I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than it be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. -- Jack London, 1916
When the tide of life turns against you
And the current upsets your boat
Don't waste tears on what might have been
Just lie on your back and float.
There is a deep peace that grows out of illness and loneliness and a sense of failure. God cannot get close when everything is delightful. He seems to need these darker hours, these empty-hearted hours, to mean the most to people. Frank C. Laubach
There are two kinds of fools: one says, "This is old, therefore it is good"; the other says, "This is new, therefore it is better." William R. Inge
The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. Dolly Parton
No cloud can overshadow a true Christian, but his faith may discern a rainbow in it. Anonymous
Agnosticism is epistemologically self-contradictory on its own assumptions because its claim to make no assertion about ultimate reality rests upon a most comprehensive assertion about ultimate reality. Dr. Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987)
The gentleman will please remember that when his half-civilised ancestors were hunting the wild boar in Silesia, mine were princes of the earth. Judah Philip Benjamin (1811-1884), said in reply to an anti-Semitic remark made by a senator of German origin.
Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honourable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon. --Disraeli (reply to a taunt by Daniel O'Connell)
The trouble with letting off steam is-- it only gets you into more hot water. Author Unknown
I love animals, they are delicious. Author Unknown
Many years ago when an adored dog died a great friend, a bishop, said to me, "You must always remember that, as far as the Bible is concerned, God only threw the humans out of Paradise." Bruce Foyle "Pets and Their People"
Don't worry if you're a kleptomaniac, you can always take something for it. Robert Benchley
Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future Author Unknown
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. Goethe (1749-1832)
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Dale Carnegie
Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain
Many refuse to accept the reality of a personal God because they are unwilling to submit to His authority Kurt Bruner.
Either the Bible will keep you away from sin, or sin will keep you away from the Bible!
I am convinced that a downgrading in priority of . . . prayer and biblical meditation is a major cause of weakness in many Christian communities. . . . Bible study demands pondering deeply on a short passage, like a cow chewing her cud. It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little. Denis Parsons Burkitt (1911-1993)
She was a blonde. The kind of blonde that would make a bishop kick in a stained glass window. Raymond Chandler
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. Jorge Luis Borges
Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa
I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image. A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
Obscenity is the sign of a weak mind trying to express itself. (Unknown.)
Avoid idleness, and fill up all the spaces of thy time with severe and useful employment: for lust easily creeps in at those emptinesses where the soul is unemployed and the body is at ease; no easy, healthful, idle person was ever chaste if he could be tempted; but of all employments, bodily labour is the most useful, and of the greatest benefit for driving away the Devil. Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Susan Ertz
In this modern world of ours many people seem to think that science has somehow made such religious ideas as immortality untimely or old fashioned.I think science has a real surprise for the sceptics. Science, for instance, tells us that nothing in nature, not even the tiniest particle, can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction. All it knows is transformation. If God applies this fundamental principle to the most minute and insignificant parts of His universe, doesn t it make sense to assume that He applies it to the masterpiece of His creation, the human soul? Dr.WERNER VON BRAUN
The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialised - and never knowing. David Viscott
Lord make my words soft today, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.
Dave Haigler Do you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the edge of a pool and throw them fish?
Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures. ST. AQUINAS
Jesus will judge us not only for what we did, but also for what we could have done and didn't. GEORGE OTIS
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian. Dennis Wholey
Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years. George Burns
The best exercise for strengthening the heart is reaching down and lifting people up. Ernest Blevins
The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Though hardness of heart is a great evil, it is no greater an evil than softness of head. Theodore Roosevelt.
Darwinian Man, though well-behaved,
At best is only a monkey shaved.
W. S. Gilbert, Psyche's Song, Princess Ida, Act II
Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, bending over backward, lying down on the job, side stepping responsibility and pushing their luck. Unknown Author
Experience is the worst teacher. It always gives the test first and the instruction afterward.
Experience is the worst teacher; it gives the test first before presenting the lesson. Vernon Law
The world says, The more you take, the more you have. Christ says, the more you give, the more you are. Frederick Buechner
When we place our contribution in the collection plate, we are not giving to the Lord; we are just taking our hands off that which belongs to Him.
So long as we imagine it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about - He is looking for us. SIMON TUGWELL
It's my business to do God's business and it's His business to take care of my business
Works? Works? A man get to heaven by works? I would as soon think of climbing to the moon on a rope of sand! GEORGE WHITEFIELD
What is Jordan that I should wash in it? What is the preaching that I should attend on it, while I hear nothing but what I knew before? What are these beggarly elements of water, bread, and wine? Are not these the reasonings of a soul that forgets who appoints the means of grace? William Gurnall
My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour. John Newton
Newton's tombstone reads, "John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long laboured to destroy.
Marxism is the opium of the intellectuals. Edmund Wilson
The best of healers is good cheer. Pindar, "Nemean Ode"
I have taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me send money.
If money is the root of all evil, why do churches want it so bad? Unknown
The nations morals are like its teeth, the more decayed they are the more it hurts to touch them. George Bernard Shaw
The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket. Frank McKinney Hubbard
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Galileo Galilei
Look out for #1. Don't step in #2 either.
Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. Louis E. Boone
There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt. Niccolo Machiavelli
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children are smart. H. L. Mencken
If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns. Author Unknown
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain
We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities. Bill Maher, 1995
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. James B. Conant (1893-1978)
Tact is the ability to tell a man he has an open mind when he has a hole in his head.
Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. Unknown
Don't hide your light, or you may burn yourself! Unknown
Teach your students to use what talents they have; the woods would be silent if no bird sang except those that sing best. Anon
Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one. Charles Mackay
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. Hector Berlioz
We must appreciate that our Christian forefathers understood this very well in A.D. 325, when they stressed the three Persons in the Trinity, as the Bible had clearly set this forth. Let us notice that it is not that they invented the Trinity in order to give an answer to the philosophical questions which the Greeks of that time understood. It is quite the contrary. The unity and diversity problem was there, and the Christians realised that in the Trinity, as it had been taught in the Bible, they had an answer that no one else had. They did not invent the Trinity to meet the need; the Trinity was already there and it MET the need. They realised that in the Trinity we have what all these people are arguing about and defining but for which they have no answer.
Let us notice again that this is not the BEST answer; it is the ONLY answer. Nobody else, no philosophy, has ever given us an answer for unity and diversity. So when people ask whether we are embarrassed intellectually by the Trinity, I always switch it over into their own terminology -- unity and diversity. Every philosophy has this problem, and no philosophy has an answer. Christianity does have an answer in the existence of the Trinity. The only answer to what exists is that He, the triune God, is there. F A Schaeffer He Is There And He Is Not Silent
Should it be said that the Greeks discovered philosophy by human wisdom, I reply that I find the Scriptures declare all wisdom to be a divine gift. St. Clement of Rome
I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
Wit makes its own welcome, and levels all distinctions. No dignity, no learning, no force of character, can make any stand against good wit. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of what significance is it to us that, on this particular occasion, at this particular time, there are but half a dozen of us, or thirty of us, or a hundred of us, gathered together for the breaking of bread and for prayers,when these acts themselves unite us with millions who have repeated them daily throughout the centuries and now gather unseen at our side? Harry Blamires, The Tyranny of Time
Most people are willing to change not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat. Author Unknown
A child of five would understand this. Send somebody to fetch a child of five. Groucho Marx
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, how some folks must love the Church! Gerald I. Teague
There is little good in filling churches with people who go out exactly the same as they came in; the call of the Church is not to fill churches but to fill heaven. Fr Andrew SDC "The Way of Victory"
The British churchman goes to church as he goes to the bathroom, with the minimum of fuss and no explanation if he can help it. Ronald Blythe "The Age of Illusion"
Do not ride in cars: they are responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents. . . Do not stay at home: 17% of all accidents occur in the home. . . Do not walk on the streets or pavements: 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians. . . Do not travel by air, rail, or water: 16% of all accidents happen on these. . . Only .001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders. . . Hence the safest place for you to be at any time is at church! - Mark Leslie via Sermon Fodder <Sermon_Fodderemail@example.com>
It can be exalting to belong to a church that is 550 years behind the times and sublimely indifferent to fashion; it is mortifying to belong to a church that is five minutes behind the times, huffing and puffing to catch up. - JOSEPH SOBRAN
When were the good and the brave ever in a majority? -- Henry Thoreau
The higher the mountains, the more understandable is the glory of Him who made them and who holds them in His hand. Francis Schaeffer
You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables. Boswell: Life of Johnson
When the people criticised and answered his pamphlets, papers, &c. Why now, these fellows are only advertising my book (he would say); it is surely better a man should be abused than forgotten. Piozzi: Anecdotes of Johnson
Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain and most fools do. Benjamin Franklin
The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.
Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)"Pearls of Wisdom," ed. J. Agel and W. Glanze, 1987.
I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me. Max Reger (1873-1916) German composer Responding to a savage review of his music (1906) In Nicolas Slonimsky, Lexicon of Musical Invective (1953)
If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself you should say: 'He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned. --Epictectus
For the first time in our history the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal. Carl Bernstein
If you are bitter at heart, sugar in the mouth will not help you. Jewish proverb
Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. Carl Jung
And the best part of health is fine disposition. It is more essential than talent, even in the works of talent. Nothing will supply the want of sunshine to peaches, and, to make knowledge valuable, you must have the cheerfulness of wisdom. Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished. The joy of the spirit indicates its strength. All healthy things are sweet-tempered. Genius works in sport, and goodness smiles to the last; and, for the reason, that whoever sees the law which distributes things, does not despond, but is animated to great desires and endeavours. He who desponds betrays that he has not seen it.... It is observed that a depression of spirits develops the germs of a plague in individuals and nations. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life
Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine. Thomas Aquinas
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm. Steven Wright
"Is it true that you smoke eight to ten cigars a day?"
"Is it true that you drink five martinis a day?" "That's true."
"Is it true that you still surround yourself with beautiful young women?"
"What does your doctor say about all of this?"
"My doctor is dead."
Don't give us your doubts, gives us your certainties, for we have doubts enough of our own. Goethe
Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins. Mae West
If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
Beauty lies in the hands of the beer holder. Author Unknown
Draft beer, not people!
Beer is proof that God loves us. Benjamin Franklin
When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading. Henny Youngman
Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then, I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver." Robert A. Lotzer
I tried sniffing Coke once, but the ice cubes got stuck in my nose.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't.
When God ripens apples, he isn't in a hurry and doesn't make a noise. D Jackman
Pablo Casals (1876-1973), the great cellist, when in his 90s, was once asked why he continued to practice on the cello for hours every day. His answer: "Because I think I'm seeing improvement."
Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. Louis Pasteur
Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there. Josh Billings
The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is, that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. Henry Ward Beecher
Lack of will power has caused more failure than lack of intelligence or ability. Flower A. Newhouse
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. REAGAN, RONALD (1911-)
Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair. George Burns
I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go. Abraham Lincoln
Prayer is a wine which makes glad the heart of man. St. Bernard
"Unitarianism affirms the ethic of Jesus as the most wonderful thing since ice cream and negates the divinity of Jesus as superstition," he says. "It seemed clear to me to ask--even when I didn't know much about the contents of the Bible--If these chaps believe so much of the New Testament, why don't they believe more? If they deny something so central as the divinity of Jesus, which is clearly there, why don't they believe less? How does this position hold together?" "Not by logic," he concluded, "but by willpower." - J I Packer, Biography.
The interviewer had asked him about the vows of celibacy and, said the cardinal: "I felt the blood drain from my body . . . I had no idea where this would lead. I said a quiet prayer to the Holy Ghost and waited for my inevitable execution. " 'Imagine,' he said, 'that you were in a crowded room and suddenly . . the most beautiful woman you had ever seen walked into that room. What would your feelings be as a man - not as a bishop or a priest?' "It was then that the Holy Ghost took a firm hold. I replied: 'I hope you're as happily married to your wife as I am to the Church. So the only way I can think of answering your question is by inviting you to imagine yourself standing next to your beloved wife in a crowded room when suddenly the most beautiful woman you have ever seen .' I didn't have to finish. There was spontaneous applause from the studio audience." NEIL BALFOUR on Basil Hume in The Times January 14 1999
I've gone to hundreds of fortune-tellers' parlours, and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her. - New York City Detective
Profanity is the attempt of a lazy and feeble mind to express itself forcefully.
Profanity is the weapon of the witless.
God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine. David Nicholas
He was a marvellous preacher. At the end of his sermon, there was a tremendous awakening.
The Lord can clear the darkest skies
Can give us day for night.
Make drops of sacred sorrow rise
To rivers of delight.
Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
Jesus, like any good fisherman, first catches the fish; then He cleans them. Mark Potter
Science has sometimes been said to be opposed to faith, and inconsistent with it. But all science, in fact, rests on a basis of faith, for it assumes the permanence and uniformity of natural laws - a thing which can never be demonstrated. Tyron Edwards
Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing. Author Unknown
A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.
I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper, and complain.
Take heed of secret sins. They will undo thee if loved and maintained: one moth may spoil the garment; one leak drown the ship; a penknife stab and kill a man as well as a sword; so one sin may damn the soul; nay, there is more danger of a secret sin causing the miscarrying of the soul than open profaneness, because not so obvious to the reproofs of the world; therefore take heed that secret sinnings eat not out good beginnings. Jeremiah Burroughs
If the guilt of sin is so great that nothing can satisfy it but the blood of Jesus; and the filth of sin is so great that nothing can fetch out the stain thereof but the blood of Jesus, how great, how heinous, how sinful must the evil of sin be. WILLIAM BRIDGE
Oh, how horrible our sins look when they are committed by someone else! Chuck Smith
The follies of youth become the vices of manhood and the disgrace of old age. Unknown Author
The deadliest sin were the consciousness of no sin. --Thomas Carlyle
An after-dinner speech should be like a lady's dress---long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting. R.A.Butler
A report by the think-tank Demos reveals that in spite of the view that Britain is becoming a secular society, the majority in the country still proclaim themselves to be Christian, with only 4% claiming to be atheist. The most startling finding is that not only do 71% of British people believe in God but 68% profess themselves to be Christians, with over 50% believing in heaven, the resurrection and life after death. 53% pray. Christian Institute
A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain. Mildred W. Struven
I have the strength of ten men! (Small, weak, skinny men with asthma.) Crist Drutis
Study is the bane of childhood, the oil of youth, the indulgence of adulthood, and a restorative in old age. Walter Savage Landor
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory is a benediction. Bessie A. Stanley (b.1879)
With most people unbelief in one thing is founded upon blind belief in another. G. C. Lichtenberg
The axioms of reason are non-demonstrable assumptions. Why should faith not be granted the same privilege? The denial of the truths of faith is, in the last analysis, no less a faith than faith itself, for it rests on personal assumptions which are apart from scientific necessity. In other words, as the truth of reason carries its own evidence, so also with faith. To the mind to whom the axioms of reason are not self-evident, they cannot be proven. So also in the case of faith: for the mind that is not enlightened by faith, the evidence of faith is ridiculous. But for the man whose eyes have been enlightened by the Spirit, faith has its proper evidence, though different from that of reason. The only sufficient ground of faith is the authority of God Himself as he addresses me in His Word. Paul K. Jewett, Emil Brunner's Concept of Revelation
It is better to be old-fashioned and right than to be up-to-date and wrong. Tiorio (?)
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new. -- Henry Thoreau (Walden, 1854)
Measure not God's love and favour by your own feeling. The sun shines as clearly in the darkest day as it does in the brightest. The difference is not in the sun, but in some clouds which hinder the manifestation of the light thereof. Richard Sibbes
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. Ronald Reagan
Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith. Alexis de Tocqueville
Every man has a right to utter what he thinks as truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Samuel Johnson
Be of good comfort, brother, for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night. John Bradford, 1510-1555, to fellow martyr, John Leaf, at the stake, Smithfield.
If you want the last word, apologise. Unknown
Once you get people laughing, they're listening and you can tell them almost anything. Herbert Gardner
Court, n.: A place where they dispense with justice.
Loyalty to organisations and movements has always tended over time to take the place of loyalty to the person of Christ. FRANCIS SCHAEFFER
Do not believe that lust can ever be killed out if gratified or satiated, for this is an abomination inspired by illusion. It is by feeding vice that it expands and waxes strong, like to the worm that fattens on the blossom's heart. H. P. Blavatsky (1831-1891)
The Gospel is open to all;
the most respectable sinner
has no more claim on it
than the worst.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)
Welsh preacher and writer
When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there.
The first wonder will be to see
many there whom I did not expect to see;
the second wonder will be to miss
many people who I did expect to see;
and the third and greatest of all
will be to find myself there.
John Newton (1725-1807)
English evangelical minister and hymn-writer
How do I know pornography depraves and corrupts? It depraves and corrupts me. Malcolm Muggeridge
The deeds you do today may be the only sermon some people will hear today. St. Francis of Assisi
No sin is small. Jeremy Taylor
You'll never be able to speak against sin if you're entertained by it. John Muncee
Any cloth may cover our sores, but the finest silk will not cover our sins. HENRY SMITH
First we practice sin, then defend it, then boast of it. THOMAS MANTON
God doesn't believe in atheists. Thomas A. Sundberg
I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up -- they have no holidays. Henry Youngman
Atheism is a non prophet organisation.
The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank. Dante Rossetti
Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.
Epitaph in a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery
Many years ago, Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible scholar, was once robbed of his wallet. Knowing that it was his duty to give thanks in everything, he meditated on this incident and recorded in his diary the following:
"Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed."
Matthew Henry (1662-1714)
English Non-conformist Bible commentator
God has cast our confessed sins into the depths of the sea, and He's even put a 'No Fishing' sign over the spot. D.L.Moody
God sends no one away empty
except those who are full
Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)
The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past--we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude--I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. And so it is with you--we are in charge of our Attitudes. Charles Swindoll
Rejoicing is clearly a spiritual command. To ignore it, I need to remind you, is disobedience. Charles Swindoll
If I did not believe in God, I should still want my doctor, my lawyer and my banker to do so . G. K. CHESTERTON
I may not practice what I preach, but God forbid that I preach what I practice. G K Chesterton
It is easier going out of the way when we are in, than going in when we are
John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress, Bypath Meadow
He that is down need fear no fall,
he that is low no pride.
John Bunyan (1628-1688)
English Non-conformist minister
and author of The Pilgrim's Progress
My education was interrupted only by my schooling. Winston Churchill
We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm. Winston Churchill
The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter. Winston Churchill
Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. -- Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 11 Nov. 1947
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never- in nothing great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Winston Churchill 1941--Harrow School
How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain and most fools do. Benjamin Franklin
The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding), lies here, food for worms; but the work shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author. Epitaph on Benjamin Franklin's grave, composed by Benjamin Franklin.
[Christians], at their best, know that often they don't know. They do not have all the answers. They do not have God in their pocket. We cannot answer every question that any bright boy in the back row might ask. We have only light enough to walk by. Howard A. Johnson (1915- )
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and flowers, and clouds, and stars. Martin Luther
When God wants to speak and deal with us, he does not avail himself of an angel but of parents, or the pastor, or of our neighbour. Martin Luther
It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor. MARTIN LUTHER
Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason -- I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other -- my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen. Martin Luther, at the Imperial Diet at Worms, 18 April 1521. (attributed to him)
Next to faith this is the highest art -- to be content with the calling in which God has placed you. I have not learned it yet. Martin Luther
I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of Hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt. Martin Luther
It would be a good thing if young people were wise and old people were strong, but God has arranged things better. MARTIN LUTHER
I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened,my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart. Martin Luther (1483-1546), Table-Talk, 319
I have a better Caretaker than you and all the angels. He it is who lies in a manger ... but at the same time sits at the right hand of God, the almighty Father. Therefore be at rest. Martin Luther , letter to his wife Kate: 1546, eleven days before his death.
Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we prohibit and abolish women? The sun, moon, and stars have been worshipped. Shall we pluck them out of the sky. Martin Luther
I cannot believe that my illness is natural. I suspect Satan, and therefore
I am the more inclined to take it lightly.
Martin Luther, stricken with a sudden illness
Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes. Martin Luther
The state of matrimony is the chief in the world after religion; but people shun it because of its inconveniences, like one who, running out of the rain, falls into the river. Martin Luther, Table Talk
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. Martin Luther
Nothing on earth is so well-suited to make the sad merry, the merry sad, to give courage to the despairing, to make the proud humble, to lessen envy and hate, as music. Martin Luther
Dr. Henning asked: "Is reason to hold no authority at all with Christians, since it is to be set aside in matters of faith?" The Doctor replied: Before faith and the knowledge of God, reason is mere darkness; but in the hands of those who believe, `tis an excellent instrument. All facilities and gifts are pernicious, exercised by the impious; but most salutary when possessed by godly persons. Martin Luther (1483-1546), Table Talk, LXXVI. 
