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the following, the last of them, especially, not very cogent:
"That this fine eastern pastoral was designed for a vehicle of religious truths, is an opinion handed down from the earliest antiquity. That it may be so, has been clearly proved by one of the best critics of the age (Dr. Lowth): and that it is so, may be strongly presumed, not only from that ancient and universal opinion, but from its being preserved in a book, ali whose other contents are of a divine religious nature."
While the New Translation was in the press, appeared a In 1764, was published, in one new edition of the Prælectiones, small volume, 12mo. The Song with notes, by Michaëlis," who, of Solamon, newly translated from according to our translator's postthe original Hebrew, with a Com- script, (p. 103) differs from Lowth, mentary and Annotations. This as to the Song of Solomon "being translation has been long ascribed a sacred allegory, and is inclined to Mr. Percy, and we apprehend, to look no further than the literal may be now confidently regard meaning. Yet allows it to be a ed as the production of his pen. production not unworthy the ceThe translator describes his work lestial muse, and thinks it was as "an atttempt to rescue one of inserted in the great code of sathe most beautiful pastorals in cred and moral truths, to shew the world, as well as the most that wedded love has the express ancient, from that obscurity and approbation of the Deity." It is confusion, in which it has been surprising that the learned profesinvolved by the injudicious prac. sor could discover any recommentice of former commentators. The dation of marriage, in the story generality of these," he complains, of an amorous prince, possessed "have been so busily employed already of "threescore queens in opening and unfolding its alle. and fourscore concubines," yet gorical meaning, as wholly to neg. inclined, like a modern grand lect that literal sense, which ought seignior, to add another bride to to be the basis of their dis. his seraglio. It is yet more to coveries." On the contrary, it is be admired that our translator his "sole design to establish and could conjecture (p. 103), "that illustrate the literal sense;" pro- this elegant description of conposing," in a future attempt, to jugal love is, after all, only a enquire, what sublime truths are veil to shadow that divine and concealed under it." The trans. tender regard which subsists belator's reasons for expecting to dis- tween the Redeemer and the souls cover"sublime truths," conceal- of men; a subject," he adds, "of ed in the Song of Solomon, are so much importance as to deserve
lations shew, as the translator observes" that the poetry of the Scalds chiefly displays itself in images of terror." In a note to the Dying Ode of Regnar Lodbrog, attributed to the 9th century, the translator, in the expres. sion of “a mass of weapons,” detecis 66 a sneer on the Christian religion," which they considered as the religion of cowards, because it would have corrected their savage manners," or rather be cause they had not witnessed the Crusades into the East, or the wars for "6 religion and social order" in Christian Europe.
a particular and distinct inquiry, and therefore reserved for a future undertaking."
lator regrets as the assistant and companion of his studies, the instructor of his youth, and the correspondent of his riper age."
In 1768, appeared "The Outlines of a New Commentary on Solomon's Song, drawn by help of Instructions from the East.” The author, the late Mr. Harmer, since well known by his "Observations on Divers passages of amongst preachers and writers of Scripture," commends" the learn divinity, when these poems were ing, the candour and the elegance written, than it is now, 1736." displayed in the New Translation.” Whiston, about this time, in a Of this he makes large use, if inDiscourse on the subject, had deed his own work were not occalled in question, not only the casioned by its publication. He divinity, but the moral decorum of however, differs from Bossuet and the book, alledging "the general the translator, and contends, in character of vanity and dissolute- opposition to the latter, that the ness, which reigns through the Song of Songs was occasioned by Canticles, in which there is not Solomon's marriage with Pharaoh's one thought that leads the mind daughter, introducing among the toward religion, but all is worldly characters a former wife degraded and carnal, to say no worse." At on occasion of that marriage. the date of the New Transla- This work of Mr. Harmer being, tion," it had become quite safe for we believe, little known, in coma clergyman, without incurring parison with his " Observations,” scandal, to consider the Canticles we subjoin from his preface the merely as a work of human genius, following explanation of his plan. prudently reserving the point of a spiritual sense. In thus consider ing it, the translator adopted the scheme of Bossuet, who divides the book into seven parts, each comprehending one day of the nuptial festivities.
