Frederick William Robertson, aka Roberson of Brighton
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.
Only what coronation is in an earthly way, baptism is in a heavenly way; God's authoritative declaration in material form of a spiritual reality.
The mistake we make is to look for a source of comfort in ourselves: self-contemplation, instead of gazing upon God. In other words, we look for comfort precisely where comfort never can be.
Time and pains will do anything.
You reap what you sow, not something else, but that. An act of love makes the soul more loving. A deed of humbleness deepens humbleness. The thing reaped is the very thing sown, multiplied a hundred fold. You have sown a seed of life, you reap life everlasting.
Life, like war, is a series of mistakes, and he is not the best general who makes the fewest false steps. Poor mediocrity may secure that, but he is best who wins the most splendid victories by the retrieval of mistakes.
Our higher feelings move our animal nature; and our animal nature, irritated, may call back a semblance of those emotions; but the whole difference between nobleness and baseness lies in the question, whether the feeling begins from below or above.
The office of poetry is not to make us think accurately, but feel truly.
To believe is to be happy; to doubt is to be wretched. To believe is to be strong. Doubt cramps energy. Belief is power. Only so far as a man believes strongly, mightily, can he act cheerfully, or do any thing that is worth the doing.
Love God, and he will dwell with you. Obey God, and he will reveal to you the truth of his deepest teachings.