Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

desecration of the sanctuary by the sacrifice of a sow, and the sprinkling of its blood in the most holy place, his subsequent destruction of the city, his policy of forcing the Jews into Heathenism and of burning every copy

of the law, and his dedication of the temple of Jehovah to Jupiter Olympius, -a chapter in Jewish history full of melancholy interest.—But the darkness of this part of the narrative is soon relieved by the appearance of the illustrious Asmonean race,-Mattathias and his five sons, by whose courage and skill the nation regained its independence, and by whose zeal for the glory of the God of Israel idolatry was exterminated. The successes of Judas Maccabæus, the restoration of the temple, the judgments of the Most High upon Antiochus, the achievements of Jonathan and Simon, brothers of Judas, belong to this period.—The erection of a Jewish temple in Egypt, the successful government of Hyrcanus, and his victories over the Idumeans, are followed by the brief reign of Aristobulus,-the first who assumed the diadem and title of royalty; the longer and more prosperous reign of Alexander Janneus, who subjugated the Philistines; and the prudent government of his wife Alexandra, who reigned over Judea ten years. Then springs up a contention for power between Alexandra's two sons, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus ; on which we trace the success of the latter, the renewal of the contest, the arbitration of Pompey the Great, the restoration to Hyrcanus of the government, Pompey's visit to the temple, and his entrance into the holy of holies. These events are followed by the pillage of the temple by Crassus, and the procuratorship of Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, who succeeded him in his government, and who was in office at the birth of Christ.

Even this brief resumé shows the great variety of topics which Jewish history includes. Neither Greece nor Rome supplies such materials. We are carried along a period of fifteen hundred years, during which the great Assyrian empire became extinct, and Babylon, Persia, and Greece rose and declined, while Rome ascended to the zenith of her might and influence. The scene is ever varied by reverses and successes; by war, famine, and desolation, on the one hand; by peace, plenty, and prosperity, on the other. Were it not for the religion which pertains to the subject, our merely literary men would consecrate to it the incense of their genius and admiration. Our Gibbons and Robertsons, our Arnolds and Macaulays, have selected no theme equal to this, in compass, variety, thrilling interest, and sublimity. They secured no equal opportunity of eliciting great principles in government, law, morals, and religion ; or of educing from the past great lessons for the present and the future.

It is scarcely just, either to Mr. Smith or to our readers, that we should have occupied so large a space without transcribing various passages, which we had marked for incorporation with this article. Our space, however, will admit but a few of them. Our anxiety on this point is greatly relieved by the persuasion, that the work will be extensively circulated.

MOSES ON PISGAH. The Lord commanded Moses to as- they had both sinned against God in the cend Mount Abarim, and from thence wilderness of Zin. view the land which He had promised to Few scenes in history are more intergive for an inheritance unto Israel, as- esting than this ; and seldom do we see suring him at the same time that, after human nature presented to our view, in. he had been thus far gratified, he should vested with more real grace and dignity. be gathered unto his people, as Aaron Although to Moses especially it must his brother had been gathered; because have been an object of paramount interest

creature.

and importance to see his people take Lord, the God of the spirits of all Atsh, possession of the land of promise, yet, set a man over the congregation, which when this man of God heard the fiat may go out before them, and which may which destroyed all these hopes, and go in before them, and which may lead consigned him to an obscure grave in them out, and which may bring them the wilderness, no murmur escaped his in; that the congregation of the Lord be lips : he did not deprecate his doom, or not as sheep which have no shepherd." supplicate a reversal of his sentence. (Num. xxvii. 16, 17.) Here is the Nor does this silence arise from a con- same loftiness of spirit, rising high above founded mind, or a paralysed intellect every selfish consideration, ihe same zeal bending beneath the weight of his fate for the honour of God, the same devoted and his years. His spirit is still active, concern for the welfare of his people, his judgment retains its strength, bis which had heretofore marked his entire soul is as ardent as ever; but, even public character. We may wade here, all these are called into lively exer- through many folios of history and bio. cise, not for him self, but for his people. graphy, narrating the mighty deeds of On hearing the mandate of Heaven, warriors, statesmen, and professed paMoses gave utterance to the following triots, before we find another case equal earnest and important prayer : “Let the to it in interest. (Pp. 103, 104.)

