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ed to render a distinct head desirable. Wherever he conceived Dr. Watts's Title simple and expressive, he adopted it, but in some cases has substituted a sentiment collected from the verses by himself. In this Table it appeared necessary to class the Psalms and Hymns together, not in two separate parts, one adapted to each Volume. It may be bound up with either, but perhaps will be more useful as a table of reference, if done up by itself. The Tables for finding Psalms and Hymns by the first line contains at one view the different particulars of Psalm, Part, Metre, and Page; or of Hymn, Book, Metre, and Page; all four distinctions being frequently necessary to be seen by the leader of the devotions at the same glance.-The Tables for finding any verse by its first line have not the lines at full length. For the uses to which it will be applied it will be found sufficiently clear, and to have inserted all the lines at full would have been attended with the expense of sixty-four additional pages.-And, lastly, the Alphabetical Index of Subjects, and also the Table of Scriptures will be found fuller, and it is hoped more accurate than in any other edition.

The blanks occasioned by Doctor Watts's removing some Hymns from his first Book into the Psalms, remain the same as he left them. But the Editor has great pleasure in introducing to the public one hundred additional Hymns* selected from the pious Doctor's various works. They embrace the whole of his sacred

* A neat Pocket Edition of these additional Hymns may be had of all Booksellers, price, neatly bound, 2s.



Poetry which is adapted to Public or Family Worship; and, whether considered in regard to the composition, or to their religious sentiments, may be pronounced inferior to none which proceeded from his pen; while by their introduction into the common Psalm Book, the Churches of Christ and the Families of Believers are supplied with one-seventh of additional food for the mind, finely adapted to its various wants and necessities.

The Editor has thus given a circumstantial account of the subjects which have occupied his attention. He readily admits they are trivial, but hopes it will be allowed that he who devotes his leisure to little subjects, if they contribute to the improvement of a great and valuable work, cannot be said to have spent his time in a useless or unprofitable manner.

Dec. 1st, 1821.








THOUGH the Psalms of David are a work of admirable and divine composure, though they contain the noblest sentiments of piety, and breathe a most exalted spirit of devotion, yet when the best of Christians attempt to sing many of them in our common translation, that spirit of devotion vanishes, and is lost, the psalm dies away upon their lips, and they feel scarcely any thing of the holy pleasure.

If I were to render the reasons of it, I would give this for one of the chief; namely, that the Royal Psalmist here expresses his own concerns in words exactly suited to his own thoughts, agreeable to his own personal character, and in the language of his own religion; this keeps all the springs of pious passion awake, when every line and syllable so nearly affects himself; this naturally raises in a devout mind, a more lively and transporting worship. But when we who are Christians sing the same lines, we express nothing but the character, the concerns, and the religion of the Jewish king, while our own circumstances, and our own religion (which are so widely different from his) have little to do in the sacred song, and our affec

tions want something of property or interest in the words to awaken them at first, and to keep them lively.

If this attempt of mine, through the divine blessing, become so happy as to remove this great inconvenience, and to introduce warm devotion into this part of divine worship, I shall esteem it an honourable service done to the church of Christ.

It is necessary therefore that I should here inform my readers at large, what the title-page expresses in a shorter way; and assure them, that they are not to expect in this book an exact translation of the Psalms of David: for if I had not conceived a different design from all that have gone before me in this work, I had never attempted a service so full of labour, though I must confess it has not wanted its pleasure too.

In order to give a plain account of my present undertaking, I shall first represent the methods that my predecessors have followed in their versions; in the second place I hope to make it evident that those methods can never attain the noblest and highest ends of Christian psalmody;* and then I shall thirdly describe the course that I have taken, different from them all, together with some brief hints of the reasons that induced me to it.

I come therefore to the third thing I proposed, and that is to explain my own design, which in short is this; namely, to accom

In the early Editions, published under Dr. Watts's own inspection, ten closely printed pages are employed in arguing these two points: viz. first,that all his predecessors had translated the Psalms of David strictly adhering to every idea of the original text;-and, secondly, that it was very unprofitable to Christians under the Gospel dispensation, thus to have Jewish Captains and Warriors, Jewish victories and deliverances the constant themes of devotional praise in the Churches of Christ. Conceiving these truths to be self-evident, and that owing to the splendour of the Doctor's performance, the works alluded to are totally sunk into oblivion (unless where some are upheld by Ecclesiastical law,) the Editor has taken the liberty of leaving them out of the Preface to this Edition, believing that these arguments would increase the price of the work without contributing to the gratification of his Readers. The third head, explaining the Author's plan, is highly interesting and demands strict attention.-EDITOR.

modate the book of Psalms to Christian worship. And in order to this, it is necessary to divest David and Asaph, &c. of every other character but that of a psalmist and a saint, and to make them always speak the common sense of a Christian.

Attempting the work with this view, I have entirely omitted some whole psalms, and large pieces of many others, and have chosen out of all of them such parts only as might easily and naturally be accommodated to the various occasions of the Christian life, or at least might afford us some beautiful allusion to Christian affairs, These I have copied and explained in the general style of the gospel; nor have I confined my expressions to any particular party or opinion; that in words, prepared for publie worship, and for the lips of multitudes, there might not be a syllable offensive to sincere Christians whose judgments may differ in the lesser matters of religion

Where the psalmist uses sharp invectives against his personal enemies, I have endeavoured to turn the edge of them against our spiritual adversaries, sin, Satan, and temptation. Where the fights of his faith and love are sublime, I have often sunk the expressions within the reach of an ordinary Christian. Where the words imply some peculiar wants or distresses, joys or blessings, I have used words of greater latitude and comprehension suited to the general circumstances of men.

Where the original runs in the form of prophecy concerning Christ and his salvation, I have given an historical turn to the sense, There is no necessity that we should always sing in the obscure and doubtful style of prediction, when the things foretold are brought into open light by a full accomplishment. Where the writers of the New Testament have cited or alluded to any part of the psalms, I have often indulged the liberty of paraphrase, according to the words of Christ, or his apostles. And surely this may be esteemed the word of God still, though borrowed from several parts of the holy scripture. Where the psalmist describes religion by the fear of God, I have often joined faith and love to it. Where he speaks of the pardon of sin through the mercies of God, I have added the blood or merits of a Saviour. Where he talks of sacrificing goats or bullocks, I rather choose to mention the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, When he attends the ark with shouting into Zion, I sing the ascension of my Saviour into heaven, or his presence in his church on earth. Where he promises abundance of wealth, honour, and long

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