John Campbell Shairp

John Campbell Shairp (July 30, 1819 – September 18, 1885) was a Scottish critic and man of letters.

SourcedEdit

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • The main condition is that the spiritual ear should be open to overhear and patiently take in, and the will ready to obey that testimony which, I believe, God bears in every human heart, however dull, to those great truths which the Bible reveals. This, and not logic, is the way to grow in religious knowledge, to know that the truths of religion are not shadows, but deep realities.
    • P. 37.
  • That image or rather that Person, so human, yet so entirely Divine, has a power to fill the imagination, to arrest the affections, to deepen and purify the conscience, which nothing else in the world has.
    • P. 61.
  • The sense that a man is serving a Higher than himself, with a service which will become ever more and more perfect freedom, evokes more profound, more humbling, more exalted emotions than any thing else in the world can do. The spirit of man is an instrument which cannot give out its deepest, finest tones, except under the immediate hand of the Divine Harmonist.
    • P. 127.
  • It is quite certain that, if from childhood men were to begin to follow the first intimations of conscience, honestly to obey them and carry them out into act, the power of conscience would be so strengthened and improved within them, that it would soon become, what it evidently is intended to be, "a connecting principle between the creature and the Creator."
    • P. 156.
  • Criticism is not religion, and by no process can it be substituted for it. It is not the critic's eye, but the child's heart, that most truly discerns the countenance that looks out from the pages of the gospel.
    • P. 168.
  • We are not called on to believe this or that doctrine which may be proposed to us till we can do so from honest conviction. But we are called on to trust, — to trust ourselves to God, being sure that He will lead us right, — to keep close to Him, — and to trust the promises which He whispers through our conscience; this we can do, and we ought to do.
    • P. 195.
  • Were it not well, then, to begin with the substance, to learn to apprehend the reality of that kingdom which is all around us now, whether we recognize it or not, — to take our aims and endeavors into it, that they may be made part of it, however small, — to surrender ourselves to it, that our lives may do something towards its advancement, and that we may become fellow-workers, however humble, with all the wise and good who have gone before us, and with Him who made them what they are?
    • P. 269.
  • Not as men of science, not as critics, not as philosophers, but as little children, shall we enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    • P. 332.
  • For with all our pretension to enlightenment, are we not now a talking, desultory, rather than a meditative generation?
    • P. 406.
  • The ground of all religion, that which makes it possible, is the relation in which the human soul stands to God.
    • P. 493.
  • They who seek religion for culture's sake are aesthetic, not religious, and will never gain that grace which religion adds to culture, because they never can have the religion.
    • P. 503.
  • The belief in a Divine education, open to each man and to all men, takes up into itself all that is true in the end proposed by culture, supplements, and perfects it.
    • P. 504.
  • The fact is those root-truths on which the foundations of our being rest, are apprehended not logically at all,but mystically. This faculty of spiritual apprehension, which is a very different one from those which are trained in schools and colleges, must be educated and fed, not less, but more carefully than our lower faculties, else it will be starved and die, however learned and able in other respects we may become.
    • P. 563.
  • There is perhaps no truer sign that a man is really advancing than that he is learning to forget himself, that he is losing the natural thoughts about self in the thought of One higher than himself, to whose guidance he can commit himself and all men.
    • P. 565.

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Last modified on 21 May 2012, at 01:02