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At thirty years of age he was an old man. His official duties he carried out to the last; indeed, he received promotion shortly before his death. But the worm was in the bud: on the morning of the 3d of April 1823 he was found dead in bed, worn out, “in consequence of a defective interior organization,” says his father, who survived him.
What his attitude would have been towards a formally established New Church community of worshippers, had such existed in Sweden at that time, it would be useless to conjecture; but that a young man, son of a Lutheran bishop, member of a Trinitarian family, and every day brought into contact with friends and relatives professing a rigid orthodoxy—that such an one should have contributed so much towards a literature which in the future must exercise no small influence in preparing the Swedish mind for a general and direct reception of our doctrines, should lead us to cherish his memory. Very, very little remains from him that we could have wished unsaid. His great error was that in his parabolic poems he confounded planes totally distinct; but as we are all only too apt to fall into the same mistake, we can well afford to excuse what genius refused to see rather than what reason failed to detect.
NOTES ON THE PSALMS; chiefly Explanatory of their Spiritual Sense.
With a New Translation from the Hebrews. By the Rev. O.
The Book of Psalms possesses all the general properties that distinguish the Word from every merely human composition, but it also has some peculiar characteristics of its own. While other portions of the Word exhibit the mutual relations of the Divine Goodness and Truth to each other, and to their opposites, as it were historically and objectively, the Psalms display the subjective and emotional side of that relation, both in the joy and peace of their reciprocal agreement, and in the agony of their struggle with their opposites. The Psalms are to us, primarily, adumbrations of the Lord's own conflicts in the progress of His glorification, of His anguish and cries for help, of His
reassured hopes, and of the rapture of His entire dependence on the everlasting Love and Wisdom. Subordinately, they furnish us with the most appropriate utterances for our own emotions under the varying phases of the regenerative process; they express our agony and sense of desertion under temptation, our thanksgiving for deliverance, our joy in the sure mercies of God, and our praises of His marvellous work. They are, moreover, consecrated to our devotional use, by the fact that they really were the only formal liturgical prayers in the public worship of the Jewish Temple. As such, the Lord not only cites particular passages from them, with application to His own circumstances, but is with great probability supposed to have participated in the singing of the customary Hallel—that is, Psalms cxiii. cxviii.at the celebration of the last passover (Matt. xxvi. 30). The Apostles also sanctioned the devotional use of them, by precept and example (Eph. v. 19; Col. iii. 16). From their time, there has been an uninterrupted liturgical use of them in the Church of all lands. In the early Church, indeed, the Psalter formed the daily manual of social and private devotion, and, when the recluse life began to develop itself, became the engrossing occupation of hours too strictly sequestered from the cares and duties of the world. In the Middle Ages, under the fervour of what we might deem a somewhat morbid religiosity, Leo IX. used to recite the whole Psalter daily; and Dominicus Loricatus used to recite it twice on ordinary days, and thrice a day in Lent, and, on one auspicious occasion, achieved eight times. It is not, then, unprofitable to bethink ourselves of the part this book has played among the worshippers of God. Countless human hearts have felt that its words express their contrition for past sins, and their
under temptations rendered more awful by the dread of God's desertion ; but also countless “faces washed serene by tears” have been brightened by its assurances of unwearied mercy and present help in need.
Mr. Hiller's New Translation and Commentary on the Psalms is a valuable contribution towards the better understanding of their literal and spiritual sense, and towards their devotional application. His work has one signal advantage over that by Messrs. Clowes and Smithson, in 1837, in that his commentary, while based on elucidations which Swedenborg has incidentally given in many scattered passages of his voluminous works, does not, as the former work did, merely gather all these disjointed explanations in an undigested mass, but exhibits a clear and coherent elaboration of Swedenborg's and its editor's own expositions in one connected body of annotation. This advantage adds much to the pleasant and profitable use of the work, and should ensure it a wider circle of readers. The commentary is very readable in itself, adequate for its purpose of edification, concise and yet lucid.
His new translation is doubtless a considerable advance on the Authorized Version; and, as all parties who have any interest in the
! Bible are coming to agree on the importance, in the translation of such a book, of the utmost fidelity, this quality should be a potent recommendation in all quarters. There are, however, passages in which Mr. Hiller has, in our opinion, not succeeded in giving the exact rendering. But no oversights of this kind are of so much importance as those that convert an erroneous rendering into the support of a peculiar doctrine. Such a case, for example, occurs in Psa. xlix. 14, where our author's note is “Cast themselves into hell. It is remarkable that the Hebrew word for cast (shattu), is not in the passive voice, are cust or shall be cast, but in the active, cast themselves (see the same word in Psa. ii. 7), seeming thus to declare the great truth that the Lord casts no one into hell, but that the wicked cast themselves in.” Now, how. ever acceptable this doctrine is in itself, there are satisfactory philological reasons why this verse should not be converted into a literal fulcrum for it. First, this identical word occurs in Psa. lxxiii. 9, and our author himself renders it, “they set their mouths against the heavens.” Again, in Psa. lxxxviii. 76, we find the same verb in the same tense, and are unable to render it
than Thou hast put me in the pit.” Lastly, this form shattu does not occur in Psa. iii. 7, but shâtu, from a cognate, but not identical root. The best modern Hebraists regard shattu as no more than an example of the plural used impersonally, as in Psa. xxxi. 9, where Mr. Hiller himself finds no difficulty in "the net they have hid for me.” The type, paper, and general getting up of the volume are very handsome. We shall be ready to welcome the completion of this work, and wish the author all success.
