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even by miracle itself, it might be expected that the apostles would strongly urge this, and would not fail to quote, in their sermons and letters, the chief prophecies which were decisive upon the subject. To these, in fact, Our Lord himself referred, in the way to Emmaus, distinctly adverting to the things "written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning himself"; and since this conversation was not likely to be forgotten, it may be presumed that the same Scriptures were afterwards brought forwards by the apostles, as recorded in the book of Acts. The probability, therefore, under all the circumstances of the case, would appear to be very great, that the whole of the passages distinctly prophetic have been more or less definitely referred to by the New Testament writers: and if the range thus opened before us be extensive, the rule of interpretation is not less sure.
As to the assumption on which the otherwise admirable Bishop Home affects to argue, that because some of the Psalms are applied to Our Lord, which we might not have thought of referring to him, therefore, they may all be deemed predictions of him, we can only say that it is a miserable non sequitur, a mere assertion, unsustained by the shadow of proof. For orthodox divines to invent references to Christ, at variance with the plain letter of scripture, is, in our view, just as iniquitous as it would be for the Unitarians or the German Neologians to exclude, or explain away, those numerous passages, which, we rejoice to believe, do unquestionably relate to him. It is equally possible to err on the side of excess, and on that of deficiency. That the justly celebrated Bishop Horsley should, in any degree, have lent the sanction of his great name to the fallacious theories of the Hutchinsonian school, and should have so far committed himself as to say, that "the misapplication of the psalms to the literal David, has done more mischief than the misapplication of any other parts of the Scriptures," is no less surprising to us, than that Mr. Hartwell Home should have quoted the sentiment in his own most valuable work, without protesting against so unguarded an assertion. Nothing can be more painful than to detect the errors of the good, and the follies of the wise: such a perversion, on the part of Bishop Horsley, can scarcely be accounted for, except from the inclination which, in common with men of a peculiar order of genius, he sometimes manifests to throw himself into a desperate cause, like Sampson at Gaza, that he may shew his herculean strength, in carrying away the gates and bars which threatened to confine him, to the surprise alike of friend and foe. We need only apply to him, in this connection, his own caustic and just remark, that "it is one thing to write histories, and quite another to make riddles." But it is due to the
VOl. xIII.—n.S. Y Y
memory of so eminent a man, to add, that his work on the Psalms was a posthumous publication.
The interests of literature and of religion alike demand, that such absurd principles of interpretation should be unceremoniously exploded; since, if this strange licence were allowed, the foundations of all history might be broken up, and every ancient record in the world be perverted, and rendered unintelligible. Scholars know very well, that the poems of Homer himself have been put into the crucible of fanaticism, and have been supposed to contain concealed mysteries. Some have considered that, blended with feigned circumstances, the history of the Israelites was shadowed forth under these fine fictions, down to the time in which they subdued the land of Palestine under the first Kings; imagining the Odyssey to relate to the patriarchal times, and the Iliad to the conquest of Canaan, by Joshua*. Others have thought f, that under the fiction of the Trojan story, and the Grecian fables, were predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, and the life, miracles, and passion, of our blessed Saviour, together with the events of the primitive church under the emperors. Extremes, it is said, meet. We have seen popular songs parodied into religious hymns. In the sixteenth century, Horace was transposed in the same manner. We remember to have met, in the course of our reading, with a religious parody upon Horace, whose odes and epodes are transformed into pious hymns, by David Hoppius, a German, printed at Brunswick, 1568, under the particular protection of the Elector of Saxony. The original measure, and, as far as possible, the words of the Roman poet, are retained. We subjoin a single specimen for the amusement of the curious \.
(To be concluded in our next Number.)
* Crcesius Homero Hebrseo, sive Hist. Hebraeorum ab Homero. f Vide Gray's Connection.
$ In Juliam Barinen. Ode viii. Lib. 2. I Pajiodia. Christi ad Peccatorem.
Art. V.—1. The Psalmist; or Select Versions of the Psalms, from various Authors. 48mo., pp. 316. London, (Religious Tract Society,) 1834.
2. New Selection of Hymns, especially adapted to Public Worship, and intended as a Supplement to Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hymns. The entire Profits to be given to the Widows and Orphans of Baptist Ministers and Missionaries. London, 1828.
3. Three Hundred and Fifty Portions of the Book of Psalms, selected from various Versions, with a Collection of Six Hundred Hymns adapted for Public Worship. London, 1830.
¥ T would seem to hold good of poetry, what is certainly true of the more material productions of Art, that the strongest impressions are produced by the rudest efforts, such as denote the very infancy of the arts. The mere emotions of taste are faint and weak, compared with those primary sentiments to which the ruder efforts of genius make their direct appeal. 'The statue 'that enchants the world,' receives the frigid admiration of the self-complacent virtuoso. The black doll of Loretto, or the hideous daub of some Greek saint-painter, is worshipped by prostrate crowds. The sculptures of Phidias never awakened the deep, soul-subduing emotions which have been, through ages, inspired by the rude emblem or misshapen portraiture of Vishnoo or of Seeva. It is the same with the poet's art. The Thespian cart and primitive buskin exerted a power over the imagination, which the splendid decorations of the modern drama cannot pretend to; and the simple ballad, such as Chevy Chase, or any popular favourite, mocks the utmost efforts of later genius to call up a similar enthusiasm.
