Christ, our Light

Quotations for July, 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016
Commemoration of John & Henry Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1813, 1873

Christ was common to all in love, in teaching, in tender consolation, in generous gifts, in merciful forgiveness. His soul and His body, His life and His death and His ministry were, and are, common to all. His sacraments and His gifts are common to all. Christ never took any food or drink, nor anything that His body needed, without intending by it the common good of all those who shall be saved, even unto the last day.
... Jan van Ruysbroeck (1293-1381), Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage, II.xlv (see the book; see also 1 Tim. 2:5-7; Luke 20:38; 2 Cor. 4:13-15; 5:14-15; more at Christ, Consolation, Forgiveness, Intention, Love, Mercy, Minister, Sacrament, Salvation, Teach)

Saturday, July 2, 2016

It should be noted, at least by those who accept Christ’s claim to be God, that he by no means fits into the picture of the “mystic saint.” Those who are fascinated by the supposed superiority of the mystic soul might profitably compile a list of its characteristics and place them side by side with those of Christ. The results would probably expose a surprising conclusion.
There is, in fact, no provision for a “privileged class” in genuine Christianity.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Your God is Too Small [1953], Simon and Schuster, 2004, p. 56-57 (see the book; see also Gal. 3:28-29; Matt. 20:26-28; 23:8; Acts 10:34-35; Rom. 2:11; Gal. 2:6; Eph. 6:9; more at Christ, God, Jesus, Mystic)

Sunday, July 3, 2016
Feast of Thomas the Apostle

Those who make it a reproach to Christianity that it taught no new morality and invented no new kind of Deity could not be more laughably wide of the mark. What it did was to guarantee that the old morality was actually valid, and the old beliefs literally true. “Ye worship ye know not what, but we know what we worship,” “that which we have seen with our eyes and our hands have handled”—“He suffered under Pontius Pilate.” God died—not in a legend, not in a symbol, not in a distant past nor in a realm unknown, but here, [in the crucifixion of Christ]; the whole great cloudy castle of natural religion and poetic prophecy is brought down to earth and firmly cemented upon that angular and solid cornerstone.
... Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957), The Man Born to be King, London: V. Gollancz, 1943, reprint, Ignatius Press, 1990, p. 22 (see the book; see also 1 John 1:1-3; Matt. 21:42-44; John 4:22; Eph. 2:19-20; 1 Pet. 2:6-10; more at Christ, Cornerstone, Crucifixion, Easter, Knowledge, Morality, Suffer, Teach, Truth)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Democracy is necessitated by the fact that all men are sinners; it is made possible by the fact that we know it.
... Elton Trueblood (1900-1994), Foundations for Reconstruction, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1946, p. 105 (see the book; see also Rom. 3:9-18,23; Ps. 143:2; Matt. 1:21; Rom. 5:12; Gal. 2:16; 3:22; 1 John 1:10; more at Knowledge, Sinner, Social)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

When we say that the Scriptures are plain to all capacities, in all things necessary, we mean that any man of ordinary capacity, by his own diligence and care, in conjunction with the helps and advantages which God hath appointed, and in the due use of them, may attain to the knowledge of everything necessary to his salvation; and that there is no book in the world more plain, and better fitted to teach a man any art or science than the Bible is, to direct and instruct men in the way to heaven.
... John Tillotson (1630-1694), Works of Dr. John Tillotson, v. V, London: J. F. Dove, for R. Priestley, 1820, Sermon LXXXVII, p. 41 (see the book; see also John 7:17; Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18; 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; more at Bible, Diligence, Heaven, Instruction, Knowledge, Man, Salvation, Teach, Way)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Feast of John Huss, Reformer, Martyr, 1415
Feast of Thomas More, Scholar & Martyr, &
John Fisher, Bishop & Martyr, 1535

