tending the garden essays on the gospel and the earth ..
Author of Tending the Garden: Essays on the Gospel and the Earth
It is curious to notice how the mind of a theologian can be prejudiced. Dean Wordsworth in his translation of Hippolytus gives the language of that contemporary of Origen, to show that the former had no sympathy with the broad faith of the latter. He quotes Hippolytus thus: "The coming malediction of the judgment of fire, and the dark and rayless aspect of tartarus, not irradiated by the voice of the Word, and the surge of the everflowing lake, generating fire, and the eye of tartarean avenging angels ever fixed in malediction," etc. The Dean unwarrantably, because inaccurately, translates "avenging," a meaning it does not possess. It is rendered punish, chastise, correct, but never carries the sense of revenge. Furthermore, disregarding the fact that the acknowledged Universalist fathers denounce the sinner with words as intense as is the above language, which may be literally fulfilled and yet restoration ensue beyond it all, the Dean renders the very next paragraph thus: "You will have your body immortal () and incorruptible (), together with your soul" (, life). Now had Hippolytus intended to teach the absolutely interminable duration of the "tartarean fire," would he not have used these stronger terms, and , which are never employed in the New Testament to teach limited duration, and is not the fact that he used the weaker word to describe punishment, evidence that he did not in this passage in the "Philosophumena" intend to teach the sinner's endless torment?
Tending the Garden: Essays on the Gospel and the Earth
26. Because it tends to turn us all, whether members of legislatures, journalists, or electors, into persons who think superficially and act in a hurry on very imperfect knowledge. The enormous number of undertakings which pass under the hands of legislative bodies, and the enormous number of questions which are submitted to their decision, oblige all those who are concerned with political life to possess innumerable smatterings of piecemeal knowledge of various sorts, to form their judgments in the imperfect light of such smatterings, and to make the best show that is possible with such hastily gathered knowledge. Every member of a legislature ought to be a trained scientist in all branches of human knowledge, in order to perform the duties that everyday are thrown upon him. It has been said by some defenders of competitive examinations that their merit consists in developing the faculties that are specially required for the rapidly changing struggles of afterlife. As regards political life the plea is perfectly just; and the brilliant use of limited intellectual furniture, joined to an intrepid judgment on all subjects on the spur of the moment, is likely to be equally useful to the politician and the successful prize student. But neither the politician nor the prize student represent the best elements in the nation.