Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and

the glory, for ever. Amen.”

Mat 6.13

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

ON THIS DATE

Lewis Wallace was born 4/10/1827 at Brooksville, IN (on US 52) the 2nd of 4 sons born to David & Esther French Wallace. His father was a West Point graduate, lawyer & governor of Indiana (1837-1840) &  mother was a daughter of congressman John Test.  Lew left school (at 16), served as a copyist & studied law before going to the Mexican War. In 1849 he was admitted to the bar and served in the Union army in the uncivil war. He was a part of the court which tried those charged with assassinating President Lincoln.

Lew met Susan Arnold Elston, proposed in ’49, & married her 5/6/1852 in Crawfordsville. Susan was the daughter of Isaac Compton & Maria Akin Elston. Isaac was a merchant of means;  Maria had a Quaker (Friends) background. Susan would play a part in her Lew’s conversion. Pres. Hayes appointed him governor of the Territory of New Mexico (1878–81).  It was in Sante Fe that he completed the manscript of Ben Hur.  Pres. Garfield made him Minister to the Ottoman Empire (Constantinople, Turkey 1881–85).

Wallace at one point considered himself an atheist. He gathered material “proof” against the Bible.  Susan believed in the Lord & prayed for him. He realized his error & was converted. He reportedly asked his wife what he could/should do with all the material he’d collected – it provided foundations for Ben Hur, A Tale of the Christ (pub.1880) which was enormously successful.  Lew died in Crawfordsville, IN, 2/15/1905.       

Read Full Post »

ON THIS DATE 

George Herbert was born 4/3/1593, fifth son (10 children total) of Richard & Magdalen (Newport) Herbert at Black Hall in Montgomery, Wales.  Richard (who died when George was very young) was from an old & powerful Montgomeryshire family who’d lived there since the 13th century.  Herbert went to Westminster School at 10 (12?) & earned this BA at 20 & MA at 23 both from Trinity College, Cambridge Univ.

He was appointed to some positions at Cambridge. In 1624,1625 he was elected to Parliament & knew King James I.  He married Jane Danvers (1629) & though no children are listed they provided a home for three orphaned nieces. The following year he took orders in the Church of England & he spent the rest of his short life as rector in Bemerton near Salisbury (about 75 miles west of London) where he helped rebuild the church with his own funds.  He died of tuberculosis 3/1/1633.  See Izaak Walton’s Memoir of Herbert.

His classic (worth reading) The Temple, was published that same year.  By 1680 it had 20 re-printings.  From the literary side Samuel T Coleridge wrote about his diction, “Nothing can be more pure, manly or unaffected.”  From the religious side Richard Baxter said, “Herbert speaks to God like one that really believeth a God, and whose business in the world is most with God.”  Herbert is thought to have influenced poet Henry Vaughan & he in turn influenced William Wordsworth.

Herbert quotes:

“His bark is worse than his bite.”

“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”

“Be calm in arguing: for fierceness makes Error a fault, and truth discourtesy.”

Read Full Post »

 

Though moderns would not think it best

Ahasuerus and the rest

Since Vashti was unseen

Chose to choose a new queen.

Esther hand’ly won the contest.

(Est 1.19)     – eab,  4/1/05

Read Full Post »

“For by thee I have run through a troop; and

by my God have I leaped over a wall.”

Psa 18.29

Read Full Post »

ON THIS DATE 

John Milton published his classic Paradise Lost 3/27/1667.  Milton, born in 1608 (12/9), was at a good mental age to produce this excellent contribution except for the fact that by now he was blind (a daughter wrote what he dictated to her from his memory).  Paradise Lost is not only a most worthy piece of English writing, it has become an enduring poem in the field of literature at large.

It is impossible to imagine a greater backdrop than he chose: Heaven, Earth, & Hell. His imagination is vast, his vocabulary stretches the modern mind.  Bible believers can “see” his word pictures yet must guard against making them too authoritarian – after all, Milton’s inspiration is only the earthly kind allowed to poets & great prose writers – he was not inspirited in the same sense as writers of Holy Writ.

Milton himself was an interesting person.  After preparing to enter the clergy (at Cambridge) he changed careers to become a poet.  He gave himself to extensive classical & modern readings (religion, science, philosophy, history, politics, & literature). He became proficient in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish,  Italian, & was familiar Old English & Dutch.  His education was “rounded out” by a 13-month tour of France & Italy in which he met several intellectuals among whom was Galileo,

Opening lines of Paradise Lost

Of man’s first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

Brought death into the world, and all our woe,

With loss of Eden, till one greater man

Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

Sing heavenly muse, that on the secret top

Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,

In the beginning how the heavens and earth

Rose out of chaos: Or if Sion hill

Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed

Fast by the oracle of God; I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song…

Read Full Post »

ON THIS DATE

Joseph Henry Gilmore on 3/26/1862, penned the words to the hymn, “He Leadeth Me.”  Joseph H was born at Boston, 4/29/1834, one of the eleven children of Joseph A & Ann Page Whipple Gilmore.  (Joseph A was later 29th Governor of New Hampshire – Joseph H served as an assistant to him & edited a paper.)  Joseph H graduated from both Brown U. & Newton Theological Institution.

Gilmore pastor the Second Baptist Church (Rochester, New York) & pastored at Fisherville, New Hampshire.  In 1868 he was appointed Professor at Rochester U. & directed their English Department (1868-1908).  He wrote half a dozen books but is remembered today for the above mentioned hymn. He was married (did not see wife’s name).  His death date is July 23, 1918 (Rochester, New York).

He leadeth me, O blessèd thought! O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!

Whate’er I do, where’er I be Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Refrain

He leadeth me, He leadeth me, By His own hand He leadeth me;

His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand He leadeth me.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »