[Crusader's Gate]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 5: Evening


Yet, if thou sinne in wine or wantonnesse,

Boast not thereof; nor make thy shame thy glorie.

Frailtie gets pardon by submissivenesse;

But he that boasts, shuts that out of his storie.

       He makes flat warre with God, and doth defie

      With his poore clod of earth the spacious sky.

     If you have to drink or squander your time, money and energy, don't boast about it.Wasting your abilities, unchastity, unbridled extravagance, wantonness, is bad enough without bragging. Sinfulness is a frailty that is pardonable when we humbly acknowledge that these acts oppose God's design. Boasting shuts the door to forgiveness and arrogantly dares God to punish the sinner. Flaunting the commandments defies God, as dirt challenges heaven.

     We all sin sometime. If we do not know that it is an offense against God, we may continue about our lives until we learn. Then we may try to excuse it or ask to be forgiven and have it washed away. Sometime we know the sin and in our weakness yield to the sin. We may then have either of the two responses: excuse ourselves for our humanity, but not for our ignorance, or ask God's forgiveness and absolution. The third, more serious affront, knows the seriousness of the sin, that it is against God's commands, and we do it anyway. There is no excuse. There is only recognizing the premeditation, asking forgiveness and the promise not to do it again. But this is not the expected acknowledgment of a wanton sinner, which is prideful defiance, bragging and insolence.

     Admit the fault. It is human frailty, not to be excused but acknowledged and admit it to God. Any error that is recognized and accepted can be pardoned and corrected, but arrogant evil has no defense. Self justified wrongdoing declares war with God and His Righteousness.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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