Jan 2009 Article
The context of the following illustrious quote by Jeremy Taylor is from his book titled "Holy Dying" (a serious call to prepare ourselves, by a good and holy life, for death) and this piece is from the chapter called “The miseries of Life”, in it he speaks to the madness and folly of loving the world, being infatuated with wealth and pleasure and trusting in one’s self and not God. It is difficult to lead in to but I will begin as he is speaking to the miseries in this world and how we should soberly consider if we would put our affections here instead of in heaven –
He that is no fool but can consider wisely, can see that loving this world is –
“to think charitably about dwelling with Vipers and Dragons, and entertaining his guests with the shrieks of Mandrakes, Cats and Screech Owls, with the filling of iron, and the harshness of rending silk; or to admire the harmony that is made of a herd of evening wolves when they miss their draught of blood in their midnight revels. The groans of a man in a fit of passing a stone are worse than these; and the distractions of a troubled conscience are worse than those groans; and yet a carefree merry sinner is worse than all that. But if we could from one of the battlements of heaven see how many men and women at this time lye fainting and dying for want of bread, how many young men are hewn down by the sword of war; how many poor orphans are now weeping over graves of their father, by whose life they were enabled to eat. If we could but hear how many Mariners, and passengers are at this present in a storm, and shriek out because their keel dashed against a rock, or bulges under them; how many people there are that weep with want, and are mad with oppression, or are desperate by too quick a sense of a constant infelicity, in all reason we should be glad to be out of the noise and participation of so many evils. This is a place of sorrows and tears,
of great evils and a constant calamity; let us remove from hence, at least in affections and preparation of mind.”
When you list the sorrows, calamities and want that truly is being experienced by thousands if not millions at this very time, it is a sobering thought and makes me so grateful that I live in peace and am spared nearly all of these horrors. But heaven’s windows are open and will hold us accountable if we help, or close the window. Oh Lord Jesus, let me not close my eyes!
Photo sent to me by Mel from the Internet -- and just as a side note: the look on the child that is carrying the baby, just pierces my heart, I see a determination to hold the precious load without resentment, no, but with a smile. God spare me for my pathetic complaints.