Графични страници
PDF файл

harrows*, or mines, and to axes of iron, and made them pass by, or to the brick-kilns; made them slaves, and put them to the noft servile employment ; fawing, harrowing, or making iron harrows, or mining, and hewing of wood, and making of bricks.

.66 But what fall we say to the parallel place t, which our version renders, He cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes? Why, I say in the first place, that the verb doth not agree in sense with the several punishments mentioned ; for if quo be the root of 7', as our version makes it to be, it properly signifies, serra dissecuit, he cut with a fare', and therefore cannot be applied either to the axe, or liarrow, or mine. But though this be the original sense of

****, yet it is used in Arabick in a more general sense, to fignify, difperfit, divifit, fegregavit, to disperfe, divide, separate; and the place may be rendered, he divided, or separated them to the face, horrow's, or iron mines, and axes, i.e. to these fervile employments, fome to one, and some to another. It niny be farther observed, that the root of 70" may be 710'; the meaning of which is, he ruled, or governed them, viz. by the law, the harrows, or, mines and axes; made them slaves, and condemned them to these servile employments [. The word is thus rendered by Sebastian Schmidius. Dominatus eft per ferram, &c. And this intepretation is far from forced, but agreeable to the proper sense and construction of the words, and will vindicate David from that inhumanity, which our Author fecms delighted with fixing upon the Man after God's own Heart. The bella, horrida bella, here vanish in an inftant." render it, He brought them out, and threw them into chains, and iron shack'es, and made ihem. prijs before kim in a proper measure, or by proper companies at a time. The version of the


is not so clear as to the meaning. ESPX?" Ev Tu pon x τοις τριβολους τους σιδηρους και dryceyev autec dize 78 77.1.912. He put them in, or to the Jav, &c. and made tl en sols buite trick-kiin; which may be well interpreted of his putting them to these servile employments.

1990 27 7. Iron mines, as the words may be rendered ; which will determine the meaning in this more favourable sense. Thus 1997, fignifies gold, as being deeply dug out, or cut off from 18e mines. Frov. iii. 14. Pfal. Ixviii. 14. From your fidit præridit.

+ 1 Chron. xx. 3.

i The Siriack version : He bound them with iron chairs, &c, and thus be bound them all. A:d the Arabik: He bound them all with vairs, kil'ing none of the Ammonites.

Sec. XV.

[ocr errors]


Sect. XV. has for its subject David's bringing the Ark into Ierufalem ; and here our Author takes 'great pains to defend David from the. ludicrous treatment of the Historian, on account of his indecent dancing (as he styles it) before the ark not forgetting, by the way, to bestow a little chastisement upon her haughty Majesty Queen Michal, for so faucily reflecting upon her Lord and Master's behaviour. On this subject we shall only observe, that many of the customs and manners of such remote nations, and in such remote times, must naturally appear very strange, and be utterly inexplicable to us. An Englishman, or a Frenchman, no doubt, would think it a little odd, to see his sovereign capering in a procession among the vain fellows. But Kings were a different fort of people in David's and in Homer's time. As to the Doctor's defence of him, in this particular, he clearly thews, that David's being said to have UNCOVERED himself in the eyes of the hand-maids, &c. is not to be taken literally.

In the XVIth Section, the Author undertakes the defence of David's conduct towards Mephibosheth and Ziba, in regard to the false and villainous accusation brought by the latter against the former ; but here the Doctor has not given us all the satisfaction we hoped for. Certainly, from the fame generous principle on which the murderers of Saul and Ishbosheth were put to death, the treachery of Ziba ought to have suffered exemplary punishment. Į As the Historian seems resolved to censure every action of David's life that he finds upon record, fo his Opponent, with a like extreme of zeal for the other side of the question, undertakes to answer all objections, as though unwilling to allow his hero any share of human frailty. Thus, in Section XVII, though the Doctor admits his behaviour in the affair of Uriah to be highly criminal, yet he finds a great deal to say in extenuation of his guilt, and in praise of his penitence. For all this, too, we shall refer to the book, with only one remark:- If David was a fincere penitent,-why did he continue to cohabit with Bathfheba? He seems to have renounced Michal's bed on a less important occafion.

The subject of the XVIIIth Section, is David's giving up Saul's children to be put to death by the Gibeonites ; in which the Doctor has shewn, that the Historian has presumed a great deal more, in regard to this affair, than he had authority for. He has also convicted him of a gross mistake in allerting, that, of Saul's family, Mephibosheth only was (percu; as Mephibofheth had a son, shen living, and four

grandsons, grandsons, from whom descended a numerous posterity: so that it is plain, David did not seek to extirminate Saul's house, in order to secure the crown to his own pofterity.

The XIXth Section is employed in palliating David's sin in numbering the people. In the XXth, the Author animadverts on the Historian's sneer at the story of David's being cherished, in his old age, by the young Shunamite. In Section XXI. Nathan is vindicated from the aspersion of being a liquorish prophet; founded on his supposed resentment at not being invited to Adonijah's feaft. This Section is critically and well written; but we have now very little room left for particulars.

