Select Letters of Horace Walpole

Oh, the wit of Walpole!! I find myself reading his letters with a perpetual smile on my face.

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To Richard West, Esq.,

“About two days ago, about four o’clock in the afternoon, and about an hour after dinner, —from all which you may conclude we dine at two

o’clock,—as we were picking our teeth round a littered table and in a crumby room, Gray in an undress, Mr. Conway in a morning grey coat, and I in a trim white night-gown and slippers, very much out of order with a very little cold, a message decomposed us all of a sudden, with a service to Mr. Walpole from Mr. More, and that, if he pleased, he would wait on him. We scuttle upstairs in great confusion, but with no other damage than the flinging down two or three glasses and the dropping a slipper by the way.” -Horace Walpole, 1739

Still another… To John Chute, Esq., “I have an aunt here, a family piece of goods, an old remnant of inquisitive hospitality and economy, who, to all intents and purpose, is as beefy as her neighbors. She wore me so down yesterday with interrogatories, that I dreamt all night she was at my ear with

‘who’s’ and ‘why’s’ and ‘when’s’ and ‘where’s’, till at last in my very sleep I cried out, “For God in heaven’s sake, Madam, ask me no more questions.” -Horace Walpole, 1743

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The book of Psalms

With my Bible readings I also read one psalm every day. For an introduction to the Bible this would be a good start—just read one psalm every day. The book of Psalms is a collection sacred songs and poems glorifying God. Most of them are written by King David, but my favorites are those written by the Sons of Korah. The Sons of Korah only wrote 12 of the 150 psalms. Their psalms are that of pure, genuine, humble, and beautiful praise of God. They rarely ask for anything from God except a call for Him to rescue them from an unjust world—much different from David’s psalms which, many times, ask for vengeance and violence against his enemies. I noticed the change in tone right away as I’m sure you would too. These speak to me and give me great comfort and my soul feels great peace.

My favorite verse…

“As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, my God.”

-Psalm 42:1

Also this…

“God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble

therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.” -Psalm 46:1-3

Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Said to be the calming pastoral voice for Robert Louis Stevenson, The Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh, Scotland in the early 1800s. Although very passionate in his vocation to ‘Save’ individuals and bring them to Christ, almost obnoxiously so, M’Cheyne’s writing is beautiful and his love & passion for his “flock” is felt throughout his work. One thing he writes that stuck out to me was that we should not just read scripture but try to FEEL the words we are reading. I thought this was very good advice. This work is edited by his good friend Andrew Bonar.

The entire work is a compilation of letters, full sermons, his memoir and his ‘Daily Bread’ calendar, which gives a bit of scripture to read everyday. Some quotes of his I have collected are below…

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“One gem from that ocean [the gospel] is worth all the pebbles of earthly streams.”

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“You know that a lighted lamp is a very small thing, and it burns calmly and without noise; yet “it giveth light to all that are within the house.”

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“Pray that you may pray to God, and not for the ears of man. Feel His presence more than man’s.”

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The book of Deuteronomy

I have no authority to teach you about the books in the Bible. You might disagree with me and that’s OK. 👇👇👇

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“Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordon to posses.” -Deuteronomy 11:8

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In Deuteronomy we hear from Moses himself about the journey into the promise land. But if we take this from a symbolic viewpoint, we see that he is telling that the journey is hard even for the ‘chosen’. Hardships and sacrifices will surely come when we decide to truly follow a holy path—not perfect, but living in the Holy Spirit, recognizing God’s presence in our own being. People will try to make ‘war’ against you when you live this way, because naturally you will become a more gentle and tender person. They might not think you’re fun anymore. They may try to make you feel like you’re lame or boring because you won’t join in with the gossip or masochistic recreation (whatever that may be; little acts of hate can damage the soul). We might have to kill many relationships that are damaging in order to truly follow a new clean path and live in the Spirit—“the land that we are trying to possess”. We may have to cut ties with relationships that may be unheathly and fight against what we’re trying to obtain in a clean mind, body, and spirit. We may have to cut ties with those who fight against a new ‘us’ even if it means cutting ties with parts of ourselves.

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St. Teresa de Avila by Herself

Finished this over the weekend. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to entrench themselves in faith reading. At times it was frightening, especially when she talks about seeing visions of the devil. Those were times I wanted to put it down, because that does scare me, and I don’t even believe in such a thing but rather an evil presence in the ether around us. But she also saved me from ever being afraid if I did think otherwise. ‘It’ can’t harm us, she says, because ‘it’ can’t do anything without God’s permission and if we keep God near what can ‘it’ do? With this happy thought I carry on. .

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“Then I snap my fingers at all the devils; they shall be afraid of me. I do not understand these fears which make us cry, ‘The devil, the devil!’ When we might be saying, ‘God! God!’ and make all the devils tremble.” —St. Teresa de Avila

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#bookish #bible #christianity #religion #bibliophile #bookshelf #library #booknerd #bookgeek #bookphotography #catholic #episcopal #episcopalchurch #nun #saints #church #reading #bookstagram #writersofinstagram #readersofinstagram #bookstagramer #booknerdigans #booklover

The book of Galatians

Again, I have no authority to teach you anything from the Bible, I hope you might find something useful from it, and if you disagree with my interpretation that’s OK! “…the gospel I preach is not of human origin.” —Galatians 1:11

I was given the order in which to read the Bible my a priest friend of mine. He said some books tend to reflect each other and juxtapose each other. Once and a while I understand what he means. Reading Leviticus like we did last week, then moving on to Galatians is a great example. In Leviticus the Israelites learn laws they must follow to get close to God, and at that point they can only go through a holy teacher. But in his letter to the Galatians, Paul teaches us that following strict rules is not the way. That we have access to God ourselves through prayer and that the teachings of Christ (loving your neighbor and loving God) is what we must remember instead of the strict rules from the Old Testament. .

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The book of Leviticus

*Disclaimer: Again, I have no authority to teach you, if you disagree with my thinking that’s OK!

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It’s Friday which means I’m sharing our next book of the Bible! I will say Leviticus and Numbers (I will talk about Numbers in two weeks) are two of the hardest books to get through because they, to me, are a bit boring. But the book of Leviticus, written by Moses, shares with us one of the most important and relevant verses. One which speaks profoundly to our present time and political atmosphere:

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” –Leviticus 19:33-34

Not only can this be applied to our own U.S. border, but also to when you get introduced to your future in-laws, or a newcomer in the neighborhood, workplace, or religious organization. It is one of two important verses I have noted from this book. Most of the book is filled with strict instruction on how to keep the sabbath holy and ourselves holy. It feels very primitive to me. Some might find this interesting, but I was rather bored. Yet I see where it is an incredibly important addition to the Bible itself. Next week I’ll share thoughts on Galatians.

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