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THE EXCELLENCE OF THE BIBLE.
“Search the Scriptures.”—First, says the pious and learned SCARD, they are most worthy of your perusal, on account of their intense devotion, magnificent pathos, and sublime energy Hebrew poetry is ever simple and chaste, as it is found in the Bible. Some of the songs of triumph of the Children
of Israel when led by Moses, the prophetic blessing of Jacob when dying, -and the song of victory of Deborah and Barak, are specimens which merely as poetical compositions, will vie with any of the odes of Pindar or of Horace, those princes of profane lyric poetry
The prophet Isaiah is peculiarly remarkable on account of the magnificence of his ideas, the splendour of hisimagery, thebeauty of his language. The minor prophets have likewise each his particular beauties. What can equal the interesting narration of the conduct of Joseph and his brethren? In the New Testament also, how affectingly simple is the narrative ! How instructing are the parables ! The
Prodigal Son—the Pharisee and Publican—the good Samaritanare models of this kind; while the touching interest that is excited at the bier of the widow's son, and at the grave of Lazarus, cannot be equalled.
St. Paul's eloquent orations and admirable epistles all claim your attention, and will afford ample pleasurein the perusal, even merely as argumentative pieces. But the Scriptures must claim your regard because they have Truth, ETERNAL TRUTH, for their basis; because the subjects upon which they treat are the most interesting, the most important, the most awful that can occupy the mind of man. The fictitious colouring of tragedy, the false and fancied joys of comedy, the fanciful ideas of profane poetry, the highly wrought scenes of imagi. nary narrative, may please the taste; but the Bible speaks to the heart, and comes home to every breast.
But in describing the excellence of the Bible, the composition of the Psalms requires peculiar 'notice ; and here we cannot do better than use the words of Bishop Horne, in the preface to his excellent commentary.
“ This little volume,” says he,' “ like the paradise of Eden, affords in perfection, though in miniature, every thing thatgroweth elsewhere; every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; and above all, what was there lost is here re