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patible with the manner of writing, which was then in vogue. We indeed in Europe, who, in this matter, have taken our examples from Greece, can hardly read any thing with pleasure, that is not digested into order and sorted under proper heads; but the eastern nations, who were used to a free way of discourse, and never cramped their notions by methodical limitations, would have despised a composition of this kind, as much as we do a school-boy's theme, with all the formalities of its exordiums, ratios, and confirmations. And if this was no precedent for other nations, much less can we think, that God Almighty's method ought to be confined to human laws, which, being designed for the narrowness of our conceptions, might be improper and injurious to his, whose thoughts are as far above ours, as the hea. vens are higher than the earth.'
The truth is, inspiration is, in some measure, the language of another world, and carries in it the reasoning of spirits, which, without controversy, is vastly different from ours. We indeed, to make things lie plain before our understandings, are forced to sort them out into distinct partitions, and consider them by little and little, that so at last, by gradual advances, we may come to a tolerable conception of them; but this is no argument for us to think that pure spirits do reason after this manner. Their understandings are quick and intuitive: they see the whole compass of rational inferences at once; and have no need of those little methodical distinctions which oftentimes help the imperfections of our intellects. Now, though we do not assert, that the language of the Holy Scriptures is an exact copy of the reasoning of the spiritual world; yet since they came by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, it is but reasonable to expect that they should preserve some small relish of it; as books translated into another tongue always retain some marks of their originals. And hence it comes to pass, that though the Holy Ghost does vouchsafe to speak in the language of men, yet iu his divine compositions, there are some traces to be found of that bold and unlimited ratiocination, which is peculiar to the heavenly inhabitants, whose noble and flaming 'thoughts are never clogged with the cold and jejune laws of human method.
ON THE BEAUTIES OF THE PSALMS. POETRY is sublime, when it awakens in the mind any great and good affection, as piety, or patriotism. This is one of the noblest effects of the art. The Psalms are remarkable beyond all other writings, for their power of inspiring devout emotions. But it is not in this respect only that they are sublime. Of the Divine nature they contain the most magnificent descriptions that the soul of man can comprehend. The hundred and fourth Psalm, in particular, displays the power and goodness of Providence, in creating and preserving the world, and the various tribes of animals in it, with such majestic brevity and beauty, as it is vain to look for in any human composition.
GREATNESS confers no exemption from the cares and sorrows of life : its share of them frequently bears a melancholy proportion to its exaltation. This the Israelitish monarch experienced. He sought in piety that peace, which he could not find in empire, and alleviated the disquietudes of state with the exercises of devotion. His invaluable Psalms convey those comforts to others, which they afforded to himself. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out as services for Israelites under the law, yet no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the gospel : they present religion to us in the most engaging dress; communicating truths which philosophy could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal ; while history is made the vehicle of prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calculated alike to profit and to please, they inform the understanding, elevate the affections, and entertain the imagination. Indited under the influence of Him, to whom all hearts are known, and all events foreknown, they suit mankind in all situations, grateful as the manna which descended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrancy; but these unfading plants of paradise become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily beightened ; fresh odours are emitted, and new weets extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellencies, will desire to taste them yet again; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best.--And now could the author flatter himself that any one would take half the pleasure in reading his work which he hath taken in writing it, he would not fear the loss of his labour. The employment detached him from the bustle and hurry of life, the din of politics, and the noise of folly; vanity and vexation flew away for a seagon; care and disquietude came not near his dwelling. He rose, fresh as the morning, to his task ; the silence of the night invited him to pursue it; and he can truly say, that food and rest were not preferred before it. Every Psalm improved infinitely upon his acquaintance with it, and no one gave him uneasiness but the last; for then he grieved that his work was done. Happier hours than those which have been spent in these meditations on the songs of Sion, he never expects to see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass, and moved smoothly and swiftly along; for when thus engaged, he counted no time. They are gone, but have left a relish and a fragrance upon the mind, and the remembrance of them is sweet. Horne.
Extracts from the Scriptures, to show the Beauty
and Variety of their Style. 1. DAVID'S DESCRIPTION OF THE DEITY. Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, thou art very great: thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain. Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters, who maketh the clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind. Who maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flaming fire. Who laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep, as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled, at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up the mountains; they go down by the valleys, unto the place which thou hast formed for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over ; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and oil to make his face to shine; and bread which strengtheneth man's heart. The trees of the Lord are fuil of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted, where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, tie fir-trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the conies. He appointeth the moon for seasons, the sun knoweth his going down. Thon makest darkness, and it is night; wherein all the.