Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The heathen English

Graham is disgusted that the administrator of the English History & Identity group has deleted all discussion topic posts. Click the title for the group. He is a man who does not like criticism and the assertion that Christianity is the biggest influence on our culture. He wants to go back to his heathen roots he says.

What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile:
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone.


I am tempted to post him that verse.


Laugh, and the world laughs with you; snore, and you sleep alone. - Anthony Burgess (1917 &endash; 1993)

Sleep is pain's easiest salve -- John Donne

That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.-Aldous Huxley

I look back on my life with regret. All those wasted years. All that time spent awake. ---from a Garfield cartoon by Jim Davis, showing Garfield napping peacefully

The amount of sleep needed by the average person is five minutes more --Max Kauffman

Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care.
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
Shakespeare: Macbeth, Act II, Scene 2

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Slavery -

O Wilberforce! thou man of black renown,
Whose merit none enough can sing or say,
Thou hast struck one immense Colossus down,
Thou moral Washington of Africa!
But there 's another little thing, I own,
Which you should perpetrate some summer's day,
And set the other halt of earth to rights;
You have freed the blacks--now pray shut up the whites.
Lord Byron, _Don Juan_, canto xiv

But I must own to the shame of my own countrymen, that I was first kidnapped and betrayed by my own complexion, who were the first cause of my exile and slavery; but if there were no buyers there would be no sellers. - Ottobah Cugoano,, Thoughts, Sentiments an the Evil, Wicked Traffic of the Slavery, Commerce of the Human Species, London, 1787.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy. - Ivan Illich (1926-2002)

Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether." With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. -Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

If slavery is not distinctly Western, what is? The movement to end slavery! Abolition is an exclusively Western institution. The historian J.M. Roberts writes, "No civilization once dependent on slavery has ever been able to eradicate it, except the Western." [...]Never in the history of the world, outside of the West, has a group of people eligible to be slave owners mobilized against the institution of slavery. This distinctive Western attitude is reflected by Abraham Lincoln: "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master." -Dinesh D'Souza, _What's So Great About America_, 2002

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The great paradox of faith is that we find our perfect freedom only when become slaves - slaves to God...In the ancient world, slaves judged their self-worth in relation to the importance of their masters. The greater the social status of a master, the greater the esteem of the slave. Christians are slaves of the greatest and kindest Master of all.-ALISTER McGRATH

I'm against slavery simply because I dislike slaves.-H. L. Mencken

Domestic slavery was common in Africa and well before European slave buyers arrived, there was trading in humans. Black slaves were captured or bought by Arabs and exported across the Saharan desert to the Mediterranean and Near East.
In 1492, the Spaniard Christopher Columbus discovered for Europe a 'New World'. The find proved disastrous not only for the 'discovered' people but also for Africans. It marked the beginning of a triangular trade between Africa, Europe and the New World. European slave ships, mainly British and French, took people from Africa to the New World. They were initially taken to the West Indies to supplement local Indians decimated by the Spanish Conquistadors. The slave trade grew from a trickle to a flood, particularly from the seventeenth century onwards.
Portugal's monopoly in the obnoxious trade was broken in the sixteenth century when England followed by France and other European nations entered the trade. The English led in the business of transporting young Africans from their homeland to work in mines and till lands in the Americas.
Most slaves sold by Africans
Estimates of the total human loss to Africa over the four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade range from 30 million to 200 million. At the initial stage of the trade parties of Europeans captured Africans in raids on communities in the coastal areas. But this soon gave way to buying slaves from African rulers and traders. The vast majority of slaves taken out of Africa were sold by African rulers, traders and a military aristocracy who all grew wealthy from the business. Most slaves were acquired through wars or by kidnapping. - Tunde Obadina, Slave trade: a root of contemporary African Crisis

There is a beauteous plant that grows
In Western India's sultry clime,
Which makes, alas, the Black man's woes,
And also makes the White man's crime.
Amelia Opie, The Black Man's Lament or How to Make Sugar, London, 1824

Mammon is the largest slave-holder in the world. -Frederick Saunders

It hurt the economic historians, the Marxists and the fabians, to admit that the Ten Hour Bill, the basic piece of 19th century legislation, came down from the top, out of aa nobleman's private feelings about the Gospel, or that the abolition of the slave trade was achieved, not through the operation of some "law" of profit and loss, but purely as the result of the new humanitarianism of the Evangelicals. - Barbara Tuchman, Bible and Sword.

Brethren, it is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others, God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the reformation of manners.- William Wilberforce, diary, 1787

They charge me with fanaticism. If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large. -William Wilberforce, speech, House of Commons, 19 June 1816

Monday, December 29, 2008


Click on the title for the beer of my dreams. But it is only in Geneva :-(


To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness. Edgar Allan Poe

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Many teachers of the Sixties generation said "We will steal your children", and they did. A significant part of America has converted to the ideas of the 1960s - hedonism, self-indulgence and consumerism. For half of all Americans today, the Woodstock culture of the Sixties is the culture they grew up with - their traditional culture. For them, Judeo-Christian culture is outside the mainstream now. The counter-culture has become the dominant culture, and the former culture a dissident culture - something that is far out, and 'extreme'. - Patrick Buchanan, Right Now! June 2022

What I believed in the Sixties: Everything. You name it and I believed it. I believed love was all you need. I believed you should be here now. I believed drugs could make everyone a better person. I believed I could hitchhike to California with thirty-five cents and people would be glad to feed me. I believed Mao was cute. I believed private property was wrong. I believed my girlfriend was a witch. I believed the university was putting saltpeter in the cafeteria food. I believed stones had souls. I believed my parents were Nazi space monsters. I believed stones had souls. I believed the NLF were the good guys in Vietnam. I believed Lyndon Johnson was plotting to murder all the Negroes. I believed Yoko Ono was an artist. I believed Bob Dylan was a musician. I believed I would live forever or until twenty-one, whichever came first. I believed the world was about to end. I believed the Age of Aquarius was about to happen. I believed the "I Ching" said to cut classes and take over the dean's office. I believed wearing my hair long would end poverty and injustice. I believed there was a great throbbing web of psychic mucus and we were all part of it somehow. I managed to believe Gandhi and H. Rap Brown at the same time. With the exception of anything my mom and dad said, I believed everything. What I believe now: Nothing. Well, nothing much, I mean. I believe things that can be proven by reason and by experiment, and, believe you me, I want to see the logic and the lab equipment. I believe that Western civilization, after some disgusting glitches, has become almost civilized. I believe it is our first duty to protect that civilization. I believe it is our second duty to improve it. I believe it is our third duty to extend it if we can. But let's be careful about that last point. Not everybody is ready to be civilized. I wasn't in 1969. P. J. O'Rourke.

..the awful power of make-believe...-- P. J. O'Rourke, "Second Thoughts About the 1960s"

It was a kind of hoggish appetite for romance that sent my spoiled and petulant generation on a journey to Oz, a journey from which some of us are only now straggling back, in intellectual tatters.-- P. J. O'Rourke, "Second Thoughts About the 1960s"

Of course teenagers have been throwing high-blown and moralistic fits of childishness since the dawn of time. So what was new about the ‚60s? What was new was that in the ‚60s the children were allowed to get away with it. Instead of rebutting their exaggerations and silliness, the adult culture told the kids they were idealists and visionaries. Then suddenly whole bunches of people started growing their hair, inventing their own rules, and railing against limits, responsibility, and adulthood. A couple million Peter Pans said "I really believe that..." and wham! many of the grown-ups running the country were dressing, thinking, and acting in confused sympathy. -- Karl Zinsmeister

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The challenge of Islam

I have never forgotten one point Gary North made in his book on conpiracies. Writing before the fall of Soviet communism he said that ther were only two real challengers to Biblical christianity, Marxism and Islam, because both had an esctology of victory.

Now we only have one contender and it is being nurtured by Western establishments. Click on the title for a Telegraph article which says, 'Islam is the fastest-growing religion in Britain: the number of Muslims has grown from 1.6 million to two million since 2000. Moreover, every major public institution has changed its policies to accommodate the demands of Islamic "community leaders". The Government, the Opposition, the police, schools, the Church of England, the BBC and now Channel 4 are all helping Muslims construct a parallel Islamic state.....

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion says "what we are seeing is the state deferring to a seventh-century Arabian tradesman as a source for secular law". He was speaking on Christmas Eve. The next day, Ahmadinejad spoke to the nation. Yesterday it was reported that Baroness Butler-Sloss, one of Britain's most senior legal figures, wants Sharia divorces to be enshrined in law. For the first time in decades, religion is moulding public life in this country; but that religion is not Christianity.'

IMO Western governments are paralysed by the fear of significant civil disturbance if ever people woke up to what one strand of militant Islam has always taught, hatred of unbelievers, deceit and violent jihad. No. I see no evidence that my Muslim acquaintances are this way inclined. They are very nice people. But what is worrying is that our security services cannot spot the militants either.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sincerity -

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.- Ps. 86:11 NIV

Of a person [Burke] who differed from him in politicks, he said, "In private life he is a very honest gentleman; but I will not allow him to be so in public life. People may be honest, though they are doing wrong; that is between their Maker and them. But we, who are suffering by their pernicious conduct, are to destroy them. We are sure that ------ [Burke] acts from interest. We know what his genuine principles were. They who allow their passions to confound the distinctions between right and wrong, are criminal. They may be convinced; but they have not come honestly by their conviction."- Boswell: Life of Johnson

My uncle used to tell me, 'Dave, the most important thing in life is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you got it made.'- David Lee Roth

But oh. sincerity, sincerity, if I knew what sincerity meaneth!-S Rutherford, Letter 281, p 526

This above all, to thine own self be true,
And it must follow as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Polonius at I, iii)

The value of an idea has nothing whatever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it. --Oscar Wilde

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sin -

After the pastor's scathing sermon on the congregation's myriad sins, one member said,'At least I haven't made any graven images'.

