Monday, October 4, 2010

Essay: "Of Charity or the Love of God." Jeremy Taylor.

“Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for himself is love: and it is the greatest thing we can give to God; for it will also give ourselves, and carry with it all that is ours.” “It is a grace that loves God for himself and our neighbors for God.”

God is “an infinite nature, immensity or vastness without extension or limit, immutability, eternity, omnipotence, omniscience, holiness, … providence, bounty, mercy, justice, perfection in himself, and the end to which all things and all actions must be directed, and will at last arrive.”

In contrast to God, there is human nature. Smallness and limited nature, our inconstancy, our weakness and ignorance, our inconsideration, our harsh nature, our universal iniquity, our dependence. We are obnoxious and most contemptible.

“For in the scrutinies for righteousness and judgment, when it is inquired whether such a person be a good man or no, the meaning is not What does he believe? Or What does he hope? But what he loves.” 1610.

The Oxford Book of Essays. Ed. John Gross. Oxford and new York: Oxford University Press. 1991.
After this sampling of essays through the years, I have decided to end this blog. RayS.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Essay: "A Degenerate Noble...." Samuel Butler.

Essay: “A Degenerate Noble: Or One That Is P:roud of His Birth.” Samuel Butler.

He glories in the antiquity of his family. He believes that the honor that was left him is sufficient to support his quality without troubling himself to add to the family’s honor and prosperity. “The living honor of his ancestors is long ago departed, dead and gone, and his is but the ghost and shadow of it….” He will never rise again to the height of his ancestors by his means. He has no business but to spend. He consumes and wastes. He is like a word that has lost its meaning and assumed the meaning of its opposite. “He values himself only upon his title….” 1668.

The Oxford Book of Essays. Ed. John Gross. Oxford and new York: Oxford University Press. 1991.