6/30/2010

THE PASSIONATE MAN'S PILGRIMAGE.









GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage ;
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

Blood must be my body's balmer,
No other balm will there be given ;
Whilst my soul, like a quiet palmer,
Travelleth towards the land of heaven ;
Over the silver mountains,
Where spring the nectar fountains :
There will I kiss
The bowl of bliss ;
And drink mine everlasting fill
Upon every milken hill :
My soul will be a-dry before ;
But after, it will thirst no more.
Then by that happy blestful day,
More peaceful pilgrims I shall see,
That have cast off their rags of clay,
And walk apparelled fresh like me.
I'll take them first
To quench their thirst,
And taste of nectar suckets,
At those clear wells
Where sweetness dwells
Drawn up by saints in crystal buckets.

And when our bottles and all we
Are filled with immortality,
Then the blessed paths we'll travel,
Strowed with rubies thick as gravel ;
Ceilings of diamonds, sapphire floors,
High walls of coral, and pearly bowers.
From thence to heavens's bribeless hall,
Where no corrupted voices brawl ;
No conscience molten into gold,
No forged accuser bought or sold,
No cause deferred, nor vain-spent journey ;
For there Christ is the King's Attorney,
Who pleads for all without degrees,
And he hath angels, but no fees.
And when the grand twelve-million jury
Of our sins, with direful fury,
'Gainst our souls black verdicts give,
Christ pleads his death, and then we live.

Be thou my speaker, taintless pleader,
Unblotted lawyer, true proceeder !
Thou giv'st salvation even for alms ;
Not with a brib├Ęd lawyer's palms.
And this is my eternal plea
To him that made heaven, earth, and sea,
That, since my flesh must die so soon,
And want a head to dine next noon,
Just at the stroke, when my veins start and spread,
Set on my soul an everlasting head.
Then am I ready, like a palmer fit ;
To tread those blest paths which before I writ.
By Sir Walter Ralegh




A Boy's Essay On Tobacco

Tobacco grows something like a. cabbage, but I never saw one cooked, though I have heard men say that cigars given them on election day were mostly cabbage leaves. Tobacco stores are mostly kept by wooden injuns, who stand at the door and fool little boys by offering them a bunch of cigars, which is glued into the Injun's hands, and is made of wood also. I tried to smoke a cigar once and I felt like Epsom salts.

Tobacco was invented by a man named Walter Raleigh. When people first saw him smoking they thought he was a steamboat and was frightened. My sister Naiwy is a girl. I don't know whether she likes tobacco or not. There is a young man named Larry who comes to see her. He was standing on the steps one night and he had a cigar in his mouth, and said he didn't know as she would like it, and she said: " Larry, the perfume is agreeable." But when my big brother Tom lighted his pipe Nancy said: " Get out of the house, you horrid creature; the smell of tobacco makes me sick." Snuff is Injun meal made out of tobacco. I took a little snuff once, then I sneezed.

The Golden Saying Of Epictetus, IV

But I have one whom I must please, to whom I must be subject, whom I must obey:—God, and those who come next to Him. He hath entrusted me with myself: He hath made my will subject to myself alone and given me rules for the right use thereof. -Epictetus

3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will. 5 For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, "What is man that thou art mindful of him,or the son of man, that thou carest for him? 7 Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels,thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet."Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.
Heb. 2:3-8

Are you really in full subjection to God? But that is as far as I can go with you concerning the idea. It is something that is most easily pointed out by you. This is sad truth, but many christians are trying to balance their own ideas with God. A magnificent example would be the "Christian" pop-star Jennifer Knapp who has recently come out as a lesbian. She is denying the direct teachings of the bible and substituting her own reality so that she can take the benefits of a Christian label and still do what she wants. Sadly, other Christians accept them as right and slowly convince themselves that their is no sin in the issue. These people are under the impression that God is a Santa Clause figure that gives everyone free presents as long as their intentions are good. They are ignorant of the one who has entrusted them with themselves.

