Page images
PDF
EPUB

and research to none of the Baptists: “To suppose that there is here any extravagant allusion to the literal immersion or dipping of a lake, is a monstrous perversion of taste. The lake is said to be dyed, not to be dipped, or poured, or sprinkled. There is in the word no reference to mode. Had Baptists entrenched themselves here, they would have saved themselves much useless toil, and much false criticism, without straining to the impeachment of their candor or their taste. What a monstrous paradox in rhetoric is the figuring of the dipping of a lake in the blood of a mouse! Yet Dr. Gale supposes that the lake was dipped by hyperbole. The literal sense he says is, the lake was dipped in blood. Never was there such a figure. The lake is not said to be dipped in blood, but to be dyed with blood.” P. 67, Am. edition, N. York, 1832. This is well said, and is the more to our purpose on account of its author. Indeed his whole discussion of this point is able, lucid, and decisive. Of the examples adduced by him I shall quote one or two more.

“ Hippocrates employs it to denote dying, by dropping the dying liquid on the thing dyed: επειδαν επισταξη επι τα quária Bártstas: When it drops upon the garments they are dyed.' This surely is not dying by dipping." Carson, p. 60.

“Again. In Arrian-Expedition of Alexander : Tous dè mwa ywas aéyes Neapxos oro Battuitau Ivôo : Nearchus relates that the Indians dye their beards. It will not be contended that they dyed their beards by immersion.” P. 61. . .

He quotes cases in which it is used to describe the coloring of the hair ; the staining of a garment by blood ; the staining of the hand by crushing a coloring substance in it; for which, and others of a like kind, I refer to him, and to Prof, Stuart.

In the compounds and derivations of this word the sense to dye is very extensive ; to be fully satisfied of which, let any one examine the Thesaurus of H. Stephens, or the abbreviation of it by Scapula on this word.

It is compounded with colors of all kinds, as roppupsoßaons úaxuôsobaons, of a purple, or hyacinthine dye. It denotes a dyer, a dying vat, a dye-house, etc., Bapeus Baqsīov, etc., and it even passes, as before stated, to cases in which a new color is produced by the external application of a solid, as xpugo. Eaons, colored with gold, or gilded.

But it is needless to quote at large all the examples which

might be adduced to illustrate and confirm these points; and as all that I claim is conceded even by our Baptist brethren, to proceed farther would seem like an attempt at useless display. I shall therefore proceed to consider the usages of a kindred word in the Latin language.

Tingo, beyond all doubt, means to immerse. In this sense Facciolatus and Forcellinus in their Totius Latinitatis Lexicon give Bánow as its synonyme. And as Bárow is used to describe the immersing of an axe lo temper it, so is tingo to describe similar operations. So Virgil speaking of the operations of the Cyclopian workmen of Vulcan thus describes them as immersing the hissing metals in water to temper them. Stridentia tingunt æra lacu. Æ. 8. 450.

So speaking of a sword.

Tinxerat unda stygia ensem. Æ. 12. 91. Celsus speaks of sponges dipped in vinegar. Spongia in aceto tincta.

The setting of the heavenly bodies is spoken of as an immersion in the sea and to describe this tingo is used,

Tingere se oceano properant soles hyberni. Virg. Geor. 2. 481.

Tingat equos gurgite Phæbus. Æ. 11. 914.

But to prove that it means immerse is needless ; no one can deny it, nor is it the point at which I chiefly aim. This is, that like Bánow, it loses all reference to the act of immersion and comes to signify simply to dye or color in any way.

Of this there is a presumptive proof that is obvious even to those who do not understand the learned languages. It has given rise to the words linge and tint in our language , and who that speaks of the rosy tints of morn-or of the sun tinging the clouds with golden light would have the least thought of immersion. And is it probable that such senses would have passed from the Latin to our language, had tingo not passed from its original sense to that of dying or coloring in any mode..

But there is direct proof in the Latin classics of the same kind as exists with respect to βάπτω.

Horace uses the word to denote the dying of wool, as tingere lanas murice ; Ovid, to denote the coloring of the hair, and of ivory ; Horace, to denote the coloring of the axe used in sacrificing the victims, as victima pontificum secures cervice tinget ; Virgil, Geor. 3. v. 492, to denote the malignant effects of a plague on cattle, mentions that they had scarce blood enough left to color the knives used to slay them.

Vix suppositi tinguntur sanguine cultri. So in Georg. 2 : v. 8. We have the words Tinge crura musto, referring to the coloring or staining of the legs by the treading of the wine press. ln Pliny we have Tingentium officinæ, shops of dyers, and in Cicero, Tincta in the phrase to denote colored things. It is followed by an accusative of the color, as in Pliny tingere cæruleum, to dye blue. We have also in Lucretius Loca lumine tingunt nubes—to tinge or color, that is to illuminate with light. See Forcellinus and Facciolatus, or Leverett's Lexicon, on the word.

