Sunday, 31 August 2008


'The trial did not create the evil: it merely brought out what was there already, unoticed and unfelt, like a torpid adder. Then the heart's deep fountains were broken up, and streams of pollution came rushing out, black as Hell ... Even so it is with the saints still. God chastens them that He may draw forth the evil that is lying concealed and unsuspected within ... When calamity breaks over them like a tempest, then the hidden evils of their heart awakes.'
Horatius Bonar in Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.160.


'A child will play happily in her own little world. But as soon as she senses danger, she'll look around for a parent. This is how it should be for the child of God. As soon as we sense danger, we should look up to our heavenly Father for help.'
Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.156.

Saturday, 30 August 2008


'In Greek mythology, the Sirens would sing enchanting songs drawing sailors irresistably towards the rocks and certain shipwreck. Odysseus filled his crew's ears with wax and had them tie him to the mast. This is like the approach of legalism. We bind ourselves up with laws and disciplines in a vain attempt to resist temptation. Orpheus, on the other hand, played such beautiful music on his harp that his sailors ignored the Siren song. This is the way of faith. The grace of the gospel sings a far more glorious song than the enticements of sin, if only we have faith to hear its music.'
Tim Chester, You Can Change, p. 64.


'We are more able to stop the sun in its course or make rivers run uphill as by our own skill and power to rule and order our hearts.'
John Flavel in Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.47.


'The good things even of this world are far too good ever to be reached by imagination. Even the common orange you know: no-one cd. have imagined it before he tasted it. How much less Heaven.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.778.


'I think what one has to remember when people "hurt" one is that in 99 cases of 100 they intended to hurt v. much less, or not at all, and are often quite unconscious of the whole thing. I've learned this from the cases in which I was the "hurter". When I have been really wicked & angry, and meant to be nasty, the other party never cared or even didn't notice. On the other hand, when I have found out afterwards that I had deeply hurt someone, it has nearly always been unconscious on my part.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.775.


'Isn't the spiritual value of having to accept money just this, that it makes palpable the total dependence in which we always live anyway? For if you were what is called "independent" (i.e. living on inherited wealth) every bit you put into your mouth and every stitch on your back wd. be coming from the sweat and skills of others while you (as a person) wd. not really be doing anyhthing in return. It took me a long time to see this - tho', heaven knows, with the Cross before our eyes we have little excuse to forget our insolvency.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.) in The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.761.


'The true exercise of imagination, in my view, is (a) To help us to understand other people (b) To respond to, and some of us, to produce art. But it has also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for the virtues, successses, distinctions etc. which ought to be sought outside in the real world - e.g. picturing all I'd if I were rich instead of working and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.759.


'For me the real evil of masturbation wd. be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against him ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is alwys adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his own unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end they become merely the medium through which he is increasingly adores himself.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.758.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


'Now no feeling can be relied upon to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go.'
CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, p.92.


'Isn't duty only a second-best to keep one going until one learns to like the thing, and then it is a duty no more?'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol.III, p.685.


'For it is a dreadful truth that the state of (as you say) "having to depend solely on God" is what we all dread most. And of course that just shows how very much, how almost exclusively, we have been depending on things. The trouble goes far back into our lives and is now so deeply ingrained, we will not turn to Him as long as he leaves us anything else to turn to. I suppose all one can say is that it was bound to come. In the hour of death and the day of judgement, what else shall we have? Perhaps when those moments come, they will feel happiest who have been forced (however unwillingly) to begin practicing it here on earth. It is good of Him to force us: but dear me, how hard to feel that is good at the time.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.679.

Sunday, 3 August 2008


'I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me.'
Robert Browning Hamilton