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“ sweet Psalmist of Israel, said, the Spirit of Jehovah “ spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” • It was the word, therefore, of Jehovah's Spirit

which was uttered by David's tongue. But it should seem the Spirit of Jehovah would not be wanting • to enable a mere man to make complaint of his

own enemies, to describe his own. sufferings just as he felt them, and his own escapes just as they hap* pened. But the Spirit of Jehovah, described by David's utterance what was known to that Spirit only, and that Spirit only could describe. So that, . if David be allowed to have had any knowledge of • the true subject of his own compositions, it was

nothing in his own life, but something put into his mind by the Holy Spirit of God; and the mis

application of the Psalms to the literal David has • done more mischief than the misapplication of any • other parts of the Scriptures, among those who profess the belief of the Christian religion.

• The Psalms are all poems of the lyric kind; that . is, adapted to music, but with great variety in the 6 style of composition. Some are simply Odes. An • Ode is a dignified sort of song, narrative of the facts, either of public history or private life, in a highly adorned and figured style. But the figure in the

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Psalms is that which is peculiar to the Hebrew language, in which the figure gives its meaning with 6 as much perspicuity as the plainest speech. Some are of the sort called Elegiac, which are pathetic compositions upon mournful subjects. Some are · Ethic, delivering grave maxims of life, or the precepts of religion in solemn, but for the most part simple, strains. Some are Ænigmatic, delivering ' the doctrines of religion in Ænigmata, contrived • strike the imagination forcibly, and yet easy to be

understood. In all these, the Author delivers the ' whole matter in his own person. But a very great, • I believe the far greater part are a sort of Dramatic • Ode, consisting of dialogues between persons sustaining certain characters. In these Dialogue-psalms the persons are frequently the Psalmist himself, or the chorus of Priests and Levites, or the leader of

the Levitical band, opening the ode with a proem • declarative of the subject, and very often closing 6 the whole with a solemn admonition drawn from ' what the other persons say. The other persons are • Jehovah, sometimes as one, sometimes as another

of the three Persons ; Christ in his incarnate state, sometimes before, sometimes after, his resurrection; • the human soul of Christ as distinguished from the

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• divine essence. Christ, in his incarnate state, is personated sometimes as a Priest, sometimes as a King, sometimes as a Conqueror; and in those Psalms, in which he is introduced as a Conqueror, • the resemblance is very remarkable between this Conqueror in the book of Psalms and the Warrior on the white horse in the book of Revelations, who goes forth with a crown on his head, and a • bow in his hand, conquering and to conquer. And the conquest in the Psalms is followed, like the conquest in the Revelations, by the marriage of the Conqueror. These are circumstances of simili*tude which, to any one versed in the prophetic style, prove beyond a doubt that the Mystical Conqueror is the same personage in both. It is no objection to this notion of Psalms in dialogue, that none of them are distinguished into the parts of • the different speakers. In the works of any profane writer, the parts that belong to different persons in a scene are usually distinguished by prefixing, to the beginning of each speech, the initials

of the name of the person to which the speech belongs; but this is a modern practice. In the • oldest MSS. of the ancient Greek plays, the per* sons of the drama are not so distinguished any

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more than the persons in the Psalms; but these • distinctions have been supplied by Editors. But ' in publishing the sacred text it was justly thought, • that it would be too great a liberty if the Editor

were to insert marks of his own, which the Holy • Penmen had not thought necessary. It would be useful, however, if a paraphrase were given with these distinctions in the proper places, and yet the want of them is not very great; for I will venture 'to say that a reader of ordinary penetration, who " has once had the hint that he is reading a dialogue, ' will easily perceive to what speakers the different

parts of the dialogue belong. The part of Jehovah is sometimes indeed supplied (but this will “ never make difficulties) by an Oracular Voice, suddenly breaking out from the Sanctuary.

• It is not a bad general notion of the book of • Psalms, which is given by a considerable though ' neglected critic; it is a notion which, if kept in • view, would conduce much to the right understand

ing of them, that the whole collection forms a sort • of Heroic Tragedy. The redemption of • the destruction of Satan is the plot. The persons of the drama are the Persons of the Godhead, Christ united to one of them,--Satan, Judas, the

man, and

apostate Jews, the heathen persecutors, the apos• tates of latter times ;-the attendants, believers, * unbelievers, angels ;--the scenes, heaven, earth, - hell ;--the time of the action, from the fall to the - final overthrow of the apostate faction, and the general judgment.'

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