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corner-stone, figures Jesus Christ, who is the real corner-stone. *

The same saint, in the same sermon, says that the number forty must prevail; and at once abandons Jechonias and his corner-stone, counted as two. The number forty, he says, signifies life; ten, which is perfect beatitude being multiplied by four, which, being the number of the seasons, figures time.t

Again, in the same sermon, he explains why St. Luke gives Jesus Christ seventy-seven ancestors: fiftysix up to the patriarch Abraham, and twenty-one from Abraham up to God himself. It is true that, according to the Hebrew text, there would be but seventy-six ; for the Hebrew Bible does not reckon a Cainan, who is interpolated in the Greek translation called the Septuagint.

Thus saith Augustin : “ The number seventy-seven figures the abolition of all sins by baptism ... the number ten signifies justice and beatitude, resulting from the creature, which makes seven with the Trinity, which is three: therefore it is that God's commandments are ten in number. The number eleven denotes sin, because it transgresses ten . ... This number seventy-seven is the product of eleven, figuring sin, multiplied by seven, and not by ten, for seven is the symbol of the creature. Three represents the soul, which is in some sort an image of the Divinity; and four represents the body, on account of its four qualities," &c. 1

In these explanations we find some trace of the cabalistic mysteries and the quaternary of Pythagoras. This taste was very long in vogue.

St. Augustin goes much farther, concerning the dimensions of matter. Breadth is the dilatation of the heart, which performs good works; length is perseve. rance; depth is the hope of reward. He carries the allegory very far, applying it to the cross, and drawing great consequences therefrom.

* Sermon xli. article ix. + Sermon xli. article xxii. # Sermon xli. article xxiii.

The use of these figures had passed from the Jews to the Christians long before St. Augustin's time. It is not for us to know within what bounds it was right to stop

The examples of this fault are innumerable. No one who has studied to advantage will hazard the introduction of such figures, either in the pulpit or in the school. We find no such instances among the Romans or the Greeks, not even in their

poets. In Ovid's Metamorphoses themselves, we find only ingenious inductions drawn from fables which are given as fables.

Deucalion and Pyrrha threw stones behind them between their legs, and men were produced therefrom.

Ovid says:

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genus durum sumus, experiensque laborum, Et documenta damus quâ simus origine nati. Thence we're a hardened and laborious race,

Proving full well our stony origin. Apollo loves Daphne, but Daphne does not love Apollo. This is because love has two kinds of arrows; the one golden and piercing, the other leaden and blunt. Apollo has received in his heart a golden arrow, Daphne a leaden one.

Ecce sagittiferâ prompsit duo tela pharetra
Diversorum operum ; fugat hoc, facit illud amorem
Quod facit auratum est, et cuspide fulget acutâ :
Quod fugat obtusum est, et habet sub arundine plumbum, &c.

Two different shafts he from his quiver draws;
One to repel desire and one to cause.
One shaft is pointed with refulgent gold,
To bribe the love, and make the lover bold;
One blunt and tipt with lead, whose base allay

Provokes disdain, and drives desire away.-DRYDEN. These figures are all ingenious, and deceive no one.

That Venus, the goddess of beauty, should not go unattended by the Graces, is a charming truth. These fables, which were in the mouth of every one—these allegories, so natural and attractive—had so much sway over the minds of men, that perhaps the first christians imitated while they opposed them.

They took up the weapons of mythology to destroy it, hut they could not wield them with the same address. They did not reflect that the sacred austerity of our holy religion placed these resources out of their power, and that a christian hand would have dealt but awkwardly with the lyre of Apollo.

However, the taste for these typical and prophetic figures was so firmly rooted, that every prince, every statesman, every pope, every founder of an order, had allegories or allusions taken from the holy scriptures, applied to him. Satire and flattery rivalled each other in drawing from this source. When

pope Innocent III. made a bloody crusade against the court of Toulouse, he was told, " Innocens eris a malédictione.”

When the order of the Minimes was established, it appeared that their founder had been foretold in Genesis : “ Minimus cum patre nostro.”