It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin.

If there is no sorrow for sin, there will be no joy in salvation.

Mind polluted? Get led free with Jesus.

Forbidden fruit causes many jams.

The follies of youth become the vices of manhood and the disgrace of old age.

To err is human, but to blame it on someone else is even more human

There are only two kinds of people: sinners who think they are saints, and saints, who know they are sinners. I will never cease to teach this embarrassing truth because without it, I am convinced, there simply is no knowledge and no morality, only the deceptive appearances of them.

Missing the mark - the reason we are so threatened by the holiness of God is that we are sinful. After a muddy game of football, a player may not feel out of place alongside all the other muddy players, but take him immdeiately from the field of play and present him at the head table of a formal banquet, then he will feel conspicuous in the extreme. Similarly, one man judged along another may feel perfectly content but in the presence of God...he only wants to get away as soon as possible. And when there is no place to run, then all he can do is hide his face.

God is not against us because of our sin. He is with us against our sin.

Sin fascinates you, then it assassinates you.

Sense of sin may be often great, and more felt than grace; yet not be more than grace. A man feels the ache of his finger more sensibly than the health of his whole body; yet he knows that the ache of a finger is nothing so much as the health of the whole body. THOMAS ADAMS

Sin is not only manifested in certain acts that are forbidden by divine command. Sin also appears in attitudes and dispositions and feelings. Lust and hate are sins as well as adultery and murder. And, in the traditional Christian view, despair and chronic boredom -- unaccompanied by any vicious act -- are serious sins. They are expressions of man's separation from God, as the ultimate good, meaning, and end of human existence. Mortimer J. Adler (1902- 2001)

It is one thing to have sin alarmed only by convictions, and another to have it crucified by converting grace. Many, because they have been troubled in conscience for their sins, think well of their case, miserably mistaking conviction for conversion.--JOSEPH ALLIENE

O miserable man, what a deformed monster has sin made you! God made you "little lower than the angels"; sin has made you little better than the devils. -- Joseph Alleine

The flesh is a worse enemy than the devil himself.-- Isaac Ambrose

Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum.
With love for mankind and hatred of sins. Often quoted as "Love the sinner but hate the sin."
Augustine of Hippo (354-430) e Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (4th ed.)

My will was perverse and lust had grown from it, and when I gave in to lust, habit was born; and when I did not resist the habit, it became a necessity. These were the links which together formed what I have called my chain, and it held me fast in the duress of servitude. -- Augustine (354-430) _Confessions_ [397-401], Part VIII, Section 5

This is the glory of the Biblical view of sin: it is not inherent and will not last forever - a very optimistic view. And, on a personal level, it can be forgiven and even woven into God's plan.Those who deny the reality of sin, have a very pessimistic view: that evil is with us forever because it is in inherent in reality.- Andrew Basden, post on Thinknet

Never does sin so reign in the Church or State, as when it has gained reputation,or, at least, is no disgrace to the sinner,nor is a matter od offence to we who behold it. - Richard Baxter

I hate the sin, but I love the sinner. --Thomas Buchanan Read (1822-1872) _What a Word May Do_

And the longer you delay, the more your sin gets strength and rooting. If you cannot bend a twig, how will you be able to bend it when it is a tree?
Richard Baxter

Not only the worst of my sins, but the best of my duties speak me a child of Adam. --WILLIAM BEVERIDGE

If the guilt of sin is so great that nothing can satisfy it but the blood of Jesus; and the filth of sin is so great that nothing can fetch out the stain thereof but the blood of Jesus, how great, how heinous, how sinful must the evil of sin be.--WILLIAM BRIDGE

An implicit confession is almost as bad as an implicit faith; wicked men commonly confess their sins by wholesale, We are all sinners; but the true penitent confesses his sins by retail -- Thomas Brooks A Cabinet of Jewels: Works, vol. 3, pp. 405-406.

God promises to deliver us from the penalty of sin (justification), the power of sin (sanctification) and the presence of sin (glorification). --DAVE BROWN

As any sin passes through its stages from temptation, to toleration, to approval, its name is first euphemized, then avoided, then forgotten. A colleague tells me that some of his fellow legal scholars call child molestation "intergenerational intimacy": that's euphemism. A good-hearted editor tried to talk me out of using the term "sodomy": that's avoidance. My students don't know the word "fornication" at all: that's forgetfulness. -- J. Budziszewski, "The Revenge of Conscience", _First Things_, June 1998,

If you saw the knife that cut the throat of your dearest child, would not your heart rise against that knife? Suppose you came to a table and there is a knife laid at your plate, and it was told to you that this is the knife that cut the throat of your child. Fathers, if you could still use that knife like any other knife, would not someone say, 'There was but little love to your child?' So when there is a temptation come to any sin, this is the knife that cut the throat of Christ, that pierced his sides, that was the cause of all his suffering, that made Christ to be a curse. Now will you not look upon that as a cursed thing that made Christ to be a curse? Oh, with what detestation would a man or woman fling away such a knife! And with the like detestation it is required that you should renounce sin, for that was the cause of the death of Christ. --Jeremiah Burroughs

Sin is the dare of God's justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love.-- John Bunyan

Though Satan instils his poison, and fans the flames of our corrupt desires within us,we are yet not carried by any external force to the commission of sin, but our own flesh entices us, and we willingly yield to its allurements. -- Calvin on Gen 22:1

Take heed of secret sins. They will undo thee if loved and maintained: one moth may spoil the garment; one leak drown the ship; a penknife stab and kill a man as well as a sword; so one sin may damn the soul; nay, there is more danger of a secret sin causing the miscarrying of the soul than open profaneness, because not so obvious to the reproofs of the world; therefore take heed that secret sinnings eat not out good beginnings. Jeremiah BurroughsEvery one of us is, even from his mother's womb, a master craftsman of idols. John Calvin

The deadliest sin were the consciousness of no sin. --Thomas Carlyle

Unbelief was the first sin, and pride was the first-born of it. STEPHEN CHARNOCK

MODERN masters of science are much impressed with the need of beginning all inquiry with a fact. The ancient masters of religion were quite equallyi mpressed with that necessity. They began with the fact of sin -- a fact as practical as potatoes. Whether or not man could be washed in miraculous waters, there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing. But certain religious leaders in London, not mere Materialists, have begun in our day notto deny the highly disputable water, but to deny the indisputable dirt. Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. Some followers of the Reverend R. J. Campbell, in their almost too fastidious spirituality, admit divine sinlessness, which they cannot see even in their dreams. But they essentially deny human sin, which they can see in the street. The strongest saints and the strongest sceptics alike took positive evil as the starting-point of their argument. If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions he must either deny the existence of God, as all Atheists do, or he must deny the present union between God and man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.-- G K Chesterton 'Orthodoxy.'

The London Times once asked a number prominent people to write essays on the topic, What s Wrong with the World. G. K. Chesterton reply is the shortest and most to the point in history:
Dear Sirs:
I am.

The gospel of Jesus Christ must be the bad news of the conviction of sin before it can be the Good News of redemption. The truth is revealed in God's Holy Word; life can be lived only in absolute and disciplined submission to its authority.-- Charles Colson

I am having more trouble with myself than any other man I have ever met. --Raymond Dale

Politics without principles
Pleasures without conscience
Wealth without work
Knowledge without character
Industry without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Frederic Donaldson, The 7 Modern Sins

Men perish with whispering sins -- nay, with silent sins, sins that never tell the conscience that they are sins, as often with crying sins; and in hell there shall meet as many men that never thought what was sin, as that spent all their thoughts in the compassing of sin.... John Donne (1573-1631)

Any sin is more or less heinous depending upon the honor and majesty of the one whom we had offended. Since God is of infinite honor, infinite majesty, and infinite holiness, the slightest sin is of infiniteconsequence. The slightest sin is nothing less than cosmic treason when we realize against whom we have sinned. JONATHAN EDWARDS, The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners

Brethren, it is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others, than to mortify one sin in ourselves.- John Flavel

I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being.-- Anatole France, _The Garden of Epicurus_, 1894

Once upon a time there were seven deadly sins. They were called deadly because they led to spiritual death and therefore to damnation. The seven sins were (and are): lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride.Now all of them, with the exception of pride, have become medical conditions. Pride has become a virtue.
A secular society always feels uncomfortable with the moral imagination associated with the seven deadly sins. The Enlightenment replaced the idea of sin, which is deemed to be an offence against God, with the idea of crime, which is an offence against other people. But the rationalists still shared with religion the belief that individuals are responsible for their wrongdoing. However, these days we do not simply feel estranged from a religious universe; we also find it difficult to attribute the act of sinning to human behaviour. Today, the notion of personal guilt, which underpins the concept of the seven deadly sins, exists only in caricature. That is why Western culture can only make sense of the act of sinning as a symptom of a regrettable psychological disease. Actions that were once denounced as a sin are no longer interpreted through the vocabulary of morality but are diagnosed through the language of therapy. The deadly sins have become behavioural problems that require treatment rather than punishment.
There are no longer sinners, only addictive personalities. - Frank Furedi, "Making a virtue of vice" The Spectator 12 Jan 2002

