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windings and mazes in which so many commentators upon of order and arrangement. In the same way has the roya! the Ecclesiastes have been lost and bewildered. By keep- preacher treated the subject; not with exact, philosophicis ing steadily in view the preacher's object, to eulogize method, but in a free and popular manner, giving an uncor Heavenly Wisdom, the whole admits of an easy and natural trolled range to his capacious intellect, and suffering kinisel interpretation; light is diffused around its obscurities ; con- to be borne along by the exuberance of his thoughts and nection is discovered in that which was before disjointed; the vehemence of his feelings. But, though the methodica the argument receives additional force, the sentiments new disposition of his ideas is occasionally interrupted, his plan beauty ; and every part of the discourse, when considered in is still discernible; and perhaps he never wanders more from reference to this object, tends to develope the nature of True his principal object than most of the other writers in the Wisdom, to display its excellence, or to recommend its ac- Sacred Volume." quirement.

For the preceding view of the scope of this admirably “ Hence he commences with the declaration that all is va- instructive book, the author is indebted to Mr. Holden: nity, which is not to be understood as implying any censure learned and elaborate attempt to illustrate it.? The following upon the works of creation, for God does nothing in vain, Synopsis (which is also borrowed from Mr. Holden) will every thing being properly adapted to its end, and excellently give the reader a clear view of its design :fitted to display the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Part I. THE VANITY OF ALL EARTHLY CONDITIONS OCCUPA Almighty. Yet when the things of this world are applied

TIONS, AND PLEASURES. to improper purposes; when they are considered as the end, while they are only intended to be the means; and are rested Sect. I. The vanity of all earthly things. (i. 2.) in as the source of happiness which they were not designed Sect. II. The unprofitableness of human labour, and the to afford, vanity is discovered to be their character; that transitoriness of human life. (i. 3—11.) which is most excellent becomes useless, if not injurious, by Sect. III. The vanity of laborious inquiries into the ways the abuse; and the works of Omnipotence, however wise and and works of man. (i. 12–18.) good in themselves, are unprofitable to those who misuse and Secr. IV. Luxury and pleasure are only vanity and vexation pervert them. It were a kind of blasphemy to vilify what- of spirit. (ii, 1–11.) ever has proceeded from Omniscient Power; and Solomon Sect. V. Though the wise excel fools, yet, as death happens can only be supposed to pronounce all things here below to them both, human learning is but vanity. (ii. 12-17.) vain, when they are applied to a wrong use, by the ignorance Sect. VI. The vanity of human labour, in leaving it they and wickedness of man. Nor does he so denominate all

know not to whom. (ii. 18—23.)" things universally and without any exception, but only all

Sect. VII. The emptiness of sensual enjoyments. (ii, 24 earthly things, as wealth, pleasure, pomp, luxury, power, and

—26.) whatever is merely human and terrestrial. If these are

Sect. VIII. Though there is a proper time for the execution placed in competition with divine and heavenly things, or

of all human purposes, yet are they useless and vain; the are foolishly regarded as the means of real happiness, they

divine counsels, however, are immutable. (iii. 1—14.) become useless and unprofitable, because they are uncertain

Sect. IX. The vanity of human pursuits proved from the and transitory, never fully satisfying the desires of the soul,

wickedness prevailing in courts of justice, contrasted with nor producing permanent felicity. If worldly things are vain in these respects, it would, nevertheless, be presumption

the righteous judgment of God. (iii. 15–17.) and impiety to represent them as actually bad. They are

Sect. X. Though life, considered in itself, is vanity, for men good in themselves, and, when rightly used, tend only to

die as well as beasts, yet in the end, it will be very different good, since they contribute to the enjoyment of life, and, in

with the spirit of man and that of beasts. (iii. 18—22.) an eminent degree, to the ultimate and real interest of man.

Sect. XI. Vanity is increased unto men by oppression. (iv, But if they are pursued as the only portion in this life,' as

1-3.) constituting the happiness of beings formed for immortality,

Sect. XII. The vanity of prosperity. (iv. 4.). they are not estimated on right principles, and the result will Sect. XIII. The vanity of folly, or of preferring the world to be vexation and disappointinent. Their vanity then, arises

True Wisdom. (iv. 5, 6.) from the folly and baseness of men, who, in forgetfulness of

Sect. XIV. The vanity of covetousness. (iv. 7, 8.) eternity, are too apt to regard this world as their sole and Sect. XV. Though society has its advantages, yet dominion final abode, and to expect that satisfaction from them which and empire are But vanity. (iv. 9–16.) they cannot give. Nor are they to be condemned on this Sect. XVI. Errors in the performance of divine worship, account. That they are insufficient to render man happy is which render it vain and unprofitable. (v. 1—7.) itself the ordination of Infinite Wisdom, and, consequently, Sect. XVII. The vanity of murmuring at injustice ; for best suited to a probationary state; wisely calculated for the though the oppression of the poor and the perversion of trial of man's virtue, and, by weaning him from too fond judgment greatly prevail, they do not escape the notice of attachment to things on earth, to stimulate his desires and the Almighty. (v. 8, 9.) exertions after the blessedness of another life.

