Imágenes de páginas

him. Let there be examined with freedom. Not the most rigid feverity, if fair and honest, in such examination, can displease me. But let not little, undisciplined, unfledged, ignorant sciolists, enter into these matters, which are really above them ; who, by pretending to criticize, and explain, and alter the sense of ancient passages, do but betray their own vanity and folly i and who, tho'gh the throw the charge of bigotry upon others, for not renouncing all the venerable principles of revelation, are the nselves the weakest and most credulous bigots, they know not wy nor wherefore, to all the absurdities of the most irrational infidejity. The objections of fober men deserve confideration, and no decency towards them can be too great in the answers that are given to them; and let the actions of David be fairly scrutinized, as they are recorded by the biblical writers, and allowances be made, as in equity they ought to be mad:, for the times and circumstances, the manners and curtrmo, private and publick, of the age he lived in; and I am in hores he will yet appear to fucli, to be a great and good man; and that though we are not to suppose that the heighth of purity is intended, yet that the christian world, without being ashamed of it, or afraid of the charge of impiety to the majesty of heaven, will continue to regard and honour him, in the genuine fense of the expression, as THE MAN AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART.'

A regular abstract of this work will not be expected from us; it is indeed, in a great measure, rendered unnecessary by what the Author has already written on the subject, and which the generality of our readers cannot be supposed to be unacquainted with.

We cannot however deny ourselves the pleafure of infrting the Doctor's paraphrafe of the sixty-eighth Plalm, which he hus illuftrated in a mafterly manner, and, by the division he has made of it into its several parts, rendered the whole a regular, well connected composition.

The learned are fenfibie of the difficulties attending this Plalm, and will be highly pleased, we doubt not, with our Author's critical notes and observations upon it, which are followed by a short paraphrase.

. I hope my Reader, fays he, will not be displeased, if I give him a ihort and easy paraphrase of this excellent composure.

Il'hen the Ark was taken up on the shoulders of the Levites. - Ver. 1. Arise, O God, of Israel, and in thy just displeafure execute thy vengeance upon the enemies of thy people, and let all who hate them be put to flight, and never prevail against then,

2. Drive

2. < Drive them before thee, and scatter them, as smoke is dispersed by the violence of the wind, and let all their power and Itrength die away and diffolve, as wax melts away before the fire.

3. But let thy righteous people be glad, exult in the prefence and under the protection of thee their God, and in the triumph of their joy cry out:

“ Sing psalms of thanksgivings to God. Celebrate his name and glory with songs of praise. Prepare ye his way, and let all oppolition cease before him, who rode through the deserts, and guided his people with the cloud by day, and the fame of fire by night. His name is JAH, the tremendous being. And O exult with joy before him. 5.

" He is the orphan's father, who will protect and provide for him. He is the judge and avenger of the widow, will vindicate her cause, and redress her injuries, even that God, who is present with us in his holy fanctuary.

6. “ He it is who increases the folitary and desolnte into numerous families, restores to liberty, and blefies with an abun. dance those who are bound in chains, but makes those who are his refractory implacable enemies, dwell as in a dry and defert land, by destroying their families and fortunes, and utterly blasting their prosperity.'

When the procession began. 7.

< How favourably didst thou appear, O God, for thy peo, ple in ancient times ! How powerful was that protection, which thou didit graciously afford them! when thou didst march before them at their coming out of Egypt, and guidest them through the wilderness !

8. The earth fhook, the very heavens diffolved at thy presence, even Sinai itself seemed to melt, the smoke of it ascending as the smoke of a furnace, when thou the God of Israel didst in thine awful majesty descend upon it.

9. < 'Thou, O God, didit rain down, in the most liberal manner, during their paffage torough the desert, bread and fleth as from heaven, and didst thereby refresh, fatisfy, and confirm thine inheritance, fatigued with their marches, and in the utmost distress for want of food.

10. Such was the abundance provided for them, that they dwelt in the midst of the manna and quails, in heaps surrounding them on every side. Thy poor and distressed people were thus liberally supplied by thy wonderful and never-failing goodpess.

II. ' And not only were they thus miraculously fed by thy benevolent hand, but made to triumph over all their enemies, who molested and opposed them. For thou gavest for the order


to attack. Thou didst assure them of success, leddest them forth against their adversaries, and their victories were celebrated by large numbers of matrons and virgins, who shouted aloud, and sang these joyful tidings.

12. “ The kings of armies fled away. They fled away utterly discomfited, and they who abode with their families in their tents, received their shares in the spoils of their conquered enemies.

13. “ Though when you were slaves to the Egyptians, and employed in the servile drudgery of attending their pots and bricks, you appeared in the most sordid and reproachful habits, and took up your dwellings in the most wretched and miserable huts; yet now you are inriched with the gold and silver of your conquered enemies, possessed of their tents, and arrayed with garments fhining and beautiful, you resemble the dove's feathers, in which the gold and silver colours mixed with each other, give a very plealing and lovely appearance.' 14.

i When the Lord thus scattered and overcame kings for the sake of his inheritance, how were thy people refreshed ! how great was the joy thou gavest them in Salmon, where they obtained, beheld, and celebrated the victory!

