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MindView his ordinary Operations. Here, He descends to a plainer Dialect. This may be termed, the familiar StyleWe comprehend it with Eafe, and attend to it with Pleafurę - In the more ornamented Parts of the Creation, He clothes his Mean ing with Elégance. All is rich and brilliant. We are delighted; we are charmed. And what is this, but the florid Style ?.. . : i nos

A Variety; somewhat fimilar, runs through the Scriptures. Would You see History, in all her Sims plicity, and all her Force; moft beautifully easy, yet irrefiftibly striking ? See Her, or rather feel her Energy, touching the nicest Movements of the Soul and triumphing over our Paffions, in the inimitabla Narrative of Foseph's Life. The Representation of Efau's bitter Distress *; the Conversation-pieces of Jonathan, and his gallant Friend + i the memorable Journal of the Disciples going to Emmaus I; are finished Models of the Impaffioned and Affecting Here is nothing studied; no Flights of Fancy no Embellishments of Oratory. Yet, how inferior is the Episode of Nisus and Eurialus, though worked up by the most masterly Hand in the World, to the undifsembled artlefs Fervency of these scriptural Sketches || !

Voi. I. . . c . . Are

* Gen. xxvii. 30, &c. . f L Samts xviii, xix, XX. 1 Luke xxiv. 13, &c. .

II Let a Person of true Tafte; perufe, in a critical View, the two firft Chapters of St. Luke. He will there find a Series of the most surprifing Incidents, related with the greatest Simplicity, yet with the utmost Majesty. ---All which, extremely affecting in themselves, are heightened and illuminated, by, a judicious Intermixture of the fublimeft Pieces of Poetry. For my own Part, I know not

How

· Are We pleased with the Elevation and Dignity of an Heroic Poem; or the Tenderness and Perplexity of a Dramatic Performance? In the Book of Fob, they are both united, and both unequal.-Conformably to the exactest Rules of Art, as the Action advances, the Incidents are more alarming, and the Images more magnificent. The Language glows, and the Pathos swells. Till, at last, the DEITY Himself makes his Entrance. He speaks from the Whirlwind, and summons the Creation : summons Heaven, and all its fhining Hoft ; the Elements, and their most wonderful. Productions; to vouch for the Wildom of his providential Dispensations. His Word strikes Terror, and Aashes Conviction : decides the momentous Controversy, and closes the august Drama, with all posible Propriety, Solemnity, and Grandeur. . If We sometimes choose a plaintive Strain; fach, as foftens the Mind, and induces an agreeable Mekancholy: are any of the antient Tragedies fuperior, in the Eloquence of Mourning,. to David's pathetic Elegy on his beloved Jonathan*; to his most pallionate and inconsolable Moan te over the lovely but

unhappy

how to characterize them more properly, than by Splomon's elegant Comparison. They are as gold Rings set with tha Beryl, or, as bright. Ivory over-laid with Sapphires. Cantic. v. 14. . . i;. * 2 Sam. i. 19, &c.

+ 2 Sam. xviii. 33. The King was vehemently affected (197) and went up to the Chamber, and wept: and as He went, He: faid; O my Son Absalom! my Son, my Son, Abfalom! World GOD I had died for Thee! O Abjalom, my son, my Son! -Such a Picture, and so much Pathos ; to artless both, and both so exquisite; I mutt acknow

ledge,

unhappy Abfalom; or to that melodious Woe, which warbles and bleeds, in every Line of Jeremiah's Lamentations ? - Would we be entertained with the darinig Sublic mity of Homer, or the correct Majesty of Virgil? With the expressive Delicacy of Horace, or the rapid Excursions of Pindar? Behold them joined, bes hold them excelled, in the Odes of Mofes, and the eucharistic Hymn of Deborah ; in the exalted Devotion of the Psalms, and the glorious Enthusiasm of the Prophets.

Ap. Only with this Difference, that the former are tuneful Triflers *; and amuse the Fancy with

C 2

empty ledge, I never met with, among all the Representations of Dignity in Distress.—The King's Troops had gained à signal Victory. His Crown and his Life were rescued from the most imminent Danger. Yet all the Honou's and all the Joys of this successful Day, were swallowed up and lost in the News of Abfalom's Death.--The News of Abfalom's Death ftruck, like a Dagger, the afflicted Father. He starts from his Seat. He hastens into Re. tirement, there to pour out his Soul in copious Lamez tation. But his Anguish is too impetuous, to bear a Moment's Restraint. He bursts immediately into a Flood of Tears; and cries, as He departs, O Absalom, &c.

What says Mezentius, when his Son is slainWhen, to sharpen his Sorrow, the pale Corpse, the miserable Spectacle, is before his Eyes, and within his Arms The most pathetic Word He utters, is

Heu! nunc misero mihi demum . Exilium infælix, nunc aliè vulnus adactum.

How languid is Virgil? How inexpressive the Prince of Latin Poetry! compared with the royal Mourner in Ifrael! Most evident, from this and many other Instances, is the Superiority of the Scriptures, in copying Nature, and painting the Paffions.

* Ludit amabiliter.

empty Fiction : the latter are Teachers sent from GOD, and make the Soul wise unto Salvation, The Bible, is not only the brightest Ornament, but the most invaluable Depositum. On a right, a practical Knowledge of these lively Oracles, de pends the present Comfort, and the endless Felicity of Mankind. Whatever, therefore, in Study or Conversation, has no Connection with their divine Contents ; may be reckoned among the Toys of Literature, or the Cyphers of Discourse.

Ther. Here again the Book of Scripture, is fomewhat like the Magazine of Nature, What can We desire, for our Accommodation and Delight, which this Store-house of Conveniences does not afford ? What can We wish, for our Edification and Improvement, which that Fund of Knowledge does not supply? Of these We may truly affirm, each, in its respective Kind, is profitable unto all Things.

Are We Admirers of Antiquity ?-Here, We are led back, beyond the universal Deluge, and far beyond the Date of any other Annals.--We are introduced among the earliest Inhabitants of the Earth. We take a View of Mankind, in their undisguised primitive Plainness; when the Days of their Life were but little short of a thousand Years. We are brought acquainted with the Original of Nations ; with the Creation of the World, and with the Birth of Time itself.

Are We delighted with vart Achievements ? Where is any Thing comparable to the Miracles in Egypt, and the Wonders in the Field of Zoan? To the Memoirs of the Ifraelites, pasling through the Depths of the Sea; lojourning amidft the inhospitable Desarts; and conquering the Kingdom of Ca

naan

led Are We Aive Kind,

naan? -_Where shall we meet with Instances of martial Bravery, equal to the prodigious Exploits of the Judges; or the adventurous Deeds of Jefle's valiant Son, and his matchless Band of Worthies*? Here, We behold the fundamental Laws of the Universe, sometimes suspended, sometimes reversed: and not only the Current of Jordan, but the Course of Nature controuled. In short; when We enter the Field of Scripture, We tread-on enchanted, Thali I say? rather - on consecrated Ground. Where Astonishment and Awe are awakened, at every Turn. Where is all, more than all, the Marvelous of Romance't; connected with all the Precifion and Sanctity of Truth. ... ?

If We want Maxims of Wisdom, or have a Taste for the Laconic Style ; how copiously may our Wants be supplied, and how delicately our Taste gratified! Especially in the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and some of the minor Prophets.-Here, are the most {age Lessons of Instruction; adapted to every Circumstance of Life; formed upon the Experience of all preceding Ages ; and perfected by the unerring SPIRIT of Inspiration.-These delivered, with such remarkable Conciseness; that One might venture to say, every Word is a Sentence I; at least,

C 3 in every * See 2 Sam. xxii. 8, &c. i Chron. xi. 10, E9C. t H eroum Fabula veris

Vincitur Hiftoriiso # What Cicero faid of Thucidides, is more eminently true, concerning our royal Moralift, and his rich Collection of Ethics ; concerning our evangelical Historians, and their copious Variety of Facts. Eum adeo eflè Rebus plenumi refertumque, ut prope Verborum Numerum Numero Re fum æqust.

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