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peace and plenty, seemed to him to allude to king Henry the seventh, who was worthily counted the wifest and most peaceable king in all Europe of that age. To himselfe (for the wiseft will flatter themtelves fonetimes) becaufe he was not onely a chief councellor to this king, and had been liis ambassadour to conclude a most honourable peace with Charles the eighth, who paid (as Holinthed writeth) 745 duckets, besides a yearely tribute of 25,000 crownes, but also he carried both the Olive and King in name; and therefore thought he was specially designed for this church work, to the advancement of which he had an extraordinary inclination. Thus though (as St. Thomas of Aquin well noteih) all dreames be they never so sensible will be found to halt in some part of their coherence; and so perhaps may this: yet most certaine it is, for the time he was fo transported with this drcame, that he presently set in hand with this church (the ruines whereof I rue to behold even in writing these lines) and at the west end thereof he caused a representation to be graved of this vision of the Trinity, the angels and the ladder, and on the north fide the olive and crowne with certaine French words (which I could not read) but in English is this verse taken out of the Booke of Judges, chap. 9.
Trees going to chuse their King,
Said be to us the Olive King.
All which is so curiously cut and carved, as in the west part of England is no better works then in the west part of this poore church, and to make the credit of all this more authentieke, he added this word to it, De furfum eft, it is from high. Thus much the stones and walls (though dumb witnetles yet credible) doe plainly testifie. But in the midst of all this jollity having made fo faire a beginning to his own great content, and no lefle to the kings, who came into this country at that time, and lay at the deane of Wells his house nine days; I say in all this joy and comfort, that hapned the kings primogenitus, the noble prince Arthur, having lately before married a great infanta of Spaine to depart this life. This fo daunted the heart and hope of this good bishop, that he doubted now his vision would prove but an illusion, that his oliva would be but an oleafter, which melancholy thoughts were increast in him by the predictions as I touched before of some wizards (to which kind of men that age was much affected) concerning the new prince who was after Henry the eighth, of his inceituous marriage, of the decay of his off-1pring, that he thould pull down what the kings had builded, which no marvell if the bifhop being by firname a King miftrusted to pertaine also to his buildings. I heard by one Flower of Philips Norton, who faid he faw Henry the seventh in this country, that the bishop would with he had paid above the price of it, so it might have been finished, for if he ended it not, it would be piilled downe e'ere it were perfected. As for the latter predictions or rather poftfictions (fince this bithop's death) I willingly omit concerning the fucceffors of this bithop, as things worthier to be contemned then condemned, written by cole-prophets, upon whited walls, which the Italian calls the paper of fooles. luro bianco charta di matto, of which fort many have beene made as well by our owne country men as others ; but the best I remember was this written by an English gentleman since the three and fortieth yeere of queen Elizabeth on the church wall with a charcole.
O Church I waile thy wooful plight,
Subscribed Ignoto. Whereunto a captaine of an other country wrot this for the comfort of this church, and I wish him to prove a true prophet (though perhaps he dyed rather a martyr.)
Be blythe fair Kirk when Hempe is past,
Subscribed Casadore. But to proceed in this sad story, and leave this pleasant poetry, to pursue truths and eschue fi&tions, to imbrace reason and refuse rime, it is most apparent that after the death of this Oliver King, his successors Cardinall Adrian, Cardinall Woolley, Bishop Clerke, and Bithop Knight, all succeeded in five and thirty yeeres, of which the first two were supposed to poyson themselves, the third to be poysoned by others, the last survived to see the death, or at least the deadly wound of this church; for while the builders were ready to have finisht it, the destroyers came to demolith it; yet to give the devill his right (as the proverb is) it is said that the commissioners in reverence and compaslion of the place, did so far strain their commiflion, that they offered to sell the whole church to the town under 500 marks. But the townsmen fearing they might be thought to couzen the king, if they bought it fo cheap, or that it might after (as many things were) be found concealed, utterly refused it; whereupon certain merchants bought all the glasse, iron; bells, and lead, of which lead alone was accounted for (as I have credibly heard) 480 tun, worth at this day 4800l. But what became of these 1poiles and spoylers,
Defit in hac mihi parte fides,
neque credite factum;
credite pænain. For I may well say Non possum quin exclamem. But in a word, foon after the sellers lost their heads, the buyers lost their goods, being laid up in the great treasury of antichrift, I mean drowned in the sea, from whence (as some write) by the devill's power, he shall recover all loft treasures for the maintaining of his unmeasurable guifts. Thus speedily it was pulled down, but how flow it hath risen againe, I may bluth to write. Collections have been made all over England, with which the chancel is covered with blew Nate, and an alms-house built ex abundantiu, but the whole body of the church stands bare er humilitate. The rest of the money never coming to the townsmens hands, is laid up as I suppose with that money collected for Pauls fteeple, which I leave to a melius inquirendum. And thus the church lies still like the poore traveller mentioned in the 10 of Luke, spoiled and wounded by theeves. The priests go by, the Levites go by, but do nothing. Onely a good Samaritan honest M. Billet, (worthy to be billited in the new Jerusalem) hath powred some oyl in the wounds, and maintained it in life. In so much as a wealthy citizen of London, hath
adventured adventured to set his tomb there, whom I commend more worthily then the senate of Rome did thank Varro at his return from Cannas, quod de Jalute reipublicæ non desperaffet; for it seems this honest citizen did not despaire of the reedifying this church that gave order to be richly entombed therein, and thus much be said of this last church of Bath.
