However, the part of Figueroa's book which treats of Ethiopia is found in the original Portuguese work of Guerreiro, which was published in Figueroa continued his hack-work by translating an Italian book which had enjoyed great success both at home and abroad, namely, La Piazza Universale di tutte le p'ro- fessioni del mondo, of Tomaso Garzoni. Figueroa's work is, in general, a close translation of the Italian original, but he omitted many paragraphs which had only special interest for Italian readers, and he added what he thought might be of interest in the Spanish version.
The book is a sort of encyclopaedia of nearly all branches of human knowledge as known at that time, and treats of all the arts and professions from poets and philosophers, to tailors, shoemakers and beggars. He says in the Pro- logue, that his purpose in translating the book was to popu- larize the arts and sciences, and to bring them within the reach of everyone. The Plaza Universal is best known to students of Span- ish literature in connection with the history of the stage. The list of actors and actresses which he gives, is an im- portant document for the history of the comediantes.
Al- ready in , Figueroa was bitterly opposed to the Span- 1 Tomaso Garzoni was born in , cultivated philosophy, history and theology, and died in The latter is an im- mense book in folio, containing many additions to the original work. When the Plaza Universal appeared in , Figueroa was living at Madrid, and perhaps held some position at Court. Barrera 3 mentions an account of the marriage in , of the young prince Philip, afterwards Philip IV, with Isabel de Borbon, written by Doctor Christoval Suarez de Figueroa, with the title: Relacion de la honrosisima Jornada que la Magestad del Rey don Felipe, nuestro Senor, ha hecho ahora con nuestro Principe y la Reyna de Francia, sus hijos, para efectuar sus Reales bodas: y de la grandeza, pompa y aparato de los Principes y Seiiores de la Corte, que iban acompanando a sus Magestades.
Es relacion la mas cierta que ha salido de la Corte. Ordenada par el Doctor Christobal Suarez de Figueroa, residente en ella. Este ano de Gallardo 4 mentions the same account, but gives the author's name as Doctor Christoval de Figueroa. Figueroa does not include this in any of the lists of his works, but there is scarcely a doubt as to his authorship of it. Senor Cotarelo y Mori has reprinted the most important part of this discussion of the Spanish stage in his Bibli- ografia de las Controversias sobre la licitud del teatro en Espana, , PP- Figueroa did not share this taste with the other literary men of his time, and censured the practice in El Passagero, citing a festival held in honour of St.
Anthony of Padua, in which five thousand verses competed for the prizes. However, Figueroa took part in one of these contests held at Toledo in , in honour of the com- pletion of the chapel of Nuestra Senora del Sagrario. Madrid, In this book, the author appears to us as a man embittered by continued failure, for in spite of his arduous literary la- bours, his books had met with much adverse criticism.
He had acquired the reputation of a severe critic at Madrid, and since he did not hesitate to give his honest judgment when persons came to consult him about their works, he made in this way many enemies. In El Passagero, he gave vent to his long years of dis- appointment, to his contempt for the corrupt manners of his time, and to the ill-will which he had nursed for years against some of his contemporaries. There are few books in Spanish literature so subjective as El Passagero, and per- haps no Spanish writer has left so faithful a record of his disposition and tastes.
It not only affords us an oppor- tunity to study the life and character of the author, but enables us to see with the eyes of a contemporary, the life and manners of Spain in the early seventeenth century. For el Doctor Suarez de Figueroa. En Madrid, por Luys Sanchez, afio, A second edition was published at Barcelona in Four travellers leave Madrid for Barcelona, en route to Italy. Various profes- sions are represented in the party, one is a professor of theology, Don Luis dabbles in verse, the third is a gold- smith, and the fourth member is the Doctor, Figueroa him- self, who disappointed at his lack of success in his own country, is turning his back upon Spain forever.
Owing to the intense heat, the travellers agree to break the mono- tony of the journey by the discussion of various subjects, and thus in the use of dialogue, Figueroa is afforded a good vehicle for the expression of his own ideas. El Passagero may be studied from many points of view, but since it is best known for its discussion of the national theatre, it seems proper to speak first of this portion of the work.
At no time in Spain did a theatre based on classi- cal models gain a strong foothold, as it did in France and even in England. The attempts of Jeronimo Bermudez and Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola to write plays ac- cording to classical rules resulted in complete failure. The theatre-loving Spaniards demanded plays which could be acted, and cared little for the unities and other traditions of the classical theatre, provided they were furnished three hours of entertainment. They keenly enjoyed seeing the gracioso make fun of the frailties of his master, quite obli- vious of the fact that this violated one of the laws laid down by Horace.
However, although the people were well satisfied, many scholars and men of letters, who held fast to the classical precepts, and saw the defects of the new comedia, vigor- ously protested against this invasion of a hybrid form, which violated all the rules of art. We have seen that Figueroa condemned the immorality of the stage in the Plaza Universal, but in El Passagero his attack was rather directed against the new elements in- troduced into the comedia by Lope de Vega.
An affair of twenty-four hours or at most, of three days, used to form the argument of a comedy. The townspeople were the characters, and Kings and Princes were never brought upon the stage, and thus the jests, ill befitting their dignity, were avoided, but now the comedia is a hodge-podge, in which there is a little of everything. Then like puppies, they snarl with envy, and bite for vengeance. All is chat- ter, all is chaff, without science or learning.
The writing of comedias is so easy that even a certain tailor of Toledo, who could neither read nor write, had com- 1 'Schack discusses the opposition to the national theatre in his His- toria de la literatura y del arte dramatico en Espana, Vol. Ill, Chap. Ill, pp. The arguments are developed with logic and force, but they were not powerful enough to stem the tide of popular fancy. The people paid no attention to the critics and their classical rules. Lope de Vega, Tirso and Luis Velez de Guevara were the popular idols, and two o'clock in the afternoon found the theatres of La Cruz and El Principe filled, from the mosqueteros in the pit to the Sefiores in their boxes, all equally eager for the "follies" of their beloved comedia.
The early part of the seventeenth century in Spain wit- 1 El Passagero, fol. Villegas mentions him in his 7th Elegia, and Quevedo inserts a few of his verses in the Perinola. He is advised to return to his old trade, and to abandon his theo- logical dissertations, for his life was a disgrace to the needle.
Figueroa shared this dislike for Alarcon, and in El Passagero, made fun of his aristocratic airs and pretensions to nobility. This enmity between Alarcon and Figueroa may have commenced as early as , for Sefior Fernandez-Guerra y Orbe believed that Alarcon referred to Figueroa's slan- dering tongue and to his failure to secure office in La Cueva de Salamanca, which appeared in that year.
In this book, he condemned those middle-class persons who aspire to social position and assume aristocratic airs, and sneers at Alarcon for having signed his name with the title of Don, 3 and because he prided himself on his surname Mendoza. Speaking of the usual method of obtaining no- 1 For the account of Figueroa's relations with Alarcon, I am greatly indebted to Sefior D. Luis Fernandez-Guerra y Orbe's admirable work, D. Juan Ruiz de Alarcon y Mendoza. Un letrado Hay en ella, tan notado For tratante en decir mal, Que en lugar de los recelos Que dan las murmuraciones, Sirven ya de informaciones En abono sus libelos ; Y su enemiga fortuna Tanto su mal solicita, Que por mas honras que quita, Jamas le queda ninguna.
However, it would be easy in this case to adopt the ancient name of Toledo, Manrique or Mendoza, since even sons of nobodies, hump-backs and de- formed persons know how to commit such frauds I knew one whose father, a respectable silversmith, Alar- con's father was employed in the silver-mines of Tasco was gaining a modest fortune, when the demon which they call Nobility, attacked his son.
A gentle sounding, though common name Juan suited him perfectly, but one night he was seized by the first symptoms of this madness, and he awoke the next morning a Don. In the meantime, his father died, whose life and trade had somewhat checked his son's aristocratic aspirations, and thereupon, the eld- est son Alarcon was the eldest of his brothers threw off his mask completely, and if he did not always act as a gen- tleman, at least he had the dress and fine clothes of a spruce young dandy.
If a youth, well built and strong, must be refused what he desires, Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, pp. Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, ibid. It is not surprising that Alarcon did not al- low this attack to pass unnoticed, and set to work to prepare his vindication. This last, which condemns the vice of speaking ill of others, was especially well fitted as a reply, not only to Figueroa, but to the other poets who had slan- dered him.
He put aside the first two plays for a time, and finished Las Paredes Oyen as quickly as possible. We can not fail to admire his temperate answer to his critics, for not once did he descend to brutal personalities, as they had done. He merely tried to show the folly of speaking ill of others, for the slanderer not only makes many enemies, but is not even trusted by his friends, and he cites the example of one who had become very unpopular because of this vice : En la corte hay un senor Que muchas veces oi.
Que esta malquisto de modo Por vicioso en murmurar, Que si lo vieran quemar Diera lefia el pueblo todo. In the second Jornada, he justifies his efforts to rise in the world, and asserts his right to the title of Don, a claim which his biographer has proved well founded, and adds that a man's noble blood is shown by his actions, and is not based on the mere accident of birth.
At the beginning of the third Jornada, Alarcon speaks of a certain bald-headed critic, and here again he seems to allude to Figueroa. Tristan is reading certain formulae for the study of necromancy, among them, one to check the hisses of the mosqueteros, which he recommends to the poets, and continues: Caracter que puede hacer Que un calvo no lo parezca.
Bien habra quien me agradezca Que le ensene el caracter. Que la magia da cabello? Por dios, que he de denurrciar De cierto Momo, y vengar Mil ofendidos con ello, Puesto que la villa entera Vio que calvo anochecio, Y a la manana saco Abrigada la mollera. It seems quite prob- able that Alarcon wished to raise a laugh at his enemy's expense, feeling sure that the crowd would understand the allusion.
