Front Page Titles (by Subject) 4.: A STRAIN OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE LORD. - Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second
4.: A STRAIN OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE LORD. - A. Cleveland Coxe, Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second 
Ante-Nicene Fathers. Volume 4: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Part First and Second, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Revised and Chronologically arranged with brief prefaces and occasional notes by A. Cleveland Coxe (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885).
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A STRAIN OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE LORD.
- Who will for me in fitting strain adapt
- Field-haunting muses? and with flowers will grace
- The spring-tide’s rosy gales? And who will give
- The summer harvest’s heavy stalks mature?
- 5And to the autumn’s vines their swollen grapes?
- Or who in winter’s honour will commend
- The olives, ever-peaceful? and will ope
- Waters renewed, even at their fountainheads?
- And cut from waving grass the leafy flowers?
- 10Forthwith the breezes of celestial light
- I will attune. Now be it granted me
- To meet the lightsome muses! to disclose
- The secret rivers on the fluvial top
- Of Helicon, and gladsome woods that grow
- 15’Neath other star. And simultaneously
- I will attune in song the eternal flames;
- Whence the sea fluctuates with wave immense:
- What power moves the solid lands to quake;
- And whence the golden light first shot its rays
- 20On the new world; or who from gladsome clay
- Could man have moulded; whence in empty world
- Our race could have upgrown; and what the greed
- Of living which each people so inspires;
- What things for ill created are; or what
- 25Death’s propagation; whence have rosy wreaths
- Sweet smell and ruddy hue; what makes the vine
- Ferment in gladsome grapes away; and makes
- Full granaries by fruit of slender stalks distended be; or makes the tree grow ripe
- 30’Mid ice, with olives black; who gives to seeds
- Their increments of vigour various;
- And with her young’s soft shadowings protects
- The mother. Good it is all things to know
- Which wondrous are in nature, that it may
- 35Be granted us to recognise through all
- The true Lord, who light, seas, sky, earth prepared,
- And decked with varied star the new-made world;
- And first bade beasts and birds to issue forth;
- And gave the ocean’s waters to be stocked
- 40With fish; and gathered in a mass the sands,
- With living creatures fertilized. Such strains
- With stately muses will I spin, and waves
- Healthful will from their fountainheads disclose:
- And may this strain of mine the gladsome shower
- 45Catch, which from placid clouds doth come, and flows
- Deeply and all unsought into men’s souls,
- And guide it into our new-turnèd lands
- In copious rills.
- Now come: if any one
- Still ignorant of God, and knowing naught
- 50Of life to come, would fain attain to touch
- The care-effacing living nymph, and through
- The swift waves’ virtue his lost life repair,
- And ’scape the penalties of flame eterne,
- And rather win the guerdons of the life
- 55To come, let such remember God is One,
- Alone the object of our prayers; who ’neath
- His threshold hath the whole world poised; Himself
- Eternally abiding, and to be
- Alway for aye; holding the ages all;
- 60Alone, before all ages; unbegotten,
- Limitless God; who holds alone His seat
- Supernal; supereminent alone
- Above high heavens; omnipotent alone;
- Whom all things do obey; who for Himself
- 65Formed, when it pleased Him, man for aye; and gave
- Him to be pastor of beasts tame, and lord
- Of wild; who by a word could stretch forth heaven;
- And with a word could solid earth suspend;
- And quicklier than word had the seas wave
- 70Disjoined; and man’s dear form with His own hands
- Did love to mould; and furthermore did will
- His own fair likeness to exist in him;
- And by His Spirit on his countenance
- The breath of life did breathe.
- Unmindful he
- 75Of God, such guilt rashly t’ incur! Beyond
- The warning’s range he was not ought to touch.
