Excerpts from Parochial and Plain Sermons, By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

 Excerpts from Parochial and Plain Sermons

By

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman

Taken from the volume published by Ignatius Press @ http://www.ignatius.com/Products/PPS-H/parochial-and-plain-sermons.aspx

1. Newman—[A]n anchor of the Soul in the coming storm. (Preface)

2. Those many secrets of Religion which are not perceived till they be felt, and are not felt, but in the day of great calamity. (Preface)

3. [H]eaven . . . is not a place where many different and discordant pursuits can be carried on at once, as is the case in this World. Holiness Necessary for Future Blessedness (7)

4. [I]nward separation from the World is necessary to our admission into heaven, because heaven … is not a place of Happiness except to the holy. Holiness Necessary for Future Blessedness (8)

5. Heaven would be hell to an irreligious Man. Holiness Necessary for Future Blessedness (9)

6. The doctrine of a future Life was the doctrine which broke the power and fascination of paganism. The Immortality of the Soul (14)

7. Misfortunes lead us to understand the nothingness of this World; then still more are we led to distrust it, and are weaned from the Love of it, till at length it floats before our eyes as some idle veil, which, notwithstanding its many tints, cannot hide the view of what is beyond it;—and we begin, by degrees, to perceive that there are but two Beings in the whole Universe, our own Soul, and the God who made it. The Immortality of the Soul (17)

8. Religion is in itself at first a weariness to the Worldly Mind, and it requires an effort and a self-denial in every one who honestly determines to be Religious. The Immortality of the Soul (19)

9. Many a Man instead of learning Humility in practice, confesses himself a poor Sinner, and next prides himself upon the confession; he ascribes the glory of his redemption to God, and then becomes in a manner proud that he is redeemed. He is proud of his so-called humility. Knowledge of God‘s Will Without Obedience (22)

10. [S]elf-denial … is the very substance of true practical Religion. Knowledge of God‘s Will Without Obedience (24)

11. Everything is plain and easy to the earnest; it is the double-minded who find difficulties. Knowledge of God‘s Will Without Obedience (28)

12. We think our own Times superior to all others. Knowledge of God‘s Will Without Obedience (29)

13. No one begins to examine himself, and to pray to know himself . . . but he finds within him an abundance of faults which before were either entirely or almost entirely unknown to him. * * * And hence it is that the best Men are ever the most humble; for, having a higher standard of excellence in their Minds than others have, and knowing themselves better, they see somewhat of the breadth and depth of their own Sinful Nature, and are shocked and frightened at themselves. The generality of Man cannot understand this; and if at times the Habitual self-condemnation of Religious men breaks out into words, they think it arises from affectation, or from a strange distempered state of mind, or from accidental melancholy and disquiet. Secret Faults (35)

14. The most Religious Men, unless they are especially watchful, will feel the sway of the fashion of their age; and suffer from it, as Lot in wicked Sodom, though unconsciously. Secret Faults (38)

15. [T]he seducing Customs of the World. (38)

16. The popularity of the Truth is but sudden, comes and goes at once, has no regular growth, no abiding stay. It is error alone which grows and is received heartily on a large scale. Self-Denial the Test of Religious Earnestness (44)

17. [S]elf-denial which is the test of our Faith must be daily. * * * [It] consists in little things. This is plain, for opportunity for great self-denials does not come every day. Thus to take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all, it consists in the continual practice of small Duties which are distasteful to us. Self-Denial the Test of Religious Earnestness (47)

18. Never think yourself safe because you do your Duty in ninety-nine points; it is the hundredth which is to be the ground of your self-denial, which must evidence, or rather instance and realize your faith. Self-Denial the Test of Religious Earnestness (47)

19. Separate acts of faith aid us only while we are unstable. The Spiritual Mind (51)

20. [A]s we grow in grace, we throw away childish things; then we are able to stand upright like grown Men, without the props and aids which our infancy required. This is the noble manner of serving God, to do Good without thinking about it, without any calculation or reasoning, from Love of the Good, and hatred of the Evil. * * * Hence it is that the best Men are ever the most humble; . . . because they are accustomed to be Religious. They surprise others but not themselves; they surprise others at their very calmness and freedom from thought about themselves. The Spiritual Mind (51-2)

21. This is Obedience on Habit as opposed to obedience on Custom. The one is of the heart, the other of the lips, the one is in power, the other in word. The Spiritual Mind (52)

22. To obey requires an effort, of course; but an effort like the bodily effort of the child’s rising from the ground, when he has fallen on it; not the effort of shaking off a drowsy sleep; not the effort (far less) of violent bodily exertion in a time of sickness and long weakness: and the first effort made, obedience on a second trial will be easier than before, till at length it will be easier to obey than not to obey. A good Habit will be formed . . . . * * * Thus Christ’s commandments, viewed as He enjoins them on us, are not grievous. They would be grievous if put upon us all at once; but they are not heaped on us . . . , [but placed on us] little by little, first one Duty, then another, then both, and so on. * * * [I]f Men will not take their Duties in Christ’s order, but are determined to delay obedience, with the intention of setting about their Duty some day or other, and then making up for past time, is it wonderful that they find it grievous and difficult to perform? that they are overwhelmed with the arrears of their great work, that they are entangled and stumble amid the intricacies of the Divine system which has progressively enlarged upon them? God‘s Commandments not Grievous (68-70)

23. Since every one might have done more than he has done, every one has suffered losses he can never make up. God‘s Commandments not Grievous (73)

24. [T]hose . . . who have neglected to remember their Creator in the days of their youth . . . must not be surprised if obedience is with them a Laborious up-hill work all their days . . . . The Religious Use of Excited Feelings (76)

25. [T]hough Conscience and Reason lead us to . . . attempt a new Life, they cannot make us Love it. It is long practice and Habit which make us Love Religion. The Religious Use of Excited Feelings (76)

26. [Repenters often] look upon the turbid zeal and feverish devotion which attend their repentance, not as in part the corrupt offspring of their own previously corrupt state of Mind, and part a gracious Natural provision, only temporary, to encourage them to set about their reformation, but as the substance and real excellence of Religion. * * * They seek potent stimulants to sustain their Minds in that state of excitement which they have been taught to consider the essence of a Religious Life …. They have recourse to new doctrines, or follow strange teachers, in order that they may dream on in this their artificial devotion . . . . * * * [Instead] act on these impulses …. * * * [And don’t be] surprised . . . that they die away … as the blossom changes into the fruit which is far better. * * * [B]e quite sure that resolute, consistent obedience, though unattended with high transport and warm Emotion, is far more acceptable to Him than all those passionate longings to live in His sight, which look more like Religion to the uninstructed. * * * Learn to live by faith, which is a calm, deliberate, rational Principle, full of Peace and comfort. The Religious Use of Excited Feelings (78-80)

27. When we prefer Man‘s fallible Judgment to God‘s unerring command, then it is we are wrong. Profession without Practice (85)

28. There are two classes of Men who are withdrawn from the Judgment of the community: those who are above it, and those who are below it;—the poorest class of all, which has no thought of maintaining itself by its own exertions, and has lost shame; and what is called . . . high fashionable society, by which I mean not the rich necessarily, but those among the rich and noble who throw themselves out of the pale of the community ….*** [T]he great mass of Men are protected from gross Sin by the forms of society. The received Laws of property and decency, the prospect of a loss of character, stand as sentinels, giving the alarm, long before their Christian Principles have time to act. Profession without Practice (85)

29. ‘When thou doest alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have the glory of Men …. When thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they Love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of Men . . . .’ Profession without Practice (86) (quoting Jesus, Matt, vi. 2-16)

30. It is our Happiness that we need bring nothing in proof of our fellowship with Christians, besides our baptism. This is what a great many persons do not understand; they think that none are to be accounted fellow-Christians but those who evidence themselves to be such to their fallible understandings; and hence they encourage others, who wish for their praise, to practice all kinds of display as a seal of their regeneration. Who can tell the harm this does to the true modesty of the Christian spirit? [These Men] are led to use their own words, and make Man their Judge and justifier. They think it Necessary to tell out their secret feelings, and to enlarge on what God has done to their own Souls in particular. And thus making themselves really answerable for all the words they use, which are altogether their own, they do in this case become hypocrites; they do say more than they can in reality feel. Profession without Hypocrisy. (96)

31. [If Men] would but follow the Church, come together in prayer on Sundays and Saints’ days, nay every day, Honour the rubric by keeping to it obediently, and conforming their Families to the spirit of the Prayer Book, . . . they would do vastly more good than by trying new Religious plans, founding new Religious societies, or striking out new Religious views. Profession without Ostentation (100)