Happy people produce. Bored people consume. Author Unknown
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Some people cause happiness wherever they go. Other cause happiness whenever they go. Author Unknown
Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. C. S. Lewis
We have a homing instinct, a "home detector'," and it doesn't ring for earth. That why nearly every society in history except our own instinctively believes in life after death. Like the great mythic wanders, like Ulysses and Aeneas, we have been trying to get home. Earth just doesn't smell like home. However good a road it is, however, good a motel it is, however a good training camp it is, it is not home. Heaven is. PETER KREEFT
The things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. C. S. LEWIS
The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality. Dante
If you're waiting for Hell to freeze over, you're skating on thin ice.
History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. Winston Churchill
He was the Word, that spoke it:
He took the bread and broke it;
And what that Word did make it,
I do believe and take it.
Dr. John Donne. 1573-1631. Divine Poems. On the Sacrament
You become like what you look at. Unknown Author
We have learned to live with unholiness and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing. A. W. TOZER
True holiness consists in doing God's will with a smile.--Mother Teresa.
Every time we say, 'I believe in the Holy Spirit,' we mean that we believe that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it. J. B. Phillips, Plain Christianity 
The renewal of our natures is a work of great importance. It is not to be done in a day. We have not only a new house to build up, but an old one to pull down. George Whitefield
It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine that comes from God, leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God. GEORGE WHITEFIELD
Spiritual rest maketh no man idle, spiritual walking maketh no man weary.NATHANIEL HARDY
Home is where you hang your head. Groucho Marx (1890-1977 )
HOME: The place where we are treated best and grumble most.
Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defence
I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one? Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Make yourself an honest man, and then you can be sure there is one less rascal in the world. Unknown Author
There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. Orison Swett Marden
I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I ever met. Dwight L. Moody
The dyslexic agnostic with insomnia laid awake all night wondering if there really was a dog.
They had to evacuate our library. Someone found dynamite in the dictionary.
Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll sit in a boat and drink beer. Author unknown
Apparently Apollo 11 was sent as an attempt to make contact with Aliens on the moon. The correct greeting for these Aliens, apparently, was the word 'Gnorts'. As NASA were worried that the first man on the moon would forget this crucial greeting, they gave him a code name, so he would not forget it. They called him Neil Armstrong, which when spelled backwards reads... Nick Milton
I will find humour in my everyday life by looking for people I can laugh at.
Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it. George Bernard Shaw
Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one. -- E. B. White (1899-1985) "Lime," 1944.
O Lord, the faith thou didst give to St. Paul, I cannot ask; the mercy thou didst show to St. Peter; I dare not ask; but Lord, the grace thou didst show unto the dying robber, that, Lord, show to me. Copernicus, epitaph of his own composition
The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging. J. S. Bach
There is nothing to it,. You only have to hit the right notes at the right
time and the instrument plays itself.
J S Bach Of the Organ, in K Geiringer, The Bach Family, 1954
An agreeable harmony for the honour of God and the permissible delights of
J S Bach's definition of music, in Derek Watson, Music Quotations, 1911
I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo
Leap Of Faith - metaphor used by the 19th-century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in his Afsluttende uvidenskabelig Efterskrift (1846; Concluding Unscientific Postscript) to describe commitment to an objective uncertainty, specifically to the Christian God. For Kierkegaard, God is totally other than man; between God and man there exists a gulf that faith alone can bridge. Kierkegaard was equally opposed to the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel's rationalized Christianity and to orthodox attempts to demonstrate the truth of the Christian faith by rational argument, and he insisted that religious truth is incapable of objective proof and can be appropriated only by an act of will. Kierkegaard praised aesthetic and ethical responses to life but maintained that they do not free man from dread and despair. Man requires a relationship with God founded on a commitment that has no conclusive evidence to recommend it; faith is a risk or, as the 17th-century French writer Blaise Pascal put it, a "wager." - Extracted from Britannica.com.
Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes because
we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what
the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for his
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Newton also wrote on Judaeo-Christian prophecy, whose decipherment was essential, he thought, to the understanding of God. His book on the subject, which was reprinted well into the Victorian Age, represented lifelong study. Its message was that Christianity went astray in the 4th century AD, when the first Council of Nicaea propounded erroneous doctrines of the nature of Christ. The full extent of Newton's unorthodoxy was recognized only in the present century: but although a critic of accepted Trinitarian dogmas and the Council of Nicaea, he possessed a deep religious sense, venerated the Bible and accepted its account of creation. In late editions of his scientific works he expressed a strong sense of God's providential role in nature. - Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia.
I do genuinely perceive that whilst everything around me is ever-changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change, a very power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates. That informing power of fate is God, and since nothing else that I see, merely through the senses can or will persist; he alone is. And is this power benevolent or malevolent - I see it as purely benevolent. For I can see that in the midst of death, life persists. In the midst of untruth, truth exists. In the midst of darkness, light persists. Hence I gather that God is life; truth; light - He is love, He is the supreme good. - Gandi's Religious Commentary. Click here to listen to this famous speech.
Reporter: "What do you think of western civilisation?"
Gandi: "I think it would be a good idea."
At any rate, I am convinced that He [God] does not play dice. - Einstein
Letter to Max Born, 4 December 1926; in Einstein und Born Briefwechsel (1969) p. 1 (often quoted: Gott würfelt nicht [God does not play dice])
The whole charismatic idea of true spirituality and of the normal Christian life is painfully close to the idea of a life touched by magic: perfect marriages, obedient children, no sickness, no divorce, no poverty, no tragedies, no defeats, no death. 'No dice,' saith God." - Monte Wilson
If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Varietys the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavour.
I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute.
And Satan trembles when he sees,
The weakest saint upon his knees.
William Cowper (1731-1800)
English poet and hymn-writer
To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war - Churchill, Speech at White House, 26 June 1954, in New York Times 27 June 1954, p. 1
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. - Churchill, My Early Life (1930) ch. 9
I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. - Churchill, At news conference in Washington, 1954, in New York Times 25 Jan. 1965 (Suppl.) p. 7
A sheep in sheeps clothing. - Churchill, On Clement Attlee, in Lord Home The Way the Wind Blows (1976) ch. 6. Cf. Gosse1
Who loves not woman, wine, and song
Remains a fool his whole life long. Martin Luther
Attributed (later inscribed in the Luther room in the Wartburg, but with no proof of authorship)
The noblest of all dogs is the hot dog; it feeds the hand that bites it. Robert W. Chambers
Yesterday is the past. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift; thats why its called the Present. -Anonymous
If there were no other proof of the infinite patience of God with men, a very good one could be found in His toleration of the pictures that are painted of Him. Thomas Merton
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Sir Winston Churchill
A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows. St. Francis of Assisi
I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesnt need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about? Henry Ford
Faith is like electricity. You cant see it, but you can see the light Anonymous
Every evening I turn my worries over to God. Hes going to be up all night anyway. Anonymous
A coincidence is a small miracle in which God chooses to remain silent Anonymous
The world is full of givers and takers; the takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better. Anonymous
God rest ye merry gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour,
Was born upon this day.
May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin of two,
May the sun always shine upon your window pane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain,
May the hand of a friend always be near to you and
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you
The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; his presence should be felt everywhere, but he should never be seen - Gustave Flaubert
Man is by his constitution a religious animal...atheism is against, not only our reason, but our instincts - Edmund Burke
He was a embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve In God as personally dislike him -George Orwell
She didn't believe in anything; only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist.
I always say beauty is only sin deep - Saki
Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all - Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Love your neighbour is not merely sound Christianity; it is good business David Lloyd George
The Bible is literature not dogma- George Santayana
There is a species of person called a 'Modern Churchman' who draws the full salary of a beneficed clergyman and need not commit himself to any religious belief - Evelyn Waugh
[Said to a violinist complaining that a passage was unplayable] : When I composed that, I was conscious of being inspired by God Almighty. Do you think I can consider your puny little fiddle when he speaks to me? - Beethoven (attributed to him)
Men have charisma, women have vital statistics - Julie Burchill
The mind is a tool, a machine, moved by spiritual fire - Dostoevsky
The English bible, a book which, if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power - Lord Macaulay
Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished Jeremy Bentham (attributed to him)
There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law - the law of our creator, the law of humanity, justice, equality, the law of nature, and of nations - Edmund Burke
All of us know that there is no better way of exercising the imagination than the study of law. No poet interpreted nature as freely as a lawyer interpreted reality - Jean Giraudoux
A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns - Mario Puzo
A lie can be half-way round the world before the truth has got its boots on James Callaghan
A cynic is just a man who found out when he was about ten that there wasn't any Santa Claus, and he's still upset J C Cozzens
The marvellous thing about a joke with a double meaning is that it can only mean one thing - Ronnie Barker (attributed to him)
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
and rides upon the storm - William Cowper
[reply when asked what inferences can be drawn about the nature of God from a study of his works]: The Creator...has a special preference for beetles J B S Haldane
If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once dry up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral everything would be lawful, even cannibalism - Dostoevsky
The religions we call false were once true - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I'm not really a Jew; just Jew-ish, not the whole hog- Jonathan Miller
The Jews have produced only three originative geniuses: Christ, Spinoza, and myself - Gertrude Stein
I am delighted to be with you. In fact, at my age, I'm delighted to be anywhere - Ronald Reagan (Speech at Oxford Union)
They say hard work never hurt anybody, but I figure why take the chance. Ronald Reagan (attributed to him)
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to understand that it bears a close resemblance to the first Ronald Reagan
Referring to his contract for a television appearance] - the big print giveth and the small print taketh away Bishop J Fulton Sheen (Attributed to him)
[On receiving a note containing only one word: 'fool']: I have known many an instance of a man writing a letter and forgetting to sign his name, but this is the only instance I have ever known of a man signing his name and forgetting to write the letter. Henry Ward Beecher (Attributed to him)
The object of opening the mind as of opening the mouth is to close it again on something solid. - G. K. Chesterton
[Roger Royle's standard reply to young critics]: "When you find your parents, I'll baptise you..."
If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. The Brothers Karamazov (187980) bk. 2, ch. 6
Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creatureand to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? The Brothers Karamazov (187980) bk. 5, ch. 4
So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship. The Brothers Karamazov (187980) bk. 5, ch. 5
Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honour those whom they have slain. The Brothers Karamazov (187980) bk. 6, ch. 3
All people seem to be divided into ordinary and extraordinary. The ordinary people must lead a life of strict obedience and have no right to transgress the law because they are ordinary. Whereas the extraordinary people have the right to commit any crime they like and transgress the law in any way just because they happen to be extraordinary. Crime and Punishment (1866) pt. 3, ch. 5 (translated by David Magarshak)
We have to break with what must be broken with once and for all and we have to take the suffering upon ourselves Freedom and power power above all. Power over all the tumbling vermin and over all the ant-hill! Crime and Punishment (1866) pt. 4, ch. 4 (translated by David Magarshak)
Power is given only to him who dares to stoop and take it one must have the courage to dare. Crime and Punishment (1866) pt. 5, ch. 4 (translated by David Magarshak)
The Church is an anvil which has worn out many hammers, and the story of the first collision is, in essentials, the story of all. - Maclaren,Alexander, Expositions of Holy Scripture: Acts of the Apostles (1907) ch. 4
An abomination unto the Lord, but a very present help in time of trouble. (Definition of a lie, an amalgamation of Proverbs 12.22 and Psalms 46.1, often attributed to Adlai Stevenson. Bill Adler The Stevenson Wit (1966) p. 8)
God gave Noah the rainbow sign,
No more water, the fire next time.
