About

The purpose of this blog is simple. When I come across a quote in something I’m reading that glorifies God and raises my affections for Jesus Christ I want to share it with others. So I type it up, cite the reference, and post it on the blog. I borrowed the Latin phrase “Tolle Lege” (“take up and read”) from the account of Augustine’s conversion to Christ in his spiritual autobiography Confessions. The passage below exemplifies what you are likely to find on this blog:

“But when a deep consideration had from the secret bottom of my soul drawn together and heaped up all my misery in the sight of my heart; there arose a mighty storm, bringing a mighty shower of tears. Which that I might pour forth wholly, in its natural expressions, I rose from Alypius: solitude was suggested to me as fitter for the business of weeping; so I retired so far that even his presence could not be a burden to me. Thus was it then with me, and he perceived something of it; for something I suppose I had spoken, wherein the tones of my voice appeared choked with weeping, and so had risen up.

He then remained where we were sitting, most extremely astonished. I cast myself down I know not how, under a certain fig-tree, giving full vent to my tears; and the floods of mine eyes gushed out an acceptable sacrifice to Thee. And, not indeed in these words, yet to this purpose, spake I much unto Thee: and Thou, O Lord, how long? how long, Lord, wilt Thou be angry, for ever? Remember not our former iniquities, for I felt that I was held by them. I sent up these sorrowful words: How long, how long, “tomorrow, and tomorrow?” Why not now? why not is there this hour an end to my uncleanness?

So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice, as of boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating. ‘Take up and read; Take up and read.’ [‘Tolle, lege! Tolle, lege!’] Instantly, my countenance altered, I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book, and read the first chapter I should find…

Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, in concupiscence.’ [Romans 13:14-15] No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.”1

Soli Deo Gloria,

–Nick Roark

1. Aurelius Augustine, The Confessions of St. Augustine, translated by Edward Pusey. Vol. VII, Part 1. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14; Bartleby.com, 2001. www.bartleby.com/7/1/, Book Eight, Chapter 12, Paragraphs 27-28.

54 responses to “About

  1. I noticed the “Daily Dose of Roark” blog. I would assume that is you also? the reason I ask is that I noticed on that blog that you have a link to a Providence in Raleigh. I would assume that is where you attend? It doesnt seem to say much about what they believe?(confession wise, specifically) I see you are quite reformed. I live near Raleigh and have never heard of the Providence.

    Thanks for your blog, it has been a great encouragement.

  2. I just found your blog from a search I made on a quote. This is a wonderful Reformed resource! I will definitely be visiting again. Thank you!

  3. I just found your blog from a search I made on a quote. This is a wonderful Reformed resource! I will definitely be visiting again. Thank you!

  4. Andrew Belz

    You misspelled “mighty” on the link to “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” on your front page.

  5. Pingback: “Tolle Lege”, Take and read… « St. Augustine

  6. Amy W.

    I wish I could say that I have read a quarter of these books; someday..most of them are on my list to read. Nick, I noticed that you are in Raleigh, I am as well, and I am wondering if you are a part of a book club or anything like that in the area. If you are I would love to learn about it.

  7. I am a lover of books, but rarely read a whole one any more. I can’t explain that or justify it, but it’s true.

    Having said that, I really like the concept behind your blog. I could wish that it would spur me to read less online, and begin reading again books again. Thanks.

  8. Nick, great blog here! Wonderful resource for fellow lovers of literature. Keep up the great work, and to God always be the glory. God bless!

  9. Fantastic! Thanks so much for making God and the glory of the gospel central…

  10. What a fantastic idea to come across a God-centered quote and then type it up to share with others in the blogosphere.

    I especially like the tail end of the Thomas Watson quote on your sidebar: “get those good books that may acquaint you with such truths as may warm and affect your hearts.”

    Amen and amen.

    Keep up the insightful, encouraging and convicting quotes Nick.

  11. BSJ

    This is a wonderful site and I plan to add to my Blog Roll… I look forward to coming back daily..

  12. Great idea – I do this alittle too. God bless you!

  13. You have a great blog, here. Thanks for sharing what you’re reading with us all.

    God Bless!

  14. Pingback: Recommended Quotes Site: Tolle Lege « J.C. Ryle Quotes

  15. Raymond Forthuber

    I deeply appreciate your unearthing these treasure to share with all the dipersed saints. Thank you!
    Rr resear

  16. linda martin

    Please put me on your email list to receive your updates.

    Thank you,
    Linda Martin

  17. Jennifer

    Is there a way to subscribe to these quotes daily via email?

  18. Hey Nick,

    I was curious if we might be able to chat about blogging. Seems like you’ve got a similar thing here that I’ve been doing over at my blog, and I’d love to get a chance to talk with you about your experience.

    ~Jacob

  19. How much time do you spend reading per day?

  20. I don’t know how I got so super confused, but I thought the author of this blog was a girlfriend of mine! Only today when you signed your name to your blog did I realize how super super confused I’ve been! So sorry for all the random responses from me.

