Imágenes de páginas

nothing like this and nothing even comparable to it, in any of the Indo-European languages. This simplicity is carried through with consistency, through the second and third persons as well.

Much might be said on this simplicity and naturalness in the Hebrew mode of contemplation as well as of expression, but we shall have to be satisfied in mentioning but a few instances and leave them with their suggestiveness to the reader. When they wished to say spark, they said son of the flame; the son of oil, for fat; the son of a year, one year old; the son of the bow, an arrow; the son of Adam, a human being; the son of the mother, brother; the son of the eagle, the young eagle; the son of the cow, a calf; the son of the ox, a bullock; the children of the clouds, the rain; the daughter of the eye, the apple of the eye; the daughter of song, music; the daughter of the voice, echo, &c., &c.

XI. Another feature is its

COPIOUSNESS, its wealth and beauty of description. Nine distinct words are translated in the English version commandment; twelve beauty; twelve body; thirteen to cease; thirteen light; thirteen hand; fourteen dark; fifteen to cry; sixteen anger; sixteen chief; eighteen fear; twenty to bind; twenty-five to deliver; twenty-six to cover; twenty-five to gather; forty-two to cut; forty-seven to come; fifty-five to destroy; sixty to break; sixty-one to cast; sixty-six to bring; sixty-eight to go; seventy-four to take, &c. Each one of these words has a distinct import, which is lost in the translation. The five words translated man, exhibit him in five different grades of being. One introduces him as a human being, distinguishing him from other beings; I refer to ADAM, the name of the species. Another introduces him as the strong man, as he is seen in the various avenues of life (GEVER). Two describe him as being weak, frail, mortal (ENOSH) &c. This is also true of the other words. For example, one of the words translated to deliver means to snatch away (natsal), Another, to cut loose (padah); and this is used in one of the Psalms where God is said to deliver, i. e. to cut loose Israel from all his sins. What a fit word to use

in describing separation from sin! It does not mean to give up sinning gradually, but to give it up at once, to cut loose from it. Another word translated "to deliver," means to broaden, to amplify (yasha). By not knowing which one of the several words translated to deliver, the author of this Psalm had chosen to employ, we fail to catch his conception.

This capacity of expressing one generic idea under several aspects, gave to the Hebrew Poetry its PARALLELISM.

X. Parallelism is the distinctive feature of Hebrew Poetry. It used this form more, and with greater effect, than any other. In reading the book of Job, one feels himself as in the presence of a restless sea, whose waves climb and swell in perpetual march. And this gives but a faint idea of how wonderfully this parallelism works upon the heart. Each time the same thought is expressed in different words, we almost see a Moses, a Balaam, an Isaiah despair of ever succeeding in the attempt to make the inner, the silent language audible. "Can the weak man be more justified than the strong God?” Aware of the inefficiency of language to catch and fully repeat the melody of the soul, the sacred penman adds:

"Can the strong man be more pure than he who made him?"

This parallelism is too frequent to need illustrations. It is found on every page, and in every verse almost, especially in the poetical books.

XI. The Literature of this language is the literature of the human heart-"a diary written by the Spirit of God, concerning the mysteries of the human heart." Hence its simplicity, its naturalness and its power to elevate. There is nothing in kind like it, nothing even comparable to it in any language, ancient or modern, unless it be in Shakespeare, in point of variety of characters and copiousness of imagery. He who thinks that Homer and Virgil were sent into the world to give rules not only to their successors, but also to their predecessors; he who finds the beautiful less beautiful, the pathetic less pathetic, the sublime less sublime, when it has not a pat

tern in the Latin or Greek, will be greatly disappointed in reading this ancient literature, to which is to be traced most of the beautiful, the dignified, the inspiring thoughts in the master-pieces of modern literature. But these flowers best yield their fragrance in the garden in which they were planted, and not "upon a foreign land."

There is much imagery and inspiration in this language, and in its literature, that moderns might well seek to become familiar with, in order to get the blessing of beauty and life that is there, waiting to pass into the appreciative soul. Where else can the childlike and heroic souls find consolation and uplifting as much as in the Bible! The poetry of modern times, whether it recognizes it or not, draws largely from the eloquent imagery which the sublime trust of the patriarchs made real.