who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Phil. 3:21

6/27/2010

The Golden Saying Of Epictetus, III

Try to enjoy the great festival of life with other men. - Epictetus

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Mat. 18:15

9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Mat. 5:9-12

What Epictetus is suggesting we do is a bit different from how the bible might handle it. But Epictetus approaches it with common sense. He is not saying that we attempt to avoid confrontations with enemies completely because that contradicts one of the stoics primary beliefs, which is that only you have control over yourself and nobody else. Epictetus, is not guaranteeing any blessing but only suggests that you become arbitrator, and with addition of the rest of his philosophy that we live with what was dealt with. Luckily, the Bible tells us in case we are persecuted for our beliefs we may take on the title of peacemaker, and be blessed by that.

You were so close, Epictetus; but no cigar.

Triumphant Poetry

Psalm 110
1 The LORD says to my lord:
"Sit at my right hand,
till I make your enemies your footstool."
2 The LORD sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your foes!
3 Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day you lead your host
upon the holy mountains.
From the womb of the morning
like dew your youth will come to you.
4The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind,
"You are a priest for ever
after the order of Melchiz'edek."
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
7 He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

6/25/2010

The Golden Saying Of Epictetus, II

How then do men act? As though one returning to his country who had sojourned for the night in a fair inn, should be so captivated thereby as to take up his abode there.

"Friend, thou hast forgotten thine intention! This was not thy destination, but only lay on the way thither."

"Nay, but it is a proper place."

"And how many more of the sort there may be; only to pass through upon thy way! Thy purpose was to return to thy country; to relieve thy kinsmen's fears for thee; thyself to discharge the duties of a citizen; to marry a wife, to beget offspring, and to fill the appointed round of office. Thou didst not come to choose out what places are most pleasant; but rather to return to that wherein thou wast born and where wert appointed to be a citizen."-Epictetus

Besides that, they learn to be idlers, gadding about from house to house, and not only idlers but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.
I Tim. 5:13

3 And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place;
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, `Why do you stand here idle all day?'
Mat. 20

I cannot imagine that many of us have ever thought about this message. Probably because it is not a major problem in day to day life, but I do still think it is good to be conscious of it. That said I will only look at the positive side of things. This is a magnificent gift from God to put it simply It is only right to work on our own miniature empires to the glory of God. If we live intentionally poorly what is it at all that we can do before God? Even though I don't believe it is necessary to have a marriage and children I will say get married (to the glory of God), beget offspring (to the glory of God), and build an empire and thank the Lord for it.

6/24/2010

The Prejudice Against The Cigarette

A piece of historical truth that reflects several political and social campaigns today.

Between 1876 and 1880 a vigorous campaign in favour of cigarettes was carried on by four large concerns who were the leading manufacturers of the article at that time. The sale and consumption of the goods increased by leaps and bounds and seemed to threaten the cigar industry. There was no real danger, but a small army of retailers and cigar jobbers and manufacturers, it is said, took alarm and started a movement to down the cigarette. Their campaign was run on modern methods. They published in the daily and weekly press bloodcurdling stories written for them by a group of clever New York Bohemians, all of whom, by the way, used cigarettes.

The stories on their face were scientific and plausible. They could be disproved without trouble by chemists and physicians, but to the average reader they were gospel truth. Among the ingenious yarns quoted at the time, most of which are current to-day, were the following: Cigarettes are drugged with Dover's powders, opium, morphine, or chloral hydrate; cigarette papers are bleached with arsenic, antimony, mercury, white zinc, and white lead, and contain appreciable amounts of these poisons; cigarette tobacco is made from stumps and " sojers " taken from the gutter by rag-pickers and tramps; cigarette paper was made in China by lepers; cigarettes were rolled by people whose hands had cancerous, scrofulous, and venereal sores.

6/23/2010

The Golden Saying of Epictetus, I

This is the beginning of a series that I call The Lone Virtuous Pagan. I am speaking of course of The roman stoic philosopher Epictetus. Epictetus was a very remarkable man since though He was a slave, He still rose to great power in his time as a slave. He obtained this power just by following the simple rules of stoicism.

