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Understanding Intelligent Design

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The Language of God

What's So Great About Christianity

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  THE GREATEST WRITERS AND POETS: ATHEISTS OR BELIEVERS?

From, WE BELIEVE IN GOD: The Greatest Artists, Musicians, Philosophers, Scientists and Writers Believed in God


BAUDELAIRE, CHARLES

     “Grant me the grace, Lord God Almighty, to compose a few beautiful verses which will prove to me that I am not the least of all men.”

(Starkie, 1958, 535)

 

     “Lord, my God! You the Creator, You the Master; You who has made law and liberty; You the Sovereign who lets things be; You the Judge who forgives; You who is full of motives and causes, and whom, perhaps, has placed within my spirit the taste of horror to convert my heart, like healing at the point of a knife; Lord, have mercy, have mercy of fools and foolishness! O Creator! Can there be monsters in the eyes of Him who knows why they exist, how they are made, and how they could not have been made?”

(Ibid. 547)

 

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

 

“God always makes most prosperous those who are most obedient to His laws in the Bible.”

(Wagenknecht, 1965, 177)

 

      “I think the All Wise often thinks beyond the words of our prayers and gives us the real thing.”

(Ibid. 203)

 

      “Still, still with Thee, when the purple morning breaketh,

   When the bird waketh and the shadows flee;

Fairer than morning, lovelier than the daylight,

     Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee!

(Ibid. 211)

 

     “My God is my ever present medium of communication with

the unseen, and communion with Him is the firmest of realities to me.”

(Ibid. 212)

 

     “He (Harriet’s brother) and I are Christ worshippers, adoring Him as the Image of the invisible God.”

(Ibid. 217)

 

     “For who is this Jesus? Not a man who died eighteen hundred years ago; but a living God, who claims at this moment to be the Prince of the kings of the earth--to be the great reigning and working Force, who must reign till He has put all things under His feet.”

(Ibid. 218)

 

BRONTE, EMILY

NO COWARD SOUL IS MINE

 

No coward soul is mine,

No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:

I see Heaven’s glory shine,

And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

 

O God within my breast,

Almighty, ever-present Deity!

Life, that in me has rest,

As I, undying life, have power in Thee!

 

Vain are the thousand creeds

That move man’s hearts: unutterably vain;

Worthless as withered weeds,

Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

 

To waken doubt in one

Holding so fast by Thy infinity,

So surely anchored on

The steadfast rock of immortality.

 

With wide-embracing love

Thy Spirit animates eternal years,

Pervades and broods above,

Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

 

Though earth and moon were gone,

And suns and universes ceased to be,

And Thou wert left alone,

Every existence would exist in Thee.

 

There is not room for Death,

Nor atom that His might could render void:

Thou -- THOU art Being and Breath,

And what THOU art may never be destroyed.

(Bronte, 1998)

 

   “The world is not necessary to God as God is to the world. But, it is the expression of His mind, and the field in which His thoughts and purposes are being actualized. Whatever we can learn about nature teaches us about God.”

(Inge, 1933, 16)

 

ROBERT BROWNING

 

        From Christmas-Eve            

                        V                    

From the heart beneath, as if, God speeding me,

I entered His church door, nature leading me

In youth I looked to these very skies,

and probing their immensities ,

I found God there, His visible power;

---------

My soul brought all to a single test

That He the Eternal First and Last,

Who, in His power, had so surpassed

All man conceives of what is might,

Whose wisdom, too, showed infinite,

Would prove as infinitely good;

--------

 

                          V

And I shall behold Thee, face to face,

O God, and in Thy light retrace

How in all I loved Thee, still wast Thou!

Whom pressing to, then, as I fain would now,

I shall find as able to satiate

The love, Thy gift, as my spirit=s wonder

Thou art able to quicken and sublimate,

With this sky of Thine, that I now walk under,

And glory in Thee for, as I gaze

Thus, thus!  Oh, let men keep their ways

Of seeking Thee in a narrow shrine --

Be this my way!  And this mine!

BROWNING___

------------------------------

 

              VII

 

Thou art the love of God -- above

His power, didst hear me place His love,

And that was leaving the world for Thee.

Therefore Thou must not turn from me

As I had chosen the other part!

Folly and pride o=ercame my heart.

Our best is bad, nor bear Thy test;

Still, it should be our very best.

I thought it best that Thou, the spirit,

Be worshiped in spirit and in truth,

And in beauty, as even we require it---

Not in the forms burlesque, uncouth, 

I left but now, as scarcely fitted

For Thee: I knew not what I pitied.

Bu, all I felt there, right or wrong,

What is it to Thee, who curest sinning?

Am I not weak as Thou art strong?

I have looked to Thee from the beginning,

Straight up to Thee through all the world

Which, like an idle scroll, lay furled

To nothingness on either side:

And since the time Thou wast descried,

Spite of the weak heart, so have I

Lived ever, and so fain would die,

Living and dying, Thee before!

Bu if Thou leavest me-----

                IX

 In flows heaven, with its new day

Of endless life, when he who trod,

Very man and very God,

This earth is weakness, shame and pain,

Dying the death whose signs remain

Up yonder on the accursed tree, --

Shall come again, no more to be

Of captivity the thrall,

But the one God, All in all,

King of Kings, Lords of lords,

As His servant John received the words,

AI died, and live for evermore!

                  XVI

So what is left for us, save, in growth

Of soul, to rise up, for the past both,

From the gift looking to the giver,

And from the cistern to the river,

And from the finite to infinity,

And from mans dust to Gods divinity?

