Imatges de pàgina
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JANUARY, 1802.

Art. I.--Hosea. Translated from the Hebrew; with Notes, ex

planatory and critical. By Samuel Lord Bishop of Rochester. 8vo. 1). Is. Robson: 1801.

I HE right reverend prelate perseveres in his elucidation of Hebrew literature; and the work before us is made the ground of a dedication to the king, from which we shall extract the following extraordinary paragraph....::

• If the execution of the work might: be fupposed to be at all answerable to the dignity and moment of the sacred argument; and, as far as may be attainable in a translations to the force and sublimity of the style in the original; the present might seem.not too mean to be brought before a monarch, who has lived a bright example of piety, in times when piety has been geixralbylaughed to scorn ; and all be recorded in the truth-telling page of history, as the patron of le sciences and the arts, and, under God, the powerful protector of he rights of civil government and of the Christian church (institu18 in their origin equally divine), in an age when a general spirit of archy and atheism threatened to re-barbarise the life of fallen man,

the subversion of all social order; by obliterating the natural dia rictions of right and wrong, by the studied mis-use and perversion of

arning and philosophy, and by the total extinction of all reli

all learning, and


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St. Jerome pleaded in extenuation of his defective style, that, tead of studying the periods of Demosthenes or Cicero, he immersed in researches which were a fatal bar to the em

shments possessed by pagan orätors; and it should seem, ?? the paragraph we have now selected, that his lordship was pressed with a similar conception. Like a Hebrew prophet, appears carried away by the rapidity of his ideas. He begins

a conviction of the importance of the work before him: he theat, and very naturally, conceives it entitled to royal favour:

Original subject is now completely superseded by a recollec

of the amiable qualities of the sovereign; and these possess mind till the French revolution unluckily comes across him ; n, forgetting he was writing a dedication, he rushes for

into a philippic.
CRIT.Rgy, Vol. 34. Jan. 1802.

the orig tion of th his mind when, for?


In the course of the work we are indulged with many similar flights, of which some are expressed with a spirit of such superlative indignation as to become truly ludicrous, and at which it is with difficulty we refrain from smiling. The worshippers of the calves, set up by Jeroboam, are apostrophised for their folly by the prophets in the severest terms; but the nature of their idolatry seems to have remained a secret till revealed to the right reverend author before us, who thus offers us his instruction.

These calves of Jeroboam's, by the way, seem to have been muti. lated imitations of the cherubic emblems. Thus they were very sig. · nificant symbols of a religion founded on misbelief, and upon the selfconceit of natural reason, discarding revelation, and, by its boasted powers, forming erroneous notions of the Godhead.

« The cherubim of the temple, and the calves of Dan and Bethel, were both hieroglyphical figures ;-the one of God's institution; the other of man's, in direct contravention of the second commandment. The cherub was a compound figure; the calf single, Jeroboam, therefore, and his subjects were unitarians. And when his descena dants added to the idolatry of the calves the worship of Baal, they became materialists"; far the most ancient pagan idolatry was nei. ther more ndi less than an allegorised materialism. The deification of dead men was the corruption of liter periods of idolatry, when idolaters had forgotten the meaning of their original symbols and their original rites. It was not therefore without reason that the ancient fathers considered the mattoa: of: the ten tribes as a general type of heresy.' P. ix.::::::::::::..:

His lordship seems to have forgotten that the calf moulded by Aaron was anterior to the cherubs of the temple, and that the sin of Jeroboam was similar to that of the Israëlites in the desert; viz, an attempt to represent the Godhead under a visible form, and the degrading adoration of a creature in place of the creator. These are thy gods!' said Aaron to the house of Israël ; an exclamation literally repeated by Jeroboam when he pointed to his abominable devices. Hence it is most probable that they rejected entirely the idea of the unity of God, and were filled with the absurd and degrading superstitions of Egypt. To us the worship of the calves appears idolatry in the worst sense of the term : as such, indeed, it appeared to Moses; and the divine indignation against it was expressed in the most pointed manner. But the bishop doubts whether it were idolatry of any kind.

« The worship of Jeroboam's calves was the least part of their guilt ; for it was not proper idolatry; it was a schismatical worship of the true God, under disallowed emblems, and by an usurping priesthood. But at length superstition made such a progress among them,, that human sacrifices were made an essential rite in the worship of the calves. And this was the finishing stroke, the last stage of their impiety; that they said, “ Let the sacrificers of men kiss the calves." Lit them consider themselves as the most acceptable worshippers

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