Thursday, 31 May 2012


'The temporary pleasures of this present world are meant to point you to the lasting pleasure of knowing God. The rising of the sun each morning is meant to remind you of his faithfulness. The crushing power of a devastating storm is designed to make you reflect on his power. The sweetness of a human kiss is meant to remind you of his tender care. The dependency of a baby is there to remind you of your constant need of God. The fading beauty of the daffodil is meant to help you see his eternal beauty. The imperfect justice of the human community is designed to make you thankful that God will be perfectly just. The tender moment of human mercy is there to cause you to rest in his mercy. That five-course meal is an opportunity to reflect on and be grateful for the spiritual food you need and that God graciously gives. The shifting stars in the night are created to remind you that Jesus is the Light that never shifts or fades. Every experience of love is meant to point you to his love. Every moment of grace is there to cause you to run to his grace. All of creation is a finger pointing to God. It was not meant to replace him.'
Paul David Tripp, Forever, p.50.  


'The architecture of our lives is haped by an infrastructure of personal expectations and self-focused demands. We know all too well what we want from people and situations, and we know what God needs to do in order for us to name him as good.'
Paul David Tripp, Forever, p.49.  

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


'It was, I suspect, somewhat early on in the growth of the “accountability” movement. I had heard the concept, but had not given it much study. The deacon at the church I attended as a young married man apparently had studied it. And so, seemingly with the approval of the session, he sat perched by the entrance of the sanctuary. He asked me, as he asked everyone passing by, with all the tact and enthusiasm of a carnival barker, if I had an accountability group. Being young and naïve I stopped and asked, “What’s that?”
“Well,” he explained, “it’s a group of men who are active in your life, that care for you enough to challenge you when you fall into sin. They watch out for you, support you, encourage you to grow in grace and wisdom.” “In that case,” I retorted, “I do have an accountability group. It’s just that I call them my friends.”
Twenty years later I find myself having the same kind of conversation. When people find out about the loss of my wife, they suggest that I find myself a group, Though I seek to mask my skepticism, it apparently shows through. “Really,” folks tell me,” you need people that you can talk to, that you can be real with. You need people you can count on to be there for you.” The answer is the same. I understand the need. And it is well met in my life, by my friends.
Now I have nothing against accountability, nor accountability groups. I am positively in favor of grieving, and have nothing against groups built around that theme. What puzzles me on both counts, however, is how we have lost what is natural, and sought to replace it with programs. What does it say about the culture, both inside and outside the church, that callings normally born by friends now are met by something so artificial, so inorganic. These groups strike me as the emotional equivalent of a multivitamin. Sure enough many of us are not getting enough vitamin D or zinc in our diets. But isn’t eating a few more veggies a better way to solve the problem?
Institutional solutions to relational problems at least do this for us- they expose our relational weaknesses. If our lifestyles make healthy meals a challenge, we need to change our lifestyles. If the transience and cyber-ness of our relationships make, well, friendship, a problem we need to change how we relate. We need to love near, and serve near.
And if, on the other hand, we have healthy relationships- real, personal relationships where we encourage one another toward righteousness, where we are free to be ourselves, where we talk with depth, and love with sincerity, we yet have this to do- we need to give thanks. We need not create a gratitude committee at our local church to create a gratitude program. No, we need to give thanks. So here I do. I have friends and family that love and care for me and my children. They check up on me. They look me in the eye when they talk to me. They hug me when they see me. They tell me they love me, and joyfully receive my love in return. They mourn when I mourn, as I rejoice when they rejoice. And I pray that they know that I give thanks to Him for them. I have friends, more and better than I deserve.'
RC Sproul, 'I have friends' at:


'You were made for forever. That is your inescapable identity. Life only works as it was meant to work when you live with forever in view.'
Paul David Tripp, Forever, p.28.


'The Body
Benjamin Franklin,
(Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out,
And stript of its lettering and gilding,)
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost
For it will, as he believed, appear once more,
In a new and more elegant edition,
Revised and corrected
The Author.'
Benjamin Franklin in Paul David Tripp, Forever: Why You Can't Live Without It, p.21.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


'An act of sin is like throwing a stone into a pond: repentance is like fetching the stone out again, retrieving the situation; but throwing the the stone in and fetching it out creates ripples, which spread and spread. Repentance in itself does not stop them rippling and spreading.'
Alec Motyer, Treasures of the King, p.118.


