body. Suppose absences from services had to be made up by attending services in some other place, or by carrying out some special project. Suppose church members had to be re-elected to membership each year, and that their attendance and participation in the program of activities determined how the vote went. Oh, well—just suppose.
... Anonymous, from The Baptist Messenger
(see also 1 Tim. 5:1-2; more at Body of Christ, Church, Devotion, Discipline, Year)
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
If by fate anyone means the will or power of God, let him keep his meaning but mend his language: for fate commonly means a necessary process which will have its way apart from the will of God and of men.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), The City of God, v. I , Marcus Dods, ed., as vol. 1 of The Works of Aurelius Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Edinbugh: T & T Clark, 1871, V.i, p.178
(see the book; see also Ps. 24:1; Deut. 10:14; Matt. 10:29; 1 Tim. 6:17; more at Attitudes, Fate, Power, Will of God)
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Feast of Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906
Commemoration of Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431
Commemoration of Apolo Kivebulaya, Priest, Evangelist, 1933
Wherever we turn in the church of God, there is Jesus. He is the beginning, middle, and end of everything to us... There is nothing good, nothing holy, nothing beautiful, nothing joyous, which He is not to His servants. No one need be poor, because, if he chooses, he can have Jesus for his own property and possession. No one need be downcast, for Jesus is the joy of heaven, and it is His joy to enter into sorrowful hearts. We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate our obligation to Jesus, or the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us. All our lives long we might talk of Jesus, and yet we should never come to an end of the sweet things that are to be said of Him. Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done—but then, that matters not; for we shall be always with Him, and we desire nothing more.
... Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), All for Jesus, London: Richardson & Son, 1854, p. 1-2
(see the book; see also John 21:25; more at Eternity, Heaven, Jesus, Joy, Providence)
Friday, May 31, 2019
If thou art willing to suffer no adversity, how wilt thou be the friend of Christ?
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.i., p. 85
(see the book; see also Matt. 24:9; more at Adversity, Christ, Friend, Suffer, Weakness)
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