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capital town of the same name. Cebu, climate than the islands further west. It one of the first Spanish settlements in the is famous for its mangoes and its seaPhilippines, is, historically, an interesting shells, and is reported rich in coal, iron, old place. It claims to have the oldest lead, and gold. The Cebuan bolo, a short, church in the islands, and to be the land- curved, heavy blade with a curious handle ing-place of Magellan. The latter claim, and a carved wooden scabbard, is the however, is unfounded. I believe it is most characteristic of its manufactures, fairly well established that the famous In most respects, however, in people, discoverer first landed near Surigao on customs, manners, architecture, and landthe island of Mindanao, though there is scape, I found Cebu similar to Luzon. no doubt that he met his death on Mactan The island was pacified only to the extent Island, which lies opposite- the town of of the principal town and its immediate Cebu. At the Church of Santa Niñon neighborhood; and, indeed, that not the statue of the child saint which, after wholly, for one of the barracks inside the being sent to Rome, was so"miraculously” town was fired upon by insurgents a few changed from a golden statue to one of nights previous to my arrival. Hoping wood on the return journey, is still to be for newer and better conditions further seen ; and at the convento, now the hospi- south, I again embarked, tossed my retal, there is a collection of portraits of maining coppers to the diving boys and former Cebuan bishops and several saints girls who surrounded the vessel, and, -a villainous crew, if the artist is to be passing round the western arm of Minbelieved. Facing the Pacific as it does, danao, entered the peaceful Sulu Sea. Cebu has a cooler, drier, and healthier Mati, Mindinao, P. I.


The Life and Literature of the Ancient

XIV.—The Hebrew Lyrics

By Lyman Abbott
THE Hebrew Book of Psalms con- of some phase of the divine life. Is there

tains all the extant lyric poetry of sorrow? it is because of separation from

the ancient Hebrews. The word God; joy? it is because of the presence lyric is derived from the word lyre; in its of God; confession ? it is of sin against original significance a lyric poem is one God; praise ? it is praise of God. No intended to be sung with accompaniment songs of lovers to their mistresses, or of on the lyre. Substantially all the Hebrew praise to victors in war or athletic conpoetry intended to serve thus as a vehicle tests; no dirges over the bodies of the for song is included in the Book of Psalms. dead; no marriage songs; no glorification

The most notable characteristic of the of nature; all is sacred, all divine, And Psalms is that they are all—with possibly if we may believe that these collections two or three exceptions-religious. This are simply relics selected from a much will at first, perhaps, seem to the casual greater mass of Hebrew lyrical poetry reader a truism, since this collection of which has now perished, then we must Psalms is in the Bible; but it is in fact very either suppose that substantially all the significant that all the lyrics of the Hebrew lyrics of the Hebrew people were religious people which have been preserved are of in their character, or else that only those one spirit. Imagine that all the extant which were religious found such a place in lyrics of an ancient people were amatory, popular esteem that they were preserved or all were martial, should we not draw from oblivion. The former is probably some conclusions respecting the people the case. The Hebrew people were perfrom this fact? In saying that all the meated by the spirit of religion. Their lyrics of the ancient Hebrews are relig. laws, their customs, their festivals, their ious, I mean that they all are expressions dramas, their fiction, their folk-lore, their proverbs, their popular songs—all were That seek thy face, O God of Jacob. pervaded by their faith in Jehovah as the


Chorus, at Temple gate : God, the King, the Father, of their nation.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; This is the first and most notable fact

And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: which confronts us at every turn in our And the King of glory shall come in. study of Hebrew literature.

Response from

within : Poetry is difficult, perhaps impossible, Chorus, without :

Who is the King of glory? to define. It may be said, however, to The Lord strong and mighty, have two characteristics- -one an artificial The Lord mighty

, in battle. beauty in form, the other a vital beauty

Lift up your heads, O ye gates;

Yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors : in spirit. The most exquisite figures of

And the King of glory shall come in. imagination, the greatest intensity of emotion, unaccompanied by the peculiar the procession enters while the priestly

Then the gates are thrown open, and beauty of form which belongs to poetry, doorkeeper repeats the question : may constitute poetical prose, but not

