Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

two architects: the rough stones have obeyed power and genius.

Happily, whatever system a man embraces, it is in no way hurtful to morality; for what imports it whether matter is made or arranged? God is still an absolute master. Whether chaos was created out of nothing, or only reduced to order, it is still our duty to be virtuous; scarcely any of these metaphysical questions affect the conduct of life. It is with disputes as with table-talk; each one forgets after dinner what he has said, and goes whithersoever his interest or his inclination calls him.

MEETINGS (PUBLIC). MEETING, 'assemblée,' is a general term applicable to any collection of people for secular, sacred, political, conversational, festive, or corporate purposes; in short, to all occasions on which numbers meet together.

It is a term which prevents all verbal disputes, and all abusive and injurious implications by which men are in the habit of stigmatising societies to which they do not themselves belong..

The legal meeting or assembly of the Athenians was called the church.*

This word church, being peculiarly appropriated among us to express a convocation of catholics in one place, we did not in the first instance apply it to the public assembly of protestants; but used indeed the expression—a flock of Huguenots. Politeness however, which in time explodes all noxious terms, at length employed for the purpose the term assembly or meeting, which offends no one.

In England, the dominant church applies the name of meeting to the churches of all the non-conformists.

The word assembly is particularly suitable to a collection of

their evening at a house where the host receives them with courtesy and kindness, and where play, conversation, supper, and dancing, constitute their amusements. If the number invited be small, it is not called an 'assembly,' but a rendezvous of friends; and friends are never very numerous.

persons
invited to

go
and
pass

* See article CHURCH.

Assemblies are called, in Italian, conversazione,' • ridotto. The word 'ridotto’ is properly what we once signified by the word “reduit, intrenchment; but

reduit' having sunk into a term of contempt among us, our editors translated ridotto ' by redoubt. The papers informed us, among the important intelligence contained in them relating to Europe, that many noblemen of the highest consideration went to take chocolate at the house of the princess Borghese; and that there was

a redoubt there. It was announced to Europe, in another paragraph, that there would be a redoubt on the following Tuesday at her excellency's the marchioness of Santafior.

It was found however that in relating the events of war, it was necessary to speak of real redoubts, which in fact implied things actually redoubtable and formidable, from which cannon were discharged. The word was therefore, in such circumstances, obviously unsuitable to the ridotti pacifici,' the Pacific redoubts of mere amusement; and the old term assembly was restored, which is indeed the only proper one.

That of rendezvous is occasionally used, but it is more adapted to a small company, and most of all for two individuals.

MESSIAH.

Advertisement. This article is by M. Polier de Bottens, of an old French family, settled for two hundred years in Switzerland. He is first pastor of Lausanne, and his knowledge is equal to his piety. He composed this article for the great Encyclopædia, in which it was inserted. Only some passages were suppressed, which the examiners thought might be abused by the catholics, less learned and less pious than the author. It was received with applause by all the wise.

It was printed at the same time in another small dictionary, and was attributed in France to a man whom there was no reluctance to molest. The article was supposed to be impious, because it was supposed to be by a layman; and the work and its pretended author were violently attacked. The man thus accused contented himself with laughing at the mistake. He beheld with compassion this instance of the errors and injustices which men are every day committing in their judgments; for he had the wise and learned priest's manuscript, written by his own hand. It is still in his possession, and will be shown to whoever shall choose to examine it. In it will be found the very erasures made by this layman himself, to prevent malignant interpretations.

Now then we reprint this article in all the integrity of the original. We have contracted it only to prevent repeating what we have printed elsewhere; but we have not added a single word.

The best of this affair is, that one of the venerable author's brethren wrote the most ridiculous things in the world against this article of his reverend brother's, thinking that he was writing against a common enemy: This is like fighting in the dark, when one is attacked by one's own party.

It has a thousand times happened, that controversialists have condemned passages in St. Augustin and St. Jerome, not knowing that they were by those fathers. They would anathematize a part of the New Testament if they had not heard by whom it was written. Thus it is that men too often judge.

Messiah, Messias.' This word comes from the Hebrew, and is synonymous with the Greek word

Christ. Both are terms consecrated in religion, which are now no longer given to any but the anointed by eminence—the Sovereign Deliverer whom the ancient Jewish people expected, for whose coming they still sigh, and whom the christians find in the person of Jesus the Son of Mary, whom they consider as the anointed of the Lord, the Messiah promised to hu

who were,

manity. The Greeks also use the word Elcimmeros, meaning the same thing with Christos.?

In the Old Testament we see that the word Messiah, far from being peculiar to the Deliverer, for whose coming the people of Israel sighed, was not even so to the true and faithful servants of God, but that this name was often given to idolatrous kings and princes,

in the hands of the Eternal, the ministers of his vengeance, or instruments for executing the counsels of his wisdom. So the author of Ecclesiasticus says of Elisha," Qui ungis reges ad penitentiam ;"* or, as it is rendered by the Septuagint, “ad vindictam"“ You anoint kings to execute the vengeance of the Lord.” Therefore he sent a prophet to anoint Jehu king of Israel, and announced sacred unction to Hazael, king of Damascus and Syria;t those two princes being the Messiahs of the Most High, to revenge the crimes and abominations of the house of Ahab.

But in the xiv. of Isaiah, verse 1, the name of Messiah is expressly given to Cyrus—" Thus saith the Lord to Cyrus, his anointed, his Messiah, whose right hand I have holden to subdue nations before him," &c.

Ezekiel, in xxviii. of his Revelations, v. 14, gives the name of Messiah to the king of Tyre, whom he also calls Cherubin, and speaks of him and his glory in terms full of an emphasis of which it is easier to feel the beauties than to catch the sense. " Son of man,” says the Eternal to the prophet, “ take up a lamentation

upon the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; thou sealest

sun, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been the Lord's garden of Eden (or, according to other versions, “ Thou wast all the Lord's delight"); every precious stone was thy covering; the sardius, topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and thy pipes

up the

* Ecclesiast. xlviii. 8. + 2 Kings, viii. 12, 13, 14.

was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou wast a Cherubin, a Messiah, for protection, and I set thee up; thou hast been upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created till iniquity was found in thee."

And the name of Messiah, in Greek Christ, was given to the kings, prophets, and high-priests of the Hebrews. We read, in i Kings, chap. xii. 5,“ The Lord is witness against you, and his Messiah is witness;” that is, the king whom he has set up. And elsewhere, “ Touch not my Anointed; do no evil to my prophets. David, animated by the Spirit of God, repeatedly gives to his father-in-law Saul, whom he had no cause to love—he gives, I say, to this reprobate king, from whom the Spirit of the Eternal was withdrawn, the name and title of Anointed, or Messiah of the Lord. “God preserve me," says he frequently, “from laying my hand upon the Lord's Anointed, upon

God's Messiah.” If the fine title of Messiah, or Anointed of the Eternal, was given to idolatrous kings, to cruel and tyrannical princes, it used very often indeed in our ancient oracles to designate the real Anointed of the Lord, the Messiah by eminence; the object of the desire and expectation of all the faithful of Israel. Thus Hannah, the mother of Samuel, concluded her canticle with these remarkable words, which cannot apply to any king, for we know that at that time the Jews had not one: “ The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his Messiah." We find the same word in the following oracles:—Psalm ii. verse 2; Jeremiah, Lamentations, chap. iv. verse 20; Daniel, chap. ix. verse 25; Habakkuk, chap. iii. verse 13.

If we compare all these different oracles, and in general all those ordinarily applied to the Messiah, there will result contradictions, almost irreconcilable,

Samuel, ii. 10.

« AnteriorContinua »