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proper Psalms for the service of Christmas day, in our Evangelical Liturgy.
To this Pfalm, John the Baptist evidently alluded; beautifully representing CHRIST, as the Bridegroom, and himself, as his Friend, or Bridesman : I am not the Christ, but am sent before Him: He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom; but the Friend of the Bridegroom, who ftandeth [by] and heareth his voice, rejoiceth with joy, on account of the Bridegroom's voice. This then my joy is compleated.” John 8. 28. And thus, our Lord, pursuing the Allegory : “ Can the Sons of the Bridechamber mourn so long as the Bridegroom is with them?-finely contrasting the innocent chearfulness of his own disciples,” with the rigorous fafts and mortifications of “ John the Baptist's disciples," formed on the usage of the ke wish devotees : remarkably recorded by three Evangelists, Matt. 9. 15; Mark 2. 19; and Luk. 5. 34 :- And still further unfolded, in the admirable and awakening Parable of the Ten Virgins, attendant on bis marriage, Matt. 25. 1.--And following up the same clue, the Apocalypse, represents the Evangelical Church, "prepared, as a Bride adorned for her Husband"- The Lamb's wife.” Rev. 21. 2, 9. clearly illustrat, ing the last part of this Psalm.
PSALM XLV. For the PRECENTOR ON THE HEXACHORD; FOR (the CHORISTERS] THE SONS OF KORAH: A HYMN, An ANTHEM OF LOVES, [or, AN ANTHEM FOR THE BELOVED. Sept. Title.]
1. My Heart is teeming with a good Oracle ;
I will utter my compositions touching the King :
My Tongue is like the pen of a ready Writer.
Grace is shed forth on thy lips ;
Therefore, hath God blessed Thee for ever.
In thy glory and thy majefty :
For the cause of Truth, Meekness and Righteousness;
And thy right hand shall teach thee Terrible (exploits] :
The King's Enemies shall fail in heart.--
A Sceptre of Equity [is] the Sceptre of thy kingdom !-
Therefore hath GOD, THY GOD, ANOINTED Thee,
With Oil of Gladness, above'thy Fellows."
[Taken) out of the Ivory Cabinets ; wherewith,
At thy right hand is placed THE QUEEN,
[Clad] in gold of Ophir :-
Forget thine own people, and thy Father's House ;
12. And the Daughter of Tyre [shall come] with a Gift,
The Rich among the People fall fupplicate thy presence. 13. The KING'S DAUGHTER is all glorious in her presence,
Her Vesture is of embroidered gold and needle work, 14. She thall be introduced to the King: The Virgins in her train, her Companions, shall be brought unta.
Thee, 15. With joy and gladness shall they be introduced,
And shall enter into the King's Palace.
Thou shalt make them Princes, in all the Earth :
Among the various gueffes concerning the import of the obfcure Title prefixed to this Psalm ; the most probable, seerns to be, that b'ıww ShoMhannim, denotes some kind of musical instrument with fix strings, (from ww, fix.) like as o'qwbus, expreffes one with three strings, i Sam. 18. 6;
-O'Mpe, one with cight ftrings, Pf. 6. Title ;--And 7uy , a lute or hurp, with ten ftrings, Pf. 32. 2; and 144. 9.--The last clause, Anthem of Lores”-seems to be well explained by the Septuagint, applying it to the MessiaH, --- An tinthem for THE BELOVED."- Indeed, the remarkable length and precision of the Title, intimates fufficiently, in what High Eftimation this Prophetic Hymn, was formerly held by the Jewish Church ; as it is now in the Christian; it being one of the proper Psalms, appointed to be used on Christmas day, by our Liturgy: as celebrating the Spiritual graces, the conqueits, the divinity of Christ ; his everlasting and equitable Dominion; his mystical Union with the Church, or congregation of the Faithful; and the ministry of his Saints, in propagating his Praise throughout all the Earth, to the end of Time.
