Page:Literature and Dogma (1883).djvu/72

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the commandment of the Eternal, and that the joy got from it is joy from fulfilling the commandment of the Eternal. The thankfulness for this joy is thankfulness to the Eternal; and to the Eternal, again, is due that further joy which comes from this thankfulness. 'The fear of the Eternal, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil, that is understanding.'[1] 'The fear of the Eternal' and 'To depart from evil' here mean, and are put to mean, and by the very laws of Hebrew composition which make the second phrase in a parallelism repeat the first in other words, they must mean, just the same thing. Yet what man of soul, after he had once risen to feel that to depart from evil was to walk in awful observance of an enduring clue, within us and without us, which leads to happiness, but would prefer to say, instead of 'to depart from evil,' 'the fear of the Eternal'?

Henceforth, then, Israel transferred to this Eternal all his obligations. Instead of saying: 'Whoso keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul,'[2] he rather said, 'My soul, wait thou only upon God, for of him cometh my salvation!'[3] Instead of saying: 'Bind them (the laws of righteousness) continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck!'[4] he rather said, 'Have I not remembered Thee on my bed, and thought upon Thee when I was waking?'[5] The obligation of a grateful and devout self-surrender to the Eternal replaced all sense of obligation to one's own better self, one's own permanent interest. The moralist's rule: 'Take thought for your permanent, not your momentary, well-being,' became now: 'Honour the Eternal, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.'[6] That is, with Israel religion replaced morality.

It is true, out of the humble yet divine ground of atten-

  1. Job, xxviii, 28.
  2. Prov., xix, 16.
  3. Ps. lxii, 5, 11.
  4. Prov., vi, 21.
  5. Ps. lxiii, 7.
  6. Is., lviii, 13.