Monday, December 28, 2009

imprisoned energy of love...

Have you been saved?  In these excerpts from the conclusion of William Ellery Channing's "Jesus Christ, the Brother, Friend and Saviour" Channing speaks of the salvation offered by Jesus.  Few ideas are so deeply liberating yet so profoundly abused...

"III.—Thus are we led to ask, in what sense the Babe born in the Manger at Bethlehem became and is a Saviour ? The answer is sublime, as it is simple. Jesus Christ is the Great Emancipator. He came to set the Spirit of Man free. He came to give Liberty to Human Nature, through the whole range of its affections, faculties, and energies, and throughout the whole scope of its being and destiny...[he then illustrates the liberation of the mind and the conscience or moral power]

3. Again, Jesus came not only to emancipate the Intellect and Moral Power, but to set free our imprisoned Energy of Love. Man was made for love; he lives by love; and the measure of his life is the largeness and liberty of his love. He is born into the arms and nourished on the breast of love. And in domestic life we often see developed an almost miraculous force of disinterested affection. But the Human Heart was not designed to be confined to home, however heavenly that home may be. Its emotions naturally flow outward, circle beyond circle, in ever widening waves of sympathy, embracing in their compass a constantly enlarging sphere, and blending at length with the commingling currents and tides of love of the whole Race. But there are antagonistic elements also in human nature, which tend to immure the Individual within himself, and to make him the slave of his selfishness. Now it is the glorious characteristic of Christ's salvation, that it sets at liberty our Love, breaks down the prison walls of self, and carries us freely forth into this goodly universe,—as the Home of our Father and of His vast Family ; that it instructs us how to find objects for our largest affections in all God's children; that it encourages us to identify our private welfare with the advancing good of humanity ; that it quickens us to interlink ourselves with all mankind of all classes and conditions,—by reverent admiration with the good, by reconciling mercy with the evil, by cheerful sympathy with the happy, by tender compassion with the suffering, by redeeming pity -with the oppressed, by hope with all, and thus to make our own lives entirely one with the life of our Race. There is an exulting joy in this enlargement of Personal Being; and this limitless expansion of Love was an essential aim of our Saviour...

What a Salvation, priceless beyond conception, is it, to be delivered from all fear of death ; to be at liberty to expatiate through endless ages in expectant Hope ; to be assured that our highest attainments here are but the beginning of our everlasting progress; and that there is no height of intelligence, power, beneficence, and bliss, to which we are not destined to ascend! Jesus came, he lived, he died, to give to us the Universe, and the God of the Universe, by bringing our Spirits into harmony with both,—by breathing into us, so far as we are receptive, the Spirit, Wisdom, Love and Holiness, the Perfect Joy and Peace, of our Heavenly Father. Receive, honour, follow, love this blessed Saviour ! Carry into life his principles. Confide in his promises, till they transform you into the Divine Image, and give you in this world the pledge and foretaste of the world to come.

Compassionate Saviour ! We welcome thee to our world. We welcome thee to our hearts. We bless thee for the Divine Goodness thou hast brought from Heaven; for the Souls thou hast warmed with love to man, and lifted up in love to God; for the efforts of Divine Philanthropy which thou hast inspired; and for that hope of a pure Celestial Life, through which thy disciples triumph over death. Benevolent Saviour! Inspirer of Goodness! We offer thee this tribute of affectionate and reverential gratitude on earth; and we hope to know, to love, to resemble, and to approach thee, more nearly and more worthily in Heaven."

Blessings

2 comments:

PeaceBang said...

I have such admiration for this man. His optimism is so easy to mock in some sections but then I get the feeling that he is speaking God's own truth and I don't dare. Beautiful, hopeful, loving words. No wonder people thought he was a saint.

boston unitarian said...

Hey PeaceBang,
God's own truth indeed! Sometimes I read WEC and for moments feel I am hearing directly from...well I wont say that.
Many thanks and
blessings, BU