Christ, our Light

Quotations for October, 2000

Sunday, October 1, 2000
Commemoration of Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, Apostle of the Franks, 533
Commemoration of Thérèse of Lisieux, Carmelite Nun, Spiritual Writer, 1897

People talk about special providences. I believe in the providences, but not in the speciality. I do not believe that God lets the thread of my affairs go for six days, and on the seventh evening takes it up for a moment.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, v. I [1867], London: Strahan & Co., 1873, p. 27 (see the book; see also Ps. 121:5-8; 27:1; 32:7; Isa. 27:3; more at Belief, God, Providence)

Monday, October 2, 2000

A man may carry the whole scheme of Christian truth in his mind from boyhood to old age without the slightest effect upon his character and aims... It has had less influence than the multiplication table.
... J. G. Holland (1819-1881), in an editorial entitled, “American Sunday-Schools”, Scribner’s Monthly, v. II, New York: Scribner & Co., 1871, p. 548 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 8:1-3; Pr. 26:12; Matt. 23:2-3,15,23; Rom. 1:22-26; Gal. 6:3; 1 Tim. 1:5-7; 6:3-4; more at Influence, Mind, Religion, Sin, Truth)

Tuesday, October 3, 2000
Commemoration of William Morris, Artist, Writer, 1896
Commemoration of George Kennedy Bell, Bishop of Chichester, Ecumenist, Peacemaker, 1958

Thus was the Cross of Christ, in St. Paul’s day, the glory of Christians; not as it signified their not being ashamed to own a master that was crucified, but as it signified their glorying in a religion, which was nothing else but a doctrine of the Cross, that called them to the same suffering spirit, the same sacrifice of themselves, the same renunciation of the world, the same humility and meekness, the same patient bearing of injuries, reproaches and contempts, and the same dying to all the greatness, honours and happiness of this world, which Christ showed on the Cross.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 316 (see the book; see also Gal. 6:12-14; Isa. 53:9-10; 57:15; Phil. 2:5-8; more at Christ, Cross, Crucifixion, Glory, Gospel, Happiness, Honor, Humility, Meekness, Patience, Renunciation, Sacrifice, Suffer, World)

Wednesday, October 4, 2000
Feast of Francis of Assisi, Friar, Deacon, Founder of the Friars Minor, 1226

The gaps in [St. Francis’] education were of marvellous service to him. More learned, the formal logic of the schools would have robbed him of that flower of simplicity which is the great charm of his life; he would have seen the whole extent of the sore of the Church, and would no doubt have despaired of healing it. If he had known ecclesiastical discipline, he would have felt obliged to observe it; but thanks to his ignorance he could often violate it without knowing it, and be a heretic quite unawares.
... Paul Sabatier (1858-1928), Francis of Assisi [1894], tr. Louise Seymour Houghton, New York: C. Scribner’s sons, 1922, p. xxi (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 1:12; 1 Cor. 2:4; 15:10; 2 Cor. 4:2; 10:2-4; Jas. 3:17-18; more at Church, Discipline, Education, Holy Spirit, Ignorance, Simplicity)

Thursday, October 5, 2000

The union of a sect within it self is a pitiful charity; it’s no concord of Christians, but a conspiracy against Christ; and they that love one another for their opinionative concurrence, love for their own sakes, not their Lord’s.
... Joseph Glanvill (1636-1680), Scepsis Scientifica, London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., 1885, p. 199 (see the book; see also 2 Pet. 2:1-2; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:3; 11:18-22; Col. 2:8; 1 John 2:19; Jude 1:19; more at Authenticity, Christ, Church, Love, Sect)

Friday, October 6, 2000
Feast of William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures, Martyr, 1536

Christ had given the apostles a world-wide commission, embracing all the nations; but intellectually they did not understand what He meant. They found that out as they followed the impulse of the Spirit.
... 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. 46 (see the book; see also Acts 1:8; John 14:26; 16:13; Acts 15:28; 1 Cor. 2:9-13; 1 John 2:27; more at Christ, Holy Spirit, Leader, Mission, Nation)

