Quotations for October, 2022
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Commemoration of Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, 533
Commemoration of Thérèse of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Spiritual Writer, 1897
To speak as men, we can only say that we do not learn faith, never will learn faith, neither from ourselves nor under the stress of fate and evil times. Faith comes from God each moment, and when it comes we can say nothing else, astonished and perplexed, but: “I believe, dear Lord, help my unbelief!”
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), from “The Name of the Lord”, in Come Holy Spirit: Sermons, New York: Round Table Press, 1933, reprint, Mowbrays, 1978, p. 33
(see the book; see also Mark 9:23-24; Luke 17:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29-30; Heb. 11:6; 12:2; more at Belief, Faith, Fate, God, Unbelief)
Sunday, October 2, 2022
The practical problem of Christian politics is not that of drawing up schemes for a Christian society, but that of living as innocently as we can with unbelieving fellow-subjects under unbelieving rulers who will never be perfectly wise and good and who will sometimes be very wicked and very foolish. And when they are wicked, the Humanitarian theory of punishment will put in their hands a finer instrument of tyranny than wickedness ever had before. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which our masters choose to call ‘disease’ can be treated as crime, and compulsorily cured. It will be vain to plead that states of mind which displease the government need not always involve moral turpitude and do not therefore always deserve forfeiture of liberty. For our masters will not be using the concepts of Desert and Punishment but those of disease and cure. [Continued tomorrow]
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment”, in God in the Dock , ed. Walter Hooper, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1994, p. 292-293
(see the book; see also Ps. 118:8; more at Evil, Folly, Punishment, Social, Tyranny)
Monday, October 3, 2022
Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896
Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958
[Continued from yesterday]We know that one school of psychology already regards religion as a neurosis. When this particular neurosis becomes inconvenient to the government, what is to hinder the government from proceeding to ‘cure’ it? Such ‘cure’ will, of course, be compulsory; but under the Humanitarian theory it will not be called by the shocking name of Persecution. No one will blame us for being Christians, no one will hate us, no one revile us. The new Nero will approach us with the silky manners of a doctor, and though all will be in fact [compulsory], all will go on within the unemotional therapeutic sphere where words like ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, or ‘freedom’ and ‘slavery’ are never heard. And thus when the command is given, every prominent Christian in the land may vanish overnight into Institutions for the Treatment of the Ideologically Unsound, and it will rest with the expert gaolers to say when (if ever) they are to emerge. But it will not be persecution. Even if the treatment is painful, even if it is life-long, even if it is fatal, that will be only a regrettable accident, the intention was purely therapeutic.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment”, in God in the Dock , ed. Walter Hooper, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1994, p. 293
(see the book; see also Ps. 118:9; more at Intention, Knowledge, Persecution, Social, Tyranny)
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226
May the fiery and sweet strength of Thy love, I pray Thee, O my Lord, absorb my soul, and make all things under heaven as nothing unto me, that for the love of Thy love I may die, as Thou didst deign to die for love of mine. Amen.
... St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, Paschal Robinson, tr., Dolphin Press, 1906, p. 144
(see the book; see also Ex. 3:2; Isa. 6:6-7; Dan. 7:13-14; Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 2:3; Rom. 6:8-11; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 John 3:1; more at Death, Fire, Heaven, Love, Prayers, Soul, Strength)
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
A Christian cannot help being free, because in the pursuit and attainment of his object, no one can either hinder or retard him.