                 XVII

Supreme in Christ as we all confess,

Why need we prove would avail no jot

To make Him God, if God he were not?

(Browning, 1912, 11-42)

 

 

From Easter Day

              I

How very hard it is to be

A Christian!  Hard for you and me,

--Not the mere task of making real

That duty up to its ideal,

Effecting thus, complete and whole,

A purpose of the human soul --

For that is always hard to do;

But hard, I mean, for me and you

To realize it, more or less,

With even the moderate success

Which commonly repays our strife

To carry out the aims of life.

(Ibid. 44)

                 XXXI

Thou Love of God!   Or let me die,

Or grant what shall seem heaven almost!

Let me not know that all is lost,

Though lost it be -- leaves me not tied

To this despair, this corpse-like bride!

Let that old life seem mine -- no more--

With limitation as before,

With darkness, hunger, toil, distress:

Be all the earth a wilderness!

Only let me go on, go on,

Still hoping ever and anon

To reach one eve the Better land!

(Ibid. 74)

                

ELIZABETH BROWNING

So oft the doing of God’s will

   Our foolish heart undoeth!

And yet what idle dream breaks ill,

    Which morning-light subdueth?

And who would murmur and misdoubt,

When God’s great sunrise find him out?

(Ricks, 1970, 134)

 

            THE MEASURE

                Hymn IV

God the creator, with a pulseless hand

Of unoriginated power, hath weighed

The dust of earth and tears of man in one

            Measure, and by one weight:

             So saith His holy book.

 

Shall we, then, who have issued from the dust

And there return, - shall we, who toil for dust,

And wrap our winnings in this dusty life,

          Say ‘No more tears, Lord God!

           The measure runneth o’er?

 

Oh, Holder of the balance, laughest Thou?

Nay, Lord! Be gentler to our foolishness,

For his sake who assumed our dust and turns

           On Thee pathetic eyes

            Still moistened with our tears.

 

And teach us, o our Father, while we weep,

To look in patience upon the earth and learn -

Waiting, in the meek gesture, till at last

           These tearful eyes be filled

            With the dry dust of death.

(Ibid. 136-137)

 

“God hath transfixed us, - we, so moved before,

Attain to a calm. Ay, shouldering weights of pain,

We anchor in deep waters, safe from shore,

And hear submissive o’er the stormy main

God’s chartered judgements walk for evermore.”

(Ibid. 138)

 

“God keeps His holy mysteries

     Just on the outside of man’s dream.”

(Ibid, 165)

 

     “God is the perfect poet.”

(Ricks, 1970, 28)

 

ANTON CHEKHOV

 

“May God guard you.”

(Koteliansky, 1965, 155)

 

“The peace of God . . .  be with you.”

(Ibid. 162)

 

“All is in the hands of God.”

(Ibid. 196)

 

“Glory be to God.”

(Ibid. 264)

 

“The gospels . . . are indeed truth.”

(Ibid. 273)

 

“I consider his (Tolstoy’s) faith to be nearest and most akin to mine.”

(Ibid. 273)

 

“Modern culture is but the beginning of a work for a great future, a work which will go on, perhaps, for ten of thousands of years, in order that mankind may, even in the remote future, come to know the truth of a real God -- that is, not by guessing, not by seeking in Dostoevsky, but by perceiving clearly, as one perceives that twice two is four.”

(Ibid. 282)

 

DANTE ALIGHIERI

      “I believe in one God sole and eternal, who

Moves the whole universe

With love and with desire;

 And for such belief I have proofs

Physical and metaphysical, and

Also the truth that rains.”

 From Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.

(Dante, Paradiso, Canto XXIV, 125-132)

 

The glory of Him who moves all

Penetrates the universe, and is resplendent

in one part more and less in another.

(Ibid. Canto I, 1-3)

 

“We should know, in this regard, that God and nature create nothing in vain, and that whatever is created serves some purpose.”

(Dante, On World Government, I, iii)

 

“God who is the absolute world government.”

(Ibid. I, vii)

 

‘Mankind resembles God most when it is most unified, for the true ground of unity exists in Him alone.”

(Ibid. I, viii)

 

“Mankind is best when it follows the footsteps of Heaven as far as its nature permits.”

(Ibid. I, ix)

 

“The whole heaven is governed in all its parts , motions, and movers by a single motion, the Primum Mobile,and by a single mover, God.”

(Ibid. I, ix)

 

“Whatever in human society God really wills must be regarded as truly and genuinely right.”

(Ibid. II, ii)

 

“Since God achieves the highest perfection, and since his instruments, the heavens, are without fault, only one alternative is left: any fault in things here below must be due to a fault in God’s raw material, and must be external to the plans of the God of creation and of Heaven.”

(Ibid. II, ii)

 

“Christ ... is the door of our eternal dwelling.”

(Ibid. II, vii)

 

“God alone elevates. He alone establishes governments.”

(Ibid. III, viii)

 

“Him alone, who is the master, of all things spiritual and temporal.”

(Ibid. III, viii)

 

“Him alone is the ruler of all things spiritual and temporal”

(Ibid III. xvi)

 

DANIEL DEFOE

     “God . . .  has posted an army of ministering spirits, call them angels if you will; ... I say posted them around this convex, this globe, the earth, to be ready at all events, to execute His orders and to do His will reserving still to Himself to send express messengers of a superior rank on extraordinary occasions. These may, without any absurdity, be supposed capable of assuming shape. Conversing with mankind, either in ordinary or extraordinary way, either by voice or sound, though in appearances and borrowed shapes, or by private notices of things, impulses, forebodings, misgivings, and other imperceptible communications to the minds of men, as God their great employer may direct.”

