Tag Archive: John Tauler


Listen v5.8 – Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Living Waters Run Deep Continuously renewed immediacy, not receding memory of the Divine Touch, lies at the base of religious living. Let us explore together the secret of a deeper devotion, a more subterranean sanctuary of the soul, where the Light Within never fades, but Burns, a perpetual Flame; where the wells of living water of divine revelation rise up continuously, day by day and hour by hour, steady and transfiguring. Thomas Kelly – Becoming a Holy Sanctuary of Adoration, circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
Repenting of Me, Turning to Him This is how a person should prepare himself for true prayer. This is what St. Peter calls being of one spirit that the heart and mind are attached completely to God alone, and that a person have the focus of his ground and spirit completely turned to God as present, and have a tender, benevolent attachment to God.

Children, everything we have, after all, we have from God. And how could it ever be otherwise that we offer back completely everything that we have ever received from him with our interior focus and spirit, undivided and simple, turned toward him. And then one should engage all one s faculties, interior and exterior, and should carry them up entirely into God.

John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Progress – A Beggining, A Journey, A Destination This is why Solomon says that he has described the sacred teaching in a threefold way because of its threefold spiritual understanding, namely, the moral, the allegorical, and the anagogical. This triple understanding corresponds to the triple hierarchical activity, that is, purgation, illumination, and perfection. Purgation leads to peace, illumination to truth, perfection to charity. When these three have been obtained in perfection, the soul is made blessed, and according to the manner in which it busies itself with them, the soul receives an increase in merit. The knowledge of the whole of sacred Scripture depends on knowing these three things, just as does the merit of eternal life. Therefore you should also recognize that there is a threefold way of exerting oneself in this threefold path, namely, by reading and meditating, by praying, and by contemplating. Bonaventure – The Threefold Way; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Keeping the Goal in Mind Remembrance of him is the well spring of virtue; forgetfulness of him, the fountain of vice. George Horne, D.D. Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Excusing Obedience We dare not say that our Lord s words are not true. Yet somehow or other few Christians really seem to believe them. What holds us back? What seals our lips? What keeps us from making much of prayer? Do we doubt His love? Never! He gave His life for us and to us. Do we doubt the Father s love? No. The Father himself loveth you, said Jesus when urging His disciples to pray. Do we doubt His power? Not for a moment. Hath He not said, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye… and lo, I am with you alway… ? Do we mistrust His choice for us? Not for a moment. And yet so very few of His followers consider prayer really worth while. Of course, they would deny this but actions speak louder than words. Unknown Christian – The Kneeling Christian, circa 1890, © 2007 Bidge-Logos.
The Self-Life is the Source of Your Pain I willingly apply to myself the same advice that I give to others, for I am convinced that I must seek my own peace in the same direction. Even now my soul is suffering, but I am aware that it is the life of self which causes us pain; that which is dead does not suffer. If we were really dead, and our life hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3), we would no longer struggle with those pains in spirit that now afflict us. Fenelon – Let Go, circa 1690, copyright 1973 Whitaker House
Resurrection Comes After Death Power ought to be obtained on resurrection ground. Resurrection is living beyond death. What we need is not greater power but deeper death. We must resist all natural powers. Whoever has not lost his soul life knows nothing of power. But the one who has passed through death is in possession of life. Watchman Nee – The Latent Power of the Soul, circa 1939, copyright 1972 by Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
Make No Graven Image for Your Self But strangely enough, while it is easy for us when we are happy and do not need any comforting, to believe that our God is the “God of all comfort,” but as soon as we are in trouble and need it, it seems impossible to believe that there can be any comfort for us anywhere. It would almost seem as if, in our reading of the Bible, we had reversed its meaning, and made it say, not “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” but “Blessed are they that rejoice, for they, and they only, shall be comforted.” It is very strange how often in our secret hearts we almost unconsciously alter the Bible words a little, and so make the meaning exactly opposite of what it actually is; or else we put in so many “ifs” and “buts” as to take the whole point out of what is said. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
Are You a Light-Lover or a Dark-Lover? No man is held responsible by God for having an heredity of sin: what God holds a man responsible for is refusing to let Jesus Christ deliver him from it when he sees that that is what He came to do (see John 3:19 ). Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers

Listen v4.47 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
In Heaven the Shadows of Earth are Gone The person who has made all the objects of his work divine and heavenly, and turns his back completely on all temporal things such a person s work becomes divine. That noble dear soul of our Lord Jesus Christ in its highest powers was directed unceasingly toward the Godhead as its object, and it was as blessed and enjoyable as it now is… Those who are now following him most closely in being turned toward divine objects, where work and enjoyment become one, shall in the hereafter be most like him in the essential enjoyment eternally. John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
A Doctor in Diapers What are the characteristics of the fleshly? Foremost among them is remaining long as babes. The duration of babyhood should not exceed a few years. When one is born anew by believing that the Son of God atoned for his sins on the cross, he simultaneously ought to believe that he has been crucified with Christ in order that the Holy Spirit may release him from the power of the flesh. Ignorance of this naturally will keep him in the flesh for many years.