- One fruit illicit, whence he was to know
- Forthwith how to discriminate alike
- Evil and equity, God him forbade
- 80To touch. What functions of the world did God
- Permit to man, and sealed the sweet sweet pledge
- Of His own love! and jurisdiction gave
- O’er birds, and granted him both deep and soil
- To tame, and mandates useful did impart
- 85Of dear salvation! ’Neath his sway He gave
- The lands, the souls of flying things, the race
- Feathered, and every race, or tame or wild,
- Of beasts, and the sea’s race, and monster-forms
- Shapeless of swimming things. But since so soon
- 90The primal man by primal crime transgressed
- The law, and left the mandates of the Lord
- (Led by a wife who counselled all the ills),
- By death he ’gan to perish. Woman ’twas
- Who sin’s first ill committed, and (the law
- 95Transgressed) deceived her husband. Eve, induced
- By guile, the thresholds oped to death, and proved
- To her own self, with her whole race as well,
- A procreatrix of funereal woes.
- Hence unanticipated wickedness,
- 100Hence death, like seed, for aye, is scattered. Then
- More frequent grew atrocious deed; and toil
- More savage set the corrupt orb astir:
- (This lure the crafty serpent spread, inspired
- By envy’s self:) then peoples more invent
- 105Practices of ill deeds; and by ill deeds
- Gave birth to seeds of wickedness.
- And so
- The only Lord, whose is the power supreme,
- Who o’er the heights the summits holds of heaven
- Supreme, and in exalted regions dwells
- 110In lofty light for ages, mindful too
- Of present time, and of futurity
- Prescient beforehand, keeps the progeny
- Of ill-desert, and all the souls which move
- By reason’s force much-erring man—nor less
- 115Their tardy bodies governs He—against
- The age decreed, so soon as, stretched in death,
- Men lay aside their ponderous limbs, and, light
- As air, shall go, their earthly bonds undone,
- And take in diverse parts their proper spheres.
- 120(But some He bids be forthwith by glad gales
- Recalled to life, and be in secret kept
- To wait the decreed law’s awards, until
- Their bodies with resuscitated limbs
- Revive. ) Then shall men ’gin to weigh the awards
- 125Of their first life, and on their crime and faults
- To think, and keep them for their penalties
- Which will be far from death; and mindful grow
- Of pious duties, by God’s judgments taught;
- To wait expectant for their penalty
- 130And their descendants’, fruit of their own crime;
- Or else to live wholly the life of sheep,
- Without a name; and in God’s ear, now deaf,
- Pour unavailing weeping.
- Shall not God
- Almighty, ’neath whose law are all things ruled,
- 135Be able after death life to restore?
- Or is there ought which the creation’s Lord
- Unable seems to do? If, darkness chased,
- He could outstretch the light, and could compound
- All the world’s mass by a word suddenly,
- 140And raise by potent voice all things from nought,
- Why out of somewhat could He not compound
- The well-known shape which erst had been, which He
- Had moulded formerly; and bid the form
- Arise assimilated to Himself
- 145Again? Since God’s are all things, earth the more
- Gives Him all back; for she will, when He bids,
- Unweave whate’er she woven had before.
- If one, perhaps, laid on sepulchral pyre,
- The flame consumed; or one in its blind waves
- 150The ocean have dismembered; if of one
- The entrails have, in hunger, satisfied
- The fishes; or on any’s limbs wild beasts
- Have fastened cruel death; or any’s blood,
- His body reft by birds, unhid have lain:
- 155Yet shall they not wrest from the mighty Lord
- His latest dues. Need is that men appear
- Quickened from death ’fore God, and at His bar
- Stand in their shapes resumed. Thus arid seeds
- Are dropt into the vacant lands, and deep
- 160In the fixt furrows die and rot: and hence
- Is not their surface animated soon
- With stalks repaired? and do they not grow strong
- And yellow with the living grains? and, rich
- With various usury, new harvests rise
- 165In mass? The stars all set, and, born again,
- Renew their sheen; and day dies with its light
- Lost in dense night; and now night wanes herself
- As light unveils creation presently;
- And now another and another day
- 170Rises from its own stars; and the sun sets,
- Bright as it is with splendour-bearing light;
- Light perishes when by the coming eve
- The world is shaded; and the phœnix lives
- By her own soot renewed, and presently
- 175Rises, again a bird, O wondrous sight!
- After her burnings! The bare tree in time
- Shoots with her leaves; and once more are her boughs
- Curved by the germen of the fruits.
