Saturday, January 26, 2008


Our example can be our most persuasive influence for Christ. Do others imitate us because we model Him?

The closer we walk to the Shepherd, the farther we are from the wolf.

Our mind is where our pleasure is, our heart is where our treasure is, our love is where our life is, but all these, our pleasure, treasure, and life, are reposed in Jesus Christ. -- Thomas Adams

If He did not rise, but is still dead, how is it that He routs and persecutes and overthrows the false gods, whom unbelievers think to be alive, and the evil spirits whom they worship? For where Christ is named, idolatry is destroyed and the fraud of evil spirits is exposed; indeed, no such spirit can endure that Name, but takes to flight on sound of it. This is the work of One Who lives, not of one dead; and, more than that, it is the work of God.
Athanasius, On the Incarnation

Christ is not valued at all unless He is valued above all.-- Augustine

Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. And we do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His task and to take up His Cross.... William Barclay (1907-1978)

Thank God, our Christian chance is not permanently gone from us [in world affiars]. Ecclesiastics seems for the most part to have failed, failed both man and God; but God has not failed, Jesus has not failed. The God-man still remains the only leader into cooperation whose wisdom is sufficient for a permanent, competent, and free Society. The dictators and would-be dictators will not do. They overreach themselves. Eventually they will destroy one another, and kill off most of us. But even that disaster will not eradicate the desire of men and women to lay down lives for that which is more than themselves. Men will continue to demand not the freedom from that degree of unity for which the dictatorships stand, but rather a finer, more noble, more perceptive kind of unity: a human solidarity which is not nationalistic but world-embracing, a human integration which in aim and purpose is not secularist but spiritual. What the world unwittingly is groping after is allegiance to the eternal, the compassionate, the completely integrating Christ.... Bernard Iddings Bell, Still Shine the Stars [1945]

The king is enthralled by your beauty; honour him, for he is your lord. --Ps. 45:11

Christ is the sun, and all the watches of our lives should be set by the dial of his motion.- Thomas Brooks

God has nowhere in the Scripture required any worthiness in the creature before believing in Christ.- Thomas Brooks

I am His by purchase and I am His by conquest; I am His by donation and I am His by election; I am His by covenant and I am His by marriage; I am wholly His; I am peculiarly His; I am universally His; I am eternally His. - Thomas Brooks

Every thing that a man leans upon but God, will be a dart that will certainly pierce his heart through and through. He who leans only upon Christ, lives the highest, choicest, safest, and sweetest life.- Thomas Brooks

The person of Christ is the object of faith. It is Christ in the promises that faith deals with. The promise is but the shell, Christ is the kernel; the promise is but the casket, Christ is the jewel in it; the promise is but the field, Christ is the treasure that is hid in that field; the promise is a ring of gold, Christ is the pearl in that ring; and upon this sparkling, shining pearl, faith delights most to look. Faith hath two hands, and with both she lays earnest and fast hold on King Jesus. Christ's beauty and glory is very taking and drawing; faith cannot see it, but it will lay hold on it. Christ is the principle object about which faith is exercised, for the obtaining of righteousness and everlasting happiness.- Thomas Brooks

The rattle without the breast will not satisfy the child; the house without the husband will not satisfy the wife; the cabinet without the jewel will not satisfy the virgin; the world without Christ will not satisfy the soul. -- Thomas Brooks

Christ is a most precious commodity, he is better than rubies or the most costly pearls; and we must part with our old gold, with our shining gold, our old sins, our most shining sins, or we must perish forever. Christ is to be sought and bought with any pains, at any price; we can not buy this gold too dear. He is a jewel more worth than a thousand worlds, as all know who have him. Get him, and get all; miss him and miss all. --THOMAS BROOKS

Christ never undertakes to heal any but he makes a certain cure, 'Those whom thou givest me I have kept, and none of them is lost' (John 17:12). Other physicians can only cure them that are sick, but Christ cures them that are dead, 'And you hat he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins' (Eph. 2:1). THOMAS BROOKS

