Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peace Through Suffering

John Ruskin, The Work of Iron in Nature, Art, and Policy.

Think over what I have said; and as you return to your quiet homes tonight, reflect that their peace was not won for you by your own hands, but by theirs who long ago jeoparded their lives for you, their children; and remember that neither this inherited peace, nor any other, can be kept, but through the same jeopardy.

No peace was ever won from Fate by subterfuge or agreement; no peace is ever in store for any of us, but that which we shall win by victory over shame or sin; -- victory over sin that oppresses, as well as over that which corrupts.*

For many a year to come, the sword of every righteous nation must be whetted to save or to subdue; nor will it be by patience of others' suffering, but by the offering of your own, that you will ever draw nearer to the time when the great change shall pass upon the iron of the earth; -- when men shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks; neither shall they learn war any more.

*Ed. Note: (Ephesians 2:14-16, "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity." (See also, 1 Cor. 15:54-57; Cf. 2 Sam. 12:10 with Luke 2:35)

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