Christ, our Light

Quotations for May, 1996

Wednesday, May 1, 1996
Feast of Philip & James, Apostles

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)

Thursday, May 2, 1996
Feast of St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher, 373

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, May 3, 1996

Some have said that the power of a Redeemer would depend upon two things: first, upon the richness of the self that was given; and second, upon the depths of the giving. Friend and foe alike are agreed on the question of the character of Jesus Christ... Whatever our creed, we stand with admiration before the sublime character of Jesus. Character is supreme in life, and hence Jesus stood supreme in the supreme thing—so supreme that, when we think of the ideal, we do not add virtue to virtue, but think of Jesus Christ, so that the standard of human life is no longer a code, but a character.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Now and Then (see also Acts 8:32-35; Ps. 69:4; Isa. 52:13-53:12; Matt. 27:12-14; Luke 17:12-14; more at Giving, Ideal, Jesus, Life, Thought, Virtue)

Saturday, May 4, 1996
Feast of English Saints & Martyrs of the Reformation

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)

Sunday, May 5, 1996

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)

Monday, May 6, 1996

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)

Tuesday, May 7, 1996

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)

Wednesday, May 8, 1996
Feast of Juliana of Norwich, Mystic, Teacher, c.1417
Commemoration of Dallas Willard, Teacher, Spiritual Writer, 2013

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)

Thursday, May 9, 1996

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)

Friday, May 10, 1996

“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)

Saturday, May 11, 1996

But must we believe that Judas, who repented even to agony, who repented so that his high-prized life, self, soul, became worthless in his eyes and met with no mercy at his own hand,—must we believe he could find no mercy in such a God? I think when Judas fled from his hanged and fallen body, he fled to the tender help of Jesus, and found it—I say not how. He was in a more hopeful condition now than during any moment of his past life, for he had never repented before. But I believe that Jesus loved Judas even when he was kissing Him with the traitor’s kiss; and I believe that He was his Saviour still.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “It Shall Not Be Forgiven”, in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], London: A. Strahan, 1867, p. 94-95 (see the book; see also Ps. 51:17; Matt. 27:3-5; Luke 22:47-48; John 1:16; Acts 1:16-20; Rom. 5:17; more at Forgiveness, Jesus, Love, Mercy, Repentance, Savior)

Sunday, May 12, 1996
Commemoration of Aiden Wilson Tozer, Spiritual Writer, 1963

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)

Monday, May 13, 1996

The world is not divine sport, it is divine destiny. There is divine meaning in the life of the world, of man, of human persons, of you and of me.
... Martin Buber (1878-1965), I and Thou, Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1937, reprint, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, p. 82 (see the book; more at Destiny, Life, Man, Meaning, World)

Tuesday, May 14, 1996
Feast of Matthias the Apostle

There is more hid in Christ than we shall ever learn, here or there either; but they that begin first to inquire will soonest be gladdened with revelation; and with them He will be best pleased, for the slowness of His disciples troubled Him of old. To say that we must wait for the other world, to know the mind of Him who came to this world to give Himself to us, seems to me the foolishness of a worldly and lazy spirit. The Son of God is the Teacher of men, giving to them of His Spirit—that Spirit which manifests the deep things of God, being to a man the mind of Christ. The great heresy of the Church of the present day is unbelief in this Spirit.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Higher Faith”, in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], London: A. Strahan, 1867, p. 54 (see the book; see also Neh. 8:8; Luke 19:47; John 6:45; 8:2; 16:12-13; 1 Cor. 2:10; Heb. 3:12; Rev. 2:7; more at Christ, Church, God, Heresy, Holy Spirit, Knowing God, Teach, Unbelief)

Wednesday, May 15, 1996
Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945

Faith is the leading grace in all our spiritual warfare and conflict; but all along while we live, it hath faithful company that adheres to it, and helps it. Love works, and hope works, and all other graces,—self-denial, readiness to the cross,—they all work and help faith. But when we come to die, faith is left alone. Now, try what faith will do...
Not to be surprised with any thing is the substance of human wisdom; not to be surprised with death is a great part of the substance of our spiritual wisdom.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Works of John Owen, v. IX, New York: R. Carter, 1851, Sermon XXVII, 1680, p. 340 (see the book; see also Isa. 25:8; 1 Cor. 15:26,31; 1 Tim. 6:12; more at Death, Faith, Grace, Hope, Love, Wisdom)

Thursday, May 16, 1996
Commemoration of Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer, 1877

I know the power obedience has of making things easy which seem impossible.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Interior Castle [1577], tr., E. Allison Peers, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, p. 33 (see the book; see also Rom. 16:19; Matt. 19:24-26; Luke 1:37; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12; more at Knowledge, Obedience, Power)

