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scribes a man who has nine children, who have happened, and he has made a powis very poor and very happy, and ex- erful use of them. The instinctive horror tremely good; and he thinks he has set of Mr. Guppy on finding a lump of tled the question. But lest any linger- grease on his sleeve, before he had any ing doubt should remain, he clenches his suspicion where it came from, is very argument by the reverse picture. “Thom- finely conceived. Now all this would as Gradgrind, sir. A man of realities- have passed without remark, had it not a man of facts and calculations-a man been that the author insisted on its sciwho proceeds upon the principle that entific accuracy;* upon which Mr. Lewes twice two is four and nothing over, and pointed out that spontaneous combustion who is not to be talked into allowing does not as yet rank
among the accepted for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, truths of science. In a preface to a sir; peremptorily Thomas. With a rule later edition of Bleak House, Mr. Dickand a pair of scales, and the multiplica- ens delivers himself as follows: tion table always in his pocket, sir, ready
“I have no need to observe that I do not to weigh and measure out any parcel of human nature and tell you exactly what wilfully or negligently mislead my readers,
and that before I wrote that description I it comes to."
Now, Mr. Gradgrind has took pains to investigate the subject. There two children only; he is rich and miser
are about thirty cases on record, of which the able. We can say no other of Mr. Dick- most famous, that of the Countess Cornelia ens's political economy, and no worse, de Bandi Cesenate, was minutely investigated than that it is on a par with Mr. Rus- and described by Giuseppe Bianchini, a prebkin's. Indeed, he is always impatient endary of Verona, otherwise distinguished of scientific restraint.
in letters, who published an account of it at
Verona in 1731, which he afterwards repubSpontaneous combustion is just one
lished at Rome. The appearances beyond all of the subjects which might be expected rational doubt observed in that case, are the to be attractive to a writer with a taste appearances observed in Mr. Krook's case. for melodrama. There is something sug. The next most famous instance happened at gestive and mysterious in the notion of Rheims six years earlier; and the historian a man setting fire to himself. The sur in that case is Le Cat, one of the most rerounding circumstances are all of a kind nowned surgeons produced by France. . . . I which admits of effective grouping, and do not think it necessary to add to these notaalthough we do not believe that the the authorities which will be found at page 27,
ble facts, and that general reference to the ory is now maintained by any single sci- vol. ii., the recorded opinions and experiences entific authority, there is a popular feel of distinguished medical professors, French, ing that it is an institution and a privi- English, and Scotch, in more modern days, lege which ought not to be taken from contenting myself with observing that I shall us. Accordingly, in Bleak Hlouse, a not abandon the facts until there shall have man of the name of Krook is predestined been a considerable spontaneous combustion to this form of death. Krook is an ec
of the testimony on which human occurrences centric man, much addicted to brandy,
are usually received." living alone in a garret near Chancery We think it evident that Mr. Dickens Lane, and with a habit of keeping im- entirely misconceives the point in issue. portant papers in his cap. With him an The dispute is not as to the facts, but as appointment is made for twelve o'clock to their explanation. No one doubts one night by an attorney's clerk of the that certain persons have been burned to name of Guppy. Mr. Guppy goes at death under circumstances not perfectly the appointed hour, and finds the room accounted for. The testimony of Bianfull of smoke, the window panes and chivi and Le Cat may be perfectly trustfurniture covered with a dark greasy worthy as far as the appearances they deposit, and some more of this deposit actually observed are concerned, and it lying in a small heap of ashes on the may be absolutely valueless as regards floor before the fire. Krook has spon their explanation. On the latter point, taneonsly burned himself. We are bound indeed, it is not likely to be worth much, to admit that Mr. Dickens bas introduced for the simple reason that they both lived with great fidelity all the circumstances several years before the theory of comwhich have been actually observed in the cases in which this death is said to
* Bleak House, vol. ii. p. 27.
bustion was understood. And there is I of IIosts in the vision, full of awe and sora simplicity which is very refreshing in row, in the year that King Uzziah died, the faith which is placed in the sixth the insight then given him into the evils volume of the Philosophical Transac- that were eating into the nation's life, tions.
