IN a situation where almost every theme hath been inge­niously handled, the young speaker is left, utterly at a loss on which side to turn himself. Learning hath been panegyrized times innumerable—the particular Scien­ces have often received their deserved encomiums—nu­merous inventions have been racked in praise of Oeconomy, Industry, Liberty, and America—the Eloquence of the Ros­trum, and the Bar, hath, both in precept and example, been handsomely displayed—a most elegant parallel hath been drawn between the Ancients and the Moderns, the excellen­cies of each judiciously exhibited—the use and advantages of the Fine Arts have been placed in a most beautiful, striking point of view—and this day hath pleased us with many new and ingenious thoughts on Education. What subject then is reserved for the present hour? A subject which hath, at least, novelty to recommend it—a subject, which I flatter myself will be agreeable to some of my audience, and I cannot but hope, disagreeable to none. No person hath ever attempt­ed to entertain this assembly by displaying the excellencies of the Fountain of our Religion and Happiness—(The excellen­cies I mean, not of its purity and holiness, which by no means need a panegyric; but those of fine writing, which, as they are of less importance, so we should naturally expect they would have been little attended to.) Could this proceed from dislike or inattention? Surely from inattention. For whilst we are enraptured with the fire and sublimity of Homer, the correctness, tenderness, and majesty of Virgil, the grandeur of Demosthenes, the art and elegance of Cicero; Shall we be blind to Eloquence more elegant than Cicero, more grand than Demosthenes; or to Poetry more correct and tender than Virgil, and infinitely more sublime than him who has long been ho­noured, [Page 4] not unjustly, with that magnificent appellation "The Father of Poetry?" Shall we be delighted with the majestie gravity, the lively, spirited relations which places Livy and Ro­bertson on the throne of History; with the [...] enthusiastic morality which obtained Plato the surname of The Divine;" and shall we, can we be insensible to History far more majest­tic, particular Relations far more lively and spirited than those of Livy and Robertson; and to Morality truly divine, whose glory admits of no comparison? Volumes of Criticism have been written to display the beauties of most of the above Au­thors, and can a few moments, spent in an attempt to illustrate the beauties of the Sacred Scriptures, be thought too many, or tedious?

The Genius of the Eastern nations, and particularly of the Iews, was in many respects, different from that of the Greeks and Romans. Situated in a climate nearer to the vivi­fying rays of the Sun, his beams acted with a more enlivening influence on the intellectual, as well as vegetable world, and lit up a more bright, glowing Genius in the human breast. Born in a region which enjoyed this advantage in the happiest degree, and fired with the glorious thoughts and images of In­spiration, can we wonder that the divine writers, though many of them illiterate, should so far transcend all others, as well in style, as in sentiment? Can we wonder that these superiour ad­vantages should be displayed on every page, in the boldest me­taphors, the most complete images, and the most lively descrip­tions? No writers abound so much in passionate Exclamati­on, in that striking way of communicating sentiments, Inter­rogation, or in metaphors taken from sublime objects, and from action, of all others the most animated. Unincumbered by Critical manacles, they gave their imaginations an unlimit­ed range, called absent objects before the sight, gave life to the whole inanimate creation, and in every period, snatched the grace which is beyond the reach of art, and which, being the ge­nuine offspring of elevated Genius, finds the shortest passage to the human soul. With all this license no writers have so few faulty passages. "But" says the Critic "they dont describe exactly according to our rules." True sir; and when you can [Page 5] convince me that Homer and Virgil, from whom you gather those rules, were sent into the world to give Laws to all other authors▪ when you can convince me that every beauty of fine writing is to be found, in its highest perfection, in their works, I will allow the beauties of the divine writers to be faults. 'Till that can be demonstrated, I must continue to admire the most shining instances of Genius, unparallell'd in force, or sublimity.

In praise of Homer, it has been observed, that he gives life to every object which he attempts to describe. In the Inspir­ed writings objects are not barely endued with life; they breathe, they think, they speak, love, hate, fear, adore, & ex­ercise all the most extraordinary emotions of rational beings. Homer or Virgil can make the mountains tremble, or the sea shake, at the appearance of a God; in the Bible the mountains melt like wax, or flee away, the Deep utters his voice, and lifts up his hands on high, at the presence of the LORD of the whole earth. In other writings rural scenes are often addres­sed, and receive a momentary animation; in the Bible the heavens and earth are called upon to hear, the winds and storms to praise; the fields rejoice, Lebanon shouts aloud for joy, and the neighbouring forests warmed to raptures, break forth into songs of thanksgiving.