Mercy should make us ashamed, wrath afraid to sin.-- William Gurnall

Sin disabled man to keep God's law, but it doth not enfranchise or disoblige him that he need not keep it.--William Gurnall

God's wounds cure, sin's kisses kill.-- William Gurnall

Men love everything but righteousness and fear everything but God.-- Vance Havner HEARTS AFIRE (Westwood, N. J.: Fleming H. Revell, 1952) (p. 134)

What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart! What jailer so inexorable as one's self!---Nathaniel Hawthorne, _The House of the Seven Gables_, Chap. 11

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. -- Robert Heinlein

Sins are like circles in the water when a stone is thrown into it; one produces another. When anger was in Cain's heart, murder was not far off.-- Philip Henry

Look into any man's heart you please, and you will always find, in every one, at least one black spot which he has to keep concealed. -Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)_Pillars of Society_

To argue from mercy to sin is the devil's logic.-- JAMES JANEWAY

Out of timber so crooked as that from which man is made nothing entirely straight can be built.-- Immanuel Kant

Being Lutheran, Mother believed that self-pity is a deadly sin and so is nostalgia, and she had no time for either.-- Garrison Keillor

Of course the more you love the sinner the more you hate and make war on the sin, just as the more you love the person, the more you hate and kill the cancer cells that are killing the person. Compassion for cancer cells does not come from compassion for persons; it comes precisely from lack of compassion for persons. --Peter Kreeft, Ecumenical Jihad

We are free to sin, but not to control sin's consequences. -- J. Kenneth Kimberlin

The good news makes no sense unless you believe the bad news first. A free operation is not good news if you don t think you have a mortal disease. Once the main obstacle to believe in Christianity was the good news. It seemed like a fairy tale; too good to be true. Today, the main obstacle is the bad news; people just don t believe in sin even though that is the only Christian doctrine that can be proven by reading daily newspapers. Calling a person sinful is not to deny that his being remains good, any more than calling the statute of Venus de Milo a damaged work of art means denying that its sculptor created a masterpiece. Humanity is a good thing gone bad, the image of God in rebellion against God, God 's beloved in a state of rebellion. -- PETER KREEFT

Sin lives solely by plagiarising the ideas of God-Abraham Kuyper, Uniformity:The Curse of Modern Life

It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick.~C.S. Lewis 1898-1963, The Screwtape Letters (1941)

I more fear what is within me than what comes from without. MARTIN LUTHER

In ourselves, we are sinners, and yet through faith we are righteous by the imputation of God. For we trust him who promises to deliver us, and in the meantime struggle so that sin may not overwhelm us, but that we may stand up to it until he finally take it away from us. MARTIN LUTHER

First we practice sin, then defend it, then boast of it. --THOMAS MANTON

Religion would not have many enemies, if it were not an enemy to their vices. - Massillon

The idea that Christianity is basically a religion of moral improvement... has its roots in the liberal Protestantism of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century... It is this stereotype which continues to have influence today... But then came the First World War... What had gone wrong was that the idea of sin had been abandoned by liberal Christianity as some kind of unnecessary hangover from an earlier and less enlightened period in Christian history. -- Alister McGrath, _Bridge-Building: Effective Christian Apologetics_, 1992,

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.-- H.L. Mencken

Man's disobedience] brought into this World a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery,
Death's Harbinger.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book IX, 11 - 13
The ingenuity of self-deception is inexhaustible.-- Hannah More

You'll never be able to speak against sin if you're entertained by it. --John Muncee

There must be a constant and increasing appreciation that though sin still remains it does not have the mastery. There is a total difference between surviving sin and reigning sin, the regenerate in conflict with sin and the unregenerate complacent to sin. It is one thing for sin to live in us: it is another for us to live in sin. It is of paramount concern for the Christian and for the interests of his sanctification that he should know that sin does not have the dominion over him, that the forces of redeeming, regenerative, and sanctifying grace have been brought to bear upon him in that which is central in his moral and spiritual being, that he is the habitation of God through the Spirit, and that Christ has been formed in him the hope of glory.... John Murray, Redemption - Accomplished and Applied

All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions.-- Reinhold Niebuhr

In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose. -- J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), _The Open Mind_

The custom of sinning takes away the sense of it, the course of the world takes away the shame of it. -- John Owen

The vigour and power and comfort of our spiritual life depends on our mortification of deeds of the flesh. -- J Owen

When sin lets us alone we may let sin alone; but as sin is never less quiet than when it seems to be most quiet, and its waters are for the most part deep when they are still, so ought our contrivances against it to be vigorous at all times and in all conditions, even where there is least suspicion. --John Owen

Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. John Owen

The indulgence of one sin opens the door to further sins. The indulgence of one sin diverts the soul from the use of those means by which all other sins should be resisted. --JOHN OWEN

Let no man think to kill sin with few, easy, or gentle strokes. He who hath once smitten a serpent, if he follow not on his blow until it be slain, may repent that ever he began the quarrel. And so he who undertakes to deal with sin, and pursues it not constantly to the death. --JOHN OWEN

Thus, for instance, some will assure us that it is a waste of time preaching to modern hearers about the law and sin, for (it is said) such things mean nothing to them. Instead (it is suggested) we should just appeal to the needs which they feel already, and present Christ to them simply as One who gives peace, power and purpose to the neurotic and frustrated-a super-psychiatrist, in fact. Now this suggestion excellently illustrates the danger of the minimising approach. If we do not preach about sin and God's judgement on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible. We are, in effect bearing false withness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is "another gospel, which is not another.-- J I Packer, A Quest for Godliness, PG 164-165

Pleasure is the bait of sin. --Plato (B.C. 427?-347?)

I hate the sin, but I love the sinner. --Thomas Buchanan Read (1822-1872) _What a Word May Do_

When we grieve Him, we push aside the One who is the agent to us of the work of Christ for our present life. On the basis of the finished, passive work of Christ (that is, His suffering on the cross), and on the basis of the active obedience of Christ (that is, His keeping the law perfectly through His life), the fruits are there. They are there to flow out through the agency of the Holy Spirit through us into the external world. The fruits are normal; not to have them is not to have the Christian life which should be considered usual. There are oceans of grace which wait. Orchard upon orchard waits; vineyard upon vineyard of fruit waits. There is only one reason why they do not flow out through the Christian‚s life, and that is that the instrumentality of faith is not being used. This is to quench the Holy Spirit. When we sin in this sense, we sin twice: we sin in the sin, and this is serious, as it is against the law and the character of God Himself, our Father; but at the same time we sin by omission, because we have not raised the empty hands of faith for the gift that is there.
In the light of the structure. of the total universe; in the light of our calling to exhibit the existence and character of God between the ascension and the second coming; in the light of the terrible price of the cross, whereby all the present and future benefits of salvation were purchased on our behalf ˜ in the light of all this, the real sin of the Christian is not to possess his possessions, by faith. This is the real sin.
But whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23b). The sin here is in not raising the empty hands of faith. - Francis Schaeffer

The inward area is the first place of loss of true Christian life, of true spirituality, and the outward sinful act is the result.-- Francis Schaeffer

With the Fall all became abnormal. It is not just that the individual is separated from God by his true moral guilt, but each of us is not what God made us to be. Beyond each of us as individuals, human relationships are not what God meant them to be. And beyond that, nature is abnormal -- the whole cause-and-effect significant history is now abnormal. To say it another way: there is much in history now which should not be. -- Francis A. Schaeffer, True Spirituality, Ch. 1

I have come to the conclusion that none of us in our generation feels as guilty about sin as we should or as our forefathers did.
Francis Schaeffer letter: 14 Jan 1972

All my life I have been seeking to climb out of the pit of my besetting sins and I cannot do it and I never will unless a hand is let down to draw me up.-- Seneca

No man is free who is a slave to the flesh. Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.)

