Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”
On his way to be burnt at the stake for the Gospel, English Reformer Hugh Latimer turned to his companion Nicholas Ridley and said, “Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man, and we shall this day light such a candle in England as by God’s grace shall never be put out.” It would almost be worthwhile being martyred to be remembered for a fiery pun like that! (I said “almost”; don’t get any ideas.) What makes his courage and defiance especially impressive is that at that moment the future of the light of the Gospel in England looked very dark. There was no reason to expect that Bloody Mary’s persecution would not extinguish it forever—except one’s faith in the sovereignty and faithfulness of God.
The more they smothered it, the more it burned
With courage and unconquerable will,
A candle that could never be put out:
It was a blazing soul which only yearned
To sow the seed of light, and then to till
The soil until the fruit shone all about.
He saw what only men of faith can see:
“Play the man, and by God’s grace we will,”
He said, the promise burning through his doubt,
“Light such a candle as shall never be
Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)!
Donald T. Williams, PhD