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the greater part of our churches, - those, I mean, in our country towns, will be generally more secure.
If, then, a young man, with his literary education completed, is beyond being bribed into the ministry by the mere facilities of education for it, it is safe to render him assistance in obtaining that education. I conceive that it is also greatly for the interest of the churches. In all ages, the church has drawn some of its brightest ornaments from the poorer, at least not the richer, portion of society; and though, among ourselves, there have been, from the earliest times to the present, an uncommon number of instances of a different sort, it is still from that source that the supply is likely, in no inconsiderable part, to be furnished. A young man, so circumstanced, commonly leaves college embarrassed by a debt, which it is his first object to discharge. To effect this, he engages in the business of instruction; and, this accomplished, it is reasonable to expect that he will continue in that business, or adventure in some other, unless they are truly upright views which impel him to the Christian ministry. He has moreover shown a competency to it in one respect, in the resolution with which he has struggled through the embarrassments of his previous course; and is known to be so far worthy of aid. If aid be afforded him, the church has soon the accession of a minister, at least conscientiously disposed to the work. If it be not, he either abandons the object in discouragement, or at least, while he is obtaining the means of prosecuting it, some of the most active years of his life are lost to the great object to which he desires it should be devoted ; and does not either side of this alternative deserve the care of Christians to prevent it?
[The remainder of the discourse was chiefly taken up with statements relating to the condition and wants of the school, during the academic year which is now closed. It may be proper here merely to mention, that the necessary annual expenses of a student are estimated at two hundred dollars, including personal charges of every kind, as well as sixty-six dollars paid in term-bills for instruction, rent and care of room and furniture, and use of text-books. Fourteen students were aided last year from the funds, receiving an average allowance of eighty-three dollars each. Of the sum thus appropriated, six hundred and thirty dollars were furnished from the Hopkins foundation. The other chief resources have been hitherto the bounty of individuals associated for the purpose in different religious societies of Boston, Salem, and Charlestown, and the contributions taken at the annual meeting of the Society for Promoting Theological Education. The number of applications for aid was last year unusually small; and, from particular circumstances, the collection was imperfectly made. It is greatly desirable, that the number of members of the Society for promoting Theological Education should be enlarged, and especially that the attention of liberal benefactors should be turned to the establishment of permament scholarships, yielding an income of one hundred and fifty dollars each.]
ART. VI. - A New Translation of the Book of Psalms,
with an Introduction. By GEORGE R. Noves. Boston. Gray & Bowen. 1831. 12mo. pp. xxviii, 232. Of all the books that were ever known among men, the one which has been most read, most repeated, most translated, versified, quoted, imitated, got by heart, studied, and sung, is doubtless that collection of Hebrew poems, called the Book of Psalms. And this is no wonder.
There never was a book so eminently calculated to engage human affection. Praise to God, in the most sublime and elevated strains ; confession, complaint, and supplication the most humble and touching ; thanksgiving the most ardent; expressions of joy, hope, triumph, confidence, and trust, and of grief, fear, despondency, and pain, the most lively and natural ; descriptions of the works of God the most beautiful and true; devotion in all its depth and variety of manifestation, are all embodied in this book. If we would exalt the majesty of the Most High, we cannot do better than borrow language for the purpose from the Psalms. If we would magnify his loving-kindness and mercy, there are no words which will more adequately speak the feelings of our hearts than those which we may find in the Psalms. And how can the great truths and mysteries of life and death, the
blessedness of the righteous, and the misery of the wicked, the swiftness of time and the brevity and vanity of our mor
be set forth with more strength and pathos, than by adopting verse after verse from the Psalms ?
To all this power of thought and language is to be added the power of music; for the Psalms are sacred songs, and were at first intended to be, and from the first have been sung,
in every age of the Jewish and Christian churches, and in the original and numerous other tongues. The chords of passion and the melodies of the human soul, which they strike and wake, have been accompanied by the sound of trumpet and harp, of psaltery and the loud cymbals, of the later organ, and the yet diviner voice of man. What a rich and glorious cloud of harmony must have pervaded the great temple at Jerusalem, as the triumphant ode was shouted and shouted back from one bright-robed company of Levites to another, or the plaintive dirge was wailed forth in alternate stanzas, and died away among the far porches and courts ! And when there was no more any temple at Jerusalem, and its Priests and Levites were dispersed, and its instruments of music were broken, the Psalms which had been sung there ceased not, but had as intense a life as before, springing warmly from Christian lips, as the first feeble but dauntless bands of Nazarenes met to show forth the death of their Master, or as afterwards the splendid churches of their dominant faith echoed to the ancient Songs of Zion. And froin those times to these, when or where has Christian worship been without them ? In the Greek church, and the Roman, and the English, they have constituted an important part of their respective liturgies. In lofty cathedrals they have been chanted, as in the Temple of old; in humble parish churches and remote village meetinghouses, they have been sung wherever two or three have been gathered together; they have gone up daily and nightly from convent shades and hermit cells, and from the closets of those who have taken on themselves no vows but those of their silent consciences and devoted hearts.