1. I am not what I ought to be. Ah! how imperfect and deficient. 2. Not what I might be, considering my privileges and opportunities. 3. Not what I wish to be. God, who knows my heart, knows I wish to be like him. 4. I am not what I hope to be; ere long to drop this clay tabernacle, to be like him and see him as He is. 5. Not what I once was, a child of sin, and slave of the devil. Though not all these, not what I ought to be, not what I might be, not what I wish or hope to be, and not what I once was, I think I can truly say with the apostle, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”
... John Newton (1725-1807), Letters by The Rev. John Newton of Olney and St. Mary Woolnoth, Josiah Bull, ed., London: Religious Tract Society, ca. 1860, p. 400 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:10; Luke 7:2-10; 2 Cor. 5:1-4; Eph. 3:7-8; 1 Tim. 1:15-16; more at God, Grace, Heart, Hope, Knowledge, Providence)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

It might help us in our thinking if we drew a distinction between preaching, which the New Testament talks about as a continuing activity in society at large, and sermonising, which we have made into a special activity in the church premises...
A great many people sermonising in our churches today would be better off and of greater service if they absolved themselves from the bondage and disciplines of the pulpit and came down among their congregations, teaching informally on sounder educational principles. After all, the vital matter in the ministry of the Word is not that a clergyman delivers himself of a discourse but that the people to whom he ministers end up being taught something.
The tragedy is that the professional clergy have been trained to sermonise and they seem overwhelmed with fears and a sense of insecurity when they contemplate other methods.
A further problem, of course, is that most of our churches contain a significant number of people who become emotionally disturbed at any departure from what they have always done in the past. To them, the sermon is part of their Christianity—even if it bores them stiff!
... Gavin Reid (b. 1934), The Gagging of God, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1969, p. 33-34 (see the book; see also Matt. 4:23; Mark 1:15; Luke 8:1; 1 Cor. 1:17-18,22-23; 2 Cor. 2:17; more at Church, Congregation, Minister, Preach, Sermon, Social, Teach)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Alas, we but chase feathers flying in the air, and tire our own spirits, for the froth and over-gilded clay of a dying life. One sight of what my Lord hath let me see within this short time, is worth a world of worlds.
... Samuel Rutherford (1600-1664), Letters of Samuel Rutherford, Edinburgh: William Whyte & Co., 1848, letter, Feb. 9, 1637, p. 179 (see the book; see also Heb. 2:9; Isa. 11:1; 45:22; Mic. 7:7; Zech. 12:10; John 1:29; 8:56; Eph. 1:18; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 12:1-2; more at Life, Sight, Spirit, Time, World, Worship)

Saturday, July 9, 2016

And think of the appeal Christ made to men and women! He had many, but His favourite was to their chivalry and valour. Often He underlines the difficulties of discipleship, warns us what it will cost, that it means risk and loss and sacrifice, and pulling hard against fierce currents; and then He turns and looks at us, with that honouring trust of His in us that sets the blood tingling, and makes the cheeks flush with pride. That, He says quietly, is why I am so sure that you will come: you are too big to keep out of it! And, indeed, in His own day, it was only daring and adventurous spirits who would risk declaring for Him, as it is only daring and adventurous spirits still who have the pluck to try to follow so original and unpopular a Master in the real living-out of life.
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1924, p. 168 (see the book; see also Luke 14:26-33; Matt. 8:20; 10:22; 20:22-23; John 16:23; Acts 21:13; Rom. 8:18,36-37; Heb. 11:13; 2 Pet. 1:13-14; more at Authenticity, Disciple, Master, Sacrifice, Valor)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The soul which gives itself wholly and without reserve to God is filled with His own Peace; and inasmuch as we are prone to grow like that to which we are closely united, the closer we draw to our God, so much the stronger and more steadfast and more tranquil shall we become.
... Jean Nicolas Grou (1731-1803), The Hidden Life of the Soul, London: Rivingtons, 1870, p. 2 (see the book; see also Jas. 4:7-8; Ps. 73:28; 145:18; Isa. 55:6-7; Hosea 6:1-2; Matt. 11:29; Rom. 14:11; more at Giving, God, Obedience, Peace, Soul, Steadfast, Tranquility)

