Saturday, April 26, 2014

"a signe of a gentle stomach"

Folger Shakespeare Library
It is "'a signe of a gentle stomach to geve credence to the doctors and to geve place to theym, as to the better learned.'"

     "Saint Ciril", as quoted by James Brooks in his A sermon very notable, fruictefull, and godlie, made at Paules crosse the. xii. daie of Noue[m]bre, in the first yere of the gracious reigne of our Souereigne ladie Quene Marie her moste excellente highnesse...(London:  Within the late dissolued house, of the Graie friers, by Roberte Caly, 1553), according to Dr. Mark C. Rankin of James Madison University, posting to FICINO on 25 April 2014.

     This I've tracked to:
     Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of John III.v, at John 6:28-29:
᾿Αγαθὸν οὖν ἄρα τὸ μέτριον φρόνημα, καὶ ψυχῆς ἔργον εὐγενοῦς, τὸ τοῖς διδάσκουσιν ἐπιτρέπειν τὸ λυσιτελὲς ἐξεπίστασθαι μᾶλλον, παραχωρεῖν τε οὕτω μαθήμασιν, ἐνεστιᾶν οἷσπερ ἂν ἔχειν οἴωνται καλῶς, ἅτε δὴ καὶ τὸ μεῖζον ἔχουσιν ἐν γνώσει.
     Sancti patris nostri Cyrilli Archiepiscopi Alexandrini In D. Joannis Evangelium, ed. Philip Edward Pusey, vol. 1 (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1872), p. 452, from the start of the sentence.  Pusey's own translation of this runs as follows:
it is the work of a noble soul, to commit to her teachers the thorough knowledge of what is profitable, and so to yield to their lessons, which they think it right to instill, seeing they are superior in knowledge.
     Commentary on the Gospel according to S. John, vol. 1:  S. John I-VIII (Oxford:  J. Parker, 1874), p. 357.  Cf. the 2013 translation by David R. Maxwell,
it is the work of a noble soul to rely on teachers for a thorough knowledge of what is profitable and so to yield to whatever lessons they are pleased to offer, since they have greater knowledge.
     Commentary on John, vol. 1:  Book 1 - Book 5, John 1:1 through John 8:43, trans. David R. Maxwell, ed. Joel C. Elowsky, Ancient Christian texts (Downers Grove, IL:  InterVarsity Press, 2013), p. 202.
     Here is a 16th-century translation into Latin, for the benefit of someone searching in Latin:
Proba igitur res humilitas est, & animi nobilis signum doctoribus credere:  ac illis ueluti doctioribus cedere, quando precipiendo nos ad meliora traducere student.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Darwinism appeared, and, under the guise of a foe, did the work of a friend."

"The one absolutely impossible conception of God, in the present day, is that which represents Him as an occasional visitor.  Science had pushed the deist's God farther and farther away, and at the moment when it seemed as if He would be thrust out altogether, Darwinism appeared, and, under the guise of a foe, did the work of a friend."

     Aubrey Moore, "The Christian doctrine of God," Lux mundi:  a series of studies in the religion of the Incarnation (London:  John Murray, 1889), 99.
     I was put onto this by Denis Alexander, "Not so selfish gene," Times literary supplement no. 5792 (April 4, 2014), 29.  Which is to say that I have not read the entire essay by Moore.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A contemporary improperium

I grafted you into the tree of my chosen Israel,
and you turned on them with persecution and mass murder.
I made you joint heirs with them of my covenants,
but you made them scapegoats for your own guilt.
Holy God, holy and mighty,
Holy immortal One, have mercy upon us.

