Page images

4, 88: Ture deum placa, vitulum sine crescat aratro ;
Ne credas gaudere deum, cum cæde litatur.

("Let incense be thy offering to the gods; let the bullock grow up for the plow; do not imagine that the gods delight in the slaughter of victims.")

Our common saying, "In time of peace prepare for war," is paralleled thus:

4, 26

Tranquillis rebus semper adversa timeto;

Rursus in adversis melius sperare memento.

("When things go well, look out for adversity; when they go ill, hope for better days.") "Still waters run deep" is represented by this:

4, 31: Demissos animo et tacitos vitare memento;

Quod flumen placidum est, forsan latet altius unda.

("Avoid the shy and silent man; the stream that flows quietly is likely to be deep.") Vergil's famous advice, "Litus ama altum alii teneant "(Æn., v, 163), appears in this form:

[ocr errors]

4, 33: Quod potes, id tempta; nam litus carpere remis

Utilius multo est, quam velum tendere in altum.

("Attempt what is suited to your strength; for it is much better to row along the coast than to trim sail for a voyage on the deep.")

A few more especially pointed maxims may serve to conclude this list of specimens:

1, 3: Virtutem primam esse puta compescere linguam ;

Proximus ille deo est, qui scit ratione tacere.

("Consider control over your tongue a cardinal virtue; he that can keep a rational silence stands next to the gods.")

1, 14: Cum te aliquis laudat, iudex tuus esse memento;

Plus aliis de te, quam tu tibi, credere noli.

("When one praises you be your own judge of it; don't put others' estimates of yourself higher than your own.")

1, 27: Noli homines blandos nimium sermone probare;
Fistula dulce canit, volucrem dum decipit auceps.

("Don't favor a man of a flattering tongue; the pipe utters sweet notes while the fowler is decoying the bird.”)

2, 21: Quæ potus peccas, ignoscere tu tibi noli;

Nam crimen vini nullum est, sed culpa bibentis.

("Don't try to excuse yourself for the wrongs you did when drunken; the wine is not to blame, but the drinker.")

2, 26: Rem, tibi quam scieris aptam, dimittere noli;

Fronte capillata, post est Occasio calva.

("Don't lose the chance which you know is yours. Opportu nity has a forelock, but the back of her head is bald.")

3, 18: Multa legas facito, perlectis neglege multa;

Nam miranda canunt, sed non credenda poetæ.

("Read much, but pay no attention to much that you read; the poets sing of marvelous things, but you need not believe them.")

4,3 Cum sis incautus nec rem ratione gubernes,

Noli fortunam, quæ non est, dicere cæcam.

("When you carelessly steer your bark aground do not accuse Fortune of being blind, for she isn't.")

4, 11: Cum tibi proponas animalia cuncta timere,

Unum præcipue tibi scito hominem esse timendum.

("In making up your mind to fear all animals, bear in mind that the human animal is most to be dreaded.")

It is surely a pity that so much sound sense as this collection contains should have been suffered so long to escape the attention of the modern world. Whether or not these proverbs are suitable for youth, they are certainly instructive for maturer years. Whatever their origin and authorship, they furnish a running commentary on life-a commentary which seems to indicate very strongly that, notwithstanding the progress of the external world, human nature has remained essentially the same during the march of the centuries. Man can subdue the forces of nature; but it takes a divine revelation to subdue man and free him from himself.

Karl P. Harring tou


For (this suffering with Him in order to be glorified with him is no casting away of toil and self-denial, seeing that) I reckon (since being convinced, I myself have embraced this course) that the sufferings of this present period are insignificant in comparison with the glory that shall be revealed in us.

(The greatness of this glory is shown in the fact that all creation now under the bondage of corruption shall be set free from it by the glorification of the sons of God.) For the patient expectation (which continues till the time arrives) of the creation (all this world except man, both animate and inanimate) waits for the revelation of the sons of God (because their sonship will be complete and possessed of all its privileges and glories).