Sect. XVIII. The vanity of riches; with an admonition as “In prosecuting his inquiry into the Chief Good, Solomon to the moderate enjoyment of them. (v. 10—20.) has divided his work into two parts. The first, which ex- Sect. XIX. The vanity of avarice. (vi. 1-9.) tends to the tenth verse of the sixth chapter, is taken up in Part II. THE NATURE, EXCELLENCE, AND BENEFICIAL EFFECTS demonstrating the vanity of all earthly conditions, occupations, and pleasures; the second part, which includes the

OF WISDOM OR RELIGION. remainder of the book, is occupied in eulogizing WISDOM, Sect. XX. Since all human designs, labours and enjoyments and in describing its nature, its excellence, its beneficial are vain, it is natural to inquire, What is good for man? effects. This division, indeed, is not adhered to throughout What is his Supreme Good? (vi. 10–12.) The answer with logical accuracy; some deviations from strict method

is contained in the remainder of the book. are allowable in a popular discourse; and the author ooca

Sect. XXI. The praise of character and reputation. (vii. 1.) sionally diverges to topics incidentally suggested; but, amidst

Sect. XXII. Affliction improves the heart, and exalts the these digressions, the distinctions of the two parts cannot character of the wise. (vii. 2—10.) escape the attentive reader. It is not the manner of the

Sect. XXIII. The excellence of Wisdom. (vii. 11–14.) sacred writers to form their discourses in a regular series of

Sect. XXIV. An objection, with the answer. (vii. 15. viii, 7.) deductions and concatenated arguments: they adopt a species

Sect. XXV. The evil of wickedness shows the advantage of of composition, less logical indeed, but better adapted to

True Wisdom. (viii, 8—13.) common capacities, in which the subject is still kept in view,

Sect. XXVI. An objection, with the answer. (viii. 14. ix. 1.) though not handled according to the rules of dialectics. Even St. Paul, whose reasoning powers are unquestionable,

Sect. XXVII, An objection, with the answer. (ix. 2. x, 17.)

Sect. XXVIII. The banefulness of sloth, (x. 18.) frequently digresses from his subject, breaks off abruptly in the middle of his argument, and departs from the strictness

Sect, XXIX. The power of wealth. (X. 19.)

Sect. XXX. An exhortation against speaking evil of digni 1 The finest commentary on this aphorism, Vanity of vanities, all is

ties. (x. 20.) vanity, was unintentionally furnished by the late celebrated Earl of Ches. Sect. XXXI. Exhortation to charity and benevolence. (xi terfield in one of his posthumous letters. See the passage at length in 1-10.) Bishop Horne's Works, vol. v. discourse xiii. pp. 185—187., where the frightful picture, exhibited by a dying man of the world, is admirably im. proved to the edification of the reader.

* Prelim. Diss. pp. Ixv. Ixviii.—Ixxii.

ויי

be any

rous, no part of the Old Testament being cited in the New XI. We shall conclude this section, the importance of so frequently as this book. That those psalms which were whose subject must apologize for its apparently disproportioncomposed by David himself were prophetic, we have David's ate length, with the following common but very useful own authority: “ which,” Bishop Horsley remarks,“ may

TABLE OF THE PSALMS, be allowed to overpower a host of modern expositors. For thus King David, at the close of his life, describes himself classed according to their several subjects, and adapted to tho and his sacred songs : David the son of Jesse said, and the purposes of private devotion. man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of

I. Prayers. Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of

1. Prayers for pardon of sin, Psal. vi. xxv. xxxviii. li. cxxx, Psalms Jehovah spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. (2 Sam. styled penitential, vi.

xxii

. xxxvii. li. cii. cxxx. cxliii. xxiii. 1, 2.) It was the word, therefore, of Jehovah's Spi: tunity to the public exercise of religion, Psal. xlii. xlii. Ixiii. Ixxxiv. rit which was uttered by David's tongue. But, it should 3. Prayers, in which the Psalmist seeins extremely dejected, though not seem, the Spirit of Jehovah would not be wanting to enable totally deprived of consolation, under his afflictions, Psal. xiii. xxii. Ixix. a. mere man to make complaint of his own enemies, to describe lxxvii. lxxxviii. cxliii.

4. Prayers, in which the Psalmist asks help of God, in consideration of his own sufferings just as he felt them, and his own escapes his own integrity, and the uprightness of his cause, Psal. vii. xvii. xxvi. just as they happened. But the Spirit of Jehovah described, xxxv. by David's utterance, what was known to that Spirit only, añictions, Psal. fi. xvi. Ixvii. XXXi. liv. Ivi. Ivii. Ixi. Ixii. lxxi. lxxxvi

5. Prayers, expressing the firmest trust and confidence in God under and that Spirit only could describe. So that, if David be 6. Prayers, composed when the people of God were under affliction or allowed to have had any knowledge of the true subject of persecution, Psal. xliv. Ix. Ixxiv. lxxix. lxxx. Ixxxiii. lxxxix. xciv. cii.

cxxiii. cxxxvii. his own compositions, it was nothing in his own life, but

7. The following are likewise prayers in time of trouble and alliction, something put into his mind by the Holy Spirit of God, and Psal

. iv. v. xi. xxviii. xli. Iv. lix. lxiv. lxx. cix. cxx. cxl. cxli. cxliii. the misapplication of the Psalms to the literal David has 8. Prayers of intercession, Psal. xx. Ixvii. cxxii. cxxxii. cxliv. done more mischief than the misapplication of any other

II. Psalms of Thanksgiving. parts of the Scriptures, among those who profess the belief 1. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to particular persons, Psal. ix. of the Christian religion.”

xviii. xxii. xxx. xxxiv. xl. lxxv. ciii. cviii. cxvi. cxviii

. cxxxviii

. cxliv. For a table of those portions of the Psalms which are

2. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to the Israelites in general,

Psal. xlvi. xlviii. Ixv. Ixvi. Ixviii. Ixvi. lxxxi. lxxxv. xcviii. cv. cxxiv. cxxvi. strictly prophetical of the Messiah, see Vol. I. Part I. Chap. cxxix. cxxxv. cxxxvi. cxlix. [V. Sect. II. 1.

III. Psalms of Praise and Adoration, displaying the AttriX. The book of Psalms being composed in Hebrew verse,

butes of God. must generally be studied and investigated agreeably to the

1. General acknowledgments of God's goodness and mercy, and parstructure of Hebrew poetry; but in addition to the remarks ticularly his care and protection of good men, Psal. xxiii. xxiv. xxxvi. xci. already offered on this subject,2 there are a few observations c. ciii. cvii. cxvii. cxxi. cxlv. cxlvi. more particularly applicable to these songs of Sion, which the Divine Being, Psal. vii. xix. xxiv. xxix. xxxill. xlvii. 1. Ixv. Ixvi. lxxvi

.

the , glory, will enable the reader to enter more fully into their force and lxxvii

. xciii. xcv. xcvi. xcvii. xcix. civ. cxi. exiii. cxiv. cxv. cxxxiv. cxxxix. meaning.

cxlvii. cxlviii. cl. 1. Investigate the Argument of each Psalm.

IV. Instructive Psalms. This is sometimes intimated in the prefixed title: but as these inscrip

1. The different characters of good and bad men,—the happiness of the tions are not always genuine, it will be preferable, in every case, to deduce one, and the misery of the other,-are represented in the following the argument from a diligent and attentive reading of the psalm itself, and psalms :-: v. vii. ix. x. xi. xii. xiv. xv. xvii. xxiv. xxv. xxxii. xxxiv. xxxvi. then to form our opinion concerning the

correctness of the title, if there xxxvii. 1. lii. liii. lviii. lxxii. lxxv. Ixxxiv. xci. xcii. xciv.cxii. cxix. cxvi. cxxv.

cxxvii. cxxviii. cxxxiii.

2. The excellence of God's laws, Psal. xix. cxix. 2. With this view, examine the Historical Origin of the 3. The vanity of huinan life, Psal. xxxix. xlix. xc. Psalm, or the circumstances that led the sacred poet to com- 4. Advice to magistrates, Psal. Ixxxii. ci. pose it.

5. The virtue of humility, Psal. cxxxi. Besides investigating the occasion upon which a psalm was written,

V. Psalms more eminently and directly Prophetical. much advantage and assistance may be derived from studying the psalms Psal. ii. xvi. xxii. xl. xlv. Ixviii. Ixxii. lxxxvii. cx. cxviii. chronologically, and comparing them with the historical books of the Old Testament, particularly those which treat of the Israelites and Jews, from

VI. Historical Psalms. the origin of their monarchy to their return from the Babylonish captivity: Psal. Ixxviii. cv. cvi. of the benefit that may be obtained from such a comparison of the two books of Samuel, we have already given soine striking examples.

3. Ascertain the Author of the Psalm. This is frequently intimated in the inscriptions; but as these are not al. ways to be depended upon, we must look for other more certain criteria

SECTION III. by which to ascertain correctly the real author of any psalnı. The historical circumstances, which are very frequently as well as clearly indicated,

ON THE BOOK OF PROVERBS. and the poetical character impressed on the compositions of each of the inspired poets, will enable us to accomplish this

very important object. I. Title, author, and canonical authority.-II. Scope.-III. Let us take, for instance, the Psalms of David. Not only does he allude to his own personal circumstances, to the dangers to which he was ex- Synopsis of its contents.-IV. Observations on its style, posed, the persecutions he endured, the wars in which he was engaged, use, and importance. his heinous sin against God, and the signal blessings conferred upon him; but his psalms are further stamped with a peculiar character, by which, I. The book of Proverbss has always been ascribed to if it be carefully attended to, we may easily distinguish him froin every Solomon, whose name it bears, though, from the frequent same words and ideas almost perpetually ; complaining of his afflictions repetition of the same sentences, as well as from some variand troubles; imploring help from God in the most earnest supplications; ations in style which have been discovered, doubts have been professing his confidence in God in the strongest manner; rejoicing in the entertained whether he really was the author of every maxim his gratitude for all the blessings conferred upon himn. Again, in what it comprises..." The latter part of it, from the beginning of ardent language does he express his longing desire to behold the sanc- the twenty-fifth chapter, forming evidently an appendix, was tuary of God,

and join with the multitude of those who kept holyday! collected after his death, and added to what appears to have With what animation does he describe the solemn pomp with which the been more immediately arranged by himself."6The proverbs ark was conducted to Jerusalem! &c. of all the sacred poets, David is the most pleasing and tender

in the thirtieth chapter are expressly called The words of The style of David has been imitated by the other psalmists, who have Agur the son of Jakeh; and the thirty-first chapter is entitled borrowed and incorporated many of his expressions and images in their The words of king Lemuel. It seems certain that the collection type, by the absence of that elegance and force which always characterize called the Proverbs of SOLOMON was arranged in the order the productions of an original author.

in which we now have it by different hands; but it is not 4. Attend to the Structure of the Psalms.

therefore to be concluded that they are not the productions The Psalms, being principally designed for the national worship of the of Solomon, who, we are informed, spoke no less than three Jews, are adapted to choral singing; attention, therefore, to the choral thousand proverbs. (1 Kings iv. 32.) As it is nowhere said spirit and meaning. Dr. Good has happily succeeded in showing the that Solomon himself made a collection of proverbs and choral divisions of many of these sacred poems, in his version of the Psalms.

