Imatges de pÓgina
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insinuating that his authority was inconsistent with the civil power; and often has this charge been reiterated on his followers; and stirred up more persecution than any other pretence. If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæ'sar's friend,' stifled all the feelings of humanity in Pilate, as it has since done in many others, who prefer Cæsar's plaudit and rewards to the approbation of the great Supreme.

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But my kingdom,' said the Redeemer, is not of this world." Let us enquire briefly in what respects it chiefly stands distinguished. First, It is not a temporal kingdom. Jesus did not aspire to the throne of Herod, or of Cæsar. He levied no army, and he assumed no state : and I am persuaded that he never will. That millennial dream, which brings him to reside on earth, and gives him a temporal dominion, debases the King of glory to an earthly prince. Behold, the heaven is his throne, and the earth • his footstool!'

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Nor is the kingdom of Christ a mere exercise of his authority in the churches, or congregations of his professing people: it may be a part, but it is a very inferior branch of his sovereignty. In short, his kingdom is in the hearts of men: Thy people shall be willing in the day ' of thy power.' And such is that power, that these volunteers of grace shall be numerous as the dew drops of morning; and in the beauty of holiness' shall they be inlisted, and enrolled'.

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1 Ps. cx.

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But his dominion is not only in the hearts of his friends, but of his enemies. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords.' • The king's

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heart is in the hand of the Lord, and he turneth it, as he doth the rivers of waters, ⚫ whithersoever he 'pleaseth. The empire of his Providence is universal-supreme-eternal.

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5. The crown here more particularly referred to appears to be the nuptial crown the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals. Nuptial crowns were common both with the Jews and Greeks; among the latter the bride was crowned by her mother, and it should seem by this allusion, as Bp. PERCY observes, that the same custom obtained among the Hebrews'. the Hebrews'. On inferior occasions these might be only flowery garlands; but as the word here used is elsewhere taken for a royal and a golden crown3, it is most probable that such a crown is to be understood here. The day of his espousals is, 'more literally, the day of his contracting affinity by marriage;' in which I conceive is a particular allusion to the marriage of Solomon with Pharaoh's daughter: This might well be called the day of the gladness of his heart,' as it allied him to the king of Egypt, the first sovereign of the age, (next to Solomon ;) as well as because it put him in possession of his beloved bride.

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1 Ezek. xvi. 8, 12.

Wisdom, ii. 7.

3 Ps. xxi. 3.

Some readers many expect me to be minute, and to distinguish the mother, the bride, and the daughters of Zion here referred to; but I conceive this minuteness to be the bane of just interpretation of scripture allegories; and that the church, or true believers, may be considered in certain respects under different relations to Christ, is evident from his own words: 'He that heareth my words, and keepeth them, the same is my mother, and d my sister, and my

'brother.'

Should I be asked, which is the day of the gladness of the Redeemer's heart? I would answer, that day in which his people become related to him by their covenant engagements, and united to him by living faith; which may be called the day of their espousals. Then they become his jewels his joy his crown; and then they unite with the whole company in heaven and on earth to crown him Lord of ' all.'

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I have one more remark to add on this chapter, which I borrow from Mr. Derham; namely, that there seems to be a gradation in these verses. First, the spouse speaks of Solonon+then of King Solomon, and lastly of King Solomon in his crown, on which that savoury commentator remarks, that the longer the church (whom he supposes to be the speaker) speaks of Christ, and insists in mentioning his excellency, her thoughts draw the deeper, she sets him up the higher, and be-comes warmer in her apprehensions, affec tions, and expressions concerning him.'

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SECTION VII.

Chap. IV. Ver. 1-6.

Bridegroom. Behold thou art beautiful, my consort;
Behold thou art beautiful!

Thine eyes are doves, behind thy veil.
Thy hair is like a flock of goats,

Which come up sleek from [mount'] Gilead,
Thy teeth are like a flock [newly] shorn,
Which ascend from the washing:

All of them bearing twins,

And none of them miscarrying.

Like a brede of scarlet are thy lips,

And thy speech is agreeable.

Like the flower of the pomegranate

Are thy cheeks, behind thy veil.

Thy neck is like the tower of David, builded

for an armory;

A thousand bucklers hang thereon,

All shields of mighty men.

Thy two breasts are like twin fauns of the antelope,

Feeding among the lilies.

Until the day breathe, and the shades flee
away2,

I will get me to the mountain of myrrh,
[And] to the hill of frankincense.

THE royal pair having alighted from their carriage, Dr. PERCY supposes the ceremony:

The word () mount is wanting in nine MSS. LXX. and Arabic, and seems to clog the sense.

The travels of Egmont and Heyman mention that the summer heats on the coast of the Holy Land are greatly moderated by the sea breezes every morning and evening. (See Harmer on Sol. Song, p. 283, 4.) And the late Mr. Robinson, of Cambridge, mentioned, on the authority of his son, who was then at Smyrna, 'that every morning, about sunrise, a fresh gale of wind blew from the sea across the land, which, from its wholesomeness and utility in clearing the • infected air, is always called the DOCTOR.' Christian's Elegant Repository.' p. 33.

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Nearly sixty MS, omit this and.

of unveiling the bride' here to follow, and give occasion to his encomium on those features, which the veil in great measure concealed, as the eyes, the cheeks, the teeth, &c. This ceremony was performed among the Greeks on the third day, when the bride appeared first in company without her veil, and on this occasion received presents from her husband. Something like this might be the custom among the Hebrews, with whom also this was a most essential article of dress.

But I am by no means satisfied, either that the Hebrews had such a custom, or if they had, that it is here alluded to; on the contrary, verse 3. seems to intimate that she was still veiled': and I observe that the eastern poets celebrate the charms of the fair through their veils, and improve this circumstance into an elegant compliment.

In running over the various beauties of her person he compares her eyes, as before, to

1 The Hebrew particle (Typ) has been rendered both within, without, and behind; the last seems the more exact meaning, as may be seen in Parkhurst: i. e. her eyes beaming from behind her veil, as it is withdrawn, are compared to doves. That no Tsammat signifies the veil, rather than the locks, as in the common version, is the opinion of Patrick, Parkhurst, Harmer, Percy, and most modern expositors. So Symmachus in loc. and LXX. in Is. xlvii. 2.

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2 So Hafez, Thy cheeks sparkle even under thy veil.' Sir W. Jones's Works, vol. I. 453.

Another Persian poet says, It is difficult to gaze upon the sun without the medium of a cloud:-View, therefore, O Saieb, the lovely face of thy mistress through her veil.' Orient. Coll. vol. II. 23.

3 Chap. i. 15.

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