THE GREAT DAY OF ATONEMENT. The services of this day developed, be- suffering should be exhibited; the ani. yond all reasonable doubt, that great mal is therefore slain : It was equally principle of the scheme of redemption, necessary that this forfeited life should the pardon of sin through vicarious sa- be presented to God; the blood is therecrifice. It is no valid objection to this fore carried into the sanctuary. And, doctrine, that the atonement was not as if to rebut the objection referred to, made by the death of the animal, but by on a question of fact, the blood must be the sprinkling of the blood afterward by sprinkled ; which could not be done unthe Priest.* For it was clearly as ne- less still reeking with the life of the cessary that the sacrifice should be pre

If the animal was quite dead, sented to God, as that the life of the victim and the blood coagulated, it was unfit should be taken. And “ for what purpose for sacrificial purposes : it must be “the can we suppose the blood to have been blood of sprinkling." Lest this import. carried into the most sacred part of the ant point should be overlooked, the peoDivine residence, and that on the day of ple were told, “ The life of the flesh is in atonement, except to obtain the favour ihe blood : and I have given it to you of Him in whose presence it was sprin- upon the altar to make an atonement for kled ?"| In fact, the manner in which your souls : for it is the blood that this atonement was made shows how maketh an atonement for the soul." fully the wisdom of God is here dis- (Lev. xvii. 11.) (Pp. 148, 149.) played. It was necessary that vicarious

DAVID A WANDERER. There is perhaps no more interesting tions, with the management of which he object in history than David, during was intrusted. Having thus shown his this time of his fugitive career. A capacity, this young man meets with young man, called from the sheep-fold what is not one of the usual occurrences to a court, he not only conducted him. of court life : he is hurled from his poself with consummate address, and by sition, and, without friends, wealih, or his musical powers rendered himself resources beyond himself, he is perseexceedingly useful to the afflicted King: cuted and hunted by an energetic and he also proved himself a hero: he dared malignant Monarch, with an army at his to meet, and succeeded in killing, a beck. Yet this youth not only escapes giant-warrior, whom no other man in all his enemies, but, amid all this danIsrael would venture to encounter. Be. ger, gathers around him a trusty band yond this, he exhibited all the quali. of six hundred warriors; he makes him. ties of a military leader, and rendered self feared by his foes, respected by his himself highly popular, by a display friends; and, even while suffering under of united prudence and valour in the injury and persecution, is found silently, conduct of the several important opera- but steadily, preparing his way to the

* “ Apology of Ben Mordecai,” p. 797.
+ Outram De Sacrificiis, d. i., c. xix., sect. 3.
VOL. VI.-FOURTH SERIES.

3c

throne. If this conduct evinced great feeling, we might have expected ; but talent, still greater were the piety and that they should be marked by a brilgenius which sbone in this noble He. liancy of genius, a chasteness of expresbrew. Throughout his critical career, sion, and a purity of taste unsurpassed David displayed unbending integrity in any nation or age of the world, must and high religious principle : when his be regarded as a most remarkable fact. deadly enemy lay asleep before him, he “Compare the Book of Psalms with the steadily refused to allow “the Lord's Odes of Horace or Anacreon ; with the anointed” to be injured. Nor is this Hymns of Callimachus, the Golden the only or the greatest peculiarity of his Verses of Pythagoras, the choruses of

In the midst of his wandering, the Greek tragedians; and you will wilderness life, harassed by day and quickly see how greatly it surpasses night, hunted like a partridge on the them all in piety of sentiment, in submountains, David gave expression to the limity of expression, in purity of mofeelings of his heart in soul-inspiring rality, and in rational theology."* song. That these compositions should

(Pp. 270, 271.) display energy, and breathe impassioned

case.

THE LAST DAYS OF KING DAVID. Perhaps there never was a Sovereign son, in obedience to the will of God; who made wiser preparations for the fu. and, in doing so, giving utterance to senture well-being of his kingdom, or re- timents the most noble and pious. See tired from public life with more grace him handing to his anointed successor and dignity, than David. Having as- plans of all the most important parts of sembled all the ecclesiastical, civil, and the glorious temple which he was apmilitary authorities of the kingdom, pointed to build to the honour of Jeho(1 Chron. xxiii. 1, 2,) and given them vah. Observe the munificent donations his arrangement for the service of the which he and his Princes make on the house of the Lord, (chap. xxiv.-xxvi. spot, for the purpose of carrying out this 19,) propounded the order of military great object. Hear his noble address service, (chap. xxvii. 1—23,) and the prior to the inauguration-feast, (1 Chron. stewardship of the royal domains ; xxix. 10–20,) and mark his charge to (chap. xxvi. 20—32; xxvii. 24—34;) his son and successor. (Chap. xxviii. 9, he exerted all his remaining strength, 10.) But these dignified and pious exand stood up before this august meeting. ercises do not terminate when David

