Quotations for March, 2020
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601
Lord, I have shut the door, speak now the wordWhich in the din and throng could not be heard;Hushed now my inner heart, whisper Thy will,While I have come apart, while all is still.
In this blest quietness clamorings cease;Here in Thy presence dwells infinite peace;Yonder, the strife and cry, yonder, the sin:Lord, I have shut the door, Thou art within!
Lord, I have shut the door, strengthen my heart;Yonder awaits the task—I share a part.Only through grace bestowed may I be true;Here, while alone with Thee, my strength renew.
... William M. Runyan (1870-1957), The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. Petersen, ed., Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006, p. 574
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:5-8; 2 Kings 4:32-33; Matt. 14:23; 26:36-39; more at Door, Grace, Heart, Peace, Prayers, Renewal, Sin, Strength, Strife, Will of God)
Monday, March 2, 2020
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
The cross is laid on every Christian. It begins with the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with His death—we give over our lives to death. Since this happens at the beginning of the Christian life, the cross can never be merely a tragic ending to an otherwise happy religious life. When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow Him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at His call. That is why the rich young man was so loath to follow Jesus, for the cost of his following was the death of his will. In fact, every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and His call are necessarily our death and our life.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 89
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:24,25; Luke 14:33; John 5:24-26; Eph. 2:1,5-6; 1 Pet. 2:24; more at Call, Christ, Conversion, Cross, Death, Disciple, Jesus, World)
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by them. We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures: however deep we dig, we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides. [Continued tomorrow]
... St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), from the commentary, The Spiritual Canticle, XXXVII.4
(see the book; see also Rom. 9:22-23; Ps. 40:5; Eccl. 3:11; Dan. 4:35; Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 10:3-4; Eph. 3:16-19; Col. 1:27; more at Christ, Discovery, Jesus, Treasure, Wonder)
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647
[Continued from yesterday]For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ, “In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labors, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training.The gate that gives entry into these riches of his wisdom is the cross; because it is a narrow gate, while many seek the joys that can be gained through it, it is given to few to desire to pass through it.
... St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), from the commentary, The Spiritual Canticle, XXXVII.4, XXXVI.13
(see the book; see also Matt. 7:13-14; Ps. 36:6; 139:6; Luke 13:24; Eph. 3:8-12; Col. 2:2-3; more at Christ, Cross, Jesus, Joy, Knowing God, Suffer, Treasure, Wisdom)
Thursday, March 5, 2020
The why of natural law is the living Voice of God immanent in His creation. And this word of God which brought all worlds into being cannot be understood to mean the Bible, for it is not a written or printed word at all, but the expression of the will of God spoken into the structure of all things. This word of God is the breath of God filling the world with living potentiality. The Voice of God is the most powerful force in nature, indeed the only force in nature, for all energy is here only because the power-filled Word is being spoken. [Continued tomorrow]
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 70
(see the book; see also John 6:63; Gen. 1:1-3; Num. 23:19; Isa. 45:22-23; 55:11; Eph. 1:9-10; more at Bible, God, Law, Life, Nature, Power, Will of God, World)
Friday, March 6, 2020
[Continued from yesterday]The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” The life is in the speaking words. God’s word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God’s word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 70
(see the book; see also John 6:63; Matt. 24:35; Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 3:6-9; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 1:23; more at Bible, Freedom, God, Life, Power, Spirit)
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
Those who call these cults “religions,” and “compare” them with the certitude and challenge of the Church have much less appreciation than we have of what made heathenism human, or of why classic literature is still something that hangs in the air like a song. It is no very human tenderness for the hungry to prove that hunger is the same as food. It is no very genial understanding of youth to argue that hope destroys the need for happiness.And it is utterly unreal to argue that these images in the mind, admired entirely in the abstract, were even in the same world with a living man and a living polity that were worshipped because they were concrete... They are only different because one is real and the other is not. I do not mean merely that I myself believe that one is true and the other is not. I mean that one was never meant to be true in the same sense as the other.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), The Everlasting Man, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1925, Wilder Publications, 2008, p. 68
