Wednesday, February 3, 2016

From My Commonplace: Confusion Heard His Voice

"For wonderful indeed are all His works,
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
Had in remembrance always with delight.
But what created mind can comprehend
Their number, or the wisdom infinite
That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep?
I saw, when at His word the formless mass,
This world's material mould, came to a heap.
Confusion heard His voice, and wild uproar
Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confined;
Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
Light shone, and order from disorder sprung."
~John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 3, Lines 702-713
Our current book discussion over on the Ambleside Online Forum  is John Milton's Paradise Lost.  I will admit that I was more than a little intimidated by this epic poem when we started, but I have been so richly rewarded.  Milton's use of language is glorious and paints such rich images that have penetrated deeply into my soul. (Also - he was completely blind when he wrote this - he dictated the whole thing without the benefit of being able to look back at what he wrote.  Thousands and thousands of lines of metered verse.  Can you imagine?)  The words above were spoken by one of the angels, Uriel, who was witness to God's creation of the world.  "Confusion heard His voice, and wild uproar stood ruled…" – I especially love that bit.  He is the Lord who spoke order into chaos in the beginning….He is the Lord who commanded the wind and the waves to be still and they were.  These glorious images of God's power and sovereignty are sprinkled all through these first few books, even though much of the action focuses on the schemes of Satan.  What comfort to know that no matter what kind of havoc and chaos Satan lets loose in this world, there is One who is greater and who rules over it, and ultimately has won and will win the battle!
"For He, to be sure,
In height or depth, still first and last will reign
Sole king, and of His kingdom lose no part
By our revolt…"
~John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 2, Lines 323-326

My Bookbag This Week:
Devotional: The Daily Office Lectionary Readings and Prayers from The Trinity Mission, The Cloud of Witness (Gell), A Sacrifice of Praise (poetry anthology, edited by Trott)
Theological: Wisdom and Wonder (Kuyper)
AO Book Discussion Group: Paradise Lost (Milton)
Personal Choice: The Scent of Water (Goudge)
With my Hubby: Pride and Prejudice (Austen)
Family Read-Aloud Literature: The Wouldbegoods (Nesbit)
*I am also reading Scouting the Divine (Feinburg) with a women's group at church and Charlotte Mason's Volume 6 for a local CM book club, but these meetings are infrequent and so I just read the brief section assigned as our meetings come up.  They aren't really part of my regular reading rotation as the rest of these are.
** Yes.  My hubby is actually reading Pride and Prejudice with me.  And enjoying it....

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  1. Jen, I'm so glad you're back! Your posts are so interesting and encouraging to me. Thank you for sharing!

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