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Stand by, for I am holier than thou. He was an Israelite, indeed, in whom there was little allowed guile. He was truly a man of God. Knowing his own failings and shortcomings, he had pity on those who were ignorant, and out of the way. If any man was overtaken in a fault, he wished to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. We do not say, we dare not say, that he connived at sin ; but he recollected, that he also was a man, and compassed about with infirmity. In a word, as a minister of Jesus Christ, he delighted to preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified ; and he was careful to teach, that those who had believed in Christ, should be careful to maintain good works. He became all things to all men, that he might, by any means, gain some. Excepting the church judicatories, from which, he declared, he generally retired with an aching head and throbbing heart, because, to use his expressive language, both justice and mercy had left them,-he was such as we shall not, in all respects, soon see again. The bounty of his hand was equal to the generosity and liberality of his heart. He did not say, Be ye warmed, be ye filled, be ye clothed, while he did not give those things which were needful for the body. The blessing of Him that was ready to perish came upon him, and he caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. What he was as a husband and a father, his wife and children can best tell. But if general kindness, and gentleness, and tenderness, are qualities fitting for these relations, he had these in no ordinary degree. His wife and family are not bereaved. He commended them, doubtless, to his Father, and their Father; to his God, and their God. He whom he loved and served, in the Gospel of His Son, will be, according to His promise, the father of the fatherless, and the husband of the widow. These words would gladden his heart, Leave thy fatherless children; I will preserve them alive ; and let thy widow trust in me. The Lord will provide. Of all classes and professions, it least of all beseems the Christian pastor to distrust the Providence of God. He was a child of Providence himself; for there are some yet in Rutherglen can tell how much was expended by one of his opponents, or his friends, to obstruct his election. It was a pity that the good man forgot this, when the same gentleman used the same means, as Balmully and other places can testify, to oppose him who now laments his rather early departure. He is gone, however, to the resting place of the just. His witness is in heaven, and his record is on high. He has received the best of all applauses,- Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Come, thou blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for thee from the foundation of the world. And I heard a voice saying, Write, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them. Were it compatible, I would say, like the old prophet, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried ; lay my bones beside his bones. Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.
Soft slumbers now mine eyes forsake,
My powers are all renewed ; May my freed spirit too awake,
With heavenly strength endowed. Thou silent murderer, Sloth, no more
My mind imprisoned keep; Nor let me waste another hour
With thee, thou felon, Sleep.
One lavished hour retrieve,
What treasures would they give.
Were offered then in vain ;
And where's the promised Gain ?
For squanderd hours shall come,
And swell the former sum.
I, dying, shall esteem;
I then shall worthless deem.
My grateful voice I raise,
* Matt. xiii. 46.
“ Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided.”—2 Šam. i. 23.
POETRY has been cultivated by all nations, and in all ages. It does not seem to be the effect of learning, or what is called civilization ; but is natural to man in the original state of society; and thus, according to the common observation, Men are rather born, than made poets. Homer, and Ossian, and Burns, with many others, might be mentioned in proof of this assertion. As the Hebrews, contrary to the opinion of many, excelled all other nations in many, yea, in most respects, and especially with regard to their knowledge of the existence, attributes, and character, of the one only living and true God; so they outstripped every people in the quantity and quality of their poetry, considering the small quantity of their compositions which have been transmitted to posterity. The Jews were described by Voltaire as wretched, ever ignorant, vulgar, and strangers to the arts, to which the following reply was made, Does it become you, a writer of the eighteenth century, to charge the ancient Hebrews with ignorance !-a people who, while your barbarous ancestors, whilst even the Greeks and Latins, wandering in the woods, could scarcely procure for themselves clothing and a settled subsistence, already possessed all arts of necessity, and some of mere pleasure; who not only knew how to feed and rear cattle, till the earth, work upon wood, stone, and metals, weave cloth, dye wool, embroider stuffs, polish and engrave on precious stones ; but wbo, even then, adding to manual arts those of taste and refinement, surveyed land, appointed their festivals according to the motions of the heavenly bodies, and ennobled their solemnities by the pomp of ceremonies, by the sound of instruments, music, and dancing ; who, even then, committed to writing the history of the origin of the world, that of their own nation, and their ancestors; who had poets and writers skilled in all the sciences then known, great and brave commanders, a pure worship, just laws, a wise form of