Our relation to others, even when we name it a relationship of
love, is governed by the law that we should render evil for evil.
We do not perceive in the other the One--that is, the good which he is not.
Rather, we hold him liable for being what he is...This making men liable for
what they are is to render to them evil for evil...It is this failure of
apprehension which makes of our whole behaviour an inert mass of evil.
Along this line of evil we all, without exception, move.
Bart: Epistle to the Romans.
What proportion of relief is due to him that is thy brother in
nature, thy brother in nation, thy brother in religion, if meat and drink, and
in that, whatsoever is necessary to his sustentation, be due to thine enemy?
Certainly it is heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move in
charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
Bacon: Essays of Truth
There is nothing which the Lord hates: for He does not hate
anything, and yet wish what He hates to exist; nor does He wish anything not to
exist, and yet cause the existence of that which He wishes not to exist; nor
does that exist which he wishes not to exist. If the Word hates anything,
He wishes it not to exist; but nothing exists of which God does not cause the
existence; nothing, therefore, is hated by God, or by the Word, for both are
one, viz. God.
Clement: The Paedagogue
While Pilate now fainteth in the righteousness that he knoweth
and is sure of, and holdeth not on stoutly, as he should, to deliver Christ, God
suffereth him still to fall till he come to this point, that he condemneth the
innocent to death against his own conscience. Thus goeth it with all those
that for the grace of God lent unto them are unthankful and unfaithful in the
Coverdale: Fruitful Lessons on the Passion
It is not always grave suffering that is most likely to help one
to die to the world. No, that can also give joie de vivre, spiritual joie
de vivre. No, the most deadening things of all are worldly hardships, mere
Childhood in Christ is perfection with reference to the law.
St. Clement: The Paedagogue
God knew every good work that thou shouldest do, every good
thought that thou shouldest think to thy end, before thy beginning, for he of
his own goodness imprinted this degree of goodness in thee; but yet assure
thyself, that he loves thee in another manner, and another measure, then, when
thou comest really to do those good works, than before, or when thou didst only
conceive a purpose of doing them: he calls them good when he sees them.
What is God's forgiving sinful man? It is nothing else in
its whole nature but God's making him righteous again. There is no other
forgiveness of sin but being made free from it. Therefore the
compassionate love of God that forgives sin, is no other than God's love of His
own righteousness, for the sake of which and through the love of which He makes
man righteous again.
William Law: Letters
God and the worshipper are adapted to one another, happily,
blissfully, as never were lovers adapted to one another. It is now the
only wish of the worshipper to become weaker and weaker, for with that the more
worship' the only need worship feels is that God may become stronger and
Kierkegaard: Christian Discourses