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INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
conceal the ark of the Lord, which had caused them so many misfortunes by dition from that precision which belongs to truth, even while it approaches near its presence, they hid it in a dungbill, but they were suutteil with a shame to truth. In reading this and similar tales, it is impossible the observation should ful disease, which determined them to send it back to the contines of the land |escape our potice, how much SUPERIOR the simple narratione oi Suure ure of Israel It was no sooner arrived at this place, than the angels of the Lord to whatever is current elsewhere; what additional authonty they derive from took it up, and carried it to the tabernacle of Shiloh; and this miracle secured their sinplicity, and their unlaboured, unassuming manlier; what nature there 89ul in his kingdom. (Bee D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. p. 735, 1021.) These is in them, what ease and versimility. No person whose taste and judgment traditions may justly be regarded as a contirmation, if such were really want are undepraved, can hesitate which system to prefer, even supposing the noning, of the Scripture history, and as genuine instances of the variations of tru-existence of other criteria.
THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL,
; his sin in the m
win ment pronounced agains
This Book derives its namo from the prophet Samuel ; but it is evident that building a temple, with his prayer on the occasion ; his victories over the Phihe could not have written beyond the twenty-fourth chapter of the preceding listinca, Ammonites, Syrians, &c.; his sin in the matter of Uriah: the divine Book; and it is probable that this Book, with the latter part of the former, was judgment pronounced against him; his repentance and pardon; with the written by the propbets Gad and Nathan. It bears an exact resemblance to birth of Solomon ; his domestic troubles in consequence, the sin and fratthe preceding history, and is likewise connected with that which succeeds. It ricide of Amnon ; the rebellion and death of Absalom, and David's mourcomprises a period of nearly forty years, trom A M. 2919 to 2989; containing ing on the occasion; the return of David, with the quelling of Sheba's inan account of David's receiving intelligence of the death of Saul and Jona surrection : bus punishment of the sons of Saul, and last war with the Phithan with his lamentation over them; his triumph over the bouse of Saul, und listines ; his psalm of thanksgiving, his last words, and his mighty men; his confirmation in the kingdom ; his victories over the Jebusiles and Philistines; offence in numbering the people; its punishment; with his penitence and sathe bringing up of the ark to Jerusalem ; the rejection of David's purpose for 1 critice.
onnected with the
of Davis aul, and lashis mighty meni
ard of David is an leve by trumping uted much an
CONCLUDING REMARKS. TIe vicissitude of important events which this book describes ;-the esta- , monuments that attest the truth of his relations when he wrote, he brought blishment and prosperity of David's reign : the extinction of Saul'family, I forward indisputable evidence of his faithful adherence to trutlı. Therlation and David's grateful kindness to the surviving son of Jonathall; the lamentat of the fall of David is an illustrious proof of the truth of the Sacred Writings. ble fall of David, with his submissive repentance, pardon, and restoration; the Who, that intended to deceive by trumping up a religion which he intended to melancholy effects of his errors, in the cranne of Amnon, and the rebellion of father on the purity of God, would have inserted such an account of one of its Absalom; and his re-establishment on the throne; are represented in the most mont Zealous advocates and once its brightest omanient? God alone, whose interesting manner, and furnish the most valuable lessons to mankind. The character is truth and impartiality, has done it to show that His religion, li. heinous sins and sincere repentance of Duvid tre propounded, suya Augustine, brata ponderibus suis, will ever stand independently of the conduct of its in order that, at the falls of such great men, others may tremble, and know professors. The Books of Samuel connect the chain of Sacred History, by what to avoid; and that, at their rising again, those who have fallen inay describing the circumstances of an interesting period. They describe the reknow what to follow and imitate; though many will fall with David who formation and improvements of the Jewish church established by David; and will not rise with David. The author, in the concise style of Sacred History, as they delineate minutt ly the life of that monarch, they point out his typica selects only the most important incidents of those revolutions which le recurs ; relation to Christ; and also remukalily illustrate his inspired productions and, among the conspicuous beauties of this book, we can never sutticiuntly which are contained in the book of Psalms: to which they muy be considered admire David's feeling lamentation over Saul and Jonathan, the expressive as a key. parable of Nathan, and the triumphant hymn of thanksgiving and praise com The remark made on the former book, that many heathen anthors have bor posed by the sweet psulmist of Israel." We see throughout this book the rowed, or collected from other sources, many particulars of the accounts reeffects of that enmity against idolatrous nations which had been implanted in corded by the inspired writer, may justly be extended to this book : nnd in. the minds of the Israelites by the Mosaic law, and which gradually tended to deed is equally applicable to all the books of Sacred History Euplemus the extirpation of that idolatry. This book, as well as the former, contains and Dius, as quoted by Eusebius, mention many remarkable circumstances many intrinsic proofs of its verity. By describing, without diskuise, the mis. of David and Solomor, agreeing with those detailed in these Sacrer Bruks; conduct of those characters that were highly reverenced among the people, and furnishing additional external evidence, if such were needed, of the truth the sacred writer demonstrates his impartial sincerity ; and by appealing to l of these inspired records.
THE FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS,
Tub Second Book of Samuel, as we have seen, ends abruptly: to complete phet: he studies less to describe acts of heroism, successful battles, conquests, the narrative, it would require the last seven chapter of the First Book of political address, de than what regards the temple, religion, Polisious ceremoChronicles; but these we must notice in their proper place. All the transac-nies, festivals, the worship of God, the piety of princes, the fidelity of the pro tions there mentioned, except the death of David, evidently intervene before phets, the punishment of crimes, the manifestations of God's anger against this First Book of Kings.
