Imatges de pàgina

is really amazing, since they are perhaps the most curious monument that is to be found of the antiquity it bears. Dr. Ducarel has been so obliging as to give us plates engraven from the drawings of it. Though we do not pretend to form any positive judginent, as having never seen the original tapestry, yet the ideas we receive from the engravings, convey no despicable opinion of the drawing, particularly of some of the human figures, horses, aud buildings. The story is aukwardly, but circumstantially told, and contains that period of the life of Harold, afterwards king of England, in which he sets out from the palace of king Edward (who is seen giving hiin his instructions from his throne) on an embassy to the duke of Normandy, to the time when he fell in the battle of Hastings. Some circumstances omitted by history are exhibited in this tapestry, which the writer thinks was continued to the coronation of Williain, though that part of it is now loft. What honour does this historical monument reflect upon

the needle of the royal author, which she has employed to better purpose than almost any historian ever did his pen, since it includes an atchievement which must have transmitted the name of any prince with the highest glory to future ages. We hope that as it is now explained in English, some of our own fair country-wamen will catch the patriot glow, and, like the royal Matilda, decorate some of our public buildings with historical walls, which may reflect equal luftre upon their memories as upon

the heroes they celebrate. Let the female title of admission into circles of politeness and pleasure, be purchased by the labours of the needle. The conquests we have made in Asia and America afford the noblest subjects that history exhibits. The idea is so flattering, that it may carry us into an improper digreffion.

The second number of the appendix contains extracts relating to Normandy, from the Red Book of the exchequer. The third number is principally extracted from father Montfaucon's Monumens de la Monarchie Françoise, and contains a descrip. tion of the curious ballo relievos representing interviews of Henry, king of England, with Francis of France, between Guines and Ardres in Picardy, on the 7th day of June, in the year 1520 ; and the last number gives us a copy of the appointment of king Henry and his queen, and of the trains which actually did attend them at the interview. The plates are valuable for the dresses and habits of the horses and their riders. Some figures in them, however, we think are not perfectly explained.


To conclude : It cannot be denied that in this work Dr. Ducarel has given signal specimens of his abilities as an historian, an antiquary, and a genealogift ; and no finall degree of praise fought to be bestowed by the public on the noble and other perfonages, who have so generously contributed to the plates which illustrate the performance.



V. A Critical Dissertation on Isaiah, VII. 13, 14, 15, 16. In

which the Sentiments advanced by Dr. Kennicott, in a Sermon lately published, and by several other Writers, are candidly and impartially examined. 8vo.

White. Tis universally allowed, that the books of Moses and the

prophets contain a variety of predictions relating to the Messiah. How they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, has been

large by Christian writers. But foine divines, not content with plain and indisputable prophecies, have applied many passages to our Saviour, which were originally written with different views ; and under a notion of corroborating the evidences of Christianity, have had recourse to types, and figures, and secondary senses : but the most judicious defenders of our religion have perceived the absurdity of this conduct, and rejected those arguments, as trifiing and fallacious, which are founded on double interpretations and typical senses.

The passage which is the subject of this dissertation, has been discussed by many theological writers, and various interpretations have been proposed. Some have asserted, that it relates to a son of Isaiah, others to Christ ; some have concluded for a double meaning, and supposed, that it relates to both a son of Isaiah and to Christ ; to one in a literal, and to the other in a secondary and figurative fenfe : and, lastly, by others it has been said, that the paffage contains two distinct prophecies, the first relating to Christ, the second to Isaiah's son.

The late Dr. Be in a preface to the first volume of his Paraphrafe and Notes on the Epistles, and Dr. Kennicott, in a Serinon published in 1765, have said all that can well be said, in support of the last of these opinions.

The learned writer who favoured us with an account of that discourse has admitted, that the doctor's explication is satisfac. tory. This, perhaps, was saying too much. It is indeed ingenious, but the most obvious and natural explication is this which Dr. Wms * has adopted, viz. That the prophecy relates to

* The author of a Concordance to the Greek Testament, lately published.


one person only, and that was the son of a young woman who vas present when Isaiah delivered the prediction, which fon was afterwards to be born.

In order to establish this sense of the passage, he confiders the circumstances of Ahaz, and the state of his kingdom, and then enters into a critical examination of the words

Ahaz and his people were in distress ; Isaiah is sent to informn thein, that the designs of their enemies should not fucceed. In confirmation of this assurance Ahaz is required to ask a sign ; he refused ; and, upon that refusal, is thus addressed by the prophet, Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a

fign, &c.

• In these circumstances we should naturally, says the author, look for an inmediate sign or token of divine protection ; and the words, as they appear to me, are of that nature, that is, they contain a promise of fafety and a sign to confirm it.

• After all that hath been said of Mr. Collins' observation, though in many respects, he is a very unfair writer ; yet I think it very juft and pertinent. “ God,” fays he, ' gave Gideon and Hezekiah immediate signs to prove that he spoke to them, and that the things promised to them should come to pass Had he given them remote signs, how could they have known, that the signs themselves would ever come to pass ? and how could these figns evidence any thing? Those signs would have stood in need of other signs, to manifest that God would perform then in time.”