- While then
- The world throughout is trembling at God’s voice,
- 180And deeply movèd are the high air’s powers,
- Then comes a crash unwonted, then ensue
- Heaven’s mightiest murmurs, on the approach of God,
- The whole world’s Judge! His countless ministers
- Forthwith conjoin their rushing march, and God
- 185With majesty supernal fence around.
- Angelic bands will from the heaven descend
- To earth; all, God’s host, whose is faculty
- Divine; in form and visage spirits all
- Of virtue: in them fiery vigour is;
- 190Rutilant are their bodies; heaven’s might
- Divine about them flashes; the whole orb
- Hence murmurs; and earth, trembling to her depths
- (Or whatsoe’er her bulk is ), echoes back
- The roar, parturient of men, whom she,
- 195Being bidden, will with grief upyield. All stand
- In wonderment. At last disturbèd are
- The clouds, and the stars move and quake from height
- Of sudden power. When thus God comes, with voice
- Of potent sound, at once throughout all realms
- 200The sepulchres are burst, and every ground
- Outpours bones from wide chasms, and opening sand
- Outbelches living peoples; to the hair
- The members cleave; the bones inwoven are
- With marrow; the entwinèd sinews rule
- 205The breathing bodies; and the veins ’gin throb
- With simultaneously infusèd blood:
- And, from their caves dismissed, to open day
- Souls are restored, and seek to find again
- Each its own organs, as at their own place
- 210They rise. O wondrous faith! Hence every age
- Shoots forth; forth shoots from ancient dust the host
- Of dead. Regaining light, there rise again
- Mothers, and sires, and high-souled youths, and boys,
- And maids unwedded; and deceased old men
- 215Stand by with living souls; and with the cries
- Of babes the groaning orb resounds. Then tribes
- Various from their lowest seats will come:
- Bands of the Easterns; those which earth’s extreme
- Sees; those which dwell in the downsloping clime
- 220Of the mid-world, and hold the frosty star’s
- Riphæan citadels. Every colonist
- Of every land stands frighted here: the boor;
- The son of Atreus with his diadem
- Of royalty put off; the rich man mixt
- 225Coequally in line with pauper peers.
- Deep tremor everywhere: then groans the orb
- With prayers; and peoples stretching forth their hands
- Grow stupid with the din!
- The Lord Himself
- Seated, is bright with light sublime; and fire
- 230Potent in all the Virtues flashing shines.
- And on His high-raised throne the Heavenly One
- Coruscates from His seat; with martyrs hemmed
- (A dazzling troop of men), and by His seers
- Elect accompanied (whose bodies bright
- 235Effulgent are with snowy stoles), He towers
- Above them. And now priests in lustrous robes
- Attend, who wear upon their markèd front
- Wreaths golden-red; and all submissive kneel
- And reverently adore. The cry of all
- 240Is one: “O Holy, Holy, Holy, God!”
- To these the Lord will mandate give, to range
- The people in twin lines; and orders them
- To set apart by number the depraved;
- While such as have His biddings followèd
- 245With placid words He calls, and bids them, clad
- With vigour—death quite conquered—ever dwell
- Amid light’s inextinguishable airs,
- Stroll through the ancients’ ever blooming realm,
- Through promised wealth, through ever sunny swards,
- 250And in bright body spend perpetual life.
- A place there is, belovèd of the Lord,
- In Eastern coasts, where light is bright and clear,
- And healthier blows the breeze; day is eterne,
- Time changeless: ’tis a region set apart
- 255By God, most rich in plains, and passing blest,
- In the meridian of His cloudless seat.
- There gladsome is the air, and is in light
- Ever to be; soft is the wind, and breathes
- Life-giving blasts; earth, fruitful with a soil
- 260Luxuriant, bears all things; in the meads
- Flowers shed their fragrance; and upon the plains
- The purple—not in envy—mingles all
- With golden-ruddy light. One gladsome flower,
- With its own lustre clad, another clothes;
- 265And here with many a seed the dewy fields
- Are dappled, and the snowy tilths are crisped
- With rosy flowers. No region happier
- Is known in other spots; none which in look
- Is fairer, or in honour more excels.