the wicked, and lis kindness to the righteous. He appears every where strong. The two following Bocks, which were originally but onc, contnin the lis. ly attached to the house of David; he treats of the kings of Israel onls acci tory of the kings, both of Judah and Israel, from the reign of David to the dentally ; bis principal object seems to be the kingiloin of Judah, and the Babylonish captivity. Many areribe them to Ezra ; among whom is Dr. matters which concern it Clarke, from whom we give the following remarks:
"Now all this agrees well with the supposition that Ezra was the compiler "]. That it is the work of one person, is sufficiently evident from the lini. of these books. He was not only a priest, a zatlonis servant of God, and airformity of the strle, and the connexion of events,
tonner of the corruptions which had crept into the Divine worslin, but is ni "2. That this person had ancient documents, from which he compiled, and Viroully allowedly the Jews to love been the collector and consists of ite which he otten only abridged, is evident from his own words ; The rest of whole Sacred code, and of the arrangement of the diferent books which cou. the arts of (such and such a prince) are thy not written in the Chronicles of stitute the Old Testament." the king of Judah, or of Israel' which occur frequently
But a difficulty here arises. If Ezra wrote the looks of Kines, who wrote "3. Those looks were written during, or after the Babylonish captivity; the Books of chronicles? Those, as they relate to the same events, inusi evi. as, at the end of the Second Book, that event is particularly described. The dently be written by a different land, and prior to these books. Scoli and author states also, 2 Kings Xii. 23 that Israel was, in his time, in captivity in many others therefore attribute these books of Kings to the prophet Jaromirze, Assyria : according to the derlaration of God by his prople's
especially as they close with the same events als hus propioecans. The ques ** 4. That the writer was not contemporary with the facts which he relaire, ton is, however, ol' little consequence, as we have no reason to question cither is evident from the reflections he makes on the facts which he found in the heir authority or anthenticity. memoirs which he consulted. See 2 Kings xvi. from ver. to ver. 24.
This book comprises a period of 126 years, from AM 999 to 3115 ; and re. "5. There is every reason to believe that the author was a priestor a pro- cordo many important events in connexion with the diferent kings.
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE KINGS,
INTRODUCTION. This honk is merely a continuation of the preceding, to which it is joined in place under the pione princes of David's family, and by means of the faithful the Hebrew Canon : the remarks therefore already made on that, in a great labours of the prophety: but these promising appearances were of short dura. measure apply to this, -It contains the contemporary history of the two king. tion; several of the kings were idolatrous and extremely wicked; the priests doms of Judah and Israel, during a period of 308 years, from the rebellion of and Levites exceedingly neglected their important duty; and the people were Moab. A M. 3109, to the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem by generally prone to idolatry and iniquity. So tlmat, after the death of pious Jo Nebuchadnezzar, A M. 3416.--In Israel the kings were uniformly idolatrous fiab, the nation became almost universally corupt : and the melancholy acand wicked; and though the laboure of Elijah, Elsha, and other prophets, count closos with the destruction of the city and temple, the desolation of the wero prospered to preserve a considerable number of the people from the rene- 1 country, and the enslaving and carrying a way of the inhabitants, by the Chalral contagion; yet the measure of their national iniquity was soon tild up; deans.-As all the prophets, (commonly so called.) Whose writings have been so that they were conquered and carried captive by the kings of the Assyrians, proved, lived in the Intter part of this period; (these excepted who lived and dispersed among the Gentiles, no more, as a collected borly, to be restored during or after the captivity ;) and as they continually refer to the facts record to their own land. Their country was, after this, planted by the concierorsed in this history ; we may consider all their predictions as sanctioning, by with a mingid people, who established a corrupt and partial worship of Jeho their accomplishment, the divine authority of the narrative; though it does vah, frora whom originated the nation and religion of the Samaritans. These not contain any expreso prophecy, the coupletion of which extended much events began to take place considerably above a hundred years before the Ba beyond the term of the return of the Jews from the Babyloniali cap bylonish captivity.-lu Judah indeed some remarkable revivals of religion took tivity.
OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE TWO BOOKS OF KINGS.
the tomb of the present holy city, by this
THE cventa detailed in these books, thoush in themselves highly interest | Pharaoh-Nechoh, and the subsequent reduction of Jerusalem, when "he took inz ao inportant, are described with great simplicity, but with much timu Jenahatuy; and he came into E Pl and died there. The account of Don The accrunt of the wisdom, manificence, and extended commerce of Herodotus is As follows: "Now Necos W18 the son of Psanniticus, and Salom ; the tash and impolitic conduct of Rehoboam; the disobedient pros reigned over Egypt.- And Necos joined battle witle the Syrians, in Mandopot the widow of Zarephath : Eluah und the prophets of Baal; Ben-hadur's lus, and after the batlle he took Cadytis, a large city of Syria. And having pole api duitat: Elijah's assumption into beaven; Elisha's succession to his reigned in the whole sixteen years, he died, and left the tirone to his son mistry, and the series of illustrious miracles he performed; the panic flight Peammis." Here it is evident that Magdolus in the game is Addo; and of the Strang; the history of Ben-hadad and Haznel; and the predicted death Cadutis, which he mentions again, "as a city belonging to the Syrians of Pdof Abab and Jezebel, and their children: are all pregnant with instruction, lestine," and "as a city not less than Sandis," is undoubtedly the same as Jeand have finished themes for frequent dissertation. We perceive in these im. rusalem, called Akuds, or El Kouds, that is, the hwly city, by the Syriany and
rehistones the characters and qualities of men painted with the utmost Arabians, from time immemorial to the present day. Wo now turn to the reo r; and the attributes of God displayed with great effect: we contem searches of Belzeni in the tomb of Psammethis, or Peaminis, the son of Phaplate la cunct accomplishment of God's promises and threatenings; the wis raoh Nechoh. In one of the numerous aparunents of the venerable monument dem of his disposations; and the mingle justice and mercy of his govern. of ancient art, there is a sculptured grou, describing the march of a military miat. The particulars and circumstances are sketched out with a brief and and triumphal procegaion, with three ditlerent sets of prisonery, who are eviInely description, and the imagination lingers with pleasure in filling up the dently Jewe. Etbiopians, and Persians. The procession begins with four red sinkin outlines presented to our view. The authenticity of these books is at. men with white kirtler, followed by a hawk.beaded divinity: these are EXyptelit by the prophecies they contain, which were sulisequently fulfilled; by tjans apparently released from captivity, and returning home under the protecthe citation of our Saviour and bis Apostles; by their universal reception by tion of the national deity. Then follow four white en in striped and fringed the Jewish and Christian churches; and by the corresponding testimonies of kirtles, with black beards, and with a simple white tillet round their binck profane authors, and ancient sculptures. Thus the narrative of the invasion hair: these are obviously Jews, and might be taken for the portrait of those of Istati by Shalm Deser, and the deportation of the ten tribes, is confirined who, at thus day, walk the streets of London. After them come three white by certain ancient sculptures on the inountains of Be Sitoon, on the borders of men with smaller beards and curled whiskers, with double spirending plumeg the ancient Assyria. For the knowledge of these antiquities we are indebted on their heads, tattooed, and wearing robes or mantles potted like the skins of to the resering researches of Sir RR Porter. Again, the destruction of wild beasts: these are Persians or Chaldeang. Lastly, come four negroes, Snaeberib army is confirmeul by Herodotus, who calls the Assyrian king Se with large circular ear-rings, and large petticoats, supported by a hell over Becherib, as the Scriptures do ; and that the tine referred to in both is per their shoulders: these are Etbiopians. Among the Hieroglyphics in Beizoni's fcily accordant Another remarkable fact is confirmed by the same historian, drawings of this tomb, Dr. Young has succeeded in discovering the naines of and also by the researches of the late intrepid Belzoni--the defeat of Josiah by Nechao, and of Psammethis.