The history of music would supply illustrations of the same general law of feeling; and we had lately occasion to advert to a striking instance of it in the history of metrical psalmody *. It is even difficult to conceive of ' the infectious frenzy of psalm'singing' which at one period spread through all ranks and classes, in France and Germany, and formed, apparently, 'one 'of the chief ingredients in the happiness of social life.' There can be no doubt, however, that the hymns of Luther and his followers, and those of the Bohemian brethren, as well as the Psalms of Marot and Beza, exerted a very important influence in promoting the spread of the Reformation, and in strengthening the hold of its doctrines upon the popular mind. These hymns, the Protestants of Germany were accustomed to sing, not only in their places of worship, but also in their houses, in their family
circles, 'over the tombs of their fathers and the cradles of their 'children'. * Congregational singing was indeed no invention of the Reformers. 'The Albigenses,' Mr. Latrobe states, 'during 'the hottest season of their persecutions, are represented as 'cheering themselves, in the very prospect of death, with singing 'the psalms and hymns of their church. The Bohemian brethren 'published a hymn-book with notes, from which it is evident that 'the melodies therein used, originated in the chants to which the 'ancient Latin hymns of the Church were sung.' -f- In this country, psalmody was cherished by the disciples of Wickliff, the Morning Star of the Reformation; and in the reign of Henry VIII., 'some poets, such as the times afforded, translated 'David's Psalms into verse, and it was a sign by which men's 'affections to that work' (of Reformation) 'were every where 'measured, whether they used to sing these, or not.' A clause in the Act of Uniformity, 1548, authorized the practice of using any psalm openly, 'in churches, chapels, oratories, and other 'places.' Bishop Jewel writes thus to Peter Martyr: 'A 'change now appears visible among the people; which nothing 'promotes more than the inviting them to sing psalms. This 'was begun in one church in London, and did quickly spread 'itself not only through the city, but in the neighbouring places; 'sometimes at Paul's Cross, there will be six thousand people 'singing together.' 'Three or four thousand singing at a time 'in a church in this city,' Roger Ascham writes from Augsburg in 1551, 'is but a trifle.' These performances, it must be imagined, partook of the rudeness as well as the enthusiasm of the times; and such enthusiasm is perhaps inseparable from rudeness. Psalm-singing, as it speedily became, on the Continent, an open declaration of Lutherism, was in like manner soon abandoned, in England, to the Puritans, and became at length almost a peculiarity of Nonconformity. 'For myself,' says Richard Baxter in one of his letters, ' I confess that harmony and melody 'are the pleasure of my soul. I have made a psalm of praise in 'the holy assembly the chief delightful exercise of my religion 'and my life; I have helped to bear down all the objections I 'have heard against church music, and against the 149th and '150th Psalms. It was not the least comfort that I had in the 'converse of my late dear wife, that our first in the morning, and 'last in bed at night, was a psalm of praise, till the hearing of 'others interrupted it. Let those that savour not melody, leave 'others to their different appetites, and be content to be so far 'strangers to their delights.' J Of Philip Henry, it is recorded,
* See Eel. Rev. vol. xii. p. 267.
t Music of the Church, p. 63.
+ Orme's Life of Baxter, Vol. II. pp. 428, 9.
that, in his family worship, he always sung a psalm. 'His usual 'way was, to sing a whole psalm throughout, though perhaps a 'long one, and to sing quick, yet with a good variety of proper 'and pleasant tunes; and that he might do so, usually the psalm 'was sung without reading the line betwixt, every one in the 'family having a book; which he preferred much before the 'common way of singing, where it might conveniently be done, 'as more agreeable to the practice of the primitive church and of 'the reformed churches abroad. He would say, that a Scripture 'ground for singing psalms in families, might be taken from 'Psal. cxviii. 15. The voice of rejoicing and of salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous; and that it is a way to hold 'forth godliness, like Rahab's scarlet thread, to such as pass by 'our windows.' * 'The more singing of psalms there is in our 'families and congregations on sabbath-days,' (he said,) 'the 'more like they are to heaven, and the more there is in them of the everlasting sabbath.' f This reminds us of Waller's lines (unworthily applied in their connection):
'For all we know
But now when we proceed to inquire into the poetical quality of these psalms, we shall be constrained to admit that it was of the humblest and rudest description. The first extant version of the Psalms is that which appeared in 1562 J, appended to the Book of Common Prayer printed in that year. It is entitled: "The Whole Book of Psalms collected into English Metre, by T. Sternhold, J. Hopkins, and others, conferred with the Ebrue, with apt notes to sing them withal." The tunes given are without any bass or other accompaniment, and are chiefly German melodies, many of which are still in use in the Lutheran and Reformed churches. 'In 1570, these melodies were harmonized 'for four voices by William Damon. But the first complete 'publication of Psalms in parts was in 1594, when it appeared 'under the title of " The whole Booke of Psalmes, with their 'wonted tunes; as they are song in churches, composed into 'four partes, by nine sundrie authors." This was followed, in '1621, by a still superior work under the editorship of Thomas 'Ravenscroft; containing a melody for each Psalm, many of them 'by the Editor himself, the arrangements of the basses and inner
* Life of Henry, ed. by Williams, 8vo, p. 74. t Ibid. p. 171.
X Sternhold had printed his Version of fifty-one of the Psalms as early as 1549.