C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Spires whose “silent finger points to heaven.”


The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve the purity of it.

Matthew Henry.

Built God a church and laughed His word to scorn.


The mission of the Church is to seek and to save them that are lost.


Some to church repair, not for the doctrine, but the music there.


  • Who builds a church to God, and not to fame,
  • Will never mark the marble with his name.
  • Pope.

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


    An itch of disputing will prove the scab of churches.

    Sir Henry Wotton.

  • What is a church? Our honest sexton tells,
  • ’Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.
  • Crabbe.

    A little thing will keep them from the house of God who have no desire to go to it.


  • Fond fools
  • Promise themselves a name from building churches.
  • Randolph.

    Surely the church is a place where one day’s truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.


    I never yet have known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord’s people were divided.

    D. L. Moody.

    Division has done more to hide Christ from the view of men than all the infidelity that has ever been spoken.

    George MacDonald.

    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.

    The union of Church and State is not to make the Church political, but the State religious.

    Lord Eldon.

    The Church limits her sacramental services to the faithful. Christ gave Himself upon the cross a ransom for all.


    The church is made up of individuals. It can do nothing except as its members work, and work together.


    To support those of your rights authorized by Heaven, destroy everything rather than yield; that is the spirit of the Church.


    The church may go through her dark ages, but Christ is with her in the midnight; she may pass through her fiery furnace, but Christ is in the midst of the flame with her.

    C. H. Spurgeon.

    I believe that the root of almost every schism and heresy from which the Christian church has ever suffered has been the effort of men to earn, rather than to receive, their salvation.

    John Ruskin.

    The Church has a good stomach; she has swallowed down whole countries, and has never known a surfeit; the Church alone can digest such ill-gotten wealth.


  • What makes a church a den of thieves?
  • A dean and chapter, and white sleeves.
  • Butler.

  • Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
  • The Devil always builds a chapel there:
  • And ’twill be found upon examination,
  • The latter has the largest congregation.
  • De Foe.

  • The perfect world, by Adam trod,
  • Was the first temple—built by God—
  • His fiat laid the corner stone,
  • And heaved its pillars, one by one.
  • Willis.

  • “What is a church?” Let truth and reason speak;
  • They would reply—“The faithful pure and meek,
  • From Christian folds, the one selected race,
  • Of all professions, and in every place.”
  • Crabbe.

  • 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,
  • And make thyself all reverence and fear.
  • Herbert.

    It is better to have a plain, substantial building, with no extravagance about it, but without a debt, than to have the most splendid specimen of Gothic architecture that is overlaid by a mortgage.

    Wm. M. Taylor.

    We have houses of God built in defiance of the laws of God. On the walls of one of these monstrosities I saw this most appropriate motto: “This is the house of God; how dreadful is this place!”

    Prof. Sheppard.

    Doubts about the fundamentals of the Gospel exist in certain churches, I am told, to a large extent. My dear friends, where there is a warm-hearted church, you do not hear of them. I never saw a fly light on a red-hot plate.

    C. H. Spurgeon.

    Persecution has not crushed it, power has not beaten it back, time has not abated its force, and, what is most wonderful of all, the abuses and treasons of its friends have not shaken its stability.

    Horace Bushnell.

  • One family—we dwell in Him,
  • One church above, beneath,
  • Though now divided by the stream,
  • The narrow stream of death.
  • Charles Wesley.

    Steele has observed that there is this difference between the Church of Rome and the Church of England,—the one professes to be infallible, the other to be never in the wrong.


  • Why should we crave a hallow’d spot?
  • An altar is in each man’s cot,
  • A church in every grove that spreads
  • Its living roof above our heads.
  • Wordsworth.

    An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches in flat countries with spire steeples, which, as they cannot be referred to any other object, point as with silent finger to the sky and stars.


    Jesus organized the church, which is His vineyard. He commands all to go into the vineyard and work. All who are united to Christ by faith, and are thus members of His mystical body, should be members of His visible church.


    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.

    A. E. Kittredge.

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

    John Angel James.

    There ought to be such an atmosphere in every Christian church that a man going there and sitting two hours should take the contagion of heaven, and carry home a fire to kindle the altar whence he came.


    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 C. Lorimer.

    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?”

    A. E. Kittredge.

    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.

    J. G. Holland.

    Antedating our history, possessing and illumining the hearts of the founders of liberty in our free land, and constantly exerting the soul-equalizing and soul-elevating principles of the gospel of Christ as they fall from Sabbath to Sabbath on the masses of the people, the Christian church stands before all men as the pillar and ground of civil liberty in the world.

    W. H. Perrine.

    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.


    Under the term Church, I understand a body or collection of human persons, professing faith in Christ, gathered together in several places of the world, for worship of the same God, and united into the same corporation.

    Bishop Pearson.

