Monday, December 28, 2015
In some orders of Christianity, we feel a harshness and constraint or are compelled to believe by fear or gain. This piece by Martineau shows another way.
"In order for us to submit to a spirit above us, it must appeal to other considerations than those of self-interest and fear; it must convince us that it is not only stronger, but more excellent than we; it must make evident a wisdom, a constancy, a clearness, which we do not possess and yet are able to discern; above all, it must penetrate us with loving awe by a faithfulness purer than our own to that eternal law by which the true and beautiful and good are opposed to the false and base and wicked. Such a one rules me not like the seasons, the pestilence, or the storm: he brings me to a quiet: he wields no hard material sway: he imposes no foreign unsuspected law: he asks and will have no blind compliance: he orders a service, and yet will have it free: he carries me away, not by keeping me blind, but by making me see: he lets in the light which my own unfaithfulness has obscured, and shows me where I am, what I serve, and to what end I will be. My will falls under a new order of influence; and if henceforth I follow him as Master of my soul, it is not with the obedience of self-interest, but with the obedience of reverence."