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Youth Ministry

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Keith Osborne
Keith Osborne

Adulator



If adulation makes you think of a dog panting after its beloved person, you're on the right etymological track; the word ultimately comes from the Latin verb adūlārī, meaning "to fawn on" (a sense used specifically of the affectionate behavior of dogs) or "to praise insincerely." Adulation has been in use in English since the 15th century. The verb adulate, noun adulator, and adjective adulatory later followed dutifully behind.




adulator



To celebrate the infinite and unfathomable wisdom of God, Zophar attacks, condemns and humiliates the man, Job. Job, however, remains on the side of the earth and is totally in solidarity with humanity (with Adam, the earthen one). He does not praise God against man, he is not an adulator. However yesterday and today, there has always been a legion of the adulators of God like Zophar and Job's other friends who defend God to praise themselves, without really loving either God or men.


There are some who would be inclined to regard the servile pliancy of the Executive to a prevailing current, either in the community or in the legislature, as its best recommendation. But such men entertain very crude notions, as well of the purposes for which government was instituted, as of the true means by which the public happiness may be promoted. The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they intrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion, or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests. It is a just observation, that the people commonly INTEND the PUBLIC GOOD. This often applies to their very errors. But their good sense would despise the adulator who should pretend that they always REASON RIGHT about the MEANS of promoting it. They know from experience that they sometimes err; and the wonder is that they so seldom err as they do, beset, as they continually are, by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by the snares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate, by the artifices of men who possess their confidence more than they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess rather than to deserve it. When occasions present themselves, in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests, to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give them time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection. Instances might be cited in which a conduct of this kind has saved the people from very fatal consequences of their own mistakes, and has procured lasting monuments of their gratitude to the men who had courage and magnanimity enough to serve them at the peril of their displeasure.


There are some, who would be inclined to regard theservile pliancy of the executive to a prevailing current, eitherin the community, or in the Legislature, as its bestrecommendation. But such men entertain very crude notions,as well of the purposes for which government wasinstituted, as of the true means by which the public happinessmay be promoted. The republican principle demands,that the deliberate sense of the community shouldgovern the conduct of those to whom they entrust themanagement of their affairs; but it does not require anunqualified complaisance to every sudden breese of passion,or to every transient impulse which the people mayreceive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudicesto betray their interests. It is a just observation, that thepeople commonly intend the PUBLIC GOOD. This often appliesto their very errors. But their good sense would despisethe adulator, who should pretend that they alwaysreason right about the means of promoting it. They knowfrom experience, that they sometimes err; and the wonderis, that they so seldom err as they do; beset as they continuallyare by the wiles of parasites and sycophants, by thesnares of the ambitious, the avaricious, the desperate; bythe artifices of men, who possess their confidence morethan they deserve it, and of those who seek to possess,rather than to deserve it. When occasions present themselvesin which the interests of the people are at variancewith their inclinations, it is the duty of the persons whomthey have appointed to be the guardians of those interests,to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give themtime and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection.Instances might be cited, in which a conduct of this kindhas saved the people from very fatal consequences of theirown mistakes, and has procured lasting monuments oftheir gratitude to the men, who had courage and magnanimityenough to serve them at the peril of their displeasure.


The mask presents a rounded skullcap and two holes for hanging in the upper section of the head. The general characteristics suggest that it is associated with the New Comedy character Colax, an adulator (vain flatterer), described by Pollux and also documented in the corpus of theatrical masks of Lipari in five separate examples. This character has a malevolent, ambiguous smile, an oval face with puffy cheeks, a strong jaw, and a long, thin nose. The convex forehead features a cleft in the central area and a frontal eminence above that. The eyes are half closed with the upper eyelids partially lowered; the eyebrows are raised in an arching curve; the mouth is broad and wide open, with fleshy lips; the chin is full, with a dimple. The hair, painted red, forms a crown of radial striations around the forehead, with a raised section in the middle. The Colax masks from Lipari, found in stratigraphic contexts associated with vases in the style of Gnathia and of the Lipari Painter, can be dated to the first half of the third century BC.1 Hypothetically, the Colax mask might be attributable to the Apulian area and, though there is no direct comparison with other Tarentine masks, it can be placed in the larger repertory of theatrical terracottas that characterize the local production and the funerary votive deposits of the third century BC.2


Objection 1: It seems that flattery is not a sin. For flattery consists in words of praise offered to another in order to please him. But it is not a sin to praise a person, according to Prov. 31:28, "Her children rose up and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her." Moreover, there is no evil in wishing to please others, according to 1 Cor. 10:33, "I . . . in all things please all men." Therefore flattery is not a sin. Objection 2: Further, evil is contrary to good, and blame to praise. But it is not a sin to blame evil. Neither, then, is it a sin to praise good, which seems to belong to flattery. Therefore flattery is not a sin. Objection 3: Further, detraction is contrary to flattery. Wherefore Gregory says (Moral. xxii, 5) that detraction is a remedy against flattery. "It must be observed," says he, "that by the wonderful moderation of our Ruler, we are often allowed to be rent by detractions but are uplifted by immoderate praise, so that whom the voice of the flatterer upraises, the tongue of the detractor may humble." But detraction is an evil, as stated above (Question [73], Articles [2],3). Therefore flattery is a good. On the contrary, A gloss on Ezech. 13:18, "Woe to them that sew cushions under every elbow," says, "that is to say, sweet flattery." Therefore flattery is a sin. I answer that, As stated above (Question [114], Article [1], ad 3), although the friendship of which we have been speaking, or affability, intends chiefly the pleasure of those among whom one lives, yet it does not fear to displease when it is a question of obtaining a certain good, or of avoiding a certain evil. Accordingly, if a man were to wish always to speak pleasantly to others, he would exceed the mode of pleasing, and would therefore sin by excess. If he do this with the mere intention of pleasing he is said to be "complaisant," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 6): whereas if he do it with the intention of making some gain out of it, he is called a "flatterer" or "adulator." As a rule, however, the term "flattery" is wont to be applied to all who wish to exceed the mode of virtue in pleasing others by words or deeds in their ordinary behavior towards their fellows. Reply to Objection 1: One may praise a person both well and ill, according as one observes or omits the due circumstances. For if while observing other due circumstances one were to wish to please a person by praising him, in order thereby to console him, or that he may strive to make progress in good, this will belong to the aforesaid virtue of friendship. But it would belong to flattery, if one wished to praise a person for things in which he ought not to be praised; since perhaps they are evil, according to Ps. 9:24, "The sinner is praised in the desires of his soul"; or they may be uncertain, according to Ecclus. 27:8, "Praise not a man before he speaketh," and again (Ecclus. 11:2), "Praise not a man for his beauty"; or because there may be fear lest human praise should incite him to vainglory, wherefore it is written, (Ecclus. 11:30), "Praise not any man before death." Again, in like manner it is right to wish to please a man in order to foster charity, so that he may make spiritual progress therein. But it would be sinful to wish to please men for the sake of vainglory or gain, or to please them in something evil, according to Ps. 52:6, "God hath scattered the bones of them that please men," and according to the words of the Apostle (Gal. 1:10), "If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Reply to Objection 2: Even to blame evil is sinful, if due circumstances be not observed; and so too is it to praise good. Reply to Objection 3: Nothing hinders two vices being contrary to one another. Wherefore even as detraction is evil, so is flattery, which is contrary thereto as regards what is said, but not directly as regards the end. Because flattery seeks to please the person flattered, whereas the detractor seeks not the displeasure of the person defamed, since at times he defames him in secret, but seeks rather his defamation. Index []Second Part of the Second Part []Question: 115 []Article: 2 [] 041b061a72


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