At the close of the third act of La Prueba de las Pro- mesas, there is another possible allusion to Figueroa. Three office-seekers present themselves before Tristan, Don Juan's secretary, and ask for employment. The first two are suc- cessful, but the petition of the third is refused, because he can only present as a claim, that he has written a book en romance, i. Spanish and had translated one from Italian. Tne third comedia of Alarcon which was partly written when El Passagero appeared was the splendid Mudarse por Mejorarse, also published with the titles, Dejar dicha por mas dicha and Por Mejoria mi casa dejaria.
The drama- tist still nursed his resentment against Figueroa, and intro- duced a servant named Figueroa into the play, who com- 1 Pretendiente 2. Para que una plaza alcance 6 el uno destos oficios me dad favor. Que servicios? Pretendiente 2. He escrito un libro en romance.
En romance. Bien esta. Y tambien fui traductor De uno italiano, senor. Senor, no negociara. Figueroa was spoken of as a translator of Italian books in the Expostulatio Spongiae. Here Alarcon calls into question Figueroa's pretensions to belong to the family of Feria, just as Figueroa had questioned the dramatist's right to the sur- name of Mendoza. Mencia tells her mistress, Leonor, that her best course will be to marry the Marques, for the latter's servant, Figueroa, has set his heart on the match, and Leonor replies : Mencia, Si Figueroa porfia que lleva puesta la proa en eso Leonor.
De Figueroa Haces tu caso, Mencia? Hace libros. El papel Echa a mal. Pues por mil modes Dice en ellos mal de todos. Y todos dellos y del. Here at last Alarcon got full satisfaction. He had al- luded to his enemy many times in an indirect way, but in this play, the slandering Figueroa is brought upon the boards as a lackey, and we are told that just as he spoke ill of all men, so everyone spoke ill of him and of his works. This play must have been at least half finished when El Passagero appeared, for in the early part of the play, Figueroa is simply a squire who discreetly answers ques- tions, and retires.
After reading Figueroa's attack, Alarcon gave to the squire the name of his enemy, and found in him an effective weapon for ridicule. It will be re- membered that the latter had spoken in praise of the Pastor Fido and of La Constante Amarills, and Figueroa ill repaid this kindness by his bitter and unjust criticism of some of Cervantes' later works. It is quite possible that Figueroa bore a grudge against Cervantes for having won the favour of the Count of Lemos, when he himself had failed. He tells in El Pas- sagero 1 that he had dedicated one of his books to Lemos, and had gone to Barcelona to present the work to him, but was unable to obtain an audience, and was obliged to re- turn to Madrid without even having seen him.
He must have changed the dedication, for no book of Figueroa which we possess is dedicated to the Count of Lemos, and no doubt he was envious of the favours which Cervantes had received at the hands of this nobleman. Figueroa's first reference to Cervantes occurs in the Plaza Universal. In the Discurso de los Alcahuetes, he tells how bawds seduce women by relating love-stories to them, and mentions some of the books which were used for this pur- pose : " No calla la fabula de Olimpia, la de Genebra, la de Isabela: halla las novelas de Bocacio, de Cintio 6 Cervantes, recita las locuras de Roldan, los amores de Rey- naldo, los desdenes de Angelica, la aficion de Rugero y Bradamante, combatiendo con estos dislates lascivos la vir- tud de las mugeres casadas, la castidad de las donzellas, y la preciosa honestidad de las viudas, que bien amenudo vienen a quedar violadas con tales razonamientos.
Don Luis says that he had thought of writing a short story, and the Doctor asks whether he had ever suffered shipwreck, as that would furnish him with a good argument, and con- tinues, " There is a certain one who has related his own adventures, giving marvellous splendour to his scanty abil- ity, and unheard of praise to his supposed wisdom, for as he had the cloth, he could easily apply the scissors where he liked. The fact that Cervantes had died only a short time be- fore seemed in no way to check the jealousy and enmity of Figueroa.
He spoke disdainfully of some of the writers of his time who wearied everyone with their impertinences, and added that " this weakness continues in some as long as they live, as in the case of those who write prologues and dedications at the point of death. Alluding to the difficulties which poets have in getting their plays represented, he says, " Duran estas irresoluciones tanto, que muchos por falta de valedor, no hazen sino com- poner, y echar comedias al suelo del area, con el ansia que suele el avaro recojer y acumular doblones.
Por esta causa se hallan infinites con muchas gruessas represadas, esperando se representaran quando menos en el teatro de Josafat, donde por ningun caso les faltaran oyentes. Figueroa condemns in El Passagero 2 the prevalent malady of writing verses, and says that while there is some excuse for a young man who writes poetry, " ciertos niiios de a setenta, con habito largo, supeditados de muger, vencidos de ancianidad, dados toda la vida a coplear; y lo 1 El Passagero, fol.
This passage is quoted by Schack in Historia de la literatura y del arte dramatico en Espana, Vol. It is true that Figueroa's bitter attack upon Alarcon and Cervantes can in no way be justified, but he appears in a far more creditable light, when we consider his attempts to reform the manners and vices of his time in El Passagero. We are told in the Prologue that his purpose in writing the book was to reform the corrupt condition of Spain, and surely the warning came none too soon. The iron grip of Philip II had kept Spain a united nation, and his tireless energy had at least delayed his country's decline from the proud position she held in Europe, but with the accession of Philip III in the kingdom underwent a radical change.
The country was on the verge of ruin, the Treasury was empty, and only with the greatest difficulty could the King collect enough money for the expenses of his marriage in The King and the Duke of Lerma set the pace for unheard-of extravagance, and officers went from door to door, collecting money to pay the piper at Court, while excessive taxation had brought the people to a state of poverty. Lerma's abuse of power did not fail to arouse indignation, and many satires against him 1 Hume, Spain , Chap.
The warning in El Passagero was timely, for Lerma. Figueroa showed no mercy for Philip's ministers and attributed to them the disasters which had befallen Spain: " The ministers are the cause of all the trouble. It is a disgrace that not only like useless drones, they suck the honey from the hive, the sweat of the poor people, and en- joy so much wealth unjustly, but they even have the im- pudence to increase their wealth without deserving it.
These are the abomination of states, and although they die amid the greatest pomp, their names are remembered as a curse. Not only, did Figueroa protest against the corrupt ad- ministration, but severely censured the lax morals and idle life of the men and women at Court. The young noblemen who thought only of their own pleasure, while the rest of the country was starving, especially excited his indigna- tion.
He told how nobility consisted in always being well dressed, in taking an active part in the cane tourneys, and in occupying a conspicuous seat at the comedias, rather than in the performance of praise-worthy actions. Figueroa was not the sort of man to be carried away by the current of popular opinion, and when he saw the de- fects in the administration and the vices of Court life, he did not hesitate to make a strong effort to remedy these evils.
However his protests were unheeded, and only re- sulted in bringing upon him the enmity of those whom he had criticized. The Duke of Lerma was deposed in , 1 El Passagero, fol. The glory of Spain was fast waning, destined to be checked momentarily by Charles III, and then to suffer an almost total eclipse at the end of the eighteenth century. Besides the prose discussions, El Passagero contains a large number of verses, with which the travellers broke the monotony of their journey to Barcelona. Figueroa did not consider poetry his special calling, and believed that the writing of verse is often harmful, for it robs the poet of many hours which might be spent more profitably, but in spite of this opinion, he wrote a very considerable quan- tity of verse, even toward the end of his life.
In El Pas- sagero, 1 he promised to write a book on Spanish poetics, but unfortunately he did not carry out his plan, which no doubt would have furnished interesting information con- cerning the poets of the siglo de oro. His verse, while correct and carefully polished, is cold and artificial, and rarely do we find the true note of poetry. His love poems lack feeling and passion, and we feel that he merely considered them literary exercises, for lyric in- spiration is rarely present.
He is at his best in descriptions of Nature, which are often marked by a delicacy of touch, and a keen appreciation of beauty. Long years of dis- appointment and failure had embittered him, and much of his later verse is tinged with melancholy. Of the contemporary poets he admired only Garcilaso, Camoens and Gongora. Don Luis suggests the title Flores de la edad for his verses, but the Doctor ob- jects because " many flowers bear no fruit," 1 alluding to the collection of Pedro de Espinosa, entitled Flores de poetas ilustres, which was published at Valladolid in Here was a sweeping condemnation of the greatest poets of his time, and we need not be surprised that his works received scant praise from his contemporaries.
Besides the verses, Figueroa included in El Passagero a first-class picaresque novela, 2 which is one of his most in- teresting compositions. In the course of his travels in Italy, he meets an inn-keeper named Juan, who had served in the army in Piedmont, and who relates to him his ad- ventures after leaving Italy.
These adventures are of the rogue type, familiar to us in Lazarillo and Guzman de Al- farache. One of the most interesting is his attempt to rob a grave, a story which Figueroa had probably read in the Decameron. The novela is well written and full of inter- est, and we can only regret that he did not attempt more work of this kind.
It will be remembered that in El Passagero, Figueroa condemned the new style of comedia introduced into Spain by Lope de Vega. The same year, a book written in Latin by Torres Ramila appeared with the title of Spongia, which censured many works of Lope, especially the Angelica,. We only know its contents from the quotations from it in- cluded in the Expostulatio Spongiae by Francisco de Aguilar, for not a single copy of the original book is known i Fol.
Francisco de Aguilar undertook to reply to the charges of Ramila in the Expostulatio Spongiae, which was, pub- lished in June, This is followed on fol. The author pretends that he is carried through the air to the steps of San Felipe el Real in Madrid, and from there saw a crowd of people entering a book-shop across the street. According to a manu- script note on the margin of a copy formerly possessed by Barrera, this bald-headed man was Suarez de Figueroa. The latter, stroking his beard, replied that this meeting re- sembled those of the ancient philosophers, who laid the foundations of learning in silence, not in empty words.
