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Such, such our enemies beheld,
With virtue not to be repell'd,
Young Drusus plung'd in glorious fight,
Where the Alps tow'r beyond the sight, &<:. * .
§ 3. The first seven verses of the Apostle Paul's Epistle toihe 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 servant of "Jesus Christ," waits for its complete fense till the seventh verse, "to all that are in Rome," &fr. So long is the parenthesis, and so great is the transposition. But whoever will duly consider the passage will find, that every intervening
* Qualem ministrum fulminis alitem,
Venti paventem; mox in ovilia
Horat. Oi. lib, iv. od, 4.
vening ingraftment, or seemingly lawless luxuriance, is rich in divine sentiment, and strongly evinces the seraphic' devotion of the Apostle's spirit.
§ 4. Dr Watts, in his epistolary preface to his version of the 114th Psalm, as preserved in the Spettater *, says, ." As I was describing the "journey of Israel from Egypt, and added the «' divine presence, I perceived a beauty in the "Psalm which was intirely new to me, and "which I was going to use; and that is, that *' the Poet utterly conceals the presence of God "in the beginning of it, and rather lets a pos"sessive Pronoun go without its Substantive, « than he will so much as mention any thing of »' divinity there: "Judah was his sanctuary, and *« Israel his dominion," or kingdom. The rea"son 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 surprise, 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 shall trace the beauty of the Psalm, and find it springing from such a kind of suspension as that of which we have been speaking, or at least I know not under what Figure . :, . • . • besides
* Vol.vi. N<-46t.
besides so properly to range it. a When Israel "went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from "a people of strange language: Judah was his "sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea "saw it, and sled •, Jordan was driven back: "the mountains skipped like rams, and the little °. hills like lambs. What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fieddest? thou Jordan, that 51 thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ». ye skipped like rams? and ye little hills, like M lambs? Tremble thou, earth, at the presence ° of the Lord, at the presence of the God of "Jacob. Who turned the rock into a standing "water; the stint into a fountain of water.1* I think it not improper to insert the excellent • version of this Psalm by Dr Watts, though it is to be found in his Imitation of the P/alms of David, a book so much known in the world.
When Israel., freed from Pharaoh's hand,
Across the deep their journey lay;
The mountains shook like frighted lheep,
What pow'r could make the deep divide i
"§ 5. I shall conclude this Figure with a remark, and a few cautions.
The remark is, that this Figure greatly entertains our hearers, as it strikes out of the common* road, both as to sense and method of expression, arid keeps the minSj'^hile the Figure is properly managed, in a pleasing attention. And methinks nothing can more strongly shew the ardor and riches of a speaker's or writer's ideas, than when his language is sometimes abrupt, and broken, and irregular, and the thoughts crowd so fast and full, as that they cannot stay to get clothed in the common forms of expression'. Of this fort of Figures, we may fay with Mr Pope,
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
Great wits may sometimes gloriously offend, And rife to faults true critics dare not mend f. * Pope's EJsay on Criticism, ver. 152. f Ver. 159,16«.
The cautions are, that we should not be too free with this Figure; as indeed its very nature /hews, that it should "be lout sparingly used : That we should take heed, while we indulge to irregularity and disorder, or at. least vary from the common arrangements of speech, that we do not fall into absurdity and a kind -of tfneieplfcable entanglement. And finally, when we make these kinds of excursion, and deviate a while from the aisual track, let us be solicitous not to take these liberties in vain, or for a light and trifling purpose. When we return from our digressions, and close sur periods, let us return loaden with the best part of the freight of Solomon's ships, when they came from Tarjhijh -f; I mean the gold and silver, sentiments of substantial worth; and not with apes and peacocks, ideas only fit to -draw ridicule trpOn 'tis, or glittering with a gaudy splendor, but destitute df intrinsic merit.
f I Kinp X. 2%.