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swered, the meaning of the inscription is this: “ Pater patriæ perditur.” [The father of his country is lost. Sapientia secum sustollitur.” [Wisdom has departed with him.] “Ruunt reges Romæ.” [The kings of Rome perish.] Ferro, flamma, fame.” [By the sword, by fire, by famine.] The event afterwards fully approved the veracity of the prediction.
My beloved, spiritually speaking, the father of his country is Charity, which is the result of love to God; when that is lost, wisdom also departs. Hence, the kings of the earth fall; and the sword, fire, and dearth, devour mankind.
OF CHRIST, WHO, BY HIS PASSION, DELI
VERED US FROM HELL,
In the middle of Rome, there was once an immense chasm, which no human efforts could fill up. The gods being questioned relative to this extraordinary circumstance, made answer, “ That unless a man could be found who would voluntarily commit himself to the gulf, it would remain unclosed for ever.” Proclamations were sent forth, signifying that he who was willing to offer himself a sacrifice for the good of his country, should appear—but not a man ventured to declare himself. At length Marcus Aurelius (41) said, “ If ye will permit me to live as I please during the space of one whole
year, I will cheerfully surrender myself, at the end of it, to the yawning chasm." The Romans assented with joy, and Aurelius indulged for that year in every wish of his heart. Then mounting a noble steed, he rode furiously into the abyss, which, with a dreadful crash, immediately closed over him.
My beloved, Rome is the world, in the centre of which, before the nativity of Christ, was the gulf of hell, yawning for our immortal souls. Christ plunged into it, and by so doing ransomed the human race.
BEFORE Tiberius ascended the throne he was remarkable for his wisdom. His eloquence
was of the most persuasive character, and his military operations invariably successful. But when he became emperor his nature seemed to have undergone a perfect revolution. All martial enterprizes were abandoned, and the nation groaned beneath his relentless and persevering tyranny. He put to death his own sons, and therefore it was not to be expected that he should spare others. The patricians threatened, and the people cursed him. Formerly, he had been noted for tenperance; but now he shewed himself the most intemperate of a dissolute age; insomuch that he obtained the surname of Bacchus. (42) It happened that a certain artificer fabricated a plate of glass, which being exhibited to the emperor, he attempted, but ineffectually, to break it. It bent, however, beneath his efforts, and the artificer, applying a hammer and working upon the glass as upon copper, presently restored it to its level. Tiberius inquired by what art this was effected; and the other replied, that it was a secret not to be disclosed. Immediately he was ordered to the block, the emperor alleging, that if such an art should be practised, gold and silver would be reckoned as nothing. (43)
My beloved, Tiberius is any man who in poverty is humble and virtuous, but raised to affluence forgets every honest feeling. The artificer is any poor man who presents the rich with unacceptable gifts.
OF THE GOOD, WHO ALONE WILL ENTER
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
There was a wise and rich king who possessed a beloved, but not a loving wife. She had three illegitimate sons who proved ungrateful