Figueroa himself mentions it in the Plaza Universal , fol. This volume is now in the Bib- lioteca Nacional of Madrid, and bears the press mark 47 J He openly confesses his mania for criticizing the works of others, and says that because of this, he had received the name Satyrion: " Ita notum est iniquit per omnes Hispaniae et Italian partes Satyrionis nomen,. Primum quidem Aresius that is, Suarez ab omnibus simpliciter vocabar, cum illud nomen mecum adolevisset, sed labentibus sensim rebus, ut ad scribendas satyras animum inclinavi, et plerisque Principibus, magnorum capitum detrimento risum satyrice conciliavi : ita promptissimis unius cuiusque suffragiis ad Satyrionis nomen evectus sum.
Vix fidem adhibeas medius fidius, si dicam in hoc nomen ita fatorum ordinem conspirasse, ut integro vitae meae curriculo in nul- lum aliud studiorum genus incubuerim, quam vel in priva- torum mores, vel in codices traducendos. Nam Italia, cuius tan- tam librorum farraginem, Hispana dict'ione donavi, mihi saltern in tanti laboris praemium hunc titulum indulsisset si statuis, et monumentis indignum laboris mei beneficium reputasset.
He tells us in the Prologue to this work that his books had been well received, and that by virtue of them, he had been able to live so many years at Madrid, and that he would be obliged to continue his literary work until the King should give him some em- ployment. We might infer from this that Figueroa had not regained the King's favour in , however, he must have been employed in the Government service for eleven years between and , for in his petition to the King in , he said that he had served in various posts for sixteen years, and in a letter, dated August, , he said that he had served his King and country in various capacities for twenty-seven years.
For Tomas lunti. Impressor del Rey, nuestro senor. Estos por dissimular su apassionada intencion, dan titulo de agenos a los que son propios trabajos, aplicandoles nombre de mendigados fragmentos. The division of the book into Fariedades is quite arbitrary, for the author rambles from one topic to another without any apparent order or system. Philo- sophy, ancient history, ethics and politics form the prin- cipal subjects, and his conclusions are always supported by copious quotations from the Greek and Latin authors, of whom he seems to have had a profound knowledge.
These discussions, although perhaps profitable, are extremely wearisome, and our interest is only aroused when he treats the society of his own time. We have seen him come forward as a stern moralist in El Passagcro, fearlessly attacking the corrupt administra- tion and the vices of private life. He adopted this same role in the Farias Noticias, and condemned the lack of in- terest in letters, and the abuses among the upper clergy and office holders.
He complained that literary men re- ceived no protection, and scourged the loose morals of the young men and women. There can be no doubt that he was sincere in his effort to reform the vices of his time, and the part which he played demanded self-sacrifice, for after attacking the dishonest practices of those in power, he was not likely to receive any favours at their hands. Surely Figueroa gives us a dark picture of the reign of Philip III, a period so brilliant for its literature, and so de- plorable for its evils of corrupt and careless administration.
However, the moralists and reformers constituted only a small minority; the Court and people turned a deaf ear to these warnings, and the year of the publication of the Farias Noticias, the idle and self-indulgent Philip IV came to power, and Spain sank still deeper in extravagance, political corruption and misery. At that time, Figueroa was living at Madrid, and he at once made an effort to secure employment under the new Viceroy, feel- ing sure that the relationship between his family and that of the Duke of Alba, la vecindad de cams, as he says in a letter 2 dated August, would count in his favour.
His petition to Bernardino Diaz, the Duke's secretary, was received favourably, and on February 22, , he was ap- pointed Auditor of the town of Lecce. Excessive taxation, coupled with a financial crisis, had brought the people to the verge of star- vation, and owing to the illness of Hanibal Macedonio, Governor of the city, the administration of justice was at a standstill. Crimes were committed on all sides, and the 1 It will be remembered that this Duke of Alba was a friend and patron of Lope de Vega, and had been celebrated by him in the Arcadia.
Rennert in Modern Lan- guage Notes, Vol. Lecce is a small town near Naples. Figueroa set to work with his accustomed vigour to check this reign of terror, and in the six months that his jurisdiction lasted, without regard to rank or condition, he hanged five men, and sent a hundred to the galleys. He was careful to send to the Duke of Alba a full account of all the cases which he tried, and the Viceroy expressed his satisfaction with what had been done. On August 8, , Figueroa and his colleague, D. Juan Antonio Ricardo were dismissed from office, and new ap- pointments were made. He met Alzamoro, his successor, at Bitonto, and on his arrival at Naples, the Duke's secretary refused to discuss the nature of the charges against him, and would only say that he had incurred the Viceroy's dis- pleasure.
He made every effort to be reinstated, but his petitions were unheeded. In a letter written by Figueroa in August, i, 2 he at- tributed the loss of his post to the hostility of Hanibal Mace- donio, Governor of Naples. When the latter had recovered from a long illness, he learned with displeasure of the re- putation for strict administration which Figueroa and his colleague had acquired, and not wishing to be overshadowed by these two new officers, he planned to make them lose the Viceroy's friendship.
To gain this end he spread the report that Figueroa and Ricardo had agreed to administer the Tribunal as they pleased, and that Figueroa relied upon his intimacy with Bernardino Diaz to secure any office which 1 Appendix, p. Figueroa tells us that the story was absolutely false, but the Duke blamed his Secretary for having allowed such a report to be circulated, and Diaz, in order to avoid any appearance of intimacy with Figueroa, refused to hand over the letters which the latter addressed to the Viceroy concerning the administration at Lecce.
When the Duke heard of the discord between Figueroa and Ricardo and the other officers, he believed that they were the cause of the whole trouble, and straightway dismissed them. We do not know how long Figueroa remained out of office, but he did not recover his position within a year, for in August, , he wrote a long letter to the Duke of Alba, presenting his side of the case.
In December, , he held the position of Auditor della Regia Udienza of Catanzaro in the province of Calabria, 1 and lost this post on November 16, i In the preceding year, Giacinto Petronio, Bishop of Molfetta, was appointed Minister of the Inquisition, and his aggressive acts soon aroused the hostility of the Royal authorities, who forbade him to im- prison laymen without notifying the Viceroy.
II, P. These organi- zations had great influence with the Bishop of Nicotera, and when Stantione refused to give up his claims, he was excommunicated. Confident that he was acting according to the orders of the Viceroy, he persisted in trying to col- lect the amount which was due, and finally was imprisoned and roughly treated by the ecclesiastical authorities at Ni- cotera.
When the news of this arrest reached the ears of the Duke of Alba, he immediately sent orders to the Regia Udienza of Calabria that Stantione should be released from the prison at Nicotera, and that after his release, he should appear before the Collaterale of Naples, under a penalty of a thousand ducats. The affair admitted of no delay, for Stan- tione was dying of ill-treatment and neglect, and Figueroa decided to carry out his orders at all costs.
It seems that when Figueroa arrived at Nicotera, the Bishop suspected that he would try to release Stantione, and sent him a monitory, declaring that Stantione was a prisoner of the Holy Office. Appendix, p. IX, pp. A Spanish translation of this passage is found in Vol. Figueroa replied to the Bishop that the monitory could in no way affect his actions, for he was obliged to carry out the orders of the Viceroy, which he had received from Naples, and that if it was necessary, he would take posses- sion of Stantione on his own authority.
He then armed his troop, broke down four doors of the prison, and re- leased Stantione, mid cries of " Viva il Re " and " Muoia il mat governo. He ad- mitted that Figueroa had released him from prison, but his fault seems to have been treated with indulgence, for it was decreed that he should return to Nicotera, and that the Bishop should publicly absolve him from excommunication. Although the officers of the Inquisition had been balked in their case against Stantione, it still remained to punish Figueroa for having set at liberty a prisoner of the Holy Office, and for nearly two years repeated efforts were made to oblige him to go to Rome for trial.
He was as- sured that the Inquisition would deal gently with his case, and that Petronio, Bishop of Molfetta, would also appear. However, the Viceroy felt that his authority had been slighted by the aggressive acts of Petronio, and in April, I, 1 he prohibited Figueroa from leaving Naples with- out his permission. He determined to make Figueroa's a test case to decide whether the royal or ecclesiastical juris- diction was supreme in Naples, and in the meantime, the unfortunate victim of this dispute was confronted by a fine 1 Appendix, p.
Throughout the year , the authorities of the Inquisi- tion made repeated efforts to bring Figueroa to trial, but without success. In August of that year, the Duke of Alba was succeeded in the Viceroyship by the Duke of Alcala, who embraced the cause of Figueroa with as much zeal as his predecessor. Figueroa made every effort to win the favour of the new Viceroy, and in , dedicated to him his new work, Pusilipo, and in a poem addressed to the Duke of Alcala, appealed to him for aid : O Fernando Magnanimo, mi voto Oyo piadoso el cielo, oyo mi quexa ; Oyolo en fin, y al improvise dexa De mi calamidad el lazo roto.
Pues nadie a tu piedad recorre en vano, En mi restaura el desmayado brio, Cobre nuevo decoro, y nueva forma ; Mas que no hara tu generosa mano Si en todo imita a tu glorioso Tio, De toda ley, de todo acierto norma? The royal authorities were obliged to support Figueroa, for if he lost his case, royal officers in the future would be afraid to obey the orders of the Viceroy, fearing to incur the hostility of the Inquisition. On April 4, , Figueroa testified before the Collaterale, that after his courteous request to Petronio to release Stantione had been refused, he had set him at liberty himself with the aid of his troops and had found him half-dead, and showing signs of ill-treatment.
