Alexander Maclaren

Alexander Maclaren (1826 – 5 May, 1910) was an English non-conformist minister.

SourcedEdit

  • Let me always remember that it is not the amount of religious knowledge which I have, but the amount which I use, that determines my religious position and character.
    • Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) p. 365.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • If you would have clear and irrefragable for a perpetual joy, a glory and a defense, the unwavering confidence, "I am Thy child," go to God's throne, and lie down at the foot of it, and let the first thought be, "My Father in heaven; " and that will brighten, that will establish, that will make omnipotent in your life, the witness of the Spirit that you are the child of God.
    • P. 17.
  • We believe that to Christ belongs creative power — that "without Him was not any thing made which was made." We believe that from Him came all life at first. In Him life was as in its deep source. He is the fountain of life. We believe that as no being comes into existence without His creative power, so none continues to exist without His sustaining energy. We believe that the history of the world is but the history of His influence, and that the centre of the whole universe is the cross of Calvary.
    • P. 56.
  • The tears of Christ are the pity of God. The gentleness of Jesus is the long-suffering of God. The tenderness of Jesus is the love of God. " He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
    • P. 58.
  • Remember that vision on the Mount of Transfiguration; and let it be ours, even in the glare of earthly joys and brightnesses, to lift up our eyes, like those wondering three, and see no man any more, save Jesus only.
    • P. 66.
  • As Christ's ministry drew to its close, its severity and its gentleness both increased; its severity to the class from whom it never turned away. Side by side through all His manifestations of Himself, there were the two aspects: "He showed Himself froward " (if I may quote the word) to the self-righteous and the Pharisee; and He bent with more than a woman's tenderness of 'yearning love over the darkness and sinfulness, which in its great darkness dimly knew itself blind, and in its sinfulness stretched out a lame hand of faith, and groped after a Divine deliverer.
    • P. 68.
  • Christ wrought out His perfect obedience as a man, through temptation, and by suffering.
    • P. 68.
  • And I think, dear friends, if we carried with us more distinctly than we do that one simple thought that in all human joys, in all the apparently self-forgetting tenderness, of that Lord, who had a heart for every sorrow, and an ear for every complaint, and a hand open as day and full of melting charity for every need — that in every moment of that life in the boyhood, in the dawning manhood, in the maturity of His growing power — there was always present one black shadow, toward which He ever went straight with the consent of His will and the clearest eye, we should understand something more of how the life as well as the death was a sacrifice for us sinful men.
    • P. 68.
  • As we look upon that agony and those tearful prayers, let us not only look with thankfulness; but lot that kneeling Saviour teach us that in prayer alone can we be forearmed against our lesser sorrows; that strength to bear flows into the heart that is opened in supplication; and that a sorrow which we are made able to endure is more truly cohijuered than a sorrow which we avoid.
    • P. 71.
  • Brethren, it is not the thinker who is the true king of men, as we sometimes hear it proudly said. We need one who will not only show, but be the Truth; who will not only point, but open and be the Way; who will not only communicate thought, but give, because He is the Life. Not the rabbi's pulpit, nor the teacher's desk, still less the gilded chairs of earthly monarchs, least of all the' tents of conquerors, are the throne of the true king. He rules from the cross.
    • P. 78.
  • Christ puts Himself at the head of the mystic march of the generations; and. like the mysterious aneel that Joshua saw in the plain by Jericho, makes the lofty claim, "Nay, but as the captain of the Lord's host am I come up."
    • P. 80.
  • Grieve not the Christ of God, who redeems us; and remember that we grieve Him most when we will not let Him pour His love upon us, but turn a sullen, unresponsive unbelief towards His pleading grace, as some glacier shuts out the sunshine from the mountain-side with its thick-ribbed ice.
    • P. 82.
  • Christ's voice sounds now for each of us in loving invitation; and dead in sin and hardness of heart though we be, we can listen and live. Christ Himself, my brother, sows the seed now. Do you take care that it falls not on, but in, your souls.
    • P. 85.
  • Christ by His intercession is able to save thee beyond the horizon and largest compass of thy thoughts, even to the utmost. In danger Christ lashes us to Himself, as Alpine guides do when there is perilous ice to get over.
    • P. 88.
  • I come to Thee, O Christ. Faint and perishing, defenceless and needy, with many a sin and many a fear, to Thee I turn, for Thou hast died for me, and for me Thou dost live. Be Thou my shelter and strong tower. Give me to drink of living water. Let me rest in Thee while in this weary land; and let Thy sweet love, my Brother and my Lord, be mine all on earth and the heaven of my heaven.
