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asked themselves those scrutinizing ed speculations, however laudable questions which Christian humility, the motives of the writers, has been or even common modesty, would often truly disastrous. The events of have suggested, how many painful our own age, and the personages who absurdities might the world have pass by us as our contemporaries on been spared! But the importance the stage of life,will naturally present of subduing a spirit of pride is yet themselves under the largest angle greater as respects the heart, than in our field of vision ; and there is as respects the understanding. A always great danger of our bending student who, in a vain-glorious spi- Prophecy to foretel what seems to rit, weaves a system of confident our curiosity most interesting for us interpretation, is too apt to follow to know. But if the Almighty had inup his speculations by a display of tended us to make this minute applivarious anti-Christian tempers; par- cation of his predictions, he doubtticularly haughtiness and dogma- less would not have concealed their tism in defending his own positions, purport in the impenetrable darkacrimony and contempt in attacking ness which usually hangs over the those of his neighbour, and disin- unfulfilled prophecies of Scripture. genuousness in not admitting the Let us therefore beware of attemptevidence that opposes his system, ing rudely to tear aside that veil and in palliating the objections which the all-wise Disposer of events which he cannot but know lie has fixed expressly to exclude our against it.
unhallowed gaze. The event will be 2. Repress vain and useless cu- the only satisfactory interpreter of riosity-Vajn curiosity mixed in- the prediction : and till that arrives timately with the first temptation we ought to rest satisfied with the which assailed the human race; general and bumble possibility, or and it has never since ceased to conjecture, which alone, in most spread its snares. But Prophecy instances, we are permitted to form. was not intended to gratify our cu. 3. Guard against rashness of inriosity: its purposes, as we have terpretation.— The Prophecies are already seen, are of an infinitely not a puzzle for our ingenuity, which higher character. We violate its we are at liberty to put together in spirit, therefore, when we use it for various ways, till we light upon one the futile object of attempting to be that happens to prove correct. It come prophets ourselves, instead of is a great sin, and we ought to feel waiting patiently for the fulfilment of it to be such, to misrepresent the the Divine predictions. The injurious words of that infallible Spirit by effects of this unlawful attempt to whose inspiration the Prophecies pry into futurity, need not be enu- were given. It is not necessary merated ; and in addition to its di- that the Christian should understand rect evils, it produces the collateral every passage in the Bible; but it mischief of arming the ridicule of is indispensable that he should not the scoffer and riveting the preju- seek to cloke his ignorance by tedices of the infidel. It would be too . merarious expositions. harsh to suppose that to mere cu- 4. Read the Prophecies, like all riosity alone, unsanctified by any other parts of Scripture, practically higher principle, we are indebted rather than speculatively.--- Few for the innumerable prophetic lu- Christians need concern themselves cubrations which have been from to write, or even deeply to study, elatime to time poured forth, to be borate human schemes of prophetic speculated on to-day, to be disproved interpretation ; but since all may by events to-morrow, and the next and should read the Prophecies day to be forgotten ; but it would themselves, they will find it of great neither be harsh nor untrue to main- importance to view them as contain that the effect of such unfound nected with the faith and duties, CHRIST. OBŞERY. No. 259.