'How worthy is heaven that your life should be wholly spent as a journey towards it. To what better purpose can you spend your life? How can you better employ your strength, use your means, and spend your days than in travelling the road that leds to the everlasting enjoyment of God; to his glorious presence; to the new Jersusalem; to the heavenly mount Zion; where all your desires will be filled, and no danger of ever losing your happiness?'
Jonathan Edwards in Stephen J Nichols, Heaven on Earth, p.114.

Monday, 28 May 2012


'It is a matter of great comfort and rejoicing to any person, whatever circumstances he is in, when he can say that he knows that his Redeemer lives.'
Jonathan Edwards in Stephen J Nichols, Heaven on Earth, p.78.

Sunday, 27 May 2012


'Christianity isn't true because of the lives of Christians...But it is equally true that non-Christians will either see Christ in us or they will not see him. Their vision could be blurred by our misrepresentation, their view of Christ obstructed by our lack of charity and love (Matt.25:31-46). Or if we are reflecting him in our lives - very aspect of our lives - then they will see Christ and the radiance of his glory in us.'
Stephen J Nichols, Heaven on Earth, p.74.


'Christians do not reveal their heavenly citizenship by simply pining away for the blessed life to come. Rather, they show their citizenship by bringing heaven to earth. Our calling is not to sit along the sidelines and wait for the world to come. Instead, our calling is to bring heaven here, to live in the light of heaven's reality now, to show the citizens of these earthly and temporal countries that there is a far better, eternal country...We best point the way to the world to come when we offer glimpses of that world in this one. We point the way to heaven when we speak its language and live by its customs on earth.'
Stephen J Nichols, Heaven on Earth: Capturing Jonathan Edwards's Vision of Living In Between, p.48.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


‘I’ve never been to heaven, yet I miss it. Eden’s in my blood.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.458.


‘When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there. The first wonder will be to see many there I did expect to see; the second wonder will be to miss many people who I did expect to see; the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there.’
John Newton in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.456.


‘Our greatest affliction is not anxiety, or even guilt, but rather homesickness – a nostalgia or ineradicable yearning to be at home with God.’
Donald Bloesch in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.455.


‘The lack of an eternal perspective sets us up not only for discouragement but also for sin. We tell ourselves, If I don’t experience an intimate relationship now, I never will. Or If I don’t have the means to go there, I never will. Then we feel desperate, tempted to take shortcuts to get what we want (what we think we want). We’re tempted toward fornication, dishonesty, or theft. Or we live in regret, greed and envy. But if we understand that we’ll actually live in a new heavens and New Earth, a new universe full of new opportunities, then we can forgo certain pleasures and experiences now, knowing we can enjoy them later.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.436.


‘The most tragic strain in human existence lies in the fact that the pleasure which we find in the things of this life, however good that pleasure may be in itself, is always taken away from us. The things for which men strive hardly ever turn out to be as satisfying as they expected, and in the rare cases in which they do, sooner or later are snatched away...For the Christian, all those partial, broken and fleeting perfections which glimpses in the world around him, which wither in his grasp and he snatches away from him even as they wither, are found again, perfect, complete and lasting in the absolute beauty of God.’
Peter Toon in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.434.


‘I feel within me that future life. I am like a forest that has been razed; the new shoots are stronger and brighter. I shall most certainly rise toward the heavens the nearer my approach to the end, the plainer is the sound of immortal symphonies of worlds which invite me. For half a century I have been translating my thoughts into prose and verse: history, drama, philosophy, romance, tradition, satire, ode and song; all of these I have tried. But I feel that I haven’t given utterance to the thousandth part of what lies within me. When I go to the grace I can say, as others have said, “My days work is done.” But I cannot say, “My life is done.” My work will recommence the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare. It closes upon the twilight, but opens upon the dawn.’
Victor Hugo in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.413.


