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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter 18. And then the future captivity under an oppressive king is announced as approachingà

On Christian Doctrine In Four Books by St. Augustine

Chapter 18. And then the future captivity under an oppressive king is announced as approachingà

18. And then the future captivity under an oppressive king is announced as approaching, when it is added: |Ye that are set apart for the day of evil, and come near to the seat of oppression.| Then are subjoined the evils of luxury: |ye that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch yourselves upon couches; that eat the lamb from the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the herd.| These six clauses form three periods of two members each. For he does not say: |Ye who are set apart for the day of evil, who come near to the seat of oppression, who sleep upon beds of ivory, who stretch yourselves upon couches, who eat the lamb from the flock, and calves out of the herd.| If he had so expressed it, this would have had its beauty: six separate clauses running on, the same pronoun being repeated each time, and each clause finished by a single effort of the speaker's voice. But it is more beautiful as it is, the clauses being joined in pairs under the same pronoun, and forming three sentences, one referring to the prophecy of the captivity: |Ye that are set apart for the day of evil, and come near the seat of oppression;| the second to lasciviousness: |ye that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch yourselves upon couches;| the third to gluttony: |who eat the lamb from the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the herd.| So that it is at the discretion of the speaker whether he finish each clause separately and make six altogether, or whether he suspend his voice at the first, the third, and the fifth, and by joining the second to the first, the fourth to the third, and the sixth to the fifth, make three most elegant periods of two members each: one describing the imminent catastrophe; another, the lascivious couch; and the third, the luxurious table.

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