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• For dogs have compassed me : the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me : they pierced my hands and my feet.' – Psalm xxii. 16.
David was a prophet as well as a king. God taught him, by his Holy Spirit, to write about things which should happen very long after he was dead. In particular, he wrote about the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and the treatment he would have from his enemies, the Jews.
This Psalm begins with the very words which our blessed Lord used when on the cross. In the sixteenth verse, by dogs compassing him, it is not meant that those creatures did so; any more than by bulls compassing him, as mentioned a verse or two before, is meant that he was attacked by bulls : but only that he was treated as fiercely by wicked men, who crucified him, as if he had been beset by a number of very fierce dogs, ready to tear him in pieces.
In some parts of the east, the dogs are very numerous, but they are not treated in the kind way in which they are by us. Their masters never pat them, nor give them any thing to eat. Very often they have no master: they are very lean and hungry; they live on any filth they can get, and creep surlily to the corner of some tent to lie down. If any stranger approaches the tent of an Arab, they furiously attack him, and would tear him in pieces if he did not speedily run away. Sometimes, as at Contantinople, they keep together in packs of twenty or thirty. If any person were unable to defend himself, or had the misfortune to fall, he would be in danger of being devoured, for these dogs are very greedy after human flesh.
Now, as the Arabs are a very ancient peaple, the same customs prevailed when the Bible was written, and the keeping of these dogs afforded a very striking representation of the fierce men, who like dogs compassed Jesus around.
. But why was all this? Jesus would never have suffered, if man had not sinned. Oh, how great was his love to the ruined creature, man, to endure such sufferings, that sinners trusting their souls in his hands might not perish for ever. May I never be among the number of those who despise such a Saviour !' pp. 22, 23.
The Journeys of the Children of Israel,' with a map and woodcuts, is another very pleasing and useful publication, carefully and judiciously executed. Mr. Cobbin's Child's Commentator, like all his numerous labours for the rising race, is distinguished by a praiseworthy simplicity and plainness, both in the ideas and the phraseology, and has the merit of adaptation to its purpose without making higher pretensions. The Commentator talks to the young reader about the Scripture narrative, much in the style that children's books used to be written in when we were children—a great many years ago. For instance, 2 Kings ii. 11. is thus expounded.
· The prophet Elijah had done much for the honour of God, and God has said, “ Them that honour me I will honour.” “ Enoch walked with God” by keeping in his ways, " and he was not, for God took him "-not as he takes us, by death, but he took him to heaven without dying. So God honoured Elijah in the same way. But, before he was to leave this world, Elijah visited the schools of the prophets at Bethel and Jericho. He would have had Elisha leave him, that he might ascend to heaven unperceived, not wishing to appear proud of the honour God was going to bestow upon him, for good men always abhor pride. Elisha, however, went with him from place to place, where he was asked by the other prophets if he knew that Elijah was going to heaven that day, and he said he knew it.
• After visiting Bethel and Jericho, they came to the river Jordan. Here fifty of the sons of the prophets, who had followed them six miles from Jericho, stood at a distance to see if they could behold Elijah's ascent into glory.
i When Elijah and Elisha came to the water, Elijah folded up his robe and smote the stream, and the river divided, so that he and Elisha passed over on dry ground, just as the Israelites had done before.
- Then Elijah asked Elisha if he had any particular favour to ask before he left him, and Elisha wished for a double portion of Elijah's spirit. What he meant was this ; Elijah, as a prophet, had a remarkable spirit of piety, and knowledge, and courage, given him by God; and, as he might serve the cause of God even more than Elijah if he had twice his abilities, he wished to be so favoured. Israel were still very wicked, and Elisha hoped that, with this double portion of Elijah's spirit, he might the better reprove and withstand their wickedness.
Elijah said it was a hard or difficult thing that Elisha asked, and one not commonly bestowed, but if God should permit Elisha to see him ascend, it would be a proof that he was pleased with him for what he asked, and so he should have it.
"" And it came to pass, as they still went on and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up, by a whirlwind, into heaven.” I cannot attempt to explain this, and so I have given the account exactly in the words of Scripture. Whatever this chariot was, looking like fire, it is evident that it did not burn or hurt the prophet--SO that its bright appearance was only to shew that Elijah was going in a glorious way to a glorious place.
• Elisha saw this glorious ascent, and this encouraged him to hope for the double portion of Elijah's spirit. And he cried, “ My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof !” by which he is supposed to have meant that Elijah's counsels and prayers were as much defence to Israel as an army of war chariots and horsemen. When Elijah was gone he began to feel his loss, and he took his clothes and, as a sign of grief for losing so great and good a prophet, he “ rent them in two pieces.”' pp. 115-117.
We do not like wholly to pass over meritorious works of this humble description; and yet, it must be obvious that we can notice but a very small proportion of those which are continually crowding upon our attention. Happily, the public knows its own wants in these matters too well to wait for the decision of the critic.
Art. IX. The Anti-Slavery Society Reporter, No. 99. August 1,
1832. This Number contains recent intelligence from the West Indies ', and further remarks on the Rebellion in Jamaica, with extracts from Lord Goderich's Despatch of March 1. We regret that it is not given entire. It is the most admirable state-paper that has appeared for the last fifty years, and does infinite credit to the present Government. But the Christian people of this country must not relax in their efforts. The noblest use that can be made of the elective franchise, will be to secure the return of those members who will pledge themselves to do their utmost to redeem this country from the blood-guiltiness of the West India slavery. The West Indians are aware that with them
the game is almost up'; but selfish interests die hard. We shall return to this subject in our next.
