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ALEXANDER MACLAREN
Scottish divine
(1826 - 1910)
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If faith, then, new birth; if new birth, then "an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Christ." But if you have not got your foot upon the lowest round of the ladder, you will never come within sight of the blessed face of Him who stands at the top of it, and who looks down to you at this moment, saying to you, "My child, wilt thou not at this time cry unto me, 'Abba, Father?'"
      - [Faith in Christ]

If life has not made you by God's grace, through faith, holy--think you, will death without faith do it? The cold waters of that narrow stream are no purifying bath in which you may wash and be clean. No! no! as you go down into them, you will come up from them.
      - [Death]

If our faith in God is not the veriest sham, it demands, and will produce, the abandonment sometimes, the subordination always, of eternal helps and material good.
      - [Faith in God]

If we carried with us more distinctly than we do that one simple thought that in all human joys, in all the apparently self-forgetting tenderness, of that Lord, who had a heart for every sorrow, and an ear for every complaint, and a hand open as day and full of melting charity for every need--that in every moment of that life in the boyhood, in the dawning manhood, in the maturity of His growing power--there was always present one black shadow, toward which He ever went straight with the consent of His will and the clearest eye, we should understand something more of how the life as well as the death was a sacrifice for us sinful men.
      - [Christ]

If you want to live in this world, doing the duty of life, knowing the blessings of it, doing your work heartily, and yet not absorbed by it, remember that the one power whereby you can so act is, that all shall be consecrated to Christ, and done for His sake.
      - [Consecration]

In danger Christ lashes us to Himself, as the Alpine guides do when there is perilous ice to get over.
      - [Christ (Saviour)]

In such a world as this, with such hearts as ours, weakness is wickedness in the long run. Whoever lets himself be shaped and guided by any thing lower than an inflexible will, fixed in obedience to God, will in the end be shaped into a deformity, and guided to wreck and ruin.
      - [Decision]

It is not the thinker who is the true king of men, as we sometimes hear it proudly said. We need one who will not only show, but be the Truth; who will not only point, but open and be the way; who will not only communicate thought, but give, because He is the Life. Not the rabbi's pulpit, nor the teacher's desk, still less the gilded chairs of earthly monarchs, least of all the tents of conquerors, are the throne of the true king. He rules from the cross.
      - [Christ (Saviour)]

It was a deep true thought which the old painters had, when they drew John as likest to his Lord. Love makes us like.
      - [Christian]

Let the current of your being set towards God, then your life will be filled and calmed by one master-passion which unites and stills the soul.
      - [Life]

Logically, faith comes first, and love next; but in life they will spring up together in the soul; the interval which separates them is impalpable, and in every act of trust, love is present; and fundamental to every emotion of love to Christ is trust in Christ.
      - [Faith in Christ]

Nothing but Christian faith gives to the furthest future the solidity and definiteness which it must have if it is to be a breakwater for us against the fluctuating sea of present cares and thoughts.
      - [Faith in Christ]

Oh! it irradiates all our days with lofty beauty, and it makes them all hallowed and divine, when we feel that not the apparent greatness, not the prominence nor noise with which it is done, nor the external consequences which flow from it, but the motive from which it flowed, determines the worth of our deed in God's eyes. Faithfulness is faithfulness, on whatsoever scale it be set forth.
      - [Fidelity]

Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrance and hidden strength in the remembrance of Him as "in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us.
      - [Affliction]

Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music; and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry to the sight that has gazed on the vision of the great white throne and the crystal sea.
      - [Christian]

Remember that vision on the Mount of Transfiguration; and let it be ours, even in the glare of earthly joys and brightnesses, to lift up our eyes, like those wondering three, and see no man any more, save Jesus only.
      - [Christ]

So for us, the condition and preparation on and by which we are sheltered by that great hand, is the faith that asks, and the asking of faith. We must forsake the earthly props, but we must also believingly desire to be upheld by the heavenly arms. We make God responsible for our safety when we abandon other defense, and commit ourselves to Him.
      - [Faith in God]

Surely scripture is right when it makes the sin of sins that unbelief, which is at bottom nothing else than a refusal to take the cup of salvation. Surely no sharper grief can be inflicted upon the Spirit of God than when we leave His gifts neglected and unappropriated.
      - [Unbelief]

That is faith, cleaving to Christ, twining round Him with all the tendrils of our heart, as the vine does round its support.
      - [Faith in Christ]

The act of faith, which separates us from all men, unites us for the first time in real brotherhood; and they who, one by one, come to Jesus and meet Him alone, next find that they are come to the city of God "and to an innumerable company."
      - [Faith in Christ]

The cross is the center of the world's history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve. The testimony of Christ was the spirit of prophecy, and the growing power of Jesus is the spirit of history.
      - [Cross]

The cup which my Saviour giveth me, can it be anything but a cup of salvation?
      - [Affliction]

The grave has a door on its inner side.
      - [Graves]

The joys of heaven are not the joys of passive contemplation, of dreamy remembrance, of perfect repose; but they are described thus: "They rest not day nor night." "His servants serve Him, and see His face."
      - [Heaven]

The mystery of the universe, and the meaning of God's world, are shrouded in hopeless obscurity, until we learn to feel that all laws suppose a lawgiver, and that all working involves a Divine energy.
      - [God]


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