Home in that Rock (Negro spiritual)
It reminds me of the small boy who jumbled his biblical quotations and said: A lie is an abomination unto the Lord, and a very present help in trouble. In Bill Adler The Stevenson Wit (1966) p. 8 (cf. Proverbs 1:2, Psalms 4:1)
Philosophy is such an impertinently litigious lady that a man has as good be engaged in law suits as have to do with her. Letter to Edmond Halley, 20 June 1686, in H. W. Turnbull (ed.) Correspondence of Isaac Newton vol. 2 (1960) p. 4
A stand can be made against invasion by an army; no stand can be made against invasion by an idea. Histoire dun Crime (written 18512, published 1877) pt. 5, sect. 10 Victor Hugo
By being so long in the lowest form [at Harrow] I gained an immense advantage over the cleverer boys. They all went on to learn Latin and Greek. But I was taught English. Thus I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence which is a noble thing. Naturally I am biased in favour of boys learning English. I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat. My Early Life (1930) ch. 2 Churchill
I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. - Churchill At news conference in Washington, 1954, in New York Times 25 Jan. 1965 (Suppl.) p. 7
I remember, when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnums circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the programme which I most desired to see was the one described as The Boneless Wonder. My parents judged that that spectacle would be too revolting and demoralizing for my youthful eyes, and I have waited 50 years to see the boneless wonder sitting on the Treasury Bench. -Churchill, Speech, Hansard 28 January 1931, col. 1 (referring to Ramsay Macdonald)
George Bernard Shaw, "Am reserving two tickets for you for my premiere. Bring a friend - if you have one."
Churchill, "Can't make the first performance. Will attend the second - if there is one."
In a speech at the University of Florida, Dick Gregory said that he really enjoyed the Martin Luther King Jr stamp, just thinking about all those white bigots licking the backside of a black man. Frank Lynch
With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. The intensity of my impatience with him occasionally reaches such a pitch, that it would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him, knowing as I do how incapable he and his worshippers are of understanding any less obvious form of indignity. Saturday Review 26 Sept. 1896 (reviewing a production of Cymbeline) - George Bernard Shaw
A black man was asked to leave an old white church. As he walked away, he expressed his frustration to the Lord. Suddenly God spoke, and told him, "I understand your frustration. I've been trying to get into that church for 200 years!" Anonymous
John Henderson, an unbeliever,
Had lately lost his Joie de Vivre
From reading far too many books
The moral is (it is indeed!)
You mustnt monkey with the Creed.
Ladies and Gentlemen (1932) The Example -Belloc, Hilaire
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!
More Beasts for Worse Children (1897) The Microbe-Belloc, Hilaire
Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight,
But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.
The Pacifist (1938) -Belloc,Hilaire
Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative. Speech to voters of South Salford, 1906, in R. Speaight Life of Hilaire Belloc (1957) ch. 1
If Max [Beaverbrook] gets to Heaven he wont last long. He will be chucked out for trying to pull off a merger between Heaven and Hell...after having secured a controlling interest in key subsidiary companies in both places, of course. In A. J. P. Taylor Beaverbrook (1972) ch. 8 HG Wells
We should live our lives as though Christ were coming this afternoon. ( Speech to Bible class at Plains, Georgia, March 1976, in Boston Sunday Herald Advertiser 11 Apr. 1976) Jimmy Carter
Im Jimmy Carter, and Im going to be your next president. (Said to the son of a campaign supporter, Nov. 1975, in Ill Never Lie to You (1976) ch. 1)
British travel writer and novelist. Religions are kept alive by heresies, which are really sudden explosions of faith. Dead religions do not produce them. - Gerald Brenan 18941987 Thoughts in a Dry Season (1978) p. 45
Once in the lobby of the Midland Hotel in Manchester when I happened to be in some public disfavour, a man came up to me, grasped my hand and observed: Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream. Radio Times 9 July 1964 Malcolm Muggeridge
There once was a man who said, God
Must think it exceedingly odd
If he finds that this tree
Continues to be
When theres no one about in the Quad.
In Langford Reed Complete Limerick Book (1924), to which came the anonymous reply:
Dear Sir, Your astonishments odd:
I am always about in the Quad.
And thats why the tree
Will continue to be,
Since observed by
Yours faithfully, God.
Evangelical vicar, in want of a portable, second-hand font, would dispose, for the same, of a portrait, in frame, of the Bishop, elect, of Vermont. (Advertisement placed in a newspaper, in W. S. Baring-Gould The Lure of the Limerick (1968) pt. 1, ch. 1, n. 5 ) - Knox, Ronald
I was asked whether I was trying to restore Victorian values. I said straight out I was. And I am. (Speech to British Jewish Community, 21 July 1983, in M. Mc Fadyean & M. Renn Thatchers Reign (1984) p. 1)
In church on Sunday morning, it was a lovely morning and we havent had many lovely days, the sun was coming through a stained glass window and falling on some flowers, falling right across the church. It just occurred to me that this was the day I was meant not to see. Then all of a sudden I thought, there are some of my dearest friends who are not seeing this day. Television interview, 15 Oct. 1984, after the Brighton bombing, in Daily Telegraph 16 Oct. 1984 Margaret Thatcher
God works in mysterious ways. Given my love of God and my belief in God and in Jesus Christ, I have to accept that I may well be used by God in this way [as a prophet]. In radio interview, 18 Jan. 1987, in Daily Telegraph 19 Jan. 1987 -Anderton, James
Man, my Lord, is a being born to believe. Speech at Oxford, 25 November 1864, in The Times 26 November 1864 Disraeli, Benjamin
I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years,
Drivn by the spheres
Like a vast shadow moved; in which the world
And all her train were hurled.
Silex Scintillans (16505) The World -Vasughan,Henry
The marvellous thing about a joke with a double meaning is that it can only mean one thing. Sauce (1977) Daddies Sauce Ronnie Barker
Bach almost persuades me to be a Christian. In Virginia Woolf Roger Fry (1940) ch. 1
Christianity is part of the laws of England. (Sir William Blackstones summary of Hales words (Taylors case, 1676) in Commentaries (1769) vol. 4, p. 59. Holdsworths History of English Law (1937 ed.) vol. 8, p. 403 where the origin of the expression is traced to Sir John Prisot (d. 1460) Sir Matthew Hale 160976 English judge)
Do you pray for the senators, Dr Hale? No, I look at the senators and I pray for the country. (Van Wyck Brooks New England Indian Summer (1940) p. 418 n. Edward Everett Hale 18221909 American clergyman)
Bibles the greatest book ever written. But I sure dont need anybody I can buy for six bits and a chew of tobacco to explain it to me. When I need preachers I buy em cheap. In T. Harry Williams Huey Long (1969) p. 5Huey Long 18931935 American politician; sometime lawyer and travelling salesman
I can go Mr Wilson one better; I was born barefoot. (Answering his opponents supporters, who said their candidate had gone barefoot as a boy; in T. Harry Williams Huey Long (1969) p. 2)
I did not intend to write a funny book, at first. I did not know I was a humorist. I have never been sure about it. In the middle ages, I should probably have gone about preaching and got myself burnt or hanged. (My Life and Times (1926) ch. 6 Jerome K. Jerome 1859-1927 English writer)
The family that prays together stays together. (Motto devised for the Roman Catholic Family Rosary Crusade, 1947Al Scalpone)
Never forget, gentlemen, he [Whateley] said, to his astonished hearers, as he held up a copy of the Authorized Version of the Bible, never forget that this is not the Bible, then, after a moments pause, he continued, This, gentlemen, is only a translation of the Bible. (To a meeting of his diocesan clergy, in H. Solly These Eighty Years (1893) vol. 2, ch. Richard Whately 1787 863 English philosopher and theologian; Archbishop of Dublin from 1831)
If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbour, tho he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door. (Attributed to Emerson in Sarah S. B. Yule Borrowings (1889). Mrs Yule states in The Docket February 1912 that she copied this in her handbook from a lecture delivered by Emerson; the quotation was the occasion of a long controversy owing to Elbert Hubbards claim to its authorship)
He knows says Hebraism, his Bible! Whenever we hear this said, we may, without any elaborate defence of culture, content ourselves with answering simply: No man, who knows nothing else, knows even his Bible.
Culture and Anarchy (1869) ch. 5He [the translator] will find one English book and one only, where, as in the Iliad itself, perfect plainness of speech is allied with perfect nobleness; and that book is the Bible. On Translating Homer (1861) Lecture 3 -Arnold,Matthew
Both read the Bible day and night
But thou readst black where I read white.
The Everlasting Gospel (c. 1818) (a) l. 13bl Blake,William
Here falling houses thunder on your head,
And here a female atheist talks you dead.
London (1738) - Johnson,Samuel
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Im beginning to believe it. Clarence Darrow 1857-1938 American lawyer, In Irving Stone Clarence Darrow for the Defence (1941) ch.
I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure, that is all that agnosticism means. Speech at the trial of John Thomas Scopes, 15 July 1925, in The Worlds Most Famous Court Trial (1925) ch. 4
A thick skin is a gift from God. Konrad Adenauer 1876-1967, In New York Times 30 Dec. 1959, p. 5
He [Barrymore] would quote from Genesis the text which says, It is not good for man to be alone, and then add, But O my God, what a relief. Alma Power-Waters John Barrymore (1941) ch. 13
Whether the angels play only Bach in praising God I am not quite sure; I am sure, however, that en famille they play Mozart. In New York Times 11 Dec. 1968, p. 42 Barth,Karl
Some call it evolution,
And others call it God.
Each In His Own Tongue (1908) William Herbert Carruth 1859-1924
A Catechism of Christian Doctrine 1898
Popularly known as the Penny Catechism
Who made you? God made me.
Why did God make you? God made me to know Him, love him, and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in the next.
Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers. Commonweal 17 Apr. 1936 Willa Cather 1873-1947
It is upon the navy under the good Providence of God that the safety, honour, and welfare of this realm do chiefly depend. (Articles of War preamble, in Sir Geoffrey Callender The Naval Side of British History (1952) pt. 1, ch. 8charlesii)
We present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God. (The Presenting of the Holy Bible. L. G. Wickham Legge English Coronation Records (1901) p. 3)
God is subtle but he is not malicious. Remark made at Princeton University, May 1921, in R. W. Clark Einstein (1973) ch. 1
O worship the King, all-glorious above;
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendour, and girded with praise.
O worship the King, all glorious above (1833 hymn)
Sir Robert Grant 1785-1838
British lawyer and politician
If we find the answer to that [why it is that we and the universe exist], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason for then we would know the mind of God. A Brief History of Time (1988) ch. 11
Of Law there can be no less acknowledged, than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world: all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power. Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1593) bk. 1, ch. 16, sect. 8 -Hooker,R
Many people believe that they are attracted by God, or by Nature, when they are only repelled by man. More Lay Thoughts of a Dean (1931) pt. 4, ch. 1William Ralph Inge 1860-1954 English writer; Dean of St. Pauls, 191134
Dr Donnes verses are like the peace of God; they pass all understanding. Remark recorded by Archdeacon Plume (1630-1704) James1
Here is Hey for Garsington! and Hey for Cuddesdon! and Hey Hockley! but heres nobody cries, Hey for God Almighty! (Sermon at Garsington Revel, in Oliver Lawson Dick (ed.) Aubreys Brief Lives (1949) Ralph Kettell)
A man with God is always in the majority. Inscription on the Reformation Monument, Geneva, Knox, J
It is God who is the ultimate reason of things, and the knowledge of God is no less the beginning of science than his essence and will are the beginning of beings. (Letter on a General Principle Useful in Explaining the Laws of Nature (1687) in Leibniz: Philosophical Papers and Letters (translated by L. E. Loemker, 1969) p. 353Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz 16461716 German philosopher)
Among our ancient mountains,
And from our lovely vales,
Oh, let the prayer re-echo:
God bless the Prince of Wales!
God Bless the Prince of Wales (1862 song); translated from the Welsh original by J. C. Hughes (183787) George Linley 17981865
If the triangles were to make a God they would give him three sides. (Lettres Persones (1721) no. 59 (translated by J. Ozell, 1722) Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat) 1689-1755 French political philosopher)
The blame is his who chooses: God is blameless. The Republic bk. 1, 617eplato
He who cheats with an oath acknowledges that he is afraid of his enemy, but that he thinks little of God. (Parallel Lives Lysander ch. 8. Cf. Lysander 1Plutarch AD c. 46c. 120 Greek philosopher and biographer)
God can stand being told by Professor Ayer and Marghanita Laski that He doesnt exist. (In Listener 1 July 1965, p. 1 -J B Priestly)
I feel a feeling which I feel you all feel.
Sermon in the London Mission, 1885; in G. W. E. Russell Collections and Recollections (1898) ch. 2George Ridding 18281904
Bishop of Southwell from 1884
Painting is saying Ta to God. (In letter from Spencers daughter Shirin, Observer 7 Feb. 1988 Sir Stanley Spencer 1891-1959)
By God I mean a being absolutely infinite that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality. (Ethics (1677) pt. 1, para. 6 Deus, sive Natura [God, or in other words, Nature] Baruch Spinoza 1632-77)
Dutch philosopher - To take usury is contrary to Scripture; it is contrary to Aristotle; it is contrary to nature, for it is to live without labour; it is to sell time, which belongs to God, for the advantage of wicked men; it is to rob those who use the money lent, and to whom, since they make it profitable, the profits should belong. (Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926) ch. 1, sect. 2R. H. Tawney 1880-1962 British economic historian)
Cure yourself of the condition of bothering about how you look to other people. Concern yourself only with how you appear to God, with the idea that God has of you. (Vida de Don Quixote y Sancho (1905) pt. 1Miguel de Unamuno 1864-1937 Spanish philosopher and writer)
We must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are on us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world. (Christian Charity, A Model Hereof (sermon, 1630) in Massachusetts Historical Society Winthrop Papers (192947) vol. 2 John Winthrop 1588-1649 American settler)
We have in England a particular bashfulness in every thing that regards religion. (The Spectator no. 4 (1 August 1712) -Addison,Joseph)
A little philosophy inclineth mans mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth mens minds about to religion. Essays (1625) Of Atheism
They that deny a God destroy mans nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. Essays (1625) Of Atheism -Bacon,F
One religion is as true as another.
The Anatomy of Melancholy (162151) pt. 3, sect. 4, member 2, subsect. 1 Burton,Robert
Is one religion as good as another? Is one horse in the Derby as good as another? G K Chesterton
We know too much and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion. Selected Essays (1932) A Dialogue on Dramatic Poetry (1928) -Eliot,T S
Whenever a man talks loudly against religion, always suspect that it is not his reason, but his passions which have got the better of his creed. Tristram Shandy (175967) bk. 2, ch. 17,-Sterne, Laurence
Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin. Economics and art are strangers. - Willa Cather 1873 1947 Commonweal 17 Apr. 1936
Its a curious fact that the all-male religions have produced no religious imagery in most cases have positively forbidden it. The great religious art of the world is deeply involved with the female principle. (Civilisation (1969) ch. 7Kenneth Clark (Baron Clark) 1903-83 English art historian)
Art and Religion are, then, two roads by which men escape from circumstance to ecstasy. Between aesthetic and religious rapture there is a family alliance. Art and Religion are means to similar states of mind. Art (1914) pt. 2, ch. 1 -Bell,Clive
People may say what they like about the decay of Christianity; the religious system that produced green Chartreuse can never really die. Reginald (1904) Reginald on Christmas Presents -Saki
There is a lot to be said in the Decade of Evangelism for believing more and more in less and less. Gloucester Diocesan Gazette August 1991 John Yates 1925 English theologian; Bishop of Gloucester from 1975
Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.
Attributed Sir James Dewar 1842 1923
From the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician. The Mysterious Universe (1930) ch. 5
Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties. The Mysterious Universe (1930) ch. 1Sir James Jeans 1877-1946 English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician
I am afraid he has not been in the inside of a church for many years; but he never passes a church without pulling off his hat. This shows that he has good principles. Boswell Life vol. 1, p. 4 (1 July 1763) of Dr John Campbell
There is a wicked inclination in most people to suppose an old man decayed in his intellects. If a young or middle-aged man, when leaving a company, does not recollect where he laid his hat, it is nothing; but if the same inattention is discovered in an old man, people will shrug up their shoulders, and say, His memory is going. Boswell Life vol. 4, p. 1 (1783)
[JOHNSON:] As I cannot be sure that I have fulfilled the conditions on which salvation is granted, I am afraid I may be one of those who shall be damned (looking dismally).
[DR ADAMS:] What do you mean by damned?
[JOHNSON:] (passionately and loudly) Sent to Hell, Sir, and punished everlastingly. Boswell Life vol. 4, p. 2 (1 June 1784)
Every man has, some time in his life, an ambition to be a wag. (In Joyce Hemlow (ed.) Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney vol. 1 (1972)p. 1)
In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed. Essays (1841) Prudence -Emerson,R W
Who so would be a man must be a non-conformist. Essays (1841) Self-Reliance
Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. Essays (1841) Self-Reliance
The true meaning of religion is thus not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.
There is no such whetstone, to sharpen a good wit and encourage a will to learning, as is praise.
Private faces in public places
Are wiser and nicer
Than public faces in private places.
Collected Poems, II 1927-1932, Shorts
To the man-in-the-street, who, I'm sorry to say,
Is a keen observer of life,
The word 'Intellectual' suggests straight away
A man who's untrue to his wife.
IV 1939-47, Shorts
Salus extra ecclesiam non est.
There is no salvation outside the church.
De Bapt. IV,c.xvii.24. See *St. Cyprian.
The art of Biography
Is different from Geography.
Geography is about maps,
But Biography is about chaps.
Biography for Beginners
Sir Humphrey Davy
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered Sodium.
Sir Christopher Wren
Said, 'I am going to dine with some men.
If anybody calls
Say I am designing St Paul's.'
LORD BOWEN 1835-1894
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella:
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella.
Walter Sichel, Sands of Time.
There was a young lady named Bright,
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day
In a relative way,
And returned home the previous night.
Punch, 19 Dec. 1923
CALVIN COOLIDGE 1872-1933
He said he was against it.
On being asked what had been said by a clergyman who preached on sin
CYRIL CONNOLLY 1903-1974
Imprisoned in every fat man a thin one is wildly signalling to be let out.
Part II. Te Palinure Petens. See *Orwell.
Your chilly stars I can forgo,
This warm kind world is all I know.
Mimnermus in Church
Is man an ape or an angel? Now I am on the side of the angels. - Disraeli
JOHN DONNE 1571?-1631
What if this present were the world's last night?
Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls.
Letters to Several Personages, To Sir Henry Wotton
Poor intricated soul! Riddling, perplexed, labyrinthical soul!
LXXX Sermons (1640), xlviii , 25 Jan. 1628/9
OLIVER EDWARDS 1711-1791
I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; but, I don't know how, cheerfulness was always breaking in.
Boswell's Johnson, 17 Apr. 1778
T S Eliot
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
QUEEN ELIZABETH I 1533-1603
I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too.
Speech to the Troops at Tilbury on the Approach of the Armada, 1588
RALPH WALDO EMERSON 1803-1882
In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.
If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbour, tho' he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
Sarah S. B. Yule, Borrowings (1889)
ABEL EVANS 1679-1737
Lie heavy on him, Earth! for he
Laid many heavy loads on thee!
Epitaph on Sir John Vanbrugh, Architect of Blenheim Palace
GEORGE FARQUHAR 1678-1707
My Lady Bountiful.
The Beaux' Stratagem, I.i
EUGENE FIELD 1850-1895
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe-
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
HENRY FIELDING 1707-1754
Public schools are the nurseries of all vice and immorality.
Joseph Andrews, bk, iii, ch. 5
KING GEORGE II 1683-1760
Mad, is he? Then I hope he will bite some of my other generals.
Reply to the Duke of Newcastle who complained that General Wolfe was a madman. Willson, The life and letters of James Wolfe, ch. l7
OLIVER GOLDSMITH 1730-1774
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray.
FRIEDRICH HALM 1806-1871
Zwei Seelen und ein Gedanke,
Zwei Herzen und ein Schlag!
Two souls with but a single thought,
Two hearts that beat as one.