. On the peculiar nature of the Hebrew Proverbs, see Vol. I. Part II.

Chapter I. Section VI. · Bishop Horsley's Psalms, vol. I. p. xiv. Calmet has a very fine pas- 6 Extract from Dr. Mason Good's unpublished translation of the Book sage on the scope of the book of Psalms, as pointing to the Messiah ; it is of Proverbs, in Prof. Gregory's

Memoirs of his Life, p. 289. too long to cite, and would be impaired by abridgment. See his Commen- It is not said that these proverbs were written con positions, but sim. taire, vol. vi. pp. vi. viii., or Dissertations, tom. ii. pp. 197–199.

ply that Solomon spake them. Hence Mr. Holden thinks it not improbable See Vol. 1. Part II. Chap. II. SVIII.

that the Hebrew monarch spoke them in assemblies collected for the par• See p. 220. of this voluine.

pose of hearing him discourse. Attempt to Illustrate the Book of Eccle • Bauer, Herm. Sacr. pp. 392–394.

siastes, p. xliv.

windings and mazes in which so many commentators upon of order and arrangement. In the same way has the roya! the Ecclesiastes have been lost and bewildered. By keep- preacher treated the subject; not with exact, philosophicus ing steadily in view the preacher's object, to eulogize method, but in a free and popular manner, giving an uncor Heavenly Wisdom, the whole admits of an easy and natural trolled range to his capacious intellect, and suffering hinisel interpretation; light is diffused around its obscurities; con- to be borne along by the exuberance of his thoughts an A nection is discovered in that which was before disjointed; the vehemence of his feelings. But, though the methodica the argument receives additional force, the sentiments new disposition of his ideas is occasionally interrupted, his plan beauty ; and every part of the discourse, when considered in is still discernible; and perhaps he never wanders more rrum reference to this object, tends to develope the nature of True his principal object than most of the other writers in the Wisdom, to display its excellence, or to recommend its ac- Sacred Volume." quirement.

For the preceding view of the scope of this admirably " Hence he commences with the declaration that all is va- instructive book, the author is indebted to Mr. Holden: nity, which is not to be understood as implying any censure learned and elaborate attempt to illustrate it. The following upon the works of creation, for God does nothing in vain, Synopsis (which is also borrowed from Mr. Holden) wil every thing being properly adapted to its end, and excellently give the reader a clear view of its design :fitted to display the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Part I. THE VANITY OF ALL EARTHLY CONDITIONS OCCUPA Almighty. Yet when the things of this world are applied

TIONS, AND PLEASURES. to improper purposes; when they are considered as the end, while they are only intended to be the means; and are rested Sect. I. The vanity of all earthly things. (i. 2.) in as the source of happiness which they were not designed Sect. II. The unprofitableness of human labour, and the to afford, vanity is discovered to be their character; that transitoriness of human life. (i. 3—11.) which is most excellent becomes useless, if not injurious, by Sect. III. The vanity of laborious inquiries into the ways the abuse; and the works of Omnipotence, however wise and and works of man. (i. 12–18.) good in themselves, are unprofitable to those who misuse and Sect. IV. Luxury and pleasure are only vanity and vexation pervert them. It were a kind of blasphemy to vilify what- of spirit. (ii. 1–11.) ever has proceeded from Omniscient Power; and Solomon SECT. V. Though the wise excel fools, yet, as death happens can only be supposed to pronounce all things here below to them both, human learning is but vanity. (ii. 12–17.) vain, when they are applied to a wrong, use, by the ignorance Sect. VI. The vanity of human labour, in leaving it they and wickedness of man. Nor does he so denominate all know not to whom. (ii. 18—23.) things universally and without any exception, but only all

Sect. VII. The emptiness of sensual enjoyments. (ii. 24 earthly things, as wealth, pleasure, pomp, luxury, power, and -26.) whatever is merely human and terrestrial. "If these are

Sect. VIII. Though there is a proper time for the execution placed in competition with divine and heavenly things, or

of all human purposes, yet are they useless and vain; the are foolishly regarded as the means of real happiness, they

divine counsels, however, are immutable. (iii. 1-14.) become useless and unprofitable, because they are uncertain

Sect. IX. The vanity of human pursuits proved from the and transitory, never fully satisfying the desires of the soul,

wickedness prevailing in courts of justice, contrasted with nor producing permanent felicity. If worldly things are vain in these respects, it would, nevertheless, be presumption

the righteous judgment of God. (iii. 15–17.) and impiety to represent them as actually bad. They are

Sect. X. Though life, considered in itself, is vanity, for men good in themselves, and, when rightly used, tend only to

die as well as beasts, yet in the end, it will be very different good, since they contribute to the enjoyment of life, and, in

with the spirit of man and that of beasts. (iii. 18—22.) an eminent degree, to the ultimate and real interest of man.

Sect. XI. Vanity is increased unto men by oppression. (iv.

