10 September 2010

Scougal: Solid Joy

Henry Scougal, professor of divinity at the University of Aberdeen who died at age 28 of tuberculosis, in a 1677 letter to a friend--
Never doth a soul know what solid joy and substantial pleasure is, till once, being weary of itself, it renounce all propriety, give itself up unto the Author of its being, and feel itself become a hallowed and devoted thing, and can say, I am content to be anything for him, and care not for myself, but that I may serve him.
--Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Focus 1996; repr.), 96

6 comments:

Ray Ortlund said...

Profound.

Anonymous said...

"...and care not for myself..."

Yet we do...do we not? We eat, sleep, brush our teeth, and bathe...and others are glad that we do. :-)

I'm not a universalist, but I like George MacDonald's thought, to effect:

"I am content to be, and to have, what I am meant in Thine heart to be, and to have."

Anonymous said...

Just saw, "Why Your Fitness Matters," Greg Allison, professor, Southern Seminary and re: Train

Anonymous said...

Last thought...Greg Allison seems a bit harsh to me...I love the way the apostle John phrased it..."Beloved...I pray that you may enjoy good health, even as your soul is getting along well..."

grace and peace :-)

Dane Ortlund said...

Anon #1: Thanks for the comment. Scougal isn't saying we don't care for ourselves. He's saying that the only real joys in this life come when God opens our eyes and concern for Christ pours in, redirecting our central passions, our emotional spotlight, onto the living Christ. A candle offers real light; but when the shades are opened up and the morning sun pours in, the light of the candle is overwhelmed.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dane
Thanks for the thoughts. The delineation I wanted to make re: the following statement is this:

"I am content to be anything for him, and care not for myself, but that I may serve him..."

I do not see "caring for myself," as God defines, to in anyway be in an adversarial position to "serving him." Yet I have seen this sort of enslaving thinking used to justify and solidify hardened hearts in their lack of compassion for others, and lack of desire to connect hearts to Christ and the salvation that He comes to bring, instead of to their own agenda. All in the name of..."serving God."