THE FIRST BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES.
re como contain everted to her prophet,
The two Ronks of Chronicles, (like those of Samuel and of the Kings,) from the Book of Genesis ; but with difference as to the names, partly owing were originally one, and are commonly attributed to Ezra : but with no certo provincial variations in pronouncing, and partly to mistakes in copying the tainty. They cannot be supposed to contain the whole of the public Chronicles similar letters in the Hebrew, which are sometimes hard to be distingushed. of the kings of Judah and Israel, (so often referred to.) but rather an abatrach, But the far greater part of these Book consist of repetitions of the same or fttrscti made under the eye of Ezra, or some other prophet, who lived at facts, with only some slight additions and variety of circumstances, most of ter the cantivity
which, having been anticipated in our remarksonor the Books of Samuel and The Hebrew title is Dibrey Hayamim, or " Words of the Day;" that Kings, will require, generally, only a short notice. The marginal readings ia. J als. The Greek calls them Paralipomenuli, or " Things onnitted ;" and references will often illustrate texts, which would otherwise demand a se
ale ning them as supplementary to the preceding books, of which, as we parate note. huile they are charfly repeutions. Our English name, Chronicles, or, The Chronology of these books is nearly the same as that of the Books of ** Memanals of the Times," is at least emally proper with either of the pre- Kings ; leginning with David, and ending with the captivity in Babylon. But
the historical facis, after the division of the kingdom into Judah and Israel, The first nine chapters are entirely genealogical, and in great part copied | are confined chiefly to the former.
THE SECOND BOOK OF THE CHRONICLES.
To bwk is a continuation of tho history begun in the former book. It in 1 mon, and contains a narrative of the several kings of his race, who reigned One nesports coincides with the booke of Kings. But there, the histories of in succession, till the Labylonish captivity ; and it concludes with an in3 h 2 Israel are carried on together; as those of England and Scotland timation of Cyrus's decree for the restoration of the Jews and the rebuild. ar in of their storians: here, tbe affairs of Judah are more fully and ing of the temple, abont four hundred and eighty years after.-Resides the adCD**1 rored, while there of Israel are only mentioned occasionally, | ditional practical instruction here afforded, especially in respect of the diftinnt
toy the main subject; as an English historian would sometimes effects of piety. or profaneness, in the affairs of nations favour with reveladari titan the allure of France or Gerinany, in eluc dating his narration ; this history throw's great light on the prophetical writing, which can by IK "There are several things contained in this book, of which no mention no means be well understood without constantly adverting to it. The propheis to be the fin King)"particularly in the history of Jehoshaphat and cieg contained in it either were fulfilled soon after they were spoken, or coinHaziak: and many other thit:zx there mentioned, are here more fully and cide with those before considered ; and it is not always easy to determine conche, wuine, as will be observed in the acts of Alijah, Asa, Joash,cering subsequent scriptural references, whether they relate to this book or to and vix king of Judah." The history opens with the accession of Solo- the book of kings.
149 contaaris in thened, are fijah, A
CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE TWO BOOKS OF CHRONICLES.
state of the kingdometer different princes. There istof depending on
THESE sacred books have been held in low estimation, and consequently from Babylon ; to ascertain the lineage of Judah, from which the Messiah tayo touch ne lected both by readers and commentators, induced thereto by was to surins and to re-establish them on their ancient footing. The author the fale persuasion, that they contained few things which are not to be appears to have intended to fumish, at the same time, an epitome of some formaid in the preceding boks. Jerome, however, had a most exalted opinion parts of the Jewish history. but enriched with many additional particulare. of the books of Chronicles; and asserts, that they are an epitome of the OK | The books of Chronicles, therefore, present us with a lively picture of the Te tamat that they are of such importance that he who supposes himself state of the kingdom of Judah, and of the various vicissitudes and revolutions to Lucrainted with the Sacred Writings, and does not know them, only which it sustained under different princcs. They serve, as the author seems devez
: and that innumerable qestions relative to the Gospel nie to have desired, greatly to illustrate the necessity of depending on God for het FTTH
This may be going too far; but though they contain many defence, without whore protection kingdoms, as well as individuals, must partxolars related in the preceding books, and supply many circumstances tall. The advantages derived from obedience to God, and the mi cries that QRT:ital in former accounts, they oughi certainly not to be considered merely resulted from wickedness and sin, are strikingly exhibited: they abound with
an abadzment of other histories, with some supplementary additions, but useful examples; and the characters are forcibly displayed by a contrasted 2 books written with a particular view ; in consistency with which, the succession of rious and depraved princes. The change and detection even of dat het om time disregards important particulars, in those accounty from individuals, and their decline from righteousness to evil, are shown with nuch stih he might have compiled his work, and adheres to the design proposed, ettect; and many interesting incidents are brought forward, which exbibit the which were to have been to furnish a genealogical sketch of the twelve interposition of the Almighty, defeating evil, and eflecting his concerted puruntur, deduced from the earliest times, in order to point out those distinctions poses. The authenticity and canonical authority of these books have never wtech were necessary to discriminate the mixed multitude that returned | been disputed.
