Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving Thanks #25 L.M. Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite, favorite authors. Her books should not be considered "Christian books" necessarily; some people mistake morality and high values with Christianity. Montgomery's books are often moral and uplifting, a good blend of realism and optimism perhaps. The reason I LOVE Montgomery, however, has to do with her characterization and storytelling. She was one incredibly gifted writer. I've often thought the *best* writers were born in November. Just consider the talent: Mark Twain (November 30), L.M. Montgomery (November 30), C.S. Lewis (November 29), Louisa May Alcott (November 29), Madeleine L'Engle (November 29).

I've collected some quotes from some of her books (novels mainly) having to do with God, with the Bible, with the church, etc.
Heretics are wicked, but they're mighty int'resting. It's jest that they've got sorter lost looking for God, being under the impression that He's hard to find--which He ain't never. ~ Anne's House of Dreams (Captain Jim)
My motto is--if you ARE a Presbyterian, BE a Presbyterian." "Don't you think that Methodists go to heaven as well as Presbyterians?" asked Anne smilelessly. "That isn't for US to decide. It's in higher hands than ours," said Miss Cornelia solemnly. "But I ain't going to associate with them on earth whatever I may have to do in heaven. ~ Anne's House of Dreams (Cornelia, I believe)
"Do you know, Cornelia," said Captain Jim gravely, "I've often thought that if I wasn't a Presbyterian I'd be a Methodist." "Oh, well," conceded Miss Cornelia, "if you weren't a Presbyterian it wouldn't matter much what you were. ~ Anne's House of Dreams (Captain Jim and Cornelia)
But it ain't our feelings we have to steer by through life--no, no, we'd make shipwreck mighty often if we did that. There's only the one safe compass and we've got to set our course by that--what it's right to do. ~ Anne's House of Dreams
"I don't believe any but fools enter the ministry nowadays," she wrote bitterly. "Such candidates as they have sent us, and such stuff as they preach! Half of it ain't true, and, what's worse, it ain't sound doctrine...The one we have now is the worst of the lot. He mostly takes a text and preaches about something else. And he says he doesn't believe all the heathen will be eternally lost. The idea! If they won't all the money we've been giving to Foreign Missions will be clean wasted, that's what! Things have come to a pretty pass if a minister can't find enough in Holy Writ to preach about, that's what. ~ Anne of the Island (Mrs. Rachel Lynde)
"Because--because--oh, I'm not afraid but that I'll go to heaven, Anne. I'm a church member. But--it'll be all so different. I think--and think--and I get so frightened--and--and--homesick. Heaven must be very beautiful, of course, the Bible says so--but, Anne, IT WON'T BE WHAT I'VE BEEN USED TO." Heaven could not be what Ruby had been used to. There had been nothing in her gay, frivolous life, her shallow ideals and aspirations, to fit her for that great change, or make the life to come seem to her anything but alien and unreal and undesirable. Anne wondered helplessly what she could say that would help her..."I think, perhaps, we have very mistaken ideas about heaven--what it is and what it holds for us. I don't think it can be so very different from life here as most people seem to think. I believe we'll just go on living, a good deal as we live here--and be OURSELVES just the same--only it will be easier to be good and to--follow the highest. All the hindrances and perplexities will be taken away, and we shall see clearly. Don't be afraid, Ruby." She WAS leaving everything she cared for. She had laid up her treasures on earth only; she had lived solely for the little things of life--the things that pass--forgetting the great things that go onward into eternity, bridging the gulf between the two lives and making of death a mere passing from one dwelling to the other--from twilight to unclouded day. God would take care of her there--Anne believed--she would learn--but now it was no wonder her soul clung, in blind helplessness, to the only things she knew and loved. ~ Anne of the Island (Ruby and Anne)*
"What's my conscience? I want to know." "It's something in you, Davy, that always tells you when you are doing wrong and makes you unhappy if you persist in doing it. Haven't you noticed that?" "Yes, but I didn't know what it was. I wish I didn't have it. I'd have lots more fun. Where is my conscience, Anne? I want to know. Is it in my stomach?" "No, it's in your soul," answered Anne, thankful for the darkness, since gravity must be preserved in serious matters. "I s'pose I can't get clear of it then," said Davy with a sigh. ~ Anne of the Island, Davy
"Mrs. Lynde was awful mad the other day because I asked her if she was alive in Noah's time. I didn't mean to hurt her feelings. I just wanted to know. Was she, Anne? ~ Anne of the Island, Davy
"The new minister was here to tea last night. He took three pieces of pie. If I did that Mrs. Lynde would call me piggy. And he et fast and took big bites and Marilla is always telling me not to do that. Why can ministers do what boys can't? I want to know. ~ Anne of the Island, Davy
I think it's quite natural that a nine-year-old boy would sooner read an adventure story than the Bible. But when you are older I hope and think that you will realize what a wonderful book the Bible is." ~ Anne of the Island
Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don't feel that it's what it should be. It's full of flaws." "So's everybody's," said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or 'tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don't worry over it, Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbor and yourself, and have a good time. That's my philosophy and it's always worked pretty well. Where's Phil off to tonight?" ~ Anne of the Island, Anne and Aunt Jamesina
There is a book of Revelation in every one's life, as there is in the Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night, as she kept her agonized vigil through the hours of storm and darkness. She loved Gilbert--had always loved him! She knew that now. She knew that she could no more cast him out of her life without agony than she could have cut off her right hand and cast it from her. ~ Anne of the Island
Praying's good. I lost a dime once and I prayed and I found a quarter. That's how I know. ~ Anne of Ingleside (one of Anne's kids, either Jem or Walter?)
