Short pithy gems from Horatius Bonar

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It is not opinions that man needs it is truth.
It is not theology that man needs it is God.
It is not religion that man needs it is Christ.
It is not literature and science that man needs but the knowledge of the free love of God in the gift of His only-begotten Son!

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In order to grow in grace, we must be much alone with God. It is not in society, that the soul grows most vigorously. In one single quiet hour of prayer, it will often make more progress than in days of company with others. It is in the desert that the dew falls freshest and the air its purest.

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I looked for the church and I found it in the world!
I looked for the world and I found it in the church!

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We are forgiven that we may be like Him who forgives us!

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Christian, your whole life is to be one continuous following of the Lord.

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In the day of prosperity we have many refuges to resort to.
In the day of adversity we have only One.

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Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die upon another's life, another's death, I stake my whole eternity!

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Be much alone with God, and take time to get thoroughly acquainted with Him. Converse over everything with Him. Unburden yourself wholly every thought, feeling, wish, plan, doubt to Him. He wants not merely to be on good terms with you but to be intimate.

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The gospel is the proclamation of God's free love the revelation of the boundless charity of God. Nothing less than this will suit our depraved world. Nothing else is so likely to touch the heart, to go down to the lowest depths of depraved humanity, as the assurance that the sinner has been loved loved by God, loved with a righteous love, loved with a free love that makes no bargain as to merit, or fitness, or goodness.

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Have I then no work to work in this great matter of my pardon? None! What work can you work? What work of yours can buy Divine forgiveness or make you fit for the Divine favor? What work has God bidden you work in order to obtain salvation? None. His Word is very plain and easy to be understood, "To him who works not but believes in Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5). There is but one work by which a man can be saved. That work is not yours but the work of the Son of God. That work is finished.

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Your way, not mine O Lord, however dark it be;
Lead me by your own hand; choose out the path for me.

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The gospel comes to the sinner at once with nothing short of complete forgiveness as the starting-point of all his efforts to be holy. It does not say, "Go and sin no more and I will not condemn you." It says at once, "Neither do I condemn you go and sin no more."

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Faith is the acknowledgment of the entire absence of all goodness in us and the recognition of the cross as the substitute for all the lack on our part. Faith saves, because it owns the complete salvation of another and not because it contributes anything to that salvation.

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Faith is not our Savior. It was not faith that was born at Bethlehem and died on Golgotha for us. It was not faith that loved us, and gave itself for us; that bore our sins in its own body on the tree; that died and rose again for our sins. Faith is one thing the Savior is another. Faith is one thing and the cross is another. Let us not confound them, nor ascribe to a poor, imperfect act of man that which belongs exclusively to the Son of the Living God.

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An effective ministry must be the fruit of a holy, peaceful, loving intimacy with the Lord.

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A believing man will be a zealous man. Faith makes a man zealous. Faith shows itself by zeal. Not by zeal for a party or a system or an opinion; but by zeal for Christ yet zeal for the carrying on of His work on earth.

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Life is a journey not a home. Life is a road not a city of habitation. The enjoyments and blessings we have, are but little inns on the roadside of life, where we may be refreshed for a moment, that we may with new strength press on to the end yet to the rest that remains for the people of God.

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It is to the dead that the life comes;
it is to the unlovable that the love comes;
it is to the lost that the salvation comes.

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The more fully that the gospel is preached, in the grand bold apostolic way the more likely is it to accomplish the results which it did in the apostolic days.

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The cross saves completely or not at all. Our faith does not divide the work of salvation between itself and the cross. It is the acknowledgment that the cross alone saves and that it saves alone. Faith adds nothing to the cross, nor to its healing virtue.

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A few more years shall roll,
A few more seasons come;
And we shall be with those who rest,
Asleep within the tomb.

A few more storms shall beat
On this wild rocky shore;
And we shall be where tempests cease,
And surges swell no more!

A few more struggles here,
A few more partings o'er,
A few more toils, a few more tears,
And we shall weep no more!

Then, O my Lord, prepare
My soul for that blessed day;
Oh, wash me in Your precious blood,
And take my sins away.

Up, then, with speed, and work;
Fling ease and self away
This is no time for you to sleep
Up, watch, and work, and pray!

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How fast we learn in the day of sorrow! Scripture shines out in a new effulgence every verse seems to contain a sunbeam, every promise stands out in illuminated splendor; things hard to be understood become in a moment plain.

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In all unbelief there are these two things:
a good opinion of one's self,
and a bad opinion of God.

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Do not heed the jar of man's warring opinions.

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Jesus is in all respects fitted for his mighty work of redeeming. He is very man and very God. He is the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, the son of Mary yet God over all, blessed forever. Thus He can bear our sins. He can sympathize with our sorrows. He can fight our battles. He can love as a man, a fellow man, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.