Friday, August 10, 2007

Wesley Quote

Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.

This is usually attributed to John Wesley, however Wesley also writes this:
As to the nature of enthusiasm, it is ,undoubtedly a disorder of the mind; and such a disorder as greatly hinders the exercise of reason. Nay, sometimes it wholly sets it aside: it not only dims but shuts the eyes of the understanding. It may, therefore, well be accounted a species of madness; of madness rather than of folly: seeing a fool is properly one who draws wrong conclusions from right premisses; whereas a madman draws right conclusions, but from wrong premisses. And so does an enthusiast suppose his premisses true, and his conclusions would necessarily follow. But here lies his mistake: his premisses are false. He imagines himself to be what he is not: and therefore, setting out wrong, the farther he goes, the more he wanders out of the way.
Beware you are not a fiery, persecuting enthusiast... Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love.
Sermon 37, The Nature of Enthusiasm, 1872

My guess is he never said that enthusiasm was anything worthy of the Christian. Preferring reason, truth and love to reconcile persons to God.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Prayer for Friday

You, O Lord, are truly the pure and eternal source of goodness.
You have justly turned your face from us, and in loving-kindness you have had mercy upon us.
You hated and reconciled;
You have cursed, and have blessed;
We have been banished from Paradise by You, and you have remembered us;
You strip off our shoddy fig-leaves, and clothe us with a costly garment;
You have opened the prison doors and have released the condemned;
You have sprinkled us with clean water, and washed away our filthiness.
No longer will Adam hide from You when called, convicted by conscience, cowering in the brush.
No longer will the flaming sword flash before Paradise, making entrance inaccessible when we draw near;
All has been turned to joy for we who were once the heirs of sin:
Man can walk into Paradise and Heaven:
Creation, world below and world above, once separated from itself, has been knit together in friendship:
Man is made to join with the angels’ song, offering praise in worship to their God.
For all these things, let us sing for joy to God
Let us sing with lips touched by the Spirit long ago.
Let my soul be joyful in the Lord: for He has clothed me with a garment of salvation, and hath put upon me a robe of gladness: as on a bridegroom He hath set a mitre upon me, and as a bride hath He adorned me with fair array-Isaiah 61:10
The One who adorns the bride with splendor is Christ, Who is, and was, and shall be, blessed now and for evermore. Amen.

-Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335-c.394)
On the Baptism of Christ