I say, who can hear Jesus Christ speaking thus, and his heart not fall in love and league with Christ, and his soul not unite to Christ and resign to Christ, and cleave to Christ, and for ever be one with Christ, except it be such that are for ever left by Christ? Well, remember this, the more vile Christ made himself for us, the more dear he ought to be unto us. - THOMAS BROOKS

If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is 'of him' [1 Corinthians 1:30]. If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects [Hebrews 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Hebrews 5:2]. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross [Galatians 3:13]; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgment, in the power given to him to judge. In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.--John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Philadelphia, 1960) II, xvi, 19, p. 297

... when Christ is included in the law, the sun shines forth through the midst of the clouds, so that men have light enough for their use; but when Christ is disjoined from it, there is nothing left but darkness, or a false appearance of light, that dazzles men's eyes instead of assisting them.- Calvin, commenting on 2 Corinthians 4:3

Having ingrafted us into his body, [Christ] makes us partakers, not only of all his benefits, but also himself. [Christ is not] received merely in the understanding and imagination. For the promises offer him, not so that we end up with the mere sight and knowledge of him, but that we enjoy a true communication of him. JOHN CALVIN

Shall we seek for the root of our comforts within us; what God hath done, what he is to us in Christ, is the root of our comfort. In this is stability; in us is weakness. Acts of obedience are not perfect, and therefore yield not perfect peace. Faith, as an act, yields it not, but as it carries us into him, who is our perfect rest and peace; in whom we are accounted of, and received by, the Father, even as Christ himself. This is our high calling. Rest we here, and here only.- Oliver Cromwell, Letter to Charles Fleetwood, 1652.

Out of the light that dazzles me,
Bright as the sun from pole to pole,
I thank the God I know to be,
For Christ, the conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,
I would not wince nor cry aloud.
Under that rule which men call 'chance,'
My head with joy is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears
That life with Him! And His the aid
Despite the menace of the years,
Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.

I have no fear, though strait the gate.
He cleared from punishment the scroll.
Christ is the Master of my fate.
Christ is the Captain of my soul.
Dorothea Day

[Christ] feeds and gathers at once, and this gathering of souls is as sweetly refreshing and delightsome to our blessed Lord Jesus , as the plucking of the sweetest flower is to a man walking in a garden. And there is nothing more acceptable and welcome to him, than a seeking sinner....So long as our Lord Jesus has a church and ordinances in it, so he will continue to gather [his people], and he is not idle, but is still gathering; though at some times, and in some places, this may be more sensible and abundant than ordinary. - JAMES DURHAM

That peace, which has been described, and which believers enjoy, is a participation of the peace which their glorious Lord and Master himself enjoys, by virtue of the same blood by which Christ himself has entered into rest. It is in a participation of this same justification; for believers are justified with Christ. As he was justified when he rose from the dead, and as he was made free from our guilt, which had had as our surety, so believers are justified in him and through him; as being accepted of God in the same righteousness. It is the favour of the same God and heavenly Father that they enjoy peace. 'I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." It is in a participation of the same Spirit; for believers have the Spirit of Christ. He had the Spirit given him beyond measure, and of his fullness do they all receive, and grace for grace.-- Jonathan Edwards

Christ is like a river in another respect. A river is continually flowing, there are fresh supplies of water coming from the fountain-head continually, so that a man may live by it, and be supplied with water all his life. So Christ is an ever-flowing fountain; he is continually supplying his people, and the fountain is not spent. They who live upon Christ, may have fresh supplies from him to all eternity; they may have an increase of blessedness that is new, and new still, and which never will come to an end. JONATHAN EDWARDS

Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble, but he will give you an abundance of the contrary, joy and delight. They who come to Christ, do no only come to a resting-place after they have been wandering in a wilderness, but they come to a banqueting-house where they may rest, and where they may feast. They may cease from their former troubles and toils, and they may enter upon a course of delights and spiritual joys.

