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his Bride, affords another striking specimen of Dr. Horsley's manner of interpretation. He thus describes the subject :
“ This Psalm relates to the second advent. The Bridegroom is the conquering, not the suffering Messiah ; the marriage is celebrated after his victories; and the Bride is the Church Catholic, rescued from the persecutions of the antichristian faction, and composed of the two great branches, that of the restored Jews, and that of the engrafted Gentiles. Or rather, perhaps, the Bride or Consort (saw) is the church of the converted Jews become the metropolitical church of all Christendom, and the virgins companions are the other churches."
This Psalm has been considered by many commentators as being, in its primary meaning, a Song of celebration on the marriage of King Solomon with his Egyptian Princess, as the 72d Psalm has been treated as his Inauguration : but Dr. Horsley has dismissed the earthly prince from the scene, and has filled it with transcendently higher persons and things. That double aspect is so luminously, and with such a fascination of expression, dilated upon by Dr. Lowth, that after reading his eleventh lecture on the Hebrew Poetry, we can hardly prevail upon ourselves to give up that principle of interpretation : "Quo exemplo,” says that exquisite writer, “ intelligi potest, styli parabolici naturam, eo quod hujusmodi imaginum magnam varietatem amet, hujusce allegoriæ tractationi egregiè accommodatam: ut enim hæ imagines ad rerum divinarum, seu spiritualium, pariter atque humanarum notiones signandas, servatæ in utrisque certa quadam analogia, adhiberi solent, ita facile præbent locum isti ambiguitati, quæ in hoc genere aliquatenus necessaria ; ut quasi versicolor et simul translucida fiat oratio, in utramque partem anceps, in neutra obscura : utramque allegoriæ sententiam suo complexu comprehendens, et distincte clareque ad alterutram referenda.” But both Dr. Horne and Dr. Horsley have pointed the 45th Psalm wholly to the righteous King, the only and blessed Potentate, the King Messiah; and though Dr. Horne gives the same double application to the 72d as Dr. Lowth has given to it, Dr. Horsley thinks the far greater part of it exclusively belongs to the Messiah. It is well worthy of remark, that both these Psalms are applied to the Messiah by the Targums; although the Jews will have it, that they are exclusively applicable to Solomon.*
The 50th Psalm, which is in itself eminently beautiful and sublime, Dr. Horsley has accurately felt and understood. The Bible translation of it, it must be admitted, is very correct and noble; but the late Bishop of St. Asaph has greatly improved its effect, and illustrated its sense by his division of it into two parts, ascribing the first six verses to the Psalmist, and the rest of the Psalm to Jehovah himself. The 21st verse is rendered by the translation before us inexpressibly grand: “ 21. These things thou hast done, and I was still ;
* Huet, D, E, Prop. VII. and see Prideaux, vol, iii. p. 552, et seq.
Thou hast thought that I AM is such an one as thyself. I
will call thee to account, and I will be thy adversary to
the face." The Bible translation is thus : “ 21. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence;
Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself,
but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before
thine eyes.” All interpreters, says Dr. Horsley, seem to have forgotten, that non is the name which God takes to himself in the third chapter of Exodus. “ It is with peculiar propriety that God, in a personal expostulation with his people, about their infringement of their whole covenant with him, in its most essential parts, calls himself by the name by which he was pleased to describe himself to that same people, when he first called them by his servant Moses.
What our Bible translation renders by " and set them in order before thine eyes,” Dr. Horsley translates “ I will be thy adversary to the face;" that is, thy adversary in a forensic sense. The received translation, in this instance, is quite without meaning. The Seventy translate the passage thus, Παρατησω κατα προσωπον Tov; the vulgate, “ Adversabor in oculis tuis; and Bishop Hare, "I will be thy adversary to thy face.”