the hopes and fears, the con- thus be made a book of mere theory solations and afflictions, of indi- and amusement. The mind may be vidual believers. All the prophe- employed about the Turkish empire cies which relate to Christ or his or the French Revolution ; the effuchurch, to nations or particular sion of the vials, the slaying of the persons, to past or present or fu- witnesses, or the battle of Armature times, have a meaning, or, as I geddon; till the speculatist is in may say, a spiritual moral, which danger of forgetting that the Bible the humble Christian who seeks for speaks in every page to himself,— the improvement of his heart, in all that it is a revelation to him, warnthat he reads, will not be slow in ing him to make his own calling and discerning. The spirit of one prophecy election sure, to flee from the wrath thus brought home and applied by to come, and to be daily living as faith, whether for doctrine, for re- one who believes in those most proof, for consolation, for edifica- plain and simple of all predictions, tion, or for correction in righteous- the threatenings of God against ness, is of more value than reams of sinners, and his promises to the rewell-furbished hypotheses, and cold, turning penitent in Christ Jesus. even though correct, speculations on 6. Walk closely with God. The the unseen possibilities of futurity* necessity of this suggestion will ap
5. Read the Prophecies in their pear from that declaration in the due proportion.—This part of Scrip- book of Daniel : “Go thy way, Dature is not “ all or nothing :” it has niel, for the words are closed up and its object, its end, and its relative sealed till the time of the end. Many bearing; and it is to be studied, like shall be made white, and purified, every other part, as a portion of one and tried; but the wicked shall do comprehensive whole. Some per- wickedly, and none of the wicked sons scarcely read the Prophecies at shall understand.” The external all: others would seem to read little sources of biblical information, it is else. Now it cannot be right either, true, are open to the wicked as well on the one hand, to slight them, or, as to the righteous; but there will on the other, so to study them as to always be a distaste for every truly neglect the more direct points of devout study, except where the affaith and duty. The study of pro- fections are set upon heavenly obphecy, like the study of mathema- jects: and should Prophecy or any tics, may be so conducted, or rather other scriptural topic form the submisconducted, as to banish every ject of research, however splendid other topic. The Bible itself may may be the literary success, it will be
These remarks are not intended to attended with no spiritual benefit. discourage the diligent study of Prophecy, We cannot study Prophecy as it whether fulfilled or unfulfilled. The judi- ought to be studied, if we are not cious reader will readily draw the line be- reading for purposes infinitely more tween those interpretations which are exalted than amusement or the mere right and eminently useful, and those
The which are either exceptionable or at least
acquisition of information. only secondary. He will discern, for in: Prophecies exhibit the character of stance, a wide difference in point of in- God and his providential dispensaterest and utility between those exalted tions; and to enter into their spirit, prospects which Scripture plainly unfolds, we must “ acquaint ourselves with respecting the advancement and final tri- God, and be at peace.” Indeed, this umph of the mediatorial kingdom of Christ, remark applies to the whole of the and a barren dissertation respecting the sacred volume ; for it is a fact proved day and hour when this long hoped-for by daily experience, that “the secret consuramation shall arrive. The latter, if of the Lord is with them that fear we could ascertain it, would chiefly minister to our curiosity, without benefiting the him." Much that proud learning soul; whereas the event itself is abun- and casuistry cannot settle is indantly fraught with warning, instruction, stinctively reconciled by the simple and consolation to every Christian mind. skill of “ an honest and good heart.” Apparently opposing commands, determined upon the holy city, and apparently counter-doctrines, may the advent of “Messiah the Prince.
." be promptly joined in harmonious We are not, it is true, in the present aspect by a mind scripturally ac- day to expect immediate expliquainted with itself and with God. cations of Prophecy from Heaven
7. The last suggestion which any more than the gift of prophecy shall be mentioned for studying the itself; but the ordinary influences of Prophecies to spiritual advantage is the Holy Spirit are still afforded to diligently to pray for the instruc- his church, as certainly, though not tions of the Holy Spirit. Nor let as visibly or miraculously, as under this remark be considered as merely former dispensations; and, doubta customary acknowledgment. The less, they are vouchsafed in a most Prophecies are a revelation made to especial manner in the case of every mankind by the Holy Spirit, who humble and ingenious inquirer, who must best know the purport of his diligently reads his holy word with own declarations; and he is pro- constant aspirations for his secret mised, in answer to prayer, as the guidance and direction. guide and instructor of his people.
