Christ, our Light

Quotations for November, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008
Feast of All Saints

O Lord! how happy should we be,
If we could cast our cares on Thee,
If we from self could rest;
And feel at heart that One above,
In perfect wisdom, perfect love,
Is working for the best.
For when we kneel and cast our care
Upon our God in humble prayer,
With strengthened souls we rise,
Sure that our Father Who is nigh,
To hear the ravens when they cry,
Will hear His children’s cries.
O may these anxious hearts of ours
The lesson learn from birds and flowers,
And learn from self to cease,
Leave all things to our Father’s will,
And in His mercy trusting still,
E’en in affliction, peace!
... Joseph Anstice (1808-1836), [1836], A Library of Religious Poetry: a collection of the best poems of all ages, Philip Schaff, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1880, p. 521-522 (see the book; see also Matt. 6:28-30; Ps. 102:1; Jer. 24:5-7; Matt. 10:29; Rom. 5:3-4; 8:28,35-39; 2 Cor. 4:15-17; Jas. 1:2-4; more at Affliction, Father, God, Heart, Humility, Love, Mercy, Peace, Perfection, Prayers, Self, Trust, Wisdom)

Sunday, November 2, 2008
Feast of All Souls

The Lord ate from a common bowl, and asked the disciples to sit on the grass. He washed their feet, with a towel wrapped around His waist—He, who is the Lord of the universe! He drank water from a jug of earthenware, with the Samaritan woman. Christ made use His aim, not extravagance... We are not to throw away those things which can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good: they are instruments for good, in the hands of those who use them properly.
... St. Clement of Alexandria (150?-220?), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, v. II, Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, trs., Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885, p. 247, 595 (see the book; see also John 13:3-5; Hag. 1:6; Matt. 14:19; John 4:6-26; more at Christ, Disciple, God, Goodness, Jesus, Neighbor)

Monday, November 3, 2008
Feast of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher, 1600
Commemoration of Martin of Porres, Dominican Friar, 1639

The two great features of Protestant theology are its doctrines of justification by faith and the law as the rule of life. This is a synthesis of New Testament grace and Old Testament ethics. With this synthesis, Protestants have solved the problem of finding a gracious God, but they have not solved the problem of finding gracious neighbors. They can fellowship with God because he is gracious; but they find it difficult to fellowship with one another, because they are not so gracious.
... Robert D. Brinsmead (b. 1933), “Justification by Faith” (see also Ps. 145:8; 28:3; 31:11; 86:15; 100:5; 103:8; Jonah 4:2; Eph. 2:4-5; 1 Pet. 2:3; more at Bible, Church, Faith, Fellowship, God, Grace, Justification, Law, Life, Neighbor, Rule, Theology)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The attempt to make God just in the eyes of sinful men will always lead to error.
... William L. Brown (see also Ps. 19:9; 1 Tim. 1:8-11; 2 Tim. 4:3; 1 John 4:6; more at Error, God, Justification, Knowing God, Man)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I have ever met.
... Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899) (see the book; see also Matt. 6:27-34; Isa. 6:5; 64:5-6; Matt. 7:1-5; Luke 7:6-7; Rom. 7:14-24; Eph. 3:8; more at Man, Self, Trouble, Weakness)

Thursday, November 6, 2008
Feast of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1944

If Christianity has never frightened us, we have not yet found out what it is.
... William Temple (1881-1944), Studies in the Spirit and Truth of Christianity, Macmillan and Co.,Limited, 1914, p. 82 (see the book; see also Matt. 10:34-36,Mic. 7:5; Matt. 10:21-23; 24:9-11; Mark 13:11-13; Luke 21:16-19; John 14:27; Rom. 8:36-37; more at Fear, Gospel, Weakness)

Friday, November 7, 2008
Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739

