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(The psalmist hears him say)
6 Yet have I anointed my king
(The Psalmist hears him say)
7 I will publish the decree,
Jehovah hath said to me: My Son art thou,
I thi sday have begotten thee.
8 Ask of me,
And I will give thee the nations thine inheritance,
And thy possession the ends of the earth.
9 Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron,
As a potter's vessel shalt thou break them in pieces.
IV. NOTES ON THE TRANSLATION.
Vs. 1 and 2. These verses make one stanza of five lines, namely, two pairs of paralells, and a fifth line which belongs equally to all the four, and may be repeated after each one of them, thus;
Why do the heathens rage
Against Jehovah and against his Messiah,
I can see no good reason for terrogative, and not the second. together in the same stanza, and is clearly interrogative.
punctuating the first verse as an inThe two are most intimately blended form, in fact, but one sentence, which
Fulfilment of the Prophecy.
V. 6. The verb, in this verse, is not the word usually employed in Hebrew to signify anoint, and Hengstenberg, no mean authority, translates it in this place by the German word bilden; but Gesenius, De Wette, Ewald, and others, agree with our common English translation, which I have retained.
V. 7. Literally, I will speak to the sense, just like our common English idiom, I will speak to that point, etc. The time this day has before been shown, on the authority of the New Testament, to be the day of Christ's resurrection, that being the crowning proof of his sonship, and the verb being here used in the declarative sense, so common in
V. 12. Literally, kiss the son, the kiss being the sign of homage. The Septuagint and Vulgate give a peculiar translation of the first line of this verse, thus:
"Take hold on instruction, lest the Lord be angry,
The similarity of the Greek words nais, son (in the accusative, naïda), and raideía, instruction, some critics have supposed may have led to this translation; but as the Chaldee gives the same rendering, it is more probable that they understood the Hebrew word to mean instruction. Ewald gives the word a similar meaning; but the learned notes of Rosenmüller and Hengstenberg on this verse, together with the authority of Gesenius, De Wette, Winer, and Hitzig, sufficiently refute him.
V. FULFILMENT OF THE PROPHECY.
In regard to the time when the prophecies of this psalm are to be fulfilled, the whole psalm evidently belongs to that class of predictions, of which lord Bacon speaks as "having a latitude agreeable and familiar with divine prophecies, which, being of the nature of their Author, with whom a thousand years are as one day, are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have springing and germinant accomplishment throughout many ages, though the height or fulness of them may refer to some one age." (Advancement of Learning, Bk. II.)
The first two verses, the whole company of the apostles refer to the period when Herod and Pontius Pilate, the Jew and the Gentile, combined to put the Saviour to death; and the 7th verse the apostle Paul assigns to the resurrection. Acts 5: 25-27. 13: 33. The 8th, 9th, and 10th verses still remain unfulfilled.
But it is mainly whole classes of events, occurring through all time,
between the incarnation of Christ and the triumph of his religion over all mankind, and not particular historical circumstances, that take place at a definite point of time, which are indicated in this prophecy. It hath springing and germinant accomplishment throughout many ages, though the height or fulness of it may refer to some one age. It began to be accomplished when Herod and Pontius Pilate agreed together to destroy the Messiah; it received still further accomplishment when Julian the apostate waged war on the " Galilean ;” it had a 7λýgwσis when the Jewish legislature publicly renounced the Christian religion; it was again fulfilled when, in the days of rationalism, the literature of Europe was almost all employed to undermine the divine authority of the Bible, - whenever, and wherever, and however, men combine against Christ and his religion, this prophecy is in part accomplished; and will continue to be thus gradually fulfilled, till He whose right it is, shall come and reign on the earth. When that age comes, when the last great battle is fought (Rev. 20: 7, 10), then the height or fulness of this prophecy will be accomplished.
Very many of the Biblical prophecies are of the same character, and the attempt to limit the predictions, each one to some one particular historical occurrence, at a definite point of time, has been a fruitful source of perplexity and error in the interpretation of prophecy. Prophecy, generally is not history anticipated, in the dry and literal sense; but rather a series of magnificent hieroglyphics, each one infolding and giving expression to a whole class of ideas. The whole book of Revelation is filled with prophecies of this kind; and the perverse endeavors to limit its far-reaching symbols to individual occurrences, has led to endless mistakes and blunders. The Book gives neither the civil nor the ecclesiastical history of particular countries or periods, but rather the philosophy of history for the whole world, through all time; the philosophy of history considered with reference to its religious influences. The 2d Psalm is a fair and remarkably plain specimen of the prophecies of this sort, and may give much assistance in the interpretation of others more recondite, complex, and ornate.