... Lyof N. Tolstoy (1828-1910), The Kingdom of God is Within You , in The Complete Works of Lyof N. Tolstoi, v. XIV, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1899, p. 196
(see the book; see also Isa. 61:1-3; John 8:32-36; Rom. 7:6; 8:1-2; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 3:25; 5:1,13; 1 Pet. 2:16; more at Freedom, Purpose, Victory)
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536
God never strikes but in love, nor takes away save to give again. I pray Him to comfort you, to preserve your health, and to turn your heart wholly to Himself. Blessed is he who lives in faith, trusts to none save God, and uses this world as though he were already beyond it.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Spiritual Letters of Archbishop Fénelon. Letters to men, London: Rivingtons, 1877, p. 259
(see the book; see also Job 42:12; Ps. 119:75; Pr. 13:24; Heb. 12:5-7; Jas. 1:12; 5:11; more at Faith, God, Health, Love, Prayer, Trust, World)
Friday, October 7, 2022
Christian freedom, in my opinion, consists of three parts. The first: that the consciences of believers, in seeking assurance of their justification before God, should rise above and advance beyond the law, forgetting all law righteousness... The second part, dependent upon the first, is that consciences observe the law, not as if constrained by the necessity of the law, but that freed from the law’s yoke they willingly obey God’s will... The third part of Christian freedom lies in this: regarding outward things that are of themselves “indifferent,” we are not bound before God by any religious obligation preventing us from sometimes using them and other times not using them, indifferently... Accordingly, it is perversely interpreted both by those who allege it as an excuse for their desires that they may abuse God’s good gifts to their own lust and by those who think that freedom does not exist unless it is used before men, and consequently, in using it have no regard for weaker brethren... Nothing is plainer than this rule: that we should use our freedom if it results in the edification of our neighbor, but if it does not help our neighbor, then we should forego it.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. II, tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.xix.2,4,7,9,12, p. 63 ff
(see the book; see also Rom. 2:14-15; 8:20-21; 14:22-23; 1 Cor. 8:7-13; 10:27-33; Gal. 5:13-14; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Conscience, Freedom, Neighbor, Obedience, Service)
Saturday, October 8, 2022
In arriving at a decision in a question of doubt, the apostles in the Acts were guided solely by their sense of the Spirit behind the action, not by any speculations as to consequences which might ensue.And so they found the truth. Gradually the results of the action manifested themselves, and, seeing them, they perceived what they had really done, and learnt the meaning of the truth revealed in the action. But if, from fear of the consequences, they had checked or forbidden the action, they would have lost this revelation. They would have missed the way to truth.
... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Pentecost and the World, London: Oxford University Press, 1917, included in The Ministry of the Spirit, David M. Paton, ed., London: World Dominion Press, 1960, p. 50
(see the book; see also John 16:13; Acts 2:17,18; 8:29; 13:2-4; 15:28; more at Action, Doubt, Fear, Holy Spirit, Revelation, Sight, Spirit, Truth)
Sunday, October 9, 2022
Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258
Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253
The soul of man, when it is healthy, is athirst for God; and God only, through Christ, can slake the soul’s thirst. Longing for God, for the eternally good and true and lovely, is natural to man; it is man’s most divine endowment. The thirst, as well as the living water, is a gift of God. As Christ is both Priest and Victim, so He gives both the thirst and the life-giving draught... This is what Christ always assumed in His teaching. Man wants to find his way to God. That is why we come to Church; that is why we pray. And our Saviour cries to us with a loud voice, as He did on the great day of the feast, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”
... William R. Inge (1860-1954), Personal Religion and the Life of Devotion, London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1924, p. 37
(see the book; see also Ps. 42:1-2; Matt. 5:6; John 4:13-14; 6:35; 7:37-39; Rev. 22:1; more at Christ, Church, God, Health, Longing, Man, Prayer, Priest, Savior, Soul, Teach)
Monday, October 10, 2022
Feast of Paulinus, Bishop of York, Missionary, 644
He who attempts to set up God’s kingdom in his heart, furthers it in the world.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Sermons, Bearing on Subjects of the Day, London: J. G. F. & J. Rivington, 1844, p. 151
(see the book; see also Deut. 10:16; Matt. 6:33; Luke 12:31; John 6:27; Col. 1:27; 2:11-12; more at God, Heart, Kingdom, Witness, World)
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Commemoration of Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking, 675
What is the Christian? Everywhere the man who, so far as he comprehends Jesus Christ, so far as he can get any knowledge of Him, is His servant, the man who makes Christ a teacher of his intelligence and the guide of his soul, the man who obeys Christ as far as he has been able to understand him... I would know any man as a Christian, would rejoice to know any man as a Christian, whom Jesus would recognize as a Christian, and Jesus Christ, I am sure, in these old days recognized His followers even if they came after Him with the blindest sight, with the most imperfect recognition and acknowledgment of what He was and of what He could do.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Addresses, Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1895, p. 122-123
(see the book; see also Isa. 52:14-15; 65:1; Matt. 13:13-16; 16:8-11; Mark 4:11-12,33; 8:17-21; Luke 8:10; 9:44-45; 18:34; 24:45; John 8:27; 9:24-25; 10:1-6,24-29; 12:16; more at Guidance, Jesus, Knowing God, Man, Obedience, Sight, Soul, Teach)
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709
Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845
To strive in prayer means to struggle through those hindrances which would restrain or even prevent us entirely from continuing in persevering prayer. It means to be so watchful at all times that we can notice when we become slothful in prayer and [that we] go to the Spirit of prayer to have this remedied. In this struggle, too, the decisive factor is the Spirit of prayer.
