Wednesday, August 26, 2015


The Old Order Passeth Away

Tertullian, To the Nations 10.4-7 (tr. Peter Holmes):
4. For when I look through your life and customs, lo, what do I discover but the old order of things corrupted, nay, destroyed by you? Of the laws I have already said, that you are daily supplanting them with novel decrees and statutes. 5. As to everything else in your manner of life, how great are the changes you have made from your ancestors—in your style, your dress, your equipage, your very food, and even in your speech; for the old-fashioned you banish, as if it were offensive to you! 6. Everywhere, in your public pursuits and private duties, antiquity is repealed; all the authority of your forefathers your own authority has superseded. 7. To be sure, you are for ever praising old customs; but this is only to your greater discredit, for you nevertheless persistently reject them.

4. Ecce enim per omnia vitae ac disciplinae corruptam, immo deletam in vobis antiquitatem recognosco. De legibus quidem iam supra dictum est, quod eas novis de die consultis constitutisque obruistis. 5. De reliqua vero conversationis humanae dispositione palam subiacet, quantum a maioribus mutaveritis, cultu habitu apparatu, ipsoque victu ipsoque sermone; nam pristinum ut rancidum relegatis. 6. Exclusa ubique antiquitas, in negotiis, in officiis: totam auctoritatem maiorum vestra auctoritas deiecit. 7. Sane, quod vobis magis probro est, laudatis semper vetustates et nihilominus recusatis. Qua perversitate tan<...> maiorum apud vos permanere probari debuerunt, cum ea, quae probatis, recusetis?

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