By stoic philosopher Epictetus, from his Golden Sayings:

Are these the only works of Providence within us? Nay! What language is adequate to praise them all or to bring them home to our minds as they deserve? Why, if we had sense, ought we be doing anything else publicly and privately than hymning and praising the Deity and rehearsing his benefits? Ought we not, as we dig and plow and eat, to sing the hymn of praise to God:

Great is God that he has furnished us these instruments werewith we shall till the earth! Great is God that he has given us hands, the power to swallow, and a belly, and the power to grow unconsciously, and to breathe while asleep! This is what we ought to sing on every occasion.

And above all, to sing the greatest and divinest hymn that God has given us: the faculty to comprehend these things, and to follow the path of reason.

What then? Since many of you have become blind, ought there not to be someone to fulfill this office for you, and on behalf of all sing the hymn of praise to God? Why, what else can I, a lame old man, do but sing hymns to God? If indeed I were a nightingale, I should sing as a nightingale; if a swan, I should sing as a swan. But as it is, I am a rational being. Therefore, I must be singing hymns of praise to God.

This is my task. I do it, and I will not desert this post as long as it may be given to me to fill it. And I exhort you to join me in singing the same song.

Knowledge is my song.

Advertisements