We are all sinful. Therefore whatever we blame in another we shall find in our own bosoms. ~Seneca: De Ira, Bk.III, sec.26

In all their jollity in this world, the wicked are but as a book fairly bound, which when it is opened is full of nothing but tragedies. So when the book of their consciences shall be once opened, there is nothing to be read but lamentations and woes. --RICHARD SIBBES

Oh, how horrible our sins look when they are committed by someone else!-- Chuck Smith

Any cloth may cover our sores, but the finest silk will not cover our sins. --HENRY SMITH

Suffering is better than sinning. There is more evil in a drop of sin than in an ocean of affliction. Better, burn for Christ, than turn from Christ. -Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)

It is a grievous token of hardness of heart when we can live contentedly without the present enjoyment of the Saviour's face.-
Spurgeon‚ sermon,"A WARNING AGAINST HARDNESS OF HEART" No. 620 Hebrews 3:13

I daily feel that the atmosphere of earth has as much a tendency to harden my heart, as to harden plaster which is newly spread upon the wall; and unless I am baptized anew with the Spirit of God, and constantly stand at the foot of the cross, reading the curse of sin in the crimson hieroglyphics of my Savior‚Äôs dying agonies, I shall become as steeled and insensible as the mass of professors already are.-Spurgeon‚ sermon,"A WARNING AGAINST HARDNESS OF HEART" No. 620 Hebrews 3:13

Shame on us, that any of us should be guilty of such tampering with that accursed thing which slew the Lord of glory.-Spurgeon‚ sermon,"A WARNING AGAINST HARDNESS OF HEART" No. 620 Hebrews 3:13

Man loves his own ruin. The cup is so sweet that though he knows it will poison him, yet he must drink it. And the harlot is so fair, that though he understands that her ways lead down to hell, yet like a bullock he follows to the slaughter till the dart goes through his liver. Man is fascinated and bewitched by sin. -Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)_Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit_ Vol. 13 [1867]

Sin goes in a disguise, and thence is welcome; like Judas, it kisses and kills; like Joab, it salutes and slays.- George Swinnock

No sin is small. It is against an infinite God, and may have consequences ummeasurable. No grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch.-Jeremy Taylor

As long as we want to be different from what God wants us to be at the time, we are only tormenting ourselves to no purpose. - Gerhart Tersteegen

Tell me your doctrine of the Fall and I will tell you the state of your theology.- RA Torrey

Pollution is the forerunner of perdition. - John Trapp

Adam was but human--this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake; he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent. - Mark Twain, _Pudd'nhead Wilson_

The picture of fallen man as given in Scripture is that he knows God but does not want to recognize Him as God.- CORNELIUS VAN TIL

When sin is your burden, Christ will be your delight. -THOMAS WATSON

Let them fear death who do not fear sin.-THOMAS WATSON

Sin hath the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death for its wages. -THOMAS WATSON

The scriptures tell us that all men have been gripped by powers that they cannot break away from. What are these powers? Let me list them: 1) Men are slaves to sin. 2) Men are slaves to Satan. 3) Men are held for punishment in God's justice system.-Tom Wells, A Price for A People, PG 13

The longer I live, the larger allowances I make for human infirmities.-John Wesley(1703-1791)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Simplicity -

When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955

In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow(1807-1882)

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.- Charles Mingus

If my heart can become pure and simple like that of a child, I think there probably can be no greater happiness than this.- Kitaro Nishida

There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit.- Alexander Pope, 1688 - 1744

Whenever there is a simple error that most laymen fall for, there is always a slightly more sophisticated version of the same problem that experts fall for.- Amos Tversky

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. - Leonardo DaVinci

Seek simplicity but distrust it. - Alfred North Whitehead, 1861 - 1947

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.

I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper, and complain.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Silence is not always golden; sometimes it is yellow.

Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

Please sound your horn if you agree with the Noise Abatement Society. - Car sticker

Ko kurum magana ce. Even silence speaks. - Hausa proverb, Nigeria.

A silent wife is a gift of the Lord. Sirach 26:14

Silence is the virtue of fools -Francis Bacon

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.- Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw)

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with it fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.-Thomas Carlyle

Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent. - Dionysus the Elder

The brain is like a TV set; when it goes blank, it's a good idea to turn off the sound. - Sam Ewing , The Saturday Evening Post 7/14/97

Nothing is so good for an ignorant man as silence, and if he knew this he would no longer be ignorant. -Sa'di Gulistan

That man's silence is wonderful to listen to. - Thomas Hardy (1840 -1928)

A man is known by the silence he keeps.- Oliver Herford(1863-1935 )In "The Speaker's Electronic Reference Collection," AApex Software, 1994.

He who has heard the Word of God can bear his silences.- Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

It is the wise head that makes the still tongue. -W. J. Lucas

No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut.- Sam Rayburn (1882 &endash; 1961)

Silence is the safest course for any man to adopt who distrusts himself.-La Rochefoucauld

One learns in life to keep silent and draw one's own confusions.-Cornelia Otis Skinner (1901 - 1979)

He has occasional flashes of silence that make his conversation perfectly delightful. -Sydney SMITH

Our religious activities should be ordered in such a way as to have plenty of time for the cultivation of the fruits of solitude and silence. - A.W. Tozer, The Works of A.W. Tozer

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cranmer for archbishop!

One of the best English blogs is Cranmer's. Here is a quote. Click on the title to link.

"And no-one will persuade Cranmer that the Archbishop would be more effective if his voice were raised after disestablishment. The logical conclusion of that would be the disastrous combination of publicly sponsored secularism, on the one hand, and the terminal privatisation of religion, on the other.

One of the Church’s primary functions is holding government and political parties to account. The document ‘Moral but no Compass’, although unofficial, illustrated the powerful role the Church of England may still exercise in highlighting the inadequacies - spiritual and political - of the political system, in order that people’s welfare may be improved. Whatever the outcome, the intervention suggests that the public realm remains an arena in which the Church’s moral and ethical mission continues to be exercised. Perhaps it is only the Establishment Church that, in contemporary society, possesses the status to permit it to fight for representation of a slighted electorate in the face of an increasingly abstract political élite."

Significance -

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.- Bruce Barton 1886 - 1967

Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments.- JOHN CALVIN

Hence that dread and amazement with which as Scripture uniformly relates holy men were struck and overwhelmed whenever they beheld the presence of God men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God. -JOHN CALVIN

Almost anything you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.-Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

It is not the glorious battlements, the painted windows, the crouching gargoyles that support a building, but the stones that lie unseen in or upon the earth. It is often those who are despised and trampled on that bear up the weight of a whole nation. - JOHN OWEN

It is because God has assigned worth to men and women that human dignity is established.From his creation to his redemption, man's dignity is preserved. His origin is significant. His destiny is significant. He is significant. The conviction that permeates each chapter is the importance of daily respect for the dignity of other people which requires a sensitivity to their self-esteem. We are also led to the realization that the most fragile mechanization on this planet is the human ego. - R. C. Sproul, The Hunger for Significance

Every person needs to feel significant. We want our lives to count. We yearn to believe that in some way we are important and that hunger for significance--a drive as intense as our need for oxygen--doesn't come from pride or ego. It comes from God because he wants each of us to understand how important we are. ... We must seek our roots, our origin, and our destiny so that we can know our present value. ..... ...We can help each other realize that we are persons of significance being made in the image of God. -R. C. SPROUL

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Vows made in storms are forgotten in calms.- French Proverb

There are only two kinds of naval vessels - submarines, and targets. ==- Submariner's Proverb

Two captains will sink the ship. -Turkish Proverb

Every ship is a romantic object, except that we sail in.- Ralph Waldo Emerson

No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned . . . A man in a jail has more room, better food and commonly better company.- Samuel Johnson

Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.- Samuel Johnson

A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.- Spike Milligan

A ship is always referred to as "she" because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder.- Admiral Chester William Nimitz, in a speech before the Society of Sponsors of the U. S. Navy, 13 February 1940.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


He was not of an age, but for all time.
Ben Jonson, To the Memory of my Beloved, the Author, Mr William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare was born on 23 April 1564 and died on 23 April 1616.

If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning,we may study his commentators.-- William Hazlitt, _Table Talk_, 1821

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sex -

I used to kiss her on the lips, but its all over now.

Her kisses left something to be desired -- the rest of her.

Familiarity breeds children.

Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, you probably won't either.

A man who is old enough to know better is always on the look out for a girl who doesn't.

One day, shortly after having her 9th baby, the good Irish lady ran into her parish priest. He congratulated her on the new offspring, then said, "But isn't having nine babies a little much?." "Well," she said, "I don't know why I get pregnant so often, it must be something in the air." "Yes," replied the priest, "your legs."

Men won't buy the cow if they can get the milk free.

There is no wisdom below the girdle. -17th Century proverb

This I know........I have been preaching 23 years.......I have never performed a wedding where BOTH parties were virgins.- Email from a pastor, 26 June 2000

It was the most fun I ever had without laughing. -- Woody Allen, Annie Hall

Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.-Francis Bacon Essays "Of Love" (1597)

We may all be inclined to think of man's countless foolish and selfish intentions, his twisted and mischievous words and deeds. From all these, sin can be known, as a tree can be known from its fruits. Yet these outward signs are not sin itself, the wages of which are death. Sin is not confined to the evil things we do. It is the evil within us, the evil which we are. Shall we call it our pride or our laziness, or shall we call it the deceit of our life? Let us call it for once the great defiance which turns us again and again into the enemies of God and of our fellowmen, even of our own selves. - Karl Barth (1886-1968)

The sexual reality [after the sexual revolution] was often halfhearted and disappointing, much obsession but little passion--what D. H. Lawrence had called "sex in the head." Men and women did not benefit from the boasted "revolution" as they had expected; it did give some people the free play they wanted, but it pushed many more into courses unsuited to their nature and capacities. It did not install the Mohammedan paradise on earth, although everything in sight suggested that it had. Pornography is a form of utopian literature and, like the advertising of Desire, it set a standard that brought on paralysis. When an erectifying drug was put on the market, the millions who rushed to obtain it numbered the healthy young as well as the ailing old, and women at once demanded its feminine equivalent. It was apparently not known that desire must be dammed up to be self-renewing. - Jacques Barzun, _From Dawn to Decadence_, 2000

Among men, sex sometimes results in intimacy; among women, intimacy sometimes results in sex.-Barbara Cartland

The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.- Lord Chesterfield

It has been left to the last Christians, or rather to the first Christians fully committed to blaspheming and denying Christianity, to invent a new kind of worship of Sex, which is not even a worship of Life. It has been left to the very latest Modernists to proclaim an erotic religion which at once exalts lust and forbids fertility . . . The new priests abolish the fatherhood and keep the feast - to themselves.- G K Chesterton {The Well and the Shallows, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1935, p. 233}