the foresight of the penalties sure to folIt is hard to be obliged to find fault low upon those evils (6:1-13.) After with Mr. Dickens. We owe him too a period of comparative tranquillity under much. IIe is a man of genius ; in many Jotham, he comes before us in full activrespects rarely gifted. He has excep- ity, when the weakness and wickedness tional powers of observation and descrip- of Ahaz were wearying both men and tion, great imagination, and an intuitive God (7:13). He rebukes king and peotact in appreciating many of the more ple for their falsehood and cowardice; delicate shades of passion. On the other bids them look on without fear at the hand, his intellect is, we will not say attempt of the kings of Syria and Israel ruled, but crushed and dwarfed by his to depose the dynasty of David and to set emotional faculties. Partly from a de- up an unknown ruler, some son of Tabeal, fective education, and partly from a con as their own creature in its place (7: 4-6); stitutional bias, he seems unable to take warns them of the coming flood of fierce either an extensive or an intensive view invaders from Assyria, and tells them of any subject; neither grasping it as a that, while it will sweep away utterly the whole, nor thoroughly exhausting any nations of which they were most afraid single part. His writings show the same (7:8), it would also be in God's hands an nnion of strength and weakness; his instrument to punish them and make their plots inartificial, his genesis of character land, the land of Judah, desolate (7: 17– rude and unphilosophic, his literary exe- 25). With the reign of Ilezekiah the cution oscillating with tolerable evenness brightest phase of his life begins. The between the intensely vulgar and com- king is young, and he is his chosen friend monplace, and passages of the most and counsellor. We trace bis influence striking beauty.
in the restored worship, the revived unity We cannot think that he will live as of national life, the glorious Passover, the an English classic. He deals too much zeal against idolatry and its defilements, in accidental manifestations and too little perhaps also in the thoroughness which in universal principles. Before long his did not shrink from the work of reform language will have passed away, and the even when it involved the destruction of manners he depicts will only be found a relic so venerable and, as it might seen, in a Dictionary of Antiquities. And we so sacred, as the Brazen Serpent (2 Kings do not at all anticipate that he will be 18:1-8; 2 Chron. 29:1;30:27). When rescued from oblivion either by his artis. the armies of Sennacherib fill men’s minds tic powers or by his political sagacity. with terror it is to him that king and
people turn, and from his lips comes the assurance of a marvellous deliverance (2 Kings 19:2; 2 Chron. 32:20; Isaiah 37).
When the king is sick unto death he is THE OLD AGE OF ISALAH.
at once prophet and physician (2 Kings
20; Isaiah 38.) When Hezekiah, in the ET LEV. E. II. PLUMPTRE, M.A., PROF. OF DIVINITY glory and state of bis later years, is tempt AT KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON.
ed to court the alliance of the rising king
dom of Babylon, just asserting its inThe death of Hezekiah forms a divid- dependence against the overwhelming ing-point in the life of the great prophet power of Assyria, the prophet, faithful of glad tidings between what we know to the last, rebukes even the devout and with certainty and the obscurities of con- good king, warns him of the coming jecture and tradition. Up to that point judgments, and bids him trust in no arm we trace his history, partly through his of flesh, but in the might of the Lord of own writings, partly through what is re. Hosts (2 Kings 20:12-19; Isaiah 39). corded of him in the Books of Kings and But bere our knowledge ends. All Chronicles. We see the solemn call to that comes later is wrapt in legend and bis work as the spokesman of the Lord tradition. Jewish writers tell us that he
protested against the sins of Manasseh prominence given in the king's elegiac and was put to death with a singular re- * writing, when he had been sick and had finement of cruelty, and Christian com- recovered from his sickness,” to the mentators find a reference to this in the thought of his doing a father's work, mention, among the heroes of faith, of should his life be spared, in the training those who “ were sawn asunder” (Heb. of his child, indicates either that that 11:37). A wilder fable* reports that the child was as yet unborn or still in his ostensible ground of the sentence was the infancy. His passionate craving for charge of blasphemy in having said that life appears in this light with a nobler he had “seen the Lord” (Isaiah 6: 1), aspect: that the king's baseness was aggravated
“ The living, the living he shall praise thee, by the fact that his mother was the The futher to the children shall make known prophet's daughter. It is now proposed thy truth."
Such a marriage, we may well believe, scattered, fragmentary, incidental, in would have been hailed by Isaiah at the what may well be described as the second time as likely to be fruitful in blessing. volume of Isaiah's writings, the great All its circumstances would acquire in closing series of his prophecies which, in the light of his hopes a new and mystical our present division, fills the last twenty significance. Even when the hopes had six chapters of the book that bears his been disappointed he would yet turn to name. It is possible, I believe, to recon- them as suggesting the fittest imagery struct out of those fragments the personal for the fuller and diviner hopes which history of the man, and much of the his.
