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history of Israel. The whole fall into five larger groups : * I. Psalms of David and his age. II. Psalms from the division of David's kingdom to its end, arranged under the three heads : 1. Stray voices to the 8th century ; 2. The revival at the end of the 8th century; 3. The last times of the kingdom. III. Psalms from the dispersion of the people and the overthrow of the kingdom, Is. Psalms of the New Jerusalem, under the three heads: 1. The first days of freedom; 2. The lasting spirit; 3. New dangers and complaints, and new light. V. Last Psalms.
Perhaps a somewhat detailed account of the marks by which Ewald discerns David's Psalms may be more useful or more
* The subjoined table has been composed for convenient reference.
The Revival. From David's time to the 8th cent.
107 111 112 113 114 117
137 ( 115 116 118
Froin the dispersion and the overthrow of the kingdom.
The first days of freedom.
interesting than a general notice of his interpretation and translation.
It would be an improbable conclusion that David, " the sweet singer of Israel,” whose poetical fame and influence is so conspicuous in his nation's whole history, to whom seventy-two Psalms are ascribed by the inscriptions, is really the author of no hymn in the Psalter. And prolonged and searching examination makes this improbability as nearly a certainty as the nature of the case will admit. Twelve Psalms refuse to owe their origin to any less remarkable man than the great Poet-King.
David has no compeer in the history of his people; he stands forth prominently, an unique and solitary figure in Jewish history. His nature, his gifts, his eventful life, and his regal greatness distinguish him. To other Hebrews one or more of these marks may belong, but in no one else do they all, or nearly all, combine. Leaving out of view the Psalter, David's true character is clearly depicted elsewhere. Of no other man does the Old Testament history speak so much and so particularly. He is described to us as of a tender, sensitive, passionate nature, his soul kindling with feeling in any great circumstances of his life. He is further a hero and a king, a man born to rule all about him, naturally and proudly conscious of his gifts and strength. But he is at the same time a deeply-religious man, the lowliest of Jahveh's servants, though the proudest of His kings. His kingly dignity, his hero's greatness, he holds as the gifts of his God, as expressions of Jahveh's mercy. He is ever conscious that it is only by the Divine guidance and care that he has been advanced and preserved. Hence he is humble, grateful, and confident. And as he ever appealed to the general righteousness of his reign, so in every error and offensive deed he displays the deepest repentance. In gifts of eloquence and song he is, by all concurrent testimony, pre-eminently rich. He pursues with ardour the arts of music and poetry from his boyhood to his old age. His outward life was singularly eventful ; it was full of dangers and deliverances, of the scenes and chances of war. And, lastly, his reign was the most glorious of all Israel's kings, glorious not only in peace but in war, in conquest as well as possession.
The lyrics, the songs from the heart and life, of such a man, will naturally bear the impress of his character and history. As he is distinguished amongst the crowd of men of his nation, so his Psalms will show their likeness to him and their unlikeness to those of other men among which they may stand.
Now, in the Psalter a small number of Psalms separate themselves from all the rest; they have a family likeness as their connecting tie, and their distinctive badge. And further, the distinctive marks of these Psalms point to a man of David's character and history as their author.
Their author feels his dignity and honour (ii. 4; iv. 3; vii. 6; xviii. 44-49: comp. 2 Sam. xxiii. 1); his exaltation and pre-eminence by the Divine mercy (iv. 4; xviii. 21-31; comp. 2 Sam. vi. 21) as no other. He speaks as only David could of his royal power and glory (ci. 1-8; xviii. 44-46; 2 Sam. xxiii.) in the consciousness of his Divine right, and with prophetic authority against his enemies (iv. 3-6); and as having at his heart the highest welfare of the people of Jahveh iii. 9; xxix. 11: comp. 2 Sam. vi. 18; vii. 29). The strong and fierce language (iii. 8; xviii. 35-43; xxiv. 8; comp. 2 Sam. xxiii. 6, 7) point to the successful and stern warrior and governor. “Add to all this the pure and heroic trust in God, scarcely troubled for a moment in the deepest need (iii. 2, 3; iv. 7); the unbending consciousness of right; the childlike, open, upright soul; the unsought deep glances into things Divine and human, that are apparent everywhere; and everywhere a strong, fresh, creative spirit; and we have combined characteristics wholly peculiar, and to be found in the whole Old Testament only in this author.”
A number of minor facts support this main argument.