The second characteristic of the fleshly is that they are unfit to absorb spiritual teaching.
I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready. The Corinthian’s grossly prided themselves of their knowledge and wisdom. Of all the churches in that period, that at Corinth was probably the most informed one. Paul early in his letter thanked God for their rich knowledge (1.5). Should Paul deliver spiritual sermons to them they could understand every word; however, all their understandings were in the mind. Although they knew everything, these Corinthians did not have the power to express in life that which they knew. Most likely there are many fleshly believers today who grasp so much so well that they can even preach to others but who are themselves yet unspiritual. Genuine spiritual knowledge lies not in wonderful and mysterious thoughts but in actual spiritual experience through union of the believer s life with truth. Cleverness is useless here, while eagerness for truth is insufficient too; the sine qua non is a path of perfect obedience to the Holy Spirit Who alone truly teaches us. All else is merely the transmission of knowledge from one mind to another. Such data will not render a fleshly person spiritual; on the contrary, his carnal walk actually will turn all his spiritual knowledge into that which is fleshly. What he needs is not increased spiritual teaching but an obedient heart which is willing to yield his life to the Holy Spirit and go the way of the cross according to the Spirit s command. Increased spiritual teaching will only strengthen his carnality and serve to deceive him into conceiving himself as spiritual.
Watchman Nee – The Spiritual Man, circa 1920, copyright 1968 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
Talk is Cheap, Life is Priceless It is not what we say that tells, but what we are. It is easy enough to say a great many beautiful things about God being the God of all comfort; but unless we know what it is to be really and truly comforted ourselves, we might as well talk to the winds. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
He is the Power to Will and To Act The birth of Jesus throws a striking light on our regeneration. Our new birth is the birth of the Son of God into our human nature, and our human nature has to be transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God. We have the power now to sacrifice the life of nature to the will of God, keeping our minds dependent on Jesus Christ as He was dependent on God. To-day the characteristic is spiritual insubordination; we will not bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Religion Has Done Away with the Law Whereas God had provided the Law to be a schoolmaster to teach us of our utter inability to keep the law and thus lead us to Christ. The church has now done away with the same Law by teaching us that anything we do for God, even our acts of obedience, are of works and therefore. we need not measure to any standard at all. In effect, Religion has nullified the Law. Even the coming of Christ could not do that. Even the passing of Time could not do that. But Religion has succeeded to do what Christ could not and would not do. Religious grace has provided nothing less than a means of increasing sin. God forbid! Tom Van Hoogen
Death (i.e Separation) By Neglect or Suicide Your natural life is derived from your parents; that does not mean it will stay there if you do nothing about it. You can lose it by neglect, or you can drive it away by committing suicide. You have to feed it and look after it: but always remember you are not making it, you are only keeping up a life you got from someone else. In the same way a Christian can lose the Christ-life which has been put into him, and he has to make efforts to keep it. But even the best Christian that ever lived is not acting on his own steam — he is only nourishing or protecting the life he could never have acquired by his own efforts. And that has practical consequences. As long as the natural life is in your body, it will do a lot towards repairing that body. Cut it, and up to a point it will heal, as a dead body would not. A live body is not one that never gets hurt, but one that can to some extent repair itself. In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble — because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out. C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity, copyright 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Cleaning Up Your Act(s) There are many Christians who know of no other nourishment for their inward life than the moldy bread of long past experience. But no true peace results from this. Inward religion does not consist in a life of morbid security, arising from the recollection of having once received the forgiveness of sins. Where a real spiritual life exists, there is also constant activity, unceasing striving against sin, repeated humiliation before God, and renewed experience of His favor. Were it otherwise, why should the Lord put into His children’s lips the daily petition, “Forgive us our trespasses!” He that is washed need not be again entirely washed, but only his feet, and that continually. F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers

Listen v4.40 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
We Must Work While It is Yet Day In this sense God made all creatures working like himself the heavens, the sun, the stars, and then far above all things, the angels and men, each according to its kind. Nowhere is there a flower so small, or a leaf, or a sprout of grass, the expanse of the heavens, the stars, the sun and moon in these things there is continuously work, and especially God working with himself. Should not man, then, noble and formed with dignity according to God s image, should he not work, formed in his faculties like God and in God and like him in his being? John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Strongholds Stand Against Truth The tendency is to deny that a fact has any existence because it cannot be fitted into any explanation as yet. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