Saturday, October 7, 2000

Most men dislike a teaching which lays upon them strict moral requirements that check their natural desires. Yet they like to be considered as Christians, and listen willingly to the hypocrites who preach that our righteousness is only that God holds us to be righteous, even if we are bad people, and that our righteousness is without us and not in us, for, according to such teaching, they can be counted as holy people. Woe to those who preach that men of sinful walk can not be considered pious; most are furious when they hear this, as we see and experience, and would like all such preachers to be driven away or even killed; but where that cannot be done, they strengthen their hypocrite preachers with praise, comfort, presents and protection, so that they may go on happily and give no place to the truth, however clear it may be.
... Andreas Osiander (1498-1552), [1551] quoted in The Pilgrim Church, E. H. Broadbent, London: Pickering & Inglis, 1931, p. 158-159 (see the book; see also 2 Tim. 4:2-4; Zech. 7:11; Matt. 7:15-21; Rom. 3:9; 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:9-11; more at Holiness, Hypocrisy, Legalism, Morality, Preacher, Righteousness, Sin, Teach)

Sunday, October 8, 2000

It’s bad when you fail morally. It’s worse when you don’t repent.
... Luis Palau (b. 1934), in a private communication from the Luis Palau Association (see also 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 John 1:9-10; more at Confession, Failure, Morality, Repentance, Sin)

Monday, October 9, 2000
Commemoration of Denys, Bishop of Paris, & his Companions, Martyrs, 258
Commemoration of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, Philosopher, Scientist, 1253

The Word of God can grow to be only a hunting-ground for texts; and we can preach, meaning intensely every word we utter, and yet in reality only lost for the moment like an actor in his part, or at least leaving it to the folk to live it out; for us, bless me, we have no time for that, but are already immersed, poor harried souls, in determining what we shall preach on next.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In Christ’s Stead, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1925, p. 25 (see the book; see also 2 Tim. 2:22-26; more at Action, Bible, Church, Life, Preach)

Tuesday, October 10, 2000
Feast of Paulinus, Bishop of York, Missionary, 644

The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love of God begins in listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives us His Word but lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 98 (see the book; see also Rom. 10:17; more at Church, Fellowship, Listening, Love, Service, Work)

Wednesday, October 11, 2000
Commemoration of Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking, 675

What happens to someone who follows heretical teachings? It became quickly and readily apparent how cruel heretical teachings are and how prevalent the heresies are in contemporary times. Victims of these teachings have been encouraged to either to escape the world and their basic humanity into some form of flight and death or to use religion to undergird and isolate further their own self-centered self from the need to be loved and to love...
The conviction that heresy is cruel has given me a growing awe of and respect for orthodoxy.
... C. FitzSimons Allison (b. 1927), The Cruelty of Heresy, Harrisburg, Pa.: Morehead Publishing, 1994, p. 17 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 13:2; 1 Tim. 1:9-10; 6:3-4; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1; 2 Pet. 2:18-19; Rev. 2:14-16; more at Conviction, Flight, Heresy, Love, Need, Religion, Suffer)

Thursday, October 12, 2000
Commemoration of Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon, Bishop of York, Missionary, 709
Commemoration of Elizabeth Fry, Prison Reformer, 1845

No nation, and few individuals, are really brought into [God’s] camp by the historical study of the biography of Jesus, simply as biography. Indeed, materials for a full biography have been withheld from men. The earliest converts were converted by a single historical fact (the Resurrection) and a single theological doctrine (the Redemption) operating on a sense of sin which they already had... The “Gospels” come later and were written not to make Christians but to edify Christians already made.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Screwtape Letters, Macmillan, 1944, p. 119 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:12-14,17; Luke 1:1-4; Acts 17:31; Gal. 2:2; Jas. 2:20; more at Church, Conversion, Historical, Jesus, Redemption, Resurrection, Sin, Theology)

