Coloss. 3.3.

Our life is hid with Christ in God.

My words and thoughts do both express this notion,
That Life hath with the sun a double motion.
The first Is straight, and our diurnal friend,
The other Hid, and doth obliquely bend.
One life is wrapt In flesh, and tends to earth.
The other winds towards Him, whose happy birth
Taught me to live here so, That still one eye
Should aim and shoot at that which Is on high:
Quitting with daily labour all My pleasure,
To gain at harvest an eternal Treasure.

George Herbert, 1633

A fun one. The italics relay ‘My Life Is Hid In Him That Is My Treasure.’ The slightly different title likely originates with an editor. We find the dualist light and dark, the sun ‘our diurnal friend,’ and then ‘Hid, and doth obliquely bend.’ That is, at night, it swings around the other side of the world. So also, Herbert has two lives, one terrestrial and the other eventually heavenly. It’s curious that by this time, and perhaps this is simply when it became the generally accepted belief among Christians, that the expectation of a post-mortem spiritual escape to heaven, with the physical body abandoned on, or rather in, the earth.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *