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and are terrified at the thoughts of losing them ; and such must be the awful sense of this matter entertained by every christian who values his character, the church will certainly appear thus far • terrible, in the disagreeable, though often necessary, exercise of her powers, and in wielding that rod, with which St Paul threatens the Corinthians'. But let her take this along with her, that she is only terrible as here described, ws Tetayleyn, when drawn up in due order, under the banner of her captain, and acting in his name, by his authority, and according to his injunctions : Remembering still her own experimental description of the banner in which she glories, “ His banner over me
was love ;' and keeping in view that part of character which the Psalmist attributes to Adoni Jah, • There is mercy with thee, therefore thou shalt be • feared.
Ver. 11.-I went down to the garden of nuts, to see the
fruits of the valley, whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.'
There is sufficient ground, both from connexion and the form of expression here, to continue the Beloved as speaker, though both Jerom and the late paraphrast assign it to the spouse, without any possibility of either explication or application. In the mouth of the Beloved, there is an appearance of propriety, though not so clear, as in some of the former parts. Garden of nuts.-The word for nuts is nex, aguz, singular, and is found only here. We meet with nuts in one other place', where the word is 5 3, bethnim, plural. Our present word therefore, aguz, may, like the aphriun and thalpiuth, which have occurred already, be a ‘pro re ' nata' word of the Poet's own invention, for some mystical meaning, to be sought for by its derivation. Now there is a simple root, a, or 92, gaz, or gazz, the most frequent sense of which is, “to • shave,' to shear sheep ;' and so our word from this root, with the passive !, and * of the future, as some other nouns are formed, may signify “tonden• dus, to be shorn (descendi in hortum tondendus); and the evangelical prophet will point out the application_' As a sheep before the shearers, gazzi, is • dumb ? ;' which was the passage that converted the Ethiopian nobleman. I am aware of an objection against this forced-like interpretation, from the word for garden being, what grammarians call, in regimine, nua, gunth, so not admitting the Latin turn which I have given to it. But this can be easily solved, by changing the participle into a participial noun, descendi in hortum tonsionis, I went down to the garden of shearing; which keeps up the idea, and is no way repugnant to the genius of the language-To see the fruits of the valley.-Not very likely, one should think, to be found in a gar
1 I Cor. iv. 21.
% Psalm cxXX, 4;
den, nor applicable to the vine and pomegranate. The word for valley, (for which, in the strict sense of valley, there is another word, pay, omg'), is you, nahhl, which is sometimes rendered · brook,' as the LXX. have rendered it here, të xhepeopes; and in this sense may be explained by another place of scripturé, (the best explainer of itself)”, · He shall drink, EX X4 pappe, of the brook in the way,' undeniably predicated of the Beloved. But the most frequent rendering of nahhl is inheritance;' and that too in a sacred sense, as belonging to, or connected with God? The word for fruits, 'IX, abi, occurs only here, and in the book of Job 4, where it is abu, his greenness, as in vegetation; so it was to see the verdure of the inheritance that he came down, according to what is said by Isaiah , · He shall * see of the travail of his soul,' &c.—' if the vine • flourisheth. The church is often represented under this symbol. Thou hast brought a vine • out of Egypt,' and ?, behold and visit this vine.' • He planted his vineyard with the choicest vine 8.! Lay all these detached passages together, and it will follow of course, that his going down into his humanity-state may have been adumbrated under these figures : And the same may be said of the next verse, which seems to have a particular connexion with this one. VOL. II. . 2 N
VER. Ver. 12.-Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like
I See above, ch. ii. 1.
2 Psalm cx. 7. 3 Psalm ii. 8. xxviii. 9. lxxiv. 2. lxxix. 1, &c. 4 Ch. viii. 12. 5 Chap. liii. 11..
6 Psalm 1xxx. 8. 1 Ver. 14.
& Isaiah v. 2.
the chariots of Amminadib.
· Literally, I did not know, my soul placed me the chariots of Amminadib. How to make out a regular chain of interpretation from this literal translation, is not an easy matter. Yet, the principal words, when analysed and compared, may lead to some pious meditation, which the mind may conceive, but cannot properly express. The key-word, as we may call it, is 389393y, omminadib, of which the LXX. Jerom, and our translators, have made a proper name, Amminadib, and our marginal rendering, which is generally the best, calls it, . my willing * people. The noun 379, nadab, is of extensive import, and signifies • willing, free, liberal, generous, much to the full meaning of the Latin, generosus.' We find it made an epithet of the divine spirit', • Stablish me with thy free spirit, which the LXX. have rendered nye movinw, and Jerom, to the same sense, ' principali— thy ruling princely spirit.' Joined, as here, with sy, omm, people, we meet with it very early in that famous Song of Deborah’, and great stress laid upon it. • The people willingly offered themselves, the governors of Israel offered themselves willingly among the people,' Day 37978, ethenedib omm, 8X80160 Invoer nacv, LXX. sponte, propria voluntate, obtulistis vos, Jerom. The occasion was solemn; and had been perilous,
1 Bsalm li. 12.
2 Judges v. 2. 9.
and the muse makes this act of the willing peo• ple,' a fit theme for praising and blessing the Lord. We find it next promised to Christ', · Thy people • shall be willing in the day of thy power,' which the Prayer-Book elegantly paraphrases, shall of• fer thee freewill offerings in the day of thy pow• er.' Indeed there is no trait of character more insisted on, or more commended in scripture-style: than this of' willingness,' as implied in the Hebrew nadib; and nothing more blamed and lamented than a contrary disposition. Witness the Beloved's pathetic expostulation with his people *, * How
oft would I have gathered thy children together, * xou oux n9eAnoate, and ye would not ?' and at another time, his thus personally upbraiding them ?, • Ye will not, ou Jeasta, are not willing to come to
me, that ye might have life. The other leading word, as in some sort of connexion with Amminadib, is chariots, 13970, merkbuth, from rekb, to ride, a word frequent in scripture, in the literal sense, and even applied to God 4, and peculiarly to Christs, • Ride on, because of the word of truth, &c.; and, as the structure of that wonderful song of Habakkuk points the application, that thou • didst ride upon thy horses, and thy chariots of sal, • vation.
1 Psalm cx. 3. 3 St John V: 40.
5 Psalm xlv. 5.
2 St Matth. xxiii. 37. 4 Ps. xviii. 11. lxviii. 5. xviii. 34.
6 Ch. iii. 8.