Saintly Quotes

“Christ is a “hiding place.” Imagine someone caught on top of a hillside during a storm with lightning and squalling winds. He would want nothing more than to find a hiding place until the tempest was over. Consider a boat at sea, when fierce winds have driven it from all its anchors. With nothing to keep it from being split open on the next rock, a safe harbor—a hiding place—is the great desire and expectation of the poor ones in that boat. Is this the condition of the soul? Do strong temptations beat upon it, ready to hurry it down into sin and folly, so that it has no rest from them? With one blast immediately succeeding another—the soul begins to faint, to be weary, give over, and say, “I’m going to die, I can’t hold out much longer!” Fly to His bosom, retreat into His arms. Expect relief by faith in Him, and you will be safe.”

—John Owen (1616-1683)

 

“There are two lessons where God may choose to use affliction to wean us from the world. First, that your affections would not be focused on earthly possessions. That which is created may become our idol by nature, but infinite wisdom makes it our grief, so it does not become our God. When children have too much freedom, they are mindless of home—but when abused by strangers, they hasten to their parents. The world is as a purgatory that it might not be our paradise. Every loss we suffer because of this world causes our affections to retreat and calls off our heart from the eager pursuit of these withering vanities. Second, that you choose the good part that will never be taken from you. Man’s heart will be fixed on searching for hope and happiness. God may therefore put out our candles that we may look up to the sun. It wasn’t until the prodigal met with a famine that he regarded his father.”

—George Swinnock (1627-1673)

 

“Let me hear Your voice, Jesus, my Savior, let me hear Your voice walking upon the waters; when I am tossed about upon the waves of distress and difficulty, speak to my soul and say, “It is I, be not afraid.” Jesus can support me in the heaviest distresses, though all the sorrows I fear should come upon me. He can bear me on the wings of faith and hope, high above all the turmoil and commotion of life: He can carry me through the shadow of the dark valley and scatter all the terrors of it.”

—Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

 

“The nearer to heaven, the higher the mountains, the deeper the valleys, and the sharper the conflicts. But be not discouraged; it is only for the trial of our faith. God gives also more strength, carries us through all, as He has done from the beginning, and suffers none to be ashamed who trust in Him. Sometimes we may seem to be tempted above measure and are afraid of being confounded; but far from it; it is quite impossible that we should. Here are the plain words of the Lord. Take hold of them and wait on His time; for since the world stood, none have been confounded in anything who have waited for His promise; and surely He will not make you the first instance of the failure of His word. By no means.”

—Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690-1774)

 

“A very good illustration of this may be found in the familiar act of a mother giving medicine to her dearly loved child. The bottle holds the medicine, but the mother gives it—the bottle is not responsible, but the mother. No matter how full her closet may be of bottles of medicine, the mother will not allow one drop to be given to the child unless she believes it will be good for it; but when she does believe it will be good for her darling, the very depth of her love compels her to force it on the child, no matter how bitter it may taste. The human beings around us are often the bottles that hold our medicine, but it is our Father’s hand of love that pours it out and compels us to drink it. The medicine that these human “bottles” hold is prescribed for us and given to us by the Great Physician of our souls—who is seeking thereby to heal all our spiritual diseases. Shall we rebel against the human bottles then? Shall we not rather take thankfully from our Father’s hand the medicine they contain and say joyfully, “Thy will be done” in everything that comes to us, no matter what its source may be?”

—Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911)

 

“Trace the course of the Savior’s life, and all throughout He is wonderful. Isn’t it marvelous that He submitted to the taunts and jeers of His enemies—that He allowed His accusers to surround Him, like dogs encircling Him? Isn’t it amazing that He bridled His anger when blasphemy was uttered against His sacred person? Had you or I possessed His matchless might, we might have dashed our enemies down the brow of the hill. We probably would never have submitted to the shame and spitting. No, we would have looked at them, and with one fierce look of wrath, dashed their spirits into eternal torment.”

—Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

 

“First, I grant, it is my earnest desire to drive all the world into what you probably call madness (I mean, Christianity); to make them just as mad as Paul when he was so accounted by Festus. The counting all things on earth but dung and dross, so we may win Christ, the trampling under foot all the pleasures of the world, the seeking no treasure but in heaven, the having no desire of the praise of men, and the being exceeding glad when men revile us and persecute us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely, the giving God thanks when our father and mother forsake us, when we have neither food to eat nor raiment to put on nor a friend but what shoots out bitter words, nor a place where to lay our head. This is utter distraction in your account; but in God’s it is sober, rational religion; the genuine fruit, not of a distempered brain, not of a sickly imagination, but of the power of God in the heart, of victorious love, “and of a sound mind.””

–John Wesley (1703-1791)

 

“Christ’s whole life was a cross and martyrdom—yet do you seek rest and joy for yourself? You are deceived if you seek any other thing than to suffer tribulations; for this whole mortal life is full of miseries and marked on every side with crosses. The higher a person has advanced in the Spirit, so much the heavier crosses he often finds. Nevertheless, this man, though in so many ways afflicted, is not without refreshing comfort, for he understands that great benefit is accrued to him by the bearing of his own cross. All the burden of tribulation is turned into the confidence of divine comfort.”

—Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471)

 

“His followers must walk in the very path in which He walks. Jesus came and was made like us—we must come and be made like Him. His suffering death is not only substitution and atonement for us. (It is that, thank God! But it is much more.) His death calls to fellowship and conformity. The substitution rests on our identification in Him, and out of that conformity has its growth and strength. The Lamb of God has no salvation nor perfection to give us but His own meek spirit of entire dependence and absolute submission to God. The meekness and humility that was needful for God to perfect in Him are as needful for us. We must suffer and be crucified and die with Him. Death to self and the world, at the cost of any suffering or self-denial, is the only path to glory the Leader of our salvation has opened up to us.”

—Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

 

“Go your way, Christian, to your God; get to your knees in the cloudy and dark day; retire from all people and distractions that you may have full liberty with God and there pour out your heart before Him in free, full, and brokenhearted confessions of sin. Judge yourself worthy of hell, as well as of this trouble; justify God in all His smartest blows and beg Him in this distress to put under you the everlasting arms. Entreat one smile, one gracious look, to brighten your darkness and cheer your drooping spirit. Say with the prophet Jeremiah, “Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil” (17:17). You may be surprised at what relief such a course will afford you. Surely, if your heart is sincere in this course, you shall be able to say with that holy man, “In the multitude of my thoughts which I had within me, thy comforts delighted my soul””

—John Flavel (1627-1691)

 

“As children, we all had little friends that we thought would last forever, but in a few years the delicate romance passed away and the friends drifted from us. Then came youth with its friendships that we thought were rooted in granite, but they obeyed the same law of change and fleeting. And then came middle life, with its more thoughtful and serious friendship, which after a while were rent with cruel misunderstandings and unexplained silences and so gradually declined. And then we drift on to the lonely, quiet havens of old age, into which we anchor our riper years, to find that change and decay have characterized all earthly things, including what we once supposed were friendships riveted with steel. Like passing ships at sea we lived awhile in the sight of each other’s sails, but we each had to make a different port, and so we slipped over the rim of the sea and lost sight of each other. But God is the dear old faithful friend from whom we never sail away and who always is going our way and making for the same port, and whose interests are always our own.”

—G. D. Watson (1845-1924)

 

 “It has always been my aim, and it is my prayer, to have no plan as regards myself—as I am well assured that the place where the Savior sees meet to place me must ever be the best place for me.”

—Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843)

 

“He who is a lover of the world can never pray this prayer heartily: “Thy will be done.” His heart boils with anger against God; and when the “world” is gone, his patience is gone too. If we would have our wills submit to God, let us not look so much on the dark side of the cloud as the light side; that is, let us not look so much on the sting of affliction, as the eternal good of affliction. Samson did not only look on the lion’s carcass but on the honeycomb within it (see Judges 14:8). Affliction is the frightful lion, but see what honey there is in it: affliction humbles, purifies, fills us with the consolations of God; here is honey in the belly of the lion; could we but look upon the benefit of affliction, stubbornness would be turned into submissiveness, and we should gladly say, “Thy will be done.””

