C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
It speaks no less than God in every line.
A noble book! all men’s book!
This book of stars lights to eternal bliss.
The Bible is common-sense inspired.
Bibles laid open, millions of surprises.
What can be nobler than the idea it gives us of the Supreme Being?
The Bible stands alone in human literature, in its elevated conception of manhood, in character and conduct.
Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.
Out from the heart of Nature rolled the burdens of the Bible old.
Like the needle to the north pole, the Bible faints to heaven.
Other books we may read and criticise. To the Scriptures we must bow the entire soul, with all its faculties.
The Bible is to religion what the Iliad is to poetry.
The help, the guide, the balm of souls perplexed.
The history of every man should be a Bible.
Even the style of the Scriptures is more than human.
Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.
If thou desire to profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faithfulness; nor even desire the repute of learning.
The books of men have their day and grow obsolete. God’s word is like Himself, “the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.”
The Bible is the most thought-suggesting book in the world. No other deals with such grand themes.
If the Bible is God’s word, and we believe it, let us handle it with reverence.
A stream where alike the elephant may swim and the lamb may wade.
The word of God tends to make large-minded, noble-minded men.
When you read the sacred Scriptures, or any other book, never think how you read, but what you read.
The Bible is a window in this prison-world, through which we may look into eternity.
With the history of Moses no book in the world, in point of antiquity, can contend.
Every leaf is a spacious plain; every line a flowing brook; every period a lofty mountain.
The best evidence of the Bible’s being the word of God is to be found between its covers. It proves itself.
The Scriptures were written, not to make us astronomers, but to make us saints.
The Bible abounds in plain truth, expressed in plain language; in this it surpasses all other books.
Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly, and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.
One gem from that ocean is worth all the pebbles from earthly streams.
Intense study of the Bible will keep any man from being vulgar in point of style.
A loving trust in the Author of the Bible is the best preparation for a wise study of the Bible.
If God is a reality, and the soul is a reality, and you are an immortal being, what are you doing with your Bible shut?
When you are reading a book in a dark room, and come to a difficult part, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bibles to Christ.
The reason why we find so many dark places in the Bible is, for the most part, because there are so many dark places in our hearts.
The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture.
The grand old Book of God still stands; and this old earth, the more its leaves are turned over and pondered, the more it will sustain and illustrate the Sacred word.
The English Bible—a book which, if every thing else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.
If there be any thing in my style of thought to be commended, the credit is due to my kind parents in instilling into my mind an early love of the Scriptures.
The Old and New Testaments contain but one scheme of religion. Neither part of this scheme can be understood without the other.
Let your daughter have first of all the book of Psalms for holiness of heart, and be instructed in the Proverbs of Solomon for her godly life.
What other book besides the Bible could be heard in public assemblies from year to year, with an attention that never tires, and an interest that never cloys?
There was plainly wanting a divine revelation to recover mankind out of their universal corruption and degeneracy.
Here there is milk for babes, whilst there is manna for Angels; truth level with the mind of a peasant, truth soaring beyond the reach of a Seraph.
The Bible alone of all the books in the world, instead of uttering the opinions of the successive ages that produced it, has been the antagonist of these opinions.
The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars.
In the Bible the ignorant may learn all requisite knowledge, and the most knowing may learn to discern their ignorance.
The most learned, acute, and diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of this one volume.
The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying.
There never was found, in any age of the world, either religion or law that did so highly exalt the public good as the Bible.
I call the Book of Job, apart from all theories about it, one of the grandest things ever written with pen.
It is not simply a theological treatise, a code of laws, a religious homily, but the Bible—the book—while the only book for the soul, the best book for the mind.
A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district—all studied and appreciated as they merit—are the principal support of virtue, morality and civil liberty.
It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter: it is all pure, all sincere, nothing too much, nothing wanting.
There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion, no orations equal to those of the prophets, and no politics like those which the Scriptures teach.
Learn the Bible through the Bible, the Old through the New Testament; either can only be understood by the needs of thy own heart.
Do you know a book that you are willing to put under your head for a pillow when you lie dying? Very well; that is the book you want to study while you are living. There is but one such book in the world.
I never saw a useful Christian who was not a student of the Bible. If a man neglects his Bible, he may pray and ask God to use him in His work; but God cannot make much use of him, for there is not much for the Holy Ghost to work upon.
Give the Bible the place in your families to which it is justly entitled, and then, through the unsearchable riches of Christ, many a household among you may hereafter realize that most blessed consummation, and appear a whole family in heaven.
The word of God is solid; it will stand a thousand readings; and the man who has gone over it the most frequently and the most carefully is the surest of finding new wonders there.
All that has been done to weaken the foundation of an implicit faith in the Bible, as a whole, has been at the expense of the sense of religious obligation, and at the cost of human happiness.
God in tender indulgence to our different dispositions, has strewed the Bible with flowers, dignified it with wonders, and enriched it with delight.
It is not hard for any man who hath a Bible in his hand to borrow good words and holy sayings in abundance; but to make them his own is a work of grace only from above.
Does not the passage of Moses and the Israelites into the Holy Land yield incomparably more poetic variety than the voyages of Ulysses or Æneas?
The increasing influence of the Bible is marvelously great, penetrating everywhere. It carries with it a tremendous power of freedom and justice guided by a combined force of wisdom and goodness.
All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more strongly the truths come from on high, and contained in the sacred writings.
There is no passion that is not finely expressed in those parts of the inspired writings which are proper for divine songs and anthems.
As the telescope is not a substitute for, but an aid to, our sight, so revelation is not designed to supersede the use of reason, but to supply its deficiencies.
I am heartily glad to witness your veneration for a book which to say nothing of its holiness or authority, contains more specimens of genius and taste than any other volume in existence.
In Job and the Psalms we shall find more sublime ideas, more elevated language, than in any of the heathen versifiers of Greece or Rome.
We glory most in the fact, that Scripture so commends itself to the conscience, and experience so bears out the Bible, that the gospel can go the round of the world, and carry with it, in all its travel, its own mighty credentials.
Wherever public worship has been established and regularly maintained, idolatry has vanished from the face of the earth. There is not now a temple to a heathen god where the word of God is read.
It is impossible to look into the Bible with the most ordinary attention without feeling that we have got into a moral atmosphere quite different from that which we breathe in the world, and in the world’s literature.
High above all earthly lower happiness the blessedness of the eight Beatitudes towers into the heaven itself. They are white with the snows of eternity; they give a space, a meaning, a dignity to all the rest of the earth over which they brood.
Wherever God’s word is circulated, it stirs the hearts of the people, it prepares for public morals. Circulate that word, and you find the tone of morals immediately changed. It is God speaking to man.
The Bible, as a revelation from God, was not designed to give us all the information we might desire, nor to solve all the questions about which the human soul is perplexed, but to impart enough to be a safe guide to the haven of eternal rest.
A man may read the figure on the dial, but he cannot tell how the day goes unless the sun shines on the dial; we may read the Bible over, but we cannot learn to purpose till the Spirit of God shine into our hearts.
As the profoundest philosophy of ancient Rome and Greece lighted her taper at Israel’s altar, so the sweetest strains of the pagan muse were swept from harps attuned on Zion’s hill.
The Bible begins gloriously with Paradise, the symbol of youth, and ends with the everlasting kingdom, with the holy city. The history of every man should be a Bible.
Scholars may quote Plato in studies, but the hearts of millions shall quote the Bible at their daily toil, and draw strength from its inspiration, as the meadows draw it from the brook.
So far as I ever observed God’s dealings with my soul, the flights of preachers sometimes entertained me, but it was Scripture expressions which did penetrate my heart, and in a way peculiar to themselves.