The social gospel is not an addendum to the gospel; it is the gospel. If we read the Gospels, it becomes clear that it was not what Jesus said about God that got him into trouble [but] his treatment of men and women, his way of being friendly with outcasts with whom no respectable Jew would have anything to do. It has always been fairly safe to talk about God; it is when we start to talk about men that the trouble starts. And yet the fact remains that there is no conceivable way of proving that we love God other than by loving men. And there is no conceivable way of proving that we love men other than by doing something for those who most need help.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), Ethics in a Permissive Society, New York: Harper & Row, 1971, Fontana, 1971, p. 193 (see the book; see also Matt. 9:10-13; 11:16-19; Luke 5:29-32; 15:1-2; 19:7; 1 Cor. 5:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:13-16; more at Charity, Friendliness, God, Gospel, Love, Man, Proof, Social)

Saturday, November 8, 2008
Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England

One of the most remarkable features of Mosaic legislation... is its humanity to man. It is the most humanitarian of all known bodies of laws before recent times. The laws about slavery, which envisage the liberation of Hebrew slaves after seven years, are a good example. But there are also laws protecting the poor: interest (always high in the ancient East) was prohibited, and again there was a moratorium after a term of years... Even strangers, who normally had very little protection in antiquity, except when they were citizens of a strong neighbouring state which might step in and protect them by force of arms, are exceptionally well cared for by Mosaic law.
... William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971), Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1968, reprinted, Eisenbrauns, 1990, p. 181 (see the book; see also Ex. 21:2; 22:25; 23:9; Lev. 25:10; Deut. 10:19; more at Historical, Humane, Law, Liberty, Poverty, Slave)

Sunday, November 9, 2008
Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433

Contempt of material things as such is, in fact, no more orthodox than pantheism—it is the great dualist heresy which always lies in wait for an over-spiritualized Christianity.
... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), The Poetry of Search and the Poetry of Statement, London: Golanz, 1963, p. 64 (see the book; see also 2 Pet. 2:1-2; Luke 24:36-43; John 1:14; 16:13-15; 20:26-27; Rom. 9:21; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 4:1-3; more at Heresy, Material things, Spiritual life)

Monday, November 10, 2008
Feast of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461

How wonderful it is, is it not, that literally only Christianity has taught us the true peace and function of suffering. The Stoics tried the hopeless little game of denying its objective reality, or of declaring it a good in itself (which it never is), and the Pessimists attempted to revel in it, as a food to their melancholy, and as something that can no more be transformed than it can be avoided or explained. But Christ came, and He did not really explain it; He did far more: He met it, willed it, transformed it, and He taught us how to do all this, or rather He Himself does it within us, if we do not hinder the all-healing hands.
... Friedrich von Hügel (1852-1925), Selected Letters, 1896-1924, J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1928, p. 228 (see the book; see also 2 Thess. 1:3-5; Luke 24:44-45; John 18:11; Jas. 1:2-4; 5:11; more at Christ, Health, Peace, Suffer, Teach, Weakness)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397

The concept of Israel as the chosen people does not imply a certain divine favoritism, as some seem to think, but an opportunity of grace, a calling that involved the assumption of the servant role among the nations. It was the fact that they had interpreted themselves as special objects of God’s favor, and rejected the servant role, that led to their own rejection.
... A. R. Tippett (1911-1988), Church Growth and the Word of God, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970, p. 53 (see the book; see also Rom. 3:1-4; Ps. 78:40-41; Isa. 42:6,7; 53; 43:10; Matt. 21:43; 22:1-10; more at Bible, Grace, Israel, Nation, Opportunity, Service)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our calling is not primarily to be holy women, but to work for God and for others with Him. Our holiness is an effect, not a cause; so long as our eyes are on our own personal whiteness as an end in itself, the thing breaks down. God can do nothing while my interest is in my own personal character—He will take care of this if I obey His call. In learning to love God and people as He commanded us to do, obviously your sanctification cannot but come, but not as an end in itself.
... Florence Allshorn (1887-1950), The Notebooks of Florence Allshorn, London: SCM Press, 1957, p. 27-28 (see the book; see also Rev. 7:13-14; Acts 26:14-18; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Heb. 9:14; more at Call, God, Holiness, Knowing God, Love, Obedience, Sanctification, Service, Woman, Work)

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Feast of Charles Simeon, Pastor, Teacher, 1836