(Defoe, 1840, 56-57)

     “To say it is not to be expected God should cause such a host of glorious spirits to attend on this little point, the earth, and this despicable species called man, would be but to oblige me to say: ‘what, may not God be supposed to do for that creature whom he loved so as to send his only begotten son to redeem?”

(Ibid. 56)

 

GRAZIA DELEDDA

 

“I love my fellow man, I love those who suffer,

  I love my God.”

(Scano, 1972, 38)

 

“I see my future clearly, and because I can see that God loves me, I wait

for my destiny with serenity.”

(Deledda, 1964, 1106)

 

CHARLES DICKENS

     “Remember! It is Christianity TO DO GOOD always - even to those who do evil to us. It is Christianity to love our neighbour as ourself, and to do to all men as we would have them DO to us. It is Christianity to be gentle, merciful and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of them, or of our prayers or our love of God, but always to show that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything. If we do this, and remember the life and lessons of our Lord Jesus Christ, and try to act up to them, we may confidently hope that God will forgive us our sins and mistakes, and enable us to live and die in peace.”

(Walder, 1981, 13)

 

     “The Divine teacher was as gentle and considerate as He was powerful and wise. You all know He could still the raging of the sea, and could hush a little child. As the utmost results of the wisdom of men can only be at last to raise this earth to that condition to which His doctrine, untainted by the blindnesses and passions of men would have exalted it long ago; so let us always remember that He has set us the example of blending the understanding and the imagination, and that, following it ourselves, we tread on His steps, and help our race onto its better and best days.”

(Ibid. 175)

 

     “Nothing is discovered without God’s intention and assistance, and I suppose every new knowledge of His works that is conceded to man to be distinctly a revelation by which men are to guide themselves.

(Ibid. 175)

 

     “I now most solemnly impress upon you the truth and beauty of the Christian religion, as it came from Christ Himself, and the impossibility of your going far wrong if you humbly but heartily respect it.”

(Ibid. 195)

 

     “ I have always striven in my writings to express veneration for the life and lessons of Our Saviour; because I feel i t . . . But I have never made proclamation of this from the house tops.”

(Ibid. 195)

 

JOHN DONNE

 

            HOLY SONNETS

                              I

Thou has made me, and shall Thy works decay?

Repair me now, for now my hand doth haste,

I runne to death, and death meets me as fast,

And all my pleasures are like yesterday;

(Donne, 236)

                              II

As due by many titles I resigne

My selfe to Thee, O God, first I was made

By Thee, and for Thee, and when I was decay’d

Thy blood bought that, the which was Thine;

I am Thy sonne, made with Thy selfe to shine.

(Ibid, 236)

                            IX

But who am I, that dare dispute with Thee

Oh God? Oh! Of thine onely worthy blood,

And drowne in it my sinnes black memorie;

That Thou remember them, some claime as debt,

I thinke it mercy if Thou wilt forget.

(Ibid, 239)

                          XVI

Father, part of His double interest

Unto Thy kingdome, Thy Sonne gives to me,

His joynture in the knottie Trinitie

Hee keepes, and gives to me His deaths conquest.

This Lambe, whose death, with life the world hath blest,

Was from the world’s beginning slaine, and He

Hath made two Wills, which with the Legacie

Of His and Thy kingdome,doe Thy Sonnes invest.

Yet such are Thy laws, that men argue yet

Whether a men those statutes can fulfill;

None doth; but all healing grace and spirit

Revive againe what law and letter kill.

Thy lawes abridgement, and Thy last command

Is all but love; Oh let this last Will stand!

(Ibid, 242)

 

     “What eye can fixe it self upon east and West at once? And he must see more than East and West, that sees God, for God spreads infinitely beyond both; God alone is all; not onley all that is, but all that is not, all that might be if He would have it be. God is too large, too immense, and then man is too narrow, too little to be considered; for, who can fixe his eye upon an atome?”

(Ibid, 369)

 

            SERMON 3

     “For, if we consider God in the present, to day, now, God hath had as long a forenoone, as he shall have an afternoone; God has beene God, as many millions of millions of generations, already, as hee shall be hereafter; but if we consider man in the present, today, now, how short a forenoone hath any man had.; if 60; If 80. Yeeres, yet few and evill have his daies beene. Nay if we take man collectively, entirely, altogether, all mankind , how short a forenoone hath man had?It is not yet 6000 yeeres, since man had his first being. But if we consider him in his Afternoone, in his future state, in his life after death, if every miniute of his 6000 yeeres, were multipli’d by so many millions of ages, all would amount to nothing, meerely nothing, in respect to that Eternity, which he is to dell in. We can express man’s Afternoone , his future Perpetuity, his everlastingnesse, but one way; But it is a faire way, a noble way; This; That how late a beginning soever God gave man, man shell no more see an end, no more die, than God Himselfe, that gave him life.”

(Ibid, 350-351)

 

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY

     “I have often and repeatedly prayed on my knees for a pure heart, and for a pure, sinless, calm, dispassionate style.”

(Lowe, 1991, 290)

 

     “People here are trying with all their might to wipe me off the face of the earth for the fact that I preach God and national roots.”

(Ibid. 302)

 

     “The beautiful is the ideal; with us as in civilized Europe, have long been wavering. There is in the world only one figure of absolute beauty: Christ. That infinitely lovely figure is, as a matter of course, an infinite marvel.”

