William Barclay

William
Barclay
1907
1978

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

Author Quotes

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.

All life is based on the fact that anything worth getting is hard to get. There is a price to be paid for anything. Scholarship can only be bought at the price of study, skill of craft or technique can only be bought at the price of practice, and eminence in any sport can only be bought at the price of training and discipline.

So often we have a kind of vague, wistful longing that the promises of Jesus should be true. The only way really to enter into them is to believe them with the clutching intensity of a drowning man.

While it is right to stress the dangers of the permissive society, the argument from danger is not in itself a good argument, because it seems to imply that, if the danger could be removed, if there was no risk of a child and no peril of infection, then the objection would be removed, too. It tends to imply that the objection is to the attendant dangers and not to the thing itself. But if sexual intercourse before and outside marriage is against the teaching, then the thing is not only dangerous, it is wrong in itself.

But in one thing I would go beyond strict orthodoxy - I am a convinced universalist. I believe that in the end all men will be gathered into the love of God.

The awful importance of this life is that it determines eternity.

Conversion is not individualistic. It is, in fact, just the opposite. It joins man to his fellow men, and certainly does not separate him from them.

The devout student is the best of all students. There are too many who are devout, but not students. They will not accept the discipline of study and of learning, and they even look with suspicion upon the further knowledge which study brings to men. There are equally too many who are students, but not devout. They are interested too much in intellectual knowledge, and too little in the life of prayer and in the life of service of their fellow men. A man would do well to aim at being not only a student, and not only devout, but at being a devout student.

Division has always been a disease of the church... The Love Feast, which should have been the sign and symbol of perfect unity, has become a thing of divisions and class distinctions. And here there is something which only the newer translations reveal. In the older translations, it is said that to eat and drink at the sacrament without discerning the Lord's body is the way to judgment and not to salvation. But in the best Greek text, the word Lord's is not included. The sin is not to discern the body; that is to say, not to discern that the church is a body, not to be aware of the oneness of the church, not to be aware of the togetherness in which all its members should be joined.

The humblest and the most unseen activity in the world can be the true worship of God. Work and worship literally become one. Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever; and man carries out that function when he does what God sent him into the world to do. Work well done rises like a hymn of praise to God. This means that the doctor on his rounds, the scientist in his laboratory, the teacher in his classroom, the musician at his music, the artist at his canvas, the shop assistant at his counter, the typist at her typewriter, the housewife in her kitchen -- all who are doing the work of the world as it should be done are joining in a great act of worship.

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.

The only test of the reality of a man's religion is his attitude to his fellow men. The only possible proof that a man loves God is the demonstrated fact that he loves his fellow men.

It is a basic rule of prayer that God will never do for us what we can do for ourselves. Prayer does not do things for us; it enables us to do things for ourselves.

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