32. [Some think] that the characteristic of a Religious Man is his having correct notions. It escapes [them] that there is a great interval between feeling and acting. Promising without Doing (109)

33. [J]ustifying faith has no existence independent of its particular definite acts. Promising without Doing (110)

34. [The] perfect state of Mind at which we must aim . . . is a deliberate preference of God’s service to everything else, a determined resolution to give up all for Him; and a Love for Him, not tumultuous and passionate, but such Love as a child bears toward his parents, calm, full, reverent, contemplative, obedient. Religious Emotion (115)

35. As a general rule, the more Religious Men become, the calmer they become . . . . (115)

36. Distrust, want of faith, breaks the very bonds of Human society. Religious Faith Rational (125)

37. [T]here is nothing Sinful in gazing wistfully at the marvelous providences of God‘s moral governance, and wishing to understand them. But … to expect [such Knowledge] is a dangerous mistake, and (it may be) a Sin. The Christian Mysteries (129)

38. [R]eligious light is intellectual darkness. The Christian Mysteries (133)

39. Faith is unassuming, modest, thankful, obedient. The Christian Mysteries (134)

40. The more we are in earnest to ‘work out our salvation1, the less shall we care to Know how those things really are, which perplex us. The Christian Mysteries (135)

41. [Good] notions . . . come by Natural conscience …. They do not proceed from the mere exercise of our Minds …. They proceed from God . . . . The Self-Wise Inquirer (139)

42. [C]onfidence in our own Reasoning powers not only leads to pride, but to ‘ foolishness’ also, and destructive error. A Man who fancies that he can find out Truth by himself disdains revelation. The Self-Wise Inquirer (138)

43. [Confidence in Reasoning power leads to] the affectation of originality. The Self-Wise Inquirer (140)

44. The first Sin of Men of superior understanding is to value themselves upon it, and look down upon others. The Self-Wise Inquirer (142)

45. ‘Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land.’ Obedience the Remedy for Religious Perplexity. (145) (quoting Psalm xxxvii. 34.)

46. Nothing is more difficult tha to be disciplined and regular in our Religion. It is very easy to be Religious in fits and starts …. Hence it is that so many persons, especially in the polished ranks of society . . . fall away into a mere luxurious self-indulgent devotion. * * * [Prayer] is the armour which [secures] against the wiles of the Devil. Times of Private Prayer (160)

47. Men first leave off private prayer; then they neglect the observance of the Lord’s day …. [T]hen the gradually let slip . . . the very idea of obedience to a fixed Eternal Law; then they actually allow themselves in things which their conscience, which being ill used, at length refuses to direct them. And thus, being left by their true inward guide, they are obliged to take another guide, their Reason, which by itself knows little or nothing about Religion; then this their blind Reason forms a system of right or wrong for them, as well as it can, flattering to their own Desires and presumptuous where it is not actually corrupt. Times of Private Prayer (161)

48. Anything new or unexpected is dangerous to you. * * * Stability of Mind is the chief of Virtues, for it is Faith. Times of Private Prayer (162)

49. Forms of prayer are Necessary to guard us against the irreverence of wandering thoughts. Forms of Private Prayer (165)

50. God cannot speak without meaning many things at once. He sees the end from the beginning; He understands the numberless connexions and Relations of all things one with another. The Resurrection of the Body (172)

51. [Even] the best Men, unless urged, tutored, disciplined to their work, give way; untrained Nature has no Principles. Witnesses of the Resurrection (182)

52. [E]very great Change is effected by the few, not by the many; by the resolute, undaunted, zealous few. Witnesses of the Resurrection (182)

53. [P]opular favor is hardly to be expected for the Cause of Truth. Witnesses of the Resurrection (184)

54. Eloquence and wit, shrewdness and dexterity, these plead a cause well and propagate it quickly, but it Dies with them. It has no root in the hearts of Men, and Lives not out a generation. It is the consolation of the despised Truth, that its works endure. Witnesses of the Resurrection (184-85).

56. The World‘s praise is akin to contempt. Our lord delights in the tribute of the secret heart. Christian Reverence (189)

57. [Men] are ashamed of appearing Religious; and thus are led to pretend that they are worse than they really are. Christian Reverence (193)

58. What is the World‘s Religion now? * * * Conscience is no longer recognized as the independent arbiter of actions …. * * * Everything is bright and cheerful. Religion is pleasant and easy; benevolence is the chief Virtue; intolerance, bigotry, excess of zeal are the first of Sins. Austerity is an absurdity;—even firmness is looked on with an unfriendly, suspicious eye. * * * To a cultivated Mind * * * Religion will commonly seem to be dull, from want of novelty. Hence excitements are eagerly sought out and rewarded. New objects in religion, new systems and plans, new doctrines, new preachers, are Necessary to satisfy that craving which the so-called spread of Knowledge has created. The Mind becomes morbidly sensitive and fastidious; dissatisfied with things as they are, desirous of a Change as such, as if alteration must of itself be a relief. The Religion of the Day (198)

59. [This modern Religion drops] one whole side of the Gospel, its austere character, and considering it enough to be benevolent, courteous, candid, correct in conduct, delicate,—though it includes no true fear of God, no fervent zeal for His Honour, no deep hatred of Sin, no horror at the sight of sinners, no indignation and compassion at the blasphemies of heretics, no jealous adherence to doctrinal Truth, no especial sensitiveness about the particular means of gaining ends, provided the ends be Good, no loyalty to the Holy Apostolic Church, … no sense of the authority of Religion as external to the Mind; in a word, no seriousness,—and therefore is neither hot nor cold, but (in Scripture language) lukewarm. Thus the present age is the very contrary of … the dark ages; and together with the faults of those ages we have lost their Virtues. I say their Virtues; for even the errors then prevalent, a persecuting spirit, for instance, fear of religious inquiry, bigotry, these were, after all, but perversions and excesses of real Virtues, such as zeal and reverence; and we, instead of limiting and purifying them, have taken them away root and branch. The Religion of the Day (199)

*****60. [Modern Religion hails] every evidence of improved decency, every wholesome civil regulation, every beneficent and enlightened act of state policy …. [It] has been little solicitous about the means employed. [It] has countenanced and act with men who have openly expressed unchristian principles. [It has] defended . . . reformations and ameliorations of the existing state of things, though Injustice must be perpetuated in order to effect them, or long cherished rules of conduct, indifferent perhaps in their origin but consecrated by their long usage, must be violated. [It has] sacrificed Truth to expedience. The Religion of the Day (200)

61. [Modern Religion] is especially adapted to please Men of skeptical Minds . . . who allow themselves to speculate freely about what Religion ought to be, without going to Scripture to discover what it really is. [These skeptics] , , , lay much stress on works on Natural Theology ….*** [They] . . . believe that those strong declarations of Scripture do not belong to the present day, or that they are figurative. * * * [They teach] that we need not alarm ourselves,—that God is a merciful God,—that amendment is quite sufficient to atone for our offenses, . . . that we should have large views on the subject of Human Nature,—and that we should Love all men. This is the creed of shallow Men, in every age, who Reason a little, and feel not at all, and who think themselves enlightened and philosophical. The Religion of the Day (202)

62. [Scripture has] been profanely embellished in Human Language, to suit the taste of weak and cowardly Minds. Scripture a Record of Human Sorrow (207)

63. [T]he Bible does not take a pleasant sunshine view of the World. Scripture a Record of Human Sorrow (208)

64. [Through Scripture] we shall learn (what else we shall only attain at last) not indeed to be gloomy and discontented, but to bear a sober and calm heart under a smiling and cheerful countenance. Scripture a Record of Human Sorrow (208)

65. [A Good Man who is too taken with the World‘s pursuits will] as years roll on, by little and little, discover that, after all, he is not, as he imagined, possessed of any real substantial Good. He will begin to find, and be startled at finding, that the things which once pleased, please less and less, or not at all. He will be unable to recall those lively Emotions in which he once indulged; and he will wonder why. Thus, by degrees, the delightful visions which surrounded him will fade away, and in their stead, melancholy Forms will haunt him, such as the crowded round the pool in Bethesda. * * * Then a Man will begin to be restless and discontented, for he does not know how to amuse himself. Before, he was cheerful only from the Natural flow of his spirits, and when such cheerfulness is lost with increasing years, he becomes Evilnatured. * * * And so he will lie year after year, by the pool of Bethesda, by the waters of health, with no one helping him;—unable to advance himself towards a cure …. Thus he has at length full personal, painful Experience, that this World is really vanity or worse, and all this because he would not believe it from Scripture. Scripture a Record of Human Sorrow (210)

66. The great rule of our conduct is to take things as they come.* * * The true Christian rejoices in those earthly things which give joy, but in such a way as not to care for them when they go. * * * [Be] thoughtful and resigned without interfering with your cheerfulness. Scripture a Record of Human Sorrow (211)

