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be very far from corresponding, when used metaphorically, or when affected by any trope whatever. Nor does this remark hold in any thing more frequently than in that sort of metonymy, so common amongst every people, whereby some parts of the body, especially of the entrails, have been substituted to denote certain powers or affections of the mind, with which they are supposed to be connected. The opinions of different nations and different ages, on this article, differ so widely from one another, that the figurative sense, in one tongue, is a very unsafe guide to the figurative sense, in another. In some instances they seem even to stand in direct opposition to each other. The spleen was accounted by the ancient Greeks and Romans the seat of mirth and laughter ; by us moderns it is held (I suppose with equal reason), the seat of ill humour and melancholy, When, therefore, it is evident, that the name is, in one of those ancient languages, used not properly, but tropically ; what some would call a literal translation into a modern tongue, would, in fact, be a misrepresentation of the author, and a gross perversion of the sense 39.
39 I had occasion to consider a little this subject in another work, The Philosophy of Rhetoric, Book III. Ch. I. Sect. II. Part I. I there took notice of a remark of Corputus on these words of the first satire of Persius : Sum petulanti splene ca. chinno. Which, as it is much to my present purpose, and not long, I shall here repeat, “ Physici dicunt homines splene ri. “dere, felle irasci, jecore amare, corde sapere, et pulmone jac.
$ 25. I shall add but one other example, of the misinterpretation of a compound word, arising from the apparent, rather than the real import of its etymology. The word duologadns occurs twice in the New Testament. The first time is on occasion of the miraculous cure of the lame man, by Paul and Barnabas at Lystra. When the people would have offered sacrifice to the workers of this miracle, supposing them to be two of their gods, Jupiter and Mercury; the two apostles no sooner heard of their intention, than they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out and saying (as in the common translation), “ Sirs, why do ye " these things ? we also are men of like passions “ with you 60,” QuocDadels üliv. The other occasion of the word's occurring,
occurring, is where the Apostle James said, as our translators render it, “ Elias was “a man subject to like passions as we are, quolowa“ Sins nuev, and he prayed earnestly that it might not « rain 41% From which passages I have heard it
" tari.” To the same purpose, I find in a very ancient piece,
41 James, v. 17.
gravely inferred, that a superiority over the passionis is hardly to be expected from the influence even of the most divine religion, or the most distinguishing lights of the Spirit ; since sacred writ itself seems, in this respect, to put Jews, Christians, and Pagans, nay prophets, apostles, and idolatrous priests and people, all
upon a level.
But this arises merely from the mistranslation of the word ououosadns, concerning which I beg leave to offer the following remarks: Ist, I remark, that it is found only twice in the New Testament, does not occur in the version of the Seventy, and but once in the Apocryphal writings, where it is applied to the earth “, in which there is nothing analogous to human passions, though there is some analogy to human sufferings and dissolution ; and that therefore we have no reason, agreeably to an observation lately made *3, to consider this term as affected by the idiom of the synagogue, 2dly, If we recur to classical use, we find that it implies no more than fellow-mortal, and has no relation to what, in our language, is peculiarly called passion ; and, 3dly, That with this, the etymology rightly understood, perfectly agrees. The primary signification of wados in Greek, and of the unclassical term passio in Latin, is suffering ; the first from WAO XELV, the second from pati, to suffer. Thence they are adopted to denote calamity, disease, and death ; thence also they are taken sometimes to denote those affections of the mind which are in
42 Wisd, yii. 3, VOL. I.
their nature violent, and are considered as implying pain and suffering; nay, the English word passion is, in this manner, applied (but it is in a sort of technical language) to the death and sufferings of our Lord.
Now, as to the term ouolosadns, in the manner in which it is rendered by our interpreters, the argument employed by the Apostles to the Lycaonians, loses all its force and significance. The Pagans never denied that the Gods whom they adored were beings of like passions with themselves ; nay, they did not scruple to attribute the most disgraceful, and the most turbulent passions to their deities. And as little as any were the two divinities exempted, whom they supposed Paul and Barnabas to be ; but then they always attributed to them a total exemption from mortality and disease. It would have been, therefore, impertinent to say to idolaters, who mistook them for gods, “ We are subject to the like “passions with you ;” for this their priests and poets had uniformly taught them both of Jupiter and of Mercury. But it was pertinent to say,
your fellow-mortals," as liable as you to disease and death. For, if that was the case with the two Apostles, the people would readily admit, they were not the gods they took them for. Indeed, this was not only the principal, but, I may almost say, the sole, distinction they made between gods and men. As to irregular lusts and passions, they seem to have ascribed them to the celestials even in a higher de. gree, in proportion, as it were, to their superior power.
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And, in regard to the application to Elijah, in the other passage quoted, let it not be thought any ob. jection to the interpretation here given, that the Prophet was translated, and did not die : for all that is implied in the Apostle's argument is, that his body was naturally mortal and dissolvable as well as ours; a point which was never called in question, notwithstanding his miraculous deliverance from death. I shall only add, that the explanation here given is en. tirely comformable to the version of those passages in the Vulgate, and to that of all the other translations, ancient and modern, of any name.
§ 26. From all that has been said on this topic, it is evident that, in doubtful cases, etymology is but a dangerous guide ; and, though always entitled to some attention, never, unless in the total failure of all other resources, to be entirely rested in. From her tribunal there lies always an appeal to use, in cases wherein use can be discovered, whose decision is final, according to the observation of Horace,
Quem penes arbitrium est, et jus, et norma loquendi. I have been the more particular on this head, be. cause etymology seems to be a favourite with many modern interpreters, and the source of a great proportion of their criticisms. And indeed, it must be owned that, of all the possible ways of becoming a critic in a dead or a foreign language, etymology is the easiest. A scanty knowledge of the elements,