But Christ Jesus has true excellency, and so great excellency, that when they come to see it they look no further, but the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in him; it sees that till now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean. The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill the capacity. It is an infinite excellency, such an one as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind is used to it, the more excellent it appears. Every new discovery makes this beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind sees no end; here is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom. The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on this beauty, and it is never weary of it. The mind never has any satiety, but Christ's excellency is always fresh and new, and tends as much to delight, after it has been seen a thousand or ten thousand years, as when it was seen the first moment. --JONATHAN EDWARDS

Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on Earth! I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him. Mayhap in mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead them through the vast star fields to explore His delicacies whose finger ends set them to burning. But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, smile into His eyes -- ah then, not stars nor children shall matter, only Himself.
Jim Elliot (1927-1956)

There is nothing in history to parallel the influence of Jesus Christ.--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) _Journal_ [August 25, 1843]

To interpret Christ it needs Christ in the heart. The teachings of the Spirit can be apprehended only by the same spirit that gave them forth. --Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Fugitive Slave Law", speech at the Tabernacle, New York City, March 4, 1854

O come! And kiss the Son, by believing in Him, and applying the benefits of this glorious transaction to yourself; and be who you will, if you kiss and embrace the Son, you shall find the glorious attributes of God kissing and embracing you, and hugging you in their arms, as a darling of heaven and a favourite in the house of God. - RALPH ERSKINE

The determining factor of my existence is no longer my past. It is Christ's past.-- Sinclair Ferguson

Christ is the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the meeting-place of all the waters in the world, so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet. -JOHN FLAVEL, Christ Altogether Lovely

Love Him in all His offices. See the goodness of God in providing such a sacrifice for thee. Meat, drink, and air are not more necessary to maintain thy natural life than the death of Christ is to give and maintain thy spiritual life. Oh, then, with a deep sense of gratitude in thy heart, let thy lips say, 'Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.' John Flavel

'He spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not with him freely give us all things?' (Rom. 8:32). How is it imaginable that God should withhold, after this, spirituals or temporals, from his people? How shall he not call them effectually, justify them freely, sanctify them thoroughly, and glorify them eternally? How shall he not clothe them, feed them, protect and deliver them? Surely if he would not spare his own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one sigh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever he should, after this, deny or withhold from his people, for whose sakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, spiritual or temporal, which is good for them.-- John Flavel

Do our desires after Christ lead us to effort, to use all the means of grace to accomplish His will? He is revealed in His Word; do we read it? He is preached in the gospel; do we hear it? He will be found of those who seek Him: do we seek Him? Are our desires atter Christ permanent or only a sudden fit of emotion, fear and impulse? If our hearts and our longing for union with Him are a work of grace, we will only be satisfied when we awake with His likeness. Nothing that this world affords can possibly take us from this goal. Do our desires after Christ spring from a deep sense of our need of Christ? Has conviction opened our eyes to see our misery, to feel our burden of sin, to understand our inability and to make us sensible that the remedy lies only in the Lord Jesus Christ? Bread and wine are made necessary by hunger and thirst. Christ becomes precious to those who need Him.--John Flavel

If the perfect Son of God is unattractive to you, then obviously you are an unattractive person. --John H. Gerstner, "A Primer on Free Will"

The Godhead of Christ is that which stamps value upon His sufferings and renders the whole of His obedience, in life and in death, infinitely meritorious and effectual. JOHN GILL

Your soul needs a Lover more than your floor needs carpet. --Brian Gordon

Jesus was God spelling himself out in language humanity could understand. -- S. D. Gordon

No doubt the gospel is quite free, as free as the Victoria Cross, which anyone can have who is prepared to face the risks; but it means time, and pains, and concentrating all one's energies upon a mighty project. You will not stroll into Christlikeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for oneís leisure moments, taken up at intervals when we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting... It takes all one's strength, and all oneís heart, and all oneís mind, and all oneís soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint. This is a business for adventurous spirits; others would shrink out of it. And so Christ had a way of pulling up would-be recruits with sobering and disconcerting questions, of meeting applicants ó- breathless and panting in their eagerness -- by asking them if they really thought they had the grit, the stamina, the gallantry, required. For many, He explained, begin, but quickly become cowed, and slink away, leaving a thing unfinished as a pathetic monument of their own lack of courage and of staying power. ... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), From the Edge of the Crowd [1924]

When Christ reveals Himself there is satisfaction in the slenderest portion, and without Christ there is emptiness in the greatest fulness.

