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as the fifty-sixth to praise God for his deliverance, keep thy lips from speaking guile, ver. 13.
My second proposition was, that David did not feign himself mad as is usually supposed, and Mr. Ortlob in this trea-tise hath justified David from the charge of every kind of dissimulation, and so far it gives me pleasure, to follow him, for this is an opinion more tolerable than the fornier, but I must beg leave to dissent from this learned writer, and to state in the next place my own opinion, for I do not think, as Mr. Ortlob does, that David had any degree of madness.
III. I think, the whole passage ought to be understood of an epilepsy, a convulsion of the whole body, with a loss of sense for the time. Judge, sir, of the reasons on which I ground this third proposition.
1. My first reason is taken from the original term, which perfectly agree with an epilepsy. This is not easy to discover in our modern versions: but it is very plain in the Septuagint, and in the old latin version, which our interpreters often very injudiciously despise. The authors of both these versions were in a better condition than we are to understand the force, and the real signification of Hebrew words and idioms. I ain fully persuaded we ought to prefer these versions in the present case.
David, saith the sacred historian, changed his behaviour, or his taste. The Septuagint reads it, nanosuce to ToowToy autou, and the Vulgate, immutavit os suum, he changed countenance. I think this translation is better than that of Mr. Ortlob, his reason was changed, because it is added before them, or in their sight, and in the thirty-fourth psalm, before Abimelech, or in his presence. It is well known, that the countenance of a person taken with an epilepsy is suddenly changed. But should we retain the word reason, we might with equal justice say, that the reason, or the taste is changed in a epileptic fit, because for a few moments reason is absent.
2. Our version adds, he feigned himself mad in their hands. The Septuagint seems to me bave rendered the words much better, παραφερετο εν ταις χερσιν αυτων, He struggled, or tossed himself in their hands. (For I think the preceding words in this version, in that day he feigned, is one of those interpolations, which passed from the margin to the text ; and that the words, και είυμπανιζεν επι ταις θυραις της πολεος, are. of some other version, and have got into the text as the former.) The Hebrew word halal is a general term, which
signifies to agitate ones self, to shake, either by twinkling like the stars, or by applauding some one, or by boasting of any thing of our own, which the Latins call jactare, jactare se, or by moving ourselves involuntarily, as a paralytic man does, or a madman, or a person in convulsions, or one in excessive joy. The Septuagint could not translate the word here better than by παραφερεσθαι, because παραφορος among the Greeks (18) is put for a distracted person, a demoniac, and because a body irregularly and involuntarily agitated is said Ta pa Dipsa Ias. Aristotle (19) uses it in this same sense. Having said that there seems something in the soul of an intemperate man beside reason, and opposite to it, he adds, he is like a paralytic body, the patient aims to move the right hand or the right foot, and the left hand and the left foot move τουναντιον εις τα αριςερα παραφερεία, The only difference is, we perceive irregular motions of the body, whereas those of the soul are invisible. The Vulgate translates in a manner more favourable still to my opinion, et coilabebatur interý manus eorum, he fell into their hands. The term collabi, as well as cadere, and corruere are applied to the epilepsy, which the Hebrews, like.us, called the falling sickness. All these latin words may be seen in this sense in the first apology of Apuleius (19). He addresses himself to Æmilianus his adversary to justify himself from the accusation of having bewitched one Thallus, who was falling extremely ill with an epilepsy. Imno si verum velis, Æmiliane, tu potius caducus qui jam tot calumniis cecidisti, neque enim gravius est corpore quam corde collabi, pede potius quam mente corruere, in cubiculo despui, quam in isto splendidissimo cætu detestari.
3. And he marked the posts of the gates. This is the version of the late Mr. Martin, but allow me to lay aside all the versions of our modern divines, and even those of the the most celebrated Rabbies, and to abide by my Septuagint, and my Vulgate. The Septuagint renders it rai Titley ETI ons Sugaes ons avans, and the Vulgate saith, et impingebat in ostia porte, and he hurt himself, or he dashed himself against the posts of the gate. Munster (20) pretends indeed that the latin interpreter first wrote, et pingebat in ostia
(18) Phavorinus in voce sæpe:Copos.
(19) Aristot. Ethicor. ad Nicomachum. lib. i. cap. 13. (19) Apuleius Apol. pro se ipso prima. (20) Munsterus in h. 1. in criticis magnis
See Bayle. Achish. Rem. C.
porte, and that it was afterward changed into impingebat, but though this ingenious conjecture hath been adopted by able critics, yet it seems to me futile, because on the one hand the Vulgate evidently follows the Septuagint, and on the other because the latin interpreter would have contradicted himself, collabebatur inter manus eorum, et pingebat in ostia portæ, if he fell into their hands how could he write, or scratch with his fingers on the gate or the door. Nor is it necessary with the celebrated Lewis Cappel (21) to suppose the change of a letter, and to say that the Septuagint reads vajatoph, instead of vajetau. The verb tava signifies to mark, to make an impression, or some print with the hand, or an instrument, and to shake; and make the body treinble where the marks is imprinted. David was violently hurt against the posts of the gate so that marks were left in his flesh. This signification of the verb is agreeable to the Chaldean language, in which tava signifies to tremble, to shiver, and in the arabic, where the same root signifies to be troubled or astonished.
