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comes to the following conclusions. “ They are the promptings of the Spirit of inspiration under the influence of which the Psalmist wrote. In other words, they are the effect of a strong prophetic impulse, leading him to denounce the just awards of heaven against the enemies of God and of his anointed. Considered in this aspect, they are to be classed with the prophetic curse of Noah uttered against the posterity of Ham. It is also to be borne in mind that David was raised to the throne by the special designation of heaven; that in the administration of the government of Israel, he did in part represent the person of Jehovah himself; and consequently that the enemies of David were the enemies of God. David, also, in the Psalms, often speaks in the person of the Messiah. Many of the severest denunciations which flowed from his pen are to be regarded as in fact directed in the name of Christ, against the bold impugners and rejecters of the gospel.
On another most important subject, Prof. Bush thus expresses himself:
Of modern expositors a large proportion, it is well known, have employed much ingenuity and learning in the attempt to find the immediate subject of every Psalm either in the prominent events of David's life, or in the history of the Jewish nation. But the point to be settled is, whether in doing this the interpreter satisfies all the requirements of his task. Is there not, in many cases, superadded to the primary and literal sense, another and higher scope, a mystical or spiritual purport, which it is his province to unfold? And if so, by what rules of hermeneutics is he to be guided in determining when such a purport exists, and what it is?
It would lead us too far from our main design to enter into the intricacies of this subject, in all its bearings, and we shall therefore simply observe in relation to the Psalms, that although in many of them none but a historical sense can be detected, yet in others it can be as little doubted that an ulteriour and spiritual meaning is involved. David, as the author of many of the Psalms, is expressly denominated in the New Testament ' a prophet,' that is to say, his Psalms have a prophetical scope; the spirit of inspiration, under the influence of which he wrote, having grafted upon the letter of his effusions an interiour sense, of which he himself, it may be, was but imperfectly, if at all, aware. But 'the spirit of prophecy,' we are expressly assured,' is the testimony of Jesus ;' that is, this is the great end and aim of the spirit of prophecy, to bear testimony to the person, work, and offices of Jesus; its ultimate scope is to do honour to him; to make him known as the grand central object of all revelation.
Admitting then the general principle of a prophetic and spiritual interpretation of many of the Psalms, it is at the same time conceded that we cannot arbitrarily assume its application ; this must be governed by the evidence peculiar to each particular instance ; and the principles of such evidence may be expressed in the two following rules ;-(1) That the sense resulting from a cautious and critical explication of the terms of the passage, and an impartial construction of the whole sentence according to the known usage of the language and the writer, must be such as naturally and justly to refer to the Messiah, and such as cannot without violence be applied to any other subject. (2) That the sense assumed be such as is either positively affirmed or manifestly implied by the writers of the New Testament in their citations from the old.
We have, accordingly, been guided principally by these canons in our interpretation of such of the Psalms as seemed to require their application. Or this a very adequate example occurs in the preface and notes to the second Psalm. Although by no means disposed to adopt the polydunamic hypothesis of Cocceius and other spiritualizing interpreters, yet on the other hand we are equally averse to that jejune and frigid theory of exposition which sees nothing beyond the mere letter of the Psalmist.
We have only to remark that the utmost caution will be required in affixing a Messiannic intrepretation to a Psalm, when such interpretation is not affirmed nor implied by the writers of the New Testament in their citations from the Old. Following bishop Horsley's rule, “ that there is not a page of this book of Psalms in which the pious reader will not find his Saviour, if he reads with a view of finding him,” we should be led at once into the wildest notions of the spiritualizing interpreters. On this subject, we prefer to stand on firm ground, though our limits be greatly narrowed, rather than float on a sea of conjecture.
We will only say further that Prof. Bush's object is worthy of all encouragement, and we cannot but wish him the most ample success. His ability is undoubted. 2.-The Writings of George Washington ; being his Corres
pondence, Addresses, Messages, and other Papers, official and private. Selected and published from the original manuscripts ; with a Life of the Author, notes and illustrations. By Jared Sparks. Vols. IV. and V. Boston : Russell, Odiorne & Metcalf, and Hilliard, Gray & Co.
1834. pp. 560, 558. The first volume of this work, which is to contain the meVOL. V. No. 17.
