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import than that which appears on its surface. But is its literal meaning to be therefore disregarded, or its earthly truth thereby compromised ? No; it has a beauty of its own, even in its lower sphere which is well worthy our loving and adoring gratitude. What lover of nature would lose this fresh, healthy, joyous description of God's universal providence, this illustrious homily on the text, “Thy tender mercies are over all Thy works ?” In fact, in some portions of the Psalın where we seem to lose our way in tracing the Heavenly Original, it would seem far safer and more reverent to satisfy ourselves with the intrinsic excellencies of the earthly shadow, without fancifully intruding into wbat we have not perhaps sufficient data for interpreting correctly.

But this branch of our subject forces upon us another consideration.

The material universe is represented in Holy Scripture as having a past history, a present, and a future history of its own. all readily acknowledge that the real truth of the past and present history of the natural world, as recorded in Scripture, is not the least affected by the fact of its having pictured, throughout, a continuous parallel series of greater and antitypical correspondencies in the spiritual world ;-Are we then arbitrarily to maintain the reverse, in the case of its future history ? Are we to affirm that the material universe is to have no future of its own; to enjoy no " resurrection of the body;" to be utterly annihilated ? We are fully persuaded that this great exegetical inconsistency is not more unwarrantable than it is detrimental to the proper understanding of the things which God has revealed to us. Let us take an example. And here perhaps the word “earth":

itself will be most to our purpose. What then is the meaning of this word ? When the Psalmist speaks of its past or present history, all interpreters-- however they may legitimately refer to some illustrative (or illustrated) parallel in the spiritual Creation-do so without any idea of robbing the word thereby of its literal signification. But let the Psalmist allude to the prospective destiny of the “ earth.” Let him speak of a yet glorious future for the material universe when cleansed and purified by the purgatorial fiery deluge of which S. Peter writes-of a Paradise restored”-of the removal of the curse which came over creation at the fall-of the re-appearance, with blessed “interest,” of that long-suspended state pronounced by the Almighty Ilimself to be “very good,” for which all nature is “travailing in pain," when even “the earth shall bring forth her increase," and her womb energized again by JEHOVAH's "blessing," may once again perhaps become instinct with Sacramental virtue and bring forth “the tree of Life” for the ' healing of the nations.”] Then immediately the word “ earth

i For the natural and sacramental blessings in store for this earth and the “nations of the saved,” (Rev. xxi. 24,) are, it must ever be remembered, generically distinct from the perfected and unutterable bliss of the Glorified Bride, the “Beata Urbs," the “ Tabernacle of God;''—the former having their sphere in the “ New Earth,” the latter in the “New Heavens."

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must lose its proper meaning, the stream of literal interpretation must be suddenly and arbitrarily dammed up, and the word in question mean anything, everything rather than what it obviously does mean.

How, for instance, does the great S. Augustine explain this word ? It has reference, he says, in one place, to the “inward man;" it signifies a “stable inherence in God." Again, "every thing," he writes, “which is infra spiritalem hominem,is deservedly called “earth.” He explains it as the “future kingdom of glory;" as “this present life;" as the “inferior part of man;" as the “sinner,"

? in contradistinction to “cælum” which is the “righteous man" (inasmuch as both are “the habitation of God'); as the “flesh” in opposition to the “ spirit;" as the “flesh of CHRIST.” Or again; whereas “cælum" alludes to the exalted saints who are able to understand the mysteries of the kingdom, “terra” refers to those who are below the former in spiritual understanding, although established firm in the faith and stably fixed upon the baptismal waters (“firmavit terram super aquas.") Or“ terra” is the common people in the Church as distinguished from the "prædicatores" or "cælum," because "coeli enarrant gloriam Dei,” &c. ”

” Now, without for a moment questioning the truth, or appropriateness, or beauty, of these and kindred adaptations—perhaps legitimate symbolical interpretations of this word; still we cannot think it either safe or justifiable to ignore one other meaning of the word-viz. : its own peculiar and literal meaning. It is undoubtedly most reverent to expect that the words employed by the Holy Spirit should mean far beyond what they outwardly express; it is dangerous to assume that they therefore do not mean that.

