The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for December, 2008

Photos of St Joseph Church: Post 2

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 30, 2008

This is a photo of another stained glass window in the baptistery of my parish church (click on to enlarge).  It depicts Jesus giving his discourse to Nicodemus.  The inscription above their heads is from the discourse and reads: “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost he cannot enter Heaven.”   Note the chandelier of candles burning above the head of our Lord, symbolizing Him as the light of the world, to whom we must come, and in whom we must do deeds, as the end of the discourse insists.  Jesus is gesturing towards heaven, emphasizing from whence the new birth comes, while Nicodemus, a “a teacher of Israel,” holds a scroll of the Law and ponders our Lord’s teaching.

oh 3:1  And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Joh 3:2  This man came to Jesus by night and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him.
Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said to him: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4  Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born again?
Joh 3:5  Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7  Wonder not that I said to thee: You must be born again.
Joh 3:8  The Spirit breatheth where he will and thou hearest his voice: but thou knowest not whence he cometh and whither he goeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Joh 3:9  Nicodemus answered and said to him: How can these things be done?
Joh 3:10  Jesus answered and said to him: Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?
Joh 3:11  Amen, amen, I say to thee that we speak what we know and we testify what we have seen: and you receive not our testimony.
Joh 3:12  If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not: how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things?
Joh 3:13  And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
Joh 3:14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world: but that the world may be saved by him.
Joh 3:18  He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19  And this is the judgment: Because the light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.
Joh 3:20  For every one that doth evil hateth the light and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.
Joh 3:21  But he that doth truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest: because they are done in God.

From St John Chrysostom:

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.”

What He saith, is of this kind: “they are punished, because they would not leave the darkness, and hasten to the light.” And hence He goes on to deprive them of all excuse for the future: “Had I come,” saith He, “to punish and to exact account of their deeds, they might have been able to say, ‘this is why we started away from thee,’ but now I am come to free them from darkness, and to bring them to the light; who then could pity one who will not come from darkness unto light? When they have no charge to bring against us, but have received ten thousand benefits, they start away from us.” And this charge He hath brought in another place, where He saith, “They hated Me without a cause” (Jn 15,25): and again, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin.” (Jn 15,22). For he who in the absence of light sitteth in darkness, may perchance receive pardon; but one who after it is come abides by the darkness, produces against himself a certain proof of a perverse and contentious disposition. Next, because His assertion would seem incredible to most, (for none would prefer “darkness to light,”) He adds the cause of such a feeling in them. What is that?

+Jn 3,19-20. “Because,” He saith, “their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

Yet he came not to judge or to enquire, but to pardon and remit transgressions, and to grant salvation through faith. How then fled they? 13 Had He come and sat in His Judgment seat, what He said might have seemed reasonable; for he that is conscious to himself of evil deeds, is wont to fly his judge. But, on the contrary, they who have transgressed even run to one who is pardoning. If therefore He came to pardon, those would naturally most hasten to Him who were conscious to themselves of many transgressions; and indeed this was the case with many, for even publicans and sinners sat at meat with Jesus. What then is this which He saith? He saith this of those who choose always to remain in wickedness. He indeed came, that He might forgive men’s former sins, and secure them against those to come; but since there are some so relaxed, 14 so powerless for the toils of virtue, that they desire to abide by wickedness till their latest breath, and never cease from it, He speaks in this place reflecting 15 upon these. “For since,” He saith, “the profession of Christianity requires besides right doctrine a sound conversation also, they fear to come over to us, because they like not to show forth a righteous life. Him that lives in heathenism none would blame, because with gods such as he has, and with rites as foul and ridiculous as his gods, he shows forth actions that suit his doctrines; but those who belong to the True God, if they live a careless life, have all men to call them to account, and to accuse them. So greatly do even its enemies admire the truth.” Observe, then, how exactly He layeth down what He saith. His expression is, not “He that hath done evil cometh not to the light,” but “he that doeth it always, he that desireth always to roll himself in the mire of sin, he will not subject himself to My laws, but chooses to stay without, and to commit fornication without fear, and to do all other forbidden things. For if he comes to Me, he becomes manifest as a thief in the light, and therefore he avoids My dominion.” For instance, even now one may hear many heathen say, “that they cannot come to our faith, because they cannot leave off drunkenness and fornication, and the like disorders.”

“Well,” says some one, “but are there no Christians that do evil, and heathens that live discreetly?” 16 That there are Christians who do evil, I know; but whether there are heathens who live a righteous life, I do not yet know assuredly. For do not speak to me of those who by nature are good and orderly, (this is not virtue,) but tell me of the man who can endure the exceeding violence of his passions and (yet) be temperate. 17 You cannot. For if the promise of a Kingdom, and the threat of hell, and so much other provision; 18 can scarcely keep men in virtue, they will hardly go after virtue who believe in none of these things. Or, if any pretend to do so, they do it for show; and he who doth so for show, will not, when he may escape observation, refrain from indulging his evil desires. However, that we may not seem to any to be contentious, let us grant that there are right livers among the heathen; for neither doth this go against my argument, since I spoke of that which occurs in general, not of what happens rarely.

And observe how in another way He deprives them of all excuse, when He saith that, “the light came into the world.” “Did they seek it themselves,” He saith, “did they toil, did they labor to find it? The light itself came to them, and not even so would they hasten to it.” And if there be some Christians who live wickedly, I would argue that He doth not say this of those who have been Christians from the beginning, and who have inherited true religion from their forefathers, (although even these for the most part have been shaken from 19 right doctrine by their evil life,) yet still I think that He doth not now speak concerning these, but concerning the heathen and the Jews who ought to have come 20 to the right faith. For He showeth that no man living in error would choose to come to the truth unless he before had planned 21 for himself a righteous life, and that none would remain in unbelief unless he had previously chosen always to be wicked.

