Monday, August 22, 2011

The fleshy instrument...

As a denomination we talk much about "Social Justice" often to the detriment of the spirit. It is a phenomenon that is not new. The liberal religionists of the 19th century began the process and it's one that James Freeman Clarke warned against. In this excerpt from his "the Christian Doctrine of Prayer" he argues not against working for the betterment of people and the world, but for a remembrance of the spiritual source of that effort.

"Every human being is an immortal soul in a mortal body. That mortal body in a few years will be laid aside, and will have gone to the earth whence it came. It is an organ, for a few years, through which the undying spiritual force within it shall be manifested and shall be developed. That spiritual force, that immortal soul, can draw its life only from God, its fount of being. Without a constant, steady communion with him, it is drawn down by its fleshly instrument, it is immersed in sense, it is buried already in the body which itself is to -be buried in the grave. Inward, toward God, we must go continually for spiritual force, — outward, toward man and life, to exercise it. We must come to know and love God, the sum and substance of all spiritual life, or it is idle to talk of loving man or doing any thing for him. We must have, to give. We must drain from an eternal fountain, from a well that never becomes dry, in order to water the smallest garden or plot of ground."