Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Ideal Scholar

The real Clerk of Oxford

This was the OT reading at Evensong last night (Ecclesiasticus 39.1-10); I suppose we all aspire to be like this! A description of the wise man:

He seeks out the wisdom of all the ancients, and is concerned with prophecies; he preserves the sayings of the famous and penetrates the subtleties of parables; he seeks out the hidden meanings of proverbs and is at home with the obscurities of parables. He serves among the great and appears before rulers; he travels in foreign lands and learns what is good and evil in the human lot. He sets his heart on rising early to seek the Lord who made him, and to petition the Most High; he opens his mouth in prayer and asks pardon for his sins.

If the great Lord is willing, he will be filled with the spirit of understanding; he will pour forth words of wisdom of his own and give thanks to the Lord in prayer. The Lord will direct his counsel and knowledge, as he meditates on his mysteries. He will show the wisdom of what he has learned, and will glory in the law of the Lord’s covenant. Many will praise his understanding; it will never be blotted out. His memory will not disappear, and his name will live through all generations. Nations will speak of his wisdom, and the congregation will proclaim his praise.

"Preserving the sayings of the famous and penetrating the subtleties of parables" is what I try to do around here, even if in practice it really just means helping the googling student with their English homework, or to find some mildly amusing medieval riddles...

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