It is true, Christian, the debt thou owest to God must be paid in good and lawful money, but, for thy comfort, here Christ is thy paymaster.-- William Gurnall

Can Christ be in thy heart, and thou not know it? Can one king be dethroned and another crowned in thy soul, and thou hear no scuffle?-- William Gurnall

The attributes of God were visible in their fullness on the day Jesus died. God's nature poured out on Golgotha in a cosmic flood of revelation, and the world quaked. Justice was done, mercy was granted, redemption was accomplished, power was displayed, holiness was vindicated, community was reestablished, perfect wisdom was demonstrated, and love ran wild. God ripped the veil of the invisible and sang through the life, death and resurrection of his son, "Here I am. This is what I look like. Worship!"...When the world asks, "What is God like?" we should be able to say, "Look at the church." As the body of Christ, we are to be like Jesus so that we too reveal God to the world. We are called to fully manifest in our communities and lives the core competencies of God as displayed by Christ. That means we strive to do justice, show mercy, pursue holiness, speak truth, enjoy beauty, create community, maintain unity, practice wisdom, and show love. That's what Jesus did. When he left, God did not leave the world without a witness. He left us. Our purpose is to be Christ in the world and display God in his fullness through our witness as individuals and communities. As we do that we join God's unrelenting quest to be known in all of his fullness, in the glory of his complete revelation. WILLIAM R. L. HALEY

My spirit has become dry because it forgets to feed on you. -- John of the Cross (1542-1591)

God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters. --John Henry Jowett (1841-1923)

Invisible in His own nature [God] became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, He chose to come within our grasp.... Leo the Great (390?-461)

Look for yourself and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.-- C. S. LEWIS

Among the Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He as God...Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was part of God, or one with God:Therewould be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outsidethe world Who made it and was infinitely different from anything else. Andwhen you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips. C. S. Lewis

God could, had He pleased, have been incarnate in a man of iron nerves, the Stoic sort who lets no sigh escape him. Of His great humility He chose to be incarnate in a man of delicate sensibilities who wept at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane. Otherwise, we should have missed the great lesson that it is by his will alone that a man is good or bad, and that feelings are not, in themselves, of any importance. We should also have missed the all important help of knowing that He has faced all that the weakest of us face, has shared not only the strength of our nature but every weakness of it except sin. --Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) _Letters of C.S. Lewis_ [1966], "23 February 1947"

First, draw off your hearts, because Jesus Christ, the Head, is risen and ascended upon high, and there sits at the right hand of His Father; and if the Head is in heaven, where should the members be but where the Head is? Shall Christ our Head be in heaven, and shall our hearts, which are His members, lie groveling on the ground and panting after the dust of the earth, making all our inquiry and labor after these? 'If Christ our Head be risen, seek those things that are above, where Christ sits at God's right hand. CHRISTOPHER LOVE

Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, I am your sin. You have taken upon Yourself what is mine and given me what is yours. You have become what you were not so that I might become what I am not. MARTIN LUTHER

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. --Martin Luther

Anything that one imagines of God apart from Christ is only useless thinking and vain idolatry. --Martin Luther

It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor. MARTIN LUTHER

In this life, Christ is an example, showing us how to live; in his death, he is a sacrifice, satisfying for our sins; in his resurrection, a conqueror; in his ascentions, a king; in his intercession, a high priest. - Martin Luther, 1483 - 1546

This is our great need, to be more like Christ, that His likeness may be seen in our lives; and this is just what is promised to us as we yield ourselves in full surrender to the working of His Spirit. Then, as we draw nearer to Christ, we shall be drawn nearer to His people; and in our search for unity with the members we shall be drawn closer to the Head.--G. T. Manley, Christian Unity 91;1945]

In the Scriptures there is a portrait of God, but in Christ there is God himself. A coin bears the image of Caesar, but Caesar's son is his own lively resemblance. Christ is the living Bible.-- THOMAS MANTON

I am born for God only. Christ is nearer to me than father, or mother, or sister -- a near relation, a more affectionate Friend; and I rejoice to follow Him, and to love Him. Blessed Jesus! Thou art all I want -- a forerunner to me in all I ever shall go through as a Christian, a minister, or a missionary. ... Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