67. I have not said a word against the moderate and thankful enjoyment of this life’s goods, when they actually come our way; but against the wishing earnestly for them . . . . Christian Manhood (218)

68. Follow His plan; look not on anxiously; look down at your present footing, ‘lest it be turned out of the way’, but speculate not about the future. Christian Manhood (220)

69. [T]he Holy Ghost is the Author of active Good works, and leads us to the observance of all lowly deeds of ordinary obedience as the most pleasing sacrifice to God. Christian Manhood (221)

70. [T]hose Men are not necessarily the most useful Men in their generation, nor the most favoured by God, who make the most noise in the World, and who seem to be principals in the great Changes and events recorded in History. * * * [W]e must unlearn our admiration of the powerful and distinguished, our reliance on the Opinion of society, our respect for the decisions of the learned or the multitude, and turn our eyes to private Life, watching in all we read or witness for the true Signs of God‘s presence . . . . The World’s Benefactors (229)

71. [T]hose who weary themselves in the search after Truth, who strike out momentous Principles of action, who painfully force upon their contemporaries the adoption of beneficial measures, or again, who are the original Cause of the chief events in national History, are commonly supplanted, as regards celebrity and reward, by inferior Men. (230) 72. Of these greatest Men in every age, there is ‘no memorial1; they ‘are perished as though they had never been born.’ The World’s Benefactors (231)

73. [True faith] goes out not Knowing whither it goes. It does not crave or bargain to see the end of the journey …. * * * [I]t is persuaded that it has quite enough light to walk by … if it sees one step in advance; and it leaves all Knowledge of the country over which it is journeying, to Him who calls it on. Faith without Sight (239)

74. What is meant by loving all Men is to feel well-disposed to all Men, to be ready to assist them, and to act toward those who come in our way, as if we Loved them. Love of Relations and Friends (259)

75. We see then how absurd it is when writers * * * talk magnificently about Loving the whole Human race with a comprehensive affection, of being the friends of all mankind, and the like. * * * [These are but] feelings . . . sure to fail in the hour of need. This is not to Love Men, it is but to talk about Love. The real Love of Man must depend on practice, and therefore must begin by exercising itself on our friends around us . . . . Love of Relations and Friends (259)

76. The vain talkers about philanthropy . . . usually show the emptiness of their profession, by being morose and cruel in the private relations of Life, which they seem to account as subjects beneath their notice. Love of Relations and Friends

77. A Man who would fain begin by a general Love of all Men, necessarily puts them all on a level, and, instead of being cautious, prudent, and sympathising in his benevolence, is hasty and rude; does harm, perhaps, when he means to do good, discourages the Virtuous and well-meaning, and wounds the feelings of the gentle. Men of ambitious and ardent Minds, for example, desirous of doing Good on a large scale, are especially exposed to the temptation of sacrificing individual to general Good in their plans of charity.11 Love of Relations and Friends (260)

78. [P]rivate Virtue is the only sure foundation of public Virtue. Love of Relations and Friends (261)

79. Nothing is more likely to engender selfish Habits * * * than independence in our Worldly circumstances. Men who have no tie on them, who have no calls on their daily sympathy and tenderness, who have no one’s comfort to consult, who can move about as they please, and indulge the Love of variety and the restless humours which are so congenial to the Minds of most Men, are very unfavourably situated for obtaining [the gift of charity]. Love of Relations and Friends (261)

80. [D]islike of Change [is] not only a characteristic of the Virtuous Mind, but in some sense a Virtue itself. Love of Relations and Friends (262)[1]

81. The Bible [gives] us the spirit of Religion; but the Church must provide the body in which that spirit is to be lodged. * * * There is no such thing as abstract Religion. * * * [Faith cannot] be realized in a World of Sense and excitement, without the instrumentality of an outward Form to arrest and fix attention, to stimulate the careless, and to encourage the desponding. Ceremonies of the Church (272)

82. Long use has made [Religious ceremonies] divine to us; for the spirit of Religion has so penetrated and quickened them, that to destroy them is, in respect to the multitude of Men, to unsettle and dislodge the Religious Principle itself. Ceremonies of the Church (273)

83. It is only at a distance that one can take in the outlines and features of a whole Country. Purification of the Blessed Virgin Ceremonies of the Church (296)

84. Pride infatuates Man, and self-indulgence and luxury work their way unseen,—like some smouldering fire, which for a while leaves the outward Form of things unaltered. At length the decayed mass cannot hold together, and breaks by its own weight, or on some slight and accidental external violence. Ceremonies of the Church (297)

85. [W]e must not speak of Sinners, according to the falsely charitable way of some, styling them unfortunate instead of wicked, lest we thus learn to excuse Sin in ourselves. Divine Decrees (300)

86. Obedience is the test of Faith. * * * [T]he whole Duty and work of a Christian is … Faith and Obedience. Saving Knowledge (323)

87. [The Christian’s] heart is in his [Good works], and his thoughts rest without effort on his God and Savior. * * * [H)e leaves it to the ill-instructed to endeavor after a (so-called) spiritual frame of mind …. True spiritual-mindedness is unseen by man, like the Soul itself, of which it is a Quality . . . . Saving Knowledge (328)

88. [I]t is our Duty ever to look off ourselves, and to look unto Jesus, that is, to shun the contemplation of our own feelings . . . . Self-Contemplation (329)

89. [W]e now have [these] two views . . . before us:—the ancient and Universal teaching of the Church, which insists on the Objects and fruits of faith, and considers the spiritual character of that faith itself sufficiently secured . . . and the method, now in esteem, of attempting instead to secure directly and primarily that ‘mind of the Spirit’, which may savingly receive the Truths . . . . The simple question is, whether it is formed by the Holy Spirit immediately acting upon our Minds, or, on the other hand, by our own particular acts . . . guided … by Him . . . . Self-Contemplation (331)

90. [The Religionists] deny that in matters of doctrine there is any one sense of Scripture such, that it is true and all others false; to make the Gospel of Truth … a dead letter. Self-Contemplation (332)

91. [I]nstead of viewing works as the concomitant development and evidence, and instrumental Cause, as well as the subsequent result of faith, [the Religionists] lay all the stress upon the direct creation, in their Minds, of faith . . . and take it for granted, that since they have attained faith (as they consider), works will follow without their trouble as a matter of course. Self-Contemplation (333)

92. [T]o support the system they have adopted * * * they either drop altogether, or explain away, whole portions of the Bible * * * [reducing] the rich and varied Revelation of our merciful Lord . . . to a few chapters of St. Paul’s Epistles. Self-Contemplation (332-33)

93. [T]he Truest obedience [comes not from self-contemplation] but is that which is done from Love of God …. He who has learned to give names to his thoughts and deeds, to appraise them as if for the market, to attach to each its due measure of commendation or usefulness, will soon involuntarily corrupt his motives by pride or selfishness. Self-Contemplation (334)

94. [A] sanguine Temper is the main condition of success in any work. Religious cowardice (337-38)

95. Christians, such as Mark,[[2]] will abound in a prosperous Church; and should trouble come, they will be unprepared for it. They have been so long accustomed to external Peace that they do not like to be persuaded danger is at hand. * * * They look at the World‘s events . . cheerfully, and argue themselves into self-deception. Next, they make concessions to fulfill their own predictions and wishes; and surrender the Christian Cause, that unbelievers may not commit an open attack upon it. Religious cowardice (339)

96. Christianity was, and was not, a new Religion …. [I]t seemed to supersede, but it was merely the fulfillment, the due development and maturity of the Jewish Law . . . . The Gospel Witnesses (342)

97. [We] have not to find the Truth, it is put into our hands; we have but to commit it to our hearts, to preserve it inviolate, and to deliver it over to our posterity. The Gospel, a Trust Committed to Us (389)

98. [T]urn away from . . . pretenders of Philosophy and Science bringing forward against [Scripture]. * * * They go on disputing and refining, giving new meanings, modifying received ones . . . . The Gospel, a Trust Committed to Us (388)

99. [T]he Reasoners of this age . . . [teach us] to scrutinize [Christian mysteries] with a view of separating the inward holy sense from the form of the words. * * * [The Reasoner] discards this or that sacred Truth as superfluous …. [H]e reconstructs the Language of Theology to suit his . . . views of Scripture doctrine. The Gospel, a Trust Committed to Us (391)

100. For instance, you will meet with writers who consider that all the attributes and Providences of God are virtually expressed in the one proposition, ‘God is Love;1 * * * In consequence, they are lead on to deny, first, the doctrine of Eternal Punishment, as being inconsistent with this notion of Infinite Love; next, resolving such expressions as the ‘wrath of God’ into a figure of speech. The Gospel, a Trust Committed to Us (390)