(Sandoz, 1971, 42)

 

     “I have formulated my creed,  wherein all is clear and holy to me . . . I believe that there is nothing holier, deeper, more sympathetic, more rational, more manly, and more perfect than the Saviour; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but there could be no one.”

(Ibid. 46)

 

     “No religion has brought the mystery of the need for atonement or expiation to so complete, so profound, or so powerful expression as Christianity.”

(Ibid. 57)

 

     “That God none the less admits access to Himself and intimacy with Himself is not a mere matter of course; it is a grace beyond our mere power to apprehend, a prodigious paradox.”

(Ibid. 59)

 

JOHN DRYDEN

 

What weight of ancient witness can prevail

If private reason hold the public scale?

But, gracious God, how well dost Thou provide

For erring judgements an unerring guide!

Thy throne is darkness in th’abyss of light,

A blaze of glory that forbids the sight.

O teach me to believe Thee thus conceal’d,

And search no further than Thyself reveal’d.

(Untermeyer, 1959, 205)

 

T.S. ELIOT

 

Lord, shall we not bring these gifts to Your service?

Shall we not bring to Your service all our powers

For life, for dignity, grace and order,

And intellectual pleasures of the senses?

The Lord who created must wish us to create

And employ our creation again in His service

Which is already His service in creating.

(Smidt, 1961, 55)

 

We build in vain unless the Lord build with us.

(Buxton, 520)

 

O weariness of men who turn from God

To the grandeur of your mind and the glory of your action,

To arts and inventions and daring enterprises,

To the schemes of human greatness thoroughly discredited,

Binding the earth and the water to your service,

Exploiting the seas and developing the mountains,

Dividing the stars into common and preferred,

Engaged in devising the perfect refrigerator,

Engaged in working out a rational morality,

Engaged in printing as many books as possible,

Plotting of happiness and flinging empty bottles,

Turning from your vacancy to fevered enthusiasm

For nation or race or what you call humanity;

Though You forget the way to the Temple,

There is one who remembers the way to your door:

Life you may evade, but Death you shall not.

You shall not deny the stranger.

(Ibid. 520-521)

  

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

     “How dear, how soothing to man, arises the idea of God, peopling the lonely place, effacing the scars of our mistakes and disappointments!

When we have broken our god of tradition, and ceased from our god of rhetoric, then may God fire the heart with His presence.”

(Emerson, 74)

 

     “If he (man) would know what the great God speaketh, he must ‘go into his closet and shut the door,’ as Jesus said.”

(Ibid. 74)

 

     “Our globe seen by God is a transparent law, not a mass of facts.”

(Ibid. 75)

 

     “It now shows itself ethical and practical. We learn that God IS; that He is in me; and that all things are shadows of him.”

(Ibid. 77)

 

     “In God every end is converted into a new means.”

(Ibid. 319)

 

     “As a plant upon the earth, so a man rests upon the bosom of God; he is nourished by unfailing fountains and draws, at his need, inexhaustible power.”

(Ibid. 325)

 

     “The ardors of piety agree at last with the coldest scepticism, -- that nothing is of us or of our works,-- that all is of God. Nature will not spare us the smallest leaf of laurel. All writing comes from the grace of God., and all doing and having. I would gladly be moral and keep all due meets and bounds, which I dearly love, and allow the most to the will of man; but I have set my heart on honesty in this chapter, and I can see nothing at last, in success or failure, than more or less of vital force supplied from the Eternal.”

(Hayford, 1962, 87)

 

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

   "Here is my creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to him is doing good to His children."

(Franklin, 1959, 292)

 

     "And conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought it right and necessary to solicit His acceptance for obtaining it; to this end I formed the following little prayer, which was prefixed to my tables of examination, for daily use. ‘O powerful Goodness! Bountiful Father! Merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolutions to perform that which wisdom dictates. Accept  my kind offices to Thy other children as the only return in my power for Thy continual favours to me.’"

(Ibid. 88)

 

JOHANN GOETHE

       "General, natural religion, properly speaking, requires no faith, for the persuasion that a great producing, regulating and conducting Being conceals himself, as it were, behind nature, to make himself comprehensible to us. Such a conviction forces itself upon every one. Nay, if we for a moment let drop this thread, which conducts us through life, it may be immediately and everywhere resumed."

(Goethe, 1882, 114)

 

        "God, the only, Eternal, Infinite, to whom all the splendid yet limited creatures owe their existence."

(Ibid. 204)

 

        "Nothing, therefore, remained to me but to part from this society; and as for my love for the Holy Scriptures, as well as of the founder of Christianity and its early professors, could not be taken from me."

(Ibid. 208)

 

       "English, French, and Germans had attacked the Bible with more or less violence, acuteness, audacity, and wantonness, and just as often had it been taken under the protection of earnest, sound-thinking men of each nation. As for myself, I loved and valued it; for almost to it alone did I owe my moral culture: and the events, the doctrines, the symbols. the similes, had all impressed themselves deeply upon me and had influenced me in one way or another. These unjust, scoffing, and perverting attacks, therefore, disgusted me."      

(Ibid. 227)

 

 NIKOLAI VASILYEVICH GOGOL

     “The higher truths are, the more cautious one must be with them; otherwise they are converted into common things, and common things are not believed . . . The word must be treated honestly. It is the highest gift of God to man.”

(Zeldin, 1969, 23)

 

     “The Christian will show his humility before everyone, it is the first sign by which he may be recognized as a Christian.”

