Historical Quotes

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
—John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople; sermon, ca. 400

I rise today
with the power of God to pilot me,
God's strength to sustain me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look ahead for me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to protect me,
God's way before me,
God's shield to defend me,
God's host to deliver me,
from snares of devils,
from evil temptations,
from nature's failings,
from all who wish to harm me,
far or near,
alone and in a crowd.
—"Saint Patrick's Breastplate,"
Old Irish, eighth-century prayer.

"And in His will is our peace."
—Dante, Paradiso, Canto III, line 85.

"Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you remember Christ crucified and be silent."
—John of the Cross

"To know the Word of God, to live the Word of God, to preach the Word, to teach the Word, is the sum of all wisdom, the heart of all Christian service."
—Charles E. Fuller

"There is no justification without sanctification, no forgiveness without renewal of life, no real faith from which the fruits of new obedience do not grow."
—Martin Luther

"Therefore let us repent and pass from ignorance to knowledge, from foolishness to wisdom, from licentiousness to self-control, from injustice to righteousness, from godlessness to God."
—Clement of Alexandria

"The waters are rising, but so am I. I am not going under, but over."
—Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army

"The life of a Christian is wondrously ruled in this world, by the consideration and meditation of the life of another world."
—Richard Sibbes

"To believe one does not need counsel is great pride."
—Basil the Great

"The Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand, it seeks to change the souls of men, and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand, it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so the soul will have a chance after it is changed."
—Martin Luther King Jr.

"Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak."
—Jonathan Edwards

The Son of God did not want to be seen and found in heaven. Therefore he descended from heaven into this humility and came to us in our flesh, laid himself into the womb of his mother and into the manger and went on to the cross. This was the ladder that he placed on earth so that we might ascend to God on it. This is the way you must take.
—Martin Luther

The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented …. in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
—C. S. Lewis

"For those who feel it, nothing makes the soul so religious and pure as the endeavor to create something perfect; for God is perfection, and whoever strives after it, is striving after something divine. True painting is only the image of the perfection of God, a shadow of the pencil with which he paints, a melody, a striving after harmony."

"In former times, God, who is without form or body, could never be depicted. But now when God is seen in the flesh conversing with men, I make an image of the God whom I see. I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake."
—John of Damascus

"… the world is a work of art, set before all for contemplation, so that through it the wisdom of Him who created it should be known …"
—Basil, from Exegetical Works, On the Hexameron

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."
—John Donne

"We do not wish to abolish teaching and to make every man his own master, but if the curates will not teach the gospel, the layman must have the Scripture, and read it for himself, taking God for his teacher."
—William Tyndale

"When God gets ready to shake America, He may not take the Ph.D. and the D.D. God may choose a country boy … God may choose the man that no one knows, a little nobody, to shake America for Jesus Christ in this day, and I pray that He would!"
—Billy Graham, 1949

"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me."
—Martin Luther

"To remain neutral in a situation where the laws of the land virtually criticized God for having created men of color was the sort of thing I could not, as a Christian, tolerate."
—Albert Lutuli

Listen to the call coming across the ocean
Chinese are the children of God
China, China, come and find peace
God has found you
You will never have to wander in the wilderness
China belongs to God
—Lu Xiaomin, Chinese Christian songwriter

"But the proconsul urged him and said, 'Swear, and I will release thee; curse the Christ.' And Polycarp said, 'Eighty and six years have I served him, and he hath done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?'"
—The Martyrdom of Polycarp

"There's no greater lifestyle and no greater happiness than that of having a continual conversation with God."
—Brother Lawrence (1614-1691)

"Praised be You, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One."
—Francis of Assisi, "The Canticle of Brother Sun"

"I am content to fill a little space if God be glorified."
—Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley

"If God has given graces to some good women, revealing to them something holy and good through His Holy Scriptures, should they, for the sake of the defamers of the truth, refrain from writing down, speaking, or declaring it to each other? Ah! It would be too impudent to hide the talent which God has given us, we who ought to have the grace to persevere to the end. Amen!"
—Marie Dentière, former abbess and wife of a Protestant minister (1495-1561)

"Had I had a beard I would have been the king of France."
—Renée of Ferrara (1510-1574)

"Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God."
—John Calvin

"Faith is the 'yes' of the heart, a conviction on which one stakes one's life."
—Martin Luther

"Our true and genuine wisdom can be summed up as the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves."
—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

"Evangelism without social work is deficient; social work without evangelism is impotent."
—John R. Mott (1865-1955)

"Should we not press it home upon our consciences that the sole object of our conversion was not the salvation of our own souls, but that we might become co-workers with our Lord and Master in the conversion of the world?"
—Lottie Moon, Baptist missionary to China (1840-1912)

"China is not to be won for Christ by quiet, ease– loving men and women … . The stamp of men and women we need is such as will put Jesus, China, souls, first and foremost in everything and at every time—even life itself must be secondary."
—Hudson Taylor, missionary to China (1832-1905)

"The motto for every missionary, whether preacher, printer, or schoolmaster, ought to be 'Devoted for Life.'"
—Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)

"I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything."
—William Carey (1761-1834), Missionary to India

"Conversion does not mean a change of outward appearance; rather it requires a change of mind and results in a transformed life."
—Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg (1683-1719), Missionary to India

"By everything true, everything holy, you are your brother's keeper."
—Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885)

"All our life is like a day of celebration for us; we are convinced, in fact, that God is always everywhere. We work while singing, we sail while reciting hymns, we accomplish all other occupations of life while praying."
—Clement of Alexandria

"For men's religion to God is between God and themselves. The king shall not answer for it. Neither may the king be judge between God and man. Let them be heretics, Turks, Jews, or whatsoever, it appertains not to the earthly power to punish them in the least measure. This is made evident to our lord the king by the scriptures."
—Early Baptist leader Thomas Helwys

"It is the Bible that must judge the culture. Where a conflict results, the cultural element must give way."
—Byang Koto (1936-1975)

"There is not so much difference before God, between children and grown persons, as we are ready to imagine; we are all poor, ignorant, foolish babes in his sight. Our adult age does not bring us so much nearer to God as we are apt to think. God in this work has shown a remarkable regard to little children; never was there such a glorious work amongst persons in their childhood, as has been of late in New England."
—Jonathan Edwards, A Narrative of the Revival of Religion in New England

"Where there is Love and Wisdom, there is neither Fear nor Ignorance.
Where there is Patience and Humility, there is neither Anger nor Annoyance.
Where there is Poverty and Joy, there is neither Cupidity nor Avarice.
Where there is Peace and Contemplation, there is neither Care nor Restlessness.
Where there is the Fear of God to guard the dwelling, there no enemy can enter.
Where there is Mercy and Prudence, there is neither Excess nor Harshness."
—Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

"Remember Christ's disciples. They rowed their heavy ships to shore, then abandoned everything to follow Christ."
—Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955-c. 1010)

"For men's religion is between God and themselves. The king shall not answer for it. Neither may the king be judge between God and man. Let them be heretics, Turks, Jews, or whatsoever, it appertains not to the earthly power to punish them in the least measure."
—Thomas Helwys (ca. 1575-ca. 1614)

"You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die."
—Dame Cicely Saunders

"My Lord, I have nothing to do in this World, but to seek and serve thee; I have nothing to do with a Heart and its affections, but to breathe after thee. I have nothing to do with my Tongue and Pen, but to speak to thee, and for thee, and to publish thy Glory and thy Will. What have I to do with all my Reputation, and Interest in my Friends, but to increase thy Church, and propagate thy holy Truth and Service? What have I to do with my remaining Time, even these last and languishing hours, but to look up unto thee, and wait for thy Grace, and thy Salvation?"
—Richard Baxter, Dying Thoughts on Philippians 1:23

"Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so …
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die."
—John Donne

"Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
      Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
      With him mayst rise …"
—George Herbert, English poet (1593-1633)

"The Cross to me is certain salvation. The Cross is that which I ever adore. The Cross of the Lord is with me. The Cross is my refuge."
—Thomas Aquinas

"No other sentiment draws people to Jerusalem than the desire to see and touch the places where Christ was physically present, and to be able to say from their very own experience: 'We have gone into his tabernacle, and have worshipped in the places where his feet have stood.'"
—Paulinus of Nola (5th century)