(see the book; see also 2 Pet. 1:16; Acts 17:30; 1 John 5:19; Rev. 7:16-17; more at Challenge, Church, Happiness, Hope, Need, Religion, Truth, Worship)
Sunday, March 8, 2020
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
The faculty of faith is not meant to kill the faculty of criticism and the instinct of curiosity, but rather to keep them keen and alive, and prevent them dying of despair. Faith is the mark of those who seek and keep on seeking, who ask and keep on asking, who knock and keep on knocking, until the door is opened. The passive, weak-kneed taking of everything on trust which is often presented as faith is a travesty of its truth. True faith is the most active, positive, and powerful of all virtues. It means that a man, having come into spiritual communion with that great personal Spirit Who lives and works behind the universe, can trust Him, and, trusting Him, can use all his powers of body, mind, and spirit to cooperate with Him in the great purpose of perfection; it means that the man of faith will be the man of science in its deepest, truest sense, and will never cease from asking questions, never cease from seeking for the reason that lies behind all mysteries.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Hardest Part, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919, p. 83-84
(see the book; see also Matt. 5:6; 6:33; Hab. 2:4; Luke 11:9-10; Rom. 1:16-17; 2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:1-34; John 4:1-3; more at Faith, Question, Reason, Trust, Truth, Virtue)
Monday, March 9, 2020
Original sin ... is that which makes us paint in white and black the relative good we do and the evil we combat; it is that which sends us corporately from one false absolute to its dialectical opposite; it is that which moves us to fight for our prejudices as if we were fighting for God, or else to contract out of decision in the world unless we can envisage the choice as having unconditional divine warrant; it is that which bids us attribute others’ evil to the malice of their free will and our own to the pressure of circumstances.
... V. A. Demant (1893-1983), The Religious Prospect, London: F. Muller, 1941, p. 226-227
(see the book; see also Isa. 59:1-4; 64:7; John 7:16-17; Rom. 8:6-7; 2 Pet. 1:5-9; more at Evil, Fight, Free will, God, Goodness, Prejudice, Sin, World)
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Clerics often say that if voluntary clergy were admitted, the laity would cease to support stipendiary clergy, and that they would say, “We can get clergy for nothing, why should we pay for them?” That argument suggests that the laity do not want stipendiary clergy and must be compelled to have them against their will. Whatever truth there may be in it, and it is a very serious indictment of the present stipendiary clergy as a body, one thing is certain: we cannot make people want what they do not want by compelling them to pay for it.
... 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. 149
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 4:10-13; 9:14-18; 2 Cor. 11:9-11; 2 Thess. 3:7-9; more at Church, Minister, People, Providence, Truth)
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
You have never less reason to be pleas’d with yourself, than when you find yourself most angry and offended at the behaviour of others. All sin is certainly to be hated and abhorred, wherever it is; but then we must set ourselves against sin, as we do against sickness and diseases, by showing ourselves tender and compassionate to the sick and diseased.All other hatred of sin, which does not fill the heart with the softest, tenderest affections towards persons miserable in it, is the servant of sin, at the same time that it seems to be hating it.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life , London: Methuen, 1899, p. 402
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 3:18; Ps. 119:163; Isa. 53:6; Rom. 5:8; 12:9; Jude 1:22-23; more at Compassion, Hatred, Heart, Reason, Sickness, Sin, Tender)
Thursday, March 12, 2020
There is much that is bad and meaningless in the universe, and the universe contains men who know that much is bad and meaningless. The Christian answer to the problem is that this is a good world gone wrong, but with a memory of what it should have been.
... Kathryn Lindskoog (1934-2003), C. S. Lewis, Mere Christian, Glendale, Cal.: G/L Publications, 1973, reprint, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1981, p. 46-47
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:31; 3:17-19,22; 1 Kings 3:9; Matt. 7:16-20; more at Apologetics, Goodness, Knowledge, Universe, World, Wrong)
Friday, March 13, 2020
... stooping very low, He engraves with careHis Name, indelible, upon our dust,And, from the ashes of our self-despair,Kindles a flame of hope and humble trust.He seeks no second site on which to build,But on the old foundation, stone by stone,Cementing sad experience with grace,Fashions a stronger temple of His own.