... O. Hallesby (1879-1961), Prayer, London: Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 1943, reprint, Augsburg Fortress Books, 1975, 1994, p. 110
(see the book; see also Ps. 42:8; Matt. 15:22-28; Luke 2:36-37; 11:5-8; 22:44; Rom. 8:26-27; 12:12; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 2:18; 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 5:5; 2 Tim. 1:3; Jude 1:20-21; more at Perseverance, Prayer, Sloth, Spirit, Strife, Struggle)
Thursday, October 13, 2022
Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066
It is easy to throw angels and demons and the cosmic character and relevance of Christ’s work upon the scrap heap of ancient superstition and mythology, and to consider them but a manner of speech that is utterly irrelevant for our space age. But if we should feel entitled to throw out one part of the witness of Ephesians to Christ, why not the rest of it also: for instance, Christ’s Lordship over the church and in the heart? It is unfair and scarcely honest to consider the Bible or parts of it as a cake from which we can pick out merely the raisins we happen to like. Speaking the truth in love and witnessing to the biblical Christ may imply the necessity to speak also of some very strange things.
... Markus Barth (1915-1994), The Broken Wall, Chicago: Judson Press, 1959, Regent College Publishing, 1959, p. 21
(see the book; see also Eph. 4:1-6,15; 6:11-12; more at Angel, Bible, Christ, Church, Heart, Love, Truth, Witness, Work)
Friday, October 14, 2022
The Bible will never be a living Book to us until we are convinced that God is articulate in His universe. To jump from a dead, impersonal world to a dogmatic Bible is too much for most people. They may admit that they should accept the Bible as the Word of God, and they may try to think of it as such, but they find it impossible to believe that the words there on the page are actually for them. A man may say, “These words are addressed to me,” and yet in his heart not feel and know that they are. He is the victim of a divided psychology. He tries to think of God as mute everywhere else and vocal only in a book.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 76-77
(see the book; see also Ps. 85:8; Luke 11:28; 24:27,45; John 5:39-40; Rom. 3:1-2; Eph. 6:17; Phil. 2:14-16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 2 Pet. 1:21; 3:15; more at Belief, Bible, Book, God, Heart, Knowledge, Revelation, Thought)
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582
Granting that we are always in the presence of God, yet it seems to me that those who pray are in His presence in a very different sense; for they, as it were, see that He is looking upon them, while others may be for days together without even once recollecting that God sees them.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Life of St. Teresa of Avila of the order of Our Lady of Carmel, New York: Benziger Brothers, 1916, p. 58
(see the book; see also Jer. 22:16; Hos. 6:6; Luke 16:15; 1 John 2:3; 4:12-13; Jude 1:20; more at God, Prayer, Presence of God, Sight)
Sunday, October 16, 2022
Commemoration of the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicolas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, bishops and martyrs, 1555
I would advise you all, that cometh to the reading or hearing of this book, which is the word of God, the most precious jewel, and most holy relic that remaineth upon earth, that ye bring with you the fear of God, and that ye do it with all due reverence, and use your knowledge thereof, not to vainglory of frivolous disputation, but to the honour of God, increase of virtue, and edification both of yourselves and other.