Sex is the last refuge of the miserable.- Crisp, Quentin (1908-1999) _The Naked Civil Servant_ (1968) ch. 8

Kisses may not spread germs, but they certainly lower resistance.- Louise Erickson

A woman without breasts is like a bed without pillows. - Anatole France,

Sometimes in the heat of passion, the little head tells the big head what to do and the big head should think twice about it. -Lorenzo Anello (Robert De Niro) (Giving fatherly advice to his son in the film _A Bronx Tale_ [1993], Directed by Robert De Niro)

Do you not know how uncontrolled and unreliable the average human being is in all that concerns sexual life? -Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) _Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis_ [1916-1917]

I'll tell you what really turns my toes up -love scenes [between] 68 year old men and young actresses. I promise you, when I get to that age I will say no. ~Mel Gibson, The Observer (16 May 1999) -referring to Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones in Entrapment

Have ye beheld (with much delight)
A red rose peeping through a white?
Or else a cherry (double graced)
Within a lily? Centre placed?
Or ever marked the pretty beam
A strawberry shows half drowned in cream?
Or seen rich rubies blushing through
A pure smooth pearl, and orient too?
So like to this, nay all the rest,
Is each neat niplet of her breast.
Robert Herrick, Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast

I am happy now that Charles calls on my bedchamber less frequently than of old. As it is, I now endure but two calls a week and when I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs and think of England.- Lady Hillingdon 1857-1940, Journal , 1912.

She's descended from a long line her mother listened to.- Gypsy Rose Lee (1914-1970)

[Milton's] argument is (a) St. Augustine was wrong in thinking God's only purpose in giving Adam a female, instead of a male, companion, was copulation. For (b) there is a "peculiar comfort" in the society of man and woman "beside, (i.e. in addition to, apart from) the genial bed"; and (c) we know from Scripture that something analogous to "play" or "slackening the cords" occurs even in God. That is why the Song of Songs describes a thousand raptures...far on the hither side of carnal enjoyment. --C. S. Lewis, _Preface to Paradise Lost_

For the past twenty years you and I have been fed all day long on good solid lies about sex.- C S Lewis

Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it; the old Christian rule is, "Either marriage, with completely faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence. -Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) _Mere Christianity_ [1952], Book III, Chapter 5

Sex is hardly ever just about sex.- Shirley MacLaine

G M: So, Mrs. Smith, do you have any children?
S: Yes, thirteen.
G M: Thirteen! Good lord, isn't that a burden?
S: Well, I love my husband.
G M: Lady, I love my cigar but I take it out of my mouth once in a while.
Groucho Marx, on You Bet Your Life

50% of men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe.- Jackie Mason

Continentals have sex life. The English have hotwater bottles.- George Mikes, How to be an Alien

Sex is the mysticism of materialism. -Malcolm Muggeridge

The orgasm has replaced the cross as the focus of longing and fulfilment.- Malcolm Muggeridge "Tread Softly" p. 46 (1966)

Sex is the ersatz or substitute religion of the 20th Century.
Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) Contribution, N.Y. Times Magazine [March 24, 1968]

Sensuality often makes love grow too quickly, so that the root remains weak and is easy to pull out. -Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) _Beyond Good and Evil_ [1886], "Maxims and Interludes," No. 120

When the devil makes his offer (always open incidentally) of the kingdoms of the earth, it is the bordellos which glow so alluringly to most of us, not the banks and the counting-houses and the snow-swept corridors of power . . . Sex is the mysticism of a materialistic society - in the beginning was the Flesh, and the Flesh became Word; with its own mysteries - this is my birth pill; swallow it in remembrance of me! - and its own sacred texts and scriptures - the erotica which fall like black atomic rain on the just and unjust alike, drenching us, stupefying us. To be carnally minded is life!-Malcom Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered, Bungay, Suffolk, UK: Fontana Books, 1969, p. 3

Sensuality often makes love grow too quickly, so that the root remains weak and is easy to pull out. -Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) _Beyond Good and Evil_ [1886], "Maxims and Interludes," No. 120

That woman speaks eight languages and can't say "no" in any of them.- Dorothy Parker

Maybe the Lord brought down this plague", because "illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments "- In Reagan's official biography, Dutch, by Edmund Morris, the former US president is quoted as saying of the condition Aids:

GOVERNMENT attempts to reduce high-risk sexual behaviour among teenagers have had exactly the opposite effect, according to a new study. Academics at Nottingham University are reported to have found that expanding contraceptive services and providing the morning-after pill free to teenagers have encouraged sexual behaviour rather than reducing it. They discovered that sexual activity and sexually transmitted diseases have risen fastest in those areas where the Government's policy has been most actively pursued. Critics said that the findings exploded the official line that the best way to tackle rising teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) was by making contraception more easily available. - STUART REID, Action on teenage sex 'backfiring', _Edinburgh News_

The reason most people sweat is so they will not catch fire while they are making love.- Don Rose

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny.
William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Sex divorced from love, instead of raising man by taking him away from himself, drags him down to the hall of mirrors where he is always confronted with self. Sex does not care about the person, but about the act. The fig leaf which once was put over the secret parts of man and woman in sculpture is now put over the face. The person does not matter. -Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979) _Those Mysterious Priests_ [1974]

A kiss from a man without a moustache is like lamb without mint sauce. -Elizabeth Weeks 1881-1950 (not her's originally I am sure but Grandma used to say this)

God gave us a penis and a brain, but not enough blood to use both at the same time. -Robin Williams

Then I suppose I should tell you about Lord Reading's recent marriage to a woman some forty years younger than himself. The London Times account of the wedding ended, unfortunately, with this sentence 'The bridegroom's gift to the bride was an antique pendant.' - Alexander Woollcott.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Service -

A lot of people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.

God likes help when helping people. -Irish Proverb

Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero, 63 B.C.

You might be a rock 'n' roll addict prancing on the stage,
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage,
You may be a business man or some high degree thief,
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief

But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.
Bob Dylan, Gotta Serve Somebody

What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other? -George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. -Albert Einstein

The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not "to have and to hold" but "to give and to serve." There can be no other meaning.-Wilfred T. Grenfell

We pause to recall what our country has done for each of us and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.- Oliver Wendell Holmes

God hath work to do in this world; and to desert it because of its difficulties and entanglements, is to cast off His authority. It is not enough that we be just, that we be righteous, and walk with God in holiness; but we must also serve our generation, as David did before he fell asleep. God hath a work to do; and not to help Him is to oppose Him. - JOHN OWEN

As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. -JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU (1712 - 1778)

I do not know which will be the destiny of each one of you; but one thing I know ‚ the only ones among you who will be really happy will be those who have sought and found the way to serve. -Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. -Robert Louis Stevenson

"Doesn't the futility of it all depress you, Bernard?"
"Not really, Minister. I'm a civil servant."
Yes, Prime Minister - Jonathan Lynn & Anthony Jay

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Selfishness -

Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves -Gene Fowler, "Skyline"

O take heed of this squint eye to our profit, pleasure, honour, or anything beneath Christ and heaven; for they will take away your heart ... that is, our love, and if our love be taken away, there will be little courage left for Christ.- WILLIAM GURNALL

It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others. - John Andrew Holmes

A man's worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes. - Thomas Henry Huxley

He that pines with hunger, is in little care how others shall be fed. The poor man is seldom studious to make his grandson rich.- Samuel Johnson: Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

There will always be a part, and always a very large part of every community, that have no care but for themselves, and whose care for themselves reaches little further than impatience of immediate pain, and eagerness for the nearest good." -Samuel Johnson: Taxation No Tyranny

A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights. - Napoleon Bonaparte, "Maxims", 1804-1815

Where no man thinks himself under any obligation to submit to another, and, instead of co-operating in one great scheme, every one hastens through by-paths to private profit, no great change can suddenly be made; nor is superior knowledge of much effect, where every man resolves to use his own eyes and his own judgment, and every one applauds his own dexterity and diligence, in proportion as he becomes rich sooner than his neighbour. - Samuel Johnson: Introduction to the Political State of Great Britain

There can be no place for self entirely - Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) to his captains.

The world is living today in what might be described as an era of carnality, which glorifies sex, hates restraint, identifies purity with coldness, innocence with ignorance, and turns men and women into Buddhas with their eyes closed, hands folded across their breasts, intently looking inward, thinking only of self. -Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979) _The Cross and the Beatitudes_ [1937]

Religion should never become the subject of selfishness, yet I fear some treat it as if its chief end were personal spiritual gratification. When a man's religion totally lies in saving only himself and in enjoying holy things for himself, there is a disease within him. When his judgment of a sermon is based on the one question, "Did it feed me?" it is a swinish judgment. There is such a thing as getting a swinish religion in which you are yourself first, yourself second, yourself third, yourself to the utmost end. Did Jesus think or speak in that fashion? Contemplation of Christ Himself may be carried out so as to lead you away from Him. The recluse meditates on Jesus, but he is as unlike the busy, self-denying Jesus as any can be. Meditation, unattended by active service in the spreading of the Gospel among men, well deserves the rebuke of the angel, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?" -Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

The centre of trouble is not the turbulent appetites -- though they are troublesome enough. The centre of trouble is in the personality of man as a whole, which is self-centred and can only be wholesome and healthy if it is God-centred.-William Temple (1881-1944)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trumpet blows again

Click on the title.