101. [D]oes not our kindness too often degenerate into weakness, and thus become not Christian charity, but lack of charity . . . ? Are we sufficiently careful to do what is right and just, rather than what is pleasant? Now I fear we lack altogether, what he lacked in certain occurrences in it, firmness, manliness, Godly severity. I fear it must be confessed, that our kindness, instead of being directed and braced by Principle, too often becomes languid and unmeaning; that it is exerted on improper objects, and out of season, and thereby is uncharitable in two ways, indulging those who should be chastised, and preferring their comfort to those who are really deserving. We are over-tender in dealing with Sin and Sinners. Tolerance of Religious Error (403)

102. To be kind is their one Principle of action; and when they find offense taken at the Church’s creed, they begin to think how they may modify or curtail it …. * * * [They argue] that they belong to a tolerant Church, that it is but consistent as well as right in her members to be tolerant, and that they are but exemplifying tolerance in their own conduct, when they treat with indulgence those who are lax in creed or conduct. Now, if by . . . tolerance … it be meant that she does not countenance the use of fire and sword against those who separate from her, so far she is truly called a tolerant Church; but she is not tolerant of error. Tolerance of Religious Error (405)

103. Regarding thus ‘the Goodness’ only, and not ‘the severity of God’, no wonder that they . . . become effeminate; no wonder that their ideal notion of a perfect Church, is a Church which lets every one go on his way, and disclaims any right to pronounce an Opinion, much less inflict a censure on Religious error. Tolerance of Religious Error (408)

104. [W]e are all bound ‘to rebuke Vice boldly.’ Rebuking Sin (409)

105. [P]arents are bound to rebuke their children …. It is misplaced affection, not fear, which interferes here with the performance of our Duty. [P]arents are indolent as well as overfond. They look to their home as a release from the World‘s cares, and cannot bear to make Duties in a quarter where they would find a recreation. And they have their preferences and partialities about their children; and being alternatively harsh and weakly indulgent, are not respected by them, even when they seasonably rebuke them. Rebuking Sin (412)

106. [W]hat rules can be given for rebuking Vice? * * * [C]ultivate in your general deportment a cheerful, honest, manly Temper. * * * Aim a viewing all things in a plain and candid light, and at calling them by their right names. Be frank, do not keep your notions of right and wrong to yourselves. * * * Do not allow friend or stranger in the familiar intercourse of society to advance false Opinions, nor shrink from stating your own, and do this in singleness of Mind and Love. Rebuking Sin (413)

107. Men of the World think an ignorance of its ways is a disadvantage or disgrace; as if it were somehow unmanly and weak to have abstained from all acquaintance with its impieties and lax practices. How often do we hear them say that a Man must do so and so, unless he would be singular and absurd; that he must not be too strict, or indulge high-flown notions of Virtue. * * * And they are ashamed of being innocent, and pretend to be worse than they really are. Guilelessness (438-39)

108. [I]t is a difficult and rare Virtue, to mean what we say, to Love without dissimulation, to think no Evil, to bear no grudge, to be free from selfishness, to be innocent and straightforward. Guilelessness (439)

109. [T]he guileless Man has a simple boldness and a princely heart; he overcomes dangers which others shrink from, merely because they are no dangers to him, and thus he often gains even Worldly advantages, by his straightforwardness, which the most crafty persons cannot gain …. It is true such single-hearted Men often get into difficulties, but they usually get out of them as easily; and are almost unconscious both of their danger and their escape. Guilelessness (440)

110. ‘[I]t is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich Man to enter into the kingdom of God.’ Danger of Riches (443)

111. [T]he Christian Temper . . . [is] in its perfect and peculiar enjoyment when engaged in that ordinary, unvaried course of Duties which God assigns, and which the World calls dull and tiresome. To get up day after day to the same employments and to feel happy in them is the great lesson of the Gospel …. * * * Men of energetic Minds and talents for action are called to a Life of trouble. Danger of Riches (447)

112. [T]he great Principle of the Church, that the abuse of a thing does not supersede the use of it. The Powers of Nature (455)

113. [A]n over-jealousy of accomplishments, the elegant Arts and studies, such as Poetry, literary composition, painting, music, and the like; which are considered (not indeed to make a man proud, but) to make him trifling. The Danger of Accomplishments (457)

114. [R]efinement and luxury, elegance and effeminacy, go together. * * * But the abuse of Good things is no argument against the things themselves. The Danger of Accomplishments (458)

115. [I]f we then allow our feelings to be excited [as through reading a romance or novel] without acting on them, we do mischief to the moral system within us …. [We cannot] destroy the connexion between feeling and acting . . . . Accordingly, when we have got into the Habit of amusing ourselves with these works of fiction, we come at length to feel the excitement without the slightest thought or tendency to act upon it. . . . A grave question arises, how, after destroying the connexion between feeling and acting, how shall we get ourselves to act when circumstances make it our Duty to do. The Danger of Accomplishments (459)

116. n[T]he Art of composing . . . has in itself a tendency to make us artificial and insincere. For to be ever attending to the fitness and propriety of our words, is [or risks being] a kind of acting; and Knowing what can be said on both sides of a subject, is a main step towards thinking the one side as good as the other. Hence men in ancient times, who cultivated polite literature, went by the name of ‘Sophists’ . . . . The Danger of Accomplishments (461)

117. [W]e must never allow ourselves to read works of fiction or Poetry, or to interest ourselves in the fine Arts for the mere sake of the things themselves . . . . Nothing is more common among accomplished people than the habit of reading books so entirely for reading’s sake. The Danger of Accomplishments (461-62)

118. It is the present fashion to call Zeal by the name of intolerance, and to account intolerance the chief of Sins . . . . Christian Zeal (467)

119. Mercy becomes weakness, when unattended by a Sense of Justice and firmness. Christian Zeal (468)

120. [I]n all the highest qualifications of Human excellence, we have been far outdone by Men who lived centuries ago; that a standard of Truth and holiness was then set up which we are not likely to reach, and that, as for thinking to become wiser and better, or more acceptable to God than they were, it is a mere dream. Use of Saint’s Days. (477)

121. ‘I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God . . . than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. ‘ Abraham and Lot (485)

122. [I]t is a principal characteristic of faith to be careful for others more than for self. Abraham and Lot (486)

123. ’I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatcher, and I will not take anything that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich.’ Abraham and Lot (486). [Gen. 15:23]

123 (a). The gain of this World is but transitory; faith reaps a late but lasting recompense. Abraham and Lot (487)

124. Our ‘Wisdom [[3]] is like [Jeroboam’s] if we venture to relax one jot or tittle of Christ’s perfect Law, one article of the Creed, one holy ordinance, one ancient usage, with the hope of placing ourselves in a more advantageous or less irksome position. Willfulness of Israel in Rejecting Samuel (499)

125. [The parable of the two sons tells us] that the Christian penitent is not placed on a footing with those who have consistently served God from the first. Contracted Views in Religion. (547)

126. [T]he trial of the Christian’s faith * * * [is] to take everything as God‘s gift, hold fast his Principles, not give them up because appearances are for the moment against them, but believe all things will come round at length. Willfulness of Israel in Rejecting Samuel (550)

127. The Natural effect, then, of pain and fear, is to individualize us in our own Minds, to fix our thoughts on ourselves, to make us selfish. Bodily Suffering (573)

128. [The] Christian’s characteristic [is] to look back on former Times. The Man of this World lives in the present or speculates about the future; but faith rests upon the past and is content. It makes the past the mirror of the future. The Visible Church, an Encouragement to Faith (632)

129. [P]resent Opinions are the accident of the day, and . . . will fall as they have risen. The Visible Church, an Encouragement to Faith (635)

130. If prayers were right three centuries since, they are right now. The Daily Service (675)

131. [P]rayer . . . breaks the current of Worldly thoughts. * * * The sacred Services . . . [keep Christians] from being drawn into the great whirlpool of Time and Sense. Religious Worship, a Remedy for Excitements. (692)

132. [A]ll states of excitement have dangerous tendencies. Hence one never can be sure of a new convert; for, in that elevated state of Mind in which he is at first, the affections have much more sway than the Reason or conscience; and unless he takes care, they may hurry him away, just as a wind might do, in a wrong direction. Religious Worship, a Remedy for Excitements. (693)

133. [T]he Mind of dissent . . . is full of self-importance, irreverence, censoriousness, display, and tumult. Religious Worship, a Remedy for Excitements. (694)