The descriptive titles of the Psalms, as they occur in our Bible, the LXX, and other copies, are generally too contracted for the range which Dr. Horsley is inclined to give to the intention and purpose of the Psalmist. Thus, the 51st Psalm, which the Septuagint and our printed Hebrew Bible would confine to the subject of David's transgression in respect to Uriah, Dr. Horsley entitles “a penitential confession of the converted Jews;" and indeed, when we consider the 4th verse, it is difficult to suppose the poem to have reference to this particular sin of Daviů." But it is rather extraordinary, that Dr. Horsley should have referred the Psalm in question to the time of the captivity, because the words “ build thou the walls of Jerusalem” must be referred to the time of the captivity, when Jerusalem lay in ruins. One cannot but wonder that the Bishop should have not understood the petition in a figurative sense, and as meaning no more than what is prayed for in the first part of the verse, “ do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion.” There are many passages in
which this sense is given to building, i. e. preserving or causing to prosper. 1 Sam. ii. 35; 2 Sam. vii.
27; 1 Kings, xi. 38, &c. It is also rather surprising, that as Dr. Horsley has not translated this Psalm, he has not in his notes upon it taken any notice of the celebrated text of the 5th verse, “ Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." The word insbin, which is rendered shapen, denotes, according to Dr. Chandler, in his life of David, “ I was brought forth;" then the ensuing words contain the reason of it, “and in sin did
mother conceive me." Dr. Taylor, in his original sin, p. 31, supposes the Psalmist to mean only, that he was a “sinner from the womb,” or, in common language, “I am a great sinner," "I have contracted strong habits of sin.” It is surely very plain, that the Psalmist is charging himself here with something more than his own sin, and lamenting something more than his own personal wickedness.
In the 55th Psalm, Dr. Horsley has recognized the “ double edge of the prophetical style;" for it was impossible not to see that the rebellion of Absalom gave occasion to this Psalm.
“ The consternation and distress," says this vigorous interpreter, “ expressed in the verses 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, describe
the King's state of mind when he fled from Jerusalem, and marched weeping up the mount of Olives. The intquity cast upon the Psalmist answers to the complaints artfully raised against the king by his son, of a negligent administration of justice, and to the reproach of cruelty cast upon him by Shimei. 2 Sam. xv. 2, 4, and xv. 7, 8. The equal, the guide, and the familiar friend we find in Achitophel ; the confidential counsellor, first of David, afterwards of Absalom. The oily words describe the insidious character of Absalom, as it is delineated in 2 Sam. xv. 5, 9. Still the believer accustomed to the double edge of the prophetic style, in reading this Psalm, notwithstanding its agreement with the occurrences of David's life, will be led to think of David's great descendant, who endured a bitterer agony, and was the victim of a baser treachery, in the same spot where David is supposed to have uttered these complaints.” Dr. Horsley's translation of this Psalm is excellent; though we do not find as much pathos in “O that I had the pinion of the dove," as we do in the words of our Bible translation, “O that I had wings like a dove;" nor do we like the phrase "to be tossed about” in the 22d verse, in the place of “ to be moved,” as the words are in the English Bible. There is something too high in the one and too low in the other ; nor does the original impose either upon the translator. The appropriation of the 22d verse to the oracular voice is finely imagined, and the words “the Just One,” is well substituted for, " the righteous," as our Bible translation imperfectly renders the Hebrew text.
Dr. Horsley's translation of the 58th Psalm, though, in general greatly superior to our translation in common use, is open to some remarks. "The 'n and 1177, in the 9th verse, he considers as terms of meteorology, signifying tempestuous winds. This verse he translates, “ Before your pots feel the bramble, he shall sweep them away in whirlwind and hurricane;" and observes, that “the brightness of the flame which this material furnishes, the height to which it mounts in an instant, the fury with which it seems to rage on all sides of the vessel, give force, and even sublimity to the image, though taken from one of the commonest occurrences of the lowest life-a cottager's wife boiling her pot.”