Who is this King of glory? poetry; it is prose, though it may be poetical prose; the most perfect beauty and the procession chants the reply: of form, if it clothes unpoetical ideas, is The Lord of hosts, not poetry. In English literature the form He is the King of glory. consists of one of two elements—rhyme The spirit of poetry is much more diffiand rhythm. Hebrew poetry contained cult to define than the form. Without neither. The formal characteristic of attempting anything so ambitious, I will Hebrew poetry consisted in certain arti- venture to assume that the spirit of true poficial arrangements of the lines, either in etry includes at least two elements : truth parallelism, or in antitheses, or in the and beauty. There are two worlds, an repetition of a refrain at the end of each outer and an inner: a world of sense and verse or paragraph, or in a dramatic inter a world supersensuous; a world which we play of characters, as between the soul, enter through the eye and the ear, and a the prophet, and Jehovah. These forms world which we enter through the emotion are illustrated by Psalm xxiv., as sung by and the imagination. To see clearly this a procession of priests and people on some inner, this invisible, this real and eternal great festal day. The reader must imag- world, and so to translate it into outward ine Jerusalem full of pilgrims gathered form that men with less power of vision from all parts of Palestine; a great pro- can see it also, this is the function of the cession formed in the city; priests leading artist, the musician, and the poet. Their the way; a band of music composed of end is the same, their instruments are lyres, viols, reeds, cymbals, castanets, different. No man is a true poet unless drums, trumpets, accompanying it. The

The he first of all sees what other men of less procession reaches the Temple gates, poetic genius have failed to see, and then which are closed; and the following through literary forms interprets this vismusical colloquy takes place:

ion to others. What we have to ask our

selves about the Hebrew lyric poets is, Chorus in procession :

What did they see, or think they saw, The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof;

respecting the essential nature of God The world, and they that dwell therein. and his relation to nature and to men? For he hath founded it upon the seas, We are not to ask, What is their theology?

And established it upon the floods. Priest; a solo :

Strictly speaking, the poet has no theology. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? He is an observer, not a philosopher-but

And who shall stand in his holy place? an observer of the invisible world; he Another priest, responding : He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; to co-relate the visions with one another,

tells us what he has seen, and leaves us Who hath not listed up his soul unto vanity, with the visions of other poets, and with And hath not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord,, the facts of the outer world, and out of And righteousness from the God of his sal- all this material to construct a philosophy.

vation. Chorus, in procession :

The poet precedes the philosopher, as This is the generation of them that seek

the observer precedes the scientist. Our after him,

question is not, What was the theology of


the Hebrew poets ? (though out of their to the sword; their children killed, their poems we can construct a quasi theology;) women ravished, before their eyes. Their but, How did they see God? how did he captors deride their religion, taunting seem to them in his essential character them with the question, Where is now thy and in his relations to nature and to God? and derisively calling on them to men ?

sing their Temple songs to Him who has For this much is evident concerning abandoned them to desolation; and this these Hebrew lyrics, that they are is the answer of one of their poets: pressions of experience. They are not By the rivers of Babylon, works of art—that is, they were not written There we sat down, yea, we wept, for artistic effect; they are not dramatic- When we remembered Žion. that is, they are not the imagined experi- Upon the willows in the midst thereof

We hanged up our harps. ences of others. They have sprung out For there they that led us captive required of of the heart of the poets—that is, out of

us songs, the heart of the nation—and are expres

And they that wasted us required of us mirth, sions of the experiences of their authors.

saying, In them, therefore, are varied experiences: How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange

Sing us one of the songs of Zion. love and hate, joy and sorrow, faith and land ? doubt, hope and despair ; experiences in victory and in defeat, in temptation, in

o daughter of Babylon, that art to be de

stroyed; repentance, and in restoration; at home Happy shall he be that rewardeth thee and in exile ; surrounded by friends and As thou hast served us. environed by enemies. They include, Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy

little ones therefore, songs of praise and songs of

Against the rock.' penitence; songs national and songs individual; songs ecclesiastical and songs

How, it is asked, can such a Psalm be for the household ; songs of ebullient reconciled with Christ's command, “ Love joy and songs that are one long plaint of your enemies, and pray for them that persorrow; songs of triumphant victory and

secute you”? It cannot be reconciled songs of spiritual struggle. It is hardly

with that command. It is not a divinely too much to say that every phase of relig- inspired example to be imitated; it is a ious experience which has ever found very human experience to be shunned. voice in sacred poetry is to be found

It indicates the meaning of Christ's comexpressed in some form in this collection mand, and illustrates his example by setof Hebrew lyrics. They are not all ex

ting in contrast with it the natural feeling pressions of saintly faith and hope and of a truly devout soul under persecution. love; sometimes the weakness of the soul

And yet in one respect the Psalm is is fully recognized and frankly confessed: inspiring and worthy of imitation. Devout Will the Lord cast off forever?

people need to be inspired with hatred of And will he be favorable no more?

cant—the spirit which incites us to say to Is his mercy clean gone forever?

