A Jagged Word


“A little fire indeed kindleth a great matter, but however little, it must be genuine fire. Frost will not do, and a painting of flame will not do, tough the pencil of Raphael produced it. A little hammer may break a great rock, but that which breaks must be harder and more tenacious than the thing broken. There must be a hand to apply the fire, and air to fan it; it must be rightly placed within the material to be kindled; it must be kept from being smothered. And yet all aids do but enable it to exercise its own nature, and it alone kindles. There must be a hand to wield the hammer, and a heart to move the hand; the rock must be struck with vigor, but the hammer itself is indispensable. God used instrument to apply the fire and wield the hammer; His providence prepared the way for the burning and the breaking. And yet there was but one agency, by which they could be brought to pass. Do we ask what was the agency which was needed to kindle the flame? What was it, that was destined to give the stroke whose crash filled earth with wonder, and hell with consternation, and heaven with joy? God himself asks the question, so that it becomes its own answer; ‘Is not My Word like as a fire? Is not My Word like the hammer which breaks the rock in pieces?'”

– C. P. Krauth, “The Conservative Reformation and It’s Theology” (6)