I stumbled upon these intriguing sentences and words when reading the text:
That passion which in common life is termed, anger, fury, vengeance or delirium, becomes zeal as soon as its object is religion, or the cause of God. It is a maxim among Christian devotees, that we cannot love God too much, consequently we cannot sin in excess of zeal.According to these principles, our doctors in their quarrels, injure, defame, calumniate, and asperse, and when they have the power, persecute and exterminate each other.
Source: Critical Examination of the Life of St.Paul [Translated from French of Boulanger] 1823
My questions are as follows:
1.That passion which in common life is termed ...
Is this structure grammatical? How about if exchange 'That' with 'The' and 'which in' becomes 'in which'?
2.This phrase: consequently we cannot sin in excess of zeal and this phrase: we cannot love God too much
So, what I inferred what this sentence does mean:
'Accordingly, we can NOT sin because of too much eagerness', and by its earlier statement that:
It is a maxim among Christian devotees, that we cannot love God too much, so if I put in another word, that if we can love God too much, than consequently, we can sin in excess of zeal. Is this a correct deduction? Would this logic justifiable in terms of sentence meaning and per-word meaning?
3.According to these principles, our doctors in their quarrels, injure, defame, calumniate, and asperse.
According to Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary 4th edition: Calumniate: (none)-I presume that calumniate is the Verb of calumny. Calumny: Noun(formal) the act of making a statement about someone that is not true and is intended to damage the reputation of that person
Referring to my other dictionaries: Calumniate, Asperse, besmirch shares the same exactly meaning i.e.:
Charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone. (Besmirch has other meaning, that is smear so as to make dirty or stained).
According to vocabulary.com: To calumniate is to make a false accusation against someone or spread lies about how awful they are. Don’t calumniate your rival in the race for class president, because when the truth comes out, you’ll be the bad guy.
According to Webster: Origin of CALUMNY Middle English calumnye, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French calomnie, from Latin calumnia, from calvi to deceive; perhaps akin to Old English hōlian to slander, Greek kēlein to beguile First Known Use: 15th century
To asperse = charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone According to Webster:
1.sprinkle; especially : to sprinkle with holy water 2.to attack with evil reports or false or injurious charges
Origin of ASPERSE Latin aspersus, past participle of aspergere, from ad- + spargere to scatter — more at spark First Known Use: 15th century
According to vocabulary.com:
To besmirch means to dirty or tarnish, particularly someone's reputation — like when you call Billy a cheater at kickball (even though you know he's just better at bunting than you).
Besmirch may sound kind of funny, but it goes hand in hand with other hurtful words like defame and slander. It can also mean to literally stain something. So that time you tracked mud all over the new white carpet and then blamed it on your little brother? That was a double besmirching — dirtying the rug and then falsely accusing a sibling.
4.Speaking of besmirch, where do these "besmirch, smirch, and smear" originally stemmed from? (well, as I look it up => besmirch => smirch has the same connotation as to smear to make something dirty? Why invent these similar words?
1590-1600; be- + smirch => Old English everyone? As I delved more, I found that: Origin of SMIRCH Middle English smorchen => Is this word from French? First Known Use: 15th century
So if I may conclude: To calumniate: to slander, to beguile, to alienate someone utilizing calumny (which means false charge, evil reports intended to damage someone's reputation) (denoting the act of calumny?) To asperse: to sprinkle false charges to someone, little by little utilizing slander, defamation and etc. (denoting process?) To besmirch: to smirch someone with bad, evil, to blemish/tarnish someone's reputation. (What I have in mind would be to smear some kind of jam/nutty jelly to a clean/blank slate of bread? as to dirty someone/something?)
What is your deduction?
Thank you very much.