Friday, October 13, 2000
Feast of Edward the Confessor, 1066

The Lord afflicts us at times; but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve, and much less than many of our fellow-creatures are suffering around us. Let us therefore pray for grace to be humble, thankful, and patient.
... John Newton (1725-1807), in a letter, 1770, The Works of the Rev. John Newton, v. II, New York: Williams and Whiting, 1810, p. 151 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 11:31-32; Pr. 3:11-12; Rom. 8:16-18; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; Heb. 12:5-7; more at Affliction, Grace, Humility, Patience, Prayer, Suffer, Weakness)

Saturday, October 14, 2000

That wisdom which cannot teach me that God is love, shall ever pass for folly.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Of Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost [1657], in Works of John Owen, v. II, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, p. 82 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:8; 1 Cor. 1:18,21,26-28; 2:14; more at Authenticity, Folly, God, Love, Wisdom)

Sunday, October 15, 2000
Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582

God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Complete Works of Saint Teresa of Jesus, v. I, Sheed & Ward, 1944, p. 310 (see the book; see also Matt. 18:21-35; Isa. 55;7; Mic. 7:19; Matt. 5:44; 6:12,14-15; Mark 11:25; Rom. 12:21; Col. 3:13; more at God, Goodness, Historical, People, Remembrance, Virtue, Wrong)

Monday, October 16, 2000
Commemoration of the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer, Nicolas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer, bishops and martyrs, 1555

Sinners’ follies are the just sport of God’s infinite wisdom and power; and those attempts of the kingdom of Satan, which in our eyes are formidable, in his are despicable.
... Matthew Henry (1662-1714), An Exposition of the Old and New Testaments [1828], Ps. 2, in loc. v. 1-6, II.1 (see the book; see also Ps. 2:1-6; 37:12-13; 59:8; Isa. 37:22; more at Folly, God, Infinite, Power, Satan, Sin, Wisdom)

Tuesday, October 17, 2000
Feast of Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Martyr, c.107

Variety may be the spice of life, but it is not life itself. It is that bread of life, that peace of God which is the very staff of life itself, for which men’s souls are starving in these days.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 23 (see the book; see also Luke 4:3-4; Amos 8:11,12; John 6:32-35; more at Bread, God, Life, Mission, Need, Peace, Soul)

Wednesday, October 18, 2000
Feast of Luke the Evangelist

Almighty God, who created humanity after your image and gave them living souls that they may seek you and rule your creation, teach us so to investigate the works of your hand that we may subdue the earth to our use, and strengthen our intelligence for your service. And grant that we may so receive your Word as to believe in him whom you sent to give us the science of salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. All this we ask in the name of the same Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
... James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) (see the book; see also Prov. 8:10-11; Luke 24:45-47; Eph. 5:13-14; Phil. 3:8; more at Creation, Earth, Forgiveness, God, Prayers, Salvation, Service)

Thursday, October 19, 2000
Feast of Henry Martyn, Translator of the Scriptures, Missionary in India & Persia, 1812

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), in a letter, Calvin: his life, his labours, and his writings, Laurence Louis Felix Bungener, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1863, p. 205 (see the book; see also Ps. 40:9-10; 119:171-172; Luke 2:30-32; 3:6; Acts 20:20-21,27; 1 Thess. 1:8; more at Apologetics, Cowardice, God, Master, Silence, Truth)

Friday, October 20, 2000

Beside Jesus, the whole lot of us are so contemptible... But God is like Jesus, and like Jesus, He will not give up until we, too, are like Jesus.
... Frank C. Laubach (1884-1970), Letters by a Modern Mystic: excerpts, Student Volunteer Movement, 1937, p. 35-36 (see the book; see also 1 John 2:6; Ps. 85:13; John 13:15; Rom. 6:4-5; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Pet. 2:21; more at Christlikeness, Jesus, Providence)

