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Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

ON THIS DATE 

James Ussher died 3/21/1656 at Reigate, Surrey, England.  He was born 1/4/1581, Dublin, Ireland one of two sons of Arland & Margaret (Stanihurst) Ussher.  James (13) entered Trinity College (Dublin); after receiving his BA & being ordained by Henry Ussher (an uncle) & getting his MA, James became a  professor & twice vice-chancellor of the same university.  He married Phoebe (1614) daughter of Luke Challoner; they were blessed with one child, Elizabeth – later wife of Sir Timothy Tyrrell.

Ussher became primate (1st ranking bishop) of Ireland. However he was in England (1641) when the Civil War broke (never returned to Ireland) & held various teaching/preaching positions there. Politically, he was royallist, able to counsel Charles I, yet his genuineness showned so that Cromwell accepted him, ordered his burial to be in Westminster Abbey, & paid the funeral expenses (thought to be the only Anglican funeral service read in the Abbey during the Commonwealth period). The Puritans also respected Ussher.

Some shallow men & evolutionary men reject Ussher’s dates, perhaps ignorant of Ussher’s grasp of Semitic languages, or who haven’t read his Annals of the World or are men influenced by the Roman Catholic system he opposed. “The religion of the papists is superstitious & idolatrous; their faith & doctrine erroneous & heretical…to give them therefore a toleration, or to consent that they may freely exercise their religion, & profess their faith & doctrine, is a grievous sin.”

A stone erected in his memory at Trinity U. (1904) claims him to be,

“…most learned among the holy, most holy among the learned…” 

What a compliment from those who knew him better than modern critics!

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“He delivered me from my strong enemy, and

from them which hated me:

for they were too strong for me.”

Psa 18.17

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“…seize the one truth which the parable is intended to set forth…and

let the parts of the parable that are explained be explained in harmony with this one truth.

– Samuel Green, from his Handbook

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ON THIS DATE 

Henry Drummond died this date 3/11/1897.  He was born at Stirling, Scotland, 8/17/1851. At Edinburgh U. he showed interest in physical & mathematical science but his interest in Christ surpassed this; he joined the Free Church of Scotland & prepared for the ministry.  By 1877 he was a lecturer at the Free Church College.  While here he penned Natural Law in the Spiritual World, argueing for a connection between the physical & the spiritual world. He worked for a while with Dwight L Moody in some revival campaigns.

After spending some time in Africa (African Lakes Company) & following the success of the above book Drummond published Tropical Africa, what has been called “a valuable digest of information.” He delivered the “Lowell Lectures” at Boston – a book followed this appearance entitled The Ascent of Man.

Drummond’s most lasting work was The Greatest Thing in the World (described as “a meditation”) showing the importance of 1 Corinthians 13.  It influenced his generation, selling some 12 million copies, & still has a place in religious literature today.  (Could not find names of either parents or wife.)

Drummond Quotes:

… it takes a smart fella to say ‘I don’t know the answer’!

To become Christ-like is the only thing in the whole world worth caring for, the thing before which every ambition of man is folly and all lower achievement vain.

The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.

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ON THIS DATE

Dante Alighieri on 3/10/1302 was sentenced to burn to death (for political reasons).  The firey death was sidestepped when he was exiled instead – this gave him his Life but not his Wife – he was never to see her again. Dante was born in Florence in May 1265 & died in Ravenna September 13, 1321.  In between these “life covers” he was educated, married, fathered 3 children, was very active in religious-political actions of day and wrote his famous Divine Comedy.  This work was written after this exile date. 

Italy’s best known poet divided his book into three sections Paradiso (paradise), Purgatorio (purgatory), & Inferno (hell).  Literature majors (my BA is in Lit.) may want to read the entire work as I have.  Others need not worry with the first two sections but probably every minister should read his concept (purely that) of hell with its concentric circles going deeper & deeper.

I could hope that Dante Alighieri is in paradise.  I could equally hope he is not in an inferno; I wish no man a future in that awful place (whether it approximates his imagination or not). What I do know is that Dante is NOT in purgatory.  There is no such place found in the Bible. It is a lie of the worst proportions – to give dying men a false hope which they will not know is a lie until it is too late.

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“The sorrows of death compassed me, and

the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.”

Psa 18.4

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“And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”  *

Gen 1.19

*  A LITERAL, 24 hour day – otherwise the Day of Rest (& worship) loses its meaning.

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