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Such, fuch our enemies beheld,
§ 3. The first seven verfes of the Apostle PAUL'S Epiftle to the Romans is but one period, and seems very irregular and intangled, though it is quite reconcilable to the analogy of rational grammar. The preface, " PAUL, a fervant of JESUS CHRIST, waits for its complete sense till the seventh verfe," to all that are in Rome," &c. So long is the parenthesis, and fo great is the tranfposition. But whoever will duly consider the passage will find, that every inter
Qualem miniftrum fulminis alitem,
Olim juventas, & patrius vigor
Venti paventem; mox in ovilia
HORAT. Od. lib, iv. od, 4
vening ingraftment, or feemingly lawless luxuriance, is rich in divine fentiment, and ftrongly evinces the feraphic devotion of the Apostle's fpirit.
§ 4. Dr WATTS, in his epiftolary preface to his version of the 114th Pfalm, as preferved in the Spectator*, fays, "As I was defcribing the journey of Ifrael from Egypt, and added the "divine prefence, I perceived a beauty in the "Pfalm which was intirely new to me, and "which I was going to ufe; and that is, that "the Poet utterly conceals the prefence of GoD "in the beginning of it, and rather lets a pos"fefsive Pronoun go without its Substantive, ❝ than he will fo much as mention any thing of "divinity there: "Judah was his fanctuary, and
Ifrael his dominion," or kingdom. The rea"fon now appears evident, and this conduct "necessary, for if GOD had appeared before, "there could be no wonder why the mountains "should leap, and the sea retire; therefore, that "this convulsion of nature may be brought in "with due furprise, his name is not mentioned « till afterwards, and then with a very agree"able turn of thought; GoD is introduced at "once with all his majesty." With this previous remark we fhall trace the beauty of the Psalm, and find it springing from such a kind of fufpension as that of which we have been fpeaking, or at least I know not under what Figure
Vol. vi. N° 461.
besides fo properly to range it. "When Ifrael Ss went out of Egypt, the house of JACOB from " a people of strange language: JUDAH was his fanctuary, and Ifrael his dominion. The fea "faw it, and fled; Jordan was driven back: "the mountains skipped like rams, and the little Shills like lambs. What ailed thee, O thou fea, that thou fleddeft? thou Jordan, that ss thou waft driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams? and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble thou, earth, at the presence " of the LORD, at the prefence of the God of Jacob. Who turned the rock into a standing ss water; the flint into a fountain of water."
I think it not improper to infert the excellent • version of this Pfalm by Dr WATTS, though it is to be found in his Imitation of the Pfalms of DAVID, a book so much known in the world.
When Ifrael, freed from PHARAOH's hand,
Left the proud tyrant, and his land;
Their King, and Judah was his throne.
Across the deep their journey lay;
The mountains fhook like frighted sheep,
What pow'r could make the deep divide?
5. I fhall conclude this Figure with a remark, and a few cautions.
The remark is, that this Figure greatly entertains our hearers, as it ftrikes out of the common road, both as to fenfe and method of exprefsion, and keeps the mind, while the Figure is properly managed, in a pleasing attention. And methinks nothing can more ftrongly fhew the ardor and riches of a speaker's or writer's ideas, than when his language is fometimes abrupt, and broken, and irregular, and the thoughts crowd fo faft and full, as that they cannot ftay to get clothed in the common forms of exprefsion. Of this fort of Figures, we may fay with Mr POPE,
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part, And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art *. And again,
Great wits may fometimes gloriously offend, And rife to faults true critics dare not mend †. *POPE's Effay on Criticism, ver. 152. + Ver.159,160.
The cautions are, that we should not be too free with this Figure; as indeed its very nature fhews, that it should be but fparingly used: That we should take heed, while we indulge to irregularity and disorder, or at leaft vary from the common arrangements of speech, that we do not fall into abfurdity and a kind of inexplicable entanglement. And finally, when we make these kinds of excursion, and deviate a while from the usual track, let us be folicitous not to take thefe liberties in vain, or for a light and trifling purpose. When we return from our digressions, and close our periods, let us return loaden with the best part of the freight of SOLOMON's fhips, when they came from Tarshish t; I mean the gold and silver, sentiments of substantial worth; and not with apes and peacocks, ideas only fit to draw ridicule upon us, or glittering with a gaudy fplendor, but deftitute of intrinsic merit.
+1 Kings x. 22.