Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Honor All Work of the Craftsman

Recent discussion reminded me of this:

Children of men, lift up your hearts.
Laud and magnify God, the Holy and Eternal Wisdom,
the everlasting and adorable Trinity.

Praise Him that He hath made man in His own image,
a maker and craftsman like himself,
a little mirror of His triune Majesty.

For every Act of Creation is threefold,
An earthly Trinity to match the heavenly.

First, there is the Creative Idea,
passionless, timeless,
beholding the whole work complete at once,
the end in the beginning;
and this is the image of the Father.

Second, there is the Creative Energy,
begotten of the Idea and subject to it,
working in time with sweat and passion
from the beginning to the end;
and this is the image of the Word.

Third, there is the Creative Power,
the meaning of the work,
and its response in the lively soul;
and this is the image of the indwelling Spirit.

And of these three, each equally is the work,
whereof none can exist without the other;
and this is the image of the Trinity.

Honor, then, all work of the craftsman,
imagined by men's minds,
built by the labor of men's hands,
working with power upon the souls of men,
image of the everlasting Trinity,
God's witness in world and time.

And whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.

This is from Dorothy Sayers's The Zeal of Thy House, a play about the danger of pride and about craft as prayer, and is the first expression of an idea that she develops much more fully in her best nonfiction work, The Mind of the Maker.

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