William Barclay

William
Barclay
1907
1978

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

Author Quotes

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.

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.

For some extraordinary reason, the Church moves in an atmosphere of antiquity. I have no doubt that it makes for dignity; I have also no doubt that there are times when it makes for complete irrelevance; for, if there is one thing that is true of religion it is that it must always be expressible in contemporary terms. Religion fails if it cannot speak to men as they are.

The tragedy of life and of the world is not that men do not know God; the tragedy is that, knowing Him, they still insist on going their own way.

Here is the great truth that, only when we see things in the light of God, do we see things as they are. It is only when we see things in the light of God that we see what things are really important, and what things are not. These things seem vastly important, things like ambition, and prestige, and money and gain, lose all their value and importance when they are seen in the light of God. Pleasures and habits and social customs which seem permissible enough, are seen for the dangerous things they are when they are seen in the light of God. Things which seem evils, hardship, toil, discipline, unpopularity, even persecution, are seen in their glory when they are seen in the light of God.

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

If Christianity has never frightened us, we have not yet learnt what it is.

There is a certain kind of so-called conversion which separates a man from his fellow men. It may fill him with a self-righteousness which rejoices in its own superiority to those who have had no like experience. It may move a man to a Pharisaic self-isolation. There have in fact been not a few so-called conversions as a result of which a man has left the Church to belong to some smaller and holier body. The plain truth is that such a one should very seriously examine himself.

In the time we have it is surely our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can.

There is a time when to avoid trouble is to store up trouble, and when to seek for a lazy and a cowardly peace is to court a still greater danger.

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.

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