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ILLUSTRATED; EXPLAINED; AND ADAPTED TO GENERAL USE,
IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE WORSHIP:
PRELIMINARY DISSERTATIONS AND ACCOMPANYING NOTES:
INTENDED AS A.
Key to the Psalms, and a Companion to the Prayer-Book.
REV. RICHARD WARNER, F.A.S.
HONORARY MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY OF NATURAL HISTORY, MOSCOW ; AND OF THE DUTCH
SOCIETY OF SCIENCES, HARLAEM; AND RECTOR OF GREAT CHALFIELD, WILTS.
“ The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.”
2 SAM. xxiii. 2.
PRINTED FOR C. & J. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD,
The value and importance of the Book of PSALMS to the sincere Christian, are too apparent to require particular examination. It is, in truth, “a well-spring of life,” for his thirsty soul : “a treasure-house of good things,” for his spiritual poverty and nakedness : “a lamp,” to point out “ the way wherein he should go;" and a guide, “ to direct his steps” in the path to everlasting life. Equally, and every way adapted to excite his devotion, and stimulate his endeavours after holiness and virtue; it alike consoles his spirit in sorrow, and regulates his mind in prosperity: and amid“ all the changes and chances of this mortal life,” soothes or gladdens his bosom, with peace and comfort, hope and joy.
In this interesting, endearing, and inestimable point of view, have the Psalms of David been regarded, by some of the greatest ornaments of our reformed church. “ What is there necessary for man to know," says the pious and judicious Hooker, “ which the Psalms are not able to teach? They are to beginners, an easy and familiar introduction: a mighty augmentation of all virtue and knowledge, in such as are entered before: a strong confirmation to the most perfect among others. Heroical magnanimity; exquisite justice ; grave moderation ; exact wisdom; repentance unfeigned; unwearied patience; the mysteries of God; the sufferings of Christ; the terrors of wrath ; the comforts of grace ; the works of Providence over this world ; and the promised joys of that world which is to come; all good necessarily either to be known, or done, or had, this one celestial fountain yieldeth. Let there be any grief or disease incident unto the soul of man; any wound or sickness named, for which there is not in this treasure-house, a present comfortable remedy, at all times ready to be found * :" and a late amiable Prelate, as remarkable for the eloquence of his compositions, as for the piety and purity of his life, has given the following true and beautiful sketch, of this sacred fountain of holiness, wisdom, and consolation. " The invaluable PSALMS OF DAVID, convey those comforts to others, which they afforded to himself. Composed upon particular occasions, yet designed for general use; delivered out as services for the Israelites under the law, yet, no less adapted to the circumstances of Christians under the Gospel, they present religion to us in the most engaging dress : communicating truths which philosophy could never investigate, in a style which poetry can never equal : while history is made the vehicle of prophecy; and creation lends all its charms to paint the glories of redemption. Calculated alike to profit and to please, the Psalms inform the understanding; elevate the affections; and entertain the imagination. Indited under the influence of HIM to whom all hearts are known, and all events fore-known, they suit mankind in all situations : grateful as the manna which descended from above, and conformed itself to every palate. The fairest productions of human wit, after a few perusals, like gathered flowers, wither in our hands, and lose their fragrance; but, these unfading flowers of Paradise, become, as we are accustomed to them, still more and more beautiful : their bloom appears to be daily heightened : fresh odours are emitted, and new sweets extracted from them. He who hath once tasted their excellence, will desire to taste them still again ; and he who tastes them oftenest, will relish them best * .""