Christopher Kreuzer wrote:This is nice. I looked it up and it seems to be a more poetic version of a biblical quote ("man is born to trouble even as the sparks fly upwards" - Job 5:7). Was it on this forum that I saw someone lamenting how the King James Bible language was slowly being lost?
It is but a drop in the bucket of borrowings from the Bible.
Yes, the final line in my previous post was an attempt to imprison the meaning of the Hebrew original in an English pentameter.
Bishop Lowe of Oxford delivered a series of lectures at the University on the rhymes of the ancient Hebrews. They swept right across Europe, exciting important figures of the German enlightenment such as Lessing, Herder and Mendelssohn (incidentally, Mendelssohn would have been horrified to have been considered the father of Reform Judaism, just as he would have been upset to learn how many of his children would convert to Lutheranism. He did translate the Hebrew Bible into German, and was chastised by Dayan (a religious judge) Landau of Prague for doing so. The language, in Landau's view, was too lapidary!) It is not correct to suggest that Lowe was the first to notice the poetry in the original, although he was the first in the Enlightenment who did so. If one imagines the picture of the Bible being read aloud to an audience, not all of whom would have been literate, then the desire to add a musical element becomes understandable. A major device of the Bible had to be parataxis (think "anding" clauses together), owing to the limitations of the language of that time; the achievement of meaningful rhyme was considerable.
Austin Elliott wrote:
Simon Spivack wrote:A pernicious meme is that religions are the primary guardians of morality. Thus when an erstwhile government minister who wielded the "trusty sword of truth" was released from prison, I just knew he would catch religion, that being the fastest route to respectability.
See also the several of President Nixon's staffers who, having been jailed over their part in the Watergate cover-up, claimed to have been born again in prison. I can't remember how many of them said they had decided to study to become ministers of religion, but it was definitely more than one.
Of course, one must admit the possibility they were totally sincere, ditto the erstwhile Govt minister Simon mentions. This is what my friends who are Christians always say when I make Simon's point to them. But it happens so often that it does rather strain the credulity, to say the least.
My memory played me false, I should have written "simple sword of truth".
There was a revealing photograph of this individual published in a newspaper long before his holiday to Paris was in the public domain. For some reason he thought it would impress should some books be placed on his desk in front of him, perhaps to foster the impression of a man of letters. I don't know whether it was deliberate on the part of the photographer, for one could quite clearly see the gap in his bookcase from where the books had been removed, there was only the one hole. All too neat to be plausible.
Mick Norris wrote:Back to the question, Bury has 17 members of which 2 have been Church Treasurers and at least 2 others attend church every week - there are at least 2 others that attend at least occasionally and I have no idea about the others as it has never come up in conversation
Another thing to bear in mind is regional variation. Based on conversations when I was the secretary of Athenaeum in London, I'd say about ten per cent were religious. This includes those who would only turn up on High Holy Days and their equivalents. Of course this is hardly scientific, not everyone is forthcoming.