Quotations for June, 2019
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165
Commemoration of Angela de Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540
You have no questions to ask of any body, no new way that you need inquire after; no oracle that you need to consult; for whilst you shut yourself up in patience, meekness, humility, and resignation to God, you are in the very arms of Christ, your whole heart is His dwelling-place, and He lives and works in you as certainly as He lived in, and governed that body and soul, which He took from the Virgin Mary.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Love [1752-4], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VIII, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 125
(see the book; see also Rev. 3:20; more at Heart, Humility, Meekness, Patience, Weakness)
Sunday, June 2, 2019
And by ‘knowledge’ here [II Peter 1:2,5,8;2:20;3:18] is not to be understood a mere theoretical knowledge of the truths of Christianity or the gnosis of the Gnostics; but a realization of these truths influencing the practice and leading to holiness of life.
... Paton J. Gloag (1823-1906), Introduction to the Catholic Epistles, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1887, p. 232
(see the book; see also 2 Peter 1:2,5-8; 2:20; 3:18; more at Holiness, Knowledge, Life, Truth)
Monday, June 3, 2019
Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910
Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978
The Word of God is the informing power of the revelation of God in the finite world. The Word of God is not, by any figure, to be identified with a book, or a temple, or a minister, or a shrine.
... Elisha Mulford (1833-1885), The Republic of God , Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1893, p. 215
(see the book; see also Eph. 6:17; 2 Tim. 2:8-9; more at Authenticity, Book, Minister, Revelation, Temple)
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
I am verily persuaded the Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of his holy Word. For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the Reformed churches, who are come to a period in religion, and will go at present no farther than the instruments of their reformation. The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw; ... and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things... I beseech you, remember, it is an Article of your church-covenant, that you be ready to receive whatever truth shall be made known to you from the written Word of God. 
... John Robinson (1576?-1625), quoted in The History of the Puritans, or Protestant Noncomformists, Daniel Neal, Harper, 1844, vol. 1, p. 269
(see the book; see also Acts 17:11; Luke 12:57; 1 Cor. 14:29; 1 Thes. 5:21; more at Bible, God, Reformation, Revelation, Truth)
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Feast of Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754
Learned men and great scholars have devoted great effort and prolonged study to the Holy Scriptures... employing the gifts which God gives to every person who has the use of reason.This knowledge is good... but it does not bring with it any spiritual experience of God, for these graces are granted only to those who have a great love for Him. This fountain of love issues from our Lord alone, and no stranger may approach it. But knowledge of this kind is common to good and bad alike, since it can be acquired without love, ... and men of a worldly life are sometimes more knowledgeable than many true Christians although they do not possess this love. St. Paul describes this kind of knowledge: “If I had full knowledge of all things and knew all secrets, but had no love, I should be nothing.”Some people who possess this knowledge become proud and misuse it in order to increase their personal reputation, worldly rank, honours and riches, when they should use it humbly to the praise of God and for the benefit of their fellow Christians in true charity. St. Paul says of this kind of knowledge: “Knowledge by itself stirs the heart with pride, but united to love it turns to edification.”By itself this knowledge is like water, tasteless and cold. But if those who have it will offer it humbly to our Lord and ask for His grace, He will turn the water into wine with His blessing.
... Walter Hilton (1330?-1396), The Scale of Perfection [early 15th century], ed. Serenus Cressy, Book I, I.iv
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 8:1; 13:2; more at Bible, Grace, Holiness, Knowledge, Love, Worldly)
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Commemoration of Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945
One way to recollect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquillity, is not to let it wander too far at other times. You should keep it strictly in the Presence of God; and, being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings.
... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, Eighth Letter, p. 35-36
(see the book; see also Isa. 11:9; Phil. 4:8; more at Calm, Prayer, Presence of God, Tranquility)
Friday, June 7, 2019
A good preacher should have these properties and virtues: first, to teach systematically; secondly, he should have a ready wit; thirdly, he should be eloquent; fourthly, he should have a good voice; fifthly, a good memory; sixthly, he should know when to make an end; seventhly, he should be sure of his doctrine; eighthly, he should venture and engage body and blood, wealth and honor, in the Word; ninthly, he should suffer himself to be mocked and jeered of every one.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), Table-Talk , CCCXCVII.
