Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"The Soul's Deliverance" pt. 1

We live in a society geared toward expectation. Everything will get better if only...if only I had the right job, the right things, the right (fill in the blank.) Frederic Henry Hedge speaks of this imprisonment of our souls in this wonderful sermon. Today, the first part discussing the problem and tomorrow, the solution.

"The Soul's Deliverance"

"Bring my soul out of prison, that i may praise thy name." Psalm cxlil. 7.

...there is one universal experience which claims to be noticed in this connection (the feeling of imprisonment)-one species of confinement common to all who rise above the level of a merely animal life. I mean the conflict we all experience between the ideal and the actual, between desire and fruition, our conceptions and attainments, our designs and our acts. We all have our ideal...could we only realize these aspirations in the life! But who does this? What hero or saint ever makes his actual life correspond with his ideal, his practice equal to his vision?...

This, then, is the prison to which I especially invite your attention. This is a prison in which we all have been confined,-the feeling of incapacity, the insufficiency of life, the conflict between the ideal and the actual, our desire and our destiny, and on the other hand a discrepance between our theory and our practice...

But this I say, that divine Providence working in human history has not left us without guidance and without hope in this radical and universal need. The answer has been suggested at least, if not realized. The way of escape from this prison of our infirmity has been indicated in one recorded life in which the conflict between the ideal and the actual has been done away; the life of 'that man whom he hath ordained,' the divine man, whom with some dim sense of this service his adoring disciples have named their Redeemer and their God. And this to me is the greatest significance of the life of Jesus."


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