    As in Noah’s ark there were the clean and the unclean, raven and dove, leopard and kid, the cruel lion with the gentle lamb; so in the Church of Christ on earth you will find the same diversities and differences of human character.

    Rev. Dr. Guthrie.

    And she (the Roman Catholic Church) may still exist in undiminished vigor, when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.


    In the true, original, catholic, evangelical religion of Jesus Christ, and in this alone, all the divided religions of Christendom find their union, their repose, their support. Find out His mind, His character, His will; and in His greatness we shall rise above our littleness; in His strength we shall lose our weakness; in His peace we shall forget our discord.

    Dean Stanley.

    The church is a sort of hospital for men’s souls, and as full of quackery as the hospital for their bodies. Those who are taken into it live like pensioners in their Retreat or Sailors’ Snug Harbor, where you may see a row of religious cripples sitting outside in sunny weather.


    In the Church of Christ one little worker can mar the whole by failing to fulfill his office. There is a place for each. Find your place if you are not already in it, and obey the Saviour’s command, “Go work in my vineyard”—the command of a king which you disobey at the peril of losing the reward of the faithful.


    So, from generation to generation, the spiritual church is rising upwards toward its perfection; and, though one after another the workmen pass away, the fabric remains, and the great Master-builder carries on the undertaking. Be it ours to build in our portion in a solid and substantial manner, so that they who come after us may be at once thankful for our thoroughness, and inspired by our example.

    Wm. M. Taylor.

    What is the average type of a counterfeit church? A hammock, attached on one side to the cross, and, on the other, held and swung to and fro by the forefinger of Mammon; its freight of nominal Christians elegantly moaning meanwhile over the evils of the times, and not at ease unless fanned by eloquence and music, and sprinkled by social adulations into perfumed, unheroic slumber.

    Joseph Cook.

    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.

    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.

    A. E. Kittredge.

    Men say their pinnacles point to heaven. Why, so does every tree that buds, and every bird that rises as it sings. Men say their aisles are good for worship. Why, so is every mountain glen and rough sea-shore. But this they have of distinct and indisputable glory,—that their mighty walls were never raised, and never shall be, but by men who love and aid each other in their weakness.


    The clearest window that ever was fashioned, if it is barred by spiders’ webs, and hung over with carcasses of insects, so that the sunlight has forgotten to find its way through, of what use can it be? Now, the Church is God’s window; and if it is so obscured by errors that its light is darkness, how great is that darkness!


    When I go to the house of God I do not want amusement; I want the doctrine which is according to godliness. I want to hear the remedy against the harassing of my guilt and the disorder of my affections. I want to be led from weariness and disappointment to that goodness which filleth the hungry soul. I want to have light upon the mystery of Providence; to be taught how the judgments of the Lord are right; how I shall be prepared for duty and for trial; how I may fear God all the days of my life, and close them in peace.

    John M. Mason.

    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 E. Hale.

  • Then might ye see
  • Cowls, hoods, and habits with their wearers tost
  • And flutter’d into rags; then reliques, beads,
  • Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
  • The sport of winds; all these upwhirl’d aloft
  • Fly to the rearward of the world far off
  • Into a limbo large and broad, since called
  • The paradise of fools.
  • Milton.

    The church is not a select circle of the immaculate, but a home where the outcast may come in. It is not a palace with gate attendants and challenging sentinels along the entrance-ways holding off at arm’s-length the stranger, but rather a hospital where the broken-hearted may be healed, and where all the weary and troubled may find rest and take counsel together.


    Any church which forsakes the regular and uniform for the periodical and spasmodic service of God, is doomed to decay; any church which relies for its spiritual strength and growth entirely upon seasons of “revival,” will very soon have no genuine revivals to rely on. Our holy God will not conform His blessings to man’s moods and moral caprice. If a church is declining, it may require a “revival” to restore it; but what need was there of its declining?

    T. L. Cuyler.

  • 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.
  • O. W. Holmes.

  • Look on this edifice of marble made—
  • How fair it swells, too beautiful to fade.
  • See what fine people in its portals crowd,
  • Smiling and greeting, talking, laughings loud!
  • What is it? Surely not a gay exchange,
  • Where wit and beauty social joys arrange;
  • Not a grand shop, where late Parisian styles
  • Attract rich buyers from a thousand miles?
  • But step within; no need of further search.
  • Behold, admire a fashionable church!
  • Look how its oriel window glints and gleams,
  • What tinted light magnificently streams
  • On the proud pulpit, carved with quaint device,
  • Where velvet cushions, exquisitely nice,
  • Press’d by the polish’d preacher’s dainty hands,
  • Hold a large volume clasp’d by golden bands.
  • Park Benjamin.

    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.

    W. Gladden.

    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 to-day?” These are the questions which the best part of mankind feel to be proper, and to which we must have affirmative replies.

    John Hall.