Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
I never yet have heard of a good man having fallen when he was trying to do Christ's will and trusting on Christ's help. Every fall without one exception came from venturing upon sinful ground or from venturing upon self-support.
When we read or hear how some professed Christian has turned defaulter, or lapsed into drunkenness, or slipped from the communion table into open disgrace, it simply means than a human arm has broken. The man has forsaken the everlasting arms.
The master will not keep His hand under our arms when we go on forbidden ground. Presumptuous Peter needed a sharp lesson, and he got it. That bitter cry at the foot of the stairs bespoke an awful fall. How many such are rising daily into God's listening ears.
I have heard of a monk who in his cell, had a glorious vision of Jesus revealed to him. Just then, a bell rang, which called him away to distribute loaves of bread among the poor beggars at the gate. He was sorely tried as to whether he should lose a scene so inspiring. He went to his act of mercy; and when he came back, the vision remained more glorious than ever.
Never despair of a child. The one you weep the most for at the mercy-seat may fill your heart with the sweetest joys.
Precious Saviour! come in spirit, and lay Thy strong, gentle grasp of love on our dear boys and girls, and keep these our lambs from the fangs of the wolf.
A large portion of Christ's miracles of love were wrought at the urgent request of parents for their suffering children. Is that ear gone deaf to-day? Will He not do for our children's souls what He did for the bodies of the ruler's daughter, and the dead youth at Nain?
As a child walking over a slippery and dangerous path cries out, " Father, I am falling! " and has but a moment to catch his father's hand, so every believer sees hours when only the hand of Jesus comes between him and the abysses of destruction.
Now let us gather into one bouquet, from the King's garden, these seven fragrant flowers: Jesus the Son of God; Jesus our sin-bearer; Jesus the giver of eternal life; Jesus the keeper of our undying souls; Jesus the hearer of our prayers; Jesus the chastener who can turn crosses into crowns; and Jesus the wonder-worker who changes us into eternal likeness unto Himself! These flowers will keep sweet till heaven dawns.
The demand of the day is for a higher standard and style of Christian life. Every follower of Christ must represent His religion purely, loftily, impressively, before that multitude of "Bible-readers" whose only Bible is the Christian.
Some time ago when in a mine, looking through its dark corridors, I every now and then saw the glimmer of a moving lamp, and I could track it all through the mine. The reason was that the miner carried it on his hat, — it was a part of himself, and it showed where he went. I said, "Would that in this dark world every miner of the Master carried his lamp to show where he walks."
When four rowers are in a boat, with their backs to the bow, their simple office is to pull the oars. The steersman's office is to look ahead and work the helm. The moment that the rower turns steersman, and tries to look over his shoulder or outpull his fellow oarsman, the boat loses headway. So you and I are placed with our backs to the future. In our hands are the oars of Christian endeavor. Let God steer the boat, and let us attend to the oars.
One day of good preaching is no match for six days of inconsistent practice. God will never honor His church with complete success until it completely honors Him.
Any church which forsakes the regular and uniform for the periodical and spasmodic service of God, is doomed to decay; any church which relies for its spiritual strength and growth entirely upon seasons of "revival," will very soon have no genuine revivals to rely on. Our holy God will not conform His blessings to man's moods and moral caprice. If a church is declining, it may require a "revival" to restore it; but what need was there of its declining?
When you do what the poor weary dove did — when you just betake yourself to the one only ark for safety, the infinite Love will put forth His hand, and draw you in! Into union with Christ! Into renewing grace and supporting strength! Into peace! Oh! wondrous peace; oh! sweet, satisfying peace; oh! peace of God that passeth understanding!
What right has a man to ask Jesus to forgive him, when his heart is still burning with hatred or festering with grudges against a fellow-creature? Confession, to be of any avail, must let go of its hold on the sin confessed.
The most heaven-like spots I have ever visited, have been certain rooms in which Christ's disciples were awaiting the summons of death. So far from being a "house of mourning," I have often found such a house to be a vestibule of glory.
The Christian who will sit with sealed lips when his Master is assailed, when religion is attacked, when wickedness is broached and defended, when truth is denounced, is a denier of his Lord, as guilty as Simon Peter in Pilate's hall.
When a miner looks at the rope that is to lower him into the deep mine, he may coolly say, "I have faith in that rope as well made and strong." But when he lays hold of it, and swings down by it into the tremendous chasm, then he is believing on the rope. Then he is trusting himself to the rope. It is not a mere opinion — it is an act. The miner lets go of every thing else, and bears his whole weight on those well braided strands of hemp. Now that is faith.
