March 17, 2014

A Colloquy with God by Sir Thomas Browne

Religio Medici (The Religion of a Doctor) is a book by Sir Thomas Browne, which sets out his spiritual testament as well as being an early psychological self-portrait. In its day, the book was a European best-seller and brought its author fame and respect throughout the continent. It was published in 1643 by the newly qualified physician after an unauthorized version of his writings on the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity had been distributed and reproduced with added text the previous year.

In the early nineteenth century Religio Medici was "re-discovered" by the English Romantics, firstly by Charles Lamb who introduced it to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who after reading it exclaimed, "O to write a character of this man!"

In Virginia Woolf's opinion Religio Medici paved the way for all future confessionals, private memoirs and personal writings.
Text (Source):

The night is come, like to the day,
Depart not Thou, great God, away.
Let not my sins, black as the night,
Eclipse the lustre of Thy light:
Keep still in my Horizon; for to me
The Sun makes not the day, but Thee.
Thou whose nature cannot sleep
On my temples sentry keep;
Guard me ’gainst those watchful foes,
Whose eyes are open while mine close;
Let no dreams my head infest,
But such as Jacob’s temples blest.
While I do rest, my soul advance;
Make me to sleep a holy trance,
That I may, my rest being wrought,
Awake into some holy thought;
And with as active vigour run
My course, as doth the nimble sun.
Sleep is a death. Oh, make me try
By sleeping, what is it to die!
And as gently lay my head
On my grave, as now my bed.
However I rest, great God, let me
Awake again at last with Thee!
And thus assured, behold I lie
Securely, or to wake or die.
These are my drowsie days; in vain
I do not wake to sleep again:
O come that hour, when I shall never
Sleep again, but wake forever.

Video Title: A Colloquy with God by Sir Thomas Browne. YouTube channel usedbuyer. Date Published: January 23, 2013. Description:
A poem by Sir Thomas Browne, author of Religio Medici, read aloud by Brad Craft.