Tuesday, June 2, 2009

To Wax Eloquent

The word "wax" is ancient with it first appearing in a published work in 897. The verb 'wax' was used to mean grow or increase. Therefore, to 'wax eloquent' means to grow or increase in graceful, persuasive speech.

One thing I enjoy when I read puritan authors is their inclination to 'wax eloquent' when writing theology. Though I have only read a few puritan authors, John Owen, Thomas Watson, Jonathan Edwards, Richard Baxter, they all do not hesitate 'wax eloquent'. They present the reader with some lines and paragraphs that stylistically would not be familiar.

A Body of Divinity, by Thomas Watson, has some good examples of the puritan author's propensity to write with a flourish:

It is one of the best sights to see an old disciple; to see silver hairs adorned with golden virtues. (2)

The Book of God has no errata in it; it is a beam of the Sun of Righteousness, a crystal stream flowing from the fountain of life. All laws and edicts of men have had their corruptions—but the Word of God has not the least tincture—it is of meridian splendor. (27-8)

What is it to be spiritual?
To be refined and holy, to have the heart still in heaven, to be thinking of God and glory, and to be carried up in a fiery chariot of love to God. (48)

The perfection of God's knowledge is primary. He is the original, the pattern, and prototype of all knowledge; others borrow their knowledge of him; the angels light their lamps at this glorious sun. (56)

If a man sets up two nets, one of silk, the other of iron, the silken net may be broken, not the iron one. Just so, while men break the silken net of God's command, they are taken in the iron net of his decree; while they sit backward to God's precepts, they row forward to his decrees. God decrees to permit their sin, and then to punish them for their sin permitted. (71)

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