1-3.) But if they are pursued as the only portion in this life,' as constituting the happiness of beings formed for immortality,

Sect. XII. The vanity of prosperity. (iv. 4.). they are not estimated on right principles, and the result will Sect. XIII. The vanity of folly, or of preferring the world to be vexation and disappointment. Their vanity then, arises

True Wisdom. (iv. 5, 6.) from the folly and baseness of men, who, in forgetfulness of

Sect. XIV. The vanity of covetousness. (iv, 7, 8.) eternity, are too apt to regard this world as their sole and Sect. XV. Though society has its advantages, yet dominion final abode, and to expect that satisfaction from them which and empire are But vanity. (iv. 9-16.) they cannot give. Nor are they to be condemned on this Sect. XÙI. Errors in the performance of divine worship, account. That they are insufficient to render man happy is which render it vain and unprofitable. (v. 1-7.) itself the ordination of Infinite Wisdom, and, consequently, Sect. XVII. The vanity of murmuring at injustice ; for best suited to a probationary state; wisely calculated for the though the oppression of the poor and the perversion of trial of man's virtue, and, by weaning him from too fond judgment greatly prevail, they do not escape the notice of attachment to things on earth, to stimulate his desires and the Almighty. (v. 8, 9.) exertions after the blessedness of another life.

Sect. XVIII. The vanity of riches ; with an admonition as "In prosecuting his inquiry into the Chief Good, Solomon to the moderate enjoyment of them. (v. 10-20.) has divided his work into two parts. The first, which ex- Sect, XIX. The vanity of avarice. (vi. 1—9.) tends to the tenth verse of the sixth chapter, is taken up in Part II. THE NATURE, EXCELLENCE, AND BENEFICIAL EFFECTS demonstrating the vanity of all earthly conditions, occupations, and pleasures; the second part, which includes the remainder of the book, is occupied in eulogizing WISDOM, Sect. XX. Since all human designs, labours and enjoyments and in describing its nature, its excellence, its beneficial are vain, it is natural to inquire, What is good for man? effects. This division, indeed, is not adhered to throughout What is his Supreme Good? (vi. 10–12.) The answer with logical accuracy; some deviations from strict method

is contained in the remainder of the book. are allowable in a popular discourse; and the author occa

Sect. XXI. The praise of character and reputation. (vii. 1.) sionally diverges to topics incidentally suggested; but, amidst

Sect. XXII. Afiction improves the heart, and exalts the these digressions, the distinctions of the two parts cannot character of the wise. (vii. 2—10.) escape the attentive reader. It is not the manner of the

Sect. XXIII. The excellence of Wisdom. (vii

. 11–14.) sacred writers to form their discourses in a regular series of

Sect. XXIV. An objection, with the answer. (vii. 15. viii. 7.) deductions and concatenated arguments : they adopt a species

Sect. XXV. The evil of wickedness shows the advantage of of composition, less logical indeed, but better adapted to

True Wisdom. (viii, 8—13.) common capacities, in which the subject is still kept in view,

Sect. XXVI. An objection, with the answer. (viii. 14. ix. 1.) though not handled according to the rules of dialectics.

Sect. XXVII. An objection, with the answer. (ix. 2. x. 17.) Even St. Paul, whose reasoning powers are unquestionable,

Sect. XXVIII. The banefulness of sloth. (x. 18.)
frequently digresses from his subject, breaks off abruptly in
the middle of his argument, and departs from the strictness

Sect, XXIX. The power of wealth. (x, 19.)
Sect. XXX. An exhortation against speaking evil of digni

ties. (x. 20.) 1 The finest commentary on this aphorism, Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, was unintentionally furnished by the late celebrated Earl of Ches- Sect. XXXI. Exhortation to charity and benevolence. (xi terfield in one of his posthumous letters. See the passage at length in

1-10.) Bishop Horne's Works, vol. v. discourse xiii. pp. 185–187., where the frightful picture, exbibited by a dying man of the world, is admirably improved to the edification of the reader.

* Prelim. Diss. pp. Ixv. Ixviii.--.xxij.

OF WISDOM OR RELIGION.

rous, no part of the Old Testament being cited in the New XI. We shall conclude this section, the importance of so frequently as this book. That those psalms which were whose subject must apologize for its apparently disproportioncomposed by David himself were prophetic, we have David's ate length, with the following common but very useful own authority : “ which,” Bishop Horsley remarks, “ may

TABLE OF THE PSALMS, be allowed to overpower a host of modern expositors: For classed according to their several subjects, and adapted to tho thus King David, at the close of his life, describes himself and his sacred songs : David the son of Jesse said, and the purposes of private devotion. man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of

I. Prayers. Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of

1. Prayers for pardon of sin, Psal. vi. xxv. xxxviii. li. cxxx. Psalms Jehovah spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. (2 Sam. styled penitential, vi. xxii

. xxxviii. li. cii. cxxx. cxliii. xxiii. 1, 2.) It was the word, therefore, of Jehovah's Spi: tunity day the public exercise of religion, Psal. xlii. xlii. Ixiii. Ixxxiv. rit which was uttered by David's tongue. But, it should

3. Prayers, in which the Psalmist seems extremely dejected, though not seem, the Spirit of Jehovah would not be wanting to enable totally deprived of consolation, under his afflictions, Psal. xiii. xxii. Ixix. a mere man to make complaint of his own enemies, to describe lxxvii. lxxxviii. cxliii.

4. Prayers, in which the Psalmist asks help of God, in consideration of his own sufferings just as he felt them, and his own escapes his own integrity, and the uprightness of his cause, Psal. vii. xvii. xxvi. just as they happened. But the Spirit of Jehovah described, xxxv. by David's utterance, what was known to that Spirit only; aflictions, Psal. fili. xvi. Şxvii. XXXI. liv. Ivi. Ivii. lxi. Ixii. lxxi. lxxxvi.