    • P. 100.
  • It was a deep true thought which the old painters had, when they drew John as likest to his Lord. Love makes us like.
    • P. 104.
  • Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music; and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry to the sight that has gazed on the vision of the great white throne and the crystal sea.
    • P. 104.
  • The sum of the whole matter is this — He who is one in will and heart with God is a Christian. He who loves God is one in will and heart with Him. He who trusts Christ loves God. That is Christianity in its ultimate purpose and result. That is Christianity in its means and working forces. That is Christianity in its starting-point and foundation.
    • P. 104.
  • Being in Christ, it is safe to forget the past; it is possible to be sure of the future; it is possible to be diligent in the present.
    • P. 107.
  • It is easy to say "resist; " but the command is bitter irony, unless we go on to say with the New Testament, — "Whom resist steadfast in the faith." No man, my dear brother, can stand in the slippery places where we have to go, unless he have the grasp of a higher and stronger hand to keep him up.
    • P. 107.
  • Conflict, not progress, is the word that defines man's path from darkness into light. No holiness is won by any other means than this, that wickedness should be slain day by day, and hour by hour.
    • P. 108.
  • Dear brethren, make your choice. Fight you must. Are you going to win or be beaten? Make your choice of the image you must bear. Whose?
    • P. 108.
  • Ah, my brother, it is a far harder thing, and it is afar higher proof of a thorough-going, persistent, Christian principle woven into the very texture of my soul, to go on plodding and patient, never taken by surprise by any small temptation, than to gather into myself the strength which God has given me, and, expecting some great storm to come down upon me, to stand fast, and let it rage. It is a great deal easier to die once for Christ than to live always for Him.
    • P. 109.
  • The disciples seem alone; but up yonder, in some hidden cleft of the hills, their Master looks down on all the weltering storm, and lifts His voice in prayer. Then when the need is sorest, and the hope least, He comes across the waves, making their surges His pavement, and using all opposition as the means of His approach; and His presence brings calmness; and immediately they are at the land.
    • P. 110.
  • There is one thing that makes life mighty in its veriest trifles, worthy in its smallest deeds, that delivers it from monotony, that delivers it from insignificance. All will be great, nothing will be overpowering, when, living in communion with Jesus Christ, we say as He says, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me."
    • P. 120.
  • Let us imitate Him who sought the mountain-tops as His refreshment after toil, but never left duties undone or sufferers unrelieved in pain. Let us imitate Him who turned from the joys of contemplation to the joys of service without a murmur when His disciples broke in on His solitude with, "All men seek Thee; " but never suffered the outward work to blunt His desire for, nor to encroach on, the hour of still communion with His Father. Lord, teach us to work; Lord, teach us to pray. —
    • P. 124.
  • "Work out your own salvation." Work, as well as believe; and in the daily practice of faithful obedience, in the daily subjugation of your own spirits to His Divine power, in the daily crucifixion of your flesh with its affections and lusts, in the daily straining after loftier heights of godliness and purer atmospheres of devotion and love, — make more thoroughly your own what you possess. Work into the substance of your souls that which you hare. "Apprehend that for which you are apprehended of Christ;" and remember that not a past act of faith, but a present and continuous life of loving, faithful work in Christ, which is His and yet yours, is the holding fast the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end.
    • P. 127.
  • If we truly feel that the Lord liveth, before whom we stand, we shall want nothing else for our work but His smile; and we shall feel that the light of His face is all we need. That thought should deaden our love for outward things. How the things that we fever our souls by pursuing, and fret our hearts when we lose, will cease to attract! How small and vulgar the " prizes " of life, as people call them, will appear!
    • P. 127.
  • Our work, abiding, shall bring to us the endless glory with which God at last overpays the toils, even as now He overanswers the poor prayers of His laboring servants.
    • P. 131.
  • If you would know Christ at all, you must go to Him as a sinful man, or you are shut out from Him altogether.
    • P. 153.
  • The cross is the centre of the world's history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve. The testimony of Christ was the spirit of prophecy, and the growing power of Jesus is the spirit of history.
    • P. 171.
  • Given a man full of faith, you will have a man tenacious in purpose, absorbed in one grand object, simple in his motives, in whom selfishness has been driven out by the power of a mightier love, and indolence stirred into unwearied energy.
    • P. 220.
  • The true confidence which is faith in Christ, and the true diffidence which is utter distrust of myself — are identical.
    • P. 225.
  • Faith refers to Christ. Holiness depends on faith. Heaven depends on holiness.
    • P. 228.
