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R E M A R K S.

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T. HIEROM, as I find him quoted, with

other learned Authors, take this Verse and the rest of the Chapter to be written in the Manner of a Poem, composed of a sort of. Jambick Numbers; every one of them beginping with a new Letter of the Hebrew Alpbabet in their Order : as I have observ'd in print, ing them here, for the better Satisfaction of the Reader. The Ancients reckon'd this Poetical Way of Writing, an Elegancy of Composure., and the best Method of helping the Memory, as well as facilitating the Work, or making it the most agreeable to the Hearers:

we find a Vein of Poetry, without any Doubt, run through several of the Psalms, and other parts of Holy Scripture, in a very edifying, harmonious and pathetick Manner.' In the New Testament also, as well as the Old, we see fome Poetick Snatches made use of from the Greek Tongue ; as that of Kpñons d'ei veusel, merce Sereia, gasépes dezen, in St. Paul's Epistle to Titus Chap. I. Ver. 12. recited from Epimenides, the moral Philosopher as well as Poet: and that of a 8 rý závo loués, in the A{ts Chap. XVII. Ver. 28. quoted out of Aratus and other old Poets. However, it is not material to enquire, whether Queen Bathsheba her self made these Verses, or procur'd some eminent Poet to express her Senfe after this ingenious Modulation. Huetius indeed imagins, that the Words of King Lemuel's Mother concluded with the Ninth Verse, and supposes all the rest to be a different Composition of some other inspir’d Perlon ; if not Solomon himself to be the Poet,

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who writ in that delightful Strain. But Dr. Patrick thinks them rather to be all of a Piece and of the fame Authority from the Beginning to the End: That is to say, a Copy of Verses deliver'd to. Lemuel by his Mother, whether the compos'd them or not by her own Ingenuity, in Commendation of an excellent Wes man for his Wife. And why might not she be a pathetick Poetess; or so reputed at least, as well as Deborah and Hannah ? Be that Controversy as it will, it does not frustrate my Proceeding. But as it is the greatest Care and Concern of Parents to see their Children, or their Son and Heir especially, well-marry'd in this rambling World, and wisely settled in a conjugal State of Life ; fo she gives him in the Remainder of this Chapter, not only her best Advice to attache himself to the Love of Virtue, but also a glorious Description and Character of such a virtuous Woman, as would make him happy for ever in lawful Wedlock : A Woman of Strength, Valour, Courage, Riches and Virtue, as the Hebrew Text expressly imports; such an One as fears God, honours the King, loves Truth, hates Covetoufness, and eschews all evil Ways or wicked Inclinations ; she that is faithful to the Trust of her Husband for the Sake of God, and afraid of nothing but offending God for the Sake of her Husband; a Wife that is indu'd with so great a Power of good Will and Conftancy of Mind in doing well ; who dares be courageous in the worst of Times, by following her dear Spouse's Fortune through Fire and Water, and greater Difficulties, as well as Pious and Perseverant in this degenerate, perfidious, discouraging Age of Vice : even when Virtue her self seems to be upon the declining Hand, when Religion says her drooping Head on the losing Side, and when Piety is contemn’d, laugh’d at, and almost abus’d out of the World by ridiculous Rakes, prosperous Buffoons, and triumphing : Libertines. But furely those excellent Graces can never be forbid any Court, or banilld any Kingdom for ever among true Christian Princes. And if Aftrea has left the Earth, as the Poet complains; why then it is high Time, and well worth our while, to recall her back again as soon as poflible, by our heartiest, Petitions to Heaven, if we expect either Justice or Mercy any more at her, Hands in the Land of the Living. Well then! this sacred Centicle of Love, as it may be called, fairly couches under it the great conjugal Duties of a marry'd Life ; contains the whole Alpha and Omega' of a good Wife in the following Verses, and sets forth the true Character of a virtuous Woman, single or otherwise, to the last Degree of Happiness, as well as to the End of the Chapter ; which I fall briefly descant upon, with some remarkable Red flections, under these Two illustrious Heads insuing, of Virtue and Marriage.

I. VIR TU E, în general, is the true Tranquillity of the Soul, void of all Perturbations and Disquietudes of the Mind. 'Tis the most permanent of Blessings; and a Benefit never subject to Death: but of immortal Memory, lives even in the Grave, and flourishes after a Funeral The Stoicks wisely thought, that there was no Good but Virtue ; nor Evil, but Vice : that the virtuous Man only could be free and happy, even though he were in Chains in a Dungeon, or in Phalaris's Buill, and that

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the vicious Person only was a Slave or an una happy Bond-man, although he had the Riches of Cralus, the Empire of Cyrus, and the Glory of Alexander in Possession. For Greatness, without Contentment, is nothing but an Aggravation of Misery, a glittering Burden, and finks under its own Weight. What signifies Beauty, Honour or Power, without Patience and wisdom? They are only splendid Fooleries and the dy Trappings of Unhappiness. Virtue then, according to the Philosophers, is a Disposition and Power of the reasonable Part of the Soul, which reduces the unreasonable Part into good Order, due Decency, and right Government; by Causing it to propound; a convenient End to its own disorderly Affections and Passions: whereby the Soul continues in a juft Decorum, and a comely Habit of executing that which ought to be done according to Reason. But to define it more briefly: Virtue is a Proportion and Ope rightness of Life in all Points. agreeable to Rentson : which may properly be distinguish'd into contemplative and moral Virtue, consisting in Speculation and Practice. That may juftly be call’d Religion ; which, as Socrates says, is the greatest Virtue ; and must needs be fo, to fave the Soul by its Piety towards God : and this, Prudence ; to regulate humane Life, preserve it from running foul upon Two Rocks, and steering it safe (as it were) through Scylla and Charybdis, by keeping our Minds in an exact Mediocrity between too much and too little, the Excess and Defect of moral Duties. With out the Study and Practice of either of these Virtues, divine or bumane, we can have no Comfort, no Repose, no Satisfa&tion in the fociable Life: but having that excellent Gift of both, we can want nothing else but Per

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fection, or the great Consummation of Bliss. Religious Virtue draws us insensibly towards our last Home, towards Heaven. God himself is above all Things, Omnipresent and Invisible. Among the Sensibles, we see Light ; and among the Perfections of the Mind, we meet with Virtue. God is the Light and Virtue of all Beings. Light is the Virtue of the Universe, and the image of God. Virtue is the Light of the Mind, by, which we become the Chil. dren of our Creator. Without Purity of Mind, there will be no attaining of this Happiness. 'Tis this Virtue that perfects a Man; repairs all his Decays, recovers his Failings, rectifies his Faults, and fills him with pious Sentiments of Delight. It spiritualizes his fleshly Nature, and refines his Clay. ?Tis the best Rule of Life, inlightens the Earth, and illuminates the Blind. It abandons Temporals, and dwells opon Eternals. The constant Practice of it ealily brings us to a Habit of all Excellencies. It suffers no Vice to creep into our Bofoms; but prevents all Invasions, and suppresles alf Insurrections: till our Passions are intirely subdu'd to Reason, and made subfervient to Religion.. Virtue is the Sun of the little World ; a good Conscience is its Circumference, and Happiness its Centre. There is nothing sets up a righteous Throne, or a just Tribunal in the Soul of a Prince, but Virtue. It renders him illustrious in this Life, and glorious after Death. It makes him shine brighter in the Clouds, and inlightens his Darkness at the farthest Distance. It brightens the whole Sphere wherein he moves, and darts its Rays through all his Afiations and Misfortunes with greater Luftre. Tis true, a Man may receive great

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