"You are surprised that the world is losing its grip? That the world is grown old? Don't hold onto the old man, the world; don't refuse to regain your youth in Christ, who says to you: 'The world is passing away; the world is losing its grip; the world is short of breath. Don't fear, your youth shall be renewed as an eagle.'"
—Augustine of Hippo

"The fellow that has no money is poor. The fellow that has nothing but money is poorer still."
—Billy Sunday (1862–1935), American evangelist

"Awake! thou that sleepest, arise from the dead! The Lord still lives today. His power has never abated. His Word has never changed. The things He did in Bible days, He still lives to do today. Not a burden is there He cannot bear nor a fetter He cannot break."
—Sermon excerpt by Aimee Semple McPherson

"The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed identity."
—Thomas Merton

"And what shall be my journey,
How long I'll stay below,
Or what shall be my trials,
Are not for me to know.

"In every day of trouble
I'll raise my thoughts on high,
I'll think of that bright temple
And crowns above the sky."
—From "There is a Holy City," one of Sojourner Truth's favorite hymns

"I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land."
—Frederick Douglass

"I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this his almost chosen people."
—Abraham Lincoln, 1861

"May the Holy Spirit be my personal guide always so that I will live only for Him. May I overflow in love so as to draw others to Christ and may His strength be perfected in my weakness."
—A prayer Cameron Townsend learned from his father

"O oure father which arte in heve halowed be thy name. Let thy kyngdome come. Thy wyll be fulfilled as well in erth as it ys in heven. Geve vs this daye oure dayly breede. And forgeve vs oure treaspases eve as we forgeve oure trespacers. And leade vs not into teptacion: but delyver vs fro evell. For thyne is ye kyngedome and ye power and ye glorye for ever. Amen."
—The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), Tyndale translation

"Give me … a compassionate heart, quickly moved to grieve for the woes of others and to active pity for them, even as our Lord Jesus Christ beheld our poverty and hasted to help us. Give me grace ever to alleviate the crosses and difficulties of those around me, and never to add to them; teach me to be a consoler in sorrow, to take thought for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan; let my charity show itself not in words only but in deed and truth."
—Johann Arndt (1555-1621), German Lutheran theologian who deeply influenced the Pietists

"O God of our fathers, and Lord of mercy, who has made all things with your word, and ordained man through your wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which you have made, give me wisdom that sits by your throne so that I might understand what is your will and be saved. For I am your servant. Amen."
—Cyril, ninth-century apostle to the Slavs

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man …"
—Nicene Creed

"What shall I say! And how shall I describe this Birth to you? For this wonder fills me with astonishment. The Ancient of Days has become an infant. He Who sits upon the sublime and heavenly Throne, now lies in a manger. And He Who cannot be touched, Who is simple, without complexity, and incorporeal, now lies subject to the hands of men. He Who has broken the bonds of sinners, is now bound by an infant's bands. But He has decreed that ignominy shall become honor, infamy be clothed with glory, and total humiliation the measure of His Goodness."
—John Chrysostom

Of the Father's love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, he the source, the ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been, and that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!

O that Birth for ever blessed when the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world's Redeemer, first revealed his sacred face,
Evermore and evermore!
—Christmas hymn based on a Latin poem by Aurelius Prudentius (348-413)

"If we Christians would join the Wise Men, we must close our eyes to all that glitters before the world and look rather on the despised and foolish things, help the poor, comfort the despised, and aid the neighbor in his need."
—Martin Luther

"Act in such a way that your humility may not be weakness, nor your authority be severity. Justice must be accompanied by humility, that humility may render justice lovable."
—Gregory the Great (540-604)

"I realized after reading the fourth chapter of St. John's Gospel, that Christ was truly the Divine Saviour he claimed to be, and no one but He could transform and uplift the downtrodden women of India … . Thus my heart was drawn to the religion of Christ."
—Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922)

"Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society."
—George Washington

"Finally, it is my most fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our Republic to the present day, that He will so overrule all my intentions and actions and inspire the hearts of my fellow-citizens that we may be preserved from dangers of all kinds and continue forever a united and happy people."
—Andrew Jackson, 1833 Inaugural Address

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
'Tis music in the sinner's ears,
'Tis life and health and peace.
—Charles Wesley, "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing"

