Tom Browne’s nuggets

As to the works of nature, “God is like a skilful Geometrician” who devises “according to the constituted and forelaid principles of his art.” He has in mind God the Artist, operating not in a capricious manner.

So to give all credit to Nature as if it were acting alone is to do it for a hammer or pen for a building or poem. It is to “let our Hammers rise up and boast they have built our houses, and our pens receive the honors of our writings.”

Blithe Spirit

Sir Thomas Browne offered advice for the thinking Christian believer in his Religio Medici (1642), along the way dropping memorable observations:

* The wisedom [sic] of God receives small honour from those vulgar heads that rudely stare about, and with a grosse simplicity admire his workes; those highly magnify him whose judicious enquiry into his acts, and deliberate research of his creatures, returne the duty of a devout and learned admiration. (Part I, Section 13)

I like that ?devout and learned admiration.? He is describing a 1950s Jesuit approach to learning and religion and I suppose one of 2000s too.

Speaking of us, our persons:

[We] are that bold and adventurous piece of nature, which he that studies wisely learnes in a compendium what others labour at in a divided piece and endlesse volume. (I,16)

It?s the ?bold and adventurous piece of nature? I have in mind here.

He looks…

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About Jim Bowman
Jim Bowman covered religion 1968-78 for the Chicago Daily News, since then has written books, articles, etc., mostly on corporate history but also on religion (Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968), and more recently on politics (Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, --, Kindle). Longtime Oak Park, Illinois, resident, he lives now on Chicago's North Side, where four of his and Winnie's six children live close by.

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