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THE

QUARTERLY REVIEW.

No. 456.-JULY, 1918.

Art. 1.-THE PSALTER: ITS CONTENTS AND DATE. 1. Commentaries on the Psalms. By J. Wellhausen (Clarke & Co., 1897); B. Duhm (Freiburg i/B: Mohr, 1899); A. F. Kirkpatrick (Camb. Univ. Press, 1902); F. Baethgen (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1st edn. 1892, 3rd edn. 1904); C. A. and E. G. Briggs (two vols. Edinburgh: Clark, 1906, 1907); W. Stärk (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1911); R. Kittel (Leipzig: Deichert, 1914); C. F. Kent (Hodder & Stoughton, 1914).

2. The Messages of the Psalmists. By J. E. McFadyen. Clarke & Co., 1904.

3. Psalmen. By Rudolf Kittel.

Article in Realencyklopädie für Protest. Theologie. Vol. XVI. Leipzig, 1905. 4. The Poets of the Old Testament.

Hodder & Stoughton, 1912.

By A. R. Gordon.

5. Das Ich der Psalmen. By Emil Balla. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1912.

6. Psalmen and Psalterbuch (Articles in 'Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart.' Vol. IV. Tübingen: Mohr, 1913). By Hermann Gunkel. Die Psalmen and Die Endhoffnung der Psalmisten. By the same, in 'Reden und Aufsätze.' Göttingen: Vandenhoeck, 1913. 7. Religion in Song, or Studies in the Psalter. By W. G. Jordan. Clarke & Co. N.D. (? 1915).*

And other works.

THE Hebrew Psalter is one of those books which are unlikely to lose their hold upon the men and women of

It seems a great pity that an excellent scholar such as Professor Jordan should be willing to allow a work of his to be published (like the other books in the valuable series to which it belongs) without a date.

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Europe and of European origin. Its latest hymn is hardly less than two thousand years old, but neither oldest nor youngest shows signs of wear. So long as men's faith in a ruling and benevolent God continues, so long will the Psalter-it is hardly too rash to predict-be a comfort, an inspiration and a help to thousands of human souls. For in simplicity and strength, in tenderness and fervour, in directness and nobility, it would be hard to find, or to create, another hymn-book to surpass it. Its praises have been justly and eloquently sung by many distinguished writers of many different races and creeds. It is unnecessary to attempt to add a new laudation to those already in existence. It suffices to say that whether troubled or happy, whether agitated or at rest, the human heart can obtain from the poems of the Psalter a guidance and impetus for the wonder, the joy, and the comfort, of communion with God.

Yet it is not flawlessness which has produced, and can still produce, these results. The Psalms show various imperfections, both moral and religious. Both the Jewish and the Christian religions have advanced beyond them. It may be partly because of its very imperfections that the Psalter makes its appeal to weak, erring, struggling, tempest-tossed humanity. They are a proof of its sincerity; if the faults are real, so are the greatness, the spirituality, the passionate faith. The most glaring of its imperfections-violent imprecations upon the enemy -has recently been a good deal discussed in relation to the place of the Psalter in the public worship of the Church. For the Church, unlike the Synagogue, has not discriminated between Psalm and Psalm; it has used the whole book, and made no omissions or selections. But almost all the imprecatory' Psalms, while they say things which we must deplore and condemn, also contain passages which we should be loth to lose. Of a truth, these very Psalms often fit in with our present temper and needs, and it is not always quite easy to say where they stiffen our faith and our determination, increasing our hatred of evil and our resolve to put an end to its

* Cf. the valuable pamphlet on The Use of the Psalter' by the Rev. C. W. Emmet, the Rev. Dr Burney and the Rev. Dr Sanday. (Oxford University Press, 1918.)

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