The Village Parson

November 28th, 2008

From Goldsmith’s The Deserted Village, a little snapshot of a good minister:

At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn’d the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.
The service pass’d, around the pious man,
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;
Even children follow’d with endearing wile,
And pluck’d his gown, to share the good man’s smile.
His ready smile a parent’s warmth express’d,
Their welfare pleas’d him, and their cares distress’d;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in Heaven.
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.

Religious Quarrels

November 15th, 2008

from George Savile, Marquis of Halifax’s Political Thoughts and Reflections
‘Most Men’s Anger about Religion is as if two Men should quarrel for a Lady they neither of them care for.’

(As quoted by James Sutherland, English Literature of the Late Seventeenth Century

Theodoret, Polymorphus, Dialogue 2

Orth. And the name Man is the name of a nature. Not to pronounce the name is to deny the nature: denial of the nature is denial of the sufferings, and denial of the sufferings does away with the salvation.

Extolling the Son

November 8th, 2008

Melito of Sardis, On Faith
(from Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, v.2 pp.578,579)

The Lord Jesus Christ is acknowledged as the perfect Reason, the Word of God; who was begotten before the light; who was Creator with the Father; who was the Fashioner of man; who was all things in all; Patriarch among the patriarchs, Law in the law, Chief Priest among the priests, King among the kings, Prophet among the prophets, Archangel among the angels; He piloted Noah, conducted Abraham, was bound with Isaac, exiled with Jacob, was Captain with Moses; He foretold his own sufferings in David and the prophets; He was incarnate in the Virgin; worshipped by the Magi; He healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, was rejected by the people, condemned by Pilate, hanged upon the tree, buried in the earth, rose from the dead and appeared to the apostles, ascended to heaven; He is the Rest of the departed, the Recoverer of the lost, the Light of the blind, the Refuge of the afflicted, the Bridegroom of the Church, the Charioteer of the cherubim, the Captain of angels; God who is of God, the Son of the Father, the King for ever and ever