Christ, our Light

Quotations for June, 1998

Monday, June 1, 1998
Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165
Commemoration of Angela de Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540

To make the improving of our own character our central aim is hardly the highest kind of goodness. True goodness forgets itself and goes out to do the right thing for no other reason than that it is right.
... Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998), Christian Freedom in the Modern World, London: SCM Press, 1937, p. 27 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 1:13-16; Lev. 19:2; Hos. 6:6; Rom. 12:20; Eph. 4:15-16; Heb. 12:14; 1 John 3:16-18; more at Forget, Goodness, Truth, Unselfish, Weakness)

Tuesday, June 2, 1998

Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him. In Hebrew, “Be silent in God, and let Him mould thee.” Keep still, and He will mould thee to the right shape.
... Martin Luther (1483-1546), Watchwords for the Warfare of Life, Elizabeth Rundle Charles, ed., New York: M. W. Dodd, 1869, p. 249 (see the book; see also Ps. 37:7; Ps. 46:10; Isa. 64:8; Hab. 2:20; Rom. 9:21; more at Bible, God, Patience, Rest, Silence)

Wednesday, June 3, 1998
Feast of Edward King, Bishop of Lincoln, Teacher, 1910
Commemoration of Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & 1978

God frees our souls, not from service, not from duty, but into service and into duty; and he who mistakes the purpose of his freedom mistakes the character of his freedom. He who thinks that he is being released from the work, and not set free in order that he may accomplish that work, mistakes the Christ from Whom the freedom comes, mistakes the condition into which his soul is invited to enter.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Addresses, Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1895, p. 10 (see the book; see also John 8:31-36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 5:1; more at Obedience)

Thursday, June 4, 1998

I have found (to my regret) that the degrees of shame and disgust which I actually feel at my own sins do not at all correspond to what my reason tells me about their comparative gravity. Just as the degree to which, in daily life, I feel the emotion of fear has very little to do with my rational judgement of the danger. I’d sooner have really nasty seas when I’m in an open boat than look down in perfect (actual) safety from the edge of a cliff. Similarly, I have confessed ghastly uncharities with less reluctance than small unmentionables—or those sins which happen to be ungentlemanly as well as un-Christian. Our emotional reactions to our own behaviour are of limited ethical significance.
... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1964, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 99 (see the book; see also Jas. 5:16; more at Sin)

Friday, June 5, 1998
Feast of Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754

Never do anything through strife, or envy, or emulation, or vain-glory. Never do anything in order to excel other people, but in order to please God, and because it is His will that you should do everything in the best manner that you can.
... William Law (1686-1761), A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728], London: Methuen, 1899, p. 340 (see the book; see also Phil. 2:3; more at Obedience)

Saturday, June 6, 1998
Commemoration of Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945

Then are we the servants of God, then are we the disciples of Christ, when we do what is commanded us, and because it is commanded us.
... John Owen (1616-1683), V.3 in A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V [1674], in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 605 (see the book; see also John 14:15; Isa. 29:13-14; Luke 14:26-27; John 14:21-24; 15:10-14; 1 Cor. 16:22; 1 John 2:3; 5:2-3; more at Christ, Disciple, God, Obedience, Service)

Sunday, June 7, 1998
Trinity Sunday

God, to redeem us at the deepest portion of our nature—the urge to love and be loved—must reveal His nature in an incredible and impossible way. He must reveal it at a cross. At the cross God wrapped his heart in flesh and blood and let it be nailed to the cross for our redemption.
... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Conversion, New York: Abingdon Press, 1959, p. 69 (see the book; see also Gal. 6:14; Rom. 1:16-17; 1 Cor. 1:22-24; 2:2; Phil. 3:10-11; more at Cross, God, Heart, Love, Redemption, Revelation, Way)

Monday, June 8, 1998
Feast of Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath & Wells, Hymnographer, 1711
Commemoration of Roland Allen, Mission Strategist, 1947

To take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.
... John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), Parochial Sermons, v. 1, New York: D. Appleton, 1843, p. 42 (see the book; see also Rom. 13:10-11; Mark 8:34-35; 9:43-47; Luke 9:23; 14:26-27; 1 John 2:28; more at Action, Christ, Cross, Duty, Obedience)

Tuesday, June 9, 1998
Feast of Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
Commemoration of Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymnographer, Teacher, 373

