The universe shudders in horror that we have this infinitely valuable, infinitely deep, infinitely rich, infinitely wise, infinitely loving God, and instead of pursuing him with steadfast passion and enthralled fury "" instead of loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; instead of attributing to him glory and honor and praise and power and wisdom and strength "" we just try to take his toys and run. It is still idolatry to want God for his benefits but not for himself.
As long as we are flippant and stupid and shallow and think that we know ourselves, we shall never give ourselves over to Jesus Christ; but when once we become conscious that we are infinitely more than we can fathom, and infinitely greater in possibility either for good or bad than we can know, we shall be only too glad to hand ourselves over to Him.
If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, what doubts should we have concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Every phenomenon, however trifling it be, has a cause, and a mind infinitely powerful, and infinitely well-informed concerning the laws of nature could have foreseen it from the beginning of the ages. If a being with such a mind existed, we could play no game of chance with him; we should always lose.
If we think of the Holy Spirit only as an impersonal power or influence, then our thought will constantly be, how can I get hold of and use the Holy Spirit; but if we think of Him in the biblical way as a divine Person, infinitely wise, infinitely holy, infinitely tender, then our thought will constantly be, 'How can the Holy Spirit get hold of and use me?'
R. A. Torrey
Suddenly contemporary Christianity sales pitches don't seem adequate anymore. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Invite Jesus to come into your life. Pray this prayer, sign this card, walk down this aisle, and accept Jesus as your personal Savior. . . We have taken the infinitely glorious Son of God, who endured the infinitely terrible wrath of God and who now reigns as the infinitely worthy Lord of all, and we have reduced him to a poor, puny Savior who is just begging for us to accept him. Accept him? Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don't we need him?
Many young people now end a discussion with the supposedly definitive and unanswerable statement that such is their opinion, and their opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. The fact is that our opinion on an infinitely large number of questions is not worth having, because everyone is infinitely ignorant.
The future of humanity is uncertain, even in the most prosperous countries, and the quality of life deteriorates; and yet I believe that what is being discovered about the infinitely large and infinitely small is sufficient to absolve this end of the century and millennium. What a very few are acquiring in knowledge of the physical world will perhaps cause this period not to be judged as a pure return of barbarism.
My restlessness makes me a far better day-to-day traveler than he will ever be. I am infinitely curious and almost infinitely patient with mishaps, discomforts, and minor disasters. So I can go anywhere on the planet-that's not a problem. The problem is that I just can't live anywhere on the planet.
In the twentieth century nothing can better cure the anthropocentrism that is the author of all our ills than to cast ourselves into the physics of the infinitely large (or the infinitely small). By reading any text of popular science we quickly regain the sense of the absurd, but this time it is a sentiment that can be held in our hands, born of tangible, demonstrable, almost consoling things. We no longer believe because it is absurd: it is absurd because we must believe.
Let me tell you how worthwhile you are. You are infinitely valuable to God. First, God created you. Second, Jesus died for you. Third, he puts his Spirit within you. Fourth, he wants you to be with him forever in eternity. That's how valuable you are to God. You are infinitely valuable to God.
Self-preservation is not a man's first duty: flight is his last. Better and wiser and infinitely nobler to stand a mark for the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" and to stop at our post though we fall there, better infinitely to toil on, even when toil seems vain, than cowardly to keep a whole skin at the cost of a wounded conscience or despairingly to fling up work, because the ground is hard and the growth of the seed imperceptible. Prudent advices, when the prudence is only inspired by sense, are generally foolish.
If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Analysis goes a step farther still, and assures us that those impressions of the individual mind to which, for each one of us, experience dwindles down, are in perpetual flight; that each of them is limited by time, and that as time is infinitely divisible, each of them is infinitely divisible also; all that is actual in it being a single moment, gone while we try to apprehend it, of which it may ever be more truly said that it has ceased to be than that it is. To such a tremulous wisp constantly reforming itself on the stream, to a single sharp impression, with a sense in it, a relic more or less fleeting, of such moments gone by, what is real in our life fines itself down.
