Christ, our Light

Quotations for June, 2003

Sunday, June 1, 2003
Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165
Commemoration of Angela de Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540

It was something more than a glorified Christ in the heavens in which [the Apostles] believed. At the beginning John the Baptist had taught his disciples to expect from the Christ the baptism, not of water only, as in his baptism, but of the Spirit. Before His death Jesus had sought to fill His disciples’ minds with the expectation of this gift... And that Spirit had come in sensible power upon them some ten days after Jesus had disappeared for the last time from their eyes... And this Spirit was the Spirit of God, but also and therefore the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus was not to them merely a past example, or a remote Lord, but an inward presence and power. A mere example in past history becomes in experience a feebler and feebler power... But the example of Jesus was something much more than a memory. For He who had taught them in the past how to live was alive in the heavenly places, and was working within them by His Spirit.
... Charles Gore (1853-1932), The Philosophy of the Good Life, J. Murray, 1930, p. 195 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:34; Matt. 28:19,20; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-5,8; 2:1-4; more at Baptism, Christ, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Pentecost, Power)

Monday, June 2, 2003

I should as soon attempt to raise flowers if there were no atmosphere, or produce fruits if there were neither light nor heat, as to regenerate men if I did not believe there was a Holy Ghost.
... Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), The Sermons of Henry Ward Beecher in Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, eighth series, New York: J. B. Ford, 1873, p. 390 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 2:13-14; Isa. 11:2-5; Matt. 19:26; Luke 11:13; 12:11-12; more at Belief, Flower, Holy Spirit, Light, Man, Regeneration)

Tuesday, June 3, 2003
Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910
Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978

One great remedy against all manner of temptation, great or small, is to open the heart and lay bare its suggestions, likings, and dislikings before some spiritual adviser; for, ... the first condition which the Evil One makes with a soul, when he wants to entrap it, is silence.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), Introduction to the Devout Life [1609], London: Rivingtons, 1876, IV.vii, p. 308 (see the book; see also Prov. 28:13; Ps. 38:18; Matt. 5:23-24; 10:26; 18:15; John 3:19; Jas. 5:16; more at Confession, Evil, Heart, Repentance, Silence, Temptation)

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Our imitation of God in this life—that is, our willed imitation, as distinct from any of the likenesses which He has impressed upon our natures or our states—must be an imitation of God Incarnate: our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life in itself, is apparently not only like, but is, the Divine life operating under human conditions.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Four Loves, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 6 (see the book; see also Mark 6:3; 1 Cor. 15:48-49; Phil. 2:5-7; 2 Thess. 3:10; Heb. 2:17; 4:15; more at Calvary, Crowd, God, Incarnation, Jesus, Life)

Thursday, June 5, 2003
Feast of Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754

A great many of those about me would be imprisoned under any law; in France, as here, they would be regular jail-birds. But I loved them better and better—and still I knew how little was my love for them compared to Christ’s. It is easy enough for a man to be honest and a “good Christian” and keeper of “the moral law,” when he has his own little room, his purse well filled—when he is well shod and well fed. It is far less easy for a man who has to live from day to day, roaming from city to city, from factory to factory. It is far less easy for someone just out of jail, with nothing to wear but old down-at-the-heels shoes and a shirt in rags. All of a sudden, I understood our Lord’s words: “I was in prison ... and you visited me not.” All these men, lazy, outside the law, starving: these failures of all kinds—they were dear to Christ—they were Christ, waiting in prison for someone to lean over Him—and if we were true Christians, we would do them every kindness.
... Henri Perrin (1914-1954), Priest-Workman in Germany, London: Sheed & Ward, 1947, p. 83 (see the book; see also Deut. 16:11; Ps. 69:32,33; Matt. 25:36; Rev. 3:17; more at Christ, Historical, Kindness, Law, Love, Prison)

Friday, June 6, 2003
Commemoration of Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945

The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing, who would ever have been spared?
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), paraphrase from "Sermon on Psalm 110" [1518], WA, 1:696, quoted in Life Together [1954], Dietrich Bonhoeffer & tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 27 (see the book; see also Ps. 110:2; 23:5; Luke 6:27-29; Rom. 12:14,20; more at Betrayal, Blasphemy, Christ, Church, Enemy, Friend, Kingdom, People, Suffer)

