Archives For ~ William Curtis Stiles

Who is wiser for the wisdom of the hour?

The good old paths are good enough for me.

The fathers walked to heaven in them, and we

By following meekly where they trod, may reach

The home they found. There will be mysteries,

Let those who like bother their head with them.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me (1898)

Some have sought peace in social distinction, but whether they have been within the charmed circle and fearful lest they might fall out, or outside and hopeful that they might get in, they have not found peace.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me (1898)

If God should ask us to do some hard thing that did not depend upon our will, but only upon our circumstances, we could justly excuse ourselves. And this consideration justifies the actual requirement. God asks something we can do of ourselves. Every creature whom Christ died to redeem has a free will of his own. If God asks us to exercise our will, he asks something that all men everywhere can do. And so he has left all men without excuse. If you do not choose to love God there is nothing to compel you. You can go on unloving and rejecting, because you are free. But you ought to understand clearly that this is your trouble, and not any of these vain excuses that you make.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me (1898)

If God show mercy to thousands, labor to know that this mercy is for you. A man that was ready to drown saw a rainbow, saith he, “What am I better though God will not drown the world if I drown.” So, what are we better, that God is merciful, if we perish? Let us labor to know God’s special mercy to us.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me (1898)

The longer the heart and sin converse together, the more familiar they will grow; and then, the stronger the familiarity the harder the separation. Does anyone think he has his heart so in his hand as to say: “Thus far will I sin, and there will I leave off?” Such as one shows, indeed, that he neither understands the nature of sin nor of his heart.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me

All moral virtues are in themselves good, but they can never make you spiritually alive; it is only grace and union with Jesus Christ by the Spirit that must make a man spiritually alive.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me

“You are too apt to feel that your religious experience must be the same as others have; but where will you find analogies for this? Certainly not in nature. God’s works do not come from his handle like coins from the mint. It seems as if it were a necessity that each one should be in some sort distinct from every alike; no two buds on one bush have the same unfolding nor do they seek to have.

I heard one man say to another: Did you have such awful feelings as you describe? I never had any such feelings; and I am afraid I am not a Christian. The other man says: You say that the moment you thought of religion you broke out into rupture; but I did not. I was two months without the dawn of the light, and I fear I am not a Christian. Each thinks he is not a Christian because he did not feel as the others did, one . . . because he did not feel joyous, the other . . . because he did not feel bad.”

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me

Men who neglect Christ and try to win heaven through moralities are like sailors at sea in a storm, who pull some at the bowsprit and some at the mainmast, but never touch the helm. You will never head for a safe harbor until you take your stand at the wheel.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me

Seldom is the head right when the heart is amiss. A rotten heart will be ever and anon sending up evil thoughts into the mind, as marshy and fenny grounds do foggy mists into the air, that both darken and corrupt it. As a man’s taste, when some malignant humor affects the organ, savoreth nothing aright, but deems sweet things bitter and sour things pleasant, so, where any domineering lust has made itself master of the heart, it will so blind and corrupt the judgement that it shall not be able to discern good from evil, or truth from falsehood.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me (1898)

But when you said to me, “I’m not good enough,” you had some belief or idea that some one, perhaps, some one a great deal better than you, could be “good enough” to be a Christian. You may even feel that you can and may, sometime, get to be good enough yourself. It is this notion first that I wish to drive out of your mind. Consider! Are not all reason and all Scripture against that notion? Jesus nowhere teaches us that we can be his disciples on account of being good. He often says if we have become his disciples we must and shall do good works. But you will search the Scriptures in vain seeking to find any endorsement of the idea that Jesus calls men to him or receives them because they are good. And it is easy to see that if he requires anything, he requires perfection; in order to be good enough, you must be perfect. But, even then, that does not make you a disciple.

~ William Curtis Stiles, Excuse Me (1898)