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used in much the same manner as the symbols of Daniel and John are, is equally mistaken and absurd ; for as it is a law of symbols, that agents represent agents, acts denote acts, effects effects, places places, and conditions conditions; if the passage is symbolic, not only must Jerusalem, Zion, the mountain of the Lord's house, and Jehovah's temple itself, be used as representatives of different but analogous places; but all nations also, and their going up to the mountain of the Lord's house, their consultations and resolutions, and their beating their swords and spears into implements of husbandry, must be representative of a different set of nations, and different classes of acts; which is impossible, as there are no other nations besides all the nations of the world. That it is not symbolical, is seen, also, from the fact, that the objects, agents, and acts of the prediction were not seen by the prophet in vision actually passing as they are here described. The events which he predicts he represents as future, not as having been already beheld by him in vision ; but all the symbols of the Scriptures were actually beheld by the prophets, who describe them, either in vision or by the natural eye; and the representative spectacles are depicted by them in the past tense as having already had existence and been seen, and it is in that relation,
as agents, objects, and occurrences that have already had an existence, that they are employed as prophetic representatives of other similar or analogous agents, objects, acts, and events that are to exist at a future period. The construction placed on the passage by the spiritualizing interpreters, is thus as inconsistent with the supposition that it is symbolical, as it is with the fancy that it is figurative.
The pretext, therefore, that there is any figure besides those we have enumerated, or that there is any legitimate principle on which mere philological passages like that which we have been considering can be construed, as though they were used, as a whole, by some peculiar figure, or were symbolical, so that a mystical sense is to be educed from them, and made to supersede their natural and philological meaning, is wholly groundless, and involves a monstrous perversion of the histories and predictions to which it is applied. It is a most unscholarly and clumsy contrivance, without a solitary reason to justify it, to set aside the plain and indubitable teachings of the word of God, for the purpose of substituting in their place the lawless fancies and absurd dreams of presumptuous men.
THE EFFECT OF FIGURES ON STYLE.
FIGURES, it is seen from the foregoing analysis, are not only highly ornamental to style, but are important aids to a clear, forcible, and emphatic expression of thought. There is not one, in the long series that has been quoted, that does not give distinctness and point, as well as grace, to that which it is employed to depict or express ; while the most elegant examples, especially of the comparison, the metaphor, the hypocatastasis, the apostrophe, the personification, and the allegory, invest the subjects they are used to illustrate with a drapery of light, and raise them to a beauty and splendor of which they would otherwise be wholly devoid.
Persons differ much in their capacity and disposition to express themselves in tropes. As they are founded on the resemblances that subsist between different things, the power and disposition to use them depends very much on the ease and clearness with which resemblances are perceived. There are some to whom they present themselves in almost an endless train, in every sphere of life and thought, and in the most striking and beautiful forms; and they use them on every occasion, in public speaking, in writing, and in conversation. Others employ them less frequently; but there are none to whom they are not often the favorite vehicle of expression, and to whom they do not give pleasure. Even the great poets differ much in the frequency with which they use them. Homer and Milton-in whose works some of the noblest forms, especially of the comparison, occur—use them rarely, compared with Shakspeare, Young, Thomson, and Byron. Thus one of the most poetic and beautiful passages of Milton has but a single figure, a metaphor, in the use of the word gems :
S “ To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorned :
With thee conversing, I forget all time,
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night,
PARADISE Lost, b. iv.
The reason that no figures were necessary to heighten the grace and splendor of this exquisite passage is, that the objects enumerated, and the sentiments expressed, are themselves so beautiful and pleasing that there are no others that can shed over them a brighter radiance, or invest them with greater charms to the fancy or the heart. Miltorf showed, therefore, the truth of his poetic judgment as clearly, in presenting them without an attempt at ornament, as he did in using figures when treating themes that needed to be illustrated and adorned by resemblances. On the other hand, the figure he employs in the passage is admissible in the instance in which he uses it, inasmuch as it is in accordance with the appearance of the stars to the eye; as they, in fact, seem to be but illuminated points set in the