—Thomas Watson (1620-1686)

 

“The prayers of men have saved cities and kingdoms from ruin, raised the dead to life, stopped the violence of fire, and shut the mouths of wild beasts. Prayer has altered the course of nature—caused rain in Egypt and drought in the sea, made the sun go from west to east, the moon to stand still, and rocks and mountains to walk. Prayer cures diseases without medicine, makes medicine to do the work of nature, nature to do the work of grace, grace to do the work of God and does miracles of accident and event. Yet prayer, that does all this, is of itself nothing but an assent of the mind to God. It is a desiring of things fit to be desired and an expression of this desire to God. Our unwillingness to pray is nothing else than our not desiring what we ought to passionately long for—or if we do desire it, choosing rather to miss our satisfaction and pleasure than to ask.”

—Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)

 

“When you lie down at night, compose your spirit as if you were not to wake up in the morning. And if you awake in the morning, consider that new day as your last, and live accordingly. Surely the night will come, of which you will never see the morning, or that morning of which you will never see the night; but which of your mornings or nights it will be, you know not. Let the mantle of worldly enjoyments hang loose about you, that it may be easily dropped when death comes to carry you into another world. When the corn is forsaking the ground, it is ready for the sickle; when the fruit is ripe, it falls off the tree easily. So, when a Christian’s heart is truly weaned from the world, he is prepared for death, and it will be easy for him. A heart disengaged from the world is a heavenly one, and then we are ready for heaven when our heart is there before us.”

—Thomas Boston (1676-1732)

 

“Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t obliterate the devil and eradicate all sin? If God destroyed evil, God would destroy every opportunity for choice. And if God were to destroy every opportunity for choice, then God would destroy every opportunity for love. Therefore, God would destroy the highest good. For God to destroy evil would be evil. God doesn’t destroy evil, instead God defeats evil. How? Calvary and the resurrection! God turns every hurt into a hallelujah. Every defeat into victory!”

—Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)

 

“People join churches today with wrong expectations. They think church membership guarantees blessings and no burdens. Some think that God is just a heavenly cafeteria. And if it doesn’t work out as they wish, they say, “Well, it’s not paying off! I thought if I gave my heart to Jesus, then He would supply everything I want. And I’d have no more worries.” People fall away because their expectations are not met. Let me tell you what real faith is. Real faith is not just receiving from God the things you want. Real faith is accepting from God the things He gives.”

—Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)

 

“His eye is upon every hour of my existence. His Spirit is intimately present with every thought of my heart. His inspiration gives birth to every purpose within me. His hand impresses a direction on every footstep of my goings. Every breath I inhale is drawn by an energy which God deals out to me. This body, which upon the slightest derangement would become the prey of death, or of woeful suffering, is now at ease, because He at this moment is warding off from a thousand dangers and upholding the thousand movements of its complex and delicate machinery. In the silent watches of the night, when my eyelids have closed and my spirit has sunk into unconsciousness, the observant eye of Him who never slumbers is upon me.”

— Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847)

 

“The trial that purifies our character must be something more than a pin scratch. It must try us; it must cut keenly, or it does not deserve the name “trial.” For example, it is hard to be poor while some others are pocketing a large income. It is hard to lie on a sick bed and suffer while godless mirth goes laughing past our door. It is hard to lose our one tiny baby while our neighbor’s table is surrounded by a group of rosy-cheeked children. It is hard to drink the very cup that we prayed might pass from us.”

—Theodore L. Cuyler (1822-1909)

 

“If a man is watchful over his own ways, and the dealings of God with him, there is seldom a day to pass without some rod of affliction upon him. But, through lack of care and watchfulness, we may lose sight of many mercies, so we do of many afflictions. God may not every day bring a man to his bed, and break his bones, yet we seldom, if at all, pass a day without some rebuke and chastening. “I have been chastened every morning,” says the psalmist. “As sure, or as soon, as I rise I have a whipping, and my breakfast is bread of sorrow and the water of adversity.” Our lives are full of afflictions; and it is as great a part of a Christian’s skill to know afflictions as to know mercies; to know when God smites, as to know when he supports us; and it is our sin to overlook afflictions as well as to overlook mercies.