(Ibid. 82)

 

     “Leaf through the Old Testament: there you will find each of our present events, you will see more clearly than day how the present has sinned before God, and the terrible judgement of God upon it so manifestly presented that the present will shake with trembling.”

(Ibid. 86)

 

     “Go on your knees before God and beg His wrath and His love! Wrath against what ruins man, love for the poor soul of the man who has been ruined and who ruins himself.”

(Ibid. 88)

 

     “Great is the God who makes us wise. And how does He make us wise? By that very grief which we flee and from which we seek to hide ourselves.”

(Ibid. 90)

 

     “All the gifts of God are given to us so that we may serve our fellows.”

(Ibid. 91)

 

HEINRICH HEINE

     "God's satire weighs on me. The great author of the universe, the Aristophanes of Heaven, was bent on demonstrating, with crushing force, to me, the little, earthly, German Aristophanes, how my wittiest sarcasm are only pitiful attempts at jesting in comparison with His, and how miserably I am beneath Him in humour, in colossal mockery."

(Pinney, 1963)

God has made our eyes a pair,

So we’d see clear everywhere

To believe all that we read

Just one eye would fill the need.

Two eyes did God give likewise

So we’d look and gape and stare

At the world He made so fair

As a feast for all man’s eyes;

(Draper, 1982, 799)

 

Faulting the Creator’s not a

Thing befitting, as if clay

Would be wiser than the potter!

(Ibid. 801)

 

            HALLELUJAH

 Sun and moon, and stars, in heaven’s light,

All manifest the Lord God’s might;

   And when the pious lift their gaze

   They hymn the great Creator’s praise.

 

I do not need to look so high.

   Enough there are on earth, I find,

Of works of art to please the eye

   And gratify the admiring mind.

 

Yes, yes, dear people earthward can

   My gaze fall modestly nor cease

   To find creation’s masterpiece:

Our human heart, the heart of man.

......

The Lord God’s glory I proclaim

   Here as in Heaven, great is He.

   To Him I sing a Kyrie,

A Hallelujah to His name.

 

He wrought so fair, He wrought so fine

The human heart with breath divine

   He blew therein from Heaven above

   The spirit’s soul, whose name is love.

 

Away with the wanton lyre of Greece,

And let the libertine muses cease

   Their dancing! With more pious lays

   I’ll sing the great Creator’s praise.

 

Hence, pagan music, hence! I vow

   That David’s pious harp shall ring

   Through all the songs of praise I sing!

My psalm cries Hallelujah now!

(Ibid. 83-85)

 

VICTOR HUGO

 

God places in His breath and God blends with His voice

All the flowers of the field, and the birds of the forest.

(Hugo, 1972, 553)

 

Cathedrals are beautiful

And rise high into the blue sky

But the nests of the swallows

Are the building of God

(Hugo, 1967, P. 565)

 

“Let us love! That’s all. This is God’s will.”

(Ibid. 566)

 

“The soul exists

And the proof

Is the fact that we contemplate creation

And that we contemplate the Creator.

...

God promises everything he manifests

Showing us the heavens is like promising it to us

And having shown it to us is having promised it to us.”

(Ibid. 839)

 

“God I suffer too much

I cannot tell you how much

And what goes on inside of me.

I cannot hide from you the dark battles

The deep despair

When God breathes on man, He acts on his inner being

And sees deep within it.”

(Ibid. 840)

 

My Lord, my whole being is, since my childhood,

A hymn to the beauty of creation. (Ibid. 841)

 

Oh God --

Your masterpiece, the world,

Has fallen into the night.

(Ibid. 270)

 

Who do you think you are, to believe that you are

Better than God, that places the stars over your heads

And dazzles you, at waking time,

with this prodigious smile, the sun?

(Hugo, 1969, P. 346)

 

Let us rely on Him. Let us think and live on our knees;

Let us stop believing that we are wisdom, humility, light;

Let us not take one step without prayer,

Because our perfections will shine very little

After our death, before the star and the blue sky.

Only God can save us.

(Ibid. P. 345)

 

We are darkness

God only is the only blue needed by the world.

The abyss while talking takes the atom as witness.

God only is great! This is the psalm of the blade of grass;

God only is true! Is the hymn of the proud wave;

God only is good! Is the sound of the wind;

Ah! Do not delude yourselves you living.

(Ibid. P. 345)

 

"This great and amazing sky is the seal of God."

(Ibid. P. 450)

 

"God knows everything."

(Ibid. P. 451)

 

FRANZ KAFKA

      "Today the longing for God and the fear of sin are gravely enfeebled. We have sunk into a  morass of presumption... Today there is no sin and no longing for God.  Everything is completely mundane and utilitarian. God lies outside our existence. And therefore all of us suffer a universal paralysis of conscience. All transcendental conflicts seem to have vanished, and yet all of them defend themselves like the wooden figures of the Jacobskirche. We are immobilized. We are completely transfixed. More than that! Most of us are simply glued to the shaky stool of vulgar common sense by the filth of fear. That is our entire way of life."

(Janouch, 1968, 51)

 

ALPHONSE LAMARTINE

 

                                      INVOCATION

To the sacred Father, and His son, His image: come down Spirit of both, Spirit which is from age to age.

...

You  pierce, suddenly, like the  sun  the dawn

With your Divine rays the heart of  Him  who doubts still.

Come down, I want to sing!  But what can I without  you,

Oh language of the spirits. Speak  within  me,

Sing the great secrets that only your  eye lights up.

...

Do distance and space matter to you?

At your sign times are born or disappear,

And the trembling future, at your eternal  voice

Passes behind you like a counted century.

