Quotations for March, 2016
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Feast of David, Bishop of Menevia, Patron of Wales, c.601
The discussion of prayer is so great a task that it requires the Father to reveal it, His Firstborn Word to teach it, and the Spirit to enable us to think and speak rightly of so great a subject.
... Origen (185?-254?), Origen, book 4, Rowan A. Greer, tr., Paulist Press, 1979, p. 86
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:26-27; Luke 11:1-4; John 14:12-13, 26; more at Father, Greatness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prayer, Revelation, Teach, Thought)
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Feast of Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
Whatever task God is calling us to, if it is yours, it is mine, and if it is mine, it is yours. We must do it together—or be cast aside together, as God in his absolute freedom goes on by other means to use His Church in hastening His Kingdom.
... Howard Hewlett Clark (1903-1983), Foreword to Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. xiii
(see the book; see also Gal. 6:2; Matt. 23:11; Mark 10:43-44; Rom. 12:4-5; 15:1; 1 Pet. 2:24; more at Call, Church, God, Kingdom, Task)
Thursday, March 3, 2016
The overwhelming recognition of human sin controls the Old Testament and the New Testament alike, and no understanding of our Lord’s words and actions is possible if we persist in denying it.
... Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns (1884-1937), Cambridge Sermons, London: SPCK, 1938, p. 58
(see the book; see also 1 John 1:8; Ps. 143:2; Pr. 20:9; Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 53:6; 64:6; Matt. 1:21; Acts 2:38; Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:10; 3:6; more at Action, Bible, Sin, Teach, Understanding)
Friday, March 4, 2016
Commemoration of Felix, Bishop, Apostle to the East Angles, 647
The Old Testament does not occupy itself with how Israel thought of God. Its concern is with how Israel ought to think of God. To it, the existence of God is not an open question; nor his nature; nor the accessibility of knowledge of him. God himself has taken care of that. He has made himself known to his people, and their business is not to feel after him if haply they may fumblingly find him, but to hearken to him as he declares to them what and who he is. [Continued tomorrow]
... Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921), “God’s Revelation of Himself to Israel”, in Sunday School Times, August 4, 1907, p. 289
(see the book; see also Ex. 20:2; Deut. 5:6; Ps. 50:7; 81:10; Hos. 13:4; Amos 1:1; Rom. 3:29; more at Bible, Existence, God, Israel, Knowledge, Nature, People, Thought)
Saturday, March 5, 2016
[Continued from yesterday]The fundamental note of the Old Testament, in other words, is Revelation. Its seers and prophets are not men of philosophic minds who have risen from the seen to the unseen, and, by dint of much reflection, have gradually attained to elevated conceptions of him who is the author of all that is. They are men of God whom God has chosen, that he might speak to them and through them to his people. Israel has not in and by them created for itself a God. God has through them created for himself a people.
... Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921), “God’s Revelation of Himself to Israel”, in Sunday School Times, August 4, 1907, p. 289
(see the book; see also Eph. 1:11-12; Luke 24:44-45; Acts 10:43; Rom. 1:2; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; more at Bible, God, Israel, Mind, People, Philosophy, Revelation)
Sunday, March 6, 2016
The most dangerous man in the world is the contemplative who is guided by nobody. He trusts his own visions. He obeys the attractions of an interior voice but will not listen to other men. He identifies the will of God with anything that makes him feel, within his own heart, a big, warm, sweet interior glow. The sweeter and the warmer the feeling is, the more he is convinced of his own infallibility.
... Thomas Merton (1915-1968), New Seeds of Contemplation , New Directions Publishing, 1972, p. 194
(see the book; see also 1 John 4:1; Jer. 29:8-9; Matt. 7:15-16; 2 Tim. 4:3; 2 Pet. 2:1; more at Church, Danger, Guidance, Listening, Obedience, Trust, Will of God)
Monday, March 7, 2016
Feast of Perpetua, Felicity & their Companions, Martyrs at Carthage, 203
The fortitude of a Christian consists in patience,... not in enterprises which the poets call heroic, and which are commonly the effects of interest, pride, and worldly honor.