134. There have been Times . . . when Men have thought too much of the dead. That is not the fault of this age. We now go to the Opposite extreme. Our fault surely is, to think of them too little. * * * [T]his same error casts [men] upon the present instead of the past. They lose their reverence for antiquity; they Change the plans and works of their predecessors without scruple; they enjoy the benefactions of past ages without thankfulness . . . . They forget that they have but a life-interest in what they possess, that they have received it in trust, and must transmit as they have received. The Intermediate State (720)

135. Most Christians . . .will allow . . . that they are under a Law, but then they admit it with a reserve; they claim for themselves some dispensing power in their observance of the Law. The Strictness of the Law of Christ (729)

136. He who Loves does not act from calculation or Reasoning; he does not in his cool moments reflect upon or talk of what he is doing, as if it were a great sacrifice. Obedience without Love (745)

137. [I]n the World‘s Judgment, even when most refined, a person is conscientious and consistent, who acts up to his standard, whatever that is, not he only who aims at taking the highest standard. Obedience without Love (747)

138. Beware of trifling with your conscience. It is often said that second thoughts are best; so they are in matters of Judgment, but not in matters of conscience. In matters of Duty first thoughts are commonly best. Obedience without Love (749)

139. We know that two lines starting at a small angle, diverge to greater and greater distances, the further they are produced; and surely in like manner a Soul living on into Eternity may be Infinitely Changed for the better or worse by very slight influences exerted on it in the beginning of its course. A very slight deviation at setting out may the measure of the difference between tending to hell and tending to heaven. Moral Consequences of Single Sins (751)

140. Children are commonly treated as if they were not responsible, as if it did not matter what they did or were! They are indulged, humoured, spoiled, or at best neglected. Bad examples are set them; things are done or said before them, which they understand and catch up, when others least think it, and store in their Minds, or act upon; and thus the indelible hues of Sin and error are imprinted on their Souls, and become as really part of their Nature as that original Sin in which they were born. Moral Consequences of Single Sins (752)

141. Beware, then, all who have the care of the young, lest you let slip the time of bringing them for God’s grace, when you can bring them, for it will not return. Bring them while their hearts are tender: they may escape from you, and you may not be able to reclaim them. Religious Privileges Compulsory (767)

142. [0]ur is, when the World blames and slanders us, not to be vexed at it, but rather to consider whether there is any foundation for it, any Truth at bottom, though there be exaggeration and mistake. Religious Privileges Compulsory (771)

143. [Some Men] almost [make their] former Sins a mode of entering into God’s favour, a sort of Necessary preparation for being spiritually-minded, and so far a sort of boast and glory. Chastisement Amid Mercy (787)

144. Whole bodies of Men rush into Sin, and while they Sin, even do not allow that they Sin, because each shelters himself behind the other, and thinks that what is no one person’s Sin is no Sin at all. Chastisement Amid Mercy (787)

145. [P]ardon is not explicitly and definitely promised [Sinners] in Scripture as a matter of course. Chastisement Amid Mercy (798)

146. Christians can have hope without certainty, sorrow and Pain without gloom, suspense with calmness and confidence ….*** He does not indeed often realize the circumstances of the future, he does not dwell on what is to become of him. Peace and joy Amid Chastisement (803-04)

147.  [A penitent] cannot hope to be as cheerful and joyful in faith as those who have never fallen away from God. * * * He must be expected to be haunted with the Ghosts of past Sins, rising from the charnel-house, courting him to Sin again . . . . The State of Grace (813)

148. The glory of the Gospel is, not that it destroys the Law, but that it makes it cease to be a bondage; not that it gives us freedom from it, but in it. The State of Grace (816)

149. [G]ood Men are often slandered, ridiculed, ill-treated in their Lifetime; they are mistaken by those, whom they offend by their holiness and strictness . . . . The Visible Church for the Sake of the Elect (824)

150. An ordinary Man thinks it enough to do as he is done by; he will think it fair to resent insults, to repay injuries, to show a becoming pride, to insist on his rights, to be jealous of his Honour, when in the wrong to refuse to confess it, to seek to be rich, to Desire to be well with the World, to fear what his neighbors will say. The Visible Church for the Sake of the Elect (825)

151.  [H]ow mistaken is the notion of the day, that the main undertaking of a Christian Church is to make Men good members of society . . . . The Visible Church for the Sake of the Elect (826)

152. ‘I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of ungodliness. ‘ The Church, a Home for the Lonely (846) [King David, Psalms]*****

153. [W]e are ever expecting great things from Life . . . and we are ever being disappointed, on what we have gained from Time past, or can hope from Time to come. The Greatness and Littleness of Human Life (862)

154. Unless our faith be very active, so as to pierce beyond the grave, and realize the future, we feel depressed at what seems like a failure of great things. The Greatness and Littleness of Human Life (864)

155. [Men] allow themselves to be guided by expediency, and defend themselves, perhaps so plausibly, that though you are not convinced, you are silenced. They attend to what others think more than to what God says; they consider themselves at Liberty modify [Scripture] by a certain discretionary rule; they listen to the voice of great Men, and allow themselves to be swayed by them; they make comparisons and strike the balance between the impracticability of the whole that God commands, and the practicability of effecting a part, and think they may consent to give up something, if they can secure the rest. They shift about in Opinion, going first a little this way. then a little that according to the loudness and positiveness with which others speak; they are at the mercy of the last speaker, and they think they observe a safe, judicious, and middle course, by always keeping a certain distance behind those who go furthest. Moral Effects of Communion with God (874)

155(a). [True Christians] are little understood by the World because they are not of the World; and hence it sometimes happens that even the better sort of Men are often disconcerted and vexed by them. It cannot be otherwise; they move forward on Principles so different from what are commonly assumed as True. They take for granted, as first Principles, what the World wishes to have proved in detail. * * * [They] even make others feel constrained and uneasy in their presence. Moral Effects of Communion with God (874-75)

155(b). ‘The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.1 Christ Hidden from the World (878) (John 1:5)

156. The most ordinary years, when we seemed to be Living for nothing, these shine forth to us in their very regularity and orderly course. What was sameness at the Time, is now stability; what was dullness, is now a soothing calm; what seemed unprofitable , has now treasure; what was but monotony, is now harmony. Christ manifested in Remembrance (892)

157. It is no great harm to be wrong in a matter of Opinion; but in matters which influence conduct . . . such as Revealed Religion, surely it is most hazardous, most Unwise … to stumble at its mysteries, instead of believing and acting upon its threats and promises. The Mysteriousness of Our Present Being (910)

158. [O]ur Duty as Christians lies in … making ventures for Eternal Life without the absolute certainty of success. The Ventures of Faith (914)

159. [O]ur Duty lies in risking upon Christ’s word what we have, for what we have not; and doing so in a noble, generous way, not indeed rashly or lightly, still without Knowing accurately what we are doing, not Knowing either what we give up, nor again what we shall gain; uncertain about our reward, uncertain about our extent of sacrifice, in all respects leaning, waiting upon Him, trusting in Him to fulfill His promise, trusting in Him to enable us to fulfill our own vows, and so in all respects proceeding without carefulness or anxiety about the future. The Ventures of Faith (916)

160. [Men] say we carry things too far, and that … we ought to limit and modify what we say, that we do not take into account Times, and seasons, and the like. The Ventures of Faith (917)

161. [True Christians] know not whither they are being carried; they see not the end of their course; they know no more than this, that it is right to do what they are now doing; and they hear a whisper within them, which assures them . . . that whatever their present conduct involves in Time to come, they shall, with God’s grace, be equal to it. The Ventures of Faith (922)

162. [Love] is all Virtues at once. [It] is the root of all holy dispositions . . * * * Faith . . . and hope are but instruments or expressions of Love . . . . Faith and Love (923)

163. Love … is meditative, tranquil, pure, gentle, abounding in all offices and Truth; and faith is strenuous and energetic, formed for this World, combating it, training the Mind towards Love, fortifying it in obedience, and overcoming Sense and Reason by representations more urgent than their own. * * * Love is the condition of faith; and faith in turn is the cherisher and maturer of Love. * * * Love is the end, faith is the means. Faith and Love (926-27)

164. As years go one, the disappointments, troubles, and cares of Life, wean a Religious Mind from attachment to this World. A Man sees it is but vanity. He neither receives, nor looks for enjoyment from it. He does not look to the future with hope; he has no prospects; he cares not for the World’s smile or frown; for what it can do, what it can withhold. Faith and Love (927)

165. [L]ove suffices to hinder his resignation from being [despondent] and his faith from being Dead. Faith and Love (928)

166. [L]ove makes faith, not faith Love. Faith and Love (928)

167. The breath of the World has a peculiar power in what might be called rusting the Soul. Matching (935)

168. [Men of this World] have reservations, take exceptions, indulge in refinements, in questions where there are really but two sides, a right and a wrong. * * * As a rust prays on metal and eats into it, so does this Worldly spirit penetrate more and more deeply into the Soul which once admits it. Matching (936)

