Works of love by Kierkegaard, Søren; Hong, Edna Hatlestad; Hong, Howard

By Kierkegaard, Søren; Hong, Edna Hatlestad; Hong, Howard Vincent

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The lover wants to test the beloved. The friend wants to test the friend. The testing undoubtedly has its basis in love, but this violently flaming desire to test, this craving desire to be put to the test, denotes that the love itself is unconsciously uncertain. Here again there is an enigmatic misunderstanding in spontaneous love and in the poet's explanations. The lover and the poet think that this urge to test love is precisely an expression of how certain it is. But is this really so? It is quite correct that one does not wish to test what is unimportant, but from this it surely does not follow that wanting to test the beloved is an expression of certainty.

But a person should fear neither the one who can kill the body l9 nor the hypocrite. There is only one whom a person should fear, and that is God; and there is only one of whom a person should be afraid, and that is oneself It is true that no hypocrite has ever deceived anyone who in fear and trembling before God was afraid of himself But the one who is busily occupied tracking down hypocrites, whether he succeeds or not, had better see to it that this is not also a hypocrisy, inasmuch as such discoveries are hardly the fruits oflove.

You can keep this secret to yourself also when you profess your faith with bold confidence, and when you lie weak on your sickbed and cannot move a limb; when you cannot even move your tongue, you can still have this secret within you. But the originality of faith is related in turn to the originality You Shall Love 29 of Christianity. Lengthy descriptions of paganism, its errors, its distinctive characteristics are not at all necessary; the marks of the essentially Christian are contained in Christianity itself Make the test here: forget Christianity for a moment and think of what you ordinarily know as love; call to mind what you read in the poets, what you yourself can find out, and then say whether it ever occurred to you to think this: You shall love?

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