Why we Worship


Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!

Why Scripture?


In an age of self-esteem, when narcissism is a badge of honor, the spirit of another age might serve to give us a different perspective. What have we lost, and how might we get it back? To such a subject Francis Quarles spoke with eloquence.

Recent Entries

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Imago Dei
September 12, 2012
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
August 18, 2012
The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
July 23, 2012
To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

Walking Lumps Of Clay

November 8, 2008

Whom have I in heaven buy you? And whom have I in heaven but you? Psalm 73:25

From a poem by Sir Henry Wotten (1568-1639) entitled D.O.M. (commonly meaning Deo Optimo Maximo - To God, the best, the greatest)

For what are we but lumps of walking clay?
Why should we swell? whence should our spirit rise?

Living in roughly the first half of the 17th Century, Francis Quarles was a worksmith armed with the Bible as his compass, and wisdom of the highest order, wisdom that the world could not recognize, that had to be a gift from the Father of Lights.

Just one example. In the foreword to his History of Samson, he reflects on three types of friends.

1.  The first is like a Torch, we meet in a dark street:

2.  The second is lke a Candle in a lantern, that we overtake:

3.  The third is like a link, that offers itself to the stumbling passenger:

The met-torch is that sweet-lipped friend, which lends us a flash of complement for the time, but quickly leaves us to our former darkness.

The overtaken lantern is the true friend, which, though it promise but a faint light, yet it goes along with us, as far as it can, towards our journey's end.

The offered link is the mercenary friend, which, though it be ready enough to do us service, yet that service hath a servile relation to our bounty.

Quarles showed a verbal distain for this world that exceeds many or most. His love for all things eternal is reflected in much of his works. The Emblems became a vehicle for him to display to put this world in proper perspective with the one to come.

How my soul would spurn this ball of clay,
And loathe the dainties of earth's painful pleasure!
How I'd laugh to see men night and day
Turmoil to gain that trash, they call their treasure !

How I'd smile to see what plots they lay
To catch a blast, or own a smile from Caesar!
Had I the pinions of a mountain dove,
How I would soar and sing, and hate the love
Of transitory toys, and feed on joys above!

There should I find that everlasting pleasure,
Which change removes not, and which chance pre
vents not ;

There should I find that everlasting treasure,
Which force deprives not, fortune disaugments not;

There should I find that everlasting Caesar,
Whose hand recalls not, and whose heart repents not;

Had I the pinions of a clipping dove,
How I would climb the skies, and hate the love
Of transitory toys, and joy in things above!

No rank-mouth'd slander there shall give offence,
Or blast our blooming names, as here they do ;

No liver-scalding lust shall there incense
Our boiling veins ; there is no Cupid's bow :

LORD, give my soul the milk-white innocence
Of doves, and I shall have their pinions too :

Had I the pinions of a clipping dove,
How I would quit this earth, and soar above,
And Heav'n's bless'd kingdom find, and Heav'n's
bless'd King JEHOVE !

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