Christ, our Light

Quotations for January, 2001

Monday, January 1, 2001
Feast of the Naming & Circumcision of Jesus

Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in thy presence will prevail to make—
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parchëd grounds refresh, as with a shower!
We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
We kneel how weak, we rise how full of power!
Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,
Or others—that we are not always strong;
That we are ever overborne with care;
That we should ever weak or heartless be,
Anxious or troubled, when with us in prayer,
And joy, and strength, and courage, are with thee?
... Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886), Poems, London: Macmillan, 1874, p. 139 (see the book; see also Ps. 28:6-9; 31:21-24; 107:19-22; 116:1-2; Isa. 35; John 4:13-14; more at Burden, Courage, Joy, Power, Prayer, Strength, Weakness)

Tuesday, January 2, 2001
Feast of Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Teachers, 379 & 389
Commemoration of Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Mystic, Staretz, 1833

I have seen minute-glasses: glasses so short liv’d! If I were to preach upon this text (“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt. 6:21), to such a glass, it would be enough for half the sermon, enough to show the worldly man his treasure, and the object of his Heart, to call his eye to that minute-glass, and to tell him, “There flows, there flies, your treasure, and your heart with it.” But if I had a secular glass, a glass that would run an age; if the two hemispheres of the world were composed in the form of such a glass, and all the world calcined and burnt to ashes, and all the ashes, and the sands, and atoms of the world put into that glass, it would not be enough to tell the godly man what his treasure, and the object of his heart is. A parrot ... will sooner be brought to relate to us the wisdom of a council table, than any Ambrose, or any Chrysostom, men that have gold and honey in their names, shall tell us what the sweetness, what the treasure of heaven is, and what that man’s peace, that hath set his heart upon that treasure.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. V, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CXXXVI, p. 435 (see the book; see also Matt. 6:19-21; Isa. 33:6; Matt. 13:44-46; Luke 12:34; 2 Cor. 4:18; more at Heart, Heaven, Historical, Man, Peace, Preach, Sermon, Treasure, Wisdom, World)

Wednesday, January 3, 2001
Commemoration of Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China, 1970

If Religion has raised us into a new world, if it has filled us with new ends of life, if it has taken possession of our hearts, and altered the whole turn of our minds, if it has changed all our ideas of things, given us a new set of hopes and fears, and taught us to live by the realities of an invisible world, then we may humbly hope that we are true followers of the Holy Jesus, and such as may rejoice in the Day of Christ, that we have neither run in vain, nor laboured in vain.
... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Perfection [1726], London: W. Baynes, 1807, p. 42-43 (see the book; see also John 11:25-26; more at Conversion, Fear, Heart, Hope, Jesus, Mind, Religion)

Thursday, January 4, 2001

I am unable to see how a man can find the hand of God in secular history unless he has first found an assurance of it in his personal experience.
... Herbert Butterfield (1900-1979), Christianity and History, London: Bell, 1949, 1950, p. 107 (see the book; see also Eze. 36:27-28; Rom. 1:20-22; 8:16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Col. 2:2-3; more at Assurance, Experience, God, Historical, Providence)

Friday, January 5, 2001

Though sympathizing with the revolutionaries’ analysis of what was wrong with society and in fact being mistaken for a revolutionary himself by the political authorities of his day, nevertheless Jesus did not advocate a new political regime to be established by force through revolutionary action. He called for the love of our enemies, not their destruction; ... for readiness to suffer instead of using force; for forgiveness instead of hate and revenge. One might even say [that] Jesus was more revolutionary than the revolutionaries, or revolutionary in a very different way. The revolution he had in mind was a radical change of heart on the part of mankind, involving conversion away from selfishness and toward the willing service of God and of people in general.
... Clark H. Pinnock (1937-2010), Reason Enough, Exeter: Paternoster, 1980, p. 80 (see the book; see also John 18:36; Pr. 25:12-22; Matt. 5:44-46; Luke 6:27-28; 23:34; Rom. 6:3-4; 7:6; 8:9; 12:2; 1 Pet. 2:23; more at Conversion, Enemy, Forgiveness, God, Heart, Jesus, Love, Selfish, Service, Social, Suffer)