‘Our belief that heaven will be boring betrays a heresy – that God is boring. There’s no greater nonsense. Our desire for pleasure and the experience of joy come directly from God’s hand. He made our taste buds, adrenaline, sex drives, and the nerve ending that convey pleasure to our brains. Likewise, our imaginations and our capacity for joy and exhilaration were made by the very God we accuse of being boring. Are we so arrogant as to imagine that human beings came up with the idea of having fun?
“Won’t it be boring to be good all the time?” someone asked. Note the assumption: sin is exciting and righteousness is boring. We’ve fallen for the devil’s lie. His most basic strategy, the same one he employed with Adam and Eve, is to make us believe that sin brings fulfilment. However, in reality, sin robs us of fulfilment. Sin doesn’t make life fulfilling; it makes life empty. Sin doesn’t create adventure; it blunts it. Sin doesn’t expand life; if shrinks it. Sin’s emptiness inevitably leads to boredom. When’s there’s fulfilment, when there’s beauty, when we God as he truly is – an endless reservoir of fascination – boredom becomes impossible.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.410.


‘ a sense, none of our loved ones will be in Hell – only someone we once loved. Our love for our companions in Heaven will be directly linked to God, the central object of our love. We will see him in them. We will not love those in Hell because when we see Jesus as he is, will love only – and will only want to love – whoever and whatever pleases and glorifies and reflects him. What we loved in those who died without Christ was God’s beauty we once saw in them. When God forever withdraws from them, I think they’ll no longer bear his image and no longer reflect his beauty. Although they will be the same people, without God they’ll be stripped of all the qualities we loved. Therefore, paradoxically, in a sense they will not be the people we loved.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.362.


‘My friend said, “I don’t see why there shouldn’t be books in Heaven. But you will find that your library in Heaven contains only some of the books you had on earth.” “Which?” I asked. “The ones you gave away or lent. “I hope the lent ones won’t still have all the borrowers’ dirty thumb marks,” I said. “Oh yes they will,” said he. “But just as the wounds of the martyrs will have turned into beauties, so you will find that the thumb-marks have turned into beautiful illuminated capitals or equisite marginal woodcuts.’
CS Lewis in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.327.


‘We want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.’
CS Lewis in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.245.


‘God has a disposition to communicate himself, to spread abroad his own fullness. His purpose was for his goodness to over-spill his own Being, as it were. He chose to create the heavens and the earth so that his glory could come pouring out from himself in abundance. He brought a physical reality into existence in order that it might experience his glory and be filled with it and reflect it – every atom, every second, every part and moment of creation. He made human beings in his own image to reflect his glory, and he placed them in a perfect environment which also reflected it.’
Jonathan Edwards in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.226.


‘Christ is not simply preparing a place for us; he is preparing us for that place.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.224.


‘God isn’t displeased when we enjoy a good meal, marital sex, a football game, a cozy fire, or a good book. He’s not up in Heaven frowning at us and saying, “Stop it – you should only find joy in me.” This would be foreign to God’s nature as our heavenly Father as it would be to mine as an earthly father if I gave my daughters a Christmas gift and started pouting because they enjoyed it too much. No, I gave the gift to bring joy to them and to me – if they didn’t take pleasure in it, I’d be disappointed. Their pleasure in my gift to them draws them closer to me. I am delighted that they enjoy the gift.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.177.


‘I shall rise from the dead...I shall see the Son of God, the Son of Glory, and shine myself as that son shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began...No man ever saw God and lived. And yet I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen him, I shall never die.’
John Donne in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.171.


'To say “This world is not your home” to a person who’s fully alive and alert to the wonders of the world is like throwing a bucket of water on kindling’s blaze. We should fan the flames of that blaze to help it spread, not seek to put it out. Otherwise, we malign our God-given instinct to love the earthly home God made for us. And we reduce “spirituality” into a denial of art, culture, science, sports, education, and all else human. When we do this, we set ourselves up for hypocrisy – for we may pretend to disdain the world while sitting in church but when we get in the car we turn on our favourite music and head home to barbecue with friends, watch a ball-game, play golf, ride bikes, work in the garden, or curl up savouring a coffee and a good book. We do these things not because we are sinners but because we are people. We will still be people when we die and go to Heaven. This isn’t a disappointing reality – it’s God’s plan. He made us as we are – except the sin part, which has nothing to do with friends, eating, sports, gardening, or reading...
...These experiences are not Heaven – but they are foretastes of Heaven. What we love about this life are the things that resonate with the life we were made for. The things we love are not merely the best this life has to offer – they are previews of the greater life to come.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.167.