God, not what we think, but what we think Doth his promise fail forevermore?

he thinks we ought to think. To be sincere, Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies ? simple, genuine, transparent with God, to And I said, This is my infirmity ;

dare to show him our worst as well as our But I will remember the years of the right best, to dare to ask him to search us and

hand of the Most High. I will make mention of the deeds of the Lord; him as we treat the physician, pointing out

see if there be any evil way in us, to treat For I will remember thy wonders of old.' Sometimes impassioned emotions, natural

to him everything in us that he may teach but not saintly, find expression in them.

us what is evil and what is good, and how This is the case in the so-called impreca- to abhor the evil and to cleave to the tory Psalms, which have been in all times good, to treat him as our best and most

intimate friend from whom we wish to cona source of great ethical perplexity to Bible students. Imagine the people of ceal nothing—this is one of the lessons Israel prisoners in Babylon; their holy which the unreserved candor of these city destroyed; the sacred Temple razed ancient lyrics teaches, and which the

Church still has need to learn. to the ground; many of their fellows put "Psalm buxvii., 7-11.

" Psalm cxxxvii., 1-4, 8, 9.

We are not, then, to regard the Book of the distance, nor in a temple upon the Psalms as a collection of artistic lyrics; earth. I know not where in literature, nor as dramatic interpretations of expe- ancient or modern, can be found a subriences imagined by the writer to be limer expression of the faith in God as a acceptable to God; nor as embodying a Spirit who transcends all space-relations system of divine truth, or even the con- than in the One Hundred and Thirtytents of such a system; nor as inspired ninth Psalm : revelations of experiences which, being Whither shall I go from thy spirit? divinely created, are to be blindly imitated.

Or whither shall I fee from thy presence? We are to regard it as the actual expres- If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; sion of the experiences of a devout people, there. to be studied that we may escape their

If I take the wings of the morning, doubts, their despair, their hate, their

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall thy hand lead me, tumultuous trouble, and may secure their

And thy right hand shall hold me. faith, their hope, their love, their peace; If I say, Surely the darkness shall overwhelm the better guides for us in our times of

me, doubt and fear, because written by those And the light about me shall be night;

Even the darkness hideth not from thee, who had like experiences and out of them

But the night shineth as the day; were conducted, as Israel out of the Red The darkness and the light are both alike to Sea, by their God. The experience of thee. these writers is not always congruous;

Yet the reader will observe that this is but there are certain fundamental elements not a theory of divine immanence; it is common to their experiences; and from not, like Herbert Spencer's formula, a them we may deduce, not indeed a co- deduction from an examination of the herent system of theology, but a united mysteries by which we are surrounded. testimony respecting certain aspects of The Presence is felt, realized, experienced; the divine life.

the Psalm is a testimony; wheresoever the Conceiving, then, this book as an an- writer goes, he finds his God. No other thology of sacred lyrics respecting the Psalm states this as clearly, as definitely, deeper religious experiences of this He- as the one hundred and thirty-ninth, but brew people during eight centuries of this experience of God as a universal their national life, we ask ourselves what presence underlies, pervades, characterare the distinguishing characteristics of izes, all these lyrics. They are illuminated the experiences which it interprets. by this God-consciousness.

The most fundamental fact is that God It is this realization of a divine presis throughout these lyrics felt as a univer- ence which gives peculiar sublimity to the sal Presence. Long before the doctrine Nature Psalms. These are not praises of divine immanence was thought out in of nature; they are not glowing nor pictheology, long before Herbert Spencer turesque nor awe-inspiring portrayals of had formulated the result of philosophy natural phenomena. They have no rein the phrase, “ Amid all the mysteries semblance to Lord Byron's description of by which we are surrounded, nothing is the thunder-storm in the Alps. They do more certain than that we are ever in the not personify these phenomena and reprepresence of an Infinite and Eternal Energy sent them as in themselves living entities. from which all things proceed,” these There is in them no hint of local deities ancient poets had realized this fact as an or sprites or fairies or dragons, malicious, experience. It is sometimes said that mischievous, or beneficent. Nature is the Hebrew conception of the deity was alive, but the life is that of Jahveh, and anthropomorphic. If by this is meant what inspires the poet is not the phenomethat the ancient Hebrews conceived of non, but the God who is behind the pheGod as having experiences interpreted to nomenon. In the thunder-storm Jahveh us by human experiences—joy and sor- bows the heavens and comes down; the row, hope and regret, love and wrath-it darkness is his hiding-place; the clouds are is true ; if by it is meant that they con- his pavilion; the lightnings are his arrows." ceived of God as embodied, it certainly is He is no less in the milder phases of not true of these Hebrew singers. They nature's life. “He sends forth the springs neither localized him on a throne in