Do not tell me that a man is temperate, and does not rob; these things by themselves are not virtue. For what advantageth it, if a man has these things, and yet is the slave of vainglory, and remains in his error, from fear of the company of his friends? This is not right living. The slave of a reputation 22 is no less a sinner than the fornicator; nay, he worketh more and more grievous deeds than he. But tell me of any one that is free from all passions and from all iniquity, and who remains among the heathen. Thou canst not do so; for even those among them who have boasted great things, and who have, as they say, 23 mastered avarice or gluttony, have been, most of all men, the slaves of reputation, 24 and this is the cause of all evils. Thus it is that the Jews also have continued Jews; for which cause Christ rebuked them and said, “How can ye believe, which receive honor from men?” (c. 5,44).

“And why, pray, did He not speak on these matters with Nathanael, to whom He testified of the truth, nor extend His discourse to any length?” Because even he came not with such zeal as did Nicodemus. For Nicodemus made this his work, 25 and the season which others used for rest he made a season for hearing; but Nathanael came at the instance of another. Yet not even him did Jesus entirely pass by, for to him He saith, “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (c. 1,51). But to Nicodemus He spake not so, but conversed with him on the Dispensation and on eternal life, addressing each differently and suitably to the condition of his will. It was sufficient for Nathanael, because he knew the writings of the prophets, and was not so timid either, to hear only thus far; but because Nicodemus was as yet possessed by fear, Christ did not indeed clearly reveal to him the whole, but shook his mind so as to cast out fear by fear, declaring that he who did not believe was being judged, 26 and that unbelief proceeded from an evil conscience. For since he made great account of honor from men, more than he did of the punishment; (“Many,” saith the Evangelist, “of the rulers believed on Him, but because of the Jews they did not confess”—c. 12,42;) on this point Christ toucheth him, saying, “It cannot be that he who believeth not on Me disbelieveth for any other cause save that he liveth an unclean life.” Farther on He saith, “I am the Light” (c. 8,12), but here, “the Light came into the world”; for at the beginning He spoke somewhat darkly, but afterwards more clearly. Yet even so the man was kept back by regard for the opinion of the many, and therefore could not endure to speak boldly as he ought.

Fly we then vainglory, for this is a passion more tyrannical than any. Hence spring covetousness and love of wealth, hence hatred and wars and strifes; for he that desires more than he has, will never be able to stop, and he desires from no other cause, but only from his love of vainglory. For tell me, why do so many encircle themselves with multitudes of eunuchs, and herds of slaves, and much show? Not because they need it, but that they may make those who meet them witnesses of this unseasonable display. If then we cut this off, we shall slay together with the head the other members also of wickedness, and there will be nothing to hinder us from dwelling on earth as though it were heaven. Nor doth this vice merely thrust its captives into wickedness, but is even co-existent 27 with their virtues, and when it is unable entirely to cast us out of these, it still causeth us much damage in the very exercise of them, forcing us to undergo the toil, and depriving us of the fruit. For he that with an eye to this, fasts, and prays, and shows mercy, has his reward. What can be more pitiable than a loss like this, that it should befall man to bewail 28 himself uselessly and in vain, and to become an object of ridicule, and to lose the glory from above? Since he that aims at both cannot obtain both. It is indeed possible to obtain both, when we desire not both, but one only, that from heaven; but he cannot obtain both, who longs for both. Wherefore if we wish to attain to glory, let us flee from human glory, and desire that only which cometh from God; so shall we obtain both the one and the other; which may we all enjoy, through the grace and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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Photos of St Joseph’s Church: Post 1

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 29, 2008

Click on photo to enlarge. This is a photo of the a stained glass window in my parish church. It is located in what used to the the Baptistery, but is now a gift shop-the only wreckovation my church has ever suffered. The simple but beautiful baptismal font was moved into the nave of the church. Its presence there is not without meaning, but I think it was more fitting where it was. I’ll post a photo of the font on Wednesday, along with the reasons why I feel it should not have been moved. Tomorrow I will post a photo of the other window in the baptistery, it depicts the Discourse with Nicodemus. At the bottom of this post you will find a wider shot of the window which includes the Spirit descending upon our Lord.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him.
Mat 3:14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?
Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfil all justice. Then he suffered him.
Mat 3:16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him.
Mat 3:17 And behold a voice from heaven saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

From Pope Benedict XVI:

We just heard the narration of Jesus’s Baptism in the Jordan. It was a Baptism different from that which these babies are about to receive but not without a profound relationship with it.

Basically, all the mystery of Christ in the world could be summarized in the word ‘baptism’, which in Greek means ‘immersion’. The Son of God, who from eternity shares the fullness of life with the Father and the Holy Spirit, was ‘immersed’ in our reality as sinners to make us participants in his own life. He was incarnated, born like us, grew up like us to be an adult, and then manifested his mission starting with his ‘baptism of conversion’ by John the Baptist.

His first public act, as we just heard, was to go down to the Jordan, mixing with penitent sinners, to receive that baptism. John naturally did not want to, but Jesus insisted, because it was the will of the Father (cfr Mt 3,13-15).

Why then did the Father want this? Why did he send his only Son to the world like a Lamb to take on himself the sins of the world (cfr Jn 1,29)? The evangelist narrates that when Jesus emerges from the water, the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove, while the voice of the Father in heaven proclaimed him ‘my beloved son’ (Mt 3,17).

From that moment, therefore, Jesus was revealed as he who came to baptize mankind in the Holy Spirit; he came to bring men life in abundance (cfr Jn 10,10), eternal life, which resurrects the human being and heals him entirely, body and spirit, restoring him to the original plan for which he was created.

The purpose of Christ’s existence on earth was precisely to give mankind the life of God, his Spirit of love, so that every man may draw from this inexhaustible spring of salvation.

That is why St. Paul would write to the Romans that we are baptized in the death of Christ to have life in his Resurrection (cfr Rm 6,3-4). That is why Christian parents like you bring their children as soon as they can to the baptismal font, knowing that the life which they have transmitted to them calls for the fullness and salvation that only God can give. In this way, parents become co-workers with God in transmitting to their children not just physical life but also spiritual life. (Source)

Again, Pope Benedict XVI:

The Evangelist narrates that, while Jesus was in prayer, after having received Baptism among the many who were drawn by the preaching of the Precursor, the heavens opened and under the form of a dove the Holy Spirit descended upon him. In that moment a voice from on high resounded: “You are my beloved Son. On you my favour rests” (Lk 3: 22).

The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan is recalled and emphasized, although in different ways, by all the Evangelists. In fact, it is part of the Apostolic preaching, since it constitutes the point of departure for the entire arch of facts and words to which the Apostles were to render testimony (cf. Acts 1: 21-22; 10: 37-41).

It was held in great importance by the apostolic community, not only because in that circumstance, for the first time in history, there was the manifestation of the Trinitarian Mystery in a clear and complete way, but also because that event began the public ministry of Jesus on the roads to Palestine.

The Baptism of Jesus at the Jordan is the anticipation of his baptism of blood on the Cross, and it is the symbol of the entire sacramental activity by which the Redeemer will bring about the salvation of humanity.

This is why the Patristic tradition has dedicated great interest to this Feast, which is the most ancient after Easter. “Christ is baptized and the whole world is made holy”, sings today’s liturgy; “he wipes out the debt of our sins; we will all be purified by water and the Holy Spirit” (Antiphon to the Benedictus, Office of Lauds).

There is a strict relationship between the Baptism of Christ and our Baptism. At the Jordan the heavens opened (cf. Lk 3: 21) to indicate that the Saviour has opened the way of salvation and we can travel it thanks to our own new birth “of water and Spirit” (Jn 3: 5), accomplished in Baptism.
In it we are inserted into the Mystical Body of Christ, that is, the Church, we die and rise with him, we are clothed with him, as the Apostle Paul often emphasized (cf. I Cor 12: 13; Rom 6: 3-5; Gal 3: 27). The commitment that springs from Baptism is therefore “to listen” to Jesus: to believe in him and gently follow him, doing his will.

In this way everyone can tend to holiness, a goal that, as the Second Vatican Council recalled, constitutes the vocation of all the baptized. May Mary, the Mother of the beloved Son of God, help us to be faithful to our Baptism always. (Source)

From Gregory Nazianzen:

Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead. A voice bears witness to him from heaven, his place of origin. The Spirit descends in bodily form like the dove that so long ago announced the ending of the flood and so gives honour to the body that is one with God. (Source)

St Maximus of Turin:

Someone might ask, “Why would a holy man desire baptism?” Listen to the answer: Christ is baptised, not to be made holy by the water, but to make the water holy, and by his cleansing to purify the waters which he touched. For the consecration of Christ involves a more significant consecration of the water.

For when the Saviour is washed, all water for our baptism is made clean, purified at its source for the dispensing of baptismal grace to the people of future ages. Christ is the first to be baptised, then, so that Christians will follow after him with confidence.

I understand the mystery as this. The column of fire went before the sons of Israel through the Red Sea so they could follow on their brave journey; the column went first through the waters to prepare a path for those who followed. As the apostle Paul said, what was accomplished then was the mystery of baptism. Clearly it was baptism in a certain sense when the cloud was covering the people and bringing them through the water.

But Christ the Lord does all these things: in the column of fire he went through the sea before the sons of Israel; so now, in the column of his body, he goes through baptism before the Christian people. At the time of the Exodus the column provided light for the people who followed; now it gives light to the hearts of believers. Then it made a firm pathway through the waters; now it strengthens the footsteps of faith in the bath of baptism. (Source)

Notice that the Baptist is clothed in purple, a liturgical symbol for martyrdom.  Notice also that the staff he is carrying is in the shape of a cross, a reminder that the Baptist was the precursor of the Lord not only by what he preached, but by what he suffered as well.  The banner at the top of his staff has an inscription on it in Latin, taken from John 1:29-ECCE AGNUS DEI-Behold the Lamb of God. 

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Oneida’s Memory Lane

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 28, 2008

Here is a walk down the City of Oneida’s memory lane. Click on photos to enlarge

Above: The old Oneida High School, circa 1917. In the 1950 a new High School was built and this became the Junior High School, consisting of grades 7-9. Sometime in the first half of the 1970’s the new High School was expanded to include 9th graders. A new Junior High (now called a middle school) was built and this was closed in the early 1980’s. A developer wanted to turn the building into condominiums but residents in the neighborhood (a state historic district) opposed it. The building has been empty of people since the school closed and is now inhabited by animals and rodents and reeks of their feces. In a terrible state of repair it is scheduled for demolition this coming year. All of this because a bunch of well-to-do people, who for decades had put up with school buses and kids didn’t want increased traffic which a handful of condo tenants would have caused. Money is the root of all evil and the cause of a great deal of stupidity.

One of the feeder canals used to supply water to the Erie Canal which borders the city. Note the two trolleys on the right side of the street, and the horse and carriage on the left. This photo was taken from Main Street Looking towards Elizabeth St. The latter street is where the old High School was located.

Another view of the canal feeder. This photo was taken circa 1906.

The Oneida Hotel. Once the hot spot in Oneida, it hosted many big name performers, including the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I once saw a documentary on Glenn Miller in which one of the band members mentioned performing here. More recently it hosted recording artist Benny Mardones, a perennial favorite in upstate New York. There is a beautifully ornate barroom in the basement, but the building has been vacant for several years. My Uncle’s band played here on a number of occasions.

Sunset over Crystal Lake, circa 1908.

Sunset Lake

The New York Central Railroad Train Depot, circa 1909

Above: City Park, circa 1910

The North Broad Street Elementary School. This is where I attended school. Had this photo been taken after 1929 you would be able to see a little of my parish church in the back left corner. Had it been taken in the 1950’s you would probably also see a part of the rectory. The old parish church, a wooden structure, was located on the other side of the street.

The corner of Main and Cedar Streets. The bridge spans the feeder canal.

Madison Street.