I am now Reviewer Rank:243 on with 318 reviews and 1,374 helpful votes. I'm a Top 500 reviewer but want to get into the top 100.

More votes please.

Self esteem -

Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with.

I read an article that said the way to achieve inner peace is to finish things I had started. Today I finished two bags of potato chips, a chocolate pie, bottle of wine and a small box of chocolate candy. I feel better already.

The relationships we have with the world are largely determined by the relationships we have with ourselves.- Greg Anderson, The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness

Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.- Tori Amos

The bad man is continually at war with, and in opposition to, himself. - Aristotle

Finding oneself was a misnomer; a self is not found but made. -Jacques Barzun, _From Dawn to Decadence_

SELF-ESTEEM, n. An erroneous appraisement. - Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary

He who knows himself best esteems himself least. -Henry George Bohn (1796-1884)

Self esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves. - Nathaniel Branden

An individual's self-concept is the core of his personality. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change . . . . A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life. - Joyce Brothers(1928-____)

Most people with low self-esteem have earned it. -George Carlin

"Who is the world am I?" Ah, that's the great puzzle! ~Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The one sole thing in myself in which I glory is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory. -- Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star. --Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) _Orthodoxy_ [1908], "The Logic of Elfland"

Sever me from myself
that I may be grateful to you;
may I perish to myself
that I may be safe in you;
may I die to myself
that I may live in you;
may I wither to myself
that I may blossom in you;
may I be emptied of myself
that I may abound in you;
may I be nothing to myself
that I may be all to you.
Desiderius Erasmus (1467-1536) [Dutch humanist scholar]

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self-
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) In "Webster's Electronic Quotebase," ed. Keith Mohler, 1994.

Be yourself, who else is better qualified? - Frank J. Giblin

You've no idea what a poor opinion I have of myself -- and how little I deserve it.- William Gilbert (1836-1911)

For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him he must regard himself as greater than he is. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.- Abraham J. Heschel

The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individual will try to be as tolerant of his neighbor's shortcomings as he is of his own. - Eric Hoffer

When we leave people on their own, we are delivering them into the hands of a ruthless taskmaster from whose bondage there is no escape. The individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself. - Eric Hoffer

That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own self-esteem.- Samuel Johnson

He had delusions of adequacy. - Walter Kerr (1913 - 1996), on an unknown actor

Whatever else you may be sure of, be sure of this: that you are dreadfully like other people. - James Russell Lowell, _My Study Windows_, 1871

Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.- H. L. Mencken

The only conquests that are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves.-- Napoleon

Lust, Pride, Sloth, and Gluttony, or, as we call them these days, "geetting in touch with your sexuality," "raising your self-esteem," "relaxation therapy," and "being a recovered bulimic."- P. J. O'Rourke, _The CEO of the Sofa_, 2001

It may be called the Master Passion, the hunger for self-approval.- Mark Twain

When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet in his private heart no man much respects himself. - Mark Twain

Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I'm tired of making other people feel good about themselves.- Homer Simpson

Monday, December 15, 2008

Self denial -

If you were to rise early every morning, as an instance of self-denial, as a method of renouncing indulgence, as a means of redeeming your time and of fitting your spirit for prayer, you would find mighty advantages from it. This method, though it seem such a small circumstance of life, would in all probability be a means [toward] great piety. It would keep it constantly in your head that softness and idleness were to be avoided and that self-denial was a part of Christianity... It would teach you to exercise power over yourself, and make you able by degrees to renounce other pleasures and tempers that war against the soul. ... William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life [1728]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Noyon, birthplace of Calvin.

Click on the title for photos.

Not an innocent Brazilian

Am I alone in being tied of hearing de Menezes described as an "innocent Brazilian shot on the Tube"? He was an illegal immigrant, a law beaker. Yes he was not guilty of a capital offence. He was shot by mistake. His family deserve our sympathy but that is all. He contributed to his own demise by being where he should not have been. The family should not be receiving any payment from our taxes. Despite my large beard I fully support a shoot to kill policy against suspected suicide bombers, hollow bullets and all.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Self-control -

When we forget ourselves, we usually do something that everyone else remembers.

Having control over myself is nearly as good as having control over others.

Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a straw. Can you fly through the air? You are no better than a gnat. Conquer your heart--then you may become somebody. - Khwaja Abdullah Ansari of Herat, 11thC

I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself. -Pietro Aretino (1492-1556) _Letter to Agostino Ricchi_ [May 10, 1537]

Conquer thyself, till thou has done this, thou art but a slave; for it is almost as well to be subjected to another's appetite as to thine own. ~Sir Richard Burton

Who to himself is law no law doth need,
Offends no law, and is a king indeed.
George Chapman. 1557-1634. Bussy D'Ambois. Act ii. Sc. 1.

The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself. - Winston Churchill

The "Inside-Out" approach to personal and self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most inside part of self - with your paradigms, your character, and your motives. The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves precedes making and keeping promises to others. It says it is futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve relationships with others before improving ourselves- Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.- Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) "Living Under Tension."

All of your scholarship, all your study of Shakespeare and Wordsworth would be vain if at the same time you did not build your character and attain mastery over your thoughts and your actions.-Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

A man cannot govern a nation if he cannot govern a city; he cannot govern a city if he cannot govern a family; he cannot govern a family unless he can govern himself; and he cannot govern himself unless his passions are subject to reason.-
Hugo Grotius

It's not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. -Edmund Hillary

I do not wonder that, where the monastick life is permitted, every order finds votaries, and every monastery inhabitants. Men will submit to any rule, by which they may be exempted from the tyranny of caprice and of chance. They are glad to supply by external authority their own want of constancy and resolution, and court the government of others, when long experience has convinced them of their own inability to govern themselves. - Samuel Johnson: Letter to Baretti (June 10, 1761)

Be charitable and indulgent to every one but thyself.- Joubert (1754-1824)

If you cannot mould yourself entirely as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking? -Thomas a Kempis

All of the significant battles are waged within the self.-Sheldon Kopp

He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.- John Milton

The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself -- the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us -- that's where it's at. - Jesse Owens (1913-1980)

I have conquered an empire but I have not been able to conquer myself. -Peter the Great (1672-1725) Czar of Russia

It is not enough to have great qualities, we should also have the management of them. - Francois de La Rochefoucald

Better[stronger] is he who controls his urges than he who captures a city.- Talmud

He that will not command his thoughts . . . will soon lose the command of his actions. -Thomas Wilson

You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself. - Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, December 12, 2008

Security -

Don't think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.- Malayan proverb

Most people want security in this world, not liberty. --Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) _Minority Report_ [1956]

Security is when everything is settled. When nothing can happen to you. Security is the denial of life. -Germaine Greer

Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and marriage, how little security have we when we trust our happiness in the hands of others! -William Hazlitt (1778-1830) _Table Talk_ [1821-1822], "On Living to One's Self"

Security is not the meaning of my life. Great opportunities are worth the risks. -Shirley Hufstedler (1925-____)

Who is secure in all his basic needs? Who has work, spiritual care, medical care, housing, food, occasional entertainment, free clothing, free burial, free everything? The answer might be nuns and monks, but the standard reply is 'prisoners'. - Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world; but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.- C S Lewis ( The Problem of Pain)

There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.- Douglas MacArthur, 1955

Our house is made of glass . . . and our lives are made of glass; and there is nothing we can do to protect ourselves.Joyce Carol Oates (1938-____) "American Appetites," 1

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Secularism -

The claim that secularisation has its roots in Biblical faith and that it is the fruit of the Gospel has no substance in historical fact. Secularisation has its roots not in Biblical faith, but in the interpretation of Biblical faith by Western man; it is not the fruit of the Gospel, but it is the fruit of the long history of philosophical and metaphysical conflict in the religious and purely rationalistic world view of Western man. Of all the great revealed religions, Christianity alone shifted its centre of origin, from Jerusalem to Rome, symbolising the beginning of the Westernisation of Christianity and its gradual and successive permeation by Western elements that in subsequent periods of its history produced and accelerated the momentum of secularisation. This is why, for the Muslim, there are two versions of Christianity: the original true one, and the Western version of it.- Banu Az-Zubair

There is no longer a Christian mind ... the modern Christian has succumbed to secularization. He accepts religion -- its morality, its worship, its spiritual culture; but he rejects the religious view of life, the view which sets all earthly issues within the context of the eternal, the view which relates all human problems social, political, cultural to the doctrinal foundations of the Christian Faith, the view which sees all things here below in terms of God's supremacy and earth's transitoriness, in terms of Heaven and Hell. - HARRY BLAMIRES

..sectarian governments with coercive sword power eliminate their dissenting opposition. The sectarian world brooks no opposition; s view of justice and liberty demands purity. Thus, hard line theocrats vehemently oppose genuine pluralism; any pluralism that permits "false religions" full opponent be tolerated in "Christian America". Similarly, sectarian secularists cannot tolerate even the teeny-tiniest vestige of religious symbolism in the square. The full exercise of the state's coercive power must be used to remove every creche or menorah from the town squares of America, which are to be kept purely and nakedly secular. - John Bolt, A Free Church, A Holy Nation: Abraham Kuyper's American Public Theology, Eerdmans, 2001, p 379

The coalition with Roman Catholics was born out of a cultural cobelligerance against the overwhelming and growing pressures of secularism in Dutch nineteeth century education. - John Bolt, A Free Church, A Holy Nation: Abraham Kuyper's American Public Theology, Eerdmans, 2001, p 394

An important point is that the correlation between the death of religious faith and the death of peoples and civilisation is absolute. I believe that the death of Christianity in the soul of Western man, and its replacement by a more materialistic, hedonistic, individualistic, la dolce vita belief, and the embrace ofthe sexual revolution combined, mean that Western man has consumed a carcinogenic that is killing him. Peoples that no longer believe in the cult out of which their culture and civilisation came will not sustain that civilisation. And as TS Eliot said: "If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes". The Christian faith and belief in which Western man was marinaded for 2,000 years was fundamentally the immune system of the West, which warded off all manner of psychic infections. But Christianity has died, and been replaced by a new faith of secular humanism, which is having an effect on the West comparable to that of the HIV virus on a person. Eventually, it will kill us. - Patrick Buchanan, Right Now! June 2022

... a widespread secularization increasingly descends into a moral, intellectual, and spiritual nihilism that denies not only the One who is the Truth but the very idea of truth itself. - Charles Colson and others, Evangelicals & Catholics Together:The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,1994

It is nor secularism per se that differs with (sic) the central thrust of Christianity. But it is this persistent aim to resolve the pain of life, either through changing the outward world or through a personal accommodation to the world, that strikes directly against the core of a Christian view of life. - A J Conyers, The Eclipse of Heaven,, Inter Varsity Press, 1992 p.70.