...

May this fire whose flame sheds light and purifies,

This charcoal that burned the lips of Isaiah,

Purify the sounds of a mortal mouth

And that my hymns toward God rise like incense.

(Lamartine, 1873, 167-168)

 

Providence brings to the surface near our reach a world of truths just like a father  lowers the branch to bring the fruit near to the small hands of his child.

(Ibid. P. 150)

 

I thought I understood everything; but then I realized that it is God who allows me, one of the most worthless intelligences, to understand.

(Ibid. P. 151)

 

God is, the ultimate good, ultimate beauty, Perfect Being, the Being over all beings.

(Ibid. P. 152)

 

Man should serve, love and fear God and he should put in him all of his thoughts and his hopes.

(Ibid. P. 274)

 

All true Christians, of all ranks and all places, and at all times pray to God. And the spirit prays and intercedes for them, and God accepts them.

(Ibid. P. 276)

 

D. H. LAWRENCE

 

GOD

Where sanity is

There God is.

And the sane can still recognise sanity

So they can still recognise God.

(De Sola Pinto,  516)

 

ABSOLUTE REVERENCE

 

I feel absolute reverence to nobody and to nothing human

Neither to persons nor things nor ideas, ideals nor religions

     Nor institutions,

To those things I feel only respect, and a tinge of reverence

When I see the fluttering of pure life in them.

 

But to something unseen, unknown, creative

From which I feel I am a derivative

I feel absolute reverence. Say no more!

(Ibid. 622)

 

GIACOMO LEOPARDI

     “I consider God, not as superior to all the possible beings . . . but as having within Himself all the possibilities, and existing in all the possible modes . . .  His relationships toward men and toward His creatures are perfectly convenient toward them; they are therefore perfectly good, and better than those that other creatures have . . .  Thus, all religion remains standing, and the infinite perfection of God, that is negated as being absolute, affirms itself as being relative, and as being perfect in the order of things that we know, where the qualities that God has toward  the world, are relative to it, good and perfect.”

(Leopardi, 351)

 

     “If God is above morality, if good and evil do not exist absolutely, etc., may not God deceive us in what He has revealed, promised, threatened, etc. No, because He forbids deception.”

(Ibid. 358)

 

     “The ten commandments contain  general principles . . . conceived for the good of humanity . . .  They are infinite and diverse.”

(Ibid. 356)

 

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

 

Wondrous truths, and manifold as

Wondrous,

God has written in those stars above;

But not less in the bright flowerets

Under us

Stands the revelation of His love.

Bright and glorious is that revelation,

Written all over this great world of

Ours;

(Longfellow, 1871, 5)

 

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL

 

      A PRAYER

"God! do not let my loved one die,

But rather wait until the time

That I am grown in purity

Enough to enter Thy pure clime,

Then take me, I will gladly go,

So that my love remain below!

 

Oh let her stay! She is my birth

What I thought death must learn to be;

We need her more on our poor earth than Thou canst need in Heaven with Thee; She has her wings already, I

Must burst this earth-she'll ere I fly.

 

Then, God, take me! We shall be near,

More near than ever, each to each.

Her angel ears will find more clear

My heavenly than my earthly speech;

And still, as I draw nigh to Thee,

Her soul and mine shall closer be.

(Lowell, 1895, 15)

 

ALESSANDRO MANZONI

 

Who shaped plants’ stems?

Who created the blooming wheat?

Who makes life flow in the vine-shoot?

Who placed in grapes its treasure?

You, the Great One, the Holy One, the Good One,

That now being a gift - your gift you retake;

You, that in exchange, what an exchange! You give us

Your Body, Your blood, oh Lord,

 

Even the hearts that we offer You are yours:

Ah! Your gift was broken by us;

But the other Goodness which made them,

Will receive them as they are, to mercy;

And will breathe on them the breath that creates

That faith that passes beyond any curtain,

That hope which dies in the heavens,

That love which will live eternally with you.”

(De Castris, 1965, 165)

 

“Look down merciful God,

To dust which will hear You,

That will disappear before Your presence.”

(Ibid, 165)

 

With faithful love

I come to your holy throne,

I fall before Your presence,

My Judge, my King!

With what incomprehensible joy

I tremble before You!

I am dust and sin:

But look at him who implores You

Who wants Your forgiveness,

Who deserves, who worships,

Who gives thanks in me.”

(Ibid, 166)

 

You are mine; with You I breathe:

I live by You, Great God!

Mixed with Yours

I offer the love that’s Yours.

Fulfill all my wishes;

Speak, and all will hear;

Give that all receives,

The heart wherein You dwell.”

(Ibid, 166)

  

HERMAN MELVILLE

 

         Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (April 16, 1851)

 

     “We incline to think that God cannot explain His own secrets, and that He would like a little  information upon certain points Himself. We mortals astonish Him as much as He us. But   it is this Being of the matter; there lies the knot with which we choke ourselves. As soon as you say Me, a God, a nature, so soon you jump off from your stool and hang from a beam. Yes, that word is the hangman. Take God out of the dictionary, and you would have Him in the street.”

(Hayford, 1962, 329)

 

To Nathaniel Hawthorne (June,1?, 1851) 

     “The reason the mass of men fear God, and at the bottom dislike Him, is because they rather distrust His heart, and fancy Him all brain like a watch.”