The Duke of Alcala showed that he supported Figueroa by appointing him Judge of Capua on January 2, I63O, 1 but this appointment was annulled five days later on the ground that Figueroa had been excommunicated by the ecclesiastical Court of Nicotera, and that although he had been ordered to set Stantione at liberty, he had not been told to break open the prison to accomplish this. The Holy Office lost all hope of bringing Figueroa to trial by peaceful means, and determined to steal a march on the royal authorities by arresting him forcibly.
On January 25, he was seen to enter the church of San Luis, near the Viceroy's palace, and there he was arrested and imprisoned by the officers of the Inquisition. The news of his arrest was reported the same day to the Collaterale while in session. The following day, January 26, the Collaterale met to discuss the new developments in Figueroa's case. Petronio had resented this act, claiming that since Figueroa was a prisoner of the Holy Office, the royal authorities had no right to interfere in the case.
The members of the Collaterale were divided as to Figueroa's responsibility in having defied the In- quisition, but all agreed that Petronio should give proof that he had acted with the authority of the Holy Office. It was voted that Figueroa should be confined in a fortress by the royal authorities, that the clerics who had taken part in his capture should be deprived of their arms, and that all laymen who had aided the ecclesiastical officers, should be imprisoned. It was further ordered that a message should be sent to Petronio, and that a deputy be sent to Rome to negotiate the affair.
He was ordered to present within three days the evidence of the authority, by virtue of which he had exercised jurisdiction in this matter, and that in the meantime, he should exercise no jurisdiction, nor have an armed force at his disposal, so that the peace of the city might not again be endangered. In accordance with the decision of the Collaterale, Figueroa was taken by royal officers to the Royal Palace, and later to the Castel Nuovo, where he remained seventeen days.
In the first of these which is a reply to the message sent to Petronio, 1 Appendix, p. In the second Brief, of the same date, the Pope declared that the Viceroy had violated the authority of the Inquisition in having allowed royal officers to set at liberty a prisoner of the Holy Office, and bade him obey the orders of the Papal Nuncio. The members seemed unwilling to make a definite decision in the matter, and voted that a deputy be sent to Rome to confer with the Pope. Francisco Antonio de Alarcon. In regard to the demands of the Pope that the message sent to Petronio be revoked, and that Figuroa be handed over to the officers of the Holy Office, the Viceroy replied that the Bishop of Mol- fetta had not been prohibited from exercising the jurisdic- tion of the Holy Office, but had only been asked to prove that he had acted with the authority of that body.
How- ever, since the peace of the city was at stake, he could take no action until he had received an express order from the King, to whom he had made a full report of the case. As for the second demand, the Viceroy declared that the 1 Appendix, pp. We see that the tone of the letter is conciliatory, but he insisted that the Bishop of Mol- fetta give evidence of his authority, and that Figueroa be detained by the royal authorities until instructions were re- ceived from the King. Sefior Alarcon reported to the Collaterale on February 12, that the Papal Nuncio had declared that Petronio was an authorized officer of the Inquisition, and that the Holy Office would be satisfied if Figueroa be sent to the prison of the Cardinal at Naples.
The members of the Collaterale had found that it was no easy task to oppose the Inquisition, and agreed to this last demand, though they added in timid disapproval that they would resist any attempt on the part of the Holy Office to take Figueroa out of the Kingdom. The Nuncio demanded that the Cardinal's soldiers be given back their arms, and that no restrictions be laid upon Petronio in the exercise of his functions. They decreed that Figueroa be sent to the prison of the Nuncio, and that the Cardinal's soldiers should receive again their arms, but 1 Appendix, pp.
Figueroa was taken from Castel Nuovo, and placed in the hands of the ecclesiastical authorities. Francisco Castaldo was appointed to defend him in his coming trial before the Inquisition. He was also charged with having refused to go to Rome, although repeatedly summoned by the officers of the Inquisition. Figueroa testified that he was fifty years of age, that he was born of noble parents of Valladolid, and that he had served his Majesty satisfactorily in various posts.
He could not say definitely whether the Bishop had warned him that Stantione was a prisoner of the Inquisition, but stoutly maintained that in setting him at liberty, he had only obeyed the orders of his superiors at Naples. As for his failure to appear at Rome, he testified that in April, , he had been forbidden by the Viceroy to leave Naples, under penalty of his life. The verdict was handed down on September 5, , and Figueroa was declared guilty of 1 Appendix, p. In spite of the unfavourable verdict, the Duke of Alcala still hoped to defeat the plans of the Inquisition, and on No- vember 5, , he asked the Duke of Monteleon if there was someone in his service who might speak a good word for the prisoner.
Alvaro de Toledo to give all possible assistance to Figueroa, who was to be placed on trial at Rome. Tomas Imperato to Rome to support Figueroa's cause, and allowed him two hundred ducats for secret expenses. On March 30, he re- minded the Duke that he had not yet received fifty ducats which had been promised to him months before, and that he was suffering extreme want. The Viceroy ordered that this sum be paid to him at once.
He re- minded him that although Figueroa 'had been freed from the censure, he had been condemned to the penalty pre- scribed in the Bull " de protegendis," and was stilr in the prison of the Nuncio, in as bad straits as the first day of his imprisonment. He begged him to aid in procuring the documents authorizing his release, for it had been agreed on the day of his conviction that the Pope should pardon him.
We do not know whether this appeal of the Count of Monterey had any effect upon the Pope, but the Viceroy's interest in Figueroa continued, and on July 4, , he sent him forty ducats to help pay the expenses of his im- prisonment. This attitude of the King may have contributed to Figueroa's release, but his delay in sending his opinion had cost the unfortunate victim of the quarrel over a year of imprisonment. On February 13, , by order of the Viceroy, Figueroa was paid two hundred ducats for secret expenses. The next certain date in his life is January 3, when he was appointed Abogado Fiscal of the Audiencia of Trani.
The book appears to have been written to win the friend- ship of the Duke of Alcala, the newly appointed Viceroy, for the author felt that his sole hope for safety lay in gain- ing the support of the royal officers. He bestowed lavish praise upon the Duke of Alcala, and begged him to imi- tate the glorious deeds of his ancestor, Per Afan de Ri- bera, who also had been Viceroy at Naples. The scene of the book is a garden on the hill of Posilipo, overlooking the Bay of Naples, where four friends sought the cool breezes during the long summer days.
Pusilipo, which is a record of their conversation, is composed of six juntas or meetings, and includes a large number of verses which were introduced from time to time into the dialogue. The book shows evident signs of haste in composition, and the author rambles from politics and the principles of government to religion and natural philosophy without any apparent order or system.
He evidently wished to make sure that no charge of heresy could be brought by the Inquisition, for a deep religious tone pervades the en- tire work, and he rivals the most impassioned 'mystic in his description of the joys of Heaven. His discussion of the government of Naples is valuable as an historical docu- ment, but aside from that the book offers little of interest. This is the last work of Figueroa of which anything more than the title is known. In the Prologue, he promised to publish shortly the Residcncia de Talentos, which would be 1 Appendix, p.
Both of these books were mentioned in the list of works, composed and published by him, which was inserted in the edition of Espana Defendida, published at Naples in As far as I know, these books have never been mentioned by any bibliographer, and it is fair to infer that they were written, but never published. Gonzalo de Saavedra. This is the last certain date in his life, and I was unable to find any later reference to him in the Archives at Naples. In , his epic poem was republished at Naples, and is described as the fifth edition, and " por su autor recono- cido, y de las erratas cnmendado.
In the Dedication of Pusilipo, which appeared in , he says that he had served the King for thirty-two years in various posts, and in the Prologue to the edition of Espana De- fendida, published in , he says that he had held office for forty-two years, that is, he had been employed for ten years between and He did not receive his appointment at Trani until , and must have held that or some other office at least until when he undertook a new edition of his poem.
Besides the two works which he had promised in Pusilipo, Resi- dencia de Talentos, and Olvidos de Principes, he men- tioned two others as written and published. These were entitled, Desvarios de las Edades, escarmientos para todos and L' Aurora, con los primer os exercicios de vivientes.
None of these books are known to exist, and it is hardly likely that they were ever published, but we can judge from the titles that the didactic element which first showed itself in the Plaza Universal and El Passagero, was emphasized in these last works. We do not know the date of Figueroa's death, but it probably occurred after After his release from prison, he ceased to be a public figure at Naples, and in Spain he was well-nigh forgotten.
In an age when funeral panegyrics were almost a mania, his death passed unheeded by the poets. That he was a writer of no mean ability can not be doubted, but his long literary labours failed to win for him recognition. His convictions were too strong to allow him to court popular favour, and his life was em- bittered by disputes with his contemporaries.
CusHiHG ft Co. You brood of vipers! Sucumbe la opulenta Oran. Empezar, I'. I want every step I take to move me forward, not backward.
Of his very considerable literary production, there is little of perma- nent value. Most of his books were written to gain him a livelihood, and only with their aid was he enabled to eke out a miserable existence. Almost without exception, they lie covered with dust in the libraries of Spain, and his readers are confined to students of Spanish letters. How- ever, his translation of the Pastor Fido is a work of great merit, his pastoral romance is one of the best of its kind, and El Passagero is perhaps the best document we have for the study of Spanish society at the beginning of the seven- teenth century.
But aside from his literary work, the story of his career is of great interest. Although he can not be ranked as a great writer, we can honour him as a man of high moral principles, and as a steadfast champion of the highest literary and political ideals. Espejo de Juventud, requisites a un cavallero. Occupies first place in a list of books composed by Figueroa in the previous ten years, in the Prologue to Hechos de Don Garcia de Mendoza, Also mentioned in the edition of Naples, , of Espana Defendida.
