The Parables of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (book)


The Parables of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (book)

"The Parables of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Done into Familiar Verse, with Occasional Applications, for the Use and Improvement of Younger Minds" was written by Christopher Smart and published in 1768. The "Parables" are a collection of parables from the Bible which includes lessons from both the Old and New Testament.

The "Parables", as with "Hymns for the Amusement of Children", was part of Smart's attempt to create religious literature dedicated to children.

Background

The "Parables" were printed in March 1768 and were advertised in the "London Chronicle" on 31 March 1768."Poetical Works" p. 201] They were dedicated to the young son of Christopher Smart's friend, Bonnell Thornton. Bonnell Thorton was a close friend of Christopher Smart, and he worked with Smart on "The Student" magazine and supported Smart during and after his time in a mental asylum. In the dedication, Smart wrote::"There are sundry Instances of our Blessed SAVIOUR'S Fondness for Children, as a Man; and He has assured us, we can have no Part in Him without imitating their Innocence and Simplicity. This is so evident, that though you are yet scarce three Years of Age, you will soon be able to read and understand it: and in a Season will reflect, I trust, with Pleasure that you have been the Patron of a well-intended Work, almost as soon as you could go alone..." ["Poetical Works" p. 209]

However, this dedication to a child of three incurred a review from the "Monthly Review" stating, "This version of the parables is, with great properiety, dedicated to Master "Bonnell George Thorton": a child of three years old", which was intended to mock the simplicity of the "Parables". The "Critical Review" simply stated that the work revealed Christopher Smart's poetry as being "unequal" and of "the lower class", and while it "may certainly be of use" to children, it could not "please their imaginations, or improve their taste in poetry."

Parables of Our Lord

Like the "Hymns for the Amusement of Children", Smart's "The Parables of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" were designed to teach morals to the young. [Parker p. 88] However, Smart believed that salvation would not require a strong intellectual understanding of the Bible."Poetical Works" p. 203] In order to fulfill this belief, Smart created his "Parables" by altering the original Biblical parables, in order to simplify them and help them "make sense", and followed up each parable with a short explanation. [Parker p. 95] Although there are many alterations and additions, Smart stays true to his Biblical sources, or, at least, how they are translated in the Authorized Version once the language was modernized for an 18th-century audience."Poetical Works" p. 205]

Since the "Parables" were written with the aim of teaching, Todd Parker claims that the "Parables", and the other religious works of Christopher Smart, are part of his final push for the "evangelization of London's reading public." [Parker p. 84] Even if they were not spreading an "evangelical" message, the books were still intended to promote proper conduct. In addition to teaching Christianity, the parables are set up against the interpretations of Bible held by the Roman Catholic Church and against the Roman Church itself.

Most of the "Parables" come from traditional Christian Parables, but Smart extended the original interpretation of what a "parable" is to include any "parabolic discourse" that could convey Christian doctrine "through, or with the aid of, similes, metaphors, proverbs, and other indirect forms of expression.""Poetical Works" p. 202] Christopher Smart is not alone in interpreting parables in this manner because the Old Testament tradition of parables "meant first of all a comparison of some kind, but... included a wide variety of metaphires, similitudes, riddles, mysteries and illustrations." [Wilder p. 20]

Parables

Critical response

ee also

* "Hymns and Spiritual Songs"
* "A Song to David"

Notes

References

* Mounsey, Chris. "Christopher Smart: Clown of God". Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2001. 342 pp.
*Parker, Todd C. "Smart's Enlightened Parables and the Problem of Genre." In Christopher Smart and the Enlightenment, edited by Clement Hawes, 83-97. New York, NY: St. Martin's, 1999. 308 pp.
* Smart, Christopher. "The Poetical Works of Christopher Smart, II: Religious Poetry 1763-1771". Ed. Marcus Walsh and Karina Williamson. Oxford: Clarendon, 1983. 472 pp.
* Wilder, A. N. "Early Christian Rhetoric". Harvard University Press, 1971.
* Williamson, Karina. "Christopher Smart's "Hymns and Spiritual Songs", "PQ" xxxviii (1959): 149.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jesus Christ — 1. Jesus (def. 1). 2. Jesus (def. 5). * * * Introduction also called  Jesus of Galilee  or  Jesus of Nazareth   born c. 6–4 BC, Bethlehem died c. AD 30, Jerusalem  founder of Christianity, one of the world s largest religions, and the incarnation …   Universalium

  • Parables — • A comparison, or a parallel, by which one thing is used to illustrate another. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Parables     Parables      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The Incarnation —     The Incarnation     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Incarnation     I. The Fact of the Incarnation     (1) The Divine Person of Jesus Christ     A. Old Testament Proofs     B. New Testament Proofs     C. Witness of Tradition     (2) The Human… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Genealogy of Jesus — Rose window in Basilica of St Denis, France, depicting the ancestors of Christ from Jesse onwards …   Wikipedia

  • Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament — Cartel at the Church of the Gesù, Rome with the Latin inscription from Philippians 2:10: at the name of Jesus every knee should bow . Two names and a variety of titles are used to refer to Jesus in the New Testa …   Wikipedia

  • Thomas the Apostle — Saint Thomas the Apostle The Incredulity of St Thomas by Caravaggio Apostle Born 1st century AD …   Wikipedia

  • Buddhism and Christianity — The French artist Paul Ranson s Christ et Buddha (1880) juxtaposes the two figures There is speculation concerning a possible connection between both the Buddha BC 623 BC 543 and the Christ, and between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhism… …   Wikipedia

  • Crucifixion of Jesus — The Crucifixion , by Vouet, 1622, Genoa The crucifixion of Jesus and his ensuing death is an event that occurred during the 1st century AD. Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced …   Wikipedia

  • Gospel of the Hebrews — Part of a series on Jewish Christianity …   Wikipedia

  • Second Coming of Christ — Second Coming redirects here. For other uses, see Second Coming (disambiguation). Part of a series on Eschatology …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.