Short pithy gems from Elizabeth Prentiss

(1818 1878)

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The longer I live, the more conscious I am of my human frailty and of the constant, overwhelming need I have of God's grace.

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The thorny path bears some of the sweetest flowers that adorn life. And when with naked, bleeding feet we walk upon a flinty soil we often find diamonds!

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If the loss of your earthly fortune gains Christ for you it will be a beautiful loss.

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Dying grace is not usually given until it is needed. Death, to the disciple of Jesus, is only stepping from one room to another and far better room of our Father's house. And how little all the sorrows of the way will seem to us, when we get to our home above.

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You never will be really happy until Christ becomes your dearest and most intimate friend.

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Seek God not joy.

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God delights to try our faith by the conditions in which He places us.

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What are trials, but angels to beckon us nearer to Him.

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What does it matter, after all, from what point of time or space, that we go to our eternal home. O how we shall smile after we get there that we ever gave it one moment's thought.

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It matters very little on what paths we are walking, since we find Him in every one.

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In proportion to your devotion to the Savior will be the blessedness of your life.

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I am persuaded that real humility dwells deep within the heart, and that it is only to be gained by communion with our blessed Savior who, when He was reviled, reviled not again.

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The greatest saint on earth has got to reach Heaven on the same terms as the greatest sinner unworthy, unfit, good-for-nothing; but saved through grace.

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In proportion to our love to Christ will be the agony of terror lest we should sin and fall, and so grieve and weary Him.

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One minute of nearness to the Lord Jesus, contains more delight than years spent in communion with any earthly friend.

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The more we love Him the more we see how sinful sin is, and the more sorry we are to have been guilty of it.

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I entreat you to turn your eyes away from self and from man and look to Christ.

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Let us never allow anything to come between our hearts and our God.

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It is sweet to be in the sunshine of the Master's smile but I believe our souls need winter, as well as summer. We need night, as well as day.

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Let us take our lot in life just as it comes, courageously, patiently, and faithfully, never wondering at anything the Master does.

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I have lived to see that God never was so good to me as when He seemed most severe.

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I have seen the time when I could hide myself in Him as a little child hides in its mother's arms and so have thousands of aching hearts.

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Let us take our lot in life just as it comes courageously, patiently, and faithfully, never questioning anything the Master does.

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We love God more than we are aware.
When He slays us we trust in Him.
When He strikes us we kiss His hand.

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Here is a little mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends but I have gained one dearer than them all. Yes, my precious baby you are welcome to your mothers heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, to her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blessed!

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Some of God's children must go into the furnace, to testify that the Son of God is there with them.

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Not until I was shut up to prayer and to the study of God's word by the loss of earthly joys sickness destroying the flavor of them all did I begin to penetrate the mystery that is learned under the cross. And wondrous as it is, how simple is this mystery! To love Christ, and to know that I love Him this is all.

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We must be wise taskmasters and not require of ourselves what we cannot possibly perform. Recreation we must have. Otherwise, the strings of our soul, wound up to an unnatural tension, will break.

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Ah, what a life is theirs who live in Christ! How vast the mystery! Reaching in height to Heaven and in its depth, the unfathomed sea!

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To love Christ more is my deepest need, and the constant cry of my soul!

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Much of my experience of life has cost me a great price and I wish to use it for strengthening and comforting other souls.

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I am a wayward, foolish child but He loves me!
I have disobeyed and grieved Him ten thousand times but He loves me!
I have lost faith in some of my dearest friends and am very desolate but He loves me!
I do not love Him much but He loves me!

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O my crucified Master, Redeemer, God take what I cannot give my heart, body, thoughts, time, abilities, money, health, strength, nights, days and spend them in Your service. Oh, let not these be mere words! Whom have I in the Heaven, but You? And there is no one upon earth that I desire in comparison to You. My heart is athirst for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

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The best convent for a woman, is the seclusion of her own home. There she may find her vocation and fight her battles, and there she may learn the reality and the earnestness of life.

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It sweetens every bit of work to think that I am doing it in humble, yet real imitation of Jesus.

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No truth can be said to be seen as it is until it is seen in its relation to all other truths.

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If you could once make up your mind never to undertake more work than you can carry on calmly, quietly, without hurry or flurry; and if the instant you feel yourself growing nervous and out of breath, you would stop and take a breath you would find this simple common-sense rule doing for you what no prayers or tears could ever accomplish.

