23 October 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Always consider the past with respect to three things: the evil I have committed, the good I have omitted, and the time I have lost.

Always consider the present with respect to these three things: the brevity of my present life, the difficulty of salvation, and the fewness of the saved.

Always consider the future with respect to these three things: death, than which nothing is more horrible; the judgment, than which nothing is more terrible; and the fires of hell, than which nothing is more intolerable.

--Johann Gerhard, *Sacred Meditations* XXVIII


Chris said...

Wow! No room at all, past, present or future for the mercy of God which endures forever! Methinks he overlooked something so much greater than ourselves and all of our failings and sins.

William Weedon said...

Oh, plenty of room. He gets to that a wee bit further on. But I was struck by the solemn call to repentance in these somber words.

Chris said...

Repentance can only work with God's mercy and grace. To separate them from one another runs the risk that we are our own saviour. I'm not saying Gerhard does this, but I think that he, like Luther and Bernard of Clairvaux, appear so guilt ridden that the mercy of God and forgiveness take a back seat.

William Weedon said...

I'll respectfully have to disagree - on all three!

The end of the paragraph I cited from:

...above all remember the mercy of God, lest thou yield to despair.