Dr Guthrie Quotes

‘To save a ship from sinking, we must first find the leak.  Temptations, like noxious weeds, are best killed by putting the knife to their root; nor will the stream of our thoughts, and wishes, and desires ever be sanctified till the salt, as at Jericho, is cast into the spring.  Let us see, therefore, where the springs and sources of sin lie.’

Thomas Guthrie, In Temptation, Man and the Gospel

‘We have no faith in terror disassociated from tenderness.  Trusting more to drawing than driving men to Jesus, we entreat you to observe that he who is the good is also the most tender Shepherd.’

Dr Thomas Guthrie, The Gospel In Ezekiel

‘I do not say that religious men have never cherished an exclusive and narrow spirit.  I admit that some excellent men have done so.  Still, it is not religion to speak bitterly of those who differ from us; it is not religion to minister at the alter with “strange fire;” it is not religion to serve the cause of a loving God with unlovely passions; it is not religion to defend Christ’s crown with weapons other than His own sword; it is not religion to be serious on light, and great on little things; it is not religion to exalt points to the place of principles; it is not religion to contend as earnestly for forms of worship as for the faith of the gospel; it is anything but religion to dip our pens in gall, to give the tongue unbridled licence, and so to speak of others as to recall the words of others as to recall the words of Scripture – Their teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.’

Thomas Guthrie on James 1 v 27, True Religion, Man and the Gospel.

‘Never mistake the dead robes for the living body of religion. Never forget that “to do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly before God,” is what the Lord requires of thee; that faith without works is dead; that form without spirit is dead; and that, the highest piety being ever associated with the deepest humility, true religion is like the sweetest of all singing-birds, the skylark, which with the lowest nest but highest wing dwells in the ground, and yet soars to the skies’

Dr Thomas Guthrie, The Pharisee and Publican, The Parables, 1874

‘His son indeed does not go up and down heaven weeping, wringing his hands, and, to the amazement of silent angels, crying, Would God I had died for man!  A more amazing spectacle is here.  He turns his back on heaven;  he leaves the bosom and happy fellowship of his Father, he bares his own innocent love never to be fathomed, he dies that accursed tree, “the just for the unjust, that we might be saved!”

The Gospel in Ezekiel, Dr Thomas Guthrie

‘It is a dreadful thing to close the door against any man’s or woman’s reformation.   Religion calls us to hold it open to the worst, even as God holds it open to us who can – knowing more ill of ourselves than we can know of others – and ought to say with Paul, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.’

Dr Thomas Guthrie, Out of Harness

‘Why look at the shadow when you possess the substance? What artist studies a landscape in sombre twilight, when he may see the blaze of day? True – true at least in general.  Yet… such study has it advantage. It not seldom happens that a portrait brings to view some shade of expression which had not previously observed in the face of the veritable man; and when some magnificent form of architecture, or the serried ridges and rocky peaks of a mountain, have stood up between us and the lingering lights of day, we have found, that although the minor beauties of fluted columns or frowning crags were lost in the shades of the evening, yet, drawn in sharp and clear outline against an evening sky, the effect of the whole was even more impressive that when eyed with the glare of the day. Thus it may be well, occasionally, at least, to examine the Gospel in the broad shadows and strongly defined outlines of an old economy… ‘

Dr Thomas Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, see post on The Gospel in Ezekiel here.