Saturday, September 09, 2006

Charles Bridges Quote

I just read an incredible quote from the Charles Bridges commentary on Proverbs. Commenting on Prov. 10:18, he says:

"...But is this 'root of bitterness' thoroughly mortified in the Christian's heart? Is there no insincerity in our intercourse with those, to whom we feel, if not hatred, at least strong repugnance? In the language of polite courtesy, there is much that is hollow, if not false. Do we really mean what we say? Or rather is not the profession of regard often absolutely contrary to our real feelings? Do we never bring them under ridicule, set them out in an unfavorable light, assert things upon mere suspicion, or attempt to raise our own name upon the ruin of their reputation? In common society, how is it often considered the acme of disappointment, when this conversation flags, or comes to a pause; whereas the reverse ought to be the true subject of regret. This spirit surely in the eyes of God is slander; an offence against the 'new commandment of love' - which is the badge of all the disciplies of Jesus. (John, xiii. 34, 35.) These noxious humours are the bane of true godliness. They must not only be restrained, but 'laid aside,' if ever we would, 'as new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby.' (1 Pet. ii. 1, 2. Jam. i. 21.) Lord, purge our hearts from these hateful hidden corruptions; even though it be by 'the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning.' (Isa. iv. 4.)" (emphasis original)

Wow!! Incidentally, I do not think Bridges here is arguing against common courtesy; rather, the abuse of it. For true courtesy must tell the truth. True courtesy will not praise falsely. On the other hand, it will search out ways to praise another sincerely.

In Christ.

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At 9/09/2006 08:40:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Ah, yes, "polite lies." Give me honesty any day. But the "nice" part of me wants to dodge telling the truth when it's not pleasant. *sigh*

By the way, you likely know this but the etymology of "nice" actually points to ignorance, or "not knowing."

At 9/20/2006 08:30:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Ah, yes, the tension between being honest and being nice. It's a matter of wisdom to know when to speak, how to speak, and what to speak. There are a few people out there who can rebuke without being rude in the least; it's very good to be able to do that, but I am woefully unadequate at this point.

In Christ.


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