El Pastor Fido. El Pastor Fido, tragicomedia Pastoral. De Baptista Guarini. Valencia, en casa de Pedro Patricia Mey, Tragicomedia Pastoral, de Battista Guarino. Ano mil Diuisce en quatre Discours. Traduite d'Espagnol en Frangois, par N. Tercera im- pression. En Madrid : For D. Antonio de Sancha. Espana defendida, poema heroyco, de Christoual Suarez de Figueroa. Madrid, Juan de la Cuesta, Espana Defendida. En esta quinta impression por su Autor reconocido, y de las erratas enmendado.
En Mad- rid, en la Imprenta Real, afio Hechos de Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza. Historia y Anal Relacion de las cosas que hizieron los Padres de la Compania de Jesus, por las paries de Orients y otras, en la propagacion del Santo Euangelio, los anos passados de y Plaza universal de todas ciencias y artes, Parte traducida de Toscano, y parte compuesta por el Doctor Christoval Suarez de Figueroa.
Madrid, Luis Sanchez, J 5- Plaza Universal de todas ciencias, y artes, parte tradusida de Toscano, y parte compuesta por el Doctor Christoual Suarez de Figueroa. Plaza Universal. Nuevamente corregido, y addicionado para esta impression. En que se comprehende una universal noticia de cada una de las ciencias, sus Inventores, origen, etc. De todas las religiones, sus principios, aprobacion y establecimientos. Relacion de la honrosisima Jornada que la Magestad del Rey don Felipe, Nuestro Senor, ha hecho ahora con nuestro Prin- cipe y la Reina de Francia, sus hijos, para efectuar sus Reales bodas; y de la grandeza, pompa y aparato de los Principes y Senores de la Corte, que iban acompanando a sus Magestades.
Es relacion la mas cierta que ha salido de la corte. Ordenada por el Doctor Cristobal Suarez de Figueroa, residente en ella. El Passagero. Por el Doctor Christoval Suarez de Figueroa. En Madrid, por Luys Sanchez, afio Barcelona, Gero- nimo Margarit, Varias Noticias importantes a la humana comunicacion. Por el Dotor Christoval Suarez de Figueroa. Ratos de conversation, en los que dura el paseo. Autor Don Christoual Suarez de Figueroa. Spanish translation of the first volume of the Opere spiritual! Mentioned in the Prologue to Hechos de Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza, but not included in the list of Figueroa's works pub- lished in the edition of Espana Defendida.
Residencia de Talentos. Mentioned in the list ol works, composed and published by Figueroa, which was included in the edition of Espana Defendida, published at Naples in Ohridos de Principes, danos seguidos par ellos. Included in the above mentioned list. Desvarios de las edades, escarmientos para todos.
L' Aurora, con los primeros exercicios de vivientes. De Madrid, a 8 de Abril, de Yo El Rey. Buen hermano de V. Andres de Prado. Rodrigo de Quiroga y manda que por ese can- didate le haga V. Palacio a 22 de Hebrero. Archivio di Stato, Naples. Archivio de' Vicere, Governi ed Uffici, No. Por justos respectos ha mandado el Duque mi senor proueer la plaga del Dr.
Xpoual de figueroa, Auditor de leche en persona del Dr. Geronimo de Alcamora Urssino sin embargo que no aya cumplido el tiempo y assi manda que V. Palacio al 8 de Agosto Por justos respectos ha mandado el Duque mi senor proueer la plaqa de Dr. This document refers to Figueroa's colleague, who was dismissed from office at the same time. En 16 de Nouiembre hizo S. Seuastian Pineli en lugar del Dr. Xpoual Suares de Figueroa a quien S.
Archivio de' Vicere, Vol. Ho trattato hoggi a lungo col Sig. Vicere, et esaggerandoli con spirito, e con modo la mala qualita dell'attione d'essersi leuato di poter del Santo officio il Figueroa, et mandata hor- tatoria a Monsignor Petronio, e 1'importanza delli impegni, ne'quali quest! Husbands, love your wives. First Peter aggregates, husbands, love your wives so that your prayers will not be hindered.
It starts that way. Dad, love your children. And we have become extension of his love. You are my friends, if you do what I command. First of all, what is this idea of laying down your life for his friends? We would prefer that out. You know, what would be a greater sacrifice? You know, another way to lay down your life? Intercessory prayer. Praying for people. These are all little deaths that we die, these are all little ways that we lay down our lives.
And the Lord is saying, you know why you can do this? You have the mind of Christ. You can go out and you can love them. And you know, this is the other thing that the Lord gives you, is this: authority. Actually, not a better way, the only way to do that is to become a fruit of the vine. See, God has an agenda, he is in business right now, the work of the early churches has not ceased, it is busier than ever.
The Lord has things he wants to do. People that need to be ministered to, kingdoms that need to be destroyed, works of Satan that need to be erased from the landscape of humanity, and the only way, the way that he has chosen to do that is loving through others. What do you need?
Many of you have seen this before. Because I believe that Saint Francis nailed this principle in this prayer. I think he nailed it and I believe that if the spirit of God, we just have the spirit of God to breathe fresh, the same Holy Spirit that breathed this prayer into him, we can incorporate this by reference into our own hearts, I know that I have. So if someone would like to do that, Sharon? Would you please? Oh, Lord make me an instrument of thy peace, where there is hatred let me sow love, where there is injury, pardon, where there is discord, harmony, where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope, where there is darkness, light, where there is sorrow, joy.
Padre yo te doy las gracias por la oportunidad que me concedes de poder compartir tu palabra hoy con mis hermanos y hermanas. Que seas tu glorificado por encima de todas las cosas. Que se fuera a ir por el borde y cayera abajo. El asunto fue que lo hizo. A mi me pasa a veces con mi esposa, estamos en la cocina y yo de repente salgo a la oficina a buscar algo, y ella me sigue hablando como si yo estuviera en la cocina pero no estoy.
Hay un pasaje en la Escritura que puede probarles esto. Sigue el pasaje, verso Yo quisiera hablar un poquito acerca de esto. Es interesante porque en este viaje, hermanos, yo quiero que ustedes entiendan este contexto. En camello, a pie y a caballo. Y la persona se angustia pero el nivel de angustia no lo lleva al punto de gritar. Es como que algo grande falta.
Pero, hermanos, yo reto ese pensamiento. Y las cosas que se van alcanzando a lo largo del camino son las recompensas de yo haberme mantenido exitoso, de yo haberme mantenido fiel a las cosas que Dios iba haciendo a lo largo del camino. Toda jornada tiene sus altas y sus bajas, tiene sus logros y tiene sus fracasos. Y se olvidan de que el que nos a nosotros la fuerzas, el que nos da a nosotros la riqueza para nosotros poder hacer las cosas es Dios. Es como que nos limpiamos las manos de la responsabilidad de orar y dejamos esa carga en las manos de otra persona para que ore.
No hay nada que pueda quitar eso. Miren como dice el pasaje al final en el verso 51, dice:. Que mejor que la gracia de Dios. La gracia de Dios, obviamente, yo se que no puede ser abusada, hermanos. Eso es gracia barata. Esa jornada de vida, mis hermanos, tenemos que tener a Dios presente. Es bien diferente asumir algo y asegurarte de una cosa.
Vamos a ponernos de pie, hermanos. Gloria a Dios. Esa es la pregunta para ti hoy. Hay que hacer bien intencionales, hermanos y hermanas, tenemos que ser bien intencionales. Reconocer la presencia de Dios en medio de cada una de esas etapas. Y se intencional, no asumas, no asumas, por favor, no asumas que Dios va a obrar en favor tuyo.
Hay una diferencia bien grande. Te quiero hacer un llamado. No tengas miedo, por favor. No tengas miedo. Padre, yo te presento a mis hermanos y hermanas. No podemos hacer nada sin ti. But really, most people would agree that verse 21, even though it is often left as part of the previous portion, and it is definitely also a part of the previous portion, but it also belongs to the following portion. And it says in verse Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. And so the Apostle is speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs and so on and so forth and always giving thanks to the Lord, God, the Father, for everything.
And then, as part of that whole instruction giving of how the family of God should conduct themselves, it says:. One area is the family, and another area is parents and their children. So one is husbands and wives; another is slaves and their masters and also one dealing with the parents parenting, parents and their children. I think we are people of the word and we will work through this hopefully with a lot of grace. But, how does that principle apply of mutual submission to the relationship of a husband and a wife? And Paul says here:. Now, as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything….
Because if you look at those three examples that he uses, he speaks to one group and then he speaks to another group. You know, these 3 categories were in authority, but he also speaks to the ones who are under authority and he uses the same methodology to each. Those who are under authority, he says, submit to them; and those who are in authority, he says, treat them in a certain way. And in each case it is a counter intuitive way. It is a way that was not expected in the world that the Apostle Paul moved in and preached in. I mean, this calling is totally counter cultural, which shows the intentionality of scripture regarding how these two groups should relate to each other.
So, clearly in the mind of the Holy Spirit there is a methodology here. Those who are in authority are supposed to behave a certain way and those who are under authority are supposed to behave also in a certain way. If one thing breaks down, the whole thing breaks down. How he has been sort of portioning out his revelation over the centuries as humankind became more mature and as his relationship with humankind became more complex, God would speak more openly about certain things, but according to the culture, you know, God gave his servants wisdom to speak in a certain way. He treats us like adult children.
Because I think what God did was he set up sticks of dynamite all over the slavery system through other expressions of Christianity and other values that were structured into the Christian value system. So that anybody that really incorporated the values of Jesus Christ and the love of Christ and the words of Christ, as treating others as you would treat yourself and so on and so forth, and serving those who are weaker and on and on, and on, you know, God put all these sticks of dynamite into the slavery system, so that any culture that really embraced Christianity, there time bombs would just explode and destroy slavery in a very systemic, thorough sort of way.