Logic may be viewed, perhaps, as a machine which is designed, at best, to be such that when we feed into it certain data and turn the logic crank, we inevitably get certain conclusions out the other end. Logic is designed to give inevitably true results starting from known true—or assumed-to-be-true—premises. Logic is a wonderful tool when we want only logical conclusions. We should not reject such a machine merely because it is not equipped to handle all of reality. The scientist who commits himself to use a logic machine is doing wisely, qua scientist, for use on data of science. But if he feeds into that machine convictions that there is no God, or ignores God because He is not in his corpus of data, and then draws from his logic the conclusion that God does not exist, his conclusion is irrelevant. Logic is a tool; it should not be made into a religion.
... Kenneth L. Pike (1912-2001), With Heart and Mind, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962, p. 6-7 (see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:27-29; Isa. 29:14; Matt. 11:25; 18:3-4; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16-17; 21:15; Acts 6:9-10; 17:18; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; more at Existence, God, Logic, Religion, Science, Truth)

Wednesday, June 10, 1998

The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.
... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Enarr. in Ps. xc, sermon 2 (see also 2 Cor. 5:1-3; John 14:2-3; Heb. 11:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:11; more at Bible, Heaven, Home, Scripture)

Thursday, June 11, 1998
Feast of Barnabas the Apostle

The disorder of secularism is perhaps nowhere more apparent in our contemporary Church than in the extent to which we have permitted the order of the world to creep into the order of the Church... That it should carry out its mission to the men in the middle classes of capitalist society is doubtless a part of the Church’s order, but that the mission should result in the formation of a middle-class church which defends the secular outlook and interests of that class is an evident corruption.
... H. Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962), “The Disorder of Man in the Church of God”, included in Man’s Disorder and God’s Design, v. I, Willem Adolph Visser ’t Hooft, ed., New York: Harper, 1949, p. 85 (see the book; more at Church)

Friday, June 12, 1998

If God bores you, tell Him that He bores you, that you prefer the vilest amusements to His presence, that you only feel at your ease when you are far from Him.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Spiritual Letters of Archbishop Fénelon. Letters to men, London: Rivingtons, 1877, p. 58-59 (see the book; see also Ps. 14; Amos 5:14,15; Heb. 11:6; more at Abasement, Confession, God, Prayer)

Saturday, June 13, 1998
Commemoration of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Apologist and Writer, 1936

This making of your peace with God is not, and never can be, a mere matter of emotional surrender, however honest and sincere. It must be an act of the whole man, feeling, thinking, and doing, in every department of his life, in obedience to a great governing and controlling principle. It must be the response of the whole man to his whole world. God must be at least as big as the world if He is to be God at all. Religion applies either to everything or to nothing, and no department of life can be left outside of God. Whatever appears to be beyond His control must, to the religious man, become either a problem to solve or an obstacle to be overcome, and whatever is essentially opposed to Him must become an evil to be destroyed. The soul that has really made its peace with God simply cannot tolerate anything or anybody as being permanently outside of Him.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 22-23 (see the book; see also 1 Chr. 29:10-12; Ps. 1:1-2; 73:25; 85:8; Isa. 11:6-9; 25:6-8; Matt. 11:27; John 16:33; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:19-20; more at God, Life, Man, Obedience, Peace, Religion, World)

Sunday, June 14, 1998
Commemoration of Richard Baxter, Priest, Hymnographer, Teacher, 1691

Lord, it belongs not to my care,
Whether I die or live;
To love and serve Thee is my share,
And this Thy grace must give.
If life be long I will be glad,
That I may long obey;
If short—yet why should I be sad
To soar to endless day?
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before;
He that unto God’s kingdom comes,
Must enter by this door.
Come, Lord, when grace has made me meet
Thy blessèd face to see;
For if Thy work on earth be sweet,
What will Thy glory be!
Then shall I end my sad complaints,
And weary, sinful days;
And join with the triumphant saints,
To sing Jehovah’s praise.
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim;
But ’tis enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with him.
... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), in Memoirs of Margaret Baxter, London: Richard Edwards, 1826, p. 403 (see the book; see also Ps. 52:9; 91:16; Matt. 6:27; 7:13; John 13:15; Rom. 6:4-5,8; 2 Cor. 13:4; 1 Pet. 2:21; 3:10-11; more at Christ, Death & Resurrection, Grace, Knowing God, Love, Obedience, Praise, Service)

Monday, June 15, 1998
Feast of Evelyn Underhill, Mystical Writer, 1941

Christianity is a religion which concerns us as we are here and now, creatures of body and soul. We do not “follow the footsteps of his most holy life” by the exercise of a trained religious imagination, but by treading the firm, rough earth, up hill and down dale.
... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), The School of Charity, New York: Longmans, Green, 1934, reprinted, Morehouse Publishing, 1991, p. 52 (see the book; see also Heb. 12:3; Matt. 5:23-24; 8:19-22; John 15:18-19; 2 Thess. 3:13; Heb. 3:1; 12:2; more at Holiness, Imagination, Obedience, Religion, Work)