Saturday, January 6, 2001

What should I think of my child, if I found that he limited his faith in me and hope from me to the few promises he had heard me utter! The faith that limits itself to the promises of God, seems to me to partake of the paltry character of such a faith in my child—good enough for a Pagan, but for a Christian a miserable and wretched faith. Those who rest in such a faith would feel yet more comfortable if they had God’s bond instead of His word, which they regard not as the outcome of His character but as a pledge of His honour. They try to believe in the truth of His word, but the truth of His Being they understand not. In His oath they persuade themselves that they put confidence: in himself they do not believe, for they know Him not.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Higher Faith”, in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], London: A. Strahan, 1867, p. 59 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 1:9; Matt. 23:37-38; John 1:11; 5:39-40,44; 8:45-46; 12:37-41; 1 Pet. 1:10-11; more at Belief, Faith, Honor, Hope, Knowing God, Pagan, Promise, Truth)

Sunday, January 7, 2001

When we attribute foreknowledge to God, we mean that all things have ever been, and perpetually remain, under his eyes, so that to his knowledge there is nothing future or past, but all things are present. And they are present in such a way that he not only conceives them through ideas, as we have before us those things which our minds remember, but he truly looks upon them and discerns them as things placed before him. And this foreknowledge is extended throughout the universe to every creature. We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which he determined with himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is foreordained for some, eternal damnation for others. Therefore, as any man has been created to one or the other of these ends, we speak of him as predestined to life or death.
... 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.xxi.5, p. 145 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Matt. 6:8; Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29-30; 11:2; more at Creation, Equality, Eternal life, Everlasting, God, Judgment, Knowledge, Predestination)

Monday, January 8, 2001
Commemoration of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming, martyrs, Ecuador, 1956

There is now no sentence of death for those who are in Christ Jesus. The Spirit has its own law, and this law gives me life in Christ Jesus. It sets me free from sin and death. What the law of Moses could not do because our flesh was too weak, God has done. He sent His son in flesh like our sinning flesh. Christ died as a sin-offering for us. In this way, God passed a death sentence upon sin in the flesh. Now we are able to live as the just law requires if we obey the Spirit and do not obey the call of the flesh.
Those who live for the Spirit keep their minds on the things of the Spirit. Those who live for the flesh keep their minds on the things of the flesh. To keep the mind on the flesh means death. But to keep the mind on the Spirit means life and peace. The mind that is set on the flesh is the enemy of God. It does not and cannot obey the law of God. Those who live for the flesh cannot please God.
But you do not live for the flesh. You live for the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really lives in you. Any man who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ. If Christ lives in you, your bodies are dead because of sin, but your spirits are alive and you love what is right. The Spirit of God Who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. And God is going to put life into your bodies just as He raised Christ Jesus from the dead. It is His Spirit which lives in you which will be your life.
So then, brothers, we do not owe a duty to the flesh. We are not to obey the call of the flesh. If you live for the flesh you will die. But if you are led by the Spirit, and put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. You did not receive the spirit of a slave, to make you fear. But we have received the spirit of a Son of God. That is why we cry, “Father, dear Father.” The Spirit of God is bearing witness with our spirits that we are children of God. If we are God’s children we are also to be God’s heirs. We are fellow-heirs with Christ. If we share His sufferings, we shall also share His glory. I do not consider the sufferings of this present time worth comparing to the glory that is going to be revealed to us.
Even the created world is waiting with eager desire for the sons of God to appear. Every created thing has been put under the power of death and decay. Nothing wants to die or decay, but God has willed it so. Yet He gave us hope that the created world itself will be set free from decay and death. Then everything in the world will obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole created world has been groaning in the pains of childbirth until now. Not only the world around us, but we ourselves have been groaning within. We are waiting for God to deliver our bodies from the power of death. We are waiting for Him to adopt us as His sons. This is the hope that saves us. If it had already happened we would not need to hope for it. Who hopes for a thing after he has it? But if we still hope for what we do not yet see, we must be patient while we wait for it.
The Holy Spirit is a glorious first fruit of what God plans to give us. The Holy Spirit helps us, because we are weak. We do not know how we ought to pray. But the Holy Spirit Himself keeps praying for us with sighs too deep for words. God Who can see into men’s hearts, knows what the Spirit desires. And the Spirit keeps praying for God’s people in the way God wishes. We know that God works with those who love Him to bring good out of everything.
Those who love Him have been called according to His purpose. He knew them before they were born and He had chosen them to become like His son. Jesus was the first born and those whom God has chosen are His brothers. Those whom God chose He called. He cleared all charges against those whom He called. He gave His own glory to those whose charges He cleared.
What then can we say if this is true? God is for us, so who can be against us. God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all. And God will gladly give us all things along with Christ. Who then shall bring any charges against those whom God has chosen? It was God Who cleared their charges, so who dares to condemn them? Christ Jesus died; He was raised from the dead; He is at the right hand of God. And it is He who pleads for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or pain or ill treatment or hunger or need of clothes or danger or death? As it is written:
“For Thy sake we face death the whole day;
we are regarded as sheep to be killed.”
Yet in all these things that happen we shall have victory and more than victory by the help of Him Who loved us. I am sure that nothing shall be able to separate us from Christ, in life or in death. Neither angels nor even the princes of the dark spirit world can separate us from Christ. Nothing now and nothing that shall ever come can separate us. No power, no height, no depth, nor anything God has created will be able to separate us from His love which He gave us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
... prepared by Frank C. Laubach, The Inspired Letters in Clearest English (see the book; see also Rom. 8; more at Bible, Christ, Death, God, Jesus, Law, Life, Obedience, Sin, Spirit, Weakness)

