Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stanley: Bunyan's "dark night"

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
    Feast of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651
    Commemoration of Cuthburga, Founding Abbess of Wimborne, c.725
    Commemoration of John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688
    ... the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.
    —Matthew 4:16 (ESV)
    [John Bunyan] had to live through that obscure night—“wide, vast, and lonely”—which fell upon St. John of the Cross before; like him, he knew that grace would enter “the dark caverns where the senses live.” In the meantime, Bunyan tossed to and fro, as it were between heaven and hell. It has been said that he paints too dark a picture of his moral condition when a young man, that he exaggerates his wickedness at this period, and afterwards wrestles with phantoms of his vivid imagination. But spiritual sins, though not so obvious as those that are sensual, may be just as real; and Bunyan’s intensity of feeling and expression arose from the intensity of his spiritual nature.
    ... Arthur Stanley (c. 1873-1961), The Bedside Bunyan: an anthology of the writings of John Bunyan, John Bunyan, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1947, p. 126 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 4:16; Ps. 107:10-14; Isa. 9:1-2; 42:6-7; 60:1-3; Mic. 7:8; Matt. 9:12-13; Luke 1:76-79; 2:30-32
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I am not serious enough about my sin. Help me not to treat it lightly.
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