have many a time England will never ruit be raised in pl

woman in particular, whose strength has been poured out silently, unmindful of self, and to the last drop, for those she loved, grapes have many a time made just the difference between life and death. Grape-growing in England will never fulfil its noblest purpose till these things are well remembered, and fruit be raised in plenty for the enfeebled and the afflicted, as well as for the hearty and the voluptuous. God sent fruit as He has sent sunshine, not for private pleasure only, or to be consumed in selfish wastefulness, but for devotion to the work of kindly charities. A sound and large-hearted Christianity is better declared by a timely gift of grapes than by any amount of aëriform benedictions. To the invalid, the very sight of grapes is a joy, and brings solace. To bestow grapes kindly and wisely is assuredly one of the special privileges of the gardening rich, with whom it is here indeed “ blessed to give.” Happy the day when there shall be rendered to every hospital not only meat and bitter drugs, and lint and bandages, but plenty of good ripe grapes, yea, and plenty of sweet fresh flowers for gladness of eye. Of course it is not meant that grapes and bread will suffice for human nourishment in all countries and under all circumstances. Where enormous toil has to be undertaken, as in the exhausting and fiery workshops of England, a more powerful kind of food is indispensable. What we speak of is rural life in warm countries, for the maintenance of which, in pleasant vigour, fruits and farinaceous vegetables, with milk, etc., are ample enough. Grapes, it may be added, are not only nutritious, but possessed of fine sanative qualities, and on this account are largely resorted to in certain parts of continental Europe as a medicinal diet.1

The Hebrews were accustomed to employ raisins also as a staple aliment. Allusions to raisins occur twice in the history of David and Abigail, as quoted when speaking of the fig; also in 2 Sam. xvi. 1, and in 1 Chron. xii. 40, in both of which places they are again referred to as eligible for a gift. The classical authors likewise allude to them, as when the nymph in Theocritus, who is pretending to disdain the state of wedlock, and to disregard the fleeting character of the beauty of youth, uses the happy metaphor—that grapes, though dried into raisins, are still delicious. Virgil recommends raisins as proper for the bees, when suffering from the casualties which at times befall their useful little lives.3

Wine, by the Hebrews, was called yayin, a word essentially the same as the Greek oivos, represented also in the Latin vinum, and one

See, for particulars, Dr. Chas. D. F. Phillips' Materia Medica and Therapeutics, vol. i. ; The Vegetable Kingdom, p. 362. * Idyll xxvii. 9.

3 Georgic iv. 269.

[ocr errors]

a peculiar kinderet Palestine ti

of the archæological forms of the term employed by ourselves. They manufactured many different kinds, and at a very early period, mention being made of wine immediately after the narrative of the Flood (Gen. ix. 21, xix. 32). Wine was also made in Upper Egypt, in the very earliest days of civilization, as indicated by the drawings in the tombs. In ancient Palestine there was also prepared from grapejuice a peculiar kind of honey, called by the same name as genuine or bee-honey, namely, debesh. This is the preparation referred to in Gen. xliii. 11, in the list of presents to be taken to Joseph in Egypt by his brethren,—“a little honey, spices, and myrrh ;” also in Ezek. xxvii. 17,4“ They traded in the market wheat of Minnith, . . . and honey, and oil, and balm.” The manufacture of it was by no means peculiar to the Hebrews, the same preparation being referred to in several instances in classical literature.1

Such being the place held in ancient Palestine by the vine and its produce, it was natural, independently of considerations founded upon the representative character of the plant, that it should be employed in parable and in allegory; and that the inspired writers should constantly derive imagery from it, using also the vineyard, the vintage, and wine, with all the circumstances of the manufacture and the qualities of the latter. The most celebrated allegories in which the vine appears are those of Jotham, in Judges ix., when the trees are represented as choosing a king; and of Ezekiel, when the two eagles are introduced (xvii. 1-10). In Psalm lxxx. we have the fine old familiar allegory of the vine brought out of Egypt; and another of great power occurs in Isaiah v. No one needs reminding of the parable of the vineyard in St. Matthew xx., or of the comparison of domestic happiness to a “fruitful vine” (Ps. cxxviii.), or of the association of this inestimable tree with the fig, when a picture is desired of prosperity and peace. The most remarkable instances of the latter occur in 1 Kings iv. 25, and in Micah iv. 4. Contrariwise, the destruction of the vines, like that of the fig-trees, becomes a symbol of the Divine judgments upon the wicked, as in Jeremiah viii. 13. The magnificent allegorical use of wine, so many examples of which are met with, has its culmination when, in connection with Bread, the two things stand as representatives of the Infinite Divine Truth and the Infinite Divine Goodness, without receipt of which man niay exist, but in a state only of self-starvation.

How widely the vine has become distributed over the world, moving both eastwards and westwards, needs no saying. Nor is it needful to

See, for instances, Virgil, Georgic 1. 295 ; Ovid, Fasti 780; Pliny, vi. lib. xiv. cap. 11.

go into the horticultural history of this most famous fruit-plant. It may be interesting, however, to add that the hard-fleshed white grapes so common in English shops at Christmas are chiefly imported from Almeria in Spain. Valencia raisins come from the province of that name ; muscatels from Andalusia ; sultanas from Smyrna. The little variety of the grape which supplies the currants of the grocers' shops flourishes most and yields the best description of fruit in the Morea. Island currants, grown in Zante, Cephalonia, etc., are small and hard. Currants are the principal contribution that modern Greece has learned to make to the wealth of the world.

