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me in comparison with the song in question [0]. Vir-
gil methinks is all ice, Moses all fire. The same may
be affirmed of the fourteenth and fifteenth odes of
the fourth book, and the last of the epodes of Horace.

A circumstance which seems to favour these two
poets, and other profane writers, is, that we tind in
them a cadence, a harmony, and elegance of style,
which is not to be met with in the Scriptures. But
then we commonly read them in a translation; and it
is well known, that the best French translators of Ci-
cero, Virgil, and Ilorace, disfigure their authors very
much. Now, the original language of the Scripture
must be vastly eloquent, since there remains more in
the copies of it, than in all the Latin works of ancient
Rome, and the Greck ones of Athens. The Scriptures
are close, concise, and void of foreign ornaments,
which would only weaken their impetuosity and fire ;
hate long perambulations, and reach the mark the
shortest way. They love to include a great many
thoughts in a few words ; to introduce them as so ma-
ny shafts; and to make those objects sensible, which
are the most remote from the senses, by lively and na-
tural images of thein. In a word, the Scriptures have
a greatness, strength, energy, and majestic simplicity,
which raise them above every thing in heathen Elo-
quence. If the reader will but give himself the trou-
ble to compare the places above-cited from Virgil
and Horace, with the reflection I shall now make, he
will soon be convinced of the truth of what I say.

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The great miracle which God wrought, when the
children of Israel passed through the Red Sea. The
prophet's view in it is, to indulge himself in his trans-
ports of joy, admiration, and gratitude, for this great
miracle to sing tlie praises of God the deliverer, to of-
fer up to him public and solemn thanks, and to in-
spire the people with the same sentiments.
(0) Ver. 287, 302.

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Ver. 1. I will sing unto the Lord : for he hath triumphed gloriously ; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Moses full of admiration, gratitude, and joy, could he possibly have better declared the emotions of his heart, than by this impetuous exordium, in which the lively gratitude of the people delivered, and the dreadful greatness of God the deliverer, are described ?

This exordium is the simple proposition of the whole piece. It is, as it were, the extract and point of sight, to which the several parts of the picture refer. This we must carry in our minds, as we read the song, to comprehend the artifice with which the prophet draws so many beauties, so much magnificence, from a proposition, which at first sight seems so simple and barren.

I will sing is much more energetic, more affecting, more tender, than it would be in the plural, we will sing. This victory of the Hebrews over the Egyptians is not like those common victories which one nation gains over another, and whose fruits are general

, vague, common, and almost imperceptible to every individual. Here every thing is peculiar to every Israelite; every thing is personal. At this first instant, every one retiects on his own chains which are broken; every one imagines he sees his cruel master drowned; every one is sensible of the value of his liberty, which is secured to him for ever. For it is natural to the heart of man, in extreme danger, to refer every thing to himself, and to consider himself as every thing.

The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. This singular, the horse, his rider, which includes the totality of horses and riders, is much more energetic than the plural would have been. Besides, the singular denotes much better the ease and suddenness of the drowning. The Egyptian cavalry was numerous, formidable, and covered whole plains. It would have required several days to have defeated and cut them

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to pieces : but God defeated them in an instant, with
a single effort, at a blow. He overthrew, drowned,
overwhelmed them all, as though they had been but
one horse, and one rider: The horse and his rider
hath he thrown into the sea.

The Lord is my strength and my song, &c. This is
the amplification of the first words of the song. I will
sing. Let us observe in what manner this is extended.

Of the several attributes of God, he praises only his strength, because it was by that he had been delivered.

My strength. This figure is energetic, for, the cause of my strength, which is flat and languid; besides that, my strength shews, that God alone was to the Israelites as courage, and dispensed with their making any use of it.

My song. This is the same figure, and equally emphatic. He is the only subject of my praise : no instrument divides it with him; neither power, wisdom, nor human industry, can be associated with him: he alone merits all my gratitude, since he alone performed, ordained, and executed every thing. The

He is become my salvation. The writers of the Augustan ages would have writ, hath saved me, but the Scripture says much more. The Lord hath undertaken to perform himself, every thing that was requisite for my salvation; he made my salvation his own, his personal affair ; and, what is much more emphatical, is become my salvation.

