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Pudah and busty trueckled "the object to epears it may Wy ha
prophenich it is Mrcalculating how mitake place, but in the
ory, or fanciful opinion, but with a view to Christian edification in these remarkable days.' p. xiv.
We agree with Mr. Stewart, that the Church stands in need of being recalled to the steady contemplation of this glorious event, from which it has been diverted by the crude and • fanciful,' or carnal and wicked opinions upon the Millenni'um,' which have, at different periods, been mixed up with a subject entirely distinct from it. The comparative distance or proximity of that event, or any“ signs” of its hastening approach, can, however, make no material difference in the reasonableness or obligation of the duty. The eighth discourse in the series is the only one to which we should find occasion to make exception, as containing some doubtful or inadmissable interpretations, which weaken the force of the general reasoning. The first sign referred to, great distress of nations, cannot with any propriety be considered as specifically applicable to the present age; nor can we for a moment admit as probable, that, by the kings of the East,' the remnant of Judah and Israel is intended. That the end of the world draws on, is obviously true; but, so long as there remain a series of prophecies to be fulfilled, “the end” cannot be " as yet.” The duty which it is Mr. Stewart's object to enforce, will be best discharged, not by calculating how many years it may or may not be, before our Lord's Advent shall take place, but by habitually overlooking the intervening period, as one, in the transactions of which, be it longer or shorter, we can have little personal share ; and by adverting more frequently and specifically to the certainty and glory of the event itself, and to the certainty that we shall be present, not as spectators, but as parties infinitely interested, in our Lord's approaching ad. vent. The hope connected with that “glorious appearing,” we agree with the respected Author of these Discourses, is 'a • Jarger, a much more blessed, a far more generous hope,' one more adapted to produce a patient acquiescence, and a much ' more powerful stimulus to action, than the expectations relating simply to our own death. Let this hope, then, be held up before the Christian world by its pastors and teachers. But as to those imaginary signs, and doubtful interpretations, and impending judgements, which are adduced for the purpose of frightening men into a preparation for the day of judgement, they tend only to weaken the force of the Scriptural admonition, and to increase the apparent distance of the Great Event, which is lost sight of behind this array of fantastic probabili. ties. What Mr. Faber thinks, or Mr. Cooper thinks, * or Mr.
+ Much as we regret Mr. Cooper's prophetic hallucination, we cannot mention his name in such a connexion, without expressing our Irving thinks, about the seals and the trumpets, about the Infidel king, or the palm-bearing virgins, all is, in this reference, utter impertinence and solemn trifling. Let them stand back, and the Scripture trumpet can make itself heard in sounds which need no interpretation. “Behold, he cometh in clouds, and every eye shall see him.” Yes—“we believe that Thou shalt come to be our judge.”
But we are not to forget, that, as members of Christ's Church on earth, we have duties and prospects connected with the extension of his kingdom and the fulfilment of his promises, here. This is a subject upon which we cannot now enter. It is a delightful and heart-cheering thought, that, amid all that is adverse and discouraging, in the petty squabbles, follies, and errors within the Church, and the opposition without, Truth is making her omnipotent advance, and the day is breaking. Mr. Douglas will be thought by many of his readers a little Utopian; nor can we entirely acquit him of being sometimes led away by his feelings into a generous confidence of assertion inadmissible in hypothetical statement. But so beauteous are the visions he calls up, that, if it be a dream, we would fain dream it again. Such dreams are at least the shadow of glorious realities; and they harmonize with the glowing imagery of prophecy, far better than the angry or timid bodings of fanaticism. There was a greater disproportion,' Mr. Douglas remarks, between the resources of the first • Christians and their success in changing the moral condition of the Roman Empire, than there is at present between the means which Christians now possess and the universal con* version of the world. That Christianity is not now universal, is referrible to no other cause than the unfaithfulness of those who have been entrusted with the knowledge of it. But, while there is no room for self-complacent gratulation on the slow and tardy exertions which the Christian world is at length putting forth, it would be, in our judgement, impious to entertain a doubt as to their result. We believe that a tide has set, in, which shall never recede,
« Till, like a sea of glory, Side 9413
It spread from pole to pole;
The Lamb for sinners slain,
In bliss return to reign." sense of the obligations under which he has laid the Christian world by his practical writings. We beg him to believe that, for his piety. his catholic spirit, and, on all other points, his sound judgement, we entertain a cordial respect. T 1904009 da odliw choixer a mi sm o
Art. IV. The Cottage Bible and Family Expositor ; containing the
Authorized Translation of the Old and New Testaments, with Practical Reflections, and short explanatory Notes, calculated to elucidate difficult and obscure Passages. By Thomas Williams.
8vo. Vol. II. Price 10s. London, W E have already noticed this useful work, the second vom
V lume of which, comprehending the poetical and propheti. cal portions of the Old Testament from the Psalms to Malachi inclusive, is now completed. In the prosecution of his undertaking, the Editor has not relaxed in diligent attention to the providing of the requisite materials; and the same proofs of judicious selection and, perspicuous arrangement are apparent in the volume before us. The limits within which he has con• fined his elucidations, are too restricted to admit of the enlargement which the illustration of many passages would seem to require ; and in such cases, the more voluminous compilations and original commentaries of his predecessors must be consulted. The advantages, however, afforded by the most extensive commentaries, are not always in proportion to their magnitude; and a concise note is frequently more satisfactory to an ingenuous inquirer, than many pages of elaborated exposition. It is this kind of assistance that the Editor of the
Cottage Bible' will be found to have contributed, and from which his work derives much of its value. From the margin of the Public Version, and other English translations of the Scriptures, he has selected various readings and explanatory sentences, which will enable the reader to perceive more clearly the meaning of many of the expressions of the Bible, and more correctly to understand the design of its writers..
