The World's Great Sermons, Vol. 2 (of 10)

Part 3 out of 3

desire that I form of it, and in the pursuit that I make after it.
This, then, is sufficient to justify the thought of St. Chrysostom and
the doctrine of the theologians upon the nature of deadly sin ...

That there are men, and Christian men, to whom, by a secret judgment
of God, the passion of Jesus Christ, salutary as it is, may become
useless, is a truth too essential in our religion to be unknown, and
too sorrowful not to be the subject of our grief. When the Savior from
the height of His cross, ready to give up His spirit, raised this cry
toward heaven, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" there
was no one who did not suppose but that the violence of His torments
forced from Him this complaint, and perhaps we ourselves yet believe
it. But the great Bishop Arnauld de Chartres, penetrating deeper into
the thoughts and affections of this dying Savior, says, with much more
reason, that the complaint of Christ Jesus to His Father proceeded
from the sentiment with which He was affected, in representing to
Himself the little fruit which His death would produce; in considering
the small number of the elect who would profit by it; in foreseeing
with horror the infinite number of the reprobate, for whom it would
be useless: as if He had wished to proclaim that His merits were not
fully enough nor worthily enough remunerated; and that after having
done so much work He had a right to promise to Himself a different
success in behalf of men. The words of this author are admirable:
Jesus Christ complains, says this learned prelate, but of what does He
complain? That the wickedness of sinners makes Him lose what ought to
be the reward of the conflicts which He has maintained; that millions
of the human race for whom He suffers will, nevertheless, be excluded
from the benefit of redemption. And because He regards Himself in them
as their head, and themselves, in spite of their worthlessness, as
the members of His mystical body; seeing them abandoned by God, He
complains of being abandoned Himself: "My God, my God, why hast
thou forsaken me?" He complains of what made St. Paul groan when,
transported with an apostolic zeal, he said to the Galatians: "What,
my brethren, is Jesus Christ then dead in vain? Is the mystery of
the cross then nothing to you? Will not this blood which He has so
abundantly shed have the virtue to sanctify you?"

But here, Christians, I feel myself affected with a thought which,
contrary as it appears to that of the apostle, only serves to
strengthen and confirm it. For it appears that St. Paul is grieved
because Jesus Christ has suffered in vain; but I, I should almost
console myself if He had only suffered in vain, and if His passion was
only rendered useless to us. That which fills me with consternation
is, that at the same time that we render it useless to ourselves, by
an inevitable necessity it must become pernicious; for this passion,
says St. Gregory of Nazianzen, "partakes of the nature of those
remedies which, kill if they do not heal, and of which the effect is
either to give life or to convert itself into poison; lose nothing of
this, I beseech you." Remember, then, Christians, what happened during
the judgment and at the moment of the condemnation of the Son of God.

When Pilate washed his hands before the Jews and declared to them that
there was nothing worthy of death in this righteous man, but that the
crime from which he freed himself rested upon them, and that they
would have to answer for it, they all cried with one voice that they
consented to it, and that they readily agreed that the blood of this
just man should fall upon them and upon their children. You know what
this cry has cost them. You know the curses which one such imprecation
has drawn upon them, the anger of heaven which began from that time
to burst upon this nation, the ruin of Jerusalem which followed soon
after--the carnage of their citizens, the profanation of their temple,
the destruction of their republic, the visible character of their
reprobation which their unhappy posterity bear to this day, that
universal banishment, that exile of sixteen hundred years, that
slavery through all the earth--and all in consequence of the authentic
prediction which Jesus Christ made to them of it when going to
Calvary, and with circumstances which incontestably prove that a
punishment as exemplary as this can not be imputed but to decide which
they had committed in the person of the Savior; since it is evident,
says St. Augustine, that the Jews were never further from idolatry nor
more religious observers of their law than they were then, and that,
excepting the crime of the death of Jesus Christ, God, very far from
punishing them, would, it seems, rather have loaded them with His
blessings. You know all this, I say; and all this is a convincing
proof that the blood of this God-man is virtually fallen upon these
sacrilegious men, and that God, in condemning them by their own mouth,
altho in spite of Himself, employs that to destroy them which was
designed for their salvation.

But, Christians, to speak with the Holy Spirit, this has happened to
the Jews only as a figure; it is only the shadow of the fearful curses
of which the abuse of the merits and passion of the Son of God must be
to us the source and the measure. I will explain myself. What do we,
my dear hearers, when borne away by the immoderate desires of our
hearts to a sin against which our consciences protest? And what do
we, when, possest of the spirit of the world, we resist a grace which
solicits us, which presses us to obey God? Without thinking upon it,
and without wishing it, we secretly pronounce the same sentence of
death which the Jews pronounced against themselves before Pilate, when
they said to him, "His blood be upon us." For this grace which we
despise is the price of the blood of Jesus Christ, and the sin that we
commit is an actual profanation of this very blood. It is, then, as if
we were to say to God: "Lord, I clearly see what engagement I make,
and I know what risk I run, but rather than not satisfy my own
desires, I consent that the blood of Thy Son shall fall upon me. This
will be to bear the chastisement of it, but I will indulge my passion;
Thou hast a right to draw forth from it a just indignation, but
nevertheless I will complete my undertaking."

Thus we condemn ourselves. And here, Christians, is one of the
essential foundations of this terrible mystery of the eternity of the
punishment with which faith threatens us, and against which our reason
revolts. We suppose that we can not have any knowledge of it in this
life, and we are not aware, says St. Chrysostom, that we find it
completely in the blood of the Savior, or rather in our profanation of
it every day. For this blood, my brethren, adds this holy doctor, is
enough to make eternity not less frightful, but less incredible.
And behold the reason: This blood is of an infinite dignity; it can
therefore be avenged only by an infinite punishment. This blood, if we
destroy ourselves, will cry eternally against us at the tribunal of
God. It will eternally excite the wrath of God against us. This blood,
falling upon lost souls, will fix a stain upon them, which shall never
be effaced. Their torments must consequently never end.