The Drake Building is in the foreground. It burned in the 1980’s. The building right next to it was a bar, it too was lost in the fire. The third building was, at the time of the photo, a movie theater. It was turned into a bowling alley at some point and time and survived the Drake fire, unfortunately, it burned down a few years ago. None of the buildings have been replaced and there is now nothing there but an overgrown plot of land.

A celebration on Madison Street around 1910. I’m guessing from the bunting that it’s Independence Day. The Madison House is on this street bu nearly impossible to identify. Due to its proximity to the Main Street Train Depot, its comfortable accommodations, and outstanding food, it was a popular layover spot for statesmen, men of industry, and entertainers. The list includes Senator Bobby Kennedy and one Abraham Lincoln from Washington D.C., by way of Illinois. Lincoln stopped over in Oneida as he made his roundabout way to Washington for his inauguration. Sadly, President Lincoln would pass through Oneida again, on Wednesday, April 26 1865, as his funeral train traced his inaugural journey in reverse. The Madison House still serves good food and “spirits” but the hotel rooms have been converted into apartments.

The Main Street Trolley Stop #21. I’m not sure but this looks like an elevated area, making me wonder if the station didn’t load and unload over the feeder canal. When the city streets were paved they apparently just covered over the old trolley tracks. When I was in grade school Lexington Ave. was torn up and repaved an I got to see the old tracks and the cobble stone paving.

St Patrick’s Church.

The 1911 train wreck (on East Railroad Street?). My mother witnessed a train/car collision on Main Street when she was a girl. She saw one of her teachers get ejected from the car and strike a building about forty yards away. My Grandfather (her father) was a fireman and he witnessed a collision between a train and one of the city’s fire engines. He had the gruesome task of helping to clean up the body parts of his fellow firefighters. Just a few years ago a train derailment in the city made national headlines, and we were forced to evacuate. A cop came into the Church just after Mass, during the Rosary recitation to order us out.

An unidentified General Store. The photo was taken in 1910.

Upper Broad Street, circa 1930. The sidewalls are made of thick, flat slate, and many of those walks still exist on Main, Broad, and Elizabeth Streets ect.

The Spring Street Feeder Canal.

Allen Park in the 1930’s. The park is still lined with beautiful trees.

The Savoy Apartments on the corner of Main and Washington, circa 1930. The place became a sewer hole but was fixed up nicely in the 1990’s.

A snowbound Main Street around 1909. The mode of transportation has changed but the weather remains the same.

The 1906 Centennial Parade.

Main Street, 1941.

Main Street in the 1950’s. Grant’s Department Store is on the right; next to it is H.L. Green’s, it closed a few years ago. Green’s had a soda fountain/lunch counter where I often got sundaes. Next to Green’s is the old Kallet Theater (see the marquee). Mister Kallet, an immigrant, came to Oneida with nothing more than a cart-load of produce. Needless to say, he did quite well for himself. At the time this photo was taken a kid could go there at ten o’clock on a Saturday morning and watch movies till mid-afternoon. It was turned into a roller skating rink in the late 70’s and is now a civic center. The Oneida Savings Bank is in the foreground on the left; it’s still there today. Next to it is the old Woolworth’s Store. The person who took the photo would be standing right in front of the Oneida Hotel. Source of Photos.

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Cornelius A Lapide on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 27, 2008

1:18.   For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness. any declaration about the salvation bestowed by the Cross, or about our redemption by the Cross and Passion of Christ, seems foolishness to men who are skeptical and perverse, and therefore ready to perish.  Isaiah, too, says this in the person of Christ: Behold, I and the children of whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and wonders in Israel (Isa. 8:18).  See also Heb. 2:13.

1:19.  For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise: and the prudence of the prudent I will reject. This is from Isa. 29:14, where, following the Hebrew, the verbs are intransitive.  St Paul quotes from the Septuagint, where the verbs are transitive, but the sense is the same.  Note that Paul refers to the whole circle of worldly wisdom what the Prophet said of the wisdom of the Jews alone, which was Pharisaic.  For both are alike in this connection, and the meaning is, “I will make men unwilling to use worldly wisdom for their salvation, but only the Gospel and the Cross of Christ.”

1:20.  Where is the wise? The Gentile philosophers.  Where is the scribe? The Jewish doctors.  St Paul is quoting Isa. 33:18 (In fact, St Paul may be alluding to the first part of isa. 19:12 which reads: “Where are your wise men?  Isa 33:18 reads: where is the learned? where is he that pondered the words of the law? where is the teacher of little ones? ).

Note, as the Greeks called their wise men philosophers, and the Chaldeans their magi, so the Jews called theirs sopharim, “scribes.”  “Scribes” is from the same root as “Scripture,” and implies that they were occupied with the Holy Scriptures.  Their duty, in fact, was to preserve the Holy Scriptures in their integrity, to carefully correct all transcripts, to interpret them by writing and by word of mouth, and to write out or state the answers they gave to the questions about the Law (See Epiphanius Heresies 16)

Where is the disputer of this world? The student of physical science who narrowly investigates the secrets of nature and the world.  In other words, philosophers and scribes have been cast aside, and all the wise of this world thrown down and put to confusion by the preaching of the Apostles, by the glory of the Gospel (so St. John Chrysostom).  Chrysostom writes: Having said, “It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,” He subjoins demonstration from facts, saying, “Where is the wise? where the Scribe?” at the same time glancing at both Gentiles and Jews. For what sort of philosopher, which among those who have studied logic, which of those knowing in Jewish matters, hath saved us and made known the truth? Not one. It was the fisherman’s work, the whole of it.

Paul here and in the following verses is aiming at philosophers both ancient and modern, and not at such Christians as Dionysius the Areopagite, Hierotheus, Paul himself, Clement of Rome, Nathanael, Gamaliel, Apollos, as the Anabaptists seem to think.  He has in mind the Gentile teachers who at this very time were going round the world, like rivals to the Apostles, and under the garb of piety, wisdom, and eloquence were attempting to attract to themselves, and away from the Apostles, the various nations, as thought they alone taught true wisdom, and the way to virtue, righteousness, and salvation; as, e.g., Musonius, Dio, Epictetus, Damys, Diogenes Minor, Apollonius of Tyana, who was greatly looked up to by the Greeks at the time because of his mystic powers, and was given a statue at Ephesus, and placed among the gods (see Baronius, Annal, A.D. 75).

Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? I.e., has shown to be foolish: a manifestation of its true nature is described as if it were a change of its essence.  It is foolish, he says, seen in the light of the Cross and of Christ and of salvation.  The light of this knowledge requires faith, not subtlety.  St Ambrose says, The knowledge of fishermen has made foolish the knowledge of philosophers,” since it has surpassed their limits, and the limits of nature.

So, too, did God by His creative work show the folly of the saying of the philosophers, that “Out of nothing nothing comes,” and that in consequence the universe was uncreate and eternal.   So in His Incarnation did He show the folly of the saying, “God cannot be contained by a body, time, and place; and in His Passion the saying “God cannot suffer and die.”  So in the Eucharist He shows the foolishness of their principles and of those of our modern innovators who say, “An accident cannot exist without a subject; a body cannot be in a point; two bodies cannot be in the same place at the same time.”  For though these things are out of Nature’s reach, yet they are not impossible to God, who is Omnipotent, and transcends all nature.

St Paulinus quotes this passage of St Paul’s in a letter to Aper, who had been a lawyer and then had embraced the monastic life, and was, therefore, exposed to ridicule.  From this he confirms him in his purpose, and shows him how to despise the laughter and sneers of men.  “I congratulate you,” he says, “on having scorned that wisdom which is rejected of God, and on having preferred to have fellowship rather with Christ’s little ones than with the wise of the world.  It is from this that you have merited the grace from God of the hatred of men; this would not be had you not begun to be a true follower of Christ.”  And a little lower, in showing the fruit and dignity of his purpose, he says, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven: for it is not you that they hate, but Him who has begun to be in you, whose work is in you, whose humility they despise, whose holiness the loathe.  Joyfully recognize yourself to be a sharer in this good with Prophets and Apostles.  From the beginning of the world Christ has ever suffered and triumphed in His own: in Abel He was killed by His brother; in Noah He was mocked by His son; in Abraham He was a pilgrim; in Isaac He was offered up; in Jacob He served; in Joseph He was sold; in Moses exposed and forced to flee; in the Prophets stoned and persecuted; in the Apostles tossed about on sea and land; in His Martyrs often slain and in different ways.  In you, too, He suffers reproaches, and this world hates Him in you; but thanks be to Him that He overcomes when He is judged and triumphs in us.”  Again, praising and admiring his change in life, he says, “Where now is the once feared advocate and judge?  Would that I had wings to fly to you, to see you no longer yourself, but changed from a lion to a calf-to see Christ in Aper, who has now laid aside his ferocity and strength, and become a lamb unto God instead of a wild boar of this world.  For you are a boar, but of the corn-field, not of the forest; you are rich in the good fruit of holy discipline, and have fed yourself with the fruit of virtues.”

1:21.  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Mark the phrase, “in the wisdom of God.”  God shows His wisdom in the marvelous structure and government of the world, as St Thomas says.  In other words, the world in its foolishness knew not God practically in His wisdom stamped on His Creation, as the Author of its salvation, and lLeader to a life of bliss; nor yet speculatively, because philosophers regarded God as powerless to create; they thought Him to act under necessity, and to be void of providence, &c.

Hence it is that God has revealed Himself and His salvation to the world in a way which seems to the world foolishness, viz., by the Cross.  He has thus stooped to men, and become as it were foolish among them;  just as a teacher will sometimes act as a boy, and talk as a boy, amongst boys.  So Christ, because He was not understood as God, revealed Himself to men, as a man, and one liable to suffering.  This is wisdom unspeakable.  St St Thomas, Anselm, and others.

1:22.  For the Jes require a sign…but we preach Christ crucified. A Theban, when asked what he thought of the Romans, said that “the Romans boasted themselves in their spears, the Greeks in their eloquence, the Thebans in their virtues.”  But the Apostle says that he and other Christians boast themselves in Christ crucified.  This is our spear, our eloquence, and our virtue.

1:23.  Unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto Greeks foolishness. Notice here, with St John Chrysostom (Homily 4), that the power of the Cross shines forth not only in itself but also in its preaching: (1) In the fact that the Apostles, few in number, simple fishermen, poor, unlearned, unknown, and Jews, in all these respects hateful to the world, yet brought the world into subjection to the Cross.  (2) In the fact that they subdued most bitter enemies, demons, sin, death, hell, kings, princes, philosophers, orators, Greeks barbarians, laws judgments, long-existing religions, and time-honored traditions.  (3) In that they persuaded men by simple preaching, and not by arms, wisdom, or eloquence.  (4) In that in so short a time they spread the faith of Christ over the whole world.  (5) In that by the grace of Christ they overcame most cheerfully and courageously what is hardest to be borne by the natural strength of man, the threats of tyrants, scourgings, deaths, and tortures.  (6) In that they preached a doctrine not about a glorious God, but a crucified One, and Him their Savior to be believed in and adored; and a law of Christ displeasing to nature and flesh.  Wherefore Tertullian (lib. contra Jud.) beautifully and fitly compares the Kingdom of Christ with the kingdoms of all kings and people, and prefers it before them all: “Solomon,” he says, “reigned, but only in the borders of Judea from Dan to Beersheba: Darius reigned over the Babylonians and Parthians, but not further; Pharaoh reigned over the Egyptians, but over them only.  The kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar stretched only from India to Ethiopia.  Alexander of Macedon, after subduing all Asia and other countries, could not keep what he had conquered.  So have the Germans, Britons, Moors, and Romans bounds set to their dominions.  but the kingdom of Christ has reached to all parts, His name is believed on everywhere, is worshiped by all nations, everywhere reigns, is everywhere adored; He is equal to all, King over all, Judge over all, God and Lord of all.”

