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Cicero, speaking of the palace of Pompey the Great, which the profligate and wicked An* Tony had seized for himself,, says, "I truly pity "those walls and roofs: for what had that house « ever seen before but what was decent, and "according to the best customs, and the most "exemplary discipline? For that man (pom"Pey) O conscript Fathers, as ye well know, "was glorious abroad, and an admirable pattern *' at home; nor did he deserve more respect for *' his public achievements, than for his private "virtues. But, alas! as to the house of this "excellent man, how are its rooms, its cham"bers, now turned into styes of impurity and *«■ drunken debauch *!"
To these instances I will add that of Virgil J who, describing the effects of an ingraftment of the shoot of one tree into the body of another* says,
Then in short space the tree shall grandly rise,
* Me quidem miseret parietum ipsorum, atque tectorom. Quid enim unquam domus ilia viderat, nisi pudicum, nisi ex optimo more, & sanctiflima disciplina? Fuit enim ille vir, patres conscripti, sicut seitis, cum foris clarus, turn domi admi-. randus: neque rebus externis magis laudandus, quam institutis domciticis. Hujus in sedibus pro cubiculis stabula, pro tri«Hniis popina; sunt. Cicer. Pkilif.. ii. ,j 28.
+ Nee longum tempus, & ingens.
There is to me something inexpressibly fine in the following lines of Milton, where the gales are transformed into living creatures:
-. H — Now gentle gales
Fanning their odoriferous wings dispense
§ 6. Examples of the Prosopopeia in its various kinds, may be furnished in a rich variety from the sacred Writings. I shall make a choice from among them, after I have acknowledged that for the illustrations and remarks upon some of the instances cited from the Old Testament, I am indebted to the learned and ingenious Dr Lowth f.
We meet with a Prosopopeia of the divine attributes in Psalm lxxxv. 10. 11 Mercy and truth "are met together-, righteousness and peace "have kifled each other." This passage is just, elegant, and beautiful, if we take it in what may be its proper and more obvious meaning, that of the return of the Jews from their captivity at Babylon; but if we consider it in a more
Exit ad cœlum ramos felicibus arbos
Getrgic.il. ver. 80.
* Paradise Lost, book iv. line 156.
•f- Vide dt Sacra Poeji Hebræorum ejui Prale3iones Academical Oxoniæ habitat, p. 114, &t
divine fense, that of the method of redemption by the sacrifice and mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which there were such an illustrious display and harmony of the perfections of Deity, it is beyond measure elevated, and enriched with sacred mystery and grandeur.
What can be more apt and graceful, more hoble and sublime, than the person of Wisdom, which is so often introduced in the Proverbs o.f Solomon? Not only is she guide of life, the parent of arts, honours, and riches, and the source of true felicity, but the eternal daughter of the omnipotent Creator and Father of all, and the participant of the divine counsels. Prov. viii. 22—31. "The Lord possessed me in "the beginning of his ways, before his work9 '*' of old. I was set up from everlasting, from "the beginning, or ever the earth was. When "there were no depths, I was brought forth; "when there were no fountains abounding with "water. Before the mountains were settled, be"sorb the hills was I brought forth: while as ." yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, "nor the highest part of the dust of the world. "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: "when he set a compass upon the face of the u depth •, when he established the clouds above; "when he strengthened the fountains of the "deep; when he gave to the sea his decree, that * the waters should not pass his commandment; JS when he appointed the foundations of the
B b "earth: .'* earth: then was I by him, as one brought up "with him; and I was daily his delight, re"joicing always before him j rejoicing in the 15 habitable part of his earth; and my delights ■ were with the sons of men."
There are many images in the Scriptures, which are exquisitely formed, and that derive an amazing energy from the boldness of the Prosopopeia. In Habakkuk iii. 5. the Prophet, speaking of the Almighty, says, " Before him went * the pestilence, and burning coals went forth "at his feet: or, " before him shall go the pes** tilence, and the flaming bolt from his feet." The pestilence, that disease which spreads such . wide and rapid havock among the human race, is represented as a person, and she goes before Jehovah in his march against his enemies; but swift and vast as her ravages are, and dreaded as she is by mankind, as one of the sorest judgments that can befal them, yet she is but the harbinger and pioneer, if I may so express myself, of the Almighty, and may be considered as only a kind of earnest or specimen of the absolute and instantaneous ruin which shall overwhelm his adversaries, when he appears armed with the thunder of his own power, and darting the flames of his indignation all around him, " when the flaming bolt shall go forth "** from his feet." Every step He, whose name -" 'is a consuming fire *,*' takes in his progress
of ■• Heb. xii. 29.
of vengeance, shall scatter destruction upon his adversaries •, and they shall be exterminated by the flaming bolts that issue from his feet: and if flaming bolts are hurled from only the feet of the omnipotent and incensed Lord of heaven and earth, who then can behold his face in the full terrors of his wrath? or who can stand before the strength of his irresistible arm, when he rises up to destroy them that hate him, and oppress his people?
In Job xxviii. 22. destruction and death are personified, and are introduced as saying concerning Wisdom, that " they have only heard the fame "thereof with their ears." In Isaiah v. 14. hell, or the grave, is transformed into a person, "Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and open"ed her mouth without measure; and their glory, '* and their multitude, and their pomp, and he "that rejoices shall descend into it." In like manner, Hosea xiii. 14. "I will ransom them "(says God) from the power of the grave•, I ■ will redeem them from death: O death, I will « be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy de« struction: repentance shall be hid from mine «« eyes." Correspondent to which passage the Apostle Paul fays, 1 Cor. xv. 54. " Death is « swallowed up in victory. O death, where is * thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" • What a lively and bold Prosopopeia is that in Job xviii. 13. "The first-born of death shall de"vour his strength." Bildad, speaking of the calamities that should come upon a wicked man,' v-' B b 2 says,