As we hope to return to this subject again, we will just conclude the short space yet remaining to us by a few words with regard to the little volume which heads our article. It is a sort of running commentary, chiefly in the words of the early Fathers, upon the first 23 Psalms, together with the 45th and the 110th, given in the form of " lectures" or homilies to a country congregation.

If we regard the Book in the light in which it claims to be viewed, as a series of “ Parochial Lectures" on the Psalms, it is

1 This word, be it remarked, receives an additional interest from its finding a place in the Lord's Prayer, and from its meaning therefore being perpetually pressed upon us.

We are constantly praying that God's will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Now, inasmuch as the curse originally came upon the earth as an outward visible token of God's and man's will having become discordant, it seems but reasonable to suppose that when they are again brought into unison, the cause of the curse having been removed, the curse itself will vanish-the earth again “ bring forth her increase." But how often is this petition offered without even the remotest idea, on the part of the offerers, that it ever will be answered ; nay, deep-rooted conviction that it will not ?

with a 1 For this version, though well adapted by its smooth and flowing rhythm for devotional purposes and musical expression, yet, being but a translation from a translation, can never be safely adhered to, if we would seek to arrive at the real and precise meaning of the words of the Psalter. How, for instance, could any expositor treat a verse of this kind ? “When the company of the spearmen and multitude of the mighty are scattered abroad among the beasts of the people, so that they humbly bring pieces of silver, and when He hath scattered the people that delight in war; then shall the princes come out of Egypt,” &c. (lxviii. 30.)

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successful. Mr. Dunwell has in a plain natural way, given to the Psalter somewhat of its proper dignity, and used it as a vehicle (even as the Church in her purest days has ever done) for conveying and enforcing sound Catholic Truth. But regarded as a commentary, as a help to the understanding the real central and specific meaning of the several Psalms, we can hardly think that the Biblical student will reap much benefit from it; Mr. Dunwell having invariably adhered (as in fact was almost necessary under the circumstances) to the musical though imperfect translation of our Prayer Book ;' having confined himself almost entirely to the mystical meaning of the several Psalms; and not having taken, we think, sufficient heed to settle their original framework and skeleton, before clothing them with flesh and blood—thus rendering them at times vague, indefinite, and unsubstantial.

Mr. Dunwell professes in his Preface to ignore all modern commentaries on the Psalter. This (if we are to regard his own work as a commentary) seems to us wrong in principle. If we are tied to the use of either the ancient or the modern expositors, by all means, let us have the former. But why not combine the excellen

, cies of both? We are convinced that a really satisfactory commentary can dispense with neither; and that each are equally important in their own territory. The earlier commentaries, while of infinite value in disclosing to us the deep spiritual treasures of the Psalms, are yet little to be depended on as critical guides in unravelling their constructional and other difficulties; suffering as they do, so seriously at times, from the inaccuracy of the translations their writers had to work upon. Who has not observed this again and again in S. Augustine-how constantly he is thrown off the right track by his adherence to his faulty version ; establishing important arguments perhaps, on what turn out after all to be mere mistranslations ? But it is obvious, as Bishop Lowth truly remarks, that

“Whatever senses are supposed to be included in the" Psalmist's “words ; spiritual, mystical, allegorical, analogical, or the like; they must entirely depend on the literal sense. This is the only foundation upon which such interpretations can be securely raised : and if this is not firmly and well established, all that is built upon it will fall to the ground."-Preliminary Dissertation to Isaiah.

“ The ancient expositors," writes Bishop Horne, in the very admirable preface to his commentary,

“ Were chiefly taken up in making spiritual or Evangelical applications of the Psalms. The modern, in investigating their literal scope and meaning. Piety and devotion characterize the writings of the ancients : the comments of the moderns display more learning and judgment. The ancients have taught us how to rear a goodly superstructure : but the moderns have laid the surest foundation. To bring them in some measure together, is the design of the following work; in which the author has not laboured to point out what seemed wrong in either, but to extract what he judged to be right from both." However, Mr. Dunwell's work, as far as it goes, is one to be truly

, thankful for; not only as likely to prove to many an introduction into a deeper knowledge of the spiritual riches of the Psalter, but as being in itself a hopeful indication that the claims of this Divine Book are becoming more devoutly recognized and appreciated by Churchmen.

