Frederick William Robertson, aka Roberson of Brighton
Every natural longing has its natural satisfaction. If we thirst, God has created liquids to gratify thirst. If we are susceptible of attachment, there are beings to gratify that love. If we thirst for life and love eternal, it is likely that there are an eternal life and an eternal love to satisfy that craving.
How different is the poet from the mystic. - The former uses symbols, knowing they are symbols; the latter mistakes them for realities.
In these two things the greatness of man consists, to have God so dwelling in us as to impart his character to us, and to have him so dwelling in us that we recognize his presence, and know that we are his, and he is ours. - The one is salvation: the other the assurance of it.
And now because you are His child, live as a child of God; be redeemed from the life of evil, which is false to your nature, into the life of goodness, which is the truth of your being. Scorn all that is mean; hate all that is false; struggle with all that is impure Live the simple, lofty life which befits an heir of immortality.
Evil is but the shadow, that, in this world, always accompanies good. - You may have a world without shadow, but it will be a world without light - a mere dim, twilight world. If you would deepen the intensity of the light, you must be content to bring into deeper blackness and more distinct and definite outline, the shade that accompanies it.
However dark and profitless, however painful and weary, existence may have become, life is not done, so long as God has anything left for us to suffer, or anything left for us to do.
Instruction ends in the schoolroom, but education ends only with life. A child is given to the universe to be educated.
And this is the secret of all obedience and all command. Obedience to a law above you subjugates minds to you who never would have yielded to mere will.
Experience tells us that each man most keenly and unerringly detects in others the vice with which he is most familiar himself.
However dreary we may have felt life to be here, yet when that hour comes-the winding up of all things, the last grand rush of darkness on our spirits, the hour of that awful sudden wrench from all we have ever known or loved, the long farewell to sun, moon, stars, and light--brother man, I ask you this day, and I ask myself humbly and fearfully, "What will then be finished? When it is finished, what will it be? Will it be the butterfly existence of pleasure, the mere life of science, a life of uninterrupted sin and self-gratification, or will it be 'Father, I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do?'"-
It is a law of our humanity, that man must know good through evil. - No great principle ever triumphed but through much evil. - No man ever progressed to greatness and goodness but through great mistakes.
Brethren, are you in earnest? If so, though your faith be weak, and your struggles unsatisfactory, you may begin the hymn of triumph now, for victory is pledged. Thanks be to God, which â€” not shall give, but giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
False notions of liberty are strangely common. People talk of it as if it meant the liberty of doing whatever one likes - whereas the only liberty that a man, worthy of the name of man, ought to ask for, is, to have all restrictions, inward and outward, removed that prevent his doing what he ought.
I read hard, or not at all; never skimming, and never turning aside to merely inviting books; and Plato, Aristotle, Butler, Thucydides, Jonathan Edwards, have passed, like the iron atoms of the blood, into my mental constitution.
It is like the Greek fire used in ancient warfare, which burnt unquenched beneath the water; or like the weeds which, when you have extirpated them in one place, are sprouting forth vigorously in another spot, at the distance of many hundred yards; or, to use the metaphor of St. James, it is like the wheel which catches fire as it goes, and burns with fiercer conflagration as its own speed increases.
Brethren, happiness is not our being's end and aim. The Christian's aim is perfection, not happiness; and every one of the sons of God must have something of that spirit which marked his Master.
For when man comes to front the everlasting God, and look the splendor of His judgments in the face, personal integrity, the dream of spotlessness and innocence, vanishes into thin air: your decencies and your church-goings and your regularities and your attachment to a correct school and party, your gospel formulas of sound doctrine--what is all that, in front of the blaze of the wrath to come?
I read hard, or not at all; never skimming, never turning aside to merely inciting books; and Plato, Aristotle, Butler, Thucydides, Sterne, Jonathan Edwards, have passed like the iron atoms of the blood into my mental constitution.
It is more true to say that our opinions depend upon our lives and habits, than to say that our lives and habits depend on our opinions.
By experience; by a sense of human frailty; by a perception of the soul of goodness in things evil; by a cheerful trust in human nature; by a strong sense of God's love; by long and disciplined realization of the atoning love; only thus can we get a free, manly, large, princely spirit of forgiveness.
God's highest gifts--talent, beauty, feeling, imagination, power--they carry with them the possibility of the highest heaven and the lowest hell. Be sure that it is by that which is highest in you that you may be lost.
I will tell you what to hate. Hate hypocrisy; hate cant; hate intolerance, oppression, injustice, Pharisaismâ€¦ with a deep, abiding, God-like hatred.
It is not a minister's wisdom but his conviction which imparts itself to others. Nothing gives life but life. Real flame alone kindles other flame; this was the power of the apostles: "We believe and therefore speak." Firm faith in what they spoke, that was the basis of the apostles' strength.
Cold hearts are not anxious enough to doubt. Men who love will have their misgivings at times; that is not the evil. But the evil is, when men go on in that languid, doubting way, content to doubt, proud of their doubts, morbidly glad to talk about them, liking the romantic gloom of twilight, without the manliness to say,--I must and will know the truth.
God's justice and love are one. Infinite justice must be infinite love. Justice is but another sign of love.