Such a Genius must necessarily breath an uncommon spirit, a transporting enthusiasm into every production—let us attend to its effects on History.

The great end of History is instruction. To gain the attenti­on of mankind, something more is necessary than a bare, cold relation of distant events. The earthly part of the human soul is so disproportionate to the etherial, that every possible method must be used to extend its regard to any thing, beyond the present enjoyment. To awaken our lethargic inclinati­ons, to put in motion the vis inertiae of our constitution, is the business of the Imagination, and the various Passions. No writers understood this, as also every other part of the human frame, so well as the sacred Penmen. Perhaps, it may not be [Page 6] unentertaining, to trace them in some of the various arts which they have used to catch the attention of the Reader.

Sensible that the Imagination is the principal inlet to the Soul, and that it is far more easily enkindled than the Passions, they passed by no occasion for engaging its assistance. As their subject was better fitted to answer this end, than any o­ther, they have handled it to admiration—they seize every op­portunity to introduce transactions, at once new, sublime and wonderful; for this the frequent awful interpositions of the Deity, in the affairs of Israel, gave them the fairest chance— In every page, we are astonished by glorious and supernatural displays of the divine power—In every page, we are charmed by fanciful, yet just poetical descriptions of a great variety of scenes. By these methods their History has every advantage of Poetry for affecting the Imagination, with this happy cir­cumstance, that it is all reality.

Added to this, though their relations are all directed, more or less, to the illustration of this great Truth "that obedience to GOD is the path to felicity" they have yet inserted an end­less variety of incidents and characters. Convinced that Novel­ty hath a most powerful effect on the human mind, they have filled their writings with more new and uncommon events, than are to be found in those of all others united. Convinced that human manners are the most delightful, as well as the most instructive field, for readers of the human race, they have exhibited them in every point of view—Where are characters so naturally drawn? Where so strongly marked? Where so in­finitely numerous and different?—To what can the Legisla­tor so advantageously apply for instructions, as to the life and laws of Moses?—Whom can the Prince propose for examples so properly as Solomon and Iehoshaphat?—In Ioshua, and Ioab, the General, the Hero, are magnificently displayed—In the Prophets and Patriarchs, the Gentleman, the Contemplator may find most excellent patterns, not of gaming, drinking, prophaneness, debauchery, and that unmeaning, unfriendly ce­remony which poisons the lip of Hypocrisy; but of meekness, kindness to inferiors, charity, hospitality, benevolence, and [Page 7] every embelishment of human nature—In Ioseph, the unwary Youth is beautifully taught to shun the gilded bait of Temptation, and is instructed that Virtue, sooner or later, will infal­libly lift him to the summit of honour and felicity—Where can the Fair part of the creation find the glorious effects of beauty and virtue so finely, so tenderly, so amiably represent­ed, as in Ruth and Esther?—David's character, whether as a General, a Ruler, or a Saint, is an exhaustless fund of amusement and instruction—Whom should the Clergyman, whom should every man imitate, but the Apostles, but the glorious pattern of excellence, their great MASTER?

It is an observation of Longinus "that an Epic poet should put as many as possible, of his sentiments, into the mouths of his heroes." Not, as some have imagined, to dignify them— do we reverence Ajax more than Homer?—but to give them the greater liveliness. How evident is it, that a man's senti­ments strike much more from his own mouth, than through the medium of a second person? For this reason, and because we suppose Ajax to have been better acquainted with circum­stances, in which he was an actor, than any one who, like the Poet, knew them only by hearsay; we choose to have his re­flections in his own words, rather than in those of any relator. What Homer has done in Poetry, the Divine writers have done in History—Great part of their History is dramatic. By these means their characters are drawn not only in a more natural, but more striking manner—We don't barely hear of them; but we see them; we hear them speak; they become old acquaintances; and, at every appearance, we recognize them as such. Confining themselves to simple narration is what makes a principal difference between the modern and ancient Historians, entirely in favour of the latter.

But this is not all—Sensible that General History, though in many respects instructive, is dry and unentertaining—Sen­sible that General Descriptions leave very faint traces on the Memory; the writers of Inspiration, contented with giving a plain, concise account of every thing of that kind necessary to be known (though even this very circumstance hath made [Page 8] their General Histories more striking than those of any other nation) hurry on to events more particular, relations more minute. Perhaps not one fourth part of the Sacred History is General. To interest the attention, to employ the Memory, it is necessary that we should have a clear, distinct, and perfect idea of any transaction—this can only be given by an exact relation of every minute, important circumstance—and such a relation can only be made of single events.