A reprobate in hell will always appear in the eyes of God stained with
that blood which he has so basely treated. God will then always abhor
him; and, as the aversion of God from His creature is that which makes
hell, it must be inferred that hell will be eternal. And in this, O my
God, Thou art sovereignly just, sovereignly holy, and worthy of our
praise and adoration. It is in this way that the beloved disciple
declared it even to God Himself in the Apocalypse. Men, said he, have
shed the blood of Thy servants and of Thy prophets; therefore
they deserve to drink it, and to drink it from the cup of Thine
indignation. "For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
and thou hast given them blood to drink." An expression which the
Scripture employs to describe the extreme infliction of divine
vengeance. Ah! if the blood of the prophets has drawn down the scourge
of God upon men, what may we not expect from the blood of Jesus
Christ? If the blood of martyrs is heard crying out in heaven against
the persecutors of the faith, how much more will the blood of the
Redeemer be heard!

Then once more, Christians, behold the deplorable necessity to which
we are reduced. This blood which flows from Calvary either demands
grace for us, or justice against us. When we apply ourselves to it by
a lively faith and a sincere repentance, it demands grace; but when by
our disorders and impieties we check its salutary virtue, it demands
justice, and it infallibly obtains it. It is in this blood, says St.
Bernard, that all righteous souls are purified; but by a prodigy
exactly opposite, it is also in this same blood that all the sinners
of the land defile themselves, and render themselves, if I may use the
expression, more hideous in the sight of God.

Ah! my God, shall I eternally appear in thine eyes polluted with that
blood which washes away the crimes of others? If I had simply to
bear my own sins, I might promise myself a punishment less rigorous,
considering my sins as my misfortune, my weakness, my ignorance. Then,
perhaps, Thou wouldst be less offended on account of them. But when
these sins with which I shall be covered shall present themselves
before me as so many sacrileges with respect to the blood of Thy Son;
when the abuse of this blood shall be mixed and confounded with all
the disorders of my life; when there shall not be one of them against
which this blood shall not cry louder than the blood of Abel against
Cain; then, O God of my soul I what will become of me in thy presence?
No, Lord, cries the same St. Bernard affectionately, suffer not the
blood of my Savior to fall upon me in this manner. Let it fall upon me
to sanctify, but let it not fall upon me to destroy. Let it fall upon
me in a right use of the favors which are the divine overflowings of
it, and not through the blindness of mind and hardness of heart which
are the most terrible punishments of it. Let it fall upon me by the
participation of the sacred Eucharist, which is the precious source
of it, and not by the maledictions attached to the despisers of Thy
sacraments. In fine, let it fall upon me by influencing my conduct and
inducing the practise of good works, and let it not fall upon me for
my wanderings, my infidelities, my obstinacy, and my impenitence.
This, my brethren, is what we ought to ask to-day from Jesus Christ
crucified. It is with these views that we ought to go to the foot of
the cross and catch the blood as it flows. He was the Savior of the
Jews as well as ours, but this Savior, St. Augustine says, the Jews
have converted into their judge. Avert from us such an evil. May He
Who died to save us be our Savior. May He be our Savior during all the
days of our lives. And may His merits, shed upon us abundantly, lose
none of their efficacy in our hands, but be preserved entire by the
fruits we produce from them. May He be our Savior in death. And at the
last moment may the cross be our support, and thus may He consummate
the work of our salvation which He has begun. May He be our Savior in
a blest eternity, where we shall be as much the sharer in His glory as
we have been in His sufferings.




Francois de Salignac de La Mothe-Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray, and
private tutor to the heir-apparent of France, was born of a noble
family in Perigord, 1651. In 1675 he received holy orders, and soon
afterward made the acquaintance of Bossuet, whom he henceforth looked
up to as his master. It was the publication of his "De l'Education des
Filles" that brought him his first fame, and had some influence in
securing his appointment in 1689 to be preceptor of the Duke of
Burgundy. In performing this office he thought it necessary to
compose his own text-books, such as would teach the vanity of worldly
greatness and the loftiness of virtue. He was promoted to the
archbishopric of Cambray in 1695, and subsequently became entangled
in the religious aberrations of Madame Guyon. Fenelon came into
controversy with Bossuet, whose severity against his friend was
rebuked by the Pope, who, nevertheless, condemned some of the
Archbishop of Cambray's views. Fenelon submitted, and withdrew to
his diocesan see, where he died in 1715. His deep spirituality and
eloquence are exemplified in the following sermon.




_Pray without ceasing_.--I Thess. v., 17

Of all the duties enjoined by Christianity none is more essential, and
yet more neglected, than prayer. Most people consider this exercise a
wearisome ceremony, which they are justified in abridging as much as
possible. Even those whose profession or fears lead them to pray, do
it with such languor and wanderings of mind that their prayers, far
from drawing down blessings, only increase their condemnation. I wish
to demonstrate, in this discourse, first, the general necessity of
prayer; secondly, its peculiar duty; thirdly, the manner in which we
ought to pray.

First. God alone can instruct us in our duty. The teachings of men,
however wise and well disposed they may be, are still ineffectual, if
God do not shed on the soul that light which opens the mind to truth.
The imperfections of our fellow creatures cast a shade over the truths
that we learn from them. Such is our weakness that we do not receive,
with sufficient docility, the instructions of those who are as
imperfect as ourselves. A thousand suspicions, jealousies, fears, and
prejudices prevent us from profiting, as we might, by what we hear
from men; and tho they announce the most serious truths, yet what they
do weakens the effect of what they say. In a word, it is God alone who
can perfectly teach us.

St. Bernard said, in writing to a pious friend--If you are seeking
less to satisfy a vain curiosity than to get true wisdom, you will
sooner find it in deserts than in books. The silence of the rocks and
the pathless forests will teach you better than the eloquence of the
most gifted men. "All," says St. Augustine, "that we possess of truth
and wisdom is a borrowed good flowing from that fountain for which
we ought to thirst in the fearful desert of this world, that, being
refreshed and invigorated by these dews from heaven, we may not faint
upon the road that conducts us to a better country. Every attempt to
satisfy the cravings of our hearts at other sources only increases
the void. You will be always poor if you do not possess the only true
riches." All light that does not proceed from God is false; it only
dazzles us; it sheds no illumination upon the difficult paths in which
we must walk, along the precipices that are about us.

Our experience and our reflections can not, on all occasions, give us
just and certain rules of conduct. The advice of our wisest, and most
sincere friends is not always sufficient; many things escape their
observation, and many that do not are too painful to be spoken. They
suppress much from delicacy, or sometimes from a fear of transgressing
the bounds that our friendship and confidence in them will allow. The
animadversions of our enemies, however severe or vigilant they may
be, fail to enlighten us with regard to ourselves. Their malignity
furnishes our self-love with a pretext for the indulgence of the
greatest faults. The blindness of our self-love is so great that we
find reasons for being satisfied with ourselves, while all the world
condemn us. What must we learn from all this darkness? That it is
God alone who can dissipate it; that it is He alone whom we can never
doubt; that He alone is true, and knoweth all things; that if we go
to Him in sincerity, He will teach us what men dare not tell us, what
books can not--all that is essential for us to know.