Repentance is in every view so desirable, so necessary, so suited to honor God, that I seek that above all. The tender heart, the broken and contrite spirit, are to me far above all the joys that I could ever hope for in this vale of tears.
I long to be in my proper place, my hand on my mouth, and my mouth in the dust... I feel this to be safe ground. Here I cannot err... I am sure that whatever God may despise... He will not despise the broken and contrite heart.
... Charles Simeon (1759-1836), Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon, Pittsburgh: R. Carter, 1847, p. 405 (see the book; see also Ps. 51:17; 34:18; 147:3; Isa. 57:15; 66:2; Matt. 5:3; Luke 5:32; Rom. 12:1; more at Contrition, Heart, Hope, Joy, Repentance, Tender)

Friday, November 14, 2008
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796

Gather my broken fragments to a whole,
As these four quarters make a shining day.
Into thy basket, for my golden bowl,
Take up the things that I have cast away
In vice or indolence or unwise play.
Let mine be a merry, all-receiving heart,
But make it a whole, with light in every part.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Diary of an Old Soul, London: by the author, 1880, p. 45 (see the book; see also Ps. 34:18-19; 51:17; 147:3; Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18-21; more at Heart, Indolence, Light, Prayers, Wisdom)

Saturday, November 15, 2008
Commemoration of Oswald Chambers, spiritual writer, 1917

Theology in general, instead of acting as a beacon-light to guide the people of God, the laity, as they confront the problems of living for Christ in the world, has for generations been taking refuge in an ever more minute study of Christian origins. Theology is less and less about God and God’s world, and more and more a department of ancient history, absorbed in minute details of historical and literary criticism. The whole business is wildly out of proportion.
... O. Fielding Clarke (1898-1987), For Christ’s Sake, New York: Moorehouse-Barlow, 1963, p. 85 (see the book; see also John 6:48-51; Matt. 18:11; 20:28; Luke 19:10; John 3:17; 10:10; 1 Tim. 1:15; more at Bible, Christ, Criticism, God, Guidance, Historical, Life, Origin, People, Theology, World)

Sunday, November 16, 2008
Feast of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church, 1093
Commemoration of Edmund Rich of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1240

Exclusive concentration on the criterion of historicity obscures the intent, meaning, and message of the narrative which, after all, are its enduring qualities. If Abraham’s migration can no longer be explained as part of a larger Amorite migratory stream from east to west, it should be noted that what has fallen by the wayside is a scholarly hypothesis, not the Biblical text. Genesis itself presents the movement from Haran to Canaan as an individual, unique act undertaken in response to a divine call, an event, not an incident, that inaugurates a new and decisive stage in God’s plan of history. The factuality or otherwise of this Biblical evaluation lies beyond the scope of scholarly research.
... Nahum W. Sarna (1925-2005), in Biblical Archaeology Review, March, 1978, Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, p. 52 (see the book; see also Heb. 11:8; Gen. 12:1-4; Isa. 51:2; more at Action, Bible, Call, God, Historical, Meaning)

Monday, November 17, 2008
Feast of Hugh, Carthusian Monk, Bishop of Lincoln, 1200

We are not only to renounce evil, but to manifest the truth...
We tell this people the world is vain; let our lives manifest that it is so. We tell them that our home is above—that all these things are transitory—does our dwelling look like it? O to live consistent lives!
... J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), in Days of Blessing in Inland China, Montagu Harry Proctor Beauchamp, London: Morgan & Scott, 1887, p. 33 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 10:32-33; 13:3; 2 Cor. 4:2; Jas. 2:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:5-9; more at Authenticity, Evil, Life, Renunciation, Truth, Vanity, World)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Funds are low again, hallelujah! That means God trusts us and is willing to leave His reputation in our hands.
... C. T. Studd (1860-1931) (see also Matt. 6:25-26; Ps. 55:22; Matt. 6:31-34; Luke 10:40-42; 12:22-29; Phil. 4:6; Heb. 13:5-6; 1 Pet. 5:7; more at God, Historical, Knowing God, Providence, Trust)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280

