All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
O son of Adam, when you see that your Lord, the Glorified, bestows His Favors on you while you disobey Him, you should fear Him (take warning that His Wrath may not turn those very blessings into misfortunes).
Do not feel ashamed to forgive and forget. Do not hurry over punishments and do not be pleased and do not be proud of your power to punish. Do not get angry and lose your temper quickly over the mistakes and failures of those over whom you rule. On the contrary, be patient and sympathetic with them. Anger and desire of vengeance are not going to be of much help to you in your administration. Never say to yourself, "I am their Lord, their ruler and all in all over them and that I must be obeyed submissively and humbly" because such a thought will unbalance your mind, will make you vain and arrogant, will weaken your faith in religion and will make you seek support of any power other than that of Allah . If you ever feel any pride or vanity on account of your sway and rule over your subjects then think of the supreme sway and rule of the Lord over the Universe, the extent of His creations, the supremacy of His Might and Glory, His Power to do things which you cannot even dream of doing and His control over you which is more dominating than that which you can ever achieve over anything around you. Such thoughts will cure your mental weakness, will keep you away from vanity and rebellion (against Allah), will reduce your arrogance and haughtiness and will take you back to the sanity which you had foolishly deserted... Try carefully to realize that a ruler can create goodwill in the minds of his subjects and can make them faithful and sincere to him only when he is kind and considerate to them, when he reduces their troubles, when he does not oppress them and when he never asks for things which are beyond their power. These are the principles which you should keep in mind and act upon.
The Lord Jesus Christ would have the whole world to know, that though He pardons sin, He will not protect it.
Neither angel, nor archangel, nor yet even the Lord Himself (who alone can say "I am with you"), can, when we have sinned, release us, unless we bring repentance with us.
Thus Angels' Bread is made
The Bread of man today:
The Living Bread from Heaven
With figures doth away:
O wondrous gift indeed!
The poor and lowly may
Upon their Lord and Master feed.
Religion has never, in any period, sustained itself except by the instrumentality of the tongue of fire. Only where some men, more or less imbued with this primitive power, have spoken the words of the Lord, not with " the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth," have sinners been converted, and saints prompted to a saintlier life.
What is the use of believing, if the dost blaspheme? Thou adorest Him as Head, and dost blaspheme Him in His body. He loves His body. Thou canst cut thyself off from the body, but the Head does not detach itself from its body. "Thou dost honor me in vain," He cries from heaven, "thou dost honor Me in vain!" If someone wished to kiss thy cheek, but insisted at the same time on trampling thy feet; if with his hailed boots he were to crush thy feet as he tries to hold thy head and kiss thee, wouldst thou not interrupt his expression of respect and cry out: "What are thou doing, man? Thou art trampling upon me!" ...
It is for this reason that before He ascended into heaven our Lord Jesus Christ recommended to us His body, by which He was to remain upon earth. For He foresaw that many would pay Him homage because of His glory in heaven, but that their homage would be in vain, so long as they despise His members on earth.
"For I am holy." When I hear these words I recognize the voice of the Saviour. But shall I take away my own? Certainly when He speaks thus He speaks in inseparable union with His body. But can I say, "I am holy"? If I mean a holiness that I have not received, I should be proud and a liar; but if I mean a holiness that I have received - as it is written: "Be ye holy because I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2) - then let the body of Christ say these words. And let this one man, who cries from the ends of the earth, say with his Head and united with his Head: "I am holy." ... That is not foolish pride, but an expression of gratitude. If you were to say that you are holy of yourselves, that would be pride; but if, as one of Christ's faithful and as a member of Christ, you say that you are not holy, you are ungrateful. ...
No greater gift could God bestow on men than to give them as their Head His Word, by whom He made all things, and to unite them as members to that Head. Thus the Word became both Son of God and Son of man: one God with the Father, one Man with men. Hence, when we offer our petitions to God, let it not detach itself from its Head. Let it be He, the sole Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us, who prays in us, and who is prayed to by us. He prays for us as our Priest; He prays in us as our Head; He is prayed to by us as our God. Let us therefore hear both our words in Him and His words in us.... We pray to Him in the form of God; He prays in the form of the slave. There He is the Creator; here He is in the creature. He changes not, but takes the creature and transforms it into Himself, making us one man, head and body, with Himself.
We pray therefore to Him, and through Him, and in Him. We pray with Him, and He with us; we recite this prayer of the Psalm in Him, and He recites it in us.
Certainly He says this for me, for thee, for this other man, since He bears His body, the Church. Unless you imagine, brethren, that when He said: My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from Me (Matt. 26:39), it was the Lord that feared to die. . . . But Paul longed to die, that he might be with Christ. What? The Apostle desires to die, and Christ Himself should fear death? What can this mean, except that He bore our infirmity in Himself, and uttered these words for those who are in His body and still fear death? It is from these that the voice came; it was the voice of His members, not of the Head. When He said, My soul is sorrowful unto death (Matt. 26:38), He manifested Himself in thee, and thee in Himself. And when He said, My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken Me? (Matt. 27:46), the words He uttered on the cross were not His own, but ours.
Give, O Lord, what Thou commandest, and then command what Thou wilt.
