« AnteriorContinua »
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
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.
' 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!
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'.
• He is King
But his dominion is not only in the hearts of his friends, but of his 'enemies.
of kings, and Lord of lords.” • The king's • 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=éternal.
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 espousáls. 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'. On ihferior occasions these might be only flowery garlands* ; but as the word here used is elsewhere taken for a royal and a golden crown', 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 affi' nity by marriage ;' in which I conceive is á 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.
1 Ezek. xvi. 8, 12.
: Wisdom, ii. 7.
3 Ps. xxi. 3.
dered in certain
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
, or be
respects under different relations: to Christ, is evident from his own words: * He that heareth iny words, and keepeth them, ' the same is my mother, and 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 jeivelsm-his joy-his crown; and then they unite with the whole company in on earth 19 crow
crown him Lord of all.'
I have one more remark to add on this chapter, which I borrow froin Mr. Derham ; namely, that 'there seems to be a gradation in these verses. First, the spouse speaks of Solo->
Od mon+then of King Solomon, and lastly of King Solomon ir his croren; 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 excellençy, her thoughts draw the
. deeper, she sets him up the higher, and becomes warmer in her apprehensions, , affections, and expressions concerning him.',
heaven and on
Chap. IV. Ver. 1-6.
Behold thou art beautiful !
for an armory;
[ And) to the hill of frankincense. THE royal pair having alighted from their carriage, Dr. PERCY supposes the ceremony
1 The word (97) 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 sun' rise, 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.
: Nearly sixty MS, omit this 1 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 whoin 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 compares her eyes, as before ?, to
The Hebrew particle (1932) 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 nos Tsammat signifies the veil, rather than the locks, as in the cominon version, is the opinion of Patrick, Parkhurst, Harmer, Percy, and most modern expositors. So Symmachus in loc. and LXX. in Is. xlvii. 2.
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 Saieh, the lovely face of thy mistress through her veil.' Orienti Coll. vol. II. 23. 3 Chap. i. 15