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says, " His strength fliall be nunger-bitten ;* that is, it shall be corroded, and consumed away by famine: " Destruction shall be ready at his side-," it shall stand by him, be his companion, be ready to seize and crush him. "It shall de". rour the strength," or the branches " of his » skin;1' his veins, arteries, nerves, all the ramifications of the human system, shall wither and perish. "Even the first-born of death shall de"vour his strength." View Death as a father, and diseases and calamities as his children; the most fierce and malignant ainong them is hi» first-born. He is full-grown^ has an authority almost as great as that of his parent he has hisvery power in him. You fee all his deadly image upon- him, such as war, famine, or pestilence, the last of which may perhaps be intended, wlren it is threatened that " the first-born of death
shall devour his strength."
This expression, " the first-born of death," may not be improper to introduce a passage from Dr Lowth, in which he fays, that " there «' is a species of the Pwsopopeia of a very elegant "nature, and which also the well-known idiom "of the Hebrew language recommends, and, as "it were, familiarises to us. It is that perfoni"fication by which the subject, adjunct, acci"dent, effect, or what in some way or another M belongs to a thing or place, is stiled its son, or "child. ■ Hence nations^ countries, and people, *i are so often introduced in the form of women. »' JJa. pdvii, .fag. Comedown, and sit in the dusty • *: c L "O virgin ■** 0 virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: "there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans, "for thou shalt no more be called tender and deli"catc. Sit thou silent^ and get thee into darkness, •** O daughter of the Chaldeans, far thou shalt no "more be called the lady of kingdoms. In like "manner, Lam. i. i. How doth the city Jit solitary ** that was full of people? how is she become as a "widow? She that was great among the nations, "and princess among the provinces, how is she be'" come tributary? She wcepeth fore in the night, "and her tears are on her cheeks. Ver. 6. From "the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: M and ver. ij* Zion spreads forth her hands, and "there is none to comfort her. Without a due "attention to this kind of Profopopeia, and the *« root whence it springs, the idiom of the He"brew language, such expressions may seem •«« somewhat harm, as, the sons of the bow, Job "xli. 28. and the sons of the quiver, Lam. iii. 13. "by which we are evidently to understand ar"rows, that are mot from the bow, and that are "treasured up in the quiver *."
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• Est etiam in hoc genere alia quædam classis persoriarum, in fe quidem elegantiflima, qnam item nobis commendat, & quodammodo familiarem reddit, norjffimum linguæ Hebrææ idioma, cui videtur debere originem; quo rei Jqcive subjectum, adjunctum, accidens, effectus, & si quid simile est, cjusdem filius appellatur. Hinc apud Vates Hebræos gentes, regiones, populi, muliebri habitu induti tories in scenam prodeunt. ** Deseendit fedetque in pulvere, mollis ilia & deli"cata virgo, ilia gentium domiua, silia Bab) luhis. Luget,
As to that kind of Prosopopeia, by which we introduce real persons as speaking what we have conceived for them, we shall content ourselves with a most beautiful example which we find in the song of Peborah for the signal victory obtained over the enemies of Israel, Judges v. 28. "The mother of Sisera looked out at a win"dow, and cried through the lattess, Why is his "chariot so long in coming? why tarry the "wheels of his chariots?" This speech put into the mouth of the mother, and the posture in which she is represented, afford a lively image of maternal anxiety, and a mind wavering between hope and fear. Impatient of delay, she prevents the comforts which her companions might be ready to administer to her; and, under the influence of female levity and pride, she proceeds, ver. 19, 20. " Her wife ladies answer"ed her; yea, she returned answer to herself; "Have they not sped? have they not divided "the prey, to every man a damsel or two? To 55 Sisera a prey of divers colours of necdle55 work, of divers colours of needle-work on "both sides, meet for the necks of them that «* take the spoil." She says nothing of the slaughter of the enemy, nor the number of
"sedetque sola humi, virgo Sionis filia. Flet nocte semper "inquies, semper genis madentibus. Manusque tendit sup"plices, nee invenit solatia." Nisi illuc respiciamus, duriora videri poffint, •' filii arens, filii pharetræ," pro sagittis. Lo win. PraleS. Acad. p. 116.
the captives, nor of the valour and achievements of the conqueror, but prey and spoils are all that she thinks of, and those kinds of prey and spoil which were most likely to allure the mind of a vain woman, damsels, and curiously embroidered array. And she not only mentions these spoils, but repeats, improves, enlarges upon them: she seems to have the fine costly attire, she imagines to have been taken, in her very hands, while she so particularly and minutely describes its grandeur and beauty. The language used in this Prosopopeia is strong, splendid, and accurate ■, the repetition is inexpressibly elegant; and in the returns of the repetition there is an admirable conciseness; and, finally, a sudden and unexpected Apostrophe shews the miserable disappointment of all these fond, flattering expectations, ver. 31. ' So let all thine "enemies perish, O Lord." Her disappointment, thus tacitly intimated, may be more fully and strongly conceived by this silence, than by the colours of the brightest description.
As a scriptural instance of that kind of Prosopopeia which introduces spirits departed from qur. world as speaking, I might mention the dialogue between Abraham and the rich man, the one represented in heaven, and the other in hell, in the parable of our Lord, Luke xvi. 19—gr. "There was a certain rich man which was cloth55 ed in purple and fine linen, and fared sump"tuously every day. And there was a certain B b 4 • " beggar, "beggar, named Lazarus, which was laid at "his gate, full of fores, and desiring to be fed "with the crumbs which fell from the rich "man's table: moreover the dogs came and "licked hjs fores. And if came to pass that the "beggar died, and was carried by the angels inT "to Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, "and was buried. And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and feeth Abraham "afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he
* cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy "on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip 15 the tip of his finger in water, and cool my "tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. "But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou
* in thy life-time receivedst thy good things, "and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now "he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And "besides all this, between us and you there is a 31 great gulph fixed; so that they which would "pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can M they pass to us, that would come from thence. « Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, "that thou wouldst send him to my father's >' house: for I have five brethren; that he may
* testify unto them, lest they also come into this "place of torment. Abraham faith unto him, |S They have Moses and the Prophets; let them
* hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abra"Ham; but if one went unto them from the
dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, they hear not Moses and the Prophets, nei