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over, and in what way the sea-fishes withstood the dilution of their saline element by so much rain from the “windows of heaven,"—these are but two or three of the stupendous riddles that attach to the wonderful narrative, and in the face of them one almost hesitates over the olive-leaf.1 Taking the record as literal, it is obvious that lands sufficiently low and warm for the growth of the olive-tree must very soon have become uncovered, or when the dove was sent forth it could not have plucked a leaf. How quietly and slowly the waters must have risen for these trees not to have been washed out of the soil! There seems no reason to suppose, as has been usual, that Ararat was a lofty peak surrounded by deep water, and that the ark grounded upon it, as sailors say. This would have been anything but "rest,” especially as nearly three months elapsed before “the tops of the mountains were seen.” The sense and the genius of the language alike imply that the resting was in reality a becoming becalmed in quiet waters, not very much above the level of a habitable plain, to walk out on to which would be easy and safe. The expression is distinctly plural,—“upon the mountains of Ararat,"_and would seem to be equivalent to Armenia. In the Hebrew of the Old Testament the name Ararat occurs on four occasions. First in the account of the Flood ; in Jeremiah li. 27, in 2 Kings xix. 37, and in the duplicate passage in Isaiah xxxvii. 38. In the two last named the Septuagint renders it Armenia, and the translation is followed in the Vulgate and in the A. V. The Vulgate has Armenia likewise in the account of the great submergence.
The very particular appearance of the olive is as an image of prosperity and riches, involving the higher idea of spiritual blessings. David compares himself to “a green olive-tree in the house of God” (Ps. lii. 8), which is the poet's way of saying that he is a daily recipient of divine mercies ; and the children of a righteous man, assembled round his table, he compares to olive-plants, thereby intimating that faith and piety have long-lived peace and joyousness for their family circle. So in the later prophets, as Hosea xiv. 6, “ His branches shall spread, and His beauty shall be as the olive-tree;" and again in Jeremiah xi. 16, “ The Lord called thy name a green olive-tree, fair, and of goodly fruit." The force of the epithet “green” resides in the fact of the tree preserving its verdure all the year round ; thus reflecting the permanency of all good gifts received by man from heaven. The Jeremiah passage is part of a solemn expostulation having reference to the abuse of those gifts; and connects itself, in spirit, with the earnest appeal that we shall not allow ourselves to forget God when in the enjoyment of His varied blessings, remembering Him day and night, and in all things giving thanks. “When the Lord shall have brought thee into the land which He sware unto thy fathers, ... to give thee houses full of all good things, ... vineyards and olive-trees, ... then beware lest thou forget the Lord” (Deut. vi. 10-12). So in Joshua, “I have given you a land for which you did not labour. ... Of the vineyards and the olive-yards which i s most the income on, and which ye planted not, do ye eat. Now therefore fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth” (xxiv. 13, 14). The penalty of disobedience is set forth in Nehemiah ix. 25-27, “ Thou delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who vexed them; and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto Thee, Thou heardest them not.” Compare Deut. xxviii. 40, Amos iv. 9, Micah vi. 15, in all of which the olive is a prominent symbol of spiritual blessings disregarded, and as regards you and me, a tree every bit as much of England as of Palestine.
* It is pleasant to find that by beginning the interpretation from a different standpoint the difficulties disappear. Vide The Antediluvian History of the Rev. E. D. Rendell,
Some of the scriptural references to the olive are purely and exclusively figurative, resting upon its innate significance in the world of symbol, as recognized in every age—peace, mercy and charity ; all that gives birth to Peace, as a child of love, and all that flows from Peace. The origin of the representative character is usually referred to the fact of the olive-leaf having been a sign to Noah that the waters which had drowned the world were at last subsiding. This is beginning too late. The significance of a thing, at all events in Scripture, is never arbitrary or accidental, or founded upon any local or historical occurrence, but a part of its primitive and permanent nature. The olive-leaf is represented as having been brought in by the dove, because the tree was already an emblem of tranquillity and calm. The whole nature of the olive presupposes and delineates that of which it stands the emblem. Unpretentious in appearance; often unattractive, making no display of showy flowers, but rich in sweet beauty when scanned minutely; of marvellous longevity; patient beyond compare; sprouting anew after being cut down ; disrelishing the flatteries of tropical heat; shrinking only before unkindly cold; easily satisfied; content with dry rock and arid cliff, only let it play its own part freely; of unspeakable and long-protracted fecundity, and in its fruit charged with varied and perennial usefulness, the oil soothing and lubricating whatever it touches; what more is wanting to render it nature's antecedent and image of the kindly spirit of Christian charity and mercy? These things belong to the heart, or the Affections. Hence it is in beautiful harmony that the olive should so
whole for The goodwretch Who Oft
orce of man's amaritan pours fallen among egards
constantly make its appearance in company with the Vine, the emblem of Truth, the seat of the perception of which is the mind or understanding. Taken together, these two, the Vine and the Olive, represent the whole force of man's spiritual nature, the united strength of head and heart. The good Samaritan poured oil and wine into the wounds of the unfortunate wretch who had “fallen among thieves.” God, in like manner, fulfils the teaching of the parable, as regards its personal application to you and me, by bestowing on us the mingled streams of His Wisdom and His Mercy; and those who would apply the lesson in their dealings with others, or imitate the good Samaritan, in education as well as physical aid, do well to remember that true benevolence always takes the dual form of ministration at once to the intelligence and the affections. It is all very well to pour in oil, but it must be supplemented efficiently with wine; and on the converse, wine alone does only half the essential work. Every one can bestow oil, and if done faithfully, Providence smiles on the deed. What sweeter lesson was ever given than that of the widow and her cruse of oil, which being given to those who needed during the famine, was miraculously replenished day by day! The history, which is at the same time a parable, means that when works of charity, mercy, and kindness are done to our neighbours, in obedience to God's will, we shall never be left without blessings; our own cruse shall never fail. Noting what these trees stand for, there comes a better understanding of the vision seen by Zechariah, when he beheld the “candlestick, all of gold, .... and seven lamps thereon, . ... and two olive-trees by it, one upon the right side, and the other upon the left side thereof.". Also of the vision described in the Apocalypse, of “ two olive-trees and two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth” (xi. 4). The two kinds of object are clearly intended to be taken together, and to be regarded as forming a unity, representative of the Divine Truth or Wisdom on the one hand, and of the Divine Love or Mercy upon the other. Light, seven-fold, the natural emblem of Wisdom or Truth, too familiarly to need a comment, and fitly symbolized by a magnificent candelabrum, would seem to be introduced in these two places, in order to place the olive-tree in more beautiful view, one emblem being exchanged for another when additional energy would be given to the picture.2
i Chap. iv. By candlestick the A. V. intends candelabrum, such a one as that which was manufactured under Divine command for the Tabernacle, as described in Exodus xxv. and xxxvii.