What We re All Praying and Waiting For Thy kingdom come teaches us that we are to pray for the establishment of God s kingdom more than for our own temporal or even spiritual needs. This implies that the real remedy for all that needs prayer is the restoration of the kingdom of God. The true cause of all human trouble is that humanity is out of the divine order and the world is in rebellion against its sovereign God. Not until God s kingdom is reestablished in every heart and in all the world can the blessings that prayer desires be realized. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
The Subtlety of Slip Sliding Away Every one of us having been in bondage to sin, we readily believe that sinful things are satanic; but do we believe equally that the things of the world are satanic? Most of us, I think, are still of two minds about this. Yet how clearly Scripture affirms that “the whole world lieth in the evil one” ( 1 John 5:19). Satan well knows that, generally speaking, to try to ensnare real Christians through things that are positively sinful is vain and futile. They will usually sense the danger and elude him. So he has contrived instead an enticing network, the mesh of which is so skillfully woven as to attract the most innocent of men. We flee sinful lust, and with good reason, but when it comes to such seemingly innocuous things as science and art and education, how readily do we lose our sense of values and fall a prey to his enticements! Watchman Nee – Love Not The World, © 1968 CLC Publications
Conviction is Not Offensive He refused even to condemn the woman who was taken in the very act of sin, but said to the scribes and Pharisees who had brought her before Him, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”; and when, convicted by their own consciences, they all went out one by one without condemning her, He said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Always and everywhere He was on the side of sinners. That was what He was for. He came to save sinners. He had no other mission. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
Thought Management I have been writing hitherto on the assumption that the people in the next pew afford no rational ground for disappointment. Of course if they do if the patient knows that the woman with the absurd hat is a fanatical bridge-player or the man with squeaky boots a miser and an extortioner then your task is so much the easier. All you then have to do is to keep out of his mind the question “If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, then why should the different devices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?” You may ask whether it is possible to keep such an obvious thought from occurring even to a human mind. It is, Wormwood, it is! Handle him properly and it simply won’t come to his head. C. S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters, copyright 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Stable Those Thoughts so They Don t Run Away “Have your beliefs,” says an old writer, “and have your doubts. Believe your beliefs, and doubt your doubts. Never doubt your beliefs, and never believe your doubts.” F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Your Not In the Place, You Are the Place Religion is such a beguiling evil. It comes to you as your friend, your best friend and gains your trust. It helps you see and understand what you must do to be a “good” Christian. It shows you what you must do and look like to fit in the church-world and this is a huge desire of yours because you know you do not fit there but want to. So you study other church-goers and learn the ropes of what to do. But, alas these are the ropes that will choke the life of Christ out of you. The higher you climb the ladder of religion the further you drop when the trap doors open. Whereas religion tells you about God and what you must do to fit in, true Christianity reveals by the Spirit who God is in Christ and invites you to meet Him there – in Christ. Christianity is not about Christ, it is Christ. Tom Van Hoogen
Growing Produces Weird Sensations in Us God now sees that they have grown a little, and are becoming strong enough to lay aside their swaddling clothes and be taken from the gentle breast; so He sets them down from His arms and teaches them to walk on their own feet; which they feel to be very strange, for everything seems to be going wrong with them. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
Realities Not Possibilities When we read of “the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit,” of “Christ dwelling in the heart,” of “a clean heart,” of “loving each other with a clean heart fervently,” of “God establishing our heart unblamable in holiness,” we must; with the eye of faith, regard these spiritual realities as actually and in very deed existing within us. Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005

Listen v4.17 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
Are You In or Out? There are three possible lives: one entirely under law; one entirely under grace; one a mixed life, partly law and partly grace. It is this last against which Paul warns in Romans. It is this which is so common and works such ruin among Christians. Let us ask ourselves if this is not our position and the cause of our low state. Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005 CLC Ministries International
The Enemy Has A Bag Full of Tricks You may be a hard sell, and I pray God you are; but do not think for a moment that Satan will be easily turned away. If you do not like his box of temptations, then he will reach into his sack of accusations and display them so cleverly you will think he brings them at God’s request! William Gurnall – The Christian in Complete Armour – Volume 1 of 3, circa 1655, copyright 1986 by World Challenge, Inc.
