Monday, January 11, 2010

miracles...

Plutarch was a favorite of the Boston Unitarians and this brief excerpt from his life of the Roman Camillus shows why. 

 "After the city was pillaged, he determined, pursuant lo his vow, to remove this statue of Juno to Rome. The workmen were assembled for the purpose, and he offered sacrifice to the goddess, "Beseeching her to accept of their homage, and graciously to take up her abode among the gods of Rome." To which, it is said, the statue softly answered, "She was willing and ready to do it." But Livy says, Camillus, in offering up his petition, touched the image of the goddess, and entreated her to go with him, and that some of the bystanders answered, "She consented, and would willingly follow them."

Those that support and defend the miracle, have the fortune of Rome on their side, which could never have risen from such small and contemptible beginnings to that height of glory and empire, without the constant assistance of some god, who favoured them with many considerable tokens of hie presence. Several miracles of a similar nature arc also alleged; as, that images have often sweated; that they have been heard to groan; and that sometimes they have turned from then votaries, and shut their eyes. Many such accounts we have from our ancients; and not a few persons of our own times have given us wonderful relations, not unworthy of notice. But to give entire credit to them, or altogether lo disbelieve them, is equally dangerous, on account of human weakness. We keep not always within the bounds of reason, nor are masters of our minds. Sometimes we fall into vain superstition, and sometimes into an impious neglect of all religion. It is best to be cautious, and to avoid extremes."

(Painting is by Biagio d’Antonio (1446–1516)  "Camillus Brings Statue of Juno to Rome"
Blessings

2 comments:

PeaceBang said...

I don't think I get it. Can you expound?

boston unitarian said...

Hey Peacebang,
Looking back over this post I think I implied more meaning than I delivered...
I only meant to say that Plutarch was admired by the BU's for his temperment, moderation and basic good-will and when reading him the night before I had been struck by this passage...
Many thanks for writing and
Blessings, BU