Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the far heaven of religious joy...

Yesterday's post reminded me of this sermon by Theodore Parker.  Best known, of course, for his fiery denunciation of slavery and injustice, and for pushing the limits of the Unitarian establishment, Parker was also deeply pious, and his "Sermons of Religion" are a BU favorite.  Their flavor is given in this excerpt:

"There is no great growth in manly piety without fire to conceive, and then painstaking to reproduce the idea,— without the act of prayer, the act of industry. The act of prayer,— that is the one great vital means of religious growth; the resolute desire and the unconquerable will to be the image of a perfect man; the comparison of your actual day with your ideal dream; the rising forth, borne up on mighty pens, to fly towards the far heaven of religious joy. Fast as you learn a truth, moral, affectional, or religious, apply the special truth to daily life, and you increase your piety. So the best school for religion is the daily work of common life, with its daily discipline of personal, domestic, and social duties,— the daily work in field or shop, market or house, " the charities that soothe and heal and bless."



Charlie Talbert said...

Thanks for this and your previous, helpful posts on Stoicism. I hadn't realized the similarities with with the detachment that Buddhists aspire to.

They also call to mind a favorite quote of mine, from Maltbie Babcock: "The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is won or lost."

slt said...

Hello Mr. Talbert,
Thank you so much for writing-I appreciate the good words and the excellent quote.
Many blessings, BU