S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
The life therefore and spirit of all our actions is the resurrection, and a stable apprehension that our ashes shall enjoy the fruit of our pious endeavours: without this, all religion is a fallacy, and those impieties of Lucian, Euripides, and Julian are no blasphemies, but subtle verities, and atheists have been the only philosophers.
Amid all that illusion which such momentary visitations of seriousness and of sentiment throw around the character of man, let us never lose sight of the test, that By their fruits ye shall know them. It is not coming up to this test, that you hear and are delighted. It is that you hear and do. This is the ground upon which the reality of your religion is discriminated now; and on the day of reckoning, this is the ground upon which your religion will be judged then; and that award is to be passed upon you which will fix and perpetuate your destiny forever.
Dr. Thomas Chalmers: Discourses on Mod. Astron., Disc. VII.
Good works may exist without saving principles, and therefore cannot contain in themselves the principles of salvation; but saving principles never did, never can exist without good works. Men often talk against faith, and make strange monsters in their imagination of those who profess to abide by the words of the apostle interpreted literally, and yet in their ordinary feelings they themselves judge and act by a similar principle. For what is love without kind offices whenever they are possible? (and they are always possible, if not by actions, commonly so called, yet by kind words, by kind looks, and, where these are out of our power, by kind thoughts and fervent prayers!) Yet what noble mind would not be offended if he were supposed to value the serviceable offices equally with the love that produced them; or if he were thought to value the love for the sake of the services, and not the services for the sake of the love?
Eternal bliss is not immediately superstructed on the most orthodox beliefs; but, as our Saviour saith, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them; the doing must be first superstructed on the knowing or believing, before any happiness can be built on it.
God never accepts a good inclination instead of a good action, where that action may be done; nay, so much the contrary, that if a good inclination be not seconded by a good action, the want of that action is made so much the more criminal and inexcusable.
The doctrine that asserts that it is in mens power to supererogate, and do works of perfection over and above what is required of them by way of precept, tends to the undermining and hindrance of a godly life.