Reasoning upon principles like these, they have every where inserted narrations of this kind; and when they have enkind­led the Passions, when they have fired the Imagination to a pitch of enthusiasm, they pour into these two great passages to the Soul, truths at once instructive, moral and divine. Are not instances needless? The story of Ioseph is too universally admired to allow a comment; I beg leave to make a few re­marks on one less attended to—the subject plain and simple— the method of handling it inimitable.

Elijah would convince the Israelites that the GOD of Heaven is the only Deity. This is the subject. For this purpose, he bids the prophets of Baal assemble before all the congregation of Israel, and offer a sacrifice to their God, whilst he offers a similar one to his own: all, at the same time, agreeing that the God, whose fire consumed the oblation, should be ac­counted the true one. In the morning the prophets of Baal erect their altar, prepare their sacrifice, and call on the imagi­nary Power to kindle it. From morn to noon, this was re­peated—no answer was returned. Can their anguish and vexation be more finely imaged than in their leaping on the altar—cutting themselves with knives 'till the blood gushed out?—Can there be severer sarcasms than those of Elijah— "Cry aloud—spare not—he is a God—either he is talking—or pursuing—or he is on a journey" —and particularly that cut­ting remark on his Godship— "peradventure he sleepeth."

Having allowed them the whole day, near the sunsetting, he builds an altar, digs a trench around it, and, to put the decision beyond a possibility of contradiction, orders twelve [Page 9] barrels of water to be poured upon the sacrifice. The scene is now changed. From ridicule, the Prophet ascends to the highest solemnity—He calls all the people around him, in­vokes the DEITY in a concise, but striking and awful man­ner, and is answered by a flame from Heaven, which con­sumes the oblation, with the whole flood of water. What more solemn, affecting circumstance could have concluded this relation, than the universal voice of the people, resound­ing in concert, "The LORD, he is the GOD! The LORD, he is the GOD!"

I beg leave to mention a few others. The account of Cre­ation,— a of Eliezer and Rebekah,b of the Israelites' passage thro' the Red sea— c of the Law given at Sinaid of Dathan and Abiram;—the Histories of e Gideon, f Sampson, and Ieph­thah;— h the story of the Levite and his Concubine— i of Da­vid and Goliathk of David and Ionathan—of l Abigailm of Absalomn of the dedication of the Templeo of the Queen of Shebap of Elisha and the Shunammiteq of Naaman the Sy­rianr of Haman and Mordecais of Lazarust of the Widow of Nainu the Disciples' journey to Emmausx the birth of the Saviour—the agony in the garden—and, above all, the Crucifixion. Each of these is handled in a manner masterly and inimitable; each of these is treated with that peculiar sim­plicity, which is a grand characteristic of every species of in­spired writing, & which affects the mind more than all the art­ful, studied flourishes of Rhetoric: though, as it is an object of universal attention, my remarks upon it are the less particular.

Nor are the effects of this Genius inspired, less apparent in the Eastern Eloquence, than in their History. As I have al­ready observed, all these historical writings are chiefly dra­matic and abound in a noble * manly Eloquence. Almost an infinite numbers of brave striking sensible speeches well deserve particular notice: But the time will only allow me to make a few observations concerning the Eloquence of St. Paul.

[Page 10]It is universally known, that Longinus, a Heathen, by no means well affected to Christianity, hath placed this great Apostle on a list with Cicero, Demosthenes, Eschines, and others, the most eminent Orators. What his Elocution was, hath ever been vehemently disputed—to the Critics I leave it— what his Orations were, I think may be determined from those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

Of the vehement kind of Eloquence, which raised Demos­thenes to so high a pitch of Glory, and which also abounds in Cicero ▪ he hath left us no examples; no occasion, recorded by St. Luke being proper for that species of speaking: And whether his having excelled them both in every other kind of Oratory, is a sufficient proof that he would also have surpas­sed them in those two, the most common, and the most easily attainable, I leave others to determine; and omitting conjec­tures, will confine my reflections to the instances of his orato­rical Genius which now remain.