For every look at self take ten looks at Christ. -- ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE

Our soul should be a mirror of Christ; we should reflect every feature: for every grace in Christ there should be a counterpart in us.
Robert Murray McCheyne, letter: 26 Feb 1840

In spiritual things, this world is all wintertime so long as the Saviour is away. - Robert Murray McCheyne letter FEBRUARY 9, 1839

Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
Anointed universal King; all power
I give thee, reign forever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee as Head Supreme
Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce:
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
John Milton, Paradise Lost [3.315-22]
Effulgence of my Glory, Son belov'd,
Son in whose face invisible is beheld
Visibly, what by Deity I am.
John Milton, Paradise Lost BookoBook VI, 680 - 82

Philosophers try to solve the mysteries of the universe by their empty theories. Fools! They are like children who demand the moon for a toy. Christ never hesitates. He speaks with authority. His religion is a mystery, but it subsists by its own power. He seeks, and absolutely requires, the love of men, the most difficult thing in the world to get. Alexander, Caesar and Hannibal conquered the world, but had no friends. I am perhaps the only person today who loves them. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded empires, but upon what? Force! Jesus founded His empire on love, and at this hour millions would die for Him. I myself have inspired many people such that they would die for me. But my presence was needed. Now that I am in St Helena, where are my friends? I am forgotten, soon to return to the earth, and become food for worms. But Christ is proclaimed, loved and adored, and His eternal kingdom is extending over all the earth. Is this death? I tell you, the death of Christ is the death of a God. I tell you, Jesus Christ is God. --Napoleon I

The love I bear Christ is but a faint and feeble spark, but it is an emanation from himself: He kindled it and he keeps it alive; and because it is his work, I trust many waters shall not quench it.... John Newton (1725-1807)

We can have no power from Christ unless we live in a persuasion that we have none of our own.... John Owen (1616-1683)

Beholding of the glory of Christ...Herein would I live;--herein would I die;--herein would I dwell in my thoughts and affections, to the withering and consumption of all the painted beauties of this world, unto the crucifying all things here below, until they become unto me a dead and deformed thing, no way meet for affectionate embraces. John Owen , (1616 - 1683) Complete Works I:291

Let us inquire whether we have found, or do find, this joy in our own hearts. Is the remembrance of the closing of our hearts with Christ a a song of loves unto us? Truly, if our loves be earnest and intent upon other things, we find joy and refreshment in them; but are we not dead and cold to the thoughts of this great and excellent advantage, of being espoused to Christ, as all believers are? If so, it is but a sad evidence we are truly so espoused. Alas! if a poor beggar, a deformed creature, should be taken into the espousals of a great prince, would she not be sensible of it? We are poor, deformed, woeful, sinful, polluted creatures; and for us to be taken into this relation with Jesus Christ!--where are our hearts? -- John Owen IX:467

The hearts of believers are like the needle touched by the loadstone, which cannot rest until it comes to the point whereunto, by the secret virtue of it, it is directed. For being once touched by the love of Christ, receiving therein an impression of secret ineffable virtue, they will ever be in motion, and restless, until they come unto him, and behold his glory.---J Owen, Meditations and discourses on the glory of Christ

No man shall ever behold the glory of Christ by sight hereafter, who does not in some measure behold it by faith here in this world. Grace is a necessary preparation for glory, and faith for sight.---J Owen, Meditations and discourses on the glory of Christ

Herein, then, our present edification is principally concerned; for in this present beholding of the glory of Christ, the life and power of faith are most eminently acted. And from this exercise of faith does love unto Christ principally, if not solely, arise and spring. If, therefore, we desire to have faith in its vigor or love in its power, giving rest, complacency, and satisfaction unto our own souls, we are to seek for them in the diligent discharge of this duty; -- elsewhere they will not be found. Herein would I live; -- herein would I die; -- hereon would I dwell in my thoughts and affections, to the withering and consumption of all the painted beauties of this world, unto the crucifying all things here below, until they become unto me a dead and deformed thing, no way meet for affectionate embraces.--J Owen, Meditations and discourses on the glory of Christ