Tuesday, January 9, 2001

[Of Romans 8:2-3]
It is essential to preserve with care both sides of this truth. Christ and the Spirit are different yet the same, the same yet different. Perhaps the best expression we can give is that while their Personalities are never identical, their presence always is.
... W. H. Griffith Thomas (1861-1924), The Holy Spirit of God, London: Longman’s, Green, 1913, p. 144 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:1-4; Luke 4:1; Rom. 5:5; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 4:6; more at Bible, Christ, Spirit, Truth)

Wednesday, January 10, 2001

[Of Romans 8:4-13]
You must not understand flesh here as denoting only unchastity or spirit as denoting only the inner heart. Here St. Paul calls flesh (as does Christ in John 3) everything born of flesh, i.e. the whole human being with body and soul, reason and senses, since everything in him tends toward the flesh. That is why you should know enough to call that person “fleshly” who, without grace, fabricates, teaches and chatters about high spiritual matters. You can learn the same thing from Galatians, chapter 5, where St. Paul calls heresy and hatred works of the flesh. And in Romans, chapter 8, he says that, through the flesh, the law is weakened. He says this, not of unchastity, but of all sins, most of all of unbelief, which is the most spiritual of vices.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans”, par. 17 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:4-13; John 3:6; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Gal. 5:19-21; more at Bible, Christ, Hatred, Heart, Heresy, Sin, Spirit, Unbelief)

Thursday, January 11, 2001
Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915

[Of Romans 8:3]
The essential contrast which Paul paints is between the weakness of the law and the power of the Spirit. For over against indwelling sin, which is the reason the law is unable to help us in our moral struggle (Rom. 7:17, 20), Paul now sets the indwelling Spirit, who is both our liberator now from ‘the law of sin and death’ (Rom. 8:2) and the guarantee of resurrection and eternal glory in the end (Rom. 8:11, 17, 23). Thus the Christian life is essentially life in the Spirit, that is to say, a life which is animated, sustained, directed and enriched by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit true Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, indeed impossible.
... John R. W. Stott (1921-2011), Romans: God’s Good News for the World, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994, p. 216 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:3; Luke 4:14; Acts 1:8; 10:37-38; Rom. 7:17,20; 8:2,11,17,23; more at Bible, Holy Spirit, Law, Life, Resurrection, Sin, Spirit)

