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“ In a more advanced part of this hypothesis, I proceed to shew the work, it shall be shewn, that the se- extravagant manner in which he apveral occasions on which the psalm is plies the language of the sacred recorded by the sacred writers to writers in its favour. It has been rehave been sung, were in every respect marked of the learned Dr. Hammond, similar; and the contents of the psalm that having adopted peculiar hypoalways the same, from the time of theses relative to the destruction of Judith upward, to the most early Jerusalem, and the heresy of the period upon record.”
Gnostics, he could see nothing else Dr. H. then applies the same hy. in the New Testament: so our Propothesis to the prophets, and pre- fessos can see nothing in the Old tends to “ demonstrate," that from Testament, but the former and the the time of Malachi to Elijah, and latter rain, and the feasts thereto befrom Elijah up to the times of Abra- longing. Of this I shall trouble you ham-“'the season of Psalm and with a few out of many instances. Prophecy was never altered; and “ The great occasion of sacrifice, that there are but few occasions on feasting, and thanksgiving, an occa. which the prophet is not a regular sion which gave birth to the WHOLE messenger of God, who returns with of that beautiful collection of odes, the word at a fertain period of the the book of PSALMs, and ALMOST year.”
ALL the prophecies, was the approach Thus far I think we cannot misun- and fall of the former rain." P. 14. derstand our Author, that the GRAND In the following passage the awful OBJECT of prophecy was the RAINY judgments of God are reduced to the SEASON, and the CHIEF OFFICE of phænomena of a thunder-storm, and the PROPHET and the PSALMIST to his special presence to the showery furetel or celebrate it; and if this season!" Whenever the prophet be true, I appeal to you and to my speaks of God as approaching, or Readers, whether it does not sink the day of the Lord as ai hand, it may the prophets to the rank of star- be taken for granted, that he is pregazers and prognosticators of the dicting the autumnal rains. The Heweather, and reduce the Old Testa- brews do not, indeed, ascribe the iment to the value of an old Hebrew special presence of God to any season almanack.
but this, and therefore when he comes, But even this, shocking as it may be is always described as coming to appear, seems to me much less so than judge." P. 19. the perversion of Scripture and sacred Again, if the Psalmist exclaims, criticism employed to give it the co- " The Lord is King; or, if the pro. lour of plausibility.
phet declares, Jehovah shall reign in The learned Professor begins by Mount Sion, it may be concluded asserting, “ that the season of the that both are speaking of the former promulgation of prophecy, and of rain.” In like manner, he tells us, if singing the psalm, was at a great either “ speaks of Jehovah as the public feast, common to the Hebrews, ROCK of his people, we may rest with every other nation of the east; assured that he is celebrated as the which feast was regulated by the re- source of waters." P. 21. turn of the periodical rains of au- According to our Author, the psalm tumn.” He then remarks, page 5, seems Ever to have taken place in “ With the Hebrews we read of a the night, and to liave been attended former and a latter rain, which fell at with ... splendid illuminations," particular periods, and without which Surely this writer must have read the they were liable to scarcity and fa- Scripiures with a veil upon his eyes, mine. The former rain seems to have if not upon his heart. David oiten sometimes descended in the eighth, speaks of praising God in the mornand sometimes in the ninth month of ing, yea, three times in a day. (Sec the Hebrew year, not many weeks Psalm lv. Ivii. Ixiii.) Great part of after the feast of tabernacles, which the service of the temple, it is wel took place in the seventh month.” known, was performed in the morn The latter rain refers to “ the end of ing; but Dr H. like some fashionable the showery season,” (a period of people, turns day into night, and some weeks calin and dry weatber night into day. Let us bear his rea intervening." P.55.)
When one prophet says, “ Tk Having Fairly stated the Author's light of the moon shall be as the light e
the sma;" he explains it of the light of rain."- In the second, those which of the former being increased by " look forward to the rain and the lamps and torches to be " as clear as flight of the enemy" as blessings, it the day:" and this he calls alluding is devoutly presumed,” “God will in a very elegant manner to the illu- not withhold." --And in the third, minations. And when the prophet "those rapturous and extatic comadds, “the light of the sun shall be positions, which either exult at the sevenfold," our Author, (as if inspired certainty of their deliverance by the by a moon-beam) tells us, it imports, descent of the rain, or triumph over that the illumination shall continue the foe, already dispersed by it, and for “ seven successive pights !"--Still rejoice in the anticipation of plenty." farther, ascending by a happy climax So that the rain—the rain--and the to the acme of absurdity, the learned rain, was still some way or other the Professor assures us, that when Je- burden of the sacred ode, and the NOVAN is spoken of as the “ light pious Author had no feelings to ex. everlasting" of his people, it is a press but what concerned either the * direct allusion to the illuminations." weather or the wars ! P. 94-5.