- 270Never in flowery gardens are there born
- Such lilies, nor do such upon our plains
- Outbloom; nor does the rose so blush, what time,
- New-born, ’tis opened by the breeze; nor is
- The purple with such hue by Tyrian dye
- 275Imbued. With coloured pebbles beauteous gleams
- The gem: here shines the prasinus; there glows
- The carbuncle; and giant-emerald
- Is green with grassy light. Here too are born
- The cinnamons, with odoriferous twigs;
- 280And with dense leaf gladsome amomum joins
- Its fragrance. Here, a native, lies the gold
- Of radiant sheen; and lofty groves reach heaven
- In blooming time, and germens fruitfullest
- Burden the living boughs. No glades like these
- 285Hath Ind herself forth-stretcht; no tops so dense
- Rears on her mount the pine; nor with a shade
- So lofty-leavèd is her cypress crisped;
- Nor better in its season blooms her bough
- In spring-tide. Here black firs on lofty peak
- 290Bloom; and the only woods that know no hail
- Are green eternally: no foliage falls;
- At no time fails the flower. There, too, there blooms
- A flower as red as Tarsine purple is:
- A rose, I ween, it is (red hue it has,
- 295An odour keen); such aspect on its leaves
- It wears, such odour breathes. A tree it stands,
- With a new flower, fairest in fruits; a crop
- Life-giving, dense, its happy strength does yield.
- Rich honies with green cane their fragrance join,
- 300And milk flows potable in runnels full;
- And with whate’er that sacred earth is green,
- It all breathes life; and there Crete’s healing gift
- Is sweetly redolent. There, with smooth tide,
- Flows in the placid plains a fount: four floods
- 305Thence water parted lands. The garden robed
- With flowers, I wot, keeps ever spring; no cold
- Of wintry star varies the breeze; and earth,
- After her birth-throes, with a kindlier blast
- Repairs. Night there is none; the stars maintain
- 310Their darkness; angers, envies, and dire greed
- Are absent; and out-shut is fear, and cares
- Driven from the threshold. Here the Evil One
- Is homeless; he is into worthy courts
- Out-gone, nor is’t e’er granted him to touch
- 315The glades forbidden. But here ancient faith
- Rests in elect abode; and life here treads,
- Joying in an eternal covenant;
- And health without a care is gladsome here
- In placid tilths, ever to live and be
- 320Ever in light.
- Here whosoe’er hath lived
- Pious, and cultivant of equity
- And goodness; who hath feared the thundering God
- With mind sincere; with sacred duteousness
- Tended his parents; and his other life
- 325Spent ever crimeless; or who hath consoled
- With faithful help a friend in indigence;
- Succoured the over-toiling needy one,
- As orphans’ patron, and the poor man’s aid;
- Rescued the innocent, and succoured them
- 330When prest with accusation; hath to guests
- His ample table’s pledges given; hath done
- All things divinely; pious offices
- Enjoined; done hurt to none; ne’er coveted
- Another’s: such as these, exulting all
- 335In divine praises, and themselves at once
- Exhorting, raise their voices to the stars;
- Thanksgivings to the Lord in joyous wise
- They psalming celebrate; and they shall go
- Their harmless way with comrade messengers.
- 340When ended hath the Lord these happy gifts,
- And likewise sent away to realms eterne
- The just, then comes a pitiable crowd
- Wailing its crimes; with parching tears it pours
- All groans effusely, and attests in acts
- 345With frequent ululations. At the sight
- Of flames, their merit’s due, and stagnant pools
- Of fire, wrath’s weapons, they ’gin tremble all.
- Them an angelic host, upsnatching them,
- Forbids to pray, forbids to pour their cries
- 350(Too late!) with clamour loud: pardon withheld,
- Into the lowest bottom they are hurled!
- O miserable men! how oft to you
- Hath Majesty divine made itself known!
- The sounds of heaven ye have heard; have seen
- 355Its lightnings; have experienced its rains
- Assiduous; its ires of winds and hail!