The replacement of Christian with secular institutions is the culminating and critical result of the Industrial Revolution. That states should attempt to dispense with theological supports is one of the many crucial experiments that bewilder our brains and unsettle our way today. Laws which were once presented as the decrees of a god-given king are now frankly the confused commands of fallible men. Education, which was the sacred province of god-inspired priests, becomes the task of men and women shorn of theological robes and awe, and relying on reason and persuasion to civilize young rebels who fear only the policeman and may never learn to reason at all. Colleges once allied to churches have been captured by businessmen and scientists. The propaganda of patriotism, capitalism, or Communism succeeds to the inculcation of a supernatural creed and moral code. Holydays give way to holidays. Theaters are full even on Sundays, and even on Sundays churches are half empty. - Durant', Lessons of History pp. 48, 49

If the decline of Christianity created the modern political zealot--and his crimes--so the evaporation of religious faith among the educated left a vacuum in the minds of Western intellectuals easily filled by secular superstition. -Paul Johnson

Once Mel Gibson revealed himself to be, like the president, a person of serious religious faith, the gloves came off. Mel Gibson has done a major favor for serious faith, both Jewish and Christian, in America. He has made it "cool" to be religious, but in so doing he has unleashed the hatred of secular America against himself personally, against his work and against his family. God bless him. - Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "Why Jewish groups passionately hate Mel Gibson"

There are advocates of state secularism who propose a 'neutral' non-religious basis for the constitution and institutions of society. But can a non-religious worldview ever be neutral? Surely it must embrace values of some sort, otherwise our national symbols would symbolise nothing and provide no basis for unity. A truly secular constitution rests on the fundamental assumption either that there is no God, or that the concept of God is utterly irrelevant to public life. The secular worldview is therefore neither neutral nor inclusive. Like any religious view, it imposes a set of assumptions on everyone who plays a part in public life. - Oliver Letwin MP E pluribus unum - agreeing to differ

We start from the idea that different faiths have an equal right to co-exist. We move on to conflate this proposition with the claim that all faiths are equally valid. From this point it is argued that exclusive claims to the truth by any one faith undermine the validity of other faiths and thus their right to coexist. Finally, exclusive claims to truth are seen as a basis for intolerance, which, the power of the state should be used to counter, or at least discourage.Hence the attack on faith schools from those who speak as if Muslim schools had caused riots in places were no such schools exist; or as if Catholic schools were tearing Scotland apart; or as if parish schools could bring sectarian conflict to the English shires. That such attacks should continue in the face of all the facts, testifies to a prejudice that has no place in our constitution. - Oliver Letwin MP E pluribus unum - agreeing to differ

Secularism in the Christian world was an attempt to resolve the long and destructive struggle of church and state. Separation, adopted in the American and French Revolutions and elsewhere after that, was designed to prevent two things: the use of religion by the state to reinforce and extend its authority; and the use of the state power by the clergy to impose their doctrines and rules on others. This is a problem long seen as purely Christian, not relevant to Muslims or for that matter to Jews, for whom a similar problem has arisen in Israel. Looking at the contemporary Middle East, one must ask whether this is still true--or whether Muslims and Jews may perhaps have caught a Christian disease and might therefore consider a Christian remedy. -Bernard Lewis, _What Went Wrong? - Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response_, cr. 2002, Oxford University Press

I can see little consistency in a type of Christian activity which preaches the gospel on the street corners and at the ends of earth, but neglects the children of the covenant by abandoning them to a cold and unbelieving secularism.- J. Gresham Machen

There's no reason to bring religion into it. I think we ought to have as great a regard for religion as we can, so as to keep it out of as many things as possible. Sean O'Casey

Secularists...... have, argues Richard Appignanesi, author of Introducing Existentialism, "found a fundamentalism of their own - political correctness". From banning religious messages on Christmas cards through talking of partners instead of spouses and then, more recently, calling for St Mary Magdalene school in Islington to change its name, which was deemed "divisive" in a multicultural society, the "thought police" have produced what Appignanesi calls "the slamming door of the liberal mind". Secularists, he believes, show as much of an interest in indoctrination as the religious groups they hate so much. - Cristina Odone

I am asked why, as a Jew, I have led this fight to keep the cross on the county seal.I have three responses.
First, I fear those who rewrite history. As I noted in a previous column on this subject, when I was a graduate student at Columbia University's Russian Institute, I learned that a major characteristic of totalitarian regimes is their rewriting of history. As a famous Soviet dissident joke put it: "In the Soviet Union, the future is known; it's the past which is always changing." Given the relationship between changing the past and totalitarianism, those who love liberty ought to be frightened by the ACLU and the Board of Supervisors.
Second, I fear intolerance. And the move to expunge the singular Christian contribution to an American county and city is intolerant to the point of bigotry. No religious Christians, despite their deep opposition to paganism, ever objected to the pagan goddess that is many times larger than the cross. I have found over and over that mostChristians who preach faith are more tolerant than most leftists who preach tolerance.
Third, and most important, I fear the removal of the Judeo-Christian foundation of our society. This is the real battle of our time, indeed the civil war of our time. The Left wants America to become secular like Western Europe, not remain the Judeo-Christian country it has always been. But unlike the Left, I do not admire France and Belgium and Sweden. And that is what the battle over the seal of America's most populous county is ultimately about. It is not about separation of church and state. It is about separation of a county from its history. And it is about separation of America from its moral foundations.
In 1834, 99 years before Adolf Hitler and the Nazis came to power, the great German poet Heinrich Heine, a secular Jew, predicted what would happen if Christianity ever weakened in Germany:
A drama will be enacted in Germany compared to which the French Revolution will seem like a harmless walk in the park. Christianity restrained the marshal ardor of the Germans for a time, but it did not destroy it; once the restraining guard is shattered, savagery will rise again . . . the mad fury of the berserk of which Nordic poets sing and speak.
That is what this American, this Jew, and millions of others believe is at stake in the Left's attempt to impose a redesign of the Los Angeles County seal and thereby redesign America. -Dennis Prager

The secular world -- especially its left -- fears and rejects the language of good and evil because it smacks of religious values and violates their moral relativism.......
A major reason for the left's loathing of George W. Bush is his use of moral language -- such as in his widely condemned description of the regimes of North Korea, Iran and Iraq as an "axis of evil." These people reject the central Judeo-Christian value of the existence of objective good and evil and our obligation to make such judgments. Secularism has led to moral confusion, which in turn has led to moral paralysis.
If you could not call the Soviet Union an "evil empire" or the Iranian, North Korean and Iraqi regimes an "evil axis," you have rendered the word "evil" useless. And indeed it is not used in sophisticated secular company -- except in reference to those who do use it (usually religious Christians and Jews).
Is abortion morally wrong? To the secular world, the answer is "It's between a woman and her physician." There is no clearer expression of moral relativism: Every woman determines whether abortion is moral. On the other hand, to the individual with Judeo-Christian values, it is not between anyone and anyone else. It is between society and God. Even among religious people who differ in their reading of God's will, it is still never merely "between a woman and her physician."
And to those who counter these arguments for God-based morality with the question, "Whose God?" the answer is the God who revealed His moral will in the Old Testament, which Jews and Christians -- and no other people -- regard as divine revelation.
The best-known verse in the Bible is "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). It is a reflection of the secular age in which we live that few people are aware that the verse concludes with the words, "I am God." Though entirely secularized in common parlance, the greatest of the ethical principles comes from God. Otherwise it is just another man-made suggestion, no more compelling than "Cross at the green, not in between. - Dennis Prager, The case for Judeo-Christian values: Part II,January 11, 2005

I believe that pluralistic secularism, in the long run, is a more deadly poison than straightforward persecution.-Frank Schaeffer THE IMPORTANCE OF MONASTICISM IN OUR CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY Orthodox Life No. 3,1996

We feel that universal human rights must be indivisible... Giving religious groups the right to discriminate against others (such as non- believers, unmarried cohabitees, the divorced, "adulterers", fornicators" and homosexuals) undermines the very concept of universal human rights and the freedom of individuals to self-determination and to create their own lives in their own way.- (Original unknown. Quoted by the Secular Society - 2001)

I would much prefer to hear an " extremist " evangel (sic) promote self-control than listen to a political libertine treat the law as if it were a catacomb of escape hatches. In letting people of faith speak, we do not open the door to theocracy. We give them a chance to enrich and complicate public debate. When politicians declare religious arguments out of bounds, they not only condemn discourse to a level of stunning superficiality; they wage war on all faiths. There's nothing more dangerous or extreme than a politician determined to take the place of God. - Tony Snow

We have forgotten that evil is infectious, as infectious as small-pox; and we do not perceive that if we allow whole departments of our life to become purely secular, and to create and maintain moral or immoral standards on their own, in time the whole of life is bound to become corrupt. - G. A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), The Wicket Gate [1923]

For the last 250 years or so, secularists have waited patiently for the fulfilment of their prediction that religion would die out in the next generation or two. But religious people have been singularly uncooperative, and new strategies have developed for controlling this blight on human progress. If religion won't "wither away" as philosopher Richard Rorty has wished, then perhaps it can be privatized and thereby removed from influence on public life‚ - sort of like localizing an outbreak of the plague.- Daniel Taylor, Deconstructing the gospel of tolerance., Christianity Today. January 11, 1999 Vol. 43, No. 1, Page 42.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Happy 400th Birthday, John Milton!