VI. PRACTICAL USES OF THIS PROPHECY.
1. This prophecy shows what is the kind of encouragement, and hope, and comfort, which the enlightened Christian may derive from prophecy generally.
It is the object of the Bible to establish certain great principles in religion and morals. These principles it enforces and illustrates in the most graphic and striking manner, and by a great variety of methods:
by aphorisms, by parables, by narratives, by showing the workings of these principles and the effects of their violations in individuals and in nations. It also foretells the vicissitudes which await these principles in their conflicts with human depravity, their struggles, their successes, their temporary defeats, their final and complete triumph. (Compare Rom. 8: 19-23.) This is most generally the subject of prophecy. There are some prophecies strictly and minutely historical, such as those concerning the Jewish captivity, the destruction of Babylon, the ruin of Jerusalem, etc. But these are few in comparison with the whole number. It is not generally the object of prophecy to anticipate history, to give names and dates'; and the attempts to interpret the great mass of the prophecies as if they were written with that object, have been most miserable failures. It is an attempt to treat the Holy Spirit as the oriental story-tellers treat their genii when they shut them up in little bottles. The triumph of principles over all opposition; the nature and power and varying phases of the oppositions: these form the great staple of prophecy - and such questions as, "Lord! what shall this man do?" generally remain unanswered. True, certain sayings often "go abroad among the brethren,” as interpretations of divine prophecy, but they are not authorized by anything which Jesus has said.
2. The psalm teaches us the hopelessness of all opposition, however formidable it may appear, to the progress of the gospel.
The opposition to Christ, in this world, often appears very formidable. The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, against Jehovah and against his Messiah- and there is the still more chilling hostility of indifference and neglect. But the most powerful and active enmity—at that, He who sitteth in the heavens shall laugh — the most immovable and stolid indifference, even that shall be aroused when God shall speak in his wrath. As Martin Luther somewhere says: "He that would blow out God's fires, does but blow the coals and the ashes in his own face."
3. This psalm illustrates the quietness and confidence with which the true Christian, even in the darkest times, should await the developments of God's providence.
Perfect love casteth out fear, and where there is faith with love, there can be no ground for agitation or alarm or long anxiety. God is never agitated or excited; he is never hurried or impatient, though this world has so long been lying in wickedness before his eyes; and those who have learned of God and can sympathize with him, should remember that the Scripture says directly: Fret not thyself because of evil doers. In nothing do some professedly religious movements
more distinctly betray their unheavenly origin, than in the impatience, the fretfulness, the want of calmness and self-possession, manifested in them. Activity without restlessness, power without noise, earnestness without impatience, vigor without harshness, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding, with a quiet assurance of ultimate and complete sucthese are the characteristics of a soul imbued with the spirit of the 2d Psalm, which is the Spirit of God.
THE GERMAN UNIVERSITIES.
By Dr. Hermann Wimmer, late Professor in the Blochmann College, Dresden, Saxony.
AN American university and a German "universität," differ very much from each other. The fact is, that the name is here applied to colleges for general education, preparatory to professional studies (gymnasia or gelehrtenschulen), whereas it means in Germany an institution for theological, juridical, medical, and philosophical learning. Consequently, the latter can be only compared with the divinity, law, medical and scientific schools of Cambridge or Yale college. There exists, however, a good deal of difference; and to give, beforehand, some idea of the peculiar organization of the German universities, we may be allowed to anticipate the following remarks. Each State or province has one university, where the graduates of all gymnasia (eleven in Saxony) meet together; whereas in Cambridge, the students of the four professional schools are mostly graduates of the one chief college. The university consists of four faculties, but is one complete institution, and the difference of the faculties does not exist for the student. He can attend theological and physical or philosophical lectures, according to his liking. There are no classes. The instruction is given by lectures, not by recitations. Several professors lecture generally on the same subject, or on similar subjects of the same branch. The student chooses the lectures which he will attend. The professor knows not his audience. Some professors have ninety hearers; others, nine. The "philosophical" faculty comprises all the philological, mathematical, physical and philosophical branches, and is destined as well for the students of the three professions as for those who prepare themselves for professorships in the same branches. Only practical exercises,