‘What we have assumed about heaven has reduced it to a place we look forward to only as an alternative to an intolerable existence here on the present Earth. Only the elderly, disabled, suffering, and persecuted might desire the Heaven we imagine. But the Bible portrays life in God’s presence, in our resurrected bodies in a resurrected universe, as so exciting and compelling that even the youngest and healthiest of us should daydream about it.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.161.


‘Every kingdom work, whether publicly performed or privately endeavoured, partakes of the kingdom’s imperishable character. Every honest intention, every stumbling word of witness, every resistance of temptation, every motion of repentance, every gesture of concern, every routine engagement, every motion of worship, every struggle towards obedience, every mumbled prayer, everything, literally, which flows out of our faith-relationship with the Ever-Living One, will find its place in the ever-living heavenly order which will dawn at his coming.’
Bruce Milne in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.134.


‘Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.’
Martin Luther in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.126.


‘A non-physical resurrection is like a sunless sunrise. There’s no such thing. Resurrection means that we will have bodies. If we didn’t have bodies, we wouldn’t be resurrected!’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.112.


‘Make no mistake: if He rose at all it was as His body; if the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fall...Let us not mock God with metaphor, analogy, sidestepping transcendence; making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages: let us walk through the door.’
John Updike in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.111.


‘Heaven is God’s home. Earth is our home. Jesus Christ, as the God-man, forever links God and mankind, and thereby forever links Heaven and Earth.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.103.


‘Heaven, as the eternal home of the divine Man and of all the redeemed members of the human race, must necessarily be thoroughly human in its structure, conditions, and activities. Its joys and activities must all be rational, moral, emotional, voluntary and active. There must be the exercise of all the faculties, the gratifications of all tastes, the development of all talent capacities, the realization of all ideals. The reason, the intellectual curiosity, the imagination, the aesthetic instincts, the holy affections, the social affinities, the inexhaustible resources of strength and power native to the human soul must all find in heaven exercise and satisfaction. Then there must always be a goal of endeavour before us, ever future...Heaven will prove the consummate flower and fruit of the whole creation and of all the history of the universe.’
AA Hodge in Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.98.


‘The biblical doctrine of the New Earth implies something startling: that if we want to know what the ultimate Heaven, our eternal home, will be like, the best place to start is by looking around us. We shouldn’t close our eyes and try and imagine the unimaginable. We should open our eyes, because the present Earth is as much a valid reference point for envisioning the New Earth as our present bodies are a valid reference point for envisioning our new bodies. After all, we’re living on the remnants of a perfect world, as the remnants of a perfect humanity.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.81.


‘Earth is an in-between world touched by both Heaven and Hell. Earth leads directly into Heaven or directly into Hell, affording a choice between the two. The best of life on Earth is a glimpse of Heaven; the worst of life is a glimpse of Hell. For Christians, this present life is the closest they will come to Hell. For unbelievers, it is the closest they will come to Heaven.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.28.


‘There seems to be a kind of conspiracy to forget, or to conceal, where the doctrine of hell comes from. The doctrine of hell is not “mediaeval priestcraft” for frightening people into giving money to the church: it is Christ’s deliberate judgement on sin...We cannot repudiate Hell without altogether repudiating Christ.’
Dorothy L Sayers in Randy Newman, Heaven, p.26.


‘For every American who believes he’s going to Hell, there are 120 who believe they’re going to Heaven.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.23.


