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But a Commentary on the Book of Psalms' us in the most engaging dress; communiis not to be read all at once ;* and it was cating truths which philosophy could never thought better to give the exposition of each investigate, in a style which poetry can never Psalm complete in itself, than to refer the equal: while history is made the vehicle of reader elsewhere : which, therefore, is only prophecy, and creation lends all its charms to done, when passages of a considerable length paint the glories of redemption. Calculated occur in two Psalms, without any material alike to profit and to please, they inform the difference.

understanding, elevate the affections, and Such is the method the author has taken, entertain the imagination. Indited under such the authorities upon which he has pro- the influence of Him to whom all hearts are ceeded, and such the rules by which he has known, and all events foreknown, they suit directed himself. If consistency and uni- mankind in all situations, grateful as the formity in the comment have been the result, manna which descended from above, and conthey will afford, it is hoped, no contemptible formed itself to every palate. The fairest argument on its behalf; since it is scarce pos- productions of human wit, after a few perusible to expound uniformly, on an erroneous sals, like gathered flowers, wither in our plan, so great a variety of figurative language, hands, and lose their fragrancy; but these as is to be found in the book of Psalms.t unfading plants of paradise become, as we

Let us stop for a moment, to contemplate are accustomed to them, still more and more the true character of these sacred hymns. beautiful; their bloom appears to be daily

Greatness confers no exemption from the heightened; fresh odors are emitted, and new cares and sorrows of life. Its share of them sweets extracted from them. He who hath frequently bears a melancholy proportion to once tasted their excellencies, will desire to its exaltation. This the Israelitish monarch taste them yet again : and he who tastes them experienced. He sought in piety that peace oftenest will relish them best. which he could not find in empire, and alle- And now, could the author flatter himself, viated the disquietudes of state with the ex- that any one would take half the pleasure in ercises of devotion.

reading the following exposition, which he His invaluable Psalms convey those com- hath taken in writing it, he would not fear forts to others, which they afforded to himself. the loss of his labor. The employment deComposed upon particular occasions, yet detached him from the bustle and hurry of life, signed for general use; delivered out as ser- the din of politics, and the noise of folly ; vices for Israelites under the law, yet no less vanity and vexation flew away for a season adapted to the circumstances of Christians care and disquietude came not near his dwellunder the Gospel; they present religion to ing. He arose, fresh as the morning, to his

task; the silence of the night invited him to The most profitable way of reading it, perhaps, pursue it; and he can truly say, that food and would be by small portions, often reviewing the text rest were not preferred before it. Every and the comment, and comparing them carefully together : at times when the mind is most free, Psalm improved infinitely upon his acquaintvacant, and calm; in the morning, more especially, ance with it, and no one gave him uneasiness to prepare and fortify it for the business of the day ; but the last ; for then he grieved that his and in the evening, to recompose, and set it in order, work was done. Happier hours than those for the approaching season of rest.

which have been spent on these meditations † The student in Theology, who is desirous of farther information upon a subject so curious, so

on the Songs of Sion, he never expects to see entertaining, and so interesting, as that of the figura- in this world. Very pleasantly did they tive language of Scripture, the principles on which pass, and moved smoothly and swiftly along; it is founded, and the best rules to be observed in the for when thus engaged, he counted no time. sober and rational interpretation of it, may find satisfaction, by consulting the following authors :

They are gone, but have left a relish and a Lowth's Preface to his Commentary on the Pro- fragrance upon the mind, and the remembrance phets.

of them is sweet. LOWTH, Prælect. de Sacr. Poes. Heb. Prælect, iv. -But, alas! these are the fond effusions of xii. Paschal's Thoughts, sect. x.-xiv.

parental tenderness. Others will view the Hurd's Introd. to the Study of the Prophecies. production with very

different and the Serm. ii. iii, iv.

harsh voice of inexorable criticism will too Vitringa, Observat. Sacr. lib. vi. cap. xx. et soon awaken him from his pleasing dream. lib. vii. Præfat. ad Comment. in JESAIAM.

