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" and mighty-He is the King of Glory." On this Psalm Bishop Lowth remarks, “ Cantûs quidem “ alternatio potuit fortaffe per totum obtinere; in extremâ certe odæ parte manifesto deprehenditur.” Præl. xxvii,
The book of Psalms thus becomes a subject of very interesting critical enquiry; but they engage our attention on a much higher account likewise; they contain passages consolatory, eucharistical, penitential, deprecatory, the most pathetic and affecting : hence they have, with the greatest propriety, been made part of our daily service of prayer. Yet it must be confessed that, though thus the subject of our daily meditation, they abound with many difficulties, arising partly from our ignorance of the particular occasions on which they were written, and of the customs and manners of the inhabitants of the Eastern countries ; partly from errors of the text, and sometimes from false translation. Hence we often feel the course of our devotion interrupted by the occurrence of a passage which appears inexplicable, or perhaps inconsistent with what precedes or follows. It is to be hoped therefore that a revisal of our present versions will not be an uninteresting attempt, in which it is proposed to adhere as closely as may be to the language, and preserve the spirit of those venerable translations, which are adopted by our Church; still however incorporating such cor
rections as can be derived from the labours of our modern critics; many of the most learned and pious of whom have particularly bestowed their attention on this subject, not inferior perhaps in either of these essential qualities to those great and good men who first began this valuable work.
Although it was an opinion very generally held amongst the fathers, that the Psalms contained prophecies not only of the Messias, but likewise of the temporal calamities of the Jews, their exiles, and the various fortunes of the Christian Church, yet it is now generally agreed that these prophecies relate solely to Christ. But again there arises here another more difficult and important question, namely to afcertain which are the Psalms which do thus prophecy of him. And here those Psalms are chiefly to be considered, which are cited in the New Testament, as it might be supposed that the Disciples would have had recourse to the most decisive arguments in favour of the divine mission of Christ. But a little enquiry will shew us, that this is not the case ; relying on the strength of facts for the truth of the dispensation, they paid but flight attention to the argument from prophecy ; and when they cite passages from the Old Testament, they appear to do so rather in the
of accommodation to the particular occasion before them. That they did sometimes quote the scriptures - in this way of accommodation
and xv. 3.
#gos O1XELOV onotov, is shewn very clearly by Starck, from the various occasions on which the lxix. Psalm is referred to in the New Testament. It is cited in John ii. 17. XV. 25. xix. 28, 29. Acts i. 20. Rom. xi. 9.
Now according to the first quotation in John ii. 17. it would foretell the punishment of the
money changers, and of those that sold oxen and sheep and doves in the Temple. According to Rom. XV. 3. it treats of the merits of Christ, who pleafed nor himself, but considered the sins of others to be his own. According to John xv. 25. it defcribes the hatred of the Jews to Christ. According to John xix. 28, 29. the passion of our Saviour on the Cross; according to Rom. xi. 9. the rejection of the Jews; and according to Acts i. 20. the death of the traitor Judas, and the election of the Apostle Matthias. Now though some of these circumstances might be consistent in the same prophecy, yet altogether they are not so. Besides these could not be the events prophesied of, unless Christ be the person who is the speaker throughout the Psalm : but that this cannot possibly be the case is very evident: and first, from the curses and imprecations mentioned verse 22. 25. which it should feem, as Starck observes, cannot be ascribed without blasphemy to Christ, the author of all mercy and forgiveness. Secondly, the roth verse likewise shews that Christ is not the subject of the Pfalm, for he was never reproached for fasting; on the contrary, he was said to be the
companion of wine-bibbers and gluttons. Thirdly, it appears from verses 33. 35. that the speaker was one of the captive Jews of Babylon. It follows therefore that the citations of this Psalm in the New Testament are mere allusions, in which the circumstances in the Psalm are compared with the fubject matter, and are brought forward solely by way of illustration. Again in Matt. xiii. 34, 35. we read, “ without a parable spake he not unto " them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken “ by the Prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in
parables, I will utter things which have been kept “ secret from the foundation of the world :” which passage is taken from Psalm lxxviii. 2. but no one ever yet, says Starck, except St. Jerom, ranked this amongst the prophetical Psalms. It is entirely and purely historical; and from beginning to the end relates the fortunes of the Israelites from their leaving Egypt to the time of David: yet it is cited by St. Matthew formally as a prophecy. Are we then to consider the whole Psalm as prophetical, or the second verse only? whichever side we take, says Starck, we fall into an absurdity.“ This is no pro
phecy, says Dr. Jortin, though it be said to be fut “ filled: for any thing may be said to be fulfilled “ when it can be pertinently applied; the meaning “ here is, that what the Psalmist said of his
of teaching might justly be said of these discourses “ of Christ.” Fortin's Remarks. The Jews were ac
customed to quote the Scriptures in this way of accommodation, and from them the disciples adopted it; but particularly St. Paul, and whoever was the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. But St. Paul has not only adopted the allegorising manner of the Jews, but has in one instance even had recourse to the mystical explication of the Jews themselves, as in i Cor. x. 3. where he speaks of the spiritual rock which followed the Ifraelites in the desert, and afforded them water wheresoever they went. Which fact is related by the author of the Tosepboth Tom
פי הבאר כתב הרב" בארה של מרים שהייתה הלך :tbobb עם בני ישראל במדבר ופיר' ברוך חיים שבכל מקום שהיו הולכים הבאר עלה וינובע מים ונבוא אל הבאר הזה פה ויצאו המים בכל מקום אשר הולכים:
That is, Os putei, scribit R. Barthenora, de fonte Miriam (vide Num. xx. 1.) eum profectum effe cum filiis Ifrael in deferto. Et explicatio ejus eft in Derec Chaim (or the commentary which R. Leo wrote on the Fathers) quod ubicunque locorum profecti fuerint, fons ascendit, & aquam præbuerit. Fonti porro os creatum eft, & prodierunt aquæ ubicunque locorum iter faciebant. Now surely no man can consider this as an authentic fact, and Ste Paul's explication as an authentic explication, but as a mere accommodation, suited to the particular purpose which he had in view. In like manner St. Matthew could not but fee that the first four verses of the nith chapter of Hosea are purely historical,