Friday, August 28, 2009

our dim sight...

I have written before of the importance of submission or, as Rev. Abbott puts it in our sermon extract today, Resignation. To a degree, I think it the central point of contention in many of the struggles that Unitarian Universalists have with each other(I think esp. of the recent controversy over Peacebang's Covenant post.) For Abbott, a basis for submission is our limited and fragmented knowledge-hard for us to admit but, of course, radically true...


"The character of Jesus was not stained when he wept over the tomb of him whom he loved; and like him, we may pray that, if it be possible, the cup of suffering may pass from us, if we can add like him, " Not my will but thine be done." This is the temper which Christianity enjoins, and which in affliction we ought to maintain: neither to despise the chastening of the Lord, nor to faint in despair under his rebuke ;—but to look up to God, though it may be with a broken heart, yet with feelings of devout submission, and humble confidence and hope...

In connexion with the goodness of God, consider our own ignorance, and it will further teach you the reasonableness of resignation. God's providence is too vast, his designs too complicated and extensive, for our minds to embrace them. Even the whole of this world exhibits but the beginnings of the stupendous scheme of his government. And how little of its designs and operations, even in this world, can we comprehend ! We can discern only single, separate steps in the mighty march of his providence, and can hardly trace even the immediate ends which any particular dispensation is designed to promote...Ought we not then to trust, that where our dim sight cannot reach, yet there also, mercy dwells; and that his hand, though to us it be wrapt in clouds, and inscrutable in its appointments, is yet guiding the course of events with equally wise and compassionate goodness ?"


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