5. Prayers, expressing the firmest trust and confidence in God under and that Spirit only could describe. So that, if David be allowed to have had any knowledge of the true subject of persecution, Psal. xliv. Ix. lxxiv. lxxix. lxxx. lxxxiii. lxxxix. xciv. cii. his own compositions, it was nothing in his own life, but cxxiii. cxxxvii. something put into his mind by the Holy Spirit of God, and Psal. iv. V. xi. xxviii. xli. Iv. lix lxiv. Ixx. cix. cxx. cxl. cxli. cxliii.

7. The following are likewise prayers in time of trouble and affliction, the misapplication of the Psalms to the literal David has 8. Prayers of intercession, Psal. xx. Ixvii. cxxii. cxxxii. cxliv. done more mischief than the misapplication of any other

II. Psalms of Thanksgiving. parts of the Scriptures, among those who profess the belief 1. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to particular persons, Psal. ix. of the Christian religion.”ı

xviii. xxii. xxx. xxxiv. xl. lxxv. ciii. cviji. cxvi. cxviii. cxxxviii. cxliv. For a table of those portions of the Psalms which are

2. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to the Israelites in general,

Psal. xlvi. xlviii. Ixv. Ixvi. Ixviii. Ixvi. Ixxxi. lxxxv. xcviii. cv. cxxiv. cxxvi. strictly prophetical of the Messiah, see Vol. I. Part I. Chap. cxxix. cxxxv. cxxxvi. cxlix. Iv. Sect. II. g 1.

III. Psalms of Praise and Adoration, displaying the AttriX. The book of Psalms being composed in Hebrew verse,

butes of God. must generally be studied and investigated agreeably to the

1. General acknowledgments of God's goodness and mercy, and par. structure of Hebreř poetry; but in addition to the remarks ticularly his care and protection of good men, Psal. xxiii. xxiv. xxxvi. xci. already offered on this subject,2 there are a few observations c.ciii. cvii. cxvii. cxxi. cxlv. cxlvi. more particularly applicable to these songs of Sion, which the Divine Being, Psal. vii. xix. xxiv. xxix. xxxi. xlvii. 1. Ixv. Ixvi. lxxvi.

, glory, will enable the reader to enter more fully into their force and lxxvii

. xciii. xcv. xcvi. xcvii. xcix. civ. cxi. cxiii. cxiv. cxv. cxxxiv. cxxxix meaning

cxlvii. cxlviii. cl. 1. Investigate the Argument of each Psalm.

IV. Instructive Psalms. This is sometimes intimated in the prefixed title: but as these inscrip- 1. The different characters of good and bad men,-the happiness of the tions are not always genuine, it will be preferable, in every case, to deduce one, and the misery of the other,-are represented in the following the argument from a diligent and attentive reading of the psalm itself, and psalms :- 1. v. vii. ix. x. xi. xii. xiv. xv. xvii. xxiv. xxv. xxxii. xxxiv. xxxvi. then to forin our opinion concerning the correctness of the title, if there xxxvii

. 1. lii. liii. Iviii. lxxii. lxxv. Ixxxiv. xci. xcii. xciv.cxii. cxix. cxvi. cxxv. be any.

cxxvii. cxxviii. cxxxiii.

2. The excellence of God's laws, Psal. xix. cxix. 2. With this view, examine the Historical Origin of the 3. The vanity of human life, Psal. xxxix. xlix. xc. Psalm, or the circumstances that led the sacred poet to com- 4. Advice to magistrates, Psal. Ixxxii.ci. pose it.

5. The virtue of humility, Psal. cxxxi. Besides investigating the occasion upon which a psalm was written,

V. Psalms more eminently and directly Prophetical. much advantage and assistance may be derived from studying the psalms Psal. xvi. xxii. xl. xlv. Ixviii. Ixxii. lxxxvii. cx. cxviii. chronologically, and comparing them with the historical books of the Old Testament, particularly those which treat of the Israelites and Jews, from

VI. Historical Psalms. the origin of their monarchy to their return from the Babylonish captivity, Psal. Ixxviii. cv. cvi. of the

benefit that may be obtained from such a comparison of the two books of Samuel, we have already given some striking examples.3

3. Ascertain the Author of the Psalm. This is frequently intimated in the inscriptions; but as these are not always to be depended upon, we must look for other inore certain criteria

SECTION III. by which to ascertain correctly the real author of any psalnı. The histori. cal circumstances, which are very frequently as well as clearly indicated,

ON THE BOOK OF PROVERBS. and the poetical character impressed on the compositions of each of the inspired poets, will enable us to accomplish this very important object. I. Title, author, and canonical authority.II. Scope.-III. Let us take, for instance, the Psalms of David. Not only does he allude to his own personal circumstances, to the dangers to which he was ex

Synopsis of its contents.-IV. Observations on its style, posed, the persecutions he endured, the wars in which he was engaged, use, and importance. his heinous siu against God, and the signal blessings conferred upon him; but his psalms are further stamped with a peculiar character, by which, I. The book of Proverbss has always been ascribed to if it be carefully attended to, we may easily distinguish him froin every Solomon, whose name it bears, though, from the frequent same words and ideas almost perpetually ; complaining of his afflictions repetition of the same sentences, as well as from some variprofessing his confidence in God in the strongest manner; rejoicing in the entertained whether he really was the author of every maxim and troubles; imploring help from God in the most earnest supplications; ations in style which have been discovered, doubts have been his gratitude for all the blessings conferred upon him. Again, in what it comprises. " The latter part of it, from the beginning of tuary of God, and join with the multitude of those who kept holyday! collected after his death, and added to what appears to have ardent language does he express his longing desire to behold the sanc: the twenty-fifth chapter, forming evidently an appendix, was With what animation does he describe the solemn pomp with which the been more immediately arranged by himself.". The proverbs ark was conducted to Jerusalem! &c. or all the sacred poets, David is the most pleasing and tender.

