A Dialogue Betwixt God and the Soul


Whilst my Soul's eye beheld no light
But what streamed from thy gracious sight,
To be the world's greatest king,
Seem'd but a little vulgar thing.


Whilst thou prov'dst pure, and that in thee
I could glass all my deity,
How glad did I from Heaven depart,
To find a lodging in thy heart!


Now fame and greatness bear the sway
('Tis they that hold my prison's key)
For whom my soul would die might she
Leave them he immortality!


I and some few poor souls conspire,
And burn both in a mutual fire;
For whom I'd die once more, ere they
Should miss of heaven's eternal day.


But, Lord! What if I turn agian,
And with an adamantine chain,
Loch me to thee? What If I chase
The world away to give thee place?


Then though these souls , In whom I joy,
Are Seraphims, thou but a toy,
A foolish toy, yet once more I
Would with thee live and for thee die!

By Sir Walter Ralegh

Commentary on The Great Divorce

If The Great Divorce is not Lewis' best book it is his second best. This short but sweet book puts sinners and the righteous in perspective better than I had ever seen before. Lewis treats sin appropriately not just as immoral or bad, but straight up selfish and stupid.

The first bit that caught my attention was when he exits the bus and wrote, "It gave me a feeling of freedom, but also of exposure, possibly of danger, which accompanied me through all that followed." At first it is like being a person living in sin and walking into a group of friends who all know of your sin. Though, it is different for his character when he mentions the danger. The danger is simply the judgment. This is prominent in many lives; minus the feeling of judgment. The exposure is embarrassing at first but we get use to it and begin to joke about it as if the sin is no big deal. This is just one of the many ways we hold on to our "precious sins".

Why are we so reluctant to give up our sins? It is either insanity or very near it since we pepeat the same actions expecting a different result. Simply, it is that we are unaware of the poor results we get. We are thinking only for ourselves and our ideas of what is good; ignoring the destruction it brings to others and our own hearts. It creates a terrible chain reaction where we voluntary and involuntary at the same time dig ourselves deeper into our holes.

Consequently, a remedy lies in realizing that we did not create ourselves and so therefore have no right to anything.


Tacitus, Eulogy for Agricola


Agricola did not live to see the senate-house under siege, the senators surrounded by a cordon of troops, and that one fell stroke which sent so many consulars to their death, so many noble ladies into banishment or exile. Only a single victory was credited as yet to Carus Mettius; teh four walls of the Alban fortress still kept Messalinus's bellow from reaching our ears; and Massa Baebius was still a prisoner in the dock. But before long we senators led Helvidius to prison, watched in shame the sufferings of Mauricus and Rusticus. and staind ourselves with Senecio's innocent blood. Even Nero used to avert his eyes and, though he ordered abominations, forbore to witness them. The worst of our torments under Domitian was to see him with his eyes fixed upon us. Every sigh was registered against us; and when we all turned pale, he did not scruple to make us marked men by a glance of his savage countenance - that blood red countenance which saved him from ever being seen to blush with shame.

Happy indeed were you, Agricola, not only in your glorious life, but in your timely death. We have the testimony of those who heard your last words that you met your fate with a cheerful courage. You seemed glad to do your best to acquit the emperor of blood-guiltiness. But your daughter and I have suffered more than the pang of a father's loss: we grieve that we could not sit by your sick bed, sustain your failing strength, and satisfy our yearning for your fond looks and embraces. We should surely have received some last commands, some words to be engraved for ever on our hearts. It was our own special sorrow and pain that through the accident of our long absence we lost him four years before his death. All, more than all, dear Father, was assuredly done to honour you by the devoted wife at your side. Yet some tears that should have been shed over you were not shed; and, at the last, there was something for which dying eyes looked in vain.


If there is any mansion for the spirits of the just, is, as philosophers hold, great souls do not perish with the body, you may rest in peace! May you call us, your family, from feeble regrets and unmanly mourning to contemplate your virtues,for which it were a sin to mourn and lament! May we honour you in better ways - By our admiration and our praise, and if our powers permit by following your example! That is the true honour, the true affection of souls knit close to yours. To your daughter and widow I would suggest that they revere the memory of a father and a husband by continually pondering his deeds and sayings, and by treasuring in their hearts the form and features of his mind, rather than those of his body. Not that I would forbid likenesses of marble or of bronze. But representations of the human face, like that face itself, are subject to decay and dissolution, whereas the essence of man's mind is something everlasting, which you cannot preserve or express in material wrought by another's skill, but only in your own character. All that we loved and admired in Agricola abides and shall abide in the hearts of men through the endless procession of the ages; for his achievements are of great renown. With many it will be as with men who had no name or fame; they will be buried in oblivion. But Agricola's story is set on record for posterity, and he will live.


Of Snow -

For the season of damned slick, or honorable influence.

Obtrusive and draped all over,
With pure regulation I'm kept,
To work in my stead moreover,
I thank thee, for now I have slept.

Though, I prithee, melt quickly away,
As I will venture away from home.
But, to petition you, an act risque,
A god may be with deeds foreknown.

If a second hand god had made it,
to endure thy shiver is well.
The experts mind, you've played it,
They saying you wont, you fell.