To say of an act done, “My conscience is quite clear,” sounds smug and satisfactory. It does not by any means follow that the speaker’s conscience ought to be clear. It may simply show that [it] is sadly unenlightened.
... G. E. Reindorp (1911-1990), Punch, v. 240, Mark Lemon, et al., Punch Publications Ltd., 1961, p. 670 (see the book; see also John 16:1-3; Rom. 9:1; 1 Cor. 4:4; 1 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 1:15; more at Conscience, Pride, Sin)

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Feast of Edmund of the East Angles, Martyr, 870
Commemoration of Priscilla Lydia Sellon, a Restorer of the Religious Life in the Church of England, 1876

We take nothing to the grave with us, but a good or evil conscience... It is true, terrors of conscience cast us down; and yet without terrors of conscience we cannot be raised up again.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 2, 1632, p. 166 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 1:12; Rom. 2:14-15; 1 Tim. 1:3-5; Heb. 10:19-22; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Affliction, Providence, Redemption)

Friday, November 21, 2008

No indulgence of passion destroys the spiritual nature so much as respectable selfishness.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), Robert Falconer, v. III, London: Hurst and Blackett, 1868, p. 128 (see the book; see also Phil. 2:4; 1 Cor. 8:9; 10:23-24; 13:3; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; more at Selfish, Sin, Spiritual life)

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963

One man may be so placed that his anger sheds the blood of thousands, and another so placed that however angry he gets he will only be laughed at. But the little mark on the soul may be much the same in both. Each has done something to himself which, unless he repents, will make it harder for him to keep out of the rage the next time he is tempted, and will make the rage worse when he does fall into it. Each of them, if he seriously turns to God, can have that twist in the central man straightened out again: each is, in the long run, doomed if he will not.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan, 1952, reprint, HarperCollins, 2001, p. 93 (see the book; see also Matt. 5:21-22; Ps. 37:8; Eph. 4:26; 1 Tim. 2:8; more at Blood, Doom, Health, Laughter, Repentance, Sin, Temptation)

Sunday, November 23, 2008
Commemoration of Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c.100

What exactly has Christ done for you? What is there in your life that needs Christ to explain it, and that, apart from Him, simply could not have been there at all? If there is nothing, then your religion is a sheer futility. But then that is your fault, not Jesus Christ’s. For, when we open the New Testament, it is to come upon whole companies of excited people, their faces all aglow, their hearts dazed and bewildered by the immensity of their own good fortune. Apparently they find it difficult to think of anything but this amazing happening that has befallen them; quite certainly they cannot keep from laying almost violent hands on every chance passer-by, and pouring out yet once again the whole astounding story. And always, as we listen, they keep throwing up their hands as if in sheer despair, telling us it is hopeless, that it breaks through language, that it won’t describe, that until a man has known Christ for himself he can have no idea of the enormous difference He makes. It is as when a woman gives a man her heart; or when a little one is born to very you; or when, after long lean years of pain and greyness, health comes back. You cannot really describe that; you cannot put it into words, not adequately. Only, the whole world is different, and life gloriously new. Well, it is like that, they say.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924, p. 1-2 (see the book; see also Heb. 9:11-14; Rom. 9:22-24; Gal. 2:20; Heb. 13:20-21; 2 Pet. 1:4; more at Authenticity, Bible, Christ, Futility, Glory, Goodness, Health, Heart, Jesus, Longing, Religion)

Monday, November 24, 2008

He that asks me what heaven is, means not to hear me, but to silence me; He knows I cannot tell him; when I meet him there, I shall be able to tell him, and then he will be as able to tell me; yet then we shall be but able to tell one another, this, this that we enjoy is heaven, but the tongues of angels, the tongues of glorified saints, shall not be able to express what that heaven is; for, even in heaven our faculties shall be finite.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. I, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon XXI, p. 422 (see the book; see also John 14:1-2; 1:18; 1 Cor. 13:12; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:7; Phil. 3:12; more at Angel, Apologetics, Eternal life, Heaven, Silence)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Commemoration of Katherine of Alexandria, Martyr, 4th century

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing; and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.
... H. J. Blackham (1903-2009), Objections to Humanism, Constable, 1963, p. 119 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Ps. 14:1; Rom. 1:18-20; 2 Cor. 4:1-2; Phil. 3:18-20; 1 Thess. 5:3; more at Apologetics, Futility, Illusions, Life)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748

The now wherein God made the first man, and the now wherein the last man disappears, and the now I speak in, are all the same in God where this is but the now.
... Meister Eckhart (1260?-1327?), Works of Meister Eckhart, London: J. M. Watkins, 1924, p. 37 (see the book; see also John 8:56-58; Ex. 3:14; Ps. 2:7; John 1:1-2; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8; more at God, Providence, Time)

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving (U.S.)

