Home      Back to Trinity 3




Chosen by
Charles Williams
Oxford University Press, London 1941.
Third Sunday after Trinity


So new, so unheard of, so unexpected in this world is the power of God unto salvation, that it can appear among us, be received and understood by us, only as a contradiction.  The Gospel does not expound or recommend itself.  It does not negotiate or plead, threaten, or make promises.  It withdraws itself always when it is not listened to for its own sake.

Bart: Epistle to the Romans.





It is well worth observing that our Saviour's greatest trials were near the end of his process or life--that He then experienced the sharpest part of our redemption.  This might sufficiently show us that our first awakenings have carried us but a little way; that we should not then begin to be self-assured of our own salvation, but remember that we stand at a great distance from and in great ignorance of our severest trials.

William Law: Christian Regeneration





Many things seem to be good and yet are not because they be not done with a good mind and intention; and therefore our Saviour saith in the Gospel, If thy eye has naught, all thy body shall be dark.  For when the intention is wicked, all the work which followeth is naught, although it seemed to be never so good.

St Gregory the Great: Dialogues





Nor do all these, youth out of infancy, or age out of youth, arise so, as a phoenix out of the ashes of another phoenix formerly dead, but as a wasp, or a serpent out of carrion, or as a snake out of dung; our youth is worse than our infancy, and our age worse than our youths; our youth is hungry and thirsty after those sins which our infancy knew not, and our age is sorry and angry that it cannot pursue those sins which our youth did.

Donne: Sermons





Lord, before I commit a sin, it seems to me so shallow that I may wade through it dry-shod from any guiltiness; but when I have committed it, it often seems so deep that I cannot escape without drowning.

Thomas Fuller: Good Thoughts in Bad Times


If thou knewest thy sins, thou wouldst lose heart.

Pascal: Penses





Abba John used to say, "We relinquish a light burden when we condemn ourselves, but we take upon ourselves a heavy burden when we justify ourselves."

The Paradise of the Fathers


I love thee more ardently than thou hast loved thine abominations.

Pascal: Penses





The ten Commandments, when written by God on tables of stone and given to man, did not then first begin to belong to man; they had their existence in man, were born with him, they lay as a seed and power of goodness, hidden in the form and make of his soul and altogether inseparable from it, before they were shown to man on tables of stone.  And when they were shown to man on tables of stone, they were only an outward imitation of that which was inwardly in man, though not legible because of that impurity of flesh and blood in which they were drowned and swallowed up.

William Law: The Spirit of Love