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Mammon having had possession of both Soul and Body-is here represented as retaining only the Body by worldly fetters—the Soul being emancipated defies his power, and is enticing her sister or Body to break from her thraldom. The allusion appears to be, that persons may
become Christian in mind, yet devote too much time to the fashions, &c. of the world.
The Church in a state of spiritual prosperity, or the regenerated soul, through grace and faith, enjoying a foretaste of happiness.
The Divine Spirit is emblemed as a Florist. She compares her sensations and enjoyments with those of the world, and invites to godliness.
The worldly man, through a series of dissipations, has become enervated-he is represented as having let fall the World, the object of his love and ambition—a load under which he has long tottered, and is now too weak in body to enjoy-notwithstanding its bubble contents are manifest, his affection towards it remains.
Shows the evil of security, the incompatibility of luxury with devotion, the folly of procrastinating, and the necessity of preparing for the future.
This emblem appears to represent the presumptuous confidence too often displayed by young Christians, who, not content to enjoy their comforts of mind for a time in quietness, rashly attempt to bring others into their peculiar way of thinking: trusting to their own convictions and fancied logical ability, they seek for disputations; unmindful of the strength of their opponents,
and not even aware of the arguments and casuistry, that may be used against them—the consequence is oftentimes, damage to the cause, and great detriment to their own peace
of mind. The manner in which this subject is treated, may at first sight appear strange; but it is quite in keeping with the style of early emblem-writers. QUARLES has introduced the “ game at bowls," whip top, billiards, &c.
“Dumbmy," a term given to the exposed hand when three only are playing at “ Whist”--tricks take precedence of honours.
Here the Bride, Church, or soul, is undergoing the partial absence of the Divine Bridegroom, that her faith may
be tried. Assaulted by the taunts and sarcasms of the World, and neglected of kindred, she still remains constant-her love increases-her loyalty is confirmed, and she triumphs.
Represents a relapse of the regenerated Soul. lured by the folly and blandishments of the World, she falls from her duty—but becoming truly repentant, she casts off the tempter, and obtains advice, and consolation, from an Evangelist; who points out the way, and strengthens her determination to seek forgiveness.
By divine influence true religion and science are in the ascendancy.
Mammon, after a vain struggle to maintain the reign of ignorance, superstition, and folly, essays to carry off the World bodily: but finds that the utmost hold he can obtain, is too slight to effect his purpose-strong allusion is made to the millenium,
EMB. XII. in two parts. The regenerated Soul is musing amidst the tombs, seeking wisdom in the records of the past—she is met by the Divine Spirit in the garb of a country Clergyman, and receives from him admonition, consolation, encouragement, and instruction as to the present and a future state.
It is worthy of remark, that if the first line of each verse be joined, they give the following distich :
“ To tread, where lie the dead; to muse upon the past,
Is life to know, before 'tis gone; and all o'ercast.”
The World is here represented as the child's early desire and plaything; and the last of the old man's loves.
The author, in this sort of tombstone emblem, has not taken a very favourable view of human nature—yet is it to be feared that there is too, too much of truth in the picture.
It may be asked, who is, or was, Johann Abricht? Thus much is known-That he claimed to be descended of Saxon or Norman origin—that he was born far back in the last century, in London ; and educated in its vicinity—that he was the last of his name—that he was “proud i’ th' heart,” deep thinking, and taciturn—that he went early in life abroad, and travelled over the North of Europe, residing many years in Prussia ; towards which country he always expressed himself in terms of gratitude and attachment. “ You may smile, my friend !” said he, at the
pre“ dilection I avow for Prussia-have I not cause ? “ 'twas there I knew friendship--partook of genuine “hospitality-was appreciated, esteemed, and sojourned "in freedom, and security, under a paternal government; “the brightest days of my existence were passed there “amidst her majestic, solemn, sylvan scenes;”—after a short pause
he continued, “I will visit that country “again, and be a spectator of the national joy and hap
piness, that must attend the glorious career of a Scion
“ of the kingly house of Hohenzollern !—who, in the
of natural events, will rule over the largest masse “of organized physical force possessing educated intellect, “ever yet concentrated on this globe--in his hands will “ be the peace and social prosperity of Europe-and “ well so—for he has head and heart befitting the highest " of human destinies !-I observed him in youtlı, and
was witness to exalted traits of unmasked character.
“I may, perchance, finish my pilgrimage in Prussia — “so be it ! -- and when my spirit has taken flight
towards a more kindred existence, may my mortal remains be placed near to the base of one of her mighty pines; that so in the changes of matter, a portion of
my frail body may become a part of that tree, in “whose evergreen woods it was so pleased whilst living “to wander--whose perfume it was so delighted to “ inhale !”
The last time he left this country, was in the summer of 1822, for France-from that date to this, the Editor has received no letter from him; yet has he not heard of his death.-The time, however, being expired during which he forbade the publication of these Emblems, they are now placed before the world, with the hope that they may meet his eye-by his faithful anxious friend,