There are many persons who think Sunday is a sponge with which to wipe out the sins of the week.
... Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), Life Thoughts: gathered from the extemporaneous discourses of Henry Ward Beecher, Edna Dean Proctor, ed., Sheldon, 1860, p. 4 (see the book; see also Luke 18:9-14; Ps. 25:7,11; 41:4; 51:1-3; 130:3-4; Heb. 4:16; more at Church, People, Sin, Sunday)

Friday, November 28, 2008

[The] doctrine of [inevitable] progress sustained our fathers in the carrying of capitalist democratic culture to most parts of the globe. Its core was the conviction that, in thus extending the range of western liberal culture and developing its assumptions, they were in effect establishing on earth that which would grow into the kingdom of God. Some put it sharply but un-Biblically: “building the Kingdom;” others, of a more secular turn of mind, echoed J. A. Symonds’ hymn, “These things shall be.” That whole view exists today only as débris, for it has foundered on the rocks, not so much of human sin, as of the contradictions and complexities of the very western culture that was the substance of its belief.
... David M. Paton (1913-1992), Christian Missions and the Judgment of God, London: SCM Press, 1953, p. 28 (see the book; see also Gal. 1:6-8; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:3; 2 Cor. 11:4; Gal. 3:2; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Belief, Culture, Growth, Kingdom, Progress, Sin, Weakness)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The evangelical... wants such peace as men can attain to have some kind of relationship to justice. He observes many different kinds of peace prevailing in the world he inhabits. Not all of them are good. For example, there is the peace that death brings, the peace of the tomb. Today it could be called the peace of Auschwitz. Hitler tried to “make peace” with the Jews by seeking their “final solution;” but the evangelical would fight rather than submit to such a peace. There is also the peace of slavery and subjection, the Pax Romana. Dictators are very fond of the Roman peace. Today it could be called the peace of Tibet. The nation of Tibet has been completely stripped of its personality in our generation by Communist China without a single protest being made in front of a single embassy... Again, there is peace that is artificially induced in men. Among individuals it is the peace of the tranquilizer, the peace of withdrawal and schizophrenia, the peace of the brainwashed prisoner. Should large-scale chemical warfare break out, we are told, whole cities could be sprayed and pacified by such drugs. The evangelical is not interested in paying such high prices for the sake of peace. He would rather stay free, and alive, and in his right mind, prepared to fight.
... Sherwood Eliot Wirt (1911-2008), The Social Conscience of the Evangelical, New York: Harper & Row, 1968, p. 117-118 (see the book; see also John 14:27; Ps. 29:11; 85:10; Isa. 9:6; 32:15-17; Jer. 6:14; Luke 2:14; 12:51; John 16:33; Acts 10:16; Eph. 2:14-17; more at Death, Fight, Justice, Peace, Prisoner, Social, Submission)

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Feast of Andrew the Apostle

Without ordinances, men would be much more mischievous and ungovernable than dogs and cattle. And few have come to the knowledge of the truth but what have begun with holy practices and ordinances, and exercised themselves therein so long as they knew nothing more nor better.
... Theologia Germanica [1518], Anonymous, ascribed to Johannes de Francfordia, (1380?-1440) & Susanna Winkworth, tr., published anonymously by Martin Luther, ch. XXVI (see the book; see also Gal. 3:23-25; Matt. 5:17-18; Rom. 3:20-22; 7:7; 10:4; 13:8; Gal. 5:14; more at Beginning, Holiness, Knowledge, Man, Social, Truth)


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