Monday, July 11, 2016
Feast of Benedict of Nursia, Father of Western Monasticism, c.550

No creature can be a child of God but because the goodness of God is in it; nor can it have any union or communion with the goodness of the Deity till its life is the Spirit of Love. This is the one only band of union betwixt God and the creature... Here the necessity is absolute; nothing will do instead of this will; all contrivances of holiness, all forms of religious piety, signify nothing, without this will to all goodness. For as the will to all goodness is the whole nature of God, so it must be the whole nature of every service or religion that can be acceptable to him.
... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Love [1752-4], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VIII, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 5 (see the book; see also Rom. 8:28; Gen. 50:20; Ps. 46:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:15-17; 5:1; 1 Pet. 1:7-8; more at Child, Communion, God, Goodness, Holiness, Weakness)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I take it that every Christian delivers himself up wholly to God in his baptism, when he renounces all the pomps and vanities of Satan, and enlists himself as a soldier to fight under Christ’s banner all his life after. And Saint Paul, speaking of those that die with Christ, that they may live no longer to themselves, but to Him that died for them; does not mean this of monks only, but of Christians universally.
... Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536), The Colloquies of Erasmus, v. II, London: Reeves & Turner, 1878, p. 286 (see the book; see also Rom. 6:9-11; 14:7-8; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:15; Phil. 1:21; 1 Thess. 5:10; more at Baptism, Christ, Conversion, Death, Fight, Life, Renunciation, Saint, Satan)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Do right, and God’s recompense to you will be the power of doing more right. Give, and God’s reward to you will be the spirit of giving more: a blessed spirit, for it is the Spirit of God Himself, whose Life is the blessedness of giving. Love, and God will pay you with the capacity of more love; for Love is Heaven—Love is God within you.
... Frederick W. Robertson (1816-1853), Expository Lectures on St. Paul’s Epistles to the Corinthians, London: Smith, Elder, 1860, p. 481 (see the book; see also Acts 20:35; Matt. 10:8; Luke 14:12-14; 2 Cor. 8:16-24; 9:1-15; Heb. 13:1-2,16; 1 John 4:8; more at Blessing, Giving, God, Heaven, Love, Power, Providence, Spirit)

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Feast of John Keble, Priest, Poet, Tractarian, 1866

Some misapprehension, I say, some obliquity, or some slavish adherence to old prejudices, may thus cause us to refuse the true interpretation, but we are none the less bound to refuse and wait for more light. To accept that as the will of our Lord which to us is inconsistent with what we learned to worship in him already, is to introduce discord into that harmony whose end is to unite our hearts, and make them whole.
“Is it for us,” says the objector who, by some sleight of will, believes in the word apart from the meaning for which it stands, “to judge the character of our Lord?” I answer, “This very thing he requires of us.” He requires of us that we should do Him no injustice. He would come and dwell with us, if we would but open our chambers to receive Him. How shall we receive Him if, avoiding judgment, we hold this or that daub of authority or tradition hanging upon our walls to be the real likeness of our Lord?
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “It Shall Not Be Forgiven”, in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], London: A. Strahan, 1867, p. 68-69 (see the book; see also Luke 12:10; Ps. 34:8; Eze. 33:11; Matt. 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-29; John 7:37-39; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Pet. 2:2-3; 1 John 2:1-2; more at Discord, Harmony, Inconsistency, Judgment, Knowing God, Light, Prejudice, Tradition, Truth, Worship)

Friday, July 15, 2016
Commemoration of Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, c.862
Commemoration of Bonaventure, Franciscan Friar, Bishop, Peacemaker, 1274