THE BOOK OF EZRA.
The Book has been generally ascribed to Ezra, who is himself the chief This book contains a continuation of the Jewish history from the time at #urect of it, by the Jewish as well ag the Christian Church, to which wel which the Chronicles conclude, to the 20th year of Artaxerxes Longimanus, a k w of or whd objection; for though the history commences before his time, period of about 30 years ; containing an account of the cdict of Cyrus, franting
mig terribler find at Jerusalem the documents necessary to its compi permission to the Jews to return, and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple; the lation and the chief Dersons were still living on his arrival.
people who returned under Zerulbabel, with their offerings toward rebuilding T: frut party of Jews returned from Babylon under the prince Zerubhabel The temple ; the erection of the altar of burnt offering, and the laying of the kebuzzar) and the high ricet Jeuhun, or Joshua, the son of Josedeck. I foundation of the temple : the opposition of the Samaritans, and consequent who we jel to death by Nebuchadnezzar : the second under Ezra the priest, suspension of the building of the temple: the decree of Darius Hystaspeg, whiteht with him prieats and Levites, to instruct the people.
granting the Jews permission to complete the building of the temple and cilv. The Ezra was a priest of the house of Aaron, and grandson of Serainh, who which they accomplish in the sixth year of his reign; the departure of Ezra
strah priest in the reign of Zedekiah. (2 Kings XXV. 18. compared with | from Babylon, with a commission from Artaxerxes Longimani his retinue LTTE VI 1.) In this canonical book from chap. iv. 8. to chap. vi. 19: also land arrival at Jerusalem : his prayer on account of the intermixture ( Spa cap. Yü from ver. 12 to 27 is wrillen in the Chaldaic dialect.
I Jews with heathen nations; the reformation effected by him.
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
T'yis book details the events of a very interesting period of the Sacred His added, under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit, whatever appeared netory, when, according to the decree of PROVIDENCE, the Jewish people were cessary for the purpose of illustrating, completing, or connecting them; he to be delivered from their captivity, at the expiration of seventy years, and re-substituted the modern for the ancient names of some places, which had now stored to the land of their fathers. This book informs us how the Divine good become obsolete ; and transcribed the whole of the Scriptures into the Chal. ness accomplished this most gracious design, and the movers and agents He dee character. He is said to have lived to the age of 120 years, and, according employed on the occasion. Ezra was undoubtedly the chief agent under God to Josephus, was buried in Jerusalem ; but the Jews believe he died in Persia, in effecting this arduous work; and his zeal, piety, knowledge, and discretion, in a socond journey to Artaxerxes, where his tomb is shown in the city of 72appear here in a most conspicuous point of view, and claim our utmost admi.musa. Though not styled a prophet, he wrote under the Divine Spirit; and the ration. Descended from Seraiah, in a direct line from Aaron, he seems to have canonical authority of his book has never been disputed. It is written with united all the requisites of a profound statesman with the functions of the sa all the spirit and fidelity that could be displayed by a writer of contemporary cerdotal character. He appears to have made the Sacred Scriptures, during times; and those parts which chiefly consist of letters, decrees, &c., are writ the captivity, his peculiar study ; and, perhaps, assisted by Nehemiah and the ten in Chaldee, because it seemed more suitable to the fidelity of a sacred hisgreat synagogue, he corrected the errors which had crept into the Sacred Wri torian to give then official documents, as they may be termed, in the originai tings, through the negligence or mistake of transcribens; he collected all the language, cepecially as the people, recently retured from the captivity, were books of which the Sacred Scriptures then consisted, disposed them in their familiar, and perhaps more conversant with the Chaldee, than with the He proper order, and settled the canon of Scripture for his time ; he occasionally brew.
THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH.
This book resumes the history of the Jews, about twelve years after the to Artaxerxes, but at length comes back to Jerusalem, and employe various close of the book of Ezra ; and contains the latest canonical records of the measures to promote the prosperity of the Jews, and the reformation of abuses. nation till the days of Christ; reaching down to about a hundred and ten years The frequent devout ejaculations with which the narrative is interrupted, are after the captivity. It was evidently written by Nehemiah himself, who through peculiar to this pious writer; and his zeal, activity, and disinteresteduess are out speaks in the first person : and probably it was received among the canon.well worthy of imitation, especially by those employed in arduous undertaical Scriptures by Ezra and his assistants or successors. -Nehemiah, a Jew, kings, for the good of the church or the community. the cupbearer to Artaxerxes king of Persia, hearing of the distressed state of This book has many internal proofs of divine inspiration, and always has his countrymen, in great affliction petitions him for leave to go up to Jerusalem been considered by the Jews as a part of their sacred Scriptures, and inas governor, with a commission to rebuild the walls, and to provide for the secu | deed as a continuation of the book of Ezra : it does not, however, seem to rity and the prosperity of his people. Having obtained his request, be executes contain any prophecies, nor is it explicitly referred to in the New Testa. his commission for twelve years with great success. After which he returns ment.