... John Dryden (1631-1700), The Poetical Works of John Dryden, v. II, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1909, p. 288
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 5:14; John 15:19; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:4; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 4:2; 5:1-2; Col. 3:12-13; 1 Tim. 6:10-11; 1 John 2:15-17; more at Fortitude, Honor, Patience, Pride, Worldly)
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Commemoration of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, Priest, Poet, 1929
The tremendous power of mass-suggestion, which we call the world, can only be confronted, and its victims cured, if they are received into a body which is filled with a vivid, vigorous, and conscious community life of the Spirit. Individuals are powerless to cope with a power so subtle and all-pervasive as this mass-suggestion is. If we are to save and rescue sinners, there must grow up in our Church a Spirit of Love and Brotherhood, a Christian community-life, transcending class and national distinctions, as pungent, as powerful, as impossible to escape as the Spirit of the world. No Apostolic Succession, no Ecclesiastical correctness, no rigidity of orthodox doctrine, can be themselves and in themselves give us this; it comes, and can only come, from a clearer vision of the Christ, a more complete surrender to His call and to the bearing of His Cross.
... G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923, p. 193
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 1:17-18; Luke 14:27; Rom. 11:33; 1 Cor. 1:21-23; 2:4-5; 2 Cor. 2:15-16; 4:3; more at Bearing, Church, Cross, Holy Spirit, Life, Vision, World)
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Is it not plain that all spiritual apathy comes not from over-trust but from unbelief, either doubting that sin is present death, or else that holiness is life and that Jesus has a gift to bestow, not in heaven, but promptly, which is better to gain than all the world? Therefore salvation is linked with faith, which earns nothing but elicits all, like the touch that evokes electricity, but which no man supposes to have made it.
... G. A. Chadwick (1840-1923), The Gospel According to St. Mark, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1891, p. 48-49
(see the book; see also Mark 2:1-12; Matt. 8:6-13; 9:2-7,20-22; Luke 5:18-26; 7:44-50; 9:24-25; Rom. 3:22-24; more at Death, Doubt, Faith, Gifts, Holiness, Jesus, Salvation, Sin, Unbelief)
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Is a mediator between the eternal spirit and the finite an unreality, an intrusion? The mystic soul may impatiently think so, but the moral soul finds such mediation the way to reality; and the mystic experience is not quite trustworthy about reality. The pagan gods had not mediators, because they were not real or good gods; but the living God has a living Revealer. To know the living God is to know Christ, to know Christ is to know the living God. We do not know God by Christ but in Him. We find God when we find Christ; and in Christ alone we know and share His final purpose. Our last knowledge is not the contact of our person with a thing or a thought; it is intercourse of person and person.
... P. T. Forsyth (1848-1921), This Life and the Next, New York: MacMillan, 1918, p. 62
(see the book; see also John 14:7-11; Matt. 11:27; 28:18; Luke 10:22; John 1:18; 17:6-8,26; 2 Cor. 4;6; Col. 1:15; more at Christ, God, Knowing God, Knowledge, Life, Morality, Mystic, Pagan, Soul, Spirit)
Friday, March 11, 2016
It is the “terror of the Lord” that causes us to “persuade” others, but it is the “love of Christ that constraineth us” to live to Him.
... John Owen (1616-1683), The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance Explained and Confirmed , in Works of John Owen, v. XI, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1853, ch. X, p. 395
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 5:10-11,14; Matt. 25:31-46; Acts 10:24; 17:31; 1 Pet. 4:5; 1 John 4:10; more at Christ, Fear, God, Life, Love, Obedience, Terror)
Saturday, March 12, 2016
And thus we rust Life’s iron chainDegraded and alone:And some men curse, and some men weep,And some men make no moan:But God’s eternal Laws are kindAnd break the heart of stone. And every human heart that breaks,In prison-cell or yard,Is as that broken box that gaveIts treasure to the Lord,And filled the unclean leper’s houseWith the scent of costliest nard. Ah! happy they whose hearts can breakAnd peace of pardon win!How else may man make straight his planAnd cleanse his soul from sin?How else but through a broken heartMay Lord Christ enter in?
... Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), from The Ballad of Reading Gaol , in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, v. IV, Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 215
(see the book; see also Isa. 57:15; Ps. 34:18; 51:17; 147:3; Matt. 5:3,8; Rev. 3:20; more at Christ, Everlasting, Forgiveness, God, Heart, Kindness, Law, Man, Sin, Weep)
Sunday, March 13, 2016
To take the fact of evil seriously is to take the fact of morality seriously... I am unable to see how the fact of the moral consciousness, and, in particular, the fact of the opposition between “is” and “ought,” between desire and duty, can be explained in terms of purely natural causation... [They] can be explained only on the assumption that, in addition to the natural, there is also a non-natural order of the universe which is immanent in and on occasion intrudes actively into the natural.
... C. E. M. Joad (1891-1953), The Recovery of Belief, London: Faber and Faber, 1952, p. 76-78
(see the book; see also Gen. 3:2-6; Josh. 7:20-21; Jer. 14:13-14; Acts 26:27; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; more at Duty, Evil, Morality, Nature, Sin)
Monday, March 14, 2016
The characteristic of our modern Christianity, which correlates it with all apostolic times, is the substitution of loyalty to a person in place of belief in doctrines as the essence and test of Christian life. This is the simplicity and unity by which the Gospel can become effective.
... Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Life and letters of Phillips Brooks, v. II, Alexander V. G. Allen, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1901, p. 333
(see the book; see also Acts 4:24-28; Matt. 4:19; Rom. 8:1-2; Gal. 3:26; more at Belief, Christ, Dogma, Gospel, Loyalty, Simplicity, Unity)
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Devotion is neither more nor less than a prompt, fervent, loving service to God. And the difference between an ordinarily good man and one that is devout lies herein, that the first observes God’s commands without any special fervour or promptitude; whereas the latter not only keeps them, but does it willingly, earnestly, and resolutely.
... François de Sales (1567-1622), A Selection from the Spiritual Letters of St. Francis de Sales , New York: E. P. Dutton, 1876, p. 16
(see the book; see also 2 Cor. 11:2-3; Deut. 6:5; 11:13-14; Mark 12:22; 1 John 5:3-4; more at Commandment, Devotion, God, Love, Obedience, Service)
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Since such uncultivated and rude simplicity [with which the Gospel was communicated] inspires greater reverence for itself than any eloquence, what ought one to conclude except that the force of Sacred Scripture is manifestly too powerful to need the art of words?
... John Calvin (1509-1564), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, v. I , tr. John Allen, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1921, I.viii.1
(see the book; see also Amos 7:14-15; Matt. 11:25; John 7:14-16; Acts 4:13; 1 Cor. 1:26-29; 1 John 5:9; more at Art, Bible, Power, Reverence, Scripture, Simplicity)
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Feast of Patrick, Bishop of Armagh, Missionary, Patron of Ireland, c.460
The light shines in the darkness Candles are always popular for giving a warm romantic glow and this time of year they are to be seen on many different occasions. Of course a candle is easy to blow out! So much so that its flickering light was chosen by Shakespeare as a picture of the transitory nature of life. Out out brief candle!Darkness is a reminder of evil, for it is in the darkness that people get lost, stumble and fall. It is in the darkness that power is misused, corruption reigns and evil is done. It is easy to imagine that in the end evil will triumph and the light will disappear. Situations change. Familiar landmarks—like this magazine!—disappear. There is the unrelenting pressure of a vanity fair society. The candle burns down and gives a thin wisp of smoke before going out.But there are also the special party candles that keep bursting back into life. They are a much better picture of the light of the gospel! For though they have been numerous attempts down the centuries to extinguish the light, it has kept on bursting back into flame.The light of Christ keeps on shining. New ways of sharing the good news come along. New believers are attracted to his light. Sleepy Christians are re-awakened. Fresh discoveries give even more confidence in the truth of the Bible.The light keeps on shining in the darkness. It is a statement and a promise at the same time. It is isn’t that once the light shone, but rather, that in the present it shines, and it will do so in the future as well. For the light comes from the one who is, as well as who was, and is also the one who is to come.