4. King Achish uses another word, which modern translations render fool, madman. Lo, you see the man is mad. Have I need of madman, and so on. The Septuagint, which I follow step by step, and the authors of which understood Hebrew better than we, translates it, odou idete evdga erish
?o.and so on: Why have you brought this man? Do you not see that he is attacked with an epilepsy? Have I need of epileptics that you have brought him to fall into convulsions in my presence? This single testimony of the Septuagint ought to determine this question.
2. My second class of arguments is taken from the scope of the place, and I think, even supposing the original terms were as favourable to the idea of folly or madness as they are to that of an epilepsy, yet we should be more inclined to the latter sense than to the former.
1. First, If there be some examples of persons frighted into follý or madness, ihere are more of persons tertified into an epilepsy. Among the various causes of this sickness, the author of a book on the subject, supposed to be Hippocrates, (22) hath given sudden fright as one. It would be needless to multiply proofs when a sorrowful experience daily gives us so many !' but I recollect one instance of the zeal of St. BarVOL. IV.
(21) L. Capellus criticæ sacræ libro. iv. cap. 5. S. 35.
nard (23), which deserves to be related, I do not say to be applauded. William the Xth. duke of Aquitain, and count of Thoulouse, declared himself against Innocent the IId. in in favour of Peter de Leon, an anti-pope, who had taken the name of Anacletus the Ild. The duke had driven the bishops of Poictiers, and of Limoges, from their sees. St. Barnard was sent into Guienne to engage him to reconcile himself to the holy see, and to re-establish the two bishops: but he could not prevail with him to be reconciled to the bishop of Poictiers. While they were talking at the church gate, St. Barnard went up to the altar and said mass. Having consecrated the host, and pronounced the benediction on the people, he took the body of the Lord in a patine, and going oui with a countenance on fire, and with eyes in a flame, he addressed with a threatning air these terrible words to the duke: “ We have intreated you, but you have despised us. In a former interview a great number of the servants of God besought you, and you treated them with contempt. Behold, now ihe Son of the virgin comes to you, the head and lord of the church you persecute. Behold your judge, at whose name every knee in heaven, carth and hell bow. Behold the aven
of your crimes, into whose hands sooner or later your stubborn soul shall fall. Have you the hardiness to despise him? And will you contemn the master as you have done the servants?” The spectators were all dissolved in tears, and the count himself, unable to bear the sight of the abbot, who addressed him with so much vehemence, and who held up to bin all the while the body of the Lord, fell all shaking and trembling to the earth. Being raised up by his soldiers, he fell back again, and lay on his face, saying nothing and looking at nobody, but uttering deep groans, and letting his spittle fall down on his beard, and discovering all the signs of a per
(23) Vita Sancti Bernardi. lib. ii.cap. 6. n. 38. Rogavimus te, et sprevisti nos, supplicavit tibi in altero, quam jam tecur habuimus, conventu, servorum Dei ante te adunata multitudo, et contempsisti. Ecce ad te processit filius virginis, qui est caput et Dominus ecclesiæ, quam tu persequeris. Adest Judex tuus, in cujus nomine omne genu curvatur cælestium, terrestrium et infernorum. Adest vindex tuus, in cujus manu illa anima tua deveniet. Nunquid et ipsum spernes! Nunquid et ipsuni sicut servos ejus contemnes?
Elevatus a militibus, rursum in faciem ruit. nec quippiam alieni loquens, aut intendens in aliquem, salivis in barbam defluentibus, cum profundis efflatis gemitibus, epilepticus videbatur.
son convulsed in an epilepsy. St. Barnard approached, pushed him with his foot, commanded him to rise, and to stand
and hear the decree of God. “ The bishop of Poictiers, whom you have driven from his church, is here, go and reconcile yourself to him, and by giving hiin a holy kiss of peace become friendly, and reconduct himn yourself to his see, Satisfy the God you have offended, render him the glory due to his name, and recall all your divided subjects into the unity of faith and love. Submit yourself to pope Innocent, and as all the church obeys him resign yourself to this eminent pontiff chosen by God himself. At these words the count ran to the bishop, gave him thự kiss of peace, and re-established him in his see.
2. I return, sir, from this digression, which is not quite foreign to my subject, to observe in the second place, that the sacred historian attributes to David the three characteristical marks of the falling sickness, falling, convulsion, and frothing: Falling, for it is said he fell into the hands of the officers of the king : Convulsion, for he hurt himself against the posts of the gate: and Frothing, for he let fall his spiltle. upon his beard. These are symptoms, which Isidore of Seville gives of an epilepsy, (2 t) cujus tanta vis est, ut homo valens concidat, spumctque. We may see the cause, or at least what physicians say of it, in the word of Hippocrates just now quoted, in the posthumous works of Mr. Manjot, and in all treatises of pathological physic. The inanner in which Hippocrates explains the symptom of froth seems very natural, a@pos de ex tou soualas, &c. The froth, that comes out of the mouth, proceeds from the lungs, which, not receiving any fresh air, throw up little bubbles, like those of a dying man.
3. The horror of king Achish concerning the condition of David, is a third reason, which confirms our opinion. You see, said this prince to his officers, this man is epileptic, shall such a man comie
house. And he drove him away, as it is said in the title of the thirty fourth psalm. According to the common opinion, David fcigned himself a patural, a fool, not a madman: he did actions of imbecility, and silliness, not of madness and fury. Now the ancients, far from having any aversion to this sort of tools, kept them ( o 2
(24) Isidor, Hispaliensis originum. lib. iii. cap 7. De chronicis morbis, voce Epilepsia. p. 33. Col. A. lit. c. Hippocrat, ut supra.