Der Sohn der Wildnis (1842), Act II ad fin. Trans. by Maria Lovell in Ingomar the Barbarian
L. P. HARTLEY 1895-1972
The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
The Go-Between, Prologue
M. LOUISE HASKINS 1875-1957
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown'. And he replied: 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God, That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.'
The Desert (c.1908), Introduction. Quoted by King George VI in a Christmas Broadcast, 25 Dec. 1939, after the lines had been quoted in 'Points from Letters' in The Times a few months earlier
VICTOR HUGO 1802-1885
A woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.
On résiste à l'invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l'invasion des idées.
A stand can be made against invasion by an army; no stand can be made against invasion by an idea.
Histoire d'un Crime, La Chute, X
G. W. HUNT 1829-1904
We don't want to fight, but, by jingo if we do,
We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too.
BENJAMIN JOWETT 1817-1893
My dear child, you must believe in God in spite of what the clergy tell you.
Private conversation with Margot Asquith, shortly after the near-fatal illness a year before his death. Asquith, Autobiography, ch. 8
BISHOP HUGH LATIMER c.1485-1555
Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo.
The drop of rain maketh a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.
7th Sermon preached before Edward VI (1549). See Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto, IV.x 5.
The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why he makes so many of them.
James Morgan, Our President, ch. 6
LEONARD MACNALLY 1752-1820
This lass so neat, with smiles so sweet,
Has won my right good-will,
I'd crowns resign to call thee mine,
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.
The Lass of Richmond Hill. E. Duncan, Minstrelsy of England (1905), i. 254. Attr. also to W. Upton in Oxford Song Book, and to W. Hudson in Baring-Gould, English Minstrelsie (1895), iii.54
DIXON LANIER MERRITT 1879-1954
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm darned if I see how the helican.
OGDEN NASH 1902-1971
Reflections on Ice-Breaking
BARONESS ORCZY 1865-1947
We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?-Is he in hell?
That demmed, elusive Pimpernel?
SIR WALTER RALEGH 1552?-1618
Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage
GRANTLAND RICE 1880-1954
For when the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks-not that you won or lost-
But how you played the game.
'SAKI' (H. H. MUNRO) 1870-1916
Never be a pioneer. It's the Early Christian that gets the fattest lion.
Reginald (1904), Reginald's Choir Treat
Television? The word is half Latin and half Greek. No good can come of it.
ALFRED EMANUEL SMITH 1873-1944
No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney.
REVD SYDNEY SMITH 1771-1845
Take short views, hope for the best, and trust in God.
Lady Holland, Memoir (1st edn. 1855) vol. I, ch. 6, p. 48
Looked as if she had walked straight out of the Ark.
ch. 7, p. 157
Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
The Tatler, No. 147
While shepherds watch'd their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The Angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
Supplement to the New Version of the Psalms (1700). While Shepherds Watched
ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON 1809-1892
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
Certum est quia impossibile est.
It is certain because it is impossible.
De Carne Christi, 5. Often quoted as, Credo quia impossibile.
Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.
Journal, 11 Nov. 1850 (pub. 1903)
I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright.
CORNELIUS WHURR c.1845
What lasting joys the man attend
Who has a polished female friend.
The Accomplished Female Friend
A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
EDITH CAVELL 1865-1915
Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.
Spoken to the chaplain who attended her before her execution by firing squad, 12 Oct. 1915. The Times, 23 Oct. 1915
G. K. CHESTERTON 1874-1936
Talk about the pews and steeples
And the cash that goes therewith!
But the souls of Christian peoples...
Chuck it, Smith!
One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.
The Hammer of God
The Lord favours us not because we are the many, but because we are the few - The Bible??
The Lord turns all curses against His children into blessings - The Bible??
...the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations.... - 1 Chronicles 28:9 KJV
"The Bible is the rope God throws us in order to ensure that we stay connected while the rescue is in progress." - J. I. Packer, Theologian.
It is fatally easy to think of Christianity as something to be discussed and not as something to be experienced. It is certainly important to have an intellectual grasp of the orb of Christian truth; but it is still more important to have a vital, living experience of the power of Jesus Christ. When a man undergoes treatment from a doctor, he does not need to know the way in which the drug works on his body in order to be cured. There is a sense in which Christianity is like that. At the heart of Christianity there is a mystery, but it is not the mystery of intellectual appreciation; it the mystery of redemption.
You must not lose confidence in God because you lost confidence in your pastor. If our confidence in God had to depend upon our confidence in any human person, we would be on shifting sand.
Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.
It was no exceptional thing for Jesus to withdraw Himself "into the wilderness to pray." He was never for one moment of any day out of touch with God. He was speaking and listening to the Father all day long; and yet He, who was in such constant touch with God, felt the need, as well as the joy, of more prolonged and more quiet communion with Him... Most of the reasons that drive us to pray for strength and forgiveness could never have driven Him; and yet He needed prayer.
... G. H. Knight, In the Secret of His Presence
Books," said St. Augustine after his conversion, "could not teach me charity." We still keep on thinking they can. We do not realize ... the utter distinctness of God and the things of God.
... Evelyn Underhill, Light of Christ
It frequently happens that the value of a thing lies in the fact that someone has possessed it. A very ordinary thing acquires a new value, if it has been possessed by some famous person. In any museum we will find quite ordinary things--clothes, a walking-stick, a pen, pieces of furniture--which are only of value because they were possessed and used by some great person. It is the ownership which gives them worth. It is so with the Christian. The Christian may be a very ordinary person, but he acquires a new value and dignity and greatness because he belongs to God. The greatness of the Christian lies in the fact that he is God's.
... William Barclay, The Letters of James and Peter
... Meister Eckhart
... Blaise Pascal, Pensées
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.
... St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Religion leaves a million questions unanswered and apparently unanswerable. Its purpose and object is not to make a man certain and cocksure about everything but to make him certain about those things of which he must be certain if he is to live a human life at all. Religion does not relieve us from the duty of thought; it makes it possible for a man to begin thinking. It does not put an end to research and enquiry, it gives a basis from which real research is made possible and fruitful of results; a basis without which thinking only means wandering round in circles, and getting nowhere in the end, and research means battering at a brass door that bruises our knuckles, and does not yield by the millionth part of an inch.
At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked what we have read, but what we have done.
... Elton Trueblood, The Humour of Christ
... Samuel Smith Drury
The essential amorality of all atheist doctrines is often hidden from us by an irrelevant personal argument. We see that many articulate secularists are well-meaning and law-abiding men; we see them go into righteous indignation over injustice and often devote their lives to good works. So we conclude that "he can't be wrong whose life is in the right" -- that their philosophies are just as good guides to action as Christianity. What we don't see is that they are not acting on their philosophies. They are acting, out of habit or sentiment, on an inherited Christian ethic which they still take for granted though they have rejected the creed from which it sprang. Their children will inherit some what less of it.
... Joy Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain
Paul's argument in First Corinthians 1:18-25 is equally relevant when we come to ask why men cannot understand the Bible. Any attempts to hide behind the excuse that it is too difficult, when what we mean is that its word is too hard for us to bear, meets the just remark of a pastor from Communist Germany: "How can they say that the Bible is difficult, when young Communists are poring over much more difficult and much more technical literature to discover what Communism is all about?" Sometimes the Biblical teaching is crystal-clear, but we dare not understand it. The Christian Church has a vested interest in its present forms, and Christian people, like others, have their pleasant prejudices. This unwillingness to hear some new thing, except in times of great disturbance, plays a bigger part in weakening the voice of God through the Bible than we are prepared to admit.
... John Selden
Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.
If I want only pure water, what does it matter to me whether it be brought in a vase of gold or of glass? What is it to me whether the will of God be presented to me in tribulation or consolation, since I desire and seek only the Divine will?
... François de Sales
We may not understand how the spirit works; but the effect of the spirit on the lives of men is there for all to see; and the only unanswerable argument for Christianity is a Christian life. No man can disregard a religion and a faith and a power which is able to make bad men good.
... William Barclay, The Gospel of John (Vol.1)
... John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion
... Paul K. Jewett, Emil Brunner's Concept of Revelation
... Søren Kierkegaard
A scientist said, making a plea for exchange scholarships between nations, "The very best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person." That was what happened at Christmas. The idea of divine love was wrapped up in a Person.
We must always be on our guard lest, under the pretext of keeping one commandment, we be found breaking another.
... John Calvin
... W. Waldo Beach, The Christian Life
... E. Stanley Jones, Conversion
... Herman L. Wayland
Christianity is a battle, not a dream.
A basic trouble is that most Churches limit themselves unnecessarily by addressing their message almost exclusively to those who are open to religious impression through the intellect, whereas ... there are at least four other gateways -- the emotions, the imagination, the aesthetic feeling, and the will -- through which they can be reached.
Owing to the pressure of an ever-increasing number of subjects introduced into the curriculum of a school, it is only too possible for men to be held to be educated and intelligent without ever having seriously tested their intelligence upon, say, the Book of Job, or upon the Epistle of Paul to the Romans. No doubt there are very good excuses for this lack of discipline. Many forward-thinking men will tell you that the Bible is not worth serious attention, that it is simple, trivial, and out-of-date; and so, even though you may hear the Bible read, read it yourselves, or even study it, the tension of your energy may be relaxed -- subtly relaxed. But is quite certain that a widespread relaxation of the tension of Biblical interpretation has disastrous effects. For there is no corruption that threatens a country so surely as the corruption or sentimentalizing of its religion; and there is no corruption of the Christian religion so swift as that which sets in when the Church loses its strict Biblical discipline.
The renewal of our natures is a work of great importance. It is not to be done in a day. We have not only a new house to build up, but an old one to pull down.
[John Bunyan] had to live through that obscure night -- "wide, vast, and lonely" -- which fell upon St. John of the Cross before; like him, he knew that grace would enter "the dark caverns where the senses live". In the meantime, Bunyan tossed to and fro, as it were between heaven and hell. It has been said that he paints too dark a picture of his moral condition when a young man, that he exaggerates his wickedness at this period, and afterwards wrestles with phantoms of his vivid imagination. But spiritual sins, though not so obvious as those that are sensual, may be just as real; and Bunyan's intensity of feeling and expression arose from the intensity of his spiritual nature
For a small reward, a man will hurry away on a long journey; while for eternal life, many will hardly take a single step.
... Thomas à Kempis
... John Tillotson
... George Macdonald
Many things seem good and yet are not, because they be not done with a good mind and intention; and therefore our Saviour saith in the Gospel, "If thy eye has naught, all thy body shall be dark." For when the intention is wicked, all the work that follows is naught, although it seemed to be never so good.
... Thomas Merton
... Sir John Lubbock, The Use of Life
In my intellect, I may divide [faith and works], just as in the candle I know there is both light and heat; yet put out the candle, and both are gone.
