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“No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.”
Alexander MacLaren
“The Gospel is not a mere message of deliverance, but a canon of conduct; it is not a theology to be accepted, but it is ethics to be lived. It is not to be believed only, but it is to be taken into life as a guide. ”
Alexander MacLaren
“love is the only fire that is hot enough to melt the iron obstinacy of a creatures will”
Alexander MacLaren
tags: love, will
“Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrance and hidden strength in the remembrance of Him as " in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us.”
Alexander Maclaren
“Seek to cultivate a buoyant joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.”
Alexander Maclaren
“God looks on the upright, as has been said; and the upright shall gaze on Him.... That mutual gaze is blessedness. They who looking up behold Jehovah are brave to front all foes and to keep calm hearts in the midst of alarms. Hope burns like a pillar of fire in them when it is gone out in others; and to all the suggestions of their own timidity or of others they have the answer, "In the Lord have I put my trust; how say ye to my soul, Flee? Here I stand; I can do no otherwise. God help me. Amen.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Psalms
“Love is the foundation of all obedience.”
Alexander MacLaren
“Sorrow and loss are meant to prepare us for the vision of God to purge the inward eye that it may see Him.”
Alexander MacLaren
“He that has his trust set upon God does not need to dread anything except the weakening or the paralyzing of that trust.”
Alexander MacLaren
“The cross had touched his heart and will. That was all. It had changed his whole being. He is a living illustration of Paul’s teaching in this very letter. He is dead with Christ to his old self; he lives with Christ a new life. The gospel can do that. It can and does do so to-day and to us, if we will. Nothing else can; nothing else ever has done it; nothing else ever will. Culture may do much; social reformation may do much; but the radical transformation of the nature is only effected by the “love of God shed abroad in the heart,” and by the new life which we receive through our faith in Christ.”
Alexander MacLaren, The Expositor's Bible: Colossians and Philemon
“The tears of Christ are the pity of God. The gentleness of Jesus is the long-suffering of God. The tenderness of Jesus is the love of God. "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”
Alexander MacLaren
tags: god, mercy
“Christ wrought out His perfect obedience as a man, through temptation, and by suffering.”
Alexander MacLaren
“The first plague-spot is the accumulation of wealth in few hands, and the selfish withdrawal of its possessors from the life of the community. In an agricultural society like that of Judah, that clotting of wealth took the shape of 'land-grabbing,' and of evicting the small proprietors. We see it in more virulent forms in our great commercial centres, where the big men often become big by crushing out the little ones, and denude themselves of responsibility to the community in proportion as they clothe themselves with wealth. Wherever wealth is thus congested, and its obligations ignored by selfish indulgence, the seeds are sown which will spring up one day in 'anarchism.' A man need not be a prophet to have it whispered in his ear, as Isaiah had, that the end of selfish capitalism is a convulsion in which 'many houses shall be desolate,' and many fields barren.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Isaiah and Jeremiah
“One man, with God to back him, is always in the majority.”
Alexander MacLaren, MacLaren's Commentary (Expositions Of Holy Scripture) 32 Books In 1 Volume.: An Expositor's Bible Commentary
“Rich or poor, high or low, all men are equal in sin. There are surface differences and degrees, but a deep identity beneath. So on the same principle all souls are of the same value. Here is the true democracy of Christianity. So there is one ransom for all, for the need of all is identical. III.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture
“Self-confidence is not the temper which God uses for His instruments. He works with 'bruised reeds,' and breathes His strength into them. It is when a man says 'I can do nothing,' that he is fit for God to employ. 'When I am weak, then I am strong.' Moses”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture
“To-day is given us mainly that we may learn to know God better, and to love Him more, and to serve Him more joyfully.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John
“Seek to be the man that you are least likely to be, and aim at a comprehensive development of 'all righteousness and goodness and truth.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John
“True love is an intense desire for the presence of its object. God is only ours in reality when we are conscious of His nearness, and that is strange love of Him which is content to pass days without ever setting Him before itself.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Psalms
“He who makes his needs known to God gains for immediate answer "the peace of God which passeth understanding," and can wait God’s time for the rest.”
Alexander MacLaren
tags: prayer
“Self-preservation is not a man’s first duty: flight is his last. Better and wiser and infinitely nobler to stand a mark for the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" and to stop at our post though we fall there, better infinitely to toil on, even when toil seems vain, than cowardly to keep a whole skin at the cost of a wounded conscience or despairingly to fling up work, because the ground is hard and the growth of the seed imperceptible. Prudent advices, when the prudence is only inspired by sense, are generally foolish.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Psalms
“You have nothing to do but to receive the things that are freely given to you of God—the forgiveness, the cleansing, the life, that come from Christ by faith.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Psalms
“We are plunged into the midst of a scene of things which obviously does not match our capacities. There is a great deal more in every man than can ever find a field of expression, of work, or of satisfaction in anything beneath the stars. And no man that understands, even superficially, his own character, his own requirements, can fail to feel in his sane and quiet moments, when the rush of temptation and the illusions of this fleeting life have lost their grip upon him: 'This is not the place that can bring out all that is in me, or that can yield me all that I desire.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture
“In the religious life it is possible to commit an analogous error, and to prize so unwisely peaceful hours of communion, as to waive imperative duty for the sake of them; like Peter with his "Let us make here three tabernacles," while there were devil-ridden sufferers waiting to be healed down on the plain. Moments of devotion, which do not prepare for hours of practical righteousness, are very untrustworthy. But, on the other hand, the paths of righteousness will not be trodden by those who have known nothing of the green pastures and waters where the wearied can rest.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Psalms
“No wise forward look can ignore the possibility of many sorrows and the certainty of some. Hope has ever something of dread in her eyes. The road will not be always bright and smooth, but will sometimes plunge down into grim cations, where no sunbeams reach. But even that anticipation may be calm. "Thou art with me" is enough. He who guides into the gorge will guide through it. It is not a cul de sac, shut in with precipices, at the far end; but it opens out on shining tablelands, where there is greener pasture.”
Alexander MacLaren
“John does not say 'the sins'... But he says, 'the sin of the world,' as if the whole mass of human transgression was bound together, in one black and awful bundle, and laid upon the unshrinking shoulders of this better Atlas who can bear it all, and bear it all away. Your sin, and mine, and every man's, they were all laid upon Jesus Christ.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions Of Holy Scripture St. John Chapters I To Xiv
“The Gospel is the savour of life unto life, or of death unto death. The same fire melts wax and hardens clay. The same Christ is salvation and destruction. God is to each of us either our joy or our dread. II.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture
“Abraham's devotion was sealed and certified because he did not withhold his son, his only son, from God. And God's love is sealed because He hath not withheld His only-begotten Son from us.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture
“God the Eternal Object. To find Him in everything, and everything in Him, is to be at rest.”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture
“The Passover as a feast is a prophecy of the great Sacrifice, by virtue of whose sprinkled blood we all may be sheltered from the sweep of the divine judgment, and on which we all have to feed if there is to be any life in us. Our propitiation is our food. 'Christ for us' must become 'Christ in us,' received and appropriated by our faith as the strength of our lives. The Christian life is meant to be a joyful feast on the Sacrifice, and communion with God based upon it. We feast on Christ when the mind feeds on Him as truth, when the heart is filled and satisfied with His love, when the conscience clings to Him as its peace, when the will esteems the 'words of His mouth more than' its 'necessary food,' when all desires, hopes, and inward powers draw their supplies from Him, and find their object in His sweet sufficiency. Nor”
Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture

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