... Patricia St. John (1919-1993), from “The Alchemist”, in Patricia St. John Tells Her Own Story, Kingsley Press, 2004, p. 17
(see the book; see also John 2:19; 1 Cor. 3:10-11,17; 2 Cor. 5:1; 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Builder, Despair, Dust, Grace, Hope, Humility, Kingdom, Providence, Strength, Temple)
Saturday, March 14, 2020
No one uses instituted ways or forms of worship profitably, but such as find communion with God in them, or are seriously humbled because they do not.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Works of John Owen, v. IX, New York: R. Carter, 1851, Sermons X-XIII, p. 170
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 6:16; Col. 1:27; 2 Pet. 3:10-12; 1 John 3:24; 4:13; 5:11; more at Communion, God, Humility, Worship)
Sunday, March 15, 2020
There were in the eighteenth century terrible theologians who held that “God did not command certain things because they are right, but certain things are right because God commanded them.” To make the position perfectly clear, one of them even said that though God has, as it happens, commanded us to love Him and one another, He might equally well have commanded us to hate Him and one another, and hatred would then have been right. It was apparently a mere toss-up which He decided on. Such a view of course makes God a mere arbitrary tyrant. It would be better and less irreligious to believe in no God and to have no ethics than to have such an ethics and such a theology as this.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Reflections on the Psalms, Edinburgh: James Thin, 1958; G. Bles, 1958, p. 61
(see the book; see also Deut. 6:5; 7:9; 10:12-16,19; 30:6; Mark 12:30-31; John 15:12-13; 1 Thess. 3:12; 4:9; Heb. 13:1; 1 John 4:16; 2 John 5; more at Belief, Commandment, God, Hatred, Historical, Love, Theology, Tyranny)
Monday, March 16, 2020
God is absolutely free. He doesn’t do anything because he has to do it. There is no necessitas in God. He is not a part of the cause-effect sequence of things. He operates out of free love—no constraints.
... Eugene H. Peterson (1932-2018), in “On Being Unnecessary”, The Unnecessary Pastor, Marva J. Dawn, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2000, p. 5
(see the book; see also Ex. 33:19; Isa. 65:1; Mic. 7:18; Luke 10:21; John 1:12-13; 3:8; Rom. 2:4; 9:15-21; Eph. 1:4-8; more at Freedom, God, Love)
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460
I get not my feasts without some mixture of gall; neither am I free of old jealousies; for he hath removed my lovers and friends far from me; he hath made my congregation desolate, and taken away my crown; and my dumb sabbaths are like a stone tied to a bird’s foot, that wanteth not wings; they seem to hinder my flight, were it not that I dare not say one word, but “Well done, Lord Jesus.”
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 20, 1637, p. 192-193
(see the book; see also Lam. 3:19-23; 2 Tim. 4:8; Jas. 1:12; more at Congregation, Desolation, Friend, Jesus, Love, Sabbath, Trust, Weakness)
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character. You know men who are all but perfect, and women who would be entirely perfect, but for an easily ruffled, quick-tempered, or “touchy” disposition. This compatibility of ill temper with high moral character is one of the strangest and saddest problems of ethics... No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unChristianize society than evil temper. For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom off of childhood, in short, for sheer, gratuitous misery-producing power; this influence stands alone.
... Henry Drummond (1851-1897), “The Greatest Thing in the World”, in Addresses, H. Altemus, 1891, p. 39-41
(see the book; see also Eph. 4:31-32; Ps. 4:4; Pr. 17:14; Eccl. 7:8-9; Matt. 5:22; Eph. 4:26; Col. 3:15; Jas. 1:19-20; more at Community, Greed, Home, Man, Morality, Sin, Social, Virtue)
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth
If thou shalt remain faithful and zealous in labour, doubt not that God shall be faithful and bountiful in rewarding thee. It is thy duty to have a good hope that thou wilt attain the victory: but thou must not fall into security lest thou become slothful or lifted up.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.xxv.1, p. 76
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 2:16; Ps. 23:1; 65:9-13; Luke 12:35-40; John 6:31; 1 Cor. 2:9; 4:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:8-10; more at Attitudes, Faith, God, Hope, Labor, Security, Sloth, Victory, Zeal)
Friday, March 20, 2020
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687
Very many deny that the Sacred writers wrote according to the rules of art. Nor do we contend for the contrary; for they wrote not according to art, but according to grace, which is above all art; for they wrote that which the Spirit gave them to speak. And yet they who wrote on art made use of their writings from which to frame their art, and to compose its comments and rules.
