Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Common Grace Bestowed Upon Dr. Jose Rizal

John Murray on Common Grace:
"The word 'common' in the title of the topic is not used in the sense that each particular favour is given to all without discrimination or distinction but rather in the sense that favours of varying kinds and degrees are bestowed upon this sin-cursed world, favours real in their character as expressions of the divine goodness but which are not in themselves and of themselves saving in their nature and effect. So the term 'common grace' should rather be defined as every favour of whatever kind or degree, falling short of salvation, which this undeserving and sin-cursed world enjoys at the hand of God." 

When I was a university student , there is one book that keeps me coming back to the library's Filipiniana section. It is Ambeth Ocampo's Rizal Without the Overcoat. More than a decade after, I'm still following his online columns at the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Opinion pages.

In one of the more recent articles, Ocampo cites a letter sent by Dr. Jose Rizal to his sister Lucia where he explains why he is encouraging one of her sons to be a farmer. You can read the entirety of Ocampo's article here. I'll just reproduce below what Rizal had penned.

What we can glean from this pinch of common grace is an understanding of the various inclinations of different people. This will guide us in making career choices. It may even be useful in the church for determining which ministries should we involve our selves in.

Here's what Rizal wrote:

"Teodosio and Tan have gained much with their stay in Manila and are grown up. They don’t seem to me unpromising boys. All on the contrary, and I hope that with time they will become very useful men. Teodosio is not lazy; he has more liking for the land than for books. We cannot all be doctors. It is necessary that there be some to cultivate the land. One must follow one’s inclination. Tan, on the other hand, is a boy who likes to study and has ability. He has already looked at my books and has asked me for some. With time, this lad will be a man of books. When I asked them what was their order for Manila, Teodosio asked for his bolo and Tan for his book. This proves the inclination of each one. And after all, I, who have spent my life studying, now I’m going to plant coconuts! Today I have made them write a letter. The writer was Tan and Teodosio helped him. You will see by the characters that Teodosio is economical and Tan is generous. Here I shall teach them Spanish, English, Arithmetic and gymnastics."

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