Although, He was a pagan, His philosophy was covering basics that some Christians have not yet understood. To give him more validity, I will be giving you His golden sayings and some bible verses that relate to of which He speaks. So, I begin with The Golden Saying of Epictetus, I.

"Are these the only works of Providence within us? What words suffice to praise or set them forth? Had we but understanding, should we ever cease hymning and blessing the Divine Power, both openly and in secret, and telling of His gracious gifts? Whether digging or ploughing or eating, should we not sing the hymn to God:—

Great is God, for that He hath given us such instruments to till the ground withal: Great is God, for that He hath given us hands and the power of swallowing and digesting; of unconsciously growing and breathing while we sleep!

Thus should we ever have sung; yea and this, the grandest and divinest hymn of all:—

Great is God, for that He hath given us a mind to apprehend these things, and duly to use them!

What then! seeing that most of you are blinded, should there not be some one to fill this place, and sing the hymn to God on behalf of all men? What else can I that am old and lame do but sing to God? Were I a nightingale, I should do after the manner of a nightingale. Were I a swan, I should do after the manner of a swan. But now, since I am a reasonable being, I must sing to God: that is my work: I do it, nor will I desert this my post, as long as it is granted me to hold it; and upon you too I call to join in this self-same hymn"

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Col. 3:16

33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?" 35 "Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?" 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen.
Rom. 11:33-36

Are we reasonable beings? Has God given us this earth to live on and prosper so that we can ignore him? As long as we live on earth it is our work that we praise him in all we do, for all we do is a gift of God. There is not much more to say, but you should ask yourself if you have been ignoring God and reaping his benefits, or are you waking up every day and praising him whatever your circumstance.

The Social Pipe

Honest men, with pipes or cigars in their mouths, have great physical advantages in conversation. You may stop talking if you like, but the breaks of silence never seem disagreeable, being filled up by the puffing of the smoke; Hence there is no awkwardness in resuming the conversation, no straining for effect - sentiments are delivered in a grave easy manner. The cigar harmonizes the society, and soothes at once the speaker and the subject whereon he converses. I have no doubt that it is from the habit of smoking that the Turks and American Indians are such monstrous well-bred men. The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of a philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected; in fact dear Bob, - I must out with it, - I am an old smoker. At home, I have done it up the chimney rather than not do it (the which I own is a crime).

I vow and believe that the cigar has been one of the greatest creature-comforts of my life - a kind companion, a gentle stimulant, an amiable anodyne, a cementer of friendship.

-Thackeray

6/21/2010

Robert Burns Snuff-Box

Robert Burns was never happier than when he could could "pass the winter evening under some venerable roof and smoke a pipe of tobacco or drink water gruel." He also took it in snuff. Mr. Bacon, who kept a celebrated posting house north of Dumfries, was his almost inseparable associate. Many a merry night did they spend together over their cups of foaming ale or bowls of whisky toddy, and on some of those occasions Burns composed some of his best convivial songs. The bard and the innkeeper became so attached to each other that, as a token of regard, Burns gave Bacon his snuff box, which for many years had been his pocket companion.

The knowledge of this gift was confined to a few of their jovial brethren. But after Bacon's death, in 1825, when his household furniture was sold by public auction, this snuff-box was offered among other trifles, and someone in the crowd at once bid a shilling for it. There was a general exclamation that it was not worth twopence, and the auctioneer seemed about to knock it down. He first looked, however, at the lid and then read in a tremendous voice the following inscription upon it: "Robert Burns, officer of the Excise." Scarcely had he uttered the words, says one who was present at the sale, before shilling after shilling was rapidly and confusedly offered for this relic of Scotlands great bard, the greatest anxiety prevailing; while the biddings rose higher and higher, till the trifle was finally knocked down for five pounds. The box was made of the tip of a horn, neatly round at the point; it's lid is plainly mounted with silver, on which the inscription is engraved.