(To be continued.)
SACRED CRITICISM, No. X.
A CRITIQUE, ON PSALM II.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN, PURSUANT to promise, Vol. II. p. 9. I now return to the confideration
of the remaining Prophetic Pfalms defcriptive of the Messiah, cited in the sublime Introduction of the Epistle to the Hebrews, as applicable to Jesus Christ: which has been suspended, during the last three communications on the PRIMITIVE NAMES OF THE DEITY; but neither unprofitably, I trust, nor irrelevantly to the main defign of these specimens of SACRED CRITICISM; which is, to explain the scriptural “ NAME," authority or character of the SON OF GOD, OUR LORD," or spiritual Sovereign, and “OUR GOD," or future judge of quick and dead :-“For WE ALL must appear before the tribunal of CHRIST; in order that EVERY ONE may receive [a recompense) of the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad." See John 20, 28, and 5, 22. 2 Cor. 5, 10. Rom. 14, 10, and 9, 5. Acts 10, 36.
1. The second Pfalm, (to which I next proceed) cited to prove the peculiar Sonyhip of Jesus Christ, has been materially injured by the double sense, supposed to be attached to it; as it is related primarily to David, and secondarily to Christ: a malignant fiction, forged by the later Jewish Rabbins, to invalidate its prophetic evidence; most idly and unwarily adopted by several respectable Christian commentators, Grotius, Patrick, Chandler, Dodd, Mudge, Durell, Horne, &c.
Happily for the cause of CHRISTIANITY, the fiction itself, or the misap. plication of the Psalm to David in the literal sense, is irrefragably proved, by the testimony of the Primitive Jewith Church, and of the earlier Rabbins, and also by the confeslion of the framers and abettors thereof.
1. The Chaldee Paraphrast renders the clause, verle, 4, “ The Regent ('278) shall deride them” thus: “ THE ORACLE OF THE LORD (1787771) Jhall deride them."-And in the various applications of different passages of this most celebrated Pfalm, to Jesus, as THE CHRIST, throughout the New Testament; its reference to tie Messiah or CHRIST, is uniformly taken for granted, as the unquestionable doctrine of the Primitive Jewish Church ; the only question under consideration at that time, was, whether the character corresponded to Jesus or NAZARETH,
2. In the new edition of the Brejhit Rabba (a Rabbinical work composed about A. D. 300) Wilmersd. p. 30.—“ R. Jonathan faid there are three, to whom, SAW “ Ask”, was said: namely, Solomon, Ahaz, and King Mefiah.-1. Solomon : For it is written Kings, 3, 5. In Gibeon THE LORD appeared unto Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.-9. Ahaz: For it is written, Isa. 7, 11, Ask thee a jign
of the Lord.--3. King Mesiuh : for it is written, Pf. 2, 8. Ask, and I wilt give thee, the Gentiles, thine inheritance.”
3. It is likewise declared in the Talmud, Cod. Succa, Cap. 5, “ Our Maters deliver : That the BLESSED God said unto the MESSIAH, Jon of David, (who is shortly to be revealed in our days ) Ask of me somewhat, and I will give it thee. For it is faid, Pl. 2, 7–8. I will declare the decree : THE LORD said unto me, Thou art My Son, this day hare I begotten thee : Ask of me, and I will give the Gentiles thine inheritance."
4. The Midrah Tillin, understands " the Gentiles," (verse 1,) of Gog and Magog :---plainly referring to Balaams signal prophecy, respecting the Messiah's conquests, Numb. 24, 7. “ His KING shall be higher than Gog.” (See my Reformation thereof, Vol. I. p. 370, and the texts there adduced Ezek. 38, 2, and 39, 11. Rev. 20, 8.) And the Messiah is represented as He, who shall smite the impious with locusts.” And in a curious critical remark, (on verte 7) it states that he is stiled in the divine decree, '2" My Son," (abfolutely] not, s ro " to Me a Son," or as a Son, [relatively).
5. R. Obadiah Gaon, observes, that This Psalm alludes to the days of Chaist, rchen mankind Jhall be converted to the worship of God." (And this accords with the titles of this Píalm prefixed to the Syriac and Arabic versions.] And on verle 5, “ He shall terrify them in his anger," he remarks, “CHRIST shall Imite the Earth with the rod of his mouth" Isa. 11,4.