  • If faith, then new birth; if new birth, then sonship; if sonship, then "an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Christ." But if you have not got your foot upon the lowest round of the ladder, you will never come within sight of the blessed face of Him who stands at the top of it, and who looks down to you at this moment, saying to you, "My child, wilt thou not at this time cry unto me, 'Abba, Father?'"
    • P. 228.
  • That is faith, cleaving to Christ, twining round Him with all the tendrils of our heart, as the vine does round its support.
    • P. 228.
  • True faith, by a mighty effort of the will, fixes its gaze on our Divine Helper, and there finds it possible and wise to lose its fears. It is madness to say, "I will not be afraid; "it is wisdom and peace to say, "I will trust and not be afraid."
    • P. 229.
  • Faith has in it the recognition of the certainty and the justice of a judgment that is coming down crashing on every human head; and then from the midst of these fears and sorrows and the tempest of that great darkness there rises up in the night of terrors the shining of one perhaps pale, quivering, distant, but divinely given hope, "My Saviour! My Saviour! He is righteous; He has died; He lives! I will stay no longer; I will cast myself upon Him!"
    • P. 229.
  • There can be no faith so feeble that Christ does not respond toil.
    • P. 230.
  • Nothing but Christian faith gives to the furthest future the solidity and definiteness which it must have if it is to be a breakwater for us against the fluctuating sea of present cares and thoughts.
    • P. 235.
  • The act of faith, which separates us from all men, unites us for the first time in real brotherhood; and they who, one by one, come to Jesus and meet Him alone, next find that they are come to the city of God "and to an innumerable company."
    • P. 237.
  • Logically, faith comes first, and love next; but in life they will spring up together in the soul; the interval which separates them is impalpable, and in every act of trust, love is present; and fundamental to every emotion of love to Christ is trust in Christ.
    • P. 237.
  • So for us, the condition and preparation on and by which we are sheltered by that great hand, is the faith that asks, and the asking of faith. We must forsake the earthly props, but we must also believingly desire to be upheld by the heavenly arms. We make God responsible for our safety when we abandon other defense, and commit ourselves to Him.
    • P. 239.
  • If our faith in God is not the veriest sham, it demands, and will produce, the abandonment sometimes, the subordination always, of external helps and material good.
    • P. 240.
  • The mystery of the universe, and the meaning of God's world, are shrouded in hopeless obscurity, until we learn to feel that all laws suppose a lawgiver, and that all working involves a Divine energy.
    • P. 259.
  • The mystery of the universe, and the meaning of God's world, are shrouded in hopeless obscurity, until we learn to feel that all laws suppose a lawgiver, and that all working involves a Divine energy.
    • P. 260.
  • I will guide thee with mine eye " — a glance, not a blow — a look of directing love that at once heartens to duty, and tells duty. We must be very near Him to catch that look, and very much in sympathy with Him to understand it; but when we do, we must be swift to obey.
    • P. 263.
  • Life should be a constant vision of God's presence. Here is our defense against being led away by the gauds and shows of earth's vulgar attractions.
    • P. 277.
  • The never-ceasing boom of the great ocean as it breaks on the beach, drowns all smaller sounds.
    • P. 277.
  • The vision of the Divine presence ever takes the form which our circumstances most require.
    • P. 277.
  • It is not my strength that grows, so much as God's strength in me, which is given more abundantly as the days roll. It is so given on one condition. If my faith has laid hold of the infinite, the exhaustless, the immortal energy of God, unless there is something fearfully wrong about me, I shall be getting purer, nobler, wiser, more observant of His will; gentler, like Christ; every way fitter for His service, and for larger service, as the days increase.
    • P. 294.
  • The more we work the more we need to pray. In this day of activity there is great danger, not of doing too much, but of praying too little for so much work.
    • P. 368.
  • Christ has given us, not only the ritual of an ordinance, but the pattern for our lives, when He took the cup, and gave thanks. So common joys become sacraments, enjoyment becomes worship, and the cup which holds the bitter or the sweet skillfully mingled for our lives becomes the cup of blessing and salvation drank in remembrance of Him.
    • P. 373.
  • A man may call himself a Christian—but the measure of his Christianity is the occupation of his mind and heart with the truth as it is in Jesus.
    • P. 376.
  • Duty is duty, conscience is conscience, right is right, and wrong is wrong, whatever sized type they may be printed in. " Large" or "small" are not words for the vocabulary of conscience.
    • P. 389.
  • There is no long interval between the sense of thirst and the trickling of the stream over the parched lip; but ever it is flowing, flowing past us, and the desire is but the opening of the lips to receive the limpid, and life-giving waters. No one ever desired the grace of God, really and truly desired it, but just in proportion as he desired it, he got it; just in proportion as he thirsted, he was satisfied.
    • P. 390.
  • A living man must have a living God, or his soul will perish in the midst of earthly plenty, and will thirst and die whilst the water of earthly delights is running all around him. We are made to need persons not things.
    • P. 390.
  • All true love to God is preceded in the heart by these two things — a sense of sin, and an assurance of pardon. There is no love possible — real, deep, genuine, worthy of being called love of God — which does not start with the belief of my own transgression, and with the thankful reception of forgiveness in Christ.
    • P. 397.
  • Love Christ, and then the eternity in the heart will not be a great aching void, but will be filled with the everlasting life which Christ gives and is.
    • P. 397.
  • Let us learn how the love of Christ, received into the heart, triumphs gradually but surely over all sin, transforms character, turning even its weakness into strength, and so, from the depths of transgression and the very gates of hell, raises men to God.
    • P. 398.
  • No man loveth God except the man who has first learned that God loves him.
    • P. 398.
  • Love is the foundation of all obedience. Without it, morality degenerates into mere casuistry. Love is the foundation of all knowledge. Without it religion degenerates into a chattering about Moses and doctrines and theories; a thing that will neither kill nor make alive, that never gave life to a single soul or blessing to a single heart, and never put strength into any hand in the conflict and strife of daily life.
    • P. 400.
  • Seekest thou a place at my right hand? Nay, I give thee a more wondrous dignity. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne."
    • P. 432.
  • And so, in calm expectation of a blessed future and a finished work which will explain the past, in honest submission of out way to God, in supreme delight in Him who is the gladness of our joy, the secret of tranquillity will be ours.
    • P. 448.
  • The message of love can never come into a human soul, and pass away from it unreceived, without leaving that spirit worse, with all its lowest characteristics strengthened, and all its best ones depressed, by the fact of rejection.
    • P. 493.
  • Brethren, understand that the gospel is a gospel which brings a present salvation; and try to feel that it is not presumption, but simply out of the very fundamental principle of it, when you are not afraid to say, "I know that my Redeemer is yonder, and I know that He loves me."
    • P. 526.
  • Trust Christ! and a great benediction of tranquil repose comes down upon the calm mind and the tranquil heart.
    • P. 589.
  • Trust yourselves, my brethren, to the immortal love and perfect work of the Divine Saviour, and by His dear might your days will advance by peaceful stages, whereof each gathers up and carries forward the blessings of all that went before, to a death which shall be a birth.
    • P. 590.
  • We are only asking you to give to Christ that which you give to others, to transfer the old emotions, the blessed emotions, the exercise of which makes gladness in the life here below, to transfer them to Him, and to rest safe in the Lord. Faith is trust.
    • P. 590.
  • You must cast yourself on God's gospel with all your weight, without any hanging back, without any doubt, without even the shadow of a suspicion that it will give.
    • P. 599.
  • Turn your confidence and your fears alike into prayer.
    • P. 600.
  • Surely Scripture is right when it makes the sin of sins that unbelief, which is at bottom nothing else than a refusal to take the cup of salvation. Surely no sharper grief can be inflicted upon the Spirit of God than when we leave His gifts neglected and unappropriated.
    • P. 607.
  • Why does a man refuse to believe? Because he has confidence in himself; because he has not a sense of his own sins; because he has not love in his heart to his Lord and Saviour. Unbelief men are responsible for. Unbelief is criminal because it is a moral act — an act of the whole nature. Belief or unbelief is a test of a man's whole spiritual condition, just because it is the whole being, affections, will, conscience, and all, as well as the understanding, which are concerned in it.
    • P. 608.
  • Unless we are wedded to Jesus Christ by the simple act of trust in His mercy and His power, Christ is nothing to us.
    • P. 608.
  • As in mysterious and transcendent union the Divine takes into itself the human in the person of Jesus, and eternity is blended with time; we, trusting Him, and yielding our hearts to Him, receive into our poor lives an incorruptible seed, and for us the soul-satisfying realities that abide forever mingle with and are reached through the shadows that pass away.
    • P. 610.
  • Many shall seek; do you strive. For wishing is one thing, and willing is another, and doing is yet another. And in regard to entrance into Christ's kingdom, our "doing" is trusting Him who has done all for us. " This is the work of God, that ye should believe on Him whom He hath sent." Does your wish lead to the acceptance of the condition? Then it will be fulfilled.
    • P. 619.

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Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 00:24