1. “ My heart is teeming uith a good Oracle,
I will utter my compositions touching the King,
Mly Tongue is like the Pon of a rcaily Writer.' In this noble and animated exordium, the Royal Prophet represents himself, as actuated by the overflowing fullness of Divine inspiration, to give vent or utterance,” to the mighty subject with which his “ heart”
" labouring.”-The Heathen poets frequently adopt the famo imagery : Thus Claudian, in his Epithalamium on the Goddess Juno:
« Junonis thulames audàci promere cantui
MENS CONGEST A jubet."And Martial has well expressed the Pfalmift's Pen of a ready Writer :
“ CURRANT VERBA licit, MANUS (s velocior illis ;
Nondum LINGUA, fuum DEXTRA peregit opus.” I have rendered, 070-927, “a good Oracle,” because the phrase is elsewhere used to denote a propitious prophecy, spoken by or from THE LORD. Jer. 29. 10. Isa. 39. 8. The Septuagint render it, Angor ayafov, here, and in Isaiah ; and in Jeremiah, where the oracular import
by the ,את דברי הטוב ,is Taore ftrongly marked by emphatic articles
more , , plural, τες λογές με τις αγαθος.
And the word, 727, Dabar, fingly, is frequently fo understood; as for instance, in the following passage, Dan. 10. 1-" In the third year of Cyrus King of Persia, an Oracle was revealed to Daniel, (whose surname was Belteshaflar) and the Oracle was true, and its martial import great ; and he understood the Oracle, and understanding was [given) to him in the Vision.” And as this is the lequel of the Famous Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, the same word Dabar, should be so rendered, the Oracle,” in its commencement, 9. 23. whose mis-translation, the Commandment,” (usually mistaken for the Decree or Edict of Cyrus, or Darius, or Artaxerxes, &c.) has hitherto inextricably embarrated that most noble Prophecy. See my Translation and Remarks thereon, in THE Inspector, p. 202, and preceding note, p. 146.-In all these cases, the Septuagint rendering of Dibur, is Ayo, which thould be therefore rendered in similar cases, both of the Old and New TestAMENT, cle ;--where" Il'ord," or
Thing," or “ Matter," are inadequate to the occasion, or the context; as in John, 1. 1. &c. 2." Thou art most beautiful above the Sons of Adam.
Grace is fied forth on thy lips;
Therefore hath God blejjed thee for ever.” Aben Ezra judiciously remarks that in the original verb, DYE'D', Taphlaphitha, (from 170', Toph-ah, “pulcher fuit") the repetition of the first syllable of the Root, is intensitive, and marks the pertection of personal beaufy. So Virgil describes that of his Hero £ncus, 4. 141. by a double fuperlative :
Ipfe, ante alios pulcherrimus omnes,
Infert se focium Æneas.And in several paffages of our Liturgical Plalms, the double fuperlative is introduced with the finest efiet : as in Pf. 82. 6.
“ I have fayde, ye are Gods:
And ye al are children of THE MOST HIGHEST." which I cannot help regretting, has been fuperseded by the tameness of the single superlative, “ Most High,” or “ Highejt,” in the later Tranilations, where the SUPREME BEING is the object.
An admirable literal Comment on the Patrage in question, is furnished in Milton's charming defcription of Adam by the Angel Gabriel. P. L. 8. 218.
Nor are thy Lips ungraceful, Sire of Men,
Attend Thee, and each word each motion forms. In this masterly paraphrase, worthy of the Sublime Original, “ Comeliness," according to our great English' Lexicographer, John/on,“ seems to be that species of Beauty, which excites respect rather than pleasure":" Vol. III. Churchm. Mag. Nor, 1802. L]
consisting in "Dignity and Grandeur of Mien and Look."-And how in-
" The SPIRIT OF THE LORD is upon
[Or the grand Spiritual Jubilee, to Sinners.] * This day,” said our Lord, (when he had read the passage and closed the book) is this scripture-prophecy (Ý ypceon'autn) fulfilled in your Ears”
“ And the eyes of all in the Synagogue were fastened on Him- And all wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his Mouth," Luk. 4. 20, 22.-And afterwards, '“ the Multitudes” who listened to his Divine instructions and to his Incomparable Sermon on the Mount, were struck with astonishment at his Teaching ; for He taught them " as having authority.” Matt. 7. 28. Mark !. 22. Luk. 4. 32.
