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ment as a sign of purity, and to give them a nearer alliance to the company of heaven. Chanting by responses, which is of the first ages, was intended to imitate the choir of angels, which cry one to another with alternate adoration. The primitive Christians turned towards the east, in their worship, to signify their respect to the true light of the world. They set up candles in their churches as a sign of their illumination by the gospel: and evergreens are still placed there at Christmas, to remind us that a new and perpetual spring of immortality is restored to us, even in the middle of winter, by the coming of Jesus Christ. The Cross, as a sign of the Christian profession, hath been in use from the first ages of the gospel.
This affection to symbols in religious worship may be carried too far, and degenerate into theatrical scenery or even into idolatry, (for idols are no other than symbols :) but to cast them all off, and strip religious worship naked, is an act of fanatical ignorance, which understands neither the sense of ceremonies, nor the nature
whose mind in its present state must either raise itself by the help of sensible objects and bodily gestures, or be in danger of sinking into sullenness and stupidity. Thus have the use of symbols extended to all On the Figurative Language, &c. times, and wisdom hath been communicated in this form by the teachers of every science and profession. We might wonder if it were not SO; when God, from the beginning of the world, taught man after this form ; setting life and death before him under the symbols of two trees ; and it is both an ingenious and a sublime sentiment in a certain author, that the whole scenery of paradise was disposed into an hieroglyphical school for the instruction of the first man; and that the same plan, so far as it could be, was afterwards transferred to the tabernacle and temple.
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USE AND INTENTION
NOT COMMONLY UNDERSTOOD.
ADDRESSED TO THE
READERS OF A COURSE OF LECTURES
FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURE.
BY WILLIAM JONES, M, A,
In a course of lectures on the figurative language of the Scripture (a work which has two characters, according to the fate of all my writings) the tenth lecture treats of the miracles of our Saviour, as signs of his saving power upon the souls of men ; which, to common readers, appear only as miraculous cures wrought upon their bodies. My plan is not complete unless something be added on other signs and significant actions and events, which frequently occur in the Old and New Testament, and are little noticed in these days, though