Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Daily Old Testament: Isaiah 66 and New Testament Inspired Words of James Nayler - Nayler Sonnet 15 by K. Boulding

Isaiah 66 – “With heaven my throne and earth my footstool, what house could you build me, what place could you make for my rest? All of this was made by my hand” (66:2). Still God’s eyes are “drawn to the man of humbled and contrite spirit” (66:2). People sacrifice all kinds of things to their idols rather than respond to God’s love. Jerusalem should rejoice, for now “towards her I send flowing peace, like a river” (66:12). She shall be comforted.

There is a constant tension in these lines between the fury God will show towards those who do not attend to his voice and the peace that will come to those who do.  This dichotomy continues to the very end of the chapter as seen here.

“I am coming to gather the nations of every language” (66:18). “From the New Moon to New Moon, from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down in my presence, says Yahweh. And on their way out they will see the corpses of men who have rebelled against me. Their worm will not die nor their fire go out; they will be loathsome to all mankind” (66:23-24).

This is kind of sad to say, but the two year bible-reading schedule is DONE. How cold it have gone by so quickly? Not sure where the Catholic-Quaker Blog is going – resting for a while, I think. I will finish up the Nayler Sonnets by Kenneth Boulding. They are so amazing.

New Testament Inspired:
Beautiful Quaker Words: James Nayler’s Deathbed Testimony

There is a spirit which I feel that delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end of all temptations. As it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives none in thought to any other. If it be betrayed, it bears it, for its ground and spring is the mercies and forgiveness of God. Its crown is meekness, its life is everlasting love unfeigned; it takes its kingdom with entreaty and not with contention, and keeps it by lowliness of mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard it, or can own its life. It is conceived in sorrow, and brought forth without any to pity it; nor doth it murmur at grief and oppression. It never rejoiceth but through sufferings; for with the world's joy it is murdered. I found it alone, being forsaken. I have fellowship therein with them who lived in dens and desolate places of the earth, who through death obtained this resurrection and eternal holy life.

Thou wast with me when I fled from the face of mine enemies: then didst Thou warn me in the night: Thou carriedst me in Thy power into the hiding-place Thou hadst prepared for me: there Thou coveredst me with Thy Hand that in time Thou mightst bring me forth a rock before all the world. When I was weak Thou stayedst me with Thy Hand, that in Thy time Thou mightst present me to the world in Thy strength in which I stand, and cannot be moved. Praise the Lord, O my soul. Let this be written for those that come after. Praise the Lord.

Kenneth Boulding’s Nayler Sonnets:
15. Its life is everlasting love unfeigned
Caught in a mirrored maze of bright deceit,
Peopled with images, that but reflect
The groping movements of the intellect,
Till bounds are smudged where fact and shows meet,
The mind is lost, until with quickened beat
Love scents a wind, blowing from God, unchecked,
And senses, deeper laid than sight, direct
To the free air our once-bewildered feet.
But love must be made pure to be our guide;
Not trader’s love, that seeks more in return,
But love that with clear, slender flame will burn
Through it be spent for nought, spurned, crucified,
Until to one vast song our spirit lifts:
To love for Love alone, not for His gifts.

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