Op Nehemiah, the author and hero of this book, tho Jows speak as one of times, a noble and animating example of distinguished patriotism, united with the greatest men of their nation. His concern for his country, manifested by the sincercat devotion to the interests of religion. The virtue and piety of this such unequivocal marks, entitles him to the character of the first patriot that great and good man, appear with equal lustre in the numerous and important ever lived. Descended, according to some, of the family of Aaron, or accord reformations he effected. He relieved the people from their hardships and op. ing to others, of the tribe of Judah, and allied to the royal family of David, in pressions, by abolishing the harsh and usurious practices of the nobles and ru. the course of Divine Providence, he was a captive in Babylon; but there his lers ; gave up his own revenue, as governor of the province, for the benefit of excellencies were so apparent, that he was chosen by the Persian king to fill the people ; and, as a further mean of conciliating their affections, exhibited an office the most respectable, and the most confidential, in the whole court. an example of the most princely hospitality. As the best security for good Here he lived in case and afluence; he lacked no good thing; and here he morals, and the better obscrvance of the laws of God, he re-established the might have continued to live, in the saine affluence, and in the same confi- offices of public worship, and prevented the profanation of the sabbath; he dence; but he could enjoy neither, so long as he knew his people distressed, furnished the returned raptives with authentic registers, and enabled them, in the sepulchres of his fathers trodden under foot, the altars of his God over. the best manner possible, after so long and calainitous an interval, to trace tho turnell, and his worship either totally neglected or corrupted. He sought the genealogies, and claim the inheritance of their respective families; and farther. peace of Jerusalem ; prayed for it; and was willing to sacrifice wealth, case, he accomplished the separation of the Jewish people froin the mixed murti. safety, and even life itself, if he might be the instrurnent of restoring the desola. tude, with which they had been incorporated, and annulled the numerous martions of Israel And God, who saw the desire of his heart, and knew the excel. riages which they had made with heathens and idolaters of every description. lencies with which he had endowed himn, granted his request, and yave him the For disinterestedness, philanthropy, patriotism, prudence, courage, zeal, huhigh honour of restoring the desolated city of his ancestors, and the pure wor manity, and every virtue that constitutes a great mind, and proves a soul in ship of their God. The opposition of Sanballat and the Samaritang, and the deep communion with God, Nehemiah will ever stand conspicuous among the firmness and zeal with which he repelled their insults and ineffectual efforts, greatest men of the Jewish nation; and an exemplar worthy of being copied cannot be read without the liveliest emotions; and will afford, to the latest by the first patriots in every nation under heaven.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
This Book, which derivee its name from the person whosc history it chiefly most all Asia ; and the counteraction of that plot, by a remarkable interfe. relates, is termed in the Hebrew, "the volume of Esther," will not extend rence of divine providence, in the promotion of Esther and her uncle Mor. thc Chronology of the Old Testament, as it forms an episode, (or intermediate decili. story ) which is generally placed before the 7th chapter of the Book of Ezra, The author is utterly unknown, and the Book has been attributed to Ezra, to The first question arising on this Book, relates to the identity of this AHASU Mordecai, and to several others. The style is certainly very different from ERUS, whom Usher, and other leamed men, considered to be Darius Hys. that of the Book of Ezra ; and the remarkable omission of the name of God taspes: but whom Prideaur has endeavoured to prove to be Artaxerxes Lon throughout the whole, might lead to a suspicion that it was not written by a gimanus, who whowed such peculiar favour to the Jews, under Ezra and Ne. Jew, were it not that it is impossible to attribute it to a pagain. The authenhemiah. This decision rests chiefly on the authorities of Josephus, and the ticity of the history, however, is sufficiently ascertained by the early and uniSeptuagint translators; but the Dean', arguments are so satisfactory, that bis form reception of this Book by the Jews, and by the institution of the feast of hypothesis is now generally adopted; particularly by Drs. Hales, Clarke, and Purim, in comunemoration of their great deliverance. This "Commemoration, Boothroyd ; Hartwell Horne, G. Townsend, and the late Scott.
and its continued observance to the present time, (remarks Horne,) is a con. The grand subject of this book is Haman's plot for the destruction of the vincing evidence of the reality of the history of Esther, and of the genuineness Jews throughout the Persian empire, which at that time comprehended all of the Book which bears her name."
pray uniations is theree versions. rratea against probability:
In the Apocrypha attached to most of our quarto Bibles, there are ten ver | moving the opprobrium above-mentioned; as for instance, in ch. ii, after ver. ses in addition to this chapter, and six whole chapters beside, forming what | 20, they add, ** For so Mordecai had charged her, (namely, Esther.) to fear is there called " The rest of the Book of Esther ;' but as these chapters are God, and keep his commandments." So in cb. iv. 8. they make Mordecai ex. not found in the Hebrew, and we have no reason to believe they ever were, we hort her to "pray unto the Lord," as well as plead with the king. But of consider them of no authority ; yet their object seems to be to remcdy the de. neither of these exhortations is there one word in the original; nor are they fect bere mentioned, lest the Gentiles, who are never backward to introduce supported by any other of the ancient versions. their gods, sbould reproach them on that account. The very first line, therefore, This circumstance, however, by no means operates against any of the facts of these additions is, "Then Mordecai said. God hath done these things." But here recorded, or the authenticity of the book, which, in all probability, was what follows of the dreams of Mordecai, the prayer of Esther, &c., deserves no written by Mordecai himself, or under his direction. Hud it been written by credit, but is utterly foreign to the style of the book to which they are attached. Ezra, the facts would have heen the same; but undoubtedly we should have
It is also no legs remarkable, that the Septuagint translators, in their version had frequent references to the divine providence, and exhortations both to of this book, insert several passages, apparently with the same design of re prayer and praise.
THE BOOK OF JOB.