... John Selden
The will directs the tongue or the hand to act, and the evil word is spoken, or the evil deed done. Every time we sin, it is the whole of us that sins, and not just a part. The body is only the instrument of the mind and the will. All that God made, including the body with all its desires and instincts, is good in itself. But it has to be kept under control and used in the right way.
It is Truth which we must look for in Holy Writ, not cunning of words. All Scripture ought to be read in the spirit in which it was written. We must rather seek for what is profitable in Scripture, than for what ministereth to subtlety in discourse. ... Thomas à Kempis
Morning breaks upon the tomb,
Jesus scatters all its gloom.
Day of triumph through the skies--
See the glorious Saviour rise.
Christians! Dry your flowing tears,
Chase those unbelieving fears;
Look on his deserted grave,
Doubt no more his power to save.
Ye who are of death afraid,
Triumph in the scattered shade:
Drive your anxious cares away,
See the place where Jesus lay.
What keeps most men in "Christian" countries from being heretics in this sense is that they do not publicly avow their disbelief: it is in better taste to be casual about lost beliefs, and a note of wistfulness generally ensures forgiveness. Obstinacy is rare. Millions do not even know that they deny essential Christian doctrines: they have never bothered to find out what the essential doctrines are. In extenuation they may plead that the evasiveness and the multiplicity of churches create a difficulty; but to be deterred by this when one's eternal destiny is said to be at stake bespeaks a glaring lack of seriousness.
... Walter Kaufmann, The Faith of a Heretic
... William Temple
Every Christian, by virtue of membership in the Church, has a vocation to share in the ministry of Christ to the world which has been entrusted to the Church. The vocation is answered in the home and office and factory and field. There it is that the People of God bears its witness to the vocation of the People of God, a people with a people's diversity and complex vitality, a people comprising a multiplicity of cultures and histories and colours and tongues, a people and not a collection of individuals, a people bound together in allegiance to one King and in obedience to one purpose.
... E. J. Carnell, The Case for Orthodox Theology
In darkness there is no choice. It is light that enables us to see the differences between things; and it is Christ who gives us light.
... Mrs. C. T. Whitemell
Because upon the first glad Easter day
The stone that sealed His tomb was rolled away,
So, through the deepening shadows of death's night,
Men see an open door ... beyond it, light.
... Ida Norton Munson
We have no cause to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; but the Gospel of Christ may justly be ashamed of us.
... John Tillotson
... F. D. Maurice, Lincoln's Inn Sermons
For I seek not to understand in order that I may believe; but I believe in order that I may understand, for I believe for this reason: that unless I believe, I cannot understand.
... Lesslie Newbigin
... Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation
... George Macdonald, "The Higher Faith"
... They haled him, trembling, to the Judgement Seat.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy
In questions of this sort there are two things to be observed. First, that the truth of the Scriptures be inviolably maintained. Secondly, since Scripture doth admit of diverse interpretations, that no one cling to any particular exposition with such pertinacity that, if what he supposed to be the teaching of Scripture should afterward turn out to be clearly false, he should nevertheless still presume to put it forward, lest thereby the sacred Scriptures should be exposed to the derision of unbelievers and the way of salvation should be closed to them.
... Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
"For some people," he says, "the door to the heart is through the window of the mind." - Ravi Zacharias
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon
... Stephen Neill, Christian Faith and Other Faiths
... Phillips Brooks, The Law of Growth
... John Stuart Mill, Three Essays on Religion
.... Howard Crosby
The overwhelming recognition of human sin controls the Old Testament and the New Testament alike, and no understanding of our Lord's words and actions is possible if we persist in denying it.
... John Oman
[Christ] was primarily concerned to change men as men rather than the political regime under which they lived; to transform their attitude rather than their circumstances; to treat the sickness of their hearts rather than the problems of their environment. But he laid down in a single pregnant sentence man's duty both to God and to the State when he said: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's"; and it is certainly not his fault that the Christian church has been so slow, down the centuries, in applying to one after another of the world's social evils the principle he emphasized so strong that we must love our neighbours as ourselves.
... Matthew Arnold
... A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
The Bible is the written word of God, and because it is written it is confined and limited by the necessities of ink and paper and leather. The Voice of God, however, is alive and free as the sovereign God is free. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." The life is in the speaking words. God's word in the Bible can have power only because it corresponds to God's word in the universe. It is the present Voice which makes the written Word all-powerful.
... A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
... J. N. D. Anderson, Christianity: the Witness of History
... R. J. Campbell, The Call of Christ
Christianity is a source; no one supply of water and refreshment that comes from it can be called the sum of Christianity. It is a mistake, and may lead to much error, to exhibit any series of maxims, even those of the Sermon on the Mount, as the ultimate sum and formula into which Christianity may be run up.
... St. Ambrose of Milan
... William Temple
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
... A. W. Tozer, The Divine Conquest
... Rachel Henderlite, A Call to Faith
The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.
... Kenneth L. Pike, With Heart and Mind
... E. Stanley Jones
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light. that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way."
... Archbishop William Temple
... Anthony T. Hanson, The Church of the Servant
... Dwight L. Moody
... Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., Far and Near
At the earlier Methodist class meetings, members were expected every week to answer some extremely personal questions, such as the following: Have you experienced any particular temptations during the past week? How did you react or respond to those temptations ? Is there anything you are trying to keep secret, and, if so, what? At this point, the modern Christian swallows hard! We are often coated with a thick layer of reserve and modesty which covers "a multitude of sins" -- usually our own. Significantly, James 5:16-20, the original context of that phrase, is the passage which urges, "Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed."
... Adolph Saphir, Christ and Israel
... E. M. B. Green, "Mission and Ministry"
It is one thing to believe in justification by faith, it is another thing to be justified by faith.
... Adolph Saphir, Christ and Israel
A basic principle in the interpretation of the Bible is that one must first ask what a given Scripture was intended to mean to the people for whom it was originally written; only then is the interpreter free to ask what meaning it has for Christians today. Failure to ask this primary question and to investigate the historical setting of Scripture have prevented many Christians from coming to a correct understanding of some parts of the Bible. Nowhere is this more true than in respect to the last book in the Bible. Here, there has been a singular lack of appreciation for the historical background of the book; the book has been interpreted as if it were primarily written for the day in which the expositor lives (which is usually thought to be the end time), rather than in terms of what it meant to the first-century Christians of the Roman province of Asia for whom it was originally written. This has resulted in all sorts of grotesque and fantastic conclusions of which the author of the Revelation and its early recipients never would have dreamed.
... John Milton
There are more readers of the English Bible in this country than in any other, and the time seemed to me to have come for a frank and direct translation of the Greek New Testament into our modern spoken American English. We take great pains to provide Asiatica and Africana with special versions, so that they may read the Bible each in his own tongue wherein he was born; and why not do as much for our young people, and our fellow citizens generally?
... Edgar J. Goodspeed, How Came the Bible?
One good man, one man who does not put on his religion once a week with his Sunday coat, but wears it for his working dress, and lets the thought of God grow into him, and through and through him, till everything he says and does becomes religious, that man is worth a thousand sermons -- he is a living Gospel -- he comes in the spirit and power of Elias -- he is the image of God. And men see his good works, and admire them in spite of themselves, and see that they are God-like, and that God's grace is no dream, but that the Holy Spirit is still among men, and that all nobleness and manliness is His gift, His stamp, His picture: and so they get a glimpse of God again in His saints and heroes, and glorify their Father who is in heaven.
... Thomas Carlyle
... John Owen
In the days of His earthly ministry, only those could speak to him who came where He was: if He was in Galilee, men could not find Him in Jerusalem; if He was in Jerusalem, men could not find Him in Galilee. His Ascension means that He is perfectly united with God; we are with Him wherever we are present to God; and that is everywhere and always. Because He is "in Heaven" He is everywhere on earth: because He is ascended, He is here now. Our devotion is not to hold us by the empty tomb; it must lift up our hearts to heaven so that we too "in heart and mind thither accent and with Him continually dwell": it must also send us forth into the world to do His will; and these are not two things, but one.
Drop, drop, slow tears, and bathe those beauteous feet
Which brought from heaven the news and prince of peace.
Cease not, wet eyes, his mercies to entreat;
To cry for vengeance sin doth never cease;
In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears,
Nor let his eye see sin but through my tears.
... A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
... St. John Chrysostom
In conversion you are not attached primarily to an order, nor to an institution, nor a movement, nor a set of beliefs, nor a code of action -- you are attached primarily to a Person, and secondarily to these other things... You are not called to get to heaven, to do good, or to be good -- you are called to belong to Jesus Christ. The doing good, the being good, and the getting to heaven, are the by-products of that belonging. The center of conversion is the belonging of a person to a Person.
... E. Stanley Jones, Conversion
... Edwin C. Newbolt
... St. John Chrysostom
I would very earnestly ask you to check your conception of Christ, the image of Him which as a Christian you hold in your mind, with the actual revealed Person who can be seen and studied in action in the pages of the Gospels. It may be of some value to hold in our minds a bundle of assorted ideals to influence and control our conduct. But surely we need to be very careful before we give that "bundle" the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
... J. B. Phillips
Much of today's Christianity is almost completely earthbound, and the words of Jesus about what follows this life are scarcely studied at all. This, I believe, is partly due to man's enormous technical successes, which make him feel master of the human situation. But it is also partly due to our scholars and experts. By the time they have finished with their dissection of the New Testament and with their explaining away as "myth" all that they find disquieting or unacceptable to the modern mind, the Christian way of life is little more than humanism with a slight tinge of religion.
... J. B. Phillips
Jesus once declared that God is "good to the ungrateful and the wicked" (St. Luke 6:35), and I remember preaching a sermon on this text to a horrified and even astonished congregation who simply refused to believe (so I gathered afterwards) in this astounding liberality of God. That God should be in a state of constant fury with the wicked seemed to them only right and proper, but that God should be kind towards those who were defying or disobeying His laws seemed to them a monstrous injustice. Yet I was but quoting the Son of God Himself, and I only comment here that the terrifying risks that God takes are part of His Nature. We do not need to explain or modify His unremitting love towards mankind.
... J. B. Phillips
A man can not be "friends with" God on any other terms than complete obedience to Him, and that includes being "friends with" his fellow man. Christ stated emphatically that it was quite impossible, in the nature of things, for a man to be at peace with God and at variance with his neighbour. This disquieting fact is often hushed up, but it is undeniable that Christ said it, and the truth of it is enshrined in the petition for forgiveness in the "Lord's Prayer."
