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All food their soul abhorreth,
35 They have even drawn near to the gates of death
Then they cried unto JEHOVAH in their trouble,
He sendeth his word and healeth them,
They reel and stagger likera druriket man, 1 - fo. 6.2 9.4 And all their wisdom is swallowed up. i bo'u copii Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble,
And he hath brought them to the haven of their wishes. 60
sabit And they sow fields, and they plant vineyards,
And they yield-fruits of increase;
IV. Sati !!!
OBSERVATIONS ON TẠE, 107th Psalm. prison; 3. to persons languishing in
sickness; 4. to mariners in danger This admirable composition is se- of shipwreck. cond perhaps to none of the sacred III. A Choral Hymn of praise, odes, in luminous arrangement, in giving a nearer view, and a more, justness of imagery, in suavity of minute detail, of those providential style, and in all the graces which mercies which peculiarly respected" flow from a happy distribution of the children of Israel. subject. It has been classed by Bi- The'Proem speaks for itself, shop Lowth among the Hebrew In the Narration, towards the ldyis
, as distinguished by interca- middle of each stanza, there is an lary verses. And, on a close com- intercalary couplet, which most parison, it will be found also to re- beautifully and emphatically marks semble the Pindaric ode: some of the transition froin extreme distress, its divisions bearing no slight ana- to deliverance, and joyful triumph; logy to the Strophe, Antistrophe, and and which is uniformly followed by Epode of the Greeks; whilst it ex- two or more lines stating the prehibits" a fertility of invention, a cise, nature, and absolute Vulness, of quickness of transition, a conciseness: the relief afforded.
To this most and sententiousness of style, similar naturally succeeds another intercabut superior, to what have been ac.: lary couplet expressing the great counted the characteristic excellen- end and object of the poem, mm cies of the Theban bard. . We may, particularly affirm of this poem), And his wonders wrought in favour of men. "is
Let them praise Jehovah for his mercy, that it is eminently distinguished by that judicious selection, and happy Each stanza then closes with a tas! combination, of the most appropriate, ried couplet; in the two first recaand natural circumstances, which pitulating God's mercy;' in the two Longinus ranks anong, the great last, exciting men, by amplified exsources of the sublime.
hortation, to celebrate that mercy. This ode naturally distributes it- The Choral Hymn is most judi-'! self into three unequal divisions. ciously distributed into smaller por
1. The Proem, or introduction; tions; and is thus at once adapted inviting the children of Israel 10, to a more minute and special detail celebrate the manifold mercies of of circumstances, as well as to the Jehovah.
purposes of alternate recitation. II. The Narration, or general. That this branch of the poem is in statement of the subject; which, in reality 'a Choral Hymn, i conceive,' four stanzas of similar construction, may be pronounced from the evinces the goodness of God by his strongest internal evidence. The affording present help to those who praise of Jehovah is the great object devoutly seek it: l. To wanderers of the sacred poet; he never loses in a desert, oppressed with hunger sight of it: the Proem is a most and thirst; 2. to those bound in animated and heart-awakening invi
tation to this praise; each succeed more directly home to the « busiing stanza not only renews the invi- ness and bosoms,” to the feelings tation, but so affectinglý exhibits and the piety of a Jewish congrethe divine goodness, that every gation? God's general mercies had hearer of common sensibility must been already most nobly celebrated; feel an inward disposition for acts but the special favour of Jehovah, of praise; and the fourth stanza es to his own peculiar nation, was surely pecially, concludes with this requi- the most appropriate topic for a sition of gratitude and joy:
Choral Hymn of praise,
re in the as“Let them praise Jehovah for his goodness, sembly of the people," and,
“ in the And his wonders wrought in favour of men; council of the elders." And let thein exalt him, in the assembly of In the following Notes, it shall be the people,
my chief object to remark such And in the council of the elders, let them beauties as flow from the arrangeextol him! *
ment and structure of this sacred What then could be more natural, poem; to point out the nice adap. what more accordant with the great tation and congruity of its parts; to design of the Psalmist, than that the illustrate its exquisitely natural whole congregation should imme- imagery by similar, though genediately break forth in singing :--that rally far interior, passages from the the elders, from their division of the ancients; in a word, to offer such temple, and the people in their observations as would probably be places, should alternately chaunt made by a commentator on his fathe succeeding quatrains; and vourite classic. that both should unite, with pious exultation, in the concluding couplet, which most emphatically conveys NOTES ON TAE 107th PSALM. the moral of this noble ode? It remains to be observed, that