THIS Book derives its title from the venerable patriarch Job, whose pros- | names, number, and acts of his children are mentioned; the conduct of his perity, afflictions, and restoration, are here recorded, with his exemplary and wife recorded an a fact; his friends, their names, countries, and discourses, are anequalled patience under all his calamities. There can be no doubt that Job minutely delineated : and can we rationally imagine that these were not reali was a rcal, and not a fictitious character, and that the narrative of this Book tips? The real existence of Job is also proved by the concurrent testimony of :8 an historical fact; for the prophet Ezekiel mentiong Job, Nonh, and Daniel, all eastern tradition : he is mentioned by the author of the Book of Tobit, who as throe persons of eminent piety; and the apostle James illustrates the ad. lived during the Assyrian captivity: he is also repeatedly mentioned by Movantage of patience by the example of Job, as he had before done the doctrine hammed as a real character; and the whole of his history, with many fabuof faith and works by the examples of Abraham and Rahab. Add to this, lous additions, was known among the Syrians, Chaldeans, and Arabians ; that we have the strongest intemal evidence, from the Book itself, of the among the latter of whom, many of the noblest families are distinguished by reality of the person and history of Job: for it expressly specifies the names of his name, and boast of being descended from him. It is not, however, necespersons, places, facts, and other circumstances, usually related in true histories. sary for the historical truth of the Book of Job, that its language should be a Thus we have the name, country, piety, wealth, &c. of Job described; the direct transcript of that actually employed by the different characters introdu
civil, here and the conthego
OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
cec; and we may safely allow, that, as the discourses of Job and his friends in subjects the most grand and sublime; using imagery the most chaste and are recorded in poetical language, their sentiments and arguments are alone appropriate, described in language the most happy and energetic; conveying transmitted to us, and not the precise words used in conversation. Nothing instruction, both in divine and human things, the most useful and ennobling; certain can be determined respecting the age in which Job lived; though the abounding in precepts the most pure and exalted, enforced by arguments the ons life which be attained; the general air of antiquity which pervades the most strong and conclusive, and illustrated by examples the most natural and
anners recorded in the poem; the great remains of patriarchal religion; the striking, Wurstup of the sun and moon being the only idolatry mentioned; there being With respect to analysis, we shall take that of Dr. Good, who divides the poem Do express allusion to the Mosaic law, or the wonderful works of God to Is into six parts, thus: 1. The opening. (or cxordium.) comprising the two first rael: and several peculianties in the language, style, and composition of the chapters of the book, which briefly state the misfortunes of Job, the chief subwork : all concur to render it highly probable that he lived in the patriarchal ject (or hero) of the poem; the source, or cause of them, and the names of tin , or, at least. previous to the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. Respecting his three friends, who came to converse with, and console bim. 2. From the the autbor of this Book, the sentiments of the learned are much divided : Eli commencement of the third to the end of the fourteenth chapter, contains the 6. Jod Moses, Solomon, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Ezra, have all been contended first series of Dialogues between Job and his three friends, Ehphaz, Bildad, and
The evidence, bowever, respecting the age of Job, proven that it could Zophar. 3. The second debate, from the beginning of the fifteenth chapter to lue any of the latter persons; and it is bighly probable, as Schultens, Pe the close of the twenty first. 4. The last series of controversy between Job
« Bishops Lacth and Tumline, Dr. Hales, and others suppose, that it and his friends, extending from the beginning of the twenty-second to the was the production of Job humself, or some other contemporary; though close of the thirty-first chapter. 5. The summing up of the debate by Elihu, it micht have been originally written in Arabic, as some imagine, and after who is now fint introduced, 6. The judgment pronounced by Jehovah himwards translated into Hebrew by Moses. The first two chapters, and the lat. self from the whirlwind ; Job's submission, and final restoration to prosperity, ter lart of the last chapter, are written in prose, and form an introduction and wbile his three friends are directed to present sacrifices by the hands of Job, as Conclusion to the poetical part, which is a poem of the highest order ; dealing their priest and intercessor.
n Ayoub of uge, hoding to othet; and of Rai
Ex the Septuagint and Arabic there is a considerable addition at the end of a different pronunciation of the Hebrew Ecyou, which has been strangely methis book. The following is terbatim from the Codex Alexandrinus : "And tamorphosed by Europeans into Job. In the Tareekh Muntekheb, bis genehe Joodselt in the land of Ausitis, in the confines of Idumea and Arabia ; alogy is given thus : "Ayoub the son of Anosh, the son of Razakh, the son of as hy former name wil3 Jonub. And he took to wife Arabisga, and becat a | Ais, (Esau,) the son of Isaac. He was a prophet; and was afflicted by a grieSo lose name was Ennon. And his father's name was Zarith, one of the vous malady three ycars, or, according to others, seven years; at the end of is of E u; and his mother's name was Bossora : and thus he was the which, when eighty years of age, he was restored to perfect health, and had a A frien Abraham. And these are the kings who reigned in Edom; which son called Bash ben Ayoub. Other writers say he had five song, with whom lie TEGO he also governed: the first wa. Balak, the son of Beor, the name of made war upon a brutal people called Dsul Kefl, whom he extirpated because What fits way Dennaba. And after Balak reigned Jobab, who is called Job. they refused to receive the knowledge of the true God, whom he preached to And after him Assom, the governor of the country of the Temanites. After him them." Abul Faragius, who calls him Ayoub assadeck, Job the righteous,
tba 00 of Basad, who cut off Madian in the plain of Moab; and the says that the trial of Job happened in the twenty fifth year of Nahor, son of Dun of his city was Gethaim. The friends who came to visit him were Serug ; thus making him prior to Abraham. Khondemir, who enltles him Ei , son of Sophan, of the children of Esau, king of the Temanites; Job the patient, says he was descended by his father's side from Esau, and by B the son of Amnon, of Chobar, tyrant of the Sanchites ; Sophar, king of his mother from Lot; and then proceeds to give his history, the same, uron the parta; Thaman, son of Eliphaz, governor of the Idumeans. This is the whole, as that contained in this book, though blended with fables. The train from the Syriac copy. He dwelt in the land of Ausitis, on the bor- facts are, however, the same, and we find that, with the oriental h.storians, des of the Euphrates, and his former name was Jobab; and his father was the personality, temptation, and deliverance of Job, are matters of serious creZarth, who came from the East " The Arabic is not so circumstantial, though dibility. In fact, whatever uncertainty and variety of opinion may have exthe sand in substance: “And Job dwelt in the land of Auz, between the inted respecting the country. parentage, and age of Job, the reality of his hisbocnilaries of Edom and Arabia; and he was at tirst called Jobal. And he tory has never been, and never can be successfully questioned; and whoever
strange womai, and to her was born a son called Anun. But Job was the author of this book, and in whatever time or language it may have was the son of Zara, a descendant of the children of Esau: his mother's name been written, it has ever been received by both the Jewish and Christian
Basra ; and be was the sirth from Abraham. Of the kings wbo reigned churchea, as perfectly authentic, and written by the inspiration of the Alin Flon: the first who ruianell over that land was Balak the son of Beor; mighty. On the character of Job his own words are the best cominent. Were and the name of his city was Danaba. And after him, Jobab, the same wlo we to believe bis mistaken and uncharitable friends, he, by assertion and in
ald J. And after Job, him who was prince of the land of Teman. And uendo, was guilty of almost every species of crime: but every charge of this afer him, the son of Barak, he who slew and put to flight Madian in the plains kind is rebutted by his own defence, and the character given him by the God of Moab; and the page of his city was Jatham. And of the friends of Job whom he worshipped, frees him from even the suspicion of guilt. His pa. who sitet bin, was Eliphaz, the son of Esan, bing of the Temanites." Dr. tience, resignation, and submission to the Divine will, are the most promiKeaninot says, when Job lived seems deducible from his being contemporary nent parts of his character presented to our view. He bore the loss of every with Ehpaz, the Temanite, thus :
thing which a worldly man values, without one unsanctified feeling, or murABRAHAM.