(Ibid. 331)

 

JOHN MILTON

 

                   From Paradise Lost

                                      I

Hail holy light, offspring of Heav'n first-born,

Or of  th'Eternal  Coeternal beam

May I express thee unblam'd since God is light,

And never but in unapproached light

Dwelt from eternitie, dwelt then in thee,

Bright effluence of bright essence increate

Or hear=st Thou rather pure Ethereal stream,

Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the sun,

Before the Heavens Thou wert, and at the voice

Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest

The rising world of waters dark and deep,

Won from the void and formless infinite.  

(Ibid, Book III, 1-12)

 

 

O Son, in whom my souls has chief delight,

Son of my bosom, Son who art alone

My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,

all hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all

As my Eternal purpose hath decreed:

Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,

Yet not of will in him, but grace in me

Freely vouchsafe; once more I will renew

His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd

By sin to foul exorbitant desires;

Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand

On even ground against his mortal foe,

By me upheld , that he may know how how frail

His fall'n is, and to me ow

All his deliv'rance, and to none but me.

(Ibid, Book III, 168-182)

 

Thee Father first they sung Omnipotent,

Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,

Eternal King; thee author of all being,

Fountain of light, thy self invisible

Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st

Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st

The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud

Drawn  round about thee like a radiant shrine,

Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer,

Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim

Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.

(Ibid., Book III, 372-382)

 

    Let us require no better authority than God Himself

for determining what is worthy or unworthy of Him.

(Robins, 1963, 67)

 

     If after the work of six days it be said of God that he rested and was refreshed. . . let us believe that it is not beneath the dignity of God  . . . to be refreshed in that which refreshed Him . . . For however we may attempt to soften down such expressions by a latitude of interpretation, when applied to the Deity, it comes in the end to precisely the same.

(Ibid. 67)

 

     Our safest way is to form in our minds such a conception of God, as shall correspond with His own delineation and representation of Himself in the sacred writings.

(Ibid. 67)

 

     We may be sure that sufficient care has been taken that the Holy Scriptures should contain nothing unsuitable to the character or dignity of God, and that God should say nothing of Himself which could derogate from His own majesty.

(Ibid. 67)

 

WILLIAM  PENN

 

         "Whatever else is done or omitted, be sure to begin and end with God."

(Elliot, 1937, 328)

 

     "Country life is to be preferred, for there we see the works of God; but in cities little else than the works of men."

(Ibid. 342)

 

     "As puppets are to babies, and babies to children, so is man's workmanship to God's; We are the picture, He's the reality."

(Ibid. 342)

 

     "God's works declare His power, wisdom, goodness; but man's works, for the most part, his pride folly and excess. The one is for the use, the other chiefly, for ostentation and lust."

(Ibid. 366)

 

     "It is a severe rebuke upon us, that God makes us so many allowances, and we make so few to our neighbour."

(Ibid. 366)

 

     “Love is above all, and when it prevails in us all, we shall be lovely, and in love with God and one another.”

(Ibid. 1937)

 

     “Religion itself is nothing else but to love God and man.”

(Ibid. 1937)

  

PETRARCH

 

Bowing one’s knees to God, brings much benefit,

The knees and the mind

That your years preserves for much good.

(Petrarch, 1969, 47)

 

Heavenly Father, after lost days,

After many wasted nights

With that intense desire that burned inside my heart,

Looking at the actions that for my harm adorn it,

May it please you, with your light, that I may return

To another light and to much better accomplishments,

So that in spite of traps prepared by him,

My harsh adversary may be ashamed.

Now ends, my Lord the eleventh year

That I was subjected to my cruel punishment

That is most burdensome upon the most humble;

Have mercy of my unworthy suffering

Remind them how today you were on the cross. 

(Neri, 118)

 

From “I BELIEVE”

 

If God wants me to believe that He is

Everywhere,

And that

He watches over all and, therefore,

On me as well;

That He dispenses one justice

Which we with our measuring stick

Cannot measure nor understand.

Should I displease Him?

I will believe in Him.”

(Pirandello, 1960)

 

 

Come back, I pray you, to us, come back, Messiah,

To preach love;

Come back with a pure hand

To knock on undeserving doors again,

Where a dark people

Dies of hunger and cold!  

Others wrapped with your red mantle,

With hatred nurturing your gentle word,

Knock on the dark houses, and abounds the visage

Of misery. Fly

Already the noise of war . . .

Peace you are, Jesus, you are mercy:

Come back to restore on earth

Love to charity.

(Ibid. 807)

 

When on the cross Jesus gave up the ghost,

All, for a moment,

On the earth, life stood still.

(Ibid. 681)

 

     “The modern spirit is profoundly ill, and invokes God as

a man on his death bed.”

(Ibid. 893)

 

     “O good God, who at the present is not a degenerate?

Who can call himself healthy? In all of us one can see the

. . . signs of degeneracy.”

(Ibid. 893)

 

 ALEXANDER POPE

 

“God, in the nature of each being, founds

Its proper bliss, and sets its proper bounds;

But as he framed the whole, the whole to bless,

On mutual wants built mutual happiness.

(Roscoe, 1847, 11)

 

That chain that links thimmense design,

Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine;

Sees that no being any bliss can know,

But touches some above and some below.

(Ibid. 13)

 

Say first, of world above, or man below,

What can we reason, but from what we know?

Of man, what see we but his station here,

From which to reason, or to which refer?

Through worlds unnumberd, tho the God be known,

Tis ours to trace Him only in our own.

He, who through vast immensity can pierce,

See worlds on worlds compose one universe,

Observe how system into system runs,

What other planets circle other suns.”

 (Ibid. 24)

 

Is the great chain , that draws all to agree ,

And drawn supports, upheld by God, or Thee?