But what pardon can I expect from the Critic, whose life has been spent in reading the Greeks and Romans; who scarce­ly knows that there can be any applause, besides that which is paid to them, and who doubts whether he may eat, or breathe, unless by Aristotle's rules; when he hears me boldly, unconcernedly prefer St. Paul's address to Agrippa, for him­self, before Cicero's to Caesar, for Marcellus? As our Christi­an Orator knew better than any other man, how to suit his addresses to time, place, and audience; we shall find that a remarkable circumstance among the excellencies of this, and the other Orations which I shall notice—a circumstance which deservedly obtains a first-rank among the accomplishments of a speaker. He is now a prisoner, arraigned at the bar of Festus, surrounded by a numerous and splendid audience— accusers—judges—governors—princes and kings. He be­gins with a compliment infinitely more noble and polite, than all the thick-laid daubing, which Cicero has made use of, to display at once his own meanness, and Caesar's folly.—Indeed it may be laid down as an unfailing maxim, that the most ele­gant compliments are ever formed upon truth.—From this he proceeds to state the point, opens the case, relates his story, and adduces the reasons of his conduct, in a manner striking— majestic—convincing. Of the Power of his Eloquence, Agrippa, an Heathen, gave him a glorious testimony, in the ob­servation— "Thou almost persuadest me to be Christian:" Happy, had the word, almost, been justly omitted.

[Page 11]But I have a mind to trespass still farther, in a declaration, that his * Farewel to the Ephesians is much more beautiful, tender, and pathetic, than the celebrated defence of Milo. Never was the power of simplicity in writing so clearly, so finely demonstrated, as in this incomparable Speech. Not a shadow of art is to be found in it—Scarce a Metaphor, and not one but the most common, is used—Nothing but the na­tural, unstudied language of affection; and yet I flatter my­self, no person can read it attentively, without a profusion of tears. Never was the precept of Cicero so perfectly exempli­fied.— "To speak in such a manner, as that all should hope they could equal it, and none, upon trial, be able." But this piece will by no means allow a descant—its beauties are too frequent, in every verse, in every line, and almost in every word.

I observed that of the vehement kind of Eloquence St. Paul hath left no examples; but this remark can by no means be extended to the animated kind in general. What can be more animated than his speech to Elymas the Sorcerer (which is indeed in a few words severely invective) unless his Oration to the Athenians? I readily confess, I never was so much mo­ved by any thing in Cicero or Demosthenes, as when I have figured to myself, the great Apostle standing on Mars-hill, in the midst of all the numerous Inhabitants of Athens, at that time the Capital of the universe for learning and politeness. Behold on one side, the young and gay of both sexes, on ano­ther, the aged and wise; on one side, the rich, adorned with splendour, on another, in a meaner dress, the poorer, but not less useful mechanics and husbandmen;—Here, whitened over with age, stand long rows of venerable Philosophers, here, in their robes of state, the more venerable Judges of the Areopa­gus: all in profound silence, listening to hear something of infinite importance. I can almost hear the glorious man break forth with a force and elocution which made Felix tremble, which converted half the world, and induced the inhabitants of Lystra to believe him the very Deity of Eloquence— "GOD who made the world, and all things that are therein, seeing he is LORD of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands." —And whilst he proceeds in a manner more noble, philosophical, and sublime, than ever delighted any other audience, methinks I can view them, silent as the even­ing, leaning forward thro' attention, hanging on the words which he utters; till a clear conviction of the truth of his [Page 12] assertions kindles up in their faces, a smile of satisfaction and transport.

But the effects of this happy Genius, and of Inspiration, are still more conspicuous in the Poetry, than even in the History, or Eloquence of the sacred writings. As this cannot be il­lustrated by general remarks, I beg the patience of my audi­ence for a few particulars.

Of Poetry the most remarkable species are, the Pastoral, Ode, Elegy, Satire, the dramatic and the Epic Poem, and a Miscellaneous kind, too various to be reduced under any ge­neral name.

Very few strokes of a satirical pen are to be found in the Bible—and even these are short, but at the same time cut­tingly severe. Such, is that ironical sarcasm of Iob to his three friends— "Doubtless ye are the people, and Wis­dom shall die with you" —his * description of his enemies— Isaiah's of an Idol—Paul's observation concerning Ananias, and some others: unless it should be thought that all the reflections on the vice of man are such, which I would by no means deny.

Of Pastoral, I shall only observe, that Solomon's Song in beauty and tenderness, is one of the most complete that can be imagined.

The whole Collection of Prophecies is composed of poems of the miscellaneous kind.