muring word; and it is in this respect that he is recommended to our notice
and imitation. His wailings relative to the mental agonies through which he ISAAC.
passed, do not at all aftect this part of his character. The greatest and most 9 Esmu.
important purposes were accomplished by his trial. He became a much better 3 Eliplaz.
man than he ever was before ; the dispensations of God's providence were illus4 TOM .
trated and justified; Satan's devices unmasked; patience crowned and re5 Eliphaz the Temanite
warded : and the church of God greatly enriched by having bequeathed to it Moses.
the vast treasury of Divine truth which is found in the Book of Job:--a book The gatory of Job, though greatly disguised, is well known among the Asi-containing the purest morality, the sublimest philosophy, the simplest ritual atecs. He is called by Arabian and Persian historians Ayoub, which is merely and the most majestic crecd.
***.23 perfectly anhcon received lover rime or languad; and who
J. Anh city was Danser that landua of the kite
racten value, with liat he is reagones! dit is in the lative to the manter. The
THE BOOK OF PSALMS.
This Book is termed in Hebrew, seprer tehillim, that is, "the Book of referred to by our Lord and his apostles as inspired : about half these have Hymna," or Preises, because the praises of God constitute their chief subject David's name prefixed, and others may probably have been written by him, alter; and as they were ret not only to be sung by the voice, but to be ac which have not his name. Twelve bear the name of Asaph, two that of Socompanied with musical instruments, they are designated in the Alexandrian lomon, one that of Moses, and two others those of Heman and Ethan. David mescript of the Septuagint Psalterion, the Psalter, from the pattery, a mu is described in the New Testament both as a patriarch and a prophet, (Acts ii. waliostrument, and in the Vatican manuscript simply Psalmoi, the Psalms. 29, 30.) and he was unquestionably an eminent type of the Messiah, as we
"The Psalms 1says Bishop Horne) are an epitome of the Bible, adapted to shall have frequent occasion to observe as we procced. the awes of devotion. They treat occasionally of the creation and forma In the New Testament, the whole number of the Psalms are considered as tion of the world: the dispensations of Providence and the economy of grace ; one book, (Luke xx. 42. Acts i 20.) but the Jews divide it into five, as follows: the transactions of the patriarchs ; the exodus of the children of Israel; their Book 1. Psalm i. to xli. II. Psalm xlii. to lxxii. III. Psalm lxxvi, to lxxxix. journey through the wilderness and settlement in Canaan ; their law, priest. IV. Psalm xc. to cvi. V. Psalm cvii. to el. Each of these books close's with ww. and ntual; the exploits of their great men, wrought through faith; their Amen or Hallelujah: but the antiquity of this division is uncertain, as is also Bir and cactivitie; their repentances and restorations ; the sufferings and that of the titles of some of the Psalms
tinea of David; the peaceful and happy reign of Solomon: the advent of All the Psalms are admitted to be poetical; and Hartinell lorne remarks, Mesh, with its effects and consequences ; his incarnation, birth, lite, passion, they" present every possible variety of Hebrew poctry. They may all, indeed, dab, Durrection, scension, kingdom, and priesthood; the effusion of the be termed poems of the lyric kind; that is, adapted to music ; but with preat
int: the conversion of the nations; the rejection of the Jewy; the estab variety in the style of composition. This some are simply ones. Olbers, again,
gept, increase, and perpetuity of the Christian church; the end of the are ethic, or didactic, delivering fravc maxins of lite, or the precepts of religion, wird; the 2nrral judgmeut; the condeinnation of the wicked, and the final in wolenn, but, for the most part, simple strains.' To this class we may refer trumph of the rightron with the Lord their king. These are the subjects the 119th, and the other aphabetical Psalms, which are so called, because the be presented to our meditations. We are instructed how to conceive of them initial letters of each line or stanza followed the order of the alphabet. Neur. ansit and to express the different affections, which, when so conceived of, ly one soyenth part of the Psalms are elegiac, or pathetic compositions on
tary Loust excite in our minds. They are, for this purpose, adorned with the mournful subjects. Some are enigmatic, delivering the doctrines of relirion Surs and set off with all the graces of poetry; and poetry itself is designed | in enigmata , sentences contrived to strike the imagination forcibly, and yet yet for her to be recomincnded by the charms of music thus consecrated to | easy to be understood; while a few may be referred to the class of idyls, or the serice of God; that so delight may prepare the way for improvement, and short pastoral poems. But the greater part of the book) according to Bishop plagte hecome the handmaid of wisdom, while every turbulent passion is Horsley, is a sort of dramatic ode, consisting of dialogues between certain amed by sarred melody, and the evil spirit is still dis possessed by the barp persons sustaining certain characters.'. of the son of Jesee.”
All that is known respecting the authors, occasions, and date of the Psalms Tdivine authority of the book of Psalms hay, we believe, never been con- is contained in the following table, which is chiefly compiled from the valu. trovered by those who adınit the inspiration of any part of the Old Testa-able work of Townsend, compared with the arrangement of Camel and meat, nor can it be with any appearance of reason, since they are so often others.
52 109. 35. 140.
Numb. xiv. 45. 2514 1490
I Sam. xvii. 4. 2941 1063
--xix. 3. 2942 1062
XXVII. 1. 2946 1058
2 Chron. xii, 40. 2956 1049
2 Sam. v. 11. 2962 1012
- xv. 29.
xxii, 1–51. 2996 1018
"]1 Chron. xxi. 30. 2987 1017
Xxviii. 10. 2989 1015
Occasions and dates unknown.
82. 115. 46.
73. 75. 76.
Coronation of Solomon.
1 Chron. xxix. 19. 2999 1015
Chron. vii. 10. 3000 1004
- Xvi. 6. 3074
- XX. 26.
