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"who have given us sufficient assurance, that they “ understood the law not according to the letter. “ Our religion, in like manner, is true and divine in “ the Gospels, and in the preaching of the apostles ; “ but it appears utterly disfigured in those who maim or corrupt it.”

Besides the figures supplied by the history of Israel, and by the law, there is another set of images often employed in the Psalms, to describe the blessings of redemption. These are borrowed from the natural world, the manner of its original production, and the operations continually carried on in it. The visible works of God are formed to lead us, under the direction of his word, to a knowledge of those which are invisible; they give us ideas, by analogy, of a new creation rising gradually, like the old one, out of darkness and deformity, until at length it arrives at the perfection of glory and beauty; so that while we praise the Lord for all the wonders of his power, wisdom, and love, displayed in a system which is to wax old and perish, we may therein contemplate, as in a glass, those new heavens, and that new earth, of whose duration there shall be no end *.

* Read nature ; nature is a friend to truth;

Nature is CHRISTIAN, preaches to mankind;
And bids dead matter aid us in our creed.


The sun, that fountain of life, and heart of the world, that bright leader of the armies of heaven, enthroned in glorious majesty ; the moon shining with a lustre borrowed from his beams; the stars glittering by night in the clear firmament ; the air giving breath to all things that live and move; the interchanges of light and darkness; the course of the year, and the sweet vicissitudes of seasons; the rain and the dew descending from above, and the fruitfulness of the earth caused by them; the bow bent by the hands of the Most High, which compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle ;. the awful voice of thunder,

and the piercing power of lightning; the instincts of animals *, and the qualities of vegetables and mine

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“I believe, a good natural philosopher might show, with -1° great reason and probability, that there is scarce beast, bird,

reptile, or insect, that does not, in each particular climate, in* struct and admonish mankind of some necessary truth for their " happiness either in body or mind.” Dr. Cheyne's Philosophical Conjectures on the Preference of Vegetable Food, p. 73. That which a celebrated writer has observed concerning a poet, may perhaps be equally applicable to a divine-" To him no

" thing can be useless. Whatever is beautiful, and whatever is qe dreadful, should be familiar to his imagination: he should be

* conversant with all that is awfully vast, or elegantly little. Bli The plants of the garden, the animals of the wood, the mine{ "rals of the earth, and meteors of the sky, should all concur to

<< store his mind with inexhaustible variety; for every idea is 38386 useful for the enforcement or decoration of moral or religious

“ truth, and he who knows most, will have most power of di

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rals; the great and wide sea, with its unnumbered inhabitants; all these are ready to instruct us in the mysteries of faith, and the duties of morality :

They speak their Maker as they can,
But want and ask the tongue of man.

PARNÉLL. The advantages of Messiah's reign are represented, in some of the Psalms, under images of this kind. We behold a renovation of all things, and the world, as it were, new created, breaks forth into singing. The earth is crowned with sudden verdure and fertility; the field is joyful, and all that is in it; the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord; the floods clap their hands in concert, and ocean fills up the mighty chorus, to celebrate the advent of the Great King.

Similar to these, are the representations of spiritual mercies by temporal deliverances from sickness,

“ versifying his scenes, and of gratifying his reader with remote " allusions, and unexpected instruction. By him, therefore, no “ kind of knowledge should be overlooked. He should range « mountains and deserts for images and resemblances, and pic

ture upon his mind every tree of the forest, and flower of the “valley; the crags of the rock, and the mazes of the stream.', RASSELAS, chap. x. The reader may see this exemplified in some“ Disquisitions on Select Subjects of Scripture,” by my worthy friend, the reverend Mr. JONES, whose labours make it evident, that true philosophy will ever be the handmaid of true divinity.

prison, danger of perishing in storms at sea, and from the sundry kinds of calamity and death, to which the body of man is subject ; as also by scenes of domestic felicity, and by the flourishing state of well-ordered communities, especially that of Israel in Canaan, which, while the benediction of Jehovah rested upon it, was a picture of heaven itself. The foregoing and every other species of the sacred imagery, if there be any

other not hitherto included, it hath been the author's main endeavour to illustrate. And a view of what is done in this way will, it is humbly hoped, afford some reason to think, there may not be that necessary connexion, which a late nobler writer has been pleased to suppose, between DEVOTION and


The Psalms which remain are such as treat, in plain terms, without figures or examples, of wisdom and folly, righteousness and sin ; the happiness produced by one, and the misery caused by the other ; of particular virtues and vices; of the vanity of human life; of the attributes of God; of that patience with which the faithful should learn to bear the sight of wickedness triumphant in this world, looking forward to the day of final retribution ; and subjects of the like nature. As Psalms of this kind call for little in the expository way, the general doctrines or precepts implied in them, or suggested by them, are drawn forth in short reflections, attempted after the

manner of those made by father Quesnel on each verse of the New Testament. The opportunity of doing this, where nothing else seemed to be required, a and indeed of doing, upon every occasion, what did seem to be required in any way, was the reason for throwing the work into its present form, rather than that of a paraphrase, or any other. Some repetiçtı tions, in a performance of this sort, are unavoidable! But a Commentary on the Book of Psalms is not tod be read all at once *; and it was thought better tos give the exposition of each Psalm complete in itself, o than to refer the reader elsewhere ; which, thereas fore, is only done, when passages of a considerable : length occur in two Psalms, without any materiału difference.

Such is the method the author has taken, such the authorities upon which he has proceeded, and suchą the rules by which he has directed himself. If con-l6 sistency and uniformity in the comment have been the result, they will afford, it is hoped, no contemptible argument on its behalf; since it is scarce possi

* The most profitable way of reading it, perhaps, would be,to by small portions, often reviewing the text and the comment, w and comparing them carefully together; at times when the mind is most free, vacant, and calm; in the morning, more especially, to prepare and fortify it for the business of the day; and in the evening, to recompose, and set it in order, for the approaching season of rest. "0

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