LYMAN ABBOTT QUOTES

American theologian and author (1835-1922)

Lyman Abbott quote

Every life is a march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Problems of Life: Selections from the Writings of Rev. Lyman Abbott

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A miracle constantly repeated becomes a process of nature.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Problems of Life: Selections from the Writings of Rev. Lyman Abbott

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Time never works. It eats, and undermines, and rots, and rusts, and destroys. But it never works. It only gives us an opportunity to work.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Laicus: Or, The Experiences of a Layman in a Country Parish

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There is evil in excess; there is evil in scant measure.

LYMAN ABBOTT, A Study in Human Nature

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The specialists aver that most men have a streak of insanity in them. A thoroughly sane mind is as rare as a thoroughly healthy body. To keep the mind well balanced, to preserve it in good order, to enable it to work clearly, quickly, efficiently, regularly, requires a knowledge of the mind and of the conditions of mental health. The ministers assure us that all men are diseased morally. Life abundantly bears out their assertion. No man is perfectly healthy, morally; for perfect health is a perfect balance of all the moral powers. Every faculty has its own disease. The conscience may become cruel—witness the Inquisition. Religion may become superstition—witness the history of all pagan and some forms of the Christian religion. Love may become sentiment—witness the story of many a child ruined by the false love of a doting mother. And observe that every man's body, mind, and spirit is distinct from every other man's. Its conditions of health are peculiar. What is one man's meat is another man's poison. One man needs cereals, another meat; one man needs to read more fiction, another needs to abandon it altogether. One man needs to cultivate his reverence, another his conscience, a third his sympathy. To produce, to cultivate, to maintain health of body, mind, and spirit, every man has need to know his own nature, the laws of his own being, the condition of his own health.

LYMAN ABBOTT, A Study in Human Nature

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Each nature requires its own education. The training which will help the man of undue self-esteem, will hurt the man who has too little. A chief end of life is to grow aright; and no man can grow aright.

LYMAN ABBOTT, A Study in Human Nature

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Christ is not the world's medicine, but the world's physician; and his prescriptions are various for various disorders. To grow in holiness is to grow in healthiness; and this requires a knowledge of your own nature, that you may know what needs feeding and what needs pruning.

LYMAN ABBOTT, A Study in Human Nature

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A knowledge of human nature is the first condition of the successful conduct of life. Every business man, lawyer, doctor, statesman, needs it. If a man should attempt to farm without any knowledge of seeds and soils, or to mine without any knowledge of metals, he would be sure to fail; how can he succeed in dealing with men if he knows nothing about human nature.

LYMAN ABBOTT, A Study in Human Nature

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Nothing is trivial to God which is of consequence to us. He is not so absorbed with the affairs of state that he can give no time or thought to the minor concerns of his children's life.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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Christ ransoms, Christ feeds, but, grandest truth of all, Christ frees—frees us from the fetters we have welded on our own wrists.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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It needed no divine revelation to assure us that God loves. The language of nature and the experience of our own hearts are an adequate witness to this truth, so simple as to be almost self-evident. That which gives to the Bible revelation of God's character its peculiar significance is the fact that it reveals him one who affords the highest exemplification of Christ's precept," Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you." The revelation of God's love, suffering for the sake of those that despise it, though so simple, is yet so august, so sublime, that our selfish hearts can not comprehend it, and our shallow philosophy obscures or denies it. Christ crucified is to-day as much as ever " unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;" as much as ever the power and wisdom of God to those that comprehend it.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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The true coronation of character is love. The true test of love is self-sacrifice. He knows not how to love who knows not how to suffer for love's sake. The love that costs nothing is worth—what it costs.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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The noblest names in history are those, the records of whose lives are written in their own blood. To suffer is grander than to do: this has passed into a proverb. For illustrious lives we ransack, not palaces, but prisons.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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Tags: history


Courage is the Christian's coronation. There is no crown without it.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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A golden thread, woven into the Old Testament history, renders the various lives whose stories it recounts only different phases of the same experience. That golden thread is faith.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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Faith has not lost its power. The soul still enjoys this privilege of receiving inspiration from above. It is not the special prerogative of a few saints. It is the common right of all. It is not an occasional, exceptional gift. It is constant, continuous, the law of our being. It is not a miracle, interfering with the operations of the human soul. It is the condition of our soul's true life.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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God is our native air. The godless soul gasps out a feeble life in a vacuum. "I will not leave you orphans," saith Christ; "I will come to you." Yet, despite this promise, how many orphaned Christians there are. They are not exactly fatherless. They have a memory of a father in the dim past. They have a hope of a Father in the far future. But now they live without him. They are like travelers in a long and gloomy tunnel. They look back to the days of the patriarchs and prophets. There is light there. They look forward to the revelations of the future life. There is light there. But here and now it is dark.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths

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If I could conceive it possible that this universe were governed by a wisdom no greater than I am able to comprehend, I should not be able to believe in a God of infinite wisdom; for finite wisdom cannot comprehend infinite wisdom.

LYMAN ABBOTT, The Theology of an Evolutionist

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The problem of sin is not to be confounded with the fact of sin. As to the fact, there is no room for question. All the great dramatists have recognized it in their portrayal of remorse, indignation, penalty, repentance, forgiveness, restoration. The great historians have recognized it, in depicting the struggle of righteousness with moral evil. Religious worship is largely founded upon it; for religious worship is largely an endeavor of the worshiper to rid himself of the present burden and the future penalty of sin. All government recognizes it; for certainly the first if not also the chief function of government is to protect the innocent from the sins of the sinful. He who denies the fact of sin denies the police and the prison, the temple and the priest, the battle-field and the martyrdom, Shakespeare and Aeschylus. The problem is not, Is there sin? but, Whence comes it? If we are to cure a disease, we must know its nature and origin. What is the nature and origin of sin, the cure of which is alike the problem of government, education, and religion,— of the courts, the school, and the church?

LYMAN ABBOTT, The Theology of an Evolutionist

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There can be no virtue without temptation; for virtue is victory over temptation.

LYMAN ABBOTT, The Theology of an Evolutionist

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Tags: virtue