"God Himself is the first poet,
And the real was His song.'


And in the region of poetry we can but "think God's thoughts after Him." The poetry of the Bible does not only unfold to us the beauties of nature, but it also furnishes us the seeing eye and the hearing ear for that which is already written. It teaches us to read between the lines of outward beauty the love and wisdom and power of the Infinite. Its God is not only the shepherd of heaven, where He feeds His sheep, the stars, and calls them forth by their names; but He is likewise the God of the lowest beings, though "He dwelleth on high." No cry escapes His ear, not even that of the raven. He loves all, because He made all, and is "the God of spirits in all flesh." The thought of the Orient is full of God. He who both creates and animates all nature is everywhere revered. The more majestic the manifestations of His power the nearer and more real does His presence seem; and the language is rich in words and hymns, glowing with the awed yet adoring spirit of their thought. MY HAND IS WITH GOD, they say, for I am able. The hand was with God whenever life coursed through its vein! The thought of God is the first and regnant idea of all their psalms and songs, the poetry of the

child-nation of the world's history. It is the animating and essential principle of all their laws. It breathes through all their narrative and description. ("My children are these, which the Lord has given to me," is the answer Joseph gives to his dying father. A mighty city, is a city of God, etc.) Its mild, elevating and refining influence is almost imperceptible, but effective with every thoughtful reader of their simple but meaningful modes of expression. Jehovah seems to speak to them in unmistakable words from every object of the natural world. The heavens, the ocean, the clouds, the winds, the floods, the thunder, the celestial host live and move and act, animated, as it were, by one desire, viz., to bring out the glory and the brightness of God. To this end the heavens and the firmament, the days and the nights, are telling and displaying, are showing and welling forth knowledge and speech, the work and the glory of the great creator. The seas flee, the rivers flow backwards, the mountains skip like rams, the hills like lambs, and the earth trembleth at the presence of God. The heavens rejoice, the earth is glad, the sea roars, the fields and even the trees shout for joy at the sight of their Maker. All nature is instinct with life; and but for this purpose, to voice forth the beauty and perfection of the great Creator and Father.

The mountains that saw Thee, trembled ;

The streams of water hurried by ;

The deep uttered his voice,

And lifted up high his hands.



The round and splendent sun, fierce tyrant of the crystalline and sapphire heavens, drinker-up of the ocean floods, warm fructifier of earth's teeming soil, is but the mirror, the lucent shield, wherein is reflected the glittering of thy quick shafts. The calm imperial moon, round whose advancing footsteps the waves climb and swell in perpetual march; whose are the boundless air and the multitudinous stars,- her light is but the

faint reflex from the radiance of thy spear. Can we add to this any other words than those that flowed from the harp of the sweet singer of Israel?

"O Lord! How manifold are Thy works!
In wisdom hast Thou made them all!
The earth is full of Thy riches!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!


Universalism and Sin.


IT has been more than intimated by a recent writer in these pages that the Universalist Church has no defined standing ground upon several central questions of theology. What we think about God may be found developed at length in all our literature so that in the strict meaning of the word we may be said to have a theology.2 There are other essential points however, necessary to a completed system of faith toward which we have as yet only struggled, and, as it might seem to some, upon the settlement of which much is depending. In the past it has been tacitly agreed that our bond of fellowship, in so far as it may rest upon uniformity in belief, should be a given view of destiny, and this in turn almost without exception has been based upon a common opinion about God. A Deity of impartial love and a destiny of universal holiness have been the common premise and conclusion of Universalism. But if we read aright the efforts of our time the day is not far remote when we shall formulate, or at least tacitly adopt, a few more points, and these will be found as vital, as indispensable to the body of our faith as anything upon which we are now agreed. If any one supposes that our present points of agreement are sufficient in view of all possible contingencies to

1 Punishment, Forgiveness and Salvation. W. H. Ryder, D.D. October QUAR


2 Θεου Λογος — Doctrine about God.

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