moral and metaphysical world would have remained entirely buried in the eternal abyss.
Thence, then, the reality of a language of nature, which reality Philosophy should still admit, even if none of the letters of the immense alphabet which was made use of in speaking it, could be found; for that language is, after all, nothing but the perception of the emblems of life and intelligence, which nature contains in her bosom, and the faculty of transmitting that perception to other beings.
Still, we are very far from admitting that the dictionary of the language of nature is entirely lost; the traces of it might be found even in the languages of convention, necessarily derived from it, if the Bible were not alone sufficient to put us in possession of so precions a science. That book, so little known and so little appreciated by the self-styled enlightened universe, has not served to preserve for us the He-brew language only, it has also furnished us with all the necessary materials for the understanding of the language of nature.
A certain number of our first ecclesiastical writers, such as the apostle Paul, Lactantius, Origen, Jerome and others, were evidently on the road to that language, as their particular manner of writing demonstrates; but by a secret judgment of Heaven, the precious traces were almost immediately abandoned by their successors. Men have treated these writers as mystics, as they now do all those who profess to see in the word of God something more than in an ordinary book. From the times of Theophilus, says Horsley, the great art of interpreting the Old Testament consisted in finding in everything types and emblems. If, instead of ridiculing this art, men had endeavored to learn how far it was well-founded, they would have better understood the mysteries of the love and wisdom of the Father, and they would not have wandered for eighteen centuries in the labyrinth of human thoughts. The word of God must necessarily be more rich and more fruitful in sense, than all the vain writings of the learned; its meaning must indeed be infinite.
Therefore, by abandoning the false method of the school, which consists in taking each text as If isolated, (by which the most contradictory things may be proved,) and studying the holy books as a whole, we may acquire an absolute certainty that all extatic men, from Abraham to the last of the prophets, and, after them all, the Redeemer himself, though expressing themselves by words of the conventional language in use at that time, yet always spoke the language of nature, and that the sense conveyed by it was the principal, if not the only one which they really meant to transmit to posterity. To speak only of Jesus Christ, it was to that language that he endeavored to accustom his apostles during the three years that he lived with them ; it was that language that frequently perplexed them so much, which forced them to solicit explanations of their Master apart, and even to entreat him not speak thus in parables. When a similitude, a comparison, is followed through all its branches; and sustained as long as those of Jesus Christ were, a real language results from it, which is inwoven with the ordinary discourse, and conveys a consistent sense, higher than the natural sense though parallel with it. Only recollect how far Jesus Christ carried the moral signification of the words eat and drink, and you will see that a new dictionary, a dictionary still to be made, is necessary to understand the Holy Scriptures; a book which not only is obscure, but which has been till now