Be assured that the greatest obstacle to true wisdom is the
self-confidence inspired by that which is false. The first step toward
this precious knowledge is earnestly to desire it, to feel the want of
it, and to be convinced that they who seek it must address themselves
to the Father of lights, who freely gives to him who asks in faith.
But if it be true that God alone can enlighten us, it is not the less
true that He will do this simply in answer to our prayers. Are we not
happy, indeed, in being able to obtain so great a blessing by only
asking for it? No part of the effort that we make to acquire the
transient enjoyments of this life is necessary to obtain these
heavenly blessings. What will we not do, what are we not willing
to suffer, to possess dangerous and contemptible things, and often
without any success? It is not thus with heavenly things. God is
always ready to grant them to those who make the request in sincerity
and truth. The Christian life is a long and continual tendency of our
hearts toward that eternal goodness which we desire on earth. All our
happiness consists in thirsting for it. Now this thirst is prayer.
Ever desire to approach your Creator and you will never cease to pray.

Do not think that it is necessary to pronounce many words. To pray is
to say, Let Thy will be done. It is to form a good purpose; to
raise your heart to God; to lament your weakness; to sigh at the
recollection of your frequent disobedience. This prayer demands
neither method, nor science, nor reasoning; it is not essential to
quit one's employment; it is a simple movement of the heart toward its
Creator, and a desire that whatever you are doing you may do it to His
glory. The best of all prayers is to act with a pure intention, and
with a continual reference to the will of God. It depends much upon
ourselves whether our prayers be efficacious. It is not by a miracle,
but by a movement of the heart that we are benefited; by a submissive
spirit. Let us believe, let us trust, let us hope, and God never will
reject our prayer. Yet how many Christians do we see strangers to the
privilege, aliens from God, who seldom think of Him, who never open
their hearts to Him; who seek elsewhere the counsels of a false
wisdom, and vain and dangerous consolations, who can not resolve to
seek, in humble, fervent prayer to God, a remedy for their griefs and
a true knowledge of their defects, the necessary power to conquer
their vicious and perverse inclinations, and the consolations and
assistance they require, that they may not be discouraged in a
virtuous life.

But some will say, "I have no interest in prayer; it wearies me; my
imagination is excited by sensible and more agreeable objects, and
wanders in spite of me."

If neither your reverence for the great truths of religion, nor the
majesty of the ever-present Deity, nor the interest of your eternal
salvation, have power to arrest your mind and engage it in prayer, at
least mourn with me for your infidelity; be ashamed of your weakness,
and wish that your thoughts were more under your control; and desire
to become less frivolous and inconstant. Make an effort to subject
your mind to this discipline. You will gradually acquire habit and
facility. What is now tedious will become delightful; and you will
then feel, with a peace that the world can not give nor take away,
that God is good. Make a courageous effort to overcome yourself. There
can be no occasion that more demands it.

Secondly. The peculiar obligation of prayer. Were I to give all the
proofs that the subject affords, I should describe every condition
of life, that I might point out its dangers, and the necessity of
recourse to God in prayer. But I will simply state that under all
circumstances we have need of prayer. There is no situation in which
it is possible to be placed where we have not many virtues to acquire
and many faults to correct. We find in our temperament, or in our
habits, or in the peculiar character of our minds, qualities that do
not suit our occupations, and that oppose our duties. One person is
connected by marriage to another whose temper is so unequal that life
becomes a perpetual warfare. Some, who are exposed to the contagious
atmosphere of the world, find themselves so susceptible to the vanity
which they inhale that all their pure desires vanish. Others have
solemnly promised to renounce their resentments, to conquer their
aversions, to suffer with patience certain crosses, and to repress
their eagerness for wealth; but nature prevails, and they are
vindictive, violent, impatient, and avaricious.

Whence comes it that these resolutions are so frail? That all these
people wish to improve, desire to perform their duty toward God and
man better, and yet fail? It is because our own strength and wisdom,
alone, are not enough. We undertake to do everything without God;
therefore we do not succeed. It is at the foot of the altar that we
must seek for counsel which will aid us. It is with God that we must
lay our plans of virtue and usefulness; it is He alone that can render
them successful. Without Him, all our designs, however good they may
appear, are only temerity and delusion. Let us then pray that we may
learn what we are and what we ought to be. By this means we shall not
only learn the number and the evil effects of our peculiar faults,
but we shall also learn to what virtues we are called, and the way to
practise them. The rays of that pure and heavenly light that visit
the humble soul will beam on us and we shall feel and understand that
everything is possible to those who put their whole trust in God.
Thus, not only to those who live in retirement, but to those who
are exposed to the agitations of the world and the excitements of
business, it is peculiarly necessary, by contemplation and fervent
prayer, to restore their souls to that serenity which the dissipations
of life and commerce with men have disturbed. To those who are engaged
in business, contemplation and prayer are much more difficult than to
those who live in retirement; but it is far more necessary for them
to have frequent recourse to God in fervent prayer. In the most holy
occupation a certain degree of precaution is necessary.

Do not devote all your time to action, but reserve a certain portion
of it for meditation upon eternity. We see Jesus Christ inviting His
disciples to go apart, in a desert place, and rest awhile, after their
return from the cities, where they had been to announce His religion.
How much more necessary is it for us to approach the source of all
virtue, that we may revive our declining faith and charity, when we
return from the busy scenes of life, where men speak and act as if
they had never known that there is a God! We should look upon prayer
as the remedy for our weakness, the rectifier of our own faults. He
who was without sin prayed constantly; how much more ought we, who are
sinners, to be faithful in prayer!

Even the exercise of charity is often a snare to us. It calls us to
certain occupations that dissipate the mind, and that may degenerate
into mere amusement. It is for this reason that St. Chrysostom says
that nothing is so important as to keep an exact proportion between
the interior source of virtue and the external practise of it; else,
like the foolish virgins, we shall find that the oil in our lamp is
exhausted when the bridegroom comes.