"When you come back to God for pardon and salvation, come with all you have to lay all at his feet. Come with your body, to offer it as a living sacrifice upon His altar. Come with your soul and all its powers, and yield them in willing consecration to your God and Saviour. Come, bring them all along—everything, body, soul, intellect, imagination, acquirements—all, without reserve."
—Charles Finney (1792-1875)

"I can express no better hope for my country than that the kind Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to preserve the blessings they have inherited."
—President Franklin Pierce, 1853 Inaugural Address

"Death has no terrors for a sincere servant of Christ who is laboring to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth."
—Ramon Llull (1235-1315), missionary to the Muslims and martyr

"Don't let yourself forget that God's grace rewards not only those who never slip, but also those who bend and fall. So sing! The song of rejoicing softens hard hearts. It makes tears of godly sorrow flow from them. Singing summons the Holy Spirit. Happy praises offered in simplicity and love lead the faithful to complete harmony, without discord. Don't stop singing."
—Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

"Make knowledge of the Scripture your love … Live with them, meditate on them, make them the sole object of your knowledge and inquiries."

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States."
—George Washington

"Remember—there's nothing so difficult and no stronghold so impregnable that it can't be broken down (and you built up) by Love."
—Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), mystic and activist

"He that loves works out good to those that he loves, as he is able. God's power and will are equal; what He wills He works."
—John Owen (1616-1683), Puritan theologian

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
—Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address

"You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."
—Augustine, Confessions

"Work as if everything depended upon your work, and pray as if everything depended upon your prayer."
—William Booth

"The one and only method of teaching men the true religion was established by Divine Providence for the whole world, and for all times: that is, by persuading the understanding through reasons, and by gently attracting or exhorting the will."
—Bartolome de Las Casas (1474-1566), Dominican friar and outspoken critic of the Spanish Conquest

We believe in one God, the Father, almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, begotten from the Father, only-begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance from the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, who because of us men and because of our salvation came down and became incarnate, becoming man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended to the heavens, will come to judge the living and the dead;

And in the Holy Spirit.

But as for those who say, there was when he was not, and, before being born he was not, and he came into existence out of nothing, or who assert that the son of God is a different hypostasis or substance, or is subject to change or alteration—these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.
—The Original Nicene Creed

"The book of nature is a fine and large piece of tapestry rolled up, which we are not able to see all at once, but must be content to wait for the discovery of its beauty, and symmetry, little by little, as it graduallly comes to be more and more unfolded, or displayed."
—Robert Boyle (1627-1691), the "Father of Chemistry"

"When we have a new heart, we become new people, and then we have a new society, then we have a new nation."
—James Yen (1893-1990), Chinese Christian founder of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency …"
—George Washington, First Inaugural Address, 1789

"Let us, therefore, foresake the vanity of the crowd and their false teachings, and turn back to the word delivered to us from the beginning."
—Polycarp of Smyrna

"We should inquire once again as to what the life of faith is. It is one lived by believing in God under any circumstance: 'If he slay me,' says Job, 'yet would I trust in Him.' That is faith. Because I once believed, loved and trusted God I shall believe, love and trust Him wherever He may put me and however my heart and body may suffer … . Emotion begins to doubt when it senses blackness, whereas faith holds on to God even in the face of death … ."

"God asks for men who are totally broken and who will follow Him even to death to work for Him … ."
—Watchman Nee, The Spiritual Man

"The dogma of the Incarnation is the most dramatic thing about Christianity, and indeed, the most dramatic thing that ever entered the mind of man; but if you tell people so, they stare at you in bewilderment."
—Dorothy Sayers

"Surely it is worthwhile to lay ourselves out with all our might in promoting the cause and kingdom of Christ."
—William Carey

"And what shall be my journey,
How long I'll stay below,
Or what shall be my trials,
Are not for me to know.

"In every day of trouble
I'll raise my thoughts on high,
I'll think of that bright temple
And crowns above the sky."
—From "There is a Holy City," one of Sojourner Truth's favorite hymns

"It is not being in Jerusalem, but living a good life there that is praiseworthy."