But let us examine his instances. During these extraordinary nights When the Psalmist (Psalm xlii.) pants we are told " the prophet was fa. after God, we are informed (page 88.) voured with those divine communi- that "the longed for the rain. cations, which are termed the word When (Psalm xliii.) he prays " send of God.” But if these communica- forth thy light and thy truth," he is tions respected only the approach of imploring rain and lightning, or rain, which came' regularly in the rather wishing for “ the nocturnal eighth or ninth month, except in ex- illumination, which also we are retraordinary cases, they surely little quired to beliere is constantly intend. deserve to be called “divine," or to ed by the light of God's countenance ! be stiled emphatically, “ the word of (page 91.) When he desires to " walk God!"
before God in the light of the living, But war too, according to this Au. (Psalın lvi.) we are told “ the Hethor, was regulated in the same man- brew literally signifies, that he may ner, commencing a little before the personally make procession to the prerainy season, and terminating on sence of his God, in the light of those " the first appearance," of its infal. that are preserved :" (page 92.) that lible presages, p. 32. This, if true, is, to make this consistent with the must have made short campaigns, fast interpretation, the height of Daand the Hebrew annals would not vid's piety consisted in making proceso bave been so deeply stained with sion with lamps and flanbeaux, to. blood. But who can forbear a smile gether with “ the song, the shout, at such suppositions as the following; and the universal uproar" of the peothat the fight of the Philistines, after ple, (page 87.), in order to join the the death of Goliah, was not occa- illuminations (which he calls the presioned by the loss of their chanıpion, sence of God) in the Temple. What but by the approach of rain ; and a new and easy " practice of piety" that the song of Moses at the Red is this ! Surely a London mob inust Sea, was the song of rain, because he be very pious, for we have a recent speaks of the waters overflowing ;- instance, and shortly expect another, yet such are the arguments by which which will demonstrate how fond they our ingenious Author labours to sup- are of lights and illuminations--yea, port his hypothesis. See page 58, and of making procession too, with and 66.
“ music--the joy, the shout, and the or those noble odes which consti- universal uproar!!!” tute the book of Psalıns, and which But to be serious, (as it is indeed a have been hitherto understood as de- very serious misfortune that a learn. scriptive of the various feelings which ed Doctor of Divinity, and Professor agitate the heart of a good inan, on of Poetry should thus debase and exa great variety of occasions, we have pose to ridicule the sublime devotion the following curious classification. of our inspired writer ;) I shall add In the first class be places those but one other specimen of our Auwhich “betray much apprehension thor's new translation and exposition, from the enemy, and much despair which occurs in his version of the
one hundred and forty-third Psalm, they provoke the lasting censure a part of which runs thus : “Answer good men, and expose the sacred me speedily, O Lord, my hurricane Oracles to the contempt and scorn of faileth; hide not thy presence (in the infidels, who are proud of such an illuminations) from me, and I shall opportunity for ridicule. be likened to those that go down to
Yours, &c. the well .... Teach me to perform London, 15th Jan.