It is not miserable to be blind; it is miserable to be incapable of enduring blindness.-John Milton

We read not that Christ ever exercised force but once; and that was to drive profane ones out of his Temple, not to force them in. - John Milton (1608-1674)

Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new. - John Milton

Antichrist is Mammon's son. - JOHN MILTON

He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary. - Milton , Areopagitica

Cromwell, -, who through a cloud,
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way has ploughed
And on the neck of crowned fortune proud
Has reared God's trophies, and his work pursued,
While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued,
And Dunbar field resounds thy praises loud,
And Worcester's laureate wreath. Yet much remains
To conquer still; peace hath her victories
No less renowned than war: new foes arise,
Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains:
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw.
John Milton, Sonnet XV1, To the Lord General Cromwell.

All is best, though we oft doubt
What the unsearchable dispose
Of Highest Wisdom brings about,
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

Time, the subtle thief of youth.-John Milton (1608-1674) _On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-three_ [1631]

How charming is divine philosophy!
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
But musical as is Apollo's lute,
And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets
Where no crude surfeit reigns.
John Milton (1608-1674) _Comuso_ [1634], Line 476

But what more oft, in nations grown corrupt,
And by their vices brought to servitude,
Than to love bondage more than liberty
Bondage with ease than strenuous liberty
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

But patience is more oft the exercise
Of saints, the trial of their fortitude,
Making them each his own deliverer,
And victor over all
That tyranny or fortune can inflict.
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

But what is strength without a double share
Of wisdom?
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies. -John Milton (1608-1674) _The Reason of Church Government_ [1641], Book II, "Introduction"

Just are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men,
Unless there be who think not God at all.
If any be, they walk obscure;
For of such doctrine never was there school,
But the heart of the Fool,And no man therein doctor but himself.
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

for God(Nothing more certain) will not long defer
To vindicate the glory of his name
Against all competition, nor will long
Endure it doubtful whether God be Lord
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

Believe not these suggestions, which proceed
From anguish of the mind, and humours black
That mingle with thy fancy.
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

ALL is best, though we oft doubt,
What th' unsearchable dispose
Of highest wisdom brings about,
And ever best found in the close.
Oft he seems to hide his face,
But unexpectedly returns
And to his faithful Champion hath in place
Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mourns
And all that band them to resist
His uncontroulable intent.
His servants he with new acquist
Of true experience from this great event
With peace and consolation hath dismist,
And calm of mind all passion spent.
John Milton (1608-1674)_Samson Agonistes_ [1671]

Many are the sayings of the wise,
In ancient and in modern books enrolled,
Extolling patience as the truest fortitude,
And to the bearing well of all calamities,
All chances incident to man's frail life,
Consolatories writ
With studied argument, and much persuasion sought,
Lenient of grief and anxious thought.
But with the afflicted in his pangs their sound
Little prevails, or rather seems a tune
Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint,
Unless he feel within
Some source of consolation from above,
Secret refreshings that repair his strength
And fainting spirits uphold.
John Milton. (1608 -1674). Samson Agonistes

The childhood shows the man,
As morning shows the day.
John Milton (1608-1674)_Paradise Regained_ [1671], Book IV, Line 220

Nothing of all these evils hath befallen me
But justly; I myself have brought them on;
Sole author I, sole cause.
John Milton. (1608-1674). Samson Agonistes

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.
John Milton. Paradise Lost Line 677

Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
Anointed universal King; all power
I give thee, reign forever, and assume
Thy merits; under thee as Head Supreme
Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce:
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
John Milton, Paradise Lost [3.315-22]

Effulgence of my Glory, Son belov'd,
Son in whose face invisible is beheld
Visibly, what by Deity I am.
John Milton, Paradise Lost BookoBook VI, 680 - 82

Let us make now Man in our image, Man
In our similitude.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book VII, 519 - 20

When night
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 500.

The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him. -John Milton

God is decreeing to begin some new and great period in His Church, even to the reforming of Reformation itself. What does He then but reveal Himself to His servants, and as His manner is, first to His Englishmen? -John Milton Areopagitica

If I foreknew,
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book III, 117 - 18

None can love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license which never hath more scope than under tyrants.- John Milton, 1649

I form'd them free, and free they must remain,
Till they enthral themselves.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book III, 124 - 25

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to my conscience, above all liberties. -- John Milton

Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love.
John Milton Paradise Lost

Good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book v. Line 71.

The first sort by thir own suggestion fell,
Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls deceiv'd,
By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
The other none.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book III, 129 - 32

A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed
With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd
For those rebellious, here thir Prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and thir portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n
As from the Center thrice to th'utmost Pole.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i 61-74

Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book I, 17 - 18

For neither Man nor Angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,
By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth.
And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's Gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems.
John Milton, PARADISE LOST, Book III, 682-89.

Just are the ways of God,
And justifiable to men;
Unless there be who think not God at all.
John Milton. Paradise Regained. Book ii. Line 293.

The Tree of Knowledge grew fast by,
Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book IV, 221 - 222

Loneliness is the first thing which God's eye named, not good.- John Milton (1608-1674)

[If] there be any difference among professed believers as to the sense of Scripture, it is their duty to tolerate such difference in each other, until God shall have revealed the truth to all. John Milton (1608-1674)

He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king. John Milton

No worthy enterprise can be done by us without continual plodding and wearisomeness to our faint and sensitive abilities.-- John Milton.

I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.-- John Milton Areopagitica.

Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do ingloriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple: who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? -John Milton Areopagitica.

That power
Which erring men call chance.
John Milton, Comus ,1637

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
`Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?'
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: `God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.
John Milton, On His Blindness

This the month, and this the happy morn,
Wherein the Son of Heaven's Eternal King,
Of wedded maid and virgin mother born,
Our great redemption from above did bring;
For so the holy sages once did sing,
That he our deadly forfeit should release,
And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.

That glorious form, that light insufferable,
And that far-beaming blaze majesty,
Wherewith he wont at Heaven's high council-table
To sit the midst of Trinal Unity
He laid aside, and, here with us to be.
Forsook the courts of everlasting day,
And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.
John Milton ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY (Composed - 1629)

Be strong, live happy, and love, but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey.
John Milton, Paradise Lost Book VIII, 633 - 34

Heav'nly love shall outdoo Hellish hate. John Milton, Paradise Lost [3.298]

Capricious, wanton, bold, and brutal lust
Is meanly selfish; when resisted, cruel;
And, like the blast of pestilential winds,
Taints the sweet bloom of nature's fairest forms.
Milton (1608-1674)

For one restraint, Lords of the World besides. John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i 32

Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source
Of human offspring. John Milton Paradise Lost Line 750

Sleep on,
Blest pair; and O yet happiest if ye seek
No happier state, and know to know no more.
John Milton, Paradise Lost Book IV, 773 - 75

Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 1.

Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th'upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumin, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book i, 17-26

In discourse more sweet;
For eloquence the soul, song charms the sense.
Others apart sat on a hill retir'd,
In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate,
Fix'd fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute;
And found no end, in wand'ring mazes lost.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book ii. Line 555.

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book I, 105 - 12

His Will though free,
Yet mutable.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book V, 236 - 37

Abash'd the Devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
Virtue in her shape how lovely.
John Milton, "Paradise Lost", bk III, st. 1.

Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
John Milton, 1608-74, Paradise Lost, Book 1

Laws can discover sin, but not remove it.-- John Milton John Milton, 1608-74, Paradise Lost, Book 1

Man's disobedience] brought into this World a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery,
Death's Harbinger.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book IX, 11 - 13

Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce Angels.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book IX, 307 - 08

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
John Milton, Paradise Lost

Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought
The better fight, who single hast maintain'd
Against revolted multitudes the Cause
Of Truth, in word mightier than they in Arms;
And for the testimony of Truth hast borne
Universal reproach, far worse to bear
Than violence.
John Milton. 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. Book VI, 29 - 35

Beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.- John Milton The Reason of Church Government. Introduction, Book ii.

Peace hath her victories
No less renowned than war.
John Milton To the Lord General Cromwell.