Friday, May 17, 1996

The basic assumption which all expositors seem anxious to secure is certainly right, namely, that the ultimate purpose of a parable is to help and not hinder the apprehension of the truth. But beyond this, we may say that it belongs to the very nature of revelation that the capacity to receive it depends upon the prior surrender and obedience of the will... The disciples had so surrendered to the sovereignty of Jesus and could therefore know. If temporarily parables concealed the truths of the kingdom from the outsider on the intellectual plane, it was only in order that moral conviction might first be secured with a view to intellectual enlightenment afterwards. There are many who, through intellectual pride, would like to have it otherwise, but it cannot be.
... C. E. Graham Swift, The New Bible Commentary, ed. Frances Davidson, Eerdmans., 1963, p. 814-815 (see the book; see also Matt. 11:25-27; 13:10-17; Mark 4:11-36; Luke 8:10; more at Bible, Conviction, Jesus, Knowledge, Morality, Obedience, Pride, Revelation, Truth)

Saturday, May 18, 1996

Faith is that which, knowing the Lord’s will, goes and does it; or, not knowing it, stands and waits, content in ignorance as in knowledge, because God wills; neither pressing into the hidden future, nor careless of the knowledge which opens the path of action.
... George MacDonald (1824-1905), “The Temptation in the Wilderness”, in Unspoken Sermons [First Series], London: A. Strahan, 1867, p. 147 (see the book; see also Hos. 12:6; Ps. 37:7; 130:5; Matt. 4:1-11; 21:28-31; Mark 1:11,12; Heb. 11:6,8; more at Faith, God, Ignorance, Knowledge, Will of God)

Sunday, May 19, 1996
Feast of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988

[Unbelievers] think they have made great efforts to get at the truth when they have spent a few hours in reading some book out of Holy Scripture, and have questioned some cleric about the truths of the faith. After that, they boast that they have searched in books and among men in vain.
... Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées (Thoughts) [1660], P.F. Collier & Son, 1910, #194, p. 70 (see the book; see also John 20:9; Matt. 12:7; John 5:39-40; Gal. 3:22; Tit. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:3-5; more at Bible, Boasting, Man, Scripture, Truth, Unbelief, Vanity)

Monday, May 20, 1996

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), What’s Wrong with the World, New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1912, p. 48 (see the book; see also John 3:11-12; Matt. 7:13-14; Luke 6:46-49; 7:30-35; 12:16-21; John 1:11; 5:39-40; 12:37; 1 Cor. 1:18-19; more at Hypocrisy, Ideal, Social)

Tuesday, May 21, 1996
Feast of Commemoration of Helena, Protector of the Faith, 330

The cross is laid on every Christian. It begins with the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with His death—we give over our lives to death. Since this happens at the beginning of the Christian life, the cross can never be merely a tragic ending to an otherwise happy religious life. When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow Him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at His call. That is why the rich young man was so loath to follow Jesus, for the cost of his following was the death of his will. In fact, every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and His call are necessarily our death and our life.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, Simon and Schuster, 1959, p. 89 (see the book; see also Matt. 16:24,25; Luke 14:33; John 5:24-26; Eph. 2:1,5-6; 1 Pet. 2:24; more at Call, Christ, Conversion, Cross, Death, Disciple, Jesus, World)

Wednesday, May 22, 1996

From the crude cry which we have so often heard during the war years: “If there is a God, why doesn’t He stop Hitler?,” to the unspoken questioning in many a Christian heart when a devoted servant of Christ dies from accident or disease at what seems to us a most inopportune moment, there is this universal longing for God to intervene, to show His hand, to vindicate His purpose. I do not pretend to understand the ways of God any more than the next man; but it is surely more fitting as well as more sensible for us to study what God does do and what He does not do as He works in and through the complex fabric of this disintegrated world, than to postulate what we think God ought to do and then feel demoralized and bitterly disappointed because He fails to fulfill what we expect of Him.
... J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), Making Men Whole, London: Highway Press, 1952, p. 33 (see the book; see also Ps. 106:13-15; 3:1-3; Lam. 3:33; Rom. 8:18; 2 Tim. 3:12; more at Adversity, Death, Disappointment, God, Purpose, Sin, Will of God, Work)

Thursday, May 23, 1996
Commemoration of Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, 6th century

Faith is indeed the energy of our whole nature directed to the highest form of being. Faith gives stability to our view of the universe... By faith we are convinced that our impressions of things without are not dreams or delusions, but for us true representations of our environment. By faith we are convinced that the signs of permanence, order, progress, which we observe in nature are true. By faith we are convinced that fellowship is possible with our fellow-men and with God.
... Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), The Historic Faith, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1883, p. 176 (see the book; see also Matt. 17:20; Mark 9:23-24; Rom. 1:16-17; Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 10:37-39; 11:1; 1 Pet. 1:7; more at Faith, Fellowship, God, Nature, Permanence, Progress, Truth)

Friday, May 24, 1996
Feast of John and Charles Wesley, Priests, Poets, Teachers, 1791 & 1788

He was but a heathen that said, If God love a man, He takes him young out of this world; and they were but heathens, that observed that custom, to put on mourning when their sons were born, and to feast and triumph when they died. But thus much may we learn from these heathens, that if the dead, and we, be not upon one floor, nor under one story, yet we are under one roof. We think not a friend lost, because he has gone into another room, nor because he has gone into another land: and into another world, no man has gone; for that Heaven, which God created, and this world, is all one world... I spend none of my faith, I exercise none of my hope, in this, that I shall have my dead raised to life again.
This is the faith that sustains me, when I lose by the death of others, or when I suffer by living in misery myself: that the dead and we are now all in one Church, and at the resurrection, shall be all in one choir.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. I, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon XX, p. 401 (see the book; see also John 5:21; Phil. 3:10-11; 1 Thess. 4:16; Heb. 11:16,35,40; more at Church, Death & Resurrection, Faith, Heathen, Hope, Mourning, World)