Our Prayer Book translation seems greatly to misrepresent the meaning, by translating 'n raw.' The verse in our liturgy runs thus: “ Or ever your pots be made hot with thorns : so let indignation vex him as a thing that is raw.” We do not think, however, that Dr. Horsley has done justice to the word 'n. He shows no good reason for construing it as a term of meteorology: It is a very indolent way of disposing of a word, which is certainly by no means a supernumerary in the sentence. The word in signifies not only the mere living state, but emphatically, a state of prosperity, and pleasurable enjoyment. This is Buchanan's paraphrase of the word. Mudge explains the wish of the Psalmist to be, that the wicked may be swept off alive, as it were in a whirlwind, in a moment, before the fire of brambles could warm a pot. The Bible translation has not lost sight of the meaning of the word, though it has not embraced its full sense in this passage. The Genevan Bible makes still a stranger sense of this passage than the translation used in our Prayer Book: “ As raw flesh before your pots feel the fire of thorns, so let him carry them away as a whirlwind in his wrath :? and the margin explains it thus: “ As flesh is taken raw out of the pot before the water seethe: so he desires God to destroy their enterprizes before they bring them to pass.
The 91st Psalm, which Lowth and our Bible translators have considered generally as a celebration of the security and victory of the pious man, Horsley applies entirely to the Messiah; and has supposed it to be meant as a dialogue between a Levite, the Messiah, and the Almighty: a supposition, which, if correct, seems to supersede many of theemendations of Lowth, plausible and elegant as they are, in the notes to the beginning of his 26th Prælection. The 11th verse, when put into the mouth of the Levite, has peculiar force and propriety. The exordium is in our version tame and tautologous. Lowth complains of it, and corrects it by making the verbs all participles; but Horsley seems to us to have attained the objects both of easy construction and beautiful effect, by translating them as futures. “ The pestilence that walketh in darknass," in our Bible and Prayer Book, is surely better than “the pestilence that maketh its progress in darkness," as the words are in the translation before us.
The principal poem in the whole collection of these inspired songs is, according to Dr. Horsley, the 104th Psalm, “ for regularity of composition, richness of imagery, sublimity of sentiment, and elegance and perspicuity of diction." He calls it a hymn for the Sabbath-day, “celebrating the power of Jehovah displayed in the creation of the universe, the destruction of the earth by the deluge, and the restoration of beauty and order after that calamity; and describing the dependence of all nature, animated and vegetable, upon his providence for sustenance and preservation. As there is no allusion in it to the Mosaic ritual, nor any mention of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, it seems to be of an earlier age than the Exodus.' It consists of parts sung alternately by two companies. The parts are easily distinguished, in as much as one semichorus always speaks of God in the third person, the other addresses him in the second.”
Lowth has explained this Psalm, by supposing it to contain perpetual allusions to the tabernacle. « Omnes (imagines), ut mihi quidem videtur, ex tabernaculo sunt desumptæ. Dei magnitudinem primo vocibus propriis exponit: deinde translatis utitur:
nwas 7771 7777
“ Majestatem et gloriam induisti." nwas, vox in sacerdotum amictu solemnis.
עטה אור בשלמה
Operiens se lumine tanquam vestimento. Designatur sub eodem notione manifestum divinæ præsentiæ symbolum, LUX IN ADYTO CONSPICUA; et ab hoc exemplo singulari ad ineffabilem Dei gloriam generatim et universe exprimendam imago deducitur.”
These observations, which are certainly very ingenious and illustrative, are not adverted to by Dr. "Horsley; but he has greatly assisted our conceptions of the beauty of the poem, by reminding us of its frequent allusions to the destruction of the earth by the deluge, and its glorious renewal. We consider the translation of this Psalm as one of the finest specimens of Dr. Horsley's accurate knowledge of the Hebrew; and conceive him to be very correct in preserving the participles at the beginning of each, after the first of the parts of the first semichorus. “ These participles," says the truly learned Bishop,
, , at the beginning of the whole Psalm. Bless the Jehovah-putting on -- extending – laying - constituting-travelling-making