First, the language is old and original, many words, constructions, and meanings being preserved here only, while many originating with this author are imitated by later poets. Secondly, a number of figures and proverbs generally, quite confined to this author, as iv. 8; vii. 8; xi. 2; xvii. 5, 6, 11; xix. 6f; xxxii. 9. And constantly-recurring military phrases of all kinds (üi. 4; vii. 11; xvii. 3, 31, 36; comp. 2 Sam. i. 21; xvii. 3 f, 32, 41; 2 Sam. xxiii. 3). Thirdly, the thought and form of these songs show everywhere original and new-creative power. The greatest subject is grasped with a firm and masterly hand, and expressed with ease, beauty, and marvellous brevity. There is the greatest fulness of thoughts, the one pressing upon the other, yet all uttered with distinctness and force. In Ps. xviii., a great ode of victory, there is less brevity ; but for this special reasons are evident. Fourthly, in these Psalms no expressions are met with that would indicate a post-Davidic origin. After he had brought the ark to Zion, he could speak of the “holy mountain” (iii. 5; xxiv. 3); and the “temple,” or “palace," of Jahveh (xi, 4; xviii, 7; xxiv. 9) refers to the heavenly palace, and not to the temple of Solomon. Hull.
J. F. SMITH.
CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF A VISIT TO THE BIRD
GALLERY IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
MY DEAR JENKINS—Many of you London workmen have almost lost the scent of fresh air, and with it the love of birds, beasts, and fishes. Your knowledge of animated nature is restricted to the cattle who pull about the carts and omnibuses, .or push in disorderly dirty droves through the streets to the place of sale and execution to the grimy and thievish little sparrows who live amidst smoky chimneys, and occasionally descend into the road to pick up a grain of corn fallen from a miller's waggon-to the sulky dogs who act as drovers' police, and keep up one incessant command to the sheep to “move on" --and to the cats, cockroaches, and crickets, who form the zoological establishment in the front and corners of your firesides. Still there are some who possess a canary, a lark, or a blackbird ; and there is more hope of such people, since they evidently desire to keep in mind that great world of birds to which I wish to call your attention in this letter. • Now, don't suppose that I am a bird-fancier to any considerable extent. I am not. But I know enough to like to think of them, and should be very glad if I could make them seem somewhat more interesting to you. Last Monday, which was a tolerably light and sunny day, I took a walk in the British Museum, and restricted my attention to the bird-gallery, which runs over the Egyptian saloon. If you have never visited that wonderful collection of stuffed birds, pray be persuaded to do so the next time you are on strike. It begins where the corals and the monkeys end. Your visit is likely to be pleasant in proportion to the quantity of sunshine in the sky, for light is absolutely necessary to the enjoyment of the plumage.
One cannot help wishing, as you enter this long gallery, that for the purpose of inspection the birds were all alive, and could be seen in their movements and natural brightness, rather than in the comparatively dull coats, and in the death-like stiffness, of an artificial preparation. However, whatever stuffing and glass eyes can do for dead birds, is here done; and it is wonderful to see what is accomplished. They look all but alive; and there is certainly one advantage of having them dead, that they are perfectly still. If they were alive, these 10,000 birds would make such an awful tempest of noise-of screeching,
do Poparation, cats, and ural brighill alive
screaming, squalling, cawing, singing, and buzzing, from the eagles and vultures down to the tom-tits and humming-birdsthat all study of bird-nature would be quite out of the question, and you would be glad to go back to the dead rhinoceroses and camelopards in the entrance gallery. Also before the end of an hour half of the collection would have eaten up bodily the other half, and not a tom-tit would be left to tell the tale of his once having had the honour to represent the tom-tit family in the national museum of this imperial realm of England.
This glorious collection of birds is intended to represent, by specimens, all the known species upon earth. There are now known about 5,000 species. They are divided into 5 orders :-1. Raptores, or snatchers--birds of prey. 2. Insessores, or perching-birds. 3. Rasores, or scraping-birds, all sorts of poultry and game. 4. Grallatores, or wading-birds. 5. Natatores, or swimming-birds. Body-snatchers, bough-perchers, earth-scrapers, long-legged waders, and webb-footed swimmers.
As you enter the gallery, on the left hand, you begin with the body-snatchers, or birds of prey. These are divided into two sorts—those who prey by day and those who prey by night. Those who prey by day comprehend the two great families of vultures and falcons. The vultures come first. These are a terrible set of fellows to look at. There they are, gathered together in this glass-case from all parts of the world. Each of them who now sits so demure and respectable on a woodenrail of box or beech was once accustomed to float in the burning sky of India, or of Tartary, or of South America, or of Arabia, or of Africa, and roll his fierce and blazing eye (in which the iris is black, and what should be the white an awful and ghastly blue) over the earth below, and wherever he saw a dead horse, or camel, or lion, or elephant, or buffalo, thither to descend upon his black wings, with naked outstretched neck, and there, fixing his strong talons in the carcase, to bury his featherless, leathern throat and ferocious beak deep in the carrion, gorging his voracious maw till he could eat no longer, and then to retire to the clouds again for digestion and exercise in the bracing air of the empyrean. One would not like to see one of those black and blue-eyed scavenger fiends of the wilderness standing over you if you were lying wounded in a battlefield among thousands who were dead.
Then come the falcons; and under this name are included the buzzards, kites, hawks, and eagles. There they are, whole cases of them, hundreds of kinds of these pirate rovers of the air, whose delight it is to soar aloft, and dart, not like the vultures, on dead prey, but on the living. There is a royal and noble look about all those Falconido. Here are all the sorts