Saturday, June 7, 2003

No erudition, no purity of diction, no width of mental outlook, no flowers of eloquence, no grace of person can atone for lack of fire. Prayer ascends by fire. Flame gives prayer access as well as wings, acceptance as well as energy. There is no incense without fire; no prayer without flame.
... E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), The Necessity of Prayer [1907], Lulu, 2007, p. 19-20 (see the book; see also Ps. 141:2; Matt. 3:11; Acts 2:3; 1 Thess. 5:19; Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4; more at Fire, Flame, Grace, Prayer, Purity)

Sunday, June 8, 2003
Feast of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Hymnographer, 1711
Commemoration of Roland Allen, Mission Strategist, 1947

Recently, some Christians have recognized the existing state of the church as sinful, or, at least, as faulty and mistaken. They are trying to save the Christians out of this labyrinth by reuniting the divided churches, by forming an alliance of churches, or by trying to form an ecumenical church. For all that, it seems very difficult to obtain the desired result, because all the present churches are still standing on the principles of the Reformation, unable to rid themselves of the sectarian spirit inherited from Catholicism. So the number of denominations and sects shows no sign of decreasing, and all efforts to unite the churches seem likely to end only in the formation of yet other sects and denominations. Yet the center of Christianity is neither institution nor organization. Nor is it even the Bible itself, as the Reformers made it, for the Ekklesia existed before the formation of the New Testament canon. Christians were in fellowship with God and one another, centering their faith in Christ, long before there was any accepted New Testament. There is only one center of Christianity—spiritual fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.
... Kokichi Kurosaki (1886-1970), One Body in Christ, Kobe, Japan: Eternal Life Press, 1954, ch. 4 (see the book; see also John 17:20-23; Matt. 18:20; John 14:23; Rom. 12:5; 15:5-7; more at Bible, Church, Ecumenical, Fellowship, Jesus, Reformation, Sect, Unity)

Monday, June 9, 2003
Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373

It is no straining of metaphor to say that the love of God and the wrath of God are the same thing described from opposite points of view. How we shall experience it depends upon the way we shall come up against it: God does not change; it is man’s moral state that changes. The wrath of God is a figure of speech to denote God’s unchanging opposition to sin; it is His righteous love operating to destroy evil. It is not evil which will have the last word, but good; not sorrow, but joy; not hate, but love.
... R. J. Campbell (1867-1956), The Call of Christ, London: Skeffington & Son, n.d. (before 1932), p. 27 (see the book; see also Ps. 103:8-9; Num. 14:11; Ps. 7:11; 76:7; Matt. 25:31; 1 Cor. 3:11-14; more at Evil, God, Goodness, Joy, Love, Man, Morality, Righteousness, Sin, Sorrow)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

If we are honest, we freely admit that the Christian system involves difficulties; but so does every other system. No thoughtful person gives up a position merely because he finds difficulties in it; he does not abandon it until he is able to find other and alternative systems with fewer difficulties... I learned from my professors of philosophy... that, while philosophy might not provide me with a watertight intellectual defense of the Christian faith, it would, if used aright, help me to reveal the weakness of its enemies. By careful analysis it is possible to see that there are glaring weaknesses and non-sequiturs in atheism, naturalism, positivism, scientism, and psychologism. The Christian must be a fighter, for he is always under attack. The Church will not be as strong as it ought to be until each local pastor uses his precious freedom from outside employment in order to become a scholarly participant in the intellectual struggle of our day and generation.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), The Incendiary Fellowship, New York: Harper, 1967, p. 47-48 (see the book; see also Jude 1:3; Matt. 6:26; Acts 6:8-10; 9:22; 18:28; Eph. 4:14-15; Phil. 1:27; more at Apologetics, Atheism, Enemy, Fight, Philosophy, Struggle)

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Feast of Barnabas the Apostle

Jesus lived His life in complete dependence upon His Father, as we all ought to live our lives. But such dependence does not destroy human personality. Man is never so fully and so truly personal as when he is living in complete dependence upon God. This is how personality comes into its own. This is humanity at its most personal.
... Donald M. Baillie (1887-1954), God was in Christ: an essay on incarnation and atonement, Scribner, 1955, p. 93 (see the book; see also Luke 22:35; Ps. 16:9; Luke 4:3-4; John 12:49,50; 1 Cor. 2:9-10; 2 Cor. 9:8-10; more at Dependence, Father, God, Jesus, Life)

