Monday, March 21, 2011

Vincent of Lérins, Against the Unusual Profanities of Heretical Cliques

Vincentius [Vincent of Lérins ]
 5th c. AD Gaul
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Late Imperial/Early Christian Era)

(5th cent. A.D.)


I. Dicente Scriptura et monente, Interroga patres tuos, et dicent tibi;
[According the man who recites and advises to Scripture, you should ask your ancestors, and they will tell you;]

seniores tuos, et adnuntiabunt tibi,
[your elders, they too will grant your request,]

et item, Verbis sapientium adcommoda aurem tuam,
[and at the same time, attune your ear to the Gospel of wise men,]

 et item, Fili mi, hos sermones ne obliviscaris, mea autem verba custodiat cor tuum,
[and likewise, my son, so that you not forget these words, let your heart store my words,]

videtur mihi minimo omnium servorum Dei Peregrino quod res non minimae utilitatis, Domino adjuvante, futura sit,
[I think it right that, with God's help, that a thing of great utility to the Pilgrim of God will require only the least of all his servants;]

si ea quae fideliter a sanctis patribus accepi litteris comprehendam, infirmitati certe propriae pernecessaria, quippe cum adsit in promptu unde imbecillitas memoriae meae adsidua lectione reparetur.
[If I might understand the things which I have dutifully accepted from the holy fathers, they will be extremely necessary for my own infirmity, and actually since wherever comes my bad memory, which is without preparation, can be emended by an enthusiastic reading.]

Ad quod me negotium non solum fructus operis, sed etiam consideratio temporis et opportunitas loci adhortatur.
[For which matter, not solely the reward for one's efforts, the consideration of timing and advantage of location urge me to act.]

Tempus: propterea quod cum ab eo omnia humana rapiantur,
[The time: on account of which since all things dealing with human are snatched away from here,]

et nos ex eo aliquid invicem rapere debemus quod in vitam proficiat aeternam;
[and for our part, we ought, in response, snatch something back from here, something which make help us reach an eternal life.]

praesertim cum et appropinquantis divini Judicii terribilis quaedam exspectatio augeri efflagitet studia Religionis,
[especially since a certain terrifying expectation, for the yearning of my Religion to be increased by the approach of Divine Judicius, is now seeping out,]

 et novorum Haereticorum fraudulentia multum curae et attentionis indicat.
[and greatly indicates the false pretenses of care and attention, of these strange Heretics]

Locus [1] autem, quod urbium frequentiam turbasque vitantes, remotioris [2] villulae et in ea secretum monasterii incolamus habitaculum,
[In any event, the place is something which we, avoiding the crowding of cities and the throng of people, reside in the living space of a more withdrawn hamlet and in the secrecy of a monastery,]

 ubi absque magna distractione fieri possit illud quod canitur in psalmo:
[where that very thing sung in the following psalm can make itself separate from great distraction:]

 Vacate, inquit, et videte quoniam ego sum Dominus.
["Empty your mind and see: since I am the Lord", it said]

Sed et propositi nostri ratio in id convenit;
[but even this stands to be the reason for my conclusion:] 

quippe qui cum aliquandiu variis ac tristibus secularis militiae turbinibus volveremur,
[why I say, we who were turned about for some time now by various and tragic disturbances in a war of time,]

 tandem nos in portum Religionis, cunctis semper fidissimum, Christo adspirante condidimus;
[at last we have set ourselves up to the gate of our Faith, ever the most trustworthy thing of all, as Christ so encouraged us.]

ut ibi depositis vanitatis ac superbiae flatibus, Christianae humilitatis sacrificio placantes Deum,
[And why? So that there, we, setting aside our explosions of vanity and arrogance, and pleasing God with a sacrifice expressed in our Christian humility]

 non solum praesentis vitae naufragia, sed etiam futuri seculi incendia vitare possimus.
[might not only be able to avoid the disasters of our life now, but the firestorms too of the future times to come.]

Sed jam in nomine Domini quod instat adgrediar,
[but already, in the name of God, do I set to that which follows,]

 ut scilicet a majoribus tradita et apud nos deposita describam,
[and why? Well, clearly that I might record down the traditions passed down by our ancestors and established now in our own generation,]

 relatoris fide potius quam auctoris praesumptione;
[more in the role of a reporter than with assignment of being an author;]

hac tamen scribendi lege servata, ut nequaquam omnia, sed tantum necessaria quaeque perstringam,
[In any event, by this precept of writing being protected, the result is that I might not diminish everything, but rather only the necessary things,]