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On Thomas Hardy's "The Convergence of the Twain"

  It does seem that all the people who were paying attention to the production of the Titanic really were excited about the ship as a superb achievement of engineering.  The "unsinkable" Titanic was surely a gilded, bright exemplar - even an idol - of man's ability to overcome the forces of nature, and to luxuriously dote upon himself.  So it was, that the sinking had a jarring impact on the minds and spirits of people.  Hardy publishes his own reaction to the event in this poem. Hardy is known to have been an agnostic.  He was a modern man who did not believe in a personal God behind the material universe.  However, he uses personal terms as he couches his reference to a guiding principle - of which he seems certain - operating behind the convergence of the ship and the iceberg.  He may have not believed in a Person operating behind the shadowy scenes, but whatever blind fate was in operation he does personify it.  Why?  We could ask, why had anyone done such a thing be
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George MacDonald on the Source of our Vocabulary

All words, then, belonging to the inner world of the mind, are of the imagination, are originally poetic words. The better, however, any such  word is fitted for the needs of humanity, the sooner it loses its poetic aspect by commonness of use. It ceases to be heard as a symbol, and appears only as a sign. Thus thousands of words which were originally poetic words owing their existence to the imagination, lose their vitality, and harden into mummies of prose. Not merely in literature does poetry come first, and prose afterwards, but poetry is the source of all the language that belongs to the inner world, whether it be of passion or of metaphysics, of psychology or of aspiration. No poetry comes by the elevation of prose; but the half of prose comes by the "massing into the common clay" of thousands of winged words, whence, like the lovely shells of by-gone ages, one is occasionally disinterred by some lover of speech, and held up to the light to show the play of colour in it

Sermon for Ascension, 2022

Why are we here this evening?  We are here to celebrate the ascension of Jesus, the Son of God, to the throne of David in heaven, so that he might rule over all things until the final consummation of salvation history.  We make Easter perhaps the biggest event of the year.  Yet - as my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Levi at East Brainerd Elementary, would have put it - she loved the word "behove" - it behoves us to understand that the main reason Jesus's resurrection was important was that it was the means to his ascension.  The whole point of Jesus coming back alive was so he could go back to his Father and be our living, reigning King.  And the Bible, literarily, cannot seem to say enough' about it  - stretching the Greek language to its limits - in order to describe how important this ascension to the throne of David is. Let us take a moment and just consider the trajectory of the history of Jesus toward this goal, so we can picture its importance to him and our salvat

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