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Jesus, like all other religious leaders, taught men to pray, that is, He taught them to look away from the world of ordinary sense impressions and to open the heart and spirit to God, yet He is always insistent that religion must be related to life. It is only by contact with God that a better quality of living can be achieved—and Jesus Himself, as the records show, spent many hours in communion with God—yet that new quality of life has to be both demonstrated and tested in the ordinary rough-and-tumble of plain living. It is in ordinary human relationships that the validity of a man’s communion with God is to be proved.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), When God was Man, London: Lutterworth Press:, 1954, p. 22 (see the book; see also Mark 1:35; Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 5:16; 11:1-4; 18:1; more at Communion, God, Heart, Jesus, Life, Prayer, Spirit)

Friday, June 13, 2003
Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936

There is a state of perfect peace with God to be attained under imperfect obedience.
... John Owen (1616-1683), An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ch. VIII-X, in Works of John Owen, v. XXIII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1855, p. 251 (see the book; see also Phil. 2:12-13; Ps. 85:8; Isa. 53:5; John 13:17; 14:27; Col. 3:15; more at God, Obedience, Peace)

Saturday, June 14, 2003
Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691

God takes men’s hearty desires and will, instead of the deed, where they have not power to fulfill them; but He never took the bare deed instead of the will.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Directions and Persuasions to a Sound Conversion, in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. VIII, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 174 (see the book; see also Matt. 15:8-14; Mal. 2:7-8; Matt. 21:28-32; John 4:23-24; Eph. 4:17-19; more at Deed, Intention, Power, Redemption)

Sunday, June 15, 2003
Trinity Sunday
Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941

The spiritual life is a stern choice. It is not a consoling retreat from the difficulties of existence, but an invitation to enter fully into that difficult existence, and there apply the Charity of God and bear the cost.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The School of Charity, New York: Longmans, Green, 1934, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1991, p. 6 (see the book; see also John 14:21; 15:13; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 1:7-8; 1 Tim. 1:16; 1 John 3:1; 4:8-10; more at Charity, Existence, God, Spiritual life, Trial, Weakness)

Monday, June 16, 2003
Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752

“When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” If He should now come, would He find it in us? What fruits of faith have we to show? Do we look upon this life only as a short passage to a better? Do we believe that we must suffer with Jesus Christ before we can reign with Him? Do we consider this world as a deceitful appearance, and death as the entrance to true happiness? Do we live by faith? Does it animate us? Do we relish the eternal truths it presents us with? Are we as careful to nourish our souls with those truths as to maintain our bodies with proper diet? Do we accustom ourselves to see all things in the light of faith? Do we correct all our judgments by it? Alas! The greater part of Christians think and act like mere heathens; if we judge (as we justly may) of their faith by their practice, we must conclude they have no faith at all.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Pious Reflections for Every Day in the Month, London: H. D. Symonds, 1800, p. 1-3 (see the book; see also Phil. 1:21-24; Hab. 2:4; Luke 18:8; 21:7; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; more at Death, Faith, Heathen, Jesus, Judgment, Suffer, Truth)

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936

Some wish to live within the sound
Of Church or Chapel bell,
I want to run a Rescue Shop
Within a yard of hell.
... C. T. Studd (1860-1931), quoted in C. T. Studd—Cricketer and Pioneer [1933], Norman P. Grubb, World-Wide Revival Prayer Movement, 1947, p. 170 (see the book; see also Jude 1:22-23; Rom. 11:13-14; 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 Tim. 4:16; 1 Pet. 3:18-19; more at Church, Hell, Mission)