ESSAYS, THOUGHTS, REFLECTIONS, AND LETTERS.
THE SAUNAMITE. Sermons by the Rev. HENRY WOODWARD, A.M., formerly of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Rector of Fethard in the Diocese of Cashel. With a Memoir by his son, Thomas WOODWARD, A.M.,
Dean of Down. London and Cambridge: M‘Millan & Co. THESE are the remarkable works of a remarkable man. The author was the youngest son of Dr. Richard Woodward, Bishop of Cloyne,
and was born at Clogher, in the county of Tyrone (of which his father had been previously dean), in 1775. Ordained in 1799 by his brotherin-law, Dr. Broderick, then Bishop of Kilmore, on the translation of that excellent prelate to the (then) archiepiscopal see of Cashel, he was presented to the parish of Glankeen, near Templemore, in the county of Tipperary, and subsequently to that of Fethard, in the same county, where he continued until his death in 1863. Such are substantially all the incidents of the life of one whom, nevertheless, we have pronounced a remarkable man. Indeed, in point of ontward event, the life of the wicked is often more remarkable than that of the good. The aspect of the troubled sea casting up mire and dirt is, doubtless, a more stirring spectacle, and presents more variety than that of the calm and placid lake "filled with the face of Heaven ;" and this last is indeed the apposite emblem of the life brought before us in the truthful, interesting, and ably written memoir by the Dean of Down ; a life which had a charm in its very sameness—a circle of interior communion with Heaven and untiring benevolence on earth,1 varied only by those "golden hours on angel wings” (as they may with truth be termed), when he delighted his numerous friends at his hospitable board with his conversation, or entranced his large and respectable congregation with his lectures and his sermons; and never more so than when, after the lapse of more than half a century, he ascended his pulpit for the last time and bid them an affectionate farewell. That day will never be forgotten by any who were present. All were dissolved in tears as the venerable man, who had ministered for three generations among them, announced to them that those ministrations must cease in consequence of his great age, he being then eighty-seven years old. And yet his person retained its wonted eminently prepossessing appearance, and his voice its accustomed melody, while his words were as the notes of the dying swan. The autumn leaves were falling “sere and yellow" in the churchyard outside, and the autumn wind was raising its mournful wail for the departing year; but he spoke of “ fields ever fresh and groves for ever green,” and vernal airs breathing peace and joy and “harmony unending” in that happy land where he earnestly prayed that he might again meet all who heard him-where, as he assured them, friends would fully recognise each other, and where they would find amidst new, unknown, and hitherto
His biography would be swelled to a large volume, indeed, were his “ daily ministrations” among the poor (without distinction of creed) recorded; they are the best commentary on his writings.
inconceivable delights, all that is pure and lovely on this present earth. He soon after departed to that blissful world so beautifully depicted in this his last sermon. But not while Nature had on her robes of mourning did he who loved her so well go from hence, neither was his flight in the winter. He tarried until the following spring, when Nature once more put on her beautiful garments, and then, without any definite disease, came that change which all who were present with him would regard almost as a misnomer to call death. Indeed, it fully realized that text which he was so fond of citing when on earth—“ Surely the Lord is in this place; this is none other than the house of God and the gate of Heaven.”
The works of this truly good man, now first published in a collected form, consist of three volumes. The first volume contains “ Essays,” which have appeared from time to time in religious periodicals, and • Thoughts and Reflections,” which may be regarded as specimens of his delightful conversation with which, as already observed, he was wont to entertain his guests. Not that it was his habit to force or obtrude religion on his company; on the contrary, he encouraged all cheerful and intellectual discourse, but religion was with him the superior luminary around which all these lesser lights revolved, and his was the happy art to bring it in without changing or disturbing the conversation. Of the Essays (forty in number) we would particularly note No. 2. “On visible and invisible spectators of our conduct;" 3. “On the past miscarriages of youth ;" 4. “How to spend a day;" 6.“ On the value of a day;" 8. “On free grace
and holiness ;" 11. “On the threefold state of man;" 15. “On antepasts of the future state; ” 22. “God's knowledge of our past and secret history;” 23. “On the love of God ;” 28. “The nature of our eternal state ;” 29. “The happiness of the future state ;” 30. “Varieties of condition in the future state :” and among the Thoughts and Reflections (twenty-one in number), No. 8. “A proof that man was formed for happiness ;” 12. “On the final cause of the pleasure derived from works of imitation;" 15. “On solitude;" 17. “On the resemblance of the soul, in its present state, to a bird in the egg ;” 21. “ Some passages
my former life.” The very titles in fact are sufficient, in a measure, to shew what manner of man he was.
The second volume is entitled “ The Shunamite,” being a series of discourses on that most interesting portion of the prophet Elisha's history-his sojourn with the “great woman" of Shunem. This work embraces a great variety of matter touched with a master hand, com