1:25.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser that men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. That is, say Ambrose and Anselm, the foolishness and weakness in God and in Christ incarnate and suffering, as e.g., His humanity, mortality, Passion and Cross, was just that by which Christ, when seemingly conquered, yet most wisely and most powerfully conquered men, Satan, and the whole world.  In other words, God’s wisdom and power were most plainly seen in His overcoming all wisdom and strength by what was foolish and weak, viz., the Cross.  And therefore St Jerome and St Augustine explain the passage of Habakkuk (3:4) “He had horns coming out of his hands,” thus: The strength and weapons by which, as by horns, Christ slew His foes were the arms of the Cross to which the hands of Christ were nailed.  Hence it is that the Cross in the sky appeared to Constantine the Great as he was going into battle against Maxentius, with the inscription, “In this sign thou shalt conquer” (Eusebius, Life of Constantine).

Literally and morally the power and wisdom of the Cross are seen (1) in that on the Cross God showed His supreme love to us, that so He might draw us to Him; for God, under no necessity, with no prospect of advantage to Himself, of His own will stooped to the Cross from love of man solely.  This He yet did with such wisdom that no damage was done by it to the loftiness and glory of His Godhead; for the Godhead in Him suffered nothing, but He bore all His suffering in the Manhood which He had assumed.  (2) In that on the Cross He redeemed man, not by the power of His Godhead, but through the righteousness and humility of His Passion, as St Augustine says.  (3) In that on the Cross He set before us a most perfect example of obedience, constancy, endurance of punishment, patience, fortitude, and all virtues, as well as mortification of vices.  (4) In that on the Cross He condemned the wisdom and pride of the world, and gave to man, who had fallen through pride and self-indulgence, a mirror of life, viz., a mode of recovery through humility and the Cross (see St Thomas ST. III, q. 46, art. 3, and St Augustine De Trin. lib. XIII, c. 12).

St Bernard, in his exhortation to the Soldiers of the Temple (c. 11), says: “The weakness of Christ was no less beneficial to us than His majesty; for although the power of His Godhead ordered the removal of the yoke of sin, yet the weakness of His flesh destroyed by death the rights of death over man.  And therefore the Apostle beautifully says: ‘The weakness of God is stronger than men.’  But His foolishness  by which He was pleased to save the world, so as to confute the wisdom of the world, and to confound the wise; which made Him, though He was in the form of God and equal to God, empty Himself, and take upon Him the form of a servant; by which, though He was rich, He yet for our sake became poor, though He was great He became little, though He was high yet He became humbled, though he was powerful He became weak; Through which He hungered, thirsted, and was weary on the journey, and suffered all that His own will and on necessity laid upon Him; this foolishness of His, was it not to us the way of prudence, the form of righteousness, the example of holiness?  Therefore the Apostle also adds, ‘The foolishness of God is wiser than men.’  Death then set us free from death, life from error, grace from sin.  And truly His death won the victory through His righteousness; because the Just One, by paying what he never took, rightly recovered all that He had lost.”

Hence it is that Francis and the greatest Saints have sought to be considered foolish by the world, in order that they might the rather please God.  Some religious Orders, indeed, so regard this as the height of perfection and Christian wisdom that they enjoin their members to love, desire, and embrace contempt, ridicule, insults, and injuries, and to long to be considered fools, just as eagerly as worldly men seek for a reputation for wisdom, for honor, and renown.  They do this to teach them in this way (1) to utterly despise the world; (2) to humiliate themselves and uproot their innate desire of honor, praise, glory, and high position; (3) to be more like Christ, and to clothe themselves with His garments and His marks, who for our sakes, and to give us an example of virtue and perfection, chose these things Himself, willed to be considered foolish, and became a scorn of men, and the outcast of the people.  They say, therefore, with St Paul, “God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world.”

All this does the Cross of Christ teach if you often meditate on it; nay, the Cross is the fount of wisdom.  St Bonaventura, when asked where he had drunk in so much wisdom, showed a crucifix almost worn away by kisses.  St Jacoponus, a man of good birth and of great learning, after having learned from the Cross of Christ to become foolish to the world, was asked by Christ, who appeared to him in a friendly and familiar way he was so enamored of this foolishness, and he answered with his customary pious pleasantry, “Because Thou, Lord, hast been more foolish than I.”  In short, St Chrysostom (Homily 4 on the Cross and the Robber) sums up the power and praise of the Cross as follows: “If you wish to know the power of the Cross, and what I have to say in tis praise, listen: The Cross is the hope of Christians, the resurrection of the dead, the way of them that despair, the staff of the lame, the consolation of the poor, the curb of the rich, the destruction of the proud, the punishment of them that live badly, victory over the demons, subjugation of the devil, the instructor of the young, nourishment of the needy, hope of the hopeless, the rudder of the seafarers, haven to the storm-tossed, wall to the besieged, father of the fatherless, defender of widows, counselor of the just, rest to the weary, guardian of little one, head of men, end of the aged, light to them that sit in darkness, the magnificence of kings, an everlasting shield, wisdom of the foolish, liberty to the slaves, a philosophy for kings, law to the lawless, the boast of martyrs, the self-denial of monks, the chastity of virgins, the joy of priests, the foundation of the Church, the destruction of temples, the rejection of idols, a stumbling-block to the Jews, perdition to the ungodly, strength to the weak, physician to the sick, bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked.”

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I Just Finished Eating…

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 26, 2008

…leftovers.  I took some of the leftover ham slices and placed them in a frying pan with a few tablespoons of the juices (the ham was baked) and heated them.  I also mixed about a cup and a half of mashed potatoes with half a cup of butternut squash, one egg and some flour, fine diced onions and peppers and made myself some mashed potato pancakes.  Finally, I heated up some leftover peas and carrots.

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The Fundamental difficulties of the Philosophy of Dugald Stewart (Article 11)

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 26, 2008

Article 11

Ninth Defect: Smith, while professing to explain abstract ideas, gives no such explanation at all.