Friday, January 12, 2001
Feast of Aelred of Hexham, Abbot of Rievaulx, 1167
Commemoration of Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Scholar, 689

The Witnessing and Sealing Spirit
Why should the children of a king
Go mourning all their days?
Great Comforter, descend and bring
Some tokens of thy grace.
Dost thou not dwell in all the saints,
And seal the heirs of heav’n?
When wilt thou banish my complaints,
And show my sins forgiven?
Assure my conscience of her part
In the Redeemer’s blood;
And bear thy witness with my heart,
That I am born of God.
Thou are the earnest of his love,
The pledge of joys to come;
And thy soft wings, celestial Dove,
Will safe convey me home.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Hymns and Spiritual Songs [1707], in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, Book I, Hymn 144, p. 366 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:14-16; Song of Solomon 8:6; Acts 2:38; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; more at Assurance, Blood, Forgiveness, Grace, Holy Spirit, Love, Mourning, Saint, Witness)

Saturday, January 13, 2001
Feast of Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers, Teacher, 367
Commemoration of Kentigern (Mungo), Missionary Bishop in Strathclyde & Cumbria, 603

[Of Romans 8:18]
The glory to come far outweighs the affliction of the present. The affliction is light and temporary when compared with the all-surpassing and everlasting glory. So Paul, writing against a background of recent and (even for him) unparalleled tribulation, had assured his friends in Corinth a year or two before this that ‘this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison’ (2 Cor. 4:17). It is not merely that the glory is a compensation for the suffering; it actually grows out of the suffering. There is an organic relation between the two for the believer as surely as there was for the Lord.
... F. F. Bruce (1910-1990), The Letter of Paul to the Romans, An Introduction and Commentary, 2nd edition, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1985, p. 159 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:18; Ps. 30:5; Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 4:17; 11:23-27; 1 Pet. 1:6; 5:10; more at Affliction, Bible, Everlasting, Glory, Impermanence, Light)

Sunday, January 14, 2001
Commemoration of Richard Meux Benson, Founder of the Society of St John the Evangelist, 1915

[Of Romans 8:26-27]
Nor are we alone in our struggles. The Holy Spirit supports our helplessness. Left to ourselves we do not know what prayers to offer or how to offer them. But in those inarticulate groans which rise from the depth of our being, we recognize the voice of none other than the Holy Spirit. He makes intercession; and His intercession is sure to be answered. For God Who searches the inmost recesses of the heart can interpret His own Spirit’s meaning. He knows that His own Will regulates Its petitions, and that they are offered for men dedicated to His service.
... William Sanday (1843-1920) & Arthur C. Headlam (1862-1947), A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1896, 10th ed., New York: Scribners, 1905, p. 212-213 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:26-27; Ps. 6:9; 10:17-18; 77:1-3; Matt. 10:19-20; Luke 11:1; 2 Cor. 5:2; 12:5-10; Eph. 2:18; 6:18; Heb. 4:15; 5:2; Jas. 4:3; Jude 1:20; more at Bible, Helplessness, Holy Spirit, Intercession, Prayer, Service, Struggle, Will of God)

Monday, January 15, 2001

[Of Romans 8:14-17]
For the Spirit we have received is the Spirit of the Son of God, and we possessing it are God’s sons too, and “that of God in us” leaps out towards the God who is the source of it. The Spirit of Jesus within us moves us to prayer: indeed, prayer is just the moving of God’s Son in us towards the Father. Though we are burdened with the greatness of our need, so that our prayers are not even articulate, yet in such “inarticulate sighs” the Spirit “intercedes for us.”
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 130-131 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:14-17,26-27; 1 Cor. 1:9; Gal. 4:6-7; Eph. 6:18; more at Bible, Father, Holy Spirit, Intercession, Jesus, Prayer, Son, Spirit)

