Thou Findest Him Not

Detail of folio 23 verso of the Codex Boernerianus.
Detail of folio 23 verso of the Codex Boernerianus.

Téicht doróim
mór saido · becc · torbai ·
INrí chondaigi† hifoss ·
manimbera latt nífogbái ·

Mór báis mor baile
mór coll ceille mor mire
olais airchenn teicht dó ecaib ·
beith fo étoil · maíc · maire ·

† From a facsimile given by Matthaei in his XIII epistolarum Pauli Codex (1791), folio 23. In the third line the facsimile has INrí chondaigi n hifoss, a dot over n (not reproduced here) being the punctum delens.

— Old Irish poem, a gloss on folio 23 verso of the Codex Boernerianus, a ninth century New Testament codex likely written by an Irish monk at the monastery of St. Gall, Switzerland.

To go to Rome is much of trouble, little of profit. The King whom seekest here, unless thou bring him with thee thou findest not.

Great folly, great madness,  great loss of sense, great folly since thou proposed (?) to go to death, to be under the unwill of Mary’s Son.

— English translation given in Whitley Stokes’ Goidelica, Old and Early-Middle-Irish Glosses, Prose and Verse (London, 1872).

To go to Rome, much labour, little profit: the King whom thou seekest here, unless thou bring him with thee, thou findest him not.

Much folly, much frenzy, much loss of sense, much madness (is it), since going to death is certain, to be under the displeasure of Mary’s Son.

— English translation given in Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus: a Collection of Old-Irish Glosses, Scholia, Prose, and Verse (Cambridge, 1901), edited by Whitley Stokes and John Strachan.

* * *

Folio 23 verso of the Codex Boernerianus contains the text of I Corinthians 2:9-3:3:

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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