(see the book; see also 1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Cor. 4:10-13; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; Heb. 13:9; more at Bible, Church, Humor, Knowledge, Memory, Preacher, Suffer, Teach)
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Feast of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Hymnographer, 1711
Commemoration of Roland Allen, Mission Strategist, 1947
Of all spirits, I believe the spirit of judging is the worst, and it has had the rule of me, I cannot tell you how dreadfully and how long... This, I find, has more hindered my progress in love and gentleness than all things else. I never knew what the words, “Judge not that ye be not judged,” meant before; now they seem to me some of the most awful, necessary, and beautiful in the whole Word of God.
... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), letter to his motherThe Life of Frederick Denison Maurice: Chiefly Told in His Own Letters, v. 1, ed. John Frederick Maurice, London: Macmillan, 1885, p. 129-130
(see the book; see also Matt. 7:1-2; Luke 6:37; Rom. 2:1; 14:4; Jas. 4:11-12; more at Beauty, Gentleness, Judgment, Love, Rule, Spirit, Weakness)
Sunday, June 9, 2019
Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373
The Church exists by mission, just as a fire exists by burning. Where there is no mission, there is no Church.
... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Word and the World, London: Student Christian Movement Press, 1931, p. 108
(see the book; see also Ps. 96; Acts 2:3,4; more at Church, Existence, Fire, Mission)
Monday, June 10, 2019
Of course all advance depends upon money, when we depend upon paid workers for any advance. Teach men as one of their first lessons in the gospel that pastoral work and evangelistic work ought to be paid, and will they not believe it? They would all believe it if the Holy Ghost did not dispute our teaching. It is a powerful proof of the presence and grace of the Holy Ghost that they do not all believe it and act accordingly.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), The Case for Voluntary Clergy, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1930, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 182
(see the book; see also Acts 8:29-31; more at Church, Evangelization, Holy Spirit, Money, Teach)
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Feast of Barnabas the Apostle
The Present is the point at which Time touches Eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone, freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with Eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself; or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Screwtape Letters, Macmillan, 1944, p. 76
(see the book; see also Acts 4:33-35; more at Conscience, Cross, Eternity, Grace, Pleasure, Thanksgiving, Time, Today)
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
The very uniqueness of the Resurrection as a historical event always causes problems when we try to describe it, just as it did for the original writers. Nevertheless, the background to the New Testament is one of expectation of resurrection, and only the historical rising again of Jesus makes sense of the narrative in this context.
... 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 Ps. 16:9-10; more at Easter, Historical, Jesus, Resurrection)
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936
Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. Some followers of the Rev. R. J. Campbell, in their almost too fastidious spirituality, admit divine sinlessness, which they cannot see even in their dreams. But they essentially deny human sin, which they can see in the street. The strongest saints and the strongest sceptics alike took positive evil as the starting-point of their argument. If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions. He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and Man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), Orthodoxy, London, New York: John Lane Company, 1909, p. 24
(see the book; see also Rom. 3:18; more at God, Humor, Philosophy, Sin, Theology)
Friday, June 14, 2019
Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691
I apprehend it is a matter of great necessity to imprint true catholicism on the minds of Christians, it being a most lamentable thing to observe how few Christians in the world there be, that fall not into one sect or other... And if they can but get to be of a sect which they think the holiest (as the Anabaptists and the Separatists), or which is the largest (as the Greeks and the Romans), they think then that they are sufficiently warranted to deny others to be God’s Church, or at least to deny them Christian love and communion.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. I, ed. William Orme, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 595-596
(see the book; see also Ps. 133:1; Acts 4:32; more at Church, Communion, Holiness, Love, Sect, Unity)
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941
Christianity is a religion which concerns us as we are here and now, creatures of body and soul. We do not “follow the footsteps of his most holy life” by the exercise of a trained religious imagination, but by treading the firm, rough earth, up hill and down dale.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The School of Charity, New York: Longmans, Green, 1934, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1991, p. 52
(see the book; see also Heb. 12:3; more at Holiness, Imagination, Obedience, Religion, Work)
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752
Some will not believe in miracles because the laws of nature work uniformly. But their uniformity is undisturbed by human operations; the will of man wields, without cancelling, these mighty forces which surround us: and why may not the will of God do the same?
