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.

48 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. Would you consider reviewing this new Christian book on your blog? I’d be glad to mail you a copy if you are interested in posting a review.

    TITLE: Learn to Study the Bible
    AUTHOR: Andy Deane
    ISBN: 978-1-60791-576-8

    PUBLISHER: Xulon Press
    BOOK WEBSITE: http://www.LearnToStudyTheBible.com

    Book Summary:
    Pastor Andy Deane’s new book teaches you forty different step-by-step Bible study methods to help you discover, apply and enjoy God’s Word. Each practical method has a handwritten example to demonstrate it and make it easy for you to follow the steps. Learn how to study the Bible with so much variety that you’ll never get into the rut that routine brings ever again. Learn to Study the Bible has more Bible study methods than any other book out there!


  12. BSJ

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


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


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

    God Bless!


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

  16. Raymond Forthuber

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


  17. linda martin

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

    Thank you,
    Linda Martin


  18. Jennifer

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


  19. 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.



  20. Claudiu

    How much time do you spend reading per day?


    • Not as much as I would like to. With three kids aged four and under I spend much of my reading time with Curious George and an assortment of picture books. Wouldn’t trade it for the world though.


  21. 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.


  22. jsimp90

    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.


  23. 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.



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


  25. 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


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


  27. 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.


  28. Thank you for this blog.


  29. 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.


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


  31. Nick,
    I just found your site–it’s great! (I had a Google alert for Jim Elliot – I lived with him and his family when I was a small boy). His Dad was one of my spiritual mentors.)
    How do you choose which contemporary books to read?
    I am the author of the Christian Concepts Series as well as the Editor of “JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks to You.” My most recent book “GOD LIGHT” has won 6 literary awards
    “GOD LIGHT: Sunlight Sonlight” The book is truly revolutionary in that it is the first book to explain the many parallels between what scientists know about natural light from the sun and what theology tells us about the Son of God.
    Here are what some readers have said.
    “The content is terrific… This is a timely book… There is so much content that many other books and articles could be written from small parts of it.” ~ Dr. Freeman L. Schmitt, Senior Pastor
    “I found myself saying out loud, ‘Wow, that’s amazing,’ many times. The parallel of God and His Son to the sun is brilliant! I know it’s in God’s Word but you have brilliantly explored His message and made it meaningful to an ‘un-brilliant’ person such as myself!
    “You have opened my eyes to the light around me. Yesterday, as I looked at the clouds casting shadows on the earth, I thought of the truths you have taught me. I look at ordinary things differently. I have already used many of the truths in my mentoring and find myself sharing your thoughts in everyday conversation.” ~ Elizabeth Hightower, Women’s Ministries Leader, Laurelwood Baptist Church
    “There is a tremendous need for a book on this subject. We have witnessed the publication of many books around the statement ‘God is Love,’ but I cannot recall ever seeing one around the statement ‘God is Light.’ It is important that these two attributes of God be brought into conjunction with each other because it is really impossible to discuss love intelligently without understanding light …
    “First there was Tozer with The Knowledge of the Holy, and then Packer gave us Knowing God, and now Russell has taken us further.” ~ Dr. Earl D. Radmacher, General Editor of the New King James Study Bible
    “The beauty of this work is that it doesn’t relate only to our outward reflection of God light but leads us to a deeper understanding of what it is—by taking our long-standing grasp of what sunlight is and its relationship to us physically and our physical world and gives us an ‘aha’ moment of understanding how Son light (God light) performs remarkably similar functions in our spiritual life and on our faith journey. He clearly is someone mature in his faith and the text resonates with his deep intimacy with Biblical scripture and his ability to draw these commonalities into an easily-understood book with deep meaning, a balance which isn’t easy to achieve. Very illuminating!” ~ The Writer’s Digest
    I would love to have you considering “GOD LIGHT” or one of my other books in the Christian Concepts Series.
    In Him,
    Bob Russell,


  32. 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.


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


  34. 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!


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

  36. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Pingback: Marketing the Gospel – gospel to china

  38. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. homergoodbody

    Awesome Nick. Thanks for your gift to anyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 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 :)

    Liked by 1 person

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