Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
The Bible is a treasure. It contains enough to make us rich for time and eternity. It contains the secret of happy living. It contains the key of heaven. It contains the title-deeds of an inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away. It contains the pearl of great price. Nay, in so far as it reveals them as the portion of us sinful worms, it contains the Saviour and the living God Himself.
The Saviour who flitted before the patriarchs through the fog of the old dispensation, and who spake in time past to the fathers by the prophets, articulate but unseen, is the same Saviour who, on the open heights of the gospel, and in the abundant daylight of this New Testament, speaks to us. Still all along it is the same Jesus, and that Bible is from beginning to end, all of it, the word of Christ.
The word of God is solid; it will stand a thousand readings; and the man who has gone over it the most frequently and the most carefully is the surest of finding new wonders there.
Whatever Jesus is, the glorious Godhead is; and to have fellowship with the Son is to have fellowship with the Father. To know the love of Christ is to be filled with all the fullness of God.
What Jesus spoke was Truth; the way He spoke was gracious. He spoke the truth in love. God is love, and the Son of God spoke lovingly.
It was not till Jesus had cried, "It is finished," and from His riven side the soldier's spear had fetched the blood and water; it was not till then, that the fountain sealed of Incarnate Love became the fountain opened of Redeeming merit, and that the Siloah began to flow, which ever since has flowed adown the oracles of God.
Having made an expiation for sins, He is set down on God's right hand for ever. There is no more that even Immanuel can do. This is Love's extremest effort, God's last and greatest gift, God's own sacrifice. Can there be any escape for those who neglect so great salvation?
Brethren, is not this the Saviour that you need? one who can save you from the utmost depths of depravity, in the utmost corner of the earth, on the utmost inch of time? One who can save you amidst the utmost urgency of fierce temptations, and who in the uttermost extreme of exhausted nature, when heart and flesh do faint and fail, completes the work, and seals the salvation for evermore?
You have only to cast your life-long guilt, your ungodliness, your evil thoughts and wicked words, your sinful soul itself, into this crime-canceling, sin-annihilating, soul-cleansing Fountain, in order to obliterate from God's creation your foul transgressions, and yet leave the Divine perfection fair as ever. The sin which a Saviour's blood dissolves is the only sin which, after being once committed, is totally extinguished.
Christ is the great Burden bearer — the Lamb of God who beareth the sin of the world; but in order to enjoy the benefit of His interposition, I must distinctly and for myself take advantage of it. Conscious of my lost estate, I must seek a personal share in the common salvation.
Beloved, you that have faith in the fountain, frequent it. Beware of two errors which are very natural and very disastrous; beware of thinking any sin too great for it; beware of thinking any sin too small.
If you are really anxious to learn the way to God, He has not left Himself without a witness, nor you without a teacher. Go to the recorded Christ, and look at that history; listen to those words which survive in the Gospels. And go to the living Christ, to Him who has said, "lam the Light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." And dim as may be your outset — more of night than morning in your twilight, as you follow on you shall know the Lord, and with the light that radiates from Himself, your path will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. In its doctrinal largeness let it inhabit your convictions, and in its Divine lovingness let it be infused into your spirit, and let its lifesome energy inspire your character.
Let the Bible itself dwell in you — Christ's own word in Christ's own tone — the truth as it was in Jesus — truth dissolved in love, and redolent of sanctity.
In Christ's word there is both Christ's doctrine and Christ's heart, — the fact which He announces, and the feeling with which He proclaims it; and in order to be really Biblical, in order to be completely Christian, we must unite the two. If a man wants either, just to that extent Christ's word does not dwell in him.
Truth is a rock, and on that rock faith plants its foot, and feels secure. But even on the rock you cannot live long without an atmosphere, and the believer's atmosphere is love. That atmosphere, is viewless, invisible, often forgotten; still it is real, and it is vital. " The words that I speak are spirit," says the Saviour. Over and above the resting place which weary spirits have found at His feet, which guilty consciences have found in His arms, there is an afflatus gone forth from those words of His, which to inhale and be surrounded with is like entering heaven's vestibule.
