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The Story of the Eremite Options
lazarius
Posted: Saturday, January 8, 2022 11:50:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
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Location: Pryamitsyno, Kursk, Russia
The ſtory then in brief is this. That a certain Eremite having conceived great jealouſies touching the due adminiſtration of Divine Providence in external occurrences in the world, in this anxiety of mind was reſolved to leave his cell, and travel abroad, to ſee with his own eyes how things went abroad in the world. He had not gone half a day's journey, but a young man overtook him and joyn'd company with him, and inſinuated himſelf ſo far into the Eremite's affection, that he thought himſelf very happy in that he had got ſo agreeable a companion. Wherefore reſolving to take their fortunes together, they always lodged in the ſame houſe. Some few day's travels had over-paſt before the Eremite took notice of any thing remarkable. But at laſt he obſerved that his fellow-traveller, with whom he had contracted ſo intimate a friendſhip, in an houſe where they were extraordinary well treated ſtole away a gilt cup from the gentleman of the houſe, aud carried it away with him. The Eremite was very much aſtoniſhed with what he ſaw done by ſo fair and agreeable a perſon as he conceived him to be, but thought not yet fit to ſpeak to him or ſeem to take notice of it. And therefore they travel fairly on together as aforetimes, till night forced them to ſeek lodging. But they light upon ſuch an houſe as had a very unhoſpitable owner, who ſhut them out into the outward court, and expoſed them all night to the injury of the open weather, which chanced then to be very rainy. But the Eremite's fellow-traveller unexpectedly compenſated his hoſt's ill entertainment with no meaner a reward than the gilt cup he had carried away from the former place, thruſting it in at the window when they departed. This the Eremite thought was very pretty, and that it was not covetouſneſs, but humour, that made him take it away from its firſt owner. The next night, where they lodged, they were treated again with a deal of kindneſs and civility: but the Eremite obſerved with horrour that his fellow-traveller for an ill requital ſtrangled privately a young child of their ſo courteous hoſt in the cradle. This perplext the mind of the poor Eremite very much; but in ſadneſs and patience forbearing to ſpeak, he travelled another day's journey with the young man, and at evening took up in a place where they were more made of than any-where hitherto. And becauſe the way they were to travel the next morning was not ſo eaſie to find, the maſter of the houſe commanded one of the ſervants to go part of the way to direct them; whom, while they were paſſing over a ſtone-bridge, the Eremite's fellow-traveller caught ſuddenly betwixt the legs and pitched him headlong from off the bridge into the river, and drowned him. Here the Eremite could have no longer patience, but flew bitterly upon his fellow-traveller for theſe barbarous actions, and renounced all friendſhip with him, and would travel with him no longer nor keep him company. Whereupon the young man ſmiling at the honeſt zeal of the Eremite, and putting off his mortal diſguiſe, appeared as he was, in the form and luſtre of an angel of God, and told him that he was ſent to eaſe his mind of the great anxiety it was incumbered with touching the Divine Providence. In which, ſaid he, nothing can occur more perplexing and paradoxical than what you have been offended at ſince we two travelled together. But yet I will demonſtrate to you, ſaid he, that all that I have done is very juſt and right. For as for that firſt man from whom I took the gilded cup, it was a real compenſation indeed of his hoſpitality; that cup being ſo forcible an occaſion of the good man's diſtempering himſelf, and of hazarding his health and life, which would be a great lofs to his poor neighbours, he being of ſo good and charitable a nature. But I put it into the window of that harſh and unhoſpitable man that uſed us ſo ill, not as a booty to him, but as a plague and ſcourge to him, and for an eaſe to his oppreſſed neighbours, that he may fall into intemperance, diſeaſes, and death itſelf. For I knew very well that there was that inchantment in this cup, that they that had it would be thus bewitched with it. And as for that civil perſon whoſe child I ſtrangled in the cradle, it was in great mercy to him, and no real hurt to the child, who is now with God. But if that child had lived, whereas this gentleman hitherto had been piouſly, charitably and devoutly given; his mind, I ſaw, would have unavoidably ſunk into the love of the world, out of love to his child, he having had none before, and doting ſo hugely on it; and therefore I took away this momentary life from the body of the child, that the ſoul of the father might live for ever. And for this laſt fact, which you ſo much abhor, it was the moſt faithful piece of gratitude I could do to one that had uſed us ſo humanly and kindly as that gentleman did. For this man, who by the appointment of his maſter was ſo officious to us as to ſhew us the way, intended this very night enſuing to let in a company of rogues into his maſter's houſe, to rob him of all that he had, if not to murther him and his family. And having ſaid thus, he vaniſhed. But the poor Eremite, tranſported with joy and amazement, lift up his hands and eyes to heaven, and gave glory to God, who had thus unexpectedly delivered him from any farther anxiety touching the ways of his Providence; and thus returned with chearfulneſs to his forſaken cell, and ſpent the reſidue of his days there in piety and peace.

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Divine Dialogues, by Henry More, D. D.
jcbarros
Posted: Saturday, January 8, 2022 4:08:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/2010
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That story reminds me of "One Thousand and One Nights" (Arabian Nights), the first book I read when I was a kid. ;)
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, January 9, 2022 11:41:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
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It's so easy to judge properly when you have knowledge of all future events and results. Unfortunately for us humans, we don't posses such knowledge and have to judge behavior on its immediate results. Therefore, the moral of the story is lost on us and of no use.
lazarius
Posted: Sunday, January 9, 2022 12:03:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 1,418
Neurons: 1,780,452
Location: Pryamitsyno, Kursk, Russia
FounDit wrote:
Therefore, the moral of the story is lost on us and of no use.

Had I been interested in the moral of the story I would have posted it in the Philosophy and Religion section.

It's the language that captured my attention about three years ago when I stumbled upon it. Yesterday I could spare some time to restore it and I read it "and, behold, it was very good." And I thought I would share it with you.

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Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, January 10, 2022 10:49:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,764
Neurons: 251,282
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Thank you.
Yeſ, I like the ſtyle - it took me a couple of ſeconds to figure out a couple of the wordſ (chearfulneſ for example) and the long-ſ takeſ a bit of getting uſed to.
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