Quotations for July, 2020
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873
Reynold Pecock, Bishop of St. Asaph, [in The Repressor of Overmuch Blamings of the Clergy] tells us that the Lollards objected to image-worship, pilgrimages, the landed endowments of the Church, degrees of rank among the clergy, the authority of tradition, the monastic orders, the invocation of the saints (and every practice based on the doctrine of the transference of merit), the use of ornaments in Divine service, the mass (and the doctrine of sacramental grace generally), oaths, war, and capital punishment. We have here the outlines of a system approximating in some respects to modern Quakerism, and the likeness is enhanced by something like the doctrine of the “inward light.” Pecock ascribes to the “Bible-men” three fundamental principles, or “trowings,” as he calls them:1. That nothing is to be esteemed a law of God, unless it is founded on Scripture;2. That every Christian “meke in spirit” shall without fail understand the true sense of the Bible;3. That he should then heed no arguments of “clerks” to the contrary... Further on in the book he adds a fourth “trowing” of theirs—that the clergy were so blinded by self-interest that it was impossible for them to arrive at the true sense of Scripture.
... W. H. Summers, Our Lollard Ancestors, London: National Council of Evangelical Free Churches, 1904, p. 81-83
(see the book; see also Ps. 119:33-36; Gal. 5:19-23; Phil.2:3-4; Jas. 3:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at God, Grace, Historical, Law, Sacrament, Scripture, Self, Tradition)
Thursday, July 2, 2020
We are not to throw away those things which can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good: they are instruments for good, in the hands of those who use them properly.
... St. Clement of Alexandria (150?-220?), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, v. II, Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, trs., Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885, p. 595
(see the book; see also Pr. 3:27-28; Zech. 8:16-17; Matt. 7:15; Rom. 15:2; Gal. 6:10; more at Goodness, Neighbor, Obedience, Providence)
Friday, July 3, 2020
Feast of Thomas the Apostle
There are, I should say, four elements in a redemptive community. It is personal, with things happening between people as well as to and in them individually; it is compassionate, always eager to help, observant but nonjudgmental toward others, breathing out hope and concern; it is creative, with imagination about each one in the group and its work as a whole, watching for authentic new vision coming from any of them; and it is expectant, always seeking to offer to God open and believing hearts and minds through which He can work out His will, either in the sometimes startling miracles He gives or in steady purpose through long stretches where there is no special “opening.” It may fairly be said that unless one enmeshes himself in this “redemptive fellowship” of the church, he lessens his chances of steady growth and effectiveness, in his Christian life and experience.
... Samuel M. Shoemaker (1893-1963), The Experiment of Faith, New York: Harper, 1957, p. 34
(see the book; see also Rom. 14:19; Ps. 32:2; Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 10:24; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 2:3-4; 1 Tim. 4:6-7; 2 Tim. 4:3; Heb. 13:9; 1 Pet. 1:22; 1 John 2:19; 3:18; 4:1; more at Authenticity, Church, Compassion, Fellowship, Growth, Heart, Imagination, Mind, Miracle, Renewal, Vision)
Saturday, July 4, 2020
Remind us, O Lord, that you do not exist to bless America. We exist to bless you.
... Max Lucado (b. 1955), from a prayer at the RNC, 2004
(see the book; see also 2 Chr. 7:14; John 1:16-17; 1 John 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:22; more at Blessing, Existence, God, Nation)
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Jesu, be endless praise to Thee,Whose boundless mercy hath for me—For me a full atonement made,An everlasting ransom paid. O let the dead now hear Thy voice;Now bid Thy banished ones rejoice;Their beauty this, their glorious dress,Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness.
... Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) & John Wesley (1703-1791), The Poetical Works of John and Charles Wesley, v. I, Charles Wesley, London: Wesleyan-Methodist Conference Office, 1868, p. 349
(see the book; see also Isa. 35:10; Matt. 20:26-28; Rom. 3:25-26; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Tit. 3:4-7; Heb. 2:17; more at Atonement, Beauty, Blood, Death, Everlasting, Glory, Jesus, Mercy, Praise, Righteousness)
Monday, July 6, 2020
Feast of John Huss, Reformer, Martyr, 1415
Feast of Thomas More, Scholar & Martyr, &
John Fisher, Bishop & Martyr, 1535
The Jews would not willingly tread upon the smallest piece of paper in their way, but took it up; for possibly, they say, the name of God may be on it. Though there was a little superstition in this, yet truly there is nothing but good religion in it, if we apply it to men. Trample not on any; there may be some work of grace there, that thou knowest not of. The name of God may be written upon that soul thou treadest on; it may be a soul that Christ thought so much of, as to give His precious blood for it; therefore despise it not. (formerly ascribed to Coleridge)
... Robert Leighton (1611-1684), A Practical Commentary Upon the First Epistle of St. Peter, London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1849, p. 368
(see the book; see also Acts 5:41; Jer. 14:9; Rom. 14:4; Phil. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 2:17; Jas. 2:7; more at Attitudes, Blood, Christ, God, Grace, Religion)
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
This Prayer is especially to be used in temptation to private sin.O almighty God, infinite and eternal, Thou fillest all things with Thy presence; Thou art every where by thy essence and by Thy power; in heaven by glory, in holy places by Thy grace and favour, in the hearts of Thy servants by Thy Spirit, in the consciences of all men by Thy testimony and observation of us. Teach me to walk always as in Thy presence, to fear Thy majesty, to reverence Thy wisdom and omniscience; that I may never dare to commit any indecency in the eye of my Lord and my Judge; but that I may with so much care and reverence demean myself that my Judge may not be my accuser, but my advocate; that I, expressing the belief of Thy presence here by careful walking, may feel the effects of it in the participation of eternal glory, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
... 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. 43
(see the book; see also Ps. 139:1-16; John 15:26-27; Rom. 9:23-24; more at Conscience, Eternal life, Grace, Judgment, Prayers, Sin, Teach, Temptation)
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
The way of the Church as a body that has the mandate to express the ministry of the great Diakonos [Servanthood] is not spectacular. The “first fruits” of fraternities, house-churches, para-parochial congregations, retreats (not for retreat’s sake, but for the sake of going out into the world) etc. should not continue to exist alongside the Church. They should be acknowledged as really doing the business of the Church.
... Hendrik Kraemer (1888-1965), A Theology of the Laity, London: Lutterworth Press, 1958, p. 179
(see the book; see also Acts 16:14-15; Rom. 16:3-5; Col. 1:24-25; 4:15; more at Body of Christ, Church, Congregation, Minister, Service, World)
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God. It kills the old Adam, makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers, and brings the Holy Spirit with it.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans”, par. 14
(see the book; see also John 3:3; Rom. 7:14-25; 8:13-14; more at Faith, God, Heart, Holy Spirit, Mind, Work)
Friday, July 10, 2020
When Christians join together to accomplish certain things, one may expect the organizations they form to reflect the characteristics of the Kingdom, but that will only happen as a consequence of the way people live and relate to each other in Christ. It will not necessarily follow from structures, policies, or documents.
... Graeme Irvine, former president, World Vision International, in a private communication from World Vision
(see also Matt. 12:3-5,46-50; Rom. 14:17-18; more at Belief, Christ, Church, Kingdom, Way)
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550
A comprehended god is no god.
... St. John Chrysostom (345?-407)
(see the book; see also Job 37:5; more at God, Religion, Understanding)
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Cover, Lord, what has been: govern what shall be. Oh, perfect that which Thou hast begun, that I suffer not shipwreck in the haven.
... Theodore Beza (1519-1605), his last words, quoted in The Last Hours of Eminent Christians, Henry Clissold, London: Rivingtons, 1829, p. 169
(see the book; see also Eze. 27:25-27; 2 Cor. 12:8-9; Phil. 3:10-12; Col. 1:27-29; 1 Tim. 1:18-19; more at Beginning, Death, Perfection)
Monday, July 13, 2020
Keep us, Lord, so awake in the duties of our callings, that we may sleep in Thy peace, and wake in Thy glory.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. V, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CXLVI, p. 623
(see the book; see also Acts 7:60; more at Call, Duty, Glory, Peace, Prayers, Sleep)
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Feast of John Keble, Priest, Poet, Tractarian, 1866
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oilCrushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soilIs bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent;There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;And though the last lights off the black West went,Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—Because the Holy Ghost over the bentWorld broods with warm breast and ah! bright wings.
... Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), Poems and Prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Penguin Classics, 1953, p. 27
(see the book; see also Gen. 1:2; Eccl. 1:8-9; 2:16-18; John 15:26; more at Futility, Holy Spirit, Man, Nature, Toil)
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862
Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274
“Secret sins,” such as are not known to be sins, it may be, to ourselves, make way for those that are “presumptuous.” Thus pride may seem to be nothing but a frame of mind belonging unto our wealth and dignity, or our ... abilities; sensuality may seem to be but a lawful participation of the good things of this life; passion and peevishness, but a due sense of the want of respect that we must suppose owing unto us; covetousness, a necessary care of ourselves and of our families. If the seeds of sin are covered with such pretences, they will in time spring up and bear bitter fruit in the minds and the lives of men. And the beginning of all apostasy, both in religion and in morality, lies in such pretences. Men plead that they can do so-and-so lawfully, until they can do things openly unlawful.