still remained. Throughout the later tory of a time of which we otherwise know but little. Once again the pictures chapters this thought recurs again and of the past, long obscured and faded, will again in varied aspects : grow clear, and the Old Age of Isaiah “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God; will come before us with a new com
For he hath clothed me with the garments pleteness. At the death of Hezekiah, the prophet
He hath covered me with the robe of rightmust have been already far advanced in
eousness, life. Sixty-one years had passed since As a bridegroom decheth himself with ornathat vision in the temple in the year that ments, King Uzziah died, and he could hardly And as a bride adorneth herself with her have been under twenty when he entered
jewels.”—61: 10. on an office that called for so much en
“ As I live, saith the Lord, ergy and insight. What had been the Thou shalt surely clothe thee with them
all, as with an ornament, last great interests of the old man of
And bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.” fourscore during the reign of the king
-49: 18. who loved and honored him? The later chapters of the first part of his works
“ As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride,
So shall thy God rejoice over thee.”—62: 5. supply the answer. They were (1) the prospect, long delayed, of an heir to the And that there may be no doubt what throne of David; (2) the vision, long marriage is in his thonghts, he turns, familiar to the prophet's mind, and re- with his characteristic fondness for findcently revived, of a calamity about to fall ing a deep significance in names (as e.g., at no distant period on both king and in Immanuel, 7: 14; Shear jashub, 7:3; people—a life of exile in the far lands Maher-sbalal-bash-báz,* 8: 3), to that of watered by the Tigris and the Euphrates. the queen whose espousals he had wit(1.) Manasseh was but twelve years
nessed : old at his accession, and it is natural to " Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; infer that Hezekiah's marriage with his Neither shall thy land any more be termed mother had taken place comparatively
Desolate: late in life. The name of that mother is
But thou shalt be called IIephzi-bah ("my
delight is in her '), given as Hephzi-bah (2 Kings 21:1). The
* Another remarkable instance will be noticed * See the article “Manasseh," in Dr. Smith's later. Rahab also becomes, in a text mis-trans Dictionary of the Bible.
lated, and much mis-quoted, both nomen et omen
And thy land Beulah ( married '): the Medes and Persians were already For the Lord delighteth in thee,
familiar to the prophet's mind as destined And thy land shall be married." *_62: 4.
to overthrow Babylon, and so to be the (2.) In the earlier days of his prophetic deliverers of Israel. One who had that work, Isaiah bad foretold, distinctly, knowledge might easily learn more. He though with some vagueness as to times might hear that that people differed from and seasons, what was given him to see Assyrians and Chaldeans with a differof the great period of the world's history ence which brought them into close symthen just opening, and the foreign policy pathy with the faith of Israel. They too of Ilezekiah had been guided for the were monotheistic, bowed down before most part by his foresight. First, Assy- no idols, were worshippers of the God ria was to be the scourge of God, “the of Heaven, saw in Light and the glory rod of his indignation” (7:17—8: 8; of the Sun the one visible symbol of the 10: 1-11). Then that burden should Divine.* Assume only that Isaiah learnt pass away. The great monarchy should this, and can we wonder that his faith in crumble and fall (10: 12–19, 24-26). their future should become stronger? From Egypt, unstable and treacherous, Here at last was a people before whom little was to be hoped or feared (19: 1-1“ Bel should bow down, and Nebo stoop” 25). But another empire should rise in (46: 1). The leader of that people, bearits place mightier and more terrible. ing what was probably a titular name " The glory of kingdoms, the beauty of embodying their faith, Koresh, or in its the Chaldees' excellency," should be Greek form, Cyrus, the Sun, t would come the oppressor of the nations, and come, whenever the right time arrived, lead Israel into captivity (14: 2). Bab- as a deliverer. With a wonderful expanylon was to succeed Nineveh. To Isaiah sion of thought, far above the narrowaccordingly Hezekiah's policy in courting ness into which later Judaism stiffened, the king of Babylon seemed fatally suici- he could see in such a king, heathen dal (39: 5-8), accelerating the destined though he might be, “the righteous man end. But he saw also, in his trust in a from the East ” (41 : 2), the ally of Israel righteous Ruler of the world, that that as the true servant of the Lord (41: 9), empire, founded as it was on brute colos- the shepherd of the Lord, performing all sal strength, could not stand. From those who had come as messengers from
* See Ezra 1 : 2; 2 Chron. 36 : 22; Herod, i. the king of Babylon, or from previous in- 131. Compare also the article "Magi," in Dr. tercourse with Israelites who bad trav: Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. elled there,f he had already heard the
+ The analogy of Pharaoh, as having the same names of new tribes, young and vigorous, The fact that such a name should, in the case of
meaning (Ra = the Sun), is at least interesting: that were hovering on its frontiers, and the historical Cyrus, supersede for foreigners like had been led to see in those tribes the the Greeks and Jews the name (Agradates) which future destroyers of the “Golden City" the ruler had previously borne, has its exact that oppressed the world.
counterpart in the looseness with which Pharaoh
is used as the proper name of Egyptian kings by " I will stir up the Medes against them.” the earlier Jewish historians. The view here
--13: 17. taken of the occurrence of this name in Isaiah's ** Go up, 0 Elam ( = Persia): besiege, 0 Me- prophecies is that maintained by llavernick, India.”—21:2.
