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now, that he gives forth these ideas again, through original convictions, and in some new harmonies of coloring caught from his own imagination.

As the different styles of poetry correspond to certain great mental phenomena, it is no disparagement to the simplicity of the Bible, to classify its poems as Epic, Dramatic, Didactic, and Lyric. The latter form may embody the peculiarities of all the rest; but it is distinguishable for its correspondence to the individual feelings of the poet. It is the style of poetry in which the heart abandons itself to its emotions, unfettered by rule, unconscious of display. Yet in these outgivings of the heart we recognise the highest method of beauty, and distinctive forms which are models for artistic effort. But, born of spontaneity, they take shape for themselves, like snow wreaths in the wind. The lyric is, therefore, the poetry for music; and in its subdivisions, corresponding to various moods of soul, it taxes all the resources of the musician to give it just expression. For example, in lyrical poetry we have the Ode, through which one rises into the sublimities of devotion, or patriotism, or heroism, or strong popular feeling of any kind. It usually implies an audience, and aims to impress them definitely. An ode must always have purpose in it. It should also bear us forward to the highest conception of the subject in hand, by a series of images or thoughts adapted to prepare us for it; and in the closing idea the mind should rest satisfied, as is the ear upon a finely wrought cadence. That final thought, too, should suddenly illuminate the whole ode, and show the connexion of its every part of this, the song of Moses at the Red Sea is a model. There is also, the Elegy, in whose prolonged strains, and fitful changes, the wailing, sobbing heart pours itself forth, by utterance, to find relief. Its close is usually placid; as the tumultuous rill that sinks at last into still waters. David's song on the death of Saul and Jonathan, and the forty-second Psalm, are fine examples of this. We have too the Idyl, which gently elevates the common things of life into poetic associations, and flows on in an easy, uniform style, without prescribed direction or necessary close. 'Tis the brook in the meadow; come to its brink anywhere, and you see it all. A model of this form of the lyric may be seen in the 107th Psalm. Then there are mixed lyrics, which take name from their subjects; as Pastorals, Nuptial songs, Hymns, Jubilee songs, and Acrostics, of varied spirit and object; of which abundant examples might be adduced from the Bible. But thus to systematize the sacred lyrics, and to comment upon each kind in order, were to write a volume. Our object now is to enter the subject of the lyrical poetry of the Bible as one enters a garden, to see its various productions of beauty just as they grow in their native soil. The flower, indeed, may be studied in a herbarium; but to enjoy it, one must see it alive, stalk and all. Where springs an ode, or an elegy, or idyl, or pas


toral, there we may pause a moment to regard its beauties; but in our course we shall wind through the natural openings in this garden of the Lord, and come upon these things as we may. In other words, we shall be guided by the interest of historic associations.

The Song of Moses at the Red Sea is the first divine song on record; and it is, of all others, the most imposing. As to its scholarship, it is the production of one learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians—its spirit was breathed of God. Yet, for its utterances of joy and triumph; for its heroic courage, and that sweet faith which takes the outstretched hand of God, to begin with gladness a march into the terrible wilderness; for its free-born soul, and sublime antiphonies of thought, and passion, there was such preparation, through the providence of God, as never before or since stirred within the hearts of a people “the feeling infinite.” Its key-note is a holy, religious heroism; and we must rise to an elevated devotional feeling before we can glide in unison through its changes. Imagination must bring before us in their order, those terrible plagues needed to relax the hand of Pharaoh from the throat of the Hebrew. We must share with the

bondslaves of Egypt their wonder and awe at the divine power aroused thus for their deliverance; we must join them in their hurried flight from this land of horrors and death; feel their despair, when with the sea in front, and their merciless enemies behind, they saw no way of escape; their joy also, when “the sea stood up like walls, and the people passed over; we must stand with Moses, and the awe-struck multitude, whence we behold the waves returning, and Pharaoh and his host swallowed up in the depths of the sea; the eye must sweep over that great and terrible wilderness, amid whose wastes the stoutest hearts do languish, and see suddenly, as by the enchantment of faith, its parched sands turned to pools of water, and looming above the clear mirage, the hill tops of the promised land, the mount of God, and the « tabernacle which his own hands had prepared.” Then, when every sensibility of the soul is roused from carnal torpor; when, conscious of a divine relation, our God appears as he is in truth, and the thunders of his power are pealing, and his holy purposes flashing around us, then may we join with Moses and all the children of Israel in singing this song unto the Lord.