... John Owen (1616-1683), A Treatise of the Dominion of Sin and Grace , in Works of John Owen, v. VII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 559
(see the book; see also Ps. 19:12,13; Matt. 12:33-35; Rom. 2:12-13; 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:3,4; more at Antinomianism, Apostasy, Law, Morality, Religion, Sin)
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Commemoration of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, 1099
Be persuaded, timid soul, that He has loved you too much to cease loving you.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fénelon, ed. Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879, p. 188
(see the book; see also Ps. 100:4-5; 136; 2 Cor. 1:3; more at Assurance, Attributes of God, God, Love)
Friday, July 17, 2020
At this day... the earth sustains on her bosom many monster minds, minds which are not afraid to employ the seed of Deity deposited in human nature as a means of suppressing the name of God. Can anything be more detestable than this madness in man, who, finding God a hundred times both in his body and his soul, makes his excellence in this respect a pretext for denying that there is a God? He will not say that chance has made him different from the brutes; ... but, substituting Nature as the architect of the universe, he suppresses the name of God.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.v.4, p. 60
(see the book; see also Ps. 14:1-3; Job 12:7-25; Jer. 18:13-15; Rom. 1:18-25; more at Apologetics, Evil, God, Mind, Nature, Seed)
Saturday, July 18, 2020
The authority of Scripture is greater than the comprehension of the whole of man’s reason.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), De Genesi ad litteram, ii.5
(see also Luke 21:33, 1 Cor. 2:12-14; more at Bible, Greatness, Man, Reason)
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379
The Christian ethic is inseparable from the preaching of the Word, for the very behaviour of the Christian destroys the work of Satan, and helps to build up the Body of Christ in the world.
... Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Presence of the Kingdom, tr. Olive Wyon, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1951, p. 23
(see the book; see also Matt. 8:16-17; Acts 8:12; Rom. 4:14-16; 1 Cor. 1:23; more at Body of Christ, Holy Spirit, Preach, Righteousness, World)
Monday, July 20, 2020
Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566
There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. But what is Repentance? Not the last and noblest and most refined achievement of the righteousness of men in the service of God, but the first elemental act of the righteousness of God in the service of men; the work that God has written in their hearts and which, because it is from God and not from men, occasions joy in heaven; that looking forward to God, and to Him only, which is recognized only by God and by God Himself.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), The Epistle to the Romans, translated from the 6th edition by Edwyn C. Hoskyns, London: Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1933, 6th ed., Oxford University Press US, 1968, p. 68
(see the book; see also Luke 15:4-7,10; Matt. 18:12-14; Rom. 2:14-15; more at God, Heart, Heaven, Joy, Repentance, Righteousness, Sinner)
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
The true ground of most men’s prejudice against the Christian doctrine is, because they have no mind to obey it.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. VI, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CXVIII, p. 47
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:2-3; Matt. 11:6; more at Obedience, Prejudice, Sin, Truth)
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles
He said: that it was a great delusion to think that the times of prayer ought to differ from other times; that we are as strictly obliged to adhere to God by action in the time of action, as by prayer in the season of prayer.
... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, Fourth Conversation, p. 16
(see the book; see also Ps. 122:6-7; Eccl. 3:1; Luke 5:16; 1 Thess. 5:17; Heb. 10:19-22; more at Action, God, Prayer, Time)
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373
Any alleged Christianity which fails to express itself in cheerfulness, at some point, is clearly spurious. The Christian is cheerful, not because he is blind to injustice and suffering, but because he is convinced that these, in the light of the divine sovereignty, are never ultimate.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), The Humor of Christ, London: Libra Book, 1965, p. 32
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 2:21-24; more at Cheer, Optimism, Sin, Suffer)
Friday, July 24, 2020
Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471
When you hear someone saying unworthy and hard words of you, then it is given to you to drink medicine for your soul from the cup of the Lord.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Hortulus Rosarum, quoted in The Story of the “Imitatio Christi”, Leonard Abercrombie Wheatley, London: Elliot Stock, 1891, VII.i, p. 213
(see the book; see also Luke 6:28; more at Affliction, Cup, Repentance, Self-control, Soul)
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Feast of James the Apostle
The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with this determination to exalt God overall, we step out of the world’s parade... We shall acquire a new viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power will begin to surprise us by its upsurgings and its outgoings.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 96
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:24; 1 Pet. 4:4; more at Conversion, God, Power, World)
Sunday, July 26, 2020
The student of [Roger] Williams’ own writings will, I trust, perceive that, great as has been his symbolic role, he himself was thinking on a deeper plane than that which simply recognizes religious liberty as a way for men to live peaceably together. He was not a rationalist and a utilitarian who gave up the effort to maintain an orthodoxy because he had no real concern about religious truth, but was the most passionately religious of men. Hence he is an analyst, an explorer into the dark places, of the very nature of freedom. His decision to leave denominations free to worship as they chose came as a consequence of his insight that freedom is a condition of the spirit.