He is not insensible, that many learned and Glassri, Philologia Sacra, lib. ii.

good men,

whom he does not therefore value WITsul Miscellan. Sacra, tom. i. lib. iii, cap. iii. and respect the less, have conceived strong lib. ii. Dissert. i. ii. Econom. Fæd. lib. iv. cap. prejudices against the scheme of interprevix.

WATERLAND's General Preface to Scripture Vin. tation here pursued; and he knows how litdicated.

tle the generality of modern Christians have



been accustomed to speculations of this kind; continue such, can have neither lot nor part which, it may likewise, perhaps, be said, will in this matter; for giving no credit to the give occasion to the scoffs of our adversaries, Scripture account of things, either in the Old the Jews and the deists. Yet, if in the preced- Testament or the New, to discourse with ing pages it hath been made to appear, that the them concerning a connection and analogy application of the Psalms to evangelical sub- subsisting between the one and the other, is jects, times, and circumstances, stands upon to reason about a fifth sense with a man who firm ground; that it may be prosecuted upon has only four. For the conviction both of a regular and consistent plan; and that it is the Jews and deists, other arguments are to not only expedient, but even necessary, to be urged; arguments from undeniable mirarender the use of them in our devotions rational cles openly wrought, and plain prophecies and profitable; will it be presumption in him literally fulfilled. Such proofs are for them to hope that, upon a calm and dispassionate that believe not.” And such have been rereview of the matter, prejudices may subside, peatedly urged, in their full force, by the and be done away? If men, in these days, many able champions, who have stood forth have not been accustomed to such contempla- (success evermore attend their labors !) in detions, is it not high time they should become fence of the evidences of Christianity. Exso? Can they begin too soon to study, and positions and meditations, like those in the make themselves masters of a science which subsequent pages, serve not, nor are intended promises to its votaries so much entertain- to serve," for them who believe not, but for ment, as well as improvement; which recom- them who believe :»* who will exercise their mends the Scriptures to persons of true taste faculties in discerning and contemplating the and genius, as books intended equally for our mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and delight and instruction ; which demonstrates who are going on unto perfection; to increase the ways of celestial wisdom to be ways of their faith and inflame their charity ; to depleasantness, and all her paths to be peace light them in prosperity, to comfort them in indeed? From the most sober, deliberate, adversity, to edify them at all times. Such and attentive survey of the sentiments which effects, the author doubts not, will be experiprevailed upon this point, in the first ages of enced by believers, who will read his book the church, when the apostolical method of with an honest and good heart, with seriousciting and expounding the Psalms was fresh ness and attention; for though he humbly upon the minds of their followers, the author trusts it will not be deemed altogether unworcannot but be confident, that his Commentary, thy a place in the libraries of the learned, he if it had then made its appearance, would builds chiefly on that approbation which he have been universally received and approved, is solicitous it should receive in the closets of as to the general design of it, by the whole the devout; as considering, that it is Love, Christian world. And, however the Jews, heavenly Love, which“ never faileth ; but in their present state of alienation and unbe- whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; lief, may reject and set at naught such appli- whether there be tongues they shall cease; cations of their Scriptures to our Messiah whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish and his chosen people, as they certainly will away. For we know in part, and we prom do; he is not less confident, that, whenever phesy in part : but when that which is pera the happy and glorious day of their conver- fect is come, then that which is in part shall sion shall come, and the veil shall be taken be done away.”+ They who find not the from their hearts, they will behold the Psalter wished-for satisfaction in one portion, will find in that light in which he has endeavored to it in another; they who disapprove of an inplace it.* As to the deists, they, while they terpretation at the first reading, may, perhaps,

approve of it at the second; and they who * "'If this appears to be the case in so many of the still continue to disapprove of some particuPsalms