We cannot claim unparalleled import- recedes from the public eye. Follow ance for this assembly on merely human the aged Monarch into his retirement, grounds. Persia and Egypt, Greece and see him prostrate before God, prayand Rome, may have produced congre- ing for Solomon, (Psalm lxxii.,) under gations as rich in wealth, as elevated in this special Divine teaching, while his intellect, and as dignified by martial mind, by a glorious afflatus of Divine prowess as this meeting of the Hebrew influence, is carried out to a contemMonarch and his Priests, Princes, and plation of the glory and triumphs of Captains; although we are strongly in- the Messiah's kingdom, until his rapt clined to think that, on these grounds, spirit loses all sense of want, and his the King of Israel, surrounded by his full heart exclaims, “ The prayers of people, would bear a respectable compa

David the son of Jesse are ended." rison with any national assembly ever

Take all these into account, and you convened. There are, however, reasons have a scene scarcely equalled in sublimfor investing this meeting with supreme ity and beauty by anything seen in this dignity and importance from its truly world prior to the advent of the Mesa religious tone and character. Here we siah, This was the last act of David's behold a pious King-one who had life. “He died in a good old age, full stood in the first rank as a poet, a musi- of days, riches, and honour.” (1 Chron. cian, a statesman, and a warrior-resign- xxix. 28.)

(Pp. 290, 291.) ing the sovereignty into the hands of his

ISRAEL TAUGHT AND TRAINED BY GOD. The special Divine interposition unceasing influence, was directed to imwhich constantly watched over the Is- bue the individual mind of the whole raelites in the wilderness, and which, by community with a clear perception of

* Bishop Watson.

voce.

the immediate government of God, and a of His promise. But the Hebrews were strong faith in His truth and power, carnal and corrupt in their hearts; and which was indeed the spirit of their reli- therefore as an eagle “fluttereth over gious system, bas not been sufficiently her young,” so did Jehovah shed His inrecognised.

fluence upon them. This clause deserves Many portions of Scripture which very particular attention. The word clearly exhibit this interposition might which our translators have here rendered be quoted; it will be sufficient to refer “Auttereth," is 6177—which occurs only to one, which, while bearing decisive three times in the Hebrew Scriptures. evidence on the subject under considera. It is not easy, therefore, to define its tion, is a very remarkable specimen of

sense. Jeremiah appears to have used pure revelation embodied in the most the term to signify the tremulous moexquisite poetry. In that inimitable ode tion occasioned in the human body by which Moses composed shortly before

extreme fear. (Chap. xxiii. 9.) In the his death, speaking of the watchful care

text its seems to denote the brooding of of Jehovah over his people during their the parent eagle over her young, for the wandering in the wilderness, and the in.

purpose of imbuing them with the cessant operation of His grace to guide warmth of her own body. Moses emthem into all His will, he says,

ployed the word to express the primitive “As an eagle stirreth up her nest,

action of the Spirit of God upon the Fluttereth over her young,

chaotic mass in the work of creation. Spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them,

(Gen. i. 2.) From the supposed referBeareth them upon her wings:

ence of this term to the action of a bird So the Lord alone did lead him,

in hatching her young, Parkhurst supAnd there was no strange god with him.”

poses the Heathen nations to have ac(Deut. xxxii. 11, 12.)

quired their notion that this world was All the exquisite beauty and incompa- formed from an egg. (Parkhurst, sub rable tenderness of this description bear See also Grotius, De Verit. Rel. immediately upon the great purpose of Christ., lib. i., cap. 16, note 1.) Here, God in His dealings with His people in then, Jehovah represents himself as the desert,ấto bring them to imitate teaching and training His people, as the Him, that, influenced by His truth, they parent eagle does her young. might act upon its teaching, and thus sidence is frequently changed, and made fully enter into the Divine will. This

very inconvenient, that they may be led process of teaching and training is here to expect and hope to realise the prodescribed with exquisite pathos. But the mised rest. The Spirit of God overimagery, in point of order, is not ar- shadows His redeemed; and as the paranged, according to the habits of the rent imparts her own living heat to her bird, by the circumstances of the Israel. young, so God sheds the vitality of His ites. Hence we first read “ As an eagle own spiritual life upon the souls of His stirreth up her nest." By these words people ; as the eagle teaching her feeble the inspired Prophet describes the eagle, offspring would spread abroad her when her young are of an age to be pinions, even bear them on her own taught to fly, as agitating, disturbing, shoulders, if their strength failed, so did and even tearing her nest, to induce Jehovah come down to their weakness them to acquire the practice of locomo- that he might raise them to His holiness. tion. Thus in the wilderness did Jeho- We have here therefore an incomparable vah lead His people about from one picture, but one as replete with truth as place to another, making the place of with beauty, in which are represented to their residence and the manner of their our minds the love, care, constant influlife disagreeable, that they might be in- ence, and devoted energy which God duced to seek rest and happiness in a Himself employed on behalf of Israel. conformity to His will, and in the word