Faith is trusting Jesus to lead us and going where He leads. What avails it to me to analyze Saratoga water, and to believe in its virtues? I must drink the water if I want its purifying power. And the soul that has not actually drunk of Christ can never be purged from sin.
Faith that trusts on Jesus alone for salvation, and not on your respectable life, and the obedience that follows Him, are the indispensable steps to salvation. You admit that you have not taken these decisive steps. Then, however near you are, you are not in Christ.
When you sincerely embrace Jesus as your Saviour, and rest on His atonement for pardon, when you look to Him for daily direction, lean on Him for support, and are joined to Him in heart union, then you may be sure that you have got the everlasting rock bed underneath you.
Oh, my soul! why art thou so often disquieted within thee? How is it that thou hast so little faith? Wilt thou never learn that Jesus has even the least of His little boats always under His watchful eye, and all the winds and the waves obey Him?
Seek for a fresh invoice of grace. Unbelief can scoff or growl; faith is the nightingale that sings in the darkest hour. Faith can draw honey out of the rock and oil out of the flint. With Christ in possession and heaven in reversion, it marches to the time of the One-hundred-and-third Psalm over the roughest road, and against the most cutting blast.
God does not give us ready money. He issues promissory notes, and then pays them when faith presents them at the throne. Each one of us has a check-book.
Tears never yet saved a soul. Hell is full of weepers weeping over lost opportunities, perhaps over the rejection of an offered Saviour. Your Bible does not say " Weep, and be saved." It says, "Believe, and be saved." Faith is better than feeling.
As long as we work on God's line, He will aid us. When we attempt to work on our own lines, He rebukes us with failure.
In our Father s house it will not be the pearl gate or the streets of gold that will make us happy. But oh, how tran- scendently glad shall we be when we see our Lord. Perhaps in that "upper room," also, He may show us His hands and His side, and we may cry out with happy Thomas, " My Lord and my God!"
In heaven, knowledge shall be commensurate with the enlarged powers of the glorified soul.
Thank God! some lights never go out. Death cannot quench them. They shine forever. Luther's great lantern, " The just shall live by faith," still gleams from Wartburg Castle. John Bunyan's lamp twinkles yet through the gratings of Bedford jail.
The disciples were not losing time when they sat beside their Master, and held quiet converse with Him under the olives of Bethany or by the shores of Galilee. Those were their school-hours; those were their feeding times.
When you have honestly and penitently sought out Christ, and confessed your sins to Him, and put yourself wholly in His hands, then stay there. Follow Him. Keep close to Him and Him alone. In your store, in your shop, in your field, in your home, or wherever you are, be ever saying, " Now, Jesus, Lead me! Teach me Thy way! Hold fast to my hand!"
"Arise, take up thy bed and walk." You are on your bed now. You put yourself there by your own sin. You have kept yourself there by your own choice. Every sinner is a sinner because he chooses to be; and you are no exception. Jesus commands you to repent and trust Him and follow Him. The moment you are willing to obey, He gives you strength to obey.
Let him who would move and convince others, be first moved and convinced himself.
A genuine revival means a trimming of personal lamps.
It is a bad sign when a new-born babe has not lungs enough to make itself heard over the whole house. It is equally a bad symptom when the new convert is born dumb, and cannot find his voice to praise God audibly.
Let us take short views. If we look over the precipices, we shall grow dizzy. If we look too far ahead, we shall grow discouraged. Let us rather put our weak hands into Christ's strong, loving grasp, and all the time listen to His cheering words, "Fear not; only trust."
When my neighbor A—broke in business, and twenty-four hours made him a bankrupt, he came home, saying to himself, "Well, my money is gone, but Jesus is left." He did not merely come down to "hardpan," he came to something far more solid — to the everlasting arms. When another friend laid her beautiful boy in his coffin, after the scarlet fever had done its worst, she laid her own sorrowful heart upon the everlasting arms. The dear little sleeper was there already. The Shepherd had His lamb.
When God says to us, " Give me your load, trust me, what you cannot do, I will do for you,"He puts our faith to one of the strongest tests. He never consents to carry our burdens unless we give them to Him.
You never will be saved by works; but let us tell you most solemnly that you never will be saved without works.