We cannot indeed regard them,with the ancients, as the best part of his history, for the majority of them are obviously unhistorical, and nearly all savour somewhat too much of the rhetorical schools to be perfectly agreeable to modern taste.
Some such idea plainly underlies the familiar phrase "a sweet savour," more literally "a savour of satisfaction," whereby an acceptable offering by fire is so often denoted in the Bible (Gen.
Within them was found the Fountain of Youth; the pebbles which give light, restore sight, and render the possessor invisible; the Sea of Sand was there, stored with fish of wondrous savour; and the River of Stones was there also; besides a subterranean stream whose sands were of gems. His territory produced the worm called "salamander," which lived in fire, and which wrought itself an incombustible envelope from which were manufactured robes for the presbyter, which were washed in flaming fire.
In his sacred poems he affected to avoid every word with the slightest savour of paganism; and he blamed the poets for their allusions to pagan divinities.
Theology loses its savour when studied in a spirit of merely scientific curiosity; and it does not concern the lay Christian.
The great churches of those cities are wholly unlike those of Sicily; but, while some features show us that we are in Italy, while some features even savour of the Saracen, others distinctly carry us away to Caen and Peterborough.
At a later period, pari passe with the spiritualization of the god, comes a refinement of the tastes attributed to him, and the finer parts of the sacrifice, finally it may be only its savour, are alone regarded as acceptable offerings.
13, and many other passages, to denote the process by which the "savour of satisfaction" in any burnt-offering, whether of flesh or of incense, is produced.
They could only be prevailed on to man the walls by the savour of extempore cook-shops distributed along the ramparts.
Thus it frequently happens that in our gardens flowers have a beauty and a fragrance, and fruits a size and savour denied to them in their native haunts.
And when he heaps suspicion, not on Christian dogmas, but on beliefs of which the resemblance to Christian tenets is sufficiently patent, the real aim is so transparent that his method seems to partake rather of the nature of literary eccentricity than of polemical artifice; yet by this disingenuous indirectness he gave his argument that savour of duplicity which ever after clung to the popular conception of deism.
He came just at a time when the characteristic ideas of the 17th century - the ideas of Louis XIV., of Bossuet and Boileau - had lost their savour, and before another creed could arise to take their place.