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Category: John Donne

The Cross

THE CROSS. by John Donne SINCE Christ embraced the cross itself, dare I His image, th’ image of His cross, deny? Would I have profit by the sacrifice, And dare the chosen altar to despise? It bore all other sins, but is it fit That it should bear the sin of scorning it? Who from the picture would avert his eye, How would he fly his pains, who there did die? From me no pulpit, nor misgrounded law, Nor scandal taken, shall this cross withdraw, It shall not, for it cannot; for the loss Of this cross were to me another cross. Better were worse, for no affliction, No cross is so extreme, as to have none. Who can blot…

Best Prayer

“Marry those loves, which in youth scattered be On fame, wit, hopes (false mistresses) to thee. Churches are best for prayer, that have least light: To see God only, I go out of sight: And to ‘scape stormy days, I choose an everlasting night.” (Donne)  

Blind Followers of Blind Guides

Commonly academics consider themselves too smart for the Gospel and despise the idea of blood atonement for sin against an offended God.  How things became so is tedious to tell, but the result is a blindness that cannot be helped among those who  think they see.  We remain responsible for who we follow.  “Let not mind be blinder by more light; nor faith by reason lose her sight.” (Donne)

My Help

“O MOST mighty and most merciful God … without thee all health is but the fuel, and all strength but the bellows of sin…” (Donne Devotion IV) Our help does not help when it does not address the curvature of sin. It simply abets the sinner’s own bent to self-execution.  The Prodigal’s father did not spare his well-loved son the experience of envying the swine’s supper that he might “come to himself” and yearn for restoration to the Father.  Only a stay of execution will help us.  Satan is quite capable of destroying us by giving us what we want.  Help not from God is but “the bellow of sin”. But “My help cometh from the Lord…” (Psalm 121)  

Better Reward

“…thou shalt never envy the luster and glory of the great lights of worldly men, which are great by the infirmity of others, or by their own opinion, great because others think them great, or because they think themselves so, but thou shalt find, that howsoever they magnify their lights, their wit, their learning, their industry, their fortune, their favor, and sacrifice to their own nets, yet thou shalt see,  that thou by thy small light hast gathered Pearl and Amber, and they by their great lights nothing but shells and pebbles.” (Donne)