- How often nights and days serene do make
- Your seasons—God’s gifts—fruitful with fair yields!
- Roses were vernal; the grain’s summer-tide
- 360Failed not; the autumn variously poured
- Its mellow fruits; the rugged winter brake
- The olives, icy though they were: ’twas God
- Who granted all, nor did His goodness fail.
- At God earth trembled; on His voice the deep
- 365Hung, and the rivers trembling fled and left
- Sands dry; and every creature everywhere
- Confesses God! Ye (miserable men!)
- Have heaven’s Lord and earth’s denied; and oft
- (Horrible!) have God’s heralds put to flight;
- 370And rather slain the just with slaughter fell;
- And, after crime, fraud ever hath in you
- Inhered. Ye then shall reap the natural fruit
- Of your iniquitous sowing. That God is
- Ye know; yet are ye wont to laugh at Him.
- 375Into deep darkness ye shall go of fire
- And brimstone; doomed to suffer glowing ires
- In torments just. God bids your bones descend
- To penalty eternal; go beneath
- The ardour of an endless raging hell;
- 380Be urged, a seething mass, through rotant pools
- Of flame; and into threatening flame He bids
- The elements convert; and all heaven’s fire
- Descend in clouds.
- Then greedy Tartarus
- With rapid fire enclosèd is; and flame
- 385Is fluctuant within with tempest waves,
- And the whole earth her whirling embers blends!
- There is a flamy furrow; teeth acute
- Are turned to plough it, and for all the years
- The fiery torrent will be armed: with force
- 390Tartarean will the conflagrations gnash
- Their teeth upon the world. There are they scorched
- In seething tide with course precipitate;
- Hence flee; thence back are borne in sharp career;
- The savage flame’s ire meets them fugitive!
- 395And now at length they own the penalty
- Their own, the natural issue of their crime.
- And now the reeling earth, by not a swain
- Possest, is by the sea’s profundity
- Prest, at her farthest limit, where the sun
- 400(His ray out-measurèd) divides the orb,
- And where, when traversed is the world, the stars
- Are hidden. Ether thickens. O’er the light
- Spreads sable darkness; and the latest flames
- Stagnate in secret rills. A place there is
- 405Whose nature is with sealèd penalties
- Fiery, and a dreadful marsh white-hot
- With heats infernal, where, in furnaces
- Horrific, penal deed roars loud, and seethes,
- And, rushing into torments, is up-caught
- 410By the flame’s vortex wide; by savage wave
- And surge the turbid sand all mingled is
- With miry bottom. Hither will be sent,
- Groaning, the captive crowd of evil ones,
- And wickedness (the sinful body’s train),
- 415To burn! Great is the beating there of breasts,
- By bellowing of grief accompanied;
- Wild is the hissing of the flames, and thence
- The ululation of the sufferers!
- And flames, and limbs sonorous, will outrise
- 420Afar: more fierce will the fire burn; and up
- To th’ upper air the groaning will be borne.
- Then human progeny its bygone deeds
- Of ill will weigh; and will begin to stretch
- Heavenward its palms; and then will wish to know
- 425The Lord, whom erst it would not know, what time
- To know Him had proved useful to them. There,
- His life’s excesses, handiworks unjust,
- And crimes of savage mind, each will confess,
- And at the knowledge of the impious deeds
- 430Of his own life will shudder. And now first,
- Whoe’er erewhile cherished ill thoughts of God;
- Had worshipped stones unsteady, lyingly
- Pretending to divinity; hath e’er
- Made sacred to gore-stainèd images
- 435Altars; hath voiceless pictured figures feared;
- Hath slender shades of false divinity
- Revered; whome’er ill error onward hath
- Seduced; whoe’er was an adulterer,
- Or with the sword had slain his sons; whoe’er
- 440Had stalked in robbery; whoe’er by fraud
- His clients had deferred; whoe’er with mind
- Unfriendly had behaved himself, or stained
- His palms with blood of men, or poison mixt
- Wherein death lurked, or robed with wicked guise
- 445His breast, or at his neighbour’s ill, or gain
- Iniquitous, was wont to joy; whoe’er
- Committed whatsoever wickedness
- Of evil deeds: him mighty heat shall rack,
- And bitter fire; and these all shall endure,
- 450In passing painful death, their punishment.