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

[Of Romans 8:29:30]
The call intended is the effectual call of the Holy Spirit, by which the soul is renewed and translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. The only evidence of election is therefore vocation, and the only evidence of vocation is holiness of heart and life, for we are called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Compare again Romans 8:29, where believers are said to be “predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son.” To this they are effectually called. They are made like Christ. Fellowship includes union and communion... We are called to be partakers of Christ; partakers of his life, as members of his body; and therefore, partakers of his character, of his sufferings here and of his glory hereafter.
... Charles Hodge (1797-1878), An Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians [1857], New York: Robert Carter & Bros., 1860, p. 10-11 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:28-30; 9:23-24; 1 Cor. 1:9; Gal. 1:15-17; Col. 1:24; 1 Thess. 2:11-12; 2 Thess. 2:14; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; more at Bible, Body of Christ, Call, Christ, Communion, Fellowship, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Kingdom, Predestination)

Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Feast of Antony of Egypt, Abbot, 356
Commemoration of Charles Gore, Bishop, Teacher, Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, 1932

[Of Romans 8:11,17,23-25]
The counterpart of this withdrawal of Christ [the ascension] from the reach of the senses was the gift to the apostles of the Holy Spirit by whom Christ was made present to them in a new way. They now knew him no more by sight and after the flesh; they had His Spirit. And this “having” is both a real possession and a foretaste, an earnest of what is in store... The Spirit assures us that we are heirs of a kingdom yet to be revealed (Rom. 8:17). The Spirit wars in us against the flesh (Gal. 5:17) and gives us assurance that even our mortal bodies shall be quickened (Rom. 8:11), and that what is mortal is to be swallowed up of life (2 Cor. 5:4-5). Meanwhile the very mark of the Spirit’s presence is that we groan waiting for our adoption (Rom. 8:23) and hoping for that which we do not yet see (Rom. 8:24,25).
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), The Household of God, London, SCM Press, 1953, New York: Friendship Press, 1954, p. 115 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:11,17,23-25; 2 Cor. 5:4-5; Gal. 5:17; more at Ascension, Assurance, Bible, Holy Spirit, Hope)

Thursday, January 18, 2001
Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle
Commemoration of Amy Carmichael, Founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, 1951

[Of Romans 8:32]
St. Paul had a lovely way of letting his letters break out into song every now and then. ([Dr. Arthur] Way’s translation shows this.) One line in a song that comes in Romans 8 has been a great help to me. Way calls the song a “Hymn of Triumph to Jesus.” This is the line: “How can He [the Father] but, in giving Him [Jesus], lavish on us all things—all?” “Freely give” means to give lavishly. What do I need today? Strength? Peace? Patience? Heavenly joy? Industry? Good temper? Power to help others? Inward contentment? Courage? Whatever it be, my God will lavish it upon me.
... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), Edges of His Ways [1955], London: SPCK, 1957, p. 15 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:32; Ps. 84:11; Rom. 6:23; 8:28; 1 Cor. 2:12; 3:21-23; Jas. 1:17; more at Bible, Contentment, Courage, Father, Giving, God, Industry, Jesus, Joy, Need, Patience, Peace, Song, Strength)

Friday, January 19, 2001
Commemoration of Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095

See that you buy the field where the Pearl is; sell all, and make a purchase of salvation. Think it not easy: for it is a steep ascent to eternal glory: many are lying dead by the way, that are slain with security.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 20, 1637, p. 193 (see the book; see also Matt. 13:44-46; Ps. 4:6-7; Pr. 23:23; Matt. 24:43; Eph. 3:8; 1 Thess. 5:1-6; 2 Pet. 3:10-11; more at Attitudes, Death, Everlasting, Glory, Salvation, Security)

Saturday, January 20, 2001
Commemoration of Richard Rolle of Hampole, Writer, Hermit, Mystic, 1349

Lord Jesu, I ask Thee, give unto me movement in Thy love without measure; desire without limit; longing without order; burning without discretion. Truly the better the love of Thee is, the greedier it is; for neither by reason is it restrained, nor by dread distressed, nor by doom tempted.
... Richard Rolle (1290?-1349), Fire of Love [1343], tr. Richard Misyn, i. xvii (see the book; see also Ps. 71:6; Deut. 6:5; 30:6; John 14:20-21; 1 John 5:3-4; more at Doom, Giving, Love, Prayers, Reason, Temptation)