government; in short, this was the only one of all ancient nations that has left us authentic monuments of genius and of literature. Can this nation be justly charged with ignorance and inurbanity ? (O. Gregory's Letters.) A great part of the Old Testament Scriptures are poetical. This is admitted by every person qualified to judge. Most of the book of Job, perhaps the oldest extant, who lived, perhaps, nearly two hundred years before the birth of Abraham, the whole of the Book of Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and the Lamentations of Jeremiah, are poetical. The farewell discourse of Jacob (Gen. xlix.) is delivered in the poetic form. The song of Moses (Exod. xv.) is beautifully and strictly poetical. His prophetic ode, recorded Deut. xxxii., is singularly magnificent; so that it is reckoned by competent judges one of the noblest compositions in the Sacred Volume. His prophetic blessing of the twelve tribes, (Deut. xxxiii.,) is, like Gen. xlix., nearly allied to poetry. The Chaldean diviner, Balaam, who gave the excellent answer to the query of Barak, recorded Micah vi. 5-8, delivered also his prophecies concerning Israel in most excellent poetry, (Numb. xxiii. 7-10, 21-24; xxiv. 5-9, 17-24.) The thanksgiving of Deborah and Barak abounds in the richest ornaments of sacred Oriental poetry, breathing the characteristic softness and luxuriance of female composition, (Judges v.) Hannah's hymn of praise (1 Sam. ii.) excels in simplicity of composition, closeness of connection, and uniformity of sentiment. Every reader of Isaiah will observe his short hymn of praise, (chap. xii. ;) and Hezekiah's writing after he had been sick, (chap. xxxviii.;) but few will perceive the simple, regular, and perfect poem in the chapters xxxiv. and xxxv., and the still grander and most sublime ode in chapter xiv. It would be endless to advert even to the poetical passages in this most sublime of all inspired compositions,-chapter ix. 6, 7, and lx. 1-11, may be merely mentioned. The only other regular poem in the Old Testament, is the prayer of Habakkuk.
There are few Old Testament writers who have not produced specimens of exquisite poetry. The chief excellence of Hebrew poetry, is the dedication of alınost the whole of it to pure and undefiled religion. Nothing can be conceived more elegant, more beautiful, or more elevated, than the compositions of the Hebrew bards, in which the sublinity of the subject is fully equalled by the energy of the language, and the dignity of the style. Compared with them, the most brilliant productions of the Greek and Roman muses, who often employed themselves on vicious, or, at the best, frivolous themes, are greatly inferior in the scale of excellence. The Hebrew poet who worshipped Jehovah as the Sovereign of his people who believed all the laws, whether sacred or civil, which he was bound to obey, to be of divine enactment-and who was taught, that man was dependant upon God for everything, meditates upon nothing but Jehovah." To Him he devoutly referred all things, and placed his supreme delight in celebrating the divine attributes and perfections. This makes the inspired effusions of the Hebrew muse infinitely surpass, in grandeur and sublimity, beauty and pathos, all the most lauded productions of Greece and Rome. Employing a figure in Scripture, the latter may be compared to the chaff, while the former may be likened to the wheat.
The Bible is no insipid, inelegant, uninteresting book, composed almost always in a dull heavy style. Where else can be found such wonderful and varied specimens of sublimity, as in the 5th chapter of Judges; the 4th, 26th, and 37th chap: ters of Job; the 29th, 104th, 107th, and 139th Psalms ; several portions of Isaiah and Ezekiel ; the 1st and 2d chapters of Joel; and the 1st chapter of the Apocalypse ? Taking them as they appear, under the disadvantage of a translation, I will venture to affirm, that nothing can be found in Homer, Virgil, Shakspeare, or Milton, that will bear comparison with most of them, in point of beauty, splendour, majesty, and grandeur. Where, again, will you find such interesting stories, so artlessly, yet often so pathetically told, as those of Jacob and Rachel, of Joseph and his brethren, of the death of Jacob, of the widow of Zarephath’s, and of the Shunamites' sons, of Naomi and Ruth? Where will you find more genuine touches of nature, more delightful pictures of the effects of friendship and sym. pathy, than those in the 11th and 14th chapters of John's Gospel, and the 20th chapter of the Acts ? (Olinthus Gregory.) Nor is the poetry of the Scriptures confined to the Old Testament. Besides the songs of Mary, and Zacharias, and good old Simeon, (Luke i. and ii.,)—besides these, we have many other passages in the New Testament Scriptures nearly allied to the sublimest poetry. Of these, we may point out the following,—Matt. vi. 24-34 ; Luke xiii. 34, 35; xix. 41, 44; Rom. xi. 33-36; Rev. xx. 11-15. We might attempt to shew, were it necessary, that the Scriptures contain almost every species of spoetry;
There has been more than one critic who have contended, that the book of Job is a regular epic poem, the subject of which is tried and victorious innocence, and that it possesses unity of action, delineation of character, plot and catastrophe; not, indeed, in the Grecian, but Oriental style. An eminent critic has arranged the poetic productions of the Hebrews in the following classes, which may contain the whole,-namely, the prophetic, didactic, lyric, dramatic, acrostic, idyl, or pastoral, and elegiaic, which embraces our text, (Horne.) To those who wish to discover the Hebrew elegy, besides the unrivalled Lamentations of Jeremiah, where the muse pours