American Egyptomania Search

The True Messiah; or, The Old and New Testaments, Examined According to the Principles of the Language of Nature

Boston: E.P. Peabody, 1842

Browse scholarship by topic:

Art & Architecture



been remarked as much as those that are without us ; because exterior objects generally strike us much more than our own being. In all times, some profound minds have perceived that man was the most perfect possible emblem ; consequently, the natural and true emblem of all that can be called intelligence and life. The name microcosm, or world in little, given to man by the ancient sages, would be enough to prove it. The human form is, in truth, a real form of love and wisdom ; capable, in itself alone, of characterizing all the possible varieties of the moral being, taken in its complex state. Living, intelligent existence could not have any other form than the human. The angel is nothing but the man spirit, or the substantial man. And God himself, when we would reflect on him, is really conceived by the human mind in no other way than as a divine man. The divine man is the only perceptible side of God; his infinite essence remaining eternally concealed in that man or in that form, which we conceive not as void and metaphysical, in the sense ordinarily attached to that word; but full and substantial; 'since God, to appear as man, need not create that man; he needs only show him. Another thing that renders man so interesting an emblem, is the relation in which lie stands to all the other living beings that we perceive upon the earth: After this king of nature, all other animals, always less perfect forms of life, always inclining the head more and more towards the ground, are emblems of the different varieties of degraded life or intelligence. When man is what he ought to be, he differs from the angel only by the weight of matter ; when man degrades himself, he runs through all the degrees of inferior life, figured by animals; each animal, by its forms and instincts, offering a particular variation of that life. The whole quadrant, from the zenith to the horizon, or from the perpendicular to the horizontal line, is thus filled up. Man and the serpent form the right angle; other animals fill the whole quadrant; and any other kind of beings is geometrically impossible.

We will not here cite a greater number of natural emblems to prove our theory; the body of our work will supply them in abundance ; for, in looking, under this same point of view, upon all the objects of nature, both dead and living, and on the innumerable phenomena that they present in a whole globe as in every atom of that globe, it must be seen clearly that, always preserving a real, though distant relation with some variety of life or intelligence, they not only may serve to-characterize them; but that they really do characterize them. Even the dust and the dirt have also their fixed significations. They represent all that is low and vile; for the low, the vile, the abject, and the disgusting, are found, in the moral world, by the side of the great, the noble, and the elevated. It is evidently from a dim remembrance of all those necessary relations between the moral and phenomenal . worlds; that man derives his decided taste for comparisons, of which all the other figures of rhetoric are, in fact, only varieties. Thence comes man's irresistible taste for fables and parables; those sure means of making the multitude receive ideas of the just and the unjust, but by which people have been too often led to compose absurd mythologies. The passage from the language of nature to languages of convention, was made by such insensible degrees that they who made it never thought of tracing the latter back to their source. They knew

Page 14