Quotations for August, 1998
Saturday, August 1, 1998
When compassion for the common man was born on Christmas Day, with it was born new hope among the multitudes. They feel a great, ever-rising determination to lift themselves and their children out of hunger and disease and misery, up to a higher level. Jesus started a fire upon the earth, and it is burning hot today. The fire of a new hope in the hearts of the hungry multitudes.
... Frank C. Laubach (1884-1970), The World is Learning Compassion, NJ: Revell, 1958, p. 30
(see the book; see also Luke 1:46-55; Rom. 15:4; more at Christmas)
Sunday, August 2, 1998
Only one thing is quite certain: he too has his time and not more than his time. One day others will come who will do the same things better. And some day he will have been completely forgotten—even if he should have built the pyramids or the St. Gotthard tunnel or invented atomic fission. And one thing is even more certain: whether the achievement of a man’s life is great or small, significant or insignificant—he will one day stand before his eternal judge, and everything that he has done and performed will be no more than a mole hill, and then he will have nothing better to do than hope for something he has not earned: not for a crown, but quite simply for gracious judgment which he has not deserved. That is the only thing that will count then, achievement or not. “My kindness shall not depart from you.” By this man lives. By this alone can he live.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), Call for God, NY: Harper & Row, 1967, p. 16
(see the book; see also Isa. 54:10; more at Love)
Monday, August 3, 1998
In the Bible, faith is a mixture of trust and trustworthiness. To have complete confidence in God makes a man reliable. And, when someone never lets you down, you look instinctively for a deeper relationship.
... Robert Mackie
(more at Bible, Confidence, Faith, Fellowship, God, Man, Trust)
Tuesday, August 4, 1998
Feast of John Vianney, Curè d’Ars, 1859
[Christ] is the breathing forth of the heart, life, and Spirit of God, into all the dead race of Adam. He is the seeker, the finder, the restorer, of all that was lost and dead to the life of God. He is the love, that, from Cain to the end of time, prays for all its murderers; the love that willingly suffers and dies among thieves, that thieves may have a life with him in paradise. The love that visits publicans, harlots, and sinners, and wants and seeks to forgive, where most is to be forgiven.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Prayer , London: E. Justins for Ogles, Duncan, and Cochran, 1816, p. 108-109
(see the book; see also Matt. 18:11; Luke 7:37-48; more at Jesus)
Wednesday, August 5, 1998
Feast of Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642
We do not very often come across opportunities for exercising strength, magnanimity, or magnificence; but gentleness, temperance, modesty, and humility, are graces which ought to colour everything we do. There may be virtues of a more exalted mould, but... these are the most continually called for in daily life.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life , London: Rivingtons, 1876, III.i, p. 125
(see the book; see also Rom. 12:3,15; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Attitudes, Gentleness, Grace, Humility, Opportunity, Strength, Temperance)
Thursday, August 6, 1998
In a natural fear of lowering the Divine dignity of Christ, we often forget His true humanity. We think of His earthly life as moving on a plane so different from ours that no parallel can be drawn between them... What we forget is, that He too needed to walk by faith, needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, ... needed the sympathy of loving friends, needed the strengthening that is gained in private prayer. His strong and beautiful, serene and holy life so fills the eye that we lose sight of His secret intercourse with the Father, out of which came all its beauty, all its power.
... G. H. Knight (1835-1917), In the Secret of His Presence, Rock Island, Ill.: Augustana Book Concern, 1934, p. 44-45
(see the book; more at Christ, Faith, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Power, Prayer)
Friday, August 7, 1998
Commemoration of John Mason Neale, Priest, Poet, 1866
I clearly recognize that all good is in God alone, and that in me, without Divine Grace, there is nothing but deficiency... The one sole thing in myself in which I glory, is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory.
... Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510), in The Life and Sayings of Saint Catherine of Genoa, Alba House, 1964, p. 90
(see the book; more at Weakness)
Saturday, August 8, 1998
Feast of Dominic, Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221
Verily, if thou desirest to have the Creator of all creatures, thou must renounce all creatures; for it cannot be otherwise, but only insomuch as thy soul is emptied and bared; the less of the creature, the more of God: this is but a [fair] bargain.