The cure-alls of the present day are infinitely various and infinitely obliging. Applied psychology, autosuggestion, and royal roads to learning or to wealth are urged upon us by kindly, if not altogether disinterested, reformers. Simple and easy systems for the dissolution of discord and strife; simple and easy systems for the development of personality and power. Booklets of counsel on 'How to Get What We Want,' which is impossible; booklets on 'Visualization,' warranted to make us want what we get, which is ignoble.
To be one of God's lilies means an interior abandonment of the rarest kind. It means that we are to be infinitely passive, and yet infinitely active also; passive as regards self and its workings, active as regards attention and response to God. It is very hard to explain this so as to be understood But it means that we must lay down all the activity of the creature, as such, and must let only the activities of God work in us, and through us, and by us. Self must step aside, to let God work.
Hannah Whitall Smith
What is the problem of women's freedom? It seems to me to be this: how to arrange the world so that women can be human beings, with a chance to exercise their infinitely varied gifts in infinitely varied ways, instead of being destined by the accident of their sex to one field of activity--housework and child-raising. And second, if and when they choose housework and child-raising to have that occupation recognized by the world as work, requiring a definite economic reward and not merely entitling the performer to be dependent on some man.
It is conceivable that animal life might have the attribute of using the heat of surrounding matter, at its natural temperature, as a source of energy for mechanical effect . . . .The influence of animal or vegetable life on matter is infinitely beyond the range of any scientific enquiry hitherto entered on. Its power of directing the motions of moving particles, in the demonstrated daily miracle of our human free-will, and in the growth of generation after generation of plants from a single seed, are infinitely different from any possible result of the fortuitous concurrence of atoms.
Brother Lawrence says, in The Practice of the Presence of God, 'There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it' (Letter 5). No one who has ever tried it has ever given it a lesser rating than that. For even though our prayer-contact with God may be almost infinitely poor, the God we thus contact is infinitely rich! Therefore, 'we are to be pitied who content ourselves with so little. God has infinite treasure to bestow' (Letter 4). What is that? 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, not the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him' (1 Cor 2:9).
If the estimated age of the cosmos were shortened to seventy-two years, a human life would take about ten seconds. But look at time the other way. Each day is a minor eternity of over 86,000 seconds. During each second, the number of distinct molecular functions going on within the human body is comparable to the number of seconds in the estimated age of the cosmos. A few seconds are long enough for a revolutionary idea, a startling communication, a baby's conception, a wounding insult, a sudden death. Depending on how we think of them, our lives can be infinitely long or infinitely short.
How fathomless the mystery of the Unseen is! We cannot plumb its depths with our feeble senses - with eyes which cannot see the infinitely small or the infinitely great, nor anything too close or too distant, such as the beings who live on a star or the creatures which live in a drop of water... with ears that deceive us by converting vibrations of the air into tones that we can hear, for they are sprites which miraculously change movement into sound, a metamorphosis which gives birth to harmonies which turn the silent agitation of nature into song... with our sense of smell, which is poorer than any dog's... with our sense of taste, which is barely capable of detecting the age of a wine! Ah! If we had other senses which would work other miracles for us, how many more things would we not discover around us!
Guy de Maupassant
And how are such wars to be waged? The wise prince will begin by assuming the enemy to be infinitely corruptible and infinitely stupid, since stupidity and corruption are the chief characteristics of man. So the prince will make himself friends in the very councils of his enemy, and also amongst the populace, bribing the wealthy by proffering to them the opportunity of still greater wealth, and winning the poor by swelling words. For, contrary to the common opinion, it is the wealthy who are greedy of wealth; while the populace are to be gained by talking to them about liberty, their unknown god. And so much are they enchanted by the words liberty, freedom, and such like, that the wise can go to the poor, rob them of what little they have... and win their hearts and their votes forever, if only they will assure them that the treatment which they have received is called liberty.