The Bible is the most betrashed book in the world. Coming to it through commentaries is much like looking at a landscape through garret windows, over which generations of unmolested spiders have spun their webs.
I will answer for it, the longer you read the Bible, the more you will like it; it will grow sweeter and sweeter; and the more you get into the spirit of it, the more you will get into the Spirit of Christ.
The Bible is a precious storehouse, and the Magna Charta of a Christian. There he reads of his Heavenly Father’s love, and of his dying Saviour’s legacies. There he sees a map of his travels through the wilderness, and a landscape, too, of Canaan.
Christianity claims that the supernatural is as reasonable as the natural, that man himself is supernatural as truly as he is natural, and that the Bible is so clearly the word of God by proofs that are unanswerable, that it is unreasonable to disbelieve its divine truths.
I have carefully and regularly perused the Holy Scriptures, and am of opinion that the volume contains more sublimity, purer morality, more important history, and finer strains of eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever language they may have been written.
In the poorest cottage are books,—is one book, wherein for several thousands of years the spirit of man has found light and nourishment and an interpreting response to whatever is deepest in him.
There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.
There is not a book on earth so favorable to all the kind and to all the sublime affections, or so unfriendly to hatred and persecution, to tyranny, injustice, and every sort of malevolence, as the Gospel.
They who are not induced to believe and live as they ought by those discoveries which God hath made in Scriptures would stand out against any evidence whatever, even that of a messenger sent express from the other world.
Men cannot be well educated without the Bible. It ought, therefore, to hold the chief place in every situation of learning throughout Christendom; and I do not know of a higher service that could be rendered to this republic than the bringing about this desirable result.
It is belief in the Bible, the fruits of deep meditation, which has served me as the guide of my moral and literary life. I have found capital safely invested and richly productive of interest, although I have sometimes made a bad use of it.
The translators of the Bible were masters of an English style much fitter for that work than any we see in our present writings; the which is owing to the simplicity that runs through the whole.
The life-boat may have a tasteful bend and beautiful decoration, but these are not the qualities for which I prize it; it was my salvation from the howling sea! So the interest which a regenerate soul takes in the Bible is founded on a personal application to the heart of the saving truth which it contains.
For more than a thousand years the Bible, collectively taken, has gone hand in hand with civilization, science, law; in short, with the moral and intellectual cultivation of the species, always supporting and often leading the way.
The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.
In morality there are books enough written both by ancient and modern philosophers, but the morality of the Gospel doth so exceed them all that to give a man a full knowledge of true morality I shall send him to no other book than the New Testament.
The pure and noble, the graceful and dignified, simplicity of language is nowhere in such perfection as in the Scriptures and Homer. The whole book of Job, with regard both to sublimity of thought and morality, exceeds, beyond all comparison, the most noble parts of Homer.
If you are ever tempted to speak lightly or think lightly of it, just sit down and imagine what this world would be without it. No Bible! A wound and no cure, a storm and no covert, a condemnation and no shrift, a lost eternity and no ransom! Alas for us if this were all; alas for us if the ladder of science were the only stair to lead us up to God!
The Bible is not only the revealer of the unknown God to man, but His grand interpreter as the God of nature. In revealing God it has given us the key that unlocks the profoundest mysteries of creation, the clew by which to thread the labyrinth of the universe, the glass through which to look from nature up to nature’s God.
The Psalms are an everlasting manual to the soul; the book of its immortal wishes, its troubles, its aspirations, and its hopes; sung in every tongue, and in every age; destined to endure while the universe of God has light, harmony, or grandeur, while man has religion or sensibility, while language has sublimity or sweetness.
As the moon, though darkened with spots, gives us a much greater light than the stars that seem all-luminous, so do the Scriptures afford more light than the brightest human authors. In them the ignorant may learn all requisite knowledge, and the most knowing may learn to discern their ignorance.