Moses. I will sing unto Jehovah, for he hath triumphed gloriously;

Horses and chariots hath he hurled into the sea. Cho. of Women.-Sing unto Jehovah, &c.

M.-Be Jah my strength and my song;

For he hath become my salvation,
He is my God, and I will glorify him;
My father's God, and I will exalt him.
Jehovah is a hero of war;
Jehovah is his name.

Pharaoh's chariots and host hath be hurled into the sea,

The choicest of his war chariots are sunk in the Red Sea.
Ch. of Men.-The waves covered them's

They sank into the depths like stones.
Ch. of W.-Sing unto Jehovah, &c.
M.-Thy right hand, O Jehovah, hast thou exalted in power;

Thy right hand, O Jehovah, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
In ibine exaltation bast thou destroyed thine opposers,

Thou sentest forth thy wrath-it consumed them like stubble.
Ch. of M. At the blast of thy nos:rils, the waters heaped themselves up;

The floods stood up like banks.

The waves were congealed in the midst of the sea.
Ch. of W.-Sing unto Jehovah, &c.
M.-The enemy said, I will pursue, overtake, divide the spoil ;

My lust shall be satisfied upon them.
My sword will I draw out,

My hand shall utterly destroy them.
Ch. of M.-Thou didst blow with thy breath, the sea covered them:

They sank as lead into the mighty waters..
Ch. of W.-Sing unto Jehovah, &c.

M.-Who is like unto thee, O Jehovah, among the Gods ?

Who is like unto thee, glorious in holiness;

Fearful in praises, doing wonders ?
Ch. of M.-Thou stretchedst ont thine hand,

The earika swallowed them up.
Ch. of W.-Sing unto Jehovah, &c.
M.—In ihy mercy thou didst lead forth the people whom thou hast

In thy strength thou guidest them thy holy habitation.
The nations heard thereof and trembled ;
Terror took hold of ihe dwellers in Philistia ;
The princes of Edom were amazed ;
The heroes of Moab were seized with dread;
The inhabitants of Canaan melted away.
Let fear and dread fall upon them;

At the greatness of thy arm let them be motionles: as stones.
Ch. of M.—Till the people, O Jehovah, pass through,

Till thy people pass through, whom thou hast redeemed.
Ch. of W.---Sing into Jehovah, &c.
M.-Thou bringest and plantest them upon thine own mountain,
The place, o Jehovah, which thou hast made for thy habi-


The sanctuary, O Lord, which thine hands have prepared.
Ch. of M.-Jehovah is king for ever and ever!

Ch. of W.-Sing unto Jehovah, &c. It will be seen that the Ode, after the introductory verse, divides itself naturally into six passages, through each of which, and on from one to the other, is a progression of sublime thought, rising in the closing passages to a divine foresight. It will be observed also that fiom each of these passages, with the exception of the last, there flashes a recognition of the awful event by which the Hebrews were delivered and the Egyptians destroyed; and that immediately upon this, there follows a concise description of the scene. It is recorded that Miriam and all the women, coming out " with timbrels and dances, answered them;" and that too in the


words of the first verse of the song itself. It is incredible that the mass of the people, amid all the confusion of the first entrance upon the wilderness, were taught to repeat its magnificent passages verbatim, and rise with Moses into its sublime conceptions of the character and purposes of God. Yet did the whole people, in some manner, have part in the great song. Look now at the arrangement given. First come Moses and the few capable of sustaining the elevated tone and prophetic spirit of the Ode; the people whose minds naturally revolve about one idea (the simple phenomenon of the destruction of Pharaoh), break in with an impressive description of the scene, as often as the song glances at the event; and this massive and solemn chorus of the men is answered exultingly by Miriam and all the women. The arrangement lies upon

the very

face the Ode, and nowhere is there a national song combining so many elements of sublimity, with such fine adaptation of structure, to meet the wants of an impassioned people at a national jubilee.