M. P. We have also in Scripture many specific proofs and illustrations of this truth in immediate reference to Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. the very subject under considera- In proceeding to examine the proofs tion. Thus the disciples were ig- adduced by Mrs.Schimmelpenninck norant of the full import of the pro- in support of her serious charges phecies relative to our blessed Lord against the integrity as well as the and his kingdom, till they received ability of the translators of our Authe gift of the Holy Spirit on the thorized Version of the Bible, I day of Pentecost; and even the shall begin with the title prefixed prophecies respecting that very to many of the Psalms, 7793 opp event, and in which Christ himself “ In the first place," says Mrs. had expressly promised to send the Schimmelpenninck, “the reader will Holy Spirit as their Enlightener and perhaps be surprised on being inComforter, were, till that period, formed, that, in every instance in sealed to their apprehensions. Daniel which the title, “a Psalm of David,' also acknowledged the necessity of 7173 non is prefixed, it should the same Divine instruction, and be • A Psalm to or for David. It resorted to God in prayer, that he is not the genitive, but the dawould be pleased to bestow it upon tive, which is used. It is a poem him. When required to relate Nebu- addressed to him, or concerning chadnezzar's dream, “he made the him, not specified as written by thing known to his companions, that him. The word David, too, means they should desire mercies of the THE BELOVED, It is, indeed, the God of Heaven concerning this se. name of a Jewish king, who was cret ;” and when it was revealed to his type; but this name is contihim, he said, “ Blessed be the name nually used in prophecy, for the antiof God for ever and ever ; for wis- typical David.” (Vol. i. p. 86.) “The dom and might are his. He reveal. particle rendered by our translators eth the deep and secret things; he of, cannot be so rendered, but knoweth what is in darkness, and must be to or for; and when so the light dwelleth with him.” Ít rendered, the Psalm, interpreted as was also " while Daniel was speak to David, could not apply." (p. 88.) ing in prayer” that Gabriel was i. The word David, which occurs in sent to him “to give him skill and the titles of the majority of the understanding" in one of the most Psalms, especially as the translators celebrated prophecies of sacred writ; have most unwarrantably changed the prophecy of the seventy weeks the to David, into or David, has
led persons to consider them as re- them : even my servant David, he lating to that king." (p. 98.) shall feed them, and be their shep
Here are two assertions: first, herd; that is, the good Shepherd of that must be translated to or con- whom Isaiah speaks, chap. xl. and cerning, and cannot be translated John, chap. x." She then refers to of ; secondly, that David signifies Ezekiel xxxiv. 24, Acts v. 31, &c., The Beloved, and ought to be so and adds ; “ Numerous other intranslated. The only reason which stances may be found by the reader Mrs. Schimmelpenninck gives why at his leisure: it is needless here to must be rendered to or concerning, multiply them. These sufficiently is because the former rendering prove that David is a name given to supports, in her opinion, the spiri- the Messiah, in the prophetic part of tual interpretation of the Psalms. Scripture, of which the Psalms are a But if the reader will turn to p. 91 of principal part,” &c. These passages, Mrs. Schimmelpenninck's work, he however, merely prove, what I bewill find this assertion, that can- lieve no Christian doubts, that unnot signify of, confuted by the au- der the name of David, the Messiah thoress herself. She there translates is frequently referred to in holy Scripthe same words 7173 OID, “ a Psalm ture. But the point in question is, of the Beloved.” She also translates not who is designated under the 5 of, (p. 90); “ of the Son,” (p. 92); name of David, in the writings of “of the Beloved,” though possibly the Prophets, but what is the correct it may be replied, that of, in these and grammatical translation of the passages,
is meant as tantamount to words 1993 poin. Let us recollect belonging to or concerning. So much that Mrs.Schimmelpenninck charges for the sense of the particles, which, our translators with uniformly misit is well known, has the several translating the titles of the Psalms, meanings of for, to, of, concerning, “ in violation of the plainest graminto, &c.