Jesus Christ is the center of everything, and the object of everything, and he that does not know Him knows nothing of nature and nothing of himself. BLAISE PASCAL

Not only do we not know God, except through Jesus Christ, we do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ. --Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

When this divine Redeemer appears in His garments stained with blood, the sinking soul hails His approach, the fowls of the mountains take flight, the beasts of the earth slink off to their dens, the dreary stump pushes forth its shoots, and the voice sounds forth from the inmost depths of the soul, 'This is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord, we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.' -- J.C. Philpot

The early church fought the christological battle because it believed that the gospel itself was at stake. I fully agree. The divinity of Jesus is not a dispensable extra that has no significance for our salvation. On the contrary, our salvation depends on it. We can be saved only by God Himself.
K Runia. Christianity Today 4.1.74

I know, as night and shadows are good for flowers, and moon-light and dews are better than a continual sun, so is Christ's absence of special use, and it hath some nourishing virtue in it, and giveth sap to humility, and putteth an edge on hunger, and furnisheth a fair field to faith to put forth itself, and to exercise its fingers in gripping, it seeth not what." --Samuel Rutherford (in a letter of Sept 7, 1637)

Alas, we but chase feathers flying in the air, and tire our own spirits, for the froth and over-gilded clay of a dying life. One sight of what my Lord hath let me seen within this short time, is worth a world of worlds. - Samuel Rutherford letter FEBRUARY 9, 1637

Since He looked upon me my heart is not my own. He hath run away to heaven with it. Samuel Rutherford.

Brother, I may, from new experience, speak of Christ to you. Oh, if ye saw in Him what I see! A river of God's unseen joys has flowed from bank to brae over my soul since I parted with you. I wish that I wanted part, so being ye might have; that your soul might be sick of world, would seem to you then not worth a fig; time will eat you out of possession of it. - Samuel Rutherford, Letter XXVI. To JOHN GORDON OF RUSSO ABERDEEN, March 14, 1637

Setting aside the scandal caused by His Messianic claims and His reputation as a political firebrand, only two accusations of personal depravity seem to have been brought against Jesus of Nazareth. First, that He was a Sabbath-breaker. Secondly, that He was "a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners" -- or (to draw aside the veil of Elizabethan English that makes it sound so much more respectable) that He ate too heartily, drank too freely, and kept very disreputable company, including grafters of the lowest type and ladies who were no better than they should be. For nineteen and a half centuries, the Christian Churches have laboured, not without success, to remove this unfortunate impression made by their Lord and Master. They have hustled the Magdalens from the Communion-table, founded Total Abstinence Societies in the name of Him who made the water wine, and added improvements of their own, such as various bans and anathemas upon dancing and theatre-going. They have transferred the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and, feeling that the original commandment "Thou shalt not work" was rather half-hearted, have added to it the new commandment, "Thou shalt not play." ...Dorothy L. Sayers

It is curious that people who are filled with horrified indignation whenever a cat kills a sparrow can hear that story of the killing of God told Sunday after Sunday and not experience any shock at all. -- Dorothy Sayers

Not Herod, not Caiaphas, not Pilate, not Judas ever contrived to fasten upon Jesus Christ the reproach of insipidity; that final indignity was left for pious hands to inflict. To make of His story something that could neither startle, nor shock, nor terrify, nor excite, nor inspire a living soul is to crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.--Dorothy Sayers

For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is - limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death - he had the honesty and courage to take his own medicine. Whatever game, he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He has himself gone through the whole of human experience from trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When he was a man, he played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile. --DOROTHY SAYERS

Of late years, the Church has not succeeded very well in preaching Christ; she has preached Jesus, which is not quite the same thing. -- Dorothy Sayers

Loyalty to organizations and movements has always tended over time to take the place of loyalty to the person of Christ.'
Francis Schaeffer, letter 12 Nov 1954

The primary emphasis of biblical Christianity is the teaching that the infinite-personal God is the final reality, the Creator of all else, and that an individual can come openly to the holy God upon the basis of the finished work of Christ and that alone. Nothing needs to be added to Christ's finished work, and nothing *can* be added to Christ's finished work. -- Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