Thus recommended by intrinsic excellence and by the most interesting associations, the book of Psalms has always been regarded with veneration and affection, and spoken of in terms of almost unqualified eulogy. In the preface to the · Psalterium Americanum,' a curious translation, printed in Boston more than a century ago,* the writer says, ' The commendations which the ancients gave of this unparalleled book, are as high as the tongue of man can carry them; and the commendations would not be too high, if the tongue of angels who possessed the writers of this book, were employed for the giving of them. Let Chrysostom and Basil alone be called in, to declare unto us the sense of all the rest! Chrysostom, who calls this wonderful book The Christian Panoply; and Basil, who styles it The Common
Treasure of all good Precepts, and A complete Body of Divinity.' There have been,' he says in another place,
profane, foolish, empty pretenders to literature, who have had no great relish for the Psalms of David. But with men
had a just sense, a true gust of things, no writings in the world have been so relished as these matchless gifts of Heaven unto the children of men.' One more extract from this quaint writer may not fatigue our readers. • Theodoret informs us, the people in his time were so well acquainted with our Psalms, that both in city and country it was the usual employment of all Christians to sing them; and even they who had little acquaintance with any other book of the Sacred Scriptures, yet so had the Psalms by heart, as to recreate themselves with singing them in the streets, and in the fields, as well as in their houses. And verily, these marvellous poems have not by their age lost any thing of their spirit or their goodness. The Christians in our days may as well feed and live upon them, and eat the bread of angels.
* The title of this book, now scarce, is as follows: ‘Psalterium Americanum. The Book of Psalms, in a Translation exactly conformed unto the Original ; but all in Blank Verse, fitted unto the Tunes commonly used in our Churches. Which pure Offering is accompanied with Ilustrations digging for hidden Treasures in it; and Rules to employ it upon the glorious and various Intentions of it. Whereto are added some other Portions of the Sacred Scripture, to enrich the Cantional. Boston: in N. E. Printed by S. Kneeland, for B. Eliot, S. Gerrish, D. Henchman, and J. Edwards, and sold at their shops. 1718.? The • Blank Verse' of this translation is certainly the blankest we ever read. The verses which follow, being the ninth and tenth of the 65th Psalm, are a fair specimen of the whole book. — “The earth with rain thou visitest || after that thou hast made || it to desire the rain, thou dost || enrich it mightily. || The river of God with waters is | richly replenished; || Thou dost prepare them corn; 't is so || thai thou preparest it. | Water its ridges plenteously; || On 't's "furrows O descend ; || With show'rs thou mak’st it soft; Thou dost || bless what does spring from it. || How could human ears, in any age, bear this?
We certainly shall not agree with our ancient friend, in calling this book an unparalleled book, and a 'matchless gift of Heaven unto the children of men,' while we remember that we have the books of the New Testament, and while some parts of the Psalms seem to us to be little fitted for Christian or modern use. But Smarvellous poems' the Psalms undoubtedly are; and being metrical compositions, of convenient length, of an exciting, warming, and affecting character, and calling in the aid of music, will probably always be, as they surely have hitherto been, more used as a whole, and in various ways, than any other compositions, sacred or profane. Perhaps the most beautiful encomium which has been bestowed on them, is that which was pronounced by Bishop Horne, which is quoted by Mr. Noyes in his Introduction, and part of which we here requote. In them,' says he, we are instructed to conceive of the subjects of religion aright, and to express the different affections which, when so conceived of, they must excite in our minds. They are, for this purpose, adorned with the figures, and set off with all the graces of poetry; and poetry itself is designed yet further to be recommended by the charms of music, thus consecrated to the service of God; that so delight may prepare the way for improvement, and pleasure become the handmaid of wisdom, while every turbulent passion is calmed by sacred melody, and the evil spirit is still dispossessed by the harp of the son of Jesse.' This allusion to the influence of David's youthful minstrelsy over the perturbed spirit of Saul, is one of the happiest applications of Scripture history.
The argument which may be drawn from the extraordinary excellence of the Hebrew Psalms, in support of the divine origin of the Jewish law, and the reality of the revelations alleged to have been made to the Jewish people, is thus forcibly stated by Mr. Noyes.
'Let the unbeliever compare the productions of the Hebrew poets with those of the most enlightened periods of Grecian lit
Let him explain how it happened, that in the most celebrated cities of antiquity, which human reason had adorned with the most splendid trophies of art, whose architecture it is now thought high praise to imitate well, whose sculpture almost gave life to marble, whose poetry has never been surpassed, and