Art. X. LONDON AND BIRMINGHAM RAILWAY BILL. A Bill has been recently brought into Parliament for making a railway between London and Birmingham, which, though lost for the present, through interested opposition and prejudice, is sure to succeed eventually. In support of the bill, the following curious facts and calculations have been urged. The proposed line of railway is 112 miles long, being 4 miles longer than the direct coach road, and only 7 miles longer than the shortest line that could be drawn from London to Birmingham. The greatest inclination from a level is 16 feet in a mile, or 1 in 330. There will be ten tunnels required; the longest 12 mile, the shortest 350 yards. The estimated expense of completing the work is £2,500,000; of which about £250,000 would be required for the purchase of land, and more than two millions would be paid in labour. By means of this railway, the mail letters will pass in less than half the present time. The rate of travelling will be 20 miles an hour, and much cheaper. The whole distance from London to Liverpool will be accomplished in ten hours. Farmers living 40 miles from London could send milk and cream to the capital by this railway, and butter, &c. might be sent from a greater distancc. At present, the most distant place from which dairy produce is sent up by coach and waggon, is Banbury; while the supply is not equal to the demand. Many thousand dozens of pounds of Dutch fresh butter are sold weekly in London; and the average quantity annually imported from the Netherlands alone into London, during the last three years, has been 90,416 cwt., of cheese 81,773 cwt., and 4,820,278 eggs. The average number of passengers between London and Birmingham per week is at present 1116; between London and Manchester, 972. The number of passengers on the Manchester and Liverpool railway is nearly four times what it was before the railway was opened ; and it is assumed that the average number of passengers between London and Birmingham would, after the completion of this railway, be at least doubled; while the expenses of traffic would be reduced more than a third.
Art. XI., LITERARY INTELLIGENCE. In the press, Elements of Materia Medica. By A. T. Thomson, M.D., Professor of Materia Medica in the University of London, &c. &c.
In the press, Memoir of the Court and Character of Charles the First. By Lucy Aikin. In 2 vols. 8vo.
In the press, Outlines of the First Principles of Horticulture. By John Lindley, Esq. A small volume, 18mo.
Nearly ready for Publication, an Argument à priori for the Being and Attributes of God. By William Gillespie.
In the press, a Comparative View of the Industrial Situation of Great Britain, from 1775 to the Present Time, with an Examination of the Causes of her Distress. By Alexander Mundell, Esq.
In the press, a Poem, entitled “ The Natural Son,” in the metre of “ Don Juan,” and embellished with two copper-plates by Simmonds. To be published in Cantos, each adorned with one or two plates. Canto II. will be published in October.
The second volume of Hare and Thirlwall's translation of Niebuhr's Rome is now ready.
In the press, Memoirs of Captain Heywood, Midshipman on board the Bounty at the time of the Mutiny.
In the press, Mirabeau's Letters, Anecdotes, and Maxims, during his Residence in England.
In the press, Attributes of the Deity: Essential Duties of his Creatures ; being the Religion, Morality, and Poetry of the Old Testament. Selected and arranged, under proper Heads, for the Use of Schools and Young Persons. By Sarah Austin.
In the press, Letters for the Press, on the Feelings, Passions, Manners, and Pursuits of Men. By the late Francis Roscommon,
In the press, Elements of Greek Grammar. By the Rev. S. Connor, 8vo.
Art. XII. WORKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED.
memorate the Dead. With a suitable seHistory of Charlemagne. By G. P. R.
lection of appropriate Texts of Scripture. James, Esq. In 1 vol. 8vo., 16s.
By G. Mogridge. 12mo. In silk.
The Christian's Hope of Mercy. A Principal of a Seminary, on retiring from
funeral Discourse on the Death of the Rev. the Duties of his Station. By John Faw
George Burder. By Joseph Fletcher, cett. Fcap. 8vo., 2s. 6d.
D.D. To which is prefixed The Address
at the Interment. By Robert Winter, POETRY.
D.D. 8vo, Is. 6d. Angel Visits: and other Poems. By The Devotional Letters and Sacramental James Riddall Woods. Sm. 8vo. In Meditations of the Rev. Philip Doddridge, silk.
D.D. With his Lectures on Preaching The Churchyard Lyrist : consisting of and the Ministerial Office. Sm. 8vo. 88. Five hundred original Inscriptions to com
For SEPTEMBER, 1832.
Art. 1.—Memorials of the Stuart Dynasty, including the Constitu
tional and Ecclesiastical History of England, from the Decease of Elizabeth to the Abdication of James II. By Robert Vaughan.
In two Volumes. 8vo. pp. 1074. Price 11. 45. London, 1831. M R. VAUGHAN is a bold, though certainly not a presump
Wtuous man. He must have had a singular confidence in his own energy and industry, to enter, as he did, on the arduous investigations connected with the life of Wycliff; and his success justified his confidence. A yet more difficult task lay before him in the examination of the great constitutional principles involved in the accession, the government, the rejection, the restoration, and the final expulsion of the Stuarts; and this, too, he has accomplished with even greater ability. The work has, compared with its predecessor, the disadvantage of a less original subject ; but this is redeemed by its superior execution, by its more skilful compaction, and by its greater elasticity of style. Amid conflicting authorities and bewildering contradictions or evasions, Mr. V. has exercised a sound discrimination; and while explicitly avowing his general views and his especial predilections, he has been perfectly successful in his endeavours to maintain an exemplary impartiality in his statements and decisions. His calmness and moderation are admirably contrasted with the unprincipled extravagance, the thorough-going recklessness, which distinguishes the writers of a certain school not yet extinct, whose characteristic it is to pursue the end without regard to the means ; to see nothing in the plainest evidence, but that which may be perverted or denied, to overlook the broad stream of history in favour of its mere accessories, and to merge the most salient truths and the loftiest principles in the vilest, partialities of faction. The sneer,