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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

GIFT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY

NOV 10 1938

PREFACE.

The design of the Selections from the Holy Scriptures, is to aid parents and teachers, in leading the minds of children to an intelligent and profitable acquaintance with the sacred volume.

Part I. which is now published, consists of devotional extracts, taken from the Book of Psalms, and accompanied with short notes and questions.

The editor has begun with devotional extracts, because it is his conviction, that this portion of divine truth is most neglected, in the present system of sabbath school instruction. Yet it cannot be denied that this portion of the bible has, in some respects, the advantage over other parts, as, for example, the historical and the doctrinal. It is the more direct aliment of piety; and few bodies of Christians, except perhaps the dissenters, have been willing to forego the great advantages, naturally derived from having the sacred language of prayer and praise deeply impressed on the memory. Where the mind is early imbued with the material of devotion, the providence of God seldom fails to furnish occasions, on which the heart may make use of this knowledge, and often with the most salutary effects.

This number contains only the more simple and easy psalms. For many of the psalms, in our common version, are too obscure, even for adults, to comprehend. It is certainly very undesirable that children should be employed in committing to memory what they cannot understand, while there is sufficient which is easy and intelligible, and of course much more profitable to them. The advantage of having a judicious selection of the psalms, for the use of children, is of itself sufficient, it is believed, to justify this publication.

The short notes which are added, are intended not to illustrate and enforce the sentiment of the text, but merely to preserve the course of thought from being interrupted by any obscure expression, or by a misconception of the meaning on the part of the reader.

The questions are designed to call the attention to the general subject of the passage, and to the information contained in the notes. Other questions may be proposed by

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the parent or teaeher, the answers to which are to be learned by the pupil, from the use of an English dictionary, from the reflections of his own mind, or from some previous remarks of his teacher.

There is another peculiarity of this little book, which will commend itself to the intelligent student of the scriptures, and which needs a more particular explanation. It is the printing of the text so as to exhibit the poetic parallelism.

The Book of Psalms is written in poetry. The external form of Hebrew poetry consists chiefly in this parallelism. Though this peculiarity of structure is one of the best guides to the sense, and though it may be exhibited in the English dress, almost as well as in the original Hebrew, yet our translators appear to have had very obscure perceptions of it, and to have entirely disregarded it in their version.

The parallelism usually consists of two lines, similarly constructed, each expressing the same idea, but in different language; comp. Ps. 1:2. 8:4. Occasionally it consists of three lines; comp. Ps. 15:3. 116: 8.

Sometimes the first and third lines are parallel, and the second and fourth. This is shown by indenting the second and fourth lines; comp. Ps. 79: 6,9.

Sometimes the first and fourth lines are parallel, and the second and third. This is shown by indenting the second and third ;. comp. Ps. 1:3.

Sometimes a line stands by itself, or in a similar relation to two or more lines which are parallel. This also is shown by the method of indentation; comp. Ps. 1:1. 11:6.

*

*

Part II. consisting of moral extracts will be delayed some months.

J, W. G. New Haven, March, 1830,

CONTENTS.

Page.

PSALM 1.-The happiness of the righteous contrasted with the

misery of the wicked,

1

Psalm v. 1–7.–Prayer to a holy and protecting God,

2

PSALM VIII.—God's universal glory, and particular goodness to men,

PSALM XI. 4—7.-God's omniscience and retributive justice,

PSALM Xv.-Requisites of a true worshiper of Jehovah,

6

PsALM XIX.-Praise to God from his Works and from his Word, 8

PSALM XXIII.—God a kind shepherd and bountiful provider,

PSALM XXIV.—Psalm at the introduction of the ark of God into

the sanctuary prepared for it on mount Zion,

12

PSALM XXV.–Prayer of David for protection from his enemies,

instruction in piety, the forgiveness of his sins, and for the good

of his people,

14

PSALM XXVI.—The psalmist appeals to God, with a consciousness

of his integrity and confidence in God,

17

PSALM XXXIII.-An exhortation to praise Jehovah, as just and

good; as creator; as ruler among the nations; as omniscient;

and as man's only dependence,

19

Psalm xxxiv. 15—22.—Jehovah is near for the protection of the

righteous, and the punishment of the wicked,

23

PSALM XXXVII. 35–40.—The prosperity of the wicked is but for

a moment, while that of the righteous is enduring,

24

*PsALM XLII. 1–5.—The psalmist's zeal to serve God in the temple, 26

PSALM xliv. 148.-Praise for former national favors, and hope

of further deliverance,

27

PSALM XLVI.—The psalmist professes his confidence in God amidst

the greatest earthly commotions,

29

PSALM LI.-Prayer for pardon, under a deep sense of guilt, 31

PSALM LXVI.-The Israelites call upon the nations to praise God

for his works of power and goodness,

35

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PSALM LXVII.--Prayer that God may be known among all nations, 37

PSALM LXXIX.—The psalmist prays for the destruction of the

heathen that had laid waste his country,

38

PSALM LXXXI. 8–16.—God's expostulation with his ancient people, 41

PSALM LXXXIV.–Longing after the temple,

43

PSALM Lxxxv.-The psalmist, in view of former mercies, prays

for a continuance of them,

45

PSALM LXXXVI.–Prayer and praise,

PSALM XC.—The eternity of God, and the frailty of human life, 49

PSALM XCI.—The safety of him that trusteth in God,

51

PSALM Xc11.-Praise to God for his goodness,

53

PSALM XC111.—God reigneth supreme,

55

PSALM xcv.-An exhortation to praise and obedience,

56

Psalm XCVI.--An exhortation to praise God,

58

Psalm XCVIII.-An exhortation to praise God,

59

PSALM C.-An exhortation to praise God,

60

PSALM CIII.-Praise to Jehovah for his distinguished benefits, 61

Psalm Civ.—God the creator and preserver of all things,

63

PSALM CXI.-The psalmist praises God for his works and ordinances, 67

PSALM CXII.—The prosperity of the godly,

69

Psalm cxv.-The vanity of idols contrasted with the glory of the

true God,

70

Psalm cxvi.—Thanks for deliverance from great affliction and

danger,

72

Psalm cxx1.—The safety of the righteous under God's protection, 74

Psalm CXXIII.-A prayer to God for help,

75

PSALM CXXV111.—The happiness of him that feareth God, 76

PSALM cxxx.-A prayer for the forgiveness of sin,

78

PSALM CXXXIII.—Praise of harmony among brethren,

79

PSALM CXXXVIII.-Praise for deliverance from danger,

79

Psalm CXXXIX.—The omnipresence and omniscience of God, 81

Psalm CXLV.-A psalm of praise,

83

PSALM CXLVI.-God praised for his power and goodness,

85

PSALM CXLVIII.-All parts of creation exhorted to praise God, 86

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