2 For a variety of curious citations from the Fathers and other interpreters, as to the meaning of the olive-trees in the above passages, see Rev. A. Clissold's Spiritual Exposition of the Apocalypse, vol. iii. pp. 202-206, 1851,
It is not to be overlooked that the Greek word for charity and mercy is édeos. The lexicons regard this term, which of course is figurative,—the name of a sentiment or affection being necessarily and universally a metaphor,-as taken from the word for a cook's table, a board upon which food is cut up, as in Homer. The coincidence with éhala and flacov is at least very striking, and one cannot but surmise an etymological connection. In that case, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy," would be only another way of saying, Blessed are the olive (or oil) givers, for to them shall olives be given, the Divine words becoming a sort of commentary on the ancient narrative of the widow's cruse. From the Greek éleos came élen pooúvn, and from that, by successive contractions, through the German almosen, or the Anglo-Saxon almesse, our English word alms.
Anointing with olive-oil was in ancient times symbolical of the bestowal of the highest and most sacred gifts. Hence the hundred allusions to it in the Old Testament, and the bestowal of the holy name of The Anointed. In 1 Sam. X. 1, anointing is distinctly spoken of as employed in coronations, conferring the emblem of sovereignty. And as all religious rituals are representative or symbolical, it was constantly employed also by the Hebrews in the ceremonials of their worship.
Illustrations of the use of the olive as the emblem of peace and mercy, by ancient nations other than Hebrew, might be cited at great length. In Æschylus it is carried by the herald. Virgil gives it the epithet of pacifera, the plant nowhere appearing more beautifully than in the charming episode in the 8th Æneid. In genuine or literal history there are many examples of the vanquished carrying olive branches in their hands, when approaching the conqueror as suppliants, as in Livy xxiv. 30. And as peace and mercy always carry with them the idea of victory, seeing that love and kindness win a thousand times oftener than hate and asperity,—"a soft answer turneth away wrath,”—literally, the olive came to be used for the chaplets of the successful competitors in the Olympic games, which were by no means purely athletic sports, but intellectual contests as well; the olive-crown was bestowed likewise upon philosophers, orators, emperors, any who were distinguished for virtue and good works.
1 Iliad, ix. 215. Odyssey, xiv. 432.
THE HUMAN MEMORY.
It is universally known that man possesses a memory, but what is its subject, or where located, is not fully understood by any. The memory is believed to be a specific substantial organ, whose function is to receive and retain the forms which enter the mind through the medium of the bodily senses, from the outward world. Such an organ has been sought by anatomists and metaphysicians, but in vain; nor can we conceive of any organ in the mind apart from the will and understanding which is the subject of the memory. The existence and possession of a memory is acknowledged by all, and it is known to be the depository of the mental forms necessary for the formation of the rational mind; it is also known that the understanding sees in the memory, and that the will, by means of the understanding, makes selections of such materials as are necessary for the formation of such a mind; yet no particular organ which contains the materials for the formation of the acquired mind, separate from the substantial will and understanding, has been discovered.
The will, understanding, and memory, are mutually dependent upon each other; the will cannot choose without the understanding, nor can the understanding see without the memory, this containing, or consisting of, the objects which the understanding sees, and which the will chooses, whether the choice be for the attainment of possessions, or for the pursuing of a certain course of action.
The memory has been compared to the outer court of a temple, to a storehouse, and to the paunch of a ruminant animal; because of a conception that there is a similar relation existing between a temple and its court, a tradesman and his storehouse, and an animal and its paunch, to that which exists between the will and understanding and the memory.
Nothing could be more reasonable than the conclusion, that there must be an organ which is the subject of the memory, inasmuch as there is a function of memory; for functions imply powers, and powers, subjects. From the existence of sensations, and the reception and retention of forms received thereby, which can be called forth at any time when required, and which frequently recur in after life when unsought, and even when their recurrence causes anxiety, shame, and disgust, man is convinced that there is an organ which is the subject of memory; but what that organ is has hitherto escaped the researches of the most acute and vigilant. It has been conjectured that the