     Section on Worship, Board of Discipleship, United Methodist Church, From ashes to fire:  services of worship for the seasons of Lent and Easter with introduction and commentary, Supplemental worship resources 8 (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1979), 158 (where it is reproach/improperium no. 9 under the section labelled "SILENT MEDITATION or DEVOTIONS AT THE CROSS").  "Don E. Saliers of Emory University was the writer of the [entire] manuscript", composed in sporadic consultation with James F. White and Hoyt L. Hickman (8-9). The only even remotely potential antecedent could, I suppose, be "the excellent work done by the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship" (161), but I think that likely to have involved work on the traditional Reproaches in general rather than the composition of this one stanza in particular de novo.
     Cf. p. 56 here, though, significantly (?), not pp. 310 ff. of the Church of England's Common worship:  Times and seasons.  Cf. p. 647 of the Acknowledgements to the latter.  It appears also on p. 189 of Hickman, Saliers, Stookey, & White, The new handbook of the Christian year based on the Revised Common Lectionary (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1992).  It does not appear in the 1992 United Methodist book of worship.
     I wonder if there aren't some objections additional to those made by N. T. Wright.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"there exists nothing more marvellous than the world's creation in the beginning except that, at the end of the ages, Christ our Passover has been sacrificed."

Almighty ever-living God,
who are wonderful in the ordering of all your works,
may those you have redeemed understand
that there exists nothing more marvellous
than the world's creation in the beginning
except that, at the end of the ages,
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
qui es in omnium operum tuorum dispensatione mirabilis,
intellegant redempti tui, non fuisse excellentius,
quod initio factus est mundus,
quam quod in fine sæculorum
Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus.
Qui vivit et regnat in sæculum sæculorum.

Piero della Francesca,
"The Resurrection" (post-1458),
Museo Civico, Sansepolcro.
     Prayer after the first reading (Gen 1:1-2:2), Easter Vigil, Roman missal.  It (i.e. Corpus orationum no. 3966) comes from the 8th-century Gelasian sacramentary, in which it follows the reading "de Noe" (Gen 5-8), and is in content not dissimilar to the opening Collect for Christmas day that derives from the early 7th-century Leonine sacramentary:
O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it, grant, we pray, that we may share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity. 
Deus, qui humanæ substantiæ dignitatem et mirabiliter condidisti, et mirabilius reformasti, da, quaesumus, nobis eius divinitatis esse consortes, qui humanitatis nostræ fieri dignatus est particeps.
Indeed, it is the latter that appears in the position of the former on p. 288 of the 1979 Book of common prayer:
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature:  Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
     It apparently also inspired this "Thanksgiving for regenerating grace" (S. M. Hopkins, A general liturgy and book of common prayer (New York:  A. S. Barnes, 1883), 50):
Almighty and everlasting God, who art glorious in holiness, and wonderful in working, we adore Thee not only as the author of the heavens and the earth, and of all things visible and invisible, but also of that new creation by which thou dost form us again after Thine own image, and make us afresh in Christ Jesus, to the glory of Thy grace in Thy beloved Son, to whom with Thee and the Holy Spirit be all praise and honor, world without end.  Amen.
     Cf. "The Lord of Sabbath let us praise", by Samuel Wesley Jr. (which I was put onto by Jared Bivins, but haven't yet checked against an authoritative text):

     On this glad day a brighter scene
     Of glory was display'd
     By God, th' Eternal word, than when
     This universe was made.

     He rises, who mankind has bought
     With grief and pain extreme;
     'Twas great to speak the world from naught,
     'Twas greatest to redeem.

The piety of God, the marvelous deeming-worthy of his dutiful care for us

O mira circa nos tuæ pietatis dignatio!
O inæstimabilis dilectio caritatis: . . .

O marvelous dignation [(deeming-worthy)]
     of [this] dutifulness of yours that encompasses us!
O dilection [(love)] of inestimable charity: . . .

2010 Roman missal:
O wonder of your humble care for us!
O love, O charity beyond all telling, . . .

1979 Book of common prayer:
How wonderful and beyond our knowing, O God, is your mercy and loving-kindness to us, . . .

     Ex(s)ultet.  Pietas is the love and duty (dutiful conduct, even fealty) owed to a superior.  Hence the condescension ("humble care") of the most recent translation of the Roman missal.
     For the Ex(s)ultet in an early 20th-century edition of the Missale Gothicum (c. 700), go here (there are later critical editions, but they are not online):
     O mira circa mos tuae pietatis dignacio
     O instimabilis dileccio caritatis
     But the Ex(s)ultet itself may well be earlier still.