William Barclay

William
Barclay
1907
1978

Scottish Author, Radio and Television Presenter, Church of Scotland Minister and Biblical Scholar

Author Quotes

There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why.

Christianity does not look on this world as one which God very occasionally invades; it looks on it as a world from which he is never absent.

Even if we are separated from people, and even if there is no other gift which we can give to them, we can surround them with the strength and the defence of our prayers.

Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but God, and who hate nothing but sin, and who know nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified, and I will shake the world.

His voice might be stern, but in the sternness there was still the accent of yearning love; his eyes might flash fire, but the flame was the flame of love.

Not even God can teach a man who comes to the Bible with his mind made up.

Prayer will never do our work for us; what it will do is to strengthen us for work which must be done.

The glory of God is not that of a despotic tyrant, but the splendour of love before which we fall not in abject terror but lost in wonder, love and praise.

The people who get the best out of others are those who insist on seeing them at their best.

It has always been fairly safe to talk about God; it is when we start to talk about men that the trouble starts. And yet the fact remains that there is no conceivable way of proving that we love God other than by loving men. And there is no conceivable way of proving that we love men than by doing something for those who most need help.

To the rich man, Lazarus was part of the landscape. If ever he did notice him, it never struck him that Lazarus had anything to do with him. He was simply unaware of his presence, or, if he was aware of it, he had no sense of responsibility for it... A man may well be condemned, not for doing something, but for doing nothing.

It is usually true that the man who is unintelligible is not unintelligible because he is ‘deep,’ but because he does not himself understand what he is talking about.

True and genuine worship is when man, through his spirit attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible.

Life is at its noblest and its best when our effort cooperates with God's grace to produce the necessary loveliness.

We do not need to speculate on what heaven will be like. It is enough to know that we will be forever with Him. When we love anyone with our whole hearts, life begins when we are with that person; it is only in their company that we are really and truly alive. In this world our contact with Him is shadowy, for we can only see through a glass darkly. It is spasmodic, for we are poor creatures and cannot live always on the heights. But the best definition of it is to say that heaven is that state where we will always be with Jesus, and where nothing will separate us from Him anymore.

O God, grant that today I may not disappoint any friend; I may not grieve any loved one; I may not fail anyone to whom I have a duty; I may not shame myself. Grant that today I may do my work with honesty and fidelity; I may take my pleasure in happiness and purity. Grant that today I may lead no one astray; I may not make goodness and faith harder for anyone. Help me today to be a help and example to all; to bring strength and encouragement wherever I am.

We may not understand how the spirit works; but the effect of the spirit on the lives of men is there for all to see. No man can disregard a religion and a faith and a power which is able to make bad men good.

Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God's voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him.

We will often find compensation if we think more of what life has given us and less about what life has taken away.

A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave one with an intense social consciousness, if it does not fill one with a sense of overwhelming responsibility for the world. It has been said... truly that the Church exists for those outside of itself. The Church must never be in any sense a little huddle of pious people, shutting their doors against the world, lost in prayer and praise, connoisseurs of preaching and liturgy, busy mutually congratulating themselves on the excellence of their experience.

Religion fails if it cannot speak to men as they are.

When we believe that God is Father, we also believe that such a father's hand will never cause his child a needless tear. We may not understand life any better, but we will not resent life any longer.

A man may well be condemned, not for doing something, but for doing nothing.

So long as we judge ourselves by human comparisons, there is plenty of room for self-satisfaction, and self-satisfaction kills faith, for faith is born of the sense of need… with God, we are humbled to the dust, and then faith is born, for there is nothing left to do but to trust to the mercy of God.

When we love anyone with our whole hearts, life begins when we are with that person; it is only in their company that we are really and truly alive.

Author Picture
First Name
William
Last Name
Barclay
Birth Date
1907
Death Date
1978
Bio

Scottish Author, Radio and Television Presenter, Church of Scotland Minister and Biblical Scholar