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thing but the Heart of David. Thus our own Hearts are as it were forbid the Pursuit of the Song, and then the Harmony and the Worship grow dull of mere Necessity.
Many Ministers, and many private Christians, have long groaned under this Inconvenience, and have wished, rather than attempted a Reformation: At their importunate and repeated Requests, I have for some Years past devoted many Hours of Leisure to this Service. Far 'tie it from my Thoughts to lay aside the Book of Psalms in public worship ; few can pretend fo great a Value for them as myself: It is the most noble, most devotional and divine collection of Poesy; and nothing can be supposed more proper to raise a pious foul to Heaven, than some Parts of that Book; never was a Piece.of Experimental Divinity so nobly written, and so •justly reverenced and admired: But it must be acknowledged still, that there are a thousand Lines in it which were not made for a Church in our Days to assume as its own: There are also many Deficiencies of Light and Glory, •which our Lord Jesus and his Apostles have supplied in the Writings of the NjewTeftament: ant with this Advantage I have composed these Spiritual Songs, which are now presented to the world' s or is the Attempt vainglorious or presuming; for in respect of clear Evangelical Knowledge, The least in the Kingdom of Heaven t; grealtrthjin ajliiic jfemjh freshes, MatCKt. Jj.
, NOW let me.give a short Account of the
following Composures. . -Theigreatest Part of them are suited to thergcneral State of the Go£pel, and the most, common Affairs of Christians: I hope there will be very few found but what may pro,perly he-used in a religious Assembly, and not one of them, but may well be adapted, to some .Seasons either of private, or public Wor/hip.,| -f/heirnost frc'aucrvt sempeis and Changes of, puj*lSpirit,'an^ Conditions of our Xife", are , Irerp^ copied", and.'£hc Breathings of our ricty. expressed according t.o the Variety of our Passions, our Love, eur tear, our Hope, our Desire, our Sorrow, -our Wonder and our Joy, as they arc refined into Devotion, and Act under the Influence, and ^oiiduct of the bleQed.SpijpT; all conversing with Cos the Father t>y tli& vfw.and living Way of access to the Throne^ .eyen thcPeifon and the Mediation of our Lord Jesus Chrisi-. To Him alii), even to the Lamb thai.wasslain and now lives, 1 have addressed many arSong; for thus d°'h the Holy 5criptuVev instruct and (each us'tb- worsliip, in the; various fhoft Patterns of Chrjstian Pfulmody described iri the "Rexulaiion.'. I have avoidedthe more oVljcuj'eand controverted Points of Christianity, that we might all ohey the. Direction of the Word of God, and sing his Praises with Understanding, Psalm xlvii. 7. The Contentions and .distinguishing Words of Sects and Parties are secluded,! that ivhole Assemblies might assistlament, that contain any Thing in them'peculiarly Evangelical j and many Parts of the Old Testament also, that have a Reference to the Times of the Messiah. In these Ie.xpest to be often censured for a too religious observance of the Words of Scripture, whereby the Verle is weakened and debased, according to the Judgment of the Critics; But as my whole Design was to aid the Devotion of Christians, so more especially in this Part: And I am. satisfied I shall hereby attain two Ends, namely, assist the Worship of all serious Minds, to whom the Expressions of Scripture are ever dear and delightful, and gratify the Taste and Inclination of those who think nothing must be sung unto Goo but the Translations of his own Ward. -Yet you will always find in this Paraphrase, dark Expressions enlightned, and the Levitical Ceremonies and Hebrew Forms of Speech changed into the Worship of the Gospel, and explained in the Language of our Time and Nation; and what would not bear such an Alteration is emitted and laid aside. After this Manner should I rejoice to fee a good Part of the Book of Psalms fitted for the Uie of our Churches, and David converted into a Christian.: But be*cause I cannot persuade others to attempt this glorious work, I have suffered myself to be persuaded to begin it, and have through Divine Goodness already proceeded half Wa^ through. r >x<!U "g .• "r, v... J.v.ifli