- Thus shall the vast crowd lie of mourning men!
- This oft as holy prophets sang of old,
- And (by God’s inspiration warned) oft told
- The future, none (’tis pity!) none (alas!)
- 455Did lend his ears. But God Almighty willed
- His guerdons to be known, and His law’s threats
- ’Mid multitudes of such like signs promulged.
- He ’stablished them by sending prophets more,
- These likewise uttering words divine; and some,
- 460Roused from their sleep, He bids go from their tombs
- Forth with Himself, when He, His own tomb burst,
- Had risen. Many ’wildered were, indeed,
- To see the tombs agape, and in clear light
- Corpses long dead appear; and, wondering
- 465At their discourses pious, dulcet words!
- Starward they stretch their palms at the mere sound,
- And offer God and so-victorious Christ
- Their gratulating homage. Certain ’tis
- That these no more re-sought their silent graves,
- 470Nor were retained within earth’s bowels shut;
- But the remaining host reposes now
- In lowliest beds, until—time’s circuit run—
- That great day do arrive.
- Now all of you
- Own the true Lord, who alone makes this soul
- 475Of ours to see His light, and can the same
- (To Tartarus sent) subject to penalties;
- And to whom all the power of life and death
- Is open. Learn that God can do whate’er
- He list; for ’tis enough for Him to will,
- 480And by mere speaking He achieves the deed;
- And Him nought plainly, by withstanding, checks.
- He is my God alone, to whom I trust
- With deepest senses. But, since death concludes
- Every career, let whoe’er is to-day
- 485Bethink him over all things in his mind.
- And thus, while life remains, while ’tis allowed
- To see the light and change your life, before
- The limit of allotted age o’ertake
- You unawares, and that last day, which is
- 490By death’s law fixt, your senseless eyes do glaze,
- Seek what remains worth seeking: watchful be
- For dear salvation; and run down with ease
- And certainty the good course. Wipe away
- By pious sacred rites your past misdeeds
- 495Which expiation need; and shun the storms,
- The too uncertain tempests, of the world.
- Then turn to right paths, and keep sanctities.
- Hence from your gladsome minds depravèd crime
- Quite banish; and let long-inveterate fault
- 500Be washed forth from your breast; and do away
- Wicked ill-stains contracted; and appease
- Dread God by prayers eternal; and let all
- Most evil mortal things to living good
- Give way: and now at once a new life keep
- 505Without a crime; and let your minds begin
- To use themselves to good things and to true:
- And render ready voices to God’s praise.
- Thus shall your piety find better things
- All growing to a flame; thus shall ye, too,
- 510Receive the gifts of the celestial life;
- And, to long age, shall ever live with God,
- Seeing the starry kingdom’s golden joys.
The reader is requested to bear in mind, in reading this piece, tedious in its elaborate struggles after effect, that the constant repetitions of words and expressions with which his patience will be tried, are due to the original. It was irksome to reproduce them; but fidelity is a translator’s first law.
Helicon is not named in the original, but it seems to be meant.
i.e., in another clime or continent. The writer is (or feigns to be) an African. Helicon, of course, is in Europe.
I have endeavoured to give some intelligible sense to these lines, but the absence of syntax in the original, as it now stands, makes it necessary to guess at the meaning as best one may.
“But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.”—Shakespeare, Macbeth, act iii. scene 2.
Sermone tenus: i.e., the exertion (so to speak) needed to do such mighty works only extended to the uttering of a speech; no more was requisite. See for a similar allusion to the contrast between the making of other things and the making of man, the “Genesis,” 30-39.
i.e., from the solid mass of earth. See Gen. i. 9, 10.
“Auram,” or “breeze.”
- “Immemor ille Dei temere committere tale!
- Non ultra monitum quidquam contingeret.”