That two wives of Solomon, the one just married, and another whose jealousy was greatly awak ened by that event, are referred to, and indeed introduced speakers, which is the ground-work of the whole of what I have offer. ed, and, for aught I know, a thought perfectly new, is a point about which I have very little doubtfulness in my own mind, though perhaps I may not be so happy as to have the generality of my readers adopt the sentiment. -When I speak of my sketching out the interpretation of this vene. rable Song, I would be under. stood to mean, as to the literal sense of it, the giving of which the
Dr. Watts has hinted at the progress of good sense and sobermindedness as to the religious use of the Song of Songs. In a later edition of the Preface to his Lyric Poems, first published in 1709, he has this note:-" Solomon's Song was much more in use
The "Annotations," annexed to the New Translation, discover a critical acquaintance with the customs and phraseology of the Hebrews, and are interspersed with apposite quotations from the Greek and Roman Classics. In the preface, the notes marked B. are ascribed to "the Rev. Mr. Binnel, of Newport, in Shropshire," who died while the sheets were printing off," and whom the trans.
author of the New Translation, with an Introduction, containing very judiciously observes, is the some remarks on a late New first duty of an expositor, without Translation of this Sacred Poem: which it is impossible to discover also a Commentary and Notes, what other truths are couched Critical and Practical. Written under it, though it has been ter- in the year 1769." This work is ribly neglected." dedicated to Bishop Lowth, and introduced by a letter to an unnam. ed reverend triend, in which the writer acknowledges his obligations to the New Translation, but proceeds to shew, that it is, in his
Mr. Harmer communicates his plan in Remark xii. and xiii. of the Outlines. Dr. Priestley remarks on this poem, (Notes ii. 92.) that every attempt made to give a spiritual meaning to it, "apprehension, both defective has only served to throw ridicule and faulty, in several respects." on those who have undertaken it." This commentator is certainly Yet Mr. Harmer found the gos- more at home, in the spiritual pel-state adumbrated in the Song sense of the Canticles, than his of Songs, adducing "the likeness precursor, a disposition likely to be we may observe between Solo. encouraged by "Dr. Gill's Exmon's marrying a Gentile princess, planation of the Divine Song," and making her equal in honour which he had just met with, as and privileges with his former well as Harmer's Outlines. To Jewish queen, and her being both works he frequently refers. frequently mentioned afterwards in history, while the other is passed over in total silence, and the conduct of the Messiah towards the Gentile and Jewish churches." This learned Biblicist was still further satisfied with his plan, because "the universal church is spoken of under the notion of a bride, and the Messiah as her husband, Ephes. v. He found also support in "St. Paul's method of explaining the history of Sarah and Agar," and at length arrived at all the determinateness that can be expected, in a matter that has been so perplexed by the learned, and," as he added, unlike a fierce polemic, "of no greater consequence to our salvation."
He not only speaks "of Christ the heavenly bridegrom, whom Solomon, in this poem is certainly meant to represent," but his fancy runs riot upon this notion, till he presently adds, "The author of the book of Canticles, (for Solomon, as the rest of the prophets, was only the instrument,) the author, I say, was not a man, but he who judges right; not from appearances, nor from any irregu lar motion in his own breast, as man does, but who knows the inmost thoughts of his frail imperfect creatures." The threescore queens and fourscore concubines," are considered as a sort of heir looms, descended to Solomon, the spoils of war in his father's time, the purchase of his own treasure, or fallen to him as his regal inheritance." Having thus disposed of these bosom slaves, Whom eastern tyrants from the light of
The New Translation gave occasion to another work which appeared some years after. It was published anonymously at Edinburgh, in 1775, and entitled "The Song of Solomon, Paraphrased, Seclude
our commentator can bring him- sometimes in a pleasing transport self to believe that "however crim. agitate the whole frame. If you inal Solomon became in his old love me, keep my commandments, age," this early purchaser, if not saith our blessed Saviour. And inheritor, of queins and concubines, an excellent rule it is, whereby to "still retained the simplicity and judge of the reality of our affec innocency of his youth, at the time tions. But then on the other side, this poem was wrote." He can, let us not fancy we do this where however, express himself in a man. there are no affections at all."
