Henry Melvill

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Ye cannot live for yourselves; a thousand fibres connect you with your fellow-men, and along those fibres, as along sympathetic threads, run your actions as causes, and return to you as effects.

Henry Melvill (1798–1871) was a priest in the Church of England and principal of the East India Company College from 1844-1858. Afterwards, he served as Canon of St Paul's Cathedral.

Sourced[edit]

There is truth in Jesus which is terrible, as well as truth that is soothing.
  • There is not one of you whose actions do not operate on the actions of others — operate, we mean, in the way of example. He would be insignificant who could only destroy his own soul; but you are all, alas! of importance enough to help also to destroy the souls of others. ...Ye cannot live for yourselves; a thousand fibres connect you with your fellow-men, and along those fibres, as along sympathetic threads, run your actions as causes, and return to you as effects.
    • "Partaking in Other Men's Sins", an address at St. Margaret's Church, Lothbury, England (12 June 1855), printed in Golden Lectures (1855); eventually part of this statement become paraphrased in several slight variations, and has usually been misattributed to Herman Melville, i.e.: "We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and along these fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects".
  • An uneducated population may be degraded; a population educated, but not in righteousness, will be ungovernable. The one may be slaves, the other must be tyrants.
    • Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 364.
  • As revelation is the great strengthener of reason, the march of mind which leaves the Bible in the rear, is an advance, like that of our first parents in Paradise, towards knowledge, but, at the same time, towards death.
    • Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 364.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
We glory most in the fact, that Scripture so commends itself to the conscience, and experience so bears out the Bible, that the gospel can go the round of the world, and carry with it, in all its travel, its own mighty credentials.
If hope be fixed on Christ as the Rock of Ages, a rock rent, if we may use the expression, on purpose that there might be a holding-place for the anchors of a perishing world, it may well come to pass that we enjoy a calm as we journey through life, and draw near the grave.
In proportion as we " grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ," we shall grow in the desire that the Redeemer's sovereignty may be more widely and visibly extended.
If it be heaven toward which we journey, it will be holiness in which we delight.
The Bible tells me explicitly that Christ was God; and it tells me, as explicitly that Christ was man. It does not go on to state the modus or manner of the union.
I learn the depth to which I have sunk from the length of the chain let down to up-draw me. I ascertain the mightiness of the ruin by examining the machinery for restoration.
  • We glory most in the fact, that Scripture so commends itself to the conscience, and experience so bears out the Bible, that the gospel can go the round of the world, and carry with it, in all its travel, its own mighty credentials.
    • P. 36.
  • There is truth in Jesus which is terrible, as well as truth that is soothing; terrible, for He shall be Judge as well as Saviour; and ye cannot face Him, ye cannot stand before Him, unless ye now give ear to His invitation.
    • P. 86.
  • If hope be fixed on Christ as the Rock of Ages, a rock rent, if we may use the expression, on purpose that there might be a holding-place for the anchors of a perishing world, it may well come to pass that we enjoy a calm as we journey through life, and draw near the grave.
    • P. 101.
  • O that we may all be living in such a state of preparedness, that, when summoned to depart, we may ascend the summit whence faith looks forth on all that Jesus hath suffered and done, and exclaiming, " We have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord," lie down with Moses on Pisgah, to awake with Moses in paradise.
    • P. 181.
  • Faith — saving faith — whatever other definition may be framed — is best described as that act of the soul by which the whole man is given over to the guardianship of the Mediator. He who thus resigns himself to Jesus avouches two things: first, his belief that he needs a protector; secondly, his belief that Christ is just that protector which his necessities require.
    • P. 225.
  • Able to save to the uttermost, "Lord to whom shall we go; Thou hast the words of eternal life?" Thou who hast abolished death, upon whom else shall we suspend our immortality?
    • P. 231.
  • In proportion as we " grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ," we shall grow in the desire that the Redeemer's sovereignty may be more widely and visibly extended.
    • P. 294.
  • Then re-united to the friends with whom vve took sweet counsel upon earth, we shall recount our toil, only to heighten our ecstasy; and call to mind the toil and the din of war, oniy that, with a more bounding throb and a richer song, we may fee! and celebrate the wonders of redemption.
