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Seen with purged eyes nature is already the kingdom of God.No language is more concrete in its presentation of laws and principles, or more vividly figured, than that which the Old Testament affords. Jotham's apologue of the trees choosing a king ( Judges 9:8-15 ) is more properly a fable; so is the scornful tale of the thistle and the cedar in Lebanon which Joas of Israel sent by messengers to Amasias, King of Juda ( 2 Kings 14:8-10 ).But a parable looks at life as it is lived, deals in no personifications, and requires to be interpreted from without.Fable is marked by giving speech and thought to irrational or inanimate objects; parable as our Lord employs it never does so.But it will be a likeness which contains a judgment, and so includes the "maxim" or general proposition bearing on conduct (Greek "gnomic wisdom"), of which the Book of Proverbs ( Meshalim ) is the chief inspired example. John's Gospel nor paroimia (proverb) in the Synoptics.In classic Latin, the Greek word is translated collatio (Cicero, "De invent.", i-xxx), imago (Seneca, "Ep. Likeness and abstraction enter into the idea of language, but may be contrasted as body and spirit, standing as they do in a relation at once of help and opposition.Theism was the breath of its nostrils; and where for a moment it indulges a turn for ancient folklore (as in Isaiah ) it is far removed from the wild Pantheon of Greek nature worship.In the parables we never come across enchanted stones or talking beasts or trees with magical virtues ; the world which they describe is the world of every day; not even miracles break in upon its established order.

In making such accusations these critics, following the example of Strauss, not only reject the witness of the Gospel writers, but do violence to its text.

Nathan's rebuke to David is couched in the form of a parable ( 2 Samuel 12:1-4 ) so the wise woman of Thecua ( 2 Samuel 14:4 ); so the Prophet to Achab ( 1 Kings ); and the song of the vineyard (lsaiah 5:1-8).

It has been suggested that chapters 1-3 of Osee must be construed as a parable, and do not contain a real history.

When we consider what Oriental fancy has made of the universe, and how it is depicted in cosmogonies like that of Hesiod, the contrast becomes indescribably great.

It is in the world which all men know that Christ finds exemplified the laws of human ethics, and the correspondences on which His kingdom shall be carried to its Divine consummation.

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