Affecting Figures of Speech

That the Holy Spirit sanctions the efforts of genuine eloquence is obvious, from his employing figures whose sole purpose is to affect the heart and the imagination, when the thing on which the figure bears needs no proof, but is clearer than demonstration itself. “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” Of the truth here asserted no man needs proof. But how deeply is the mind affected with this beautiful figure! The impression is much stronger than would have been made by the naked assertion.

Alexander Carson, “Characteristics of the Style of Scripture as Evidential of Its Inspiration” in Works (Dublin/London/Edinburgh: William Carson/Houlston & Stoneman/Wm. Whyte, 1854), 3:86. Scripture quote from Psalm 103:15 (KJV).

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