Indeed on this word no less than on Búnow we have the unequivocal concession of Mr. Carson, that it means to dye. “ In Latin also, the same word, tingo, signifies both to dip and to dye.” Carson, p. 77.

Facciolatus, and Forcellinus and Leverett also give it the sense to moisten, to wet, and make it in this sense synonymous with Tayyw-from which indeed it is derived, and to my mind the examples adduced are abundantly sufficient to establish this sense. But on this it is needless to insist, as Mr. Carson professes not to be satisfied that this sense can be established, and for the present I wish to rely on facts concerning which there is no dispute. . .

In English for the sake of contrast, I shall select the word to wash.

The original and common idea of this word is undeniably to cleanse by a purifying fuid, as water—and that without respect to mode. Of these ideas in its progress it drops all, and assumes a meaning that involves neither to purify nor to use a fluid at all.

As washing is often performed by a superficial application of a fluid, it often assumes this sense and loses entirely the idea of cleansing, as when we speak of washing a wound with brandy; or with some cooling application to alleviate inflammation. In this case we aim not at cleansing but at medicinal effect. So we speak of the sea as washing the shores or rocks, denoting not cleansing, but the copious superficial application of a fluid.

Again, as a superficial application of a fluid or a coloring mixiure is often made for the sake of changing the color, we

have to white-wash, to red-wash, to yellow-wash; and the substances or fluid mixtures with which this is done, are called washes.

Next it drops the idea of a fluid at all, and assumes the sense of a superficial application of a solid—as to wash with silver or gold.

And here a remarkable coincidence in result, in words of meaning originally unlike, deserves notice as a striking illustration of the progress of the mind in effecting such changes.

In Greek, Bartw, denotes originally to immerse—action alone, without reference to effect. In English, wash denotes to cleanse or purify alone, without reference to mode. Yet by the operation of the laws of association, both are used to denote coloring, and both to denote covering superficially with silver or gold.

Finally, when we speak of the wash of a cow-yard, and call those places where deposites of earth or filth, or vegetable matter are made, washes, who will contend that the idea of purity is retained ?

Again, lustro denotes to purify, by certain religious rites, and especially by carrying around the victim previously to its being killed.

From this it passes to the idea of passing around or through-dropping the idea of purifying--as Pythagoras Egyptum lustravit. Cicero - Pythagoras traversed Egypt. Navibus lustrandum æquor. Virg.—the ocean to be traversed with ships.

Hence it passes to the idea of observing, surveying, accurately examining, either with the eyes, or the mind. Totum lustrabat lumine corpus, Virg. He scrutinized, or examined his whole body with his eyes. Cum omnia ratione animoque lustraris, when you shall have surveyed and accurately examined all things by your reason and in

your mind.

And what wider departure from the original sense to purify is possible ? In Leveret xabagons is given as a synonyme of lustratio, and yet the same word is used to denote trav. elling from city to city. Lustratio municipiorum-also the course or circuit of the sun-lustratio solis.

So too in Ezek. 23: 15 39 to immerse is used to denote dying—where onena denotes dyed attire, as Mr. Carson also allows.

Similar transitions of meaning could be pointed out in lavo 027 and 90o and other words, were it at all necessary, and did time allow.

Now with such facts before us, to increase the number of which indefinitely, were perfectly easy, who can say that there is the slightest improbability in the idea that the word Burtisw should pass from the sense to immerse, to the sense to purify, without reference to the mode? Can Bartu, tingo and wash, pass through similar transitions and cannot Barsięw?

But what secondary sense shall be adopted cannot be told a priori, but must be decided by the habits, manners, customs and general ideas of a people, and sometimes by peculiar usages for which no reason can be given. For example, no reason exists in the nature of things why Bartw rather than Barrisw should pass from the sense immerse to the sense to dye—yet there is evidence that it did. On the other hand it could not be certainly foretold that Barritw rather than Barou would pass to the sense to cleanse, and yet that it did so pass may still be true, and if true can be proved like any other fact.

And the existence of manners and customs tending to such a result, renders such a result probable.

95.Circumstances did exist tending to produce such a transfer of meaning in Barriţw, and therefore there is a strong probability that it was made.

As it regards Banow and tingo we have no proof that any peculiar causes existed tending to such a change of meaning as they are confessed to have actually undergone.

But as it regards Battisw, such a tendency can be proved to have existed in the manners and custom of the Jews, for though no immersions of the person were enjoined in the Mosaic ritual, but simply washirgs of the body, or flesh, in any way, yet there can be no doubt that immersions and bathings were in daily use--and these as well as all their other washings were solely for the sake of purity, and held up this idea daily before the mind.

Hence, when after the conquests of Alexander, the Greek language began to be spoken by the Jews, it encountered a

« PreviousContinue »