Tuesday, June 16, 1998
Feast of Richard of Chichester, Bishop, 1253
Commemoration of Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, Moral Philosopher, 1752

If indeed there had been anything better and more profitable to the health of men than to suffer, Christ would surely have shown it by word and example.
... Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ [1418], Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1877, II.xii.15, p. 111 (see the book; see also 1 Pet. 4:13,14; 5:10; more at Affliction, Example, Health, Jesus, Man, Suffer)

Wednesday, June 17, 1998
Commemoration of Samuel & Henrietta Barnett, Social Reformers, 1913 & 1936

Now the great thing is this: we are consecrated and dedicated to God in order that we may thereafter think, speak, meditate, and do, nothing except to his glory. For a sacred thing may not be applied to profane uses without marked injury to him.
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I [1559], tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, III.vii.1, p. 619 (see the book; see also Eph. 4:22-24; Ps. 119:11; Rom. 12:1-2; 14:8; Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 5:1; more at Attitudes, Consecration, Dedication, Glory, God)

Thursday, June 18, 1998

To thee, O God, we turn for peace; but grant us, too, the blessed assurance that nothing shall deprive us of that peace, neither ourselves, nor our foolish, earthly desires, nor my wild longings, nor the anxious cravings of my heart.
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Journals, ed. Alexander Dru, Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 85 (see the book; see also John 14:27; Ps. 85:8; Luke 2:14; John 16:33; Rom. 5:1-2; 8:6; 14:17; 15:33; 1 Cor. 14:33; Eph. 2:14-18; Phil. 4:7; Col. 3:15; more at Anxiety, Assurance, Folly, Peace, Prayers)

Friday, June 19, 1998
Commemoration of Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu, Evangelist, Teacher, 1929

From time immemorial men have quenched their thirst with water without knowing anything about its chemical constituents. In like manner we do not need to be instructed in all the mysteries of doctrine, but we do need to receive the Living Water which Jesus Christ will give us and which alone can satisfy our souls.
... Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), quoted in The Gospel of Sadhu Sundar Singh, Friedrich Heiler & Olive Wyon, G. Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1927, p. 239 (see the book; see also John 4:7-14; Ex. 17:6; Ps. 36:8-9; 46:4; Isa. 12:3; 44:3; Jer. 2:13; Zech. 14:8; John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 10:1-4; Rev. 7:17; 21:6; more at Christ, Instruction, Jesus, Knowledge, Need, Satisfaction, Water)

Saturday, June 20, 1998

God, in a man who is made “partaker of His nature,” desireth and taketh no revenge for all the wrong that is or can be done unto Him. This we see in Christ when He saith: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
... Theologia Germanica [1518], Anonymous, ascribed to Johannes de Francfordia, (1380?-1440) & Susanna Winkworth, tr., published anonymously by Martin Luther, ch. XXXIII (see the book; see also Luke 23:34; more at Attitudes, Christ, Forgiveness, God, Man, Vengeance)

Sunday, June 21, 1998

Alas! day by day we ask that His Will may be done, and yet when it comes to the doing, we find it so hard! We offer ourselves so often to God;—we continually say, “Lord, I am Thine, I give Thee my heart,” and when He accepts it, we are such cowards. How dare we call ourselves His, if we cannot shape our will to His?
... François de Sales (1567-1622), A Selection from the Spiritual Letters of St. Francis de Sales [1622], New York: E. P. Dutton, 1876, p. 52 (see the book; see also Deut. 10:12; Matt. 6:10; Eph. 6:5-8; more at Weakness)

Monday, June 22, 1998
Feast of Alban, first Martyr of Britain, c.209

Irresponsible spending is the scandal of Christian America, in the face of the world’s need. The American standard of living has risen to unprecedented heights, although a large portion of the world exists on a sub-human level. Philanthropy, as we practice it, is not enough—although the word philanthropy actually means brotherhood. Our stewardship of God’s goods requires that we administer in God’s name—that is, with full awareness that the world is His and that His love is directed toward us no more fully than toward every man.
... Rachel Henderlite (1905-1991), A Call to Faith, Richmond: John Knox Press, 1955, p. 192 (see the book; see also 1 John 3:17; Isa. 58:7-10; Rom. 12:13; 2 Cor. 9:5-9; 1 Tim. 5:3; 6:17-18; Heb. 13:16; more at Brotherhood, Church, God, Love, Need, World)