-as these predicted of " THE BRANCH from the root of Jeffe," an appropriate title of Christ. And he thus explains the inauguration of the MESSIAH, verse 6, My God hath made me to reign, upon Sion, my mount; and this shall be in the Redemption to come.”—And he applies the last sentence, verse 12, Blefjed are all that trust in Him,”.“ To those that expect redemption,-to them will the light arise."
6. R. Sadias Gaon, observes on Dan. 7, 13.-He who is to come with the clouds of heaven like a Son of Alan, is “MESSIAH our righteousness”; and on 7, 14.-“ And authority was given him” “Because (THE ANCII ENT OF DAYS) will give him authority and a kingdom ; as it is written, Pf. 2, 6. “ But I anointed my king.”
7. R. Moses Maimonides also, in his Porta Mofis, p. 160, allows the filia ation of the Messian to his CREATOR; who said unto Him, Pf. 2, 7. « Thou art my Son."
This is decisive evidence of the opinion of the Jewish Church, till the time of Maimonides, who died A. D. 1209.
8. His successor, R. Darid Kimchi, who died A. D. 1240, appears to be one of the first who supported the literal application of the Píalm to David: supposing in his commentary, that it was composed and sung by David in the beginning of his reign, when the neighbouring nations were gathered
together against him, according to 2 Sam, 5, 7. “ And the Philiftine's heard · that they had anointed David king over I/rael; and all the Philijiine's came
up to seek David,” although he allows, that the rulers of the Philiftines are po where in scripture called “ Kings," lut only, 170, “. Satraps.” and at the conclusion, confeiles that his own, was a novel interpretation : “ fome there are, however, who expound the Pfalm of Goğ and Magog, and of the MESSIAH, that is, of King MESSIAH : and to have our safiers of blefied memory interpreted it; and if the Psalm be expounded in this way, its sense will be clear: but it seems more likely that Darid composed this Fralm of himself, according to our explication.”
9. The true reason of his explication and departure from the Orthodox doctrine of his “ masters of blessed memory,” as we have seen, is furnished inadvertently, by his contemporary R. Solomon Jarchi : our doctors, says he, have expounded this Psalm mystically, of King MESSIAH ; but according to the letter, and TO ANSWER THE HERETICs, it is expedient to expound it of David himself,
This curious and important confession, o'rt navn, “ to answer the heretics,” which is found in the earlier editions, but most injudiciously and unwarrantably expunged from the later editions, the Banl, by Buxtorf, and the Venetian, furnishes the fullest and most unequivocal evidence of the double dealing of Jarchi and his associates, who first fabricated the literal exposition.
The Mystical interpretation of this Psalm, was therefore unquestionably the doctrine of the earlier and purer ages of the Jewish and Christian Churches, and thould not therefore be rathly receded from, in the present age of Reajon, idly disclaiming all mystery and all allegory in Religion. For although it must be admitted, that the fashion of allegorizing scripture, was carried to excess, by the philosophizing Divines of both, especially of the Alexandrian school ; Philo, Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, &c. (See the Monthly Review, December 1801, p. 594.) yet to run into the opposite extreme and to decry all musticul or allegorical interpretation, favours strongly of the most blameable /cepticilin, and leads to downright infidelita. Our Lord himself, frequently inculcates the peculiar mysteries of the gospel, under parables and allegories ; and Paul allegorizes the two sons of Abraham, IMmael and Isaac, into “ the two covenants," the temporal and the spiritual. Gal. 4, 24.* And it is truly remarkable, that they who are so ready to decry allegory in explaining the mysteries of our FAITH ; by a usual inconsistency, are the readiest to avail themselves of it, where it niay answer the purpose of erplaining axay the leading facts and doctrines of Revelation, such as the fall and redemption of mankind, inseparably connected with the temptations of Ere and of Jesus CHŘIST; which the modern disciples of Philo and Clemens, the ingenious Middleton, and Farmer, &c. have discovered to be dreams, or mere visionary transactions, devoid of reality. And improving on such “ imaginations,” the adventurous Belsham, that “over-strenuous unitarian,” not only allegorizes Satan himself into an imaginary being, but denies the delegated forereignty of THE SON OF God; and Itrange to tell, is applauded by the Monthly Review, October 1798, p. 148. Sce Atrictures on both, in the INSPECTOR, p. 38–39.
That this Psalm is utterly inapplicable to David; and that it corresponds in the minutest circumitances throughout, to the scriptural character of Jesus CHRIST, will appear from the Prophecy itself, more critically translated and more faithfully expounded.
PSALM II. OF DAVID. A PROPHECY, concerning CHRIST. THE LORD, and the CALLING OF THE GENTILES.
Arab. Title. 1. Why did the Gentiles
rage, And the Peoples imagine vanity? * See Bifhop Chandler's masterly argument on allegorical interpretations of scripture. Defence of Chrijiiunity, Chap. 5o $1. p. 255-277•