He is my God. He isemphatical, and signifies much more than it is supposed to do at first sight. He, not the gods of the Egyptians and nations; gods void of strength, speechless and lifeless : but he who performed so many prodigies in Egypt and in our passage, he is my God, and him will I glorify.

My God. This my may have a double relation, the one to God, the other to the Israelite. In the former, God appears to be great, powerful, and a God for me only. Unattentive to the rest of the universe, he is employed wholly on my dangers and on my safety; VOL. II,


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Lord is my song.

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and is ready to sacrifice all the nations of the earth to
my interest. In the second relation, he is my God;
I will never have any other. To him only I conse-
crate all my wishes, all my desires, all my

He only is worthy my worship and love, and to him
only will I for ever pay homage.

My father's God, and I will evalt him. This repetition is inexpressibly tender. He whose grandeur í exalt, is not a strange God, unknown till this day, a protector for a moment, and ready to assist any other. No: he is the ancient protector of my family. His goodness is hereditary. I have a thousand domestic proofs of his constant love, perpetuated from father to son, down to me. His ancient kindnesses were so many titles and pledges, which assured me of the like.

He is the God of my father: he is the God who displayed himself so often to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In fine, he is the God who but now fulfilled the mighty promises which he had made to my forefathers.

What has he done to effect this? The Lord is a man of war. He might have said, as he is the God of armies, he has delivered us from the army of Pharaoh; but this was saying too little. He considers his God as a soldier, as a captain ; he puts, as it were, the sword into his hand, and makes hiın fight for the children of Jacob.

The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name ; In the Hebrew it is, Šehorah is a man of war, Jehorah is his name. Moses insists on the word Jehorah, the better to shew, by this repetition, who this extraordinary warrior is, who has deigned to fight for Israel. As though he had said, Jehovah, the Lord, has appeared like a warrior. Is what I now say

well understood? Is this miracle comprehended in its full latitude? Yes, I again repeat: It is the supreme God in person, it is the only God; it is, to say all in one word, he who is called [p] Jehovah, whose name is incommunicable, who alone possesses all the fulness [P] Qui est... Ego suin, qui sum.


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of being; he is become the champion of Israel. Himself has been to them instead of soldiers. He took upon himself the whole weight of the war. [9] The Lord shall fight for you, and

ye shall hold your peace, said Moses to the Israelites before the battle; as though he had said, You shall be still, and not fight.

Ver. 4 and 5. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea; his chosen captains hath he also drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; they sank into the bottom as a stone.

Observe the pompous display of all that is contained in these two words, the horse and his rider.

1. Pharaoh's chariots. 2. His hosts. 3. His chosen captains. A beautiful gradation.

How wonderful is this amplitication! He cast into the sea. They are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them : They sank to the bottom as a stone ; all this to explain, He has thrown into the sea. We observe in these words, a series of images, which succeed one another, and swell by degrees. i. He cast into the sea. 2 They are drowned in the Red Sea. They are drowned, improves on He cast. ... In the Red, Sea, is a circumstance which more determinates than siniply, the sea. (The Hebrew has it, in the sea Suph.) One would conclude, that Moses was desirous of heightening the greatness of the power which God exhibited in a sea which formed part of the Egyptian empire, and which was under the protection of the [] gods of Egypt. S. His chosen captains, the greatest of Pharaoh's princes; that is to say, the proudest, and perhaps those who opposed with greatest violence the laws of the God of Israel; in a word, those who were most able to save thema selves from the shipwreck, are swallowed up like the meanest soldiers. 4. The depths have covered them. What an image is here! They are covered, overwhelmed, vanished for ever. 5. To complete this picture, he concludes with a simile, which is, as it were, the stroke that animates and points out the whole ; they sunk into the bottom as a stone. Notwithstanding their [9] Exod. xiv, 14

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