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Calvinism affirmed, refuted, and then moderated.

October 3, 2009

Edmund Lodge: Portrait of Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke (1554-1628). English poet and courtier.

Down in the depth of mine iniquity,
That ugly centre of infernal spirits,
Where each sin feels her own deformity
In these peculiar torments she inherits—
Deprived of human graces and divine,
Even there appears this saving God of mine.

And in this fatal mirror of transgression,
Shows man as fruit of his degeneration,
The error’s ugly infinite impression,
Which bears the faithless down to desperation.
Deprived of human graces and divine,
Even there appears this saving God of mine.

In power and in truth, almighty and eternal,
Which on the sin reflects strange desolation,
With glory scourging all the sprites infernal,
And uncreated hell with unprivation;
Deprived of human graces, not divine,
Even there appears this saving God of mine.

For on this spiritual cross condemnéd lying
To pains infernal by eternal doom,
I see my Saviour for the same sins dying,
And from that hell I feared, to free me, come.
Deprived of human graces, not divine,
Thus hath his death raised up this soul of mine.

Caelica 99, Fulke Greville



“He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser, who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. On my saying, What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within? my friend suggested,— ‘But these impulses may be from below, not from above.’ I replied, ‘They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil’s child, I will live then from the Devil.’ No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it.”


Robert Frost, at about the time he wrote "On Emerson"

R.W. Emerson, “Self-Reliance


“Probably Emerson was too Platonic about evil. It was a mere [non-entity] that could be disposed of like the butt of a cigarette.”

Robert Frost, “On Emerson

N.B. Frost presumably has in mind the following remark, from Plato’s “Apology”: “No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.” For the full text of Plato’s “Apology,” in the Jowett translation, click here. For the immortal Morris Croll’s book on Greville, click here. For a link to volume three of the complete works of Greville, which contains the poem printed above, click here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 26, 2009 11:24 PM

    Thanks. I took a peek at the blog that came attached to your comment. To see it further I suppose I must have sign in to WPU.

    In any case, thanks for stopping by, & for putting The Era of Casual Fridays amongst your favorites.

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