3109 The blaspheinous message of 2 Kings xix. 13. Hezekiah.
Destruction of Sennacherib's
3465 Daniel. Near the close of the captivity. ix. 27.
The decree of Cyrus for restoring)
19 Ezra i. 4.
- vi. 13. 3185 519
Zech. viji. 23.
Neh. xiii. 3. 13560 444
79. 74. 83. 94.
and in thong tind in thr their bigbestore
of universal Church and in their praise, all the Fathers have been una vehicle of prophecy, and creution lends all its charms to paint the glorier of nimously clouent. Men of all nations find in these compositions a Jan 18 ge Redemption. Calculated alike to profit and to please, they inform the under. at once suitable to their feelings, and expressive of their highest joys and deep standing, elevate the aflections, and entertain the imagination. Indited under est sorrows, as well as of all the endlessly varied wishes and desires of their the influence of Him, to whom all hearts are known, and all events foreshown. beurs. Whether the pious believer is disposed to indulge the exalted wenti. they suit mankind in all situations; grateful as the manna which descended ments of praise and thanksgiving towards the ALMIGHTY FATHER of his be I from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The faireat productions of ing: to our out his soul in penitence or prayer; to be wail, with tears of con- buman wit, aller a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands. trition, past offences; to magnify the goodness and mercy of GOD; or, to and lose their fragrancy, but these unfading plants of paraolise hecome, as we dwell with Caty on the divine attributes of wisdom and omnipotence; the are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful; their bloom appeary Psalms atlord him the most perfect models and examples for expressing to be daily heightened ; fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets are extracted all his sentiments and feelings. "The Psalms," as Bishop Hornc remarks, from them. He who hath once tasted their excellences, will desire to taste with equal piety and beauty, "are an epitome of the Bible, adapted to the them yet again; and he who tastes them oflenest will relish them best." purposes of devotion. They trcal occasionally of the creation and formation We subjoin the following cominon, but very useful Table of the Psalms, class. of the worldl; the dispensations of Providence and the economy of grace; the ed under their several subjects, and adapted to the purposes of private devotion transactions of the patriarche; the exodus of the children of Israel; their journey through the wilderness and settlem int in Canann ; their law, priest:
1. PRAYERS. hood, and ritual; the exploits of their great men, wrought through faith ; their 1. Prayers for pardon of sin, Ps. vi. xxv. xxxviii. li. cxxx. Psalms styled peSius and captivities; their repentance and restorations, the sufiring and vic-nitential, vi. xxxii. Xxxvii li. cii. cxxx. cxlii. toring of David: the peaceful and happy reign of Solomon; the advent of 2. Prayers composed when the Psalmist was deprived of the public exercise MESSIAH, with its effects and consequences ; Hix incarnation, life, passion, of religion, Ps. xlii. xliii. xiii. lxxxiv. death, resurrection ascension, kingdom. and priesthood; the cffusion of the 3. Prayers in which the Psalmist appears extremely dejected, though not to Spirit; the conversion of the nations; the rejection of the Jews; the estab- tally deprived of consolation, under his afflictions, Ps. xii. xxi. lxix. lxxvú. lishment, increase, and perpetuity of the Christian Church: the end of the 1 lxxxviii. cxlii. world ; tbe general judgment; the condemnation of the wicked, and the final 4. Prayers in which the Psalmist asks help of God, in consideration of his triumph of the righteous with their Lord and King. These are the subjects here own integrity, and the uprightness of his cause, Ps. vii. xvii. xxvi. xxxv. presented to our meditations. We are instructed how to conceive ofthem arisht, 1 5. Prayers expressing the firmest trust and confidence in God under afflic. and to express the diferent affections, which, when so conceived of, they must tions, Prii. xvi. xxvii. xxxi. liv. Ivi. Ivii. Ixi. lxxi. xxxvi. excite in our minds. They are, for this purpose, adorned with the figures, and 1 6. Prayers composed when the people of God were under affliction or perse. set off with all the graces of poetry; and poetry itself is designed yet farther cution, Ps. xliv. Ix. lxxiv. Ixxix. Ixxx. lxxxii. lxxxix. xciv. cii CXXI. cxxxvi. to be recommended by the charins of music, thus consecrated to the service | 7. The following are also prayers in time of trouble and aflliction, Ps. iv. V. of God: that so delight may prepare the way for improvement, and pleasure 1 xi. xxvii. xi. lv. lix. Ixiv. lxx. cix. CXX. cxl. cxli. cxlii. become the handmaid of wisdom, while every turbulent passion is calmed by 8. Prayers of intercession, Ps. xx. lxvii. cxxi. cxxxii. cxliv. sacred melodly, and the evil spirit is still disposer sed by the harp of the son of Jesse. This little volume, like the paradise of Eden, affords us in perfection,
II. PSAXMS OF THANKSGIVING. thonch in miniature, every thing that groweth elsewhere, every tree that is 1. Thanksgivings for mercies bestowed on particular persons, Ps. ix. xviii. pleasant to the right, and good for food; and, above all, what was there lost, xxiii. xx. xxxiv. xl. lxxv. cili cviii. cxvi. cxvii. cxxxvin cxliv. but is here restored the tree of life in the midst of the garden. That which 2. Thanksgivins for mercies bestowed upon the Israelites in general, Ps. xlvi. we read, as matter of speculation, in the other Scriptures, is reduced to prac. xvii. Ixv. lxvi. Ixviii. Lxxvi. Lxxxi. lxxxv. xcviii. cv. cxxiv. cxxvi. cxxix. CXXXV. tice, when we racite it in the Psalms; in those repentance and faith are descri cxxxvi. cxlix. bed, but in these they are acted: by a perusal of the former, we learn how
I. PSALMS OF PRAISE AND ADORATION DISPLAYING THE ATTRIBUTES OP others served God: but by using the latter, we serve Him ourselves....
GOD. Composed upon particular occasions, but designed for general use : delivered out as servicii for the Israelites under the Law, yet no legs adapted for the cir 1. Gencral acknowledgments of God's goodness and mercy, and particularly cumstances of Christians under the Gospel, they present religion to us in the His care and protection of good men, Ps. xi. xxxiv. xxxvi. xci. c. cit. cvii. most engaging dress ; communicating truths, which philosophy could never in cxvii. cxxi. cxlv. cxlvi.