Robertson preaches at Brighton

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by BobinKy, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. BobinKy

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    Aug 6, 2010
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    I ran across this beautiful passage from a sermon preached by Frederick W. Robertson, Victorian clergyman in the Church of England.

    Jacob’s Wrestling
    Genesis 32: 22-31
    Taken from a sermon preached on June 10, 1849 at Holy Trinity Church, Brighton, England.

    The revelation of the mystery
    It was revealed by awe. Very significantly are we told, that the Divine antagonist seemed, as it were, anxious to depart as the day was about to dawn, and that Jacob held Him more convulsively fast, as if aware that the daylight was likely to rob him of his anticipated blessing, in which there seems concealed a very deep truth. God is approached more nearly in that which is indefinite than in that which is definite and distinct. He is felt in awe, and wonder, and worship, rather than in clear conceptions. There is a sense in which darkness has more of God than light has. He dwells in the thick darkness. Moments of tender, vague mystery often bring distinctly the feeling of His presence. When day breaks and distinctness comes, the Divine has evaporated from the soul like morning dew. In sorrow, haunted by uncertain presentiments, we feel the Infinite around us. The gloom disperses, the world's joy comes again, and it seems as if God were gone - the Being who had touched us with a withering hand, and wrestled with us, yet whose presence, even when most terrible, was more blessed than His absence. It is true, even literally, that the darkness reveals God. Every morning God draws the curtain of the garish light across His eternity, and we lose the Infinite. We look down on earth instead of up to heaven, on a narrower and more contracted spectacle - that which is examined by the microscope when the telescope is laid aside - smallness, instead of vastness. "Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor till the evening;" and in the dust and pettiness of life we seem to cease to behold Him: then at night He undraws the curtain again, and we see how much of God and eternity the bright distinct day has hidden from us. Yes, in solitary, silent, vague darkness, the Awful One is near.

    Robertson, F. W. (1849). Jacob’s Wrestling [Sermon preached June 10, 1849 at Holy Trinity Church, Brighton, England. Published in Sermons Preached at Brighton.]. Retrieved January 4, 2011, from
    #1 BobinKy, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2011

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