Whether I have hit the sense here I know not. In this and in other passages I have punctuated for myself.
These lines, again, are but a guess at the meaning of the original, which is as obscure as defiance of grammar can well make it. The sense seems to be, in brief, that while the vast majority are, immediately on their death, shut up in Hades to await the “decreed age,” i.e., the day of judgment, some, like the children raised by Elijah and Elisha, the man who revived on touching Elisha’s bones, and the like, are raised to die again. Lower down it will be seen that the writer believes that the saints who came out of their graves after our Lord’s resurrection (see Matt. xxvii. 51-54) did not die again.
Cf. Ps. xlix. 14 (xlviii. 15 in LXX.).
i.e., the dust into which our bodies turn.
i.e., the surface or ridge of the furrows.
i.e., the furrows.
“Some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold, some an hundred-fold.” See the parable of the sower.
Virtutibus. Perhaps the allusion is to Eph. ii. 2, Matt. xxiv. 29, Luke xxi. 26.
Vel quanta est. If this be the right sense, the words are probably inserted, because the conflagration of “the earth and the works that are therein” predicted in 2 Pet. iii. 10, and referred to lower down in this piece, is supposed to have begun, and thus the “depths” of the earth are supposed to be already diminishing.
I have ventured to alter one letter of the Latin; and for “quos reddere jussa docebit,” read “quos reddere jussa dolebit.” If the common reading be retained, the only possible meaning seems to be “whom she will teach to render (to God) His commands,” i.e., to render obedience to them; or else, “to render (to God) what they are bidden to render,” i.e., an account of themselves; and earth, as their mother, giving them birth out of her womb, is said to teach them to do this. But the emendation, which is at all events simple, seems to give a better sense: “being bidden to render the dead, whom she is keeping, up, earth will grieve at the throes it causes her, but will do it.”
Subitæ virtutis ab alto.
Comis, here “the heads.”
This passage is imitated from Virgil, Æn., vi. 305 sqq.; Georg., iv. 475 sqq.
i.e., “the king.” The “Atridæ” of Homer are referred to,—Agamemnon “king of men,” and Menelaus.
Insigni. The allusion seems to be to Ezek. ix. 4, 6, Rev. vii. 3 et seqq., xx. 3, 4, and to the inscribed mitre of the Jewish high priest, see Ex. xxviii. 36, xxxix. 30.
I have corrected “his” for “hic.” If the latter be retained, it would seem to mean “hereon.”
Cardine, i.e., the hinge as it were upon which the sun turns in his course.
See the “Genesis,” 73.
Or, “there.” The question is, whether a different tree is meant, or the rose just spoken of.
This seems to be marshmallows.
Here again it is plain that the writer is drawing his description from what we read of the garden of Eden.
“Salus,” health (probably) in its widest sense, both bodily and mental; or perhaps “safety,” “salvation.”
Reliquam vitam, i.e., apparently his life in all other relations; unless it mean his life after his parents’ death, which seems less likely.
i.e., “appeals to.” So Burke: “I attest the former, I attest the coming generations.” This “attesting of its acts” seems to refer to Matt. xxv. 44. It appeals to them in hope of mitigating its doom.
This seems to be the sense. The Latin stands thus: “Flammas pro meritis, stagnantia tela tremiscunt.”
I adopt the correction (suggested in Migne) of justis for justas.
This is an extraordinary use for the Latin dative, and even if the meaning be “for (i.e., to suffer) penalty eternal,” it is scarcely less so.
Or, “in all the years:” but see note 5 on this page.
“Artusque sonori,” i.e., probably the arms and hands with which (as has been suggested just before) the sufferers beat their unhappy breasts.
i.e., the “guerdons” and the “threats.”
“Ipsa voce,” unless it mean “voice and all,” i.e., and their voice as well as their palms.
See note 1, p. 137.
Here again a correction suggested in Migne’s ed., of “suam lucem” for “sua luce,” is adopted.
“Qui” is read here, after Migne’s suggestion, for “quia;” and Oehler’s and Migne’s punctuation both are set aside.
Or, “assume the functions of the heavenly life.”