Verse 20. Explanation of the reason why all creation waits. For the creature was made subject to vanity (instability, liability to change and decay), not willingly, but on account of Him (not Adam, but God. He is the occasion, and his glory the end of creation's corruptibility), because the creation itself also (not only we the sons of God, but even the creation itself) shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (its subjection to the bondage of decay, Heb. ii, 15) and be admitted into the freedom of the glory (not glorious freedom) of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans together, and travails together (not with us, or with mankind) from the beginning up to this time. But (moreover) not only (the creation), but even ourselves, possessing (though we possess) the first fruit of the Spirit (the indwelling influence of the Holy Spirit here as an earnest of the full harvest of his complete possession of us, body, soul, and spirit hereafter), even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting the fullness of our adoption (which adoption is come already, verse 15, so that we do not wait for that, but for its full manifestation) in the redemption of our body (not rescue from). For in hope were we saved (our first apprehension of and appropriation to ourselves of salvation, which is by faith in Christ, was effected in the condition of hope, which hope is in fact faith in its prospective attitude).-Alford's Greek Testament.

This passage is very difficult of comprehension. So are the stars. But the more difficult and involved the more rich the unfolding and the greater the development of mind. Heaven was not meant as an asylum for feeble-minded children; hence the world and the word must be a gymnasium. The strong and confident gymnast swings his trapezes between the stars. Whoever speaks for God ought to speak largely.

He should often speak beyond the understanding of men. If any deem that human understanding should be standard and measure of divine revelation he is apt to say "impossible" to many things that a revelation from God should contain. For the things impossible to men should be possible with God.

The Bible often gives great sweeps of thought in few words. That is why a thousand sermons are preached from a few brief texts. The texts are so fundamental that, like primeval granite, they underlie the whole universe of thought. This text that seems so difficult at first contains this great truth, namely, that all being, created and uncreated, is intimately related. It is this thought only, among the many, that is expanded in this paper. We have here presented God, the uncreated Spirit, men the sons of God, children, heirs, joint heirs with Christ, the Spirit helping our infirmities-most beautiful, intimate, and intricate relations. This thought is familiar. But the text goes on to one less familiar, namely, that all things, animate and inanimateanimal, man, and material nature-are all bound together in one close relation of origin, progress, and destiny. The "whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together; we groan; the Holy Spirit groans-all waiting for some better consummation.

[ocr errors]

Can it be made evident that the whole creation is so intimately related in every part? The Bible declares it to be one in origin. In the beginning God created the heavens, the earth, and lastly man. Science, long time after, works out its problems to the same conclusion. All departments are under many, perhaps all, of the same laws. The laws for the moon are the laws for Mars; the laws for Mars, the same for Uranus and the stars. Intimately related are the songs of the linnet and the archangel. Throughout the whole vast creation one great purpose runs. Everything is made for service. Earth and sun feed grass; grass feeds a thousand forms of lowly and lofty animal life; animal life feeds man. Men must serve one another in order to live. And God serves all. Things are so connected that to know one thing perfectly involves a knowledge of all things.

Flower in the crannied wall,

I pluck you out of the crannies,

I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower-but if I could understand

What you are, root and all, and all in all,

I should know what God and man is.

There is in all things a tendency to rise. Rock becomes soil; soil, flowers and fruit; flowers and fruit feed flesh; and flesh, soul.

It is a singular proof of intimacy, sympathy, and relationship that material things so largely express immaterial thought. We say of a cheery soul that it is as bright as the sun; of a suspicion, that it is dark as night; and that the affections of an unmusical soul are black as Erebus. How could the lover find expression without the help of material figures?

All poets see this.

Those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn.
Wordsworth says:

To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

Bryant writes:

To him that in the love of Nature holds

Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language.

Stedman highly commends the lilt and melody of Shelley joined to precision of thought. See his perfection of all these qualities, especially the last, in his "A sensitive plant in a garden grew:"

There was a power in this sweet place,

An Eve in this Eden, a ruling grace

Which to the flowers, did they waken or dream,

Was as God is to the starry scheme.

I doubt not the flowers in that garden sweet

Rejoiced in the sound of her gentle feet.

I doubt not they felt the spirit that came

From her glowing fingers through all their frame.

And when the lovely lady died, and in consequence the garden died, you know not which to sorrow over most.

Everyone is poet enough to be stilled into gentle musings by the soft and soullike sounds of the pines. The lark in the

« PreviousContinue »