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For instance, if we say of a distinguished Divine, that he supports the established religion, as a pillar supports the incumbent edifice, we make use of a Simile, drawn out in the form of a Simile. But if we contract the Simile into a single position, and give a metaphorical sense to the word Pillar, which before was used literally, we may then say of such a person, that he is a pillar of the Church. On the other hand, as any one who was secretly at work for its destruction, might be compared with a man, who was undermining an edifice, we should say in metaphorical language, that such a person was undermining the Church. But if the mine should at length explode, and the Church should fall, the defender of that Church might exclaim, again in Metaphor, and again in Truth,

Impavidum ferient ruinæ.

LECTURE XVII.

THE last Lecture having concluded with an explanation of Metaphor, our present inquiry must be directed to Allegory. But before we attempt the interpretation of the latter, we should clearly understand its relation to the former. Now a Metaphor, as the origin of the term imports, is a kind of transfer, which takes place whenever a word, belonging properly to one subject, is transferred to another subject, to which it does not properly belong. If we apply the word 'pillar' to an edifice, we apply it where it properly belongs: but if we transfer it to a person we apply it where it does not properly belong. The metaphorical sense therefore, like the figurative sense in general, belongs to the class of improper senses; and it possesses in an eminent manner that character of the figurative sense, which consists in presenting an image to the mind. When a Statesman is called a pillar of the State, or a Churchman a pillar of the Church, there is presented an image, which exhibits more clearly, as well as more forcibly, what is meant to

be expressed, than could have been expressed by a mere literal term. But metaphorical interpretation always remains an interpretation of words ; whereas allegorical interpretation, as we shall presently find, is an interpretation, not of words, but of things.

An Allegory indeed has been sometimes considered as only a lengthened Metaphor; at other times as a continuation of Metaphors. But we shall best understand, both the nature of Allegory itself, and the character of allegorical interpretation, by attending to the origin of the term, which denotes it. Now the term 'allegory,' according to its original and proper meaning, denotes-a representation of one thing, which is intended to excite the representation of another thing. Every Allegory therefore must be subjected to a two-fold examination: we must first examine the immediate representation, and then consider, what other representation it was intended to excite. Now in most Allegories the immediate representation is made in the form of a narrative: and since it is the object of an Allegory to convey a moral, not an historic truth, the narrative itself is commonly fictitious. The immediate representation is of no further value, than as it leads to the ultimate representation. It is the application, or the moral, of the Allegory, which constitutes its worth.

Since then an Allegory comprehends two distinct representations, the interpretation of an

Allegory must comprehend two distinct operations. The first of them relates to the immediate representation: the second to the ultimate representation. The immediate representation is understood from the words of the Allegory: the ultimate representation depends on the immediate representation applied to its proper end. In the interpretation therefore of the former, we are concerned with an interpretation of words; in the interpretation of the latter, we are concerned with the things signified by the words. Now, whenever we speak of allegorical interpretation, we have always in view the ultimate representation, and consequently are then concerned with an interpretation of things. The interpretation of the words, which attaches only to the immediate representation, or the plain narrative itself, is commonly called the grammatical, or the literal interpretation; though we should speak more correctly, if we called it the verbal interpretation, since even in the plainest narratives, even in narratives not designed for moral application, the use of words is never restricted to their mere literal senses. Custom however having sanctioned the application of the term literal, instead of the term verbal interpretation, to mark the opposition to allegorical interpretation, we must understand it accordingly. But whatever be the term, whether verbal or literal, which we employ to express the interpretation of the words, we must never forget, that the allegorical

interpretation is the interpretation of the things; of the things signified by the words, not of the words themselves. If we lose sight of this distinction, the subject of allegorical interpretation will immediately be involved in obscurity. Indeed the numerous difficulties, which have usually attended the treatment of it, have been chiefly owing to this An interpretation of things has been treat. ed, as if it were an interpretation of words; and this heterogeneous mixture of subject and predicate has occasioned equal perplexity, in the argu ments, and in the conclusions.

cause.

That the subject of allegorical interpretation, which is of high importance to the Sacred Writings, may be better understood, let us apply the princi ple, which has been here explained, to a few examples of Scripture. And, as every parable is a kind of allegory, let us consider in the first place, that example, which is especially clear and correct, the parable of the sower. "A sower went out to "sow his seed. And, as he sowed, some fell by "the way-side; and it was trodden down, and the "fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell "upon a rock: and as soon as it sprang up, it "withered away, because it lacked moisture. And "some fell among thorns: and the thorns sprang "up with it, and choked it. And other fell on "good ground and sprang up, and bare fruit an "hundred-fold." Here we have a plain narrative, a statement of a few simple and intelligible facts,

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