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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Traherne again

I'm becoming a Traherne junkie. I can't believe this guy -- I'm actually speechless. I'm not even sure what to say here. Just read this. Then read it again. Oh, my.

TO LOVE one person with a private love, is poor and miserable: to love all is glorious. To love all persons in all ages, all angels, all kings and all peasants, and every person in all worlds with a natural intimate familiar love, as if Him alone, is blessed.

This makes a man effectually blessed in all worlds, a delightful lord of all things, a glorious friend to all persons, a concerned person in all transactions, and ever present with all affairs. So that he must ever be filled with company, even in the midst of nations, ever joyful, and ever blessed.

The greatness of this man's love no man can measure; it is stable like the sun, it endureth forever as the moon, it is a faithful witness in Heaven. It is stranger and more great than all private affections. It representeth every person in the light of eternity and loveth him with the love of all worlds. With a love conformable to God's, guided to the same ends and founded upon the same causes. Which however lofty and divine it is, is ready to humble itself into the dust to save the person beloved. And by how much the more glorious and sublime it is, is so much the more sweet and truly delightful. Majesty and pleasure occuring together.

The Fourth 'Century', number 69


I mean -- !!!!!!!
And there's a ton more where that came from. But I have to sleep at some point. Goodnight.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Okay, friends, this night I have discovered Thomas Traherne, and you should too. His "Centuries, Poems and Thanksgivings" (two volumes) have been on our shelves since December 1996 (this I know from the inscription, as the books were given to us by our dear friend Anastassy Brandon Gallaher, to whom hello if he should read this, and thank you!) Amazing what you can find if only you look with fresh eyes at your own bookshelves. Anyway, enjoy these excerpts from the "Centuries" (since I have only been an ardent lover of Traherne for about 45 minutes, I have yet to discover why these little writings are called 'centuries', but it sounds cool anyway) -- I have modernized the spelling from its 17thc form in order for that distraction to be removed (tons of capital letters all over the place; that kind of thing) and the angelic writing to shine through:

This is very strange that God should want, for in him is the fulness of all blessedness: he overfloweth eternally. . .it is incredible, but very plain: Want is the fountain of all his fulness. Want in God is a treasure to us. For had there been no Need he would not have created the world, nor made us, nor manifested his wisdom, nor exercised his power, nor beautified eternity, nor prepared the joys of heaven. But he wanted angels and men, images, companions. And these he had from all eternity.
(First Century, #42)

The brightness and magnificence of the world, which by reason of its height and greatness is hidden from men, is divine and wonderful. It addeth much to the glory of that temple in which we live. Yet it is the cause why men understand it not. They think it too great and wide to be enjoyed. But since it is all filled with the majesty of his glory who dwells in it: and the goodness of the Lord filleth the world, and his wisdom shineth everywhere within and about it. . .we need nothing but open eyes to be ravished like the cherubim.
(First Century, #37)

They are deep instructions that are taken out of hell, and heavenly documents that are taken from above. Upon earth we learn nothing but vanity. Where people dream, and loiter, and wander, and disquiet themselves in vain. . .but do not profit becase they prize not the blessings they have received. To prize what we have is a deep and heavenly instruction. It will make us righteous and serious, wise and holy, divine and blessed. It will make us escape hell and attain heaven.
(First Century, #50)