Rejoice in Christ Jesus, for in Him you are complete. His righteousness is over you, His strong arm is around you; and he who puts his soul in Christ's keeping shall never perish nor come into condemnation. This is a safe place to rest in. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
We are weary and heavy laden, and our heavenly Father offers to carry us and our affairs in His own everlasting arms. And so far as the weariness is concerned, we consent; we consent to be carried and find rest to our souls. But " heavy laden," — no, we cannot part with the heavy load. This responsibility, this nervousness about the absent, this household worry, this mercantile venture, this literary experiment, this invalid friend, we cannot transfer to Him who says, "Cast thy burden on the Lord," but even our bleared and sleepy eyes we open from time to time to see that it is still there, and ("O fools and slow of heart!") when we can guard it no longer, the relaxing arms are still in attitude as if they enclasped it, all unconscious that it is now better cared for elsewhere.
Brethren, whatever the temptation is, our safety is not in habits of virtue. It is not in sturdy resolution and strength of character. It is not even in the timely thought of sin's consequences; but our safety is in the Saviour. Christ ever lives and ever intercedes; and it is our strength, our triumph, to rush into His arms of omnipotent protection.
A Christian is a believer in Jesus. He believes that if he only throws his own lost and sinful soul on the Redeemer, there is in His sacrifice sufficient merit to cancel all his guilt, and in His heart sufficient love to undertake the keeping of his soul for all eternity. He believes that Jesus is a Saviour. He believes that His heart is set on His people's holiness, and that it is only by making them new creatures, pure-minded, kind-hearted, unselfish, devout, that He can fit them for a home and a life like His own, that He can fit them for the occupations and enjoyments of heaven. And believing all this he prays and labors after holiness.
If there is a sentence in the creed which we cannot say together, there is nothing in Christ which we would wish to be different; and heresies of the heart are quite as dangerous, and to me as estranging, as errors in the head.
There under the cross is the sinner's sanctuary — there, my friend, is the place for you and me. The first smiling look we shall get from God will be when looking unto Jesus; and the first time that we shall experience the alacrity of a lightened conscience, the relief and elasticity of the great life-burden lifted off, will be when we have laid our sins on the Lamb of God.
God cannot lie; and if, fleeing for refuge, you have run to the hope set before you in the gospel — if, nestling in some invitation or promise of God's changeless word, you are resolved that Death and the Judgment shall find you there, you are safe. The way to honor God is to trust His truth, and hidden in His word you are also hidden in His love. Rest there.
Whosoever is really earnest for Divine direction, more anxious to know what the Lord would have him do than to know what is for his own present ease or worldly interest, and who confides the case to Him who giveth wisdom liberally, and upbraideth not, may count on it very confidently that the Lord will send forth His light.
You will find that for a smoking flax there is no specific like heaven's oxygen; for a faint and flickering piety there is no cure comparable to the one without which all our own exertions are but an effort to light a lamp in a vacuum — the breath of the Holy Spirit.
The truth is the Tree of Life knows no seasons. High up among its branches spring warbles all the year; and they are only the poor pensioners underneath who count the months, and tell an autumn and a winter.
Seek not only to know about the Saviour, but seek confidence in Him, seek to know Him as your own.
The believer is no burden to his God, and even if you should be carrying whole mountains of care and solicitude, they will not make you more burdensome or your case more difficult to the Creator of the ends of the earth. He fainteth not, neither is weary.
After all there is a weariness that cannot be prevented. It will come on. The work brings it on. The cross brings it on. Sometimes the very walk with God brings it on, for the flesh is weak; and at such moments we hear softer and sweeter than it ever floated in the wondrous air of Mendelssohn, "O rest in the Lord," for it has the sound of an immortal requiem: " Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors."
Jehovah is the Lord of the universe, and no responsible creature can feel itself in its right place except in cheerful loyalty to its Creator. And Jehovah is the Joy of the universe, and no intelligent being but must feel a great void in its affections, till once it love the Lord its God with all its strength and mind.