156. Thus far our consideration has been restricted to the progress of language, on the supposition that man was its author.  We have therefore examined only the external product of the interior operation of the mind, and said nothing as yet of how and by means of what faculties this operation must proceed so that it may end in that external result.  If we can succeed in correctly describing all this, the progressive steps which we have detailed as taking place in the formation of language will have received an adequate and satisfactory explanation.

Most men are satisfied with seeing the process of the mind described in tis outward manifestation; because their attention is absorbed by the external forms of the discourse.  This is so much the case that even such a thinker as Dugald Stewart, when wishing to account for the formation of genera and species, unhesitatingly endorses the views expressed on the subject in the passage he has quoted from Smith, and declares that “Smith’s account appears to him to be equally simple and satisfactory.”

Now, I will admit, for the moment, that the whole of what Smith says in that passage is true, and that man did really pass from  proper to common or appellative names.  But I am still at a loss to see that our author has in any way explained the manner in which man forms those assortments of individuals which he afterwards calls genera and species.  To tell us that man passes from proper to common names is not as yet to inform us what takes place in his mind.  It is not to examine the interior operation corresponding to that transformation of names, nor to seek what faculties must necessarily be supposed for such an operation-in a word, it is not to give us any clue to the solution of those difficulties which, as Dugald Stewart himself says, have caused some philosophers to look upon the formation of genera and species as one of the most perplexing problems in metaphysics.

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A Simple Summa: The Eternity of God

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 26, 2008

Eternity is well defined by Boethius, interminabilis vitae tota simul et perfecta possessio, the perfect and simultaneous possession of interminable life.  We know what is simple by that which is composite; for we know first what is composite, through which we attain to the notion of simplicity.   Accordingly, Eternity becomes known to us in a twofold manner: first, as that which belongs to Eternity is interminable, without beginning or end; and the term can be applied to both.  Secondly, this Eternity is without succession, it exists all at once.  Thus it exists always according to the one and same mode, and the idea of before or after has no place in it at all.  God is eternal because He is Unchangeable; thus Immutability belongs to Eternity as movement belongs to time.

God is not only Eternal; He is His own Eternity; for His Duration is His Existence; as His Essence is His Existence, so is His Eternity.  And God alone is Eternal, for He alone is Unchangeable.  Other things share in Eternity in much the same way as they share from Him, in their own degree, of durability, as things corruptible have a long life, and thus Scripture speaks of the “eternal hills.”  With some things, as the elements, this participation is held by the whole, and not according to the parts; others, like the Angels and the Blessed, participate, in a strict sense, by the substantial incorruptibility of their individual act; their happiness is in the Word, and their thoughts are not changeable.  Eternity differs from Age and from Time.  Eternity is without succession, which cannot be said of time; because the very notion of Time means before and after.  Age differs from Time, for as Eternity is the measure of permanent existence, and is without before or after, nor can it be in a way comparable to such a notion; indeed, as a thing recedes from permanence of existence it recedes from Eternity, so also Age is without before or after in itself, but may possibly be joined to them accidentally, hence its measure is that of the heavenly bodies, the existence of which is unchangeable, although this may be joined to change as regards place.  The Angels have a changeless existence, with liability to change as regards election, so far as pertains to their nature, thus being mutable as regards intelligence, affection, and place, and their measure of existence is Age.  But corruptible things that recede so far from permanence of existence as to be subject to change, like all movement, are measured by Time.

Age is one; for as the oneness of Time is derived from the unity of the first movement, which is the most simple, and the rule of measurement for all others, so one Age is the measure of all others, and the more it is simply the first the more simple it is, and the principle of the rest.  But many ages are reckoned as so many centuries. St Thomas Aquinas, A Compendium of the Summa

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Summa Contra Gentiles Bk. 1, Ch. 10

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 26, 2008

Chapter 10

Of The Opinion Of Those Who Aver That It Cannot Be Demonstrated That There Is A God, Since This Is Self-Evident.

Possibly it will seem to some that it is useless to endeavor to show that there is a God: they say that it is self-evident that God is, so that it is impossible to think the contrary, and thus it cannot be demonstrated that there is a God. The reasons for this view are as follows. Those things are said to be selfevident which are known as soon as the terms are known: thus as soon as it is known what is a whole, and what is a part, it is known that the whole is greater than the part. Now such is the statement God is. For by this word God we understand a thing greater than which cannot be thought of: this is what a man conceives in his mind when he hears and understands this word God : so that God must already be at least in his mind. Nor can He be in the mind alone, for that which is both in the mind and in reality is greater than that which is in the mind only. And the very signification of the word shows that nothing is greater that God. Wherefore it follows that it is self-evident that God is, since it is made clear from the very signification of the word.

Again. It is possible to think that there is a thing which cannot be thought not to exist: and such a thing is evidently greater than that which can be thought not to exist. Therefore if God can be thought not to exist, it follows that something can be thought of as greater than God: and this is contrary to the signification of the term. Therefore it remains that it is self-evident that God is.

Further. Those propositions are most evident in which the selfsame thing is predicated of itself, for instance: Man is man; or wherein the predicate is included in the definition of the subject, for instance: Man is an animal. Now, as we shall show further on (i.e., chapter 22), In God alone do we find that His being is His essence, as though the same were the answer to the question, What is He? as to the question, Is He? Accordingly when we say, God is, the predicate is either identified with the subject, or at least included in the definition of the subject. And thus it will be self-evident that God is.

Again. That whereby all things are known naturally are self-evident, for it is not by a process of research that they become evident. Now it is naturally known that God is, since man’s desire tends naturally to God as his last end, as we shall show further on (i.e., Bk. 3, Ch. 25). Therefore it is self-evident that God is.

Again. That whereby all things are known must needs be self-evident. Now such is God. For just as the light of the sun is the principle of all visual perception, so the divine light is the principle of all intellectual knowledge, because it is therein that first and foremost intellectual light is to be found. Therefore it must needs be self-evident that God is.