• In my opinion, this is very justly observed, only it may be necessary to add, that there is a wide difference between a sign which is shortly to take place, as in this case, in a year or two, or perhaps less ;

and one to take place fix or seven hundred years afterwards; when none of the persons to whom it was given would be alive to see it performed.

· Dr. Kennicott's Reply, That the house of David, to whom, he says, the promise was given, did exist, and saw it fulfilled in. Jesus Christ, is, by no means, a satisfactory answer, for reasons too obvious to be mentioned.

* The distress was present, they wanted immediate relief : a deliverance, or a token of it to be fhortly fulfilled, would have been fuitable to their case ; what reason therefore can be afsigned, that this was not such a token? If it should be replied, that we must not pretend to account for the divine proceedings, upon

all occasions : that God acted, in this case, according to his sovereign will and pleasure : I reply again, all this is granted ; we must not presume to arraign the divine wisdom, nor find. fault with the divine appointments : but still, when we find that in moft, I think, in all other instances, recorded in the Old


Teftament, the sign or token of divine protection was iininediate, or very fhortly to take place ; should we not expect the same in this instance ? Certainly, this would have afforded much greater confolation, than any that could be derived from the promise of a Messiah so many years afterwards to be born.

• The advocates for the opinion, that this paffage contains two distinct prophecies, are forced to it by the 16th verse, which cannot, in any sense, be applied to the Messiah. Verses 14th and 15th, they say, relate to Christ, but the 16th to Ifaiah's son.

• Is it not very unnatural, and, if I am not greatly mistaken,

very unusual ?

i We have several instances of signs, which were immediately, or very Mortly, to happen, to prove the accomplishment of some future event, but none, that I can remember, of remote signs, to prove the accomplishment of an event near at hand. Had the former of these prophecies related to Ifaiah's son, and the latter to Christ; it would not have been so unnatural and forced, to have understood them as distinct : for then the prophet, with some propriety and elegance, might be thought to raise the attention of his hearers, from the temporal deliverance, which they now much wanted, to that future, and more important salvation to be accomplished by the Mefliah ; whereas the present order, and abrupt transition, make that sentiment highly incredible.

• That iminediate signs to prove future events were usual, appears from numerous places in the Old Testament. Moses and Aaron gave many signs to Pharaoh and the Egyptians. A sign was given to Eli by the death of his two sons, Hophại and Phineas. Jeroboam had several signs given him, when the man of God prophesied against the altar in Bethel : and many signs were given to the houses of Israel and Judah.

• Pere Houbigant and Dr. Kennicott produce Exodus ii. 12. as an instance of a remote sign to prove an event near at hand. There God says to Mofes, “ Certainly I will be with thee, and " this(hall be say our translators, but rather) " is a token un

to thee, that I have sent thee; when thou hast brought forth “ the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this moun66 tain.” That is, says Houbigant, " God gave to Moses this fign of a deliverance from Egyptian Navery, that they should worship God afterwards on Mount Horeb."

But this is a mistake, for the sign here referred to was not this future event, but the bush burning with fire and yet not consumed. This was a proper token, and a fufficient proof, that God would be with him, when he appeared before Pharach ; this was an assurance to him, that his brethren, under

his direction, should be delivered from their bondage. The burning bush, was the sign or token, in the opinion of the Chaldee paraphraft ; his bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, and worshipping God on Mount Horeb, were the events confirmed by this sign.

• As for 2 Kings xix. 29. and the parallel place, Ifaiah xxxvii. 30. they prove nothing against what is here advanced, for the sign was to take place in one or two years at the fartheft, that is, before the events confirmed by them, which is the point I contend for : but indeed, it seems rather to be an assurance of divine protection, than properly a sign or token of future good. See Pool's Synopsis.

• But it is said, that if the family of David was removed from the throne, the promise of the Messiah made to Abraham, David, &c. might be set aside ; and, therefore, that the affurance here given of the accomplishment of that promise, afforded Ahaz and his people sufficient comfort in their distress. But, furely, this is a very fallacious and inconclusive way of reasoning : for, supposing that Rezin and Pekah had at this time fucceeded in their attempt, and had actually made the son of Tabeal king; was it impossible for the royal line ever to be restored? or, might not the Messiah, as, indeed, he actually was, be born of the house of David when dispofseffed of the throne ?

. If this argument has any weight, and the promise thus anderstood was really suited to the condition of Ahaz and his kingdom at this time ; it must also have been suitable to the condition of Zedekiah, in whose reign Jerusalem was taken, and Judah became tributary to Babylon. The family of David was then set aside, and was never afterwards properly restored; but the Messiah, nevertheless, was born of that family. How illgrounded, then, must the confidence of Zedekiah have been, had he depended upon all the promises before given of the Meffiah, this promise included, for safety, and looked upon them as assurances that the city should not be taken by the king of Babylon !

• But it is replied, that the intention of these confederate princes, was to extirpate the house of David, which would have effectually prevented the fulfilment of the prophecies relating to the Meffiah.

• I answer, this confederacy was entered into about 270 years after the death of David ; in which space of time the family must have become very numerous.

• David had at least fifteen sons, besides his daughter Tamar, and many other children by concubines. Now, fuppofing these fifteen fons had, ne with another, two children each, and allowing thirty years for every generation from David to Ahaz;

« AnteriorContinua »