He wanted to say things in a different way, but in an even more revolutionary sort of way. Evidently the men needed a lot more instruction, and what God wanted to say needed a lot more of development and nuansing. So he took a lot more time to speak to the men and to set the principles that he wanted the men to govern themselves by. And really, in a way, I would say, it is a lot easier to submit, I think in terms of ultimately clarity and so on, than to love the way Christ loves.
But this idea of men in that century, or men in any century given male nature of loving your wife the Christ loved the church is so counter intuitive that it is the equivalent of submitting, because men have to submit their pride, men have to submit their natural roughness, men have to submit their natural tendency to control and dominate, and they have to take all those carnal impulses and submit them in order to be able to love their wives the way God expects them to. So, it is a submission in a sense. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church, for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church, however each one of you must also love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
And of course he says, wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. So, you see this thing, one of the things that many commentators will immediately observe about this passage, is what I just said earlier: how totally revolutionary this treatment of women that is implicated here, and this relationship between men and women was, for the first century, whether it was Greece, Rome or in Judaism, in Israel.
That was part of their prayers every day, a Jew would say this. Women had absolutely no rights, they had no legal entities in a way, they became the property and the projection and extension of their husbands. Husbands had every right and women had none. A husband could divorce his wife, practically for any reason. Apparently there were two interpretations in so many religions, one was very strict and said, no, I mean, a husband should not divorce his wife.
The only thing he had to do is give her back her dowry, but that was the only thing. Men could let go of a woman, many years just by saying that. And really that is the nature when you go through most cultures throughout the world, you see how little value women had or have and here you have the Apostle Paul and the word of God, the Apostle Peter speaks very in similar terms. It was a totally different relationship that was being established by scripture. It is calling for the man and the woman to complement each other, to treat each other with decency and consideration and all kinds of other things that were really revolutionary for the time.
In Greek culture it was the same thing. Women could be divorced easily and man had absolute power over the woman. The woman had no equality of any sort and she was not an entity in any big sense of the word. In Roman culture apparently, it was more egalitarian and here the whole thing was a simple divorce, the institution of marriage was almost sham, like it is today here in many modern countries and men and women divorced each other, left and right, and it was just a big party.
And the Apostle Paul comes in with this idea of the sacredness of marriage and comparing it to the relationship between Christ and his church, the unity that the absolute bond, mysterious bond between the two. It was something totally revolutionary. Now, what is he saying?
There is this idea that the husband, the man is the head of the home. But, I think in any church where the word of God is held high and respected, that has to be preached. But you know, I believe that that call to submission in a woman, just as the call for priestly behavior in a male, is written in our genes. I really believe that God has written this rule, this law, this tendency of the male exercising a responsible leadership in creation and woman submitting and also exercising all the beautiful, abundant gifts that God has given her, without which the male is very, very impoverished, and very limited.
Because he has his strength, but he also has his weaknesses and woman has her weaknesses, but she also has her strength. But in this relationship of a corporation, in this relationship of the system, somebody is the CEO and God for some strange reason, in many cases in particularly has given men that position of CEO. So the natural place for a man in a home is to be the head of the home, to lead, but to lead how? And as she does that, she enters into her home and she is in a position of strength actually, mysteriously. Jesus is so close to woman, and I think this is why Jesus was so surrounded by women many times.
Jesus had a special affinity with women. You see him unnaturally closed and associated with women in his ministry, even to his death. You know, the paradox of the gospel is that, God has sort of programmed these things into the cosmos and when he causes to submit and to die we enter into the fullness of our power. Where did Jesus carry out his most powerful actions? On the cross. There, impotent, totally bound, deprived of all strength, dignity.
And that essential mechanism by which, when you submit, you release power and you are raised up. Woman moves in that. She has a dignity like no other. When I see a woman submitting, I see her carrying out an action of great power and great consciousness. She is powerful and you know what? She can bless her children, she can bless her husband, she can cover her husband even. I have seen the power of woman to redeem a man and to keep him powerful and to cover him. The more I am in awe of the mystery of male and female, and how God has created these two beings to carry out all kinds of statements that are being lived up by us as we related to each other.
So, this idea of submitting to the headship of the male is not some cheap way of enslaving women and of keeping them powerless. On the contrary, I think it is a mysterious way that is at the center of the gospel to bring women into the full manifestation of who they are and what God created them to be.
And really I think this is where it breaks down so many times and I tell you, both my wife and myself, we do a lot of counseling of couples and in that room where my office is, I see a lot of, we see a lot of brokenness of couples, of marriages. And I sometimes get the men in my church really angry at me, I think. I do think that a lot of the problems in marriage today are because we men, mess it up.
We do not follow the statements that are declared here. We do not follow the instructions that are given to us. Because I think that in most cases, most women who are healthy in any emotional way, will submit to a man that treats them with this kind of care. This idea that we are supposed to treat women as Christ treated the church. And here, again, the figure of Christ still remains as the central point of reference. Women submit to your husbands as the church submits to Jesus Christ.
Now, men, treat your wives as Christ treats the church. How does Christ treat the church? I mean, Christ gave his life for the church, that is the absolute measure of love. So, I mean, you know, men should see their position of leadership not as an opportunity to abuse, to serve themselves of the woman, or to impose themselves on the woman, but really as an opportunity to give themselves to their wives. You know, I think the position of a priest of the home, of head of the home, is not a position of privilege as much as a position of responsibility. I see my calling as head of this home, as one where I need to live for my wife, for my family.
Have a seat. Thank you. I know you mean good but for the moment I will ask you to remain there for a second.
Thanks, you have good intentions and I receive them, but thank you. I started a little bit late. He lead as a servant. He served to the point of giving up his prerogatives and his benefits. He served to the point of making sure that the church was given enough responsibility and had enough power and functions delegated to them, that they could develop their gifts. You know, could God do everything if he wanted?
Run the world, preach the gospel, build buildings for his church. He could do everything and yet he devised this system where by he delegated almost everything to us, and simply gave the Holy Spirit to empower us, counsel us, advice us, consult with us and we do the work that in so doing the work, we develop our gifts and our love and our humility and our brokenness and our ability to pray and to forgive one another and to counsel one another and we come Christ-like. And God delegated all of that to us. Jesus delegated. He could have done it himself. He could have said, the power is mine.
I can do this job ten times better than any of you guys can. I will do it. I see Jesus all the time delegating power and function to his disciples and once he said you call me Lord and you are right, because I am. And he knew, Jesus knew the power that he had. Jesus knew the authority that he had, but then he gave it away. And that is exactly the way a husband should act in the relationship with his wife.
Yes, he has the authority and the wife is wise to acknowledge the authority. There are other pastors who will not be as confrontative as I am in developing this idea: women submit, and we sort of, rush through that in order to avoid any offense. Do you hoard it all? Do you make the decisions in the home? You write the checks, you administer it and you do everything yourself, or do you enable your wife to come into the fullness of her calling? This is what is says about Jesus that he worked for her in order that she would get to be perfect, without blemish, without wrinkle, a perfect church.
And I think the commitment of a husband should be to facilitate for his wife everything that is possible for her to become what God wanted her to be. So if she needs to grow in an area of ministry and God has called her to do that, hey, he should wash some dishes and he should make some of his meals many times to allow her to grow into her calling, and to become what God gave her to be. He should delegate to her pieces of the economy of the home and decision making, that she would feel that she has power and that she has authority. He should be gracious and he should give it more and more away.
With his children, the same way. He should consult them, he should allow them space to make mistakes. He needs to delegate to people that have more strength in one area. I was just counseling with a couple of ministers, a ministerial couple, you know, he is a visionary. God has put her there to be complementary to you. A good leader knows that and he delegates to people who have more strength in certain areas and together they create a very powerful institution.
I think when men forgo that everything breaks down and things begin to unravel. And it is that mystery, that complementary. I think that in the way the Father and the Son relate to each other, this is the way I think a marriage should function in the husband and the wife, not comparing of course in any way, the husband to God.
But it is in that relationship, you know, the Father delegates the Son, the Son submits to the Father, and the Father lifts the Son up and glorifies him: this is my Son, this is my beloved, listen to him. What beautiful relationship is the complementary. So, we all have to learn from that. I have my pieces to learn, you do as well.
Young women who are going to be married one day, I urge you, I call you to accept this mystery. It gets you out of your access. I would suggest to you, enter into the mystery, explore it more. Make sure that you find a man who will be able to love you. Make sure you do that and men, understand the calling of scripture, you are to be a gentle leader, a servant leader.
Your power will come from giving yourself, giving of yourself, yielding and sharing your power and your authority. Your wife will love you, your relationship will be full and strong. You will have the love and the respect of your wife, of your children. God I wish that we could learn that lesson. But let us each enter into the call of God for our life and the particular call, the part that God is calling us to do.
So, Father, thank you for speaking to us and we pray, teach us, Lord what is this mystery of man and woman in a marriage relationship. May our church be a church where these things are modeled in a way that honors you. Forgive our mistakes, Father, we know that we all have made mistakes, either in rebelling or in oppressing and tonight we way we want to yield to your model, we want to yield to your mystery. And I pray that every young man, every young woman that is about to be married, or will be married some day, Father, will be able to move in that dynamic that our marriages will be havens and places of mutual submission and mutual love and that our marriages, those of us who are married will be able to have better marriages as we obey the teaching of the Lord.
Thank you for your patience, I may have gone a bit over but I think these things are very hard to develop without taking some time. Praise God. La santidad del matrimonio. Hay mucho provecho en esto. Pronto la noche viene, dice ese coro, tiempo es de trabajar. El que come no menosprecie al que no come, y el que no come, no juzgue al que come, porque Dios le ha recibido.