1 Psalm xviii.

into the valleys ;" "he causeth grass to tery, the trumpet, the cornet, the pipe, grow for cattle, and herbs for the service the stringed instruments, the loud-soundof man ;" he makes the darkness, and it ing cymbals. Nor is this enough. Like is night, when all the beasts of the forest the lover, he calls on nature to join in do creep forth; the young lions seek their his rejoicing, the high and the low, the meat from him; all living things wait on awful and the beautiful, the old and the him; what they gather he gives; when he young : hides his face, they are troubled. Every

Praise the Lord from the earth, thing, therefore, in nature gives praise to Ye dragons, and all deeps; Jahveh. All phenomena constitute a great Fire and hail, snow and vapor; orchestra ranged together and in harmony;

Stormy wind, fulfilling his word :

Mountains and all hills; at the command of the leader they glorify

Fruitful trees and all cedars: him. “The heavens rejoice; the earth is Beasts and all cattle ; glad ; the sea roars; the fields are joyful ; Creeping things and flying fowl : the trees of the wood rejoice.” ? The

Kings of the earth and all peoples; ! whole world is one vast cathedral, and all

Princes and all judges of the earth:

Both young men and maidens; things in it a great chorus choir; "and in Old men and children: his temple every thing saith, Glory."8 The Let them praise the name of the Lord; poet recognizes no difference in this re

For his name alone is exalted: spect between different phenomena. The

His glory is above the earth and heaven.' terrible things in nature also declare This presence of Jahveh is seen not Jahveh's praise. There is reverence for alone in nature; it is the secret of the Jahveh, awe in his presence, but no dread nation's greatness. These lyrics contain of him. That he is king and reigneth; no praises to the nation's great men; no that he is to be feared above all gods; odes to Moses or Joshua or David or that he is a righteous judge and is coming Solomon ;' none to the great prophets or to judge the people with his truth, are

leaders of Israel : these are all forgotten causes, not for fear, but for rejoicing in the absorbing brilliance of Jahveh's Plutarch, in an eloquent passage, has de glory. It is not Moses who delivered scribed the impression produced on the Israel from Egypt, it is Jahveh ; Jahveh pagan mind by belief in the universal who “brought them forth with silver and presence of the deity: “He fears not the gold;" Jahveh who rebuked the Red Sea, sea who never goes to sea; nor a battle and “ led his people through the depths who follows not the camp ; nor robbers as through a pasture-land;" Jahveh who that stirs not abroad ; nor malicious in- “spread a cloud for a covering, and a fire formers that is a poor man; nor earth

to give light in the night.” It was not quakes that dwells in Gaul; nor thunder. Joshua who conquered Canaan ; it was bolts that dwells in Ethiopia; but he that Jahveh who "smote many nations and dreads the divine powers dreads every- slew mighty kings,” and gave their land thing: the land, the sea, the air, the sky, for a heritage to Israel his servant. Let the dark, the light, a sound, a silence, a the reader compare with these Hebrew dream."5 Of this dread of the universal national hymns our own“ America." In presence of God there is no hint in these ours the voice is one of praise to the land lyrics. That presence inspires to joy, a

where our fathers died, land of the noble joy that often breaks out in exultant hal- free, land of the woods and templed hills, lelujahs, in spirit not unlike our huzzahs. land vocal with freedmen's song, and In this joy, not in what Jahveh has done only in the last verse is there any recogor given, but in Jahveh himself, in his nition of God as the “ author of liberty;" mere presence, everything is called on to in these Hebrew lyrics every stanza, unite. Like a healthy boy whose spirits every verse, is a vehicle of the one theme, must find vent, the poet calls for noise, praise to Jahveh who made the fruitful “ a joyful noise," unto Jahveh. All instru- land and gave it to his people, whom he ments are called into play to express this delivered, counseled, guided, ruled, forrejoicing: the harp, the timbrel, the psal

" Psalms lxxxi., 1, 2; xcv., 1, 2; xcviii., 4,6; C. 1 ; cxlix., 1 Psalm civ.

3; cl., 3, 5. • Psalms cxv., cxvi.

? Psalm cxlviii., 7-13. • Psalm xcvi.

. Plutarch’s Morals, I., 169, : Unless Psalm lxxii. is an exception. * Psalm xxix.

• Psalms cv., cvi., CXXXV., Cxxxvi.

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