Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Morning Meds--"Unexcuseable uncharitableness"

“Commit your way to the LORD; 
trust in him and he will do this”  Psalm 37

I suppose we can, without pause, make the claim that we’re better than the 17th century at making pictures. Ours is, after all, a visual age.
But one can sometimes be blown away by the manner in which ye olde English folks used ye olde English language. I ran across this paragraph of gorgeous rhetoric in Spurgeon’s Treasury. It’s all but lost today, I imagine; and yet it’s truly perfect, part of a sermon Mr. Robert Baylie preached before the English House of Commons in 1643.
When a hard piece of work is put into the hand of an apprentice for the first assay of his skill, the beholders are justly afraid of a miscarriage in his young and unexperienced hand;
[My computer red-pencils “unexperienced” and offers “inexperienced.” But what does Microsoft Word know about ye olde English language?]
But when the worker is an old master of craft, none are afraid but his cunning hand can act again what so oft it hath wrought to the contentment of the beholders.
[I love the suggestion of God as a master craftsman—we are, after all, his workmanship.]
Were our God a novice in the great art of governing the world, and of the church in the bosom thereof; had he to this day never given any proof of his infinite wisdom, power, and goodness, in turning about the most terrible accidents to the welfare and joy of his saints; we might indeed be amazed whenever we feel ourselves sinking in the dangers wherein the practices of our enemies oft do plunge us over head and ears;. . .
[I’m already convinced, and he hasn’t yet sounded the whole argument.]
but the Lord having given in times past so many documents of his uncontroverted skill and most certain will to bring about all human affairs, as to his own glory, so to the real good of all that love him, it would be in us an impious and unexcusable uncharitableness to suspect the end of any work which he hath begun.
I’m not sure a picture can compete with that, and I fancy myself a photographer. Almost 400 years later, I’m speechless. 

 Well, not totally. Four hundred years ago God almighty had a track record you could take to the bank, as we might mixed-metaphorically state. In the years since, that record has grown only more substantial. Our anxiety, our worry—and if you’re like me, you’ve got lots of it—is simply "impious and unexcusable uncharitableness" in light of the centuries’ long story of his gracious love.  

It’s that simple.

And, on Easter morning especially, that beautiful.

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