Algunos tienes diferentes opiniones acerca de ciertas cosas. Los escalops, tan buenos que son, porque no tienen aletas y no tienen escamas. Hay hermanas que vienen de tradiciones donde por ejemplo, no se puede ir al cine, y todas estas cosas, entonces esto se encuentra dentro de nosotros. Pero, son de diferentes opiniones. Eso es lo malo. Hice lo otro y tengo que tener En Cristo hay mayor libertad, podemos descansar. Si tropezaba con un animal muerto en la calle pues, ya era una cosa terrible. Otros, sin embargo, las miraban y recordaban las prohibiciones anteriores.
Hay dos o tres cosas que nosotros tenemos que recordar en una comunidad tan diversa como la nuestra. Pero piensan que ir al cine es pecado. Otros, no, van al cine todo lo que pueden. Entonces, hay una pugna en la iglesia, y nos criticamos unos a otros y nos dividimos en campos. Debemos aprender a tolerarnos y saber que mientras estemos en la tierra va a haber diferencia de opiniones. Yo creo, hermanos, que cuando las iglesias y los pastores tratamos de meter a la gente en una camisa de fuerza y hacerlos santos conforme a nuestra imagen y semejanza, tarde o temprano soltamos una cantidad de problemas en la iglesia.
Porque, hermanos, la carne no se puede meter en una celda. La carne es algo rebelde que solamente cuando Dios nos glorifique va a ser Y aprendemos los unos de los otros. Entonces, mutuamente nos fertilizamos, mutuamente nos fortalecemos y nos ayudamos unos a otros. Tenemos que aprender que mientras estemos en la tierra va a haber diversidad de opiniones, vamos a entender la palabra en diferentes maneras y tenemos que estar concientes de que somos parte de un cuerpo y que tenemos que respetar el espacio unos de los otros.
Nadie, ha dicho alguien es una isla. Todos somos miembros de un continente, de una totalidad. El Evangelio no es, hermanos, para pelear unos con los otros. No podemos menospreciarnos unos a otros, juzgarnos unos a otros, todo lo contrario tenemos que respetar la diversidad. Esto es lo que te va a pasar. Cada uno tiene su forma de llegar a donde Dios lo quiere llevar. Yo prefiero una iglesia de diversidad de opiniones, que una iglesia artificialmente metida en una camisa de fuerza, con gente aparentemente muy santa pero ardiendo por dentro, con todo tipo de pensamientos y cosas.
Tampoco sea resistente. Hay cosas en la Biblia que son bien claras, que su no es no. Hay claridad con respecto a eso. Hay valores La gente a veces quiere como que uno les controle la mente. La gente quiere ser controlada, la gente quiere no tener que pensar, no tener que ellos bregar con la palabra directamente y desarrollar madurez.
Sabe que dice la Biblia que el ministerio es para aquellos que tienen los sentidos desarrollados por medio del uso. Eso no es lo que lo que un pastor se supone que haga. Esa es la pregunta. No, no se puede ir al cine. No juzgarnos unos a otros, no menospreciarnos unos a otros. Aprender unos de los otros, considerarnos miembros unos de los otros, y a apreciar lo bueno que hay en la otra persona en vez de estar mirando solamente lo malo. Eso es bello, bello. Yo te voy a llevar. Gracias, Padre, gracias por lo que tu has hecho posible entre nosotros. Pedimos que tu permitas que siempre nos movamos en el amor de Cristo.
Gracias por este pueblo. Amen y amen. You know, the reality is it does not matter much if I speak. What it is, is being available every one of us as often and as much as we can. When Christ who is your life appears then you also will appear with him and glory. But till death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry, because of these the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life that you once lived, but now you must rid yourselves of all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.
Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed…. And have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge, in the image of the Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarians, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and is in all. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you and over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you are called to peace and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude of hearts to God.
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, the Father, through him. Now, I am not going to try to do any kind of expository preaching on this text. Right, number one, for us to recognize that we are all called in various settings of service, that God is in all, he is through all. If we read this and we see this that we are being raised with Christ and set our hearts on things that are above and put off the things that are the earthly, the sensual, the devilish, the human dynamics.
Lord, that really is your hand that is truly at work. Father, in that process, Lord, I pray that you would invite us to experience something that will really break up our presuppositions, the notions that we have about what it is that we are called to become. Something of the uniqueness of a group.
So Lord, we trust you and we say you have permission, we do understand, Lord that it is easier to say that than to live it, but as sincerely as we are able to express with a quiet sense of confidence towards you, Lord, we say, would you take this ship of souls of whom we are? And would you bring the guidance, Lord? Would you bring the needing? Would you work creatively in a way that pleases and honors you?
We have various settings of service. I was telling Stephen about a video that I was producing down in New Jersey and working with a pastor down there. But he felt a vision and a burden for ministry and he had served in the church in Nodley, New Jersey for a number of years and the pastor brought he and a few of the other elders that had served with him, not in any kind of fulltime capacity, or any kind of even background and training, as far as active ministry was concerned.
You know, all of the sort of standard ways that we think we become qualified. And he just saw that there was something unique about him and some others and sent them out over a period of six months. And they started 3 or 4 different churches, under his authority, under his leadership, with the guidance and wisdom that was there but he sent them out and let them go.
There are many different variations that God can use and what I feel like, what I would love to see God do is experiment with us as a people group. And they may be different or they may not be different than what would seem like a traditional model. But I just really want for us to begin to get this as a foundation, if God were giving me permission to be able to something into our souls collectively, it would really be to do with understanding that every one of us are courier and carriers of the anointing of God wherever we are.
We are in fact, minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, all the time, and it is not based upon some ecclesiastical ladder, some kinds of hierarchal pecking order, it is not to do with that. That is not what really loosens and releases ministry. And you know what? It counts who you speak to and how you talk.
It counts that you carry Jesus in the workplace.
Now, number two we are called to fulfill a life that has significance, value and meaning that communicates the life of Christ to our family, first, to our co-workers and to our friendship circles. That is where we live life. This is a window into an experience, but we live life day in and day out. And the first place that we are to live out our life of faith, really, and I mean, it seems as thought this just might be so simplistic as to not have a way of impact in us, but it is in our homes, it is to do for the way for our husband to love his wife, for a wife to honor and love her husband, for a father to care for and raise up the children in the ways of the Lord and to be able to live those things out.
You know, this is where the rubber really does meet the road. The second most important place is where we labor, where we work, where we spend our time, where we transfer our energies to gain the substance that we call wealth or money, or whatever it is that provides for us. Our missionary journey is when we get out of bed and we pick up our cup of coffee and we go to wherever it is that we go to and we do whatever it is that we do.
So, the honing and the sharpening of the work of God in our lives in this arena, is absolutely imperative. And then, of course, the third thing that I said, in our friendships, in our friendship circles. One of the things that I really believe that God would be greatly honored with is that we would be intentional about developing friendships and friendship circles outside of the circles that we might ordinarily find ourselves associating with.
When people first come to Christ they have a set of friends that are usually outside of the circle of church relationships and fellowships. But as we develop and as we grow in Christ the Lord really does want for us to be able to intentionally begin to develop those friendships, casual relationships, the kinds of things that we can then invest in the way that we can meet people and we can share with them and we can have kind of, like common moments. He is a human being who is in the process of coming into some kind of exposure to another person with a different set of values and who is a believer and a Christian.
And so, we need to look at these things and we need to be developing these things because the moment will come, if you have done the ground work, just to be a friend to somebody, the moment will come when there will be some kind of a moment of need and something will crystallize around that and it will be an opportunity to be able to share and impart something that God has given you, that is important and is significant. So, I really want you to understand that about your life is significant. When I pastured for a number of years, every week I got Jack….. He is a human being and he is not even afraid of communicating weaknesses or flaws or inabilities and I mean, I remember a tape that he shared on when he was talking about how his son came to him as an adult son now, and started lining up all of the ways that Jack …..
A handful of people. Great man. A very great man. I went to them and Sam probably did, other people did. But, the thing that I trust about what ……. If we can grow up, I really mean this, if we can grow up to be really big people and I think that does take a little flashing out of the terminology. Sam is champion in the way to slimness, I see. I am observing. I really understand what stuck means. But a church that will be intentional about really growing people, helping one another.
How do we grow people? What does it really mean? I think growing big people from me might be best described by creating an environment where people can really be honest and receive honesty framed in kindness that helps the soul to be able to really trust. It does not happen even…. I love that and the worship experience is great. He does that. They are higher, they are past finding out. And then he invites us to come into the mystery. It is really is mind-boggling, but that in fact is how he does this. But what is it that sabotages this? What is it? So, a little bit of exploration into that I think is worth doing.
Before we go there, I just want to…. When God spoke that, when God said that, his way that that will happen is with people. I mean, we are. God desires to do that. So, what goes wrong? What happens? People have become disillusioned of the church because leadership, by and large, has been willing to use people. Now, if you let me, just going to re read that. People have become disillusioned with the church because leadership has been willing to use people as expendable commodities in order to achieve and further their vision, rather than truly understand the heart of God for his people and really lovingly lay down their lives as leaders for the growth and development of the people of God.
It was to be used of God, to speak, to sing, to pray. To be used of God, to show someone the way……. There are some of us that know these old things. I long so much to feel the touch of his consuming fire, to be used of God is my desire. I mean, we sing them, there are different words and that but the core of them is that yearning after God to be used of God, you know, to be useful in his hands, as tools. But the reality here is that we want to be used by God.
They really want to be used by God but nobody wants to be used by people. Nobody wants to be used by people. And sure enough, Charlotte looked upon the web and we found out who they are these evil little ants. And they were Poliergus summarized species of ants. And I got to thinking about how many of you have ever watched Star Trek, the next generation. Anybody is Star Trek?
Anybody would divulge that they would watch such nonsense? So, I feel like what we need to do is we need to just look because these things, even though they are exaggerated illustrations, what they are really pointing to is a very functional thing. And ultimately the issue really comes down to the issue of trust particularly in the arena of leadership. Can we trust the leadership? We want leadership that we can rest in, that we can trust.