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Reynold Pecock, Bishop of St. Asaph, [in The Repressor of Overmuch Blamings of the Clergy] tells us that the Lollards objected to image-worship, pilgrimages, the landed endowments of the Church, degrees of rank among the clergy, the authority of tradition, the monastic orders, the invocation of the saints (and every practice based on the doctrine of the transference of merit), the use of ornaments in Divine service, the mass (and the doctrine of sacramental grace generally), oaths, war, and capital punishment. We have here the outlines of a system approximating in some respects to modern Quakerism, and the likeness is enhanced by something like the doctrine of the “inward light.” Pecock ascribes to the “Bible-men” three fundamental principles, or “trowings,” as he calls them:
1. That nothing is to be esteemed a law of God, unless it is founded on Scripture;
2. That every Christian “meke in spirit” shall without fail understand the true sense of the Bible;
3. That he should then heed no arguments of “clerks” to the contrary... Further on in the book he adds a fourth “trowing” of theirs—that the clergy were so blinded by self-interest that it was impossible for them to arrive at the true sense of Scripture.
... W. H. Summers, Our Lollard Ancestors, London: National Council of Evangelical Free Churches, 1904, p. 81-83 (see the book; see also Ps. 119:33-36; Gal. 5:19-23; Phil.2:3-4; Jas. 3:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at God, Grace, Historical, Law, Sacrament, Scripture, Self, Tradition)

Thursday, June 19, 2003
Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929

The essence of prayer does not consist in asking God for something but in opening our hearts to God, in speaking with Him, and living with Him in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual abandonment to God. Prayer does not mean asking God for all kinds of things we want; it is rather the desire for God Himself, the only Giver of Life. Prayer is not asking, but union with God. Prayer is not a painful effort to gain from God help in the varying needs of our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source of all life. The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessings, and in living a life of fellowship with Him.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), The Gospel of Sadhu Sundar Singh, Friedrich Heiler & Olive Wyon, G. Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1927, p. 99-100 (see the book; see also Ps. 73:28; 65:4; Lam. 3:25-26; Heb. 10:19-22; Jas. 4:8; 1 Pet. 3:18; Rev. 3:20; more at Blessing, Communion, Fellowship, God, Heart, Life, Possession, Prayer, Unity)

Friday, June 20, 2003

The Holy Spirit is ... born from Love and is of Love, all its treasures are of love, and if we are to believe our Gospels it is received by love and love only. I am aware that to talk of love vaguely like this is not much help. I know how difficult it is to die to pride and self-concern, to the cowardice of a spiritual apathy that dare not face itself for what it fears to know. I know how difficult it is to remember, and to act as though we knew, that only forgiveness has a Resurrection, resentment has not—all those things that are the great and tormenting enemies to Love and its gracious freedoms.
... Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 64 (see the book; see also John 6:63; Rom. 5:5; Eph. 2:17-18; Gal. 5:22; 6:8; 2 Pet. 1:21; Rev. 22:17; more at Forgiveness, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Love, Pride, Resurrection, Self, Treasure)

Saturday, June 21, 2003

We enter into the Mystery of the Holy Trinity not so much by thinking and imagining, as by loving. Thought and imagination soon reach the limits beyond which they cannot pass, and these limits still fall infinitely short of the reality of God. But love, overstepping all bounds and flying beyond limitations with the wings of God’s own Spirit, penetrates into the very depths of the mystery and apprehends Him Whom our intelligence is unable to see.
... Thomas Merton (1915-1968), The Living Bread, Farrar, New York: Straus & Cudahy, 1956; reprint, Macmillan, 1980, p. 51 (see the book; see also 1 John 4:12-13; Isa. 40:31; Luke 3:21-22; John 14:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:10; 1 John 4:7; more at Apprehension, God, Holy Spirit, Love, Trinity)

Sunday, June 22, 2003
Feast of Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.209

Apostolic preaching is not marked by its beautiful diction, or literary polish, or cleverness of expression. It has laid aside “excellency of speech or of wisdom”; it has no confidence in “persuasive words of wisdom” but operates in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
... Arthur Wallis (1922-1988), In the Day of Thy Power: the Scriptural principles of revival, Fort Washington, Pa.: Christian Literature Crusade, 1956, p. 85 (see the book; see also Matt. 10:19-20; Mark 13:11; Luke 21:14-15; 1 Cor. 2:1-4; more at Beauty, Confidence, Holy Spirit, Power, Preach, Spirit, Wisdom)