The necessity we feel that God should bless our labors is another
powerful motive to prayer. It often happens that all human help is
vain. It is God alone that can aid us, and it does not require much
faith to believe that it is less our exertions, our foresight, and our
industry than the blessing of the Almighty that can give success to
our wishes.

Thirdly. Of the manner in which we ought to pray. 1. We must pray with
attention. God listens to the voice of the heart, not to that of the
lips. Our whole heart must be engaged in prayer. It must fasten upon
what it prays for; and every human object must disappear from our
minds. To whom should we speak with attention if not to God? Can He
demand less of us than that we should think of what we say to Him?
Dare we hope that He will listen to us, and think of us, when we
forget ourselves in the midst of our prayers? This attention to
prayer, which it is so just to exact from Christians, may be practised
with less difficulty than we imagine. It is true that the most
faithful souls suffer from occasional involuntary distractions. They
can not always control their imaginations, and, in the silence of
their spirits, enter into the presence of God. But these unbidden
wanderings of the mind ought not to trouble us; and they may conduce
to our perfection even more than the most sublime and affecting
prayers if we earnestly strive to overcome them, and submit with
humility to this experience of our infirmity. But to dwell willingly
on frivolous and worldly things during prayer, to make no effort to
check the vain thoughts that intrude upon this sacred employment and
come between us and the Father of our spirits--is not this choosing to
live the sport of our senses, and separated from God?

2. We must also ask with faith; a faith so firm that it never
falters. He who prays without confidence can not hope that his prayer
will be granted. Will not God love the heart that trusts in Him? Will
He reject those who bring all their treasures to Him, and repose
everything upon His goodness? When we pray to God, says St. Cyprian,
with entire assurance, it is Himself who has given us the spirit of
our prayer. Then it is the Father listening to the words of His child;
it is He who dwells in our hearts, teaching us to pray. But must we
confess that this filial confidence is wanting in all our prayers? Is
not prayer our resource only when all others have failed us? If we
look into hearts, shall we not find that we ask of God as if we had
never before received benefits from Him? Shall we not discover there
a secret infidelity that renders us unworthy of His goodness? Let us
tremble, lest, when Jesus Christ shall judge us, He pronounce the same
reproach that He did to Peter, "O thou of little faith, wherefore
didst thou doubt?"

3. We must join humility with trust. Great God, said Daniel, when we
prostrate ourselves at Thy feet, we do not place our hopes for the
success of our prayers upon our righteousness, but upon Thy mercy.
Without this disposition in our hearts, all others, however pious they
may be, can not please God. St. Augustine observes that the failure of
Peter should not be attributed to insincerity in his zeal for Jesus
Christ. He loved his Master in good faith; in good faith he would
rather have died than have forsaken Him; but his fault lay in trusting
to his own strength, to do what his own heart dictated.

It is not enough to possess a right spirit, an exact knowledge of
duty, a sincere desire to perform it We must continually renew this
desire, and enkindle this flame within us, at the fountain of pure and
eternal light.

It is the humble and contrite heart that God will not despise. Remark
the difference which the evangelist has pointed out between the prayer
of the proud and presumptuous Pharisee and the humble and penitent
publican. The one relates his virtues, the other deplores his sins.
The good works of the one shall be set aside, while the penitence of
the other shall be accepted. It will be thus with many Christians.
Sinners, vile in their own eyes, will be objects of the mercy of God;
while some, who have made professions of piety, will be condemned on
account of the pride and arrogance that have contaminated their good
works. It will be so because these have said in their hearts, "Lord,
I thank thee that I am not as other men are." They imagine themselves
privileged; they pretend that they alone have penetrated the mysteries
of the kingdom of God; they have a language and science of their own;
they believe that their zeal can accomplish everything. Their
regular lives favor their vanity; but in truth they are incapable of
self-sacrifice, and they go to their devotions with their hearts full
of pride and presumption. Unhappy are those who pray in this manner!
Unhappy are those whose prayers do not render them more humble, more
submissive, more watchful over their faults, and more willing to live
in obscurity!

4. We must pray with love. It is love says St. Augustine, that asks,
that seeks, that knocks, that finds, and that is faithful to what it
finds. We cease to pray to God as soon as we cease to love Him, as
soon as we cease to thirst for His perfections. The coldness of our
love is the silence of our hearts toward God. Without this we may
pronounce prayers, but we do not pray; for what shall lead us to
meditate upon the laws of God if it be not the love of Him who has
made these laws? Let our hearts be full of love, then, and they will
pray. Happy are they who think seriously of the truths of religion;
but far more happy are they who feel and love them! We must ardently
desire that God will grant us spiritual blessings; and the ardor of
our wishes must render us fit to receive the blessings. For if we pray
only from custom, from fear, in the time of tribulation--- if we honor
God only with our lips, while our hearts are far from Him--if we do
not feel a strong desire for the success of our prayers--if we feel a
chilling indifference in approaching Him who is a consuming fire--if
we have no zeal for His glory--if we do not feel hatred for sin, and
a thirst for perfection, we can not hope for a blessing upon such
heartless prayers.

5. We must pray with perseverance. The perfect heart is never weary
of seeking God. Ought we to complain if God sometimes leaves us to
obscurity, and doubt, and temptation? Trials purify humble souls, and
they serve to expiate the faults of the unfaithful. They confound
those who, even in their prayers, have flattered their cowardice and
pride. If an innocent soul, devoted to God, suffer from any secret
disturbance, it should be humble, adore the designs of God, and
redouble its prayers and its fervor. How often do we hear those who
every day have to reproach themselves with unfaithfulness toward God
complain that He refuses to answer their prayers! Ought they not to
acknowledge that it is their sins which have formed a thick cloud
between Heaven and them, and that God has justly hidden Himself from
them? How often has He recalled us from our wanderings! How often,
ungrateful as we are, have we been deaf to His voice and insensible to
His goodness! He would make us feel that we are blind and miserable
when we forsake Him. He would teach us, by privation, the value of the
blessings that we have slighted. And shall we not bear our punishment
with patience? Who can boast of having done all that he ought to have
done; of having repaired all his past errors; of having purified his
heart, so that he may claim as a right that God should listen to
his prayer? Most truly, all our pride, great as it is, would not be
sufficient to inspire such presumption! If then, the Almightly do not
grant our petitions, let us adore His justice, let us be silent, let
us humble ourselves, and let us pray without ceasing. This humble
perseverance will obtain from Him what we should never obtain by our
own merit. It will make us pass happily from darkness to light; for
know, says St. Augustine that God is near to us even when He appears
far from us.