Saturday, October 21, 2000

[Magic] is not mere superstition. It can corrupt people who otherwise carry on their daily duties with apparent reasonableness and common sense... It exploits man’s urgent desire for all the material good things of life—health, prosperity, success, “good luck”—and at times, it may even descend to aggressive acts against one’s competitors and supposed enemies and rivals. It rests upon an assumption, not always explicit, that divine power can be manipulated and used for human ends. And it is the more dangerous among people who assume that since God is love, He will do whatever they ask, provided they use the right formula in asking.
Magic mocks God’s freedom no less than His purpose. For it binds men more and more in a prison of fear and selfishness. Far from liberating divine power, it shuts out the free and creative forces of love and self-sacrifice that alone ennoble life and remove the alienation of men one from another. Love, not compulsion, casts out fear.
... Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. (1913-1990), Far and Near (see also Deut. 18:9-13; Isa. 8:19-20; Acts 19:19; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 5:19-22; 2 Tim. 1:7; Heb. 12:28-29; 1 John 4:18; more at Authenticity, Danger, Fear, Freedom, God, Health, Love, Prosperity, Self-sacrifice, Success)

Sunday, October 22, 2000

Christians in general are far too eager to urge special exceptions when they hear these charges [of corruption in the church] preferred; far too ready to make out a case for themselves while they admit their application to others; far too ready to think that the cause of God is interested in the suppression of facts. The prophets should have taught us a different lesson. They should have led us to feel that it was a solemn duty, not to conceal, but to bring forward all the evidence which proves, not that one country is better than another, or one portion of the church better than another, but that there is a principle of decay, a tendency to apostasy in all, and that no comfort can come from merely balancing symptoms of good here against symptoms of evil there, no comfort from considering whether we are a little less contentious, a little less idolatrous than our neighbours.
... Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872), Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, Cambridge: Macmillan, 1853; Boston: Crosby, Nichols, 1853, p. 461-462 (see the book; see also Matt. 7:3-5; Isa. 65:2-5; Matt. 3:7-10; Luke 6:41-42; 18:11; Jas. 2:9; more at Apostasy, Church, Corruption, Duty, Prophet)

Monday, October 23, 2000

If the mercy of God is so great that He can instruct us, to our salvation, even when He hides Himself, what a brilliance of light we must expect when He reveals Himself!
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #848, p. 301 (see the book; see also John 6:46-47; 1:1-5; 3:18; Rom. 5:10; Col. 3:3-4; 1 John 5:11-12; more at God, Greatness, Instruction, Knowing God, Light, Mercy, Salvation)

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

[The Creeds] were formulated gradually, as a result of a series of desperate controversies—controversies which are now named sometimes after the supposed leaders and representatives of a particular interpretation of the Christian religion, and sometimes after the particular interpretation itself.
I need not now attempt to make precise these heresies, as they came to be called. It is necessary only to point out that in various ways all these heresies were simplifications. By means of them the revelation of God to men was made, or appeared to be made, less scandalous. On the other hand, the various clauses of the Creed were not formulated as a new simplification, or as an alternative -ism. They were nothing more than emphatic statements of the Biblical scandal, statements which brought into sharp antagonism the new simplification and the old, Scriptural, many-sided and vigorous truth.
... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), We are the Pharisees, London: SPCK, 1960, p. 62-63 (see the book; see also Mark 3:1-6; Matt. 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11; 1 Cor. 1:22-24; 1 Tim. 3:14-16; more at Bible, Creed, Heresy, Revelation, Scripture, Truth)

Wednesday, October 25, 2000
Commemoration of Crispin & Crispinian, Martyrs at Rome, c.285

The word “sinner” often proves a great obstacle to understanding, but let us use other words. Let us say that man is the kind of creature who naturally sees the world from a very limited perspective, that he tends to be self-centered and to prefer the interests that are closest to himself and to his own social group. Let us say that man is naturally unwilling to accept his limited or finite status, that he is always seeking to extend his control over others, that he seeks to maintain his own security by means of power over all who may threaten it, that he likes to be in a position to compare himself with others to their disadvantage, that he seeks to be self-sufficient and to deny in effect his dependence upon God and to set up his own group or system or ideal in the place of God.
... John C. Bennett (1902-1995), Christianity and communism today, Association Press, 1960, p. 117 (see the book; see also Ps. 5:4-5; Rom. 3:10-18; Gal. 5:19-24; Phil. 2:3; 3:18-19; ; more at Dependence, God, Man, Power, Security, Selfish, Sin, Social)