CRITO. thy pleasure, for thou art my God,
1802. thy hurricane is plenty.” Would the English reader believe, that this is *** We are concerned to find the Au
thor of the work here animadverted upon the same text rendered by our translator, and by learned men in general, with some severity, is recently deceased,
a circumstance that seems unknown to thy Spirit is good? Will the Author
our Correspondent : as however, his work produce any reason, any authority, is but recently published, and as our Coror even any apology, for transforming respondent's motive appears not to be the soul of the Psalmist, and even the personal, we do not consider the death of Spirit of God, into a hurricane! Will Dr. H. as a sufficient reason for suppressing any Doctor of Theology pretend that these remarks, which any other Corresruach (11) the Hebrew word used for pondent, who may object to their justice spirit, properly signifies a hurricane ? or propriety, is at equal liberty to answer. or will he condescend to give us a. reason for its being here so rendered ? I am much mistaken if he can. But if ruach signify a hurricane in the Old Testament, then should not pneuma,
TO THE EDITOR. its corresponding word in the New
Sir, Testament, signify the same? I know that one learned critic talks, ridiculously enough, of “ a holy wind," and siderable degree of interest. Hav“à wind of holiness ;" but our Aue ing been much disgusted with the thor would improve it, I suppose, to party principles of the existing re“ a boly hurricane," - Z"a hurricane of views, I was gratified to hear of a Liholiness.” So that between these terary Journal, the plan of which protwo learned writers we shall get com- mises nearly the same utility, without pletely rid of the Spirit of God, with their inconvencies and defects. Yet, all his works, and influences-yea, Sir, as a man of some literary experiand of our own spirits tov; for if when ence, who has been osten disappointed we read my spirii faileth, i.e. fainteth, in works of fair promise and liberal we are to read “my hurricane faileth," profession, permit me to say, I am so, in other instances, we must read, not without my fears and jealousies “ my hurricane, rejoiceth ;” and as respecting yours; and, at the same our Author applies the same term to time, with your leave, I wish to sugDeity, we must read, “ I will pour gest a few things which appear lo me forth my hurricane upon all flesh;' important to maintain the respecta. - which, however applicable it might bility of your Work, and secure the have been to the universal deluge, public patronage. must sound extremely strange when In your own department, Mr. Edipromised as a blessing to all man- tor, I would recoinmend to keep as kind.
much as possible to the analytical I have confined my observations plan. I know that a good analysis to the first class of Psalms; though requires care and candour. It is the sanie strange and absurd explica- much more difficult than to copy a tion accompany the other classes. table of contents; yet who can be And as I conceive the Reader must entertained or instructed with the be already tired of these absurdities, latter? It may recommend the book, I proceed no farther ; but I would but will not recommend your work conjure men of learning, and those to readers, who require something who conceive themselves to be men to inform and please : nor will mere of genius, to be cautious how they detached extracts satisfy; I would attempt to obtrude on the public sys- therefore advise, when practicable, to sems, so repugnant to comminon sense, throw your contents into the narra. left, while they gain a momentary ap
tive form, and to introduce your explause for ingenuity and novelty, tracts between, so as to relieve the
tediom of reading the mere heads of 2. Religious Bigots, of all denomichapters.
nations, whether in the establishment, Another hint I have to offer, re- or among the numerous sectaries that Secting the nature of the works you divide from it. Guard us from a perhonour with analysis and extract. If secuting spirit on the one hand, and you wish to procure our respect and a turbulent disposition on the other~ preserve our attention, you inust not a temperate clergyman and a peaceAll your pages with the ephemeron able dissenter, both claim our respect; productions of the herd of play-wri- and nothing can be more unjust than ters and novelists, the poetasters and the reflections of party journalists on quidnuncs of the day. We must have the one side or the other. useful science, (as popular as you 3. Sceptical philosophers, who, from please) sterling sense, nervous lan- aliected modesty, reduce every thing guage; -and, permit me to add, good to a query;-hesitate on every impormorals and sound divinity in their tant principle in morals or religion ; turn; which is the more reasonable, and “ reason downward till they as I suppose many of your readers doubt of God.” Rational investigawill be of the clerical order, the bulk Lion should on all subjects be encouof whom are known not to be able to rager; at the same time, as those purchase books, though they are ex- should be guarded against who wish pected to be men of extensive read- to overturn the first principles of reing. In deference to their cloth, I ligion, morals, and civil government, would also hope you will sometimes and reduce it to anarchy and aindulge us with a little classical and theism. biblical criticism, when it appears to 4. Literary pugilists, those polemi. you valuable and important.
cal writers, who contend not for truth What I have to suggest to young but victory, and who attack persons correspondents is with equal pro- more than principles; whose object priety addressed to you, since it is to is rather to vilify an opponent than ibe Editor men look for the selection refute bim. Yet such is human naand superintendance of their papers. ture, that these writers, by publish
Permit me to caution you against ing wit for argument, and strong three or four sorts of scribblers, very language for good sense, often acdangerous to the peace of your rea- quire a momentary popularity, greatders, and the success of your work. ly to the injury of truth, and the re
1. Angry politicians, whether minis. proach of public taste. terial or anti-ministerial. Turn them These brief hints, Mr. Editor, are over to the newspapers. Give us as submitted to your opinion and revie much sound political inforination assion from one who means to be a you please, but teize us not with the subscriber, and, if acceptable, an oc, bickerings of the inns and outs; the sional contributor. Squabbles for the loaves and fishes.
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