Friday, May 20, 2005

Update on Misery

I'm tired. I'm in the middle of working towards my exams mid June. Every semester I say to myself, "Next semester will be better!" Why? Because I seem to get to the end not having made the progress through the coursework I wanted to.

I said it in an especially vigorous fashion last semester, probably with a hat on, and here I am worse than ever! Big problems with Hebrew Grammar. Funny thing is, I have no idea how it happened. Did I sleep for 3 months?

Hey ho.

* * * * *

I was encouraged by this:
[Self examination] is displeasing to the pride of the heart, because wandering thoughts are apt to intrude, and because of the deceitfulness of the heart. When a Christian first looks into his heart he sees nothing but confusion -- a heap of sins, and very little good, mixed up together; and he knows not how to separate them, or how to begin self examination. But let him persevere in his efforts, and order will arise out of confusion.

(From A. Alexander, Thoughts on Religious Experience p.222, where he quotes from a conversation Rev. Edward Payson (1783-1827) had with his daughter while he was on his death bed.)

Quite useful to remember, I think.

However, seconds later I read this:
...when young Christians make confessions, unless there is an obvious call for it, it commonly proceeds from one of the following motives: either they wish to be thought very humble, and to possess great knowledge of their own hearts; or they think it is a fault which the other has perceived, and they are willing to have the credit of having discovered and striven against it; or they confess some fault from which they are remarkably free, in order to elicit a compliment.

(p.222 again, quoting from the same dying man.)

Now, each of these motives are worth bearing in mind, I suppose. However, my first reaction to this passage was, "Having given us the benefit of his wisdom about looking into one's own heart, he has now begun to look into other people's hearts!" Am I right in this? Is this a danger of too much introspection?

But whatever! Not nearly as interesting as weak pe gutteral verbs.

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