ner more creditable to a s ber
Mr. Percy, as we have seen, projudgment. Having maintained posed to follow his New Transla that "a mind untainted by.vice, tion, by a search after "sublime will find in the Song of Solomon, truths," concealed in the Song of solid instruction," he adds: Solomon. This he reserved for a
"If we examine the lives of future undertaking. Mr. Harsuch as have been noted for enthusiastic flights, we shall find, that, if they have not lived in the practice of vice, (though too many of them have.) yet have they been persons of wild and wanton dispositions, careless of their conduct, and more careless of their conversation and studies, such as have had strong passions, and sued the subject further. been only kept from indulging them by the restraints of conscience, fear, regard for reputation, or by having met with cruel disappointments. Such persons, when they take a turn to devotion, love God with the same sensual affections they were wont to feel for an human object, and find their own warm ideas in places of scripture, where no such are really to be found. And though in all this they may not be absolutely crim. inal, yet are they too apt to deceive themselves and others. The love of God is not a sensible pas. sion, nor to be judged of by the seeming pious affections which possess the imagination, and which
mer, expressed a wish to see
Died, October 5th, at Bewd. stitutions and numbers, with those ley in Worcestershire, SAMUEL of his own day, of which he reKENRICK, Esq. This excel- tained a most accurate remem. lent man was the third son of the brance. It was at college that Rev. John Kenrick, Minister of his acquaintance began with Dr. the Dissenting Congregation at Wodrow, who was also studying Wrexham in Denbighshire, and under Dr. Leechinan, and who was born at Wynnehall, in the has given so interesting an account same county, in the year 1728. of his master, in the Memoir pre Having received his preparatory fixed to his Posthumous Sermons. education in that neighbourhood, Similarity of temper and pursuits he was sent, in the year 1743, to soon ripened their acquaintance the University of Glasgow. This into the closest friendship, which circumstance gave a colour to all only the death of Dr. Wodrow the events of his succeeding life: interrupted. (Sec M. R. vol. vi. p. and be always regarded it as most 122). They were accustomed to. kindly ordered for him by Provi. meet after the hour of lecture, to dence. Having passed through compare and correct the notes the classes of languages and phi- which they had taken, and to purlosophy, he entered the Divinity sue the ideas which their teacher Hall, and attended the lectures of had suggested. Mr. Kenrick the celebrated Dr. Leechman, never spoke of Dr. Leechman but who had been recently elected to with enthusiastic affection; rethe theological chair, after violent garding himself as indebted to him opposition from his orthodox for those rational and animating brethren. Time past lightly on views of God and of the Christian with Mr. K. while he pursued his Revelation, which he early emstudies. The period of academical braced and cherished to the end education and the place where it of life. His vacations were spent has been carried on, seldom fail to with his near relation, the Rev. be remembered with regret and Rob. Millar, minister of the Abbey affection by an ingenuous mind,- Church, Paisley, the learned aubeing endeared by two of the thor of the History of the Propahighest pleasures which a human gation of Christianity. being can enjoy, the acquisition of knowledge and the formation of friendship. In the mind of Mr. K. these feelings were peculiarly strong-being heightened, perhaps, by the contrast between the studies of his youth and the business to which his later years were de voted. Even when he was on the verge of eighty, accident having renewed his connection with the
Mr. K. continued at Glasg till the year 1750, when he was engaged as Tutor to the two sons of James Milliken, Esq. of Milli. ken, in Renfrewshire. With the elder of these young men he set out in the spring of 1760, to make a tour on the Continent. At the Hague, he became acquainted with the learned translator of Mosheim, who gave him much valuable inUniversity, his affection for his formation respecting the route which he was to pursue. From Holland (as we were at war with France) they past through part of
Alma Mater revived with unabated strength; and he was de. lighted to compare its present in