Line 6. “And from the Sea.") In
the Old Testament, this generally in the two first stanzas of the Narration, there are beautiful references signifies the Mediterranean, which
lies west of Judea. Here, however, to the passage of the Israelites through the wilderness, and to the it must signify the Red Sea, which Babylonish captivity. It is curious, is situated south of Judea. See also that these great events are absolute
Ps. Ixx. 8, and cxiv. 3. ly speçibed in the Chaldee para. In the vast deserts which bordered
Line 7."“ They wandered, &c."), phrase; which thus speaks: “Con cerning the people of the house of on Judea, to wander from the right Israel, he prophesied and said, path, was equivalent to certain They wandered in the desert, in the death; not only from the pressure pathless waste," &c.; and again; ravenous wild beasts. In that sub
from the “ Concerning Zedekiah, and the princes of Israel, who were captives first instance of God's providential
, lime ode, Deuteronomy xxxii. the in Babylon, and dwelt in darkness, and the shadow of death,", &c. &c.
care, is his finding cut Israel in his These two stanzas, then, confess. wanderings : edly relating to the history and cir- ' «He found him in a desert land, t! ! cumstances of the Jewish nation And in a waste howling wilderness.” alone; and the two last, no less evidently celebrating those providen- Lines 13, 14. “ He led them fortl, tial mercies, which are common to &c.”). There is a beautiful antimen of all countries; with what thetical parallelism between these, happy fitness is it ordered, that the and lines 7, 8, which may be most Choral Hymn should amplify the clearly illustrated, by simply placing topics of the two former, as coming them together.
* They wandered in the desert, in the path. This construction is peculiarly less waste,
suitable to the close of a stanza, A city of habitation they did not find :
because it generally enables the He led them forth by the right way, writer to leave behind him the imThat they might reach a city of habita pression of a full and complete effect.
tion." Lines 17, 18. “ For he hath satis. To exemplify from the two cases fied, &c."] The Wanderers had been just adduced. The rapid succession
and duplication of " the craving represented (lines 11, 12) so exhaasted by the extremity of hunger while it marks the extremity of the
soul, and “ the fumished soul,”and thirst, that their very souls inwardly fainted. Thirst, implying past afiliction, is abundantly counthe most violent torture, is put last
. terpoised by the satisfactory termiIn this couplet, full relief is afford nation, ed to both wants: and, as that
“ He hath filled with goodness.” which was most grievous was natu
Had the couplet been written rally the most craving, the order is
thus reversed; first the thirsty soul, then the ".For be hath satisfied the craving soul, famished soul, is completely satisfied. And be lath filled with goodness the fac In the stracture of this couplet, the
misled soul,' original exhibits a beauty, which it is evident, that the impression of commentators have not been aware relief would be very incomplete, the of, and which I have endeavoured idea of famine being suffered to renot wholly to lose in the present main behind. version ;-a beauty the more wor- In like manner, had it been aby of observation, as it not only written, frequently recurs in this poem, but
“ For he hath destroyed the gates of brass, constitutes a remarkable feature in And hath smitten asunder the bars of iron," Hebrew poetry. Couplets, it is it cannot surely be said, that a thowell known, are commonly so constructed, that the lines may be alter- rough sense of enlargement would
have been produced. The bars nately sung by the opposite divi. sicas of the choir. When therefore would still have been clanking in one line closes with an important evinced no less sound judgment,
our cars. But the sacred poet has word, it is so managed, in number
than poetical invention. He has less instances, that the antiphonal not only caught the most characline of the couplet shall commence with a word or expression precisely teristic features of his subject, but parallel. Which is exactly accord arranged his very terms precisely
as they should be arranged; and ing to nature; for if you present an
the effect is, that whoever can enter object to a mirror, that
of it which is farthest from you, will
into the spirit of this divine ode, is
ready to “ praise Jehovah for his appear nearest in the reflected image. Here, for example, one side mercy," because the famished is of the choir sings,
abundantly satisfied, the captive is
completely restored to liberiy. * For he hath satisfied the craving soul,"
Lines 21, 22. “ Because they reThe other immediately replies, belled, &c."] Another example of ** • And the famished soul, he hath filled with the same construction which has goodness."