If we once accept the doctrine of the Incarnation, we must surely be very cautious in suggesting that any circumstance in the culture of first-century Palestine was a hampering or distorting influence upon His teaching. Do we suppose that the scene of God’s earthly life was selected at random?—that some other scene would have served better?
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), The World’s Last Night [1960], Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 97 (see the book; see also Gal. 4:4-5; Gen. 49:10; Mal. 3:1; Mark 1:15; 1 Cor. 2:6-8; Eph. 1:9-10; more at Culture, God, Incarnation, Influence, Jesus, Life, Teach)

Saturday, July 16, 2016
Commemoration of Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury, 1099

We must always speak of the efficacy of the ministry in such a manner that the entire praise of the work may be reserved for God alone.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, v. I, W. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1948, p. 289 (see the book; see also 2 Tim. 4:16-17; Matt. 10:29-31; 1 Cor. 9:1-12; Eph. 4:11-13; more at Church, God, Minister, Praise, Work)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Suffering is sometimes a mystery. We must affirm both the mystery and God. The paradox remained, but now at least, Job knew that it belonged there—that it is built into the moral and physical orders, and into the very nature of God as He has permitted us humans to perceive Him. In a world where the universal principle is cause-effect, the book of Job reminds us that the principle is a reflection of the mysterious, self-revealing God. It is subsumed under Him, however, and He cannot be subsumed under it. The God-speeches remind us that a Person, not a principle, is Lord.
... C. Hassell Bullock (b. 1939), Introduction to the Old Testament Poetic Books, Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1979, p. 108-109 (see the book; see also Job 38:1-7; 40:2-5; 42:1-6; more at Affliction, Bible, God, Nature, Paradox, Revelation, Suffer)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Living for others, commitment to God’s redeeming purposes, is a means of grace. We give because of our faith, and our faith deepens as we give. If we permit ourselves and our people to give casually, we are really teaching contempt.
... Richard S. Emrich (1910-1997), “Stewardship,” included in Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. 170 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 8:12-15; Matt. 6:1-4; Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 9:6; more at Contempt, Faith, Giving, Grace, Obedience, Redemption, Teach, Unselfish)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Feast of Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, & his sister Macrina, Teachers, c.394 & c.379

Souls are made sweet not by taking [ill tempers] out, but by putting something in—a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all. This only can eradicate what is wrong, ... renovate and regenerate, and rehabilitate the inner man. Will-power does not change men. Time does not change men. Christ does. Therefore “Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”
... Henry Drummond (1851-1897), “The Greatest Thing in the World”, in Addresses, H. Altemus, 1891, p. 45-46 (see the book; see also Phil. 2:5; Rom. 8:35-39; 12:1-2; Eph. 3:16-19; 1 Tim. 1:14; more at Christ, Greatness, Jesus, Love, Man, Spirit)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Commemoration of Bartolomè de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566

Joy was a characteristic of the Christian community so long as it was growing, expanding, and creating healthfully. The time came when the Church ceased to grow, except externally in wealth, power, and prestige; and these are mere outward adornments, or hampering burdens, very likely. They do not imply growth, or creativeness. The time came when dogmatism, tyranny, and ignorance strangled the free intellectual activity of the Church, and worldliness destroyed its moral fruitfulness. Then Joy spread her wings and flew away. The Christian graces care nothing for names and labels; where the Spirit of the Lord is, there they abide, but not in great Churches that have forgotten Him. How little of Joy there is in the character of the religious bigot or fanatic, or in the prudent ecclesiastical statesman! A show of cheerfulness they may cultivate, as they often do; but it is like the crackling of thorns under a pot: we cannot mistake it for the joy of the Lord which is the strength of the true Christian.
... William R. Inge (1860-1954), Personal Religion and the Life of Devotion, London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1924, p. 66 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 8:1-2; John 14:16-18; Acts 20:24; 1 Thess. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:8-9; more at Church, Community, Grace, Growth, Holy Spirit, Joy, Power, Tyranny, Wealth)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

