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V. FIGURES.

It would be an endless labour to run over all the different kinds of figures in the Scriptures. The passages above cited include a large number, and to these I shall add a few more, especially of those that are most common, such as the metaphor, the siinile, the repetition, the apostrophe, and the prosopopæia.

1. The Metaphor and the Simile. [t] I have always dreaded the anger of God, as waves hanging over my head, and I could not bear the weight of them. What an idea does this give us of God's anger ! waves that swallow up every thing, a weight that overwhelms and dashes to pieces. [u] I shall bear the anger of the Lord. How can we bear it to all eternity?

Nor is the magnificence of God with regard to his elect, less difficult to be comprehended and explained. [.r] He will make them drunk with his blessings, and will overflow thee with a flood of delights.

But there is another kind of drunkenness reserved for the wicked. [y] Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, says a prophet to wicked Jerusalem, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. Thou shalt even drink it, and suck it out, and thou shalt break the shreds, thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts : for I have spoken it, saith the Lord. This is a dreadful picture of the rage of the damned, but infinitely fainter than truth.

2. Repetition. [z] Like as I have watched over them, to pluck up and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy,

(0) Job xxxi. 25.
[u] Mich. vii. 9.
[*] Psal. xxxv. 9.

[y] Ezek xxiii. 33, 34.
[2] Jer. xxxi. 28.

and

and to afflict ; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord. The conjunction here repeated several times, denotes, as it were, so many redoubled strokes of God's anger.

[a] Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. This repetition, which is also in [6] Isaiah, denotes that the fall of this great city will appear incredible; and that every one, before he will believe it is really fallen, will cause it to be repeated several times to him.

[c] Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be eralted, now will I lift up myself. That is to say, after having a long time to lie asleep, he will at length come out of his sleep, to undertake the defence of bis people with splendor, and that the moment is come; Now, now. God expresses himself still more strongly in the same prophet. [d] I have a long time holden my peace, I have been still and restrain. ed myself : now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

3. Apostrophe, Prosopopæia. These two figures are often blended. The latter consists chiefly in giving life, sentiment, or speech to inanimate things, or in addressing discourse to them.

In the cxxxviith Psalm, it is a citizen of Jerusalem banished to Babylon, who sitting mournfully on the banks of the river which watered that city, breathes his grief and complaints, in turning his eyes towards his dear country. His masters who kept him in captivity, urged him to play some airs on his musical instrument for their diversion. But hc, filled with grief and indignation, cries out, [e] How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land ? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning: If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. How tender! how affecting, does this apostrophe to the city of Jerusalem make. the discourse of this banished Jew! He imagines he sees it, discourses with it, protests with an oath, that he will lose his voice and the use of his tongue, and that of his instruments, rather than forget it, by partaking in the false joys of Babylon.

[a] Rev. xiv. 8.

1 1/2. xxi. 9.
[] ibid. xxxii. 10.

[2] Ibid. xlii. 14.
[6] Psal. cxxxvii. 4-6.

The sacred writers make a wonderful use of the prosopopæia, and Jerusalem is often the object of it. Í shall content myself with pointing out only a single example taken from [f] Baruch, where that prophet describes the unhappiness of the Jews who are led captives to Babylon. He introduces Jerusalem as a mother in the deepest affliction, but at the same time obedient to the instructions of God, how rigorous soever, who exhorts her children to obey the sentence which condemns them to banishment; who bewails her solitary condition and their miseries; who represents to them, that it is the just punishment for their prevarications and ingratitude ; who gives them salutary advice, in order to their making an holy use of their severe captivity; and, who, at last, full of confidence in the goodness and promises of God, promises them a glorious return. The prophet afterwards addresses himself to Jerusalem, and comforts her, from the prospect that her children will be recalled, and the several advantages to succeed their return. Put off, 0 Jerusalem, the garment of thy mourning and affliction, and put on the comeliness and the glory that cometh from God for ever. ... For thy name shall be called of God for ever, the peace of righteousness, and the glory of God's worship.

Nothing is more common in the Scriptures than to give life to the sword of God. [8] God lays his command on it, it sharpens, it polishes itself, prepares to obey; sets out at the appointed monent; goes where God sends it, devours his enemies, fattens itself with their flesh, gets drunk with their blood; grows hot IS] Baruch v. 1-4. [8] Ezek. xxi. 28. ix. 10. Isa. xxxiv. 6.

with slaughter; and after having executed its master's commands, returns to its place. The prophet Jeremiah unites almost all these ideas in one place, and adds others more animated to them. [1] O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? Put up thyself into thy scabbard; rest and be still. How can it be quiet, replies the prophet, seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore ? there hath he appointed it.

VI. SUBLIME PASSAGES. [i] God said, let there be light, and there was light : It is in the original, God said, Let light be, and light was.

Where was it a moment before? How could it spring from the very womb of darkness ? At the same instant with light, the several colours which spring from it, embellished all nature. The world, that had been hitherto plunged in darkness, seemed to issue a second time out of nothing; and every thing by being enlightened, was beautified.

[k] This was produced by a single word, the majesty of which even struck the heathens, who admired Moses's making God speak as a sovereign; and that instead of employing expressions, which a little genius would have thought magnificent, he contented himself with only, God said, let there be light, and there was light,

And indeed, nothing can be greater or more elevated than this way of thinking. To create light (and it is the same here with regard to the universe) God necded only to speak : it would be too much to say, he needed only to have willed it, [?] for the voice of God is will; he speaks as a commander, and commands by his decrees. [b] Jer. xlvii. 6, 7.

Naturæ opifex lucem locutus est. (i) Gen. i. 3.

& creavit. Sermo Dei, voluntas A Longia.

est : opus Dei, natura est. S. Am[ Licere Dei, voluisse est. Eucher.

The

S. brose.

a

The vulgate has a little lessened the vivacity of the expression : God said, let the light be made, and the light was made. For the word made, which has different progressions among men, and supposes a succession of times, seems in some sort to retard the work of God, which was performed at the very moment he willed it, and received its perfection in an instant.

The prophet Isaiah makes God deliver himself, with the same sublimity, when he foretels the taking of Babylon. [m] I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself ; . . That saith to the deep [n], be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers; That saith of Cyrus, he is my shepherd, and shall perform all

my pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid.

The kings of Syria and Israel had sworn the destruction of Judah, and the measures they had taken for that purpose, seemed to make its ruin unavoidable. A single word baffles their design, [0] Thus saith the Lord God, it shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

The same thought is amplified in another place; and the prophet who knows that God has promised to prolong the race of David, till the time of the Messiah who was to spring from himn, defies, with a holy pride, the vain efforts of the princes and nations who conspired to destroy the family and throne of David. [p] Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear all ye of far countries : gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces ; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought ; speak the word, and it shall not stand : for God is with us Isaiah here prophesies in words suitable to the infinite power of God, that though all men should unite together, they yet should not

[m] Isa. xliv. 24, 27, 28. take Babylon.

[n] He names the Euphrates, (0) Isa. vii. 7. which Cyrus dried up in order to [P] Isa, viii. 9, 10."

VOL. II.

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