Sunday, August 10, 2008

The following three posts describe the nature, struggles, and weaknesses of mankind. It paints a meager picture of our natures, but after 61 years of living, I believe it is about as accurate a description of all the people I have know as I could describe, myself included. There are those that have less of the negatives, and certainly those who have even more than are listed. I find it sobering, somewhat humorous in places, but by in large if we look at our selves in an unbiased way, I think we will see all of the characteristics to one degree or another. I post this, not to discourage, but to show how foolish we are to think any of us deserves praise or notoriety. "We all stumble in many ways", says the Apostle, and no doubt you will see much of yourself in this. Sorry if it is a bit tedious and difficult to read, but when you are in a self-examining mood, take the time to weigh yourself.


“It is very requisite (needful) that we should understand the state of our own infirmity, the weakness of the flesh, the temptations and diversions of the spirit, that by understanding our present state we may prevent the evils of carelessness and security. Our evils are the imperfections and sorrows inherent in, or appendant (attached) to our bodies, our souls, our spirits.
In our bodies we find weakness, and imperfection, sometimes crookedness, sometimes monstrosity; filthiness, and weariness, infinite numbers of diseases, and an uncertain cure, great pain, and restless night, hunger and thirst, daily necessities, ridiculous gestures, madness from passions, distempers and disorders, great labor to provide meat and drink, and oftentimes a loathing when we have them; if we use them they breed sicknesses, if we use them not, we die; and if we eat like beasts only of one thing, our souls are quickly weary; if we eat a variety, we are sick, and intemperate; and our bodies are inlets to sin, and a stage of temptation. If we cherish them, they undo us; if we do not cherish them, they die: we suffer illusion in our dreams, and absurd fancies when we are waking; our life is soon done, and yet very tedious; it is too long, and too short; darkness and light are both troublesome; and those things which are pleasant, are often unwholesome. Sweet smells make the head ache, and those smells which are medicinal in some diseases, are intolerable to the sense. The pleasures of our body are bigger in expectation, then in the possession; and yet while they are expected, they torment us with the delay, and when they are enjoyed, they are as if they were not, they abuse us with their vanity, and vex us with their volatile and fugitive nature.

We live a precarious life, begging help of every thing, and needing the repairs of every day, and being beholding to beasts and birds, to plants and trees, to dirt and stones, to the very excrements of beasts, and that which dogs and horses throw forth. Our motion is slow and dull, heavy and uneasy; we cannot move but we are quickly tired, and for every days labor, we need a whole night to recruit our lost strengths; we live like a lamp, unless new materials be perpetually poured in, we live no longer than a fly; and unless we be in the shadow of death for six or eight hours every night, we shall be scarce in the shadows of life for the other sixteen. Heat and cold are both our enemies; and yet the one always dwells within, and the other dwells round about us. The chances and contingencies that trouble us are no more to be numbered then the minutes of eternity. The Devil often hurts us, and men hurt each other oftener, and we are perpetually doing mischief to ourselves.

Jeremy Taylor - Photo by Edgar Thissen


HAINAngel2000 said...

Fred, this post is very true. Oh boy is it!!! There are times I see that in myself, well not just times I see it often, to often! Negativity can swamp a persons life! Thanks for posting this..

FCB said...

You're welcome Mary. It isn't a pretty picture and most people try and disquise as much of the negative as they can, but as you spend time with people you begin to realize we all struggle and no one is above it; and the older you get the more clear it becomes. It is somewhat comforting though, many people feel they are so much less than others because they think these traits are their's in greater degree than others. Generally young Christians think they are better than the common lot and then as God humbles them they think they are worse than the common lot. Eventually we come to a balance and realize, we all need grace and Jesus died because we are so weak. Yes there is victory, but even in victory there are nagging habits of the flesh, in all of us, bar none.
Love Fred