... Johannes Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), The Inner Way, Sermon II
(see the book; see also John 3:30; more at Repentance)
Sunday, August 9, 1998
Feast of Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921
Thou knowest well how to excuse and colour thine own deeds, but thou art not willing to receive the excuses of others. It were more just that thou shouldest accuse thyself, and excuse thy brother.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ , Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.iii.2, p. 87
(see the book; see also Matt. 18:23-35; Jas. 2:13; more at Repentance)
Monday, August 10, 1998
Feast of Lawrence, Deacon at Rome, Martyr, 258
Unless we look upon ourselves as called to unity, we shall never be united. If God does not will that we should be united, what can our devices for producing it avail? Whereas, if we believe that it is His will, and that we are fighting against His will by our divisions, we have a right confidently to hope that He will at last bring us to repentance, or, if we do not repent, will accomplish His purposes in spite of us.
... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), Hope for Mankind, Macmillan, 1868, p. 27
(see the book; see also John 17:20,21; Rom. 12:16; 15:5-7; 1 Pet. 3:8,9; more at Belief, Call, Church, Confidence, Purpose, Repentance, Unity, Will of God)
Tuesday, August 11, 1998
Feast of Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253
Commemoration of John Henry Newman, Priest, Teacher, Tractarian, 1890
One secret act of self-denial, one sacrifice of inclination to duty, is worth all the mere good thoughts, warm feelings, passionate prayers, in which idle people indulge themselves.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Parochial Sermons, v. 1, New York: D. Appleton, 1843, p. 111
(see the book; see also Mark 14:31; Rom. 12:1; more at Obedience)
Wednesday, August 12, 1998
Sometimes truth is lost first in a church, and then holiness and sometimes the decay or hatred of holiness is the cause of the loss of truth; but where either is rejected, the other will not abide.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Nature and Causes of Apostasy from the Gospel , in Works of John Owen, v. VII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 199
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Pet. 1:15-23; more at Church)
Thursday, August 13, 1998
Feast of Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor, Priest, Teacher, 1667
Commemoration of Florence Nightingale, Social Reformer, 1910
Commemoration of Octavia Hill, Worker for the Poor, 1912
Let us not enquire into the affairs of others that concern us not, but be busied within ourselves and our own spheres; ever remembering that to pry into the actions or interests of other men not under our charge, may minister to pride, to tyranny, to uncharitableness, to trouble, but can never consist with modesty; unless where duty, or the mere intentions of charity and relation, do warrant it... Knock therefore at the door before you enter upon your neighbor’s privacy; and remember that there is no difference between entering his house and looking into it.
... 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. 79,81
(see the book; see also 2 Thess. 3:11-13; more at Attitudes, Charity, Duty, Neighbor, Practical Christianity, Pride)
Friday, August 14, 1998
Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
Paul does not forbid you to use rites and ceremonies, but it is not his wish that he who is free in Christ should be bound by them. He does not condemn the law of works if only one use it lawfully. Without these things perhaps you will not be pious; but they do not make you pious.
... Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536), in A History of Christian Thought, v. II , A. C. McGiffert, New York, London: C. Scribner’s sons, 1960, p. 387
(see the book; see also Rom. 14:13-15,21; 1 Cor. 8:7-13; Eph. 2:8,9; more at Legalism)
Saturday, August 15, 1998
With our heads, we believe that the church ought to be one truly “classless society,” with all men standing on a plane of perfect equality at the foot of the Cross. But if in our hearts we do not genuinely want it, the unwanted know it well enough, count us as their enemies, and turn to other faiths. [Continued tomorrow]
... Lewis J. Sherrill (1892-1957), Lift Up Your Eyes, Richmond: John Knox Press, 1949, p. 159
(see the book; see also James 2:3-5; more at Church)
Sunday, August 16, 1998
[Continued from yesterday]We know with our heads that the Bible and the Gospel have a bearing, sooner or later, upon every issue in life, every problem, every relationship, every practice. But is it not true that in our hearts we are afraid that the full-orbed, unfiltered revelation of God will disturb some custom, some privilege, some status by which we benefit in society, business, occupation, or government? And knowing that we are profiting by the blood, sweat, and tears of the many, we feel wrath rising in us whenever it is proposed that religion touches the thing in question.