... St. Ambrose of Milan (Aurelius Ambrosius) (339-397), letter to Justus, A.D. 381, The Letters of S. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Oxford, J. Parker, 1881, p. 27
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:42-45; Acts 2:4; 4:25; more at Art, Bible, Grace, Holy Spirit, Rule)
Saturday, March 21, 2020
The fact that a belief is subjectively determined does not mean that it is untrue; it may be a rationalization of our wishes and may, nevertheless, be in accordance with the evidence. Sometimes we are in the fortunate position of knowing that this is so. We may hold a belief to be true because we wish it to be true, and we may at a later date gratefully acknowledge that the evidence is strongly in its favour. It is by no means to be taken for granted that religious beliefs do not fall within this category. I make this point because many people argue as if it were sufficient to show that our religious beliefs are rationalizations, ... in order to disprove them; as if the fact that religious beliefs fulfilled our wishes and comforted our feelings was in itself a reason for supposing them to be false.
... C. E. M. Joad (1891-1953), God and Evil, New York: Harper, 1943, p. 228
(see the book; see also Jer. 25:31; 2 Cor. 10:2-5; Col. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:23-24; Titus 3:9; more at Apologetics, Argument, Belief, Comfort, Fulfillment, Gratitude, Knowledge, Reason, Truth)
Sunday, March 22, 2020
The scientist who lives laborious days in the disinterested pursuit of truth, the artist who will starve in a garret if only he may express the beauty he has seen, the martyr who will obey God in the scorn of consequence, are all religious men or, at least, are men who illustrate that principle which lies behind religion. Truth, Beauty, Goodness—these are sacred, the object of man’s true love and reverence. He to whom nothing is sacred, all questions are open, and the distinction between right and wrong is blurred, is an enslaved, not an emancipated, spirit.
... Nathaniel Micklem (1888-1976), The Theology of Politics, London: Oxford University Press, 1941, p. 58
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 3:7; Gal. 4:3; 5:1; Eph. 2;1-2; Col. 2:8,20; Heb. 2:14-15; more at Beauty, Consecration, Love, Martyr, Reverence, Social, Truth)
Monday, March 23, 2020
The uncertainty... lies always in the intellectual region, never in the practical. What Paul cares about is plain enough to the true heart, however far from plain to the man whose desire to understand goes ahead of his obedience.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Mirrors of the Lord”, in Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, London: Longmans, Green, 1889, p. 43
(see the book; see also Luke 11:28; 2 Cor. 3:18; Ps. 119:100; Pr. 3:5; Matt. 9:13; Jas. 1:22; more at Heart, Knowledge, Man, Obedience, Uncertainty)
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953
Are we not all members of the same Body and partakers of the same Spirit and heirs of the same blessed hope of eternal life?... Why do we not, as becomes brethren, dwell together in unity? but are so apt to quarrel and break out into heats, to crumble into sects and parties, to divide and separate from one another upon every trifling occasion.Give me leave... in the name of our dear Lord ... to recommend to you this new commandment of his, that ye love one another. Which is almost a new commandment still, and hardly the worse for wearing; so seldom is it put on, and so little hath it been practised among Christians.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. II, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon XX, p. 247-248
(see the book; see also John 13:34-35; Rom. 6:8,9; 15:5-7; 1 John 4:20; more at Body of Christ, Church, Commandment, Eternal life, Hope, Love, Quarrel, Sect, Unity)
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary
Be pleased to hear all these good people, who can pray [the Lord’s Prayer] to Thee so fast. And, in Thy mercy, may some of Thy grace to them overflow to me, whom Thou hast made too slow of mind to speak such august words as these so rapidly with any understanding.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In the Secret Place of the Most High, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947, p. 57
(see the book; see also Luke 11:1-4; Matt. 6:9-13; Rom. 8:26; more at Grace, Mind, Prayer, Prayers, Understanding)
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883
Fix my thoughts, my hopes, and my desires, upon heaven and heavenly things; teach me to despise the world, to repent me deeply for my sins; give me holy purposes of amendment, and [spiritual] strength and assistances to perform faithfully whatsoever I shall intend piously. Enrich my understanding with an eternal treasure of Divine Truths, that I may know thy will: and thou, who workest in us to will and to do of Thy good pleasure, teach me to obey all Thy commandments, to believe all Thy revelations, and make me partaker of all Thy gracious promises.
... 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. 34
(see the book; see also Matt. 13:51-52; Ps. 25:1-5; 119:11-12,25-40,64-68; Matt. 13:34-35; more at Belief, Commandment, Heaven, Hope, Intention, Obedience, Prayers, Promise, Repentance, Sin, Thought, Truth)
Friday, March 27, 2020
The Christian faith believes that the Atonement reveals God’s mercy as an ultimate resource by which God alone overcomes the judgment which sin deserves. If this final truth of the Christian religion has no meaning to modern men, including modern Christians, that is because even the tragic character of contemporary history has not yet persuaded them to take the fact of human sinfulness seriously.
... Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), Christianity and Power Politics, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1940, reprint, Archon Books, 1969, p. 21
(see the book; see also Matt. 20:28; Luke 6:36; John 3:16; Rom. 3:22-26; 5:11; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:7-27; 1 John 4:9; more at Atonement, Belief, Faith, God, Historical, Judgment, Mercy, Revelation, Sin)
Saturday, March 28, 2020
The central idea of the Christian religion, the idea which cannot be doubted or minimized without sacrificing the essential truth of Christianity, is that God, who had always through His messengers and prophets communicated His word to man, at last, as the climax of His grace, sent His only Son into the world. The Divine Nature, which is omnipresent and eternal, free from the human limitations of space and time, materialized itself in human form upon the earth, voluntarily subjecting itself to those limitations and yet continuing to be Divine... In so far as it was human, this expression of the Divine Nature in the world must have a beginning, a history for a term of years, and an end, i.e., a birth, life, and death. Yet, on the other hand, as being Divine, it was preexistent and deathless. The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was God. Birth and death have no bearing on the eternal Divine Nature. Thus the Divine Nature makes itself in appearance to us double, and this double nature is called by the terms Father and Son, which must of course be regarded as symbolical names attempting to make the Divine mystery intelligible to the human mind with its necessarily limited powers of understanding. [Continued tomorrow]
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), Pictures of the Apostolic Church, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910, p. 1-2
(see the book; see also Rev. 22:13; Luke 24:46-51; John 1:1,14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 15:3-9; 1 John 4:2-10; 2 John 7; more at Everlasting, Grace, Historical, Incarnation, Revelation, Time, Understanding)
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974
[Continued from yesterday]It was therefore an essential part of the Divine purpose, that those who had known the Divine Word in its human expression as the man Jesus, should become aware that death had no real power over Him. This result was accomplished by various events after such fashion that a sufficient number of persons were firmly convinced of the truth, and constituted a body of witnesses whose evidence might convince the world and give effect to the Divine will. [Continued tomorrow]
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), Pictures of the Apostolic Church, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910, p. 2
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 1:8-10; Luke 24:46-51; John 1:1,14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 15:3-9; 1 John 4:8-10; more at Death & Resurrection, Historical, Power, Purpose, Witness)
Monday, March 30, 2020
[Continued from yesterday]After this conviction was produced, we come to the final stage, the apparent departure of the embodied Divine Nature, the man Jesus, from the world. The earthly period had fulfilled its purpose and reached its climax. This is the Ascension. This term, like many of the other words which must be employed by man in discussing the subject, is an attempt to express Divine truth—which as Divine is not subject to worldly conditions—in the language of human imperfection. The Divine Nature is omnipresent. It does not lie more in one direction from us than in another; it is neither above nor below: it is everywhere. To say that Jesus went up into heaven is a merely symbolic expression; it has not a local significance; it is an emblematic statement of the truth. The truth which has to be conceived in the mind is that, at the due stage and the proper moment, Jesus ceased to be apparent to human senses in the world, and is God with God.
... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), Pictures of the Apostolic Church, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1910, p. 2-3
(see the book; see also Acts 1:8-11; Luke 24:46-53; John 1:1,14; 1 Cor. 15:3-9; 1 John 4:8-10; more at Ascension, God, Historical, Jesus, Omnipresence, Truth)
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
Consider the insupportable penances that were laid upon sinners, by those penitential canons, that went through the church in those primitive times; when for many sins which we pass through now, without so much as taking knowledge that they are sins, men were not admitted to the Communion all their lives—no, nor easily upon their death-beds. Consider how dangerously an abuse of that great doctrine of Predestination may bring thee to thinke, that God is bound to thee, and thou not bound to him; that thou mayest renounce him, and he must embrace thee, and so make thee too familiar with God, and too homely with religion, upon presumption of a decree.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon LXVIII, p. 216
(see the book; see also Matt. 22:11-14; Ps. 65:5; Mark 16:16; Rom. 8:29; more at Church, Communion, Danger, God, Historical, Predestination, Renunciation, Sin)
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