Page images


question amounts to this; whether we shall, supply Christian readers and Christian congregations with new means of instruction and pleasure, by enabling them to understand their bible better : and let all who can promote a work of such moment, confider this question with due ierioufacss and attention.'

To give some general idea of the manner in which the author has executed his undertaking, we shall select the third chapter of Habakkuk, with notes on the fix first verses annexed. The noble and animated address to the Almighty, which it contains, is scarcely inferior, in point of sublimity, to any passage in the royal pfalmiit: it is conceived, indeed, much in his manner; and a German commentator thus roundly asserts it to have been written in imitation of him.

* Нес oratio fcripta fuit ad imitationem odarum Davidicarum : quod, teftantur voces in ea repertæ, odis illis peculiares ; ut sunt + Sigionoth, v. 1. Selah, v. 3. Lamenaffea, v. 19. Neginoth in eodem versa. 1 (A Prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet upon Shigionoth.] O Jehovah, I have heard thy I speech;

I have 1. A prayer] The title seems a Jewish annotation of a later age: and the insertion of it interrupts the connection.

-Shigionoth] The word is probably derived from the Syr. 130, mutavit, variavit: and thus may denote a musical instrument of

great compass, with which the Jews accompanied this piece of poetry.

2. —thy speech] Which thou hast communicated to me: c. i. 5II. ii. 4–20. See Obad. i. I.

•—thy work) I have been struck with fear, because of the judgments denounced against, Judah and Jerusalem : c. i. 5-11, ii. 4, 5, 8, 17. One MS. reads 75y, because of thy work.

" Jehovah, I have seen thy work.” Dr. Wheeler. He places 'n'*7 over seen. 6. have xetivóiga : and in MS. Pachom. and ed. Ald. we find Kugie, XaTeyón .

---approachCappellus prefers the reading of ó. and Aquila : év tane εγγίζειν, εν τω παρειιαι: 2155.

thou hast shewn it] Cappellus ingeniously conjectures 17710, mew it. I prefer : 177, thou hast fewn it. ó. have suvv, which word reprefents niin. One MS. has at present 1,771, another perhaps 1717, another 12"), which reading. Jerom allo found. `Kenn. diss. gen. § 84. 13.

thou makes it known] One MS. reads 9097107, notum facies id. i-thou rememberest Observe the topics of consolation, c. ii. 4. 14 : and the several woes denounced against Babylon.

| Hebr. bearing. * Crit. Sac. tom. iv. p. 6815.

+ He translates the first verse, oratio IIabaccuci canenda fecundum odas quas higionoth vocant; which he supposes derived from a word that fignifies errare. It may, however, be observed, that the transitions in this chapter are lefs abrupt than in most other poetical passages of the prophetic writings.

I 2

• 3. God


I have feared, O Jehovah, thy work.
As the years approach, thou haft shewn it;
As the years approach, thou makelt it known.
In wrath thou rememberest

mercy. 3

God came from Teman,
And the Holy One from mount Paran: [Selah.]
His glory covered the heavens ;*

And the earth was full of his praise. 4. His brightnefs was as the light:

Rays streamed + from his hand :

And there was the hiding-place of his power. 5 Before him went the pellilence :

And 3. God came-] Bishop Lowth observes that this is a fudden burst of poetry, in the true fpirit of the ode; the concealed connection being, that God, who had formerly displayed such power in delivering the IIraelites from Egyptian Navery, might fuccour their pofterity in a like wonderful manner; and the enthusiasm of the poet leading him to neglect all obvious ways of entering on his subject. Præl. Hebr. xxviii. v. 3-9 contain a sublime description of God, when he conducted his people to the land of Canaan. The grandest circumftances are selected; and the diction is as splendid as the subjects.

• _Teman) First perhaps the name of an encampment, and afterwards of an Idumean city. Numb. XX. 21. Jer. xlix. 7. Job ii. 11.

6-Paran) Sec Deut. xxxiii. 2. A part of Arabia Petrea : Gen. xxi. 21.

6-Selah] See Pol. fyn. Pr. iii. ó. render the word die fanpa, which, says Suidas, is pédes évainagn, cantus immutatio.