... G. A. Chadwick (1840-1923), The Gospel According to St. Mark, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891, p. 316
(see the book; see also John 10:22-26; Mark 11:27-33; more at Apologetics, Law, Miracle, Nature, Will of God)
Monday, June 17, 2019
Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936
[The Christian] refuses to give his heart to, or be taken in by, the values and pleasures of this passing world. He does not hesitate to use all that is good and beautiful and true, partly because he knows that his God gives him “richly all things to enjoy,” and partly because he knows that in all life’s impermanent beauties and pleasures, there is the promise of the real and permanent which he is thoroughly convinced will exceed his wildest expectations. [Continued tomorrow]
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, ch. v, p. 67
(see the book; see also 1 Tim. 6:17; more at Beauty, Goodness, Knowing God, Permanence, Pleasure, Promise, Truth)
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
[Continued from yesterday]But even the Christian, for all this satisfying and hopeful conviction, does not know the meaning of the mystery of life, and if he is wise he does not pretend to. He has enough light to light him on his way, but there are a great many gaps in his knowledge. When he says, “one day we shall understand”, he is by no means always uttering a pious platitude. Quite frequently he is voicing a solid conviction, a genuine facet of hope. At present his vision is severely limited, and that is probably just as well if his sanity is to be preserved. But when he is free from the limitations of temporal life, he has every hope of being able to know as surely as he is at present known.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), New Testament Christianity, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1956, ch. v, p. 67
(see the book; see also Ps. 119:105; 1 Cor. 13:12; more at Conviction, Hope, Knowing God, Knowledge, Light, Way, Wisdom)
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929
From my ten years’ experience I can unhesitatingly say that the Cross bears those who bear the Cross
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), quoted in Sádhu Sundar Singh, Called of God, Rebecca Jane Parker, New York: Fleming H. Revell Co. 1920, p. 85
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:24-25; 10:38; 1 Pet. 4:1-2; more at Bearing, Cross, Obedience)
Thursday, June 20, 2019
As the veil of the temple was, at the death of the Saviour, rent asunder, in the same way our communion with the Crucified puts aside all the curtains separating us artificially from the rest of the world, and removes all sense of privilege and exclusiveness. It is this explanation of justification by faith only which leads us to the true depth of what the Gospel has contributed to this world. To live by grace and to die by grace, to live in forgiveness every day, every hour and every moment, means to identify oneself with those who do not share our faith, and to realize all the debts we owe them. Let us not be afraid that this will reduce the Gospel to relativism. Its depth is in proportion to its breadth. The deeper it is, the broader and fuller it becomes.
... J. L. Hromadka (1889-1969), The Church and Theology in Today’s Troubled Times, Prague: Ecumenical Council of Churches in Czechoslovakia, 1956, p. 10
(see the book; see also Matt. 27:50-51; more at Communion, Crucifixion, Faith, Forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Justification, Savior, Temple)
Friday, June 21, 2019
Long did I toil, and knew no earthly rest,Far did I rove, and found no certain home;At last I sought them in His sheltering breast,Who opes His arms and bids the weary come:With Him I found a home, a rest divine,And I since then am His, and He is mine. The good I have is from His stores supplied:The ill is only what He deems the best.He for my friend, I’m rich with naught beside;And poor without Him, though of all possessed.Changes may come—I take, or I resignContent, while I am His, and He is mine. Whate’er may change, in Him no change is seen,A glorious Sun, that wanes not, nor declines;Above the clouds and storms He walks serene,And on His people’s inward darkness shines;All may depart—I fret not nor repine,While I my Saviour’s am, while He is mine. While here, alas! I know but half His love,But half discern Him, and but half adore;But when I meet Him in the realms above,I hope to love him better, praise Him more,And feel, and tell, amid the choir divine,How fully I am His, and He is mine.
... J. Quarles (1624-1665) & Henry F. Lyte (1793-1847), Miscellaneous Poems, London: Rivingtons, 1868, p. 75
(see the book; see also Ps. 102:25-26; Ruth 1:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:14-16; 1 Tim. 6:7-9; more at Attitudes, Contentment, Providence, Serene, Work)
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Feast of Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.209
Grant that I may never rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof, lest, instead of sucking milk, I squeeze blood out of it.
... Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), Good Thoughts in Bad Times , Chicago: United Society of Christian Endeavor, Boston, 1898, “Scripture Observations,” I
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 3:1-2; more at Bible, Blood, Scripture, Truth)
Sunday, June 23, 2019
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678
One might think that with the Bible as the center of Christianity, the unity of Christians could be easily realized. Unfortunately this has not proved true, though we can consider it fortunate that, as this inability to unify proves, the letter of the Bible cannot really replace the living Christ as the center of our faith.The Bible is the expression of the life and work of God, and since “life” is greater than its manifestation, it cannot be expressed completely in any logical or theological form. Therefore, the Bible itself cannot escape being understood in many different ways. Thus we see how in the wisdom of God it is impossible in practice to make the Scriptures the end or final authority in themselves, for they only express God’s authority to those who live in fellowship with the Spirit.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 3
(see the book; see also Ps. 135:5; more at Bible, Church, Fellowship, Holy Spirit, Unity)
Monday, June 24, 2019
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist
Men perish with whispering sins, nay with silent sins, sins that never tell the conscience that they are sins, as often as with crying sins; and in hell there shall meet as many men that never thought what was sin, as that spent all their thoughts in the compassing of sin.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. I, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon XIV, p. 276
(see the book; see also Ps. 19:12; more at Condemnation, Conscience, Hell, Silence, Sin)
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
In vain does any man pretend that he will be a martyr for his religion, when he will not rule an appetite, nor restrain a lust, nor subdue a passion, nor cross his covetousness and ambition, for the sake of it, and in hope of that eternal life “which God that cannot lie hath promised.’ He that refuseth to do the less is not like to do the greater. It is very improbable that a man will die for his religion, when he cannot be persuaded to live according to it. He that cannot take up a resolution to live a saint, hath a demonstration within himself, that he is never like to die a martyr.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. IV, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon LXXVII, p. 451-452
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 2:3,11-12; more at Authenticity, Martyr, Saint, Self-control, Vanity)
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Exclusive concentration on the criterion of historicity obscures the intent, meaning, and message of the narrative which, after all, are its enduring qualities. If Abraham’s migration can no longer be explained as part of a larger Amorite migratory stream from east to west, it should be noted that what has fallen by the wayside is a scholarly hypothesis, not the Biblical text. Genesis itself presents the movement from Haran to Canaan as an individual, unique act undertaken in response to a divine call, an event, not an incident, that inaugurates a new and decisive stage in God’s plan of history. The factuality or otherwise of this Biblical evaluation lies beyond the scope of scholarly research.
... Nahum W. Sarna (1925-2005), in Biblical Archaeology Review, March, 1978, Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, p. 52
(see the book; see also Heb. 11:8; more at Action, Bible, Call, God, Historical, Meaning)
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Christ’s call is ... to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and snatch them from the very jaws of Hell. But this can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion, where neither man nor traditions are worshipped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified.
... C. T. Studd (1860-1931), quoted in C. T. Studd—Cricketer and Pioneer , Norman P. Grubb, World-Wide Revival Prayer Movement, 1947, p. 163
(see the book; see also Luke 5:31-32; Matt. 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 15:7; 1 Cor. 1:23; more at Call, Christ, Crucifixion, Holy Spirit, Mission, Music, Repentance, Sinner, Tradition)
Friday, June 28, 2019
Feast of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200
Too many Christians still live with crossed fingers, sweating out their good luck as a portent of calamity. To see them, you would never guess that God’s good pleasure, and not the goddess of fate, rules human destiny.
... Edmund P. Clowney (1917-2005)
(see also Ps. 46:1-3; more at Attitudes, Destiny, Fate, Providence)
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles
It has been observed that nowhere does Scripture attempt a deductive argument for the existence of God, like those of Thomas Aquinas, for example. This fact ought not to be taken to imply, however, that such an effort is unjustifiable and necessarily useless. The distinctiveness of the Biblical approach is its immediacy. The theistic proofs for God’s existence constitute a laborious, painstaking, and patient justification of theism. They attempt to set forth in rational argument what the soul grasps intuitively. But for the Bible, the deepest proof of God’s existence is just life itself. The knowledge of God and man’s knowledge of himself are closely intertwined. If only God could be written off neatly and cleanly, how simple things would be! But the hound of heaven pads after us all. He does not let us go. There is no escaping him...; when least expected, he closes in. The explanation for this is man’s creation in the image of God. His identity is known theologically, in relation to the God who as a man in his true significance cannot survive permanently in isolation from his Maker. Without God, man is the chance product of unthinking fate, and so of little worth. The current loss of identity and the emergence of the faceless man in today’s culture are testimony to the effects of losing our God. The knowledge of God is given in the same movement in which we know ourselves.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Set Forth Your Case, Chicago: Moody Press, 1971, p. 108-109
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:26; more at Argument, Existence, God, Knowing God, Providence, Scripture)
Sunday, June 30, 2019
He, who begins by loving Christianity, better than truth, will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.
... Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), Aids to Reflection , London: W. Pickering, 1839, Aphorism XXV, p. 74
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:13; Luke 11:39-52; 2 Cor. 10:17-18; more at Attitudes, Love, Pride, Sect, Self, Truth)
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