I use the Scriptures, not as an arsenal to be resorted to only for arms and weapons, but as a matchless temple, where I delight to contemplate the beauty, the symmetry, and the magnificence of the structure, and to increase my awe and excite my devotion to the Deity there preached and adored.
My own experience is that the Bible is dull when I am dull. When I am really alive, and set in upon the text with a tidal pressure of living affinities, it opens, it multiplies discoveries, and reveals depths even faster than I can note them. The worldly spirit shuts the Bible; the Spirit of God makes it a fire, flaming out all meanings and glorious truths.
All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever.
All systems of morality are fine. The Gospel alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality divested of all absurdity. It is not composed, like your creed, of a few commonplace sentences put in bad verse. Do you wish to see that which is really sublime? Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.
At the time when that odious style which deforms the writings of Hall and of Lord Bacon was almost universal, had appeared that stupendous work, the English Bible,—a book which, if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.
If an uninterested spectator, after a careful perusal of the New Testament, were asked what he conceived to be its distinguishing characteristic, he would reply, without hesitation, “That wonderful spirit of philanthropy by which it is distinguished.” It is a perpetual commentary on that sublime aphorism, “God is love.”
The main condition is that the spiritual ear should be open to overhear and patiently take in, and the will ready to obey that testimony which, I believe, God bears in every human heart, however dull, to those great truths which the Bible reveals. This, and not logic, is the way to grow in religious knowledge, to know that the truths of religion are not shadows, but deep realities.
How admirable and beautiful is the simplicity of the Evangelists! They never speak injuriously of the enemies of Jesus Christ, of His judges, nor of His executioners. They report the facts without a single reflection. They comment neither on their Master’s mildness when He was smitten, nor on His constancy in the hour of His ignominious death, which they thus describe: “And they crucified Jesus.”
What is the Bible in your house? It is not the Old Testament, it is not the New Testament, it is not the Gospel according to Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John; it is the Gospel according to William; it is the Gospel according to Mary; it is the Gospel according to Henry and James; it is the Gospel according to your name. You write your own Bible.
The Saviour who flitted before the patriarchs through the fog of the old dispensation, and who spake in time past to the fathers by the prophets, articulate but unseen, is the same Saviour who, on the open heights of the Gospel, and in the abundant daylight of this New Testament, speaks to us. Still all along it is the same Jesus, and that Bible is from beginning to end, all of it, the word of Christ.
The Bible is a treasure. It contains enough to make us rich for time and eternity. It contains the secret of happy living. It contains the key of heaven. It contains the title-deeds of an inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away. It contains the pearl of great price. Nay, in so far as it reveals them as the portion of us sinful worms, it contains the Saviour and the living God Himself.
The Bible is a warm letter of affection from a parent to a child; and yet there are many who see chiefly the severer passages. As there may be fifty or sixty nights of gentle dews in one summer, that will not cause as much remark as one hailstorm of half an hour, so there are those who are more struck by those passages of the Bible that announce the indignation of God than by those that announce His affection.
The parable of the prodigal son, the most beautiful fiction that ever was invented; our Saviour’s speech to His disciples, with which He closed His earthly ministrations, full of the sublimest dignity and tenderest affection, surpass everything that I ever read; and like the spirit by which they were dictated, fly directly to the heart.
This Bible, then, has a mission, grander than any mere creation of God; for in this volume are infinite wisdom, and infinite love. Between its covers are the mind and heart of God; and they are for man’s good, for his salvation, his guidance, his spiritual nourishment. If now I neglect my Bible, I do my soul a wrong; for the fact of this Divine message is evidence that I need it.
The Bible is the treasure of the poor, the solace of the sick, and the support of the dying; and while other books may amuse and instruct in a leisure hour, it is the peculiar triumph of that book to create light in the midst of darkness, to alleviate the sorrow which admits of no other alleviation, to direct a beam of hope to the heart which no other topic of consolation can reach; while guilt, despair, and death vanish at the touch of its holy inspiration.