... David Bronnert, in a personal communication from the author
(see also Mal. 4:2; Luke 11:35-36; John 1:4-5,9-10; more at Church, Darkness, Evil, Flame, Gospel, Jesus, Light, Vanity)
Friday, March 18, 2016
The New Testament is an intensely personal document. It is not the effort of a group of men who are out to prove something to us by the force of their rational arguments. But it is the testimony, or testament, of a group of witnesses... who are bent on simply reporting to us the experience of a love that overtook them and overwhelmed them, a peace that passed all their understanding, and a peace that they in turn would pass on to us.
... Robert L. Short (1932-2009), The Parables of Peanuts , New York: HarperCollins, 2002, p. 249
(see the book; see also Rom. 15:13; John 21:24; Acts 14:15-17; Phil. 4:7; 1 Cor. 2:1-2; 1 John 5:11; more at Bible, Experience, Love, Peace, Proof, Reason, Witness)
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Feast of Joseph of Nazareth
If people gathered to a political meeting, and the chief speaker spoke to them only for some quarter of an hour, they would be annoyed, would feel with some resentment that he had not taken them seriously, had dealt much too cavalierly with the question of the hour... But the things of the soul are far more momentous, and to be asked to deal with huge, unfathomable facts like the Cross in a few minutes, means that people are not really interested in these things. This is, of course, a snippety age, with a snippety press, and snippety novels. But must we preachers follow and be snippety, too?
... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), In Christ’s Stead, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1925, p. 201-202
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 2:6-8; Ps. 78:1-3; Rom. 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 4:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:10-11; more at Church, Cross, People, Preacher, Question, Soul)
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Feast of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 687
Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels pray not, but they cease not to praise both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white robes, with palm-branches in their hands, are never weary of singing the new song, “Worthy is the Lamb.”
... Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), for Oct. 30, Morning by Morning, New York: Sheldon & Co., 1867, p. 304
(see the book; see also Rev. 5:11-12; Ps. 9:1; 96:1; 149:1; Isa. 6:2-3; Rev. 4:8-9; 5:9; 7:9; more at Duty, Lamb, Praise, Redemption, Song)
Monday, March 21, 2016
For Christian consciousness, paradise is the Kingdom of Christ and is unthinkable apart from Christ. But this changes everything. The cross and the crucifixion enter into the bliss of paradise. The Son of God and the Son of Man descends into hell to free those who suffer there... To conquer evil, the good must crucify itself.
... Nicholas Berdyaev (1874-1948), The Destiny of Man, London: Geoffrey Bles, 1937, Hyperion Press, 1979, p. 292
(see the book; see also 1 Pet. 3:18-19; Luke 23:43; Matt. 16:21; John 14:2-3; 19:11; Heb. 9:23-26; Rev. 2:7; more at Christ, Cross, Crucifixion, Easter, Evil, Goodness, Hell, Kingdom, Paradise, Suffer)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Here [in Matthew 23] is an interpretation of Israel’s history according to which God’s people have always been disobedient and rebellious: their alienation from God, it is clearly implied, is to reach its climax in the murder of the Messiah himself.
... Anthony T. Hanson (1916-1991), The Church of the Servant, London: SCM Press, 1962, p. 36
(see the book; see also Matt. 23:37-39; 12:39; 16:4; 17:17; Mark 8:12,38; 9:19; Luke 9:41; 11:29-30; more at Bible, Historical, Israel, Messiah, Murder)
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
I bind my heart, this tideTo the Galilean’s side,To the wounds of Calvary—To the Christ who died for me. I bind my soul this dayTo the brother far awayAnd the brother near at hand,In this town and in this land. I bind my heart in thrallTo God, the Lord of all,To God, the poor man’s Friend,And the Christ whom He did send. I bind myself to peace,To make strife and envy cease.God, knit Thou sure the cordOf my thralldom to my Lord.
