Part 6 - Cry freedom.
I think Freedom is part of an elusive package together with honour, peace, valour and pride. We all aspire to have these, but we never seem to be able to acquire or value them. Somehow, we think it is too expensive or too cheap and too impractical and then we sell it down the river. I also think that, like wisdom and beauty, they all cry out in the streets and nobody heeds them. And why should we heed them - are they not really only empty words or maybe even impostors.
Why, thou owest God a death.
'Tis not due yet, I would be loath to pay him before his day.
What need I be so forward with him that calls not on me.?
Well, 'tis no matter, honour pricks me on.
Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? how then?
Can honour set to a leg? no - or an arm? no - or take away the grief of a wound? no.
Honour hath no skill in surgery then? no. What is honour? a word.
What is in that word honour? what is that honour? air. A trim reckoning!
Who hath it? he that died a-Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth he hear it? no. 'Tis insensible then? yea. to the dead.
But will it not live with the living? no. Why? Detraction will not suffer it.
Therefore I'll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon (shield decorated with a coat of arms) - and so ends my catechism.
'Sblood, it was time to counterfeit, or that hot termagant Scot had paid me, scot and lot too.
Counterfeit? I lie, I am no counterfeit.
To die is but the counterfeit of a man, who hath not the life of a man: but to counterfeit dying, when a man thereby liveth, is to be no counterfeit, but the true and perfect image of life indeed.
The better part of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life ...
So what is this freedom then? It seems to me to be an elusive pipe dream.
To quote Thomas Jefferson: If a nation expects to be both ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.
I'll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,
In Jesus I'm safe evermore.
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
I wish to be free and I wish to have peace - above all else, and that is why I will now shift my attention in the next articles in this series to Him who gives these abundantly and beyond the human understanding and my flight to finding it.