I cannot look around me without being struck with the analogy observable in the works of God. I find the Bible written in the style of His other books of Creation and Providence. The pen seems in the same hand. I see it, indeed, write at times mysteriously in each of these books; thus I know that mystery in the works of God is only another name for my ignorance. The moment, therefore, that I become humble, all becomes right.
There are many persons of combative tendencies, who read for ammunition, and dig out of the Bible iron for balls. They read, and they find nitre and charcoal and sulphur for powder. They read, and they find cannon. They read, and they make portholes and embrasures. And if a man does not believe as they do, they look upon him as an enemy, and let fly the Bible at him to demolish him. So men turn the word of God into a vast arsenal, filled with all manner of weapons, offensive and defensive.
Many will say, “I can find God without the help of the Bible, or church, or minister.” Very well. Do so if you can. The Ferry Company would feel no jealousy of a man who should prefer to swim to New York. Let him do so if he is able, and we will talk about it on the other shore; but probably trying to swim would be the thing that would bring him quickest to the boat. So God would have no jealousy of a man’s going to heaven without the aid of the Bible, or church, or minister; but let him try to do so, and it will be the surest way to bring him back to them for assistance.
Eighteen centuries have passed since the Bible was finished. They have been centuries of great changes. In their course the world has been wrought over into newness at almost every point. But to-day the text of the Scriptures, after copyings almost innumerable and after having been tossed about through ages of ignorance and tumult, is found by exhaustive criticism to be unaltered in every important particular—there being not a single doctrine, nor duty, nor fact of any grade, that is brought into question by variations, of readings—a fact that stands alone in the history of such ancient literature.
We may persuade men that are infidels to receive the Scriptures as the word of God by rational arguments drawn from their antiquity; the heavenliness of the matter; the majesty of the style; the harmony of all the parts though written in different ages; the exact accomplishment of prophesies; the sublimity of the mysteries and matters contained in the word; the efficacy and power of it, in the conviction and conversion of multitudes; the scope of the whole,—to guide men to attain their chief end,—the glory of God in their own salvation; and the many miracles wrought for the confirmation of the truth of the doctrines contained in them.
A single book has saved me; but that book is not of human origin. Long had I despised it, long had I deemed it a class-book for the credulous and ignorant, until, having investigated the Gospel of Christ, with an ardent desire to ascertain its truth or falsity, its pages proffered to my inquiries the simplest knowledge of man and nature, and the simplest and at the same time the most exalted system of moral ethics. Faith, hope and charity were enkindled in my bosom; and every advancing step strengthened me in the conviction that the morals of this book are as infinitely superior to human morals as its oracles are superior to human opinions.
Parents, I urge you to make the Bible the sweetest, the dearest book to your children; not by compelling them to read so many chapters each day, which will have the effect of making them hate the Bible, but by reading its pages with them, and by your tender parental love, so showing them the beauty of its wondrous incidents, from the story of Adam and Eve to the story of Bethlehem and Calvary, that no book in the home will be so dear to your children as the Bible; and thus you will be strengthening their minds with the sublimest truths, storing their hearts with the purest love, and sinking deep in their souls solid principles of righteousness, whose divine stones no waves of temptation can ever move.
The Bible has been my guide in perplexity, and my comfort in trouble. It has roused me when declining, and animated me in languor. Other writings may be good, but they want certainty and force. The Bible carries its own credentials along with it, and proves spirit and life to the soul. In other writings I hear the words of a stranger or a servant. In the Bible I hear the language of my Father and my friend. Other books contain only the picture of bread. The Bible presents me with real manna, and feeds me with the bread of life.
You will want a book which contains not man’s thoughts, but God’s—not a book that may amuse you, but a book that can save you—not even a book that can instruct you, but a book on which you can venture an eternity—not only a book which can give relief to your spirit, but redemption to your soul—a book which contains salvation, and conveys it to you, one which shall at once be the Saviour’s book and the sinner’s.