"All Christians and myself form one body, one church, just as far as a common love and piety possess our hearts. Nothing is more real than this spiritual union. There is one grand, all-comprehending church; and if I am a Christian, I belong to it, and no man can shut me out of it. You may exclude me from your Roman church, your Episcopal church, and your Calvinistic church, on account of supposed defects in my creed or my sect, and I am content to be excluded. But I will not be severed from the great body of Christ. Who shall sunder me from such men as Fenelon, and Pascal, and Borromeo, from Archbishop Leighton, Jeremy Taylor, and John Howard? Who can rupture the spiritual bond between these men and myself? Do I not hold them dear? Does not their spirit, flowing out through their writings and lives, penetrate my soul? Are they not a portion of my being? Am I not a different man from what I should have been, had not these and other like spirits acted on mine? William Ellery Channing - American preacher and religious reformer, 1780-1842
I posted this quote not because I have been excluded from any church, as yet, but for the sentiments I share with Channing regarding Godly authors. I too am a "different man" in large part because of God's voice through past divines. And now, in this post, he names some I have not read, but if the company their in is indication of the content of their works, I'm off to the book store!
Photo by Laurentiu Margalin