« AnteriorContinuar »
They sing from among the branches.
He watereth the hills from his chambers,
That he may bring forth food from the earth.
The young lions roar for prey,
And to demand from God their food.
The sun ariseth, they withdraw,
How manifold are thy works, O Jehovah!
So is this great and wide spreading sea.
There go the ships;
There that leviathan, which thou hast made to sport therein. These wait all upon thee,
To give them their food in its season.
Thou givest it unto them, and they gather it;
Thou openest wide thine hand,-they are satisfied with good.
Thou hidest thy face,-they are terrified;
Thou takest back their life,-they die,
And to their dust do they return.
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created;
The glory of Jehovah shall endure forever!
I will sing to Jehovah as long as I live,
Let sinners be destroyed from the earth,
THE EXCELLENT GOODNESS OF JEHOVAH.
PRAISE ye Jehovah !
For it is good to celebrate our God,
And he bindeth up their wounds.
He humbleth the wicked to the ground.
He maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
And to the young ravens which cry.
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse,
Jehovah is well pleased with those who revere him,
Praise Jehovah, O Jerusalem!
Praise thy God, O Zion!
For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates;
And satisfieth thee with the finest of wheat.
He giveth forth snow like wool;
He scattereih the hoar frost like ashes;
He sendeth out his word and melteth them,
He publisheth his word unto Jacob,
His statutes and his laws unto Israel.
And his statutes, no others have known them.
GOD OUR PRESERVER.
up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my aid.
My help is from Jehovah who made heaven and earth. He will not permit thy foot to tremble: thy keeper will not slumber.
I WILL lift
Behold the watchman of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Jehovah is thy keeper; Jehovah is thy shade upon thy right hand.
By day the sun shall not smite thee; nor the moon by night. Jehovah shall defend thee from all evil; he shall protect thy
Jehovah shall protect thy going out and thy coming in, from this time forth and forever.
GOD HOLY AND POWERFUL.
PSALM XCVII 1
JEHOVAH reigneth! Let the earth rejoice,
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne; Fire pursueth before him,
And consumeth his enemies around.
His lightnings illumined the world :
The earth saw and trembled;
The mountains like wax melted from the presence of Jehovah, From the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare his righteousness,
And all the nations behold his glory.
Let all the worshippers of graven images be confounded,
Prostrate yourselves before Him, all gods!
And the daughters of Jerusalem exulted,
For thou, O Jehovah! art most high above all the earth:
Ye that love Jehovah, hate wickedness.
He helpeth the souls of his saints,
He setteth them free from the power of the wicked.
And joy for the upright in heart.
And give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
TRANSLATIONS FROM ISAIAH, BY BISHOP LOW TH.
DAVID and Isaiah were peculiarly the national poets of the Jewish people. When we think of the former, we remember him in connection with all that is tender and confiding in feeling,-all that is sweet and rural in imagery. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters. Isaiah too can hardly be surpassed for the sweetness that is often mingled with his dignity; he has descriptions of transporting beauty, and his is the portrait, drawn with such moving truth and pathos, of the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet the grandeur of his poetry is so generally prevalent over his other characteristics, that the name of the prophet is ever associated in the minds of those to whom his writings are in any degree familiar, with ideas of all that is eminently majestic and sublime. Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty.
Other portions of the inspired poetry may exhibit at intervals, perhaps an equal degree of grandeur; and the book of Job especially has passages, which are not inferior in sublimity to the most elevated parts of the prophet; but in no book is this quality so constantly predominant, and so long sustained, and nowhere else is it carried onward in such variety of energetic movement, nor with such rapidity and intensity of thought, nor with such powerful climaxes, such "shutting up and intermingling of solemn scenes," such sudden bursts and transitions of elevated feeling. To Isaiah it was given, beyond all others, to unveil the secrets of Eternal determinations, and to foretell the coming glories of the Prince of Peace. In his hands the harp of prophecy is both glorious and terrible—terrible when it denounces destruction and wo to idolatrous empires, and glorious when it celebrates the character and kingdom of Messiah, and the happiness of his redeemed. It is sometimes, also, pathetic, in a degree which is nowhere else equalled. But whether it describes ruin or bliss, whether it threatens wo or promises glory, his strains are always distinguished for their dignity and power. His images are simple, but they are vast and vivid; and he pours them forth with an irresistible energy and rapidity of accumulation. He is, besides, rich in language, and uncommonly musical in the construction of his sentences; insomuch that it would be impossible, even for an English reader, to find anything more full of melody than some of his verses, as they are translated, almost word for word, in the English Bible. "If the Hebrew poetry at presest is possessed of any remains of iis native grace and harmony, we shall chiefly find them," says Bishop Lowth, "in the writings of Isaiah."
When he warns the people of impending danger, his images
are black and portentious in their aspect, and his sentences are like the gathering tempest. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people: a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: Jehovah of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.-When he paints the desolation of the kingdoms abandoned by Jehovah, nothing could convey a more vivid idea of utter abandonment, and waste, and sterility. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day: the smoke thereof shall go up forever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste: none shall pass through it forever and ever.—It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.
On the other hand, when he describes the future security and happiness of the church and people of God, and calls upon them for gratitude and joy to their heavenly protector, what images of beauty and exultation does he lavish on the picture! Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation. There the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: for in the wil derness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.-And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.—Oh thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.-Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.-For the Lord shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord: joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. Such is the tenor of his images whenever he touches upon this delightful subject-a subject, indeed, the most glorious that could ever fill the excited imagination of