This morning I added to the database what, by my best count, looks to be the ten-thousandth metaphor. The occasion is (wearily) observed here.
The metaphor was found in David Hume’s Natural History of Religion, a text I was looking at again while proofing a revision of my book manuscript.
Since, therefore, the mind of man appears of so loose and unsteddy a contexture, that, even at present, when so many persons find an interest in continually employing on it the chissel and the hammer, yet are they not able to engrave theological tenets with any lasting impression; how much more must this have been the case in antient times, when the retainers to the holy function were so much fewer in comparison? (84)
Hume reworks the metaphorics of engraving, which figure importantly in devotional writing.
Hammer and chisel, hammer and tongs…