6. We should pray with a pure intention. We should not mingle in our
prayers what is false with what is real; what is perishable with what
is eternal; low and temporal interests with that which concerns our
salvation. Do not seek to render God the protector of your self-love
and ambition, but the promoter of your good desires. You ask for the
gratification of your passions, or to be delivered from the cross,
of which He knows you have need. Carry not to the foot of the altar
irregular desires and indiscreet prayers. Sigh not for vain and
fleeting pleasures. Open your heart to your Father in heaven, that His
Spirit may enable you to ask for the true riches. How can He grant
you, says St. Augustine, what you do not yourself desire to receive?
You pray every day that His will may be done, and that His kingdom may
come. How can you utter this prayer with sincerity when you prefer
your own will to His, and make His law yield to the vain pretexts with
which your self-love seeks to elude it? Can you make this prayer--you
who disturb His reign in your heart by so many impure and vain
desires? You, in fine, who fear the coming of His reign, and do not
desire that God should grant what you seem to pray for? No! If He, at
this moment, were to offer to give you a new heart, and render you
humble, and willing to bear the cross, your pride would revolt, and
you would not accept the offer; or you would make a reservation in
favor of your ruling passion, and try to accommodate your piety to
your humor and fancies!




Robert South, who was born in the borough of Hackney, London, England,
in 1638, attracted wide attention by his vigorous mind and his clear,
argumentative style in preaching. Some of his sermons are notable
specimens of pulpit eloquence. A keen analytical mind, great depth of
feeling, and wide range of fancy combined to make him a powerful and
impressive speaker. By some critics his style has been considered
unsurpassed in force and beauty. What he lacked in tenderness was made
up in masculine strength. He was a born satirist. Henry Rogers said of
him: "Of all the English preachers, South seems to furnish, in point
of style, the truest specimens of pulpit eloquence. His robust
intellect, his shrewd common sense, his vehement feelings, and a
fancy always more distinguished by force than by elegance, admirably
qualified him for a powerful public speaker." South became prebendary
of Westminster in 1663, canon at Oxford in 1670, and rector of Islip
in 1678. An edition of his writings was published in 1823. He died in




_So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he
him_.--Genesis i., 27.

How hard it is for natural reason to discover a creation before
revealed, or, being revealed, to believe it, the strange opinions of
the old philosophers, and the infidelity of modern atheists, is too
sad a demonstration. To run the world back to its first original and
infancy, and, as it were, to view nature in its cradle, and trace the
outgoings of the Ancient of Days in the first instance and specimen of
His creative power, is a research too great for any mortal inquiry;
and we might continue our scrutiny to the end of the world, before
natural reason would be able to find out when it began.

Epicurus's discourse concerning the original of the world is so
fabulous and ridiculously merry that we may well judge the design of
his philosophy to have been pleasure, and not instruction. Aristotle
held that it streamed by connatural result and emanation from God, the
infinite and eternal Mind, as the light issues from the sun; so that
there was no instant of duration assignable of God's eternal existence
in which the world did not also coexist. Others held a fortuitous
concourse of atoms--but all seem jointly to explode a creation, still
beating upon this ground, that the producing something out of nothing
is impossible and incomprehensible; incomprehensible, indeed, I grant,
but not therefore impossible. There is not the least transaction of
sense and motion in the whole man, but philosophers are at a loss to
comprehend, I am sure they are to explain it. Wherefore it is not
always rational to measure the truth of an assertion by the standard
of our apprehension.

But, to bring things even to the bare preception of reason, I
appeal to any one who shall impartially reflect upon the ideas and
conceptions of his own mind, whether he doth not find it as easy and
suitable to his natural notions to conceive that an infinite Almighty
power might produce a thing out of nothing, and make that to exist _de
novo_, which did not exist before, as to conceive the world to have
had no beginning, but to have existed from eternity, which, were it so
proper for this place and exercise, I could easily demonstrate to be
attended with no small train of absurdities. But then, besides
that the acknowledging of a creation is safe, and the denial of it
dangerous and irreligious, and yet not more, perhaps much less,
demonstrable than the affirmative; so, over and above, it gives me
this advantage, that, let it seem never so strange, uncouth, and
incomprehensible, the nonplus of my reason will yield a fairer
opportunity to my faith.

The work that I shall undertake from these words shall be to show what
this image of God in man is, and wherein it doth consist. Which I
shall do these two ways: 1. Negatively, by showing wherein it does not
consist. 2. Positively, by showing wherein it does.

For the first of these we are to remove the erroneous opinion of the
Socinians. They deny that the image of God consisted in any
habitual perfections that adorned the soul of Adam, but, as to his
understanding, bring him in void of all notion, a rude, unwritten
blank; making him to be created as much an infant as others are born;
sent into the world only to read and to spell out a God in the works
of creation, to learn by degrees, till at length his understanding
grew up to the stature of his body; also without any inherent habits
of virtue in his will; thus divesting him of all, and stripping him
of his bare essence; so that all the perfection they allowed his
understanding was aptness and docility, and all that they attributed
to his will was a possibility to be virtuous.

But wherein, then, according to their opinion, did this image of God
consist? Why, in that power and dominion that God gave Adam over the
creatures; in that he was vouched His immediate deputy upon earth, the
viceroy of the creation, and lord-lieutenant of the world. But that
this power and dominion is not adequately and formally the image of
God, but only a part of it, is clear from hence, because then he that
had most of this would have most of God's image; and consequently
Nimrod had more of it than Noah, Saul than Samuel, the persecutors
than the martyrs, and Caesar than Christ Himself, which, to assert,
is a, blasphemous paradox. And if the image of God is only grandeur,
power, and sovereignty, certainly we have been hitherto much mistaken
in our duty, and hereafter are by all means to beware of making
ourselves unlike God by too much self-denial and humility. I am not
ignorant that some may distinguish between a lawful authority and
actual power, and affirm that God's image consists only in the former,
which wicked princes, such, as Saul and Nimrod, have not, tho they
possess the latter. But to this I answer,

1. That the Scripture neither makes nor owns such a distinction, nor
anywhere asserts that when princes begin to be wicked they cease of
right to be governors. Add to this, that when God renewed this charter
of man's sovereignty over the creatures to Noah and his family we find
no exception at all, but that Shem stood as fully invested with this
right as any of his brethren.