And the Bible does speak to this, the Bible talks about, you can look in Jeremiah 23, verse 1 through 4, where it says:. I myself, will gather the remnant of my flock out of all of the countries where I have driven them and I will bring them back to their pasture where they will be fruitful and where they will increase in number, and I will place shepherds over them who will tend them and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing, declares the Lord.
The churches that he had birthed, in First Thessalonians, chapter 2 on verse 13, we read, it says:. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit and the wrath of God has come upon them at last. Again, and again but Satan stopped us, for what is our hope, our joy, our crown in which we glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ when he comes, is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. Your life growing and maturing is the evidence of the glory of God resting on the planet. I honestly, you know, I mean, I do believe that there are some churches that are called, actually called to be small, group kinds of dynamic.
There are some that are actually intentionally developed that way and the Lord uses that. Just a couple of more thoughts. We give you permission to begin to shape the core of our beings and Father, I am very aware that words are cheap in regards to these statements, and the demonstration of it is by the breaking of light together, the bread of life, by the exposing of ourselves to the process of really knowing each other and coming into community here and going through the tougher parts of that and learning how to trust you in it.
When you nudge us, yes Lord. When you speak to us, yes, Lord. And as you grow us and you test us and you take us to further extremities of our readiness to say yes, Lord, I just pray that you will graciously, mercifully, as the loving Father you are, work kindly, grow us up, Lord. Y lo otro que quiero decir es que quiero darle las gracias a su pastor, el pastor Miranda. Si algo vale la pena ser hecho o hacerse, vale la pena hacerlo aunque sea pobremente.
Esto es absolutamente asombroso. Hemos alquilado un lugar de reuniones para unas personas. Este es el destino de las naciones. Las grandes multitudes, los estadios llenos de gente son admirables y hermosos. Hay ansiedad en la multitud. Se nos dice que el Evangelio tiene unas 4 partes, unas 4 divisiones. Esto, antes de que comenzara el mundo, fue predestinado por Dios.
Era nardo. Es una especie que viene de la India y es extremadamente caro, costoso. Era nardo puro, altamente refinado. Los matrimonios se arreglaban por familias o se compraban. Esta mujer joven se quita su velo sobre su cabeza. No importa lo que cualquiera otra persona pueda pensar. Pueden ponerse de pie.
Who would have thought that we would have been still in Ephesians, after all these months. For of this you can be sure, no immoral, impure or greedy person, such a man as an idolater has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Therefore, do not be partners with them, for you were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth and find out what pleases the Lord.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret, but everything exposed by the light becomes visible for it is light that makes everything visible. Be very careful then how you live, not as unwise, but as wise making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.
Do not get drunk on wine which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the spirit, speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God, the Father, for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ….. What a beautiful and at the same time, how should I say, weighty passage, I mean it, we are overcome by the heaviness of the call of this passage. You know, I would summarize the challenge that is presented to us by the Apostle Paul as a call to purity.
I mean, I think that is the unifying theme throughout these various verses, a call to purity, to living a pure life, living a holy life, living a life that is pleasing on to the Lord. And you can see, right there, we spent time examining the previous verses in chapter 4, in the previous couple of weeks when I had the chance to analyze this passage, and it was that same insistence on behavioral consequence on what God has done for us and all the mysteries and the beauties of the revelation that we have received in Jesus Christ.
And, from chapter 4 on, we have said that the Apostle Paul has been dedicating a good amount of time to kind of breaking down what it means to be a member of that Kingdom of God and to be a part of that plan that God has put together, that he describes so well in chapters 1, 2 and 3. I think it was he who wrote that book, if not, he should have written it, but I know the title exists and there is a book with that title: How now shall we live. And so, I think, one could say that this is what the Apostle Paul is saying here: How now shall we live? In the light of what Christ has done and all these things that have been revealed to us in scripture.
How should we walk in life. And, so in chapter 4 he spoke about certain areas of behavior. You know, I see four areas of behavior that the Apostle Paul speaks about or four areas of human life, I would say. One is the mind, we talked about that. And then he spoke later on in chapter 4 in some of the following verses, 25, 26, 27 and so on, about relationships, how we should relate to each other, not lying to each other, not being angry and having that simmering anger stay with us and being resentful and manipulating each other or talking in ways that are inappropriate and so on and so forth, and bitterness, and rage, and brawling and slander and every form of malice and we should not engage in any of those behaviors.
So, how we talk is very important as well. We are very aware, oh, yes, sexual purity and so on and so forth, but you know, the Apostle Paul also talks about our mouth, how we talk. So, we have the mind, we have relationships, we have the mouth and how we talk with each other, and how we relate to each other. And then I guess the fourth one is just shear behavioral, moral issues, and what kind morality, what kind of moral life we should lead. So, you see that the Kingdom of God has implications for all those areas of human existence. And we should not isolate one area at the expense of the others.
We, Christians, are good at that. Many times compartmentalizing and so one would think that the only way that a person can sin is sexually. You know, the way some Christians talks, but we can sin in the way we treat each other, we can sin in the way we speak, we can sin in the way we think and in the patterns of our thoughts. So, all these different ways are parts of that holy life that God wants us to lead, and we should see the whole package, and we should see things systemically and as a whole.
To ask the Holy Spirit to work in whatever area of our life he needs to work. It is the idea of aping and copying move by move. And that was one thing, just the mechanical imitation and of the patterns of arguing and putting together logically the arguments that one is going to present in trying to convince an audience. So, you had to imitate, and a lot of…. And who is the greater Master of holiness than our God? To try to imitate God? We need to see God, we need to understand God and you know, as I say this it comes clear to me now what he means when he says, he talks about understanding God.
Where is that? Can you find it in the….. Because if we are going to imitate God then we need to understand him. As we see Jesus portrayed in the gospels and the way he dealt in all kinds of different situations and how he handled different kinds of challenges and difficulties and attacks on his ministry, and adversity and demonic confrontation and illnesses of those he loved and so on and so forth, and we see how he acted, temptation, then, we can imitate him and we can try to be like him and walk in his steps. I also remember the other passage where the Apostle Paul says that as we gaze at the face of Jesus and we fix our eyes upon him, we are transformed from glory to glory and we become like him.
We must try in human proportion to be like our God. Can we say amen to that? I was watching Esther here during the worship time and her mom was raising her hands to worship, and you know, what that little baby of….. She raised one hand, at one point, she raised both hands: imitators. They imitate parents and they become like them in many ways.
I think God has enabled them to do that so that they can survive. So, we need to be imitators of God as dearly loved children. I mean, we are dearly loved children. So, we can afford to be clinked to him and to like to be with him. Esther was calling out to here dad right here, and you know, he was nearby so she was trying to get his attention. I mean, what really obey the word or not, do I want to love him or not, do I want to submit myself or not? And you know, the Bible calls us to that simplicity of heart, that innocence of attitude. The wisdom of the child of God has a certain innocence to it, it has a good naturedness to it.
The merely rational mind is sophisticated and cynical and skeptical and questioning and it takes it time in analyzing and deconstructing and putting them back together. Hey, and you know what? You know, that call to love is the essence of being imitators of God. And you know, love is the sum total of every virtue. All the other virtues really that are mentioned are summarized in love and contained in love. Love is like the color of white which scientifically contains all the other colors. You break the color of white in its structure and it yields all the other colors, and I believe love is like that too.
Love in its essence has all the components of all the other virtues brought together, that is love. This is why, I mean, this connection here, time and time again the Bible always goes back to love and it is the foundation and it is the crowning virtue as well. And so that life of purity begins with a life of love, of living a life that is a sacrifice on to God.
Jesus lived his life as a sacrifice and actually he became a sacrifice. And the Bible calls us in Romans chapter 12 to be living life as a sacrifice. I think that the life of purity and the life of holiness is the life of sacrifice. And then, you know, he gets really in our case.
I mean, he gets deep inside our skin. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality…. That is the goal, there must not even be a hint. For Paul to call Greco Roman believers to a life of purity, it was one of the most radical statements that have ever been made in history.
Because if you look at the life of the Greeks and the Romans, you know, to them prostitution and sexual relationships and sexual freedom, and license was a very, very common thing. As a matter of fact there are whole sectors of society that see the Christian call of holiness as ridiculous and repressive.
You know, all of Freudian psychology, for example, and much of modern counseling, secular counseling is based on this idea that sexuality should not be repressed and that it leads to neurosis. Man left alone to his vices of thinking and of processing immorality, will arrive at that sooner or later.
I mean, you know, that there were sacred prostitutes in Ephesus, in other places whose role was to serve the goddess Aphrodite particularly, by being prostitutes. And in other cultures in the Middle East there were homosexual prostitutes as well who plied their trade, they were sacred, homosexual priests and prostitutes. So, you can imagine that a culture that allows a temple to a God to be built from the profits of prostitution, what are their moral values? There should not be even a hint of sexual immorality. I mean it was a radical thing. It was very conflictive, it was very challenging.
It was a very daring thing, only God really, a revelation from God could lead to that kind of call. Interestingly enough, look again here. How much damage has been done to this culture by the license that we practice? Marriage has been destroyed, not destroyed but certainly quite damaged. And you have a whole generation or two of children that are paying that price. It is because he has designed us in a certain way.
We have to operate in a certain way and when we break away from that design, we are out of our access and we are open to all kinds of dangers. So, the call to holiness is a very practical call, actually. He gives only three possibilities: obscenities, of course, cursing and using foul language; foolish talk I find it a little bit more intriguing and interesting. You know, what is foolish talk? Christians, our conversations should be substantial.
The Apostle Paul speaks about being seasoned with salt. We should, when we talk we should realize the mouth is a very powerful weapon. Apostle James speaks about that.