... Thomas Cranmer, The Works of Thomas Cranmer, Cambridge: The University Press, 1846, p. 122
(see the book; see also Ps. 19:9; 111:10; 119:74; Luke 11:28; Eph. 6:17; Phil. 2:12-13; 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 4:12; more at Bible, Fear, God, Honor, Knowledge, Reverence)
Monday, October 17, 2022
Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107
The present life is the only opportunity that will be given me for helping others in this world. That is a privilege which even Angels are not allowed. We shall have Heaven for ever, but we have only a short time for service here, and therefore must not waste the one opportunity.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), The Message of Sadhu Sundar Singh, B. H. Streeter & A. J. Appasamy, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922, p. 38
(see the book; see also Ps. 39:4-5; 102:11-12; Isa. 40:7-8; Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; more at Angel, Heaven, Life, Opportunity, Service, World)
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Feast of Luke the Evangelist
“The time of business,” said he, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquillity as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”
... Brother Lawrence (c.1605-1691), The Practice of the Presence of God, New York, Revell, 1895, Fourth Conversation, p. 20
(see the book; see also Eph. 6:18; Ps. 27:8; 80:18; Luke 18:1; John 4:22-24; 15:16; Rom. 8:15; 12:12; Eph. 2:18; Phil. 4:6; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:8; Heb. 10:19-22; 1 John 5:14; more at God, Prayer, Sacrament, Time, Tranquility)
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Feast of Henry Martyn, Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India & Persia, 1812
Ask not, therefore, whether we are saved by faith, or by works; for we are saved by neither of them: faith and works are at first only preparatory to the new birth; afterwards they are the true genuine fruits and effects of it. But the new birth, a life from heaven, the new creature, called Christ in us, is the one only salvation of the fallen soul. Nothing can enter into heaven, but this life which is born of, and comes from heaven.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Prayer , London: E. Justins for Ogles, Duncan, and Cochran, 1816, p. 32
(see the book; see also John 1:12-13; 3:5-7; Rom. 3:22-24; 11:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:4-5,8-9; 4:22-24; Tit. 3:4-7; 1 John 5:6; Rev. 21:27; more at Christ, Faith, Heaven, Life, New birth, Salvation, Work)
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Christian prayer is personal, loving address. One does not seek to use God for one’s own ends but instead to find out the will of God for one’s life. One does not passively resign oneself to the will of God but actively seeks to discover this will and then to apply it to the whole of life.
... Donald G. Bloesch (1928-2010), The Struggle of Prayer, Harper & Row, 1980, p. 53
(see the book; see also Ps. 112:1; Matt. 6:31-33; 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 18:10-14; John 13:17; Heb. 5:7-10; Jas. 1:22-25; more at Discovery, God, Life, Love, Prayer, Will of God)
Friday, October 21, 2022
Where shall the world be found, where will the wordResound? Not here, there is not enough silence.
... T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), from Ash Wednesday, in The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1952, p. 65
(see the book; see also Ps. 4:4; 46:10; 47:1; 66:1; Eccl. 3:7; Hab. 2:20; Matt. 11:15; more at Discipline, Silence, World)
Saturday, October 22, 2022
The worst of Christ, even his chaff, is better than the world’s corn.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 23, 1637, p. 197
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:26; John 15:18-19; Acts 20:24; Rom. 8:18; 1 Cor. 4:10; Phil. 3:7-8; Jas. 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16; more at Christ, Gifts, World)
Sunday, October 23, 2022
From the renunciation of self-will springs patience; for none can be perfectly patient in all things save the man who has subjected his own will to the will of God, and also in all profitable and seemly things, to the will of all other men.
... Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381), Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage, I.xv
(see the book; see also Matt. 16:24-25; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:23-24; John 12:25; Rom. 8:12-13; 12:1-2; 14:17-18; Gal. 5:16-17; 6:9; Phil. 2:4; Col. 3:5,12-13; 1 Pet. 4:1-2; more at Man, Patience, Renunciation, Self-sacrifice, Will of God)
Monday, October 24, 2022
The day may bring many strange things to us, perplexing or painful or disappointing; but this stands strong: our prayer has not been turned away, nor His loving kindness.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), Edges of His Ways , London: SPCK, 1957, p. 105
(see the book; see also Ps. 51:11; 66:20; 86:13; 136; Eph. 4:30; more at Day, Disappointment, God, Love, Pain, Prayer)
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Commemoration of Crispin & Crispinian, Martyrs at Rome, c.285
In religion, we are not asked to make up our minds, we are asked to make up our lives... We may refuse to make up our minds, but our lives get made up, one way or the other... Whatever we believe with our minds, our lives are committed either to God’s way or to the God-denying way, and what matters in religion is the act of commitment.
... A. Leonard Griffith (b. 1920), Barriers to Christian Belief, New York: Harper & Row, 1962, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1962, p. 190-192
(see the book; see also Ps. 31:5; 86:11; 119:30; 1 Pet. 4:19; 3 John 1:3-4; more at Action, Apologetics, Belief, Commitment, God, Life, Mind, Religion, Way)
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Feast of Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, Scholar, 899
Commemoration of Cedd, Founding Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of the East Saxons, 664
The greatest reward is the gift unearned.
... John Rutledge, from a paraphrase of Ps. 127
(see also Ps. 127:3-5; Luke 6:35; Heb. 10:34; 12:28; 2 Pet. 1:10-11; more at Family, Gifts, Grace, Providence)
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Most of us in the Church ... still believe mainly in fuss and noise and crowding and organization and machinery. If things drag, we evolve some other type of meeting... There may be no spiritual outcome whatsoever, but we are pleasantly tired, and there is a wind blowing in our faces and so we have the sense something is being done. So long as we are hot and perspiring, are talking and meeting, are bustled and rushed, we feel that things are happening, for we trust in efficiency and busyness, and a certain material capacity far more than in the Holy Spirit.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 76
(see the book; see also John 14:16-17,25-26; 15:26; Eph. 2:22; 5:18; 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; more at Church, Crowd, Holy Spirit, Trust)
Friday, October 28, 2022
Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles
What are our lame praises in comparison with His love? Nothing, and less than nothing; but love will stammer rather than be dumb.
... Robert Leighton (1611-1684), A Practical Commentary Upon the First Epistle of St. Peter, London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1849, p. 45
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Ps. 34:1-3; Isa. 32:1-4; Col. 1:27; more at Dumbness, Love, Praise, Worship)
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885
Don’t worry about what you do not understand of the Bible. Worry about what you do understand and do not live by.
... Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983), Clippings from My Notebook: writings of and sayings collected, Nashville: T. Nelson, 1982, p. 53
(see the book; see also Matt. 15:3-6; Luke 11:28; John 5:39-40; Rom. 2:13; Jas. 1:22; 2 Pet. 3:15-16; 1 John 2:3; more at Action, Belief, Bible, Life, Worry)
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Commemoration of Martin Luther, Teacher, Reformer, 1546
Always preach in such a way that if the people listening do not come to hate their sin, they will instead hate you.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546)
(see the book; see also Ps. 36:1-2; 69:4; 97:10; Pr. 8:13; Amos 5:15; John 7:7; 15:18-20; Rom. 12:9; more at Hatred, People, Preach, Sin, Way)
Monday, October 31, 2022
I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, “If any man doth ascribe aught of salvation, even the very least, to the free-will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.” It may seem a harsh sentiment; but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free-will turn to God, cannot have been taught by God, for it is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that he gives both; that he is “Alpha and Omega” in the salvation of men.
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 1: 1855, CCEL, Sermon 52
(see the book; see also Isa. 6:9-10; 54:13; Mic. 4:2; Matt. 11:25; 13:13-15; 23:37; John 1:11; 5:40; 6:44-45; 12:37-41; Eph. 1:4-6; 2:8-9; Rev. 22:13; more at Belief, Free will, God, Grace, Jesus, Power, Salvation, Teach)
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