The Tenth Satire of Juvenal, Imitated
Let observation with extensive view,
Survey man kind, from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate,
O’erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,
Where wav’ring man, betray’d by ven’rous pride
To read the dreary paths without a guide,
As treach’rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good.
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice,
How nations sink, by darling schemes oppress’d,
When vengeance listens to the fool’s request.
Fate wings with ev’ry wish th’ afflictive dart,
Each gift of nature, and each grace of art,
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
With fatal sweetness elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the speaker’s pow’rful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.
But scarce observ’d the knowing and the bold,
Fall in the gen’ral massacre of gold;
Wide-wasting pest! That rages unconfin’d,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind,
For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap’d on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Over the years, I’ve tried to make it a point to encourage you to take care of the body that carries the soul. Not that I won’t continue to cheer us on in the fight for bodily stewardship, but the more I study and grow and fail, the more certain I am that while the body carries the soul, it’s the soul that protects the body; not the other way around.
John Ortberg writes, “The soul knows a glory that the body cannot rob. In some ways, in some cases, the more the body revolts, the more the soul shines through.” He goes on to say that the “greatness of soul is available to people who do not have the luxury of being ecstatic about the condition and appearance of their bodes.” (Word.)
That particular quote came on the heels of a story about Patricia. Patricia suffered from the effects of diabetes, a heart attack and two strokes. She went blind and lost both legs…all in her thirties. But before she died, she led a team to build a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C. At her funeral, alongside Secretary of State James Baker, standing in reverent respect were – of course – the homeless. “The only thing I can depend on with my body is that it will fail me. Somehow my body is mine, but it’s not me,” she said.
Greatness of soul. I’d say that’s our theme.
It is not the love of our neighbour, it is not the love of mankind, which upon many occasions prompts us to the practice of those divine virtues. It is a stronger love, a more powerful affection, which generally takes place upon such occasions; the love of what is honourable and noble, of the grandeur, and dignity, and superiority of our own characters.