To view this newsletter on the Web, go to www.ccel.org/newsletter/2/11
In This Issue:
From the Director
I don't know about you, but I associate some books with sensing the presence of God. Reading them led me into God's presence. The words seemed to touch my soul. Now I don't know if there is really something special about such books, or whether there are times when God is sensibly close and many books would lead one into God's presence. I've heard that in such a state even the phone book can be spiritually nourishing! At other times, God seems absent, and even the best books leave me dry.
In any case, some books have filled that role for me: the Imitation of Christ, Augustine's Confessions, The Revelations of Julian of Norwich, and others. Such books were the cause of the start of the CCEL, and the original criteria for inclusion in the CCEL included the ability of a book to bring one into God's presence.
What books have filled that role for you? I'd be interested in hearing your comments, and I'll share some of them in a future newsletter. I've set up a discussion forum where you can add your opinion. Perhaps others will read a good book based on your recommendation.
Having trouble finding a certain page you've annotated? The My Annotations page displays a list of all the pages you've marked up with highlights or notes. A link can be found in the upper-right corner of any page, just under your username (you need to be logged in).
Highlights and notes are listed separately, grouped first by book and then by page heading. The text of all notes is shown for quick reference. Simply click on a page heading to return to the place where you made the annotation.
Devotions of Saint Anselm
These devotions, recently added to the CCEL, show that for Anselm, there was no clear separation between devotions and doctrine; his fervent prayer was fueled by his robust theology, and the reverse was also true. An excerpt:
Awake, my soul, awake! show your spirit, arouse your senses, shake off the sluggishness of that deadly heaviness that is upon you, begin to take care for your salvation. Let the idleness of vain imaginations be put to flight, let go of sloth, hold fast to diligence. Be instant in holy meditations, cleave to the good things which are of God: leaving that which is temporal, give heed to that which is eternal. Now in this godly employment of your mind, to what can you turn your thoughts more wholesomely and profitably than to the sweet contemplations of your Creator's immeasurable benefits toward you. Consider therefore the greatness and dignity that he bestowed upon you at the beginning of your creation; and judge for yourself with what love and reverence he ought to be worshipped.
Read this classic at the CCEL
An affordable shelf of books
I am a poor, obscure country preacher who has gone through a university and seminary. Ever since I graduated from seminary in 1988, I really missed the books I had easy access to as a student. I have a reasonably good library bought on my limited budget, but not even a fraction of the books I used in the university and seminary. The university is about an hour one way away from home, so it is not at all convenient to get to their library. I don't have money to buy all those books I could pick off the shelf and read back then. That's why I love this website: I feel like I'm back in school again!
How have you used the CCEL to deepen your research, discover new voices, and enliven your faith? Submit a usage testimonial.
Free Christmas Gift Wrap
The CCEL CDs make wonderful Christmas gifts—demonstrating caring and warmth. They are the perfect gift for your pastor, Bible study leader, favorite student or friend. In the CCEL store, you can find Christian searchable text CDs, Bible study software and Christian audio books ranging from $5 to $500.
Through December 14, 2007, CCEL is offering free Christmas gift wrapping of all CDs purchased. Simply add the free gift wrap product to your CCEL shopping cart and your CD(s) will arrive on your doorstep individually wrapped for Christmas.
Classic Reflections on Giving Thanks
Make a joyful noise. The Psalmist refers only to that part of the service of God which consists in recounting his benefits and giving thanks. And since he invites the whole of the inhabitants of the earth indiscriminately to praise the Lord, he seems, in the spirit of prophecy, to refer to the period when the Church would be gathered out of different nations. Hence he commands (verse 2) that God should be served with gladness, intimating that his kindness towards his own people is so great as to furnish them with abundant ground for rejoicing. This is better expressed in the third verse, in which he first reprehends the presumption of those who had wickedly revolted from the true God. ... We can never be at a loss for constant cause of praising him. It would be the basest ingratitude on our part, if we wearied in rendering to God the tribute of praise to which he is entitled.
Read this classic at the CCEL.
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