matical rules of Hebrew.” Now as But further; “ The word David,” Mrs. Schimmelpenninck appears to says Mrs.Schimmelpenninck,“means read Hebrew with the vowel points, •The Beloved ;”” and accordingly, in she must, doubtless, be aware that the titles of the Psalms, this lady in the pointed Hebrew 4i7, Dôd,and or “ concerning the Beloved.” The 77, David, are two different words ; greater portion of the Psalms have and though Dôd signifies beloved, been so uniformly attributed to David never has that sense. She David, and the words 7173 aydin have must also, doubtless, know that our been so generally rendered,“a Psalm version was made from the pointed of David," by almost every transla- Hebrew. But even setting the tor of ancient and modern times, points (which have unhappily fallen that it requires, one would think, too much into disrepute) out of the no small strength of argument to question, it should be observed that prove them all wrong, and that the in the two books of Chronicles; true sense of a title which occurs so and also in the passage quoted by frequently has but lately been dis- Mrs. Schimmelpenninck herself from covered. But what are the proofs Ezekiel, chap. xxxiv. 23, the word by which this new translation is is not 717, but , a word differing supported? After the words quoted in the unpointed as well as the at the beginning of this paper from pointed Hebrew from 717, and which p. 86 of her work, our authoress, is never used to signify beloved. Our adds,—"As a proof of this, Ezekiel, translators, then, in rendering the who lived nearly five hundred years words 7773 op a Psalm of David, after the death of David, King of have not only given the plain and Israel, prophecies,- I will set one obvious meaning of the words, folShepherd over them, and he shall feed lowing almost all preceding transla
is משכיל The word
tors of ancient and modern times, the priests who officiated in the but have given the only intelligible service of the temple. The word translation which the pointed He- musician, as Mrs.Schimmelpenninck brew original would admit; and rightly observes, is not found in the therefore I conceive that, in this original Hebrew. It was added by instance at least, their integrity and our translators, to make the sense ability stand unimpeached. Nor, more plain in English, as is often indeed, do I see how the affixing done in other parts of the Bible. the words “A Psalm of David,” The word nyin has the different to Psalms which are universally ad- senses of prefect, president, conmitted to have been written by him, queror. It would have been rather can any!
y more obstruct their applica- more literal, if our translators had tion to the Messiah, than the name rendered the words, “ To the Preof Babylon in the Revelations can fect on Neginoth, or the stringed-inimpede the application of the prophe- struments." cies respecting Antichrist to the see commonly supposed to signify an of Rome; or the name of Jerusalem, ode conveying instruction; but as in the prophecies of our Saviour, the sense of this word and of Necan prevent our referring them, in ginoth is somewhat doubtful, they a higher and more important sense, are left untranslated in our version. to the destruction of the world, and The heading of the Psalm, (if I may the final consummation of all things. use this expression, to distinguish it
Having entered so much into from the title) evidently refers to detail on the title of the Psalms, it 1 Sam. xxiii. 19: “ Then came up will be necessary only to make a few the Ziphites to Saul, to Gibeah, observations on one more of Mrs. saying, Doth not David hide himSchimmelpenninck's new transla- self with us in strong bolds in tions. The 54th Psalm bears the the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, following title, in the Authorised Ver- which is on the south of Jeshimon?” sion: “ To the chief Musician on Nor does it by, any means follow, Negiroth, Maschil, a Psalm of Da- that, because the Psalm was comvid, when the Ziphims came and said posed on that particular occasion, to Saul, Doth not David hide himself it cannot relate in a secondary and with us ?" The original, according more important sense to Christ. to Mrs. Schimmelpenninck, is, “To Let us now consider the new the conqueror over stripes, an in- translation. First, was never sigstruction concerning the Beloved, nifies stripes. 77220 pulsatio fidium, when the spies came and said to the pulsatio musica, modulatio, Buxtorf. infernal powers, Doth not the Be- Modulatio, canticum, symphonic, loved seek protection from us?” It Schindler. Pulsatio, instrumentum might perhaps be sufficient to leave pulsatile, Taylor. Surely, Mrs. this new translation, unsupported as Schimmelpenninck has not mistaken it is by the least shadow of proof, the word for oval, which does sigto its fate, without a single com- nify stripes. Secondly, she gives ment. I will, however, offer a few to D'b'y, without any authority, the brief remarks. Our translators, in sense of oby. See her note. Thirdcommon with many eminent com- , , mentators, considered the Psalms as pointed, would signify the place of composed by David, and sent for departed spirits, but cannot admit the service of the temple, directed, of the translation of the infernal not “dedicated*,” to the prefects of powers. See the lexicons on 5180. the different kinds of music, or to I think it will be needless to ex
tend this inquiry further, though “Strange as the device appears, to represent a sovereign dedicating his compo- numerous examples of equally ersitions to the precentor of his band." - roneous rendering might easily be Biblical Extracts, p. 88.
adduced from the new translations
with two letters differently ,לשאול ,ly