Charm

I wonder if Charles Wesley read Phaedo.

Cebes laughed and said: “Assuming that we were afraid, Socrates, try to change our minds, or rather do not assume that we are afraid, but perhaps there is a child in us who has these fears; try to persuade him not to fear death like a bogey.”

“You should,” said Socrates, “sing a charm over him every day until you have charmed away his fears.”

“Where shall we find a good charmer for these fears, Socrates,” he said, “now that you are leaving us?”

“Greece is a large country, Cebes,” he said, “and there are good men in it; the tribes of foreigners are also numerous. You should search for such a charmer among them all, sparing neither trouble nor expense, for there is nothing on which you could spend your money to greater advantage. You must also search among yourselves, for you might not easily find people who could do this better than yourselves.”

Where shall we find a good charmer for our fear of death?

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, our King and Savior – a far sweeter and more effectual charm than what Socrates and Plato had to offer!

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A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Reformation Day is upon us. In that spirit, remember the words of this hymn from the pen of Martin Luther. (Here’s an English version being sung.) Pray for reformation in the Church, that the Word would call us back to true worship, that we would remember our spiritual fathers and mothers and the battles they fought for true doctrine. Be willing to work for a modern reformation.

Above all, remember that our God is a mighty fortress, and His Word abides above all earthly powers. He will win the battle.

I Asked The Lord That I Might Grow

I was recently reminded of this beautiful hymn. During those times when God lays us low and employs those inward trials, remember that He is setting us free to find our all in Him,  so that we are perfect and complete. When we who are called by Him mean to do evil, God means it for good, and He will accomplish His will.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray;
And he, I trust, has answered prayer:
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once he’d grant me my request;
And, by his love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Humbled my heart and laid me low.

“Lord, why is this?” I trembling cried;
“Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?”
“‘Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”

“These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free,
To break thy schemes of worldly joy,
That thou mayst seek thy all in me.”