Tuesday, June 23, 1998
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678

Man is challenged to participate in the sufferings of God at the hands of a godless world.
He must therefore plunge himself into the life of a godless world, without attempting to gloss over its ungodliness with a veneer of religion or trying to transfigure it. He must live a ‘worldly’ life and so participate in the suffering of God. He may live a worldly life as one emancipated from all false religions and obligations. To be a Christian does not mean to be religious in a particular way, to cultivate some particular form of asceticism (as a sinner, a penitent, or a saint), but to be a man. It is not some religious act which makes a Christian what he is, but participation in the suffering of God in the life of the world.
... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Letters and Papers from Prison, London: Macmillan, 1962, p. 174 (see the book; see also Col. 1:24; Matt. 5:11; Acts 5:41; Rom. 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 1:8; Phil. 2:17; 1 Thess. 2:14-16; Heb. 2:18; 5:8-10; 1 Pet. 2:21; more at Affliction, Challenge, God, Life, Man, Penitence, Saint, Sinner, Suffer, Weakness, World)

Wednesday, June 24, 1998
Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

It takes a determined effort of the mind to break free from the error of making books and teachers an end in themselves. The worst thing a book can do for a Christian is to leave him with the impression that he has received from it anything really good; the best it can do is to point the way to the Good he is seeking. The function of a good book is to stand like a signpost directing the reader toward the Truth and the Life. That book serves best which early makes itself unnecessary, just as a signpost serves best after it is forgotten, after the traveler has arrived safely at his desired haven. The work of a good book is to incite the reader to moral action, to turn his eyes toward God and urge him forward. Beyond that it cannot go.
... A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Divine Conquest, Harrisburg, Penn.: Christian Publications, Inc., 1950, Revell, 1950, p. 14-15 (see the book; see also Eccl. 12:12; more at Attitudes)

Thursday, June 25, 1998

To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself is a mark of perfection, but to bear with patience wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection and even of actual sin.
... Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274) (see also Mark 15:3-5; Isa. 53:7; Acts 7:22-24; 1 Cor. 6:7; 1 Pet. 2:19-20; more at Bearing, Patience, Perfection, Sin)

Friday, June 26, 1998

Enough has... been said to show that the impoverished secularised versions of Christianity which are being urged upon us for our acceptance today rest not upon the rigid application of the methods of scientific scholarship nor upon a serious intuitive appreciation of the Gospels as a whole in their natural context, but upon a radical distaste for the supernatural.
... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 282 (see the book; see also Heb. 4:2; Isa. 59:1-2; Matt. 13:58; Mark 6:5-6; 9:23; more at Apologetics, Gospel, Miracle)

Saturday, June 27, 1998

God gave us faculties for our use; each of them will receive its proper reward. Then do not let us try to charm them to sleep, but permit them to do their work until divinely called to something higher.
... Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), The Interior Castle [1577], tr., E. Allison Peers, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, p. 98 (see the book; more at Providence)

Sunday, June 28, 1998
Feast of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c.200

Knowledge of God can be fully given to man only in a Person, never in a doctrine... Faith is not the holding of correct doctrines, but personal fellowship with the living God.
... William Temple (1881-1944), Nature, Man and God, London: Macmillan, 1934, 1949, p. 321-322 (see the book; see also Gen. 5:24; 6:9; Ex. 29:45; 33:14-17; Zech. 2:10; Mark 9:37; John 14:23; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 John 1:5-7; Rev. 3:20; more at Faith, Fellowship, God, Knowing God, Man)

Monday, June 29, 1998
Feast of Peter & Paul, Apostles

You cannot escape Christ, do what You will. You reject His divinity, but, so doing, you have not evaded Him. If He is just a man like us, then obviously you must be a man like Him!
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 271 (see the book; see also Mark 5:6-8; Isa. 53:7; Matt. 16:13-16; 22:42-45; 27:12-14; Mark 15:3-5; 1 Pet. 2:23; more at Authenticity, Christ, Jesus, Man, Perseverance)

Tuesday, June 30, 1998

It is no hard matter to adhere to God while you are in the enjoyment of His comforts and consolations; but if you would prove your fidelity to Him, you must be willing to follow Him through the paths of dryness and desertion. The truth of a friend is not known while he is receiving favours and benefits from us; but if he remain faithful to us when we treat him with coldness and neglect, it will be a proof of the sincerity of his attachment.
... François Fénelon (1651-1715), Mme. Guyon (1648-1717), William Backhouse (1779/80-1844) & James Jansen (1784-1821), A Guide to True Peace [1813], Pendle Hill by Harper & Brothers, 1946, p. 42-43 (see the book; see also Matt. 26:56; more at Weakness)


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