"For a servant of God to have authority in every sentence he utters, he must first suffer for the message he is to deliver. Without great tribulation, there is no great illumination."
—John Sung, 20th-century Chinese evangelist

"One man seems silent in speech, but is condemning other people with his heart—he is really talking incessantly. Another man seems to talk all day, yet keeps his silence, for he always speaks in a way that is useful to his hearers."
—Abba Poemen on true righteousness

"Just as it is easier to sin in thought than in deed, correspondingly, it is more difficult to struggle with thoughts than with deeds."
—St. Maxim the Confessor (c.580-662)

"I trust in the Lord God Almighty … that he will not take away from me the cup of his redemption, but firmly hope to drink from it today in his kingdom."
—John Huss (1369-1415)

"I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music."
—J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

"Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ."
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1812-1881)

"No other sentiment draws people to Jerusalem than the desire to see and touch the places where Christ was physically present … and to say 'We have gone into his tabernacle, and have worshipped in the places where his feet have stood.'"
—Paulinus of Nola (c.354-431) on the Holy Land

"Christ hath trampled down death by death and become the First-born from the dead. he hath delivered us from the depths of Hades, granting the world great mercy."
—From an Orthodox hymn, Basil Kazan (1915-2001)

"Your accumulated offences do not surpass the multitude of God's mercies: your wounds do not surpass the great Physician's skill."
—Cyril of Jerusalem (c.315-386)

"As no darkness can be seen by anyone surrounded by light, so no trivialities can capture the attention of anyone who has his eyes on Christ."
—Gregory of Nyssa (c.330-c.395)

"Let us remember the poor, and not forget kindness to strangers; above all, let us love God with all our soul, and might, and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves."
—Athanasius (296-373)

"Let us, therefore, forsake the vanity of the crowd and their false teachings and turn back to the word delivered to us from the beginning, "watching unto prayer" and continuing steadfast in fasting, beseeching fervently the all-seeing God "to lead us not into temptation, even as the Lord said, 'The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.'"
—Polycarp (69-156)

"The war made me poignantly aware of the beauty of the world."
—J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)

"Nobody knows the trouble I've seen, nobody knows but Jesus. Nobody knows the trouble I've had, glory hallelujah."
—African American Spiritual

"Do not be guilty of possessing a library of learned books while lacking learning yourself."
—Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

"The greatest gift that God in His bounty made in creation, and the most conformable to His goodness, and that which He prizes the most, was the freedom of will, with which the creatures with intelligence, they all and they alone, were and are endowed."
—Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

"Do not wish to jump immediately from the streams to the sea, because one has to go through easier things to the more difficult."
—Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

"Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth and in all gentleness and in all freedom from anger and forbearance and steadfastness and patient endurance and purity."
—Polycarp of Smyrna (69-156)

"Who can describe the bond of God's love? Who is able to explain the majesty of its beauty? The height to which love leads is indescribable … . In love the master received us, Jesus Christ our Lord, in accordance with God's will gave his blood for us, and his flesh for our flesh, and his life for our lives."
—Clement of Rome (c. 96)

"You can see that a city is prosperous by the wealth of goods for sale in the market. Land too we call prosperous if it bears rich fruit. And so also the soul may be counted prosperous if it is full of good works of every kind."
—Basil the Great (c.330-379)

"Men forsook God, and made carved images of men. Since therefore an image of man was falsely worshipped as God, God became truly Man, that the falsehood might be done away."
—Cyril of Jerusalem (c.315-387)

"We expect to receive again our own bodies, though they be dead and cast into the earth, for we maintain that with God nothing is impossible."
—Justin Martyr (100-165)

"It is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth."
—Ireneaus (c. 130-200)

"The cross of Christ is the true ground and chief cause of Christian hope."
—Leo the Great (400-461)

"Since the hour when Christ despoiled Hades, men have danced in triumph over death."
—Gregory Thaumaturgus (210-260)

"As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation."
—William Bradford (1590-1657)

"Our faith is an astounding thing—astounding that I should believe him to be the Son of God who is suspended on the cross, whom I have never seen, with whom I have never become acquainted."
—Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"[T]he Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost [are] three … not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect; yet of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, inasmuch as He is one God, from whom these degrees and forms and aspects are reckoned, under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
—Tertullian (c. 160-c. 225)