Accountability Defined The more you know, the better you understand, the more severely you will be judged, unless your life is also holy. Thomas aKempis – The Imitation of Christ circa. 1420 © 1999 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Balancing Humility and Pride at the Summit The distance between true love and horrific pride is virtually infintesimal. True love seeks, with sincerity of heart, zeal and unselfish desire to please or benefit another. Its sole intent is outward toward others without thought of self or personal welfare. This is how we can be “like God”. This is the reason Christ will say to us, “well done… ” Right now, right here, at the apex of spiritual experience is our Temptation. Now the Accuser comes and whispers, “Yes, you did good didn’t you? Yes, you did because you are so good.” This is the place where we must say “get thee behind me”, for if we do not, we fall from that mountain and are dashed on the rocks below. Safer to not get up on a mountain and to chain our soul to the level ground of Humility. Tom Van Hoogen
Entering the Prayer Zone How, then, should one pray? How should one dispose oneself and act? That is what I now intend to discuss a bit. Every good person, when he intends to pray, should gather together to himself his external senses and look into his heart and mind to see that they are well focused on God. A person can do this in the highest, lowest, or intermediate manner. And to this end it is good for a person to examine very carefully what is most suitable and what most moves him to proper, true devotion; and let him then make use of this manner of work. But you should realize that whatever good person wants to engage in true, proper prayer, so that his prayer will truly be heard, must have already turned his back on all temporal and external things and on whatever is not divine, whether it be friend or foe, and on all vanity, whether it be clothes or jewels or anything of which God is not the true source. And he must separate his words and actions from all disorder, internal or external. John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Words From a Higher Source The prophet is human, yet he employs notes one octave too high for our ears. He experiences moments that defy our understanding. He is neither a singing saint nor a moralizing poet , but an assaulter of the mind. Often his words begin to burn where conscience ends. Abraham Joshua Heschel – The Prophets © 1962 by Abraham Joshua Heschel, published by Hendrickson Publishers
Unseen Results Porphyry lived at a time when this universal way for the liberation of the soul which is none other than the Christian religion was, by divine permission, attacked by idolaters, demon worshippers, and earthly rulers in order that the number of martyrs might be completed and consecrated and by martyrs I mean witnesses of the truth whose mission it was to show that all bodily sufferings must be endured when it is a question of remaining faithful to religion and of offering testimony to the truth… He did not understand that these persecutions, which impressed him and which he feared to suffer if he chose this way, tended rather to establish this religion more solidly and to commend it to others. St. Augustine – The City of God, circa 400, copyright 1950 by Fathers of the Church
God Is Not Far Off, As Some Consider Far Everything that comes from God s hand produces good fruit. Sometimes the annoyances that make you long for solitude are better for producing humility than the most complete solitude could be. Use the circumstances of each moment to the fullest. Sometimes an exciting book, or an inspiring devotional time, or a deep conversation about spiritual matters will make you feel extremely satisfied with yourself. You will believe that you are farther along than you really are. Talking about the cross is not at all the same as experiencing it. So remember this: Do not seek God as if He were far off in an ivory castle. He is found in the middle of the events of our everyday life. Look past the obstacles and find Him. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Put Up or Shut Up The friends charge Job with a lack of seeing the obvious, and Job replies, I am facing things you have not begun to dream about; why don t you either plunge into the deeps with me, or else keep silent, if you cannot tell me what to do? Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Shaken, Not Stirred The nearer the Cross came to you, the deeper it entered into you, were you the more disposed to admire yourself? There is no harm in your feeling pleased with yourself because you were able to thrill to these human heroisms; but if the impression Christ makes upon you is to leave you more satisfied with yourself, more proud of yourself for being able to respond, He has to get a great deal nearer to you yet. You need to be I will use the Scottish phrase which old ministers used to apply to a young minister when he had preached a thoughtful and interesting discourse you need to be well shaken over the mouth of the pit. P. T. Forsyth – The Work of Christ, Wipf & Stock, 1910
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