In some passages, we should have advised the Editor to in. troduce the contents of his notes in the form of necessary corrections of the common text, rather than as variations from it. The word leasing' is altogether unintelligible to readers in general, and was very improperly inserted in the Public Ver. Rion of the Scriptures. In the only two passages in which it occurs, (Ps. iv. 2, v. 6), the Editor has omitted to notice its intrusion, and supplies no further means of explanation than the note, • leasing-Horsley, “ falsehood.".' The note should have described this as being the import of the original expression, adopted by almost all the translators, and not as a various reading, on Horsley's authority, who has no claim to it. The commencing verses of the Eighteenth Psalm do not appear to us to present to a reader any of those difficulties which it has been considered by many expositors as including. We were forcibly reminded by the perusal of the following note, of the VOL. XXVII,
manner in which they entangle themselves and others in un. pecessary perplexities.
• Ver. 3. I will call.- This being a Psalm of thanksgiving, Bishop Horne thinks, the verbs should be rendered in the preter tense : so Dr. Kennicott. But as the Heb. is future, we rather think with Mr. Scott, that the future was used purposely, to express “ the feelings of David's heart, while struggling with his difficulties ; he then said, “ I will love," &c.'
The diversity of rendering occurring in respect to these verbs, may be understood from the following specimens. •I
will love-1 take refuge-When I call-I am saved.' Green. • I love-- I take refuge-I always invoke-I am saved.' Street. • I love I trust- invoked-I was preserved. Geddes. AD attentive consideration of the Psalm will, we think, be sufficient to shew, that the whole of the variations from the readings of the Public Version are erroneous, and originate in mistaken apprehensions of the design of the Author of this inimitable composition. The opening sentiment of a thanks giving ode intended to record the circumstances of the Writer's danger and deliverance, frequently contains the conclusion or resolution formed by him in relation to them. Thus, in Ps. lxxiii., the expressions, “ Truly God is good to Israel, " to such as are of a clean heart," are the conclusion of the whole train of feeling described in the Psalm, and the sențiment which, having the most forcible possession of the mind, is the first subject of its utterance. So, in the Psalm before us, the Author, at the moment of his engaging in its composition, expresses the resolution which the signal interposition of the Most High for his preservation had impelled him to purpose : “ I will love thee, O LORD, my strength." And with this resolution, it was natural that he should associate his views of the Divine character, and express his confidence in the Divine protection. In this way, the first three verses of the Psalm are easily and naturally explained ; and the verbs, as in the Public Version, are correctly read in the future. The descriptive particulars of the dangers and deliverance recorded and celebrated, begin at the fourth verse. The future is evidently used in .vss. 1, 2, 3, not to express the feelings of David's heart while struggling with his difficulties, but to describe his feelings in respect to a time when they were no
onger distressing him, and when he was gratefully remember* ing the signal favours which had been vouchsafed to him.
2. We are pleased to observe, that the Editor of the Cottage Bible excuses himself from following the scheme of interpretation adopted by Bishop Horsley, and other writers of the Hutchinsonian school. The extravagant licences in which these writers permit themselves to indulge, are striking instances of the tendency of system to mislead the judgement and piety of intelligent individuals. It is impossible to approve of a scheme of exposition which demands for its support such a remark as that,Perhaps He, who, although he - was without sin, was yet “ tempted in all points like unto ' us,” might, in his liumility, speak of the incitement of the • passions in his own mind, as weakness and fault, making con. • fession of it before the Father.' (See Horsley on Ps. Ixix. 5.) On a misapplication of this kind, the following remarks of Mr. Williams are not in any respect too strong.
• The learned Mr. Hutchinson, having adopted the plan of applying all the Psalms indiscriminately to the Messiah, represents him as pleading the inefficacy of his blood without a resurrection from the dead; and we know that a like system was adopted by some of the early Christian fathers, who were intoxicated with the love of alle. gory : we, however, consider this scheme not only as fanciful and injudicious, but as dishonourable to Him, whom we doubt not it was designed to honour. When did the Saviour boast in his prosperity, " I shall never be moved?” He was, at least, from arriving at maturity, “a man of sorrows," and knew that he came into the world to suffer and to die. Bishop Horsley himself was sensible of this, and owns that this application cannot be admitted without referriog his " prosperity” to his state of glory at the resurrection, after which he was to be no more moved ! an interpretation that appears to us violently forced and unwarrantable.' Ps. XXX.
On the titles and technical and peculiar terms occurring in the Psalms, the Editor has furnished some curious observations. The musical instruments and melodies of the ancient Hebrews, however, are subjects on which too little is known to enable a modern writer to satisfy our inquiries. • We shall lay before our readers the Exposition and Notes attached to an entire Psalm, as the best means of assisting them to judge of its execution.
PSALM LXV, + A- Psalm of thanksgiving for the blessings of Providence.--" In this psalm, God is praised for his providential government of the material world. It seems to have been a thanksgiving for the getting in of the fruits of the earth, and might be composed for the feast of Tabernacles. But, considering the manifest allusion to redemption and the conversion of the Gentiles, in the former part of the psalm, I cannot but think (says Bishop Horsley) that the blessings of the gospel are adumbrated under the image of genial showers and luxuriant crops." Taking the same view of the psalm with this