169. [Such Men] argue for the sake of victory, and . . . debate when [they] should be obeying. Matching (937)

170. ‘Tribulation worketh patience, and patience Experience, and Experience hope’. Keeping Fast and Festival (939)

171. [0]ur Love must be silent, our faith . . . vigorous and lively. * * * The calmer our hearts, the more active be our Lives; the more tranquil we are, the more busy; the more resigned, the more zealous; the more unruffled, the more fervent. Keeping Fast and Festival (943)

172. God has chosen the weak things of the World to confound the mighty, and foolish things of the World to confound the Wise. Keeping Fast and Festival (944)

173. [A]we and fear are at the present day all but discarded from Religion. Whole societies called Christian make it almost a first Principle to disown the Duty of reverence …. * * * [R]eligion of this day is destitute of fear. Reverence a Belief in God’s Presence (960, 963)

174. This is a day in which all Men are obliged to have an Opinion on all questions, political, social, and Religious . . , ; yet the multitude are for the most part absolutely without capacity to take their part in it. * * * [The politicians purchase favor] by interesting their prejudices or fears . . . ;—not by presenting a question in its real and True substance, but by adroitly colouring it, or selecting out of it some particular point which may be exaggerated, and dressed up, and be made the means of working on popular feelings. And thus Government and the Art of Government become, as much as popular religion, hollow and unsound. Unreal Words (974)

175. Another sort of unreality … is instanced in the conduct of those who suddenly come into power or place. They affect a manner such as they think the office requires, but which is beyond them, and therefore unbecoming. They wish to act with dignity, and they cease to be themselves. Unreal Words (974)

176. There are ten thousand ways of looking at this World, but only one right way * * * —it is the way in which God looks at the World. Unreal Words (978)

177. Let us avoid Talking …. Let us guard against frivolity, Love of display, Love of being talked about, Love of singularity, Love of seeming original. Let us aiming at meaning what we say, and saying what we mean. Unreal Words (978-79)

178. The [True Christian’s] Mind [is] independent of circumstances. Equanimity (989)

179. [A year from now] matters which agitate us most extremely now, will then interest us not at all. Equanimity (991)

180. The Christian is cheerful, easy, kind, gentle, courteous, candid, unassuming; has not pretence, no affectation, no ambition, no singularity; because he has neither hope nor fear about this World. He is serious, sober, discreet, grave, moderate, mild, with so little that is unusual or striking in his bearing, that he may be taken at first sight for an ordinary Man. Equanimity (995)

181. In this day especially it is very easy for Men to be benevolent, liberal, and dispassionate. It costs nothing to be dispassionate when you feel nothing, to be cheerful when you have nothing to fear, to be generous or liberal when what you give is not your own, and to be benevolent and considerate when you have no Principles or Opinions. Men nowadays are moderate and equitable, not because the Lord is at hand, but because they do not feel he is coming. Quietness is a grace, not in itself, only when it is grafted on the stem of faith, zeal, self-abasement, and diligence. Equanimity (996)

182. It very frequently happens that ten thousand people all say what not any one of them feels, but each says it because everyone else says it, and each fears not to say it lest he should incur the censure of all the rest. Christian Sympathy (1028)

183. [T]o be members of the Church [Men] must be as little children; they must give up all, that they may win Christ; they must become poor in spirit to gain the True riches; they must put off Philosophy, if they would speak Wisdom among the perfect. Not of Us. but in Us (1033)

184. [T]he Law of Man’s Nature tends towards Evil, not towards Good. As is the tree, so is its fruit; if the fruit be evil, therefore the tree must be evil. Not of Us. but in Us (1034)

185. By the Law is meant the Eternal, Unchangeable Law of God. The Law of the Spirit (1041)

186. The mistake of the Jews was * * * [in thinking] they were righteous as they were, * * * that they were God‘s people by a sort of right, that they did not need grace, and that their outward ceremonies and their Dead works would profit them. Therefore the Apostle warned them, that Abraham himself was justified, not by circumcision, but by faith. The Law of the Spirit (1052)

187. The Gospel Covenant … is both a new way and not a new way. It is not a new way, seeing it is in works: it is a new way, in that it is by faith. [It is] new because of faith, old because of obedience. The New Works of the Gospel (1057)

188. Faith alone can make works Living; works alone can make faith Living. Take away either, and you take away both;——he alone has faith who has works,—he alone has works who has faith, The New Works of the Gospel (1057)

189. [St. Paul’s that ‘old things are passed away,’ and ‘all things new’ * * * is meant that they are renewed . . . and that they are changed. The substance remains; the form, mode, quality, and circumstances are different and more excellent. The New Works of the Gospel (1060)

190.  [N]othing has a place under the Gospel which is not spiritual. * * * Everything is done away in the Gospel but what is spirit and Truth; and our works, our ordinances, our discipline, are spirit and Truth, or they are done away. The New Works of the Gospel (1061)

191. Faith keeps us from [Sins of transgression]. Transgressions and Infirmities (1075)

192. ‘Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor drunkards shall inherit the kingdom of God.’’ Transgressions and Infirmities (1076) [St. Paul, I Cor. 6:9-10.]

193. The higher our aims, the greater our risks. They who venture much with their talents, gain much, and in the end they hear the words, ‘ Well done good and faithful servant; ‘ but they have so many losses in trading by the way, that to themselves they seem to do nothing but fail. They cannot believe that they are making any Progress …. They are like David, Men of blood; they fight the good fight of faith, but they are polluted with the contest. Sins of Infirmity (1086)

194. [A True Christian] is justified whose conscience is illuminated by God, so that he Habitually realizes that all his thoughts, all the first springs of his moral Life, all his motives and his wishes, are open to Almighty God. Sincerity and Hypocrisy (1093)

195. [T]he louder Men commonly talk in order to beat down the risings of conscience. The Testimony of Conscience (1105)

196. ‘Our rejoicing is this,’ [St. Paul said], ‘the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity we have our conversation with the World.1 The Testimony of Conscience (1108)

197. Those who serve God faithfully must ever look to be accounted, in their generation, singular, intemperate, and extreme. Many Called, Few Chosen (1117)

198. [D]ivine Truth is ever one and the same; it Changes not, any more than its Author; it stands to Reason, then, that those who uphold it must ever be exposed to the charge of singularity, either for this or for that portion of it, in a World which is ever varying. Many Called, Few Chosen (1117)

199. Gloom is no Christian Temper. Present Blessings (1120)

200. [T]he comforts of Life are the main Cause of [our want of Love of God]; and much as we may lament and struggle against [this evil], till we learn to dispense with them in good measure, we shall not overcome it. Loye, the One Thing Needful (1162)

201. Through Love, [w]e are not disturbed at [the World‘s] frowns, for we Live not in its smiles. Loye, the One Thing Needful (1164)

202. [S]urely it is not enough to avoid Evil in order to attain to heaven,—we must follow after Good. The Power of the Will (1165)

203. [S]ensual Living hardens the heart, while abstinence softens and refines it. Apostolic Abstinence, a Pattern for Christians (1195)

204. [I]t often happens, that Men rush from one extreme to the other; and even profess themselves free to Live without any rule of Self-Government at all, after having professed great strictness, or even extravagance, in their mode of Living. (1198) Apostolic Abstinence, a Pattern for Christians

205. The rule of abstinence which we adopt, however slight it might be in itself, acts as a continual restraint and memento upon us in other things. (1199) Apostolic Abstinence, a Pattern for Christians

206. [T]o abstain for any length of Time is the beginning of a Habit …. * * * Self-denial will become Natural to us. To those who are accustomed to self-denials, it is more Painful to indulge than to abstain . . . . Apostolic Abstinence, a Pattern for Christians (1199)

207. This World is a very little thing to give up for the next. Yet if we give it up in heart and conversation, we shall gain the next. Apostolic Abstinence, a Pattern for Christians (1200)

208. The very test of a mature Christian, of a true saint, is consistency in all things. Judaism of the Present Day (1293)

209. Every word of Christ has a meaning for all Times; it is not enough to expose the wrong meaning, unless we expound the right also. This is just the Reason why so much of Scripture is taken in the wrong Sense, because orthodox Men have been satisfied merely with refuting the wrong, instead of giving the right Sense. The way to refute error is to preach Truth . . . . The Fellowship of the Apostles (1303)

210. As we are told to overcome Evil with Good, so must we overcome falsehood with Truth. The Fellowship of the Apostles (1304)

211. [Many] do not think of forming their tastes and Principles, and of rising higher than they are, but they sink and debase themselves to their most earthly feelings and most sensual inclinations, because these happen to be the most powerful. Rising with Christ (1307)

