Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.
["Vern Jackson - Farther Along"]
With what indignant solemnity can the devil shame someone. And yet he -- for all his heavenly glory, feigned benevolence, and prophetic visions of futurity -- is so wretched a person he would not scruple to connive at having even a poor animal take the rap for something he himself did.
Yes, but you say, he's the one with all the money; and to that extent the only one people truly respect.
["Sandi Griffths and Sally Flynn Sing "Someone too"" - L. Welk show appearance]
["Green Berets Original Soundtrack Written By Miklós Rózsa"]
Oh, how must even gigantic galaxies, stars, and planets tremble at their minuteness when they contemplate the vastness of the universe!
I'm no physicist, so others who are can correct me, yet the following the other day occurred to me.
If the earth (and rest of the solar system) were twice the size, weight, mass and density than they are, would people need also to be twice the size, etc. they are to function as they, more or less, already normally do? If so then it would seem that whether we stand 2 or 5 inches; or 6, 12, 50, or 100+ feet tall doesn't or would not of itself seriously affect the fundamental nature of the kind of beings we are; assuming we kept the same ratio in scale to our planet (and its distance from the sun.) True?
["Billy Idol - Eyes Without A Face (Live In New York 2001)"]
Now, here's another decent song from the MTV days.
["The Cars - You Might Think"]
Not money, but (rather) someone's envy and self-pity are the root of all evil.
Whatever is bad is a state of dearth. When God is truly present there is no dearth; so that when God is truly present there is no bad. (Though, needless to add, not all great plenty or full satiety necessarily implies God's true presence.)
If pain goes beyond its uttermost limit, there is ultimately an end to it. Were this not the case, we would say (some) pain is eternal. Yet how can something be eternal outside of God (and leaving aside the question of when and what is a given pain's limit?) If scripture speaks of everlasting punishment, for example, this can be accounted for as being a form of hyperbole or didactic rhetoric.
If then one is in dire pain and feel they have no life left worth living, it is because they are not in the Word (i.e., Logos, spirit, right reason, right tradition); and if one abandons or gives up on the Word then, of course, it is only a matter of time before one gives up on life itself.
Excerpts from Augustine's epistles continued.
[ch. 2] 15. For if the Christian religion condemned wars of every kind, the command given in the gospel to soldiers asking counsel as to salvation would rather be to cast away their arms, and withdraw themselves wholly from military service; whereas the word spoken to such was, “Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages,” [Luke 3:14] — the command to be content with their wages manifestly implying no prohibition to continue in the service. Wherefore, let those who say that the doctrine of Christ is incompatible with the State's well-being, give us an army composed of soldiers such as the doctrine of Christ requires them to be; let them give us such subjects, such husbands and wives, such parents and children, such masters and servants, such kings, such judges— in fine, even such taxpayers and tax-gatherers, as the Christian religion has taught that men should be, and then let them dare to say that it is adverse to the State's well-being; yea, rather, let them no longer hesitate to confess that this doctrine, if it were obeyed, would be the salvation of the commonwealth.
[ch. 3] 16. But what am I to answer to the assertion made that many calamities have befallen the Roman Empire through some Christian emperors? This sweeping accusation is a calumny. For if they would more clearly quote some indisputable facts in support of it from the history of past emperors, I also could mention similar, perhaps even greater calamities in the reigns of other emperors who were not Christians; so that men may understand that these were either faults in the men, not in their religion, or were due not to the emperors themselves, but to others without whom emperors can do nothing. As to the date of the commencement of the downfall of the Roman Republic, there is ample evidence; their own literature speaks plainly as to this. Long before the name of Christ had shone abroad on the earth, this was said of Rome: “O venal city, and doomed to perish speedily, if only it could find a purchaser!” In his book on the Catilinarian conspiracy, which was before the coming of Christ, the same most illustrious Roman historian declares plainly the time when the army of the Roman people began to be wanton and drunken; to set a high value on statues, paintings, and embossed vases; to take these by violence both from individuals and from the State; to rob temples and pollute everything, sacred and profane. When, therefore, the avarice and grasping violence of the corrupt and abandoned manners of the time spared neither men nor those whom they esteemed as gods, the famous honour and safety of the commonwealth began to decline. What progress the worst vices made from that time forward, and with how great mischief to the interests of mankind the wickedness of the Empire went on, it would take too long to rehearse...