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O happy life! life hid with Christ in God! So making me at home and by the wayside and abroad alone with You.

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The question is not whether you ever gave yourself to God but whether you are His now.

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There is certainly enough in our Savior, if we only open our eyes that we may see it, to solve every doubt and satisfy every longing of the heart; and He is willing to give it in full measure. If a glimpse of our Savior here on earth can be so refreshing, so delightful, what will it be in Heaven?

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When my mind strives to grasp this love of Christ, it seems to struggle in vain with its own littleness, and falls back weary and exhausted, to wonder again at the heights and depths which surpass its comprehension.

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God never places us in any position in which we cannot grow. We may imagine that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting petty cares that we are gaining nothing; but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress. Look on and look up. Lay hold on Christ with both your poor, empty hands. Let Him do with you what seems good to Him. Though He slay you, still trust in Him, and I dare in His name to promise you a sweeter, better life than you could have ever known, had He left you to drink of the full dangerous cups of unmingled prosperity.

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O if the unseen presence of Jesus can make the heart to sing for joy in the midst of its sorrow and sin here then what will it be to dwell with Him forever!

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We never know, or begin to know, the great Heart that loves us best, until we throw ourselves upon it in the hour of our despair. Friends say and do all they can for us, but they do not know what we suffer or what we need; but Christ who formed, has penetrated the depths of the crushed heart. He pours in the oil that no human hand possesses, and "as one whom his mother comforts, so will He comfort you."

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Lay down this principle as a law: God does nothing arbitrary. If He takes away your health, for instance, it is because He has some reason for doing so. This is true of everything you value, and if you have real faith in Him, you will not insist on knowing this reason.

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All your tears will soon be wiped away. You will see the King in His beauty. You will see Christ your Redeemer, and realize all He is, and all He has done for you. As I think of these things my soul is in haste to be gone. I long to be set free from sin and self, and to go to the fellowship of those who are done with them forever, and are perfect and entire, lacking nothing.

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She is at home; she is well, she is happy, she will never know a bereavement or a day's illness, or the infirmities and trials of old age. She has the secret of perpetual youth! The only real comfort is that God never makes mistakes, and that He would not have snatched her from us if He had not had a reason that would satisfy us if we knew it. Next to dying and going home one's self, it must be sweet to accompany a Christian friend down to the very banks of the river. Isn't it strange that after such experiences we can ever again have a worldly thought, or ever lose the sense of the reality of divine things!

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How transcendently good He is, when He brings me down to that low place, and there shows me that that self-renouncing, self-despairing spot is just the one where He will stoop to meet me.

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Those words, "daily nearer God," have an inexpressible charm for me. I long for such nearness to Him that all other objects shall fade into comparative insignificance; so that to have a thought, a wish, a pleasure apart from Him, shall be impossible.

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I am not sure that it is best for us, once safe and secure on the Rock of Ages, to ask ourselves too closely, what this and that experience may signify. Is it not better to be thinking of the Rock, not of the feet that stand upon it? It seems to me that we ought to be unconscious of ourselves, and that the nearer we get to Christ the more we shall be taken up with Him. We shall be like a sick man who, after he gets well, forgets all the symptoms he used to think so much of, and stops feeling his pulse, and just enjoys his health, only pointing out his physician to all who are diseased.

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REST! What an infinite, mournful sweetness in the word. How perfectly sure I feel that my soul can never rest in itself, nor in anything of earth. If I find peace, it must be in the bosom of God. I know myself to be perfectly helpless. I cannot promise to do, or to be, anything; but I do want to put everything else aside, and to devote myself entirely to the service of Christ.

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A cup of cold water given in Christ's name, if that is all one can give, is just as acceptable as the richest offering; and so is a teaspoonful, if one has no more to give. Christ loves to be loved, and the smallest testimony of real love is most pleasing to Him, and love shown to one of His suffering disciples, He regards as love to Himself. So a little child carrying a flower to some poor invalid, may thus do Christ honor and become more endeared to Him.

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Let my life be an all-day looking to Jesus. Let my love to God be so deep, earnest, and all-pervading, that I cannot have even the passing emotion of rebellion to suppress. There is such a thing as an implicit faith in, and consequent submission to, Christ. Let me never rest until they are freely mine.

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I believe that there is no happiness on earth, as there is none in Heaven to be compared with that of losing all things to possess Christ.