moir of general Washington, is not yet published. The second and third volumes, a review of which will be found in the third volume of the American Quarterly Observer, contain the correspondence down to the evacuation of Boston in 1776 ; the second comprising the period anteriour to the revolution ; and the third embracing the first records of that great event. The first letter of the fourth volume is dated at New-York, July 15, 1776, and the last in New Jersey, July 24, 1777. An appendix exhibits various particulars respecting Washington's intercourse with Lord Howe, the capture of general Lee, and the battle of Trenton. The fifth volume commences with a letter to general Schuyler in the July before the battle of Stillwater, and terminates with a letter to governour Trumbull, July 14, 1778. The appendix includes the highly interesting particulars respecting the early career of Lafayette, which have been already published in the newspapers ; details of the battles of. Brandywine, and Germantown; the storming of forts Montgomery and Clinton ; all the important correspondence respecting Conway's cabal so called ; the battle of Monmouth, etc. Plans of the important battle-grounds, evidently drawn up from personal inspection, are inserted. Mr. Sparks's extensive researches have also enabled him to add many illustrative notes of great value. The judgment displayed by the editor in the selection and arrangement of the papers is only equalled by his indefatigable investigations. Remarkable impartiality and candour are also exhibited in the opinions which are incidentally expressed respecting various men and things. We hope that a inost liberal patronage will be given to these volumes. They will be in the first rank of importance as sources of American history, while they exhibit the transcendant excellencies of Washington's character in fresh and striking points of view.
3.— The Life of Alexander Hamilton. By his Son, John C.
Hamilton. Vol. I. New-York: Halsted & Voorhies. 1834.
A great improvement has been effected in the style of American biography within thirty years. Barton's Life of Rittenhouse, some of the lives in the Memoirs of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and other volumes, which might be named, written twenty or thirty years since, display an affected taste and a vicious style. Many words are employed, which no good writer would for a moment tolerate. The Life of General Hamilton, if not absolutely faultless in this respect, is written with uncommon purity and good taste. The words are English, and are well chosen, and the whole style, in which the volume is brought out, very creditable to the biographer. The first volume only has yet appeared, closing with a notice of the appointment of Hamilton as a delegate to Congress in 1782. It was hastened from the press, in consequence of an intimation that an imperfect and unauthorized memoir of Hamilton was about to appear. If the moral tone of the volume were higher, we should rejoice. On the 10th page, after mentioning Hamilton's early devotional habits, the biographer says, “ This religious temperament is strongly contrasted with the bold and energetic character of his ambition, but they may be traced to the same source." We must be permitted altogether to doubt the truth of this assertion. If it has truth involved in it, the language is certainly very unfortunate. That a man's temperament will modify his religious feelings is doubtless true; but that piety and emulation are identical in their origin is very far from being the fact. On p. 163, is the following remark about Samuel Adams: “ This spirit of indiscriminate distrust darkened all his counsels, and was combined with a fanaticism, which disregarded experience and undervalued human agency." That Samuel Adams was a fanatic will be a startling assertion to most of our readers. The whole course of his life was not more signalized for reliance on Providence, than it was for the most indefatigable labours. He had imbibed errours, doubtless, in regard to the theory of government, and strong prejudices in respect to some distinguished men ; but for ardent love of his country, and the most inflexible integrity, very few men if any equalled him, at a time when great and good men were not rare.
In the efforts which were made by Mifflin, Conway, and others, to elevate Gates at the expense of Washington's degradation, there is not sufficient evidence to implicate NewEngland, nor any other portion of the country in mass, as the biographer seems to think. In vindicating the character and eminent services of Schuyler, Mr. Hamilton has not done any thing more than what is just. Gates carried off the laurels which Schuyler had won.
On the general spirit and character of the memoir, we shall waive all remarks till the appearance of the second volume, which we hope will be delayed till the biographer has had full time to exert his utmost ability. In some respects Alexander Hamilton is the most extraordinary man, who has appeared in this country. His services in establishing our government, are clearly second only to those of Washington.
4.-Medea, a Tragedy of Seneca. Edited by Charles Beck,
Prof. of Latin in Harvard University. Cambridge: James
Munroe & Co. 1834. pp. 67. The principal object of Mr Beck, in preparing the Medea of Seneca, has been to introduce younger students to a kind of Latin poetry, of which they generally know but litile. Other branches of Latin poetry are well provided for in the college course, while the draina is almost wholly neglected. Of the ten tragedies, which are attributed to Seneca, the Medea is the only one which is certainly known to have been his production. The text is that of the edition of J. Gronovius, based upon the manuscript, which he found in the Florentine library. Sixteen pages of notes, and a statement of the different kinds of verse found in the Medea are appended.
5.- Introduction to the Study of the Greek Classic Poets.
Designed principally for the use of young persons at school and college. By Henry Nelson Coleridge, Esq. late Fellow of King's College, Cambridge Part I. containing General Introduction, and Introduction to Homer. Philadelphia : Carey & Lea, 1831, pp. 237.
Though this book was republished about three years since, yet the fear that its merits have not been appreciated, induces us at this late day, strongly to recommend it to our readers. If they have the spirit of scholars, they will highly relish its chaste enthusiasm and its discriminating touches. The author penetrates beyond the forms and syntax of the language, and holds communion with the sweet and invisible spirit of Beauty and Love which hovers over the Homeric page. Besides its great merit in possessing the power to awaken kindred enthusiasm in the bosom of the reader, it contains many sensible observations and sound criticisms. We are glad that Mr Coleridge is yet in the full maturity of his powers, and has the intention to prepare Introductions to all the Greek classical writers.