As a most perfect example of the Ode I beg leave to men­tion the 104th Psalm. The Ode is defined "A short Poem, proper to be sung, written in praise of some beloved object, generally agreeable, tender, or sublime." This Ode has for its subject, the perfections of the Deity, of all themes the most sublime and agreeable. The Poet begins with his Pow­er, the most awful and great of his Attributes, and conse­quently, that which first engages the attention: from this, he is led to the wonders and bounties of his Wisdom and Pro­vidence. The incidents, chosen to illustrate these Perfections of the Creator, are the most natural, beautiful, and striking. What can be more striking than the creation, the heavens, the ocean, the clouds, the winds, the flood, the thunder, the celestial Host, the glory and brightness of the DEITY? What more beautiful than the charms of Nature and prospect, il­lustrating infinite Wisdom and Goodness, and particularly, this great truth—That GOD is the universal Benefactor of [Page 13] Being?—Who, after these contemplations, can forbear crying out with the poet, in that most sublime Apostrophe— O Lord! how manifold are thy Works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches!—Who can forbear concluding as he does— "Bless thou the Lord O my Soul. Praise ye the Lord."

Odes of a more tender kind, are to be found every where amongst the Psalms; but I cannot forbear observing that in the 97th, the above-mentioned 104th, & above all in the 18th, the poet's imagination rises to such a height, as Pindar, Dryden, and Grey must look up to, with astonishment and despair.

In the soft, tender strain of Elegy, where are simplicity and Grief so finely united as in the Lamentations of Ieremiah? What can be more exquisitely pathetic than David's Lamen­tation over Absalom? What than his Elogium upon the death of Saul and Ionathan? His fear lest the Philistines should hear and rejoice, that the Beauty of Israel was slain upon the high places—His Apostrophe to the Mountains of Gilboa— The excellent character of his Friends, for their Heroism, in that age a man's greatest glory, and for firmly-united Friendship—His elegant address to the Fair-ones of Israel, to sympathize with him in his distress—His more tender address to his beloved brother Ionathan, upon remembrance of their Intimacy—With the repetition of that passionate exclamati­on— "How are the mighty fallen!" are so many different circumstances, which all contribute to raise this piece to the highest degree of elegiac perfection.

There is no poem in the Bible, which is strictly dramatic, or heroic; but as the word Epic, commonly used for the latter poem, signifies no more than Narrative, the Book of Iob may properly come under that denomination. The Action is one—the restoration of Job to the happiness, of which he had been deprived by Satan—The Actors, or Speakers are, the DEITY, Satan, Elihu, Iob, his three Friends and Servants. It is almost wholly dramatic, which gives it a peculiar live­liness.

Its beauties are infinitely too numerous and various to be mentioned; but—the bold figures—the striking Interroga­tions—the fine * description of Man's frailty—the Pa­negyric upon Wisdom—Iob's § contrast of his former and present circumstances—the Introduction, and above all, the Speech of the DEITY, are unequalled by any poet, ancient or modern.

[Page 14]Every one is sensible of the beauty of Figures. A single instance of the Interrogation will shew its fine effect in [...] liveliness to every species of writing. The Poet ob­serves— "Man dieth and wasteth away, yea he giveth up the ghost, and where is he?" —What can be more beautiful than Iob's description of his former, and present conditi­on?—The Poets introduction of the CREATOR seems not to have been much attended to, and demands a few remarks.

To give a proper and awful pomp and solemnity to this part of his poem, and to the infinite Being who is now about to appear, the Poet makes Elihu, referring to the phenomena of nature around him, deliver himself in this manner— "Be­hold, GOD is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out. Can any understand the spreadings of his clouds or the noise of his tabernacle (i. e. the visible heavens, poetically so called.) Behold he spreadeth his light upon it; the noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also (then retiring to shelter) concerning the va­pour." And as the thunder was then roaring, he cries out— "Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth! He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning to the ends of the earth. Hearken unto this, O Iob! stand still, and consider the wondrous works of GOD. And now, other men see not the bright light which is in the clouds; but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them. Brightness cometh out of the north; with GOD is terrible majesty." What can be a more suitable and glorious atten­dance upon the CREATOR, than the winds, the rain, the hor­ror and majesty of a storm, the splendour of the lightning, the voice of the thunder, and the brightness, or path of flame, which proceeds him as he rides in divine pomp through the the north, and answers Iob out of the whirlwind? Upon the Speech, which is undoubtedly the most sublime ever reher­sed to mankind, remarks would be impertinence.

As the Epic poem is the most noble of all others, the whole force of the human▪ Genius is exhausted in beautifying it with figures, comparisons, and descriptions.

