Tuesday, February 8, 2011

take hold at the small end...

Brooke Herford has graced these pages before. He is, to me, a sturdy preacher. this from his sermon, "The Small End of Great Problems."

"My thought is one for the simplifying of the problems and perplexities of life. You know what these are: — problems of duty; problems of religion; problems of Nature and of life — of what Life is, and what it is for, and of what is going to be the end of it; problems of man and of God — of time and of eternity. Gradually, this idea has shaped itself out to me — of how much the problems and perplexities of life would be simplified if people would only take hold of them at the small end...

Man is constantly wanting to begin at the big end of things and of thoughts. In the beginning of knowledge, man's mind is confident and wants to spread itself. The child thinks it could manage the household very well. The raw recruit would willingly undertake to be General. If you have any literary gift, you are apt to feel as if you could write a book that should at once be a success. When I first started to preach, I had a profound conviction that if I could only get a fair hearing I could convert the human race. At twenty-one, one would undertake to run the Universe. We want to spread ourselves on the large circumference of things. So in Art. Simplicity is not the first grace of Art, but the last and finest perfection of it...(more tomorrow)



David G. Markham said...

And as we get older we become more humble hopefully. Socrates said that the sign of wisdom is knowing that you don't know and the older one gets it seems the more one becomes aware of how little one actually knows.

Also, I love the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman where he tells the judgmental stoners, "He who is without sin can cast the first stone" and they walk away one by one beginning with the eldest.

I don't know where Brook Herford is going with this sermon, but I can guess and I am looking forward to finding out.

God bless your important work here on Boston Unitarian helping us make sense of our experience and the world.

Elizabeth said...

This message is really resonating with me today, and I needed it yesterday!

slt said...

Many thanks for the kind words-I appreciate the encouragement.
Thank you very much for writing and I hope all goes well...
Blessings, BU