Saturday, August 20, 2005
The New Testament and Seneca
Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.Seneca, De Ira 2.34.5 (tr. John W. Basore):
If some one strikes you, step back; for by striking back you will give him both the opportunity and the excuse to repeat his blow; when you later wish to extricate yourself, it will be impossible.
percussit te: recede; referiendo enim et occasionem saepius feriendi dabis et excusationem; non poteris revelli, cum voles.
When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.Seneca, De Ira 3.37.4 (tr. John W. Basore):
Because you were given a less honourable place at the table, you began to get angry at your host, at the writer of the invitation, at the man himself who was preferred above you. Madman! what difference does it make on what part of the couch you recline? Can a cushion add to either your honour or your disgrace?
minus honorato loco positus irasci coepisti convivatori, vocatori, ipsi qui tibi praeferebatur: demens, quid interest quam lecti premas partem? honestiorem te aut turpiorem potest facere pulvinus?
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.Seneca, De Clementia 1.6.3 (tr. John W. Basore):
We have all sinned - some in serious, some in trivial things; some from deliberate intention, some by chance impulse, or because we were led astray by the wickedness of others; some of us have not stood strongly enough by good resolutions, and have lost our innocence against our will and though still clinging to it; and not only have we done wrong, but we shall go on doing wrong to the very end of life.
peccavimus omnes, alii gravia, alii leviora, alii ex destinato, alii forte impulsi aut aliena nequitia ablati; alii in bonis consiliis parum fortiter stetimus et innocentiam inviti ac retinentes perdidimus; nec deliquimus tantum, sed usque ad extremum aevi delinquemus.