‘...look out a window. Take a walk. Talk with your friend. Use your God-given skills to paint or draw or build a shed or write a book. But imagine it – all of it – in its original condition. The happy dog with the wagging tail, not the snarling beast, beaten and starved. The flowers unwilted, the grass undying, the blue sky without pollution. People smiling and joyful, not angry, depressed, and empty. If you’re not in a particularly beautiful place, close your eyes and envision the most beautiful place you’ve ever been – complete with palm trees, raging rivers, jagged mountains, waterfalls, or snow drifts.
Think of friends and family members who loved Jesus and are with him now. Picture them with you, walking together in this place. All of you have powerful bodies, stronger than those of an Olympic decathlete. You are laughing, playing, talking and reminiscing. You reach up to a tree to pick an apple or orange. You take a bite. It’s so sweet that it’s startling. You’ve never tasted anything so good. Now you see someone coming toward you. It’s Jesus, with a big smile of his face. You fall to your knees is worship. He pulls you up and embraces you.
At last you’re with the person you were made for, in the place you were made to be. Everywhere you go there will be new people and places to enjoy, new things to discover. What’s that you smell? A feast? A party’s ahead. And you’re invited. There’s exploration and work to be done – and you can’t wait to get started.
I have a biblical basis for all of those statements, and many more. After examining what Scripture says, I hope that next time your hear someone say, “We can’t begin to imagine what Heaven will be like,” you’ll be able to tell them, “I can.”’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.18.


'We do not desire to eat gravel. Why? Because God did not design us to eat gravel. Trying to develop an appetite for a disembodied existence in a non-physical heaven is like trying to develop an appetite for gravel. No matter how sincere we are, and no matter how hard we try, it’s not going to work. Nor should it.
What God made us to desire, and therefore what we do desire if we admit it, is exactly what he promises to those who follow Jesus Christ: a resurrected life in a resurrected body, with the resurrected Christ on a resurrected earth. Our desires correspond precisely to God’s plans. It’s not that we want something, so we engage in wishful thinking that what we want exists. It’s the opposite – the reason we want is precisely because God has planned for it to exist.’
Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p.7.


‘...we need to stop explaining away hell and start proclaiming His solution to it...’
Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, p.146.


‘The fact is, Scripture is filled with divine actions that don’t fit our human standards of logic or morality. But they don’t need to, because we are the clay and He is the potter. We need to stop trying to domesticate God or confine Him to tidy categories and compartments that reflect our human sentiments rather than His inexplicable ways.
We serve a God whose ways are incomprehensible, whose thoughts are not our thoughts. Ultimately, thoughts of God should lead to joy because those same thoughts designed the cross – the place where righteousness and wrath kiss.
Would you have thought to rescue sinful people from their sins by sending your Son to take on human flesh? Would you have thought to enter creation through the womb of a young Jewish girl and be born in a feeding trough? Would you have thought to allow your created beings to torture your Son, lacerate his flesh with whips, and then drive nails through His hands and feet? Parents, imagine it.
I am almost sure I would not have done that if I were God.
Aren’t you glad I’m not God?
It’s incredibly arrogant to pick which incomprehensible truths we embrace. No one wants to ditch God’s plan of redemption, even though it doesn’t make sense to us. Neither should we erase God’s revealed plan of punishment because it doesn’t sit well with us. As soon as we do this, we are putting God’s actions in submission to our own reasoning, which is a ridiculous thing for clay to do.’
Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, p.137.


‘Put simply, failing to help the poor could dam you to hell. I know, I know, everyone wants to qualify this. We want to add all sorts of footnotes to fix Jesus’ shaky theology in Matthew 25 – justification is by faith, not by works; you don’t really have to help literal poor people, etc. But it’s ironic that some will fight tooth and nail for the literalness of Jesus’ words about hell in this passage, yet soften Jesus’ very clear words about helping the poor.’
Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, p.122.


‘God has never asked us to figure out His justice or to see if His way of doing things is morally right. He has only asked us to embrace His Word and bow the knee, to tremble at His Word, as Isaiah says (66:2).’
Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle, Erasing Hell: what God said about eternity, and the things we’ve made up, p.87.

Monday, 14 May 2012


'...friendship can break out between two people, with that sudden violence which generally is only attributed to the revelation of love.'
Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest, p.198.

Friday, 11 May 2012


"'Go on with your work," he said. "Keep at the little daily things that need doing, till the rest comes. Concentrate! Think of a lad at his homework, trying so hard and his tongue sticking out. That's how Our Lord would have us be when He gives us up to our own strength. Little things - they don't look much, yet they bring peace. Like wild flowers which seem to have no scent, till you get a field full of 'em.'"
Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest, p.178.


