Just about done with this social melodrama, all 1366 pages of it. Well, I admit to some skimming of the final epilogue of sixty pages or so, when almost everything turns out happily and loose ends are tied up. The journey didn’t hold up to the excitement and fearful grotesquerie of the initial chapters, but it was an interesting window into the mentality of the reforming middle-class, c. 1840, and it’s unflinching descriptions of poverty and social injustice still pack a punch today. Read the rest of this entry »
A fifteenth century manuscript, not all that well known (although that may change now that it is posted in the Oxford Bodelian Library site) about the End of Days. This site by a medievalist provides the only capsule description I have found:
The Livre de la vigne nostre Seigneur (the title comes from the parable of the laborers in the vineyard) in MS. Douce 134 is an illustrated treatise on the Antichrist, Last Judgement, Hell, and Heaven. Bought by Douce at a Paris auction, 1823. Apparently the only surviving copy of its anonymous text. The text is in French prose, enriched with Latin biblical and patristic quotations: there are many corrections and insertions by the original scribe. The miniatures are by several hands … Book 1 is a treatise on the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Christ.
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius[a] for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.
“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’
7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.
“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’
9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’
13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend.Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Our Republican-led House, with plenty of Democrats supporting, has decided that letting in traumatized refugees from the Syrian civil war poses too great a risk to our security: among the 10,000 men, women, and children fleeing for their lives, there might lurk a terrorist who wishes us ill. Meanwhile, any American citizen can have military-grade arms and ammunition practically for the asking, and with regularity some of these people go on rampages that claim the lives of two, or five, or a dozen, or more innocent lives. So, are we to believe that the safety and security of American lives is what motivates our worthy representatives?