Sunday, January 21, 2001
Feast of Agnes, Child Martyr at Rome, 304

Christians in their relationships should be the most human people you will ever see. This speaks for God in an age of inhumanity and impersonality and facelessness. When people look at us, their reaction should be, “These are human people”; human, because we know that we differ from the animal, the plant, and the machine; and that personality is native to what has always been [human]...
If they cannot look upon us and say, “These are real people,” nothing else is enough. [Continued tomorrow]
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The God Who is There [1968], in The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy, Good News Publishers, 1990, p. 173 (see the book; see also Luke 11:33; 1 Chr. 16:23; Matt. 5:14-16; Mark 4:21-22; Luke 8:16-17; Rom. 13:11-14; Eph. 5:8; more at Animal, Church, God, Inhumanity, People, Sight)

Monday, January 22, 2001

[Continued from yesterday]
Far too often, young people become Christians and then search among the Church’s ranks for real people, and have a hard task finding them. All too often, evangelicals are paper people.
If we do not preach these things [i.e., the need of Christians to be human], talk about them to each other, and teach them carefully from the pulpit and in the Christian classroom, we cannot expect Christians so to act. This has always been important, but it is especially so today because we are surrounded by a world in which personality is increasingly eroded. If we who have become God’s children do not show Him to be personal in our lives, then in practice we are denying His existence.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The God Who is There [1968], in The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy, Good News Publishers, 1990, p. 173 (see the book; see also Luke 11:34-35; Ps. 9:1; 51:15; Isa. 58:8; 60:1-3; Phil. 2:15-16; 1 Thess. 5:6-8; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 John 1:5-7; more at Child, Church, God, People, Search, Teach)

Tuesday, January 23, 2001
Commemoration of Phillips Brooks, Bishop of Massachusetts, spiritual writer, 1893

Wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways—there God is hewing out the pillars for his temple.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), The Candle of the Lord [1881], E. P Dutton & Co., New York, 1903, p. 72 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 2:4-5; Isa. 48:10; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Heb. 3:6; 1 Pet. 1:7; 4:12-13; Rev. 3:12; more at Affliction, Commonplace, God, Soul, Temple, Weakness)

Wednesday, January 24, 2001
Feast of François de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Teacher, 1622

A really patient man neither complains nor seeks to be pitied; he will speak simply and truly of his trouble, without exaggerating its weight or bemoaning himself; if others pity him, he will accept their compassion patiently, unless they pity him for some ill he is not enduring, in which case he will say so with meekness, and abide in patience and truthfulness, combating his grief and not complaining of it.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life [1609], London: Rivingtons, 1876, III.iii, p. 140 (see the book; see also Jas. 5:7-8; Ps. 37:7; 130:5; Hab. 2:3; Rom. 4:2; 12:12; 2 Cor. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Heb. 10:35-39; more at Compassion, Complaint, Humility, Meekness, Patience, Pity, Trouble, Weakness)

Thursday, January 25, 2001
Feast of the Conversion of Paul

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of his grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honours of thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
He speaks, and, listening to his voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.
Look unto him, ye nations, own
Your God, ye fallen race;
Look, and be saved through faith alone,
Be justified by grace.
See all your sins on Jesus laid:
The Lamb of God was slain,
His soul was once an offering made
For every soul of man.
Awake from guilty nature’s sleep,
And Christ shall give you light,
Cast all your sins into the deep,
And wash you purest white.
With me, your chief, ye then shall know,
Shall feel your sins forgiven;
Anticipate your heaven below,
And own that love is heaven.
... Charles Wesley, from Hymns and Sacred Poems [1740] (see the book; see also Ps. 33:1-4; Ps. 96:1-2; 98:1-6; 144:9-10; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; Rev. 5:9; more at God, Grace, Honor, Jesus, Lamb, Praise, Prisoner, Redemption, Sinner, Worship)

