Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Donne: a frivolous view of sin

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
    Commemoration of John Donne, Priest, Poet, 1631
    [Jesus:] “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.
    “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
    “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
    —Matthew 22:11-14 (NIV)
    Consider the insupportable penances that were laid upon sinners, by those penitential canons, that went through the church in those primitive times; when for many sins which we pass through now, without so much as taking knowledge that they are sins, men were not admitted to the Communion all their lives—no, nor easily upon their death-beds. Consider how dangerously an abuse of that great doctrine of Predestination may bring thee to thinke, that God is bound to thee, and thou not bound to him; that thou mayest renounce him, and he must embrace thee, and so make thee too familiar with God, and too homely with religion, upon presumption of a decree.
    ... John Donne (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. III, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Sermon LXVIII, p. 216 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 22:11-14; Ps. 65:5; Mark 16:16; Rom. 8:29
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may I never presume upon Your mercy.
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