Short pithy gems from Thomas Chalmers

(1780 1847)

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The only way to dispossess the heart of an old affection is by the expulsive power of a new one!

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The best way to overcome the world, is not with morality or self-discipline. Christians overcome the world by seeing the beauty and excellence of Christ. They overcome the world by seeing something more attractive than the world the Lord Jesus Christ!

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Acts of virtue, ripen into habits and the holy result is the formation of a virtuous character.

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There is nothing more uncommon, than common sense.

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The character with which we sink into the grave at death is the very character with which we shall reappear at the final judgment!

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Write your name in kindness, love and mercy on the hearts of the thousands you come in contact with year by year and you will never be forgotten.

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The Bible is like a wide and beautiful landscape seen afar off, dim and confused. But a good telescope will bring it near, and spread out all its rocks and trees and flowers and vibrant fields and winding rivers at one's very feet. That telescope is the Spirit's teaching.

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The sum and substance of the preparation needed for a coming eternity is that you believe what the Bible tells you, and do what the Bible bids you.

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O God, impress upon me the value of time and give regulation to all my thoughts and to all my actions.

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Every man is a missionary for good or for evil whether he intends or designs it or not. He may be a blot radiating his dark influence outward to the very circumference of society or he may be a blessing spreading blessing over the length and breadth of the world. But a blank he cannot be. There are no moral blanks there are no neutral characters.

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With the magnificence of eternity before us let time, with all its fluctuations, dwindle into its own littleness.

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Such is the grasping tendency of the human heart, that it must have a something to lay hold of and which, if wrested away without the substitution of another something in its place, would leave a void and a vacancy as painful to the mind, as hunger is to the natural system. The heart must have something to cling to!

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Faith is like the hand of the beggar which takes the gift.

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I want to feel my own nothingness, I want to give myself up in absolute resignation to God, to lie prostrate and passive at His feet, with no other disposition in my heart than that of merging my will into His will, and no other language in my mouth than that of prayer for the perfecting of His strength in my weakness.

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A man's needs are few. The simpler the life, therefore, the better. Indeed, only three things are truly necessary in order to make life happy:

the blessing of God,

the benefit of books, and

the benevolence of friends.

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Thousands of men breathe, move, and live. They pass off the stage of life and are heard of no more. Why? They did not a particle of good in the world none were blessed by them, none could point to them as the instrument of their redemption. Not a line they wrote, not a word they spoke, could be recalled and so they perished their light went out in darkness, and they were not remembered more than the insects of yesterday. Will you thus live and die, O man immortal? Live for something!

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It is in those times of hopeless chaos when the sovereign hand of God is most likely to be seen.

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Guard against that vanity which courts a compliment, or is fed by it.

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Not until we come to a simple reliance on the blood and mediation of the Savior, shall we know what it is either to have trust in God, or know what it is to walk before Him without fear, in righteousness and true holiness.

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It is not scholarship alone but scholarship impregnated with piety, which counts with the great mass of society. We have no faith in the efficacy of mechanic's institutes, or even of primary and elementary schools, for building up a virtuous and well conditioned peasantry, so long as they stand dissevered from the lessons of Christian piety.

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If it is the characteristic of a worldly man, that he desecrates what is holy then it should be of the Christian, to consecrate all that is secular.

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The brute animals have all the same sensations of pain as human beings, and consequently endure as much pain when their body is hurt; but in their case the cruelty of torment is greater, because they have no mind to bear them up against their sufferings, and no hope to look forward to when enduring the last extreme pain.

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O Heavenly Father, convert my religion from a name to a principle! Bring all my thoughts and movements into a habitual reference to You!

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Infidelity gives nothing in return for what it takes away. What, then, is it worth? Everything valuable as a compensating power. Not a blade of grass that withers, or the ugliest weed that is flung away to rot and die but reproduces something. Infidelity is the fearful blindness of the soul.

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It is more blessed to give than to receive and therefore less blessed to receive than to give.

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By the very constitution of our nature, moral evil is its own curse.

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Christ came to give us a justifying righteousness, and He also came to make us holy not chiefly for the purpose of evidencing here our possession of a justifying righteousness but for the purpose of forming and fitting us for a blessed eternity.

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Judging from the tendency and effect of his arguments, an atheist does not appear positively to refuse that a God may be. His verdict on the doctrine of God is only that it is not proven. It is not that it is disproved. He is but an atheist. He is not an anti-theist.