2. But, secondly, this savors of something ranker than Socinianism,
even the tenants of the fifth monarchy, and of sovereignty founded
only upon saintship, and therefore fitter to be answered by the judge
than the divine, and to receive its confutation at the bar of justice
than from the pulpit.

Having now made our way through this false opinion, we are in the next
place to lay down positively what this image of God in man is. It is,
in short, that universal rectitude of all the faculties of the soul,
by which they stand apt and disposed to their respective offices and
operations, which will be more fully set forth by taking a distinct
survey of it in the several faculties belonging to the soul.

1. In the understanding. 2. In the will. 3. In the passions or

I. And, first, for its noblest faculty, the understanding: it was
then sublime, clear, and aspiring--and, as it were, the soul's upper
region, lofty and serene, free from vapors and disturbances of the
inferior affections. It was the leading, controlling faculty; all the
passions wore the colors of reason; it was not consul, but dictator.
Discourse was then almost as quick as intuition; it was nimble in
proposing, firm in concluding; it could sooner determine than now it
can dispute. Like the sun, it had both light and agility; it knew no
rest but in motion, no quiet but in activity. It did not so properly
apprehend, as irradiate the object; not so much find, as make things
intelligible. It did not arbitrate upon the several reports of sense,
and all the varieties of imagination, like a drowsy judge, not only
hearing, but also directing their verdict. In sum, it was vegete,
quick, and lively, open as the day, untainted as the morning, full of
the innocence and sprightliness of youth, it gave the soul a bright
and a full view into all things, and was not only a window, but itself
the prospect. Briefly, there is as much difference between the clear
representations of the understanding then and the obscure discoveries
that it makes now as there is between the prospect of a casement and
of a keyhole.

Now, as there are two great functions of the soul, contemplation and
practise, according to that general division of objects, some of which
only entertain our speculation, others also employ our actions, so the
understanding, with relation to these, not because of any distinction
in the faculty itself, is accordingly divided into speculative and
practical; in both of which the image of God was then apparent.

1. For the understanding speculative. There are some general maxims
and notions in the mind of man which are the rules of discourse and
the basis of all philosophy: as, that the same thing can not at the
same time be and not be; that the whole is bigger than a part; that
two dimensions, severally equal to a third, must also be equal to one
another. Aristotle, indeed, affirms the mind to be at first a mere
_tabula rasa_, and that these notions are not ingenit, and imprinted
by the finger of nature, but by the later and more languid impressions
of sense, being only the reports of observation, and the result of so
many repeated experiments.

(1.) That these notions are universal, and what is universal must
needs proceed from some universal, constant principle, the same in all
particulars, which here can be nothing else but human nature.

(2.) These can not be infused by observation, because they are the
rules by which men take their first apprehensions and observations of
things, and therefore, in order of nature, must needs precede them;
as the being of the rule must be before its application to the thing
directed by it. From whence it follows that these were notions not
descending from us, but born with us, not our offspring, but our
brethren; and, as I may so say, such as we were taught without the
help of a teacher.

Now it was Adam's happiness in the state of innocence to have these
clear and unsullied. He came into the world a philosopher, which
sufficiently appeared by his writing the nature of things upon their
names; he could view essences in themselves, and read forms without
the comment of their respective properties; he could see consequents
yet dormant in their principles, and effects yet unborn and in the
womb of their causes; his understanding could almost pierce into
future contingents; his conjectures improving even to prophecy, or the
certainties of prediction; till his fall, it was ignorant of nothing
but sin, or at least it rested in the notion, without the smart of the
experiment. Could any difficulty have been proposed, the resolution
would have been as early as the proposal; it could not have had time
to settle into doubt. Like a better Archimedes, the issue of all his
inquiries was a _eureka_, a _eureka_, the offspring of his
brain without the sweat of his brow. Study was not then a duty,
night-watchings were needless, the light of reason wanted not the
assistance of a candle. This is the doom of fallen man, to labor in
the fire, to seek truth _in profundo_, to exhaust his time and impair
his health, and perhaps to spin out his days and himself into one
pitiful, controverted conclusion. There was then no poring, no
struggling with memory, no straining for invention; his faculties were
quick and expedite, they answered without knocking, they were ready
upon the first summons.

2. The image of God was no less resplendent in that which we call
man's practical understanding; namely, that storehouse of the soul in
which are treasured up the rules of action, and the seeds of morality;
where, we must observe, that many who deny all connate notions in the
speculative intellect, do yet admit them in this. Now of this sort are
these maxims, "That God is to be worshiped, that parents are to be
honored, that a man's word is to be kept," and the like; which, being
of universal influence, as to the regulation of the behavior and
converse of mankind, are the ground of all virtue and civility, and
the foundation of religion.

It was the privilege of Adam innocent, to have these notions also
firm and untainted, to carry his monitor in his bosom, his law in his
heart, and to have such a conscience as might be its own casuist;
and certainly those actions must needs be regular where there is an
identity between the rule and the faculty. His own mind taught him a
due dependence upon God, and chalked out to him the just proportions
and measures of behavior to his fellow creatures. He had no catechism
but the creation, needed no study but reflection, read no book but the
volume of the world, and that too, not for the rules to work by,
but for the objects to work upon. Reason was his tutor, and first
principles his _magna moralia_. The decalogue of Moses was but a
transcript, not an original. All the laws of nations, and wise decrees
of states, the statutes of Solon, and the twelve tables, were but
a paraphrase upon this standing rectitude of nature, this fruitful
principle of justice, that was ready to run out and enlarge itself
into suitable demonstrations upon all emergent objects and occasions.

And this much for the image of God, as it shone in man's

II. Let us in the next place take a view of it as it was stamped upon
the will. It is much disputed by divines concerning the power of man's
will to good and evil in the state of innocence: and upon very nice
and dangerous precipices stand their determinations on either side.
Some hold that God invested him with a power to stand so that in the
strength of that power received, he might, without the auxiliaries of
any further influence, have determined his will to a full choice
of good. Others hold that notwithstanding this power, yet it was
impossible for him to exert it in any good action without a superadded
assistance of grace actually determining that power to the certain
production of such an act; so that whereas some distinguish between
sufficient and effectual grace, they order the matter so as to
acknowledge some sufficient but what is indeed effected, and
actually productive of good action. I shall not presume to interpose
dogmatically in a controversy which I look never to see decided. But
concerning the latter of these opinions, I shall only give these two

1. That it seems contrary to the common and natural conceptions of all
mankind, who acknowledge themselves able and sufficient to do many
things which actually they never do.

