Quote of the Week

Some of my readers might be wondering whether I dropped off the face of the earth. Our family was sick for a month and a half. It was the single worst respiratory disease I have ever had, and my poor wife Sarah was in constant pain during all that time. We believe there is a mold issue in our house. Fortunately, we also believe that it can be fixed relatively quickly. Our church has been marvelous about fixing the manse quickly and efficiently, and we feel very loved.

The quote of the week (month?) comes from Joseph Caryl, his commentary on Job, volume 3, p. 445, commenting on Job 10:3:

Many are troubled at small defects in the outward man: Few are troubled at the greatest deformities of their inner man; they call for no repairs, for no fresh colours to be laid on there; many buy artificiall beauty to supply the defects of naturall, who never had a thought of buying (without money) spirituall beauty to supply the defects of supernaturall. The crookednesse and distortions, the blacknesse and uncomelinesse of the soul are most deplorable, yet are they little deplored; we are called every day to mend and cure them, we are told where and how we may have all set right, and made fair again, and yet the most stirre not, or not to purpose. God will not know any body at the last day, unlesse his souls be mended by grace, and some do so mend their bodies by art, that God will not know their souls at that day. Depart from me, I know you not (will be all their entertainment) ye have mended your bodies till ye have mar’d your souls (spelling and punctuation original).

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of many more Puritan quotes so directly applicable to modern culture.


  1. Howie Donahoe said,

    August 2, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Our family will pray for the health of yours. The Caryl quote reminded me of the mold issue in my own soul. May his grace remediate that mold as well. But unlike your house, that remediation will not likely be a quick fix. But I’m one day closer to heaven today than yesterday.

  2. August 2, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Glad you and yours are feeling better. My bathroom is susceptible to mold and mildew. I just had it painted – again (a better solution would be to tear down the bathroom and rebuild it, but [1] I’m a renter, and [2] no guarantee that would work, anyway). I’ve got that Caryl set – I’m going to have to start reading it one of these days!

  3. Terry Murdock said,

    August 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Praying for you and your situation with the mold. Glad that you are feeling better. It is a fine picture of our souls, as Caryl points out. Thanks to God for His grace.

  4. August 4, 2015 at 11:59 am

    We went through that, and like and idiot I sat there and did nothing about it until I finally did. Leaks in the roof or plasterboard or seems allow water to get in and create mold. It can easily be taken care of. Sealing everything. God bless

  5. roberty bob said,

    August 13, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Job is speaking to the Lord.

    “Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?” — Job 10:3

    I find Caryl’s commentary on Job’s complaint puzzling. Job, in his oppression, feels spurned by his Maker. Job feels like he is the target of God’s wrath, and that he is being rejected and neglected. So, Job questions the Lord (10:8), “Your hands shaped and made me; will you now turn and destroy me?”

    Clearly, Job sees himself in need of God’s mercy and grace as there is nothing that he (Job) himself can do to put his life back together. God must make that His responsibility.

    Caryl, from what I can tell, puts the responsibility to mend and to cure upon ourselves [“we are called everyday to mend and cure them”]. This is all the more strange, since he goes on to say how necessary it is for our souls to be “mended by grace.” Of course, only God can mend our souls by grace. So, then, what is Caryl exhorting us to do? My guess runs along the following lines: God’s soul-mending grace is on offer to us; let us make sure that we do not receive such grace in vain!

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