    • P. 305.
  • If it be heaven toward which we journey, it will be holiness in which we delight; for if we cannot now rejoice in having God for our portion, where is our meetness for a world in which God is to be all in all forever and forever?
    • P. 317.
  • Ye will not pray; ye will not shun temptation; ye will not renounce known sin; ye will not fight against evil habits! Are ye stronger than God? Can ye contend with the Eternal One? Have ye the nerve which shall not tremble, and the flesh which shall not quiver, and the soul which shall not quail, when the sheet of fire is round the globe, and thousand times ten thousand angels line the sky, and call to judgment?
    • P. 340.
  • God is summoning you. Angels are summoning you. The myriads who have gone before are summoning you. We are surrounded by a "great cloud of witnesses." The battlements of the sky seem thronged with those who have fought the good fight of faith. They bend down from the eminence, and bid us ascend, through the one Mediator, to the same lofty dwelling.
    • P. 342.
  • Indifference, if let alone, will produce obduracy; and obduracy, if let alone, will produce torment.
    • P. 344.
  • Glorious transformation! glorious translation! I seem already to behold the wondrous scene. The sea and the land have given up their dead! the quickened myriads have been judged according to their works. And now, an innumerable company, out of all nations and tribes and tongues, ascend with the Mediator towards the kingdom of His Father. Can it be that these, who were born children of earth, who were long enemies to God by wicked works, are to enter the bright scenes of paradise? Yes, He who leads them has washed them in His blood; He who leads them has sanctified them by His Spirit.
    • P. 359.
  • As revelation is the great strengthener of reason, the march of mind which leaves the Bible in the rear, is an advance, like that of our first parents in Paradise, towards knowledge, but, at the same time, towards death.
    • P. 364.
  • An uneducated population may be degraded; a population educated, but not in righteousness, will be ungovernable. The one may be slaves, the other must be tyrants.
    • P. 364.
  • The mysteries of the Bible should teach us, at one and the same time, our nothingness and our greatness; producing humility, and animating hope. I bow before these mysteries. I knew that I should find them, and I pretend not to remove them. But whilst I thus prostrate myself, it is with deep gladness and exultation of spirit. God would not have hinted the mystery, had He not hereafter designed to explain it. And, therefore, are my thoughts on a far-off home, and rich things are around me, and the voices of many harpers, and the shinings of bright constellations, and the clusters of the cherub and the seraph; and a whisper, which seems not of this earth, is circulating through the soul, " Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known."
    • P. 422.
  • The Bible tells me explicitly that Christ was God; and it tells me, as explicitly that Christ was man. It does not go on to state the modus or manner of the union. I stop, therefore, where the Bible stops. I bow before a God-man as my Mediator, but I own as inscrutable the mysteries of His person.
    • P. 422.
  • We know, and we feel, that the vast business of our redemption, arranged in the councils of the far-back eternity, and acted out amid the wonderings and throbbings of the universe, could not have been that stupendous transaction which gave God glory by giving sinners safety, if the inspired account brought its dimensions within the compass of a human arithmetic, or denned its issues by the lines of a human demarcation.
    • P. 423.
  • Praise is the best auxiliary to prayer; and he who most bears in mind what has been done for him by God will be most emboldened to supplicate fresh gifts from above.
    • P. 456.
  • Let reason count the stars, weigh the mountains, fathom the depths — the employment becomes her, and the success is glorious. But when the question is, "How shall man be just with God?" reason must be silent, revelation must speak; and he who will not hear it assimilates himself to the first deist, Cain; he may not kill a brother, he certainly destroys himself.
    • P. 488.
  • The Scriptural doctrine in regard to repentance is not, that a man must repent in order to his being qualified to go to Christ; it is rather, that he must go to Christ in order to his being able to repent. From Him comes the grace of contrition as well as the cleansing of expiation.
    • p. 506.
  • And is not this a great salvation, great in its simplicity, great in its comprehensiveness, which thus meets the every necessity of the guilty and helpless; and which, arranged for creatures whom it finds in the lowest degradation, leaves them not till elevated to the very summit of dignity?
    • P. 529.
  • I learn the depth to which I have sunk from the length of the chain let down to up-draw me. I ascertain the mightiness of the ruin by examining the machinery for restoration.
    • P. 547.

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