-glory! On mount Sinai, and in the pillar of fire. 6-praise) On account of his majesty and power. Bishop Lowth, ubi Supr. renders the word splendour ; and Green's version is,

And his glory filled the earth." The verb 5577, in Hiphil, fignifies to shine.

« And his praise filled the earth." Dr. Wheeler. 4. His brightness] ó Ar. Syr. Chald. Houbigant, read 177.31 et Splendor ejus. V. has fplendor ejus. The vau may be considered as conversive of 7'777, and may be omitted in an English translation.

Rays) The verb 17, signifies to shine : Ex. xxxiv. 29, 30, 35 : and a pencil, or coné, of rays, issuing from a point, diverges in the shape of a horn. See Deut. xxxiii. 2:

“ From his right hand issued ftreams of light :" the original word being 10x, from 708 in Syr. and Chald. to pour forth. See the learned Dr. Durell's note on the place. Twenty Mss. and one ed. read O'721, and rays.

And there] In the place whence the light proceeded he gloriously concealed his presence. Three MSS. originally, and V. Chald. read DW, there.

-of his power] Keri, many MSS. and some editions, read 179, or 1717, loxúos aulă. ó.

•Capellus understands the verse of the lightning on mount Sinai ; but I rather refer it to the brightness which occasionally issued from the Shechinah. Ex. xvi. 7, 10.

65. - the peftilence) See Numb. xi. 33. xiv. 37. xvi. 46. It was occasionally inflicted on the Israelites for their guilt.

6-flashes + Hebr. to him from his band.

And flashes of fire * went forth after him. 6 He stood, and measured the land ;

He beheld, and dispersed the nations :
And the everlasting mountains were broken asunder;
The eternal hills bowed down :

The eternal paths t were trodden by him.
7 Thou saweft the tents of Cushan I in affliction :

The scurtains of the land of Midian trembled. 8 • Was the anger of Jehovah kindled again the floods?

Was thy wrath againft the floods ?
Was thine indignation against the sea,
When thou didît ride on thine horses, and on thy chariots

of deliverance ? 9 Thy bow was made bare, According to the oath unto the tribes, even the promise.

'Thou didt cleave the streams of the land :
The mountains saw thee and were in pangs :
The overflowing of waters passed away :
The deep uttered its voice :
It lifted up its hands on high.

"The Tun and the moon ftood fill in their habitation
By their light thine arrows went abroad ;
By their brightness, the lightning of thy spear.

In thine indignation didit thou march through the


[ocr errors]





'-afhes of fire) 907, qułequid qvolando adurit et inflammat. Caft. lex. Ardor vibrans 'ac corufcus. Schultens, on Job v. 7. See also Gussetius; who, hy comparing Pf. lxxvüi. 48, with Ex. ix. 29, collects that gw has the nature of W&, fire : but thinks it id, quod in igne vehementiori fefe vibrat; flamma rubens. Lev. X. 2, Numb. xi. 1, xvi. 35. the Israelites were consumed by a fire which went out from Jehovah. And Lev. ix. 24. the burnt offering was consumed by a fire which came out from before Jehovah. 1

6. -measured) Divided it out, like a conqueror. Pf. lx. 6. Green, d. have loadsúøn, and Chald. Y!)&, from yli, movit. Hence Cappellus

; , , , , ), et subjecit. Poffibly 7''), and moved.

i dispersed] One signification of the Arabic root in Cast. lex. is sparsit, difperfit ; and in Syr. Chald. Arab. the word 'fignifies defluxit, decidit. It may therefore be rendered in Hiphil. defluere, vel decidere, fecit.

6 --the nations] All who 'opposed his people; and particularly the feven nations.

-mountains--hills. ] This may be understood of cleaving the rock for water: Ex. xvij. 6 : and of God's wonderful display of his power on Sinai, when the mouuntain fhook Ex. xix. 18.

eternal paths) Literally, God occupied the summit of the eternal mount Sinai; and led his people over the eternal mountains in Arabia Petræa. And this sense is preferable to the figurative one; that his ways, or doings, are predetermined from everlasting.'

