Stipendium

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Pulchra itaque copula seniorum atque adolescentium. alii testimonio, alii solatio sunt: alii magisterio, alii delectationi. omitto quod Abrahae adhaesit Loth adolescentulus etiam proficiscenti; ne forte hoc propinquitatis magis fuisse existimetur, et necessariae potius quam voluntariae adiunctionis. quid Eliam atque Elisaeum loquamur? licet non expresse Elisaeum iuvenem Scriptura significaverit, advertimus tamen et colligimus iuniorem fuisse. in Actibus Apostolorum Barnabas Marcum assumpsit, Paulus Silam, Paulus Timotheum, Paulus Titum. sed illis superioribus videmus divisa officia, ut seniores consilio praevalerent, iuniores ministerio. plerumque etiam virtutibus pares, dispares aetatibus, sui delectantur copula, sicut delectabantur Petrus et Ioannes. nam adolescentem legimus in Evangelio Ioannem et sua voce, licet meritis et sapientia nulli fuerit seniorum secundus, erat enim in eo senectus venerabilis morum et cana prudentia. vita enim immaculata bonae senectutis stipendium est.
(Ambrose, De Officiis Ministrorum 2.100-101)

Beautiful, therefore, is the union between old and young. The one to give witness, the other to give comfort; the one to give guidance, the other to give pleasure. I pass by Lot, who when young clung to Abraham, as he was setting out. For some perhaps might say this arose rather owing to their relationship than from any voluntary action on his part. And what are we to say of Elijah and Elisha? Though Scripture has not in so many words stated that Elisha was a young man, yet we gather from it that he was the younger. In the Acts of the Apostles, Barnabas took Mark with him, and Paul took Silas and Timothy and Titus. We see also that duties were divided amongst them according to their superiority in anything. The elders took the lead in giving counsel, the younger in showing activity. Often, too, those who were alike in virtue but unlike in years were greatly rejoiced at their union, as Peter and John were. We read in the Gospel that John was a young man, even in his own words, though he was behind none of the elders in merits and wisdom. For in him there was a venerable ripeness of character and the prudence of the hoarhead. An unspotted life is the due of a good old age. (tr. Henry de Romestin)

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