Thursday, October 26, 2000
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

Do you think that the work God gives us to do is never easy? Jesus says his yoke is easy, his burden is light. People sometimes refuse to do God’s work just because it is easy. This is, sometimes, because they cannot believe that easy work is his work; but there may be a very bad pride in it... Some again accept it with half a heart, and do it with half a hand. But, however easy any work may be, it cannot be well done without taking thought about it. And such people, instead of taking thought about their work, generally take thought about the morrow, in which no work can be done any more than in yesterday.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), The Seaboard Parish [1868], London: Strahan, 1873, p. 31 (see the book; see also Matt. 11:28-30; Ps. 119:103-104; Pr. 3:13-17; Mic. 6:8; John 16:33; 2 Cor. 4:17; 12:9-10; Gal. 5;1; Phil. 4:13; 1 John 5:3-4; more at Burden, Giving, God, Jesus, Obedience, Thought, Work)

Friday, October 27, 2000

If a man fights his way through his doubts to the conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord, he has attained to a certainty that the man who unthinkingly accepts things can never reach.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of John, v. 2, Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, p. 322 (see the book; see also Mark 16:9-13; Matt. 8:23-26; 11:2-3; 28:17; Mark 9:22-24; John 20:24-29; more at Certainty, Christ, Conviction, Doubt, Fight)

Saturday, October 28, 2000
Feast of Simon & Jude, Apostles

Let men say what they will, or pick holes where they may, they will never succeed in disproving these facts. To the Reformation, Englishmen owe an English Bible, and liberty for every man to read it.—To the Reformation, they owe the knowledge of the way of peace with God, and of the right of every sinner to go straight to Christ by faith, without bishop, priest, or minister standing in his way.—To the Reformation, they owe a Scriptural standard of morality and holiness such as our ancestors never dreamed of.—For ever let us be thankful for these inestimable mercies!
... J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), Facts and men, pages from English Church history, between 1553 and 1683, London: William Hunt, 1882, p. 57 (see the book; see also 2 Sam. 22:31; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 12:6; 18:30; 119:140; Pr. 30:5; Matt. 5:48; Rom. 3:2; Jas. 1:17; Rev. 15:3; more at Bible, Christ, Faith, Historical, Holiness, Knowledge, Liberty, Morality, Peace, Priest, Reformation, Scripture, Sinner, Thanksgiving)

Sunday, October 29, 2000
Commemoration of James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, Martyr in Uganda, 1885

I fear that many people seek to hear God solely as a device for securing their own safety, comfort and righteousness. For those who busy themselves to know the will of God, however, it is still true that “those who want to save their life will lose it.” My extreme preoccupation with knowing God’s will for me may only indicate, contrary to what is often thought, that I am overconcerned with myself, not a Christlike interest in the well-being of others or in the glory of God.
... Dallas Willard (1935-2013), Hearing God, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1999, p. 28 (see the book; see also Mark 8:35; Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Luke 17:33; John 12:25; Acts 20:23-24; more at Christlikeness, Comfort, Glory of God, Religion, Safety, Security, Will of God)

Monday, October 30, 2000
Commemoration of Martin Luther, Teacher, Reformer, 1546

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; 2 Tim. 3:16; more at Bible, Greatness, Man, Reason)

Tuesday, October 31, 2000
Reformation Day

Jesus! why dost Thou love me so?
What hast Thou seen in me
To make my happiness so great,
So dear a joy to Thee?
... Frederick William Faber (1814-1863), Hymns, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1877, p. 171 (see the book; see also John 15:9; Eph. 3:16-18; 5:1-2; Gal. 2:20; Heb. 12:1-2; more at Happiness, Jesus, Joy, Love, Sight)


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