Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.
17. And yet, O you great worshippers and priests of the deities, why, as you assert that those most holy gods are enraged
at Christian communities, do you not likewise perceive, do you not see what base feelings, what unseemly frenzies, you
attribute to your deities? For, to be angry, what else is it than to be insane, to rave, to be urged to the lust of
vengeance, and to revel in the troubles of another's grief, through the madness of a savage disposition? Your great gods,
then, know, are subject to and feel that which wild beasts, which monstrous brutes experience, which the deadly plant
natrix contains in its poisoned roots. That nature which is superior to others, and which is based on the firm foundation
of unwavering virtue, experiences, as you allege, the instability which is in man, the faults which are in the animals of
earth. And what therefore follows of necessity, but that from their eyes flashes dart, flames burst forth, a panting breast
emits a hurried breathing from their mouth, and by reason of their burning words their parched lips become pale?
18. But if this that you say is true—if it has been tested and thoroughly ascertained both that the gods boil with rage, and that an impulse of this kind agitates the divinities with excitement, on the one hand they are not immortal, and on the other they are not to be reckoned as at all partaking of divinity. For wherever, as the philosophers hold, there is any agitation, there of necessity passion must exist. Where passion is situated, it is reasonable that mental excitement follow. Where there is mental excitement, there grief and sorrow exist. Where grief and sorrow exist, there is already room for weakening and decay; and if these two harass them, extinction is at hand, viz. death, which ends all things, and takes away life from every sentient being.
19. Moreover, in this way you represent them as not only unstable and excitable, but, what all agree is far removed from the character of deity, as unfair in their dealings, as wrong-doers, and, in fine, as possessing positively no amount of even moderate fairness. For what is a greater wrong than to be angry with some, and to injure others, to complain of human beings, and to ravage the harmless grain crops, to hate the Christian name, and to ruin the worshippers of Christ with every kind of loss?
63. What are these hidden and unseen mysteries, you will say, which neither men can know, nor those even who are called gods of the world can in any wise reach by fancy and conjecture; which none can discover, except those whom Christ Himself has thought fit to bestow the blessing of so great knowledge upon, and to lead into the secret recesses of the inner treasury of wisdom? Do you then see that if He had determined that none should do Him violence, He should have striven to the utmost to keep off from Him His enemies, even by directing His power against them? Could not He, then, who had restored their sight to the blind, make His enemies blind if it were necessary? Was it hard or troublesome for Him to make them weak, who had given strength to the feeble? Did He who bade the lame walk, not know how to take from them all power to move their limbs, by making their sinews stiff? Would it have been difficult for Him who drew the dead from their tombs to inflict death on whom He would? But because reason required that those things which had been resolved on should be done here also in the world itself, and in no other fashion than was done, He, with gentleness passing understanding and belief, regarding as but childish trifles the wrongs which men did Him, submitted to the violence of savage and most hardened robbers; nor did He think it worth while to take account of what their daring had aimed at, if He only showed to His disciples what they were in duty bound to look for from Him. For when many things about the perils of souls, many evils about their ... on the other hand, the Introducer, the Master and Teacher directed His laws and ordinances, that they might find their end in fitting duties; did He not destroy the arrogance of the proud? Did He not quench the fires of lust? Did He not check the craving of greed? Did He not wrest the weapons from their hands, and rend from them all the sources of every form of corruption? To conclude, was He not Himself gentle, peaceful, easily approached, friendly when addressed? Did He not, grieving at men's miseries, pitying with His unexampled benevolence all in any wise afflicted with troubles and bodily ills, bring them back and restore them to soundness?
64. What, then, constrains you, what excites you to revile, to rail at, to hate implacably Him whom no man can accuse of any crime? Tyrants and your kings, who, putting away all fear of the gods, plunder and pillage the treasuries of temples; who by proscription, banishment, and slaughter, strip the state of its nobles? Who, with licentious violence, undermine and wrest away the chastity of matrons and maidens,— these men you name indigites and divi; and you worship with couches, altars, temples, and other service, and by celebrating their games and birthdays, those whom it was fitting that you should assail with keenest hatred. And all those, too, who by writing books assail in many forms with biting reproaches public manners; who censure, brand, and tear in pieces your luxurious habits and lives; who carry down to posterity evil reports of their own times in their enduring writings; who seek to persuade men that the rights of marriage should be held in common; who lie with boys, beautiful, lustful, naked; who declare that you are beasts, runaways, exiles, and mad and frantic slaves of the most worthless character,— all these with wonder and applause you exalt to the stars of heaven, you place in the shrines of your libraries, you present with chariots and statues, and as much as in you lies, gift with a kind of immortality, as it were, by the witness which immortal titles bear to them. Christ alone you would tear in pieces, you would rend asunder, if you could do so to a god; nay, Him alone you would, were it allowed, gnaw with bloody months, and break His bones in pieces, and devour Him like beasts of the field. For what that He has done, tell, I pray you, for what crime? What has He done to turn aside the course of justice, and rouse you to hatred made fierce by maddening torments? Is it because He declared that He was sent by the only true King to be your soul's guardian. and to bring to you the immortality which you believe that you already possess, relying on the assertions of a few men? But even if you were assured that He spoke falsely, that He even held out hopes without the slightest foundation, not even in this case do I see any reason that you should hate and condemn Him with bitter reproaches. Nay, if you were kind and gentle in spirit, you ought to esteem Him even for this alone, that He promised to you things which you might well wish and hope for; that He was the bearer of good news; that His message was such as to trouble no one's mind, nay, rather to fill all with less anxious expectation.
~ Arnobius of Sicca (?-c. 330 A.D.), Against the Heathen, Book 1.
