Archive for the ‘The brevity of life’ Category

I would the precious time redeem, And longer live for this alone, To spend, and to be spent, for them Who have not yet my Saviour known

December 2, 2009

I would the precious time redeem,

And longer live for this alone,

To spend, and to be spent, for them

Who have not yet my Saviour known;

Fully on these my mission prove,

And only breathe, to breathe thy love.

My talents, gifts, and graces, Lord,

Into thy blessed hands receive;

And let me live to preach thy word,

And let me to thy glory live;

My every sacred moment spend

In publishing the sinner’s friend.

 Charles Wesley

Hear Iain Murray’s excellent talk on John Wesley for more like this.

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This fleeting warmth between two glaciers

September 6, 2009

It’s the adventure of making changes and changing ourselves which makes worthwhile this flicker in the history of the universe that we are, this fleeting warmth between two glaciers.

Eduardo Galeano in New Internationalist, 309 (31)

Out, out, brief candle

September 5, 2009

On hearing of Lady Macbeth’s death, Macbeth comments:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

Brief and meaningless – life without God.

Why we need government

August 25, 2009

it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man…

…where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

It may seem strange to some man that has not well weighed these things that Nature should thus dissociate and render men apt to invade and destroy one another: and he may therefore, not trusting to this inference, made from the passions, desire perhaps to have the same confirmed by experience. Let him therefore consider with himself: when taking a journey, he arms himself and seeks to go well accompanied; when going to sleep, he locks his doors; when even in his house he locks his chests; and this when he knows there be laws and public officers, armed, to revenge all injuries shall be done him; what opinion he has of his fellow subjects, when he rides armed; of his fellow citizens, when he locks his doors; and of his children, and servants, when he locks his chests. Does he not there as much accuse mankind by his actions as I do by my words?

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, CHAPTER XIII OF THE NATURAL CONDITION OF MANKIND AS CONCERNING THEIR FELICITY AND MISERY

Every key in your pocket, every precaution you take to avoid being mugged, every steel window shutter pulled down at the end of the day’s trading, every CCTV camera, every pin code, every ID check etc. etc. reminds us that we need the rule of law, backed up by force, to make society function with any degree of civility.