In Section XXII. the imputation of David's frequently, in his Psalms, breathing nothing but blood, and the moll rancorous resentment again his enemies, is considered. This is likewise an excellent part of the work, although the learned Author has overlooked one very material circumstance, in David's vindication, of which we do not believe him ignorant, in regard to the CIXth Psalms which, as it is now generally agreed among the best Critics in sacred literature, ought not to be numbered among those Psalms wherein David is supposed to throw out imprecations on his enemies : it being evidently no other than his rehearsal of those curses, which his adverfaries denounced against himself.

The XXIIId Section is appropriated to the confideration of David's dying charge to Solomon, to put Shimei to death, whom he had pardoned for curfing him, and sealed his pardon with an oath. The Doctor, with unabated zeal, endeavours to wipe off the reproach cast upon his hero on this account; but we confess ourselves less satisfied with this branch of his work, than with what he has advanced in the next Section, on the other execution given in charge to Solomon, by his expiring father, viz. that of the bloody, the turbulent, and dangerous Joab. The Historian had charged David with great ingratitude toward his old faithful General, as he styles him; but we think the Doctor hath effectually vindicated him on this head.

Section XXV. and laft, considers the piety of David, which the Historian had impeached, in various instances. Here the Answerer is very smart on his opponent for asserting, that piety is univerfally the safeji disguise for roguery. We would charitably suppose the Writer could only mean the appearance of piety. But all advantages are taken in war.


The Doctor concludes his elaborate and entertaining work with a free and candid expofition of his motives for undertaking this Review, with an extract from which we shall conclude the present article ; after again offering our hearty thanks to the worthy Author, for the pleafure he has afforded us in the perusal of his truly learned and ingenious perform


“ I have no apology (says he) to make for the publication of these papers to the world, and desire no farther regard may be paid to them, than, as what they contain, can be fairly and honestly supported. I write not for victory, but truth. Our Author tells us, in the conclusion of his preface, that the sense, in which the acts of David are in his Hiftory understood, is the most obvious and natural, appears from the amazing pains it bath occasioned his champions to force another upon them. Of this 'the life of David, by Dr. Delany, is a moft remarkable and recent instance ; but whole gross

, palliations, puerile conjectures, and mean shifts to which he hath been driven, prove the difficulty of the task, while they are too frivolous to bias any

but the most catholic believers; and that Mr. Stackhouse, in his History of the Bible, bath urged arguments against particular passages, under the title of objections, fo cogent, that his answers to could not be satisfactory even to himself. Dr. Delany I have never read, Mr. Štackhouse I have never seen, nor consulted either in one single article; but this Author's characters of men will pass but for little with me. What I have advanced in answer to hiin, I myself am answerable for, except where I quote my authors ; and I assure him what I have said appears quite satisfactory to me, except where I express my own uncertainty. But I question whether it will be fo intirely satisfactory to him, because I am sure I have convicted him of fome notorious falfhoods, in the most capital articles, which he hath again and again affirmed; which are contradicted by the most express letter of the biblical historians. However, if I can be convinced, that I have any where milrepresented him, or have been mistaken in any part of my argument, I will publicly acknowlege it, and even give up David, when he is proved to be the wretch our Historian hath represented him to be. I want to make men nothing but what they are ; I have no inclination to palliate faults; I am not sensible I have made any puerile conjectures; I have no need of mean shifts, for I have no cause to serve by them. Let David's History, as it lies in the Bible, be examined with the same freedom and rules of found criticism,


[ocr errors]

which are used in Tacitus, Rollin, and Rapin, and I desire no more; but will think of and treat David, as that History, fairly and candidly interpreted, represents him to be. What I object against, is, putting forced constructions on particular pafiages ; invidious infiuations, where there is nothing in the History to support them; improbable suggestions to eke out facts, or supply the place of them ; falle assertions con-. trary to the truth of History, to furnith matter for calumny and reviling. In a word, all methods contrary to truth and honour, and inconsistent with the rules of humanity, candor, and justice. I am for truth wherever I can find it; I will blame what I think blamc-worthy; I will give up characters that I think indefensible, how venerable foever cultom, party, prejudice, mistake, superstition and bigotry may have made them; will defend what I think to be right, and vindicate abused innocence, as far as I can, against those who cruelly and wickedly defame it. In this view I would appear to the world as

a Writer, and desire no regard to be paid me, as an Author, any farther than I answer this character."


A Charge to the Poets. By William Whitehead, Esq; Poet

IS. Dodfley .

Laureat. 4to.


E have here a modest and genteel exhortation to the

present belligerent Bards, to cease their idle contests and diffenfions ;- in which the good sense, refined taste, and worthy heart of the Author, are equally conspicuous.

A jealousy of each other's pretensions to fame, or a resentment of the low estimation, in which each professes to hold the abilities of his brother Poet, being the usual foundation of all their bickerings, this illiberal principle is well ridiculed in the following reflection : What is't to

you that numbers place your name First, fifth, or twentieth, in the lists of fame! Old Time will settle all your claims at once,

Record the Genius, and forget the Dunce. His advice to Thun the society of those who make a trade of scribbling, is undoubtedly founded on a thorough knowlege of the dangerous fraternity.

Avoid all Authors, "What! th' illustrious few,
" Who, funning Fame, have taught her to pursue ;
“ Fair Virtue's Heralds?”. Yes, ( fay again,
Avoid all Authors, ’till you've read the men.


« ПредишнаНапред »