been just dwelt upon. Though this Again, at the close of the next couplet be not the close of a stanza, stanza, one side sings,
the arrangement is here peculiarly ** For he hath destroyed the gates of brass," proper. The object is, pointedly to The other answers,
express the ingratitude and daring " And the bars of iron, hath smitten asun- presumption of rebels against their der."
most gracious benefactor; there. See the sen."]
fore the climax of their iniquity is tice not to refer to Job xxxiii. 24, reserved for the last,
26. " And the counsel of the Highest they dc
Lines 43, 44). In this closing spised;"
couplet the same structure is not A distribution most naturally in- observed, as at 'the termination of troductive of what follows,
the two last stanzas. And the rea" Then He humbled with labour their heart."
son is obvious; this line,
• Let them declare his works with rejoicing, The punishment is made instantly Sends the auditory to immediate acts to follow this
aggravated baseness. Lines 27, 28, 31, 32). Here there
of praise, with joy in their hearts.
How different would be the ef.. is the same happy correspondence ' fect, if the couplet ran thusbetween the exigence and the re
« And let them sacrifice, the sacrifices of Jief, as in the last stanza. Compare lines 19, 20, 23. The antithesis is And with rejoicing, let them declare his
thanksgiving, perfect, but quite unforced and na
The same precept, indeed the same Line 33. “Fools, for the way of their words, are here; but the life and transgression.”] Among the Jews, spirit are fled ! diseases were very commonly sent as Line 45.“ They who descend to a providential chastisement.
“ Mare immensum poespecially Deuteron. xxviii. 21, 22. tentiæ occultæ documentum; ut proro When our Lord had miraculously sus, nec aliud ultra, quæri debeatcured the disabled man, at the pool nec par, aut simile possit inveniri.” of Bethesda, he dismissed him with Plin. these words-Ids, oyin yayovas
« The sea is an immeasurable docuμηκελ αμαρθανε, ίνα μη χειρον τι ment of unseen power; none beσοι γενναι. Behold, thou art yond it should be sought-neither made whole; sin
no more, lest
can any equal or similar be found." something worse come upon thee.” And doubtless this observation is And even under the Christian dis- true, if it be limited to the exercise pensation, the apostles had the of divine power in the material power of miraculously inflicting dis- world-with which Pliny was best eases, and even death, upon offenders. acquainted, and of which his subject To this St. Paul expressly refers, naturally led him to treat. 1. Cor. xi. 30.
I cannot deny myself the gratifiLine®35. “All food their soul ab- cation of here inserting Addison's horreth.”] This is exquisitely natu- just and beautiful panegyric on this ral. Who that has been confined to passage of the Psalmist:a sick bed does not feel its force? As I have made several voyages The same thought is beautifully am
upon the sea, I have been often plified, by one of the earliest sacred tossed in storms, and on that occawriters ;
sion have frequently reflected on “ He is chastened also with pain upon his the descriptions of them in ancient bed,
poets. I remember, Longinus highAnd the multitude of his bones with strong iy recommends one in Homer, bepain :
cause the poet has not amused himHis life abhorrcth bread,
self with little fancies upon the oc- . And his soul, delicate food : His flesh is consumed, which was seen,
casion, as authors of an inferior
ge And his bones stand out which were not nius, whom he mentions, had done;
but because he has gathered togeHis soni hath drawn near to the grave,
ther those circumstances, which are And his life to the destroyers."
the most apt to terrifythe imagination, JOB xxxii. 20-22. and which really happen, in the Lines 37--10]. It would be injus- raging of a tempest, 'It is for the