Christ, our Light

Quotations for November, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018
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)

Friday, November 2, 2018
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)

Saturday, November 3, 2018
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)

Sunday, November 4, 2018

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)

Monday, November 5, 2018

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)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
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)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Feast of Willibrord of York, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle of Frisia, 739

Do little things as though they were great, because of the majesty of Jesus Christ who does them in us, and who lives our life: and do the greatest things as though they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence.
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #553, p. 182 (see the book; see also Matt. 10:40-42; 18:5; 25:31-46;Mark 9:41; 12:42-43; Luke 9:48; John 14:12; Acts 5:15; 16:15; 19:11-12; Rom. 15:18-19; 2 Cor. 8:12; 2 Tim. 1:16-18; Heb. 6:10; 3 John 1:5-8; more at Christ, Compassion, Greatness, Jesus, Life, Obedience, Omnipotence)

Thursday, November 8, 2018
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)

Friday, November 9, 2018
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)

Saturday, November 10, 2018
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)

Sunday, November 11, 2018
Feast of Martin, Monk, Bishop of Tours, 397

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)

Monday, November 12, 2018

I clearly recognize that all good is in God alone, and that in me, without Divine Grace, there is nothing but deficiency... The one sole thing in myself in which I glory, is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory.
... Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510), in The Life and Sayings of Saint Catherine of Genoa, Alba House, 1964, p. 90 (see the book; see also Ps. 51:7; Isa. 64:6; Matt. 15:18-19; 19:17; Mark 7:21-23; Luke 11:13; Rom. 7:18; Eph. 2:1-5; Tit. 3:3; more at Glory, God, Grace, Weakness)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Commemoration of Samuel Seabury, First Anglican Bishop in North America, 1796

Where, then, does happiness lie? In forgetfulness, not indulgence, of the self. In escape from sensual appetites, not in their satisfaction. We live in a dark, self-enclosed prison, which is all we see or know if our glance is fixed ever downward. To lift it upward, becoming aware of the wide, luminous universe outside—this alone is happiness. At its highest level, such happiness is the ecstasy that mystics have inadequately described. At more humdrum levels, it is human love; the delights and beauties of our dear earth, its colors and shapes and sounds; the enchantment of understanding and laughing, and all other exercise of such faculties as we possess; the marvel of the meaning of everything, fitfully glimpsed, inadequately expounded, but ever present.
... Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), Jesus Rediscovered, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969, p. 159 (see the book; see also Acts 12:6-11; Isa. 61:1-3; 60:1-5; Acts 2:46-47; 1 Cor. 13:12; more at Beauty, Earth, Happiness, Laughter, Love, Meaning, Satisfaction, Self, Understanding)

Thursday, November 15, 2018
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)

Friday, November 16, 2018
Feast of Margaret, Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church, 1093
Commemoration of Edmund Rich of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1240

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)

Saturday, November 17, 2018
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)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

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)

Monday, November 19, 2018
Feast of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680
Commemoration of Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
Commemoration of Mechtild, Bèguine of Magdeburg, Mystic, Prophet, 1280

Lord, since Thou hast taken from me all that I had of Thee, yet of Thy grace leave me the gift which every dog has by nature: that of being true to Thee in my distress, when I am deprived of all consolation.
... Mechthild of Magdeburg (ca. 1212-ca. 1282), The Revelations of Mechthild of Magdeburg, Longmans, Green, 1953, p. 55 (see the book; see also 2 Cor. 1:3-6; Ps. 32:7; 34:2-6; Isa. 40:1; Phil. 1:14; Heb. 12:12; more at Consolation, Faith, Grace, Prayers)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

When we put our confidence in our human formulations regarding how God acts in the world, it’s easy to start thinking in terms of how we can be sure he’ll behave the way we need him to. Anything that hinders us from recognizing that God acts freely out of love for his creation is dangerous, pagan Christianity.
... Brandon O’Brien, in a Christianity Today editorial, Sept. 3, 2010 (see the book; see also Isa. 29:13; Hos. 1:9-10; Matt. 15:3-9; Mark 7:6-13; John 3:16-17; Rom. 9:15-18,22-24; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; more at Creation, Danger, God, Love, Pagan, Worldly)

Thursday, November 22, 2018
Commemoration of Cecilia, Martyr at Rome, c.230
Commemoration of Clive Staples Lewis, Spiritual Writer, 1963
Thanksgiving (U.S.)

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)

Friday, November 23, 2018
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)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The defense, for myself and for those for whom I am responsible, must be a conscious defense. We cannot assume that, because we are Christians in the full biblical sense, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, automatically we shall be free from the influence of what surrounds us. The Holy Spirit can do what He will, but the Bible does not separate His work from knowledge; nor does the work of the Holy Spirit remove our responsibility as parents, pastors, evangelists, missionaries, or teachers.
... Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), The God Who is There [1968], in The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy, Good News Publishers, 1990, p. 152 (see the book; see also 1 Tim. 6:12; Deut. 4:9; 11:19; Eph. 6:4; Col. 4:6; 2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14-15; 1 Pet. 3:15; more at Evangelization, Holy Spirit, Influence, Knowledge, Minister, Missionary, Responsibility, Teach, Work)

Sunday, November 25, 2018
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)

Monday, November 26, 2018
Commemoration of Isaac Watts, Hymnwriter, 1748

There is a stream, whose gentle flow
Supplies the city of our God;
Life, love, and joy still gliding through,
And watering our divine abode:
That sacred stream, thine holy word,
That all our raging fear controls;
Sweet peace thy promises afford,
And give new strength to fainting souls.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Psalms of David Imitated [1719], in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, ed. Samuel Melanchthon Worcester, Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1834, Ps. 46, first part, p. 121 (see the book; see also Ps. 46:4; 1:2; 36:8-9; Isa. 35:6-10; Eze. 47:1-12; John 4:13-14; 7:37-39; Rev. 22:1-3; more at Bible, City, Joy, Love, Promise, Strength)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

If errors must be tolerated, say some, then men may do what they please, without control. No means, it seems, must be used to reclaim them. But is gospel conviction no means? Hath the sword of discipline no edge? Is there no means of instruction in the New Testament established, but a prison and a halter?
... John Owen (1616-1683), Of Toleration [1649], in Works of John Owen, v. VIII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, p. 170 (see the book; see also 2 Thess. 3:6-8; Pr. 11:30; 1 Cor. 9:22; 1 Tim. 4:16; Tit. 3:11; Jas. 4:11-12; 5:19-20; more at Error, Gospel, Instruction, Tolerance)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

[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)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

For some extraordinary reason, the Church moves in an atmosphere of antiquity. I have no doubt that it makes for dignity; I have also no doubt that there are times when it makes for complete irrelevance; for, if there is one thing that is true of religion it is that it must always be expressible in contemporary terms. Religion fails if it cannot speak to men as they are.
... William Barclay (1907-1978), In the Hands of God, New York: Harper & Row, 1967, Westminster Press, 1981, p. 85 (see the book; see also Mark 1:29-32; Ps. 25:7; 41:4; 51:1-3; Isa. 29:14; Luke 18:10-13; Heb. 4:16; more at Church, Failure, Man, Religion, Truth)

Friday, November 30, 2018
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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