Half an hour later, Susan, reading her nightly chapter in her Bible, came across the verse, "Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house lest he weary of thee and hate thee." She put a sprig of southernwood in it to mark the spot. "Even in those days," she reflected. ~ Anne of Ingleside (Susan)
"Darling, you're terribly mistaken about it all. God doesn't make bargains. He gives . . . gives without asking anything from us in return except love. When you ask Father or me for something you want, we don't make bargains with you . . . and God is ever and ever so much kinder than we are. And He knows so much better than we do what is good to give." ~ Anne of Ingleside (Anne to one of her children, one of the twins, I think)
"If a minister preaches a sermon that hits home to some particular individual people always suppose he meant it for that very person," said Anne. "A hand-me-down cap is bound to fit somebody's head but it doesn't follow that it was made for him." ~ Anne of Ingleside
"I think this road leads right to God," she said dreamily. "Perhaps," said Anne. "Perhaps all roads do, little Elizabeth. ~ Anne of Windy Poplars (Anne and Elizabeth)**
"Fear is the original sin," wrote John Foster. "Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something. It is a cold, slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading." ~ Blue Castle
Have you ever thought, Uncle James, how dull life would be without the Ten Commandments? It is only when things are forbidden that they become fascinating." ~ Blue Castle (Valancy)
But every night before Jane went to bed she had to read a chapter in the Bible to grandmother and Aunt Gertrude. There was nothing in the whole twenty-four hours that Jane hated doing more than that. And she knew quite well that that was just why grandmother made her do it. ~ Jane of Lantern Hill
If any one doesn't like the Bible there's something wrong either with him or with the way he was introduced to it. We must do something about it. The Bible is a wonderful book, my Jane. Full of corking good stories and the greatest poetry in the world. Full of the most amazingly human 'human nature.' Full of incredible, ageless wisdom and truth and beauty and common sense. ~ Jane of Lantern Hill

But I don't ask you to forgive me for all the Bible verses I made you learn. You'll be grateful to me for them some day. It's amazing what beautiful things there are in the Bible. ~ Magic for Marigold
But it was that night she prayed, "Please make me pretty good but not quite as good as Gwen, because she never seems to have any fun." ~ Magic For Marigold
Gwen suddenly discovered that it was not such an easy thing to invent a prayer. "Dear God," she said slowly, "please--please--oh, please never let me have moles like Tabby Derusha's. And never mind about the daily bread--I'm sure to have lots of that--but please give me lots of pudding and cake and jam. And please bless all the folks who deserve it." ~ Magic for Marigold
Father said in his sermon last Sunday that we should love everybody. But how can we? How could we love Mrs. Alec Davis?" "Oh, father only said that in the pulpit," said Faith airily. "He has more sense than to really think it outside." ~ Rainbow Valley
"Hell is an awful place," said Faith, with the dramatic enjoyment that is born of telling dreadful things. "Bad people go there when they die and burn in fire for ever and ever and ever." "Who told you that?" demanded Mary incredulously. "It's in the Bible. And Mr. Isaac Crothers at Maywater told us, too, in Sunday School. He was an elder and a pillar in the church and knew all about it. But you needn't worry. If you're good you'll go to heaven… ~ Rainbow Valley***
"No matter how bad I was I wouldn't want to be burned and burned. I know what it's like. I picked up a red hot poker once by accident. What must you do to be good?" "You must go to church and Sunday School and read your Bible and pray every night and give to missions," said Una. "It sounds like a large order," said Mary. "Anything else?" "You must ask God to forgive the sins you've committed. "But I've never com--committed any," said Mary. "What's a sin any way?" "Oh, Mary, you must have. Everybody does. Did you never tell a lie?" "Heaps of 'em," said Mary. "That's a dreadful sin," said Una solemnly. "Do you mean to tell me," demanded Mary, "that I'd be sent to hell for telling a lie now and then? Why, I HAD to. Mr. Wiley would have broken every bone in my body one time if I hadn't told him a lie. Lies have saved me many a whack… ~ Rainbow Valley
"Heaven is ALL fun," declared Di. "The Bible doesn't say so," cried Mary, who had read so much of the Bible on Sunday afternoons under Miss Cornelia's eye that she now considered herself quite an authority on it. "Mother says the Bible language is figurative," said Nan. "Does that mean that it isn't true?" asked Mary hopefully. "No--not exactly--but I think it means that heaven will be just like what you'd like it to be." ~ Rainbow Valley****
The body grows slowly and steadily, but the soul grows by leaps and bounds. ~ Rilla of Ingleside
*This whole scene bothers me for at least half a dozen reasons. Where to start?! If I could name just one: BEING A CHURCH MEMBER DOES NOT GET YOU INTO HEAVEN;
**All roads do NOT lead to God; Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through Him.
***Being good does NOT get you into heaven; NO ONE is "good enough" to earn their way into heaven.
****Truth doesn't work like that.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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