in the thirtieth chapter are expressly called The words of The style of David has been imitated by the other psalmists, who have Agur the son of Jakeh ; and the thirty-first chapter is entitled borrowed and incorporated many of his expressions and romances in their The words of king Lemuel. It seems certain that the collection type, by the absence of that elegance and force which always characterize called the Proverbs of Solomon

was arranged in the order the productions of an original author.

in which we now have it by different hands; but it is not 4. Attend to the Structure of the Psalms.

therefore to be concluded that they are not the productions The Psalms, being principally designed for the national worship of the of Solomon, who, we are informed, spoke no less than three Jews, are adapted to choral singing ; attention, therefore, to the choral thousand proverbs. (1 Kings iv. 32.) As it is nowhere said structure of these compositions will enable us better to enter into their that Solomon himself made a collection of proverbs and choral divisions of many of these sacred poems, in his version of the Psalms.

On the peculiar nature of the Hebrew Proverbs, see Vol. I. Part II.

Chapter I. Section VI. · Bishop Horsley's Psalms, vol. i. p. xiv. Calmet has a very fine pas- 6 Extract from Dr. Mason Good's unpublished translation of the Book sage on the scope of the book of Psalms, as pointing to the Messiah; it is of Proverbs, in Prof. Gregory's Memoirs of his Life, p. 289. too long to cite, and would be impaired by abridgment. See his Commen: * It is not said that these proverbs were written compositions, but simtaire, vol. vi. pp. vi. viii., or Dissertations, tom. ii. pp. 197-199.

ply that Solomon spake them. Hence Mr. Holden thinks it not improbable See Vol. I. Part II. Chap. II. SVIII.

that the Hebrew monarch spoke them in assemblies collected for the pur. . See p. 220. of this volume.

pose of hearing him discourse. Attempt to Illustrate the Book of Eccle • Bauer, Herm. Sacr. pp. 392–394.

siastes, p. xliv.

ters."

sentences, the general opinion is, that several persons made poetical : the order of the subject is, in general, excellently prea collection of them, perhaps as they were uttered by him. served, and the parts are very aptly connected. It is embellished Hezekiah, among others, as mentioned in the twenty-fifth with many beautiful descriptions and personifications: the dicchapter: Agur, Isaiah, and Ezra might have done the same. tion is polished, and abounds with all the ornaments of poetry, The Jewish writers affirm that Solomon wrote the Canticles, so that it scarcely yields in elegance and splendour to any of or song bearing his name, in his youth, the Proverbs in his the Sacred Writings. riper years, and Ecclesiastes in his old age. Michaelis has observed, that the book of Proverbs is

Part II. To which is prefixed the Title of " The Proverbs frequently cited by the apostles, who considered it as a trea- of Solomon,comprises short sententious Declarations for the sure of revealed morality,

whence Christians were to derive Use of persons who have advanced from Youth to Münhoud. their rules of conduct; and the canonical authority of no (ch. x.-xxii. 16.) book of the Old Testament is so well ratified by the evidence These sententious declarations are generally unconnected, of quotations as that of the Proverbs:' whence he justly although sometimes a connection with the preceding sentence infers that every commentator on the Greek Testament ought may be discovered. They treat on the various duties of man to be intimately acquainted with the

Septuagint version of towards God, and towards his fellow-men in every station of the book of Proverbs, and that every Christian divine should life. “The great object in each of the proverbs or axioms of the consider it as the chief source of scriptural morality.2. present part is, to enforce a moral principle in words so few, that

II. The Scope of this book is, “ to instruct men in the they may be easily learnt, and so curiously selected and arranged, deepest mysteries of true wisdom and understanding, the that they may strike and fix the attention instantaneously : whilst height and perfection of which is, the true knowledge of the to prevent the mind from becoming fatigued by a long series of divine will, and the sincere fear of the Lord. (Prov. i, 2—7. detached sentences, they are perpetually diversified by the most ix. 10.)"3 'To this end, the book is filled with the choicest playful changes of style and figure.”? sententious aphorisms, infinitely surpassing all the ethical sayings of the ancient sages, and comprising in themselves Part III., Contains a Miscellaneous Collection of Proverbs, distinct doctrines, duties, &c. of piety towards God, of equity principally relating to rich Men and Nobles. (ch. xxii. 17. and benevolence towards man, and of sobriety and temper

–xxiv.) ance; together with precepts for the right education of Part IV." Is a Posthumous Appendix, consisting of various children, and for the relative situations of subjects, magis

Parabolic Compositions, written and communicated by Solctrates, and sovereigns.

mon on different Occasions, but never published by himself III. The book of Proverbs is divided by Moldenhawer and in an arranged Form; yet altogether worthy of the Place Heidegger (whose arrangement was followed in the former they hold in the Sacred Scriptures." (ch. xxv.—xxxi.) editions of this work) into five parts: but the late Dr. John

Sect. 1. Comprises a collection of Solomon's Proverbs, which Mason Good has divided it into four distinct books or parts,

(as the title shows, xxv, 1.) was made by the learned under “ each of which," he observes, " is distinguished both by an obvious introduction and a change of style and manner,

the reign of Hezekiah. (xxv.—xxix.) The proverbs in this

section are unconnected, and some of them are repetitions though its real method and arrangement seem, hitherto, to

of the moral aphorisms which are delivered in the former have escaped the attention of our coinmentators and interpre

part of the book.

