Imágenes de páginas

been, Hear ye, who are rulers of Sodom, and give ear ye who are people of Gomorrah. In like manner, the meaning of the passage, "The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a city that has been besieged" (Is. i. 8), is the same as though the language had been, The people who are the daughter of Zion are left as a cottage, as a lodge, and as a city that has been besieged. Who or what it is to which the metaphorical name is applied, is always known from the connexion; as in the following passages, in which it is seen that daughter is used for a people, and the people of Jerusalem: "Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion; for thus saith the Lord, ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money" (Isa. lii. 2, 3); "Behold the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold thy salvation cometh; behold his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord" (Isa. lxii. 11, 12).

The characteristics of the metaphor are:

1. The figure lies in the peculiar use of a word, or words, in contradistinction from a thing.

2. The metaphorical proposition consists of two parts-the subject to which the figure is applied, or


of which the metaphorical affirmation is made; and the affirmation itself. Thus in the expression, “ all flesh is grass," the nominative "all flesh" is the subject of the sentence, and the verb and noun “is grass" the affirmation.

3. The name of the subject of the figure, or that to which it is applied, is always used in its literal sense; as in the expression, "God is my fortress," God, the nominative of the proposition, is used literally as the name of Jehovah; not by a metaphor, as the name of some other being. In the expression, "Say unto wisdom thou art my sister, and call understanding thy kinswoman" (Prov. vii. 4), it is wisdom, not anything else, that is called a sister; and understanding, and not anything else, that is denominated a kinswoman. And, in like manner, when it is said, "the fields smile," "the winds sigh," "the raindrops dance," "the heavens frown," it is the literal fields, the literal winds, the literal raindrops, and the real heavens, that are the subjects of that which the several verbs are employed to denote; not objects of another kind. If the names of the subjects of which the affirmations are made were not used literally, there would be no means of knowing what the agents or things are for which they stand. How, for example, could it be known what the word boat, in the expression "the

boat gallops over the waves," means; or the noun ship, in the proposition, "the ship flies along the water," if the words boat and ship were not used in their proper sense, to denote a real boat and a real ship, to the exclusion of everything else? When the subject of the metaphorical term is not expressly mentioned in the proposition itself, as in elliptical metaphors, it is still indicated with equal certainty in the connexion.

4. The figure lies wholly in the affirmative part of the proposition; as in the prediction, "The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap hands" (Isa. lv. 12), the predicates, "shall break forth into singing," and "shall clap hands," are the parts that are used by the figure; the nominatives, "the mountains and the hills" and "the trees," are employed in their literal sense. In like manner, in the expressions, "The beasts of the field shall honor me;" "The land mourneth, it languisheth;" "Lebanon is put to shame;""The desert and the waste shall be glad, and the wilderness shall rejoice and flourish;" the metaphor lies exclusively in the predicates; that is, in the declarations made by the verbs.

This and the preceding characteristics belong to metaphors universally, and are of the utmost im

portance, as they render it certain that that of which the metaphorical affirmation is made, is the subject literally of that which the figurative expression denotes; as when it is said, "Judah is a lion's whelp," it is Judah literally, not anything else, to whom that is ascribed, which is meant by the declaration that he is a lion's whelp.

5. The peculiarity of the metaphorical use of words lies in their being applied affirmatively to subjects to which that which they properly signify does not really belong, but only something that resembles it; as God is said by the figure to be "a consuming fire," which he is not really, to signify that in the exercise of his justice he is to his enemies like a consuming fire. The fields are said to smile-a movement of which they are incapable-to denote that when clothed in verdure, and lighted up by sunshine, they exhibit a cheerfulness and beauty that resembles a smile.

6. The terms, therefore, that are used by this figure always carry with them their literal sense, not a different or modified meaning. Thus when the valleys are said to laugh, and the floods to clap hands, it is laughing that is affirmed of the valleys, and clapping hands that is ascribed to the floods, not anything else; and the object of the affirmation is to signify, in a bold and emphatic manner, that

the appearances and movements which they exhibit, resemble, in cheerfulness and gladness, laughter and clapping hands in human beings.

7. When the figure ascribes a nature to an agent or thing that does not belong to it, the acts or events that are then affirmed of it are such as are proper to that imputed nature, not to its own. Thus when night is denominated a goddess, it is exhibited as having a throne, and stretching forth a sceptre over the world. To determine whether a word is used literally or metaphorically, is simply to ascertain whether that which it literally signifies, is proper and natural to the subject of which it is affirmed, or not. In the expression, for example, "green fields are beautiful," as the predicate," are beautiful," is truly and properly descriptive of green fields, it is used literally; in the expression, however, "the landscape smiles," as a smile is not proper to a landscape, but only a cheerful appearance that resembles a smile, the verb is used metaphorically.

All classes of words are used by the figure. Nouns are often metaphorized; thus, "God" is a sun, a shield, a rock, a fortress, a high tower (Ps. lxxxiv. 11; xviii. 2).


It is the gay to-morrow of the mind
That never comes."


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