  21. I followed your blog because I searched for a quote that I heard from C.S. Lewis and your blog came up. After a cosmonaut went up into space and claimed that there was no God, Lewis said God does not relate to humanity in that way, but rather in the way Shakespeare would relate to Hamlet. Anyways, your blog is impressive and is similar to the vision I have of mine (jsimp90.wordpress.com). Many of your books are on my “to-read” list. Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. pastor gary

    i hope that 5th verse to Here Is Love Vast as the Ocean is not some attempt at a Calvinist correction. I like the verse, but something about it made me wonder if it had in its formation some of the Reformed fear that God needs help defending and defining God’s nature and sovereignty and some of the presumptive limitations on grace-offering and atonement. I hope it was from the heart of a celebration of eternal bliss the way the add-on verse to Amazing Grace is (or some even higher/purer motivation i have missed) , and not sectarian goalkeeping.

    • Hi Gary,

      I added a 5th verse after re-reading Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad. I wanted to give the song a final verse that emphasized global missions and the ultimate triumph of the gospel in every tribe and nation and tongue. I thought that it was appropriate since the Bible ends with this same display of God’s love. Sorry if that didn’t come across well.

      –Nick

  23. So glad that diapsalmata.com directed me here. Blessings!

  24. Dear in Christ,

    I visited your Church site; it is really privilege for me to write you with the Will of God. I found that you have awesome and precious work of Lord Jesus Christ, May God bless your Church staff and all precious work. I belong to Christian family. I am able to do work of translation into Urdu and Punjabi, if you have any translation work so please consider for the translation work, I would love to give my service to you church as a translator. Your Church material and Word of God must be reaching to un-reached people who didn’t understand the English, those people can study and blessed through the Word of God. I hope that Lord Jesus will give the vision of Translation work and all funds. I hope you will consider me for this service. I am looking forward your kind reply.

    In Jesus name
    Iram Stephen
    Pakistan

  25. Great site and such wonderful messages of truth! Thanks for caring enough to share these messages with us.

  26. LL

    Just found you through someone else on Twitter, love the quotes, had to check out the blog. Keep posting the quotes! Nice to see the narrow focus. Very thankful for your reading lists and rec’s on this blog!!! Have added some to my “to read” list! Thank you.

  27. Thank you for this blog.

  28. Might I suggest you also write about your reading habits? I’m always interested in learning about how other avid readers discipline their reading times, note-taking, analyzing techniques, etc.

  29. Too many books…too little time. Never more true than today.

  30. Love your site brother! I’m a bit of a pilgrim on this journey and always looking for great books to help set my eyes to Christ and His glory! May God be exalted through your blog! Will visit often.

  31. Thank you for your gracious comments. May God richly bless you, your family, and your ministry.
    In Him,
    BloggerBob
    P.S. Would you like to receive a review copy of one of my books?

  32. Joanie

    Please add me to your email list of your new posts to this blog so I can enjoy the fruits of your labor and enjoy the nuggets of truth and beauty that you share. Thank you!

  33. Pingback: Why read? (6) | iServe Africa Bookstore

  34. Just happened upon this site and really like the excerpts you share. Nice to see appreciation for insights that are sound in theology and good writing. Keep sharing!

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  36. Robert Davis

    I was searching for a full quote by A W Tozer this morning and found this blog. Thank you for posting it. It is definitely going into my bookmarks.

  37. I was looking for extracts from Augustine’s Confessions and came across your blog. What a great idea! I will look forward to reading your extracts. Thank you for sharing wonderful thoughts. Best wishes.

  38. homergoodbody

    Awesome Nick. Thanks for your gift to anyone!

  39. Claire

    Greatly edified by your entries which I take the time to read on my breaks at work. They often give me the strength to remain faithful in trying circumstances! God bless you richly :)

  40. Kathy

    I may have to copy this idea! In the meantime..so happy I found this!! Looking forward to digging deeper into the archives!

  41. Thumi

    Excellent!

  42. Jon Snider

    No posts here since Dec. Is this site still active?

    • Yes, Jon. I step away from blogging and social media every January. Lord willing, the quotes will start back up again on February 1.

      In Christ,

      –Nick

      • Jon Snider

        Thank you Nick and thank you for this blog. I stumbled across this site last year and it slowly became an important part of my morning routine of communing with God through study of His Word and other godly literature. I don’t know how much encouragement you receive from those who follow this site but I want you to know that it has become a big part of my life. I became quite distressed after seeing no activity. I just wanted you to know that what you are doing is of great help to fellow believers. May the LORD bless you and keep you.

        Jon

  43. Thankful for this website! Great book lists. Would love to hear about your reading habits.

  44. asherblake

    Hi Nick Roark! I’ve been receiving blogposts in my email for awhile and recently started reading and have discovered the wonderful well of inspiration and thoughtfulness you deliver. Thank you so much. Please keep up the work that the Lord leads you to. Christians are called to sing with the mind as well as the heart, so thank you for being true to our inheritance in Christ. Thanks again.

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