(To be continued.)



The farther Descartes moved from his central verity, the less "clear and distinct” were the discoveries his method enabled him to make; nevertheless, the facts of the existence of God and the reality of an outer universe were placed upon a basis of logical satisfaction. Bishop Berkeley, as we have seen, raised so much “notional” dust in his act of mental introspection that the range of his perceptive faculties, the true purport of his synthesis and the full scope of the Cartesian method remained undetected by him. What with his "abstraction”-doctrine and his “compounding, dividing, and barely representing,” he misrepresented; and thus, when he had to deploy his intellectual forces for the conquest of a realm which should stand related to mind, but should be no part of it, he found that he was leading a forlorn hopeNowhither! Swedenborg's tactics at the beginning of a like campaign were widely different, and so were the results. While the one thinker was little better than an intellectual Falstaff just before marching through some philosophical Coventry, the other, owing to a Napoleonic forethought, and a husbandry of acquired means, was enabled to mass his troops in fullest force at the very place where a Berkeleyan would have expected to find him weakest.

For Swedenborg's philosophy of the Infinite God-Man had carried the logical centre of reality altogether away from the individual truthseeker with his“ Cogito ergo sum,to the Divine-Human Esse, JEHOVAH, the essential Self and one only Being, “substantia, et forma, unica, ipsa et prima," " from whom are all things, and to whom all things


bear relation, as the sole ground of their being." In demonstrating the fact of inner super-natural planes of mind in man, he had demonstrated the legitimacy of that Spiritual Faith which “is a spiritual sight or perception of God's existence ;" and which, in raising man out of the dry lumen of Berkeleyan motes and self-beams up into the higher sphere of heavenly light (while not discarding the service of the other), makes the individual for the first time cosmopolitan in a realm of nature both within and without man.

A “ clear and distinct” concept having been thus obtained by him that he, a finite, dependent creature, was compelled of necessity to refer his being and all things connected with it to an Infinite, Independent Creator, he was by that very sense of causative impotency made conscious of a withoutness of his derived individuality in its relation to the sole self-existing PERSON. Swedenborg thus had no difficulty in realizing “clearly and distinctly” the truth of the assurance given him by this fact conjoined with the prior fact, that his consciousness bore trustworthy evidence of the actuality of an external world,—a world of nature, whose impressions on the sensorium intellect is adapted to receive adequately and in a connoting manner. The result was the system of ESTABLISHED HARMONY.

This system presupposes the Doctrine of Series and Degrees : in its light the human intellect becomes emancipated, and Berkeleyism falls to the ground. “The rational mind, by means of this doctrine carefully investigated and established, will see opened to its view a broad and even path leading to the principles of causes ; and will behold the dissipation of those occult qualities, which, like the shadows of a thicket, deepen at every step so as to shut out all further prospect and progress. For as often as nature betakes herself upwards from visible phenomena, or, in other words, withdraws herself inwards, she instantly, as it were, disappears, while no one knows what is become of her, or whither she is gone, so that it is necessary to take science as a guide to attend us in pursuing her steps” (E. A. K., ii. 3). Idealism, like other “premature opinions,” is then seen to flow “as a consequence from our want of knowledge respecting the subordination of things, and the connection of things subordinate.” Swedenborg's system of Established Harmony made it necessary that the following four tests should be brought into use before any ism be honoured with the credentials of rationality. Franchise is given :

I. In case the truth spontaneously manifests itself, and, as it were, establishes a belief in its presence, without requiring any support from far-fetched arguments.

II. In case all experience, both particular and general, spontaneously favours it.

III. In case the rules and maxims of rational philosophy do the same.

IV. In case the proposed view makes the different hypotheses which have been advanced on the subject to coincide ; supplying us with the proper condition, or common principle, which brings them into order and connection, so that, contemplated in this manner, they are agreeable to the truth (E. A. K., ii. 4).

It was while reasoning in the light of these considerations that Swedenborg came clearly upon the germinal principle of anti-idealism. To the production of all the variety that exists in the universe, it is requisite that there be distinct series, viz., one within another, one in juxtaposition with another, and one for the sake of another; yet all connected with each other, and all having reference to the first series of the universe.

God and Nature, in the relation of End and Effect, are thus beheld in connection with every proper exploration of Causes; these latter involving the potency by which the Divine Will ultimates its volitions. The consequence also follows, in as far as our interrogation of objects is concerned, “that a general and particular experimental knowledge of the things which at any time reach any sensory, will point out the essence of the most minute things of the same degree; as also of the corresponding things of the still more simple or superior degrees .... There is nothing in any series which does not contain the cause of all that is subsequent to it, and refer itself to all that is antecedent. Thus the nature of the efficient cause is made mani. fest from a careful examination of the effect. Hence by reflection alone on perceptible phenomena, only adding to them the degree of perfection which our rules direct, and investigating the origin which is proper to their nature, we arrive at the knowledge of things superior; but only of those which are in series of the same species, in which everything that occurs illustrates and declares, in its own way and manner, what is the quality of each particular. Nay, from these we may even arrive at the knowledge of what there is in the others, if the connection and relation between them be given, and their specific differences. Wherefore we are led into the inmost knowledge of natural things by the doctrine of Series and Degrees conjoined with Experience" (E. A. K., 632).

Swedenborg would have it that no one man's experience, however

« 前へ次へ »