I wonder if Charles Wesley read Phaedo.
Cebes laughed and said: “Assuming that we were afraid, Socrates, try to change our minds, or rather do not assume that we are afraid, but perhaps there is a child in us who has these fears; try to persuade him not to fear death like a bogey.”
“You should,” said Socrates, “sing a charm over him every day until you have charmed away his fears.”
“Where shall we find a good charmer for these fears, Socrates,” he said, “now that you are leaving us?”
“Greece is a large country, Cebes,” he said, “and there are good men in it; the tribes of foreigners are also numerous. You should search for such a charmer among them all, sparing neither trouble nor expense, for there is nothing on which you could spend your money to greater advantage. You must also search among yourselves, for you might not easily find people who could do this better than yourselves.”
Where shall we find a good charmer for our fear of death?
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, our King and Savior – a far sweeter and more effectual charm than what Socrates and Plato had to offer!
Following the Anglo-Saxons, take spring and summer together as Summer; likewise fall and winter as Winter.
Summer is when Creation exhales. It’s the time for growing, spreading out. Leaves bud, flowers bloom, calves are born, seed is scattered. Children roam the countryside, sometimes quite far from home. Men go out into the fields. It’s warm, and the heat drives things apart. It’s the time to make a journey.
In Winter, the earth inhales. What had previously spread now pulls back; it contracts. Leaves fall to the ground and return to the earth, sap retreats to the roots, animals are taken to the stalls. The fruit of the field is harvested and brought into the storehouse, close to home. Life is centered more intensely in the house. The bitter cold drives the folk to the hearth; it presses them together. Death and adversity outside the household foster and strengthen bonds within.
There once was a servant to a good master. The servant was lazy and wasted his master’s time and wealth. The master gently corrected his servant, and left him to begin working well. The servant didn’t mend his ways, and when his master returned, he was strongly disciplined for his wrong. The servant was sorely grieved.
There once was a farmer who found a treasure in a field. When he found it, he hid it again went home and read a book. Another came along and took the treasure.
There once was a shepherd who was given a beautiful young sheep. The shepherd was careless and one day he could not find the sheep. He mourned the loss of his sheep.
There once was a miner who found a precious ruby that would make him exceedingly rich. He began his journey to the market, but he started using the ruby to play pitch-and-toss. He lost the ruby in a rushing river.