(Ibid. 25)

 

“What if the head, the eye, or ear pepind

To serve more engines to the ruling mind?

Just as absurd for any part to claim

To be another, in this genral frame:

Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains,

To great directing MIND OF ALL ordains.

     All are but parts of one stupendous whole,

Whose body nature is, and God the soul;

(Ibid. 47)

 

PUSHKIN, ALEXANDER

             

        PURE MEN AND WOMEN TOO

 

Pure men and women too, all the world unspotted,

That they might fortify the heart against life's stress,

Composed such prayers as still comfort us and bless.

But none has stirred in me such deep emotions

As that the priest recites at Lententide devotions,

The words which mark for us that saddest season rise

Most often to my lips, and in that prayer lies

Support ineffable when I, a sinner, hear it:

"Thou Lord my life, avert Thou from my spirit

both idle melancholy and ambitious sting,

That hidden snake, and joy in  foolish gossiping.

But let me see, O God, my sins, and make confession,

So that my brother be not dammed by my transgression,

And quicken Thou in me the breath and being of

Both fortitude and meekness, chastity and love."

(Yarmolinski, 1964, 86)

 

FRANCOIS RABELAIS

 

     “The Father who directs all that is and that is made according to His free will and His pleasure.”

(Febvre, 1962, 260)

 

     “When you say the word God, what does it mean to you? To me it means an Eternal Spirit who has no beginning, who has no end, such as no greater, no wiser or better can be conceived; By one act of His omnipotence He created all things, visible and invisible. His admirable wisdom regulates and governs the whole universe; His goodness nourishes and preserves all of His creation.

(Ibid. 262)

 

     “Without (God’s) sustenance and government all things, in a moment, would become nothing, just as they had been created for nothing.”

(Ibid. 263)

 

     “What takes place is not what we wish or ask for, but what pleases Jesus Christ, our Lord whom God had established before the heavens were made…”

(Ibid. 263)

 

     “Almighty God, who has created all things.”

(Ibid. 264)

 

     “There is no other ruler besides God the Creator.”

(Ibid. 264)

 

      “(God) who never will abandon those who put their trust in Him.”

(Ibid. 64)

 

     “Let us pray to God the Creator, let us worship Him,  let us rectify our faith in Him, let us glorify Him for his endless goodness.”

(Ibid. 266)

 

      “We are all sinners and continually ask God to cleanse  us of our sins.”

(Ibid. 270)

 

     “This life is transitory but the word of God endures forever.”

(Ibid. 271)

 

     “Man  must serve, love and fear God and in Him he  must put all his thoughts and all his hopes, and by hope shaped by charity he must bond with Him so that he will never be defeated by sin.” 

(Ibid. 274)

 

     “All true Christians, of all ranks, in all places pray God always. The Holy Spirit intercedes for them and God accepts them in His grace.”

(Ibid. 276)

 

TOLSTOY, LEV

 

                                                                PRAYER   

 

     "Oh God, God inconceivable, … I have erred,…I knew that I was going astray… but I never forgot Thee. I always felt Thy presence even in the very moment of my sins. I all but lost Thee, but Thou hast …saved me" (Wilson, 1988, 315)

     "God and the soul are known by me in the same way I know infinity: not by means of definitions but in quite another way...Just as I know assuredly that there is an infinity of numbers so do I know that there is a God"

(Tolstoy, 1937, 498)

  

     “For life is life, only when it is the carrying out of God's purpose. But, by opposing Him, people deprive themselves of life, and at the same time, neither for one year, nor one hour, can they delay the accomplishment of God's purpose."

(Tolstoy, 1927, 165)

     “Traditions may proceed from men and be false; but reason indubitably comes from God.”

(Ibid, P. 164)

     “The only reasonable conception of life is the accomplishment of the will of Him who sent us into the world – that is, the will of God.”

(Ibid, P. 165) 

    “The longer we live the more clearly and fully do we learn the will of God, and in consequence what we must do to fulfill it.”

(Ibid, P. 165)

     “Does truth cease to be truth because the men who professed it become weak under the pressure of torture? That which is of God must conquer that which is of man.”

(Ibid, P. 302)

     “There will be the thing which ought to be, that which is well-pleasing to God, which is according to the law He has put in our heart and revealed to our minds.”

(Ibid, P. 302)

     “The solution before us is…by nothing else than a forward movement along that road which the law of Christ points out to the hearts of men.”

(Ibid, P. 303)

     “Yet another effort, and the Galilean will conquer. Not in that ruthless sense understood by the pagan emperor, but in that true sense in which He himself spoke of His conquest of the world.”

(Ibid, P. 303)

     “He has actually overcome the world.”

(Ibid, P. 303)

     “For life is life only when it is the carrying out of God’s purpose. But by opposing Him, people deprive themselves of life, and at the same time, neither for one year, nor for one hour, can they delay the accomplishment of God’s purpose.”

(Ibid, P. 308) 

     “Each will have to make his own choice: to oppose the will of God, building upon the sands the unstable house of his brief illusive life, or to join in the eternal, deathless movement of true life in accordance with God’s will.”

(Ibid, P. 378)

FUNDAMENTAL CREEDS

1. Man is the son of the Infinite Source of Being; he is the son of the Father, not by the flesh but by the Spirit.

2. And therefore, man must serve the Source  of his being in the Spirit.

3. The life of all men has Divine origin. The origin only is sacred.

4. And therefore, man must serve the Source of all human life. This is the will of the Father.

5. Service of the will of the Father is life giving.

 (Tolstoy, 1899, 282)

 

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