An interesting field of inquiry is opened to us by the artistic structure and accompaniments of this Ode. We have before us, in the first divine song, a composition unrivalled for sublimity, and matchless in its beauty of form. We may call it a polished composition, as though it were slowly worked down to symmetry and smoothness; but we may safely say, that it could spring from none other than a mind instructed and self-disciplined in the laws of poetic beauty. We have before us a vast assembly ready upon sudden call, to celebrate the praises of their God' in the chant; and with them a responsive chorus of women with timbrels and dances. These people have just escaped out of the land of Egypt, a land at this time first in civilization, learning, and the fine arts. Their leader, and the author of the triumphal ode, is learned in all the wisdom of Egypt; and Miriam, his sister, leader of the female chorus and dance, was with him educated in the court of Pharaoh. It is written that the people “spoiled the Egyptians.” Did these leaders bring out'no spoil from the schools of Egypt; no ceremony from its temples; no custom of beauty from its court? From the Egyptians the people had learned the arts, and taken the ornaments requisite to the building of the tabernacle; from the Egyptians they had learned to worship the works of their own hands, as verified in the event of their falling back en masse to the worship of the golden calf, in imitation of the Egyptian worship of Apis; and from them they had also taken whatever musical instruments were produced at this festival of triumph. Doubtless, then, from the Egyptians they had derived their preparation for this most orderly and beautiful celebration of the praises of their God in responsive song, with chorus and with timbrels and dances. This consideration is important for the subject. It follows of course that in order to appreciate the relation of music and song to the education and government of the Hebrews, and the designs of Moses in assigning them the place which he did in his institutes, and under the authority of the Levites, we should understand the place assigned them in that system of national education, conducted for centuries previous to the Exode, by the Egyptian priesthood. An investigation of this point will lead one to many other ideas of much importance to the interpreter of the Old Testament. But our limits forbid the discussion of the subject here.

In the light thrown upon the whole subject of Mosaic government from such an investigation, the fact that Moses instituted an order of men whose office it was to instruct the people in the praises of Jehovah, becomes highly significant. In this connexion, we attách importance to another fact; that all along the march through the wilderness, we hear snatches of songs celebrating events of popular interest, and to the praise of Jehovah. The record tells us that these songs were written in full in “the book of Jehovah's wars.". It is conjectured by some that this book originated with Moses on the occasion of a victory over the Amalekites, when Jehovah commanded him to write it for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua.” At the same time Jehovah said, " I will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." Upon this, Moses erected an altar there, and called it “ Jehovah is my banner,” and said :

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The hand is upon the banner !
War to Jehovah against Amalek from generation to generation.

Whether this obscure passage was the beginning of a poetical record of the victory, and of the purpose of Jehovah just announced, and whether the book in which it was written was the veritable “book of Jehovah's wars," must be left entirely to conjecture. But in respect to the general character of that military history, we cannot be in doubt, if we rest our judgment upon the quotations from it.

The first quotation brings the book before us as authority in a boundary question. The historian wishes to establish the fact that Moab was bounded by the river Arnon, and quotes this book as speaking of

Vaheb in Suphar, and the brooks of Amon;
And the stream of the brooks,
Which winds toward the dwelling of Ar,

And presses upon the borders of Moab. 1 See Dr. Burney's work on the History of Music. Wilkinson on Egyptian Customs, chapter-Music. Also the plates of the great work on Egypt, published under Napoleon.

2 Num. 21 : 14.

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