On account of these and like arguments some are of the opinion that it is so self-evident that God is, that it is impossible for the mind to think the contrary. In the next chapter Aquinas will refute the opinion and answer the arguments supporting it.

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Christmas ’08

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 25, 2008

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The Fundamental Difficulties Of The Philosophy of Dugald Stewart (Article 10

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 25, 2008

154. When Smith, therefore, pronounced so confidently that the first cave, tree, and fountain with which his savage became acquainted were naturally the first objects he would designate by proper names; that these names would become common simply through the savage applying them to other caves, other trees, and other fountains; and that all the common nouns we have at this day were originally proper, he expressed the direct contrary of the real facts.

He owed this error to his incorrect notion of what constitutes respectively a proper and a common noun. He thought-and at first sight it would seem truly-that a proper noun is a name given to a single individual, and a common noun a name applied to many. Herein, however, he mistook that which accidentally happens in connection with these nouns for what properly constitutes their nature. It is, indeed, customary for a common noun to be applied to many individuals, and for a proper noun to be applied to one only; but, as I have just said, this is merely accidental. The contrary would not only be possible, but is actually seen in practice. Sometimes a common noun is applied to a single individual without ceasing on that account to be common, and vice versa a proper noun is applied to may individuals without ceasing to be proper (see 146, 151). In point of fact, the proper as well as the common noun is never applied except to one individual at a time; their only difference being, as I have so often pointed out, that the common noun is taken from a certain quality in which many other individuals do or may participate; whereas the proper noun aims direct at the individuality itself, which is essentially proper and incommunicable.

The truth, therefore, is, not that proper nouns have gradually passed into common, but that those which were once common nouns have been made to serve as proper, by transferring them to signify that individuality which originally was not expressed but only understood.

The better to see how this could have been done, we must bear in mind that a common noun does not of its own nature determine (as a proper noun does) an individual in such a way as totally to divide it from all the others which do or may share in the common quality whence it has been derived (145). It only acquires this determinative force from a tacit understanding, or, to speak more correctly, an understanding expressed by the fact men mutually agree that the name, although ‘common’ by its nature, shall be taken to signify exclusively a certain particular being.

Thus the aptitude which the common noun has for being applied to a single individual is not expressed in the noun itself, but implied by those who make use of it with that intent. And the reason why the individuality is not directly expressed but only implied, lies precisely in the difficulty which the human mind encounters in concentrating its gaze on the pure individuality of a being apart from all its qualities-a most arduous mental operation, and one of the very last to be performed.

155. But let us proceed: be it well understood, then, that the first step which the human mind makes towards knowing the individuality of things is to perceive that individuality, as united and bound up together with all the common qualities, and to fix the attention on it less distinctly than on them.

According to this, man at first designates with names the common qualities, and afterwards makes use of these names for indicating the individuality; so, however, as to show that idea of that individuality is not as yet distinctly noticed by him, and therefore not capable of being expressed by itself alone with a strictly proper noun. Indeed, the invention of a strictly proper noun is so difficult a task that hardly any instances of it can be found even in modern languages.

Returning, therefore, to our savage, and supposing for sake of argument that the names of his cave, tree, and fountain were to be invented by himself, we should have to describe the probable process of his mind during that operation in the following way:-

At the outset, he would notice in his cave, in his tree, in his fountain, some one of the more prominent qualities, which more readily and vividly struck his senses, as for instance in the cave, hollowness; in the tree, gnarledness, or height; in the fountain, depths or the rising of the water, or some other such quality. Then by means of these qualities he would invent truly common nouns, which in his mind would be equivalent to the propositions: ‘That which is hollow; that which is gnarled; that which is deep or rising.’

Then feeling, as he must do, that the constant supplying of his own wants was intimately connected with the particular objects in which he had noticed their qualities I have referred to, he would very soon make use of those same common nouns for designating them-i.e., his particular cave, tree, and fountain-pursuant to the law we have stated, that common nouns can be made to answer the purpose of proper nouns, not, indeed, in virtue of their own nature, but by the intention of him who uses them, and the circumstances in which he uses them.

As, however, the supposition is that our savage at this stage would only know one cave, tree, and one fountain, he could not apply the names he had invented except to these alone.  But when he afterwards came to discover the other  caves, other trees, other fountains, he would instantly perceive that they possessed qualities similar to those of the objects with which he had first become acquainted, and that, therefore, the same names would equally do for them.

Consequently, he would now apply his name to many trees, many caves, and many fountains; and thus that which had been a common noun from the beginning would undergo no other change than that of being actually used to indicate several individuals at once, each, however, distinct from the others, while at first it had been used to designate one only.  This, then, would be a second step.

But when circumstances arose of a nature to make our savage feel that it was needful for him to distinguish his own cave, &c., from all the others, he would make a third step; but it would not be as yet of the invention of strictly proper names.  He would probably distinguish several caves of his forest through some addition made to the common noun itself in the form, for instance, of the possessive pronoun mine, thine, his: saying my cavern, thy cavern, his cavern &c.; or in any other form he might think fit for indicating the cavern belonging to himself, or to the person he was addressing, or to a third person.

Before arriving at the invention of proper nouns he would have still a long way to go.  He would have to pass from the state of a savage into that of an orderly social being.  It would be necessary that the society which began in his woods and was at first limited to a single family should expand into  much larger proportions, should attain a very high degree of culture and civilization, and at the last state of perfection-a state in which men are not only fully equal to the most subtle and most sustained abstractions, but able to keep their minds fixed on them-a state in which artificial wants are multiplied, and moral wants developed, diversified, and refined.  I say artificial and moral wants; for it is by them that men are impelled to draw ever closer and closer distinctions between things, to divide the greater into lesser classes; to designate the species which are narrowest, and approach nearest to the individual; to arrange these species in all possible ways, necessary as well as arbitrary; and, lastly, to fasten on the individuals themselves by means of names exclusively significative of their individuality-which is the last and most refined operation of all.-Antonio Rosmini, THE ORIGIN OF IDEAS.

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