Why, then, do you expect me to multiply examples of the evils which were brought in by wickedness uplifted by prosperity, seeing that among themselves, those who observed events with somewhat closer attention discerned that Rome had more reason to regret the departure of its poverty than of its opulence; because in its poverty the integrity of its virtue was secured, but through its opulence, dire corruption, more terrible than any invader, had taken violent possession not of the walls of the city, but of the mind of the State?
17. Thanks be unto the Lord our God, who has sent unto us unprecedented help in resisting these evils. For whither might not men have been carried away by that flood of the appalling wickedness of the human race, whom would it have spared, and in what depths would it not have engulfed its victims, had not the cross of Christ, resting on such a solid rock of authority (so to speak), been planted too high and too strong for the flood to sweep it away? So that by laying hold of its strength we may become steadfast, and not be carried off our feet and overwhelmed in the mighty whirlpool of the evil counsels and evil impulses of this world. For when the empire was sinking in the vile abyss of utterly depraved manners, and of the effete ancient religion, it was signally important that heavenly authority should come to the rescue, persuading men to the practice of voluntary poverty, continence, benevolence, justice, and concord among themselves, as well as true piety towards God, and all the other bright and sterling virtues of life—not only with a view to the spending of this present life in the most honourable way, nor only with a view to secure the most perfect bond of concord in the earthly commonwealth, but also in order to the obtaining of eternal salvation, and a place in the divine and celestial republic of a people which shall endure for ever— a republic to the citizenship of which faith, hope, and charity admit us; so that, while absent from it on our pilgrimage here, we may patiently tolerate, if we cannot correct, those who desire, by leaving vices unpunished, to give stability to that republic which the early Romans founded and enlarged by their virtues, when, though they had not the true piety towards the true God which could bring them, by a religion of saving power, to the commonwealth which is eternal, they did nevertheless observe a certain integrity of its own kind, which might suffice for founding, enlarging, and preserving an earthly commonwealth. For in the most opulent and illustrious Empire of Rome, God has shown how great is the influence of even civil virtues without true religion, in order that it might be understood that, when this is added to such virtues, men are made citizens of another commonwealth, of which the king is Truth, the law is Love, and the duration is Eternity.
[ch. 4] 18. Who can help feeling that there is something simply ridiculous in their attempt to compare with Christ, or rather to put in a higher place, Apollonius and Apuleius, and others who were most skilful in magical arts? Yet this is to be tolerated with less impatience, because they bring into comparison with Him these men rather than their own gods; for Apollonius was, as we must admit, a much worthier character than that author and perpetrator of innumerable gross acts of immorality whom they call Jupiter. “These legends about our gods,” they reply, “are fables.” Why, then, do they go on praising that luxurious, licentious, and manifestly profane prosperity of the Republic, which invented these infamous crimes of the gods, and not only left them to reach the ears of men as fables, but also exhibited them to the eyes of men in the theatres; in which, more numerous than their deities were the crimes which the gods themselves were well pleased to see openly perpetrated in their honour, whereas they should have punished their worshippers for even tolerating such spectacles? “But,” they reply, “those are not the gods themselves whose worship is celebrated according to the lying invention of such fables.” Who, then, are they who are propitiated by the practising in worship of such abominations? Because, forsooth, Christianity has exposed the perversity and chicanery of those devils, by whose power also magical arts deceive the minds of men, and because it has made this patent to the world, and, having brought out the distinction between the holy angels and these malignant adversaries, has warned men to be on their guard against them, showing them also how this may be done—it is called an enemy to the Republic, as if, even though temporal prosperity could be secured by their aid, any amount of adversity would not be preferable to the prosperity obtained through such means. And yet it pleased God to prevent men from being perplexed in this matter; for in the age of the comparative darkness of the Old Testament, in which is the covering of the New Testament, He distinguished the first nation which worshipped the true God and despised false gods by such remarkable prosperity in this world, that any one may perceive from their case that [true] prosperity is not at the disposal of devils, but only of Him whom angels serve and devils fear.
~ Letter 138