(namely, that they are predictive of MESSIAH) lars, will not therefore disdain to accept the how strongly does it justify our Lord's appeal to them as treating of him! And what a noble

argument may hence arise, for the conviction and con- haps, as his Lordship intimates, in the words of the version of that extraordinary people, to whom they fifty-first Psalm: “Deliver me from BLOOD GUILTIwere originally communicated, when once the veil Ness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my that is on their hearts, shall be taken away, as by tongue shall sing aloud thy righteousness. O Lord, the same spirit of prophecy we are assured it shall." open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth The Bishop of Carlisle's Theory of Religion, p. thy praise. For thou desirest not saCRIFICE, else 176, 6th edit. With what transports of zeal and would I give it; thou deiightest not in BURNT-OFdevotion, of faith and love, will they recite these FERING. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; holy hymns, in the day when the whole body of the a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not Jews, returning to the Lord their God, shall acknow- despise. O do good in thy good pleasure to Zion; ledge their unparalleled crime in the murder of their build thou the walls of JERUSALEM!” King, and their penitential sorrow for the same, per- • 1 Cor. xiv, 22.

f 1 Cor, xiii, 8.

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benefit of the rest. He has written to gratify whether they see them shadowed out in the no sect or party, but for the common service Psalms or not. Such will enjoy their own of all who call on the name of Jesus, where liberty, and permit their brethren to do the soever dispersed, and howsoever distressed, same. Or, if they shall think it necessary to upon the earth. When he views the innu- take up the polemical pen, he desires only merable unhappy differences among Christians, to receive that treatment, which he has himall of whom are equally oppressed with the self shown to every writer, cited or referred cares and calamities of life, he often calls to to by him.* Instead of engaging in a tedimind those beautiful and affecting words ous, and, perhaps, unprofitable altercation which Milton represents Adam as addressing to upon the subject, he feels himself at present Eve, after they had wearied themselves with much rather inclined, in such a case, to folmutual complaints and accusations of each low, at his proper distance, the amiable examother:

ple of his greatly respected Diocesan, who

reprinted in England the objections made by But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame

a foreign professor, to some parts of his LecEach other, blam'd enough elsewhere; but strive In offices of love, how we may lighten

tures on the Hebrew Poetry, and left the Each other's burden in our share of woe.

public to form its own judgment between B. x. V. 958. them.f From that public, the author of the

following work is now to expect the deterEnough has been given to the arts of contromination of his fate. Should its sentence be versy. Let something be given to the studies in his disfavor, nothing further remains to be of piety and a holy life. If we can once said, than that he has honestly and faithfully unite in these, our tempers may be better endeavored to serve it, to the utmost of his disposed to unite in doctrine. When we power, in the way, in which he thought shall be duly prepared to receive it,“ God himself best able, and to give the world may reveal even this unto us.” To increase some account of that time, and those opporthe number of disputes among us, is, there- tunities, which, by the providence of a grafore, by no means the intent of this publica- cious God, and the munificence of a pious tion. The author having, for many years, Founder, he has long enjoyed in the happy accustomed himself to consider and apply the retirement of a college. Psalms, while he recited them, according to the method now laid down, has never failed • Detur igitur erratis meis venia: ipse demum to experience the unspeakable benefit of it, exemplo meo mihi prosim, qui neminem eorum, a both in public and in private; and would quibus dissenserim, contumeliis affeci; qui non, wish, if it so pleased God, that death might acriter invectus sum ; qui denique eam veniam

vitio criticorum, in diversæ sententiæ propugnatores find him employed in meditations of this antecessoribus meis libens tribui, quam ab iis, qui kind.* He has likewise frequently taken hæc in manus sumturi sint, velim impetrare. occasion, in the course of his ministry, to Pearce in Præfat. ad edit. Cic. de Oratore. explain a Psalm, upon the same plan, from "In his quæ sunt, quæ mihi minus persuasit the pulpit; and whenever he has done so, nostrorum judicio permittere, quam in discepta