"I walked not in the way of righteousness … . But the Almighty God, who sits in the court of heaven, granted what I did not deserve."
—Constantine (280-337)

"Pictures and ornaments in churches are the lessons and Scripture of the laity."
—William Durand in the thirteenth century

"As for me, my charter is Jesus Christ, the inviolable charter is His cross and His death and resurrection, and faith through Him."
—Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35 — c. 107)

"Religion that arises only from superficial impressions is wont to wither away … when it comes to be tried by … difficulties."
—Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

"Peace be with you O Jerusalem, peace be with you O Holy Land, peace on the whole land; Christ who chose you will deliver you."
—Jerusalem Patriarch Zachariah, 7th century

"Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise."
—Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"An apostolic missionary must have both heart and tongue ablaze with charity."
—Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870)

"Where there is devotional music, God with his grace is always present."
—J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."
—Tertullian (160-225)

"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul."
—J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

"Peace is not automatic. It is a gift of the grace of God. It comes when hearts are exposed to the love of Christ. But this always costs something. For the love of Christ was demonstrated through suffering and those who experience that love can never put it into practice without some cost."
—Festo Kivengere (1919-1988)

"It is an old custom of the servants of God to have some little prayer ready and to be frequently darting them up to heaven during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the mire of this world."
—Philip Neri (1515-1595)

"The further the soul advances, the greater are the adversaries against which it must contend."
—Evagrius of Pontus (D. 399)

"If ever we would have the church of God to continue among us, we must bring it into our households, and nourish it in our families."
—An American Puritan

"Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings … let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the evil torments of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ."
—Ignatius of Antioch (35-107)

"Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish."
—Ann Bradstreet (1612-1672)

"You are obliged to love your neighbor as yourself, and loving him, you ought to help him spiritually, with prayer, counseling him with words, and assisting him both spiritually and temporally, according to the need in which he may be, at least with your goodwill if you have nothing else."
—Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), from The Dialogue

"Whatever you may do for your brother, being hungry, and a stranger, and naked, not even the devil will be able to despoil, but it will be laid up in an inviolabe treasure."
—John Chrysostom (349-407)

"When the father is going on in his journey, if the child will not goe on, but stands gaping upon vanity, and when the father calls, he comes not, the onely way is this: the father steps aside behind a bush, and then the child runs and cries, and if he gets his father againe, he forsakes all his trifles, and walkes on more faster and more cheerefully with his father than ever."
—Thomas Hooker (1586-1647)

"The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man."
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1812-1881)

"… a silent man is a son of wisdom and is always gaining great knowledge."
—John Climacus, 6th-century monk

One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

A mother experiences more than one death, even though she herself will only die once. She fears for her husband; she fears for her children; again she fears for the women and children who belong to her children … . For each of these—whether for loss of possessions, bodily illness, or undesired misfortune—she mourns and grieves no less than those who suffer.
—John Chrysostom (349-407)

The Church's foundation is unshakable and firm against the assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly batter and crash against her, she offers the safest harbor of salvation for all in distress.
—Ambrose (339-397)

"All who ask receive, those who seek find, and to those who knock it shall be opened. Therefore, let us knock at the beautiful garden of Scripture. It is fragrant, sweet, and blooming with various sounds of spiritual and divinely inspired birds. They sing all around our ears, capture our hearts, comfort the mourners, pacify the angry, and fill us with everlasting joy."
—John of Damascus (675-753)

Consider that the devil doesn't sleep, but seeks our ruin in a thousand ways.
—Angela Merici (c.1417-1540)

Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but because we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no need that we should let them nest in our hair.
—Martin Luther (1483-1546)

A heavenly light more brilliant than all others sheds its radiance everywhere, and he who was begotten before the morning star and all the stars of heaven, Christ, mighty and immortal, shines upon all creatures more brightly than the sun.
—Hippolytus of Rome (c.170-c.236)

Lex orandi, lex credendi (we pray as we believe)
—based on St. Prosper of Aquitaine (c.390-c.463)

All the ways of this world are as fickle and unstable as a sudden storm at sea.
—The Venerable Bede (673-735)

He [God] watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.
—Saint Patrick (415-c.461)

Expect great things from God! Attempt great things for God!
—William Carey (1761-1834)

