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Love is the fulfilling of the Law. Real and unfeigned Good Will to all is one of the principal and most obvious Dictates of natural Religion, of the mosaic Law and the Law of Christ, it is, and indeed muft be, an effential Part of every Religion truly divine.-

Now the Inference intended to be drawn from the whole will naturally and necessarily follow

Namely,

to prové, not only that the Heathens gave the Epithet of TIME101, or perfect, to many of their Gods, especially the Chief; but that some of their Writers describe Clemency and Goodness to Enemies as a Virtue by which Mortals make the neareft Approach to divine Perfection. These Words conclude Chrift's excellent Exposition and Vindication of the [mosaic] Law from the corrupt Gloffes of the Jewish Teachers. I know (says the Doctor) it has been objected to it (viz, to our Saviour's Exposition and Vindication of the Law] that considering the many figurative Expressions used therein, we might as easily trace out the Duties recommended by the Light of Reason alone, as adjust the Sense of such obscure and hyperbolical Precepts. But if it were really so, it is to be remembered, that the chief Design of Chrift was, and in his Gospel now is, not to inform us what is Justice, Humanity, and Charity, in particular Cases, (which a View of present Circumstances can alone discover,) but to awaken a Regard to the known, though neglected Dictates of natural Religion on these Heads; [and which were the Dictates of the moral Part of the mosaic Law as our Saviour has clearly shewn) and this may be most effectually done by such animated and sprightly Exhortations as these, especially when considered as coming from a Person whose Authority and Love concur to demand our Attention and Obedience,

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Narnely, that all Imprecations expreffive of Male.
volence, Hatred or Revenge, were as contrary to,
and incompatible with, the Law of Mofes, as
they now are repugnant to, and inconsistent
with, the Gospel of Chrift: Therefore no
good Man, and especially no Man divinely in-
spired, could poslibly use any such under the
Old Testament Dispensation, any more than
a good Christian now can under the Gospel ;
universal, unconfined Benevolence being as es.
sential a Part of pure Judaism as it is of genuine
Christianity. If therefore any Expreffions, that
feem to breathe any Degree of Malevolence,
should be met with in any part of the Old
Testament, it would necessarily follow that
eriginally they were not there, or that they had
really no other Meaning than such as is
entirely comformable to the most perfe& Charity.

Having now finished what I proposed to say
in Regard to Scripture Imprecations, I shall in
the following Discourse give some Account of
the Work, which has been the more immediate
Occasion of it.

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Preliminary Discourse.

PSALM

SALMODY is one of the most delight ful, and important Parts of divine and focial Worship; and whoever contributes in any Degree to its Improvement, does proportionable Service to the Cause of Religion. This has been attempted in the following Come pilation.

Towards rendering this part of religious Worship as perfect as possible, to make Choice of the best attainable Materials is doubtless of effential Moment. And these, I apprehend, abound so much in no Composition, either human or divine, as in the Book of Psalms. That this Book should be peculiarly well calculated for religious and social Worship might be naturally supposed, as it is a Collection of Poems origi

nally

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nally designed for the Service of the Sanctuary *, and composed, under the more immediate Direction and Influence of heavenly Inspiration, by Men, who were universally acknowledged to be the first Poets, the chief Musicians, the sweetest Singers, and the best Judges of Harmony of the Age, in which they lived ; Men of the most refined Taste, and sublimest Devotion. In the Composures of Men of such eminent Endowments, we might rationally expect to find the very Spirit both of Piety and Poetry. It has been expected, and the most elevated Expectations have been more than fully answered,

Such is the transcendent Excellence of the Hebrew Psalms, that those Imitations of them, given us by some of our more eminent English Poets, are beyond Question the best divine Poems in the English Language; and in Grandeur of Imagery, Sublimity of Sentiment, Energy and Beauty of Expression, far superior to any others of a similar Kind, that the Authors themselves were ever able to produce. This appears with particular Clearness in those celebrated, and justly admired Imi

tations,

• Many, if not most of them, had manifeftly such a De

fignation.

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