2. That to assert that God looked upon Adam's fall as a sin, and
punished it as such when, without any antecedent sin of his, he
withdrew that actual grace from him upon the withdrawing of which
it was impossible for him not to fall, seems a thing that highly
reproaches the essential equity and goodness of the divine nature.

Wherefore, doubtless the will of man in the state of innocence had an
entire freedom, a perfect equipendency and indifference to either part
of the contradiction, to stand, or not to stand; to accept, or not to
accept the temptation. I will grant the will of man now to be as much
a slave as any one who will have it, and be only free to sin; that is,
instead of a liberty, to have only a licentiousness; yet certainly
this is not nature, but chance. We were not born crooked; we learned
these windings and turnings of the serpent: and therefore it can not
but be a blasphemous piece of ingratitude to ascribe them to God, and
to make the plague of our nature the condition of our creation.

The will was then ductile and pliant to all the motions of right
reason; it met the dictates of a clarified understanding half way.
And the active informations of the intellect, filling the passive
reception of the will, like form closing with matter, grew actuate
into a third and distinct perfection of practise; the understanding
and will never disagreed; for the proposals of the one never thwarted
the inclinations of the other. Yet neither did the will servilely
attend upon the understanding, but as a favorite does upon his prince,
where the service is privilege and preferment; or as Solomon's
servants waited upon him: it admired its wisdom, and heard its prudent
dictates and counsels--both the direction and the reward of its
obedience. It is indeed the nature of this faculty to follow a
superior guide--to be drawn by the intellect; but then it was drawn
as a triumphant chariot, which at the same time both follows and
triumphs: while it obeyed this, it commanded the other faculties. It
was subordinate, not enslaved to the understanding: not as a servant
to a master, but as a queen to her king, who both acknowledges a
subjection and yet retains a majesty.

III. Pass we now downward from man's intellect and will to the
passions, which have their residence and situation chiefly in the
sensitive appetite. For we must know that inasmuch as man is a
compound, and mixture of flesh as well as spirit, the soul, during its
abode in the body, does all things by the mediation of these passions
and inferior affections. And here the opinion of the Stoics was
famous and singular, who looked upon all these as sinful defects
and irregularities, as so many deviations from right reason, making
passion to be only another word for perturbation. Sorrow in their
esteem was a sin scarce to be expiated by another; to pity, was a
fault; to rejoice, an extravagance; and the apostle's advice, "to be
angry and sin not," was a contradiction in their philosophy. But in
this they were constantly outvoted by other sects of philosophers,
neither for fame nor number less than themselves: so that all
arguments brought against them from divinity would come in by way of
overplus to their confutation. To us let this be sufficient, that our
Savior Christ, who took upon Him all our natural infirmities, but none
of our sinful, has been seen to weep, to be sorrowful, to pity, and
to be angry: which shows that there might be gall in a dove, passion
without sin, fire without smoke, and motion without disturbance.
For it is not bare agitation, but the sediment at the bottom, that
troubles and defiles the water; and when we see it windy and dusty,
the wind does not (as we used to say) make, but only raise a dust.

Now, tho the schools reduce all the passions to these two heads, the
concupiscible and the irascible appetite, yet I shall not tie myself
to an exact prosecution of them under this division; but at this time,
leaving both their terms and their method to themselves, consider only
the principal and noted passions, from whence we may take an estimate
of the rest.

And first for the grand leading affection of all, which is love. This
is the great instrument and engine of nature, the bond and cement
of society, the spring and spirit of the universe. Love is such an
affection as can not so properly be said to be in the soul as the soul
to be in that. It is the whole man wrapt up into one desire; all
the powers, vigor, and faculties of the soul abridged into one
inclination. And it is of that active, restless nature that it must
of necessity exert itself; and, like the fire to which it is so often
compared, it is not a free agent, to choose whether it will heat
or no, but it streams forth by natural results and unavoidable
emanations. So that it will fasten upon any inferior, unsuitable
object, rather than none at all. The soul may sooner leave off to
subsist than to love; and, like the vine, it withers and dies if it
has nothing to embrace. Now this affection, in the state of innocence,
was happily pitched upon its right object; it flamed up in direct
fervors of devotion to God, and in collateral emissions of charity to
its neighbor. It was not then only another and more cleanly name
for lust. It had none of those impure heats that both represent and
deserve hell. It was a vestal and a virgin fire, and differed as much
from that which usually passes by this name nowadays as the vital heat
from the burning of a fever.

Then for the contrary passion of hatred. This we know is the passion
of defiance, and there is a kind of aversation and hostility included
in its very essence and being. But then (if there could have been
hatred in the world when there was scarce anything odious) it would
have acted within the compass of its proper object; like aloes, bitter
indeed, but wholesome. There would have been no rancor, no hatred of
our brother: an innocent nature could hate nothing that was innocent.
In a word, so great is the commutation that the soul then hated only
that which now only it loves, that is, sin.

And if we may bring anger under this head, as being, according to
some, a transient hatred, or at least very like it, this also, as
unruly as now it is, yet then it vented itself by the measures of
reason. There was no such thing as the transports of malice or the
violences of revenge, no rendering evil for evil, when evil was truly
a nonentity and nowhere to be found. Anger, then, was like the sword
of justice, keen, but innocent and righteous: it did not act like
fury, then call itself zeal. It always espoused God's honor, and never
kindled upon anything but in order to a sacrifice. It sparkled like
the coal upon the altar with the fervors of piety, the heats of
devotion, the sallies and vibrations of a harmless activity.

In the next place, for the lightsome passion of joy. It was not that
which now often usurps this name; that trivial, vanishing, superficial
thing, that only gilds the apprehension and plays upon the surface of
the soul. It was not the mere crackling of thorns or sudden blaze of
the spirits, the exultation of a tickled fancy or a pleased appetite.
Joy was then a masculine and a severe thing; the recreation of the
judgment, the jubilee of reason. It was the result of a real good,
suitably applied. It commenced upon the solidity of truth and the
substance of fruition. It did not run out in voice or indecent
eruptions, but filled the soul, as God does the universe, silently and
without noise. It was refreshing, but composed, like the pleasantness
of youth tempered with the gravity of age; or the mirth of a festival
managed with the silence of contemplation.