... Perry Miller (1905-1963), Roger Williams, Atheneum, 1970, p. 255
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:1; 1 Pet. 2:16; more at Freedom, Liberty, Man, Religion, Spirit, Truth, Worship)
Monday, July 27, 2020
Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901
Commemoration of John R. W. Stott, spiritual writer and teacher, 2011
The world’s opposition is strong and subtle. And behind these things stands the devil, bent on ‘taking men alive’ and keeping them prisoner. For the devil hates the gospel and uses all his strength and cunning to obstruct its progress, now by perverting it in the mouths of those who preach it, now by frightening them into silence through persecution or ridicule, now by persuading them to advance beyond it into some fancy novelty, now by making them so busy with defending the gospel that they have no time to proclaim it.
... John R. W. Stott (1921-2011), Guard the Gospel; the Message of 2 Timothy, Downers Grove, Ill., Inter Varsity Press, 1973, p. 126
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 2:11-14; Matt. 10:33; John 14:19; 1 Thess. 5:10; 1 John 2:22-23; Jude 1:4; more at Church, Devil, Gospel, Persecution, Preach, Prisoner, Silence, Strength, World)
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, musician, 1750
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging.
... J. S. Bach (1685-1750), Glory and Honor: the musical and artistic legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach, Gregory Wilbur & David Vaughan, Cumberland House Publishing, 2005, p. 1
(see the book; see also Mark 14:26; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Rev. 5:12; more at Art, Glory of God, Music, Renewal)
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord
The holiness and spotlessness of the Church (Eph. 1:4; 5:27) are a gift and commission which God already has given, and is giving, to the assembled saints upon earth now. The Christians cannot make or call themselves holy. They would be ridiculous pretenders if they did. But they are called to acknowledge what “the word” does and says to them. By the word, they are purified... Despite all the counsel which the Ephesians needed concerning their worship, conduct, and testimony, they were actually God’s elect. They were commissioned and committed to be holy and spotless. They were entitled to believe and proclaim that God, despite all the sin and weakness of man, creates people called saints!
... Markus Barth (1915-1994), The Broken Wall, Chicago: Judson Press, 1959, Regent College Publishing, 1959, p. 106-107
(see the book; see also John 15:3; Rom. 4:3; Eph. 1:4-6,13-14;5:25-27; more at Call, Church, Counsel, Gifts, God, Holiness, Preach, Purity, Saint, Sin, Weakness, Worship)
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833
Bountiful as is the hand of Providence, its gifts are not so bestowed as to seduce us into indolence, but to rouse us to exertion; and no one expects to attain to the height of learning, or arts, or power, or wealth, or military glory, without vigorous resolution, and strenuous diligence, and steady perseverance. Yet we expect to be Christians without labour, study or inquiry! This is the more preposterous, because Christianity, being a revelation from God, and not the invention of man, discovering to us new relations, with their correspondent duties; containing also doctrines, motives, and precepts, peculiar to itself; we cannot reasonably expect to become proficients in it by the accidental [encounters] of life, as one might learn insensibly the maxims of worldly policy, or a scheme of mere morals.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 79-80
(see the book; see also Deut. 6:5; 11:13-15; Ps. 119:60; John 6:26-29; 1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Tim. 4:2; Heb. 11:6; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; more at Art, Diligence, Gifts, Glory, Indolence, Labor, Life, Perseverance, Power, Providence, Revelation, Wealth, Worldly)
Friday, July 31, 2020
Commemoration of Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556
Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest:To give and not to count the cost;To fight and not to heed the wounds;To toil and not to seek for rest;To labor and not ask for any reward,Save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
... St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491/5-1556), included in A Treasury of Sermon Illustrations, Charles Langworthy Wallis, ed., Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1950,  p. 61
(see the book; see also Prov. 10:16; Phil. 1:29-30; Col. 1:24; 1 Pet. 4:13-14; more at Fight, Giving, Labor, Service, Teach, Toil, Will of God)
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