(Pp. 398_400.) But we must desist from quotation. Our earnest hope is, that this volume will be instrumental in reviving the taste for Hebrew history. Let our Christian families, our literary youth in general, and (in brief) all who aspire to an intelligent use of the Old Testament, hasten to avail themselves of Mr. Smith's labours.

Their re

VARIETIES.

CHURCHES AND PRIESTS AT Lo. factories, subterraneous, are established ANDA, SOUTH-WESTERN AFRICA.-- at Rome. Arms of heroes, heads of There are still three churches in Loanda, gods, feet of satyrs, and fragments of of which the cathedral opposite the palace nobody, are formed in endless variety, is unquestionably the finest. The tower and coloured so as to resemble the most is handsome, and the interior is richly perfect specimens of antiquity. When adorned with pictures and images of ready, they are concealed among ruins by saints. The second church stands in goatherds; and travellers are, as if by the centre of the city, close to the market- chance, directed to them. England is place : an ever-burning lamp is, indeed, full of these antiquities of six months maintained in it; but I never saw any old ; as English travellers generally are person enter this church for devotional wealthy, and easily gulled. Similar espurposes. The third church, called tablishments abound, also, for the manuNazario, lies at the north end of the facture of coins; and coins of the Cæsars, city, and seems to be the most frequented. Antonines, &c., of a similar antiquity, On Christmas-day it was well lighted up are carried off to the cabinets of London in the evening ; but the day was not at in great nuinbers. Mediæval antiquities all observed at the other churches. San are the rage in Paris ; and similar manuNazario was crowded by Negroes and factories abound there. A young antiNegresses, dressed in their holiday attire, quarian showed lately, with great pride, which they had been displaying all day to an artist, a very fine specimen of in the streets. The entire wardrobe of Gothic furniture, which he had just the Negresses consisted of large hand. bought at great cost. “It is very fine," kerchiefs of different colours, which were said his friend, “and it will last you put on with so much art that, however long; for it is quite new.” numerous they were, none were ever en- MASSES OF CORAL AT THE MAU. tirely concealed. In the evening the RITIUS.-On the coasts we meet with church was always crowded, and the floor enormous masses of coral rock, torn from so covered with persons kneeling that their parent beds in the depths of the we could with difficulty pass between the sea, and thrown high on the embankment people. Meantime the Priests, a Mu- of sand which girts the island. Such is latto and a Negro, dressed in full eccle. the magnitude of many of these blocks, siastical costume, did their utmost to that it is difficult to conceive how the entertain their visiters. When Donna mere force of water in motion could have Catarina, with the Physician and myself, removed them to their present position. approached, they instantly set before us Here it may not be altogether out of a table spread with wine and Brazilian place to advert to those curious and isosweetmeats, and, cordially inviting us to lated masses of coraline formation which partake of them, appeared to consider it are found at the distance of a mile from their duty to set us a good example. As the sea.coast, and are scattered about the there was a constant succession of guests, cane-fields at the southern extremity of it was no marvel that the two Priests the island, particularly between Mahê. should at length fall victims to the per- bourg and the Morne. The largest which formance of their duty as good hosts, and we remember is about forty feet long, leave the church in a very tottering con- twenty broad, and fifteen high, and rather dition; nay, one of them had the mis- of an oval form, as if it had been rolled. fortune to have his priestly garments It lies on the estate of Beauchamp, in torn in a little affray, as he was going the Savanne, about half a mile from the home. This affair was afterwards talked present margin of the sea, but not more of as a pleasant story, and nobody ap- than three hundred yards from the edge peared to think it at all extraordinary.- of the basaltic stratum, on which it now Dr. Tams's Visit to the Portuguese Pos- rests, where the boundary of the ocean sessions in South-Western Africa. was in former times, the intermediate

THE RAGE FOR THE ANTIQUE. space having been formed by the debris A foreign correspondent of the “Phila- of the coral reefs. Other ponderous delphia North American,” remarking masses of the same kind occur along the upon the fashionable mania for articles coast at various distances from the sea. that seem old, says, that such is the rage On the plain to the eastward of Souillac for Italian antiques, that regular manu- may be seen several of these detached

« НазадПродовжити »