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For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion,And waiting at my gate-posts.When he drew the circle over the abyss;

Moreover it ought to be recognised that, properly regarded, morality is never unimportant; moralisms being trifling only so long as they remain mere words, not when they are translated into deeds. Act upon the good that is found in these proverbs, and immense results would follow. But just there is the crux: 鈥淚t is a small matter to get right principles recognised, the whole difficulty lies in getting them practised. We need a power which can successfully, contend against the storm of our passion and self-will.鈥漑154]男生拍照姿势大全 And ornaments round thy neck (Pr. 17-9).手机友友彩票下载And fire that says not 鈥淓nough.鈥 (Pr. 3015, 16),手机友友彩票下载手机友友彩票下载

手机友友彩票下载Is there this Heavenly Wisdom? Century by century, Life is accumulating its patient answer to the question, building up its vast evidence that the word of God endures, generation by generation confirming the intuition that the visible is for man the least real and that it is the unseen things that are eternal. But out of the midst of history there has also come one finished and marvellous reply鈥攖he personality of Jesus Christ.手机友友彩票下载Before all his works of old.Nothing could well be easier than the removal of those landmarks鈥攊nsignificant heaps of stone, set at the end of a wide furrow. But from earliest times the East has counted them adequate guardians of the fields, and from generation to generation, by consent of all decent-minded men, they have stood inviolate. Other nations, as well as Israel, called them sacred. Greece, and Rome too, gave them a god for their protection, Hermes of the Boundary, beside whose shrine of heaped-up stones travellers would stay to rest, and, rested, lay an offering of flowers or fruit before the kindly deity:手机友友彩票下载

Nevertheless Ben Sirach is well pleased that God had not made him a farmer or a smith. It is evident that he did not deem the art of the craftsman compatible with learning; and, since he loved his scribe鈥檚 life, his satisfaction at having full leisure to prosecute the search for Wisdom is very human and pardonable. All the same, some may feel there is a touch of intellectual snobbery in his tone. If so, his successors, the Rabbis of later Judaism, did not follow him in the fault. They took the view that the degrading tendencies of certain occupations must be frankly recognised, but that there were many trades requiring manual toil which ought to be highly esteemed.[50] In that most interesting{119} work of the first and second century A.D., The Sayings of the [Jewish] Fathers, we read that Shemaiah said, Love work. Rabbi Meir, however, said cautiously, Have little business, and be busy in the Law. It is said in the Talmud (Kidd, 99a) that Whosoever doth not teach his son work, teacheth him to rob. These remarks scarcely carry the question beyond Ben Sirach鈥檚 view. But many of the Rabbis went much further and urged that religious and intellectual studies were not profitably undertaken unless accompanied by some acquaintance with manual labour. Thus, said Rabbi Gamaliel (about 90 A.D.), An excellent thing is study of the Law combined with some worldly trade ... but all study of the Law apart from manual toil must fail at last and be the cause of sin. Another, and a powerful, saying is this: Flay a carcase in the street and earn a living, and say not, 鈥淚 am a famous man, and the work is beneath my dignity.鈥 St. Paul will doubtless occur to many as an instance of a great scholar who was proud to know and to exercise the trade of tent-making. Recall how earnestly he protested to the Christians of Corinth his independence of their monetary help (cp. Acts 181-3; 1 Cor. 412, 2 Cor. 119). This admirable association of labour and learning persisted among the Jews, and their history contains many examples of splendid men who combined the virtues of great scholarship with the pursuit of some humble means of livelihood. Some of the best-known Rabbis of the Middle Ages supported themselves by labouring as carpenters, shoemakers, builders, bakers, and so forth.4. Of Riches and the deceitfulness thereof手机友友彩票下载If any man lack Wisdom let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him, writes St. James. Surely God鈥檚 gift is Christ? There are now nineteen centuries to show that nothing that has set itself against His wisdom has endured and been accepted as the truth.手机友友彩票下载

As for this last observation, it may have been well enough once upon a time, but of course one would not dream of asserting it now-a-days鈥攁s regards the present generation it would be, yes, altogether inappropriate. Well, let us not dispute the matter. Ancient and modern, East and West, we can all unite to enjoy the honest fun and good counsel of Ben Sirach鈥檚 advice (E. 1910) to that distracted individual the man with a secret:手机友友彩票下载He that depriveth him thereof is a man of blood.手机友友彩票下载The liberal man shall prosper the more,

III抢包山 鈥淪eek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.鈥澥只延巡势毕略豂f thou seek her as silver手机友友彩票下载Than in a wide house with a fractious woman (Pr. 2524; cp. 219).

手机友友彩票下载But Hellenic life was not sunshine without shadow. For all its power and brilliance Greek society was exposed to many perils and was guilty of serious mistakes. These, however, we have here no need to discuss in full. It is enough to note that, when-and-where-soever the necessity for ardent patriotism was absent or unfelt the Greek conception of life lacked adequate moral incentive, and sinister conditions which were a very black shadow in a fair world could and did arise. Much might also be said regarding the jealousies of the petty cities, whence came warfare constant, embittered, and suicidal. Nevertheless it remains absolutely true, that compared with the stagnation of Eastern civilisation, Hellenism was life and health. Judge from one token, the epitaphs just quoted. Men could not write like that in Palestine or Babylon, because they never died for such a cause.A poor man toileth in lack of substance, and when he resteth he cometh to wantYea beneath four it cannot bear up鈥