212. [Worldly Men] suppose * * * that every other Man looks out for the things which they covet …. They look up and down the World, and, as far as they see, one man is just like another. They know that a great many, nay, far the greater part, are like themselves, Lovers of this World, and they infer . . . that all are such. They discredit the possibility of any other motives and views being paramount in a Man but those of this World. Rising with Christ (1310)

213. We understand our blessings just when about to forfeit them . . . . Warfare the Condition of Victory (1315)

214. ‘We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience.’ (1318)

215. ‘I have fought a Good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.1 (1319) [St. Paul, 2 Tim. 4:7]

216. Ever since Christianity came into the World, it has been in one Sense going out of it. It is so uncongenial to the Human Mind, it is so spiritual, and Man is so earthly, it is apparently so defenceless, and has so many strong enemies, so many false friends, that every age, as it comes, may be called ‘the last TIME‘. Waiting for Christ (1325)

217. [This waiting for Christ] becomes a superstition and weakness …. The Mind, intent upon the thought of an awful visitation close at hand, begins to fancy Signs of it in the Natural and moral World, and mistakes the ordinary events of God’s providence for miracles. Thus Christians are brought into bondage, and substitute for the Gospel a fond Religion, in which Imagination takes the place of faith, and things visible and earthly take the place of Scripture. Waiting for Christ (1327)

218. Who has not had strange coincidences in his course of Life which brought before him, in an overpowering way, the hand of God? Who has not had thoughts come upon him with sort of a mysterious force, for his warning or his direction? Waiting for Christ (1331)

219. [T]he most distant events may yet be united, the meanest and highest may be parts of One; and God may be teaching us and offering us Knowledge of His ways, if we will but open our eyes, in all the ordinary matters of the day. Waiting for Christ (1331)

220. [A] Sinner is the prey of the first person who comes to him with strong language …. Hence you find numbers running eagerly after Men who profess to work miracles, or who denounce the Church as apostate, or who maintain that none are saved but those who agree with themselves …. Hence the multitude is so open to sudden alarms. Waiting for Christ (1333)

221. Christian Duty [is] the subjection of the whole Mind to the Law of God. Subjection of the Reason and Feeling to the Revealed Word (1335)

222. If there is [even] only a fair chance the Bible is True, that heaven is the reward of obedience, and hell of Willful Sin, it is worthwhile, it is safe, to sacrifice this World to the next. Subjection of the Reason and Feeling to the Revealed Word (1337)

223. Scripture tells us not to pride ourselves on any thing we are, any thing we do …. * * * [R]eligious Men Know how defective, after all, their best deeds are [and] how trifling some of those points are on which they may happen to be superior to others. Subjection of the Reason and Feeling to the Revealed Word (1339)

224. Another . . . Reason why Religious persons are not self-conceited is, that they dislike to think of whatever is Good in them, and turn away from the thought of it . . . . Subjection of the Reason and Feeling to the Revealed Word (1339)

225. [Moreover Religious Men] do not realize [their gifts], * * * They know . . . they have good points of character . . . but it is in the way of unproductive Knowledge which leaves the Mind just as it found it. And this seems to be what gives such a remarkable simplicity to the character of holy Men, and amazes others so much that they think it a paradox or inconsistency, or even a mark of insincerity, that the same persons . . . can speak about themselves . . . in so unaffected a tone . . . with such childlike innocence and such graceful frankness. Subjection of the Reason and Feeling to the Revealed Word (1339-40)

226. [S]elf-indulgent Men [are] unable to comprehend the real existence of sanctity and severity of Mind in any one. They think that all persons must be full of the same wretched thoughts and feelings which torment themselves. * * * They think that men who appear to think little of themselves are conceited within, and that what is called modesty is affectation. Subjection of the Reason and Feeling to the Revealed Word (1341)

227. The test of our faith lies in our being able to fail without disappointment. Subjection of the Reason and Feeling to the Revealed Word (1343)

228. Stability and permanence are perhaps the especial ideas which a Church brings before the Mind. The Gospel Palaces (1346)

229. The Christian throws himself fearlessly upon the future. * * * He is content to begin, and break off; to do his part, and no more; to set about what others must accomplish; to sow where others must reap. The Gospel Palaces (1347)

230. [I]nward exactness and sanctity are likely to show themselves in … propriety of appearance. Offerings for the Sanctuary (1362)

231. [E]very one, high and low, who is in the practice of dressing ostentatiously … to be looked at and admired is using God’s gifts for and idol’s service, and offering them up to self. Offerings for the Sanctuary (1368)

232. [0]n the whole we must not take what we do not need. We may take for Life, for comfort, for enjoyment; not for luxury, not for pride. Offerings for the Sanctuary (1368)

233. There is a mysterious connexion between real advancement and self-abasement.  The Weapons of Saints (1373 )

234. [W]hen a Man discerns in himself most Sin and humbles himself most, . . . when he feels disgust at himself, and revolts at the thought of himself, . . . then it is that he is really rising to the Kingdom of God. The Weapons of Saints (1377)

238. Some must be great in this World, but woe to those who make themselves great; woe to any who take one step out of their way with this object before them. The Weapons of Saints (1377)

239. [If proof of everything were required], our whole Being would be one continued disputation; we should have no Time for action; we should never get so far as action. Some things, nay, the greatest things, must be taken for granted, unless we make up our minds to fritter away life doing nothing. Faith Without Demonstration (1384)

240. There is nothing creative, nothing progressive in exhibitions of argument. The utmost they do is to enable us to state well what we have already discovered by the tranquil exercise of our Reason. Faith and obedience are the main things; believe and do, and pray to God for light, and you will Reason well without Knowing it. Faith Without Demonstration (1387)

241. [The Three Persons composing the Holy Trinity are] distinct from each other, not merely in name . . . but in very Truth, as truly as a fountain is distinct from the stream which flows from it, or the root of a tree from its branches. The Mystery of the Holy Trinity (1394)

242. Prosperity is sufficient to seduce, although not to satisfy. Temporal Advantages (1445)

243. [Disliking] the Truth, we gradually learn to maintain and defend error. Temporal Advantages (1445)

244. Familiarity with the World makes Men discontented with the doctrine of the narrow way. Temporal Advantages (1445)

245. If … we see our Worldly prospects depend, humanly speaking, upon a certain person, we are led to court him, to Honour him, and adopt his views. Temporal Advantages (1445)

246. [I]t is our Duty, not only to deny ourselves in what is Sinful, but even, in a certain measure, in Lawful things, to keep a restraint over ourselves even in innocent Pleasures and enjoyments. The Duty of Self-Denial (1460)

247. Fasting is clearly a Christian Duty. The Duty of Self-Denial (1460)

248. ‘Everyone that striveth for the mastery is Temperate in all things.’ The Duty of Self-Denial 1462)

249. [I]nstead of going to the extreme of what is allowable, [the Christian] keeps at a distance from evil, that he may be safe. The Duty of Self-Denial (1463)

250. [St. Paul’s rule was] that he ‘died daily’. Day by day he got more and more Dead to this World; he had fewer ties to earth, a larger treasure in heaven. The Duty of Self-Denial (1465)

251. [T]urn from ambitious thoughts. *** [S]ell and give alms; therefore hate to spend money on yourself. Shut your ears to praise, when it grows loud: set your face like a flint, when the World ridicules, and smile at its threats. The Duty of Self-Denial (1466)

252. ‘[T]he Law . . . was given by Moses, but grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ.’  Moses the Type of Christ (1480) [John 14:9]

253. The Pleasures of holiness are far more pleasant to the holy, than the Pleasures of Sin to the Sinner. Religion Pleasant to the Religious (1521)

254. [T]he rock on which the Church is founded . . . [is] unity, stability, and permanence. The Unity of the Church (1538)

255. [I]n civil matters nothing tends more powerfully to strengthen and perpetuate the body politic than hereditary rulers and nobles. The father’s Life, his Principles and interests are continued in the son; or rather, one Life, one character, one Idea, is carried on from age to age. Thus a dynasty or a nation is consolidated and secured; whereas where there is no regular succession and inheritance of this kind, there is no safeguard of stability and tranquility; or rather, there is every risk of Revolution. For what is to make a succeeding age think and act in the spirit of the foregoing, but that tradition of Opinion and usage from Mind to Mind which a succession involves? In like manner the Christian ministry affects the unity, inward and without, of the Church to which it is attached. The Unity of the Church (1543)

256. Consider what would be sure to happen, were there no such regular transmission of the Divine gift, but each congregation were left to choose and create for itself its own minister. This would follow, among other Evil consequences, that what is every one’s Duty would prove, as the proverb runs, to be no one’s. The Unity of the Church (1543)