When the procession came in view of Mount Sion. 15. Is Bashan, that high hill, Bashan with its rough and craggy eminences, is this the hill of God, which he hath chosen for his residence, and where his fanctuary shall abide hereafter for ever?

16. • Why look ye, Oye craggy hills, with an envious impatience ? See, there is the hill, which God hath chosen and desired to dwell in. Assuredly the Lord will inherit it for ever. 17.

· The angels and chariots of God, who attend this so. lemnity, and encompass the ark of his presence, are not only, as at the giving of his law, ten thousand, but twice ten thousands, and thousands of thousands. God is in the midst of them, as formerly on thee, O Sinai, and will constantly reside in his fanctuary on Mount Sion, and as the guardian of it, by his almighty power continue to defend it. When the Ark afcended Sion, and was deposited in David's taber

nacle. 18. « Thus halt thou now, O God, ascended the heights of i's hill, and taken possession of it, as thy future favourite

lling, after having subdued our adversaries, and delivered I captive brethren from the power of their enslavers. Thou aft received gifts from men, even from our inveterate enemies, by inriching us with their spoil, subjecting them as tributaries


to my crown, and enabling me by them to provide an habitation for our God, and in this joyful manner to attend thine entrance into it.

19. “O blessed be. Jehovah. From day to day he supports his people, and like a father bears them up, and protects them from all all destructive evils.

20. He is that God, to whom we owe all our past salva. tions, and from whom alone we can expect all we may hereafter need. For under his direction are all the outgoings of death, so that he is able to preserve his people from the approaches of it, when their inveterate enemies meditate and resolve their destruction.

21. - But vain and impotent shall be their power and malice. God will avenge himself on their devoted heads, and their ftrength and craft shall not be able to protect them from his indignation, if they continue wickedly to disturb me in the posseffion of that kingdom, to which he hath advanced ine.

22, 23. For this end he raised me to the throne, and assured me that I should deliver his people from the Philistines, and from the hand of all their enemies. Let them therefore begin their hoftilities when they please, God will appear for me, as he did in former times for our forefathers, and my victories over them shall be as signal and compleat, as that over Pharaoh and his army, who were deitroyed in the sea, through which he safely led his people; or as over Og the king of Bafhan, the slaughter of whose army was so great, as that our victorious troops were forced to trampie over their Naughtered and bloody bodies, and even our very dogs licked up their blood, and feasted on the carnage.

PART V. Whils the facrifices were offering, which concluded the whole solemnity, they closed the anthem with the

following verses. 24. Thy people have now, O God, seen thy marches, the triumphant marches of my God and king, present in his holy, sanctuary, into the tabernacle prepared for it, amidst the loudest acclamations of the whole assembly.

25. · The procession was led by a chosen band of fingers, the players on instruments came behind them, and in the midst of them a virgin train, who accompanied their timbrels with the harmony of their voices, and fung:

26. “ O celebrate the praises of God in this united congregation of our tribes. Celebrate the praises of Jehovah, all you who are descended from Israel, your great and fruitful progenitor.”

27. Even Benjamin himself was present, who, though the smallest of our tribes, had so far the pre-eminence over the rest


as to give the first king and rulir to the people; even he was present, and rejoiced to fee the honour done to Jerufalem, and the crown established on my head. Here the pinces of Judah attended, with the supreme council of that powerful tribe; with the princes of Zebulon, and those of Naphthali; who from their di nt burlers joined the proceifon, all unanimously confe.ting that Jerufalem should become the feat of Worship, and capreal of my kingdom.

28. - It is thy God, o Ifrael, who hath thus advanced thee, as a nation, to thy prefent state of dignity and power. Strengthen, 0 God, the foundation of our happiness, and by thy favour render it perpetual.

29. “ As the ark of thy presence is now fixed in Jerusalem, protect it by thy power, and let the kings of the earth bring their gifts, prefent their offerings, and pay their adoration at thy altar.

30. ' O rebuke and break the power of the Egyptian croco. dile, his princes and nobles, who pay homage to their bulls, and all his people, who stupidly worship their calves, and dance in honour of them to the tinkling sounds of inftruments and bells. Trample under feet their filver plated idols, and utterly disperse the people who delight in war.

31. • Let the princes of Egypt come and worship at thy fanctuary, and the far distant Ethiopia accustom herself to lift up her hands in adoration of thy majefty.

32. O may all the kingdoms of the earth celebrate, in facred songs, the majesty of our God. Let all sing the praises of our Jehovah.

33. He is the omnipresent God, the proprietor and Lord of the heavens of heavens, which he spread out of old. He makes the clouds his chariot when he rides through the heavens, and storms and tempefts, thunders and lightnings, the instruments of his vengeance against his enemies. When he fends forth his voice in the mighty thunder, how awful and astonishing that voice !

34. · Ascribe to him that almighty strength which belongs to him. Though his empire is universal, his kingdom is peculiarly exalted over Israel, by whom alone he is acknowledged as the true God, and who manifefts the greatness of his power in the clouds of heaven.

35. O God, the God of Israel, how terrible is thy majefty, when thou comeft forth from thy heavenly and earthly inétuaries, for the destruction of thiné enemies, and the dence of thy people. It is he who infpires them with strength nd courage, and renders them a mighty and powerful nation. Eternal blefing and praise be ascribed unto our God.'


« AnteriorContinuar »