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 William Barclay Quotes
35 Famous Quotes by William Barclay
12/5/1907 - 1/24/1978
Also Known As:  
W. Barclay
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About William Barclay

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.

Endurance Quotes, by William Barclay

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For the Christian, heaven is where Jesus is. We do not need to speculate on what heaven will be like. It is enough to know that we will be for ever with Him. When we love anyone with our whole hearts, life begins when we are with that person; it is only in their company that we are really and truly alive. It is so with Christ. In this world our contact with Him is shadowy, for we can only see through a glass darkly. It is spasmodic, for we are poor creatures and cannot live always on the heights. But the best definition of it is to say that heaven is that state where we will always be with Jesus, and where nothing will separate us from Him any more.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Feast of John Vianney, Curè d'Ars, 1859 Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God's voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Commemoration of Wilson Carlile, Priest, Founder of the Church Army, 1942 Here is the great truth that, only when we see things in the light of God, do we see things as they are. It is only when we see things in the light of God that we see what things are really important, and what things are not. These things seem vastly important, things like ambition, and prestige, and money and gain, lose all their value and importance when they are seen in the light of God. Pleasures and habits and social customs which seem permissible enough, are seen for the dangerous things they are when they are seen in the light of God. Things which seem evils, hardship, toil, discipline, unpopularity, even persecution, are seen in their glory when they are seen in the light of God.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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The tragedy of life and of the world is not that men do not know God; the tragedy is that, knowing Him, they still insist on going their own way.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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True and genuine worship is when man, through his spirit attains to friendship and intimacy with God. True and genuine worship is not to come to a certain place; it is not to go through a certain ritual or liturgy; it is not even to bring certain gifts. True worship is when the spirit, the immortal and invisible part of man, speaks to and meets with God, who is immortal and invisible.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Feast of Saints & Martyrs of England It frequently happens that the value of a thing lies in the fact that someone has possessed it. A very ordinary thing acquires a new value, if it has been possessed by some famous person. In any museum we will find quite ordinary things--clothes, a walking-stick, a pen, pieces of furniture--which are only of value because they were possessed and used by some great person. It is the ownership which gives them worth. It is so with the Christian. The Christian may be a very ordinary person, but he acquires a new value and dignity and greatness because he belongs to God. The greatness of the Christian lies in the fact that he is God's.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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To the rich man, Lazarus was part of the landscape. If ever he did notice him, it never struck him that Lazarus had anything to do with him. He was simply unaware of his presence, or, if he was aware of it, he had no sense of responsibility for it... A man may well be condemned, not for doing something, but for doing nothing.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Commemoration of Margery Kempe, Mystic, after 1433 That crowd of Jews would have followed Christ at that moment because He was giving them what they wanted [bread], and they wished to use Him for their plans and dreams and purposes. That attitude to Christ still lingers in men's minds. We would like Christ's gifts without Christ's Cross; we would like to use Christ instead of allowing Him to use us.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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If we are to accept the teaching of Jesus at all, then the only test of the reality of a man's religion is his attitude to his fellow men. The only possible proof that a man loves God is the demonstrated fact that he loves his fellow men.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave Jesus Christ in the central place in one's life. The shortest possible description of a Christian -- a description with which the New Testament would fully agree -- is that a Christian is a person who can say: "For me Jesus Christ is Lord." Herbert Butterfield's words about facing the future are good: "Hold to Christ, and for the rest be totally uncommitted." Any alleged conversion which does not leave one totally committed solely to Jesus Christ is incomplete and imperfect. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave one integrated into the Church. By this we do not mean any particular part of the Church; what we do mean is that conversion must leave one linked in loving fellowship with one's fellow believers. Conversion is not something simply between a man and Jesus Christ, with no other person involved. True, it may start in that way; but it cannot end in that way. Conversion is not individualistic. It is, in fact, just the opposite. It joins man to his fellow men, and certainly does not separate him from them. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915 A conversion is incomplete if it does not leave one with an intense social consciousness, if it does not fill one with a sense of overwhelming responsibility for the world. It has been said... truly that the Church exists for those outside of itself. The Church must never be in any sense a little huddle of pious people, shutting their doors against the world, lost in prayer and praise, connoisseurs of preaching and liturgy, busy mutually congratulating themselves on the excellence of their Christian experience.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.

Endurance Quotes, by William Barclay

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We may not understand how the spirit works; but the effect of the spirit on the lives of men is there for all to see; and the only unanswerable argument for Christianity is a Christian life. No man can disregard a religion and a faith and a power which is able to make bad men good.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary Concluding a Lenten series on prayer: Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God's voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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So long as we judge ourselves by human comparisons, there is plenty of room for self-satisfaction, and self-satisfaction kills faith, for faith is born of the sense of need. But when we compare ourselves with Jesus Christ, and through Him, with God, we are humbled to the dust, and then faith is born, for there is nothing left to do but to trust to the mercy of God.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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When Jesus takes possession of our life, it is not only that the past is forgotten and forgiven; if that were all, we might well proceed to make the same mess of life all over again; but into life there enters this new power which enables us to be what by ourselves we could never be, and to do what by ourselves we could never do. Water and the Spirit stand for the cleansing and the strengthening power of Christ, which wipes out the past and which gives us victory in the future.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. And we do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His task and to take up His Cross.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Commemoration of Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher, 1901 It may well be that the unknowable name stands for the ultimate mystery of Jesus Christ. His love we can experience; His salvation we can appropriate; His help we can claim; but their remains in Him the divine mystery of the Incarnation, which is beyond our understanding, and before which we can only worship and adore.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883 There is a certain kind of so-called conversion which separates a man from his fellow men. It may fill him with a self-righteousness which rejoices in its own superiority to those who have had no like experience. It may move a man to a Pharisaic self-isolation. There have in fact been not a few so-called conversions as a result of which a man has left the Church to belong to some smaller and holier body. The plain truth is that such a one should very seriously examine himself, if he finds what he regards as his Christian experience separating him from his fellow-men, or his fellow-Christians.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest, Monk of Jarrow, Historian, 735 Commemoration of Aldhelm, Abbot of Mamsbury, Bishop of Sherborne, 709 Life is at its noblest and its best when our effort cooperates with God's grace to produce the necessary loveliness.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Commemoration of Martyrs of Papua New Guinea, 1942 It is fatally easy to think of Christianity as something to be discussed and not as something to be experienced. It is certainly important to have an intellectual grasp of the orb of Christian truth; but it is still more important to have a vital, living experience of the power of Jesus Christ. When a man undergoes treatment from a doctor, he does not need to know the way in which the drug works on his body in order to be cured. There is a sense in which Christianity is like that. At the heart of Christianity there is a mystery, but it is not the mystery of intellectual appreciation; it the mystery of redemption.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Feast of Teresa of Avila, Mystic, Teacher, 1582 O God, grant that today I may not disappoint any friend; I may not grieve any loved one; I may not fail anyone to whom I have a duty; I may not shame myself. Grant that today I may do my work with honesty and fidelity; I may take my pleasure in happiness and purity. Grant that today I may lead no one astray; I may not make goodness and faith harder for anyone. Help me today to be a help and example to all; to bring strength and encouragement wherever I am: Through Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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Concluding a short series on education: The devout student is the best of all students. There are too many who are devout, but not students. They will not accept the discipline of study and of learning, and they even look with suspicion upon the further knowledge which study brings to men. There are equally too many who are students, but not devout. They are interested too much in intellectual knowledge, and too little in the life of prayer and in the life of service of their fellow men. A man would do well to aim at being not only a student, and not only devout, but at being a devout student.

Christianity Quotes, by William Barclay

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