... Lewis J. Sherrill (1892-1957), Lift Up Your Eyes, Richmond: John Knox Press, 1949, p. 159
(see the book; see also Ephesians 6:9; more at Church)
Monday, August 17, 1998
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, 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)
Tuesday, August 18, 1998
Does not the public repudiation of the whole Christian scheme of life in a large part of what was once known as Christendom force to the front the question whether the path of wisdom is not rather to attempt to work out a Christian doctrine of modern society and to order our national life in accordance with it?Those who would give a quick, easy or confident answer to this question have failed to understand it. It cannot even be seriously considered without a profound awareness of the extent to which Christian ideas have lost their hold over, or faded from the consciousness of, large sections of the population; of the far-reaching changes that would be called for in the structure, institutions and activities of existing society, which is in many of its features a complete denial of the Christian understanding of the meaning and end of man’s existence; and of the stupendous and costly spiritual, moral and intellectual effort that any genuine attempt to order national life in accordance with the Christian understanding of life would demand.
... J. H. Oldham (1874-1969), from a letter to The Times printed October 5, 1938, quoted in The Idea of a Christian Society, T. S. Eliot, London: Faber, 1939, reprint, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 68
(see the book; see also 2 Peter 2:20,21; more at Authenticity, Existence, Failure, Life, Man, Meaning, Nation, Question, Social, Understanding)
Wednesday, August 19, 1998
The test of worship is how far it makes us more sensitive to the “beyond in our midst,” to the Christ in the hungry, the naked, the homeless, and the prisoner. Only if we are more likely to recognize him there after attending an act of worship is that worship Christian rather than a piece of religiosity in Christian dress.
... John A. T. Robinson (1919-1983), Honest to God, London: SCM Press, 1963, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, p. 90
(see the book; see also Matt. 6:2-6; 25:31-40; John 6:33-35; more at Action, Charity, Christ, Religion, Worship)
Thursday, August 20, 1998
Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153
Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890
And now be careful to be found a wise and faithful servant, and communicate the heavenly bread to your fellow servants without envy or idleness. Do not take up the vain excuse of your rawness of inexperience which you may imagine or assume. For sterile modesty is never pleasing, nor that humility laudable which passes the bounds of reason. Attend to your work; drive out bashfulness by a sense of duty, and act as a master... But I am not sufficient for these things, you say. As if your offering were not accepted from what you have, and not from what you have not. Be prepared to answer for the single talent committed to your charge, and take no thought for the rest... For he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. Give all, as assuredly you shall pay to the uttermost farthing; but of a truth out of what you have, not what you have not.
... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), The Life and Times of St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, A.D. 1091-1153, James Cotter Morison, London: Macmillan, 1889, p. 203
(see the book; see also Ps. 51:16-17; Matt. 25:14-26; Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 8:12; more at Duty, Giving, Obedience, Offering, Service, Talent, Vanity, Work)
Friday, August 21, 1998
Next to the wicked lives of men, nothing is so great a disparagement and weakening to religion, as the divisions of Christians.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. IX, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon CCIX, p. 45
(see the book; see also Rom. 15:6; 1 Cor. 3:3; more at Church)
Saturday, August 22, 1998
God’s redemptive revelation in the Holy Scriptures is necessary to saving faith and peace with God. Faith in a risen Savior is necessary if the vague stirrings toward immortality are to bring us to restful and satisfying communion with God.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Pursuit of God , Christian Publications, 1982, p. 75
(see the book; see also Rom. 10:8-10; more at Bible, Communion, Faith, God, Immortality, Peace, Redemption, Revelation, Savior, Scripture)
Sunday, August 23, 1998
Commemoration of Rose of Lima, Contemplative, 1617
For the saints in the world to come there can be no change in the object of their faith and hope and love. They have Christ, they have God, and they are satisfied. There can be no monotony in the contemplation and worship of the Infinite. Their great possession is unchangeable, but also inexhaustible; no change is possible where all is love and truth. The centre of the heavenly life is fixed and immovable, but the circumference may ever be advancing towards the centre, the saints may ever be drawing nearer and nearer to a goal which they can never reach. There may be progress in knowledge, progress in enjoyment, progress in service—a progress which at every point will open up new wonders, new opportunities, new outlooks into a greater future, and as that future unfolds itself, new and unexpected scopes for the energies of redeemed men, new ways of fellowship with God in Christ, new companionships with the good and great of past generations, and with angelic beings who have watched and guarded us in life, and rejoiced over our repentance, and are ready to welcome us into the eternal mansions, and will share our worship and our work, our service and our joy, in the ages to come.
