« AnteriorContinuar »
is equally suitable, if not more so, to the spouse of the Song', · Her children rise up and call her .blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her; many daughters have done virtuously, but thou ex
cellest them all. But the striking feature of the picture is the unity or oneness, so much insisted on; from which the inference is easy, that one only is, or can be, the spouse of Christ; and that the queens and concubines, however virtuous or fair, the various forms of religion, and religious or philosophic sects, have no title to this dignity. They are indeed brought in here, admiring and praising the One Dove, the perfect one of her Beloved, contrary to subsequent experience, which has seen her not only openly persecuted by avowed enemies, but' even, in these latter times, slighted and trampled on by false friends, and pierced through with deepest sorrow for the intended, but impotent, indignities put upon the Beloved of her soul. • How long, O Lord, holy and true 3!
Ver. 10.-Who is she, that looketh forth as the morn
ing, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, terrible as an army with banners
Of all the charming strokes of poetic imagery to be met with in this admirable poem, the description here before us is the most finely picturesque. The
2 Psalm. cxxii. 3
* Prov. xxxi. 28, 29.
3 Rev, vi. 10.
paraphraser I have so often quoted, while he puts this question into the mouths of the queens and concubines, praising her, “when first she appeared among
them, and saying, Who is she, &c. ? in a note at the foot of the page, gives us a spiritual explanation, which he borrows from Dr Gill, Of the * morning, moon, and sun, as referring to the three • states of the church, the patriarchal, the dawn,
the law, a light reflected, the gospel, the sun of • righteousness. This is certainly a just observation; and if the song is to be spiritually explained in this part, why not through the whole? The three states, or three ages of the church, are a division of Jewish original, as comprehending the several periods before the law, under the law, and in the age of Messiah ; to each of which, their doctors, before Christ, assigned two thousand years of duration; but since his time, out of their inveterate aversion to christianity, they have given up that calcụlation, as inconsistent with their prejudices about the Messiah, and are now in a chaotic state, having neither the moon of the law, nor the sun of the gospel among them. The writer of the Song was a Jew, and would know the morning-state by family tradition, and the moon-state by personal acquaintance : And though he had not been so divinely taught as we believe he was, he could, from Moses, and from his father David, discover the future clearness under the promised prophet', 'the 2 M 2
1 Deut, xviii, 15.
"great one, who was to be a light to the Gentiles,
and the glory of his people Israel';' 'to the in• tent, that unto principalities and powers in hea* venly places, might be made known by the church, “the manifold (TONUTE OYUNG-, variegated) wisdom of • God It would be an agreeable employment to examine the distinct epithets assigned to these three states : But, when the general point of application is ascertained, such particulars will readily occur to any one who may think it worth his while to make the trial.
Terrible as an army with banners. This is another of those bold figures which exclude the literal sense altogether, as no stretch of accommodation can adjust it to the beauty and comeliness in the preceding, or to the fairness and clearness in this present verse. As an army. Army is not in the text, and is superfluous. The text is 0172733 noyx, aime hened gluth, Janou 'WS TETATIMEVC, LXX. terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata, Jerom. The TetMEVOL of the LXX. is a most expressive rendering; and in the 2d chapter of Numbers, the great key of interpretation here, they always render the same word for standard’or · banner,' by tar/a, from which use of the word, we have our phrase“ mili
tary tactics. This very word we find applied to the first christian church of the Gentiles :_'as many as were, Tet&Y MEvol, ordained. Our transla
tion St Luke ii. 32. : 2 Ephes. iii. 10,
3. Acţs xiii. 48.
tion of the passage, · as many as were ordained
to eternal life believed,' is brought forward to countenance that side of the question, about the extent of redemption, which the Calvinistic school has espoused; and it is surprising, that both Jerom and Pagninus make it præ-ordinati, fore-ordained. There is no such idea in the word itself; and from the peculiar order of the grammatical construction, which is frequent in the Greek idiom, it might as properly be read, “ As many as were, TETAYL:VOI, ordained, • ordinati, (not in the * sense of decreeing, much less fore-decreeing, but) • ordered, ranked, or disposed, believed unto eter'nal life: Which is consonant to the whole tenor of gospel-language, and more agreeable to the particular context on that remarkable occasion', Under this idea of order, rank, or regularity, under the banner of her Beloved, the spouse here is said to be terrible, the invariable meaning of the Hebrew 17098, aimeh, which the note above-mentioned says, may be referred to the coming with Christ at the • last day, when, as our Saviour said in person to the then church”, “She shall sit upon thrones, judgsing the tribes of Israel ;' and according to St Paul's declaration 3, · Know ye not that we shall * judge angels? Allusive to this may be that of the Psalmist', in the name of our God, we will * set up our banners,' or “triumph,' as it is in the Prayer-Book translation. But even before this truly triumphant state of the church, the awful epithet of terrible' will be found to belong to her in what is called her militant state, when we consider the high powers with which she is invested • Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound
judge i St Luke will explain himself, where he says, in the ist chapter of his gospel, ver. 8. - In the order, sv th Tages, of his course ; and St Paul, much to the same purpose, i Cor. xiv. 40. ' Let all things be done, • Xatce tačuv, according to order ;' as he had told them before, xi. 34. • The rest will I, datokopas, set in order; and, more · appositely, I Cor. xv. 23. • Every one, ev tw idiw turypati, in his own proper rank,' ? St Matth. xix, 28.
. 3 i Cor. vi, 3.
in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on .earth, shall be loosed in heaven 3' And these powers, as necessary to her very existence, we find very early claimed and exercised. Not to insiste on miraculous strokes of terror, as of Peter on Ananias and Sapphira“, and of Paul on Elymas the sorcerer', we find the same apostle judging and passing sentence on the incestuous offenders, .In the name • of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with his power, to • deliver such an one unto Satan, for the destruction
of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the • day of the Lord: And we find him telling Timothy what he had done to Hymeneus and Alexander, whom,' he says, “I have delivered unto Sa
tan, that they may learn not to blaspheme?' To such, therefore, as have a due sense of the blessings to be obtained in the unity of the church,
? Psalm xx. 5.
2 St Matth. xviii. 18. 3. Repeated and explained St. John xx. 23. 4 Acts v.
5 Acts xiii. I Cor. v. 4. 5.
7 2 Tim. i. 20.