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Where? on what occasion ? I took up my pen, simply to confute Dr. Clarke's statement, copied by Mr. Horne ; and this gentleman's erasure of the passage from his work, and Dr. Lee's acknowledgment, prove that my confutation was complete. He goes on :-“ Dr. Lee proceeds to gratify the wish, and accordingly cites one passage from the old Syriac version of 1 Kings xxii. 11, &c. all which ABUNDANTLY CONFIRM the Protestant mode of interpretation.” A few words will decide this.
The reference to the Syriac version of the text alluded to, can only be made to blind persons unacquainted with the language, and so make them imagine that it contains some peculiarity of phrase applicable to the contest on Syriac philology: whereas the reference might have been as easily made to the Hebrew, the Latin, or the English. For the argument is simply this; that a false prophet “made him horns of iron, and said, "Thus saith the Lord, with these thou shalt push the Syrians.' This is the passage, according to the Anglican version, and upon it the learned professor is pleased facetiously to argue thus :-—" Therefore, he proceeded horned to battle! therefore he was to push the Syrians with those very horns !” “Qui potest capere capiat.” How these words “abundantly confirm" the Protestant exposition, I own I do not see. That horn is a familiar established metaphor for strength; and that a horn was consequently its emblem, every reader of Scripture knows; nor did
any one, on reading “ he hath raised the horn of salvation," or even on hearing the poet say of wine,
" Addis cornua pauperi,” ever understand that actual horns were alluded to. Was bread then a standing type of Christ's body, as horns were of strength ? Secondly, a prophet, true or false, acting his prophecy, is surely to be interpreted by different rules from a legislator instituting a sacrament. Dr. Lee's “ confirmation" might have been made still more abundant, by his taking equal pains to prove that God did not really mean to put wooden yokes on the necks of the kings of Moab and Edom,* and that the wall of Jerusalem was not-a frying pan. An instance from another source will still further illustrate this quotation. When Constantine saw a cross in the Heavens with the legend ey TOYI12 yixa, “in THIS conquer," could he have understood that he was to mount the skies, and bring down that very cross ; or would he not understand," by what this represents, that is by the cross, the emblem of Christianity, thou shalt conquer ?" But, in short, what resemblance or parallelism, either in construction or circumstance, is there between the text of Kings, and the words of institution? Till this is shown, the argument is nothing worth.
The two other texts, you might suppose, would
* Jer. xxvii. 2.
† Ezech. iv. 3.
be from Syriac writers, as the controversy was about their language. Not at all; but the one is from the Hamasa, an Arabic poem, the other from the Persian of Saadi. The first says,—“If you had considered his head, you would have said, “it is a stone of the stones used in a balista.'" On which the scholiast says, “this means similitude ; you would have said, that for size, it was a stone of an engine.” An Englishman would have applied the similitude to its hardness, which shows how we required an explanation to reach the true meaning. It proves what I have before said of conventional metaphors refusing capricious interpretations. A poet, therefore, says that one thing is another, as every poet has ever done, and means, not that it is its symbol or its figure, but that it is like it. But our Saviour is not supposed to have said, that the bread was like his body: nay, Mr. Horne has told us, that it would be idolatry to receive it as such. The words of Saadi, to which, if needful, I could have added as many similar examples as you choose, are these: “Our affairs are the lightning of the world.” Here is a poetical simile, in which one thing is said to be another, that is, to possess its properties. As well might every instance be brought, where a hero is called a lion, or a virtuous man an angel. But the sentence means, not that the affairs spoken of are a figure or symbol of lightning; and that this is the meaning wanted in
I never could deny that a thing is said
to be that which it resembles, or whose qualities it possesses. Again, in this instance, the addition of the qualifying expression “ of the world,” further destroys all parallelism. It resembles the expression, "you are the salt of the earth;” where the addition explains all the meaning ; "you have the qualities of salt in regard to the earth.”
I have hurried over these instances, because they are nothing at all to the purpose ; especially after the full examination I have already made, of the Scripture texts brought as parallel to the words of Institution. Perhaps in this Lecture I have betrayed more warmth than is my wont. But, while God, alone can be our last appeal in questions of religion, and we can only leave the cause in His hands, after we have sincerely argued in its defence, unfairness and misrepresentation are amenable to a human tribunal. They are not weapons from the armoury of truth; and where such poisoned arrows are used, it is difficult not to have recourse to less bland methods of repulse, than where candour and good faith expose themselves, with a confiding bosom, to the contest. I believe that few instances of more glaring misrepresentations of an antagonist's statements, or of an unfairer attempt to shift the ground measured for the lists, are to be found in modern controversy, than what I have laid open in the conduct of these two clergymen. Can a cause so supported prosper?