Saturday, July 23, 2016

Donne: simplicity and truth

Saturday, July 23, 2016
    Commemoration of Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, 1373
    Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
    —Genesis 2:1-2 (KJV)
    That earth and that heaven, which spent God himself, Almighty God, six days in furnishing, Moses sets up in a few syllables, in one line: In the beginning God created heaven and earth. If a Livie or a Guicciardine, or such extensive and voluminous authors, had had this story in hand, God must have made another world, to have made them a library to hold their books, of the making of this world. Into what wire would they have drawn out this earth? Into what leaf-gold would they have beat out these heavens? It may assist our conjecture herein to consider, that amongst those men, who proceed with a sober modesty, and limitation in their writing, and make a conscience not to clog the world with unnecessary books; yet the volumes which are written by them, upon this beginning of Genesis, are scarce less than infinite. God did no more but say, Let this and this be done; and Moses doth no more but say, that upon God’s saying it was done. God require! d not Nature to help him to do it; Moses required not Reason to help him to be believed.
    ... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. IV, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon CIX, p. 491 (see the book)
    See also Gen. 1:26; 2:1-2; Eccl. 12:12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your word prevails.
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