V. Finally, a great number of Jewish proverbs are mentioned in the post-Biblical Rabbinical writings鈥攖he tractates of the Mishna, the Midrashim, and Talmuds. Embedded in a vast and difficult literature (how difficult only those know who have attempted seriously to study it), these later Jewish sayings have been somewhat inaccess{41}ible to Gentile students. They are interesting in many ways, but the development of our subject in this volume will give opportunity for the mention only of a few. Should any reader desire to know more of these Rabbinic sayings, he can now be referred to a small but trustworthy collection recently made by A. Cohen and published under the title Ancient Jewish Proverbs.手机友友彩票下载Of the numerous sayings concerning wealth and poverty we may mention some that bring before us the concrete picture of men rich and poor. Here is one that is eloquent of the bitterness of the contrast:手机友友彩票下载Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit?手机友友彩票下载


We turn now to the sayings themselves, or rather to a selection from them, for the sons of Folly provoked very many proverbs.The standard of character the Wise thus set before men is open to adverse comment. It savours of salvation by merit. That therefore it falls below the Christian ideal, and below the majestic and penetrating conception of human possibilities that the great Hebrew Prophets urged, is undeniable. But such radical criticism may for the moment be put aside; later on we shall discuss what may be the relative values of the Wise-men鈥檚 words and works. For the present all that is desirable is to consider certain surprising features which the reader may have noted in this outline of Good and Evil.


A man鈥檚 utterances are often an inadequate expression of his soul. Our final estimate ought to be based, not on the proverbs themselves, singly or collectively, but on what is behind them, the character of the speakers. The question is, Were these sayings just verbal piety and respectable commonplace, or were they, so to speak, waves borne on the swell of an advancing tide, having beneath and behind them the deep impulse of a live enthusiasm? What manner of men were the Sages at heart鈥攎ere talkers, seeking the mental satisfaction of turning a neat phrase and sunning themselves in popular esteem, or men genuinely concerned for the moral welfare of their fellows? One we have already considered and not found him altogether wanting. Much can be forgiven if only the majority of the Wise were like Ben Sirach, in earnest about their task. We ventured to describe him as a typical Wise-man, but what ground is there for that assertion?The Mischief-Maker


The standard of character the Wise thus set before men is open to adverse comment. It savours of salvation by merit. That therefore it falls below the Christian ideal, and below the majestic and penetrating conception of human possibilities that the great Hebrew Prophets urged, is undeniable. But such radical criticism may for the moment be put aside; later on we shall discuss what may be the relative values of the Wise-men鈥檚 words and works. For the present all that is desirable is to consider certain surprising features which the reader may have noted in this outline of Good and Evil.(E. 3824-34).


And concealed from the fowls of the air.He will apply his heart to finish the glazing,


As cold waters to a thirsty soul,And set fast the fountains of the deep;


The second obvious point of criticism is the indefiniteness apparent in this so-called Ideal of the Wise. Their ethic may justly be called redundant, or defective, or both; and in truth their Utopia, even in its broad outline, does seem too confused and too fragmentary to provide any coherent scheme. Contrast the relatively clear-cut work of the Hellenic thinkers who, starting also from similar vague popular notions of ethics, correlated, combined, and sifted the material until, as in the Stoic and other philosophies, precisely formulated systems were elaborated. Was not the Jewish lack of method fatal to effective teaching? No. The Wise did not, indeed could not, construct a strict unity out of their free-and-easy, uncorrelated aims. But they were not candidates for a degree in Moral Sciences, nor are their doctrines here exhibited as a satisfactory substitute for modern social philosophy. Their thinking, as a matter of fact, was definite enough to serve their day and generation. The position was not quite so serious as it may appear from a theoretical point of view. In reality, the Sages knew very well what they were aiming at, and had a reasonably{160} clear idea of the type of character they wished to see developed in themselves and other men. Now it is fortunate that in the pages of Ecclesiasticus we possess not a little information about the thoughts, habits, and fortunes of its author, Jesus ben Sirach; for this man, though doubtless not a perfect embodiment of Wisdom, provides just what we most require at this point of our study鈥攁 historical figure, and an admirable and typical representative of his class. To envisage him will humanise our notion of the Wise-men and may give to their ideals a coherence which in the abstract they may seem to lack.The land of death; the barren womb;


And where is the place of understanding?Passing from the methods and manner of the Movement, it is encouraging to turn for a moment to the thought of its success. When we measure the might of the forces making against Wisdom, the numbers and influence of those bent on pleasure or on riches with scant regard, or none at all, for nobler possibilities in life, it is wonderful that the ideals of the Wise should have become known to vast numbers of men in alien lands, and that, enshrined in the Bible, their influence should still remain unexhausted. Had the memory of them continued in honour only for a century{225} or two and been restricted to the limits of the Jewish communities, even that would have been a result exceeding what had once seemed probable. For Hellenism was a monstrous flood apparently capable of sweeping away far larger obstacles than all Judaism combined鈥攑riests, prophets, and Wise-men鈥攃ould raise against its onset. But Wisdom and Law and Prophets survived the deluge, quite unharmed and indeed strengthened by the trial they had undergone. Why was it so? How comes it to pass that the Wise after all do not toil in vain; that the Crucified conquers; that St. Paul, who in his lifetime can establish no more than a few struggling Churches, eventually commands the intellect of Greece and subdues the power of Rome? Surely because, in the words of yet another great passage in the Hebrew Scriptures, Elisha鈥檚 vision in beleaguered Dothan was no mirage in the eyes of a famine-haunted man, but truth of truth, and the mountains of Reality which compass the City of Human Faith are full of the chariots of the Lord of Hosts. Christianity is not dying, nor is the Church doomed, nor is the work of idealists in this generation of no avail. Rather he is blind that imagines so, blind to the armies that in the soul of Man do battle for the one eternal God.