True prayer is something more than desire. It is no mere subjective instinct—no blind outreach. If it met no response, no answer, it would soon be weeded out of the race... Prayer has stood the test of experience. In fact the very desire to pray is in itself prophetic of a Heavenly Friend. So this native need of the soul rose out of the divine origin of the soul, and it has steadily verified itself as a safe guide to reality.
In the first instance it is not asking for anything, it is not petition; all it seeks is God Himself. When it makes a request, there is always a preface: Let me find Thee, let me know Thee, then I will ask of Thee.
... James Hastings (1852-1922), The Christian Doctrine of Prayer, Edinbugh: T. & T. Clark, 1915, p. 30-31 (see the book; see also Matt. 21:22; 7:7; Mark 11:24; John 14:13-14; 15:7; Heb. 4:15-16; Jas. 1:5-6; 1 John 3:21-22; 5:14-15; more at Experience, Knowing God, Need, Prayer, Prophecy, Soul)

Friday, July 22, 2016
Feast of Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles

The more vigor you need, the more gentleness and kindness you must combine with it... All stiff, harsh goodness is contrary to Jesus.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Selections from Fénelon, ed. Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879, p. 79,47 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 16:14; Gal. 5:22-23; Phil. 4:5; Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 6:11; 1 Pet. 3:15-16; more at Attitudes, Gentleness, Goodness, Jesus, Kindness)

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373

That earth and that heaven, which spent God himself, Almighty God, six days in furnishing, Moses sets up in a few syllables, in one line: In the beginning God created heaven and earth. If a Livie or a Guicciardine, or such extensive and voluminous authors, had had this story in hand, God must have made another world, to have made them a library to hold their books, of the making of this world. Into what wire would they have drawn out this earth? Into what leaf-gold would they have beat out these heavens? It may assist our conjecture herein to consider, that amongst those men, who proceed with a sober modesty, and limitation in their writing, and make a conscience not to clog the world with unnecessary books; yet the volumes which are written by them, upon this beginning of Genesis, are scarce less than infinite. God did no more but say, Let this and this be done; and Moses doth no more but say, that upon God’s saying it was done. God required not Nature to help him to do it; Moses required not Reason to help him to be believed.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. IV, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CIX, p. 491 (see the book; see also Gen. 1:26; 2:1-2; Eccl. 12:12; more at Belief, Book, Creation, Earth, God, Heaven, Nature, Providence, Reason)

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Commemoration of Thomas à Kempis, priest, spiritual writer, 1471

Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought for in Holy Scripture. Each part of the Scripture is to be read with the same Spirit wherewith it was written. We should rather search after profit in Scriptures, than subtilty of speech. We ought to read plain and devout books as willingly as high and profound. Let not the authority of the writer offend thee, whether he be of great or small learning; but let the love of pure truth draw thee to read. Search not who spoke this or that, but mark what is spoken. Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord remaineth forever.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, I.v.1, p. 37 (see the book; see also Luke 24:44-45; Matt. 6:25-34; Mark 12:36; John 5:39-40; Acts 17:11; Rom. 8:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 John 4:4-6; more at Bible, God, Love, Man, Scripture, Search, Truth)

Monday, July 25, 2016
Feast of James the Apostle

That faith alone will never forsake Christ which springs out of or is built upon a conviction of the [need for] Him.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Nature and Causes of Apostasy from the Gospel [1676], in Works of John Owen, v. VII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 146 (see the book; see also John 6:44-45; Matt. 9:20-22; John 10:27-28; 12:37-40; 2 Thess. 2:9-12; more at Christ, Conviction, Faith, Need)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

