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CHURCHES
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[ Also see Bells Cemeteries Christ Christ (Saviour) Christianity Churchyards Clergy Clergymen Death of Christ Devil Doctrine Easter God Holiness Installation Service Ministers Prayer Preaching Priests Redemption Reform Reformation Religion Resurrection of Christ Sabbath Theology Worship ]

God never had a church but there, men say,
  The devil a chapel hath raised by some wiles,
    I doubted of this saw, till on a day
      I westward spied great Edinburgh's Saint Giles.
      - William Drummond (1),
        Posthumous Poems--A Proverb

The union of Church and State is not to make the Church political, but the State religious.
      - John Scott Eldon, 1st Earl of Eldon

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.
      - Benjamin Franklin

The one injurious and fatal fact of our present church work is the barrier between the churches and the poorest classes. The first thing for us to do is to demolish this barrier. The impression is abroad among the poor that they are not wanted in the churches. This impression is either correct or incorrect. If it is correct, then there is no missionary work, for us who are pastors, half so urgent as the conversion of our congregations to Christianity. If it is incorrect, we are still guilty before God in that we have allowed such an impression to go abroad; and we are bound to address ourselves, at once and with all diligence, to the business of convincing the poor people that they are wanted, and will be made welcome in the churches.
      - Washington Gladden

The church alone beyond all question
  Has for ill-gotten goods the right digestion.
    [Ger., Die Kirch' allein, meine lieben Frauen,
      Kann ungerechtes Gut verdauen.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
         (I, 9, 35)

The church itself has got to go outside of its own borders and carry the Gospel to every creature, or it is no church of Christ; and any mutual improvement club which thinks that by reading its Shakespeare, or by acting its pretty tableaux, or by having this or that little reading from Spenser and from Chaucer, it is going to lift itself up into any higher order of culture or life, is wholly mistaken, unless as an essential part of its duty, it goes out into the world, finds those that are falling down, and lifts them up to the majesty of freemen, who are sons of God.
      - Edward Everett Hale

A lazy, indolent church tends toward unbelief; an earnest, busy church, in hand-to-hand conflict with sin and misery grows stronger in faith.
      - John Hall

Congregations must justify their existence. If they only bring people together to be "very much pleased," why, the lecture bureaus will contract for all that. "Did you worship? Were you edified? Did the Lord speak to you? Did you speak to Him? Do you mean more seriously to be pure, honest, upright, generous, manly, holy from what you did and heard today?" These are the questions which the best part of mankind feel to be proper, and to which we must have affirmative replies.
      - John Hall

The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve the purity of it.
      - Matthew (Mathew) Henry

It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.
      - Matthew (Mathew) Henry, Commentaries
         (Jeremiah, VII)

No sooner is a Temple built to God but the Devill builds a Chappell hard by.
  [No sooner is a Temple built to God but the Devil builds a chapel hard by.]
      - George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum

When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
  God is more there than thou: for thou art there
    Only by his permission. Then beware,
      That leads from earth to heaven.
      - George Herbert,
        The Temple--The Church Porch

How long must the church live before it will learn that strength is won by action, and success by work, and that all this immeasurable feeding without action and work is a positive damage to it--that it is the procurer of spiritual obesity, gout, and debility.
      - Josiah Gilbert Holland (used pseudonym Timothy Titcomb)

In dim cathedrals, dark with vaulted gloom,
  What holy awe invests the sacred tomb!
    There pride will bow, and anxious care expand,
      And creeping avarice come with open hand;
        The gay can weep, the impious can adore,
          From morn's first glimmerings on the chancel floor
            Till dying sunset shed his crimson stains
              Through the faint halos of the iris'd panes.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Everywhere through all generations and ages of the Christian world, no church ever perceived the Word of God to be against it.
      - Richard Hooker

Let the church come to God in the strength of a perfect weakness, in the power of a felt helplessness and a child-like confidence, and then, either she has no strength, and has no right to be, or she has a strength that is infinite. Then, and thus, will she stretch out the rod over the seas of difficulty that lie before her, and the waters shall divide, and she shall pass through, and sing the song of deliverance.
      - Mark Hopkins

The church is only a secular institution in which the half-educated speak to the half-converted.
      - William Ralph Inge

They who would grow in grace, must love the habitation of God's house. It is those that are planted in the courts of the Lord who shall flourish, and not those that are occasionally there.
      - John Angell James

To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by Faith and Hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind, unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influence of example.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

And this is the mission of the church--not civilization, but salvation--not better laws, purer legislation, social elevation, human equality and liberty, but first, the "kingdom of God and His righteousness;" regenerated hearts, and all other things will follow.
      - Abbott E. Kittredge

Do you recall the laughter of the Philistines at the helpless Sampson--You can hear the echo of that laughter to-day, as the church, shorn of her strength by her own sin, is an object of ridicule to the world, who cry in derision, "Where is your boasted triumph and your Millennial glory?"
      - Abbott E. Kittredge

I know that with consecration on the part of believers, separation from the world, disentanglement from enslaving sins, and a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit, the church would become a conquering power in the world, not by its constructed theology, not by its Sabbath services, not by its arguments to convince the intellect, but by its simple story of Jesus' love, by the Cross, the Cross--God's hammer, God's fire.
      - Abbott E. Kittredge

Well has the name of Pontifex been given
  Unto the Church's head, as the chief builder
    And architect of the invisible bridge
      That leads from earth to heaven.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Golden Legend
         (V)

There is nothing more pitiable than a soulless, sapless, shriveled church, seeking to thrive in a worldly atmosphere, rooted in barren professions, bearing no fruit, and maintaining only the semblance of existence; such a church cannot long survive.
      - George Horace Lorimer


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