257. Each generation provides for the next; the parents lay up for the children. The Unity of the Church (1543)

258. Reverence for the old paths is a chief Christian Duty. * * * This is the feeling of our own Church . . : not to slight what has gone before, not to seek after some new thing, not to attempt discoveries in Religion, but to keep what has once for all been committed to her keeping, and to be at rest. Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1547)

259. [W]hat God has given us … cannot be improved, what Man discovers for himself does admit of improvement . . . . Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1547)

260. The New ways are the crooked ones. The nearer we mount up to the Time of Adam or Noah, or Abraham, or Job, the purer light of Truth we gain; as we recede from it we meet with superstitions, fanatical excesses, idolatries, and immoralities. Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1548)

261. ‘Other foundation can no Man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’  Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1548)

262. [T]he world ever remains in its infancy, as regards the cultivation of moral truth; for the knowledge required for practice [of Christianity] is little, and admits of little increase, except in the case of individuals, and then to them alone. * * * As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, ‘ such is the general history of man’s moral discipline, running parallel to the unchanging glory of that All-Perfect God, who is its Author and Finisher. (1549) 263. [Scripture calls] on us to consider the old and original way as the best, and al 1 deviations from it, though they seem to promise an easier, safer, and shorter road, [go wrong]. Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1550)

263. [Scripture calls] on us to consider the old and original way as the best, and all deviations from it, though they seem to promise an easier, safer, and shorter road, [go wrong]. (1550) Steadfastness in the Old Paths

264. While we think it possible to make some great and important improvements in the subject of Religion, we shall be unsettled, restless, impatient; we shall be drawn from the consideration of improving ourselves, and from using the day while it is given us, by the visions of a deceitful hope, which promises to make rich but tendeth to penury. On the other hand, if we feel that the way is altogether closed against discoveries in Religion, as being neither practicable nor Desirable, it is likely we shall be drawn more entirely and seriously to our own personal advancement in holiness. Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1550)

265. In proportion as we cease to be theorists we shall become practical Men; we shall have less of self-confidence and arrogance, more of inward humility and diffidence; we shall be less likely to despise others and shall think of our own intellectual powers with less complacency. Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1550)

266. ‘Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the Good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your Souls.’ Steadfastness in the Old Paths (1551)

267. [Irreverent persons] think God’s service dull and tiresome, if I may use such words; for they do not come to Church to Honour God, but to please themselves. They want something new. Reverence in Worship (1562)

268. [T]he more Men aim at high things, the more sensitive perception they have of their own shortcomings. Divine Calls (1574)

268(a). ‘Enter not into the path of the wicked …. avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, pass away. ‘ Curiosity, a Temptation to Sin (1592)

269. [I]f we resist the beginnings of Sin, there is every prospect through God’s grace that we shall continue . . . . Curiosity, a Temptation to Sin (1592)

270. [O]ur great security against Sin lies in being shocked at it. Curiosity, a Temptation to Sin (1593)

271. At first our conscience tells us, in a plain straightforward way, what is right and what is wrong; but when we trifle with this warning, our Reason becomes perverted, and comes in aid of our wishes, and deceives us to our ruin. Then we begin to find, that there are arguments available in behalf of bad deeds, and we listen to these till we come to think them True. Curiosity, a Temptation to Sin (1593)

272. [T]he two paths of right and wrong start from the same point, and at first are separated by a very small difference, so easy (comparatively) is it to choose the right instead of the wrong way: but wait awhile, and pursue the road leading to destruction, and you will find the distance between the two has widened beyond measurement, and that between them a great gulf has been sunk, so that you cannot pass from the one to the other, though you desire it ever so earnestly. Curiosity, a Temptation to Sin (1595)

273. [I]nstead of looking for outward events to Change our course of Life, be sure of this, that if our course of life is to be Changed, it must be from within. Miracles No Remedy for Unbelief (1605)

274. It is a far nobler frame of Mind, to Labour, not with the hope of seeing the fruit of our Labour, but for conscience’ sake, as a matter of duty. Jeremiah, a Lesson for the Disappointed (1629)

275. [A]ffliction, fear, despondency, and sometimes even restlessness [are] the tide of feelings which most persons undergo before their Minds settle into the calm of [Christian] resignation * * * , [a] calm and clear-sighted faith and inner peace. Jeremiah, a Lesson for the Disappointed (1630-32)

276. [A]ll of us begin with hope, and end with disappointment. * * * [I]t is our nature to begin Life thoughtlessly and joyously; to seek great things in one way or other; to have vague notions of good to come; to Love the World, and to believe its promises, and seek satisfaction and happiness from it. Jeremiah, a Lesson for the Disappointed (1632)

277. [I]n youth we look forward, and in age we look back. Jeremiah, a Lesson for the Disappointed (1633)

278. We must be willing to give up present hope for future enjoyment, this World for the unseen. Jeremiah, a Lesson for the Disappointed (1633)

279. Good Men seem to fail; their cause triumphs, but their own overthrow is the price paid for the success of their Cause. Endurance of the World’s Censure (1636)

280. ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Endurance of the World’s Censure (1637) 2 Tim. 3:12

281. A Good Man is an offence to a bad Man. Endurance of the World’s Censure (1637)

282. The utmost [Christians] can suffer from the World is light indeed compared with what Men suffered of old Time. Endurance of the World’s Censure (1638)

283. [If you discover that] what you do has been misrepresented, and that in consequence a number of Evil things are believed about you by the World at large * * * [h]ard though it be, you must not care for it, remembering that more Untruths were told of our Saviour and His Apostles than can possibly be told of you. Endurance of the World’s Censure (1641)

284. Be kind and gentle to those who are perverse, and you will very often, please God, gain them over. * * * Do everything for them but imitate them and yield to them. This is the true Christian spirit, to be meek and gentle under ill-usage, cheerful under slander, forgiving toward enemies, and silent in the midst of angry tongues. Endurance of the World’s Censure (1641)

285. [The Christian] sets about his business with alacrity, and without a moment’s delay, delighting to humble himself . . . . Doing Glory to God In Pursuits of the World (1649)

286. Leisure is the occasion of all Evil. Idleness is the first step in the downward path which leads to hell. Doing Glory to God In Pursuits of the World (1650)

287. It is very . . . difficult to steer between the two evils,—to use this World [without] abusing it, to be active and diligent in this World’s affairs, yet not for this World’s sake, but for God’s sake. Doing Glory to God In Pursuits of the World (1652)

288. The Love of indiscriminate praise . . . is an odious, superfluous, wanton Sin . . . . Vanity of Human Glory (1656)

289.  [I]t is more agreeable to the Christian Temper to be satisfied rather to know and to be known by a few, and to grow day by day in their esteem and affection, than to Desire one’s name to be on the lips of many. Vanity of Human Glory (1658)

290. n[R]eligious Truth is one— . . . all views of Religion but one are wrong. Truth Hidden When not Sought After (1660)

291. [T]hose who have greater gifts of Mind . . . , who have more Natural quickness, shrewdness, and wit, are the very persons who are the most likely to turn out ill—who are least under the influence of Religion. . Truth Hidden When not Sought After (1661)

292. [B]elief in revealed Religion is not inconsistent with the highest gifts and acquirements of Mind, [and] Men even of the strongest and highest intellect have been Christians. . Truth Hidden When not Sought After (1663)

293. Let not the diversity of Opinion in the World dismay you, or deter you from seeking all your Life long True Wisdom. Truth Hidden When not Sought After (1667)

294.  [Men sometimes argue that] God said a thing to us, and Christ unsaid it. [I]t is not hard to find texts in Scripture which may ingeniously be perverted to suit their purpose. The error then being so common in practice, of believing that Christ came to gain for us easier terms of admittance into heaven than we had before (whereas, in fact, instead of making obedience less strict. He has enabled us to obey God more strictly). Obedience to God, the Way to Faith in Christ (1670)

295. [T]he Gospel leaves us just where it found us, as regards the necessity of our obedience to God; that Christ has not obeyed instead of us, but that obedience is quite as imperative as if Christ had never come; nay, [it] is pressed on us with additional sanctions; the difference being, not the He relaxes the strict rule of keeping His commandments, but that He gives us spiritual aids to enable us to keep them. Obedience to God, the Way to Faith in Christ (1671)

296. [The Christian’s charge is] to be cheerful and joyful . . . in the midst of those obscure and ordinary circumstances of Life which the World passes over and thinks scorn of. Religious Joy (1695)

297. He has bid us and enabled us to become as little children; He has purchased for us the grace of simplicity, which though one of the highest, is very little thought about, is very little sought after. Ignorance of Evil (1707)

 

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