Short pithy gems from Charles Hodge

(1797 1878)

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To be in Christ, is the source of the Christian's life.
To be like Christ, is the sum of the Christian's excellence.
To be with Christ, is the fullness of the Christian's joy.

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The grace of God exalts a man without inflating him and humbles a man without debasing him.

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The gospel is so simple, that small children can understand it and it is so profound, that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches!

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Christian humility does not consist in denying what there is of good in us but in an abiding sense of ill-desert, and in the consciousness that what we have of good is due to the grace of God.

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Original sin is the only rational solution of the undeniable fact of the deep, universal and early manifested sinfulness of men in all ages, of every class, and in every part of the world.

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This is true religion:
to approve what God approves,
to hate what God hates, and
to delight in what God delights.

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A Christian is one who recognizes Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, as God manifested in the flesh, loving us and dying for our redemption; and who is so affected by a sense of the love of this incarnate God, as to be constrained to make the will of Christ the rule of his obedience, and the glory of Christ the great end for which He lives.

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No more soul-destroying doctrine could well be devised than the doctrine that sinners can regenerate themselves, and repent and believe just when they please. As it is a truth both of Scripture and of experience that the unrenewed man can do nothing of himself to secure his salvation it is essential that he should be brought to practical conviction of that truth. When thus convinced, and not before, he seeks help from the only source whence it can be obtained.

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All moral obligation resolves itself into the obligation of conformity to the will of God as found in His Word.

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It is important that when we come to die we have nothing to do but die.

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There is more of power to sanctify, elevate, strengthen, and cheer in the word Jesus than in all the utterances of man since the world began!

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The sin of Adam did not make the condemnation of all men merely possible it was the ground of their actual condemnation. In the same way, the righteousness of Christ did not make the salvation of men merely possible it secured the actual salvation of those for whom He wrought.

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Prayer is the converse of the soul with God. Therein we manifest or express to Him . . .
our reverence and love for His divine perfections,
our gratitude for all His mercies,
our penitence for our sins,
our hope in His forgiving love,
our submission to His authority,
our confidence in His care,
our desires for His favor, and for the providential and spiritual blessings needed for ourselves and others.

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The Bible contains all the will of God, which He designed to be the rule of faith and practice for his Church. Nothing can rightfully be imposed on the consciences of men as truth or duty, which is not taught directly or by necessary implication in the Holy Scriptures.

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The best evidence of the Bible's being the Word of God, is to be found between its covers. It proves itself.

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It is a fact that unless children are brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they, and the society which they constitute or control will go to destruction. Consequently, when a state resolves that religious instruction shall be banished from the schools and other literary institutions it virtually resolves on self-destruction.

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Faith is not a blind, irrational conviction. In order to believe, we must know what we believe, and the grounds on which our faith rests.

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Sanctification is not a work of nature but a work of grace. It is a transformation of character which is not effected by moral influences but supernaturally by the Holy Spirit.

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The doctrines of grace humble man, without degrading him and exalt him, without inflating him.

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They are to be pitied who have no more trustworthy teacher than themselves.

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All that Christ did and suffered, would have been necessary had only one human soul been the object of redemption. Nothing different and nothing more would have been required had every child of Adam been saved through his blood.

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In opposition to all the suggestions of the devil the sole, simple, and sufficient answer is the Word of God.

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If, unable to solve the mysteries of Providence, we plunge into Atheism we only increase a thousand fold the darkness by which we are surrounded!

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There is no form of conviction more intimate and irresistible, than that which arises from the inward teaching of the Spirit.

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This whole process of education is to be religious, and not only religious but Christian. And as Christianity is the only true religion, and God in Christ the only true God the only possible means of profitable education is the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

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To be the Vicar of Christ, to claim to exercise His prerogatives on earth, does involve a claim to His attributes and therefore our opposition to Popery is opposition to a man claiming to be God.

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If Christ has risen, the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation. The kingdom of darkness has been overthrown. Satan has fallen like lightning from Heaven; and the triumph of truth over error, of good over evil, of happiness over misery, is forever secured.

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True zeal is connected with a holy life. It is remarkable how often the greatest zealots for God have been unholy and even immoral in their lives!

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Zeal is the chief source, or one of the chief sources of spiritual power. God employs living souls to communicate life. In all ages, men of zeal have produced great results. This qualification, in the absence of others, can accomplish wonders.

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The Spirit never makes men the instruments of converting others until they feel that they cannot do it themselves; that their skill in argument, in persuasion, in management, avails nothing.

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Foolish talking and jesting are not the ways in which Christian cheerfulness should express itself but rather "giving of thanks". Religion is the source of joy and gladness but its joy is expressed in a religious way, in thanksgiving and praise.

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Every man knows that . . .
when he is not what he ought to be;
when he does what he ought not to do;
when he omits what he ought to do,
that he is chargeable with sin.

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The Church, during the apostolic age, did not consist of isolated, independent congregations but was one body, of which the separate churches were constituent members.

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The Galatians are severely censured for giving heed to false doctrines, and are called to pronounce even an apostle anathema, if he preached another gospel.

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Romanists tell us that the Pope is the vicar of Christ; that he is his successor as the universal head and ruler of the Church on earth. If this is so he must be a Christ.

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Every man who expects justification by works, must see to it, not that he is better than other men, or that he is very exact and does many things, or that he fasts twice in the week, and gives tithes of all he possesses but that he is sinless.

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The Church is everywhere represented as one. It is one body, one family, one fold, one kingdom. It is one because pervaded by one Spirit. We are all baptized into one Spirit so as to become, says the apostle, on body.

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It is because God is infinitely great and good, that his glory is the end of all things; and his good pleasure the highest reason for whatever comes to pass. What is man that he should contend with God or presume that his interests rather than God's glory should be made the final end?