... Henry Barclay Swete (1835-1917), The Life of the World to Come, London: Society for the Promoting of Christian Knowleldge, 1918, p. 106-107
(see the book; see also Eph. 2:6,7; more at Repentance)
Monday, August 24, 1998
Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
It is impossible for a man to be a Christian without having Christ; and if he has Christ he has at the same time all that is in Christ.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), remarks on Thesis 37, Resolutiones et Responsiones, 1518History of the Great Reformation of the Sixteenth Century in Germany, Jean Henri Merle d’Aubigné, London: Walther, 1838, p. 379-380
(see the book; see also Rom. 7:4; Eph. 2:12,13; more at Christ, Jesus, Man, Spiritual life)
Tuesday, August 25, 1998
This concern for the rights and liberties and welfare of the backward peoples is rooted in the Christian ethic of justice and of the duty to help and protect the weak, upon the Christian valuation of man as of spiritual dignity and worth, as made for freedom, as a potential child of God. These principles have no validity unless the Christian view of man be true.
... Nathaniel Micklem (1888-1976), The Theology of Politics, London: Oxford University Press, 1941, p. 114
(see the book; see also Jer. 22:1-4; Amos 5: 7,8; Mic. 6:8; John 7:24; more at Social)
Wednesday, August 26, 1998
The Church on earth is a cross-eyed church, with one eye on God in His heavenly benediction, and one eye on the needy world of men.
... David Head, Shout for Joy, New York: MacMillan Co., 1962, p. 108
(see the book; see also Acts 6:1-4; Eph. 1:3; more at Church)
Thursday, August 27, 1998
Feast of Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387
Nothing could better illustrate this authentic spirit of Christian monasticism, stemming from Johannite monasticism, than one of its most recent examples, Father de Foucauld. If he went out to the Ahaggar plateau, it was not only to find but also to proclaim God, thereby teaching the gospel in a way which desert people could understand. After his death, the example set by this hermit was followed by others who, far from settling in the desert places of the Sahara, set out to mingle with the peopled deserts of the great cities, there to preach the gospel by their example and their very presence.
... Jean Steinmann (1911-1963), Saint John the Baptist, New York: Harper, 1958, p. 164
(see the book; see also Acts 17:22-23; more at Authenticity, Desert, Example, Gospel, Historical, Preach, Teach)
Friday, August 28, 1998
Feast of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher, 430
Great art Thou, O Lord, and highly to be praised; great is Thy power, yea, and Thy wisdom is infinite. And man would praise Thee, because he is one of Thy creatures; yea, man, though he bears about with him his mortality, the proof of his sin, the proof that Thou, O God, dost resist the proud, yet would man praise Thee, because he is one of Thy creatures. Thou dost prompt us thereto, making it a joy to praise Thee; for Thou hast created us unto Thyself, and our heart finds no rest until it rests in Thee. Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand which comes first, to call upon Thee, or to praise Thee, and which comes first, to know Thee or to call upon Thee.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions , Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886, p. 1-2
(see the book; see also Ps. 145:3; 147:5; Zeph. 3:8,9; Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5; more at Prayers)
Saturday, August 29, 1998
Instead of pursuing her appointed path of separation, persecution, world-hatred, poverty, and non-resistance, [the Church] has used... Scripture to justify her in lowering her purpose to the civilization of the world, the acquisition of wealth, the use of an imposing ritual, the erection of magnificent churches, the invocation of God’s blessing upon the conflicts of armies, and the division of an equal brotherhood into “clergy” and “laity.”
... C. I. Scofield (1843-1921), Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth , p. 17
(see the book; see also Amos 5:10; Matt. 5:10-12; 10:28; Mark 13:11-13; John 7:6-8; more at Church)
Sunday, August 30, 1998
He who has learned to pray, has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life.
... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Perfection , London: W. Baynes, 1807, p. 290
(see the book; see also Ps. 5:3; Mark 1:35; Phil. 4:6; more at Prayer)
Monday, August 31, 1998
Feast of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
Commemoration of Cuthburga, Founding Abbess of Wimborne, c.725
Commemoration of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688
Here in Pilgrim’s Progress there is the ultimate human nostalgia for that City of God, which is the restless heart’s true home. And even the cynical, the unbelieving and half-believing reader who goes with Christian to the end of the road must be a little shaken, may tremble to see something like a gate and also some of the glory of the place, and, glimpsing something of the company within the golden gates, may wish himself among them.
... Gordon Rupp (1910-1986), “John Bunyan”, in Six makers of English Religion, 1500-1700 , Ayer Publishing, 1974, p. 101
(see the book; see also Rev. 21:9-27; more at Historical)
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