—Joseph Caryl (1602-1673)

 

“We glorify God by walking cheerfully. It is a glory to God when the world sees within a Christian what can make him cheerful in the worst times. The people of God have grounds for cheerfulness. They are justified, and instated into adoption. This creates inward peace, and whatever storms are without, we consider what Christ has wrought for us by His Blood, and wrought in us by His Spirit. It gives cause for great cheerfulness, and this cheerfulness glorifies God. When God’s servants hang their heads, it looks as if they do not serve a good Master. This reflects dishonor on God. As the gross sins of the wicked bring a scandal on the gospel, so do the uncheerful lives of the godly. Your serving Him does not glorify him, unless it be with gladness. A Christian’s cheerful look glorifies God.”

—Thomas Watson (1620-1686)

 

“He will in no wise cast you out. He will never leave you or forsake you. His eye, before which the night shines as the day, will watch over you with unceasing care. His hand, which nothing can resist or escape, will guard you with infinite tenderness. In every sorrow He will comfort; in every danger He will deliver. The bed of death He will spread with down, the passage into eternity He will illumine with the light of His own countenance. In the judgment He will acquit you of all your guilt, and in His own house, the mansion of eternal light and peace and joy, He will present you to His Father as trophies of His cross and monuments of His boundless love.”

—Timothy Dwight (1752-1817)

 

“The Christian often finds the path to heaven most secure when most beset with thorns; and the sea of life safest when most stormy. Afflictions to the children of God prove to be the best of mercies. The martyr’s flames have often preceded the throne of heavenly joy, and the crown of thorns has been the forerunner of a crown of glory. It has been said that on board a ship, in the midst of a violent storm, when the mariners were in distress and alarm, one little boy remained composed, and being asked the cause of his composure, answered, “My father’s at the helm.” So may the Christian say in every trial, “My Father, my Almighty Father is at the helm; and He will steer me safe through every storm; or, when He pleases, say to the tempest, ‘Peace, be still!’”

—J. G. Pike (1784-1854)

 

“God afflicts us for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. Afflictions are the mother of virtue. God’s house of correction is His school of instruction. All the stones that came about Stephen’s ears did but knock him closer to Christ, the Corner-stone. The waves did but lift Noah’s ark nearer to heaven. Afflictions lift the soul to more full enjoyments of God. “Behold, I will lead her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her” (Hosea 2:14). When was it that Stephen saw the heavens open, and Christ standing at the right hand of God, but when the stones were about his ears, and there was but a short step between him and eternity? And when did God appear in glory to Jacob, but in the day of his troubles, when the stones were his pillows, and the ground his bed, and hedges his curtains, and the heavens his canopy? Then he saw the angels of God ascending and descending in their glittering robes.”

—Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

 

“There is a Divine and deeper meaning in the adversities of our lives. We have no excuse for despair in the face of crushing sorrow. Whether it comes from man or devil, all creatures are under the Divine control, holding to our lips cups which the Father’s hand has mixed. He has no partnership with their evil, but they unconsciously perform His will. Even if you cannot see the Divine meaning, dare to believe that it is there. One day God will call us to His side in the clear light of eternity and will explain His meanings in life’s most sorrowful experiences. Then we shall learn that we suffered, not for ourselves only, but for others.”

—F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)

 

“Believe under a cloud, and wait for Him when there is no moonlight nor starlight. Let faith live and breathe. Lay hold of the sure salvation of God when clouds and darkness are about you and appearance of rotting in the prison before you. Take heed of unbelieving hearts, which can father lies about Christ. Who dreams that a promise of God can fail, fall asleep or die? Who can make God sick, or His promises weak? Hold fast to Christ in the dark and surely you will see the salvation of God. Your adversaries are ripe and dry for the fire. Yet a little while and they shall go up in a flame; the breath of the Lord, like a river of brimstone, shall kindle about them.”

—Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)

 

“What a vast proportion of our lives is spent in anxious and useless forebodings concerning the future—either our own or those of our own dear ones. Present joys and blessings slip by and we miss half their flavor, all for lack of faith in Him who provides for the tiniest insect in the sunbeam. Oh, when shall we learn the sweet trust in God that our little children teach us every day by their confiding faith in us? We who are so faulty, so irritable, so unjust—and He, who is so watchful, so kind, so loving, so forgiving. Why cannot we, slipping our hand into His each day, walk trusting over that day’s appointed path, thorny or flowery, crooked or straight, knowing that evening will bring us sleep, peace and home?”

—Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

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