... Lauchlan MacLean Watt (1867-1957), included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 373
(see the book; see also Rom. 6:17-18; Deut. 6:13; 10:20; Josh. 24:14-15; 1 Sam. 12:24; Isa. 56:6-7; John 3:34; more at Bondage, Christ, Easter, Friend, God, Heart, Peace, Vow)
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980
Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953
Good Friday in my heart! Fear and affright!My thoughts are the disciples when they fled,My words the words that priest and soldier said,My deed the spear to desecrate the dead.And day, Thy death therein, is changed to night. Then Easter in my heart sends up the sun.My thoughts are Mary, when she turned to see.My words are Peter, answering, “Lov’st thou me?”My deeds are all Thine own drawn close to Thee.And night and day, since thou dost rise, are one.
... Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861-1907), Poems, London: Elkin Mathews, 1908, p. 148-149
(see the book; see also John 21:15-17; Ps. 51:7; Isa. 53:2-11; Matt. 26:56; Mark 14:50; John 16:32; 19:34; more at Easter, Good Friday, Resurrection)
Friday, March 25, 2016
Feast of the Annunciation of our Lord to the Virgin Mary
All night had shouts of men and cryOf woeful women filled His way;Until that noon of sombre skyOn Friday, clamour and displaySmote Him; no solitude had He.No silence, since Gethsemane. Public was death; but Power, but Might,But Life again, but Victory,Were hushed within the dead of night,The shutter’d dark, the secrecy.And all alone, alone, aloneHe rose again behind the stone.
... Alice Meynell (1847-1922), A Father of Women: and other poems, Burns & Oates, 1917, p. 30
(see the book; see also Matt. 28:5-7; 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41; John 19:25-27; more at Crucifixion, Darkness, Death, Easter, Victory)
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Feast of Harriet Monsell of Clewer, Religious, 1883
Morning breaks upon the tomb,Jesus dissipates its gloom.Day of triumph through the skies—See the glorious Saviour rise. Christians dry your flowing tears,Chase those unbelieving fears;Look on his deserted grave,Doubt no more his power to save. Ye who are of death afraid,Triumph in the scatter’d shade:Drive your anxious cares away,See the place where Jesus lay.
... William Bengo Collyer (1782-1854), Hymns, partly collected and partly original, London: Longman, Hunt, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1812, p. 887
(see the book; see also Luke 24:1-12; Matt. 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-10; John 20:1-17; more at Belief, Death, Easter, Jesus, Morning, Salvation, Savior, Sight)
Sunday, March 27, 2016
It was undoubtedly a real body. Hundreds of people could not have been so mistaken, especially when Jesus offered clear evidence of it. But it was not an earthbound body. It was something that bore a developmental relationship to an earthly human body, but it was not identical with it. There was clearly a continuity of life between the body of Jesus and the body of the resurrected Jesus, but in the time between his death and resurrection it had undergone a very fundamental change. That, at least, seems clear.So much for the list of dissimilarities: the body of Jesus after the resurrection had a different appearance and also a different form. It was like the previous body, it had some sort of developmental relationship to it, but it was obviously not identical with it.Now we must consider the similarities. Strangely, they all came down to one factor, but that factor is so important that it outweighs all the dissimilarities. It is simply this: Jesus before and after the resurrection was undeniably the same person. No matter what extraordinary changes had taken place in his bodily form, all who knew him well had no doubt at all who he was. They “knew” it was the Lord.
... David Winter, Hereafter, Wheaton, Ill.: Shaw Publishers, 1972, p. 58-59
(see the book; see also John 21:9-12; Luke 24:30-31,36-43; John 20:26-27; more at Doubt, Easter, Jesus, Knowledge, Life, Resurrection)
Monday, March 28, 2016
From the very first, the conviction that Jesus had been raised from death has been that by which [the Christians’] very existence has stood or fallen. There was no other motive to account for them, to explain them... At no point within the New Testament is there any evidence that the Christians stood for an original philosophy of life or an original ethic. Their sole function is to bear witness to what they claim as an event—the raising of Jesus from among the dead... The one really distinctive thing for which the Christians stood was their declaration that Jesus had been raised from the dead according to God’s design, and the consequent estimate of him as in a unique sense Son of God and representative man, and the resulting conception of the way to reconciliation.
