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The Personifications of Homer.
to know what new misfortunes threaten her, and mournful presentiments arise in her soul. Soon she arrives at the summit of the tower, and can no longer doubt her misfortune. 'She sees him dragged before the city; swift horses drag him mercilessly towards the ships of the Greeks.' If I am not mistaken, there is here great delicacy, a profound knowledge of grief, in not having named Hector on this occasion; she sees him, tòv 8' ¿vóŋoev ; horses drag him, înnoi μèv ëλxov. . . . The end of the narrative is of equal beauty, and the calling to mind the veil which she had received from Aprodite on the day of her marriage, is one of those fine touches of feeling which Homer could not allow to escape him.'"
How great and versatile was that genius which sketched with equal truth and power and distinctness, the battle-field, and the domestic circle; the angry debate, and the hospitable entertainment; the storm gathering over the sea, and the firmament in a starry night. The artist dipped his pencil in the colors which nature herself had provided, and with no model to guide his hand but her own perfect symmetry, he delineated in the fairest forms and the most just proportions whatever be attempted.
The personifications in Homer are many and striking. Instead of tame, absurd and impalpable creations, they are generally instinct with life; furnishing a clear idea to the painter or sculptor; and are the standard representation of all subsequent poets. To say nothing of that great system of mythology which is more fully and beautifully sketched in Homer than in any other writer, and which furnished such ample materials to Phidias and Polycletus, to Zeuxis and Parrhasius, those minor personifications which did not form a part of the ancient mythology are scarcely less distinct and life-like than the delineations of the fierce-eyed Minerva, the white-armed Juno and the aegis-bearing Jupiter. Every one will recollect the sketch of Discord ("Egis):
"dire sister of the slaughtering power,
Small at her birth, but rising every hour,
While scarce the skies her horrid head can bound,
the outline of which picture Virgil has borrowed in his fine description of Fama. The terrible scourgings of a guilty conscience are made doubly fearful in the form of the dread Erinnyes; who walk in darkness, and whose power extends to the regions of the
dead. Somewhat singular, is that personification of prayers, in the speech of Phoenix to Achilles, which Cowper translates as follows:
"Prayers are Jove's daughters, wrinkled, lame, slant-eyed,
And treading firm the ground, outstrips them all,
The famous Scylla, with her dragon throats and sharp claws, surrounded with half-projecting dogs, furnished to Milton his ideal of
"the snaky sorceress, that sat Fast by Hell-gate."
It were needless to multiply instances; such as the beautiful pictures of the Hours, the Graces, the rosy-fingered Aurora, and many others. It is more agreeable to the student to discover them for himself; just as the traveller, who views the magnificent ruins of an ancient city, is more elated if he comes upon them unexpectedly. What we would say is this: the personifications of Homer are generally more fresh and vivid than those of the later poets. This may be owing partly to the imagination of the poet himself; and partly to the age in which he lived. The morning had just dawned upon him. He wandered abroad when everything was green, and sparkling with dew-drops. Many a delicate flower, in sweetness and beauty, opened before him, and many a leaf was set with diamonds which a fiercer sun would dry up at He had, then, only to stretch forth his hand and gather what lay in his path.
These remarks upon the Iliad, to which we have been almost unconsciously led, might be extended indefinitely. We are aware, that they will convey the most imperfect idea of those brilliant scenes, which rise up to the view in rapid succession and endless
1 11. 19. 259.--'Εριννύες, αἶθ' ὑπὸ γαῖαν
'Ανθρώπους τίνυνται. The doctrine of a future retribution, is not merely hinted at in this passage.
Spirit of Prophecy in Relation to the Jews.
variety. Even the most elaborate and the most successful description of them, like a graphic account of Athens or of Memphis, could accomplish little more than to incite a desire in the reader to view them for himself. And this, in the case of Homer at least, would be precisely what we could wish. It is a book which deserves to be read, and to be studied, far beyond the attention which it receives; and we are glad that the facilities for understanding it are now so greatly multiplied.1
THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY IN RELATION TO THE FUTURE CONDITION OF THE JEWS.
By Rev. Luther F. Dimmick, Newburyport, Mass.
THE future condition of the Jews, is a subject which has received, from various sources, no small attention. The subject is worthy of attention. It is worthy of attention, for its own sake. Every branch of truth, and every department of the divine operations, has in it something to repay investigation. The connection of this subject with other themes, imparts to it a still higher interest. The right understanding of it will lead to some views of essential importance, in regard to the general character of the religion of the Bible; besides which, some lessons of practical duty will grow out of it. The Jews have been a people greatly distinguished. Their origin was remarkable,-Abraham, the fa
We should not omit to mention, in this place, Mr. Owen's excellent edition of the Odyssey. With the flattering notices of it which have already appeared, we fully concur. The editor understands the wants of the student, and possesses much skill in meeting them. His work deserves and will receive the thanks of many who read the story of the much-wandering Odysseus.
