Friday, February 24, 2012

Two Quotes from R. L. Dabney

I've been reading some of R. L. Dabney's Discussions and I thought I'd share two good quotes from him to whet your appetite for this very insightful man (he's not good on everything, but amazing when he's right).

From his essay The Standard of Ordination written in 1891, "In one word, if anything is made clear in the Bible concerning ministerial duty, this is clear: that Christ has appointed the pastors and evangelists of his church to be the teachers of religion to men, the appointed school-masters of the world in the one science of theology. But as Lord Bacon shows, this is the splendid apex of the whole pyramid of human knowledge. It is the mistress of all sciences to whom all the rest are tributary, history, ethnology, zoology, geology, literature, and especially philosophy, her nearest handmaid. The mistress must dominate all and rule all lest, becoming insurrectionary, they should use their hands to pull down the foundations of her throne. The teachers of the supreme science must not be ignorant of any other science. They ought to be strong enough to lead the leaders of all secular thought; for if they do not, the tendencies of the carnal mind will most assuredly prompt those secular leaders to array their followers against our King and his gospel.”

From his essay The Uses and Results of Church History written in 1854 (I'll probably use this sometime concerning food), "Those things which are the most operative elements of social, national and religious welfare are just the things which historians have been least careful to record. The knowledge of them has, in many cases, perished away for ever from our search. In secular history, battles, sieges, coronations, conquests, treaties; and in ecclesiastical history, councils and their canons, controversies and anathemas, have been the favorite themes of the story. But the food which nations ate, the clothing they wore, their domestic life, the state of domestic discipline, their arts, agriculture and amusements, the method of their devotions, their superstitions, the hymns they sang, the preaching to which they listened, the books they most read, the color of the national and social passions, the pecularities of the national spirit; all these every-day and homely influences are the causes which potentially form the character and compose that mighty current of the age on which kings, battles, conquests and conquerors are but the floating bubbles which indicate its motion. But all this historians have usually left to die with the passing time, as if it was unworthy of the dignity of their drama."

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