In our own times, you see, an emperor came to the city of Rome, where theres the temple of an emperor, where theres a fishermans tomb. And so that pious and Christian emperor, wishing to beg for health, for salvation from the Lord, did not proceed to the temple of a proud emperor, but to the tomb of a fisherman, where he could imitate that fisherman in humility, so that he, being thus approached, might then obtain something from the Lord, which a haughty emperor would be quite unable to earn.
So there you are; listen; as I said, God "worships" us in the sense of tending our worth. That we worship God, of course, doesn't need proving to you. It's on everybody's lips, after all, that human beings worship God. That God, though, worships human beings, it's enough to frighten hearers out of their wits, because people are not in the habit of saying that God worships human beings - in that special sense - but that human beings worship God.
So I've got to prove to you that God too does "worship" human beings, or you will consider, perhaps, that I have used the word very carelessly, and begin arguing against me in your thoughts, and finding fault with me because you don't in fact grasp what I have been saying. So it's agreed that this is what has to be demonstrated to you: that God also "worships" us; but in the sense I have already mentioned, that he tends our worth as his field, to make improvements in us. The Lord says in the gospel: I am the vine, you are the branches; my Father is the farm worker (Jn 15:5,1). What does a farm worker do? I'm asking you, those of you who are farm workers and farmers. What does a farm worker do? I presume he works his farm, that is, tends its worth, that is, "worships" it, in a sense. So if God the Father is a farmer or farm worker, it means he has a farm, and he works or "worships" his farm, and expects a crop from it.
God is one, and the Church is a unity; only unity can respond to him who is one. But there are some people why say, Yes, that certainly was the case. The Church spread among all nations did respond to him, bearing more children than did the wedded wife. It responded to him in the way of his strength, for it believed that Christ had risen. All nations believed in him. But that Church which was drawn from all nations no longer exists: it has perished.
So say people who are not within the Church. What an impudent assertion! The Church does not exist because you are not in it? Be careful lest such an attitude result in your not existing yourself, for the Church will be here even if you are not. But the Spirit of God anticipated this abominable, detestable assertion, this claim full of presumption and falsehood, a claim with nothing to support it, illumined by no spark of wisdom, seasoned by no salt. Gods Spirit anticipated this empty, unfounded, foolhardy and pernicious proposition and seemingly refuted it in advance by proclaiming that the Church is united by the gathering of the people together into one, and kingdoms to serve the Lord.
For when God said, Let there be light, and there was light, if we are justified in understanding in this light the creation of the angels, then certainly they were created partakers of the eternal light which is the unchangeable Wisdom of God, by which all things were made, and whom we call the only-begotten Son of God; so that they, being illumined by the Light that created them, might themselves become light and be called Day, in participation of that unchangeable Light and Day which is the Word of God, by whom both themselves and all else were made. The true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, this Light lighteth also every pure angel, that he may be light not in himself, but in God; from whom if an angel turn away, he becomes impure, as are all those who are called unclean spirits, and are no longer light in the Lord, but darkness in themselves, being deprived of the participation of Light eternal. For evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name evil.
I was saying these things and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when suddenly I heard the voice of a boy or a girl I know not which--coming from the neighboring house, chanting over and over again, "Take up and read; take up and read." Immediately I ceased weeping and began most earnestly to think whether it was usual for children in some kind of game to sing such a song, but I could not remember ever having heard the like. So, damming the torrent of my tears, I got to my feet, for I could not but think that this was a divine command to open the Bible and read the first passage I should light upon. For I had heard how Anthony, accidentally coming into church while the gospel was being read, received the admonition as if what was read had been addressed to him: "Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me" (Matt. 19:21). By such an oracle he was forthwith converted to thee. So I quickly returned to the bench where Alypius was sitting, for there I had put down the apostles book when I had left there. I snatched it up, opened it, and in silence read the paragraph on which my eyes first fell: "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Rom. 13:13). I wanted to read no further, nor did I need to. For instantly, as the sentence ended, there was infused in my heart something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: "I will send you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon." For He willed to make them Christians, not mathematicians.
And the Lord Rupert looked at his work, and even he saw that it was a load of crap, but this was the enterprise culture and it sold millions so it was good. And on the same basis he decided to take over the television too, and the earth itself wept, and little robins vomited, and cuddly furry animals threw themselves under trains, and the whole thing was filmed by Sky Channel for a horror nature programme, and the most awful thing of all was that this was just the beginning.
To thy lover, O Lord, the railing of the world is wild honey and the pelting of stones by the mob is summer rain on the body. For is it not Thou that railest and peltest, and is it not Thou in the stones that strikest and hurtest me?
Who can map out the various forces at play in one soul? Man is a great depth, O Lord. The hairs of his head are easier by far to count than his feeling, the movements of his heart.
I found thee not, O Lord, without, because I erred in seeking thee without that wert within.
Choose to love whomsoever thou wilt: all else will follow. Thou mayest say, "I love only God, God the Father." Wrong! If Thou lovest Him, thou dost not love Him alone; but if thou lovest the Father, thou lovest also the Son. Or thou mayest say, "I love the Father and I love the Son, but these alone; God the Father and God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, the Word by whom all things were made, the Word who was made flesh and dwelt amongst us; only these do I love." Wrong again! If thou lovest the Head, thou lovest also the members; if thou lovest not the members, neither dost thou love the Head.
O Lord! thou knowest how busy I must be this day: if I forget thee, do not thou forget me.