According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Evening Prayer, by Sir Thomas Browne

 
Portrait, Sir Thomas Browne
English Classic Poet

 

An Evening Prayer
by Sir Thomas Browne, c.1605-1682

THOU whose nature cannot sleep,
On my temples sentry keep;
Guard me ’gainst those watchful foes,
Whose eyes are open whilst mine close;
Let no dreams my head infest,
But such as Jacob’s temples blest.

While I do rest, my soul advance;
Make me to sleep a holy trance,
That I may, my rest being wrought,
Awake into some holy thought;
And with as active vigour run
My course, as doth the nimble sun.

Sleep is a death. Oh, make me try
By sleeping, what is it to die!
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.
Howe’er I rest, great God, let me
Awake again at last with Thee!

And thus assured, behold I lie
Securely, or to wake or die.




... from Religio Medici, the Second Part, Section XII, 117, ed. Pickering

XII. We term sleep a death; and yet it is waking that kills us, and destroys those spirits that are the house of life. ’Tis indeed a part of life that best expresseth death; for every man truely lives, so long as he acts his nature, or some way makes good the faculties of himself. Themistocles, therefore, that slew his Soldier in his sleep, was a merciful Executioner: ’tis a kind of punishment the mildness of no laws hath invented: I wonder the fancy of Lucan and Seneca did not discover it. It is that death by which we may be literally said to dye daily; a death which Adam dyed before his mortality; a death whereby we live a middle and moderating point between life and death: in fine, so like death, I dare not trust it without my prayers, and an half adieu unto the World, and take my farewell in a Colloquy with GOD.

... “In fine, so like death [is sleep], I dare not trust it without my prayers, and an half adieu unto the world, and take my farewell in a colloquy with God. [Here follows the poem.] This is the Dormitive I take to bedward; I need no other Laudanum than this to make me sleep: after which I close mine eyes in security, content to take my leave of the Sun, and sleep unto the Resurrection.”




continued -
 
Select Poems by Sir Thomas Browne

2 comments:

  1. Without typos ! Browne's poetry seldom rises above doggerel but the other verse in 'Religio' has been used as an evening hymn. He soon abandoned pure poetry, though late in life he wrote a 'Prophecy' (Tract 12) a la Nostradamus in doggerel rhyming verse also there's a few verse in his commonplace notebooks, but he has not in four centuries of literary criticism been termed a poet.

    Night, sleep and dreams were ever an inspiration to the worthy physician who had the ability to lucid dream. His very best ornate and baroque prose poetry and purple patches can be found in the diptych discourse of 1658, 'Urn-burial' and 'The Garden of Cyrus.'

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  2. Thanks Kevin for your insights... I've made a few typos too in the "comments section" on various websites.

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