[Paul] makes use of the symbolism of baptism, which in the East was performed by the complete immersion of the believer in water. “We were buried with Christ through our baptism (and so entered) into a state of death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the splendour of the Father, we too might walk in the newness which belongs to (real) life.” To the rite as such Paul did not attach overwhelming importance. “Christ,” he says, “did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel.” ... Paul recognized in the idea a most suggestive figure for the change wrought by faith in Christ. He found it necessary to guard against the crude sacramentalism which found in the mere physical process, as such, the actual impartation of new life, quite apart from anything taking place in the realm of inward experience. The Israelites in the wilderness ... received baptism in the Red Sea and in the cloud which overshadowed them; and yet they were disobedient, “the majority of them God did not choose,” and they perished miserably. The inference is plain. No sacramental act achieves anything unless it is an outward symbol of what really happens inwardly in experience. The test of that is the reality of the new life as exhibited in its ethical consequences. “How can we who are dead to sin live any longer in sin?” If baptism is a real dying and rising again, then it is indeed a profound revolution in the personal life, a revolution which is simply bound to show itself in a new moral character.
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 118-119 (see the book; see also Rom. 6:1-11; 1 Cor. 1:1-11,13-17; 10:1-5; Col. 2:10-13; more at Baptism, Christ, Conversion, Death, Life, Resurrection, Sacrament)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901
Commemoration of John R. W. Stott, spiritual writer and teacher, 2011

The loving service which God sends His people into the world to render includes both evangelism and social action, for each is in itself an authentic expression of love, and neither needs the other to justify it.
... John R. W. Stott (1921-2011), Christian Mission in the Modern World, London: Falcon; Downers Grove: IVP, 1975, p. 109 (see the book; see also Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 2:10; 2 Tim. 4:2; Heb. 13:16; 1 John 3:17; more at Authenticity, Charity, Evangelization, Love, Mission, Service)

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach, musician, 1750

It is my opinion that art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord... In former days the artist remained unknown and his work was to the glory of God...
Today the individual has become the highest form and the greatest bane of artistic creation.
... Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), The Seventh Seal, Lorrimer, 1984, introduction, p. 8 (see the book; see also Ps. 145:10-11; Rom. 1:20-21; Gal. 6:3; 1 Pet. 2:4-5; more at Art, Glory of God, Worship)

Friday, July 29, 2016
Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord

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, July 30, 2016
Commemoration of William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, 1833

It is indeed a most lamentable consequence of the practice of regarding religion as a compilation of statutes, and not as an internal principle, that it soon comes to be considered as being conversant about external actions rather than about habits of mind. This sentiment sometimes has even the hardiness to insinuate and maintain itself under the guise of extraordinary concern for practical religion; but it soon discovers the falsehood of this pretension, and betrays its real nature. The expedient indeed of attaining to superiority in practice, by not wasting any of the attention on the internal principles from which alone practice can flow, is about as reasonable, and will answer about as well, as the economy of the architect, who should account it mere prodigality to expend any of his materials in laying foundations, from an idea that they might be more usefully applied to the rising of the superstructure. We know what would be the fate of such an edifice.
... William Wilberforce (1759-1833), A Practical View, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1829, p. 167 (see the book; see also Matt. 7:24-27; Luke 6:48-49; 14:28-30; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; Eph. 2:19-22; more at Action, Attitudes, Mind, Reason, Religion)

Sunday, July 31, 2016
Commemoration of Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556

As the devil showed great skill in tempting men to perdition, equal skill ought to be shown in saving them. The devil studied the nature of each man, seized upon the traits of his soul, adjusted himself to them and insinuated himself gradually into his victim’s confidence—suggesting splendours to the ambitious, gain to the covetous, delight to the sensuous, and a false appearance of piety to the pious—and a master of saving souls ought to act in the same cautious and skillful way.
... St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491/5-1556), quoted in Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, Paul Van Dyke, C. Scribner’s Sons, 1927, p. 87 (see the book; see also Eph. 6:11-12; Matt. 10:16; Rom. 16:19; 1 Cor. 14:20; Eph. 5:15-17; Jas. 3:13-18; more at Devil, Salvation, Sin, Temptation)


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