The preacher who preached before John of Austria after the celebrated battle of Lepanto, took for his text, “Fuit homo missus à Deo, cui nomen erat Johannes ;" A man sent from God, whose name was John: and this allusion was very fine, if all the rest were ridiculous. It is said to have been repeated for John Sobeiski, after the deliverance of Vienna; but this latter preacher was nothing more than a plagiarist.

In short, so constant has been this custom, that no preacher of the present day has ever failed to take an allegory for his text. One of the most happy instances, is the text of the funeral oration over the duke of Candale, delivered before his sister, who was considered a pattern of virtue: “ Dic, quia soror mea es, ut mihi bene eveniat propter te"- Say, I pray thee, that thou art my sister, that it may be well with me for thy sake.”

It is not to be wondered at, that the cordeliers carried these figures rather too far in favour of St. Francis of Assisi, in the famous, but little known book, entitled Conformities of St. Francis of Assisi with Jesus Christ.” We find in it sixty-four predictions of the coming of St. Francis, some in the

Old Testament, others in the New; and each prediction contains three figures, which signify the founding of the cordeliers. So that these fathers find themselves foretold in the Bible a hundred and ninetytwo times.

From Adam down to St. Paul, everything prefigured the blessed Francis of Assisi. The scriptures were given to announce to the universe the sermons of Francis to the quadrupeds, the fishes, and the birds, the sport he had with a woman of snow, his frolics with the devil, his adventures with brother Elias and brother Pacificus.

These pious reveries, which amounted even to blasphemy, have been condemned. But the order of St. Francis has not suffered by them, having renounced these extravagances so common to the barbarous ages.

FINAL CAUSES.

SECTION I.

Virgil says (Æneid, book vi. 727)

Mens agitat molem et magno se corpore miscet.
This active mind infus'd, through all the space

Unites and mingles with the mighty mass.-DRYDEN. Virgil said well: and Benedict Spinoza,* who has not the brilliancy of Virgil, nor his merit, is compelled to acknowledge an intelligence presiding over all. Had he denied this, I should have said to him, Benedict, you are a fool; you possess intelligence and you deny it, and to whom do you deny it? In the year 1770, there appeared a man,

in some respects far superior to Spinoza, as eloquent as the Jewish Hollander is dry, less methodical, but infinitely more perspicuous; perhaps equal to him in mathe

Or rather Baruch; for that was his name and he is in other places called by it. His signature was B. Spinoza. Some christians, very ill informed, and who were not aware that Spinoza had abandoned judaism without embracing christianity, assumed the B. to mean the first letter of Benedict. French Ed.

matical science, but without the ridiculous affectation of applying mathematical reasonings to metaphysical and moral subjects. The man I mean is the author of the “ System of Nature.” He assumed the name of Mirabaud, the secretary of the French Academy. Alas! the worthy secretary was incapable of writing a single page of the book of our formidable opponent. I would recommend it to all you, who are disposed to avail yourselves of your reason and acquire instruction, to read the following eloquent though dangerous passage from the System of Nature. - (Part II. chap. v. p. 153. &c.)

It is contended, that animals furnish us with a convincing evidence that there is some powerful cause of their existence; the admirable adaptation of their different parts, mutually receiving and conferring aid towards accomplishing their functions, and maintaining in health and vigour the entire being, announce to us an artificer uniting power to wisdom. Of the power of nature, it is impossible for us to doubt; she produces all the animals that we see by the help of combinations of that matter, which is in incessant action; the adaptation of the parts of these animals is the result of the necessary laws of their nature, and of their combination. When the adaptation ceases, the animal is necessarily destroyed, What then becomes of the wisdom, the intelligence,* or the goodness of that alleged cause, to which was ascribed all the honour of this boasted adaptation. Those animals of so wonderful a structure as to be pronounced the works of an immutable God, do not they undergo incessant changes; and do not they end in decay and destruction? Where are the wisdom, the goodness, the foresight, the immutabilityt of an artificer, whose sole object appears to be to derange and destroy the springs of those machines which are proclaimed to be master-pieces of his power and skill. "If this God can

* Is less intelligence displayed because generations are successive ?

+ There is immutability of design when we perceive immutability of effects. See God..

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