And how amazingly insinuating and powerful must have been the tone of his voice and mode of speaking, when the woman exclaimed with rapture, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, &c. !--even the officers sent to apprehend him, pleaded in excuse for not doing so, to the Chief Priests and Pharisees—“ Never Man /pake like this Man !” John 8. 46. And they who did afterwards apprehend Him, as soon as he had pronounced the words Eyw eigenz" I am,' “retreated backwards, and fell to the ground," appalled ; nor durft they, we may presume, execute their commission or lay their unhallowed hands on Him, until encouraged by his own permission : " I told you that I am: if then ye Seek Mc, let these (meaning his Disciples] retire." John 18. 4, 9.
Nor is the Prophet Ifaiah's description of the person of the suffering MESSIAH ; at all inconsistent herewith: as having no form nor comelinefs”-and “his visage disfigured more than Man; and his form, more than the Sons of Adam,” Ifa. 53. 2. ard 52. 14. For this was the natural result of the greatness of his paftion; when “ His Soul was exceeding sorrowful, [even) unto death"-verifying the Prophet's predi&tion in the next verse; that He should be “ a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” Ifa. 53. 3. Insomuch, that in the poignancy of his agony, in the
Garden of Gethsemane, “ His sweat was as it were great drops of blood, falling down to the ground.” Matt. 26. 38. Luk. 22. 44.
But what was the native dignity and majesty of his presence, we may collect from the awful and astonishing circumstances of his Transfiguration, shortly before "his departure," attended by his glorified Servants Mofes, the great founder, and Elijah, the great restorer of The Law; in the fight of his confidential disciples, Peter, James and John, the great Heralds of the Gospel :--and the favoured " eye witnesles of his Majesty,” 2 Pet. 1. 16. who themselves beheld his glory; a glory Suitable to the only genuine [Son] of the FATHER ; after The ORACLE became fresh, and Jojourned among Us, full of Grace and Truth,” John 1. 14. They who furnished the three Evangelists Mattheu, Mark and Luke, with the following circumstances :
“ And it came to pass; while He was praying, that the form of his visage was changed : His visage phone as the Sun ; and his raiment became dazzling bright, very white as jinou, such as no Fuller on earth is able to whiten; white as the light”
And the effect of the ftupendous Vision on the Disciples is thus described" they fell on their face; and were greatly affrighted"~" they were terrified"- they were oppressed with seep."-“But Jesus touched them”-and “s when they were thoroughly awake (Siaypayopno aviles), they saw his glory, and the two men standing with Him.”
N: B. Compare with this, our Lord's similar manifestations to Daniel, 10. 5, 12, and to John, Revelat. 1, 12, 18. And fee THE INSPECTOR, p. 72.
This aftonishing Transfiguration, fo clearly and diftin&ly described by the three Evangelists, from the two original witnesses Peter and John, happening during our LORD's incarnation, is satisfactory evidence of a Divine Nature, intimately blended with his Human Nature; but in a way utterly incomprehensible to us; it is also of the utmost importance, as forming a middle link, between his antecedent and subsequent manifestations, under the Old and New Dispensations, as The God of GLORY,” Acts 7. 2. and “ THE LORD OF GLORY." 1 Cor. 2. 8.
It is truly remarkable, that this was the second time, that Nioses and Elijah were made spectators of his glory, on the fame Mount of God, Horeb or Sinai : The appearance to Moses, is described, Exod. 33. 12, 23. to Elijah, 1 Kings 19. 4, 18,- graciously vouchsafed to both, for their encouragement and support under the arduous trials of their Ministry; after Moses had signalized his zeal for The LORD, by punishing the Idolatrous Israelites at Sinai, with the sword of the Levites who ranged themselves on the Lord's side,” Exod. 32. 15, 19. and after Elijah had Nain all the prophets of Baal, 1 Kings 18. 21, 40.
(To be continued.)
A SHORT WAY WITH THE METHODISTS. TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN. BE not righteous over-much ;”--this is a precèpt of the royal Preacher.,
There is danger in excesses of every kind. Truth itself, carried to an extreme, partakes of the nature of error. “ Summum Jus," it has been