[Inner Court of Second Temple]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 38: Evening


None shall in hell such bitter pangs endure,

As those, who mock at Gods way of salvation.

Whom oil and balsames kill, what salve can cure?

They drink with greedinesse a full damnation.

   The Jews refused thunder; and we, folly.

   Though God do hedge us in, yet who is holy?

     None shall endure such bitter pains in hell as those who mock God's way of salvation. Whom the best restoratives kill, what salve can cure? They eagerly drink a full damnation. The Jews refused the Laws of Moses and returned to idolatry; and we refuse inspiration. "The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness." (I Cor. 1:18.) Though God hedges us in, yet who is holy?

     What of those who mock the preacher and God's way of salvation, those who call preaching folly; they damn themselves repeatedly out of their own mouths. If they can not accept this medicine which God has sent for everyone, what surgery can help them. What of those who believe in God and Christ, or say they believe, and yet arrogantly refuse these guidelines. They have their reward.

[Wailing Wall, Jerusalem]     Given the Laws of God through Moses and the cross of salvation mediated by the Son of God, we possess great divine knowledge and welfare. God and Christ set out the Way clearly, the Truth to guide us and the mortal and spiritual Life for our advantage. All these prevent our wandering from God's highway. With all these directions, maps and signposts, we possess a clear path to Heaven. We receive the oil of consecration from Jehovah and the balm of Gilead broken for us; we accept the cures that rejuvenate us on the journey. What significant advantages we hold. Even with all these precautions and advantages, few are holy. Many of us take other paths, ignoring the clear and straight way. Those who finally accept the path do so after much suffering and many detours.

For commentary, sermons and several translations, see I Corinthians 1:18, 21.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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