Many Comparisons are to be found in the Bible, but few of them are extended to any length. As those penmen wrote more for Instruction than Amusement, the Comparisons which they have introduced, being made more for illustration than beauty, are always short, though pertinent and striking. If this be thought a deficiency, it is abundantly supplied by [Page 15] an exuberance of the finest Figures which are to be found in writing. Indeed, the Eastern Genius was so animated, that when those authors seized a Comparison, the warmth of their Imagination instantly converted it into the principal sub­ject, and thereby formed a short, and exquisitely beautiful Allegory; than which Figure, nothing is more common in all the sacred Scriptures—An admirable instance may be seen in the 5th Chapter of Isaiah.

Of the other principal Figures in composition—the Meta­phor, the Apostrophe, and the Personification, as well as the Antithesis, which was better understood, and more happily applied by Isaiah, than by any other Poet, most perfect ex­amples are to be found in his awful and sublime * prophecy concerning the destruction of Babylon—Particularly in the incomparable Apostrophe to that proud city— "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, Son of the Morning! how art thou cast down to the ground, who didst weaken the na­tions!" —This undoubtedly gave Milton the first thought of Satan's rebellion, and war.

Can the matchless excellence of the sacred descriptions be better illustrated, than by comparing the sublimest descripti­on of a God, in the sublimest of all the prophane writers of antiquity, with a similar one from the Bible? That from Homer, translated as well as I was able, and, to give it the better appearance, purposely cleared of several puerilities, runs thus—" § Neptune emerged from the sea, and moved with in­dignation against Iove, sate and pitied the Grecian host yield­ing to the force of the Trojans. Suddenly, with swift steps he rushed down the broken precipice; the woods and moun­tains trembled beneath his immortal foot. Three times he stepped, the fourth, he reached the Aegae. There stands his glorious, incorruptible palace of shining gold—There he join­ed his nimble steeds, with brazen hoofs and golden manes, cloathed himself in gold, ascended his chariot, and skimmed the surface of waves. On all sides, the Whales exulted a­round their king; the Sea with joy parted before him; the steeds flew swiftly over it, nor moistened the brazen axle.

The other from Habbakkuk is thus translated.— "GOD came from Yeman, and the HOLY ONE from mount Paran; his Glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of his Praise. His brightness was as the light; he had horns com­ing [Page 16] out of his hand, and there was the [...] of his [...] went the Pestilence, and burning coals went [...] his feet. He stood, and measured the heavens▪ he [...] drove asunder the nations; the everlasting [...] were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow; his ways are ever­lasting. I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction, the curtains of the land of Midian, did tremble. Thou didst cleave the earth with thy rivers. The Mountains saw thee and trembled, the over flowing of the waters passed by, the deep uttered his voice, and lift up his hands on high. The Sun and the Moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, at the shining of thy glittering spear."

Of these two passages it need only be observed, that where the circumstances are similar, the Prophet is far more lively and sublime than the Poet, and infinitely surpasses him in those which are different.

To mention a number of Descriptions in the Inspired wri­tings, would be injustice to the rest; but how can I pass by * Ezekiel's, of the Cherubims, Daniel's of the Ancient of days, or § St. Iohn's, of the Saviour amid the seven golden candlesticks?

Nothing gives greater weight and dignity to Poetry, than Prophecy. Sensible of this truth Virgil has, with great beauty, inserted something of this kind in the fourth, which is the finest of his Pastorals, and in the sixth, which is the noblest book of his Eneis. But excellent as he is, the Prophets, particularly Isaiah and Iohn, in the beauties of this part of writing, shine without a competitor.

Instead of wild conjuctures, instead of past events, instead of Generals and Heroes, instead of Marcellus, instead of the Roman City and Empire; The Prophecies are always certain, the events referred to future; Their Hero is the Messiah, the wonderful Counsellour, the mighty GOD, the everlasting Fa­ther, the Prince of Peace.—The Empire, that of the Universe, its extension immensity, its duration eternity.—The City, the new Ierusalem, the Heaven of Heavens, the seat of light and blessedness; its walls of gold and precious stones, its splendor that of Almighty GOD. And this advantage attends all their writings, that every possible Reader, every one of us is infi­nitely more interested in the subject, than the Romans were in that of Virgil; as we are candidates for an immortal existence in that region of felicity, where the Sun doth not give light by day, nor the Moon by night, but the LORD himself is an everlasting Light, and the GOD of Zion her Glory.

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