troduction to Old Testament, ii. 2; by Hengsten
berg, Christology of the Old Testament, ii. 192 We may infer then that before the (Mayer's translation in Clark's Foreign Theologideath of Liezekiah (probably almost the cal Library). The English reader may find it time B.c. 713, when the king's policy led well stated, though not accepted, in Sir Edward him to put together his scattered proph. itics in the Times of Sargon and Sennacherib. Ge.
very interesting volume, Hebrew Polecies as witnesses to a later generation), senius also (Lexicon) gives this as the meaning of
the word. The fact of the change of name was The credit of having made this coincidence well known in the time of Herodotus (i. 114). The familiar to English readers must be assigned to previous name Agradates is given by Strabo (xv. the late Professor Blunt, Scriptural Coincidences, 3). The fact that the grandfather of Cyrus is iii. 5.
said by Herodotus (i. i1l) to have borne the + Jonah's journey to Nineveh (Jonah 3 : 2), and same name makes it all the more probable that Jeremiah's to Euphrates (Jer. 13 : 5), may be it was titular, and, at all events, accounts for its mentioned as showing that such intercourse was being known to Isaiah in connection with Elam at least probable.
his pleasure (44: 28).* He does not | Such is the picture, traced in outline, shrink even from applying to him a yet of the opening years of the reign of higher name. The heathen Cyrus is the Manasseh. It remains for us to sce Messiah, the Christ, the anointed of the whether the second volume (as we have Lord (45: 1), the true representative and called it) of Isaiah's prophecies fits into type, even as David and Solomon had it and throws light on it. Our first ilbeen, of the greater anointed one. With lustration, however, must be taken from the thought of such a leader present to the preface to the earlier collection of his mind he sees the downfall of Babylon his writings, written, we may well bewith a new distinctness (47: 1-9), and lieve, like most other prefaces, after the in spirit hears the couriers as they travel latest of them, and therefore belonging through the desert, not only as before, to nearly the same period as the second. crying out, “ Babylon is fallen, is fallen Could the evils which have been spoken (21: 9), but with fuller joy:
of be indicated more clearly than in the forth of Babylon,
words wlrich there meet us? ye · Flee ye from the Chaldeans,
(1) Manasseh's youth made him a mere With a voice of singing declare ye,
tool in the hands of others, probably of Tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; the queen
mother. Say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.”—48:20.
“As for my people, children are their op
pressors, It was well for the prophet that he And women rule over them."—3: 4, 12. had this glorious vision in the far hori. The immediate prospect, the act
« The child shall behave himself proudly
against the ancient, ual surroundings of his life, were dark
And the base against the honorable."—3:5. and dreary enough. Of the two parties that had been struggling for mastery
(2) There are the two concurrent under Hezekiah--one following the king evils, coöxisting then to a degree to and the prophet in their zeal for Jehovah, which it would be difficult to find a parthe other courting foreign alliances allel in either earlier or later periods, of and favoring foreign idolatries — the a hypocritical formalism, the poor relatter had got the young king into siduum of Hezekiah's reformation, and its hands, and he threw himself into its an open, shameless adoption of heathen policy with a fanaticism which bas no usages; and the language of the prophparallel but in the history of the Zido- et, in the earlier and later volumes, is nian Queen of Israel. The sins of Ahaz pitched in the same note as regards botlı were revived. The ritual of Assyria
of them. and Chaldæa, especially in its astrolog. “Your new moons and your appointed Sais. ical and thaumaturgic forms, superseded
baths my soul hateth : the worship of the temple. Foul sym
They are a trouble unto me; I am weary
to hear them. bols of a yet fouler worship appeared in
And when ye spread forth your hands, I the holy place. Women wove hangings, will hide mine eyes from you ; probably, that is, wreaths or garlands, Yea, when ye make many prayers I will for the “Grove” and its orgies, and not hear.”—1:13, 14. men gave themselves up to yet darker abominations. Sabbaths and Sabbatical
“Behold, ye fast for strife and debate,
And to smite with the fist of wickedness: years were alike neglected. The adhe. rents of the old régime kept up for the
Is it such a fast that I have chosen ? most part the form without the life. A
A day for a man to afflict his soul? few faithful ones among the inner circle Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, of the late king's household still remain And to spread sackcloth and ashes under ed. As they died out it was but too evi
him? dent that yet darker days were close
Wilt thou call this a fast, at hand.t
And an acceptable day to the Lord ?”
-58:4, 5. * So in like manner Jeremiah does not hesitate to speak of the Chaldean Nebuchadnezzar as “the the other was an abject imitation of
This was one side of the picture. On servant of the Lord," 25:9; 27: 6.
+ I must again refer to the article on “ Manas- Chaldæan soothsaying, against which the seh,” in Dr. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. prophet bears his protest :