Friday, January 26, 2001
Feast of Timothy and Titus, Companions of Paul
Commemoration of Dorothy Kerin, Founder of the Burrswood Healing Community, 1963

That you cannot have Christian principles without Christ is becoming increasingly clear [in the world today], because their validity as principles depends on Christ’s authority.
... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), lecture [1940], in Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World, Eerdmans, 1969, p. 34 (see the book; see also Luke 4:31-32; Jer. 23:29; Matt. 7:28-29; 13:54; 28:18; Mark 1:21-22; Luke 21:15; John 7:46; more at Authenticity, Christ, Dependence, Morality)

Saturday, January 27, 2001

Others again, perhaps truly awakened by the Spirit of God, to devote themselves wholly to piety, and the service of God, yet making too much haste to have the glory of saints, the elements of fallen nature, selfishness, envy, pride, and wrath, could secretly go along with them. For to seek for eminence and significancy in grace is but like seeking for eminence and significancy in nature. And the old man can relish glory, and distinction in religion, as well as in common life, and will be content to undergo as many labours, pains, and self-denials for the sake of religious, as for the sake of secular glory.
... William Law (1686-1761), Christian Regeneration [1739], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. V, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 169 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:6-9; more at Holy Spirit)

Sunday, January 28, 2001
Feast of Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Teacher of the Faith, 1274

My God, I love Thee—not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
Must die eternally.
Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the Cross embrace;
For me didst nails and spear endure,
And manifold disgrace.
Why, then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heaven,
Or of escaping hell:
Not with the hope of gaining ought,
Not seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast loved me,
O ever-loving Lord!
E’en then I love Thee and will love,
And in Thy praise will sing
Solely because Thou art my God
And my eternal King.
... Anonymous, Lyra Catholica, Edward Caswall, New York: E. Dunigan and Brother, 1851, p. 338-339 (see the book; see also 1 Tim. 1:17; Ps. 47:6-7; Jer. 10:10; Heb. 12:2; 1 John 4:9; more at Death, Everlasting, Hope, Jesus, King, Love, Prayers, Worship)

Monday, January 29, 2001

No man desires anything so eagerly as God desires to bring men to the knowledge of Himself. God is always ready, but we are very unready. God is near us, but we are far from Him. God is within, and we are without. God is friendly; we are estranged.
... Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?), Meister Eckhart’s Sermons, tr., Claud Field, H. R. Allenson, London, 1909, p. 24 (see the book; see also Col. 1:9-10; Ps. 73:28; 145:18; Isa. 29:13; 55:6-7; Heb. 7:18-19; 10:22; Jas. 4:8; more at Eager, Friendliness, God, Knowing God)

Tuesday, January 30, 2001
Commemoration of Lesslie Newbigin, Bishop, Missionary, Teacher, 1998

Prayer is the creator as well as the channel of devotion. The spirit of devotion is the spirit of prayer. Prayer and devotion are united as soul and body are united, as life and the heart are united. There is no real prayer without devotion, no devotion without prayer.
... E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), Preacher and Prayer, Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South, Dallas, Tex., 1907, p. 61 (see the book; see also Luke 2:36-38; Neh. 1:11; Jer. 33:3; Dan. 6:10; 9:3; 1 Tim. 5:5; Jas. 5:16-18; more at Devotion, Heart, Life, Prayer, Spirit, Unity)

Wednesday, January 31, 2001
Commemoration of John Bosco, Priest, Founder of the Salesian Teaching Order, 1888

In his experience of God, a Christian has a strong sense of his individuality, never of his unity with God. Expressed more sharply, he has a strong sense of the Creator-creature distinction, never of merging or absorption. Or, to put it more sharply still, a Christian has a sense of his moral sin and not just of his metaphysical smallness in the face of the beyond. The dilemma for man is not who he is but what he has done. His predicament is not that he is small, but that he is sinful.
... Os Guinness (b. 1941), The Dust of Death, Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973, p. 293 (see the book; see also Isa. 6:1-7; Zech. 3:1-7; Matt. 12:34-37; Jas. 3:1-2; more at Creation, Knowing God, Sinner, Unity)


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