Sect. 2. Is composed of the ethical precepts delivered by Part I. Tre Proem or Exordium. (ch. i.-ix.)

“ Agur the son of Jakeh” to his friends Ithiel and Ucal. In this part heavenly wisdom and the true knowledge of God That Agur, Jakeh, Ithiel, and Ucal, are proper names, admits are set forth with great copiousness and variety of expression, of no contradiction, though it is impossible at this distance of as the only source and foundation of true virtue and happi- time to ascertain who they were. Jerome mistook the proper ness. “It is chiefly confined to the conduct of juvenescence name Agur for an appellative, and in the Latin Vulgate has or early life, before a permanent condition is made choice of.... translated the expression thus, without any meaning :"Verba All the most formidable dangers to which this season of life is Congregantis, filii Vomentis," which, in the Anglo-Romish verexposed, and the sins which most easily beset it, are painted sion from the Vulgate, is with equal unintelligibility rendered, with the hand of a master. And, whilst the progress and issues “The Words of Gatherer, the son of Vomiter.” Some critics of vice are exhibited under a variety of the most striking de- are of opinion, that, by Jakeh, David is meant, and by Agur, fineations and metaphors in their utmost deformity and horror, Solomon; and some fanciful expositors think that Ithiel and Ūcal all the beauties of language, and all the force of eloquence, are mean Christ : but these hypotheses are examined and refuted by poured forth in the diversified form of earnest expostulation, in- Mr. Holden. The same close observation of nature, and sensinuating tenderness, captivating argument, picturesque descrip- tentious form, which characterize the precepts of Solomon, are tion, daring personification, and sublime allegory, to win the to be found in the proverbs of Agur, whose admirable prayer ingenuous youth to virtue and piety, and to fix him in the steady (xxx. 7-9.) will ever be justly admired for its piety, and for pursuit of his duties towards God and towards man. Virtue is the contented spirit which it breathes. It exactly corresponds pronounced in the very outset to be essential wisdom; and vice with the petition in the Lord's Prayer-Give us this day TcY or wickedness, essential folly: and the personifications, thus cptcy na TEV STYCUTION,—not our daily bread,—but bread or food forcibly struck out at the opening of the work, are continued to sufficient for us.10 its close. The only wise man, therefore, is declared to be the Sect. 3. Contains the admonitions given to King Lemuel'l by truly good and virtuous, or he that fears God and reverences his his mother a queen, when he was in the flower of youth law: whilst the man of vice or wickedness is a fool, a dolt, an and high expectation. (xxxi.) infatuated sot, a stubborn, froward, or perverse wretch, and an These admonitory verses "are an inimitable production, as abomination to Jehovah."5 This portion of the book of Pro- well in respect to their actual materials, as the delicacy with which verbs, says Bishop Lowth, is varied, elegant, sublime, and truly they are selected. Instead of attempting to lay down rules con

cerning matters of state and political government, the illustrious

pp. 2 The following table of the quotations from the book i Proverbs in writer confines herself, with the nicest and

most becoming art, to the New Testament is given from Moldenhawer (Introductio in Libros a recommendation of the gentler virtues of temperance, benevo. Canonicos Vet. et Nov. Test. p. 93.) and from Carpzov Introductio ab lence, and mercy; and a minute and unparalleled delineation of Libros Canonicos Vet. Test. p. 184.

the female character, which might bid fairest to promote the hapProv. i. 16. cited in Rom. iii. 10. 15.

piness of her son in connubial life, The description, though Prov. iii. 11, 12 Heb. xii. 5, 6. Rev. iii. 19.

strictly in consonance with the domestic economy of the highest sphere of life, in the early period referred to, and especially in

the East, is of universal application, and cannot be studied too Rom. xii. 17. 1 Thess. v. 15. 1 Pet. iii. 9. Prov. xvii. 27.

e Lectures on Hebrew Poetry, by Dr. Gregory, vol. ii. p. 164. Matt. xv. 4. Mark vii. 10.

* Professor Gregory's Memoirs of Dr. Good, p. 298. In pp. 299–303. Dr. G. has admirably elucidated the beautiful changes of style in the third

part of the book of Proverbs. Prov. xxvi. 11.

8 Ibid. p. 305.

• Translation of the Book of Proverbs, pp. xvii.—xxv. 366, 367. 3 Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 600.

10 Ibid. p. 372. • Dissertation on the Book of Proverbs, in Professor Gregory's Memoirs 11 Some critics have conjectured that Lemuel is another name for Soloof Dr. Good, p. 292.

mon; but this hypothesis is satisfactorily refuted by Mr. Holden, in his • Dissertation

on the Book of Proverbs, in Professor Gregory's Me- Attempt towards an Improved Translation of the Book of Proverbs, "Preinoirs of Dr. Good, p. 294.

liminary Dissertation," pp. xviii.-XXV.

Prov. iii. 7.

Rom. xii. 16.

Prov. iii. 31..
Prov. x. xii.
Prov. xi. 31.
Prov. xvii. 13.

James iv. 6.
1 Pet. iv. 8.
1 Pet. iv. 18.

James i. 19.
1 John i. 8.

Prov. xx. 9.
Prov. xx. 20.
Prov. xx. 22.
Prov. xxv. 21.

Rom. xii. 17.
Rom. xii. 20.
2 Pet. ii. 22.

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