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XIII.-OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GREEKS.
1. IN poetry and prose, in philosophy, in logic and rhetoric, in physics and metaphysics, in all that is embraced in the idea of intellectual cultivation, the Greeks take the lead of all other nations. They first gave a method and a consecutive character to logical composition, systematic form and beauty of design to poetry. They first broke down the wall of partition that divides the physical from the metaphysical world, invaded the mystic regions of spirit and essence, analyzed their forms and combinations and revealed their elements.
2. The spiritual world was discovered by the Greeks. The Jews, with a spiritual God, never were a spiritual people. They saw visions and heard voices, but they did not penetrate with their metaphysical being the spirit-land from which those visions and voices were commissioned. In the richest descriptions of a future state of redemption their prophets never transcended the terrestrial and the sensual. The future heaven of the Jews was earth, and earth only, with plenty of corn to eat and wine to drink.
3. "Ye shall grow up as calves in the stall," said the prophets to that people; "ye shall build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them;" but a spirit-world was never described, for it was never entered, and the sensuous understanding alone was addressed.
4. It was far otherwise with the spiritual Greeks, for with material gods they became a spiritual people, who visited that within the mind which none but the highest order of men can reach, and who alone, of all the nations of the world, invented a language wherewith to express metaphysical ideas. Little does the world know how much it is indebted to that one people for the richness of meaning in the words which it uses.
5. The spirit of Greece is incorporated for ever with the tongue of every civilized nation. We have ever borrowed, and still continue to borrow, from its inexhaustible resources. Almost all the technical language of science is Greek; and such common words as Theology, Philosophy, Geography,
Geology, and a thousand such, are merely compounded of Greek words or adopted from Greek into western tongues.
6. It was only by the Greek language that the primitive doctrines of the Christian Church were logically expressed and worked into their present ecclesiastical form. There was no other language in the world at the time sufficiently furnished with metaphysical resources to admit of a spiritual controversy.
7. Cicero the orator has remarked, in his book of the "Nature of the Gods," that several Romans deeply conversant with Greek learning were unable to communicate a knowledge of it to their countrymen, because they considered it impossible to express in Latin what they had learned in Greek, so little adapted was the Latin language, even in the time of Julius Cæsar, for conducting a spiritual or metaphysical discussion; and in after years, when this deficiency was supplied by the Latin philosophers and the Fathers of the Latin Church, it was only by the copious introduction of Greek words into Latin.
8. So true it is that when God gives a mission to any one people, it is found impossible for any other people to supersede the first in any other way than by borrowing the gift in which the mission is included. In the gift of the Greek tongue a spiritual mission was conveyed. That tongue was cultivated by a spiritual people, and Providence in due time employed it alone in elaborating the doctrines of a spiritual Church in the infancy of its being.
9. No nation ever became great without passing through the ordeal of a metaphysical controversy, and no nation that ever passes through such a controversy can fail to distinguish itself and take the lead in the march of intellect in proportion to the energy which it has displayed in the conflict. Great as the Romans were in arms, they felt their inferiority to the Greeks in all the elegant arts. In Greece alone were the great schools and colleges for young Romans. There alone could they acquire the intellectual accomplishments of the age.
10. It was only in politics that Rome conquered Greece. In literature and art Greece conquered Rome. In the out
ward acquisition of power Rome was the greater, but in the inward attainment of intellectual and æsthetical culture Greece takes the precedence. Rome gave laws to the territorial world, but Greece legislated for the world of taste. And still Greece gives laws in its own peculiar sphere; for every work of God is for ever, and every national mission has its abiding influence which stretches down to posterity like the comet's tail, though the body of the comet has long ago set beneath the political horizon. REV. JAMES E. SMITH.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.—Esthetic: Gr. aisthē'tikos, fitted for perception; fr. aisthē'sis, a sensation; h., an-œsthesis (deprivation of sensation), anæsthetic, etc. . . . Analyze, to resolve into elements: Gr. ana, again, and lu'ein, to loosen. . . . Character: Gr. charak'tër, that which is cut in or marked; fr. charas'sein, to cut in, to engrave. . . . Comet: Gr. ko-mē'tes, long-haired; fr. kòm'è, hair. . . . Controversy: L. con'tra, against, ver'to, ver'sum, to turn; h., ad-verse, ad-vert, ad-vertise, anim-advert, anni-versary, a-version, con-vert, di-verse, di-vorce, in-ad-vertent, in-vert, ob-verse (opposed to re-verse), per-vert, sub-vert, tergi-versation (ter'gum, the back), trans-verse, tra-verse, uni-verse, versatile, verse (fr. ver'sus, a furrow, because of the turning round of the plow; h., a row, a line), vertex (the point of the heavens directly overhead), vertical, vertigo, vortex, etc. Conveyed: L. con and vě'ho, I carry. . . . Copious: L. co'pia, plenty. . . . Ecclesiastical: Gr. ekklēs'ia, an assembly of citizens called out by the crier; fr. ěk, out, and kallein, to call; h., pertaining to the church. . . . Energy: Gr. ĕnĕrgei'a. Essence: L. es'se, to be. . . . Geography: Gr. geograph'ia; ge, the earth, and graph'cin, to describe. . . . Geology: fr. Gr. gẽ, the earth, and log'õs, discourse... Metaphysics: fr. Gr. měťa, beyond, phu'sikos, physical; fr. phu'sis, nature. Poetry: fr. Gr. poiētes, a maker... Providence: L. pro, and video, see: V. VISION. . . . System: Gr. sustē'ma, a placing together. . . . Technical: Gr. těch'në, an art.
Theology: Gr. thĕŏlòg'ia; fr. thē'os, God, and lõg'õs, discourse. . . Transcend: L. transcen'do; fr. trans, and scan'do, I climb: v. ASCEND.
THE PEN AND THE SWORD.
The loud earth breathless! Take away the sword-
Он, young Lochinvar is come out of the West,
He stayed not for brake and he stopped not for stone,
So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,
'Mong bridesmen and kinsmen and brothers and all: Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword (For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word),
Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
"I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied-
The bride kissed the goblet, the knight took it up; He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup;
She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
So stately his form and so lovely her face
One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
"She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush and scar;
They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochin
There was mounting 'mong Græmes of the Netherby clan;
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see;
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Bridegroom: orig. bridegoom, fr. the A. S. brydguma, guma, being allied to the L. holmo, a man. . . . Craven : probably fr. crave, one who craves or begs his life when vanquished. . . Croup: Fr. croupe, hind-quarters. . . . Daunt: Fr. dompter, to tame; fr. L. dom'ito, I subdue; h., in-domitable. Enter: Fr. entrer; fr. L. in'tro, inward. . . . Gallant: Fr. galant; fr. gala, show. . . . Galliard: Fr. gaillard, a sprightly fellow. . . . Lee or Lea: A. S. leah, a pasture; a plat of grass land, a meadow. Saddle Ger. sattel; L. sedi'le a seat.... Scar or Scaur: Danish skaar, a notch; a bare and broken place on the side of a hill or mountain.