6/20/2010

Professor Huxley On Smoking

At a debate upon "smoking" among the members of the British Association, many speakers denounced and others advocated the practice. Professor Huxley said, "For forty years of my life, tobacco has been a deadly poison to me. [Loud cheers from the anti-tobacconists.] In my youth, as a medical student, I tried to smoke. In vain! at every fresh attempt my insidious foe stretched me prostrate on the floor. [Repeated cheers.] I entered the navy; again I tried to smoke, and again met with a defeat. I hated tobacco. I could have almost lent my support to any institution that had for its object the putting of tobacco-smokers to death. [Vociferous applause] A few years ago I was in Brittany with some friends. We went to an inn. They began to smoke. They looked very happy, and outside it was very wet and dismal. I thought I would try a cigar. [Murmurs.] I did so. [Great Expectations.] I smoked that cigar - it was delicious! [Groans.] From that moment I was a changed man; and now I feel that smoking in moderation is a comfortable and laudable practice, and is productive of good. [Dismay and confusion of the anti-tobacconists. Roars of laughter from the smokers.] There is no more harm in a pipe than there is in a cup of tea. You may poison yourself by drinking too much green tea, and kill yourself by eating too many beef steaks. For my own part, I consider that tobacco, in moderation, is a sweetener and equalizer of the temper." [Total rout of the anti-tobacconists and complete triumph of the smokers.]

6/17/2010

Bismarck's Last Cigar

Grant and Bismarck, the one the European, and the other the American "man of blood and iron," were equally famous for their devotion to a good cigar. No caricaturist who drew Grant without a cigar in his mouth could hope to rise in his profession. Bismarck once told a group of visitors the following story: "The value of a good cigar," said he, proceeding to light an excellent Havana, is best understood when it is the last you possess and there is no chance of getting another. At Koniggratz I had only one cigar left in my pocket, which I carefully guarded during the whole of the battle, as a miser guards his treasure. I did not feel justified in using it. I painted in glowing colors in my mind the happy hour when I should enjoy it after the victory. But I had miscalculated my chances. A poor dragoon lay helpless, with both arms crushed, murmuring for something to refresh him. I felt in my pockets, and found that I had only gold which would be no use to him. But stay - I had still my treasured cigar! I lighted it for him, and placed it between his teeth. You should have seen the poor fellows grateful smile! I have never enjoyed a cigar so much as that one which I did not smoke."

6/10/2010

An Original

Please enjoy -

"I would rather be miserable with a woman than gay with a man."

-Evan G. Wilson

6/06/2010

Quatrains

To piano -
Beginners have you but the lover keeps,
Blunt wooden frame, ivory handled hammers,
Emotion is dampened when major chord leaps,
My affection sustains, an audience clamours.

To mammon -
Thine material touch, expands an empire.
A god in it's right, at which many cleave,
Tho' who creates deity, who came prior;
To my LORD I go, to you I leave.

6/03/2010

More Quotes From The Annals of Tacitus

For it was not on making prisoners and selling them, or on any of the barter of war, that the enemy was bent, but on slaughter, on the gibbet, the fire and the cross, like men soon about to pay the penalty, and meanwhile snatching at instant vengeance.
-Tacitus, on the Insurrection In Briton

Boudicea, with her daughters before her in a chariot, went up to tribe after tribe, protesting that it was indeed usual for Britons to fight under the leadership of women. "But now," she said, "it is not as a woman descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged body, the outraged chastity of my daughters. Roman lust has gone so far that not our very persons, nor even age or virginity are left unpopulated. But heaven is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion which dared to fight has perished; the rest are hiding themselves in their camp, or are thinking anxiously of flight. The will not sustain even the din and the shout of so many thousands, much less our charge and our blows. If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die. This is a woman's resolve; as for men, they may live and be slaves."
-Tacitus, Before Suetonius Defeats Queen Boudicea