Frederick William Robertson, aka Roberson of Brighton
No man ever progressed to greatness and goodness but through great mistakes.
That prayer which does not succeed in moderating our wishes--in changing the passionate desire into still submission, the anxious, tumultuous expectation into silent surrender--is no true prayer, and proves that we have not the spirit of true prayer.
There is a grand fearlessness in faith. He who in his heart of hearts reverences the good, the true, the holy--that is, reverences God--does not tremble at the apparent success of attacks upon the outworks of faith. They may shake those who rest on those outworks--they do not move him whose soul reposes on the truth itself. He needs no prop or crutches to support his faith. Founded on a Rock, Faith can afford to gaze undismayed at the approaches of Infidelity.
Women and God are the two rocks on which a man must either anchor or be wrecked
No one can be great, or good, or happy except through the inward efforts of themselves.
The charm of the words of great men, those grand sayings which are recognized as true as soon as heard, is this, that you recognize them as wisdom which has passed across your own mind. You feel that they are your own thoughts come back to you, else you would not at once admit them. "All of that has floated across me before, only I could not say it, and did not feel confident enough to assert it: or had not conviction enough to put it into words." Yes, God spoke to you what He did to them: only, they believed it, said it, trusted the Word within them; and you did not. Be sure that often when you say, "It is only my own poor thought, and I am alone," the real correcting thought is this: "Alone, but the Father is with me, and therefore I can live that lonely conviction."
There is a mighty gulf between those who love and those who do not love God To the one class we owe civility, courtesy, kindness, even tenderness. It is only those who love the Lord who should find in our hearts a home.
Yes, thank God! there is rest--many an interval of saddest, sweetest rest--even here, when it seems as if evening breezes from that other land, laden with fragrance, played upon the cheeks, and lulled the heart. There are times, even on the stormy sea, when a gentle whisper breathes softly as of heaven, and sends into the soul a dream of ecstasy which can never again wholly die, even amidst the jar and whirl of daily life. How such whispers make the blood stop and the flesh creep with a sense of mysterious communion! How singularly such moments are the epochs of life--the few points that stand out prominently in the recollection after the flood of years has buried all the rest, as all the low shore disappears, leaving only a few rock points visible at high tide.
Nothing satisfies God but the voluntary sacrifice of love.
The deep undertone of the world is sadness - a solemn bass, occurring at measured intervals and heard through all other tones. Ultimately, all the strains of this world's music resolve themselves into that tone; and I believe that, rightly felt, the cross, and the cross alone, interprets the mournful mystery of life, the sorrow of the Highest - the Lord of Life, - the result of error and sin, but ultimately remedial, purifying and exalting.
There is a power in the soul, quite separate from the intellect, which sweeps away or recognizes the marvelous, by which God is felt. Faith stands serenely far above the reach of the atheism of science. It does not rest on the wonderful, but on the eternal wisdom and goodness of God. The revelation of the Son was to proclaim a Father, not a mystery. No science can sweep away the everlasting love which the heart feels, and which the intellect does not even pretend to judge or recognize.
You are tried alone; alone you pass into the desert; alone you are sifted by the world.
On earth we have nothing to do with success or results, but only with being true to God, and for God. Defeat in doing right is nevertheless victory.
The deepest truths are the simplest and the most common.
There is an inward state of the heart which makes truth credible the moment it is stated. It is credible to some men because of what they are. Love is credible to a loving heart; purity is credible to a pure mind; life is credible to a spirit in which life beats strongly--it is incredible to other men.
You ask bitterly, like Pontius Pilate, "What is truth?" In such an hour what remains? I reply, "Obedience." Leave those thoughts for the present. Act--be merciful and gentle--honest; force yourself to abound in little services; try to do good to others; be true in the duty that you know. That must be right, whatever else is uncertain. And by all the laws of the human heart, by the word of God, you shall not be left to doubt. Do that much of the will of God which is plain to you, and "You shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God."
Only in the sacredness of inward silence does the soul truly meet the secret, hiding God. The strength of resolve, which afterward shapes life, and mixes itself with action, is the fruit of those sacred, solitary moments. There is a divine depth in silence. We meet God alone.
The Divine wisdom has given us prayer, not as a means whereby to obtain the good things of earth, but as a means whereby we learn to do without them; not as a means whereby we escape evil, but as a means whereby we become strong to meet it.
This is the ministry and its work--not to drill hearts and minds and consciences into right forms of thought and mental postures, but to guide to the living God who speaks.
You cannot undo your acts. If you have depraved another's will, and injured another's soul, it may be in the grace of God that hereafter you will be personally accepted, and the consequence of your guilt inwardly done away; but your penitence cannot undo the evil you have done. The forgiveness of God does not undo the past.
Only so far as a man believes strongly, mightily, can he act cheerfully, or do anything that is worth doing.
The humblest occupation has in it materials of discipline for the highest heaven.
This world is given as a prize for the men in earnest; and that which is true of this world is truer still of the world to come.
You may tame the wild beast; the conflagration of the forest will cease when all the timber and the dry wood are consumed; but jrou cannot arrest the progress of that cruel word which you uttered carelessly yesterday or this morning.
Life passes; work is permanent. It is all going â€” fleeting and withering. Youth goes. Mind decays. That which is done remains. Through ages, through eternity, what you have done for God, that, and only that, you are. Deeds never die.