Lenten fasts make me feel better, stronger, and more active than ever.
—Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer—His grace sufficient, His promises unchangeable.
—Attributed to John Newton (1725-1807)

"How can there be instruction without exercise or progress without practice?"
—Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (340-397)

"If you think little about yourself, you will have rest wherever you reside."
—Abba Poemen (4th or 5th-century monk)

Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.
—C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
—Dorothy Day (1897-1980)

A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, "You are mad; you are not like us."
—Attributed to Antony of Egypt, (251-356)

God alone is the author of all the motions in the world.
—Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.
—John Chrysostom, 349-407

If Christ is risen, nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen—nothing else matters.
—Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006)

The Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on her course.
—Boniface (675-754)

Mary was not only holy. She was also the mother of the Lord.
—Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men; We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 1928

Prayer and sacrifice can touch souls better than words.
—Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)

It is the root of all religion that a man knows that he is nothing in order to thank God that he is something.
—G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

I am willing to go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere—provided it be forward.
—David Livingstone (1813-1873)

All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.
—Martin Luther (1483-1546)

I serve for the love of God and in Him have all my hope.
—Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564)

Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out.
—Billy Graham, born 1918

I believe in Christianity as I believe in the rising sun; not because I see it, but by it I can see all else.
—C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

A friend is long sought, hardly found, and with difficulty kept.
—St. Jerome (345-420)

Trust in God and you need not fear.
—Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.
—Francis of Assisi, (1182-1226)

As a moth gnaws a garment, so doth envy consume a man.
—St. John Chrysostom (349-407)

Whoever would be wise should read the Proverbs; whoever would be holy should read the Psalms.
—Richard Steele (1629-1692)

He who loves not lives not.
—Raymond Llull (1233-1315)

Do not fret, for God did not create us to abandon us.
—Michelangelo Buonarotti (1474-1564)

O conscience, upright and stainless, how bitter a sting to thee is a little fault!
—Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

An old man said, "We are not condemned because of our thoughts that enter us, but because we use our thoughts badly; our thoughts can cause us either to suffer shipwreck or to be crowned."
—Abba Poemen, 5th-century desert father

The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor or a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error.
—William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)

The Christian's God does not consist merely of a God who is the author of mathematical truths and the order of elements … But a God of love and consolation.
—Blaise Pascal (1623-62)

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.
—St. Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1864), Russian monk and mystic

It is not that I want merely to be called a Christian, but actually to be one. Yes, if I prove to be one, then I can have the name.
—Ignatius of Antioch (35-120)

The future is as bright as the promises of God.
—Adoniram Judson, (1788-1850)

Let us remove the ignorance and darkness that spreads like a mist over our sight, and let us get a vision of the true God.
—Clement of Alexandria, (150-215)

As fire does not give birth to snow, so those who seek honor here will not enjoy it in heaven … As those who climb a rotten ladder are in danger, so all honor, glory, and power are opposed to humility.
—John Climacus (579 - 649), from Ladder of Paradise

We are taught in an especial manner to pray that God would give his Holy Spirit unto us, that through his aid and assistance we may live unto God in that holy obedience which he requires at our hands.
—John Owen, Pneumatologia (reprinted as The Holy Spirit), 1664

Through Christ we see as in a mirror the spotless and excellent face of God.
—Clement of Rome

God does not require of us the martyrdom of the body; he requires only the martyrdom of the heart and the will.
—St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney

… I am most certainly persuaded that I myself owe my life, my every breath, in short, my very inmost and secret thoughts, entirely to the favor of the Supreme God. Now I am well aware that they who are sincere in the pursuit of the heavenly hope, and have fixed this hope in heaven itself as the peculiar and predominant principle of their lives, have no need to depend on human favor, but rather have enjoyed higher honors in proportion as they have separated themselves from the inferior and evil things of this earthly existence.
—Constantine (recorded by Eusebius)

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May 25, 735: Bede ("The Venerable"), father of English history, dies. In addition to his Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731), biographies of abbots, and Scripture commentaries, he wrote our primary source for the story of how Celtic and Roman Christianity clashed at the Synod of Whitby in 664 (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved and issue 72: How We Got Our History).

May 25, 1535: After holding Munster under siege for over a year, the army of the city's Roman Catholic ...

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