We trust to be enabled to resume this subject next month.

MR. KINGSLEY'S WRITINGS.

Westward Ho! or, the Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas

Leiyh, Knight. Cambridge: Macmillan and Co. 1855.

Not more surely did the “Ancient Mariner" bring the “wedding guest” to a stand-still to listen to his marvellous narrative, than Mr. Kingsley seizes upon the unwilling public, pouring forth wild and wondrous histories told in an exceedingly offensive manner. While this writer commands attention by his genius (for he has that) we are constrained to say that his prurient coarseness is sometimes revolting, and that he offends the theologian with something very like heresy, the politician by the crudeness and absurdity of his ideas on the relative position of the poor and wealthy, and the general reader with the gross impropriety of many expressions liberally scattered over his pages, and sundry descriptions as offensive to good morals as to good taste.

It is now seven years, our readers will remember, since Mr. Kingsley made his first appearance on the stage of literature. speak advisedly, seeing the work in question was a Drama—"the Saint's Tragedy, or the true story of Elizabeth of Hungary, Landgravine of Thuringia, Saint of the Romish Calendar." Mr. Maurice heralded the coming of the young poet by a preface, in which he endeavoured to show cause why clergymen may make “moralities” and “mysteries,” and to give reasons why priests may become play.wrights, admitting however, at the same time that

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of this age.”

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the cleric in question had "in certaia scenes and passages” in his present “Morality” been a little too bold for “ the taste and temper Then came the author in person

blowing the trumpet of a virtuonis indignation” (an abiding pastime with him, but productive of considerable annoyance to quiet and thoughtful people) against the Dark Ages, mediæval saints, manichean ascetiçism, and lastly, against some of his brother clergy, whom he styles in his rough and ready way “miserable dilettanti” and whom he libels by imputing to them very unchristian and uncleanly sentiments. Like most men of liberal ideas, Mr. Kingsley's mood is to make all who differ from him converts to his monstrous theory, or else to put them down, if not hy argument, at least by a wonderful faculty of abuse.

“The Saint's Tragedy” has reached the honour of a cheap edition, and is certainly the work of a poet. We have read it more than once during the ominous career of its writer, and our deliberate opinion is now what it was seven years ago, that Mr. Kingsley is a man of great poetical but not dramatic talent. He is unequalled in a ballad. He might write clever isolated dramatic scenes,—but a good tragedy he never will write, simply because his mind is not fitted for the work. His early poem had some passages of splendid poetical power, but was marred in an artistic point of view not only by its defective construction, but by the engrained grossness of the author's mind-a kind of intellectual leprosy that would show itself between the joints of its jewelled panoply of magnificent diction. The book itself shows the writer to be a very untruthfuli historian, and of course, is written in an ultra-protestant spirit. It is not a little remarkable that the denouncer of Romish impurity, fills his notes to the poem with certain highly objectionable extracts,—“in order that the reader may judge how difficult it has been for him to satisfy at once the delicacy of the English mind, and that historie truth which the higbest art demands.” He admits the reader “may be shocked at certain expressions in this poem,” but after all, the historical poet (poeta loquitur) is not, O reader, near so disgusting as the ancient monk ! We happen to be of a very different opinion.

We have treated of this first work of the writer thus at length because it is the type of all its successors. An untrue picture of the age it would represent,-yet written with great poetical though not dramatic, nor even narrative power,--full of false political theory, and disfigured by much offensive coarseness of expression and impurity of thought.

Mr. Kingsley next attempted to draw a picture of our own day in his two next tales, “ Yeast a Problem” and “ Alton Lock.” As to the “ Problem" 'tis, like the mediæval bugbear, and “the miserable dilettanti” as our author calls some of the holiest men

| For the proof of this, see The Ecclesiastic, vol. v. pp. 313-319.

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VOL. XVII.

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