Vir Clarissimus, ea malui hoc modo libero lectorum whether the audience were learned or un- tionem et controversiam injucundam, et fortasse learned, polite or rustic, he has generally had infructuosam, vocare." Lowth, in Præf. ad edit. the happiness to find the discourse, in an 2dam Prælect. de Sacra Poesi Hebræorum. especial manner, noticed and remembered. thors should avoid, as much as they can,” says

another very learned critic, “replies and rejoinders, But still many may be of a different opinion, the usual consequences of which are, loss of time, who may conscientiously believe the doc- and loss of temper. Happy is he who is engaged in trines, and practise the duties of the Gospel, controversy with his own passions, and comes off

superior; who makes it his endeavor, that his follies ** I have lost a world of time,” said the learned and weaknesses may die before him, and who daily SALMASIUs, on his death-bed; “ if I had one year Preface to his Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, p.

meditates on mortality and immortality.” JORTIN'S more, I would spend it in reading David's PBALMs, xxxiv. and Paul's EPISTLES."

“ Au

That the reader may the ore easily turn to such Psalms as will best suit the present state of his mind,

according to the different circumstances, whether external or internal, into which, by the changes and chances of life, or the variations of temper and disposition, he may, at any time, be thrown, the common Table of Psalms, classed under their several subjects, is here subjoined.



THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD. 1. Prayers for pardon of sin. Psalm 6, 25,

38, 51, 130. Psalms styled Penitential, I. General acknowledgments of God's Good6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143.

ness and Mercy, and particularly his care II. Prayers composed when the Psalmist was and protection of good men. Psalm 23,

deprived of an opportunity of the public 31, 36, 91, 100, 103, 107, 117, 121, 145, exercise of religion. Psalm 42, 43, 63,84.

146. III. Prayers wherein the Psalmist seems II. Psalms displaying the Power, Majesty,

extremely dejected, though not totally Glory, and other attributes of the Divine deprived of consolation, under his afilic- Being. Psalm 8, 19, 21, 29, 33, 47, 50,

. tions. Psalm 13, 22, 69, 77, 88, 143. 65, 66, 76, 77, 93, 95, 96, 97, 99, 104, IV. Prayers wherein the Psalmist asketh

111, 113, 114, 115, 134, 139, 147, 148,

150. help of God, in consideration of his own integrity, and the uprightness of his cause.

Psalm 7, 17, 26, 35. V. Prayers expressing the firmest trust and I. The different characters of good and bad

confidence in God under afflictions. Psalm men: The happiness of the one, and the

3, 16, 27, 31, 54, 56, 57, 61, 62, 71, 86. miseries of the other, are represented in VI. Prayers composed when the people of

the following Psalms, 1, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, God were under affliction or persecution.

12, 14, 15, 17, 24, 25, 32, 34, 36, 37, 50, Psalm 44, 60, 74, 79, 80, 83, 89, 94, 102,

52, 53, 58, 73, 75, 84, 91, 92, 91, 112, 123, 137.

119, 121, 125, 127, 128, 133. VII. The following are likewise Prayers in II. The Excellence of God's Law. Psalm time of trouble and affliction. Psalm 4,

19, 119. 5, 11, 28, 41, 55, 59, 64, 70, 109, 120, III. The Vanity of human Life. Psalm 39, 140, 141, 142.

49, 90. VIII. Prayers of INTERCESSION. Psalm 20, IV. Advice to Magistrates. Psalm 82, 101. 67, 122, 132, 144.

V. The Virtue of Humility. Psalm 131.


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PSALMS MORE EMINENTLY AND DIRECTLY I. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to

PROPHETICAL. particular persons. Psalm 9, 18, 22, 30,

34, 40, 75, 103, 108, 116, 118, 138, 144. Psalm 2, 16, 22, 40, 45, 68, 72, 87, 110, 118. II. Thanksgivings for mercies vouchsafed to

the Israelites in general. Psalm 46, 48,
65, 66, 68, 76, 81, 85, 98, 105, 124, 126, Psalm 78, 105, 106.
129, 135, 136, 149.


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