"'...our God came to be among us. Shake your fist at Him, spit in His face, scourge Him, and finally crucify Him: what does it matter? My daughter, it's already been done to Him."
Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest, p.146.


'Of all hate domestic hate is the most dangerous, it assuages itself by perpetual conflict, it is like those open abscesses without fever which slowly poison.'
Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest, p.138.


'Faith is not a thing which one "loses," we merely cease to shape our lives by it.'
Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest, p.105.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


'There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.'"
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.89.


"'You cannot love a fellow-creature fully till you love God."'
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.84.


'"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there would be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened."'
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.66.


'This is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering. "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say "Let me have but have this and I'll take the consequences": little dreaming how damnation will spread back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin.'
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.62.


'"I wish I'd never been born," it said. What are we born for?"
"For infinite happiness," said the Spirit.'
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.57.

Monday, 7 May 2012


'"...Eternal Fact..."'
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.42.


'"You know that you and I were playing with loaded dice. We didn't want the other to be true. We were afraid of crude salvationism, afraid of a breach with the spirit of the age, afraid of ridicule, afraid (above all) of real spiritual fears and hopes."'
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.38.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


'...any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) has not been lost: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in "the High Countries."'
CS Lewis, The Great Divorce, p.8.

Saturday, 5 May 2012


'In all miseries and distresses you may be sure to know where to have a friend to help and pity you, even in heaven, Christ; one whose nature, office, interest, relation, all, do engage him to your succour; you will find men, even friends, to be oftentimes unto you unreasonable, and their affections in many cases shut up towards you. Well, say to them all, If you will not pity me, choose, I know one that will, one in heaven, who heart is touched with the feeling of all my infirmities, and I will go and bemoan myself to him. Come boldy (says the text)...even with open mouth, to lay open your complaints, and you shall find garce and mercy to help in time of need. Men love to see themselves pitied by friends, though they cannot help them; Christ can and will do both.'
Thomas Goodwin, The Heart of Christ, p.158.


'The object of pity is one in misery whom we love; and the greater the misery is, the more is the pity when the party is beloved. Now of all miseries, sin is the greatest; and whilst yourselves look at it as such, Christ will look upon it as such only also in you. And he, loving your persons, and hating only the sin, his hatred shall fall, and that only upon the sin, to free you of by its ruin and destruction, but his affections shall be the more drawn out to you; and this as much when you lie under sin as under any other afflication. Therefore fear not, "What shall seperate us from Christ's love?"'
Thomas Goodwin, The Heart of Christ, p.156.


' for the guilt of sin, and the temptations from it, he knows more of that than any one of us. He tasted the bitterness of that, in the imputation of it, more deeply than we can, and of the cup of his Father's wrath for it, and so is able experimentally to pity a heart wounded with it, and struggling under such temptations. He knows full well the heart of one in his own sense forsaken by God, seeing himself felt it when he cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"'
Thomas Goodwin, The Heart of Christ, p.154.


'Twice in your life you know you are approved of by everyone - when you learn to walk and when you learn to read.'
Penelope Fitzgerald in Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, p.146.


'You need not see what someone is doing
to know if it is his vocation,

you only have to watch his eyes:
a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon

making a primary incision,
a clerk completing a bill of lading,

wear the same rapt expression,
forgetting themselves in a function.

How beautiful it is,
that eye-on-the-object look.'

WH Auden in Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, p.87.  


'...learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how  and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.'
David Foster Wallace in Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, p.85.

Friday, 4 May 2012


'Hereby is held forth an evident demonstration (and the greatest one that could have been given unto men) of the everlasting continuance of God's mercies unto men, by this, that God is for everlasting become a man; and so we thereby assured that he will be merciful unto men, who are of his own nature, and that for ever. For as his union with our nature is for everlasting, so thereby is sealed up to us the continuation of these mercies, to be for everlasting; so that he can and will no more cease to be merciful unto men, than himself can now cease to be a man; which can never be.'
Thomas Goodwin, The Heart of Christ, p.119.

Thursday, 3 May 2012


'Thy misery can never exceed his mercy.'
Thomas Goodwin, The Heart of Christ, p.99.