Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dull and uncomfortable

 The following is a piece from William Law’s book, “A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.” If you have never read it you have deprived yourself of one of Christendom’s classic inspirational books. The following piece addresses the objection that a strict life of religion leads one to a “dull and uncomfortable life”. His response to this objection is typical of his style throughout the book. 

  "Let us suppose a person destitute of that knowledge which we have from our senses, placed somewhere alone by himself, in the midst of a variety of things which he did not know how to use; that he has by him bread, wine, water, golden dust, iron chains, gravel, garments, fire etc. Let it be supposed that he has no knowledge of the right use of these things, nor any direction from his senses how to quench his thirst, or satisfy his hunger, or make any use of the things about him. Let it be supposed, that in his drought he puts golden dust into his eyes; when his eyes smart, he puts wine into his ears; that in his hunger, he puts gravel into his mouth; that in pain, he loads himself with the iron chains; that feeling cold, he puts his feet in the water; that being frighted at the fire, he runs away from it; that being weary, he makes a seat of his bread. Let it be supposed, that through his ignorance of the right use of the things that are about him, he will vainly torment himself whilst he live, and at last die, blinded with dust, choked with gravel, and loaded with irons.
Let it be supposed that some good being came to him, and showed him the nature and use of all the things that were about him, and gave him such strict rules of using them, as would certainly, if observed, make him the happier for all that he had, and deliver him from the pains of hunger, and thirst, and cold.
  Now could you with any reason affirm, that those strict rules of using those things that were about him, had rendered that poor man’s life dull and uncomfortable?
  Now this is in some measure a representation of the strict rules of religion; they only relieve our ignorance, save us from tormenting ourselves, and teach us to use everything about us to our proper advantage.” 

1 comment:

Matt said...

Exciting and uncomfortable is more like it. Good read. Thanks Dad.