Is love precious or poisonous 2

introduction

P. 7 At the end of the introduction to III. Section of Volume I of my selection from Ephrem, I have promised to first compile ascetic treatises. Later, however, the concern crossed my mind that it would tire the inclined reader if they were always given such serious and strict reading. It therefore seemed to me more advisable, for a change, to supply chants of decisive interest and value in prosaic translation as the first section of Volume II, and to begin with a few chants about the birth of Christ that seem worth reading. In the original there are 19, in the II. Syriac Latin. Volumes from p. 396 to p. 436. They are so-called madrosche (or, as some say, madrasche), chants in different meters, but in such a way that the same meter is retained throughout the song. Sometimes, e.g. B. in the first one communicated here, there is, of course, uniformity of the phrases; at least, however, the graces and benefits that have become part of the Incarnation and birth of the Savior are represented in a vividly worthy manner, especially through striking contrasts. In some of these chants there are idyllic scenes full of grace and loveliness, certainly appealing to pious souls and sensible minds. The little chant p. VIII. "Jesus, the light of the world" can be found in the second Syriac-Latin part of the Roman edition p. 330 under the exegetical speeches on individual biblical texts.

The Syrian text of the eulogy under Nro. IX. is printed in the III. Syrian parts of the same edition from p. 604 on.

About the following odes against the brooders, I allow myself to notice in advance what I wrote about it in the preface to Volume V of my translation published in Innsbruck in the 1930s: “Who here beautifully rhymed sacred songs, according to the modern taste, sweet feeling tailored, thought to be found, is asked not to pick up these odes at all; for poetic beauty, least of all that of form, is not its value or adornment. Certainly some are characterized by the true flight of hymns, others by the power of thought and expression, still others by lively devotion and glowing feeling; one encounters strong fiery features, rousing, solemn, deeply moving passages: but, as I said, anyone who is used to flirting poetry and beautiful ringing will find in these, for the most part, the form of the original,3 in p. 9 with regard to versification, however, the chants often neglected nothing appealing to him; and whoever looks at it only from the side of poetic art will not be satisfied by most of them, because he too often encounters dull prosaic passages.

But it is an advantage that every Christian reader who forgets the bowl over the core must make it dear and pleasant if he otherwise has love for his precious treasure, the true faith; It is a virtue which presents their appearance in our times as most important and useful: it is the invincible strength, the firmness of faith, with which the holy Father wars against the insolence of every presumptuous philosophy and the blasphemies of unbelief in their nakedness and depravity Show poses.

Many scholars of our day, especially from other confessions, openly reveal their unbelief in the deity of Jesus and the other mysteries of Christianity, crushed by the weight of majesty they wanted to explore; there, if they want to read and think, they find folly as well as the inconsistency and audacity of brooding over the incomprehensible, because the infinite, shown irrefutably, but the belief in the mysteries is confirmed both by reason and revelation. Those who are in danger of following those blind guides will find the light of heaven here, which shows them the divinity of Jesus and the mystery of the Trinity, these two pillars of Christian doctrine, in the splendor of the highest everlasting truth.

P. 10 The holy Father explains himself most clearly about the purpose of these chants in the first, which he begins with the words: “Instead of the (faith) norm that leads all to salvation and was established for us by the teacher of all, has this daring age of ours devised a new faith; but the omniscient knows what set them (the brooders or researchers) in motion. If glory is the cause of their unrest, our Lord hold back this pride ”and so on.

It was the intention of the holy poet of these odes to work against these innovations of faith that arose out of impudent pride, or whatever you want to call them, since no German word corresponds to their name in the original language. He achieved this goal perfectly with his compatriots and contemporaries; would also like to come across the translation of the blessings of God, at least to some extent, so that its purpose does not remain completely unattainable.

I also wanted to read from Ephrem's songs about the paradise of Eden, which have been preserved in Syria, and were printed in III. B. of the Roman edition, to deliver samples, but believed they should refrain from doing so because none of them seemed to me to be suitable for the readers. To give only fragments or individual beautiful places is contrary to the plan and purpose of this library. Furthermore, they are not infrequently unclear and confused, so that it is often difficult to understand whether he is talking about the former earthly paradise or heaven. If you want to read samples of it, you will find several in Volume IV of my first selection published by Wagner in Innsbruck.

Finally, the inclined reader should not blame me if I add the judgment of a noble writer who has long been mentioned and who is wrongly forgotten about the chants against the brooders. The well-known Redemptorist Anton Passy speaks about it as follows in his award-winning novella “Zeitspiegel”, Vienna 1835, p. 249: “Had I (says a defender of the faith on p. 11) of the h. Ephrem threatening chants against the brooders about the divine secrets, by the hand which the Benedictine Zingerle translated from Syriac, I would send them to him immediately. You would certainly admire the contemporary with the general useful in the club. "