... J. B. Phillips, Your God is Too Small
Those who think God did this almost incredible thing call it Good Friday because only an extremely good God could do a thing like that. All religions attempt to bridge the gulf between the terrific purity of God and the sinfulness of man, but Christianity believes that God built that bridge Himself. This particular Friday commemorates His deliberate action in allowing Himself to be caught up in the sin-suffering-death mechanism which haunts mankind. He didn't let it end there, for He went on, right through death. But the men who believe in Him can't forget the kind of Person such an act reveals. That's why they call it Good Friday.
... J. B. Phillips
Following the way of Jesus Christ and doing all we can for His cause and for our fellow men expresses something of our worship in action. But how to give Him a present to express our love is a bit of a problem. How can you give God anything when He owns everything? But does He? How about that power to choose, that precious free will that He has given to every living personality and which He so greatly respects? That is the only present we can give -- our selves, with all our powers of spirit, mind, and body, willingly, freely given because we love Him. That is the best and highest worship that you and I can offer, and I am sure that it is this above all that God most highly appreciates.
... J. B. Phillips, Plain Christianity
To me there is a much more frightening ignorance in our modern world than the "ignorance of the heathen". I am referring to the almost total ignorance of the content and implication of the Christian Faith shown by many "clever" people today. Frankly, I find it horrifying to discover that men who are experts in their own line -- in astronomy, genetics, or nuclear physics, for example -- have no adult knowledge of what the Church of Christ stands for, and a complete blank ignorance of what the Church is achieving today. It is the more horrifying because people who rightly respect the expert for his knowledge in his own field have no idea that he has not carefully examined and reluctantly discarded Christianity; but in all probability he has never studied it at all!
... J. B. Phillips
One of Paul's most important teachings... is the doctrine of what we call "justification by faith". It frequently appears to the non-Christian mind that this is an immoral or at least unmoral doctrine. Paul appears to be saying that a man is justified before God, not by his goodness or badness, not by his good deeds or bad deeds, but by believing in a certain doctrine of Atonement. Of course, when we come to examine the matter more closely, we can see that there is nothing unmoral in this teaching at all. For if "faith" means using a God-given faculty to apprehend the unseen divine order, and means, moreover, involving oneself in that order by personal commitment, we can at once see how different that is from merely accepting a certain view of Christian redemption... That which man in every religion, every century, every country, was powerless to affect, God has achieved by the devastating humility of His action and suffering in Jesus Christ. Now, accepting such an action as a fait accompli is only possible by this perceptive faculty of "faith". It requires not merely intellectual assent but a shifting of personal trust from the achievements of the self to the completely undeserved action of God. To accept this teaching by mind and heart does, indeed, require a metanoia ["transformation"], a revolution in the outlook of both heart and mind.
... J. B. Phillips, New Testament Christianity
It is necessary to point out that our responsibility is a relative one only, for as we think of the world-wide disintegration of the human family, the prospect before us could easily fill us with alarm and despondency, if we were not sure first of the absolute sovereignty of God who (I speak reverently) knows what He is doing in conducting this enormous experiment that we call life.
... J. B. Phillips, Making Men Whole
The 'outsider' who knows nothing of the mixture of tradition, conviction, honest difference, and hidden resentment, that lies behind the divisions of the Christian Church sees clearly the advantage of a united Christian front and cannot see why the Churches cannot 'get together'. The problem is doubtless complicated, for there are many honest differences held with equal sincerity, but it is only made insoluble because the different denominations are (possibly unconsciously) imagining God to be Roman or Anglican or Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian or what have you. If they could see beyond their little inadequate god, and glimpse the reality of God, they might even laugh a little and perhaps weep a little. The result would be a unity that actually does transcend differences, instead of ignoring them with public politeness and private contempt.
... J. B. Phillips, Your God is Too Small
It is a singularly unpleasant thought that a book about Holy Communion is more likely to produce disagreement and controversy than one written on almost any other Christian subject. It seems a truly terrible thing that this Sacred Appointment, which was surely meant to unite, in actual practice divides Christians more sharply than any other part of their worship. Christians of various denominations may, and frequently do, work together on social projects, they may study the Scripture together, and they may ... pray together. But the moment attendance at the Lord's Table is suggested, up go the denominational barriers... I would make a strong plea that we do not exclude from the Lord's Table in our Church those who are undoubtedly sincere Christians. I cannot believe that to communicate together with our Lord should be regarded as the consummation, the final pinnacle, of the whole vast work of Reunion. Suppose it is the means and not the end. We might feel far more sharply the sin of our divisions and of our exclusiveness if we came humbly together to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, and in that reception we might find such a quickening of our common devotion to Him that the divisions between us might be found not nearly so insuperable as we supposed.
... J. B. Phillips, Appointment with God
This astonishing sense of spiritual attack which, it seems to me, must inevitably follow the continual reading of the four Gospels, without preconception but with an alert mind, is not the sole privilege of the translator. It can happen to anyone who is prepared to abandon proof-texts and a closed attitude of mind, and allow not merely the stories but the quality of the Figure Who exists behind the stories to meet him afresh. Neat snippets of a few verses are of course useful in their way, but the overall sweep and much of the significance of the Gospel narratives are lost to us unless we are prepared to read the Gospels through, not once but several times.
... J. B. Phillips
It is easy to criticise the many failings of the Church; it is all too easy to criticise the lives of those who profess and call themselves Christians; but I should say that it is almost impossible to read the Gospels thoroughly with adult, serious attention and then dismiss the central Figure as a mere human prophet or a tragic idealist. The reaction to such a study may indeed prove to be conversion or open hostility, but it would at least mean the end of childish and ill-informed attacks upon what is supposed to be the Christian religion.
... J. B. Phillips
There is joy and strength, of course, in this holy food and drink, but it is also an inevitable joining force with the vast Scheme of reconciliation and redemption. Now there is something in our natural selves that may well make us wary of such a contact. The man who in his heart intends to go on being selfish or proud, or who has already decided how far his Christian convictions should carry him, is probably obeying a sound instinct when he keeps away from this glorious but perilous Sacrament. For, if the truth be told, men are often willing to put their trust in a god who in the end must be triumphant, simply because they want to be on the winning side; but they are not nearly so ready to bear any part of the cost of that winning. Yet the fellowship of the broken bread and the poured-out wine can mean no less than that.
... J. B. Phillips
I have heard professing Christians of our own day speak as though the historicity of the Gospels does not matter -- all that matters is the contemporary Spirit of Christ. I contend that the historicity does matter, and I do not see why we, who live nearly two thousand years later, should call into question an Event for which there were many eye-witnesses still living at the time when most of the New Testament was written. It was no "cunningly devised fable" but an historic irruption of God into human history which gave birth to a young church so sturdy that the pagan world could not stifle or destroy it.
... J. B. Phillips, Ring of Truth
God in His providence has not allowed the survival of actual physical objects. But we have infinitely more than this, for instead of dead relics, however "authentic" and well preserved, we have a living life-line, stretching unbroken to Christ Himself. We have all the comfort and security that comes from historic tradition, but instead of being given the sad nostalgia of looking at an object and saying, "Look, how wonderful! This is what He touched then," we are given an evergreen memorial [in communion] which says, "This is what He touches now."
... J. B. Phillips, Appointment with God
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
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 demoralised and bitterly disappointed because He fails to fulfil what we expect of Him.
... J. B. Phillips, Making Men Whole
What changed these very ordinary men (who were such cowards that they did not dare stand too near the cross in case they got involved) into heroes who would stop at nothing? A swindle? Hallucination? Spooky nonsense in a darkened room? Or Somebody quietly doing what He said He'd do -- walk right through death? What do YOU think?
... J. B. Phillips, Is God at Home?
So long as a man confines his ideas of Christ to a rather misty hero figure of long ago who died a tragic death, and so long as his ideas of Christianity are bounded by what he calls the Sermon on the Mount (which he has almost certainly not read in its entirety since he became grown-up), then the living truth never has a chance to touch him. This is plainly what has happened to many otherwise intelligent people. Over the years I have had hundreds of conversations with people, many of them of higher intellectual calibre than my own, who quite obviously had no idea of what Christianity is really about. I was in no case trying to catch them out: I was simply and gently trying to find out what they knew about the New Testament. My conclusion was that they knew virtually nothing. This I find pathetic and somewhat horrifying. It means that the most important Event in human history is politely and quietly bypassed. For it is not as though the evidence had been examined and found unconvincing: it had simply never been examined.
... J. B. Phillips, Ring of Truth
The testimony of the New Testament cannot be lightly disregarded, nor can the claims of Christ be airily dismissed. Many otherwise intelligent people have never read with adult attention either the four Gospels or the Letters of the New Testament. When they so do, to my certain knowledge they not infrequently become converted. Indeed, I know of no adult who has seriously studied the New Testament and rejected the stories of Christ as mythical or the evidence of changed lives in the Letters as mere fabrication.
... J. B. Phillips, God with Us
In his enthusiasm, the evangelist often finds it difficult seriously to imagine that anyone could be called not to be an evangelist. The man of vision and imagination finds it difficult to see the value of those who do no more than plod on faithfully along a well-tried road. The man whose concern is in personal dealing with people and leading them to understand God better finds it difficult to be patient with the theologian or the Christian philosopher whose work is in the quiet of a book-lined study. Yet the truth is that the wholeness which God is working to achieve is never complete in an individual, but through individuals living together as one body, each supplying the deficiencies of the others.
... J. B. Phillips, Making Men Whole
The preacher and the writer may seem to have an... easy task. At first sight, it may seem that they have only to proclaim and declare; but in fact, if their words are to enter men's hearts and bear fruit, they must be the right words, shaped cunningly to pass men's defences and explode silently and effectually within their minds. This means, in practice, turning a face of flint toward the easy cliche, the well-worn religious cant and phraseology -- dear, no doubt, to the faithful, but utterly meaningless to those outside the fold. It means learning how people are thinking and how they are feeling; it means learning with patience, imagination and ingenuity the way to pierce apathy or blank lack of understanding. I sometimes wonder what hours of prayer and thought lie behind the apparently simple and spontaneous parables of the Gospel.
... J. B. Phillips, Making Men Whole
What I am concerned with here is not to write a new life of Jesus, but to set down my witness to the continued shocks which his words and deeds gave me as I approached the Gospels uninsulated by the familiar cover of beautiful language. The figure who emerged is quite unlike the Jesus of conventional piety, and even more unlike that imagined hero whom members of various causes claim as their champion. What we are so often confronted with today is a "processed" Jesus. Every element that we feel is not consonant with our "image" of him is removed, and the result is more insipid and unsatisfying than the worst of processed food.
... J. B. Phillips, Ring of Truth
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