The early designation of the people was, "Israel," "children of Israel," derived from Jacob their father, who obtained the surname of Israel, at the remarkable scene of Penuel, when he obtained a signal answer to prayer, (Gen. 32:24-30). Subsequently, after the division of the tribes, the two branches of the nation were Judah and Israel, Judah being the principal tribe of the division to which it belonged. At length, Israel being removed, and Judah, or the branch passing under that name, being the part that remained, and with which the Christian world has had the most connection, we use this term, Jews, sometimes, though rather improperly, as including the whole people.
VOL IV. No. 14.
ther of the faithful, and the friend of God. For two thousand years, they constituted God's visible church, while all the other nations of the world were left without the impressive merciful visitations with which they were favored. Through this dark period, they were the depositaries of the oracles and the ordinances of the true religion, for the world's benefit in subsequent time. And through them came, at length, the world's Deliverer, "the Light and Life of men." To these things the apostle alludes: "What advantage, then, hath the Jew? or what profit is there in circumcision? Much every way; chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God," (Rom. 3: 1, 2). "To whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all God blessed for ever. Amen," (Rom. 9: 4,5). The past, in respect to them, is full of wonders.
The present state of the Jews, as every one knows, is a state of dispersion. Reckoned at about six millions, they are scattered through almost every part of the civilized world.'
In respect to the future condition of the Jews, two leading views are entertained. One is, that of their literal restoration to Palestine, the land of their fathers; the reëstablishment of their national polity and worship; their conversion to Christ, and his reign among them, marked with peculiar manifestations of the divine favor, making them the head of all the nations of the earth,-a peculiar people in time to come, as they have been in time past. Some suppose Christ will descend personally, and reign personally, in his bodily presence, at their head, in Palestine, making all nations subject to them, and using them as his instruments, or prime ministers, in carrying forward his purposes in the other parts of the world. The other view entertained respecting them, is, that they will be converted to Christ, and, in common with all other nations, partake in the blessings of his reign on earth and in heaven, leaving their outward earthly condition to be determined by circumstances, and by general providences, in the same manner as that of all other nations is determined. In the investigation of this subject, it is not a mere superficial view of
"Of the two and a half tribes which removed east of the trans-Jordanic cities, Judah and Benjamin, and half Manasseh, I compute the number in every part of the world as exceeding six millions. Of the missing nine and a half tribes, part of which are in Turkey, China, Hindostan, Persia, and on this continent, it is impossible to ascertain their numerical force."-M. M. Noah's Discourse, pp. 36, 37.
The Extent of the Promised Land.
it, with which we should be satisfied. It is a subject which enters deeply into the economy of the gospel, and involves principles of the very highest moment in the interpretation of the Bible. The gospel itself, in some important respects, borrows its character from the manner in which this question is settled.
I would not conceal it now at the beginning, that I have less confidence in the literal in this matter, than some others have. But I will not forestall the arguments. They shall speak for themselves.
The arguments urged in favor of their literal restoration, and the reestablishment of their polity and worship, with the peculiar marks of the divine favor referred to, are several: I. The covenant, by which God conveyed the land of Palestine to Abraham and his posterity, it is said, is declared to be an everlasting covenant, and the land is conveyed as an everlasting possession. The leading passages are the following: Gen. 17: 7,8; 26: 3; 48: 3,4; Ps. 105: 8-11, which the reader may consult in their respective places. Now, it is said, since the covenant giving to Israel the land of Canaan, is an “everlasting covenant," and the land is given to them for an "everlasting possession," the people must return and dwell there; else the promise of God fails, his gracious covenant is not fulfilled.' II. It is said that the land, described in various promises to the patriarchs, has never yet, the whole of it, been possessed by their descendants; and, as the promise cannot fail, the people must, on this account also, return, that the whole of what is promised them may be put in their possession. The borders of the land are frequently described in the Scriptures. As, to Abraham: "Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt, unto the great river, the river Euphrates," (Gen. 15: 18). By Moses its borders are more particularly noticed. The substance of the statement is, that the land was bounded on the south by the wilderness of Zin, along the coast of Edom, to the outer coast of the Salt Sea eastward; and, westward, by a line passing through Kadesh-barnea to Azmon, and the river of Egypt, going out at the sea,—the great sea, or Mediterranean. On the west, "ye shall even have the great sea for a border; this shall be your west border." On the north, "from the great sea, ye shall point out for you Mount Hor; and from Mount Hor, to the entrance of Hamath, and to Zedad, and Ziphron, and Hazarenan." And on the east, "the border shall descend, and shall reach unto the side of the sea of Chinnereth, and go down to Jordan, and the goings out of it shall be at the Salt Sea," (Num. 34:
1 See Keith's Land of Israel, p. 20, etc.