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Christ hath tasted death for every man if he be exalted a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance and remission of sins mtto his people—if the Jip of infallible truth have declared by the mouth of an apostle , that for this very end Christ was thus exalted ,
viz . ' * that every knee might bow and every tongue confess Jesus to be Lord , to the glory of the Father ; " does it not follow , as a necessary inference , even supposing it no where to have been expressly asserted , that , under the government of an infinitely wise
and powerful and benevolent Being , a period will come , when , to use the emphatic language of Scripture , " death and hell" having been " cast into the lake of fire , " God shall reign the acknowledged Sovereign and beloved Father of all his rational
offspring , and the empire of truth , of virtue and of happiness , be universally and eternally predominant ?
Translation and Emendation of Psalm cxxxvii . Sir , Alnwick , Aug . SO , 1817 . IN perusing your Monthly Repository * I frequently find many valuable criticisms upon obscure passages in the New Testament . This encourages me to hope , that some observations upon difficult texts in the Old Testament , will not prove
uninteresting . I am not so presumptuous as to imagine , that my views will always be correct , or that my solutions will afford constant satisfaction ; yet , if what I advance , will induce abler pens to discuss the subject , I shall be satisfied ; us the end I have in view will be attained .
The 137 th Psalm has often been admired for the tenderness of its strains , and it is presumed , that no person can peruse it without beins : affected , Beautiful as it is , there is a harshness in the last verse , of which 1 can never approve , and which , I think , the
Writer never intended . The verse to which I allude runs thus : — " Happy shall he be , that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against a stone . " Jf we consider the book of Psalms , as many do , to have been written by men
divinely inspired for that purpose , we perceive a spirit of savageness and b&irbarit y in this passage utterly incompatible with that goodness which characterizes a holy God . Or , if we v tew the Psalms , as some sensible
Christians do , to be the effusions of uninspired men , still the brutal fierceness expressed in the text , is irreconcileable with all our ideas of humanity , honour and justice . To seize little children and to dash them against stones ; to refuse to censure the
perpetrator of such an act , but even to applaud the monster , and to consider him a happy man , evince a ferocity and insensibility of mind , which , it is presumed , could not exist , in the breasts of men , so enlightened and polished as the Jewish prophets were . The Hebrew "P ^ W here rendered
children , has a variety of signincatious ^ but as it often denotes wickedness , injustice , &cc , I would suggest , that it should be rendered in tin ' s passage , idols , not children . What confirms the idea is this , the Babylonians were idolators . The worship of their idols
brought upon the Jews such heavy calamities , as led them to deprecate idolatry , and to consider that man happy , who durst seize the little household gods of their oppressors , and dash them to pieces , Let us translate the whole Psalm anew , and consider how it agrees with this emendation .
1 . By the rivers of Babylon , there we sat down , We wept also , when we remembered Zion . 2 . Upon the willows in the midst , we hungour harps j 3 . For there , those who captivated us , Demanded of us . the recitation of a sonar ; Demanded of usthe recitation of a song * \
, And our spoilers said in mirth , " Sing us one of Zion ^ s songs . " 4 . How can we sing" the song * of Jehovah , In a foreign land ? 5 . But if I forget thee , O Jerusalem ! Let my right hand forget its office .
6 . Let my tongue cleave to the roof of ray mouth , If I do not remember thee If I do not exalt thee , O Jerusalem ! Above my chief joy . 7 . Jehovah remembers the Edoinites , Since the day Jerusalem was taken - , Who said , Raze , raze it to its foundations . "
8 . Daughter of Babylon ! who art to be destroyed , He will be happy who will repay thee 5 Who will reward thee , as thou hast acted towards us . 9 . He will be happy , who will seize , And dash thy idols against the atone . CAMBER .
Biblical Criticism—Translation and Emendation of Psalm cxxxvii . 617
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Oct. 2, 1817, page 617, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2469/page/45/