Saturday, May 25, 1996
Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735
Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, 709

Faith is illuminative, not operative; it does not force obedience, though it increases responsibility; it heightens guilt, but it does not prevent sin. The will is the source of action.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Lectures on certain difficulties felt by Anglicans in submitting to the Catholic Church, London: Burns & Lambert, 1850, p. 236 (see the book; see also Isa. 59:9-14; John 16:2-3; Rom. 1:25; Tit. 1:15; 1 John 3:19-20; more at Action, Faith, Guilt, Obedience, Responsibility, Sin)

Sunday, May 26, 1996
Feast of Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
Commemoration of Arthur John Gossip, Spiritual Writer, 1954

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, May 27, 1996
Commemoration of John Calvin, renewer of the Church, 1564

Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), included in Leaves of Gold, Evan S. Coslett & Clyde Francis Lytle, ed. [1948], Honesdale, Pa.: Coslett Publishing Company, 1938, p. 55 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 4:16; Ps. 49:15; John 11:25; Rom. 6:11; more at Beginning, Fear, Life, Weakness)

Tuesday, May 28, 1996
Commemoration of Lanfranc, Prior of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1089

Jesus hath many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few bearers of His Cross. He hath many seekers of comfort, but few of tribulation. He findeth many companions of His table, but few of His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, few are willing to undergo anything for His sake. Many follow Jesus that they may eat of His loaves, but few that they may drink of the cup of His passion. Many are astonished at His miracles, few follow after the shame of His Cross. Many love Jesus so long as no adversities happen to them. Many praise Him and bless Him, so long as they receive any comforts from Him. But if Jesus hide Himself and withdraw a little while, they fall either into complaining or into too great dejection of mind.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.xi, p. 103 (see the book; see also Matt. 8:21-27; 16:24,25; John 16:33; Acts 14:21-22; Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17; more at Adversity, Affliction, Complaint, Cross, Fasting, Jesus, Kingdom, Love, Miracle, Shame, Weakness)

Wednesday, May 29, 1996

It is not the distance of the earth from the sun, nor the sun’s withdrawing itself, that makes a dark and gloomy day; but the interposition of clouds and vaporous exhalations. Neither is thy soul beyond the reach of the promise, nor does God withdraw Himself; but the vapours of thy carnal, unbelieving heart do cloud thee.
... John Owen (1616-1683), Works of John Owen, v. VIII, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, Serm. IV, p. 237-238 (see the book; see also Rom. 4:19-22; Matt. 13:58; 14:25-31; John 20:27; Acts 28:23-28; more at Darkness, Faith, God, Heart, Promise, Soul, Unbelief)

Thursday, May 30, 1996
Feast of Josephine Butler, Social Reformer, 1906
Commemoration of Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431
Commemoration of Apolo Kivebulaya, Priest, Evangelist, 1933

If the appetite alone hath sinned, let it alone fast, and it sufficeth. But if the other members also have sinned, why should they not fast, too? ... Let the eye fast from strange sights and from every wantonness, so that that which roamed in freedom in fault-doing may, abundantly humbled, be checked by penitence. Let the ear, blameably eager to listen, fast from tales and rumours, and from whatsoever is of idle import, and tendeth least to salvation. Let the tongue fast from slanders and murmurings, and from useless, vain, and scurrilous words, and sometimes also, in the seriousness of silence, even from things which may seem of essential import. Let the hand abstain from ... all toils which are not imperatively necessary. But also let the soul herself abstain from all evils and from acting out her own will. For without such abstinence the other things find no favour with the Lord.
... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Selections from His Letters, Meditations, Sermons, Hymns and Other Writngs, tr. Horatio Grimley, CUP Archive, n.d., p. 208-209 (see the book; see also Matt. 6:16-18; 9:14-15; 12:36-37; John 14:15; Acts 14:3; 1 Cor. 7:5; more at Evil, Fasting, God, Listening, Repentance, Silence, Vanity)

Friday, May 31, 1996

[The solution lies] in a complete realization of what we mean by asserting that God is Almighty. The two ideas of Free-will and Divine Sovereignty can not be reconciled in our own minds, but that does not prevent them from being reconcilable in God’s mind. We measure Him by our own intellectual standard if we think otherwise. And so our solution of the problem of Free-will and of the problems of history and of individual salvation, must finally lie in the full acceptance and realization of what is implied by the infinity and the omniscience of God.
... William Sanday (1843-1920) & Arthur C. Headlam (1862-1947), A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1896, 10th ed., New York: Scribners, 1905, p. 350 (see the book; see also Rom. 9:17-24; Isa. 29:16; 45:9-11; Mic. 6:8; Phil. 3:12; more at Abasement, Bible, God, Mind, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Paradox, Salvation)


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