From left to right, John C. Spencer, Philip Spencer, Alexander Slidell MacKenzie.
MacKenzie as you might recall was one of the heavy-weight contenders weighing in on the
Perry-Elliott controversy versus James Fenimore Cooper (for Elliott.)
For those who like their truth to be stranger than fiction, and or who have an appetite for "Dark Shadows" or "Night Gallery" potentially going on in real life, the following links will take you there. These are three separate articles, but you should without too much difficulty be able to follow the connections. I won't comment much myself at the moment as to possible explanations for what all took place, except to note that too much explanation is lacking.
* The U.S. Somers "mutiny" 1842
* William Morgan
* John C. Spencer
Later Note. "Isle of the Pines," mentioned in the Somers article, was also the title of one the first fiction publications brought to America (c. 1668 and written by Henry Neville), perhaps even the very first -- see American Bibliography by Charles Evans, vol. 1., p. 26.
Continuing to have fun with my new turntable, I just now finished doing a re-recording of the "Half a Sixpence" (1967) original soundtrack LP, having bought an unopened, sealed copy recently off of ebay for that purpose. This update significantly surpasses the earlier version I'd uploaded in sound quality; with relatively little or no background noise now by comparison.
For the full album, see here. (48 MBs)
While for two sample tracks:
* "Half a Sixpence" title song (at 4.6 MBs)
* "If the Rain's Got to Fall" (at 6 MBs.)
As always, right click "Save as..." works best for downloads.
Individual poets, and that are poets properly speaking, ought to be rated and classified as we, whether formally or informally, rate and classify musicians and musical composers; and if you find it difficult to conceptualize a given poet as a musician, etc. than they are probably not really a poet to begin with.
In Federalist Paper number 51, James Madison states "If men were angels, there would be no need of government at all." Does this imply then that men are devils? If so, the conclusion is a false one. As a practical matter, most people really are simply dumb, naive, and insufficiently rational. And rampant and virulent evil stems not from "men" but rather from criminal spirit persons influencing, corrupting, inciting, and manipulating the more ignorant and irrational among us. Get at those spirit people, find out who they are, where they are located, and attack and wage war on them. If but we would do this that would substantially lessen, if not entirely remove, the need for government in the sense Madison speaks of.
"Now that it's been decided who pretty much owns most everything...Any questions?"
I have a question.
"All right, shoot."
Where did he come from and what is he supposed to be?
Here's a bit of good news -- the stupendous Johnny Mathis "West Side Story" medley that we posted some months ago has apparently -- thank goodness --been re-uploaded; so that now you can download it (say, with V Downloader.)
(Get it while you can!)
What's wrong with Americans and Europeans is that in their thinking they are neither Americans nor Europeans, but rather the intellectual by-product of mass manipulation.
While I am neither disposed nor situated at the moment to write a formal piece or article on the subject, I could not help wanting to post a little something about my reaction to the O.H. Perry vs. Jesse Elliott controversy regarding the latter's dilatoriness in supporting Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie. The mystery is simply this -- how could Elliott have avoided being engaged for two hours? The response of Elliott's detractors was either that he was cowardly or else designing to gain glory for himself (i.e., once Perry and the Lawrence "went under.") In reviewing various perspectives on this question, and which have over many, many years been taken on to amazingly prolix and vituperative length, it seems one explanation has been overlooked -- namely that Elliott's fault was one of indecision (i.e., "What am I to do?...I don't know.") -- rather than fear of battle or envy of his commander. Two things happened to cause this 1) Perry's orders that the fleet maintain its line of battle combined with 2) Perry's violating his own instructions to remain in line and going dashing after the British himself. This then put Elliott in a position of a) having to disobey his commander's earlier instructions, and b) to act on his own initiative. Not sure that he could or should do either, this caused him to be indecisive. He arguably could not disobey his prior orders; while at the same time Perry was rash to assume Elliott necessarily would take the initiative. Per chance too, though we have no way ourselves of knowing this, pride was a factor in making Elliott reluctant to have Perry force him, without advanced notice or warning, to act on his own; and which could further remind him that technically the rules were on his side. So yes, we can say then Elliott may be considered blameworthy for his indecision, but this is far less impugnable to his character than the charges of timidity and or conspiracy.
Busybody, ne'er-do-well, trouble-maker, hypocrite though he is, he may be nevertheless be right in what he scolds you for or censures you about. Even so, it is not for him to play the role of advisor or admonisher if you don't want him to. Yet many, perhaps even most, will let him play such a role because he is a spirit person; thinking, very mistakenly, that his being one, accompanied by (seemingly) heavenly trappings, confers on him status divine.
Later. By "trappings" this might mean or include: a knowing, other-worldy, or benevolent voice from "beyond;" feelings of ethereal hope and importance pertaining to yourself; tricks, like making a prediction come true; dreams (or movies-for-your-head) with ostensibly profound meanings; visits or visions of angelic beings, perhaps seen in the sky; the radiance of "heavenly" love beaming upon you -- all had and available to you at the ("low, low") price of your being flagrantly irrational and your tossing basic honesty, decency, and responsibility for your actions out the window.
This week from the Lee's Legion page: "EARLY DAYS IN THE [U.S.] NAVY"; for which see: http://www.gunjones.com/William-T-Skiddy.pdf
It is a sobering, perhaps some will feel even hellish, thought, but the same people who are making and forming domestic and foreign policy in and for our country today may indeed be some of the very same people who thought "Seinfeld" was funny.
Could church history -- including interpretation of scripture and formulation of doctrine -- have turned out quite differently than it did? If man has free will, the answer must, at least to some significant degree, be yes. This is not, however, to say that truth itself is mutuable, but only people's conception of it.