Monday, June 23, 2003
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678

The guidance of the Spirit is generally by gentle suggestions or drawings, and not in violent pushes; and it requires great childlikeness of heart to be faithful to it. The secret of being made willing lies in a definite giving up of our will. As soon as we put our will on to God’s side, He immediately takes possession of it and begins to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.
... Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911), Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life, M. E. Dieter, ed., Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan 1994, p. 134 (see the book; see also Ps. 25:8-9; 23:1-3; Isa. 40:11; John 10:3-4; 16:13; more at Gentleness, Guidance, Holy Spirit, Submission, Will of God)

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

The Holy Spirit [is] the source of spiritual unity! He is the Fount of all true joy! ... We as missionaries need the fullness of this joy. Without it our work will be a burden to us, and we shall toil on with the hearts of slaves; and the hearts of slaves are never strong.
... Griffith John (1831-1912), “The Holy Spirit in Connection with our Work”, in Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China, Shanghai: Presbyterian Mission Press, 1878, p. 36,38 (see the book; see also Luke 11:13; John 7:37-39; Acts 13:52; Rom. 15:13; 1 Cor. 12:7-12; Phil. 2:1-2; more at Fullness, Heart, Holy Spirit, Joy, Missionary, Slave, Unity)

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

There are times when we cannot pray in words, or pray as we ought; but our inarticulate longings for a better life are the Spirit’s intercessions on our behalf, audible to God who searches all hearts, and intelligible and acceptable to Him since they are the voice of His Spirit, and it is according to His will that the Spirit should intercede for the members of His Son.
... Henry Barclay Swete (1835-1917), The Holy Spirit in the New Testament, London: Macmillan, 1909, p. 221 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:26-27; Neh. 9:19-20; Rom. 8:15,34; 15:13; more at God, Heart, Holy Spirit, Intercession, Prayer, Search, Son, Spirit)

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Since the days before Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that [the Spirit’s] power might be manifested? ... We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power.
... J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), “The Source of Power for Christian Missions”, in The Missionary Review of the World, v. LIII, Missionary Review Publishing Co., Inc., 1930, p. 516 (see the book; see also Acts 2:15-17; 1:4-5; 4:31; 1 Thess. 1:4-5; more at Church, Holy Spirit, Patience, Pentecost, Power)

Friday, June 27, 2003

The Day of Jesus Christ is the Day of all days; the brilliant and visible light of this one point is the hidden invisible light of all points; to perceive the righteousness of God once and for all here is the hope of righteousness (Gal. 5:5) everywhere and at all times. By the knowledge of Jesus Christ all human waiting is guaranteed, authorized and established; for He makes it known that it is not men who wait, but God—in His faithfulness.
... Karl Barth (1886-1968), The Epistle to the Romans, translated from the 6th edition by Edwyn C. Hoskyns, London: Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1933, 6th ed., Oxford University Press US, 1968, p. 96 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:24-25; Lam. 3:24; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Gal. 5:5; Heb. 11:1; more at God, Jesus, Light, Righteousness, Worship)

Saturday, June 28, 2003
Feast of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200

To be always relevant, you have to say things which are eternal.
... Simone Weil (1909-1943), Simone Weil: Utopian Pessimist, David McLellan, Macmillan, 1989, p. 2 (see the book; see also Matt. 24:34-35; Ps. 19:7; 30:12; Pr. 30:5; Isa. 40:8; 55:11; 1 Pet. 1:24-25; more at Church, Eternal life, Everlasting, Preach)

Sunday, June 29, 2003
Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles

One of the greatest favors bestowed on the soul transiently in this life is to enable it to see so distinctly and to feel so profoundly that it cannot comprehend God at all. These souls are herein somewhat like the saints in heaven, where they who know Him most perfectly perceive most clearly that He is infinitely incomprehensible; for those who have the less clear vision do not perceive so clearly as do these others how greatly He transcends their vision.
... St. John of the Cross (1542-1591), The Spiritual Canticle, VII.9 (see the book; see also Isa. 55:8-9; Matt. 10:24; John 8:23; Eph. 1:20-21; Phil. 2:9-11; more at God, Greatness, Knowing God, Saint, Sight, Vision)

Monday, June 30, 2003

Your heart is not the compass which Christ saileth by.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, June 16, 1637, p. 349 (see the book; see also Ps. 86:6-8; Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29; Eze. 24:14; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 6:18; more at Christ, Heart, Prayer)


Christ, our Light

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