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** vide into the four cardinal virtues." Here he loses breath, for to allegorize all would be too tedious, and doubtless the public have room to regret the Doctor's omission in not continuing the allegory to the end of the chapter.
He professes his belief in the scriptures, but has the good luck to elude every difficulty which falls in his way, by the assistance of metaphors, and thinks himself the more authorized to take this freedom with Moses, as he discovers a mistake in the Bible. "I will stiike Egypt, ** faith the Lord, from the tower of Syene to ** the borders of Ethiopia. Ezechiel." "In"stead of Ethiopia," says the. Doctor, "it ** should be Arabia, for S>ene was situated on "the borders of Ethiopia."' . ,
Pray, Doctor, does a mistake in geography on the part of the translators of the Bible, invalidate the Mosaical account of man's innocence, together with his felicity in Paradise; the malice of the tempting spirit, and his appearance under the form of a serpent; the fall of Adam and Eve, fatal to all their posterity; the first man justly punished in his children, and mankind cursed by God; the first promise of redemption, and the future victory of men over the Devil who had undone them? Has pot the memory of those great events, and the
..;,; fatal fatal transition from original justice to the corruption of. sin, been preserved in the golden and iron ages of the poets, their Hesperian gardens watched by dragons, and in the inchantments and worship of idolatrous nations, in whose incantations and superstitions, the serpent always bore, as it bears still, a principal part. Allegorize Moses as much as you please ; he relates that God promised that the woman's offspring would crust) the serpent's head. This very promise of a Redeemer, and man's victory through his grace, are foretold in the oracles of the Gentiles. Even Tacitus, though a mortal enemy to the Jews and Christians, acknowledges, that it was a constant tradition amongst the Oriental nations, that from the Jews would spring a conqueror, who would subdue the world. A translator's mistake as to the name of a town or tower, is no plea sor scepticism, especially as there are and have been, several towns of the fame name in difserent places, which might have been the case with Syene; and cities which in a long succession of time, have changed their names, or born difserent names at the same time, as is the case with Constantinople, which the Turks call Stamboul, and others Byzantium.
But let us suppose that the tower of Syehe •was situated on the same line, in an opposite
direction, direction, with the frontiers of Ethiopia, is there any impropriety in saying, " I will strike Egypt ** from the tower of Syene to the borders of "Ethiopia?" Solinus relates, that there was a tower called Syene in lower Egypt. Ethiopia borders Egypt on the south. In striking Egypt, then, from the tower of Syene to the borders of Ethiopia, it is struck from north to south: that is, from one extremity to the other. The doctor, then, has lost his time in correcting the prophet Ezechiel's map, and substituting Arabia for Ethiopia. Yet this passage of Ezechiel is his chief plea for allegorizing Genesis: with what success let the reader judge.
A warm fancy, in a paroxysm of zeal, may indulge its boundless excursions in the path of allegory, when obscure passages and mystical expressions open a field for interpretations and allusions. Mead, Whiston, Wesley, and the doctor himself, may discover the pope in the beast with ten horns; and Rome in the great city built on seven hills. The Jewish rabbins, after obtaining permission to build a synagogue from the prince of Orange, applied to their benefactor, this famous passage'of Isaiah: ** Oa ** that day, seven women will take hold of one ** man:" alluding to the Seven United Provinces that had elected him ftadtholder; and I
myself, myself, if I were in humour, could, in a longwinded discourse, enlarge upon the seven sacraments, or the three theological and four cardinal virtues; and compare them to the seven golden candlesticks mentioned in the revelations of St. John. But in a historical narration, giving an account of the origin of the world,—of a garden planted with trees, watered with four rivers,—with their names,—the countries through which they flow,—the precious stones, mines and minerals, to be found in those countries, &c.—the introduction of art allegory is the subversion of reason.
Even where allegories can be used with any propriety, our masters in rhetoric lay down as a rule, " that, in the chain of metaphors conti** nued through the discourse, aptness, rescm"** blance, and justness of allusion, must be "strictly observed." What justness of allusion is there between the human mind, and a garden planted eastward in Eden, where God put the man whom be had created? As much as there is in saying, God made man, and placed him eastward in bis mind. What analogy is there between the four rivers and the four cardinal Virtues? Between fortitude and Pison or the Ganges, with the effeminate natives that inhabit its banks? Between prudence and the Euphrates?
"Justice Justice and Gilxm or the Nile, with its crocodiles? Temperance and Uiddekel or the Tygris, which, as Moses relates, and as geography informs us, goeth towards the east of Assyria, a country famous in former days for the intemperance of its inhabitants? The four cardinal virtues being set afloat on the four rivers, and die doctor's imagination having spent die fire of his allegory, we are at a loss what virtue to describe by the onyx-st*one, mentioned by Moses in the following words: "The name of the "first river is Pison; that is it which compaiF"eth the land of Havilah, where there is gold; "and the gold of that land is good: and there "is bdellium and the onyx-stone." By gold, doubtless, he must mean charity or patience. But of the onyx-stone there are four kinds: and we would be obliged to our dogmatizing philosophers for describing their four correspondent virtues.
Let them inform us, in like manner, whether the bdellium mentioned by Moses, be one of the theological ox a branch of the cardinal^ virtues. For though in dispensatoiies, the bdellium be allowed to be a good nostrum of an emollient and discutient'quality, yet the learned, whether commentators of scripture or natural philosophers, are no more agreed about the trite nature of bdellium, than they are about the