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Monthly Archives: March 2016

John Milton: On His Blindness

I just began reading a book called “The Letters of Samuel Rutherford” which was recommended by Alex on the podcast The Rugged Marriage. In the Rutherford book I came across a poem writtenhealing-of-the-blind-man by the English poet John Milton, who is best known for his epic poem “Paradise Lost“. The poem I found in the book was written about Milton’s own blindness.

After reading the poem a few times, I was reminded of my father’s own blindness. He lost his sight to diabetes when I was seven years old. His disability had quite an impact on him and our family. My father was a believer, and I am prompted to think if he had ever heard this poem. Although my father had some down times due to his frustrations with his handicap, his outlook on life was mostly upbeat. My father has been gone for over 40 years (diabetes complications of the past), but right now I long to discuss this jewel of a poem with him. Maybe someday we can discuss it with the original author, in Paradise, in the presence of the Creator. Here is the poem:

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Heart Corruptions

In the news today I read something very sad. It seems that Tullian Tchvidjian, grandson of Billy Graham, has again been fired from a church. This time from his new church, Willow my_dark_heart_by_rasmusir-d35al1uCreek in Winter Springs, Florida. The firing stems from another unconfessed act of adultery against God. Please read the article here. Please be in prayer for Tullian, his family and the members of the two churches now involved in this sorrowful mess of sin.

After reading the article details it reminds me of a Puritan devotion from “The Valley Vision” book of Puritan prayers and devotions. IT helps to explain what the bible refers to as our “deceitful heart” (Jeremiah 17:9). I would recommend reading this and praying it each morning.

Heart Corruptions

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee. I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy. I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man’s-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.

I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, dost Thou have mercy on me?

Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before Thee. But Thou hast given me another master and lord, Thy Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to Thee. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is natural to fallen man, and let Christ’s nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever.

Soli Deo Gloria!