Horace Bushnell

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O Thou Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, what Thou bearest in Thy blessed hands and feet I cannot bear; take it all away. Hide me in the depths of Thy suffering love, mold me to the image of Thy divine passion.

Horace Bushnell (14 April 180217 February 1876) was an American Congregational clergyman and theologian.



Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)


Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • My own experience is that the Bible is dull when I am dull. When I am really alive, and set in upon the text with a tidal pressure of living affinities, it opens, it multiplies discoveries, and reveals depths even faster than I can note them. The worldly spirit shuts the Bible; the Spirit of God makes it a fire, flaming out all meanings and glorious truths.
    • P. 39.
  • When has the world seen a phenomenon like this? — a lonely uninstructed youth, coming from amid the moral darkness of Galilee, even more distinct from His age, and from every thing around Him, than a Plato would be rising up in some wild tribe in Oregon, assuming thus a position at the head of the world and maintaining it, for eighteen centuries, by the pure self-evidence of His life and doctrine.
    • P. 56.
  • Great occasions rally great principles, and brace the mind to a lofty bearing, a bearing that is even above itself. But trials that make no occasion at all, leave it to show the goodness and beauty it has in its own disposition. And here precisely is the superhuman glory of Christ as a character, that He is just as perfect, exhibits just as great a spirit in little trials as in great ones.
    • P. 59.
  • It is the grandeur of Christ's character which constitutes the chief power of His ministry, not His miracles or teachings apart from. His character. The greatest truth of the gospel is Christ Himself — a human body become the organ of the Divine nature, and revealing, under the conditions of an earthly life, the glory of God.
    • P. 60.
  • Christ's sacrifice stands in glorious proportions with the work to be done. Nothing else or less would suffice. It is a work supernatural, transacted in the plane of nature; and what but such a work could restore the broken order of the soul under evil?
    • P. 70.
  • Christ wants to lead men by their love, their personal love to Him, and the confidence of His personal love to them.
    • P. 80.
  • Jesus is the true manifestation of God, and He is manifested to be the regenerating power of a divine life.
    • P. 85.
  • O Thou Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, what Thou bearest in Thy blessed hands and feet I cannot bear; take it all away. Hide me in the depths of Thy suffering love, mold me to the image of Thy divine passion.
    • P. 86.
  • Be sure that Christ is not behind you, but before, calling and drawing you on. This is the liberty, the beautiful liberty of Christ. Claim your glorious privilege in the name of a disciple; be no more a servant, when Christ will own you as a friend.
    • P. 89.
  • Jesus does not drive His followers on before, as a herd of unwilling disciples, but goes before Himself, leading them into paths that He has trod, and dangers He has met, and sacrifices He has borne Himself, calling them after Him and to be only followers.
    • P. 89.
  • Christ is known only by them that receive Him into their love, their faith, their deep want; known only as He is enshrined within, felt as a Divine force, breathed in the inspirations of the secret life.
    • P. 90.
  • God listens for nothing so tenderly, as when His children help each other by their testimonies to His goodness and the way in which He has brought them deliverance.
    • P. 106.
  • Live as with God; and, whatever be your calling, pray for the gift that will perfectly qualify you in it.
    • P. 124.
  • Christianity is not so much the advent of a better doctrine as of a perfect character.
    • P. 132.
  • Christianity is no mere scheme of doctrine or of ethical practice, but is instead a kind of miracle, a power out of nature and above, descending into it; a historically supernatural movement on the world, that is visibly entered into it, and organized to be an institution in the person of Jesus Christ.
    • P. 133.
  • Christ does not dress up a moral picture, and ask you to observe its beauty. He only tells you how to live; and the most beautiful characters the world has ever seen, have been those who received and lived these precepts without once conceiving their beauty.
    • P. 140.
  • Persecution has not crushed it, power has not beaten it back, time has not abated its force, and, what is most wonderful of all, the abuses and treasons of its friends have not shaken its stability.
    • P. 149.
  • What we want, above all things, in this age is heartiness and holy simplicity; men who justify the holy impulse of grace in their hearts, and do not keep it back by artificial clogs of prudence and false fear, or the sham pretences of fastidiousness and artificial delicacy. These are they whom God will make His witnesses in all ages. They dare to be holy, dare just as readily to be singular. What God puts in them, that they accept; and when He puts a song, they sing it. They know Christ inwardly, and therefore stand for Him outwardly. They endure hardships. They fight a fight. And these are the souls, my brethren, who will stand before God accepted.
    • P. 156.
  • O, if we could tear aside the vail, and see for but one hour what it signifies to be a soul in the power of an endless life, what a revelation would it be!
    • P. 212.
  • Faith is the act of trust by which one being, a sinner, commits himself to another being, a Saviour.
    • P. 226.
  • Go to the cross, and meet there God in sacrifice. Behold Him as Jesus bearing your sin, receiving the shafts of your enmity! Embrace Him, believe in Him, take Him to your inmost heart. Do this, and you shall feel sin die within you, and a glorious quickening, Christ the power of God, Christ in you the hope of glory, shall be consciously risen upon you, as the morn of your new creation.
    • P. 232.
  • If you could once get away, my friends, from that sense of mediocrity and nothingness to which you are shut up, under the stupor of your self-seeking and your sin, how easy would it be for you to believe! Nay, if but some faintest suspicion could steal into you of what your soul is, and the tremendous evils working in it, nothing but the mystery of Christ's death and passion would be sufficient for you.
    • P. 235.
  • We shall never recover the true apostolic energy, and be endued with power from on high, as the first disciples were, 'till we recover the lost faith.
    • P. 237.
  • However dark our lot may be, there is light enough on the other side of the cloud, in that pure empyrean where God dwells, to irradiate every darkness of this world; light enough to clear every difficult question, remove every ground of obscurity, conquer every atheistic suspicion, silence every hard judgment, light enough to satisfy, nay, to ravish the mind forever.
    • P. 275.
  • Be an observer of providence; for God is showing you ever, by the way in which He leads you, whither He means to lead. Study your trials, your talents, the world's wants, and stand ready to serve God now, in whatever He brings to your hand.
    • P. 281.
  • The reason why those who are converted to Christ often make so poor a work of rectifying their old habits, is that they lay down their work in the very places where it needs to be prosecuted most carefully, that is, in their common employments. They do not live to God in that which is least.
    • P. 388.
  • We are to work after no set fashion of high endeavor; but to walk with Jesus, performing, as it were, a ministry on foot, that we may stop at the humblest matter, and prove our fidelity there.
    • P. 388.
  • We come, in our trust, unto God, and the moment we so embrace Him, by committing our total being and eternity to Him, we find every thing is transformed. There is life in us from God; a kind of Christ-consciousness is opened in us, testifying with the apostle,— Christ liveth in me.
    • P. 598.
  • Trust in God for great things. With your five loaves and two fishes He will show you a way to feed thousands.
    • P. 601.
  • As long as we abide in Christ, our action is from Him, not from our own corrupt and broken nature.
    • P. 609.
  • Our communion with Christ is not on a level of our common humanity, but we rise in it; we scale the heavens where He sitteth at the right hand of God; we send our longings up and ask to have attachments knit to Him; to be set in deepest, holiest, and most practical affinity with Him; and so to live a life that is hid with Christ in God. In such a life, we become partakers of His holiness, and, in the separating grace of that, partakers also of His power.
    • P. 609.
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