* Hebr. at his feet. † Hebr. were his. I Hebr. under. Or, tent-curtains.

• In

I 3

In thy wrath did it thou * tread the nations.
13 Thou wenteft forth for the deliverance of thy people,

Even for the deliverance of thine anointed ones.
• Thou didft wound the head out of the house of the

wicked : Thou didit lay bare the foundation to the rock: [Selah.] 14 Thou didit pierce with thy red the head of his viilages.

They rushed as a whirlwind to scatter us:
Their rejoicing was, as if they thould devour the poor

1; Thou didit march through the sea with thine horses :

Through the heap of mighty waters.
16 • When I heard thy speech, my bowels trembled :

At the voice my lips quivered :
Rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in † my

place ;
Because I shall be brought to the day of trouble,
To go up captive unto the people who shall invade us with

their troops.
17 . But although the figtree shall not fourish,

And there thall be no produce in the vines;
The fruit of the olive shall fail,
And the fields ft.all not yield food ;
The flocks shall be cut off from the fold,

And there Ihall be no herd in the stalls; 18 Yet will I rejoice in Jehovah,

I will exult in the God of my falration. 19 The Lord Jehovah is my strength;

And he will make my feet like hind's feet,
And will cause me to iread on mine high places.

[To the chief musician on my ftringed instruments.]' Whoever will compare our old tranfation with the above, must be convinced that it should at least be carefully revised and corrected. The flyle of it, which age has in some degree confecrated, and is poflefied of a certain kind of dignified fimplicity, cannot posibly be much improved ; but its inaccyracies are too great and numerous, not to reflect dishonour on the pielent enlightened age, if fon.ething is not done by public authority towards the removal of them. Such an undertaking would lay the foundation for other necessary amende ments in our church establishment; which, if conducted with candour and moderation, would tend to obviate the cavils of fectaries, and blunt the arrows of infidelity. • Hebr. threb.

t Hebr. under me.

[ocr errors][merged small]

25. 68.

Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, and

the Means of making it a Benefit to the IV urld. To which is added, A Letter from M. Turgot, late Comptroller-general of the Finances of France : with an Appendix, containing a Translation of the Will of M. Fortuné Ricard, lately published in France. By Richard Price, D. D. LL. D. 8vo.

Cadell. IF F we have sometimes differed in opinion from Dr. Price, we

have never questioned his candcur and fincerity: if he has mistaken the proper means to attain his end, and, in that career, injured the country to which his firft allegiance was due, he probably was infuenced by a warmth of zeal for what might appear to him, the cause of virtue and innocence; a warmth that often milleads, and a zeal that frequently blinds the judgment. The cause of our disagreement is now at an end; and we can look on the United States as a new nation, in its infancy; on America, as a new world, which requires to be fostered and instructed. In the discussions on this subject, we would wish to avoid all reasoning from events : the impartial pen of history will delineate the late scenes of war in different colours from those which either the warmth of enthusiasm, or the gloom of disappointment may employ; America will probably not appear the land of patriotism and virtue, nor England the haughty tyrant and un. just oppressor. If we exclude then, these little points, the • veteris veftigia flammæ,' and look on the Americans with an impartial eye, as citizens of the world, we must allow a confiderable share of merit to these Observations: they are often clear, çandid, and judicious. The author, however, is not always able to avoid the .extravagancies of speculative politicians; and in the management of his new Utopia, he seems to expect more than those who are acquainted with the natural depravity of mankind will allow.

Perhaps the author's title promises too much ; for the great object of his precepts is to secure the happiness and prosperity of America. The world' in general may be benefited by their example; but it is not easy to say, how far his advice can be with advantage adopted in different states of society. Perhaps Dr. Price, in his fondness for this new world, having been engaged in rearing it, at the risk of much abuse, and fome danger,' may have forgot that there is any other : we are sorry to have had reason for supposing that there was a time when, in the same enthusiasm, he forgot that he had a coun. try. There is another oversight in this pamphlet. The United States are supposed to be exempted from the danger of wars; I 4


« PreviousContinue »