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LIPS AND TEETH. This all know is commonly the Cafe of good Wines. The only Ground on which the Verb 227 has the Senfe of Speaking given to it is, that 7 fignifies a Rumour.

CHAP. VIII.

,The LXX [אנהגך אביאך אל בית אמי תלמדני

V. 2. I would lead thee, and bring thee into my Mother's Houfe, who would inftruct me: Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic Verfions seem to have read (instead of the last Word, "7b) 7, for they all render Į - I would lead thee, and bring thee into my Mother's Houfe, AND INTO THE CHAMBER OF HER WHO BORE ME.

V. 5. Who is this that cometh up from the Wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?] This Interrogation, instead of being contained in a Parenthesis, ought to make a distinct Verfe; as it is neither put in the Mouth of the Bridegroom, nor the Bride. The Speakers are probably the Virgins who attended upon this Occafion,

- I raised thee up under the Apple Tree: there thy Mother brought

- שמה חבלתך אמך - thee forth

-The Bride [תחת התפוח עוררתיך שמה חבלתך אמך

-

groom having fuggefted to the Bride that he once awaked her from her Sleep under a Tree, feems to take Occafion to remind her, that under that very Tree her Mother had been feized with the Pangs of Childbirth: a Circumstance which cannot be introduced with Propriety but in fuch a Poem as a Paftoral. So Virgil, Ecl. VIII. v. 37.

Sepibus in noftris parvam te rofcida mala

(Dux ego vefter eram) vidi cum Matre legentem &c.
Ut vidi, ut perii, ut me malus abftulit error !

Which is an Imitation of Theocritus, EIATA. B. 82.

Χως ίδον, ως εμανην, ως μοι πει θυμος να φθη

Δάλαιας

Martial also takes Notice of a fimilar Circumftance, Lib.VI. Epig. LXIV.

Dum prandia portat aranti,

Hirfuta peperit rubicunda fub ilice conjux.

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[ שלהבתיה :

V.6. which hath a most vehement Flame. This Word is fuppofed to be compounded of the relative Particle, an a Flame, and God: but I think that man is only the plural Termi

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nation

nation with the feminine Affix; and I would render it

INFLAME HER.

WHICH

V.9. If he be a Wall, we will build upon her a Palace of Silver:

by this ftrong oriental Phrafe [אם חומה היא נבנה עליה טירת כסף

I apprehend no more is meant, than fimply to say, that, if fhe be fit to be married, we ought to feek out a fuitable Hufband for her.

UPON THE WHOLE, this Poem feems to be of a mixt Nature between the Dramatic and the Paftoral. The Unities of Time, Place, and Characters are not so strictly obferved as in later Compofitions of either Kind. There are Traces of feven different Days; during which Interval the Marriage Festival lasted among the Jews: fee Gen. XXIX. 27. Judg. XIV. 12. The Scene fometimes reprefents the Country, fometimes the City, &c. And Solomon appears at Times in his own real Character, prefently after in that of a Shepherd, then reaffumes his own again. The Dramatis Perfonæ, befides the Bridegroom and Bride, are the Watchmen, or fuch Perfons as are occafionally met with on the Road, and a Chorus of Maidens, Attendants on the Bride. The Language is fometimes lofty and spirited; fometimes only fuitable to Shepherds. Many of the Words, occurring in no other Place, cannot have their precife Senfe eafily afcertained: neither can we al ways fee the Juftnefs of all the Comparisons; which probably proceeds from our Ignorance, not only of the Terms, but of the Manners, and other Circumstances.

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THIS Poem is generally confidered as an Epithalamium compofed by Solomon on his Marriage with the Daughter of Pharaoh, the King of Egypt. And this appears to me to be the only Point of View in which it ought to be confidered. In refpect to the mystical Sense which it is fuppofed to contain, I muft frankly acknowledge, that I cannot perceive the leaft Foundation for it. This Notion I fuppofe was originally derived from the Targum, and adopted foon after by fome of the Fathers, who, with more Piety than Judgment, thought that, as St. Paul compares the Union of Chrift with his Church to a Marriage, this Poem ought alfo to be interpreted with reference to the fame Subject. But how is it confiftent with this Idea, that neither the Name of God, nor of Chrift, ever occurs in it? that there is not one religious or moral Sentiment to be found? that it is not once either quoted, or most distantly alluded to, in any Part of the Sacred Writings? on which account perhaps it is not directed to be read in our Churches.

We

We find alfo, that those who attempt to trace the Allegory in every Part are foon loft in an inextricable Labyrinth.

BUT I seem already to hear it objected, that it is great Prefumption to venture to diffent from an Opinion, which has been established for near twenty Centuries, and has been abetted by great, good, and learned Men during all that long Interval; and that this novel Opinion may tend to weaken the Foundation of the Church of Chrift. To this I reply, that mere Length of Time is but a fandy Foundation for the Bafis of Truth to reft upon; that all it can in Reafon pretend to is, to teach us Caution before we quit established Opinions: but furely it ought not to preclude us from making due Inquiries, and using our rational Powers; or, upon due Conviction of former Errors, from publicly detecting them. In regard to any fuppofed Inconvenience accruing to the Christian Religion, I really fee none. On the contrary, as it is fo well established on the fure Word of Prophecy, which Thrones, Principalities, and Powers, cannot prevail againft, it appears to me more for the Intereft of that Religion to quit an untenable Poft, than to expose it to the Affault of Enemies, who must inevitably foon become Mafters of it.

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ADVERTISEMENT.

HE Author first intended to have subjoined to the preceding Sheets his Remarks on the Prophets: but, being indifpenfably obliged to be absent from the University for fome Time, finds himself under a Neceffity of poftponing the Publication to another Opportunity.

ERRAT A.

Pag. 8. L. 9. for box read box. P. 113. laft Line, read elliptical. P. 116. L. 29. read reft. P. 138. L. 15. Dele, whereas it fignifies nowhere, O moft High. P.226. L. 29. for Period, r. Comma.

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