Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:…
The natural advantages of Great Britain have been deemed extremely great; an island (says an early historian) "whose valleys are as Eshcol, whose forests are as Carmel, whose hills as Lebanon, and whose defence is the ocean." But our country has to enumerate advantages of a still higher order, — both of a civil and of a religious nature. Our civil constitution is a fabric, which, on account of its symmetry and grandeur, has even called forth the admiration of foreigners. Respecting this invaluable constitution, the late Dr. Claudius Buchanan asks, "Was it the peculiar wisdom of the Danes which constructed it? or of the Saxons, or of the Normans, or of the natives of the island? What is the name of the great legislator who conceived the mighty plan? Was it created by chance, or by design?...We know well by whose counsel and providence our happy government hath been begun and finished. Our constitution is the gift of God, and we have to acknowledge His goodness for this blessing, as we thank Him for life, and breath, and all things." But should we be less grateful for the benefits of a religious description, which have been conferred in past years upon our ancestors, and so copiously upon ourselves? We have reason to believe that the holy light of Christian truth was introduced amongst the Britons in the apostolic age, and during the captivity of Caractacus; and that numerous churches being gradually formed, the sanguinary rites of the Druids, practised in the dark recesses of their forests, were exchanged for the pure worship of the Gospel. In the sixth century, Christianity, though too much tinctured with the superstition of the age, was introduced amongst the idolatrous Saxons. It was a benefit to many of our ancestors that the dawn of a reformation also appeared, when the doctrines of the Waldenses were brought from France; and when the intrepid Wicliffe — whose writings were of no small advantage to the revival of religion, both in his own country and in Bohemia — protested against the reigning errors. This reformation, though soon crushed, was renewed within about a century afterwards, and established under the auspices of a young monarch whose name should be remembered with the warmest gratitude, — the sixth Edward. The protestant Church was in the next reign greatly oppressed, and many were added to the noble army of martyrs; but in the following reign it acquired a stability unknown before; and notwithstanding the various difficulties with which it has struggled has flourished to this day.
(T. Sims, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
WEB: Let me sing for my well beloved a song of my beloved about his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a very fruitful hill.