... C. F. D. Moule (1908-2007), The Phenomenon of the New Testament, v. I, London: SCM, 1967, p. 11,14,18
(see the book; see also 1 Cor. 15:17-23; Mark 14:27-28; 16:5-6; Rom. 3:25-26; 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; 1 Pet. 2:24; more at Death, Easter, Jesus, Philosophy, Reconciliation, Resurrection, Son, Witness)
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Commemoration of Jack Winslow, Missionary, Evangelist, 1974
The real conviction of the living Christ was not carried to the world by a book nor by a story. Men might allege that they had seen the risen Lord; that was nothing till they themselves were known. The witness of the resurrection was not the word of Paul (as we see at Athens) nor of the Eleven; it was the new power in life and death that the world saw in changed men...The legend of a reputed resurrection of some unknown person in Palestine nobody needed to consider; but what were you to do with the people who died in the arena, the re-born slaves with their newness of life in your own house? And when you “looked into the story,” it was no mere somebody or other of whom they told it. The conviction of the people you knew, amazing in its power of transforming character and winning first the goodwill and the trust and then the conversion of others, was supported and confirmed by the nature and personality of the Man of whom they spoke, of whom you read in their books. “Never man spake like this man,” you read, nor thought like this man, nor like this man believed in God. I can not but think that the factors that make a man Christian to-day were those that won the world then. Our age and that age, in culture, in hopes and fears, in loss of nerve, are not unlike. [Continued tomorrow]
... T. R. Glover (1869-1943), The Influence of Christ in the Ancient World, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1929, p. 96,98-99
(see the book; see also John 7:46; 5:21; Acts 17:18,32; 1 Cor. 2:4-5; 2 Cor. 10:5; Eph. 4:14; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; more at Apologetics, Christ, Conviction, Culture, Fear, Resurrection, Thought)
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
[Continued from yesterday]Belief in immortality for us does not depend on a story, however well attested, in an ancient book... No, here was a sequence of great character and emancipated spirit, all attached to and explained by such a personality as the world never saw; and the central doctrine of the risen Christ squared with the rationality and the goodness of God... The wise said that God and the godlike could have no contact with suffering, but Jesus was no phantom feigning to be crucified; he truly suffered on the cross, he truly rose. Suffering is a language all can understand, and none can quite exhaust; and the suffering Christ, victorious over pain and death, meant for all who grasped his significance a new faith in God, a new freedom of mind in God.
... T. R. Glover (1869-1943), The Influence of Christ in the Ancient World, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1929, p. 99
(see the book; see also 2 Tim. 1:8-10; Col. 2:8,18-22; 1 Tim. 4:7; 6:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:16; more at Apologetics, Belief, Crucifixion, Death, Freedom, God, Immortality, Jesus, Pain, Spirit, Suffer)
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
Though natural men, who have induced secondary and figurative consideration, have found out this... emblematical use of sleep, that it should be a representation of death, God, who wrought and perfected his work, before Nature began, (for Nature was but his Apprentice, to learn in the first seven days, and now is his foreman, and works next under him) God, I say, intended sleep only for the refreshing of man by bodily rest, and not for a figure of death, for he intended not death itself then. But man having induced death upon himself, God hath taken man’s creature, death, into his hand, and mended it; and whereas it hath in itself a fearfull form and aspect, so that Man is afraid of his own creature, God presents it to him, in a familiar, in an assiduous, in an agreeable, and acceptable form, in sleep, that so when he awakes from sleep and says to himself, shall I be no otherwise when I am dead, than I was even now, when I was asleep, he may be ashamed of his waking dreams, and of his melancholy fancying out a horrid and an affrightful figure of that death which is so like sleep. As then we need sleep to live out our threescore and ten years, so we need death, to live that life which we cannot outlive.
... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Devotions XV, p. 566
(see the book; see also 1 Thess. 4:13-15; John 11:11-13; 1 Cor. 15:17-22,51-57; more at Death, God, Intention, Life, Man, Nature, Providence, Rest, Sleep)
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