And, on the other side, for sorrow: Had any loss or disaster made but
room for grief, it would have moved according to the severe allowances
of prudence, and the proportions of the provocation. It would not have
sallied out into complaint of loudness, nor spread itself upon the
face, and writ sad stories upon the forehead. No wringing of hands,
knocking the breast, or wishing oneself unborn; all which are but the
ceremonies of sorrow, the pomp and ostentation of an effeminate grief,
which speak not so much the greatness of the misery as the smallness
of the mind! Tears may spoil the eyes, but not wash away the
affliction. Sighs may exhaust the man, but not eject the burden.
Sorrow, then, would have been as silent as thought, as severe as
philosophy. It would have been rested in inward senses, tacit
dislikes; and the whole scene of it been transacted in sad and silent

And, lastly, for the affection of fear: It was then the instrument of
caution, not of anxiety; a guard, and not a torment to the breast that
had it. It is now indeed an unhappiness, the disease of the soul: it
flies from a shadow, and makes more dangers than it avoids; it weakens
the judgment and betrays the succors of reason: so hard is it to
tremble and not to err, and to hit the mark with a shaking hand. Then
it fixt upon Him who is only to be feared, God; and yet with a filial
fear, which at the same time both fears and loves. It was awe without
amazement, dread without distraction. There was then a beauty even in
this very paleness. It was the color of devotion, giving a luster to
reverence and a gloss to humility.

Thus did the passions then act without any of their present jars,
combats, or repugnances; all moving with the beauty of uniformity
and the stillness of composure; like a well-governed army, not for
fighting, but for rank and order. I confess the Scripture does not
expressly attribute these several endowments to Adam in his first
estate. But all that I have said, and much more, may be drawn out of
that short aphorism, "God made man upright." And since the opposite
weaknesses infest the nature of man fallen, if we will be true to the
rules of contraries we must conclude that these perfections were the
lot of man innocent....

Having thus surveyed the image of God in the soul of man, we are not
to omit now those characters of majesty that God imprinted upon the
body. He drew some traces of His image upon this also, as much as a
spiritual substance could be pictured upon a corporeal. As for the
sect of the Anthropomorphites, who from hence ascribe to God the
figure of a man, eyes, hands, feet, and the like, they are too
ridiculous to deserve a confutation. They would seem to draw this
impiety from the letter of the Scripture sometimes speaking of God in
this manner. Absurdity! as if the mercy of Scripture expressions ought
to warrant the blasphemy of our opinions; and not rather to show us
that God condescends to us only to draw us to Himself; and clothes
Himself in our likeness only to win us to His own. The practise of
the papists is much of the same nature, in their absurd and impious
picturing of God Almighty; but the wonder in them is the less since
the image of a deity may be a proper object for that which is but
the image of a religion. But to the purpose: Adam was then no less
glorious in his externals; he had a beautiful body, as well as an
immortal soul. The whole compound was like a well-built temple,
stately without, and sacred within. The elements were at perfect union
and agreement in His body; and their contrary qualities served not for
the dissolution of the compound, but the variety of the composure.
Galen, who had no more divinity than what his physic taught him,
barely upon the consideration of this so exact frame of the body,
challenges any one, upon a hundred years' study, to find out how any
the least fiber, or most minute particle, might be more commodiously
placed, either for the advantage of use or comeliness. His stature
erect, and tending upward to his center; his countenance majestic
and comely, with the luster of a native beauty that scorned the poor
assistance of art or the attempts of imitation; His body of so much
quickness and agility that it did not only contain but also represent
the soul; for we might well suppose that where God did deposit so rich
a jewel He would suitably adorn the case. It was a fit workhouse for
sprightly, vivid faculties to exercise and exert themselves in; a
fit tabernacle for an immortal soul, not only to dwell in, but to
contemplate upon; where it might see the world without travel, it
being a lesser scheme of the creation, nature contracted a little
cosmography or map of the universe. Neither was the body then subject
to distempers, to die by piecemeal, and languish under coughs,
catarrhs, or consumptions. Adam knew no disease so long as temperance
from the forbidden fruit secured him. Nature was his physician, and
innocence and abstinence would have kept him healthful to immortality.

The two great perfections that both adorn and exercise man's
understanding, are philosophy and religion: for the first of these,
take it even among the professors of it where it most flourished, and
we shall find the very first notions of common-sense debauched by
them. For there have been such as have asserted, "that there is no
such thing in the world as motion: that contradictions may be true."
There has not been wanting one that has denied snow to be white. Such
a stupidity or wantonness had seized upon the most raised wits that it
might be doubted whether the philosophers or the owls of Athens
were the quicker sighted. But then for religion; what prodigious,
monstrous, misshapen births has the reason of fallen man produced!
It is now almost six thousand years that far the greater part of the
world has had no other religion but idolatry: and idolatry certainly
is the first-born of folly, the great and leading paradox, nay, the
very abridgment and sum total of all absurdities. For is it not
strange that a rational man should worship an ox, nay, the image of an
ox? That he should fawn upon his dog? Bow himself before a cat? Adore
leeks and garlic, and shed penitential tears at the smell of a deified
onion? Yet so did the Egyptians, once the famed masters of all arts
and learning. And to go a little further, we have yet a stronger
instance in Isaiah, "A man hews him down a tree in the wood, and a
part of it he burns, with the residue thereof he maketh a god." With
one part he furnishes his chimney, with the other his chapel. A
strange thing that the fire must first consume this part and then burn
incense to that. As if there was more divinity in one end of the
stick than in the other; or, as if he could be graved and painted
omnipotent, or the nails and the hammer could give it an apotheosis!
Briefly, so great is the change, so deplorable the degradation of our
nature, that whereas we bore the image of God, we now retain only the
image of man.

In the last place, we learn hence the excellency of Christian
religion, in that it is the great and only means that God has
sanctified and designed to repair the breaches of humanity, to set
fallen man upon his legs again, to clarify his reason, to rectify his
will, and to compose and regulate his affections. The whole business
of our redemption is, in short, only to rub over the defaced copy of
the creation, to reprint God's image upon the soul, and, as it were,
to set forth nature in a second and fairer edition; the recovery of
which lost image, as it is God's pleasure to command, and our duty to
endeavor, so it is in His power only to effect; to whom be rendered
and ascribed, as is most due, all praise, might, majesty, and
dominion, both now and forever more. Amen.



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