Amos by A Graeme Auld

By A Graeme Auld

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Imagery borrowed from natural scenery and its circumstances, will be among the most forcible modes of expression which such men will use. We may often gather important lessons from this influence of nature on the mind. She teaches us to dive more into her own calm and profound depth, to read the will of God. In Amos we have a mind accustomed to see duties or acts of religion through images borrowed from the external world. But not only does the form of nature influence the ruder mind of the peasant; he is influenced by the customs and conventionalities of the society in which he lives.

For when he had reached his home again he set himself to write the story of his mission and the record of the words he had spoken while he was away. This book of his prophecy is most carefully arranged. Its sections are linked artistically each to each. That is the life-story of Amos of Tekoa, So far as we can gather it from the book he has written. It tells us — does it not? — how condescending God’s grace is. This humble shepherd was His minister. He chose the weak things of the world to confound the things that were mighty.

He indulges much in question, apostrophe, and exclamation. He is an orator more than an artist, or a bard. With all his simplicity we find traces of paranomasia, rhythmic arrangement, and rhetorical construction. His exposition abounds in rich and varied imagery derived from nature, and striking illustrations taken from everyday life. The ordered arrangement, compact style, and general literary finish of his book suggest slow, careful, and leisurely construction, while the fire of its invective, the impetus of its appeals, and the terrible directness of its denunciation prove it the record and embodiment of speech originally orally delivered On the surface Amos may seem to make too much of mere morality, but it is only an appearance.

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