It is a destructive addition to add anything to Christ -- RICHARD SIBBES

Salt, when dissolved in water, may disappear, but it does not cease to exist. We can be sure of its presence by tasting the water. Likewise, the indwelling Christ, though unseen, will be made evident to others from the love which he imparts to us." --Sadhu Sundar Singh

If Christ is an example, nobody needs him; but if he is a sacrifice, everyone does.--Fred Smith

Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away your heart, and you are unmindful of him upon whom your affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention when you should have your eye steadily fixed upon the cross. It is the incessant round of world, world, world; the constant din of earth, earth, earth, that takes away the soul from Christ. Oh! my friends, is it not too sadly true that we can recollect anything but Christ, and forget nothing so easy as him whom we ought to remember? While memory will preserve a poisoned weed, it suffereth the Rose of Sharon to wither. - C.H. Spurgeon

I am persuaded that all of your problems are conceived and born in the sinful belief that something or someone other than Jesus Christ can quench the thirst of our souls."--C. Samuel Storms

Grace will teach a Christian contentedly to take those potions that are wholesome, though they are not toothsome.-- GEORGE SWINNOCK

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat - and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet -
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."
The Hound of Heaven -- by Francis Thompson (1859 &endash; 1907)

Behold, what manner of love is this, that Christ should be arraigned and we adorned, that the curse should be laid on His head and the crown set on ours.-THOMAS WATSON

Though we as Christians are like Christ, having the first fruits of the Spirit, yet we are unlike Him, having the remainders of the flesh. THOMAS WATSON

Christ is the most cheap physician, he takes no fee. He desires us to bring nothing to him but broken hearts; and when he has cured us he desires us to bestow nothing on him but our love. THOMAS WATSON

Christ heals with more ease than any other. Christ makes the devil go out with a word (Mark 9:25). Nay, he can cure with a look: Christ's look melted Peter into repentance; it was a healing look. If Christ doth but cast a look upon the soul he can recover it. Therefore David prays to have a look from God, 'Look Thou upon me, and be merciful unto me' (Psalm 119:132). THOMAS WATSON

Christ is the most tender-hearted physician. He hath ended his passion but not his compassion. He is not more full of skill than sympathy, 'He healed the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds' (Psalm 147:3). Every groan of the patient goes to the heart of the physician. THOMAS WATSON

Christ never fails of success. Christ never undertakes to heal any but he makes a certain cure, 'Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost,' (John 17:12). Other physicians can only cure them that are sick, but Christ cures them that are dead, 'And you hat he quickened who were dead' (Eph 2:1). Christ is a physician for the dead, of every one whom Christ cures, it may be said, 'He was dead, and is alive again' (Luke 15:32). - THOMAS WATSON

Christ is the most bountiful physician. Other patients do enrich their physicians, but here the physician doth enrich the patient. Christ elevates all his patients: he doth not only cure them but crown them (Rev. 2:10). Christ doth not only raise them from the bed, but to the throne; he gives the sick man not only health but also heaven. THOMAS WATSON

Oh, beware! Do not seek to be something! Let me be nothing, and Christ be all in all.- John Wesley

Christ is God clothed with human nature. -- Benjamin Whichcote

Recognise that peace and forgiveness do not depend on feelings of piety but on Christ and on what He has done. John White

Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again. -- George Whitefield

Thomas a Kempis speaks for all the ages when he represents Jesus as saying to him, "A wise lover regards not so much the gift of him who loves, as the love of him who gives. He esteems affection rather than valuables, and sets all gifts below the Beloved. A noble-minded lover rests not in the gift, but in Me above every gift." The sustaining power of the Beloved Presence has through the ages made the sickbed sweet and the graveside triumphant; transformed broken hearts and relations; brought glory to drudgery, poverty and old age; and turned the martyr's stake or noose into a place of coronation.
Dallas Willard, Hearing God [1999], p.45

He clothed himself with our lowliness in order to invest us with his grandeur.--Richardson Wright

I have but one passion -- it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ. ... Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)

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